Feeling like you can clean all day and your house still looks dirty? Or maybe you need to prepare for guests soon and you want your home to look magnificent when they arrive. Setting aside a day to focus solely on cleaning your entire home from top to bottom can make a world of difference in your day-to-day cleaning maintenance, but where do you start? Sane Momma is here to help! My over-organizing skills are best put to use in situations such as these. Read on to follow my 10 Steps to Deep Clean Your Home and don’t forget to pick up your free checklist at the end!
10 Steps to Deep Clean Your Home
Before you get started, I do want to point out that I highly recommend removing all distractions from your home (i.e. spouse, kids, and pets) before attempting this. This guide is meant to make things easier but, honestly, even with my one kid and no pets, I don’t think I could accomplish this in one day without having the house to myself. If you absolutely cannot remove distractions, I would say it’s best to split up the steps into a few days.
Step 1. Get Organized
Before you get started, take a few minutes to break down your process. Think about what areas need the most cleaning. Are there items that need to be soaked? Are there tasks that make more sense grouped together?
Here’s an example of the bullet points I came up with for my home:
- Soak tough to clean kitchen items (drip pans, toaster oven inserts, etc.)
- Soak the tub floor with bleach water
- Soak the floor vent covers
Combination tasks: (tasks completed for entire house at one time and not each room individually)
- Ceilings and Walls
- Windows and Doors
Step 2. Get The Soakers and Laundry Going
First things first, gather all the items you listed on your soakers list and get them soaking. Then, sort all of your laundry and linens. Personally, I would save laundering my clothing for another day and just stick to linens for today. For me, this includes all towels, table linens, bedding, and a couple of throws I have placed throughout the house.
Take a moment to think about the order in which you should wash items. I like to start with the bedding, so that I can make the bed as soon as possible. If I forget about laundry later in the day at least we will be able to go to sleep that night. If you have spare bedding, feel free to save this laundry load for another day. Next, I usually wash the table linens so that I can get them back on the table before dinner. The absolute last thing I wash is towels. This is because I like to use microfiber cloths when I clean so I know I will be creating more laundry as I clean the house. If I can get all of my cleaning done before it is time to wash the towels, I can throw my cleaning cloths in that last load.
Step 3. Start at the Top
Think about how each cleaning task will affect the other tasks before you start. If you clean the entire kitchen and then you clean the ceiling light fixture, you will likely end up with dust all over your clean counters. This is why it is always a good rule to start at the top.
Grab a Swiffer and go over your ceilings. Follow up with a damp cloth (which you can also attach to your Swiffer!) Then move on to the ceiling fixtures. Dust and clean each one. If you have ceiling fans, now is the time to get those babies cleaned up too.
Next, you will want to tackle the walls (using the same methods you used to clean the ceiling), followed by the doors, windows and all trim (including baseboards). Make sure to get every nook and cranny. For the smaller areas, I like to use a microfiber cloth – it’s much more effective than paper towels (and less wasteful!)
The following areas tend to be forgotten in the day-to-day cleaning: Doorknobs, dusting the top of the doors, window tracks, window screens, and any locks or handles associated with doors and windows.
Tip: Run a dryer sheet over baseboards once they are clean and dry to prevent dust build up.
Step 4. The Tough Stuff
In my home, the toughest room to clean is by far the kitchen. In fact, I created an entire post dedicated to this process. Read my 5 Steps to Deep Clean Your Kitchen post for more details on exactly how I tackle this room. If you are following this guide, you have already completed step 1 and most of step 2 so you’re moving right along! That’s the best part about combining certain tasks. By this point you have already come so close to completing each room that it doesn’t seem so daunting.
The second most challenging room to clean in most homes is the bathroom. Surprise, surprise, I have a post about this too! Read my 5 Steps to Deep Clean Your Bathroom post for all the tips and tricks. Again, you will have already completed step 1 and most of step 2 for this room.
A Quick note about the kitchen and bathroom checklists: Save the floor cleaning for later if you are following this post. We’ll be getting to that in Step 8.
Once you have the kitchen and bathroom done, the rest of the house should be a piece of cake! The hardest part is over!
Step 5. Declutter
Ok, don’t panic. I am not suggesting that you go through and declutter your entire home. Do you have a closet that is stacked to the top with old clothes and toys? Now is not the time to address it. Perhaps there will be another post in the future on that project.
For now, when I say decluttering, I am referring to the open areas of your home. Pick up all the kids toys and put them in their designated spots. Make sure all dirty clothes are in the hamper. If you didn’t already bring all of your dirty dishes to the kitchen in step 4, now is the time to do so. Basically, you want to remove any clutter that will get in the way of the remaining cleaning you need to get done.
