New year, new you, right?
And when we say “new you” we mean that this time around, you’re going to keep the house clean and up to date on a regular schedule so you don’t find yourself scrambling to make the house presentable next holiday season.
With some simple organization, you can keep your house tidy without having to dedicate your days off to scrubbing down and organizing.
We get it; cleaning isn’t the first thing on anyone’s list of things that they want to do.
So what are the essential steps to cleaning your home?
1. Commit to clean.
Unfortunately, even if you do break up tasks and schedule them out you will still need to clean. Nothing is “magically” going to be spick-and-span instantaneously.
Before proceeding, make sure to have the following:
- Dedicated checklist
- Some simple house cleaning products and tools including:
- A healthy and clean mindset
RELATED: Need a new vacuum? Check out our guide for the best vacuum cleaners.
Yes, cleaning products are just about as important as your mindset.
Just like any sort of training plan, don’t allow yourself too many cheat days and make up for them when you do take them. This is only to benefit yourself and your end goal.
2. Daily cleaning tasks
Yes, that says “daily”. Unless you’re physically not in your home, you’re likely causing some sort of mess.
Keeping on top of the following daily task will allow you to wake up on weekend mornings to a home that doesn’t look trashed, giving you more time to enjoy the good things in life, such as sleeping in until noon.
Here are your daily tasks:
- Put dishes away: in dishwasher or in storage
- Wipe down kitchen and bathroom countertops
- Put dirty clothes in hamper and put clean clothes in dresser or closet
- Put all loose items away before the clutter piles up
- Make bed in morning, even if it’s just smoothing out your sheets and blanket
And that’s about it. Obviously, you know your home better than we do, and if you can add something to this list, great!
These small bits will help you keep your home tidy and don’t take a lot of time to do. Keeping this routine is key to the overall success of your house cleaning checklist.
3. Weekly cleaning tasks
The daily tasks will go a long ways, but will eventually need to be supplemented by a few other things. If possible, try splitting up these chores into two separate days so that you don’t end up spending too much time.
We also suggest that you try to pick out specific days of the week to get these tasks done in order to establish a routine that you can be sure to stick to.
- Do laundry and put it away
- Sweep hard floors and vacuum carpets and rugs
- Clean toilets and showers—soap scum tends to build up
- Wash sheets and blankets that don’t require dry cleaning
- Clean out old food from the fridge and wipe down any messes
- Dust furniture, windowsills, and anything else that collects dust
- Wipe down mirrors
- Clean and disinfect your kitchen sink—there are more germs than you’d think!
4. Monthly cleaning tasks
The monthly tasks are going to be ones that don’t need to be completed frequently, but taking care of them at least once a month will leave you with a nice, clean, and maintained house.
In this list, we’ll also cover some tasks that aren’t necessarily “cleaning” related, but are more so necessary in order to make sure your home is functioning properly.
- Make sure HVAC filters are changed out
- Clean windows
- Throw out junk around the house including boxes, paper, expired food items, and things that are no longer usable
- Clean out trash cans and disinfect them
- Thoroughly mop the entire area of your floors
- Clean tops of fans and behind televisions, cabinets, and dressers
5. Quarterly cleaning tasks
There are a few pieces that are necessary to do every few months.
We highly recommend that you dedicate a several days every month to these chores! We made them “quarterly” because if you wait a few months to take care of them, they’ll be quite difficult tasks. And, if you don’t wait long enough, you’ll just waste your time.
Here are some of those tasks:
- Clean behind your refrigerator, oven, and other crevices that aren’t easy to clean out regularly
- Scrub or replace the pans underneath the stove tops if you have a gas stove
- Clean your oven
- Steam clean carpets, area rugs, and upholstery (see our review of one of our favorite carpet / floor steamers)
- Clean the grout between the tiles (Here’s a great natural cleaner recipe.)
- Clean out and wash your washer and dryer to make sure that they are performing optimally
- Reorganize storage spaces like closets and drawers in most rooms
- Go through every room and the house and sell, donate, or trash furniture, clothing, decorations, appliances, utensils, and anything else that you haven’t used or have hardly used.
Are you serious about decluttering? Learning how to create and keep a tidier home is an important step in simplifying your home cleaning checklist.
Top Tip: For tips on tidying, you may want to check out The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, which also recently launched into a Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.
See our visual guide on how to fold clothes like Marie Kondo for more.
6. Annual cleaning tasks
These tasks are likely the most tedious, and luckily, the least frequently performed tasks. Because they usually require some time outside, we suggest not performing them in the cold winter months unless, of course, you live in a state that has a mild winter.
Here are the tasks that should be completed once a year:
- Cleaning exterior windows (Check out the Hobot Window Washing Robot here!)
- Washing outside of house (Top Tip: Get a PowerWasher)
- Replant and reseed grass if you have a lawn
- If you have trees, hire a professional to trim dead or dying branches
- Wash rugs, curtains, pillowcases, and nicer quilts and blankets
- Replace appliances and tools throughout the house that are no longer serving you
Note that this list isn’t going to work exactly the same for everyone because everyone has different living situations. Fine tune and adjust as you need.
But, the one rule that will work for everyone is this: keep on track and hold yourself accountable.