The Ultimate House Cleaning Calendar

Here's the scoop on what to clean and how often.

from 2,001 Amazing Cleaning Secrets

Wanting to keep a clean home doesn’t mean you have time to polish your silver every week. We spoke with cleaning experts who have both feet solidly planted in the real world and asked how often specific cleaning tasks really need to be done.

Here’s the scoop on what to clean and how often:

EVERY DAY

  • Put things away when you finish using them.
  • Wash dishes, wipe kitchen counters, clean up stove spills, and empty trash as needed.
  • Squeegee showers after use to prevent mineral deposits and mildew.
  • Wipe sinks.
  • Make beds and straighten rooms.

TWICE A WEEK

  • Dust-mop hardwood floors to prevent scratching from dirt.
  • Put away clutter.
  • Vacuum if you live in a dusty region or have children and pets that track in lots of dirt. Otherwise, weekly vacuuming should suffice.

ONCE A MONTH

  • Wipe or vacuum baseboards and blinds.
  • Sweep the garage, patio, and walkways.
  • Vacuum upholstered furniture with the brush attachment.
  • Clean ceiling fixtures in one room per month (rotate).
  • Wash throw rugs.
  • Dust ceiling fans.

EVERY THREE MONTHS

  • Polish wood furniture.
  • Remove cobwebs from ceiling corners, stairwells, and such.
  • Change or clean furnace and air-conditioner filters (less frequently in low-use seasons).
  • Clean the oven (monthly if grunge builds up quickly).

EVERY SIX MONTHS

  • Wash windows inside and out. Do this quarterly for windows near work spaces (the kitchen sink or a desk, for instance).
  • Declutter storage areas in the basement, attic, and garage.
  • Vacuum, flip, and rotate mattresses.
  • Polish silver.
  • Air out pillows.

ONCE A YEAR

  • Move heavy furniture to clean behind and underneath.
  • Vacuum rug pads and the backs of area rugs.
  • Clean drapes and carpets.
  • Turn area rugs 180 degrees to even out wear.
  • Wash walls.
  • Clean chandeliers.