Introduction:

Did you know that just one bacteria cell can multiply to 8 million in just 24 hours? Heaven forbid they should be left to spread for an entire week! Well, that's where this checklist comes in.

By completing this House Cleaning Checklist at the end of every week (we promise it won't take long) you can keep your home looking tidy and sparkling clean. Pay special attention if you're living in rented accommodation, as without this weekly clean your precious deposit (which could be anything up to two months of rent) could disappear in cleaner's bills before you can say "steam cleaning".

We also have articles on the best real estate apps and several other free real estate checklists for you to check out.

It's time to tackle the constant war that is cleaning!

General:

Record basic details

First up, you should jot down some basic details such as the address of the house being cleaned, the owner of the house and the date of the clean.

Tidy up clutter

Now let's go through the basics - first, you need to tidy up the general clutter in every room. This will take a while, yes, but it's one of the most dramatic ways to quickly boost the appearance of the whole house.

For rooms in general, consider:

  • 1
    Rubbish to be thrown away
  • 2
    Clothes, towels or bath mats to wash and put away
  • 3
    Books and magazines to sort and store
  • 4
    Paperwork (bills, letters, etc) to either throw away or file

Roughly once a month it is also worth sorting through your storage spaces (closets, cabinets, etc.) and throwing away any unwanted items.

Dust everything

No homeowner enjoys a layer of gray fuzz over their possessions, and so next it's time to tackle the dust in every room. This can be done with either a feather duster, microfiber cloth or (for more serious dust) a damp sponge.

Remember to check for dust and cobwebs on:

  • 1
    Ceiling fixtures and in corners
  • 2
    Blinds
  • 3
    Ledges or shelves
  • 4
    Skirting boards
  • 5
    Window frames
  • 6
    Window sills
  • 7
    Above cupboards
  • 8
    Picture rails
  • 9
    Doors

Wash inside windows

The same theory must now be applied to the inside windows. For the inside you will need even less equipment; only a clean cloth, some glass cleaning fluid (or warm, soapy water) and a clean microfiber cloth.

Clean the window by applying the fluid or solution, then wipe it off with the clean cloth. Any stubborn water marks left over can be buffed away with the microfiber cloth.

Neaten up furniture

All furniture (chairs, sofas, etc.) need to be given a quick once-over at this stage. Straighten up any pillows or cushions and check under seats for personal items or rubbish. Vacuum the furniture if necessary.

Tidy up after pets

True, this should be done as-and-when needed rather than weekly, however, take this opportunity to clean up after any pets whilst doing the rest of the house.

Remember to clean:

  • 1
    Food and water bowls
  • 2
    Litter trays
  • 3
    The bottom of cages

These items can simply be emptied of their contents, washed with warm, soapy water, dried and then replaced. Fish tanks / water can be taken care of without removing the fish; simply scrub any algae off the glass, remove 10-15% of the water with a siphon whilst cleaning the gravel with it then top off the tank with distilled water.

If unsure of your pet's specific requirements, double check before cleaning their equipment or habitat.

Blitz garbage bins

Whether you only have one bin inside the house or several scattered around offices and such, you need to empty all of them. Transfer rubbish from bins into bin liners and put them into the outside garbage cans.

If bins from rooms such as the kitchen or bathroom contain residue, rinse them out with warm, soapy water and spray with all-purpose disinfectant. Leave for a couple of minutes and then wipe away, replacing the bins into their respective rooms.

Wipe away any visible marks

Next, you need to clean any visible marks from the walls and doors.

Use a mild solution of warm water and colorless dish soap and apply with a cloth or sponge (wringing out excess water before applying).

One all marks are removed go over all areas again with warm water and pat dry with a towel.

The majority of the cleaning is done! Time to focus on specific rooms.

Kitchen:

Take care of any washing up

Starting off the specific rooms in our house cleaning checklist, any remaining washing up in the kitchen needs to be taken care of. Rinse off all items to remove the majority of food waste before putting them in the dishwasher.

Alternatively, if the property does not contain a dishwasher, fill the sink with warm, soapy water and use a sponge to wash all dirty items. Wash in order of how dirty the items are - cleanest item first, dirtiest last - to make the water last for as many items as possible. Replace the warm soapy water if needed.

Once complete, dry all items with a clean towel and put away.

Clean the countertops

Kitchens are often the scene of spills, so now it is time to ensure that all countertops are fit to handle fresh produce. Because this is simply a weekly (as opposed to deep) clean, wipe all types of top down with warm, soapy water and proceed to spray with multipurpose disinfectant. Leave for a minute or so to work through, then wipe away.

This method can also be applied to the faces of any cabinets or drawers in the kitchen.

Sort through the refrigerator

Every week you need to look through the items in your refrigerator. All food that has gone out of date should be thrown away.

If food residue is present on the internal shelves, remove all food and clean with warm, soapy water. Dry off the shelves before replacing the refigerator's contents.

Wipe off the stove

A focal point of almost any cooking, stove tops should generally be wiped immediately after use. To be thorough, however, it is worth ensuring their cleanliness during the weekly clean.

Wipe the stove with warm, soapy water and a sponge (taking care of the separate components on a gas stove in the same manner), spray with disinfectant and leave for a minute or two. Wipe away the disinfectant once it has had a chance to do its job.

Make appliances sparkle

Ovens, microwaves and all other appliances now need to be dealt with, albeit once again not to deep cleaning standards.

As with most other items on this list, the faces of ovens, microwaves and the like should be cleaned with warm, soapy water and disinfected (remember to leave it for a minute before removing). Microwave interiors are also worth quickly blitzing with the same formula.

Deal with the sink

The final step of the kitchen, the sink now requires your attention. Use the same soapy water and disinfectant combination to clean all sink exterior aspects.

