Bad Household Habits People Should Quit Today

Trista - August 11, 2019
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Everyone has busy days and lazy days. However, have you developed some pretty bad habits over time? Maybe you haven’t even noticed you picked up these habits throughout the years. Getting rid of bad habits is something everyone strives for in their lives. Those usually involve getting more exercise, eating healthier, and being kinder to people around them. However, what most people forget is that their homes need some attention too. Instead of putting off chores or letting things sit around, it’s time to cut back on those lousy household habits that are making your home suffer. Check out these 75 bad household habits you should quit today.

Do you know how many germs are on a door handle? Freepik

75. Neglecting to Wipe Door Handles In Your Home

It’s easy enough to forget where the dirtiest areas of your home are. That’s because the dirt and grime aren’t that visible. We’re used to washing our hands all the time, sweeping the floor, and cleaning toilets and showers. However, have you considered the door handles in your home and how filthy they may be? Just think about it: all of those hands touching the handles. Furthermore, some of them are not being washed after coming in from outside. Strangers and visitors who come to your home, and you don’t know where their hands have been.

The thought of it right now is probably making your skin crawl. So to avoid contaminating the rest of your home, consider cleaning all of your door handles regularly. For example: at the end of every day. You can use bleach wipes to get the job done or a good disinfectant spray and a cloth to get the job done. That only gets rid of bacteria, however. If you’re worried about viruses, then you may want to consider a cleaning product that has alcohol content above 70%. You’ll be surprised by how less sick you and your kids will get in the future.

Keeping full bowls of food and water is just an accident waiting to happen. Freepik

74. Leaving Full Pet Bowls Lying Around

Sometimes, you may end up with a picky pet who doesn’t eat its meals right away. They would prefer to pick at their food throughout the day – called grazing – so that they can satisfy their hunger on their own. What could be worse is that if you have meat or other food mixed in with their kibble to entice them to eat more. However, if they’re grazers, then your home is slowly becoming a breeding ground for bacteria.

The best way to avoid this is to place dog bowls full of food in your fridge when they’re not being eaten and to put them down again at the next mealtime. For bowls that have been emptied, remove any kibble or crumbs that may have fallen on the ground. It’s also a good idea to wash your dog bowls after every meal with soap and hot water and make them go through a diluted bleach soak at least once a week to ensure no bacteria growth whatsoever.

Take a look at your stove knobs and it will gross you out. Freepik

73. Neglecting to Clean the Knobs On Your Stovetop

Messes happen all the time, so your stovetop can get filthy very quickly. Cleaning down the surfaces is something we’ve all done in the past when our burners get grimy, and you no longer want them to be covered in baked-on food. However, many people may forget that the knobs for the burners can get filthy as well, and they’re more neglected than other parts of your stove. They’re the parts that your hands touch the most too, and that can lead to a lot of cross-contamination.

The best way to get these little breeding grounds for bacteria is to remove them altogether and drop them into a sink full of hot water and dish soap. Scrub them until they’re spotless. Don’t worry; most stovetop knobs are removable for just this reason, so give them a little wiggle until they pop free. You’ll be glad you took those extra steps when you see only how clean they are after giving them a good scrub and letting them dry.

There are wooden cutting boards as well as plastic ones. Freepik

72. Only Using One Cutting Board in Food Preparation

When you’re making food, whether it’s cutting up chicken or chopping vegetables, hygiene is essential. That’s why all chefs wash their hands and their utensils first before they get to work. That reduces the chances of bacteria and viruses getting on the food that they’re cooking. Nevertheless, this isn’t the only practice that they use. Food preparation requires that you have several cutting boards, especially if you’re preparing any kind of meat.

Meat of any kind tends to leak juices, and if you’re cutting it up on a cutting board, then these juices will be all over it. If you then start cutting vegetables on it, they are getting contaminated with salmonella or E. Coli, and that can make everyone at the table sick. Consider keeping separate cutting boards to prepare meat and vegetables separately so that your food doesn’t become contaminated. The last thing you want is everyone at the dining table excusing themselves to go to the bathroom for the rest of the night.

If you are using an old sponge, throw it out and get a new one. Freepik

71. Using A Sponge Longer Than You Should

Sponges are a great way to clean dishes and scrub your microwave inside after food has exploded. Many of them come with two sides: one to get off that stubborn, caked-on food and a softer side that is best for making more suds. Furthermore, for all the good sponges do, they can be what’s causing your family sick if you’re not careful. Because they’re around water all the time and they’re absorbent, they’re also the perfect breeding ground for mold.

Sponges are capable of hosting more bacteria than any other surface in your home. One way to prevent this is to buy sponges in bulk and to replace them at least once a week so that you’re not spreading bacteria throughout the rest of your home. However, if that’s not in your budget, you can still get rid of the bacteria in your sponge. One way is to soak your sponge in some water and place it in your microwave. Set it for one minute on high and let the microwave run. The heat should kill the bacteria. A second method is to add one teaspoon of bleach to a quart of water and drop the sponge in to soak.

Don’t go overboard on the bleach. Freepik

70. Overusing Bleach

Although bleach is a great way to kill any bacteria, viruses, or mold in your home, using it too much isn’t that good for you either. Bleach is a very caustic substance and, if not handled properly, can be quite detrimental to your health. For one thing, bleach is extremely bad for your skin and eyes, so when you’re using it, be sure to wear gloves and eye protection to avoid any harm coming to them.

Secondly, bleach fumes are extremely bad for your lungs. Inhaling too much of them can lead to lung damage and breathing problems in the future. Wear a mask when using bleach to clean and open as many windows as you can to let the fumes out. If you’re using bleach in a bathroom, turn on the intake fans in the ceiling. It will help you get rid of the odor. If you need to do a lot of cleaning in a week, consider using more eco-friendly alternatives, such as baking soda with your laundry detergent for brighter whites and white vinegar for cleaning surfaces.

You should wipe your shower curtain off after it gets wet. Freepik

69. Not Allowing Your Shower Curtain To Dry

We think nothing of shower curtains until they start showing signs of black mold growing on them. It can be troublesome to replace them over and over again, not to mention expensive. Although it makes it easier for you to get in and out of the tub, it’s much better to keep your shower curtains closed when they’re not in use so that they can dry properly. That will save you a lot of scrubbing time in the future, and you won’t have to throw out your entire shower curtain.

Another step you could take is spray your shower curtain with some diluted bleach while pulling it closed to prevent mildew growth. Don’t use any bleach. However, if both sides of your shower curtain have colors on them, you don’t want to bleach the pattern away. Although mildew isn’t as harmful as mold in affecting your health, it’s still unsightly, and you should clean it as soon as you notice it. Thankfully, it’s much easier to clean than trying to get rid of mold.

It might be time to upgrade your pots and pans. Freepik

68. Using an Old Non-Stick Pan

Non-stick pans are great for cooking because you can use less oil when you’re cooking. That is because the non-stick surface is made from Teflon, allowing food to slide around more easily on the surface. However, as beneficial as this is to your cooking, the Teflon does wear off over time. Some studies have shown that the accidental ingestion of Teflon may lead to health concerns in the future.

It’s a good idea to replace your non-stick cooking pots and pans every few years or so or as soon as you see the surface starting to peel off. Alternatively, you could switch to stainless steel, which doesn’t have surfaces that can flake off. They can be a little more bothersome to clean, but some vinegar and baking soda on a hot stovetop work wonders to get those stubborn pieces of stuck food off. They also look great hanging from hooks in your kitchen, allowing you to show them off.

Always put the seat and the lid down before flushing the toilet. Freepik

67. Flushing The Toilet Seat With the Lid Up

The toilet itself is a pretty grimy piece of hardware in your home that makes you feel like you can never keep it clean. After all, it does have a pretty tough and gross job that it has to take care of several times a day (ew). However, even after it’s been cleaned, you’re not free from any microbes that may be lurking around. That has to do with flushing. When you flush the toilet, some small particles of splash-back as the water swirls around the bowl. That means that all of its er, contents are being sprayed around the room as well.

Moreover, those fine particulates can end up on you, the floor, and even your toothbrush. That doesn’t sound sanitary at all. So it’s a good idea that you start flushing your toilet with the seat down so that you can avoid this from happening in the first place. It keeps that fine mist exactly where it needs to be and not on everything else in your bathroom.

Make sure you do some quick research about what is safe to burn. Freepik

68. Putting Unsafe Items In Your Burn Pile

Whether you do your burn piles in your fireplace or outside in your yard, it’s vital that you know what you’re burning. Not everything that you throw into the fire is safe for you or the environment. Always do a little research if you’re adding new substances to a fire that you’ve never counted before, such as certain cardboards, colored papers, or plastics. They could end up creating a lot of dangerous fumes that you don’t want to inhale, and with a good strong breeze, the wind could carry these fumes into your neighbor’s yard.

