Why You Should Throw Out Five Things Every Monday

...And more weekly chores that will keep your home clean, organized and efficient in every way.

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Throwing Garbage Bag Into Trash Can
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Throw out five things

Organizing your entire house in one fell swoop might be overwhelming, but vowing to toss or put away just five objects will seem much more doable, says Maeve Richmond, founder and coach of organizing company Maeve’s Method. “I call it Toss Five, which makes it a little bit of a game,” she says. Once you look for expired foods, old receipts, junk mail, dirty socks, and other useless items, it won’t take long to gather all five and be well on your way to a de-cluttered home.

These home organization hacks will also come in handy.

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Trimming Hedges
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Do a once-over

“The biggest thing you could do every week on the inside of a house is quickly taking an assessment of the house and determining what you need to add to your schedule,” says Elizabeth Dodson, co-founder of home maintenance software company HomeZada. Do you notice any scuffed paint? Worn-out caulking letting air outside? Unruly hedges? Once you know what projects you’ll need to tackle, plan out which ones you’ll realistically have time for this week. Deciding ahead of time will make you less overwhelmed when chore time rolls around.

Pressed for time? Here are 30 things you can organize in 30 minutes (or less).

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Cleaning Oven Exhaust Vent
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Clean your exhaust hood vent

Most homeowners are already good about wiping down their stovetop on at least a weekly basis, but don’t stop there. Remove the overhead vent and give it a rinse to remove the grease and food residue buildup. “That can prevent fire,” says Dodson. “Your food might taste better, too.”

Here’s how to clean a greasy range hood, step by step.

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Pile Of Mail
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Clear out your “drop zone”

Most homes have one area where clutter starts to build up, whether it’s mail collecting on the kitchen table or a pile of clothes heaped on a bedroom chair. While it’s better to contain the clutter than to let it spill all over the house, that buildup can get overwhelming. “I encourage people to get their stuff in the ‘drop zone’ and then go back and restore order there,” says Richmond. “I make a point to put those things away when I have a breath.”

These Netflix organizing shows will inspire you to conquer clutter.

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Vacumming Floor
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Of course, you know you need to vacuum when you start seeing pet dander and dirt building up, but that’s not the only reason you should clean your floors. “Not only are you moving dust and dirt from the floors, but you’re protecting your HVAC filters,” says Dodson. If you aren’t changing your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning filters or vacuuming the floors frequently enough, pet hair and other particles can build up and take a toll on the system, she says.

Discover 13 cleaning hacks that take the hassle out of housekeeping.

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Watering Houseplants
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Water your plants

“A dried-up houseplant is a pretty sorry sight to see,” says Richmond. By committing one day a week to checking your plants, even homeowners without a green thumb can keep houseplants healthy. See if your plants are thirsty, and pick up any fallen leaves from the soil, says Richmond.

Try these hacks to bring a dead plant back to life.

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Most efficient way to mow law - Man mowing lawn with red mower
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Mow the lawn

You’re able to put it off in the winter, but pulling out the lawnmower every week from late spring to early fall will keep your yard from getting unruly, says Dodson. Plus, it’s better for your equipment. “It could cause problems with the lawnmower if you wait too long,” she says. The long grass could get caught in the blades, making the task more difficult than it would have been if you kept up with maintenance.

Make sure you never do this to your lawn.

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Organized Kitchen Countertop
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Clear your surfaces

To keep clutter from getting overwhelming, take a moment each week to “sweep” surfaces in at least one room. “Take a trip around the room and remove easy-to-grab clutter from tabletops and shelves,” she says. Once the objects are out of the way, go over those surfaces with a dusting pad to keep those areas clean and tidy.

Here are the kitchen organizing mistakes everyone makes.

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Towels Hanging In Bathroom
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Change your bathroom towels

Even if you don’t have time to scrub your bathtub, sink, toilet, and floor every week, make sure you at least tackle the dirty towels. “Keeping towels tidy in the bathroom as a weekly process is an easy way to… bring freshness and tidiness to a bathroom,” says Richmond. Replace any dirty towels with new ones, and make sure the clean ones are folded or hung nicely in place.

Next, check out 10 bathroom cleaning tricks that’ll save you time, money and effort.

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