The Ultimate House Cleaning Checklist

Evelyn Long

Jan 24, 2023


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Figuring out a cleaning regimen for your house might be one of the most challenging parts of being a homeowner. Things get challenging when you have to manage DIY projects, your day job and cleaning your house. In times like these, you need a house cleaning checklist to help you identify the less-thought-of items that you should tackle while preparing your home for spring cleaning or any other time of the year.

House Cleaning Checklist: Kitchen

The first stop on your house cleaning checklist is often called the heart of the home: the kitchen. Since the kitchen sees so much use, you shouldn’t be surprised that it gets dirty so easily. Cleaning a messy kitchen often is one of your guarantees as a homeowner. Having a checklist to help you tackle the major issues can help tremendously.

1. Wipe Down Appliances

Your appliances, whether stainless steel or not, need a good cleansing. They see so much use every day and deserve a good routine cleaning. Consider wiping down your appliances once a month, if not more often. This way, you can eliminate fingerprints and lingering bacteria or dead skin cells on their surfaces.

2. Clean Your Sink

If you’ve had dishes soaking in the sink for a while, it’s time to address them. Nobody likes the sight — or potential smell — of a full sink. Make sure to tackle your dishes before anything else in the kitchen. Once you have some running in the dishwasher and others hand-washed and put away, you’re ready to tackle the sink.

Clean your sink and leave it sparkling. Make sure you use a cleaner or natural solution suited to the sink’s surface. Stainless steel may require a different cleaning approach than porcelain, and you want to ensure that your kitchen gets clean and stays clean. 

You can clean and refresh your drain by running half a lemon through your garbage disposal. Lemon produces a scent that smells fresh and has disinfectant properties. Plus, it’s a green solution, so you don’t have to use chemicals.

3. Go Through Your Food

What’s been hanging out at the back of your pantry that you don’t know about? Take some time to go through your pantry and fridge, throwing out old, expired items. You may have more than one item of a certain kind open.

Try to consolidate the difference so you can throw away one of the containers. Once you know exactly what you have in your food storage, you can know what to shop for next. You won’t have to guess whether you have something when grocery shopping.

4. Wash Fabrics

The fabrics in most kitchens don’t get a lot of attention. If you have curtains hanging up or use dish rags regularly, you need to wash them. Instead of overlooking these areas, brighten up your kitchen by giving it fresh linens and regular care. Clean the areas of your kitchen that you don’t usually touch, even if they seem like they may not be dirty.

5. Maximize Cabinet Space

Spring clean your way into a more organized kitchen. Go through your cabinets and search for items you don’t use anymore. If you have any food storage containers that are stained beyond repair — usually thanks to tomato sauce — you can toss them and either treat yourself to new ones or make do with what you have. Eventually, you’ll have gotten rid of enough items to give your cabinets a complete refresh.

House Cleaning Checklist: Bathrooms

Many people dread cleaning their bathrooms on their house cleaning checklist. Some might see it as one of the dirtiest rooms in the home, but it should be a haven for you. In most cases, the bathroom is where you take care of yourself. Instead of dreading the process of cleaning your bathrooms, consider it giving back to yourself. Once your space is clean, you’ll feel that you can care for yourself better.

1. Clean the Shower

Your shower should make you clean every time you use it, not dirtier. Use a decent shower cleaner that will eat through any grime that has built up since the last time you cleaned it. If you need to detail clean it, go in with a rag and scrub it. Consider washing your shower curtain, too. Mold might show up easiest on your shower curtain or liner, so if they’re machine-washable, throw them in to make them fresher.

If mold is a concern, treat it before anything else. Many mold killers exist on the market, but once you get rid of the mold, the most important thing is that you prevent it from coming back. Always shower with a fan on to increase ventilation and decrease the risk of mold appearing in your home again. Mold can damage people’s respiratory systems and thrive in wet, unventilated areas. Keep an eye out for mold when you clean your bathroom regularly.

2. Scrub the Toilet

The toilet is another area of your bathroom that needs special attention. You can scrub it with a toilet brush or a pumice stone to get off any stains or tricky spots. Use an appropriate cleaner, and always use gloves when handling chemicals, as you don’t know how your skin will react to them. After cleaning the toilet bowl, work on sanitizing and disinfecting the toilet itself.

3. Clean the Sink

The sink often gets ignored in favor of the shower or toilet, but cleaning it is just as important. Messy members of your household might leave toothpaste or other product on the side of the sink, which isn’t very welcoming to guests when they want to wash their hands. Mold can also grow quickly on sinks, so you must clean both the bowl and the faucet with an appropriate cleaner to ward off any fungus or bacteria.

4. Wipe off Mirrors

Over time, your mirrors become cloudy due to several factors. When you clean them, you should reveal a surface that is nearly as reflective as when you first got the mirror. Ensure that you wipe off any water spots or dust that could keep people from seeing themselves. People appreciate clean mirrors as a sign that you take care of your home.

5. Care for the Floor

Your bathroom floor could be a breeding ground for all sorts of germs if you don’t treat it regularly. There are several hundreds of bacteria on every inch of your bathroom floor. If you have tiles, make sure to clean the grout. Otherwise, sweep and mop your bathroom floors regularly to catch all the dust and other debris that fall off the people who enter.

House Cleaning Checklist: Bedrooms

Bedrooms should be treated with care because they’re places of rest and relaxation. You may not consider cleaning your bedrooms any differently than the rest of your homes, but in addition to vacuuming and dusting, there are a few things you can do to brighten your space. Then, you’ll feel comfortable every time you rest your head.