Check to see if they’re recyclable instead or if there is a facility that will take them for you so that you don’t have to burn them. Some materials may even increase the temperature of the fire unexpectedly, putting you in harm’s way. If you’re burning these materials in your fireplace, they may also deposit harmful chemicals along the inside of your chimney that could lead to disastrous results in the future.

Contact a professional if you keep dealing with electrical issues. Let an expert deal with the fuse box. Freepik

66. Resetting a Tripped Fuse Over and Over Again

If you notice that you always lose power in one section of your house, you may have to go to your fuse box to reset one of the fuses. If this only happens once in a while, that’s fine. However, if you’re doing this more than once a week or several times per day, then you have a bigger problem than you should not ignore. That is more than just a simple power fluctuation problem.

To remain safe, it’s best that you call a professional electrician to help you take care of the problem. They can diagnose the problem and provide an effective solution so that it doesn’t happen again. It does mean spending some money, but it’s better than risking electrocution or wiring in your home, setting something on fire. Unless you’re trained in the field, it’s always better to let a professional handle the problem for you. You’re much better off that way.

Although a hot, long shower might be refreshing, you probably are harming your skin. Freepik

65. Taking Long, Hot Showers

When winter hits, it can feel like the best thing to stay in the shower as long as possible. It’s great soaking in all of that heat. It seems like the only relief you’ll ever get from all of that dreary cold and snow outside. However, you’re doing more harm than good for both your bathroom and your body. Firstly, all of that hot water creates a warm and damp environment, which is perfect for mold to grow. Furthermore, because there’s less chance of you opening your winters during winter, this mold will only grow more and more within the enclosed environment.

Secondly, hot water dehydrates the skin, removing the essential oils to keep it soft and supple. That is why you may experience itchy skin during winter when you get out of a hot shower. You can prevent or minimize this by showering in slightly warm water or using moisturizing body washes during your shower or lotions afterward. Your skin will thank you for it.

Are your drains constantly clogged with hair? Be cautious of using too much drain cleaner. Freepik

64. Using Too Much Drain Cleaner

Especially when it comes to your sink, it sees a lot of use, and they’re more likely to get clogged than your shower drain. That’s because you’re washing your hands a lot, brushing your teeth, and possibly shaving your face. Nevertheless, turning to drain cleaner as the first resort shouldn’t always be the first solution. Furthermore, that’s because the chemicals in drain cleaner are pretty dangerous to your health, especially if you inhale the fumes. Some drain cleaners are so caustic that they can eat through your pipes. That sounds like the opposite of fixing the problem, doesn’t it?

A much more eco- and health-friendly solution is adding half a cup of vinegar and then half a cup of baking soda down your drain. The foam that it creates should help you get rid of your clog, and the only byproduct is carbon dioxide. Then run some hot water down your drain to get rid of the excess—a much cleaner solution to a stubborn problem that everyone faces.

Humans have to eat every single day, usually more than once. Don’t let this chore stress you out. Freepik

63. Putting Too Much Stress On Yourself To Cook

Cooking for yourself can be extremely rewarding. You get the benefits of a tasty meal at the end of the day – hopefully with leftovers – and it’s a lot healthier for you than getting takeout all the time. However, if cooking at home is stressful on you, then your health is being diminished in the process. Cooking should be a pleasant experience, not something that you dread. Moreover, if you’re not enjoying what you’re making, everyone else will notice when they taste your food.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a break from cooking once in a while. If you live alone, there are some healthy choices out there when it comes to eating out. Alternatively, you could ask your family to cook a meal without you to take some of the weight off of your shoulders. They may appreciate all the work that you do even more and offer to help you cook in the future. Feeling like you have to cook when you don’t want to do it won’t help anyone.

Having clean clothes sit wet in the washer can cause a smelly mildew. Freepik

62. Leaving Clean Laundry In The Washer For Too Long

It all happens to the best of us: you put your laundry in the washer, run it, and you’re so overcome with other chores that you forget to put it in the dryer when it’s done. Sometimes, it can sit there for days before you remember to get to it. However, when you do, you have to remember that the wet clothes have been sitting in one spot where it’s damp and dark, and that makes it a perfect place for mold to grow. Furthermore, believe us, you’ll smell the mold on your clothes when you get it out of the dryer.

It feels like a waste of water and detergent to rewash them all, but you don’t want a closet full of stinky clothes. Rewashing them will get rid of the smell, and it may force you to remember next time. If you have a habit of forgetting your laundry, set up a reminder on your phone and a timer so that you know when your wet clothes need to be put into the dryer.

Don’t worry about what your neighbors have because there is no need to keep up with the Joneses. Freepik

61. Looking At Your Neighbor’s Homes Too Much

Everyone wants their home to look their best. They try out different decorations, try different aesthetics, and look through many catalogs to see the latest trends. Furthermore, when you finally settle on the look of your home, you’re blown away by what your friends or neighbors have done. In turn, it is making you feel like you have to start over all over again. It feels like an exercise in futility and a waste of money, not to mention having to make another trip to the home decor store.

Instead of worrying about what other people are doing with their homes, focus more on what looks you like and think you look the best. The less you worry about what other people are doing with their homes, the happier you’ll be with the decisions you’ve made about your own. Moreover, your family will be thankful for you not repainting and re-wallpapering the walls over and over.

Never — we repeat — never go to the grocery store when you are hungry. You will buy stuff you don’t even want or like. Freepik

60. Going To The Grocery Store Hungry

Making a trip to the grocery store should be easy: just stick to your list of ingredients and get back home. However, one bad habit people run into a lot is going to the grocery store hungry. Being hungry forces the body to crave certain foods, especially those that are bad for you, and you’re more likely to fill your shopping cart with chips and cookies than the healthier foods you should be opting for. It’s an exercise in willpower that many people fail regularly.

It’s a good idea to go to the grocery store during a time of the day when you’re not hungry. You’re likely to be more focused on the task at hand and less likely to add those junk foods to your cart. Furthermore, if your willpower isn’t that strong, consider taking a friend or family member who can keep you on the straight and narrow so that you’re only getting what you need. Not having the junk food in the house also means that you’re snacking less on food that is terrible for you when there’s no other food in the house.

Don’t go overboard with heavy clothes on weak hangers. Freepik

59. Putting Too Many Clothes On Your Hanging Rods

It’s wonderful to have a closet full of clothes and different outfits that you can diversify your routine with any day of the week. Having too many clothes doesn’t seem like a problem either, but you could end up with a pile of clothes on the floor if you’re not careful. The hanging rods in your closet do have weight limits, and exceeding these will cause the rod to sag or break altogether. They can also rip out your walls if you’re not careful.

You can reduce how many clothes you have by going through them at the seasons’ changing to see what is still in good condition and what is filled with holes. You can also consider donating some clothes that you no longer have any interest in wearing. If this is still difficult for you, consider getting some extra storage such as cubes or drawers that you can place folded clothes in to help alleviate the weight on your hanging rods.

Try to keep the space under your deck free of clutter. Freepik

58. Putting Too Many Things Under Your Deck

Your deck may seem like a great place to store all those things you don’t want out on your lawn: your grill, your snow blower, or some of your lawn tools. Out of sight, out of mind. That means you have more room in your garage, and you don’t have to haul in so many things in the winter. However, keeping too many things under your deck can be quite detrimental to its health. Depending on what your deck is made of, it could end up sagging or rotting if it’s not taken care of properly.

A deck needs to breathe, and if there are too many things shoved under it, then there is no chance for air circulation. A lack of air means that moisture can’t get out of the wood in your deck, and it will start to warp over time. Warped wood will pull out the nails holding everything together, which means a completely ruined deck in just a few years. Consider removing all of the items under there or reducing what you have. That way, your deck has the opportunity to breathe with the changing of the seasons and the weather.

Bleach can be helpful, but not for everything. Freepik

57. Using Bleach Tablets In Your Toilet Tank

Cleaning toilets are probably what homeowners dread the most. They smell awful, they have so many moving parts that can go wrong, and they’re always getting dirty. The easiest thing to do, it would seem, is to plop in one of those bleach tablets in the tank to take care of the cleaning for you. After all, bleach kills everything that could make your toilet smell bad. What you may not realize is those bleach tablets could be doing more harm than good.

Because they’re made from concentrated bleach, they are not great for the metal and plastic parts of your toilet, such as the rubber floater and the chain connected to the toilet flusher. The bleach eats away at them, making them brittle quite quickly and making them break. That not only means that your toilet won’t flush anymore, but you also have to buy replacement parts to make it start working again. It’s hard, stinky work to clean your toilet the old-fashioned way, but you’ll be better for it.

Did you know that some vents take air in whereas others push it out. It’s best to leave them alone. Freepik

56. Closing the Air Vents In Your Home

Having central air in your home can feel like a godsend. You can determine each room’s temperature in your home by closing and opening vents, redirecting the air to where it’s needed. That sounds like a good idea, but you could be harming your heating unit in the basement if you’re not careful. It is because closing the vents when you feel too hot in a particular room can lead to an imbalance in your home’s temperature.

