A Simple House Cleaning Routine

House cleaning doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming.  Who wants to spend all their free time cleaning?!  But you do need a system.  So if you’re having trouble getting started (or stopping), here’s a basic weekly cleaning list I’ve been using for years.

1.       Dust

2.       Glass.  This includes mirrors, glass doors, tv & computer screens, and the insides of windows, as needed.  My granddaughter loves sitting on the back of the chair in the living room and putting her hands on the window.  When she’s done, the window is a mess!  And sometimes my bad black Lab gets in that same chair and slimes the window.  So that piece of glass usually needs cleaned.  But I don’t clean all the windows – only the ones that need it.

3.       Kitchen.  I do a few basics in the kitchen including sink, microwave (which is never very bad because we use a cover when we reheat food), stove top (again not bad if you wipe it up after you use it), and replace the sponge.

4.       Bathroom.  I wipe up the bathroom daily so all I have to do is clean the tub/shower.

5.       Change the sheets.

6.       Pets.  Replace the kitty litter and refill food containers (the cat has a dish that dispenses food so I just refill it weekly).

7.       Dump all the trash cans.

8.       Mop.

Keep in mind that the list above is in addition to daily chores which include:

  • Straighten the house (dishes, put things away)
  • sweep or vacuum as needed
  • touch-up the bathroom

If you do these chores weekly, your house should look pretty darn good and you won’t spend your life cleaning.  And they really don’t take that long.  If I work straight through the list, without getting sidetracked, I can usually finish in about an hour and a half at the most.

If you don’t have time to do the weekly chores in one block, split them into two cleaning sessions or spread them out over the week.

Do you have a weekly cleaning list?  What’s on your list?


  1. No, Patty, I don’t have a weekly cleaning list as it would hang over my head like the sword of Damocles. Instead, I do tasks at random, usually about 15 minutes at a time, to stave off the boredom factor. This could account for why I couldn’t take photos of the interior of my house and publish them on the internet as you can! However, I am still battling with too many possessions in too small a space. There’s no doubt that the more you can get your possessions under control, the easier it is to keep your home clean.

    • Possessed by Possessions! I’ve been dealing with it too. Cleaned my 5yr old DD’s room yesterday, told her that if she hadn’t worn it or played with it in the past year it was gone to a better place. Of course she “liked” everything and didn’t want to get rid of it…so I “fibbed” a bit; told her that a little girls house burned down and she had nothing left not even purple fuzzy pants or a bunch of plastic food. My DD was all over her stuff…”she can have this and this”. I do this same “fibbing” to myself, it helps to know that my non-used stuff may actually be used by someone who really “needs” it! And when I get it all bagged up, I “do” donate it to goodwill or elsewhere. Having a weekly cleaning list is a great idea; unfortunately I don’t follow instructions well…I’m a spur of the moment kinda gal; I do what I do when I do it, and it all gets done just when I feel like getting it done (sad I know)!

      • Well, you have to find what works for you. So as long as you’re getting it done and you’re happy with what you’re doing, then go for it. Everybody’s different! That being said, I’m writing an article, probably next week, about why EVERYONE needs a cleaning schedule. I think you’ll find it interesting and maybe I’ll even convince you! And don’t worry – it’s not as painful as it sounds.

        How sweet of your daughter to be willing to share her stuff.

    • Definitely, true, Cath, about too many possessions. My house is pretty easy to clean because I don’t have a lot of stuff. But years ago I cleaned a friend’s house and it was packed with stuff. Every time I turned around I knocked something over. And it took longer to clean because there was so much stuff in the way. But if you like your stuff, there’s nothing wrong with having it.

  2. i Love the simple straightforwardness of your list! I feel like with four young kids around, all I do is “put out fires” (sometimes literally…) with the housecleaning. I clean what is the messiest/clean up what just got poured out, and it leaves me so exhausted all day that I rarely get to “maintenance” mode. But i like this list, grouping it all together. I just might be able to give it a try this week!

    • I’ve been doing this list for years and it really does work well. It doesn’t take that long and then the house is in good shape!

      I hope it works for you!

  3. Dusting? what’s that?
    This sounds like a good system, I think I’ll try it. I always leave dusting till last since I hate to do it. Maybe if I did it first it would make the rest easier.

    • You should try dusting first. I hate doing the kitchen chores so the last month or so I’ve been doing them first. It really does seem to work. After the kitchen is done (which isn’t really that bad – don’t know why I hate it), the rest seems a piece of cake.

  4. Diana Swart says:

    Hi there
    I have a question for some direction please.
    Throughout years I have used two particular routines
    Always pick up tidy through open windows curtains make sure everything packed away daily
    Mon-Fri I would clean three rooms a day
    Mon; My son’s room guest toilet guest bathroom
    Tues; My bathroom my bedroom daughters bedroom
    Wed; Passage way kitchen laundry
    Thurs; Family room dining room sitting room
    Fri; Study/office (hubby runs his business from here

    in these rooms I would do sheets towels etc and daily clothing

    however I’m now into more running training and always cook healthy meals I’m just becoming more time possessive not wanting to spend an hour a day cleaning

    As I dint run or train Saturdays and Sundays I felt I would rather take one if these days to clean through. I do perishable grocery shopping on Saturday or Sunday.

    I don’t mind spending this time on one day knowing the whole house has had a basic dust vac polish vac however and suggestions on deep cleaning i considered adding a one room thorough clean on the same day each week wherein i clean windows curtains carpets and as i am a perfectionist dust and repack cupboards.

    I feel Iwant tthat time during the week for other things however I’m dubious this whole house once a week will stick.
    Can u offer motivation or any other alternatives please.


    • Diana – I know exactly what you’re talking about. I use to do my cleaning differently, too, but now I have other things I’d rather do – like play with the grandkids. Plus they mess the house up as fast as I clean it. Anyway, I don’t actually have a set routine for deep cleaning. This is going to sound crazy, but I “deep clean as I go”. When I’m doing my regular cleaning or when I have a little time, I tackle some of those deep cleaning projects. For example, when I’m vacuuming the living room, if I have a little extra time, I might go ahead and vacuum the curtains. It takes less time while I’m already vacuuming than if I got the vacuum out to do it. I don’t necessary do a perfect job but I figure the way I do it is good enough.

      Another example is cleaning out the refrigerator. Rather than take time to empty the whole thing out and clean it from top to bottom, when a shelf is nearly empty, I clean it. Or if I have a minute, I clean a shelf in the door. You get the idea. I do little things when I’m doing other things and then I never really have to spend much time deep cleaning.

      Another option is definitely to choose one room a week to deep clean. You could also have a list of deep cleaning tasks on the refrigerator and mark them off as you get a chance to do them. As long as they all get done in a timely manner, it doesn’t matter exactly which day.

      Maybe you could go through your cleaning list and see what tasks you could do less often. It sounds like you do a really thorough job and maybe that isn’t really necessary.

      Also, how old are your children? If they’re old enough, maybe they should start doing their own cleaning. That would free you up quite a bit. Once my kids were old enough, they cleaned their own rooms and did their own laundry.

      Does that help? Let me know if you have more questions or if I didn’t give a good enough answer.


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