It doesn’t matter if you have a large home or a small home, it has to be cleaned! I’m often asked for a Deep Housecleaning Checklist, so here it is! You’ll want to keep this bookmarked or print it off so that it’s handy.
We live in a big house, at least for our area. With four bedrooms and two baths, it gives us room for all of the children to spread out and lets the autistic family members have their space. But it takes some work to keep it clean.
The kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in the house. It can be hard to keep it clean with so many people using it so many times during the day and into the evening. But these tips can help you get it done without breaking a sweat.
Do you have special countertops?
We have old laminate ones from the 1970s, but if yours are new and made from materials that need special care, be sure to read the factory directions. Use the right cleaner – you don’t want to leave marks in an expensive marble counter, after all.
Countertops need to be cleaned every single time they’re used, and even a three year old can wipe up crumbs or a bit of water. Make sure everyone knows to remove any small appliances, wipe the space behind them, and dry the surface to keep it looking great.
At least weekly, wipe down the cabinets on the outside and the inside before putting dishes inside from the dishwasher.
Replace shelf liner paper at least yearly.
If you use the right type for what’s inside, it’ll last longer. For example, cedar liner where you keep spices, felt for silver, rubber for slippery glass dishes, and cork where you put fragile glassware due to its softness and ability to resist mold.
Train your family to put all dirty dishes in the dishwasher and to run when full rather than store them in the sink. This will save lots of time. The other trick to making the sink look great is to wipe it out thoroughly after every use and dry it to bring out the shine and limit mold.
Years ago, I remember asking an older lady how often she cleaned her refrigerator. Every time there’s a mess, she said. It was good advice!
Wipe down anytime there is a spill, otherwise on a weekly basis (before you buy more groceries) wipe up spills, wipe off sticky bottles, and check the fruit and veggie trays for any spoiled produce. Wipe down the door and handle. Always dry after wiping down any surface inside and out to bring out the shine and prevent mold.
Mold is never good, but it’s really bad in your fridge!
The best course of action when it comes to the stove top is to clean it thoroughly after every use, including drying it with a soft dry towel.
Each type of stove requires a different type of cleaning fluid and material, so check with your manufacturer. If you wipe it down every time you use it no matter the type of stove you have, it will always remain clean and like new.
Every time something is spilled, wipe it up immediately. Monthly or as often your manufacturer suggests, clean the oven completely according to their directions and using the recommended cleaning solutions. Our self-cleaning oven says that the racks must be removed, so be sure to check yours.
A self-cleaning oven smells and you won’t want to be in the kitchen. Ensure that there is ventilation – an open window or your hood fan – and go to bed while it works!
Teach everyone to cover food before reheating or cooking in the microwave. Then, wipe it out after each use with a damp sponge with a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. If you get it while it’s still wet, nothing will ever stick.
If you do have stuck-on food, put a microwave-safe bowl of water inside and microwave it for a couple minutes to allow steam to cover the microwave. Wipe down with a dry paper towel.
Monthly, the same time you change your air conditioner filter and put bleach in your air conditioner drain (only when recommended by the manufacturer), take the time to dust the outside of any light fixtures you have in your kitchen. A great way to do it is to wear dusting gloves. That way you can simply wipe them down with both hands.
This is very handy if you do it on a ladder.
Everyone has random appliances: pressure cookers, food processors, slow cookers, and so forth.
The best way to deal with these is to wipe them down with a wet cloth every time you use them using a vinegar and water solution, along with drying them completely with a dry soft towel or paper towel.
But, if they tend to collect dust because you only use them a few times a year, consider storing them inside of a plastic container to keep them dust free.
If you have a hutch and other furniture in the kitchen or dining room, ensure that you include these in your weekly chores. Simply use the right cleaner according to the materials and wipe down fully each week. If you have a huge kitchen, you can break it up and just do one part each day.
On a weekly basis, when you give your floors a good scrubbing, also clean the baseboards. You can simply wipe with a wet cloth or sponge using the vinegar and water solution, then dry.
Your kitchen gets lots of action, so you probably need to sweep it daily each time you clean off the counters after cooking.
In my house, any child old enough to walk can hold a dustpan or operate a whisk broom, and a Seven or Eight can handle a full sized broom.
You may also need to mop up spills as they occur. But weekly, prepare to do a deep clean on the floor according to the manufacturer’s directions. Most times you can’t go wrong with a vinegar and water solution.
It’s not hard to keep your bathrooms clean if you use non-toxic cleaners and delegate this to the little munchkins who are making the biggest mess. In fact, your bathroom can stay company ready most of the time if you follow this checklist and the tips included.
