It’s no secret that regular house cleaning keeps little jobs from becoming big ones. Studies show a tidy home has a positive impact on our mental health, too.
Clutter can contribute to depression, irritability, and lack of focus. To keep your home in order, cleaning experts recommend finding a system that works for you. Prioritizing those tasks that you feel are most important is a good place to start, but there's a specific order to house cleaning chores that can make sure you're being the most efficient!
Start with tasks that need some extra time to do their work, like spraying cleaner in and around the tub, shower, or toilet. Start the self-cleaning cycle on your oven, or if yours doesn’t have this feature, spray the inside of the oven with cleaner so it can soak in and start loosening baked-on messes.
You can also run a load of dishes in the dishwasher or get the weekly laundry started while you move on to other cleaning chores around your home. Spot clean carpets and rugs, if needed.
Get rid of any clutter piles before you start cleaning. You may love having your favorite books, digital devices, or crafts close by, but do your best to find a place to store them when you’re not using them.
Junk piles tend to grow rapidly if you clean around them rather than putting them away first. Try to get in the habit of clearing away clutter each night before going to bed.
Work your way down. If you start with vacuuming furniture, you’ll be repeating that task after you clean any objects above. Once you’ve removed the dust and cobwebs from the light fixtures, fan, ceiling, and upper corners, move down to the walls.
Don’t forget to wipe down light switches and clean any grime from doors, door frames, and handles. Move on to the furniture. Save the floors to the last.
Maintaining a left-to-right cleaning pattern across each room ensures that you’re hitting all the places that need sprucing up. It prevents you from haphazardly jumping from one place to another or cleaning the same spot multiple times while missing others.
Once you’ve established a regular pattern to your routine, you’ll find that cleaning chores have become much less time-consuming.
Kitchens and bathrooms require a lot more energy than other rooms and tend to become germ factories without a good scrub down, so it’s best to start there.
Use a non-abrasive antibacterial cleaner in the shower or bath, paying close attention to corners and around the drain for signs of mildew. Remove soap scum rings in the bathtub and clean the mirrors. Clean sinks and fixtures. Wipe down countertops using a disinfectant spray or cleaning cloth.
A messy bedroom can interfere with sleep because it raises cortisol levels, according to studies. First, clear away any clutter and put away clean laundry. Dirty bedding can harbor a ton of allergens, so remove the linens and launder them weekly.
Again, start at the top of the room and work your way down. Remove any dust from window blinds, vanity tops, bureaus, and bedside tables. Clean any mirrors. Put clean linens on the bed.
Decluttering living spaces such as the den, living room, and family room daily cuts back on overall cleaning time. Like any other room, start at the ceiling and work your way down.
Dust surfaces from top to bottom with a microfiber or a slightly damp cloth. Straighten sofa cushions, fluff pillows, fold blankets, and vacuum to remove lint, dust, pet hair, and dander from upholstery.
Before you mop the floors, sweep or vacuum to get rid of dirt, food crumbs, and all that dust you knocked off of the walls and furniture during the cleaning process.
Although vacuuming only the high-traffic areas is fine for quick cleanups, a slow, thorough vacuuming session from wall to wall every week or two significantly cuts back on dust and dander build-up in corners and under furniture.
Flat mops—lightweight mops that often use a disposable cleaning wipe—work great for daily cleanups. However, damp mopping is an excellent way to perform a deeper clean for vinyl, ceramic, or porcelain tile flooring.
When mopping or cleaning floors, start in the corner and work your way back to a doorway. If you have a hardwood floor, wipe in the direction of the wood grain to prevent streaking. For textured floors like ceramic tile, try mopping in a series of little figure eights for best results.
Most windows don’t need frequent cleaning, but they do need good scrub at least every six months. Dirt and grime buildup, hard water minerals, tree pollen, and chemicals from the environment leave behind an unsightly mess that can eventually damage the glass.
Add window spruce-ups to your regular house-cleaning routine to remove fingerprints and smudges from the inside.