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every idea under the sun for getting
your home and life in perfect order
Home Cleaning

daily wipe down kitchen chairs

clean glass
make the beds deep clean kitchen
wipe down bathrooms
sweep kitchen floor
clean up dishes monthly
open and file mail
sweep out garage
go through school papers
vacuum out windowsills
pick up entire house
dust ceiling fans
vacuum living area
wipe down baseboards
clear and clean counters clean the oven
weekly clean out the fridge
wipe down switch plates
vacuum entire house
clean out garbage cans
dust furniture wash quilts and blankets
do the laundry clean out garage
vacuum couch cushions wash inside of windows
mop floors clean out fireplace
empty trash
deep clean bathrooms
3 months 1.5 years
mayonaise olives, jarred
pasta sauce, jarred
6 months 2 years
olives, oil-packed jars vinegar, all types
jarred pesto
3 years
9 months hot sauce
peanut and nut butters soy sauce
teriyaki sauce
1 year
barbecue sauce
cocktail sauce
honey Check this
jams and jellies guide to find
ketchup out how long
maple syrup
marinades oils, vinegars,
mustard and other
nuts, shelled
oils (olive, corn, vegetable) condiments
olive tapenade will last when
pickles, relish
roasted red peppers (jarred) stored
salad dressing unopened in
salsa (jarred)
sauerkraut, jarred your pantry.
worcestershire sauce
beauty products
expiration dates
skin care makeup
Anti-aging & acne treatments: Mascara & liquid eyeliner:
3 months to a year. 3 to 4 months.
Sunscreen: Check the Eye and lip pencils:
package for an expiration 3 to 5 years.
date. Lipstick and lip gloss:
Body lotion: 2 to 3 years 2-3 years.
hair care
About 2 years.
About 3 years. miscellaneous
Conditioner: Perfume:
About 3 years. About 2 years
Hairstyling products: Nail polish: 1 year.
3-5 years. Shaving cream:
bath/shower About 2 years.
Bar soap:
Up to 2 years.
Up to 3 years
Shower gel:
"I can't live without my beauty
About 3 years.
products. I love to be in my bathroom
with my candles lit, morning, noon, and
Bath oil: 1 year. night." ~Alicia Silverstone
grocery list
apples DELI bagels
bananas deli turkey block cheddar
blueberries deli ham block mozzarella
cantaloupe deli roast beef block swiss
grapes pita pockets butter
lemons/limes salmon cheese sticks
oranges shrimp cream cheese
peaches fish eggs
plums chicken English muffins
strawberries ground beef flour tortillas
watermelon steak half and half
broccoli roast beef milk
carrots pork chops shredded cheddar
cauliflower pork roast shredded mozzarella
coleslaw ham shredded parmesan
cucumbers sausage sliced American
garlic bacon sliced cheddar
green beans hotdogs sliced mozzarella
green peppers SNACKS sliced provolone
mushrooms chips sliced swiss
onions cookies sour cream
potatoes crackers soy milk
salad/lettuce nuts yogurt
sweet potatoes popcorn whipping cream
tomatoes pretzels
BREAD raisins
buns rice cakes
wheat bread tortilla chips
rolls trail mix
baking soda applesauce asparagus
baking powder fruit cocktail blueberries
brown sugar baked beans broccoli
coconut black beans broc/cauliflower
flour green beans fries
honey kidney beans frozen dinners
oil mandarin oranges ice cream
spray oil peaches pizza
paper baking cups pineapple strawberries
sugar/sweetener rice waffles
vanilla tuna PAPER/CLEANING
SPICES all-purpose cleaner
basil bleach
barbecue sauce
chili powder dish washer deterg.
cinnamon dish washing deterg.
jelly/peanut butter
cumin fabric softener/sheets
garlic powder laundry detergent
nutmeg light bulbs
oregano napkins
pepper paper towels
pickle relish
rosemary Swiffer refill
salt toilet paper
salad dressing
thyme trash bags
PASTA zipper bags gal/quart
soy sauce
angel hair sandwich/snack bags
steak sauce
macaroni OTHER
rotini batteries
spaghetti deodorant
spaghetti sauce feminine products
tomato paste shampoo/cond.
tomato sauce soap
tomatoes diced toothpaste
Dust mop All-purpose cleaner
Dust cloths and Disinfectant cleaner
dusters Glass cleaner
Rags, towels and soft Abrasive cleaners of
cloths varying intensity
Indoor broom (including a mild
Outdoor broom abrasive cleaner)
Dust pan Mild detergent
Vacuum Household ammonia
Wet mop White vinegar
Toilet brush (and brush Baking soda
caddy) Chlorine bleach
Plunger Metal polishes
Spray bottles (including for silver,
Squirt bottles copper, brass, chrome,
Squeegee stainless steel, and
Sponges aluminum)
Scrub brush Furniture polishes
Scraper Spot carpet cleaner
Buckets Have nothing in your
Rubber gloves home that you do not
Cleaning apron know to be useful or
Cleaning caddy believe to be beautiful.
—William Morris
Emergency contact numbers Bulb syringe
Adhesive bandages (assorted sizes) Medicine syringes and
Adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch) teaspoons
Sterile gauze (both rolls and pads) Scissors (including blunt
Antibiotic ointment tipped scissors for cutting
Antiseptic wipes/spray gauze and adhesive tape)
Instant cold compresses Tweezers
Hydrocortisone ointment Fine needle (for splinter
Calamine lotion removal)
Rubbing alcohol Blanket
Hydrogen peroxide Flashlight and batteries
Hand sanitizing gel Fever and pain reducers,
Burn ointment for adults and children
Eyewash solution (with eye cup) Antacids
Petroleum jelly Anti-diarrhea medication
Saline solution Oral electrolyte solution
Sunscreen, at least SPF 15
Mild laxatives
Sunburn ointment
Cotton balls
Cold and/or flu medicines
Cotton swabs
Cough medicine
Disposable gloves
Prescription medications
Ace bandages
Plastic bags
Thermometer for more tips & resources.

