One Area of My House I (almost) Never Clean!

posted by Andrea | 08/8/2019

A couple weeks ago, I shared one of my most favorite household chores (sweeping) as well as why I enjoy it so much. I also asked if YOU had a favorite household chore, so it was really fun to read all the comments in that post! 

One question I got several times after publishing my favorite chore was if there was one household chore in particular that I hated doing more than most others.

I have mentioned before that I don’t necessarily love cleaning out the dishwasher, but that absolutely MUST happen every single day or my kitchen would be over-run with dirty dishes. Thankfully, we have a pretty good system for running and cleaning out the dishwasher — and Dave almost always handles this chore. 

Other than the dishwasher, there really isn’t any regular household chore I hate. 

HOWEVER, there IS one chore I simply almost never do! 

I (almost) never vacuum the carpet on the steps upstairs. 

We do get them professionally cleaned whenever our carpet cleaning guy comes each year… but other than that, I truly cannot tell you the last time I vacuumed our stairs. Honestly, I tried remembering back so I could give you a rough estimate or an approximate date, but absolutely nothing comes to mind!

This is what the carpet on our steps looks like right now, after MANY months of no vacuuming… not horrible in my opinion! 

I’m not exactly sure WHY I don’t vacuum our steps — I think one big reason why is that I really don’t have a great tool to vacuum them with. I don’t have any type of hand-held vacuum anymore (I haven’t had one for years) and the vacuum I keep on the main floor does not have any attachments. 

I do have another vacuum upstairs with attachments, but I’m honestly not convinced it really sucks that much up from the stair area; and the hose doesn’t reach throughout the full stairwell — so I have to vacuum half the stairs from upstairs, then bring the vacuum downstairs to finish the rest. 

No, this is not THAT big of a hassle, but… for whatever reason, I just never do it! 

Maybe it’s like sorting laundry — I don’t have a great reason for not doing it, I just don’t

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The kids went through a short phase a couple years ago where they all wanted to read on the steps… and the boys sometimes run their Hot Wheels track down the stairs, but for the most part, we never actually “play” or “hang out” on the steps — they are simply the 10-second passage way from the main floor to the upstairs. 

We do not wear outdoor shoes inside, we don’t bring food upstairs ever, we don’t have a pet the lays on them or sheds all over them, and we don’t have an overly-messy lifestyle that results in lots of dust or debris throughout our home.

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I know some of you might be wondering about our babies crawling up the stairs… and yes, they all crawled up the stairs at one point in their lives.

I guess I just figured they also crawl outside, in public places that are much dirtier than our home, and even into the bathroom (despite trying to keep the doors closed)… so we simply get in the habit of always washing their hands before we eat, and then try not to worry too much about the dirt they come into contact with! 

My kids have all been VERY healthy so far. 

Obviously, if we actually spill something on the steps, or make a visible mess, I will clean and vacuum immediately. 

And if we’re doing any type of constructions around the stair area (or anywhere upstairs that requires many trips up and down the stairs) I will thoroughly vacuum the stairs on a daily basis until the project is finished. 

NOTE: this plastic carpet protection film is amazing for messy house projects!

However, for the majority of the year, vacuuming the stairs is one to-do that just doesn’t make my list… ever!

If this grosses you out, I’m sorry! It IS a little crazy!

If you come to my house, don’t linger on the steps — I promise the rest of the house is cleaned regularly! 

Are there any areas of your home you simply DON’T clean… and are willing to admit? 

Or am I the only gross one!?

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38 comments

  1. Liane

    08/12/2019

    This post reminds me of why I am happy have a single story house!

    I always get a chuckle out of when you say “cleaning out the dishwasher”. In our house we call it “unloading” or “emptying”. My worst hated chore is cleaning the crud that accumulates in the hinges area of the dishwasher.

    I wonder at times when I see a kitchen such as yours is if you rinse dishes prior to putting them in the dishwasher do you end up with drips? My sink is just to the left of my dishwasher and I still manage to make a mess putting things in the racks.

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  2. Alicia

    08/10/2019

    Wow – I don’t do a lot of these ! Lol! I never vacuum our basement stairs, or dust on top of the cabinets unless something gets thrown up there (4 boys here!). I also rarely do the baseboards , and as much as this is always on my list , I honestly only clean my shower a handful of times a year. Usually when I can’t stand it anymore. Yikes !!

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  3. Cathy

    08/09/2019

    Us too! Absolutely love that. I actually clean as I go so no major cleaning jobs-sound familiar!?! works for this busy stay at home Grandma, (by choice). Easier and time saving.

