Skip to main content

The Best Way to Clean Your House: Schedule and Tips

A Clean House

A Clean House

House Cleaning Tips & What Order to Clean in

  • Pick one day a week to clean your home and stick to it.
  • Use vacuum cleaner attachments on furniture, between and under cushions, drapes, blinds, vents, and baseboards.
  • When mopping floors, only use a small amount of soap and a damp (not soaked) mop.
  • An old toothbrush works wonders on drains, faucets, showerheads, tub jets, and other tough-to-reach spots.

How to Clean a House

Does it seem like your house is always dirty? Do you feel like you are constantly cleaning but never really have a clean house all at once? There is a way to clean your house and keep it clean, but you have to make a commitment. Just like eating healthy or getting enough exercise, it won't happen unless you make a plan and schedule it. Write it on your calendar!

There are different strategies to clean a house, such as cleaning a room a day or tackling one chore a day, but the method that works best for me is to clean the house once a week. Put in two or three hours of cleaning per week, and your house is always clean.

Note: If your housekeeping has been neglected for a while, you will need to start with a deep cleaning. And if you can't even get to the deep cleaning due to all the junk in the way, you will need to start by decluttering your home.

How to Clean a Kitchen

I always start my housecleaning with the kitchen. Make sure all dishes are put away and start the dishwasher if necessary. Clean these items in this order:

  1. Stovetop: Wipe traditional stove-tops off with a soapy sponge. See pictures to the right for how to clean a glass cooktop.
  2. Microwave: Wipe it out with an all-purpose cleaner. If the bottom tray is removable, take it out to wash and dry. Wipe the microwave again with a clean wet sponge or rag to rinse. Leave open to air dry.
  3. Counters: Wipe with an all-purpose cleaner, and don't forget to wipe under the coffee maker and anything else that is on the counter.
  4. Appliances: Wipe down all large appliances.
  5. Sink: Your basic Comet works well on most sinks, and there is a no-scratch version for stainless sinks.
A cleaning caddy filled with cleaning supplies for the bathroom

A cleaning caddy filled with cleaning supplies for the bathroom

Cleaning Supplies for the Bathroom

The items in my bathroom cleaning supply caddy are:

  • Bathroom cleaner, for example, Soft Scrub
  • Sponge or rag
  • Glass cleaner
  • Paper towels or clean rag for glass
  • Plastic cup or small pitcher for rinsing tubs and showers
  • Toothbrush to scrub around drains, faucets, tub jets, and showerheads
  • Cleaning gloves

How to Clean a Bathroom

The bathrooms are what usually take me the longest to clean. To make sure you have all of your bathroom cleaning supplies handy, always keep them together in a plastic caddy.

The first thing you need to do is remove everything off of the countertops. Store them under the sink, or use an organizer box to hold them while you clean. Squirt some bathroom cleaner around the inside rim of the toilet and let sit while you clean the rest of the room.

Clean these areas in this order:

  1. Mirror: Start at the top and work your way down. To avoid streaks, use less spray and wipe until dry.
  2. Sink and counters: Use an old toothbrush (Yes, a toothbrush!) to scrub away any dirt around the drains or faucet, and then wipe the counters.
  3. Tub and shower: The old toothbrush works on tub jets, showerheads, and any other small areas. After cleaning, use the plastic cup to rinse.
  4. Toilet: Scrub the inside bowl with the toilet brush and then use your rag or sponge for the rest of the toilet. Don't forget the outside base down to the floor.
Use a damp microfiber cloth to dust.

Use a damp microfiber cloth to dust.

How to Dust

Dusting may seem like a pain, but it really doesn't take much time. Here are some tips on dusting:

  • Swiffers are very popular, but to save money, a slightly damp microfiber cloth works fine. Just be sure to keep it rinsed out and clean.
  • Do not use dry feather dusters—they only move the dust around. Your goal is to remove the dust.
  • Be sure to pick up objects as you dust, and not to just dust around them.
  • Don't forget to dust hanging pictures and mirrors.
  • Ceiling fans and light fixtures can be dusted once or twice a month, and you can plan those cleanings as shown in the cleaning checklist sample below.
  • Furniture polish—I am not a fan. If you have specific furniture that calls for that, then use it. Otherwise, stick with the damp cloth.
Hardwood floors only need a capful of Murphy's Oil mixed with a bucket of warm water.

Hardwood floors only need a capful of Murphy's Oil mixed with a bucket of warm water.

Murphy's Oil Soap for Hardwood Floors

How to Clean Floors

After dusting, it is time to vacuum and sweep the floors. Starting in the kitchen, be sure to either sweep or use the vacuum cleaner attachments to get the crumbs that collect in corners and under cabinets. I like to vacuum all my floors, including the tile and hardwoods. For those, you may opt instead to sweep or clean with a dry dust mop.

