You Have Full Permission to Skip These 5 Annoying Cleaning Chores

published Nov 18, 2021
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Jenny Albertini's kitchen
Credit: Jennifer Chase

Fall has most of us gearing up for a season of (safe) entertaining, cooking, and gifting. But this month is also an opportunity to take it a little easy, too. (Raise your hand if you’re tired from a shockingly busy summer!) One way to relax a bit and lean into the cozy vibe is to take some time to enjoy your home without continuous rigorous cleaning.

That’s right: We’re telling you to skip some of the cleaning! First and foremost, this calls for adopting a mindset that chores will always be there, and knowing that you will get to them when you can — but not at the expense of slowing down to enjoy a pretty fall morning walk or settle into a good novel by the fireplace. To that end, here are five deep-cleaning chores to put on hold this season.

Credit: Rachel Jacks

1. Skip cleaning your kitchen trash cans.

While any spills or obvious grossness in your trash bins should be cleaned up right away, it’s OK to skip the deep clean for now — especially if you cleaned your garbage cans over the summer and took advantage of the sun to dry and disinfect them. For now, sprinkle baking soda at the bottom of your bin every once in a while to mask any strong odors.

2. Skip cleaning the furniture.

Between movie nights and cozy bowls of chili on the couch, your furniture is likely to be in heavy use during the winter months. It makes the most sense to do a thorough cleaning of your couches and armchairs once the new year has passed. If you’re having people over before then, you can get creative with blankets and pillows. One thing, though: You should take a minute to wipe down your dining chairs, especially if you’re hosting at any point.

3. Skip the wet mopping.

Wet mopping results in a much deeper cleaning than spray mopping. But spray mopping is faster. And with all the cooking that’s happening in the kitchen right now, it’s better to do a little bit more frequently versus one serious clean once in a while. Just lightly vacuum and spray mop every day or every other day. With this kind of simple-but-regular attention to your hardworking floors, you’ll not only have cleaner floors, but you’ll also be able to skip the bigger production of wet mopping for several weeks. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

4. Skip the oven cleaning.

Your oven is about to get the most use it gets all year long! Of course, the thought of cooking all those goodies in a spotless oven sounds pretty appealing — until you realize that you’re going to undo all of your hard work within a matter of days once Thanksgiving rolls around. Do yourself a huge favor, and save the deep cleaning until the string of festivities end. For now, just vacuum inside the oven (seriously!) and give the surfaces a quick wipe with a Magic Eraser.

5. Skip the detailed bathroom scrubbing.

The process of a deep bathroom cleaning is the same whether it’s been a week or a month, right? Give your toilets a quick wipe and try this brilliant trick for easily cleaning your shower … and call it a day. If you’re having people over and have more than one bathroom, clean the one that guests are most likely to use and close the door to the rest. If no one is staying over, pull that shower curtain closed and focus your attention on the toilet, sink, and floor.

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: 5 Annoying Cleaning Chores You Can Absolutely Skip This Fall