To compensate, your furnace will work overtime and pump out even more air to create a uniform temperature throughout the rest of your home. That is an expenditure of extra fossil fuels and can drive up your heating bill. In conjunction, closing the vents off in individual rooms can also lead to the cooling coil freezing because it’s not working. If you have to reduce the heat, choose a comfortable temperature for your entire home and leave all of the vents open.

It is not a huge problem, but try to avoid hanging clothes on the doorknobs. Freepik

55. Hanging Clothes On Your Doorknobs

Whether you’re picking up dry cleaning or just leaving your clothes in a temporary place while you’re doing something else, it’s not a good idea to leave your hung clothes on your doorknobs. It’s a very convenient spot, and it helps you remember what you still have to take care of, but you could be ruining the state of your doors in the long run. Not to mention that you could end up wrinkling your clothes even more.

Leaving heavy clothing or leaving any clothing on a doorknob for too long can strain the doorknob itself. It means that your doorknob will be challenging to turn in the future, or it shifts in place so that the key can no longer fit properly in the keyhole. The extra weight can also strain the door hinges so that the door no longer closes appropriately or becomes noisy. Your door may not even be able to close at all because the hinges have come loose, leading to a sagging door.

Do some quick research to see what these mean. That way, your expensive items will last longer. Freepik

54. Not Reading The Directions on Cleaning Products

It’s very easy to get confused about which cleaners work when you have so many different chemicals in your home. Keeping them all straight is like a second homework no one asked for. However, if you get them confused, you may find that your surfaces and appliances aren’t as clean as they should be. Or not clean at all. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep certain cleaning products in some regions of your home so that you know what they’re supposed to be used on.

It’s also a good idea to read the instructions on the back of the bottles/cans so that you know how they’re supposed to be used. Even if you’ve had them for a long time, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with how to use them, both so you don’t make a mistake and so that you’re not accidentally using them with another cleaning product that could jeopardize your health. You don’t want to end up inhaling toxic fumes.

Make sure you keep those toxic chemicals away from little ones. Freepik

53. Not Storing Cleaning Products Correctly

In addition to having too many cleaning products, you may not be storing them correctly. Another reason to read the instructions on your products’ containers is that the manufacturers tell you how it’s meant to be kept. Going against these instructions could jeopardize your health as well as your safety, as some containers may rupture if they’re not stored at the right temperature.

Temperature, moisture, and amount of light are all factors that come into play when storing your cleaning products. Some of them prefer being stored in a cool dark place, while others require low light levels. That does mean that you may have to have more storage space than you originally envisioned for all of your cleaning products as you’ll have to put them all in different places, but your health will be much better off with them in the right place.

We all have a junk drawer, but you can limit what you toss in there. Freepik

52. Putting Random Objects In a Junk Drawer

Everyone has a junk drawer: it’s that miscellaneous drawer that random objects get dumped into when they have nowhere else to go. It’s a good place for safekeeping, for the time being, until you need to find what you’re looking for. Then you’re stuck rifling through the drawer, not knowing whether what you’re looking for is in there or not. The solution you created ends up being a bigger problem. Instead, consider organizing your junk drawer so that you know where to look for everything.

If you need to, have separate junk drawers that hold specific items. Need a drawer dedicated to mail? You can have one organized with stamps, envelopes, mailing stickers, and pens. Have another drawer for all of your paperclips, rubber bands, bulldog clips, and extra batteries that you need for the future. You can still have junk drawers without letting them overwhelm you too much. This way, you can find exactly what you’re looking for without having to dump the entire drawer on the floor.

Do your best to keep things organized, so your space doesn’t look like a hoarder’s paradise. Freepik

51. Giving Up On Decluttering

It’s a constant struggle to keep up with all of the decluttering you have to do in your home. It feels like once you’re done, you have to start all over again, leaving you an endless cycle that you can never break out of. The only way to defeat it is to develop better habits that eliminate as much clutter as possible from your home. One of the best things you can do is to lessen the amount of mail you get. Sign up for emails from your favorite stores instead of getting offers in the mail. End your subscriptions to the catalogs you’re no longer buying from.

Another great thing to do is to come up with a schedule to take care of some part of your home each day of the week. Letting it pile up over time isn’t going to help because it becomes an impossible task that you don’t want to take on at all. Furthermore, if you leave it alone, the problem is only going to get bigger. Take care of the small issues as they show up before they snowball into something too big for you to handle.

Getting a handle on your bad household habits, such as storing things in the oven, can help you become a more responsible homeowner. Pixabay

50. Storing Things In the Oven

You may not use your oven as often as you do during the summer, but that doesn’t mean that you should use the inside of it as storage. Not only does this create a problem that’s out of sight so that you forget it, but it’s only going to get worse. By shoving random things into your oven, you’re creating a dangerous fire hazard that could result in much harm. It’s best to use your range as intended and put your belongings in their rightful place. Instead of storing items in your oven, think of other creative ways to create more storage in your kitchen.

It’s okay to store something like a baking tray in your oven as this will do no harm to your oven or your baking tray but make sure to clean it from time to time. Some people also tend to store food items in their range before putting them in the fridge or containers. If you accidentally switch the oven on again, you could overcook whatever is in the oven. Alternatively, you might do some damage and end up burning it and setting off your smoke alarms. Instead, let food cool down in an area where you can see it, so you don’t forget about it. Let’s make this a habit we get out of this year!

Overbuying ingredients at the grocery wastes food and money. Pixabay

49. Getting Too Many Ingredients at the Store

It’s good to plan for meals you want to make for the week, but getting too many can be detrimental. If there’s no way you can get through all the food you’re buying, then it’s time to put it all back. You’re wasting both food and money by buying so much in bulk. Unless you’re buying much food and plan on donating it or having a huge party to feed many people, then you may want to start cutting back on your grocery lists. One way to avoid buying too much or ordering too much in your grocery delivery is with a meal plan.

Set up a weekly meal plan that details everything! Everything from breakfast to dinner and the snacks in between. Once you’ve made this meal plan, go and make your grocery list. If you have to buy a large amount of something, try to incorporate this into a few of your meals. For example, you are purchasing a large bag of fresh tomatoes. Instead of using them for one meal and letting it go off, think of other meals to use this in. You could add tomato to your salads for lunch. You could cook down the tomato into a delicious tomato sauce that can be used another week too.

Avoiding cleaning your fridge can cause harmful bacteria to grow in your personal space. Pixabay

48. Cleaning Your Fridge

We’re not talking about the outside of your fridge. Get everything out and clean out all the shelves and drawers. Don’t ignore the fruit and vegetable drawers, too, as they can accumulate more debris. This mess is because bacteria can also develop inside of your fridge. You wouldn’t think so because of the cold temperature, but some bacteria can thrive in these temperatures. Take the shelves outside and hose them down if you have to if they can’t fit in your sink. You’ll be amazed at the effect a clean fridge has on your mind! Try to do this weekly or at least monthly.

Try and get into the habit of cleaning your fridge once a week. If you do a weekly grocery shop or order, this is the perfect day to do it. Before you go shopping, pay your fridge a visit (not for snacks but cleaning!). Clean out all spoiled products, and then remove all your items from the refrigerator. Take out those shelves and give them a good scrub. If you don’t have time to do this each week, make the “big” clean a monthly to-do item. For the weeks in between, take a disinfectant, wipe and clean those shelves properly and dry them before putting back your goods.

You need to know when to throw away your sponge to avoid spreading bacteria. Pixabay

47. Using a Sponge Too Long

Your trusty sponge has been your best friend and keeping everything clean in your kitchen. However, using one sponge for too long is a bad thing. It has moisture trapped in it for a long time, and with all the filthy things you’ve cleaned, all that grime is trapped in the sponge too. That creates a breeding ground for bacteria to thrive, creating a cesspool of germs that you’re smearing on everything. It’s just something we tend to forget about. Throw the sponge out, or you can kill the bacteria in your sponge by zapping it in the microwave while it’s wet.

Buy a large pack of sponges each month with your groceries. Allow yourself to use up to two new sponges each week and then dispose of the used ones. Before throwing away the sponges, you can use them to clean areas like toilets or even your stovetop. Sponges are relatively affordable, so you don’t have to be too precious with them and use them for months. There are also a few more eco-friendly options than sponges, which you can use. Moreover, as we said above, there’s always the microwave option if you want to keep it around.

You need much more than just a few items to keep your living space clean. Pixabay

46. Not Investing In Other Cleaning Tools

If you want to save money on buying sponges over and over again, invest in cleaning brushes instead. They’re easier to keep clean and aren’t breeding grounds for bacteria. You can use your brush over and over again, and it’s just as useful, if not more effective, than a sponge. Moreover, there are fewer chances for your hands to get grimy and wet so that you can spare yourself from dishpan hands. There are also cleaning brushes that come with a fillable spot for dishwashing liquid, saving time and a lot of wasted dishwashing liquid.

