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Essential Cleaning Task List

Jon Fesmire | June 16, 2020 @ 12:00 AM

Essential Cleaning Task List

Cleaning an entire home can feel pretty overwhelming. One thing that can help with this and other big tasks is to have a helpful to-do list. As you check things off, even even if you don’t see a lot of improvement, you’ll know that you’re making progress.

Businesses have been using cleaning procedures for decades or more. These keep employees safe and make sure everything is done right, so why not adopt this idea for home use? Maids use lists like these, and they can work for you, too.


The Living Room

  1. Put items setting on the floor, tables, and furniture where they go.
  2. Check under the couch, between the cushions, and in and under chairs for items as well.


The Bathroom

  1. Open the window to get fresh air while you clean and to air out the room.
  2. Put items where they go, whether they belong in the bathroom or elsewhere.
  3. Put the bath mat in the shower.
  4. Place the bath mat in the shower.
  5. Take out the trash.
  6. Remove soap, shampoo, and other items from the tub and shower.
  7. Sweep the floor.
  8. Wet the tub and shower and spray tile cleaner on the porcelain. Let this sit.
  9. With a general-purpose bathroom cleaner, wipe down the counters and cabinets.
  10. With a glass cleaner, wipe down the mirrors and windows.
  11. Fill your mop bucket with water and ¼ cup of your general-purpose cleaner. Set this aside.
  12. In the shower, stand on the mat and scrub the walls, soap dishes, and shower rack with a rough sponge.
  13. Rinse the shower and tub and dry with fluffy cloth.
  14. Spray tile cleaner in the sink and scrub it with a rough sponge.
  15. Rinse the sink and dry it with a fluffy towel.
  16. Mop the floor with the water in the mop bucket.
  17. Dump the mop water down the tub, rinse the tub, and fill the mop bucket with the same solution as before. Bring this and the mop to the kitchen. Set aside.


The Kitchen

  1. Put items where they go, whether they belong in the kitchen or elsewhere.
  2. Wash the dishes. If you have a dishwasher, rinse the dishes and put them in the dishwasher.
  3. Sweep the floor.
  4. Remove pans from the stove and soak them in warm water in the sink, with a few drops of dish soap.
  5. Dry and put away the dishes.
  6. With a general-purpose cleaner, wipe down kitchen surfaces, including counters, appliances, the stovetop, and inside the microwave.
  7. Wash the pans in the sink. Put them in the dish rack.
  8. Spray tile cleaner in the sink and scrub it with a rough sponge. Clean around the sink as well.
  9. Mop the floor.


The Bedrooms

  1. Make the beds.
  2. Put away things left around the room, on the dressers, floor, nightstand, and chairs.
  3. Organize items that are out of place and things you brought in from the living room.
  4. Fold laundry and put it away.



  1. Starting with the living room and bedrooms, dust with microfiber dusting cloths, or Swiffer products.
  2. Wipe down dusty window sills, the top of window frames, the top of doors, picture frames, light fixtures, tables, and shelves.
  3. Close and wipe down blinds on both sides.
  4. Wipe down screens and monitors with glass cleaner and microfiber cloths.
  5. After the mopped floors are dry in the kitchen and bathroom, dust those rooms.
  6. Put the bath mat back on the bathroom floor.
  7. Dry out the mop, dump the mop bucket into the tub or shower, and put the mop and bucket away.



  1. Vacuum carpeted areas, including the living room, bedrooms, and hallways.
  2. Vacuum off upholstered furniture. This includes cushions. Your vacuum cleaner should have attachments that make this easier.


Windows and Screens

  1. Use glass cleaner to wipe down your windows. Newsprint paper works best for this if you have it. Actual newspaper pages can work as well but may leave ink streaks.
  2. Carefully remove window screens and scrub them outside with a bristle brush. Rinse with hose water, then put them in their frames to dry.


Depending on how disorganized your home is, the initial cleaning may take from a day to a week. No judgment here! Once all this is done, you can repeat this daily and it should take no longer than a half-hour or so, depending on the size of your home and how many people live there, to keep it in order. Of course, if you live with roommates or your family, we encourage you to get everyone involved and to post this list somewhere convenient.


Storing Random Household Items

Once you've knocked out the cleaning, there’s a good chance you’ve realized that some of your most prized possessions have been collecting dust. They're not being used and don't have a place to be stored properly. That's a problem. Old dressers, ottomans, nightstands, chairs, and more quickly find their way around the house and end up in odd corners with no functional use. Now’s the perfect time to start looking for an affordable storage unit that can help keep those items in a safe spot until you’re ready to use them again once you've got the space to do so. 

Jon Fesmire
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