Read This If Your Momma Never Taught You How To Clean House

Today’s long-ass housekeeping article is about cleaning 101, i.e., what to clean daily, weekly, monthly, sporadically, etc. I got Inspired(?) to do this post because, pre-adulthood (also known as living by yourself), I never cleaned anything. Yes, I was a spoiled child, but that was not my fault. I am a grown-ass woman now, so I need to know how to put my home in order.

So here goes:

Daily House Cleaning Tasks

Keeping a home clean is not just for sanitary or health reasons. Having a clean house leads to having a positive feeling and would lend to a happier and more welcoming home.

Here are the FIVE things you should be doing daily.

1. Make the Bed

First off, make sure that you always make the bed – a task that only takes a few minutes of your time. When you don’t make the bed, it can start a chaotic chain reaction leading to a pile of clothes or a scatter of papers here and there.

2. De-clutter Your Living Space

Make it a rule to pick up any clutter too. Or, rather, get into the habit of picking up any items that are not residing in the proper place.

3. Sort Your Snail Mail

Although people regularly receive a good deal of emails, you still can’t neglect all that snail mail that arrives at your door as well. Therefore, when you return home, again, get into the habit of sorting the mail and filing any junk mail into the trash bin.

4. Clean While You Cook and Pick Up Any Wayward Spills

While you are cooking, make optimum use of your cleaning time. Instead of allowing pots and pans to sit idly in the sink, get into the habit of loading them into the dishwasher while you’re cooking or preparing a meal. That also means wiping up any wayward spills as soon as they appear. Wherever you are in the house, don’t leave a spill sit. Wipe it up immediately.

5. Clean the Floor in the Kitchen

You should also make it a habit to sweep/vacuum every day, especially the floor in the kitchen. If you clean the floor after you clean the dishes in the evening, you’ll keep the tiles or linoleum free from an accumulation of grime and dirt. Cleaning the kitchen floor each day will also make it simpler to mop the floor every week. To make the task easier (which is what I am all about), use an electric broom/wireless vacuum things.

Depending on how messy you are or how many kids you have, these are the cleaning activities that you need to do on a weekly or biweekly basis. When I was living by myself, I needed to do this on a twice-weekly basis. When I started living with my boyfriend, I needed to do this weekly. Am I trying to say something about how messy boys are? Maybe.

Weekly/Biweekly Cleaning Tasks

Daily cleaning tasks should be complemented by a weekly cleaning schedule as well. Follow the chart below to keep your home spic-and-span and always immaculate.

Weekly cleaning of the kitchen should include the following:

  • Wiping and cleaning the countertops and surfaces as well as the sink, outside refrigerator, and the doors of the cabinetry with a gentle cleaning solution.
  • Cleaning the inside of the microwave or oven with a gentle cleaning solution.
  • Pouring boiling hot water down the drain.
  • Cleaning/Disinfecting both the inside and outside of your trash containers.
  • Getting rid of any foods that are no longer good to eat in the fridge/pantry
  • Vacuuming the floor, then mopping it.

In the dining area, make it a practice to dust the furniture, furnishings, and fixtures. Also, vacuum the rugs and floor and any upholstery.

Weekly cleaning of the living room should include the following:

  • Throwing away any magazines or reading material that is outdated and storing the publications you wish to keep.
  • Vacuuming the carpeting or floor.
  • Vacuuming the upholstery
  • Dusting the furniture, furnishings, and fixtures.

If you have shelves of books, then you’ll need to dust the spines and the shelving.

Entryways and stairways should be maintained weekly by:

  • Dusting furnishings and fixtures, including any stairway banisters.
  • Cleaning hallway mirrors.
  • Washing hallway throws or runners in the washer.
  • Vacuuming the foot of the stairs and the steps.
  • Vacuuming the floor or carpeting, followed by mopping the flooring.

The weekly schedule for cleaning each of the bedrooms should include the following:

  • Washing the sheets and pillowcases in the washer.
  • Storing away any periodicals or books that have been left on the nightstand.
  • Dusting the furniture, furnishings, and fixtures.
  • Cleaning trash containers.
  • Vacuuming the carpeting or floor.

In the bathroom, you’ll want to:

  • Disinfect and clean the sink, shower, toilet, and tub.
  • Clean the mirror.
  • Dust the lighting fixtures.
  • Wash the towels, washcloths, and bath mat in the washing machine.
  • Get rid of any trash and clean the inside and outside of your trash can.
  • Vacuum and/or mop the floor.