There are so many fantastic options when it comes to cleaning tools for your dishes. Sponges aren’t the only option. There are brushes, cloths and special fitting for your kitchen. You can get a spray nozzle sink that will help to blast off all the grime from dishes. Then, you can go in with your sponge or brush to clean it properly without getting food pieces on it, which helps build up bacteria on these items. Also, you might want to consider investing in a dishwasher. There are lots of affordable options and many eco-friendly choices too. You won’t be sorry when you make this purchase!

Tupperware lids can start to accumulate in your cabinets if you do not keep up with them. Flickr

45. Losing Tupperware Lids

It can feel like a waste to throw away your plastic containers when you don’t have matching lids for everything, but there’s no reason to hold onto them if you can’t use them. Toss them into recycling if you can, and get a matching set of Tupperware containers so that you can stay organized. This new plan is also a good idea if your old storage containers are getting too old. Maybe they don’t close as well as they used to, or the plastic is just wearing down. Getting a new set will spare you from broken containers in the future.

You can also keep the Tupperware base and use it for other storage. You can put them into drawers and store bits and pieces in them, so they aren’t rolling around in drawers. However, the best way is just to stop losing the Tupperware lids. Make sure you have an organized space for your brand new Tupperware and keep it that way. Just as we suggested a weekly fridge clean out, you could also do a weekly Tupperware cupboard organization. It will inevitably get messy, but the clean up will help prevent many lids from going missing.

Washing fresh produce is essential to keeping foreign subjects from being ingested. Pixabay

44. Not Washing Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are sprayed with protective substances to keep them fresh in the grocery store as long as possible. However, these substances aren’t things you should be putting in your body. It doesn’t take much to scrub them before using them or putting them in your fridge. Then you won’t have to worry about it in the future. Moreover, doing it every time will help you to develop good habits. It’s also more critical than ever before to take care of items purchased from the grocery store. That goes for fruits and vegetables. That extra effort will go a long way.

Many of us just want to get straight into the punnet of strawberries or containers of grapes and skip the washing process. It will take a few seconds to rinse the produce under your tap to ensure that they are suitable for you and your body. If you don’t want to do this every time you want to grab some from the fridge, as soon as you get home from the grocery shop, incorporate this process into your routine. Wash the whole punnet of fruit instead of just washing as and when you want to eat the fruit. Then you’ll know they’re safe to eat straight from the fridge.

Preparing meals for you and your family does not need to be a stressful experience. Pixabay

43. Cooking Becomes Stressful

Cooking at home is an excellent habit to have. It fosters togetherness, creativity, and the joy of making something for other people. However, if cooking gives you anxiety and stress, then you may want to cut back on how many times you cook per week. Give yourself a much-needed break and take some time to relax. There’s no reason to engage in an activity that isn’t making you happy. You could eventually resent cooking altogether, and your meals aren’t going to taste good if they don’t come from a happy place. How can you reduce the stress about cooking?

One idea is to plan out a cooking timetable so that everyone in the family has a turn to cook. With a couple, it could be that you each have a week to cook, and you alternate. One person cooks, and the other person washes the dishes. It then gives you “time off” cooking, and you can enjoy it when you do it instead of feeling like a chore. Another option is to do meal prepping. That will take effort and planning, but it will make the week easier for cooking. Plan out your meals on the weekend, prep them, and set them aside in containers to eat throughout the week.

If you do not put your clothes in the dryer or on the line in a timely fashion, you could come back your washer to an unpleasant and smelly surprise. Pixabay

42. Leaving Laundry in the Washer

We can understand being so busy that you forget they’re in there, but when it becomes a constant habit, then you’re not doing yourself any favors. Leaving your wet laundry in the washer allows mold to grow, and you’re going to smell it when you open your appliance up. Additionally, you’re wasting water and detergent by having to rewash the same clothes when you could be doing a new load instead. Develop a strategy to remind yourself that you have laundry in the washer so that you can take care of them sooner. If you’re struggling, you can also set yourself a reminder alarm on your phone.

Try and do laundry when you have some free time and won’t be likely to forget it in the washer. If you do it when you’re out running errands, by the time you’re home, the laundry will have been sitting in the washer for a while, and you’ll have to set it on another wash cycle. You’ll know how long your wash takes for each load, so when you have that amount of time when you’ll be at home, use this to do your washing. If you aren’t going to be able to take it out, but someone else in your family on washing take-out duty.

Over time, towels can begin to lose their usefulness and will need to be replaced. Pixabay

41. Using Holey Towels

Towels are used a lot from week to week, so, understandably, they wear out over time. Nevertheless, if your cloth is so worn that you can barely dry yourself, it’s time to throw it away. Get a whole new set to replace them if you want to coordinate them with your bathroom. Getting a new towel set also feels great on your skin. No more threadbare rags that are barely getting you dry and multiple washes have likely made them less soft by now. You’ll love the feel of new towels against your body. Feel bad throwing away the holey towels?

Rags are always a great thing to have stashed away underneath the sink. You never know when you’ll have a mess you want to clean up but don’t want to use fresh and clean cloths on it. Cut your holey towel up into smaller squares and pack these away. Try and cut pieces that aren’t too worn down. That then gives you the perfect reason to go and treat yourself to some new towels. It isn’t something you’ll have to do every year. Even so, it’s worth it, and it won’t cost you a fortune either.

Not properly cleaning your towels and bedsheets can wreak havoc on your appearance. Pixabay

40. Not Washing Towels and Bedsheets Often Enough

Because they’re against your skin for extended periods, they pick up any dirt, debris, and sweat. This bad habit means that you’re rubbing germs over your skin after every shower (or when you go to sleep at night). A good rule of thumb is to wash and change your towels every three to four days, and your bed sheets should be cleaned and replaced every other week. That sounds like much laundry to do regularly, but your skin will thank you for it. We tend to forget about these items because we are generally “clean” when we use them.

Set a reminder in your calendar for these tasks. It will become a good habit of yours in no time at all. If you have a few sets of towels, this is very easy to achieve. After three to four days, swap out for a new group and stick the used towel in the wash so that it is clean for when you need it again in a few days’ time. With your bedding, try and have a spare set as well so that you can immediately put on a fresh batch and don’t need to wait for the other collection to dry. You should also be washing your pillowcases often – more often than your bedding.

Packrat tendencies can limit the amount of available space you have for your essentials. Pixabay

39. Keeping Junk

We’re not talking about a hoarding situation. This bad household habit is about items that you don’t use or don’t give you any joy in your daily life. It can include old clothes in your closet, cutlery, plate ware, or just stuff lying around in a junk drawer. Either way, clearing all of this out will give you more room so that your home’s interior feels more significant. Please don’t see this as an opportunity to get more stuff, in any case. You’ll fall into the same habit as last time and be forced to get rid of things in the future.

You probably have either a junk drawer or a junk cupboard – yes, the one you’re thinking about right now. It’s the drawer where everything just gets put when it doesn’t have a place or when you don’t have time to put it back or throw it away. If you find it too hard to keep your home organized continuously and junk-free, try to do frequent clear outs. Set aside a day and a time each month where you can manage your chaos. It will help you feel less stressed with less clutter in your life. Happy organizing, everyone!

One of the worst things you can do is bring your phone to bed with you. Pixabay

38. Putting the Phone on the Nightstand

This habit is worse for your health than keeping your home clean. Keeping your phone close to your bed makes it easy for you to access your email and other apps in the middle of the night, which interrupts your sleep schedule. Charge your phone in another room so that the temptation isn’t there to reach for it. Making this change will make you realize that you’re feeling more rested in the morning. Also, emails can always wait. If you have to keep your phone next to you at night, there are ways to build better habits around your device.

An hour before you go to bed, place your phone in your room. You can put it in your bedside table drawer or on top of the nightstand. Don’t take it into bed with you and scroll aimlessly before going to sleep. The light from your phone doesn’t do you any favors when trying to get sleepy, so switch your phone to night mode – this will help a bit. Switch your phone to flight mode. That will prevent any messages from coming through and keep you from being on your device. If you still want to receive notifications in case of an emergency, place your phone on Do Not Disturb mode and select the emergency contacts you’ll allow.

Keeping an unkempt bed has its benefits, including the exposure to light. Pixabay

37. Making the Bed Every Day

It’s something that was likely drilled into your head as a kid so that your parents would stop nagging you. However, making your bed every single day may be detrimental to your health, even if it does look a little messy. The reason is that when your bed sheets are pulled tight and the covers are drawn, it traps the heat and moisture from your body and makes it dark, which is the perfect atmosphere for bed bugs. Leaving your bed unmade exposes them to light and allows your sheets to breathe so that the bed bugs won’t stick around.

If this bothers you, keep the door to your bedroom closed so that you don’t need to see the “mess” of an unmade bed. You can also just fold the covers back and let the sheet air out – this will still look neat and tidy but allow your sheets to breathe. You should also leave a window open in your bedroom during the day to allow this freshening process to take place. Even if you start by leaving your bed unmade every few days, it will make a difference to the health of your bed and ultimately your own health too. It’s also good to be okay with a little bit of a mess – not everything in life is perfect!