Walls and Doors
Due to the steam that happens in the bathroom, it’s important to wash the walls at least weekly. This will help cut down on mold and other grime.
All you need is a damp cloth and a 50/50 vinegar and water solution. If any marks have appeared, you can use a magic eraser. Pay close attention to the corners, door knobs, and handles.
Art and Décor
Many people have some décor in the bathroom. (Not me, but lots of people do!)
Due to the damp environment, first make sure you put the right type of art in that room, covered in glass. That way you can wipe it down easily. On a weekly basis, simply wipe down all the art with a damp cloth or dry cloth if needed.
Tub, Shower and Tile
Ever wonder how hotels keep the mold out of the tile grout? The answer is that they clean it and dry it often. The drying part is important!
You can help this process by training your family to dry the tiles down after their shower or bath. Then monthly it should be deep cleaned, using the right solution for your type of tile.
When you’re wiping down the art and décor, you may as well also wipe down the towel racks and any other hangers, including the one holding your shampoo in the shower. If you do it weekly, you’re not going to have to work hard to get the scum off. A simple damp cloth followed by a dry cloth will work.
While all teenage and adult family members should be taught to clean the toilet bowl after use when necessary, give it a deep scrub at least weekly.
Turn off the water, use the right type of cleaner for your type of bowl and scrub using your hands, rubber gloves, and a sponge – ensuring you get under the rim. Clean the outside of the toilet as well, remembering to use a dry cloth to dry up.
Sink, Faucets and Countertop
These will need to be cleaned daily due to the use of toothpaste and other products such as hairspray. Teach each person to clean up after themselves, including drying up the sink, faucets, and counters with a clean dry cloth.
Only use manufacturer-approved cleaning supplies so you don’t damage anything.
To clean your shower head, unscrew it and put it in a bowl to soak with a solution of baking soda, vinegar, and water or a store-bought cleaner designed for the material yours is made from. It’s usually okay to scrub with an old soft toothbrush too.
This should be done every six months, or if the water is not coming out due to hard water deposits.
Clean at least monthly. Depending on what type of septic system you have, you’ll need to use the right method. But, when appropriate you’ll want to rid drains of hair and other junk, either using a snake or by using Drano. You can also use a solution of baking soda and vinegar to help clean drains and make them run clearly.
If you have glass shower doors, they can seem hard to keep clean. Hard water deposits can turn the doors yellow and cloudy. But, if you make it a habit to dry the doors down after every shower, you can avoid that problem altogether. Otherwise, use a product designed for cleaning glass doors and a squeegee monthly.
First, ensure that you have a shower curtain liner. When you have a good liner, it will protect the shower curtain. Replace the liner once a year, or try washing the liner in the washing machine with bleach monthly.
You can hang it while wet, then use a hand towel to dry it off. Teach your family to keep the curtain and liner fully stretched out after their shower to avoid water collecting in wrinkles, causing mold build-up.
Anytime something is splattered on the mirror, take a few seconds and a paper towel to wipe it off. You don’t need fancy cleaners for mirrors. Seriously; all you need is vinegar, together with paper towels or an old newspaper. Clean mirrors fully on a weekly basis.
Soap dishes, toothpaste tubes, perfume, hairspray, and shaving cream are often things that are out and ready to use or inside the cabinet. If you keep them put away, they’ll get less dust and dirt on them. But for things left out, be sure to wipe them down with a clean damp cloth at least weekly to avoid build-up of grime.
Floors and Baseboards
On a weekly basis, sweep, scrub, mop and dry the floors and baseboards. Remember to use the right cleaners based on your type of floor so that you don’t ruin it. You’re almost always safe simply using a cloth soaked with a 50/50 vinegar and water solution, and a soft cloth to dry.
Each week when you deep clean the floor, throw the rugs into the washing machine. All number of things get on bathroom rugs, so washing them more often is best.
Keeping your bedroom clean is important to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep each night. Sleeping with dust and clutter isn’t conducive to being well rested. Thankfully, it’s not hard to do with these tips.
Weekly change of bed linens will help ensure a good night’s sleep, because the sheets will feel nicer and everything will be fresh. All you need is two sets and then you can alternate weekly. Other than that, make it a habit to make your bed every single day within minutes of getting up.
Dust furniture in the bedroom at least weekly, the same time you change the bed linens. Keeping dust low in the bedroom will help you sleep better, without having any issues with allergies.
