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Maintaining a clean and tidy house, in the midst of a busy schedule, can feel nearly impossible, but with the help of a few tips this daunting task can be broken down into manageable bites. This house cleaning guide is looking to do just that.
Above you will find a printable house cleaning schedule that breaks down the dirty zones and helps to identify when to clean what. By doing a little each day, it becomes easier to maintain a clean house, without spending all weekend doing it.
Daily Cleaning Tasks
- Wash laundry — This one may be more “as needed” rather than daily, if you have a smaller family, but many family find themselves doing some kind of laundry nearly every day. Washing smaller loads, instead of waiting for it to pile up, is a great way to stay on top of it and avoid extra long cleaning cycles.
- Clean counters — Wiping down the counters, especially in the kitchen, every day prevents germs and bacteria from spreading and infecting the areas where you eat. For an easy inexpensive solution, you can make a homemade cleaning spray, using white vinegar, water, and essential oils (optional).
- Clean dishes — Be sure to load and unload the dishwasher daily and hand wash sensitive pieces, like pots, pans, and cutlery knives. Taking good care of your dishes will help them to last longer.
- Clean kitchen sink — To clean the kitchen sink, use baking soda and white vinegar or a soft scrub solution with a scrubbing brush.
- Make beds — Making the bed is a quick task that can make any bedroom feel tidy and put together. If you’re in a rush, keep it simple with limited throw pillows and shams.
- Take out trash — Taking out the trash daily helps to keep bugs and other critters from finding their way inside and dining on your last night’s dinner.
- Straighten or fold towels — Taking care of towels is another quick task you can do to get a fresh look, with minimal work. If you find that your towels have a funky smell or musty odor, try washing them with one cup of baking soda mixed with 1 cup of white vinegar for a homemade towel refresher.
- Pick up clothes or shoes — If you don’t already have a designated placed for your shoes, try to find a system that works for you. It could be in a container under your bed or a stackable storage unit in your closet. Make a plan and stick to it.
- Sort through mail — Sorting through your mail every day helps to prevent unseen bills, or important documents falling through the cracks. If there is mail that you regularly throw away, be sure to take a moment and unsubscribe from these subscriptions to save you time later.
- Robot vacuum — If you’ve got a robot vacuum cleaner, many have the ability to program scheduled cleanings, like the affordable Ecovacs Deebot N79, iLife A4s, and Roomba 690. This may be the easiest task on the list— set it once and you don’t have to worry about it again.
Twice a Week Cleaning Tasks
- Clean doorknobs — Be sure to wipe down door knobs with a disinfecting cleaning wipe that kills germs. Door knobs are touched daily and can be commonplace for lurking germs.
- Sweep front porch — Sweep the front porch of any leaves, debris, or trash. If there’s any packages or mail, remove those as well.
- Clean out purse — All the ladies, be sure to clean out your purse on a regular basis. I know it’s tempting to have the Mary Poppins’ bag of endless supplies (because who knows what you might need when), but carrying the extra weight can be hard on your body and you could easily miss some trash that needs to be tossed.
- Clean mirrors — Wipe down your mirrors with a lint-free cloth and cleaning solution or make your own homemade glass cleaner.
- Clean cabinet pulls — Using disinfecting wipes or paper towels, be sure to clean off frequently used cabinet pulls or other hardware. Some of the dirtiest areas may include the master bathroom and kitchen cabinets.
- Sweep hard surfaces — Sweep any hardwood, tile, or other hard surface floors using a bristle-style broom. For a quick and easy update, find a robot vacuum for hardwood floors, like the bObsweep Pet Hair, Eufy Robovac 11, or Roomba 650 (all of which are great on hardwood and tile) and let your little buddy do the hard work for you.
Weekly Cleaning Tasks
- Clean toilets — Wipe the tank, seat, outside of the bowl, and base down with a disinfecting wipe or other cleaner. For the inside of the bowl, be sure to use a liquid cleaner and brush, so you can scrub away residue. For especially dirty bowls, put the cleaner in and let it soak for about 10-15 minutes before scrubbing.
- Vacuum carpets — Whether you prefer an upright, stick vacuum, canister, or a robot, be sure to use your vacuum cleaner weekly. Depending on whether or not you have children or pets, this talk might need to be done more frequently. For odor, try adding baking soda into a carpet shaker and sprinkling before you vacuum.
- Clean out produce — Old food in the fridge is never appetizing, but old produce can carry an especially rancid smell, not to mention leak all kinds of spoiled juices into your fridge. Yikes. Be sure to toss any old produce before it reaches that point, to avoid a stinky fridge.
- Wash sheets — Washing your sheets once a week is an important part of maintaining a clean home. To brighten white sheets, you can add a splash of bleach to the load every month or so.
- Clear out clutter — Extra stuff has a way of collecting in high traffic parts of your house, like living areas, entries, and kitchens. Keeping the clutter down means less stuff to clean!
- Dust wood furniture — Dust wood furniture regularly with a damp cloth or wood polish on a cloth. This moist cleaning technique is especially effective at capturing fine debris like pet hair or other allergens.
Every Two Weeks Cleaning Tasks
- Wax / polish hardwoods — In addition to regular sweeping, you’ll likely want to do a deeper clean on your hardwoods to renew the finish and keep them looking fresh.
