The Best Cleaning Schedule to Keep Your Home Spotless

Updated: May 26, 2024

Here's the ultimate cleaning schedule for household chores ranging from daily and weekly tasks to deep-cleanings that need to be tackled monthly or yearly

How often should you clean your bathroom? Do you need to vacuum more than once a week? How to clean your kitchen sponge? How to get rid of the grease on your stovetop? When should you wash your windows? There are a lot of regular household chores that you need to accomplish so that your house stays spotless. Stay on track by following the Reader’s Digest Ultimate Cleaning Schedule—including a timeline for the kitchen and the bathroom. It tells you what to address and when, so nothing gets so dirty that it takes hours to clean or is left beyond repair.

“I am a big fan of keeping up instead of catching up,” says cleaning expert Melissa Dilkes Pateras. “Housework, laundry and cleaning can be such a daunting task if left unattended for a while or done in one day. Having a good schedule can help prevent the anxiety this causes. If a little is done each day, it just becomes part of your routine and part of everyday life.” And completing bigger household tasks, such as a deep fall or spring cleaning or organizing your closets, on a regular schedule will ensure your home always feels fresh and organized.

The other cleaning expert Reader’s Digest spoke to agrees. “If you put in even 20 minutes of effort a day, you’ll keep chaos at bay,” says Vera Peterson, president of housecleaning company Molly Maid.

Here, Pateras and Peterson share how often you need to clean everything in your home.

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About the experts

  • Melissa Dilkes Pateras is the author of A Dirty Guide to a Clean Home: Housekeeping Hacks You Can’t Live Without.
  • Vera Peterson is president of housecleaning company Molly Maid, a Neighborly company with franchises in more than 40 states.

Before you start cleaning

teal, yellow, and orange cleaning supplies on a tile texture backgroundTMB Studio

Step 1: Gather your cleaning supplies

Create two to three cleaning caddies, each of which has been specially created for a specific area of the house (bathroom, kitchen, bedrooms, etc.) and includes everything you need to get straight to work.

Step 2: Move clutter out of the way

Put belongings away in drawers, closets and cabinets. Stack papers and books in neat piles, and group like items on a shelf or in a corner. This will make it easier for you to dust, vacuum and clean surfaces.

Step 3: Group chores by task when monthly or deep-cleaning

When you’re doing a whole-house monthly or deep-cleaning, it can be faster to group similar chores, such as cleaning mirrors or vacuuming, than go room by room. With the tools already in hand, you’ll be able to finish them up in no time.

Download the Full Cleaning Schedule

Daily cleaning schedule

Cleaning Schedule 2024 Daily Cleaning

Your daily cleaning schedule focuses on tasks you need to do frequently, like making your bed and washing the dishes. The good news is that these tasks are quick and make an immediate difference. Here are more tips for everyday cleaning:

  • Invest in a programmable robot vacuum and you won’t even have to think about vacuuming your floors. (Note: If you have a pet, keep them out of the room when the vacuum is running; some may see the vacuum as an intruder or animal and attack it.)
  • Store sanitizing wipes under the bathroom vanity to quickly clean away fingerprints on the faucet and toothpaste spots in the sink.
  • Sprinkle the kitchen sink with baking soda and scrub it with a slightly damp sponge after you’re done washing the dinner dishes.
  • Squeegee the glass or tile walls to prevent watermarks and mildew after each shower.