Drains should also be maintained regularly by simply pouring a pint of boiling water down them. If they are blocked, either use drain unblocker or 1/2 a cup of a baking soda, salt and cream of tartar solution (1:1:1/4). Follow this with a quart of boiling water.

Bedroom(s):

Make the beds

Simple, yet effective in achieving that clean house feel, now you need to make the beds. Ensure that all mattress covers are applied correctly and shake duvets before laying them evenly across the bed. The top layer of pillows can be placed on top of the duvet for an aesthetic touch, whilst any further pillows should be placed underneath them, below the duvet.

Every other week you need to remember to wash bed sheets, pillow cases and mattress coverings in the washing machine.

Put away clothes

Although already stated in "General", putting clothes away is especially vital for this room, as it is the most likely to run afoul of forgotten socks on the floor after a day's work.

Once again, pack all clothes away into your storage spaces whilst ensuring that said cupboards or drawers are not fit to burst.

Bathroom(s):

Clean any mirrors

To start off the bathroom you need to take care of any mirrors. If cleaned incorrectly you can be left with unsightly marks over the surface, so take care and be sure to use only clean microfiber cloths.

If in decent shape already all you need to do is apply warm water with one cloth and then buff dry with another. If water alone will not do the trick, apply either a warm, soapy water solution or some general glass cleaner before proceeding with the warm water and buffing.

Scrub the smaller bathroom fixtures

For sink cleaning methods refer to the Kitchen section, but to briefly summarize, use warm, soapy water and a sponge to remove grime and then dry with a towel.

Rubber gloves should be worn when cleaning the toilet. The exterior should be cleaned with warm, soapy water and dried. The toilet bowl can be cleaned by applying either bleach (if so, ensure the room is well ventilated) or Coca-Cola around the underneath of the rim. Once applied, scrub the coated interior with a toilet brush, removing all marks in the bowl and under the rim.

Then let the cleaner sit for 15 minutes. Whilst this is happening, spray the outside and rim of the toilet with disinfectant from top to bottom and leave for 5 minutes. Then wipe away with a clean sponge, washing it out in warm water as you go.

Finally, scrub the interior one more time with the toilet brush and flush.

Blitz the bathing fixtures

Although tiles have already been covered, it's time to move on to the shower and bath themselves. First off, remove the shower head and tie it inside a sandwich bag 1/4 full of white vinegar. Leave it to soak for 15 minutes, then rinse off, dry and replace. Use a toothpick to get into the crevices in the shower hose and controlling unit (E.G.: the plastic casing or taps).

Baths are to be cleaned with a half-water, half-white vinegar solution sprayed over the entire surface. Leave it to stand for 15 minutes, then wipe away with a sponge, rinse with water and wipe again with a clean cloth. If tougher stains are present apply baking soda before spraying with the vinegar solution, leave for a few minutes and then scrub until a paste forms. Then carry on with the previous method by leaving it for 15 minutes.

Take care of shower screens

There's no use in cleaning the bath and shower if the screen is left dirty; it is time to right this potential wrong. Shower screens can be quickly cleaned with a dedicated bathroom cleaner and a clean sponge. As with disinfectant, the bathroom cleaner needs to sit for a couple of minutes to work properly.

Once the wait is over rinse the screen and wipe it down with a squeegee. Water marks can be buffed away with a microfiber cloth and white vinegar in water solution.

Deal with the toilet

One of the most unpleasant jobs saved for the end, all toilets need to be cleaned weekly. Spray the toilet seat and rim with all-purpose cleaner and leave for a few minutes. Then wipe down the seat and rim (in that order) with a cloth and scrub the bowl with a toilet brush.

Exterior:

Wash outside windows

You may have a sparkling clean home, but you need to make sure that your windows are up to the same standards to see the fruits of your labours. True, you have the option of hiring a professional window cleaner, but for how little time and effort it takes to do them yourself, it's more of a personal preference than money well spent.

When washing your own windows, you will need:

  • 1
    A scrubber
  • 2
    A squeegee
  • 3
    A bucket
  • 4
    Dishwashing liquid
  • 5
    Hot water
  • 6
    A microfiber rag

Mix up a bucket of warm, soapy water and apply to the outside window with the scrubber. Eliminate any streaks by running the squeegee over the top of the window first, then going down the glass in a continuous "S" motion. Once the entire pane has been wiped use the rag to wipe off any suds.

Here's a handy video from ABC Window Cleaning Supply on the best way to wash a window without leaving streaks

Tidy the garden

The final step to weekly cleaning, you now need to sort out the exterior of your house. Mow the grass, neaten up and deal with any tools, rubbish or mess from pets and weed if any are present. Sweep debris off any pathways, decking or patios and quickly wipe down any outside furniture.

Finishing touches:

Clean the floors

Another huge aspect of any self-respecting house cleaning checklist, the floors need to be taken care of in every room. No matter the material, all floors must first be vacuumed, with furniture being moved to get at the entire surface.

Uncarpeted floors should then be mopped with a warm, soapy solution and left to dry. Bear in mind that wooden floors may require the use of a specific cleaning agent to avoid damage. Another easy way to make wooden floors last longer is to wring out the mop before applying it.

Finally, buff the floor with a cloth to remove any soapy residue.

Consider cleaning the carpets

Whilst this step will (or, at least should) not be required every week, you should consider whether or not your carpets require cleaning. Record your decision using the form field below.

Remember to attach a copy of the receipt for any professional services you may have to employ.

If your carpets are in decent shape, it's likely all you will need to do is run the vacuum cleaner over it. However, if there are such things as wine stains on the carpet or others which will not budge, you either need to clean the carpets yourself to remove the stains or employ a professional service to do so.

Sources:

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