Spying on your neighbor can be detrimental to your health. Pixabay

36. Watching Your Neighbors’ Activities

It’s easy to get jealous when your neighbors’ lawns and houses look meticulous. It can make you feel like you’re not doing enough, but following in their footsteps isn’t the answer. The maintenance level may be what works for them; however, it might not work for you. How can you enjoy your yard if taking care of it feels more like torture than a reward? Keep it tidy, but don’t resort to sprucing it up and adding extra landscaping that you have to keep maintained 24/7. You need to enjoy your home in the way you want to, not necessarily like everyone else.

However, this may also be a good thing sometimes. It could provide you with the motivation you’ve been searching for when it comes to at-home projects. If you’ve been putting off weeding the flower beds, but you see your neighbors doing it – go and get it done! You’ll feel much better after you’ve done this and can carry on happily with your day. It’s also good to have pride in your home and look after the space you live in. However, it doesn’t have to be a competition. Different things make different people happy!

It may be a staple in most homes, but a junk drawer does not have a purpose. Pixabay

35. Having a Junk Drawer

Everyone has one, but that doesn’t make it a good habit to have. It has everything from receipts to batteries to pens. That makes it harder for you to find what you’re looking for. Instead, take the time to sort out your junk drawer and give all the contents a home of their own. Sift through the paperwork and get rid of anything you don’t need. You’ll soon have a cleaner, emptier drawer that you can give a new purpose. If you don’t have any space, add a drawer organizer to it so that everything has its place instead of being in a pile of stuff.

We spoke about this earlier when it comes to not keeping junk and stuff in your home. Junk drawers are your worst enemy, and they become a real mission to clean out when it starts to overflow. Rather keep organized as you go instead of just dumping it in this space that can be closed and not seen. Hidden messes are the worst. You don’t want to open a drawer to this chaos. Instead, opt for organized chaos using sorting compartments or old containers to keep this drawer as organized as possible. This drawer certainly has a place in a home, but there are still ways to maintain the mess.

If you tend to throw your things throughout your room, you may lose what you already have. Pixabay

34. Using Furniture as Storage

It’s easy to shove things behind or under a couch when you suddenly have company over. We’re all guilty of doing it. However, you can easily forget those things you’ve hidden as they gather dust. Instead, make a conscious effort to put things away or hang them up when you’re done using them. If you can’t at that very moment, then spend at least ten minutes before bedtime putting your things away so that you can have a clear conscience before bed. You may also have a “clothing chair” or couch in your bedroom where clothes just get draped over – stop this today!

It just creates a cluttered and messy appearance in your bedroom, which should be a calm space for you to be in. If your clothing has been worn, either put it in the laundry basket if it is dirty or put it back into your wardrobe or dresser. Get out of this habit as soon as possible because it easily gets out of control. If you lack storage areas in your home for other items, consider doing a spring clean to clear out space and get rid of things that you are storing but aren’t using.

A full sink of dirty dishes can cause a host of problems. Pixabay

33. Letting Dishes Pile Up in the Sink

Doing dishes is one of those chores that no one likes doing. Even just putting the dishes into the dishwasher feels like a hassle. However, seeing a sink full of dirty dishes is enough to turn off any guest. It makes it hard to prepare for dinner if your forks are sitting at the bottom of the sink. Take the time to wash or rinse your plate after use, or at least place it in the dishwasher so that your kitchen sink is kept clear. Set yourself a dishwashing schedule and a time that you put aside to clear the chaos in the sink.

It could be first thing in the morning, afternoon, or the evening after everyone has finished supper. It’s always great to do dishes in the evening because then you can wake up to a beautifully clean kitchen! If the plates are getting too much for you to handle, have a rule in your home that everyone rinses their plate after they’ve finished using it. This dish then goes into the dishwasher or gets piled neatly next to the sink or in the sink. If you want to go a step further, ask everyone to wash their dishes once they’ve been used, so you never have a pile of plates in the sink again!

Pet stains can be an off putting presence in any room. Pixabay

32. Not Treating Carpet Stains

It can be challenging to keep carpets clean every single day. As soon as you see dirt on your rug or spilled a drink, it would be best if you cleaned it up as quickly as possible. The less time it spends in the fibers of your carpet, the less likely it is to leave a stain. Also, dyes don’t precisely fade over time. So stain on top of the spill is only going to lead to a dingy carpet. Keep carpet cleaner close by for an easier time keeping your carpets clean and the color they’re supposed to be.

By keeping carpet cleaner in rooms that have carpets or that are prone to stains, i.e., bedrooms and lounges, you’ll be more likely to work on the spill as soon as it happens. You could also ask everyone to avoid eating or drinking in specific areas like your bedroom to avoid stains altogether. Only allow clear liquids like water in these spaces. Whichever habit you develop, your carpets and home will thank you for it. Store your carpet cleaning tools in a cupboard or drawer in these rooms, so they are always on hand. Also, keep a cloth that can immediately be put on the stain to absorb the liquid or food.

Applying too much pressure to your vacuum cord could lead to unnecessary repair. Pixabay

31. Yanking your Vacuum Cord

Vacuuming is a laborious task that can leave you feeling exhausted. You just want to get the whole thing put away so that you can relax with a glass of iced tea and admire your work. However, your power cord is across the room. Many people would pull on the wire to get it out, but this can damage your wiring and the wall socket in the process. You could end up splitting a wire inside or bend the plug, rending your vacuum useless for future use. Furthermore, if you crack the outlet itself, then forget about plugging anything into that one ever again.

Vacuums are an expensive home appliance and something you should do your best to look after. If you look after it, this appliance can last you many years without having the expense of replacing it. Try and get a vacuum with an extendable and retractable cord to avoid extra strain on the cable. Also, walking across the room to unplug your vacuum will help you achieve those additional steps you need to get in for the day. Taking a few spare moments to care for the things you own is an excellent habit of applying to your entire life this year.

You should strive to keep your fridge about three quarters full to maximize its potential. Pixabay

30. Overfilling the Fridge

You may think that you’re getting the most for your buck by filling every square inch of space inside your fridge. It only makes sense, right? However, you’ll be interested to learn the truth about this. The truth is that your refrigerator works best when it’s only ¾ full. A completely-full fridge has items blocking the vents where the cold air is released, so not all of your food is going to receive the same amount of refrigeration. Also, poor circulation of chilled air means that most of your items are going to spoil faster. So, start working on your shopping list and fridge layout.

Try and see exactly what you use in a week and what you don’t. It will help you to re-evaluate your grocery shopping list and not pack your fridge to the brim. Many things get pushed to the back of a refrigerator. Sometimes, they end up being wasted as they are forgotten about. Pay attention to the order of your items in the fridge. Place the newest items at the back of the refrigerator and the oldest at the front. Work your way through them like this and use expiry dates to help with this system. You then won’t end up overbuying if you see you already have a few of the items in stock in your fridge.

Prematurely running your dishwasher wastes water and electricity. Pixabay

29. Running a Half-Empty Dishwasher

You need one or two plates right now, and you can’t be bothered to wash them. They’re already in the dishwasher, so why not run it? Running a dishwasher that isn’t full is a waste of water and electricity, as you would use the same amount to do another load later. Fill your dishwasher as much as you can when running a load so that you can get as many dishes and glasses as clean as possible while using the same amount of electricity. If you have a few plates that need washing, take the time to rinse them off and clean them the old-fashioned way. It’s a good habit to get into regardless!

You most likely have at least a set of four plates, mugs, and glasses. Only then should you use the dishwasher cycle. You’ll be using water and not wasting it with just a few dishes. You could also decide that for basic dishes from breakfast and lunch, you wash manually. When it comes to cooking dinner where more dishes are required, you put this into the dishwasher with any leftover plates that may have been created during the day. By getting into this habit, you’ll start to notice you’re using less water and less electricity – making you an excellent environmental role model for your family.

Do not let the name fool you. Flushable wipes can cause major sewer problems. Flickr

28. Flushing Cleaning Wipes

Those sanitary wipes you use for your kitchen counters are convenient when you don’t want to spray everything with bleach. However, the worst thing you can do after using one is to flush it down the toilet. That’s because these wipes are made from woven fibers that don’t break down the same way in the bathroom, so they can end up clogging up your system. That will lead to problems in the sewer, and then you have backed-up pipes on your hands. Make sure you know how your toilet system works before you go ahead and flush these cleaning wipes!

While you might think you are doing the world some good with using these wipes, they could be causing a whole load of other issues for you in the long run. You can consider creating a wipe bin that you throw away these cloths into and then dispose of them. You might also want to research recyclable options or instead use a few rags and bleach, so you don’t clog up your toilet system. It might be worth just buying the usual ones instead – it’s up to you, but don’t say we didn’t warn you!

