It can be difficult to stay on top of household chores in the colder months.

Of course, you don’t need a structured plan or a ton of money to keep your home clean and safe this winter. But making some tweaks to your routine – like taking advantage of natural daylight and earth-friendly cleaning products – can help keep you more motivated and on top of things.

Here are some home organization, cleaning, and safety tips that you can apply to your home, even if it’s only January or February:

1. Start cleaning now

It’s more important now than ever to start the cleaning in your home as soon as you spot something. Spots and spills can easily become permanent stains if they’re not cleaned up quickly, and they can also harbor bacteria that can be harmful to your health.

2. Protect pipes

You should protect your pipes from freezing and damaging your property. The best way to ensure the pipes in your home are fully protected is by adding insulation around them with jute or foam. Regular drain cleaning will also protect your home from bad smells and blockages.

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3. Clean up spills immediately

Some liquids will eat through some flooring surfaces. If you notice that a liquid is causing a stain on your floors, carpet, or rugs, clean it up as soon as possible. Use a wet sponge or cloth and don’t use paper towels as they can leave lint behind.

4. Make sure you have enough carbon monoxide detectors in your home

Carbon monoxide from gas appliances builds up faster in colder temperatures, which is why it’s important to have more than one detector installed in your home. It’s recommended that you have at least one for every level of your house, plus the basement.

5. Look for natural cleaning solutions

Instead of purchasing chemical cleaners from the store, consider using natural products that are much healthier for your home and the environment. Many cleaning supplies you’d find in the supermarket don’t come with pre-made cleaning solutions for specific areas of your home.

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6. Replace your furnace/AC filter regularly

Filters can get clogged over time. When this happens, it affects how well your furnace or air conditioner can filter the air in your home. Many people replace their filters once a month but check the manufacturer’s manual for the best way to care for your specific unit.

7. Set up a routine for cleaning appliances like stoves, refrigerators and ovens

Appliances that get used frequently should be kept as clean as possible to avoid food particles building up over time. When you clean them, use natural cleaning products instead of strong chemicals that can cause allergic reactions.

8. Wash bedding more frequently

It’s easy to forget about washing bedding when it’s cold outside and you’re busy with work or school. But if it gets dirty while you’re away, it could harbor bacteria that cause illness if not cleaned up quickly.

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Nobody likes cleaning when it’s cold, but there are some things that you just need to do. Keeping your home and yourself healthy this winter can help you save on money.

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