- Clean appliances — Be sure to wipe down and inside and outside of all appliances regularly. You can use disinfecting wipes or a water and vinegar solution.
- Wash trash cans — Use some water and some scrubbing power to wash out your trashcans regularly. Even with protective trash bags, the interior, rim and lid, can be a hotspot for bacteria.
- Clean cabinets — Wipe down wooden cabinets with a damp cloth, paying extra attention to edges and the area by the handles.
- Rinse drains — Cleaning out drains keeps water flowing and prevents build-up. For extra freshness for your kitchen drain, try dropping a garbage disposal cleaner pod into the disposal and running for about 15 seconds. Rinse as usual.
- Clean car — Picking up trash and supplies from the inside of your car, will help you maintain a clean area. Time permitting, you could also run the vacuum over your mats or even wash the exterior.
Monthly Cleaning Tasks
- Dust ceiling fans — Use a vacuum cleaner with extended wand, like the Miele Compact C1, Shark Rocket, or Dirt Devil Easy Lite, or an extending pole duster to clean dust off of your fan blades. Be sure to do this before cleaning the area below so falling debris doesn’t ruin a clean area.
- Dust light fixture — Dust the inside and outside of your light fixture (and don’t forget about those fixtures out by the front door!)
- Dust blinds — Dust blinds using a vacuum with a soft dusting attachment or wipe with a damp cloth. Fully close the blinds before dusting. Wipe clean then reverse the direction that the blinds were closed. Close and wipe again.
- Clean refrigerator — A sticky bottle of ketchup from 2014? Now is the time to get rid of it. Cleaning out the refrigerator regularly helps you know exactly what food you have.
- Clean out pantry — Although it’s less critical than the refrigerator, storing old food in the pantry is wasteful and takes up space. Know what you have and keep a running log of items in your pantry.
- Vacuum furniture — Taking your vacuum under sofa cushions, in between nightstands and beds, and atop coffee tables keeps your upholstery looking fresh and free of debris or pet hair. A portable handheld vacuum like the Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip or Bissell Pet Hair Eraser can help make quick work of harder to reach places.
- Vacuum baseboards — Use your vacuum cleaner to run a brush attachment slowly across baseboards. For stuck-on messes, you may need to use a damp cloth as well.
- Check filters — Check your air filters, water filter, purifiers, etc. once a month. Keeping an extra filter as back up is a good idea to make sure you’re never caught off guard when it comes time to replace.
- Clean rugs — Slowly vacuum over large rugs or, if manufacturer guidelines allow it, a good wash is a perfect way to clean rugs and keep it looking fresh.
- Wash pillows — Many pillows can be washed and dried to keep clean. Consider adding tennis balls to the dryer cycle to make them extra fluffy. (Always verify manufacturer recommendations prior to washing).
- Wipe down doors — Use a damp cloth to wipe down interior door. Get in the grooves of the paneling, if there are any, and use a disinfecting wipe to kill bacteria.
Quarterly Cleaning Tasks
- Wash comforter — Washing your comforter a couple times a year keeps you bedding feeling fresh and new. Add a few tennis balls to the drying cycle to help fluff it up like it were new. To dry completely you may need to lay it out flat and air dry.
- Clean drum of washer — Cleaning the drum of the the washing machine is as simple as adding a cup of white vinegar to the drum, scrubbing it with a soft brush and running an empty cleaning cycle to rinse. If that sounds too labor-intensive, you can also just drop in a cleaning tablet.
- Shampoo carpets — Shampooing your carpet can be done at home with an in-home carpet cleaner, a rented unit, or call in the professionals. For the best clean, it helps to move all of your furniture, but for quick sessions you can just hit the high traffic areas.
- Dust air vents — Use a vacuum cleaner or a dust brush to clean dirty air vents. If not cleaned regularly, these vents can accumulate dust and debris and may block air flow.
- Vacuum dryer — Just as you would clean a washing machine, it’s important to also clean your dryer. To clean, simply vacuum with a crevice tool or soft dusting brush attachment. For difficult areas, you many need to use a moist cloth to clean. While you’re at it, you might also want to vacuum the lint trap and the housing unit.
- Vacuum fireplace — Depending on use, fireplaces may need to be vacuumed to be properly maintained. For a gas fireplace, this may just mean simple dusting. Wood-burning fireplace may have larger debris and soot. For these areas, use a broom to sweep up the the ash first and then vacuum the finer soot.
Annual Cleaning Tasks
- Clean exterior windows — About once a year, you’ll want to wash your exterior windows. Use a mild soap and be sure to rinse completely to avoid streaks or reside.
- Wash curtains / drapes — They’re mostly decorative, so it may be hard to remember to clean your curtains or drapes. However, washing these window treatments once a year eliminates dust, dirt, debris, and other pollutants that may had been camping out in your curtain.
- Clean gutters — Cleaning gutters once a year is important for proper water flow and to maintain a quality roof. If cleaning gutters isn’t you’re thing, you can also look into installing aluminum gutter guards, which protect your gutters from debris falling into the channel.
- Clean tile grout — To clean tile grout you’ll need a simple spray grout cleaner and a good grout scrubbing brush. For an even quicker fix, you could also try a grout pen, which you basically paint on and skip the scrubbing.
Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below!