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In what order should you clean your house?

Save time (and energy) with our step-by-step guide to the optimum order in which to clean your house.

Updated

blue spray bottle and green cleaning cloth on the white kitchen countertop

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you need to clean your house in one go, particularly if you start with a lengthy cleaning schedule checklist. Just the thought of meticulously going through every room can be enough to demotivate you – or, worse, make you put the task off altogether.

But you can make your cleaning routine efficient and effective if you do it in the correct order – we promise. Discover how to clean your house top to bottom with this step-by-step house-cleaning schedule.

1. How to start cleaning your house: tidy first

Before getting down and dirty, you need to make sure your house is in a relatively tidy state. That doesn’t mean going full Marie Kondo and decluttering everything to a tee: you just need to tidy away anything out of place, like those kids’ toys in the living room or the spilt contents of your makeup bag in the bathroom.

It’s best to get this done first, so when you tackle individual rooms you’re not starting with a big sigh of frustration because you still need to tidy.

How concerned are you about disinfecting while cleaning?

box with colorful clothes folded under the bed

2. Spray, load, switch on

If you’re cleaning your oven, need to leave bleach in the toilet bowl or have a particularly grimy kitchen surface after last night’s dinner party carnage, you’ll probably be applying the relevant cleaning product and then leaving it for a while – so you may as well start with this so it can get to work as you clean other areas. Just make sure you don’t leave it on for longer than specified on the bottle or recommended for the type of surface.

The same principle applies to using your washing machine and dishwasher – put in your loads and switch them on, so they will be closer to finishing once you’ve done the rest of the house.

blue and red plastic cups in the dishwasher

3. Tackle the most difficult room

We recommend getting the most difficult or least enjoyable room out of the way first. It’s best to do this while you have the energy and (hopefully!) the motivation to complete the task ahead effectively – why not listen to these top cleaning tracks to really get you in the mood?

More often than not, the worst room is the bathroom because there’s so much to do: the toilet, shower and bath all need going over as well as any little fixtures that need a scrub. Don’t make the mistake of leaving the bathroom until last when you might be too tired to do it properly.

Next, cleaning the kitchen is likely to be your second-least favourite task. Make sure you do your surfaces and hobs properly and clean the sink as well as at least the outside of your microwave and fridge. You can leave the kitchen and bathroom floors until later.

green and yellow cleaning cloths over white bathroom sink

4. Dust and organise

Dusting is often an afterthought when cleaning your house, but it’s important that it’s done early on. Why? When you dust, some of it will inevitably end up on the floor – which doesn’t make great sense if you’ve just cleaned it.

Use a handheld vacuum cleaner to tackle any particularly dusty areas, a classic feather duster for those cobwebs and a dust cloth for polishing surfaces and mirrors.

While you’re cleaning well-used surfaces, you may as well do a little reorganising, too. Move those magazines off the coffee table and pop them in a rack, and make that mantelpiece look neat and tidy.

silver spray can, yellow cleaning cloth and wooden board over white kitchen countertop

5. Mop and vacuum

Now’s the time to put the Hoover round and mop those floors. Make sure you vacuum floors as well as the carpets, so the bigger bits of dirt have been removed and your mopping can be more effective. When you mop, use a floor-cleaning solution like Cif in half a bucket of hot water to ensure you kill any nasty germs.

And you’re done! If you’re motivated to do even more, you could next think about giving your home a detox.

vacuum cleaner running over light blue carpet

Originally published