The grease splatter may create several problems in your kitchen. Flickr

27. Leaving Dripped Food at the Bottom of your Oven

The next time you need to use your oven, all of that food splatter on the bottom and sides of your oven interior will get baked into the surface. This bad habit makes it much harder to remove, and it’s eventually going to start to burn. The burned splatters can also produce a bad smell, affecting the flavor of whatever you’re cooking. It’s best to wipe it up as soon as possible or start placing foil at the bottom of your oven to catch the splatters. Oven cleaning is already quite a chore, so don’t go making it harder for yourself when a simple wipe down will go a long way.

If you are using food items in your oven that might drip down to its base, place a baking tray below this. That will help the cleanup process. Instead of having to clean the bottom of your oven, you can just clean out the baking tray you had below it. Remember to clean the oven rack so that it doesn’t get crusted over with food and sauce. Make it a habit of giving your oven a basic clean at the end of each month and then a proper clean at the end of each month. It will make all your cooking taste so much better!

Your cable box could be causing your power bill to spike. Wikimedia Commons

26. Not Unplugging the Cable Box

When you’re not watching TV, there’s no point in leaving your cable box on. It uses up electricity, sometimes even more than a fridge. We bet you didn’t know that before – sometimes research can help. At night or when you’re heading out to work, it’s better to turn them off since no one uses them. This idea is an excellent tip for those looking to save on their electricity bills and convert to a greener lifestyle. You can do the same for your HVAC too, and turn them down when you’re not home.

There are lots of simple things around your home that use unnecessary electricity. Try and pinpoint these and then get into the habit of unplugging them while they’re not being used. You’ll notice a drop in your electricity bill and will be very thankful that this is a habit you’ve developed. Think about all the electronics you have plugged in at the moment that you aren’t using. You can probably count at least three things. Go and start by unplugging those right now. Why wait till Monday to begin developing a good habit that will save you money? Leave things like your fridge, microwave and kettle plugged in as unplugging these will cause you more trouble than it’s worth, and you use them frequently throughout the day.

You may be causing more stress on your appliance if you put in more than the optimal amount. Pixabay

25. Overstuffing the Blender

Smoothies are a great way to cool off and feel full between meals. They are also very healthy for breakfast, lunch, or dinner — okay, maybe not dinner. However, shoving in as much food as you can in one go isn’t a great idea. It can lead to your blender breaking or your smoothie spilling all over the place. It’s better to check the manual to see how much of each ingredient you should add first; you should always do liquids before solids and add frozen ingredients. We know you want just to pack in all the goodness, but this isn’t the best thing for you to do.

Blenders often come with a recipe pack, and this can work well as a guide on how you should be making your smoothies. If you go and pack it with ice, fruit, and liquid, you’ll be left with a broken smoothie machine instead of a delicious drink to enjoy in the morning. You should also consider your blender size when making your smoothies – the bigger the blender, the more it can take (however, you shouldn’t pack it full to the brim even if it is big). If you have a smaller blender, take care when putting in your ingredients, so it doesn’t burn out.

You should designate an ironing day every week to make sure you look your best. Pixabay

24. Ironing Clothes Before Wearing Them

Ironing your clothes right before you wear them can eat up much time. And because you’re rushing, you’re not going to do as great a job. The best way to deal with this conundrum is to set aside a day each week to iron the clothes that need it. That way, when you hang them up, they’re ready to be worn, wrinkle-free. No more rushing last minute and expecting to do a good job. Setting time aside to iron will also give you more time to get ready in the morning. When you iron in a rush, you might just end up burning your clothes.

If you don’t have the energy to do the washing and ironing on the same day, do them the day after each other. Do your washing, and then the next day, make your way through the ironing pile. Pop on your favorite Netflix show and set up the ironing board in front of your laptop or television. Before you know it, you’ll have a pile of freshly ironed shirts and pants. In comparison, it may seem like an effort or a chore when you’re doing it. You’ll be thanking yourself for the extra effort when you can pull a freshly ironed outfit straight from your wardrobe in the morning.

Your dead flowers are not a pretty sight, and they and the vase water should be replaced regularly. Pixabay

23. Keeping Dead Bouquets

You’ve just added fresh flowers to a vase to spruce up your dining room table. Two weeks later, and you have a shriveled, dead mess. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t add flowers to your home, but there are better ways to keep it looking lively. When cutting flowers, you should cut the stems at a diagonal under running water. You should also replace the vase water every few days to keep the flowers looking brighter for longer. They’re guaranteed to die eventually, but you can keep them looking fresh for longer than you would leave them alone.

Try and buy flowers that come with flower food to dissolve in the water. It will keep them looking fresher for longer. You’ll also find that cut flowers are just like house plants. They prefer certain areas in your home more. We know this isn’t always ideal because these flowers are generally for decorative purposes. There are quite a few flower box subscriptions out there that you could subscribe to as a treat yourself habit this year. You’ll get new flowers delivered at regular intervals, and then you can throw out the dying bunch and enjoy fresh flowers again – because, who doesn’t love a delivery of beautiful flowers?

Finding a new purpose for those vegetables can help reduce food waste. Pixabay

22. Throwing Out Limp Vegetables

Yes, we know we said that overstocking your fridge can lead to food getting thrown out. However, for fruits and vegetables, unless they’re entirely rotten, many can be salvaged. Add them to a blender to make some tasty smoothies. You can grind up sad tomatoes with some onion and garlic to make a lovely tomato sauce for homemade pizzas or with some cilantro for salsa. It’s a great way to put those soft foods to use instead of throwing them out. Do some research on certain vegetables that can still be used after they’ve gone past their sell buy date.

The same goes for fruit – there are plenty of uses for fruit that has become soft or gone brown. Namely bananas! 2020 was the year of banana bread, and we are so here for it again this year. The best banana bread is made with “off” bananas. You know when they go brown, and you tend to throw them away? Don’t! It is the best type of banana to bake with. As a banana gets ripe, it increases the sugar content. That means that your banana bread will naturally taste a lot sweeter. They will also be softer, which makes the mashing process of the recipe easier as well.

Many items in your house have filters that need to be tended to regularly. Shutterstock

21. Neglecting Your Appliance Filters

It can be easy to forget that your everyday appliances have a little extra maintenance. Things like air conditioners, basement dehumidifiers, furnaces, refrigerators, coffeemakers, vacuum cleaners, and several other machines need to have their filters periodically to ensure they are running correctly. If you forget to remove and clean or replace faulty and dirty filters, you can drastically reduce your appliances’ performance. Air conditioners, furnaces, and refrigerators have to work harder when the filters are not clear, causing them to wear out and malfunction. Some may even become a potential safety hazard. Create a monthly chore list and make sure these are on it.

Appliances are expensive to fix, so you want to keep them performing optimally at all costs. Yes, this will require maintenance from you, but it’s better than footing the bill for a repair each time one breaks due to poor filter health. Make a note of all the appliances in your home that require a filter change. You can then schedule their changes in your chore calendar for one day, or you can do one each week. Find what works best for you and your appliances. By keeping your filters clean, you will also keep your home cleaner, and it will be good for your health on top of that.

Leaving food in your sink can cost you heavily in plumbing bills later. Shutterstock

20. Washing Food Scraps Down Your Drain

Uneaten food can be problematic for your kitchen sink. If you tend to scrape your plate into the sink instead of putting leftovers in the trash, you could later pay the hefty price. Never pour grease from cooked hamburger and other meats down a sink because it hardens when it cools. Food scraps can leave a residue behind while it goes down the pipe and leaves a build-up over time. This build-up may eventually lead to a clogged up sink or blocked pipes. Depending on how bad the problem is, you may have to call in a plumber to have it professionally removed.

What can you do with leftover grease from cooking instead of pouring it down the drain? Have a grease receptacle next to your cooking station. That could be a plastic bottle from a drink or a container. When you are done cooking, first pour the excess grease into the bottle or container. If you are using a bottle, you might need a funnel to aid this process to make a big mess. You can then clean your pan or pot properly in the sink without worrying about clogging up the drains with solidified grease. Also, get into the good habit of a compostable bin – put all food products here that can be taken out with the trash.

If you slam your day, you may eventually have trouble keeping it closed. Shutterstock

19. Slamming Doors

It turns out that our parents were right all along: you should never slam the door. Whether or not it was intentional, a slammed door could be potentially damaging to your home. The massive force may break or eventually wear down the hinges and handles until they do not work correctly. Repeated slamming could also cause your door to be entirely pulled out of alignment, creating gaps that allow outside air and moisture into your home. It is best not to let your anger control you and instead make sure your doors are gently closed behind you. Your entryways will last longer this way.

Sometimes, doors slam – even if you aren’t deliberately doing this. Some doors get slammed shut by wind flow, so this is something to be aware of too. You’ll know the doors in your home that are likely to be either blown open or blown closed. Put a door stopped below these doors to prevent this. When you want to close the door, you can remove the door stopper and seal it properly without slamming it. The occasional door slam isn’t going to be the end of the world, and you’ll likely experience this, especially if you are a parent of a teenager!

