Housecleaning Checklist

How much do you hate housecleaning? To be fair, it’s no sane person’s idea of a fun time. (Frankly, very little about home maintenance seems fun to me — especially gardening. I do not understand gardening. Sitting in the hot sun, digging holes, pulling weeds, sweaty, dirty, killing your back and knees — where’s the attraction in that?? Sorry — I digress!) But you don’t have to give up every weekend to a vacuum and brillo pad — as long as you have a regular routine for staying on top of messes before they take over.

My Sword Is A Toilet Brush

Checkmark-Iconrubber gloves, dust mask, knee pads, possibly an apron and hairnet

Xmark-Iconvacuum cleaner and sponge mop

Checkmark-Iconfeather duster and dust cloths

Checkmark-Iconsponges, rags, and paper towels

Xmark-Icontoilet brush and cleaner

Checkmark-Iconplastic bucket

Xmark-Iconfurniture polish and floor wax

Checkmark-Iconglass cleaner, all-purpose disinfectant, and bleach

Xmark-Iconuse your bucket to carry cleaning supplies from room to room

An Ounce Of Prevention

Checkmark-Iconput things away as soon as you’re done with them to avoid double work later on

Xmark-Iconwhen leaving a room, look around for anything that doesn’t belong there

Checkmark-Iconas you go, pick up misplaced or homeless items — take them with you to put away

Xmark-Icondeposit dirty dishes directly into the dishwasher — instead of piling them in the sink

Checkmark-Iconempty the dishwasher as soon as it’s finished running — so you can start over again

Xmark-Iconclean as you go while cooking — washing bowls/pots/pans/utensils as you use them

Checkmark-Iconstraighten the shower curtain after each use — to avoid mold/mildew

Xmark-Iconsqueegee your shower/tub walls after each bath — to keep soap scum at bay

Checkmark-Iconwipe down the sink, counter, or tub after you use them — while everything is still wet

Xmark-Iconsponge up spills and messes right when they happen — before those splatters dry

Checkmark-Iconkeep automatic toilet bowl disinfectant in your tank to reduce scrubbing

Ye Olde Quick Cleanse

Xmark-Icongather up any trash and throw it out

Checkmark-Icontake a basket through the house — picking up whatever random clutter you find

Xmark-Iconstash your  basket out of site — then schedule time to put everything away later

Checkmark-Iconwipe up any obvious smudges/smears on furniture, counters, and mirrors

Xmark-Iconpour some cleaner in each toilet bowl and do a quick run with the brush

Checkmark-Iconvacuum only high-traffic areas — don’t worry about moving furniture

Xmark-Iconuse a dust mop on non-carpeted floors — then wipe down with a damp towel

Checkmark-Icontidy up stacks of magazines and knicknacks on shelves

Xmark-Iconstraighten couch pillows and slipcovers

Checkmark-Iconburn some scented candles or a stick of incense to freshen the air

Xmark-Iconclose the doors to any rooms your guests won’t see

Giving Things A Good Weekly Once-Over

Xmark-Icondust first before tackling the floors — use a microfiber rag if you have allergies

Checkmark-Iconthen sweep any areas without carpeting

Xmark-Iconvacuum next — starting with the upper levels and working your way downstairs

Checkmark-Iconafter vacuuming, mop those floors that need a little extra attention

Xmark-Iconrun through the bathroom — swabbing the toilet, disinfecting the shower/sink/counter

Checkmark-Iconfinally, give the kitchen a wipe-down — horizontal surfaces, stove-top, and sink

Deep Cleaning Isn’t Just For Spring

Xmark-Iconwash windows inside and out — then scrub dirt/pollen/schmutz off screens

Checkmark-Iconclean window coverings and shower curtain

Xmark-Iconremove any scuffs/marks from walls, door frames, window sills, and baseboards

Checkmark-Iconshampoo carpets — wax and/or seal floors made of wood and tile

Xmark-Iconhave furniture cleaned and sprayed with protectant

Checkmark-Iconthoroughly de-grime oven, burners, and stove-top

Xmark-Iconclean accumulated gunk from under and behind large appliances

Checkmark-Iconsponge cabinets, inside and out (focusing especially on sticky spots)

Xmark-Iconswab racks/shelves/bins inside refrigerator — defrost and wipe down freezer

Checkmark-Icondeclutter closets, cabinets, and other storage areas

Out Damned Spot — Out I Say!

Checkmark-Iconchocolate/coffee — blot with a 50/50 vinegar and water mixture

Xmark-Iconblood — sprinkle with meat tenderizer and cool water

Checkmark-Iconred wine — blot with club soda then sprinkle with salt

Xmark-Icongrass/plant stains — blot with slightly diluted hydrogen peroxide

Checkmark-Iconwax — cover with paper towel and warm with an iron

Xmark-Icongrease — absorb with corn starch

Checkmark-Icongum — freeze with an ice cube and break from fabric

Xmark-Iconink — spray with hairspray then sprinkle with salt

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Copyright 2010

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    Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and

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