You might even look forward to your deep-cleaning session
Whether you need to tackle your daily cleaning checklist or scrub the mildew off the bathtub, it's totally normal to put cleaning tasks off as long as possible. But what if there's a better way to get it all done—maybe, dare we say, without the dread?
Smarter cleaning can save you time, energy, and money, and of course, keep your house free of clutter, dust, and whatever else is lurking in those out-of-sight spots. We’ll teach you how to clean your house with ease while leaving plenty of time to kick back with your favorite TV show.
Cleaning Tips by Room
Every room in your home has its own personality and comes with its own cleaning checklist. For example, rooms that require you to clean major appliances take a bit more time than simpler spaces like the foyer or the bedroom. Here are the best ways to clean each space in your home.
Between dinner prep, cookie making, and busy morning breakfasts, there's plenty to clean up in the kitchen on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
1. Gather the Best Kitchen Cleaning Supplies
You'll save yourself a lot of scrubbing—and the pain of sore elbows—if you select cleaning supplies specifically made for your countertop material, fixtures, floors, and appliances. The kitchen is not always the best place to opt for an all-purpose cleaner, as it doesn't always cut through the grime or can even harm certain materials. Get specific when choosing supplies for a deeper and easier clean.
2. Reset After Each Meal
Keep up with dishes, messy countertops, and leftovers as soon as they appear. The kitchen is a high-use room, and keeping up with any lingering tasks keeps your checklist in check and fends off common kitchen bugs.
At the end of each day, empty the dishwasher, wipe down fixtures, switch out dirty towels, and set the coffee pot timer. This way, you'll wake up to a fresh kitchen and a fresh brew.
3. Disinfect Once a Week
Keep a running list of all the tricky kitchen spots that need deeper disinfection each week. Wash or switch your sponge, disinfect your sink, and wipe down all knobs, handles, and other high-touch services.
4. Empty the Fridge With the Garbage and Groceries
Try not to add a new item to the fridge without checking the older version of it. You don't want six half-used jars of pasta sauce or several days of leftovers in there at once. Peruse your fridge for tossable items when you bring home groceries or take out the trash.
5. Learn How to Clean Tricky Kitchen Spots
Before leaping into your deep kitchen clean, learn how to properly address easily damaged or particularly germy areas. For example:
Review how to freshen up your drip coffeemaker
As one of the most highly trafficked rooms of the house, cleaning the living room can make you feel like conking out on the couch midway through. Here are some of the best ways to clean a living room like a pro.
1. Start With Clutter
You can't clean living room surfaces, upholstery, and rugs if there are cat toys everywhere. Begin by decluttering your room and putting items back where they belong. If you're constantly cleaning up one pile or an area of the room, it may be time to call in a professional organizer to help you reduce daily friction.
Dusting or wiping down dirt and buildup often leads to residual messes. For example, if you dust off your ceiling fan, you’ll likely end up with a layer of dirt on your freshly cleaned furniture. A must-know house cleaning secret is to work from top to bottom and left to right to avoid re-soiling surfaces you’ve already cleaned. Start by dusting, then wiping down surfaces, and finally, sweeping and mopping.
3. Consider a Cordless Handheld Vacuum
Your trusty broom and upright vacuum can’t get into small crevices, and it’s pretty tiring to tackle these by hand. Enter the cordless handheld vacuum—your new BFF for catching cobwebs and dirt piles your broom can’t reach, especially in high-dust areas like the living room. Since there aren’t any cords to fuss with, you can start busting dust in a jiff. As a bonus, it’s ultra-satisfying to watch all that filth get sucked up like magic.
4. Address Stubborn Stains
The faster you clean a stain, the better chance you’ll get great results. Keep a few helpful stain-fighting items in your pantry or cleaning closet. Popular items include white vinegar, liquid dish soap, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. Before getting a stain out of a couch or cleaning the carpet, check the upholstery labels. These will indicate how to clean the item yourself or whether you should call an upholstery professional or local rug cleaner.
5. Don't Forget the Window Treatments
If you clean your living room from top to bottom, but the room still makes you sneeze, it could be coming from the blinds, shades, and drapes. At least once a month, remove and clean your drapes according to the label. Use a microfiber cloth to get in between Venetian blinds and wipe the dust off the open shade.
6. Clean Glass and Mirrors With Vinegar
While you're giving some love to your window treatments, take a moment for the glass as well. If you only use blue spray and paper towels, you’re not using the most efficient glass-cleaning method. You can clean mirrors and glass with vinegar for a streak-free shine that’s easier to achieve. Pair this with a cotton towel or microfiber cloth to banish those annoying white fuzzies that paper towels leave behind.
From a quick 20-minute bedroom clean to fully replacing all your linens, don't forget to focus on the room that gives you all the energy to clean (and do your other daily tasks) in the first place.
1. Make a Morning Routine
Kickstarting your day with simple tasks can be just as beneficial as setting your bedroom up for a cozy night of sleep. Try not to head out the door without making your bed, folding your laundry, and carrying any water glasses and coffee mugs to the kitchen. Once a week, clean the surfaces of your nightstands and dressers with an all-purpose cleaner as well.