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    Cathy Reply:

    On the cabinets to the ceiling

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  4. Natalia

    08/09/2019

    I laughed at “and are willing to admit”

    Okay, here it is: I totally dislike washing the bottom of the fan above the stove and the walls in between the cabinets. I think it’s because of the awkward angle I’d have to move my hand?
    I should clean those areas more often, but…. I don’t :/

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    Andrea Reply:

    we don’t even have a fan above our stove because I also disliked cleaning it! ha!

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  5. Gramma CC

    08/08/2019

    I appreciate your honesty, but really I think you nailed it as part of your whole simplistic lifestyle… Don’t sweat the small things & needs based cleaning. That area doesn’t get dirty alot so doesn’t need to be cleaned alot. Thanks for keeping it real & encouraging others to keep things simple as well.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much!

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  6. Carol

    08/08/2019

    The carpet on your stairs looks nice and fluffy. I believe this is because you don’t bring the dirt inside which damages carpet.

    The cleaning job I hate doing is washing walls, so I don’t do it. They look clean to me and I figure if it bothers anyone they are welcome to come and wash them.

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    Andrea Reply:

    and who really touches walls anyway — they don’t need to be cleaned! 🙂

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  7. Erin

    08/08/2019

    Love the comments here. I never wash my windows from the outside. I know it’s terrible and they do get dirty but then we get a nice rain and they look a little better. My least fav chore is cleaning the shower and will admit only doing it about 3x/year (mostly before company comes). My husband bought our last vacuum and loves vacuuming. He vacuums the whole house every weekend. He does the stairs but doesn’t get out the special attachments to do them so mostly a quick job. I also don’t love wiping down cabinets or dusting above cabinets. Ugh my list is long. I think I need to clean this weekend. Lol. Love your blog!

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    Andrea Reply:

    I probably would never wash my windows from the outside… except for the fact that ALL our windows are fairly new (we put them all in) so they open and tilt IN for easy cleaning. It’s amazing!

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  8. KR

    08/08/2019

    I also do not vaccum my stairs regularly but mostly because my vaccum is nearly 4ft tall and I am 5ft tall. Given that it’s an inexpensive vaccum so it’s also pretty heavy I don’t like vaccuming the stairs because it’s too big for me to haul up and down the stairs. Wish I could wash my floors more though. I hate doing it but our house doesn’t seal well so even if we don’t wear shoes inside within a couple days our feet are black from dirt.

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    Andrea Reply:

    oh my — I know what you should add to your Christmas list this year! start saving for a better vacuum that is easier to manage! I’ve heard amazing things about the light-weight Shark vacuums (even the cordless ones). I’m tempted to buy one, but I just don’t want ANOTHER vacuum in our house!

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  9. Lisa

    08/08/2019

    Ever since we removed the carpet from our stairs, I’m horrified at how quickly dust and hair accumulates on the stairs. I can see it clearly now that the stairs are a hard wood surface. Not sure if it’s the location of our stairs right by the front door that causes this? We wipe them off with a wet cloth weekly and sometimes twice a week. I don’t want to go back to carpet knowing how much dust would accumulate in the carpet if we didn’t vacuum them. We don’t wear our shoes inside or have pets either.

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    Andrea Reply:

    yes, this is what grosses me out about carpet — it basically “hides” all the dust, dirty, hair, etc. Sometimes that has its advantages, but mostly I just like having hard floor and knowing it’s clean!

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  10. Carol

    08/08/2019

    My husband and I are empty nesters. I have the house professionally cleaned every other week, and I do the master bath, all the toilets and the floors (vacuum/swiffer/steam mop if needed) on the off weeks. However, we have 3.5 baths, and I don’t clean the other bathtubs except before or after guests. I also don’t change the sheets in the guest bedrooms except before and after guests (now I’m wondering why I don’t just leave them on there until the NEXT time we have guests…). I used to be a manic weekly duster, but now I generally do not dust in between the professional cleanings. I do vacuum the stairs up to the bonus room (the stairs and the bonus room are the only carpeted areas in our home). Now that I think of it, though, I’m not sure WHY I do it! LOL.

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha — maybe you’ll be able to cut back on some of your current cleaning! and yes, I would only wash the sheets before guests come.

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  11. Laura

    08/08/2019

    Vacuuming stairs is my most disliked household chore. I have hardwoods on the main floor with carpet on two sets of stairs, as well as in all upstairs bedrooms and the upstairs anding. The carpet is nearing the end of its life, and I’m considering hardwoods everywhere so I can just swiffer the stairs and not have to use a vacuum on them!

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  12. Lee Cockrum

    08/08/2019

    I have a person that cleans every other week, so she does the heavy work. I avoid anything that stirs up dust as much as I possibly can, as I have pretty significant allergies. I don’t mind things like laundry, washing bathrooms and such. They don’t flare up my allergies.