Painting over rusted objects can be considered a waste of time because it flakes off. Shutterstock

18. Not Keeping Up With Paintwork Or Painting Over Rust

A fresh coat of paint can go a long way, but if you are the type to keep putting off your paint jobs, you could end up paying more in the long run. Paint is not just for aesthetics; it also protects the surfaces that it covers. It also prevents rust from building up on your exterior railings and surfaces. If you paint over rusted surfaces, the iron oxide in rust stops the paint coat from sticking. It will soon start to flake off, and all of your hard will be for nothing. A better solution would be to use white vinegar to dissolve off the rust before you paint.

Instead of creating layers and layers of paint to cover up lousy paint jobs or imperfections, get it done properly. That certainly will take a lot more time, but the good news is that it will last longer and you won’t have to keep repairing it every few months. If you aren’t the most DIY inclined person, research painting companies in your area will do the job correctly. Take time to save for this as the investment will be worthwhile and make your home look beautiful. Shortcuts are not the best option when it comes to paintwork in your home.

The change in your pockets could end up costing you if you accidentally wash them. Shutterstock

17. Leaving Loose Change In Your Pockets

Sometimes the little bad habits you pick up can end up costing you the most. If you keep your loose change in your pants’ pockets and forget to take them out before you start your laundry, your washing machine may take a beating because coins can damage the drum. In the worst cases, the loose change may find themselves in the machine’s nooks and crannies and cause a jam. The repair can be expensive. The best solution would be to get in the habit of checking your pockets and emptying them in a bin in your laundry room.

It extends beyond the change in your pockets. We have so many items in our pockets that tend to be forgotten when we put clothes into the washing machine. It could be something as simple as tissues – this doesn’t damage your appliance, but it leaves fluff and bits of tissue all over your fresh laundry. Some people even forget essential items like cell phones or earphones permanently damaged after being washed. Make this part of your routine when cleaning – it is something that could save you a lot of money. Think about something that you’ve left in a pocket; you don’t want a repeat of that!

If you do not remove your lint from the trap in your dryer, you could be in danger of a house fire. Shutterstock

16. Forgetting To Empty Your Dryer Lint Trap

Another bad habit in the laundry room could be neglecting the lint trap in your dryer. It is recommended that you clear the trap after every load to keep your machine running at peak efficiency. You should also check for tears and rips and replace damaged traps as needed. A blocked lint trap is a safety issue because lint clogged in a vent pipe can catch fire. More than 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year, causing death, injury, and an estimated $35 million in property loss. Add this to your to-do list for the year, and you’ll never look back.

It isn’t the most fun task having to clean out the dryer lint trap – especially if you have allergies! Try and have the bin open and waiting when you decide to do this. Take the lint trap over to the garage and give it a fair shake out – don’t forget to turn your head away when you do this! If doing it every single time you empty the dryer is too much for you, at least make it a weekly habit to clean out this trap. Slowly you’ll get into the habit of doing it more frequently, and before you know it, you’ll be emptying it every single time. It’s incredible how we can condition ourselves to get into good habits like this.

Your outside shoes can track all kinds of germs into your home. Shutterstock

15. Wearing Outside Shoes Indoors

If you tend to keep your shoes on, you could be bringing in foreign and harmful objects into your living space. You never know what could be on the bottom of your shoes! A few seconds to remove your shoes can save hours of vacuuming and keep bacteria and germs contained in your mudroom. A 2016 study by the University of Arizona found more than 400,000 different kinds of bacteria on shoes, including several fecal bacteria types. Dirty shoes can also dull and damage the finishing on your hardwood floors, and high heels can cause snags on carpets.

Have a shoe rack at the front door so that as soon as you walk into your home, the shoes can come off – and you can avoid tracking in dirt and bacteria. If you have a carpeted home, this is an even better idea because we can often track in mud that will stain carpets. It’s okay to ask your guests to take their shoes off as well – have a sign near the shoe rack so that everyone is aware of the no-shoe rule in your home. You could even purchase some disposable slippers that guests can put on when they are in your home if they aren’t comfortable being barefoot. You could also offer up fluffy socks in the winter months.

Depending on how often you clean your gutters, you may feel like you received more rain than you did. Shutterstock

14. Forgetting To Clean Out Gutters

Gutters can be one of those things that you, as a homeowner, easily forget. How clogged your gutters become can depend on how much rainfall you receive in your region. Overflowing gutters can become blocked quickly and cause flooding, which then damages eaves. In the worst cases, you could see damage in the interior of your home. You should clean out your gutters at least every three months and more frequently if there has been heavy rainfall. Removing the branches and leaves can go a long way in keeping your home safe before this persistent problem becomes a costly one.

It is one of the worst home chores, but it has to be done. If you really can’t bear the thought of doing it yourself, you’ll need to spend some money on hiring a company to do it. These tasks are the unfortunate side of being a homeowner. If you live in a rainy area, this will need to be top of your to-do list. You can even take it in turns between your family members to do this awful chore, or do it as a team, and it will make the process go a lot faster. Ensure you have everything you need when doing this: gloves, black bags, and a stick to help you push out some of the gutter build-ups.

Maintain your backyard so you can enjoy it well into the future. Shutterstock

13. Neglecting Your Outdoor Space

A home backyard can be a great way to spend time with family and loved ones, but only if you give it the care, it deserves throughout the year. Not tending to your garden can cause as much damage to your house as if you neglected it completely! Trees that are not regularly maintained or trimmed can become a safety issue because branches can fall onto your home, or roots can push up paving and fences. A little bit of yard work can go a long way in keeping your backyard beautiful. It’s also a great hobby to take up in 2021 since it’s at home and safe!

Take this time to become your outdoor landscaper – it will be a lot of fun to design your dream garden with your family. Pick out beautiful flowers, add stones or gravel to spaces where the grass isn’t growing and give the existing plants in your garden a revamp. It’s a wonderful hobby to enjoy on the weekends, and you can turn it into a space you love being in. You could even add a herb garden where you grow your own fresh herbs if you love to cook. Once you have your herb garden growing, start growing your vegetables as well.

You should keep from overfilling your washing machine if you want to avoid an appliance repair call. Shutterstock

12. Overfilling Your Washer

Laundry is one of those tasks that always seem to be there for you, and it is tempting to put it off to the last minute. If you are the type to try and squeeze as many clothes and towels as possible into the washer, you will pay for that bad habit eventually. An overloaded washer puts much stress on the machine’s bearings, and it is at risk of throwing the drum out of alignment, leading to a repair call. You should distribute clothes evenly and loosely inside the washer, not more than three-quarters full. It’s the same as underfilling your dishwasher – you’re not making your life easier.

Instead, do two loads of laundry, one after the other, instead of packing your washing machine full of clothes. It will allow each load to get a good wash, and you won’t be putting your washing machine at risk of breaking. You also shouldn’t underfill your washer because this is also a waste of water. Wait until you have a fair amount, three-quarters worth, and then do your wash. That will also get you into a good habit of not having an overflowing laundry basket. You’ll keep on top of laundry better this way.

Too much food in the freezer can lead to circulation problems. Shutterstock

11. Loading Up Your Freezer With Too Many Items

Freezers are great appliances to keep meals preserved, but too much can be a problem. An overloaded freezer can block air vents and restrict the flow of cold air. You could also be inadvertently overtaxing your refrigerator’s condenser, which could cause burnout. Again, you could miss some of the items you have bought or prepared if the freezer is too full. The key to properly stocking a freezer is to ensure that everything is visible and marked whenever you need to cook it. If you need extra freezer space, invest in another one for your food to store in your garage.

It is a fantastic idea if you have a big family and do a monthly grocery shop. You can keep things tidy and not overpacked because you’ll have extra space. You can slowly work your way through items and bring in new items to your indoor freezer as and when you need them. Another freezer may seem like a lot of money, but it will ensure that your refrigerator performs at its best and won’t let your food in the freezer go to waste by spoiling. Make sure you also empty your freezer occasionally and organize it like your fridge. You’ll probably find many items in there that you aren’t using.

Do not put off plumbing problems if you want to avoid paying a bigger expense later. Shutterstock

10. Ignoring Small Plumbing Problems

A small drip in the bathroom and kitchen sink or a toilet running always can be irritating, but it could also indicate a bigger problem. Clogged toilets and pipes can lead to an overflowing or even a burst. Small puddles from leaky sinks can also lead to mold problems or rotting wood flooring. You can stay on top of the plumbing issues by regularly cleaning your drains to remove hair and grease clogs. Pay attention to running water or drips inside and outside the home. If you cannot fix it with a few tools, it may be time to call a plumber.

Your small drips from plumbing issues will also lead to significant water bills at the end of every month. Make sure you stay on top of this before it gets to that level. Calling out a plumber once to fix an issue will save you a lot of money down the line. It’s also good to have your home in top condition always if you ever consider selling your home. If you don’t own the home and are renting, make sure to let your landlord know about the situation and see how they want to proceed. They will appreciate you taking the time to inform them of the issue and know that you are taking care of the property.