Get the full cleaning guides

Weekly cleaning schedule

Cleaning Schedule 2024 Weekly Cleaning Schedule

The chores on the weekly cleaning schedule take a little longer than the daily ones. “I call daily chores ‘little cleans’ and weekly and monthly ones ‘big cleans,'” says Pateras. Depending on your lifestyle, it might make sense to do one “big clean” per day or knock out several in one day. These are a few things to consider as you do your weekly cleaning:

  • Clean your microwave every week if you regularly heat up hot dogs, tomato sauce or other foods that tend to splatter. If you don’t use it regularly, you can tackle this task every other week.
  • Mop your floor by starting at the farthest corner of the room and move back toward the entrance. Rinse the mop after completing each 4-by-4-foot area to keep your water fresh.
  • Spray glass cleaner on mirrors, and using a microfiber cloth, wipe across the mirror in a broad “S” pattern, working from edge to edge, top to bottom.
  • Dust doors, windowsills and light fixtures (turn them off first). When dusting, move a microfiber cloth from left to right and top to bottom for the best results. High-touch surfaces, such as door handles, light switches and television remotes, are gathering spots for dirt and bacteria. Spray or wipe the surface with a multipurpose cleaner, followed by a disinfectant. Allow it to sit for the recommended amount of time, according to the instructions, then rinse or wipe the surface to remove residue.
  • Vacuum carpets, drapes and any upholstered furniture, including your couch.
  • Wash microfiber cloths, sanitize your sponges and wipe the handle and base of your vacuum and clean its filter. Dirty cleaning tools only spread grime.

Get the full cleaning guides

Monthly cleaning schedule

Cleaning Schedule 2024 Monthly Cleaning Schedule

The monthly cleaning schedule addresses bigger tasks that require both more time and more equipment. Think of cleaning deeper as an investment in your appliances and your home, and you’ll recognize that it’s time and effort well spent. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Clean the backsplash by mixing 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup hydrogen peroxide and a degreasing dish soap. The combination breaks down the greasy buildup that is common in most kitchen areas.
  • Degrease the range hood with a soft, damp, soapy cloth. If your range hood is removable, soak it in hot, soapy water.
  • Clean out your fridge by tossing any old or expired food and wiping down the shelves and drawers.
  • Get the grime out of your bathroom grout lines with extra elbow grease and our secret cleaning concoction: Mix 1 cup baking soda with 1 cup hydrogen peroxide and scrub with a toothbrush.
  • Sprinkle your mattress with baking soda, let it sit for 20 minutes, then vacuum.
  • Run a broom with a microfiber towel tied over its bristles along baseboards so you don’t have to bend down. To dust ceiling fans, turn them off, then use an extendable duster to clean the blades. If your ceiling is textured, follow these directions to clean a popcorn ceiling.
  • Spray windows with glass cleaner and wipe them with a microfiber cloth. Or for hard-to-reach spots, use a telescoping squeegee. Whisk away debris from the window track with a damp rag.

Get the full cleaning guides

Deep-cleaning schedule

Cleaning Schedule 2024 Deep Cleaning Schedule

Every three to six months, roll up your sleeves (and call in some help, if necessary) to knock out the deep-cleaning house checklist. These tasks are bigger projects, for sure, but they help keep your home looking its best. Keep these points in mind as you prepare to deep-clean:

  • Pull each major appliance out to sweep and clean behind them. You’ll be amazed at how many crumbs you have under your stove and cobwebs lurking behind your fridge! Vacuum refrigerator coils to improve its energy efficiency.
  • Empty your kitchen drawers, wipe them down and thoroughly wash any organizers.
  • Remove window screens from the window. Lightly scrub them with a very soft bristle brush dipped in an all-purpose cleaner mixed with warm water. Rinse with an outdoor hose.
  • Clean and organize your closet and dresser drawers.

Get the full cleaning guides

Why trust us

At Reader’s Digest, we’re committed to producing high-quality content by writers with expertise and experience in their field, in consultation with relevant, qualified experts. For this piece, Jamie Novak tapped her experience as a home and cleaning journalist. Then Ann Russell, TikTok’s “cleaning auntie” and the author of How to Clean Everything, gave it a rigorous review to ensure that all information is accurate and offers the best possible advice to readers. For this piece, we relied on reputable primary sources, including cleaning and faucet experts and reputable organizations. We verified all facts and data and backed them with credible sourcing, and we will revisit them over time to ensure they remain accurate and up to date. Read more about our team, our contributors and our editorial policies.


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