Doors, Floors and Baseboards
Clean your doors and floors at least weekly. You can probably clean the baseboards monthly for the bedroom, since the floor doesn’t have as much foot traffic.
Monthly, take any area rugs out of the bedroom and shake them out, or wash them if you can.
Art and Mirrors
Monthly, dust all art and mirrors in your bedroom to keep them dust free. If you notice dust building up faster, you might consider checking your air conditioner filter.
If you have a ceiling fan in your bedroom, this needs to be dusted fully at least monthly to cut down on cobwebs and other dust bunnies.
Monthly, wipe down all windows and window ledges.
Each season, go through your closet to reorganize and put away things that were for the last season. Often, you’ll find things you didn’t even use that you can donate and give away as well.
Whether you have a laundry closet or a room, there are some regular maintenance issues to contend with. Follow these tips to keep everything ship shape.
Today’s low-energy washers need special care. While the manufacturer does say what to do, often people ignore it until their washer has a weird smell. You can clean it using the products the manufacturer suggests. GE recommends Tide washing machine cleaner for their washers. Otherwise, you can use a cup of bleach, or a cup of vinegar using the clean cycle on hot. It’s important to do this monthly and not wait for a bad smell. Wipe down after every use.
Always clean your lint filter before any use. Monthly, use a special dryer lint trap cleaner tool to get lint that slips through the filter. You can also use your vacuum with the soft brush attachment to clean the screen better, as well as clean the lint trap deeper. Also monthly, using a soft cloth damp with a 50/50 vinegar and water solution, wipe down the drum inside. Allow to fully dry with the door open before next use. Wipe down the surface after every use.
Floor, Walls and Baseboards
Like the bathroom, things build up faster in the laundry room. You’ll want to clean the floors and baseboard on a weekly basis. It’s not hard; just use a sponge mop or a soft damp cloth to wipe down everything, drying when finished.
Due to the lint flying around, take the time to wipe down the shelves and anything sitting on the shelves or on top of your machines on a weekly basis. Cutting down on lint and dust is essential for helping you keep this room cleaner.
You know how the entryway that you love so much can become a claustrophobic experience when everyone’s stuff ends up there? It can’t be just me! Well, you can stop this with the right plan so that you can bring back your entryway.
If you have furniture in your entryway, try to make it useful furniture so that you can hide stuff. For example, a bench that also has a place to put shoes will help cut down on clutter. Clean the furniture at least monthly, weekly in bad weather.
If you find that you have lots of shoes getting in the way in the entryway, don’t fight it. Instead, get something to put the shoes in so that they’ll be organized. Ask your family to take some of their clean, dry shoes to their room if it gets too crazy.
A great way to control clutter for a big family in the entryway is to use baskets. Each child has their own, and even the adults can too. That way all their stuff can be tossed in the basket to be distributed to the right room easily.
Floors and Rugs
Entryways get dirty fast because people come in with their dirty shoes and can even be muddy. Use the right type of rug or floor in the entryway for simple clean-up. This is not the place for a rug that can’t be tossed into the washer. You’ll likely need to clean the entryway each evening before bed, or assign it to someone in the family.
If you have a garage but can’t use it for your car, you’re in good company. Most people who have garages use them to store more stuff that they don’t use. Consider it a challenge to organize your garage.
Get Proper Storage Tools
The best way to keep any room clean and attractive, including the garage, is to invest in the right type of shelving and storage containers. When you see a need for storage solutions, don’t delay.
Donate and Toss
Keep a donate bin as well as a toss bin. Whenever you come across something you’ve not used for an entire year, determine if you can donate it or if you need to toss it. It’s much easier keeping things clean if you don’t have extra stuff you don’t use.
A great way to help yourself and your family put things where they go is to label things in the garage. That way, everything in the garage has a home and a place to be.
Each season, go through what’s in your garage if it’s out of order, so that you can do better next season with keeping it organized.
Floors and Surfaces
About every six months, go in your garage and remove everything you can from it.
Scrub the floors and the walls, including the garage door.
Wipe down all the things you put back into the garage to cut down on dust, cobwebs, and critters that like such things.
If you have a porch or stoop, this is a place where dirt collects.
It comes from people’s shoes, but also the wind can blow things onto your porch where it can get trapped in corners.
All you need to do is take a broom and sweep, including the walls and any awning that you have covering the porch.
For good wood surfaces, clean them accordingly as well as repair any paint that needs to be fixed.
This checklist will help you keep your entire home tidy and attractive. Home is a haven for you and your family to get away from the noise and dirt of the outside world. With a little help and dedication, you can make it even better easily.