9 Cleaning Tasks You Can Skip All Summer Long

published Jul 20, 2018
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(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

Welcome to Apartment Therapy’s Chore-Free Summer. Every weekday until July 20, we’re arming you with time-saving shortcuts and hacks that’ll help you work smarter, not harder, when it comes to homekeeping this summer. Because cleaning doesn’t have to be a chore.

This post is the last day of our chore-free summer series, to get the rest of the posts go here. Now that you have a bunch of tips and shortcuts to make your everyday cleaning go easier, the final step is to do nothing.

Here are a bunch of tasks that can, for one reason or another, wait until September. Kick back, check these off your to-do list and grab yourself a cool drink and a comfortable spot on the stoop.

Washing Windows

If they’re not unsightly or fogging up your view, you actually don’t have to clean your windows that often. Just a few times a year, such as at the start of each season. So wait until fall to break out the Windex.


In case you missed it, you should know that there’s a lot you can do to discourage dust from ever settling around your home. So with a bit of prevention and permission to turn a blind eye, you can wait to break out your duster until September.

(Image credit: Liz Calka)

Cleaning The Guest Room (If You’re Not Hosting)

…or any other rooms that aren’t really getting any action. If nobody’s seeing them for a while, close the door and relax.

Making the Bed

The only tangible benefit of making the bed is really the tight and tidy aesthetic, plus the mental marker of starting your day off with a simple task. A made bed isn’t actually any cleaner. (In fact, some science suggests that a comfortably crumpled bed will help dry out the sheets and kill off dust mites.) So if you think you’ll enjoy the peace of mind—and the extra five minutes in your morning—from leaving this task unchecked, crumple on.

Washing the Comforter

…if you sleep with a top sheet. There’s a trend towards living the #NoTopSheet life, but top sheets serve an important purpose: Having one means you’re not coming into contact with your comforter, so you can go a few months without washing it. If you’re currently without a top sheet, just grab a cheap one online so you can skip schlepping the comforter to the laundry for a while.

Hand-Drying Dishes

If you’re a fervent hand washer (or a reluctant one—maybe the hand-wash life chose you due to the distinct lack of dishwasher in your apartment), you should know that you don’t have to hand-dry your dishes at all. In fact, letting your clean dishes air dry is probably better and more sanitary than towel-drying, unless you’re using a fresh clean towel for each dish. Invest a little (we’re talking $10) in a dish-drying rack and skip this chore until… forever.

Our favorite dish-drying racks:

Cleaning Drains

As long as everything is smelling fresh and draining well, there’s no need to preventively clean your sink and shower drains. In fact, over-cleaning can potentially damage your pipes or loosen seals that may lead to leaks.

Scrubbing Grout

Cleaning your grout can be a losing battle—just ask cleaning expert Melissa Maker. Since it’s so porous, it’s going to become stained and discolored over time. In other words, it’s not dirty, it just looks dirty. Do enough to disinfect the areas that need attention in the bathroom and kitchen, but don’t waste a second trying to scrub it back to pristine condition.

Washing the Floors

We went over this earlier in the Chore-Free Summer series: With a little spot-cleaning and a handheld vacuum at your disposal, you can say no to major sweeping and mopping for a little while while you get your summer on.