Don't stress, here's how to clean your whole house

Sunday reset, done

Rainbow background with checklist graphic on top
(Image credit: Future)

Whether you’re hosting overnight guests, having a party, or just freshening up for the week ahead, knowing how to clean a house is a life skill that will serve you well. Even if you live in a small space, like an apartment or condo, learning how to clean efficiently and effectively can be tricky. I mean, you might not even have space in your rental to store cleaning supplies.

Even if you were raised to keep your room tidy, moving into a space that’s solely your own can create some relaxed (read: lazy) tendencies. Leaving dishes in the sink or neglecting that towering pile of laundry may seem like a luxury now that no one is on your case, but these habits can create a much bigger mess when it comes time to clean. 

We hate to break it to you but the longer you leave your chores waiting to be taken care of, the worse the cleaning and organization process will be. This can leave you feeling overwhelmed and confused as to where to even start. 

Whether you’ve dug yourself into a hole of cleaning chaos (or lack thereof) or you simply need a thorough checklist on how to clean a house, this guide will help. Clear some time in your schedule, turn on your favorite playlist, grab your supplies, and get ready for your place to look sparkling. 

A few house cleaning must-haves

Before you jump into your cleaning checklists, you'll want to make sure you have some good cleaning supplies and tools on hand. I’ve listed a few key products below that you’ll need to get started.

Your go-to house cleaning checklist

These daily, weekly, and monthly checklists are going to make your house look so clean. Screenshot or bookmark them so you can keep tabs on each room around your living space. 


 Our bedrooms provide a dedicated space for us to relax and catch some z’s each night, but they're often the first room to take the brunt of our sloppiness. You might think of bedroom clutter as  “out of sight, out of mind” but having an unorganized bedroom can make the space feel less zen and more stressful. There’s something to be said about walking into a clutter free, calming room before your head hits the pillow. Here’s how to keep it that way.


  • Make bed
  • Tidy up any clutter
  • Place clothing in laundry basket


  • Launder bed sheets
  • Dust furniture
  • Vacuum
  • Clean mirrors


  • Clean baseboards and moldings
  • Dust light fixtures and ceiling fans
  • Disinfect light switches and door knobs
  • Clean window tracks and screens


 Perhaps the most dreaded room in the house to tidy up, the bathroom is a stomping ground for germs to accumulate if you don’t stay on top of cleaning. On the bright side, it’s also one of the smallest rooms in most apartments, meaning you don’t have to dedicate an entire afternoon to make some headway. Here’s what to clean on the regular.


  • Wipe down countertops
  • Wipe down sink 
  • Organize and put away any products used


  • Clean mirrors
  • Take out garbage
  • Clean and disinfect toilet
  • Launder bathroom towels
  • Disinfect countertops and sinks
  • Disinfect light switches and door knobs
  • Vacuum or mop floor
  • Launder bathroom rugs


  • Scrub shower and/or bathtub
  • Launder shower curtain
  • Clean window tracks and screens


You don’t have to be a Michelin star chef to know that the kitchen can be prone to a wildly complex mess. Even if you aren’t cooking every day (here’s to looking at you, takeout) there are still tasks you have to stay on top of. Kitchen counters can get cluttered with everyday items like purses and laptops, the sink can become a breeding ground for bacteria, and the fridge can house expired groceries. Add these to-do’s to your list to keep things in order.


  • Wipe down countertops and sink
  • Run garbage disposal
  • Load and unload the dishwasher
  • Hand wash any necessary dishes
  • Wipe fronts of appliances
  • Wipe stovetop, if used that day
  • Disinfect your faucet and light switches
  • Pick up any clutter that accumulated throughout the day


  • Take out trash and recycling
  • Disinfect fridge and freezer handles
  • Disinfect your sink
  • Remove anything expired from your fridge
  • Clean the inside of your microwave
  • Vacuum or mop floors
  • Launder dish towels


  • Clean baseboards
  • Clean the oven and any other appliances necessary
  • Clean your dishwasher, including the filter
  • Run the clean cycle on your coffee machine or clean it with vinegar
  • Clean stove top burners
  • Scrub backsplash
  • Launder kitchen runners or rugs
  • Dust light fixtures
  • Dust the top of your fridge and cabinets
  • Remove anything expired from your freezer or pantry
  • Disinfect trash and recycling bins
  • Clean the inside of cabinets and drawers
  • Clean window tracks and screens

Living room

 At the end of a long day, the living room is always there to greet you with a soft couch, cozy blanket, and the TV for your binge-watching pleasure. However, when the space is messy it can make it hard to truly unwind. While dusting and vacuuming may be necessary for a deep clean, there are plenty of little tasks that can make a big impact in the overall appearance of this space.


  • Fluff couch cushions and pillows
  • Fold and put away throw blankets
  • Organize TV remotes
  • Tidy up any clutter


  • Vacuum or mop floors
  • Clean between couch cushions
  • Launder any throw blankets


  • Dust baseboards and moldings
  • Clean fireplace
  • Dust light fixtures and ceiling fans
  • Disinfect light switches and door knobs
  • Clean window tracks and screen


If you’re lucky enough to work from home (and have a dedicated office at that) then you know it’s crucial for your productivity to keep this room spic and span. Keep your desk clear and your notes in order by following these office cleaning tasks.


  • Organize any notes/files used
  • Tidy up any clutter


  • Wipe down desk surface
  • Wipe down your laptop/computer keyboard
  • Take out trash


  • Dust baseboards and moldings
  • Dust light fixtures and ceiling fans
  • Disinfect light switches and door knobs
  • Clean window tracks and screens
Kara Thompson

About me: 

Kara Thompson is a Denver-based journalist with over five years of experience writing lifestyle content. She has written for a variety of publications, including,,, and Parents, where she covered all things home, food, fashion, travel, and holidays. During her time on staff at Parents, Kara launched her own home decor and organization column named Save My Space. In 2022, she left her full-time job as an editor and started her own writing, editing, and social media firm, Kara Thompson and Co.

Tennis, New York City, bourbon cocktails, and her sister's German Shepherd are a few of her favorite things.