Here are the rules to the steps: Go from top to bottom, left to right (or vice versa, your choice!), then around to the middle. Oh, and try not to touch anything twice (my mother would say this but I know this is impossible sometimes).
- Pick up any trash, laundry, or dishes and put them in the appropriate rooms and places. Go one room at a time. Take a trash bag or laundry basket so you don’t spend time walking back and forth.
- Get a broom (or cobwebber if you have one) and brush along all corners and baseboards. Check recessed lighting, exposed beams, or any other spider hiding spots for accumulated dust and cobwebs.
- Bathroom time. I have no idea how fancy your bathroom is so I’m just going to give you the basics. Feel free to ask for special tips if you have marble, glass shower doors, bidet, etc.
Sticking with the top to bottom method (and trying to use as few rags or paper towels as possible), start with the mirror. Use Windex as it gets the toothpaste off the best. Use a multipurpose cleaner (like Windex) to wipe down the counter and scrub the inside of the sink. Use rags/paper towels to wipe off any residue and water spots from the faucet for a million dollar finish.
Next – scrub that toilet. Sprinkle some Comet in there and get as far down as you can with the toilet brush and also under the rim. Lift up the seat and spray down the whole toilet (using Windex) and then wipe it all down — top of tank, sides, top of lid, inside lid, behind lid, seat, under seat, down the sides of the bowl, etc.
Tub time. Rinse the whole thing out unless you showered recently and it’s still wet. Spray with bleach or similar shower cleaner and then scrub the whole thing top to bottom. I use a special brush that looks like a horse brush with a handle but you can use a clean (read: unused) toilet brush (a sponge is also good enough if you don’t have anything else). Be sure to get any cracks that may harbor mold including the drain. Flush any bonus hair you find. Toss old shampoo bottles and razors while you’re in there.
- Kitchen time! This will probably take you the most time. Make sure your counters are clear of dishes, trash, etc. so you can get right to work. Do all the dishes first so your sink is empty. You should have a clear sink and counter before starting.
Bleach that sink! I recommend a product called Soft Scrub but just don’t use it on an aluminum sink or it’ll scratch. Make sure to get a good amount to coat the whole sink. Let it sit there a while you start on the counters. Spray it with multipurpose spray and start wiping. Remember the golden rule of cleaning like a pro: top to bottom, left to right, then back to the middle. Be sure to touch up any appliances (coffee maker, mixer, etc.) while you’re at it. Shiny appliances look very nice set against a clean kitchen. Shine up any glass parts and wipe down the fridge, too. Check cabinets and walls for spills/splash marks. Now you should have bleach on your sink, nice clean counters, and bunch of crap on the floor. Rinse out the sink and get ready to dust.
- Dust! A simple, dry rag should be enough although I personally use a swiffer duster because it makes cleaning dust faster. If you’re using a rag, the idea is to knock the dust to the floor. If you want to skip areas where your guests won’t see, this is a great time to do it.
- Floors. Vacuum carpets first as they tend to knock stuff onto the hard floors. Start from the same place you started dusting so it has time to settle on the floor. If you have a vacuum that does hard floors, use it to get all the crap in the kitchen and bathrooms. Sweep it up with a broom if you don’t. The hose features are especially good for litter scenarios. Finally, mop.
Aaaaand you’re done! It seems like a lot but it’s super easy once you get started.
- Glass shower doors should be Windexed inside-out
- Towels look best when folded in threes
- Stainless steel can be cleaned and treated with oil. Use Windex first to get the other oil/food/etc. off
- Marble should be cleaned with ammonia-free cleaners
- Kitten stuff: mopping with vinegar helps. Bissell’s Pawsitively Clean spray works pretty darn well
One more thing — I highly recommend a good playlist and a meal before you start. Happy cleaning!