Cleaning your entire home sounds like a daunting and dreaded chore, but breaking down each task into daily, weekly and monthly checklists can help you on your way to a spotless abode.
Don’t wait until the weekend to tackle your home chores – just a few minutes of tidying each day will save you hours in the long run.
“It’s true that having a plan makes things less daunting, even if it is for home cleaning,” says Jo Carmichael, professional organiser and founder of All Sorted Out.
Here, Jo shares her advice on keeping and maintaining a tidy home. This is broken down into daily, weekly and monthly cleaning tasks – refer to it as a guide and enjoy a clean and tidy space from here on out.
Daily cleaning tasks
1. Make your bed
Jo says a made bed helps to set you up for the day ahead and rids you of those tempting back to bed thoughts.
2. Wipe the bathroom bench
After a session in the bathroom, Jo advises you wipe the bench of water and tidy up any items you’ve placed on the surface. “This keeps it tidy and ready to use again,” says Jo.
3. Wipe kitchen and dining bench tops
Do this morning and night with a bench spray to remove crumbs, prevent pests and maintain optimal hygiene.
4. Keep dishes under control
Make sure you put any dirty dishes into the dishwasher throughout the day – after breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then, run a cycle overnight and empty it each morning.
5. Take out the bins
Jo says an empty bin will prevent overflow, bag breaking and unsavoury bin smells.
6. Pop on a load of washing
Doing frequent loads, rather than waiting until the weekend, means you’ll have more space on the clothesline to hang out clothes to dry, preventing unnecessary use of the dryer and thus saving on electricity.
7. Do an evening sweep
Not literally with a broom, but rather take a moment to walk around your house and put away anything that’s been left out of place.
“This will help prevent things ending up misplaced or lost, and reduces clutter at the same time,” says Jo.
8. Unpack bags
Ensure your food containers are empty and that dirty gym clothes aren’t left in bags.
Weekly cleaning tasks
1. Wash sheets and towels
Towels do not need to be replaced every day; this is a weekly task, says Jo.
“If you have several bathrooms and bedrooms you may want to do the sheets and towels from one room on different days so the washing basket doesn’t overflow. There will then be more room on the line for drying, too.”
2. Vacuum and mop floors
Jo says anyone with pets or kids may wish to do this task twice a week. “A clean floor makes any space more inviting,” she says. For clean and shiny floors, use either hot water and methylated spirits for floorboards or hot water with a dash of detergent and white vinegar.
3. Dust, wipe and declutter hard surfaces
We’re talking about bookshelves, desks and side tables. “[This] allows us to remove things we no longer need. After two weeks birthday or celebration cards have had their turn on display.
“Also if you attend these display areas regularly, you have the chance to remove anything that does not spark joy,” says Jo.
4. Wipe down appliances
Remove dirty food scraps and prolong the life of your appliances.
5. Clean mirrors and splashbacks
“Spray with glass cleaner and a microfibre cloth for a quick shiny result,” says Jo.
6. Clean out the fridge
Jo says: “Throw away any food that has lost its freshness or has expired”.
7. Scour and disinfect the sink
Don’t let this task stretch out to the once-a-month mark. Use white vinegar and gumption to remove scum and mould build-up.
See more: How to clean a kitchen sink in 3 steps
8. Clean the bathroom
The more frequently you do this, the less time you’ll spend on it. Jo recommends doing a weekly clean of the bathroom – just a once-over on the toilet, sinks and showers. “Again, you may alternate bathrooms so that one receives a mega clean one week, the other the next week.”
Monthly cleaning tasks
1. Vacuum furniture
Once a month, take some time to rejig and refresh your upholstery. Vacuum creases out, fluff your cushions and hit them with a dose of sunlight outside to remove stale smells. “Lounge suites and sofas get so much use, and having them tucked back into shape make them look like new without much effort,” says Jo.
2. Wipe ceiling fan blades
Stop dust from flying around your home by wiping fan blades and vents with a microfibre cloth.
3. Wipe kitchen cabinets
Wipe cabinets, inside and out, and don’t forget the handles, too, as that’s the first place to end up grimy. “The kitchen is in constant use, so keeping the cabinets clean makes it an inviting space to spend time in,” says Jo. Spend time in the pantry and particularly on the shelf with condiments and sauces.
4. Run an empty dishwasher cycle
Run a hot wash and add vinegar, which both deodorises and prevents mould build up. A monthly clean of the dishwasher keeps the appliances hygienic and smelling fresh.