2. Give Clothes a Place to Go
Laundry—clean, dirty, or somewhere in between—is often the biggest culprit of a messy bedroom. When living a busy life, it's not uncommon to end up with a laundry chair that was once a desk chair. The trick is to create a dependable place for clothing to live. Keep your closet organized or your laundry areas tidy by adding a hamper for pre-separated garments. Designate a separate drawer or hanging area for re-wearable items like hoodies, cardigans, and jeans.
3. Freshen the Sheets on a Schedule
Two weeks can sneak by when you're not looking. Add a note on your phone or paper calendar to change your sheet at least every two weeks. Simplify things for yourself even further by timing your sheet day with laundry day so everything can go into the wash at once.
4. Search for Hidden Dust Bunnies
A bedroom has several pieces of large furniture, and with that comes plenty of hiding places for dust bunnies. Once a week, grab a broom and search under the bed for lint, hair, and pet fuzz that drifted out of sight. As you did with the living room, take time to dust the blinds and wash the curtains on the same schedule.
Cleaning the bathroom doesn't have to send you into a spiral—it's even possible to keep your bathroom sparkling clean during busy times. The biggest trick is to complete small bathroom cleaning tasks each day so you’re not stuck with deep cleaning tasks every week.
1. Keep Mildew-Fighting Tools on Hand
Removing and preventing mold in your bathroom doesn't have to feel like a daily showdown. Create as much airflow as possible when showering or taking a bath, and air out the room immediately afterward. Keep a squeegee in the bathroom to wipe down the tiles and clean surfaces, tiles, and grout with a mildew-fighting cleaner at least once a week. Sticking with a schedule will keep you from having to replace your grout prematurely.
2. Swap Out the Linens
Once a week—perhaps when you spray down the tiles—toss your bath mat, fabric shower curtain, and hand towels in the laundry. Soft goods in the bathroom often go overlooked as time passes but can just as easily become covered in hair, germs, and even mildew.
3. Know Your Surfaces
Similar to our house cleaning tip for the kitchen, get to know the unique materials in your bathroom. Cleaning floor tile grout, for example, may require different tools and supplies than cleaning the bathroom sink. And don't forget about the small yet important surfaces as well. Clean off and unclog your shower head if you have low water flow, and clean the mirror with a smear-proof solution.
4. Schedule a Plumbing Checkup
There are many ways to unclog a toilet or perform very basic plumbing tasks on your own, but what about larger issues? Every few years, call in a plumber for a checkup to ensure your pipes, water heater, and fixtures are stable and working properly. A sparkling clean bathroom is all well and good until a pipe bursts, so keep large maintenance on your list as you set your cleaning schedule in stone.
Cleaning Tips to Get You Started
We get it—knowing how to clean your house and finding the drive to do it are two different things. Get into a regular cleaning groove with these simple hacks to eliminate the dread of cleaning, and maybe even help you enjoy it a bit.
1. Focus on One Task at a Time
The last thing you need is to bunny hop from room to room doing small jobs. It will likely take forever before you achieve visible results, plus you’ll use up more mental and physical energy. It’s quicker and less overwhelming to focus on one area of your home at a time, and you’ll achieve those “little victories” that make you want to see the whole project through.
Pro tip: Save the bathroom cleaning for last so you can hop in the shower as soon as you’re done.
2. Find Your Cleaning Rhythm
There’s no one-size-fits-all method to cleaning, so it’s important to focus on what works best for you. Getting a routine down pat will help you breeze from room to room without having to think too hard. Try different methods and routines until you find one that feels right for you.
3. Listen to a Podcast or Audiobook
If you can’t stop thinking about how long the job is taking, try popping on a reading of The Great Gatsby or your favorite true crime podcast. Music might put some spring in your step for the first hour or two, but it won’t carry the same power of distraction. Avoid playing anything with videos, though, as this can distract even the most skilled multitasker.
4. Get the Proper Tools
If you’re relying on heavy amounts of elbow grease, you’re likely using the wrong tools. Instead of trying to scrub soap scum with a paper towel, opt for a stiff-bristled brush that will power through it with ease. Banish dust with clingy microfiber cloths instead of feathers for a complete and allergy-busting clean.
5. Develop a Realistic Deep Cleaning Schedule
Completing your deep-cleaning checklist on day one should be the ultimate goal—but if you’re not a marathon cleaner, don’t try to force it. Bust out a planner, calendar, or notepad and split your cleaning tasks up over a few days. This step will help you stick to your goals and make the whole job feel much less overwhelming.
6. Tackle Clutter First
Before you get down and dirty, start by clearing away the clutter. Excess junk will only get in the way, plus you’ll leave dust and dirt behind if you try to clean around it. To make things easier on yourself, make decluttering your first step. That way, you won’t have to clean anything you don’t plan to keep—and you’ll have an easier time cleaning every nook and cranny.
7. Regularly Clean Your Tools and Swap Your Mop Water
Lint-ridden scrub brushes will only deposit more dirt as they clean. Dirty mop water will leave icky gray streaks behind. There’s also the potential of re-depositing germs and bacteria (especially when cleaning your toilet). Don’t make the job harder than it needs to be—pause regularly for a clean cloth or fresh pail of mop water.
8. Enlist Some Help
If you live with roommates, family, or a partner, ask them to help you with your cleaning tasks. Take charge and assign specific jobs, so everyone knows what to do. If you aren’t able to, or if you’re just plain overwhelmed, a local house cleaning service is on standby to finish the job.