Sharp objects such as knives can damage the dishwasher if you are not too careful. Shutterstock

9. Not Properly Organizing The Dishwasher

Dishwashers are handy to have. You can easily store your dishes, silverware, and cutlery until it is time to run the load — where you position your items matters. If you put sharp objects in your dishwasher, you could run the risk of getting nicks in the vinyl coating. The rust could also end up staining your dishes. Avoiding this problem can be simple. It would be best to hand wash your knives but if you have to, put them in the cutlery basket with the sharp ends pointing up. This task could go a long way in keeping your machine running for years to come.

Don’t just throw everything into your dishwasher as you do with your Tupperware cupboard (although you should be getting into better habits about that too). Find a system that works for you and looks after your dishwasher. There are lots of dishwasher attachments that come with your appliance to make this easier for you. Spend the time understanding the best way to stack your dishes, and before you know it, this will become muscle memory for you. You’ll notice that your dishes are cleaned better as well – it’s a win-win situation at the end of the day.

Make sure you are using the right amount of detergent when you are cleaning up. Shutterstock

8. Adding Too Much Cleaner 

Cleaning a house can be such a chore, but if you are not mindful of how much cleaner or laundry detergent you are using, you could be causing more harm than good. You are also wasting time and money as excess amounts of cleaning products that are not rinsed away thoroughly can create a residue, which then attracts dirt and soil. Too much laundry detergent can also leave residue or stains on your clothes and even the washing machine itself. It can also cause your clothes to be too stiff or create itchy patches on your skin. Always read the directions thoroughly and use the recommended amount or a little less in your cleaning.

Reading directions seems like the obvious thing to do, but many people skip this part of the process. That goes for the instructions on your clothing items that need to be washed and your washing machine too. You’ll also find instructions on the cleaning products you are using, which should be read carefully as well. This simple step can save many of your clothes from getting damaged by a silly error in judgment. If the liquid detergent says you should only put one cap full, don’t put two capfuls in. If it says to put the detergent pod underneath the clothing in the washing machine, don’t put it on top of the clothes. Happy laundry day!

Store household products in a safe and secure place in your home. Shutterstock

7. Improperly Storing Cleaning Products And Supplies

Without a proper place to store your cleaning supplies, you could be wasting valuable cleaning time searching for suitable cleaners. You should also keep the products in a safe area away from where young children can reach them. Many of the supplies are harmful if they are accidentally swallowed. There are several ways to safely organize your cleaning supplies so that they are out of the way and in a place where you can remember them. Gather the supplies for each area of the home and store them close to the site. Place bathroom cleaners in a small plastic carryall stashed on a shelf.

You don’t need to store your entire selection of cleaning products in the cupboard below your sink – there is a much smarter way to do this. Set up a cleaning bucket in each room of the house that has cleaning products applicable to that space. For example, the bathroom will need toilet cleaner, gloves, shower cleaner, and potentially drain cleaner. You can keep all of these in a bathroom cleaning caddy store neatly in the cupboard. You can even have one for your bedroom, which contains pillow mist, disinfectant wipes for bedside tables, and a dusting cloth too. Have a separate kitchen cleaning kit that has bleach, rags, and dishwashing items also.

A thorough cleansing of your bathroom can kill harmful bacteria. Shutterstock

6. Using One Kind Of Wipe For Your Bathroom

Looking for a fast way to kill germs in your house can be simple since many products are on the market. Disposable disinfectant wipes are handy for quick cleaning of your bathroom sink, but it is not large enough to clean the whole space. If you keep using the same wipe, you will quickly spread the germs from one surface to another. When you are cleaning your bathroom, you should use more than one or a cloth. A thorough cleaning job requires enough disinfectant to kill the harmful bacteria that exist on your surfaces.

Disinfectant wipes are great for a quick cleaning option but only for one surface. Use one wipe to clean out your sink and then another one for the toilet and another for any other surfaces within the space. Mixing this with cloths can be a great option to avoid using many wipes in one cleaning session. You’ll also find that different wipes work better for other surfaces. Specific wipes clean showers well, so use those exclusively for the shower and another type of disinfectant wipe for the sink. It might seem like a lot of admin to clean one bathroom, but it is necessary to have a clean space.

You should check the batteries in your detectors every season. Shutterstock

5. Disregarding Your Detectors

Smoke, carbon monoxide, and radon detectors are essential, but they can be out of sight, out of mind. If you neglect to keep working batteries in your sensors, your home could be in danger, and you will not be notified appropriately. Keep the detectors in your mind so that you and your family can be safe from an emergency. You should clean and inspect detectors on a regular schedule to ensure that they are working correctly. You can also install new batteries each season. Add this to your calendar in your home. That way, you will remember to get this sorted as soon as that time rolls around.

Simple tests like this can be life-saving for you and your home. The testing process doesn’t take long, and the new batteries don’t cost much either. Some companies offer services where they will come and inspect your sensors to make sure they’re working. If you live in an apartment block, there may also be inspections done for you without you having to do anything. That will give you a lot of peace of mind, so make sure you organize a time to have your sensors inspected to keep your apartment and building safe too.

Open your blinds to let some helpful sun rays into your room. Shutterstock

4. Keeping Your Blinds Closed

Blinds can be a great way to dress up a window setting, but too much closure can be an unhealthy habit. Closing your windows at all hours of the day keeps out sunshine, which is a critical element for not only your physical and mental well-being, it also has been proven to increase serotonin levels. Sunshine has also been linked to lowering blood pressure and helping individuals get a better quality of sleep. If the sun is shining, do not be afraid to open those blinds — let rays in through your windows. Set yourself a routine of opening up your blinds first thing in the morning to enjoy the sunlight.

You can also mix blinds and curtains. That way, you can leave the blinds up all the time and only use them when you want to blackout the room. You’ll be more inclined to open up your curtains every morning than fussing with a set of blinds. If you have an at-home office, blinds might be essential because they prevent glare on your computer screen. You don’t have to keep your blinds shut. You can adjust them so that they are tilted in a way that allows some light in but doesn’t stop you from working in your home office.

Stains are harder to let up the longer they set. Shutterstock

3. Letting Stains Sit

If you are pretty lax about cleaning up spills on the floor and the furniture, you could be ruining them. The more time a stain sits, the more opportunity it has to set. It can be hard to remove stains like coffee and wine, which are stubborn to get out under the best circumstances. It helps the overall appearance of the room if you are quick to act when something happens. You should try to mop up and treat spills, spots, blots, and other messes as soon as possible to protect your flooring, upholstery, clothing, and cup ware from more permanent damage.

The dreaded red wine stain is the absolute worst – this is one you want to sort out immediately and not let it sit any longer on either your furniture or on your carpets. How can you get rid of this stain as quickly as possible? You’re going to need to mix a magic potion for this. Use three parts hydrogen peroxide and combine this with one part dishwashing liquid. Pour this solution onto the stain caused by red wine. Let it sit for a while on the spill. It can rest anywhere from twenty minutes to a full hour. It depends on the size of the stain. You then need to blot the area clean, and then you can start to wash out the mark.

Clutter can lead to bigger pest problems if left unattended. Shutterstock

2. Accumulating Clutter 

If you tend to let clutter take over your room, you could be contributing to things bigger than the mess. Besides not finding some of your favorite items when you need them, you could also create a space for pests to reside. These inhospitable conditions can become a real problem. Rodents, roaches, moths, and spiders tend to congregate in dark, dingy, and dirty places. You may also inadvertently allow the fungus to grow in your living space. Empty trash cans right away are one of the best ways to combat uncleanliness. You should also get rid of paper and cardboard at least every season.

You don’t want to be on the next season of hoarders, so get out of this bad habit immediately! It can be hard to let go of things, but things just start leading to clutter. Spring cleans don’t only need to be done in spring – do them frequently and monthly. The big spring clean can be left for every few months but do a monthly sort through drawers and get rid of any junk you’ve accumulated over the few weeks. Get rid of paper, cardboard, and recycling. This process is perfect for your mind and soul as well. A clutter-free space does wonders for your brain – you might even start to see a change in your productivity levels!

Letting dust accumulate in your room can contribute to breathing problems. Shutterstock

1. Forgetting To Dust Your Furniture

Dusting is one of those tasks that may not cross your mind until you see a thick layer on your shelves. Dust is primarily composed of human skin cells, pet dander, pollen, fabric fibers, and outside debris. Dust makes surfaces look dirty, and they could also present allergy and breathing problems for some people. It is suggested that you dust areas in your home once per month and deep cleansing in your living areas every three months. You can use a dusting brush or a dusting cloth – although you’ll most likely need to use a combination of these tools for dusting.

The dusting brush can get into those hard to reach spaces: around your air vents, at the top of cupboards, and sometimes is useful for dusting between items on display shelves too. You can use a dusting cloth for larger surfaces such as tables, chairs, countertops, and fireplaces. Dust, before you sweep, vacuum, or mop the floor; otherwise, the dust will potentially just sit on the floor and make your home dusty again. You’ll start to notice a big difference in your allergies when you start dusting your home more regularly. Cleaning your home correctly is the best habit you can get into this year!

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