Household Cleaning 101

When cleaning your home it is important not to get overwhelmed. Cleaning the house from top to bottom can be a daunting task. It is best to space out the work load over the course of the week to save time and frustration but with life happening all around you that isn’t always possible. It’s best to start out with a plan.


Pre-Cleaning Organizational Tips
  • Carry your cleaning supplies in a plastic caddy, bucket or basket from room to room that way you’re not backtracking to another room for supplies.
  • Always start with wet rooms first (bathroom, kitchen) as these rooms typically take more effort to clean. Then move on to dry rooms (living spaces, bedrooms)
  • When starting in a room clean top to bottom and left to right. Cleaning from the top down ensures that all the dust and dirty that falls will settle on the ground which will be cleaned last. Cleaning left to right gives you a starting point in any room so that everything gets clean and nothing is forgotten.
Okay, now that we’re organized let’s get started!


Bathrooms and Kitchen
  • For in-depth information and tips to cleaning your bathroom and kitchen, click on the links below.
  • Remember to discard all contaminated utensils (rags, towels, scrub brushes, and sponges) to be sanitized or washed before moving on to other rooms to avoid cross contamination and spreading of germs.


Living Spaces and Bedrooms
Trash Removal and Declutter
  • Before you dust remove all trash and unnecessary items from the space. Throw away trash and return items that belong in other rooms to their proper homes. For bedrooms remove all bedding from the bed to be washed.
    • Tip: To avoid back tracking carry a basket and a trash bag with you. Throw trash in bag and items belonging to other rooms into basket. Make sure when you’re finished you discard the trash bag and return all the items in the basket to their homes.


Ceiling and Light Fixtures
  • With a clean broom or a duster with a long handle dust the ceiling, walls and corners of the rooms free of dust and cobwebs. To clean light fixtures first make sure that the power to the light is off and the light bulbs have had time to cool down before cleaning. Using a damp cloth (microfiber is great for this) dust the fixtures free of dirt and dust. Remember to wipe dust off of lightbulbs and check to make sure that they are completely screwed back in before you’re done. A complete explanation of how to clean ceiling fans can be found here, “How to Clean Your Fans.”


Surfaces Off the Ground
  • This includes shelves, tables, book cases etc. Dusting can be achieved several ways. One good way is with a microfiber cloth ad furniture polish or cleaner. For stained wood always use a cleaner specific for cleaning wood such as murphy’s oil soap. For painted wood and other surfaces most multipurpose cleaners will do the trick. Always spray the polish directly onto the cloth rather than the furniture. This will help maintain the integrity of your furniture as well as evenly distribute cleaning product. It is more time efficient to remove all items from a surface, dust the surface and then return each item rather than attempting to pick each item up as you go. After all surfaces are clutter free and dusted move onto the walls. First remove all pictures and mirrors from wall and dust with damp cloth. Mirrors and glass surfaces on picture frames can be cleaned with glass cleaner or a 1 part vinegar 1 part water solution. Wipe walls with a damp cloth. For higher harder to reach areas a Swiffer or a broom works great. Don’t forget to wipe door jams, vents and light switch plates as well. Return pictures and mirrors to walls.
    • Tip: Before cleaning vents and baseboards use a small brush attachment and vacuum dust from gaps in vent and tops of baseboards. If dust or dirt still remains use a toothbrush or a damp cloth wrapped around a butter knife to get into hard to reach places.




Children’s Rooms


Windows and Glass Sliding Doors
  • Draw curtains and pull up shades to access windows and glass doors. Open window or door so that the track is completely accessible. First, with the smallest hose attachment available for your machine vacuum the window track. Wipe down the track with a damp cloth. If the track is particularly dirty spray first with multipurpose cleaner and let it sit for a few minutes. While the cleaner is working its wonderful magic wipe down the window frame. If the frame of the window is stained wood use a cleaner that is specific for wood surfaces such as polish or murphy’s oil soap. If the frame is painted wood as most are a damp cloth with clean soapy water or any multipurpose cleaner will work. After, use a toothbrush or a qtip to scrub the track of the window and remove and gunk still stuck in the crevices and corners. Wipe clean with cloth. Close window and clean the glass surface of the door or window with glass cleaner or a 1 part water to 1 part white vinegar solution.
    • Tip: Old crumpled newspaper or a squeegee are excellent tools to achieve streak free windows and mirrors.


Baseboards and Flooring
  • Cleaning the baseboards can be achieved by wiping clean of dust and dirt with a damp cloth. For extra dirty spots a tooth brush and a little multipurpose cleaner can help. Lastly, vacuum or sweep the floor to remove all dust and dirt before cleaning the flooring. For cleaning your flooring, go to our page, “How to Clean Your Floors.”


Keeping a Clean House: Making Your Own Schedule
To maintain a clean house, with minimal effort each day, it is best to make a cleaning schedule that best supports your lifestyle. Check out our sample schedule below.
Daily Cleaning Tasks
  • Make beds.
  • Declutter/throw away trash.
  • Load the dishwasher or wash dishes by hand in the evening. The next morning empty the dishwasher or put away dry dishes.
  • In the AM throw a load of laundry in the wash, midday switch laundry to the dryer or hang to dry. In the evening retrieve the load of laundry and fold/ put away.
  • Vacuum/sweep high traffic areas.
  • Wipe countertops.
Weekly Cleaning Tasks
  • Devote one day a week to deep clean one room in your house.
  • Some weekly cleaning task include:
    • Washing bed linens.
    • Cleaning out appliances.
    • Cleaning toilet/shower.
Monthly Cleaning Tasks
  • Deep clean washer and dryer.
  • Move and clean under and behind large appliances (refrigerator and stove).
  • Junk drawers and storage closets.
  • Garage.


By Kayla Scott