Cleaning & Organizing
The Definitive Guide on How Often You Should Clean Everything
Here’s the scoop, from experts, on what to clean and how often to clean it.
Wanting to keep a clean home doesn’t mean you have time to polish your silver every week. (If you are pressed for time, here are some chores you can do in 5 minutes or less.) We spoke with cleaning experts who have both feet solidly planted in the real world and asked them how often specific cleaning tasks really need to be done. Here’s what they suggested you do 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. Here are the 10 things that people with clutter-free homes do every day.
Twice a weekNevada31/Shutterstock
- Dust-mop hardwood floors to prevent scratching from dirt.
- Put away clutter. We’ve got an organization tip for every room in the house.
- 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 monthNevada31/Shutterstock
- 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.
Plus, here are the chores your kid should be helping you with, depending on their age.
Every three monthsNevada31/Shutterstock
- 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 monthsNevada31/Shutterstock
- 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. Here are some household chores that burn major calories.
- Polish silver.
- Air out pillows.
Once a yearNevada31/Shutterstock
- Move heavy furniture to clean behind and underneath.
- Vacuum rug pads and the backs of area rugs.
- Clean drapes and carpets. You’re probably cleaning your carpet—and these 9 other things—way too much.
- Turn area rugs 180 degrees to even out wear.
- Wash walls.
- Clean chandeliers.
Plus, here are 30 little chores you’ll be glad you did a year from now.