Complete your weekly cleaning schedule by cleaning the inside windows throughout the house and dusting and vacuuming registers or vents.

Include the Family in Your Weekly Cleaning Routine

I know it sounds like a lot so make your weekly cleaning all the easier by:

  1. Putting on some Beyonce and thinking of it as a part of a workout, and
  2. Getting help- from a said boyfriend or family member.

In fact, choose a day, like Saturday, for your day for weekly cleaning. Reward yourself after you’re done by doing something fun such as getting your nails done (if you did it all by yourself) or watching a great movie together.

Monthly Cleaning Activities – For The Hardcore Neatness Fanatics Out There.

What, there is more? Unfortunately, life’s like that. You give and give and give, and you get nothing back!!. Just kidding. The activities below are what you should do on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.

Honestly, I do the tasks below once every couple of months or every 3 months. It’s really up to you. I don’t have pets or kids, so I could get away with doing it less – it’s all up to your discretion.

  • In the kitchen, make sure that you get rid of any stale food in the freezer and wash the ducts, hoods, filters, and vents connected to your appliances.
  • If you have a fireplace, then don’t forget to make it a monthly ritual to clean the screen.
  • In the bedrooms, wash the mattress pad, shams, and duvet covers in the washer.
  • In the bath, you’ll need to clean out and wash the inside of the medicine cabinet and scrub the grout. You’ll also want to pour a mix of boiling hot water, baking soda, and vinegar down the drains.
  • Closets should be cleaned each month – dust the shelving and vacuum along the baseboards.
  • In the remainder of the house, dust any ceiling fans, clean the switch plates, and wax or clean any masonry, concrete, or wood flooring.

Phase 2 Of Your Domestication/Seasonal Cleaning

Seasonal cleaning, or keeping your house in tip-top shape during the spring, summer, autumn, and winter, should be part of housekeeping as well. Use the following chart to stay current with the routine.

Take care of kitchen maintenance by:

  • Dusting and wiping the kitchen ceiling;
  • Wiping out the inside of your refrigerator;
  • Getting rid of any outdated contents in your cabinets and cleaning the insides;
  • Polishing copper pots or pans;
  • Replacing the baking soda in your refrigerator; and
  • Cleaning the oven.

In the living room, you’ll need to clean the inside of the fireplace if you have one.

Bedroom maintenance includes vacuuming the bed frame and mattress, box springs and washing the pillows in the washing machine.

Also, dust and clean the moldings and baseboards in the remainder of the house.

Spring House Cleaning: An Annual as Well as Seasonal Event

Of course, spring cleaning is the one part of the year that you’ll want to make sure that you really concentrate on your seasonal housekeeping efforts. Follow the checklist below to ensure that you leave no proverbial stone unturned.

  • Go through the house and thoroughly clean and vacuum both the ceilings and walls.
  • Have the carpeting and rugs shampooed, or shampoo them yourself.
  • Use steam cleaning on the upholstery.
  • Take care of any resealing throughout the house, including stone surfaces or grout.
  • Wash window treatments in the washer.
  • Dust, rotate and re-shelve books.
  • Make sure the door and window hinges are well-oiled.
  • Wax furnishings made of wood.
  • Wash the inside and outside of windows, including their screens.
  • Dust any radiators.

In the area where you keep your washer and dryer, remove and clean the lint from the dryer hose and vent.

Outside the home:

  • Thoroughly scrub the porch and walk, as well as patios and outdoor furniture.
  • Clean out the gutters.

Closets in the home should be reorganized, and any ancillary clothes or items should be given to charity. Store cold weather clothes away. Also, get rid of any cosmetics, beauty treatments, and medicines that are no longer good. If you have a home office, then spring cleaning is a good time to clean and reorganize your files and inventory the items in your home for insurance purposes.

No way am I going to do all that cleaning. The truth is, what I wrote is just a guideline. You don’t have to if you think that your wall/ceiling/pantry/whatever looks fine and dandy. My purpose is to cover areas that should be looked at. If you go over the list and you think that all’s well in your casa, great.

The Cleaning Coach is a nationally-recognized green homekeeping expert dedicated to educating people on keeping their homes, schools and work areas GREEN.