How to Keep Your Home Clean While Remodeling

Paige Bennett
Written by Paige Bennett
Updated September 30, 2021
A modern scandinavian living room with comfy couch
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Remodels generate a lot of dirt and dust, but you can help keep the mess from taking over your home

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Remodeling is a messy job, whether it’s confined to one room of your home or involves the entire property. Dirt and debris from construction can make their way to every nook and cranny, covering floors and even filling cabinets and drawers. Keep your home clean during a remodeling project with these nine tips.

1. Clear the Area

First thing’s first—clear as much out of the project area as possible to keep it from getting dirty or damaged.

  • Remove wall art and decor.

  • Take down light fixtures.

  • Move lightweight furnishings.

  • Clear out any additional household goods, including dishware, clothing, toys, and decorations.

2. Cover Furniture

For heavier furniture you can’t move, cover it with plastic to keep dirt and dust at bay. Also, consider covering furniture in adjacent rooms to make cleaning as easy as possible after the remodel.

3. Seal off the Area

One of the most effective ways to keep your home clean during a remodel is to seal off the construction area by hanging plastic sheets over the windows and doors. Dust can still find its way to the rest of the home, but most of it will remain contained in the construction area.

4. Make a Path for Contractors

A man renovating the interior of a room
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Create a designated walkway for contractors to help confine dirt and debris. Line the path on either side with old rugs, sheets, or tarps, creating paths to and from the project area and the front door, bathroom, and any other spaces the contractors need access to.

5. Create a Daily Cleaning Routine

By cleaning up smaller messes each day, you’ll avoid having a huge mess after the remodel. Remodeling projects can take months, and the amount of dust accumulated in that time can add up to a major headache. Here are a few things to do after construction wraps up each day.

  • Run the vacuum: Vacuum floors, furniture, and window sills to pick up dirt and debris.

  • Dust: Follow the vacuum with a duster to get the dust out of hard-to-reach places, like shelves and fireplace mantels.

  • Wipe surfaces: Once the dust is cleared, grab cleaning spray and a cloth to clean any surfaces, like counters and tables. Removing the dust first helps prevent creating smudges while wiping with a cloth. 

  • Clear clutter: Ask contractors to move any clutter before they leave for the day. If you notice any construction items that have made their way to other parts of the home, make sure to return them to the remodeling area. 

  • Sweep floors: You might not be able to access the area being remodeled, but be sure to sweep the rest of the home, particularly just outside the project area, to help prevent dirt from being tracked everywhere. 

6. Invest in a High-Quality Vacuum

You’ll be doing a lot of vacuuming during a remodel to keep your home clean. Vacuum floors, furnishings, and even surfaces like countertops at the end of each day to help stay on top of the dust and debris generated from construction. Or better yet, install a central vacuum system for a more powerful cleaning while you’re remodeling your home.

7. Dust After Vacuuming

Vacuuming can pick up a lot of dust, but for hard-to-reach places, go ahead and reach for the duster. For a remodel, a duster alone won’t pick up much, which is why you should run the vacuum first, then follow up the cleaning session with the duster.

8. Open Windows

An empty room with herringbone parquet
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If weather permits, open windows to prevent drywall dust from sticking to window screens. If you try to hose down window screens covered in drywall powder, it can turn into a thick, mud-like material. Alternatively, cover windows with plastic film to help keep dust away.

9. Hire Professional Cleaners

Consider adjusting your remodeling budget to include the cost of hiring a local cleaning service, whether for weekly cleaning during the remodel or one deep-cleaning session after the project ends. Professional cleaners are well-equipped to handle post-construction messes.

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