-Turn off lights, appliances, equipment, etc. when they’re not

-Turn computers, printers and other peripherals off at the power

strip when they’re not needed (if they’re plugged into a power
strip, switch off the power strip after shutting down your

-Put computers, etc. on the energy-saver mode

-Unplug electronic devices and chargers with block-shaped

transformer on the plug when they’re not needed


-Install a clock thermostat or set-back thermostat to

automatically change thermostat settings at certain times of
the day

-Turn off heating to rooms/areas which don’t need it or close

the heating vents
-Keep warm indoors by wearing warm clothing, especially
several lightweight layers

-If you often use one room, consider using a portable

electric heater instead of central heating

-Seal (with rope caulk, weather-stripping) the largest air leaks

in your home

-Put towels/rugs against the bottom of doors to the outside or

unheated rooms

-Insulate windows with clear plastic sheets or film covers

-Install storm or thermal (replacement) windows, with super-

efficient low-emissivity glazing

-Seal off electric receptacles and switch boxes with foam

gaskets or fiberglass insulation

-Install proper ceiling/attic insulation to at least R-30 standards

-Insulate walls, floors and heating ducts

-Get your ducts tested for air leakage

-Check your furnace/heat pump periodically to improve air
flow and allow more efficient operation:

+turn off the power source

+visually inspect the furnace
+vacuum away lint, dirt or other obstructions
+clean/replace the filters as necessary

-When using your heater, crack open a window so it has

enough air to operate

-Have a professional clean, lubricate and adjust your furnace

-Close the damper when you’re not using the fireplace

-Turn your heater(s) off when you’re using your fireplace

-During the day, open drapes/shutters/blinds on windows facing

the sun

-At night, close drapes/shutters/blinds to retain indoor heat


-Turn off your air conditioner when no one is home and at night,
and, set it at 78 degrees or higher when you’re at home
-When feasible, turn off your air conditioner and provide air
flow by open windows on opposite sides of your house (if it
won’t increase risk of someone breaking into your house)

