What is the correct order to clean a house?

Keeping a clean and tidy house is important for both health and happiness. A cluttered, dirty home can feel overwhelming and stressful. Establishing a routine cleaning schedule helps maintain order and prevent messes from getting out of control. When tackling a deep clean of your home, what is the most effective way to go about it? Should you start upstairs or downstairs? Do the bathrooms first or the kitchen? Understanding the optimal order to clean can help streamline the process and ensure nothing gets missed.

Should I Start Upstairs or Downstairs?

When doing a thorough cleaning of a multi-story home, most experts recommend starting on the top floor and working your way down. There are a few good reasons for this approach:

  • It allows gravity to work in your favor. As you progress from top to bottom, any dust or debris you disturb will fall downward rather than drifting upstairs.
  • You can fully finish cleaning each room as you go without having to return later. Once a room is done, you likely won’t need to walk back through with dirty shoes or supplies.
  • Finishing in the kitchen or main living areas on the ground level leaves clean and tidy rooms for you to relax and enjoy when the work is complete.

Starting at the top also adheres to the old adage “don’t sweep dirt downstairs.” You want to avoid tracking dust and grime through clean rooms you’ve already tackled.

What Rooms Should I Clean First?

When beginning on the top floor, the recommended order is:

  1. Bedrooms
  2. Bathrooms
  3. Other rooms (office, sitting area, halls, etc)

Save bedrooms for first since they tend to be simpler to clean. Bathrooms come next as they require the most scrubbing and disinfecting. Any other rooms with furniture and belongings are last.

For the main floor, go in this order:

  1. Kitchen
  2. Bathrooms
  3. Living room and dining room
  4. Other rooms like a den or family room
  5. Entryway
  6. Laundry room

The kitchen should be cleaned as soon as you come downstairs since it tends to be the dirtiest room. Next do any main floor bathrooms, then move onto living spaces like the living room and dining room. Hit other commonly used rooms after that before finishing up in the entryway and laundry room.

What is the Detailed Cleaning Order Within Each Room?

Approaching each room systematically ensures that all surfaces and belongings get cleaned. Here is a step-by-step rundown of what order to clean within different rooms:


  1. Strip the bedding off beds and wash sheets and blankets.
  2. Dust ceiling fans, window blinds, and other high surfaces.
  3. Wipe down walls if needed.
  4. Clean windows and mirrors.
  5. Dust and wipe down furniture.
  6. Clean under the bed and other furniture.
  7. Vacuum carpet and floors.
  8. Mop hard floors.
  9. Re-make beds with clean linens.


  1. Clear out clutter and belongings from surfaces and tub/shower.
  2. Clean the toilet bowl and seat.
  3. Wipe down the outside of toilet and clean toilet base and floor around it.
  4. Clean the shower/tub and tiles.
  5. Wipe down the sink and counters.
  6. Clean the mirror.
  7. Dust ceiling vents, corners of room, and top of door/cabinet frames.
  8. Sweep and mop the floors.
  9. Replace bath mats and belongings.


  1. Clear counters and sink of everything.
  2. Clean inside microwave.
  3. Clean outside of appliances.
  4. Wipe down cabinets and drawers.
  5. Clean the sink, faucet, and counters.
  6. Sweep and mop floors.
  7. Wipe down chairs, stools, and tables.
  8. Clean appliances on counters like mixer, air fryer, etc.
  9. Load dishwasher and wash dishes. Let air dry.
  10. Empty trash and recycling. Replace bags.
  11. Return items to counters and sink.

Living Spaces:

  1. Dust blinds, ceiling fans, vents, ledges, and tops of door/window frames.
  2. Clean windows, glass, and mirrors.
  3. Wipe down furniture and surfaces.
  4. Dust and vacuum all upholstered furniture.
  5. Vacuum floors, carpets, and rugs.
  6. Mop hard floors.
  7. Fluff and arrange decor items like pillows and blankets.


  1. Dust door frames, vents, and corners near door.
  2. Clean entryway mirror if present.
  3. Wipe down shelves, furniture, or coat hooks.
  4. Vacuum rugs.
  5. Sweep and mop floor.

What Cleaning Supplies Will I Need?

Having all the right cleaning tools and products at the ready will make your top-to-bottom cleaning go faster and easier. Here are some cleaning essentials to have on hand:

  • All-purpose cleaner – For wiping down most surfaces, appliances, sinks, etc.
  • Disinfecting wipes or spray – For sanitizing the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Glass cleaner – For mirrors, windows, shower doors.
  • Toilet bowl cleaner – Preferably with a scrub brush.
  • Baking soda and vinegar – For scrubbing, deodorizing, and unclogging drains.
  • Duster and vacuum with attachments – For ceilings, blinds, upholstery, carpets.
  • Mop and broom – For sweeping and mopping floors.
  • Microfiber cloths, paper towels, sponges
  • Rubber gloves and old rags
  • Step stool or ladder

Having backups of clean cloths, sponges, rags, and trash bags will help keep the cleaning moving efficiently. It’s also helpful to have a caddy or cart to transport supplies from room to room.

How Often Should I Clean My House?

While a deep clean from top to bottom can take a full day, regular light cleaning is needed to maintain a tidy home. Here is a schedule of how often different rooms and tasks should be cleaned:


  • Make beds
  • Do dishes and empty sink
  • Take out trash and recycling
  • Clean surfaces used for food prep
  • Sweep kitchen floor
  • Straighten up living areas (pick up toys, fold blankets, fluff pillows)

1-2 Times Per Week:

  • Dust furniture, shelves, and windowsills
  • Clean toilets, sinks, and counters
  • Sweep and mop floors
  • Vacuum carpets and rugs
  • Change hand and bath towels
  • Clean inside microwave

Every Other Week:

  • Vacuum and dust blinds, vents, baseboards
  • Clean mirrors
  • Wipe down cabinets and drawers
  • Clean shower/tub
  • Take out cushions and vacuum upholstery
  • Wash bathroom rugs and mats


  • Vacuum under furniture and beds
  • Dust ceiling fans and lights
  • Clean windows
  • Scrub kitchen sink
  • Clean oven and fridge
  • Wipe down doors and door frames
  • Clean baseboards
  • Launder bedding and pillows

Every 3-6 Months:

  • Clean curtains and blinds
  • Move furniture and vacuum underneath
  • Dust or wash walls
  • Clean out fridge and pantry
  • Wash trash cans
  • Deep clean oven and microwave


An orderly home is a happy home. By establishing a logical cleaning routine and schedule, you can stay on top of dirt and clutter. Work top to bottom and tackle rooms in order of simplicity. Break cleaning down into specific tasks for each area. Supply yourself with the right tools and products. Staying consistent with daily and weekly upkeep makes deep cleans quicker and less daunting. With the right system, you can keep every room spotless and welcoming.

Leave a Comment