Good Housekeeping Institute Reveals 10 Household Chores You Only Need To Do Once A Year

Our kind of cleaning.

If you loath spending your weekends doing housework, listen up.

Experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute have revealed the 10 chores you only need to do once a year.

These nifty life hacks may be infrequent, but they’ll make all the difference to the look and feel of your home.

That’s the kind of cleaning we like the sound of.

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1. Wipe down window frames

Use a brush to sweep off dirt around the frame, then use a solution of washing-up liquid or a multi-purpose spray cleaner to remove stubborn grime.

2. Purge your kitchen drawer 

If you’re like us, this is the place where unclaimed items get stashed when there’s nowhere else to put them. Tip it all out and reevaluate what you’ve collected, then decide what you don’t need any more. Be ruthless. 

3. Wipe your lightbulbs

These get sticky and dusty (especially if they’re in the kitchen and bathroom) and it’s amazing how much light this cuts out. Switch off, unscrew and wipe with a damp cloth, making sure to stay well away from the screw or bayonet end.

4. Wash your curtains 

Curtain fabric collects dust over the year. To wash your curtains, pop them in the washing machine or take them to your local dry cleaner. 

5. Blitz the fireplace

Got a real fire? Before you set the first fire of the season, call in the professionals to give the chimney a clean. Find one at


6. Deep clean upholstered furniture

Vacuum thoroughly and wash or dry clean loose covers, according to the fabric type. If covers cannot be removed, have them cleaned professionally.


7. Wipe down outdoor furniture

Add a squirt of washing-up liquid to a bowl of warm water, then wipe down tables and chairs with a damp cloth. Finish it all off with a spray of water from the garden hose.

8. Deep clean your carpet

Rent a carpet cleaner, such as a RugDoctor, or call in the professionals – choose one that’s a member of the National Carpet Cleaners Association. But if your carpet is really stained, don’t expect miracles. It may be time to consider rearranging the furniture or adding a strategically placed rug.


9. Empty your gutters

Give gutters a good clean with a stiff brush, then invest in a gutter brush. Water can still flow freely along the gutters, but the brush will stop leaves from getting stuck in your pipes and blocking them.

10. Purge your garage and basement

If you’re like us, these spaces are where unclaimed items get stashed when there’s nowhere else to put them. Taking time each year to reevaluate what you’ve collected and what you don’t need anymore.

14 Cleaning Hacks
Use a lemon to clean stainless steel(01 of 14)
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Annoying water stains on your tap and sink? Halve a lemon and use it to scrub stainless steel. It will also make your kitchen smell fresh and citrusy. (credit: Monkey Business Images via Getty Images)
Steam clean microwave(02 of 14)
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Had a baked beans explosion? Clean your microwave the easy way by mixing two tablespoons of white vinegar and a few drops of your favourite essential oil with water and blast it for 5 minutes. You’ll be left with a shiny clean microwave that smells amazing with zero scrubbing required. (credit: Whit Preston via Getty Images)
Use a cotton bud for cleaning keyboards(03 of 14)
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Instead of a wipe, take a damp cotton bud and use it to clean the difficult bits in between your keyboard. (credit: Partha Pal via Getty Images)
Fold and stack clothes vertically not horizontally(04 of 14)
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Organise your t-shirt drawer by folding them and stacking vertically not horizontally. This way you can flip through to find the one you want easily and minimise creasing which means less ironing, always good. (credit: Chad Mcdermott via Getty Images)
Cover fridge shelves in cling film(05 of 14)
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Fridge spillages can be disastrous but easily cleaned up by simply covering the shelves with cling film or plastic wrap. That way when something leaks or gets sticky, you can peel it off and start fresh, no cleaning necessary. (credit: Fabrice LEROUGE via Getty Images)
Store sheet sets in pillow cases(06 of 14)
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Finding matching bed sets can be a huge time waster but solved easily by organising your linen. Fold matching bed sets into the corresponding pillowcase so they are all kept together. (credit: Prasit Rodphan via Getty Images)
Stop your bin smelling of rubbish(07 of 14)
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Even after a bin is emptied, often a nasty lingering smell can remain.To avoid this, sprinkle some baking soda or vinegar into the bottom of the bin to reduce the odour and lay down some clean newspaper to absorb any leftover moisture. (credit: Image Source via Getty Images)
Clean toys in dishwasher(08 of 14)
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If your mucky pups’ toys are looking a bit worse for wear stick them in the dishwasher for a short cycle. (credit: Emma Bailey via Getty Images)
Make your bathroom smell constantly fresh(09 of 14)
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Add a few drops of essential oil to the inside of your toilet paper roll to keep your bathroom smelling lovely. (credit: ep_stock via Getty Images)
Refresh plastic containers(10 of 14)
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Get the leftover curry stains out of plastic containers by putting a solution of washing up liquid, bleach and water in them and microwaving until boiling point. Once cooled, pour away and rinse. (credit: Cultura/BRETT STEVENS via Getty Images)
Deep clean shower head(11 of 14)
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After having a shower, fill a sandwich bag with baking soda and vinegar and tie it around the showerhead using an elastic band. Leave this to soak overnight then any debris will come off easily with an old toothbrush. (credit: sophie adams, cardiff, uk. via Getty Images)
Microwave sponges(12 of 14)
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If you’ve only got one sponge to do all of the spring-cleaning with, disinfect it quickly and easily by putting it in your now spotless microwave for two minutes. Just make sure your sponge doesn’t have any metal on it obviously. (credit: Alexandra Grablewski via Getty Images)
Use a pastry brush to get crumbs out of toaster(13 of 14)
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Toast crumbs are notoriously difficult to get to but using a pastry brush can help sweep away the annoying trapped bits. (credit: ozgurcoskun via Getty Images)
Put a cup of vanilla extract in the oven(14 of 14)
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Sounds a bit crazy but by putting a few teaspoons of vanilla extract into a mug and baking for an hour, your whole home will smell gorgeous and inviting. This is a trick estate agents swear by. (credit: Monika Adamczyk via Getty Images)

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