Recently, I had a chance to catch up on some house chores that had been neglected. While scrubbing the shower with apathy, I pondered. ‘How often do I have to do this, really?’ I hounded my children and was pestered by my parents, as I am sure they were badgered by theirs, about different chores to be done on a regular basis.

But how often do I have to do these chores? Is there a scientific method to this madness, or is it just because parents said so throughout history?


  • Toilet - Even if not in use, the toilet should be flushed at least once per day, a quick wipe down of the toilet and surrounding area along with the sink once per week, and a deep clean no less than every two weeks. I didn’t know I’m supposed to clean the tank twice per year. Add that to changing the batteries in the fire alarms on the ‘spring forward, fall back’ schedule.
  • Bathtubs and showers - Can go every two weeks, depending on usage. Okay, that’s one thing I can cut back on. There are only 3 of us in the house now, and 2 bathrooms. But the shower curtain needs washing more than whenever I feel like it.


  • Towels - Need changing every 3 days or less? Well, that means more laundry. Adding more to the list, not less.
  • Bedsheets - Once per week seems to be the rule here. Even though I shower at night, my spouse does not. Hair oils and skin sluffing apply. Ew.
  • Dryer lint trap - Every time. Seriously? Every time? I like to wait 2 or 3 loads so the lint pulls out in 2 big chunks.


  • Refrigerator - A spill here or there gets addressed immediately, but the fridge is supposed to get a wipe-down every 3 to 4 months. I do this once per year in the downtime between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
  • Floor - Ha! I got one. Barring a large spill once per week is a go-to in our house.
    Oven: Well, nobody’s perfect, right? Mine gets cleaned when there’s a spill. Then it gets a good deep cleaning when another big mess comes along.
  • Microwave - Experts say once per week. This usually gets done about once a month at our house. I’m sure less at work.


  • Vacuum - Since there are only carpets in the bedroom, once a month seems appropriate. But that is not the case. Once a week or even more frequently. Sigh.
  • Washing - I win. I clean my carpets every 6 months including the area rug in the living room. I’m ahead of the curve. Well, for cleaning carpets anyway.
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It would appear that my upbringing was lax on cleaning upkeep. Since I relaxed the rules I was taught, my family has evidently developed a very strong immune system. Only the strongest bacteria can make us sick anymore. So, my cleaning habits have begun to turn us into superheroes, or villains. Time will tell.

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