Mopping should be done once a week in the kitchen and bathrooms, and then in any other high-traffic area you may have. All over mopping can be done less frequently and can be scheduled on your cleaning schedule. Here are some tips for mopping:

  • The secret to mopping is using just a tad of soap and keeping your mop damp but not soaked.
  • Hardwood floors only need a capful of Murphy's Oil in a bucket of warm water.
  • For tile or linoleum floors, you just need a capful of floor cleaner, such as Pine-Sol, mixed with a bucket of warm water.
  • On any type of floor, avoid using the soap that squirts right onto the floor. You don't need that much soap, and those brands tend to leave marks where you squirt.
  • Another option is to use just a bit of vinegar and warm water for your floors.
Dusting Blinds: Swiffers are good for dusting blinds.

Dusting Blinds: Swiffers are good for dusting blinds.

Cleaning Special Areas

There are some areas of your home that do not require weekly cleaning. To tackle these, you can schedule a once or twice a month cleaning. For example, I mop all the hardwood floors twice a month, so I schedule that for the 1st and 3rd weeks. As for cleaning baseboards, I do that once a month.

The cleaning schedule sample below will give you an idea of how you can make your own checklist to suit your home and lifestyle. Other special areas you may want to add to your list for occasional cleaning are as follows:

  • Baseboards: Wipe away dust with a damp cloth.
  • Cabinets: Use an all-purpose cleaner to wipe away spills in the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Blinds: Use a damp cloth, Swiffer, or even a vacuum cleaner attachment.
  • Air vents: Vacuum away the dust that collects here.
  • Fans and light fixtures: A Swiffer is really good for these tough-to-reach places.
  • Mop all floors
  • Clean windows
  • Porch
House Cleaning Checklist Sample.

House Cleaning Checklist Sample.

Keeping Your House Clean

Now you are ready to pick a day of the week to be your house cleaning day. If you ever need a head-start, clean your kitchen completely the night before cleaning day. It will only take you a little longer than the time you normally spend cleaning the dishes after supper. If you ever are unable to clean the whole house in one day, save the bathrooms for the next day.

Enjoy your clean home!

How Clean Is Your House?


SBricksIndia on June 16, 2016:

Found the cleaning blinds tip very useful will be using it soon

Michael from Orlando,Florida on January 23, 2014:

It is imperative you have a plan before cleaning your home; otherwise you will just be "spinning your wheels". Have a cleaning checklist and all cleaning supplies ready, a cleaning "caddy" to easily move supplies from room to room, and a plan of where to start and finish! Great and comprehensive article.

elemenopy on January 12, 2014:

I loved this article. I feel validation that I'm pretty sure I'm doing it right. Thanks!

Sarah Johnson (author) from Charleston, South Carolina on July 24, 2012:

Yes, Rebecca - I know exactly what you mean! I could be cleaning the bathrooms right now, but I have some deadlines to meet!

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on July 24, 2012:

Very nice tips, and a great idea for a Hub! I think I probably need to do a deep cleaning after all this "Hubbing." Know what I mean?

Sarah Johnson (author) from Charleston, South Carolina on July 02, 2012:

Go with it, carol7777!

carol stanley from Arizona on July 02, 2012:

ChaplinSpeaks...Good idea. An article of all the rewards we can give ourselves.

Sarah Johnson (author) from Charleston, South Carolina on July 01, 2012:

Cleaning the house is hard, because you always can think of a million other things to do instead. Maybe we should start offering ourselves a reward for getting it done - a glass of wine, takeout for dinner, or a nice nap!

Arlene V. Poma on July 01, 2012:

UP, USEFUL AND INTERESTING! When it comes to cleaning house, I do need all the help I can get. I am making a copy of your chart to post as my guide. And I do appreciate you writing a Hub on a subject that is so simple to most women. But I do struggle with cleaning my house. In fact, I know I was left out when they passed out the "cleaning gene."

Shelley Watson on July 01, 2012:

An excellent, well thought out hub. Thanks!

carol stanley from Arizona on July 01, 2012:

A well put together article with lots of great tips. We all sort of hate the job of housecleaning.

kingmaxler from Olympia, Washington USA on June 30, 2012:

Thank you for the hub. I found the schedule very helpful. Informative and well done.

Blurter of Indiscretions from Clinton CT on June 30, 2012:

I'm good at picking up and general housework, but that deep cleaning stuff is so hard to do! Nice hub :)

Kimberly Vaughn from Midwest on June 30, 2012:

Thanks for the tips!