Step 6. Get Out That Duster
The next task is dusting. I used to always avoid dusting and thought it was a pain, until I discovered the Swiffer 360 dusters. These things are a lifesaver. You already dusted the ceilings, ceiling fixtures and the walls in step 2, so all you need to do at this point is go around from room to room and dust every surface you can find. Even if you know you will be cleaning the surface later with wet cleaner, dusting first is absolutely worth it. This should honestly take you 5 minutes or so, unless you live in a mansion, in which case I am assuming you don’t do your own dusting. (I certainly wouldn’t!)
In Step 4, you should have already emptied out the cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom and cleaned them, so you shouldn’t need to dust these areas; however, if you have any cabinets or shelving in other rooms, now is the time to remove the items, dust them (and the items that go on/in them) and return all items.
Note: As you go along, you will likely find some areas that need extra cleaning that you did not account for in Step 1. Unless the task can be lumped in with another task later in your day, I would just get it taken care of right then and there, providing it won’t take up a huge chunk of your time. If it’s too big a task, you may want to get everything else done first and make that tasks a separate priority either at the end or on another day.
Step 7. Furniture
In Step 6 you dusted all the furniture. So what does step 7 mean? It means that you still need to clean the soft surface items such as your mattress(es) and couch(es). Obviously this depends on the specific furniture you have and the material it is made of but in general, this step is to remind you to take care of those items in whatever way they need. Flip your mattress, work out those stains on your couch. I usually take this time to clean out to couch cushions and wipe down the cup holders in the center console of our dual recliners. You should also wipe down any surfaces that need more than a dusting, such as the end tables or the coffee table.
Step 8: Floors
You’re almost done! Time to get those floors sparkling. I️ like to clean my hard floors in three steps – partly because I️ just can’t stand when I️ feel like I’m mopping and just pushing wet dirt around. First I️ run a vacuüm over the floor to pick up any larger debris. Then I️ use a standard Swiffer to grab all the remaining dust. Finally, I use a mop or Swiffer Wet Jet to finish the job. If you’re floors are in need of some tlc you may want to opt for a traditional mop and bucket, but for the average floor the wet jet will do the job. Don’t forget to pull out your appliances and furniture and clean the baseboards and floors behind them as well.
If you have floor vents like I do, take the time to vacuüm them when you are vacuuming the floors. Mopping over them should also help shine them up a bit. If the vent covers are looking pretty rough, you might want to soak them a bit in step 2 and then wipe them down by hand before returning them to their designated vent.
Step 9. Outside
If you don’t want to include outside cleaning to your list, you can go ahead and skip this step. In my current home, I don’t have much outdoor space to worry about so it makes sense to do these at the same time. However, I would not recommend doing any landscape maintenance at this time. This step is still focused around the house itself. Think about the areas actually connected to the home. For example, I usually sweep the porch(es) and spray them down if needed. I also make sure that the areas of entry look nice by cleaning the mat(s) and exterior of the door(s) if needed. If you have any outdoor furniture, go ahead and wipe that down too.
Step 10. Finishing Touches
Ah, my favorite part. This is where all the hard work pays off and you can really pay attention to the last-minute details. Here are the tasks that I like to include in step 10.
Make a sweep of the house looking for any refills you didn’t catch while you were cleaning. Soap dispensers in the bathroom and kitchen, toilet paper, paper towels, and a fresh sponge for the sink are the ones I usually need to address.
Make Up the Linens (take your time and enjoy making things look perfect)
Make the beds, hang up the clean towels, and set the table with the fresh linens.
Now that your home is clean, what better time to decorate? Get out whatever decorations coincide with the current or upcoming season and put them out.
If you have a guest room, make sure it is ready for guests if they were to arrive tomorrow. Are there empty hangers in the closet? Space in the chest of drawers? If you really want to make them feel at home, set out a basket of toiletries and put some mints on those pillows!
Once you have a spotless home, you don’t want to let it all go to waste. Doing your best to maintain your home in between deep cleanings will not only keep things looking nice longer, but will make your next deep cleaning day easier. Here are some helpful tips for maintenance.
- Wipe down surfaces (countertops, tables, etc.)
- Spot clean messes as they happen
- Keep up on the dishes
- Tidy up the clutter (toys in the toy chest, dirty clothes in the hamper, trash in the trash can, etc.)
- Laundry and linens
- Dust entire home
- vacuum and mop (or Swiffer Wet Jet) the floors
- Clean out the refrigerator and pantry (I usually do this the same day I am going to the grocery store)
- Wipe down the shower/tub
Follow this guide to deep clean your home every 3-6 months and you’ll always be ready for guests!