The Ultimate Cleaning Checklist

Which ones can you assign to your kids?

Let's face it: Very few people actually like cleaning. Sure, we like a clean house, but who wouldn't happily shun scrubbing a toilet or vacuuming the stairs (though there are plenty of models of vacuums to tackle that easily) to hang out with friends or disappear into a good book? There's a reason why robot vacuums were invented. You can even level up your hands-free game with a self-emptying vacuum. For everything else, there are ways to make cleaning less of a chore—even tackling the inside of your oven. By setting household jobs on a regular schedule—put your washer and dryer set to good use—you can keep your home clean without spending all your time with a sponge.

This cleaning checklist includes all of the essential chores to address (and yes, some involve using a vacuum cleaner), according to the pros. Follow the house cleaning schedule loosely or to a T—either way, you’ll be pleased with the progress and you'll enjoy a cleaner home every day.

Daily Cleaning Tasks

  • Make your bed
  • Wipe down bathroom counters after getting washed up morning and night
  • Empty/load the dishwasher
  • Take out kitchen trash (you can skip a day to two if it's not full and doesn't contain food waste)
  • Do a nighttime sweep to put toys, loose papers, and other stray objects in their place
  • Wipe down kitchen counters, table, and sink

Weekly Cleaning Tasks

  • Dust all hard surfaces
  • Vacuum and/or mop floors
  • Wipe down appliances
  • Wipe down and disinfect countertops
  • Wipe down mirrors
  • Scrub and disinfect the kitchen sink
  • Scrub and disinfect toilets
  • Clean and scrub showers and tubs
  • Change and launder sheets and towels
  • Toss any food that has expired
The Ultimate Cleaning Checklist and House Cleaning Schedule
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Monthly Cleaning Tasks

  • Vacuum upholstery
  • Wipe out and disinfect wastebaskets
  • Wipe down and disinfect doorknobs, light switches, and TV remotes
  • Dust ceiling fans and vents
  • Dust moldings
  • Scrub stovetop, including burner grates
  • Wipe down kitchen cabinets
  • Clean and deodorize the microwave (heat a mug of water with a lemon wedge, then wipe down)

Tasks to Do Every Three to Six Months

  • Launder or hand-wash curtains
  • Vacuum mattress (every three months) and flip or rotate 180 degrees (every six months)
  • Clean and condition leather and wood furniture
  • Clean blinds
  • Vacuum drapes and fabric shades
  • Dust lampshades
  • Wipe down baseboards
  • Shake out rugs
  • Scrub grout
  • Wash windows inside and out
  • Clean and degrease the stove hood
  • Polish stainless steel appliances
  • Clean refrigerator and freezer interiors
  • Clean and descale coffee maker

Tasks to Do Every Six to 12 Months

Annual Cleaning Tasks

  • Have rugs professionally cleaned
  • Pull out large appliances and furniture to clean behind and underneath
  • Wipe down walls
  • Wash window screens
  • Clean dryer duct
  • Have upholstery and drapes professionally cleaned (every two years)
  • Have gutters professionally cleaned
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