-Install a clock thermostat or set-back thermostat to

automatically set your thermostat to 85 degrees at night and
when you are away

-Use room fans

-Turn off your furnace pilot light during the non-heating season

-Use exterior shading devices (e.g., awnings, overhangs,

patio cover) or deciduous plants to shade your home,
windows and air conditioning condenser from the sun

-During the day, close shutters/drapes/blinds on windows

facing the sun


-When heating or cooling, ensure windows and doors are


-Consider replacing your furnace, heat pump, air

conditioner and other appliances with energy-efficient
-Seal any leaks in your heating/cooling system(s) ducts and
in water/steam heat pipes with duct wrap or mastic sealant

-Insulate attic access and basement trap doors with R-19


-Install and use ceiling fans – they cool rooms during hot
weather and push warm air down to where you need it
during cold weather

-Unplug and recycle your extra refrigerator/freezer

-Use dimmer switches or timers on lights

-Clean or replace furnace and air-conditioner filters regularly

-Fix defective plumbing or dripping faucets

-Install low-flow shower heads and faucets or install flow


-Turn off all landscape lights

-Request a free energy audit from your utility company

-Consider having your home converted to use solar energy


-Reduce the temperature of your water heater to 120

degrees F (or 140 degrees F if your dishwasher needs it)

-Install an insulating blanket around your water heater,

especially if it’s in an unheated area of your home


-Use the energy-saving settings on your washer and dryer

-Only do full loads

-Use cold water settings on the washer when feasible

-Clean your dryer’s lint trap before/after each use

-Line-dry clothes (especially towels) when feasible


-Use the energy-saving settings on your refrigerator and

-Put a thermometer in your refrigerator/freezer to check the

-Keep refrigerator/freezer doors closed as much as feasible

-Keep refrigerator coils (on the back or the bottom of the

appliance) clean

-Defrost your refrigerator/freezer before ice buildup becomes

1/4-inch thick

-Only preheat your oven if necessary

-Use the smaller of the two ovens if you have a dual unit

-Cook complete meals of several dishes simultaneously in

the oven

-Cook on range top burners when practical instead of in the


-Use a lid when boiling water, etc.

-To reheat food or to cook small amounts of food, use your

-Only wash full loads in the dishwasher

-Air-dry your dishes instead of using the dishwasher’s heater

-When hand washing dishes, rinse with cold water


-Reduce pool water temperature and the number of months

you heat your pool

-Shorten the operating time for your swimming pool filter and
automatic cleaning sweep

-Switch the pool filter and sweeper operations to off-peak

hours (between 6 p.m. and noon)

-Keep pool cleaning and heating equipment clean and


-Consider replacing pool pumps and motors with updated,

more efficient equipment

-Walk, ride a bike, use public transit or car pool instead of

driving when feasible

-Use your most efficient vehicle when feasible

-Keep your vehicle in good operating condition (tuned up,

emissions system checked, tires properly inflated) or buy a
new fuel-efficient vehicle

-Avoid quick starts

-Avoid idling your vehicle for long periods

-Drive slower

-Work out of your home as much as feasible (e.g., tele-

commute, go to workplace for fewer days but longer hours)


-Shut off or turn down automatic appliances such as your

water heater and furnace/air conditioner

-Buy the most energy-efficient models when buying

appliances, e.g., refrigerator, washer, dryer

-Buy compact fluorescent lamps to replace incandescent


Home energy list courtesy of


Establish a plan for escaping your home in the event of fire,

smoke, etc., e.g.:

+Primary escape route from each part of the residence

+At least one alternate escape route from each part of
+Designate location outside to meet after escaping from
the structure to ensure everyone is out
Determine which items you would want to get out of your
residence in the event of a fire, impending storm, flooding, etc.,

