2 P.M.–5 P.M.: Living Room, Family Room and Dining Room

Dust ceiling fans. Donna Smallin, author of The One-Minute Cleaner, prefers an extendable duster with a microfiber head that bends to a 90-degree angle so she doesn't have to get on a ladder. It's also useful for the tops of bookcases and shelves.

Vacuum and wipe walls and ceilings.

Care for your couch. Sofas and upholstered chairs get tons of use. Yet, says Sim Fern, co-founder of Mod Restoration, a furniture-repair shop in Brooklyn, some people never clean them. Just because you don't see stains doesn't mean there aren't dust mites present (they feed on skin flakes shed by humans and animal dander). Many Lowe's and Home Depot stores rent upholstery-cleaning machines or carpet-cleaning machines with upholstery wands, which will give your sofa and chairs a deep clean.

Wash your lightbulbs. Give them a wipe with a damp microfiber cloth, since a dirty bulb emits 20 percent less light.

Clean window treatments and wash the insides of windows.

Clean and dust electronics. Spray compressed air into crevices. Then, moving from top to bottom, use microfiber or electrostatic cloths. Clean underneath speakers, stereos, computers, DVD players and TVs too. Wipe away from ventilation areas so you don't push dust back in.

Sweep out your fireplace, storing unused logs.

Clean the carpets.

Order pizza for dinner.

More Home Advice

Illustration: Florie Duhau/OWN


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