9 Cleaning Tasks You Can Skip Right Now (So You Can Relax This Weekend!)

published Jun 20, 2024
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I enjoy the act of cleaning. Creating order out of a mess gives me the satisfaction of seeing immediate results, and performing tasks makes me almost meditative. Only when my space is uncluttered and tidy, can I truly enjoy the restoration that my home can provide. Ironically, this need to have a clean place to relax can be a problem. 

With a large family and busy schedule, I regularly find myself in the quandary of choosing between the need to reset and the need to clean to create a relaxing space. What I’ve learned is that I have to temper my standards of what it means to have a “clean home” and learn to be truly content with a “clean enough home” most of the time. Adjusting my expectations has allowed me to experience the way my home can serve as a respite rather than serving it, constantly and, often, to my detriment. 

To this end, I’ve created a list of tasks that can be skipped when you find yourself in need of a break, especially as the weekend looms, so that you can take the downtime you truly deserve.

9 Cleaning Tasks It’s Okay to Skip This Weekend

  • Vacuuming your upholstery. While this is an important task that can reduce dust and prolong the life of your furniture, it’s okay to let this one go for a week or even a few. Instead, reset and fluff pillows, straighten tables and chairs, and leave the furniture alone. 
  • Vacuuming under furniture. I’m a big fan of postage stamp vacuuming. It’s a cursory vacuum that’s fast and effective, giving area rugs and carpeting that fresh feel and look without expending the energy required to move furniture and vacuum under it. Embracing postage stamp vacuuming helps you achieve a clean home in far less time. 
  • Cleaning window tracks. Especially around pollen season, your window tracks can accumulate a good amount of dirt. While the presence of this dirt can make you feel compelled to clean it, it’s okay to let this one go for a while. I find it most efficient to clean all the window tracks at once rather than room by room and it makes sense to wait until pollen season is over to do it. 
  • Polishing furniture. Don’t feel like your cleaning is subpar if you aren’t polishing your coffee table or wooden dresser. Dusting it is enough. Thank yourself for doing it and then rest. 
  • Deep cleaning appliances. If you think that a weekly deep clean of your microwave and oven is the best way to maintain your appliances, I agree with you. But busy weeks don’t always allow for this — and it’s okay! A quick clean-out of crumbs and spills is all it takes to make your oven, microwave, and fridge feel clean. Skipping a week of deep cleaning is fine, especially if the trade-off is being able to relax at home. And remember, these messes are also hidden behind closed doors, making them easy to put off until a better time. 
  • Scrubbing the tub and shower. If you’ve had a long week and need a break, the tub and shower can wait. Cleaning the toilet, quickly wiping down the counters, and polishing the mirror will make bathrooms fresh and clean. But no harm will come from waiting a bit to scrub the shower tile or bathtub. It’s much better to use that time to rest if you need to. 
  • Hand-washing laundry. Some items need to be hand-washed to keep them in their best shape, but hand-washing laundry takes extra time. If you can do without your hand-wash-necessary delicates for a week, stick to washing what can go in the washer and dryer. You don’t want to get behind on laundry if you can help it, but choosing to do the minimum while you take time to recharge is a good trade-off. 
  • Cleaning rarely used spaces. If you have a formal dining room that’s more of a special occasion space or a basement room that’s mostly used for storage, consider skipping cleaning them altogether. Unlike the kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom, you can choose to put the rooms that are out of sight out of mind. The same goes for closets. Yes, you may be overdue for decluttering your shoe collection or stashing winter coats for the season, but there’s no rush if you need to take some time to refuel. 
  • Decluttering. Decluttering is a worthy endeavor that will yield great rewards in the form of reduced stress and lessening cleaning time overall. But if you’re in dire need of a rest, decluttering can wait. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t spend some time clearing surfaces, as this drastically reduces visual stimulation and makes your home feel instantly calmer. But going through your junk drawer or paring down your holiday decor collection? Put those tasks on the back burner for now. 

Sometimes Thursday rolls around and you know in your bones you just need to rest and recharge rather than spending your depleted energy stores on cleaning. Deliberately deciding to do just enough cleaning to give you a peaceful space is sometimes the best choice, giving you peace of mind and taking back your time. Cleaning only what you need to to feel happy at home is yet another way that less can be more.

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