+Insurance papers
+Other important and/or irreplaceable documents

Install a carbon monoxide alarm with an audible alarm which is

loud enough to wake you carbon monoxide poisoning is often

Determine if any plants in your yard are poisonous and have

them removed or ensure your children and pets do not eat them
Determine the capacities of decks, balconies, etc.
Keep specific directions to your house next to each phone so
you can read them to visiting family or friends

Have your furnace checked which can carbon monoxide


Report suspicious people and activities to the polic

Install a security system (a hard-wired monitored perimeter

alarm is probably most effective)

Determine the non-emergency phone number to call to report

suspicious people and/or vehicles to the police and keep it

Post signs around your residence (e.g., in your yard, on your

windows) stating that your residence is protected by a security

For sliding glass doors, install a locking bar with a blocking

device to prevent the bar from being lifted up off their tracks

Install deadbolt locks with full 1″ bolts

Get a dog or just put a large dog food bowl outside your
back door

List courtesy of

1. Roof: Check the roof and around vents, skylights, and chimneys for
leaks. Repair as necessary.

2. Attic: If there is no ridge vent, keep gable vents open year-round to

ensure proper ventilation.

3. Gutters: Clean the gutters and drain pipes so leaves won’t clog
them and be sure they drain away from the house. (Fall: In cold-
climate areas) Drain outside faucets.

4. Fireplace: Clean the fireplace of ashes. (Fall) Check the chimney

for loose or missing mortar. Have the chimney professionally cleaned.
Make sure the damper closes tightly. (Spring) Leave the damper open
for improved ventilation if the home is not air-conditioned.

5. Filters: Remember to clean or replace filters once a month, or as

needed. Check and clean the dryer vent, air conditioner, stove hood,
and room fans. Keep heating and cooling vents clean and free from
furniture and draperies.

6. Safety Equipment: Ensure that all smoke detectors, carbon

monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers are in good working order.
Replace batteries in appropriate devices as needed, or at least twice
each year.

7. Air Conditioner: (Fall: In cold-climate areas) Remove window air-

conditioners, or put weatherproof covers on them.
8. Refrigerator: Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight.
Test them by closing the door over a dollar bill. If you can pull the bill
out easily, the latch may need to be adjusted or the seal may need to
be replaced. In addition, if you have a coil-back refrigerator, vacuum
the coils at least twice each year.

9. Faucets: Check for leaky faucets in the kitchen and bathroom(s).

Replace washers as necessary.

10. Windows and Doors: Seal drafty doors and windows. If you
added up all of the small cracks where heating and cooling escapes
from a home, it would be the same as having a window open.
Replace seals as needed.

11. Storm Windows and Screens: (Fall) Take down screens and
replace with storm windows. (Spring) Remove, clean, and store storm
windows. Check and patch all door and window screens. Put screens

12. Siding and Paint: Look for cracks and holes in house siding or
paint. Replace caulk if necessary.

13. Basement: Check the basement walls and floor for dampness. Be
sure to clean the dehumidifier regularly, if you have one.

14. Heating System: (Fall) Have the heating system serviced.

Change filters.

15. Hot Water Heater: (Fall) Drain the hot water heater. Remove
sediment from the bottom of the tank.

List courtesy of

1. A chef's knife

2. A non-slip cutting board

3. A set of mixing bowls

4. Measuring cups

5. Measuring spoons

6. Vegetable peeler
7. Can opener

8. Garlic press

9. Box grater

10. Collander

11. Salad spinner

12. Citrus juicer

13. 12" stainless
steel skillet

14. 12" cast iron


15. Sautee pan

16. Cast iron grill


17. Splatter guard

18. Small saucepan

19. Medium saucepan

20. Baking dish

21. Baking sheet pans

22. Oven mitts

23. Tongs

24. Stirring spoon

25. Spatula

26. Whisk

27. Potato masher

28. Ladle

29. Immersion blender

30. Storage containers