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    Andrea Reply:

    that’s nice! and probably very helpful for your allergies!

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  13. Annette Silveira

    08/08/2019

    I always mean to dust the baseboards but it never happens. Cleaning the ceiling fans and blowing out the many small fans we have around the house with the air compressor gets put off quite often but I end up doing it at some point. We have cats and those fans get full of hair. I’m going to enjoy coming back and reading the comments on this post to see what jobs never get done. We all have our limits!

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha — yes, the comments have been fun to read so far!

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  14. Mary

    08/08/2019

    We don’t vacuum the stairway often but it does look nicer fluffed up when we do. I am one of the only people I know who still swears by a canister vacuum with a power head. Mine has a small one for this type job. Works great.
    My job I hate and rarely do is to clean our ridiculously large jetted tub. We hardly ever use it except to hold water if we fear the power is going to go out so we have water to flush toilets. Otherwise it just gets dusted out once in awhile.

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    Lee Cockrum Reply:

    My husband uses our jetted tub EVERY day!! He would never live without one!

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    Laura Reply:

    I’m a canister vacuum lover, too, Mary – have never had an upright.

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    Andrea Reply:

    My Grandma is too — she takes her vacuum everywhere she goes because she doesn’t want to use another type off vacuum!

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    Mary Reply:

    And canisters aren’t easy to find. Especially with the power head. I had to order online even though this is the kind of thing I’d rather see in person.

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  15. Beth

    08/08/2019

    I can’t tell you how much better this makes me feel! I always thought I was so weird because I almost never vacuum the basement stairs (or the basement). It is partially finished but we don’t use it and I don’t like spending time there. There is just something about it…I would rather do any other cleaning.

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    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, if you don’t even use the space, there’s probably no huge need to clean it!

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  16. Calliope

    08/08/2019

    Oh the stairs….I sort of vacuum mine. I do them with the upstairs vacuum up to the stair it further reaches, and I also do them with the downstairs vacuum up to the stair it further reaches…BUT there are 2 or 3 stairs that none vacuum reaches! So you can imagine what happens there…! I was smart though and when we built the house I chose unpolished marble in tan variations and veins so no dirt ever shows!
    I almost never mop my house, I do vacuum and swiffer daily though!
    Also I hate washing windows and shutters and I really don‘t know what happens above the kitchen cabinets as I have never ever cleaned there….gross!

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    Andrea Reply:

    yes, this is my issue too — the vacuum cord doesn’t reach far enough – so I just stopped doing them 🙂 Not the best solution, I know!

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    Wilma Reply:

    I actually got a small extension cord that I leave on the vacuum so I don’t have to change the plug when vacuuming our house. Laziness to the extreme ;). Our stairs get a lot of use (no shoes in the house, only eating in the kitchen), and get dirty. They are linoleum (or something like that). We have a dyson stick which works great for them.

    I don’t clean the windows often–they only get a deep cleaning once a year. I detest cleaning windows. They get spot cleaned throughout the year, when I see the handprints or other kid smears (even though the rule is that they don’t touch windows and walls, ha!)

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    Andrea Reply:

    I think the extension cord is a great idea! And honestly, super smart to leave it attached to the vacuum!
    And I feel the same way about windows — I spot clean as necessary and “deep clean” them in the spring!

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    Linda Reply:

    When I was younger and had small children I absolutely hated folding clothes and putting them away. I guess it was because there were LOADS of clothes to put away…. Now that I’m an empty nester I don’t mind so much. At the moment my least favourite thing to do is clean the shower walls. Mainly because I never get them as clean as I would like to…

    Calliope: I also hated cleaning above the kitchen kabinets until I came up with an idea – I put baking paper/baking sheets on top of the kabinets and when they are dirty enough I change them. No washing required!

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    Andrea Reply:

    wow — great idea bout the paper on the tops of the cabinets! Thanks for sharing!

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  17. Meghan

    08/08/2019

    We have darker carpet and somehow there is always little bits of string, fuzz, or tiny pieces of paper on the stairs. We vacuum them about 6 times a year though.
    I have a variety of decorative items on top of my kitchen cabinets. I really can’t tell you the last time I dusted them. It’s been on my to do list all summer but ALWAYS get bumped. I think it would take 30 minutes, but I can’t bring myself to do it. It doesn’t look bad and I’m had afraid of what I’ll find when I’m up there. Also not a fan of standing on the kitchen counters.

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    Andrea Reply:

    we were “smart” when we redesigned our kitchen — we purposely had our cabinets go all the way to the ceiling so there wasn’t any wasted space, or one more flat surface to dust!

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