The Ultimate Guide to Household Cleaning: What You Should Be Cleaning When
Our printable checklists will tell you what you should be doing every day, week, month, season—or every once in a while—to keep your home in ship-shape year round.
There's nothing more calm-inducing than stepping into a spotless, tidy home. No matter what happened out in the world or what kind of day you've had, a clean space can be a refuge. Believe it or not, it's possible to always have that Zen feeling with a bit of planning and organization. Our secret weapon: the cleaning checklist. By breaking down housework into manageable tasks sorted by day, week, month, season, and year, you can pretty much put cleaning on autopilot. The best part? Just a few minutes here and there can make a huge difference when it comes to how great your home looks and feels—and it keeps messes at bay so that they don't become bigger headaches down the road.
Take those containers of leftovers you vowed to reinvent but never got around to, for example. It's probably best to do an audit of that back row of your refrigerator and toss them (and any other expired items) each week to prevent overcrowding and keep your fridge running optimally.
Research shows that the easiest habits to keep are the ones that are automatic, like glancing at these checklists. This way, you'll never waste time wondering where to even begin or be caught off guard by a seasonal task that crept up on you. And trust us: Having lists like these make delegation among family members that much easier. Sure, that once-a-year deep clean is a springtime rite of passage that never gets old, but for a more long-tail approach, read on for our printable checklists, which tells you what you should be doing—and when to do it—so you can keep your home in company-ready shape all year round.
Easy Things to Do Every Day
They take minimal time and energy but produce maximum results. For example, by making your bed every morning, you ensure that the focal point of your bedroom is tidy, which makes the entire room feel more orderly. (Plus, it puts you in a good mental state to tackle your day.)
These tasks, like sorting mail or wiping spills as they happen, are about handling messes in the moment, instead of putting them off for later when they become tougher to deal with. Ultimately, you're saving the most valuable resource of all: time.
What to Clean Every Week
Weekly cleaning is the backbone of any housekeeping regimen and the key to keeping order. Our room-by-room guides make the task of cleaning your entire home less daunting. Delegating tasks to each member of the family will get things done faster and easier and ensures that the burden doesn't fall on one person.
As Needed: Clean the Refrigerator
It's one of the hardest-working appliances in your home—and it takes a beating. Think about what your refrigerator puts up with: spills, strange smells, and overcrowding. And unlike your stove or dishwasher, it runs 24/7 without breaks. A clean refrigerator is more hygienic, so do your best to maintain this kitchen workhorse. Follow our daily, weekly and seasonal task list to keep it presentable.
As Needed: Clean the Freezer
Because the freezer contains foods that are generally wrapped or sealed, it's less vulnerable to spills and drips than the refrigerator. But that doesn't mean you can just throw things into a deep freeze and forget about them. Once a month, check labels to see if any food has expired. Once a year, give it a good deep clean.
What to Clean Every Month
A few hours every month dusting shelves and baseboards and wiping down surfaces will keep your household humming—and save you time when it comes to spring cleaning.
What to Clean Every Season
Over time, even the cleanest, most organized home develops pockets of disorder and mess. The change of seasons is a great time to peek into your kitchen cabinets, oven, and fireplace to see what needs attention. Follow this room-by-room guide to get your home sparkling for the season.
This is the Super Bowl of housekeeping. It's time to pull out all the stops (not to mention the sofas), roll up your sleeves, and refresh both home and spirit. While you're at it, perform your annual safety checks on your smoke and CO2 detectors and fire extinguishers.
Prep Your Home for Summer
School's out! And that means it's time to prep your home for warmer weather by swapping out heavy bedding and throws for lighter ones and deep cleaning your outdoor spaces. Get ready for alfresco living (and houseguests) with our room-by-room guide.
Winterize Your Home
When the temperatures dip, it's time to batten down the hatches and bust out the heavy-duty blankets again. Make sure you've thought of everything to make your home warm, cozy and inviting for hygge season.