1. Wipe Down Furniture

A dust rag or feather duster can’t get every speck of dust on your furniture. Thicker layers of dust could come from almost anything, from your animals coming inside from outdoors to you tracking something in on your shoes. Every now and then, you should run over your furniture with a damp cloth to catch everything that you didn’t when you dusted previously.

2. Get Rid of Clutter

Often, people enter their bedrooms to drop things they carried inside or from somewhere else in the house. While you’re cleaning your whole house, you should pick up the clutter that you’ve dropped in your bedroom and find appropriate places for it. Whether they’re loose papers, junk mail, coins or something else, you can find a better home for it than scattered across your bedroom.

3. Organize Your Closet

How will you know what you have in your closet if you can’t see it all? You should consider the size of your wardrobe before you buy any closet organizers, but they can be a massive help in allowing you to see what exactly you have. If an organizer still doesn’t give you enough room, consider decluttering your closet and giving away clothes you haven’t worn in a while. If you haven’t worn them, someone else will find use in them.

4. Flip Your Mattress

Has your back been sore in the morning recently? It might be time to rotate mattresses so they can return to their original position and you can rest easy. Moving your mattress in a new direction can allow you to experience a brand-new side of your mattress, like it felt when you first got it. You should flip and rotate your mattress around two or more times per year, depending on its type and age.

5. Vacuum the Mattress

Vacuuming your mattress can help it feel fresh, especially if you sprinkle deodorizer on it beforehand. Plus, vacuuming your mattress is one of the easiest ways to prevent or get rid of bed bugs that hide in your bedding. You should clean your living spaces regularly to ensure that the adult bed bugs and their eggs are all out of your home. Take care to empty your vacuum after vacuuming your mattress, so you don’t risk transferring the pests somewhere else.

House Cleaning Checklist: Living Room

The living room might just experience the most attention in your house. It’s where your family and friends hang out and spend their time when they’re not cooking or sleeping. As such, you should devote the right amount of attention to your living room. While this house cleaning checklist can’t capture every bit of cleaning you need to do, you can be sure to show special attention to these items.

1. Dust Your Knick-Knacks

Because they aren’t used regularly, decorative items can collect dust and go unnoticed. As you dust the rest of your living room, pay special attention to your knick-knacks. They may have layers of dust on them from being passed over a few times. Give them special attention and keep them clean so your whole living room will look cohesive. 

2. Wash Fabrics

Living room fabrics are often overlooked, but things still get dusty and dirty. You’ll want to wash your curtains occasionally so they remain bright and dirt-free. If you have removable slipcovers on your furniture, also consider washing those. You’ll never know how many germs, crumbs or assorted debris could be in the beatings your furniture takes every day.

After you wash your couch cushion covers, consider rotating the cushions. Rotation couch cushions can help even out the wear and tear of your sofa, ensuring that every side gets similar treatment rather than just one getting completely ruined over the years. This practice also helps to disguise any stains your couch might acquire.

3. Take Care of the Floors

Whether your living room floors are hardwood or carpet, you’ll find that you need to take care of them pretty often. With all the foot traffic coming through, your floors will get dirty. Treat your floors well, so they withstand the many years you want to enjoy in your house. Treat them to a nice shampooing or waxing now and then if you don’t do so regularly.

4. Wipe Your Windows

You may not know just how dirty your windows are until you clean them. If you have animals who are constantly gazing outside, they may leave noseprints or footprints on the surface. Make sure to wipe down both the inside and out if you can. If not, consider cleaning your window screens from the outside to rid them of any debris or bugs that have been caught.

5. Vacuum the Furniture

Some furniture shouldn’t be vacuumed, mainly if it is older or there is an easier way to clean it. Still, if you have fabric furniture, vacuuming can help you draw out mold and mildew, which is especially helpful if you can’t remove the fabric covers to wash them. 

It’s a good idea to thoroughly vacuum your furniture if you’ve picked it up from somewhere or bought it secondhand. If vacuuming doesn’t feel like enough, try to clean it on your own using an appropriate soap or cleaner and water.

House Cleaning Checklist: Miscellaneous Areas

Of course, there will be some areas in your house that don’t fall into one of the major room areas. This part of your house cleaning checklist addresses some of the places you may not think of while you’re busy cleaning the rest of your home. While this list doesn’t encompass everything, it should help you remember the smaller tasks you need to do alongside cleaning your individual rooms.

1. Take Out the Trash

You should take out the trash weekly or whenever you clean the house, whichever is more frequent. You should also aim to empty every trash can in your home, even if you think some of them aren’t used very often. You never know which trash cans guests have tossed garbage into, so it’s worth it to take out every bit of trash. 

2. Organize Your Cleaning Supplies

Do you find yourself often hunting for one particular household cleaner when you’re trying to freshen up your home? It might be time to organize your cleaning supplies. This way, you can take inventory of what you have and when you need to restock on something. 

Having things organized can decrease your anxiety and feel more at peace, especially during a challenging task like cleaning your whole house. Besides, having everything in your home organized, down to the cleaning supplies you use, makes you look like you’ve got it all together.

3. Clean Your Doormats

Your doormats are something everyone encounters — even those who don’t enter your home. You should make sure they’re always pristine. Some people choose doormats with witty sayings to show a bit of their personality. Other people select personalized doormats that introduce the family before a guest walks in. Either way, it’s every visitor’s first impression of your home alongside its outward appearance. Make sure your doormats receive the proper attention.

A Clean Home Is a Happy Home

Cleaning can be tiring, but the rewards are well worth it. While some chores may be apparent the moment you break out the feather duster and vacuum, other tasks may slip away from you. Refer to this house cleaning checklist whenever you feel like you might be forgetting something, and you’ll find your cleaning experience productive. Clean homes impress everyone, from guests to the people who live there. Plus, you deserve to live in a happy home that’s well taken care of.

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