Renovation Cleaning Routine (or Other Chaotic Messy Situations)

Broom & dustpan

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Home renovations make a big mess.  If you’ve ever been through one, you know what I’m talking about.  Dust, trash, construction materials – it’s a mess!

The temptation is to skip cleaning and let the mess pile up until the project is done.  But that’s a bad idea.  Renovating is not an excuse not to clean.  Renovating is a actually a really good reason to clean MORE!

I’m guessing you’re not on board with this idea so here are a few reasons why you should believe me:

1.       If you clean up the dirt on a regular basis, you prevent (or minimize) the mess from spreading to every room of your house.  Would you rather have dust in one area or the whole house?

2.       Living with a mess is discouraging.  But if you clean as you go, the house feels a little more normal and that makes you feel better.

3.       Not cleaning one area can cause a ripple effect that results in no cleaning anywhere!  And that means when the project is done, your entire house is going to need major cleaning.  Do you really want to do that? Remember it’s easier to keep it clean than to catch up.

4.       When the house is chaos, you need at least a few rooms where you can go to get away from it.  If those rooms are clean, you’re going to feel a lot better and more relaxed.

5.       Cleaning as you go prevents bigger messes.  My husband has been working on the kitchen.  I’ve been sweeping the floor every day even though I know he’s going to mess it up again.  I was really glad I did when we had a small leak.  It got an area of the floor wet where there had been a pile of saw dust.  It’s much easier to sweep up dry saw dust than wet saw dust.

6.       If you get out of your cleaning routine, it’s really hard to get back in it.  So don’t stop.  Keep cleaning – just do what you can.  Then when the project is over, it’s business as usual.

So have I convinced you?  If you’re renovating, planning to renovate, or in the middle of a chaotic situation of some kind, keep plugging away with your cleaning routine.  You’ll reap huge dividends for your diligence.


  1. Josh LaPorte says:

    Goodness, I wish I could develop a cleaning routine! I struggle mightily with cleaning. I’m actually very good at cleaning and have worked as a housekeeper in the past, but I have no discipline about keeping my own home clean. So frustrating because all the points you raise are absolutely right on. It is frustrating and ultimately stressful living in a poorly kept house. Major cleaning is a lot more work than regular light cleaning. And having one space gone bad leads you to lose all motivation and the whole house slides. I need to think of some ways to combat this situation in the new year. I’ve tried breaking the house into several small zones for quick daily cleaning but the routine never took. I have gotten much better about the kitchen and cleaning up after myself. And I now make the bed daily and hang up all my clothes. And vacuum regularly. But I find it’s too little.

    • You’re making progress, though, Josh. Even though it’s not the way you want it, you’re moving the right direction. Maybe it would be better if instead of trying to do everything right off the bat, you set smaller goals. All those things you listed that you’re doing now – those were small steps. Forget the major overhaul and work on little stuff. Before you know it, you’ll have a system in place and your house will look the way you want it.

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