This article will contain affiliate links, please read my full disclosure policy for more information.
A Step-by-Step Guide for Organizing and Deep Cleaning
Consider this your basic starter guide for deep cleaning your home. Although your methods will adapt and evolve over time to meet your specific needs, these essential steps will help you if you’re new to deep cleaning or want to learn how to do it better.
Step 1: Declutter Before You Deep Clean and Reorganize
The chances are, you own a lot of things that you don’t necessarily need or want. Begin the process of deep cleaning and organizing your home by categorizing everything into two metaphorical piles: one which is full of things you need or want that spark joy (keep), and another full of things that add to the clutter (toss).
Throw away or donate the items in your “toss” pile. And store the items in your keep pile where they belong. As a general rule, keep similar things together. However, this rule can be overridden by things that “go” together (like containers and matching lids or appliances and corresponding cords).
Step 2: Work Room-by-Room or Space-by-Space
When you set out to clean and organize your whole house, it can be pretty overwhelming. If your home needs a major overhaul, consider taking it step-by-step and spreading out the work over a few days.
Create a realistic schedule for completing specific areas of the house. For example, it might be practical to tackle the whole bathroom in one day—but your bedroom might need to be broken down into categories like the closet, dresser, desk, laundry, random pile of stuff, etc. There’s no one-size-fits-all plan for cleaning, so develop a plan that works best for you.
As you reorganize, there may be items that are in one room that belong in another. Create piles for each corresponding room and relocate those piles where they belong when you’re done with the space you started in. Then, tackle those piles after you’ve moved on to the next room.
Step 3: Start Cleaning at the Top and Move Towards the Bottom
When you clean, you want to start at the top of the room—think ceiling fans, trims, and light fixtures. Then, move down as you go. Get the tops of cabinets and shelves, the walls, the tops of furniture, and so on.
The reason you want to do it this way is that dust will inevitably fall. If you vacuum or mop first, all the junk from your cabinets and counters will end up dirtying your freshly cleaned floor.
The best tools for dusting and cleaning are wet microfiber cloths or mops. They just need to be a little damp to pick up the dust and grime instead of pushing it somewhere else. Be sure to rinse and wring as you clean.
Do this on all surfaces that need dusting before moving on.
Step 4: Clean Windows, Mirrors, and Other Mid-Level Things
Once everything is done and dusted, you can move on to wiping down windows, mirrors, and other mid-level accessories. Don’t skip this step. The satisfaction of cleaning comes from the details.
Use window cleaner to get the inside and outside of the windows. Also, wipe down any items on counters that appear dirty or dusty. Clean the little details like handles, sills, and corners that you usually miss.
For curtains, pop them in the dryer to get rid of the dust and give them a fluff!
Consider any mid-level furniture or objects that need a good clean, and make a list and a plan if you need a little direction. See the end of this blog for room-by-room checklists for inspiration and guidance.
Step 5: Deep Clean the Counters and Tables
Let’s be honest, when we wipe down the counters, we usually go around any stuff that’s sitting there. When you deep clean, you’ll want to take everything off the counter or table, wipe each item down, and then give the counter a good clean.
This method isn’t only reserved for the kitchen counter. It works great with other surfaces, too, like the shower, bedroom vanity, coffee table, and office desk.
Step 6: Wash, Fold, and Store Laundry
There is a lot of laundry that lays around the house—you probably have kitchen towels, bathroom mats, bedroom linens, and living room throw blankets that all could use a wash.
First, make sure all your regular laundry is washed and stored. Then, move onto the bigger things and store them appropriately. Giving your home a fresh feeling by washing your clothes will also help you manage dust.
Step 7: Deep Clean the Floors
Once everything above ground level is clean, you can deep clean your floors. You always want the floor to be your last step because any cleaning above ground level could result in dirty floors.
First, get rid of any clutter on the floor if you haven’t already. Just like you did with the countertops, move items so that you can clean beneath and behind them. Whether or not you’re cleaning hardwood or carpet, begin by vacuuming.
Get every area you can access, then move the furniture to reach the often-neglected spots like under the couch, beneath the bed, and behind the entertainment center. Use your vacuum extensions to get all corners and crevices. If you have hard flooring, follow up with a microfiber mop and the appropriate cleaning solution. If you have carpets, consider renting a professional carpet cleaner. If your carpets get extra traffic from pets or kids, you might also want to think about investing in your own!
Here are a few checklists organized by room type to help you get started organizing and deep cleaning your home. Remember, each room begins with dusting high to low and ends with floors.
Bedroom Deep Clean Checklist
- Wash All Bedding
- Duvet cover
- Pillows and cases
- Bed skirt
- Freshen Mattress
- Sprinkle with baking soda
- Let sit for one hour
- Vacuum up
- Flip if recommended
- Declutter Room
- Bring other items to designated rooms
- Declutter Closet
- Get rid of clothes you don’t wear
Kitchen Deep Clean Checklist
- Wipe Down Cabinets
- Inside shelves
- Doors, inside and outside
- Clean Refrigerator and Freezer
- Remove food (it’s best to wait until it’s almost empty anyway)
- Wipe down inside and out
- Deep Clean Other Appliances
- Oven and stovetop
- Wipe Countertops
Bathroom Deep Clean Checklist
- Wash Shower Curtain or Wipe Shower Doors
- Clean Shower or Tub
- Deep Clean Sink and Counter
- Deep Clean Toilet
Living Room Deep Clean Checklist
- Entertainment centers
- Freshen Up Furniture
- Spray with scent
- Wash pillows and blankets
- Dust Everything
- Ceiling fans
- Hung artwork
- Under electronics