Annual Cleaning Checklist

Cleaning supplies on a wood floor inside of a house.

Last Updated: May 10, 2024

We’re all guilty of letting things slide now and then. When cleaning tasks start piling up, it’s time to make a house cleaning checklist. A good checklist can save you valuable time and effort when tackling those dusty baseboards, scrubbing down the freezer, and thoroughly cleaning your windows. While a long list may seem daunting, it can help guide your cleaning efforts and save time in the process. Plus, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as crossing tasks off your to-do list.

Why Maintain a House Cleaning Schedule

If you find yourself overwhelmed by a house cleaning checklist, it’s likely because you’ve fallen behind on your cleaning routine. A home that’s cleaned regularly is easier to maintain than one that’s been neglected for months. A house cleaning schedule is a great way to ensure your family stays on top of household chores. A schedule can help you maintain a certain level of cleanliness and ensure that no task is forgotten.

Routine chores, such as dishes, must be taken care of daily. However, other big cleaning projects, like window washing, can be done every few months. Without a house cleaning checklist and schedule, you may overlook important cleaning duties around your home. This can lead to dust and dirt buildup, which causes air quality issues by increasing the number of allergens in your home. A regular cleaning schedule will help everyone in the house, including pets, breathe a little easier.

House Cleaning Tips to Get You Started

A few good house cleaning tips may be all the inspiration you need to get started. So, get started with our printable professional house cleaning checklist. It’s a great way to keep track of the chores you’ve accomplished and the ones that still need to be completed. It’s also incredibly satisfying to cross things off the list as you go. Next, do a walk-through of each room and develop a list of cleaning priorities. Starting with the most important tasks will ensure your efforts have the greatest impact. While our list is comprehensive, feel free to tailor it to your specific cleaning preferences and goals.

It’s a good idea to tackle your cleaning checklist based on your specific cleaning style. Whether you’re a nose-to-the-grindstone worker who wants to work hard for a few hours and get everything done at once or prefer to chip away at each item on your house cleaning checklist one at a time, spreading out your chores over several days or weeks, do what works best for you. Some people even like to set a timer and see how much they can get done during that period. Regardless of your cleaning preferences, staying focused on the tasks at hand is the key to success. Don’t let distractions pull you away from your cleaning goal - you’re on a mission!

However, you approach home cleaning, make it a routine that everyone in the home takes part in. Getting everyone in the habit of cleaning a little each day will make cleaning more manageable and reduce the time it takes to do a major clean each month.  It’s true what they say: once begun is half done. With this attitude, you’re ready to start cleaning.

What Do I Need to Clean My Home Thoroughly?

  • Disposable rags, scrub pads, or towels that you don’t mind throwing away.
  • Two buckets: one for the dirty water and another for clean water.
  • Your favorite degreaser, dish soap, and cleaning spray.
  • A pair of rubber gloves.
  • An abrasive scrub pad.
  • A spray bottle with 1:1 vinegar and water.
  • A scrub brush or an old toothbrush.

Checklist for Thoroughly Cleaning Your Entire Home

  • Dust and Vacuum: Hard-to-reach ledges, windows, light fixtures, and above cabinets. Break out the stepladder! Just be careful.
  • Faucets: Descale faucets/showerheads throughout the home with vinegar. Clean out aerators.
  • Vent Covers: Remove the HVAC vent covers and wash them in the sink with warm soapy water.
  • Windows: Vacuum windowsills and window tracks. Remove cobwebs and bugs from window screens.
  • Ceiling Fans: Wipe down ceiling fan blades.
  • Carpet: Spot clean stains on carpet and upholstery.
  • Doors: Wipe down doors and doorframes for fingerprints and smudges.
  • Garbage Cans: Wipe out and clean garbage cans, recycling bins, and wastebaskets.
  • Blinds: Give your blinds a thorough clean by spraying them with vinegar and scrubbing them down.
  • Couch/Chairs: Remove all cushions and vacuum the creases that pet hair and popcorn love to call home. Also, move the couch to clean underneath it and behind it.
  • Cabinets/Drawers: Empty cabinets and drawers one at a time, give them a vacuum, and wipe them with a clean wet rag or your favorite cleaning spray. Wipe down all cabinet faces as well.

Molly Maid's Annual Home Cleaning Checklist.

Download our printable Cleaning Checklist PDF (291 kb).

How To Thoroughly Clean the Kitchen

Oven: Before you crank up the heat on your “self-cleaning” oven, let’s get out all the stuff that can be a fire hazard. Using a damp cloth, perform a quick wipe down of the oven interior, door, and glass to remove any loose residue. After cleaning out the baked-on food, you can work on getting those wire racks to shine.

Stovetop: If you have a gas or electric stove with cooking grates, remove them from the stovetop and soak them in hot soapy water. If you have an electric oven, you can remove/unplug the coils to make cleaning easier. Some cooktops have slide-out trays beneath the burners to catch food; don’t forget to check this area! Scrub all surfaces and control knobs with a soapy sponge and a clean wet rag. Don’t forget the vent hood, vent fan, and the hood fan filter. These areas are notorious for greasy buildup, so make sure you use a cleaner with a degreasing agent.

Microwave: Before you invest some serious elbow grease in this task, loosen any food splatters on the interior with lemon and vinegar. Use glass cleaner for the microwave face and keypad. Don’t forget to remove the round glass dish inside the microwave. Carefully soak it in some warm, soapy water to remove any residue. Take special care handling the glass dish, it can be slippery when wet. If you have a countertop microwave, move it to clean around and underneath it where food may accumulate.

Toaster/Air Fryer: Remove any fire hazard (such as breadcrumbs, food residue, and built up grease) from the bottom of your toaster. Remove and clean the trays and wipe down the exterior with warm water and vinegar. Here are more helpful tips on How to Clean An Air Fryer that will help you get the most out of yours.

Refrigerator/Freezer: Cleaning your refrigerator and freezer every few months can help improve its efficiency and keep old food items from piling up. Read more about how to clean a refrigerator and freezer. Don’t forget the rubber gasket around the door seals; clean these with warm soapy water. A tightly sealed door will keep the cold air in and warm air out, ensuring optimal performance.

Sink: This seems like a no-brainer, but after all that cleaning, your kitchen sink is going to be filthy. Wipe it out with hot soapy water, paying attention to the crevices in the backsplash and around the faucet. A cleaner with bleach can help remove stubborn stains, disinfect, and eliminate any mildew.

Dishwasher: Use baking soda and vinegar to clean your dishwasher to remove soap residue and buildup that accumulates over time. Just run it empty with a cup of vinegar and ½ cup of baking soda. Don’t forget to clean the dishwasher filter, which is typically located at the bottom of the appliance. A half-turn should allow you to remove the filter, which you can rinse under warm water.

A Spotless Bathroom In-Depth Clean

Grout: White grout can really brighten the appearance of a bathroom, but keeping it that way can be a challenge. Keep your grout looking pristine by scrubbing it with a mixture of baking soda and water. You can also use a grout cleaner to remove stubborn dirt and stains, which will help restore it to its original color.

Shower Curtain: If you have a linen shower curtain that is washing machine safe, wash it regularly to keep it clean and fresh. Additionally, consider cleaning or replacing the plastic curtain behind the linen one. Try these proven methods to keep your plastic shower curtain clean.

Toothbrush Holder: The toothbrush holder can accumulate grime and bacteria if not cleaned regularly. To avoid a bigger, tougher job later on, make it a habit to clean the toothbrush holder regularly. You can soak it in warm, soapy water or use a disinfectant spray to ensure it's thoroughly clean and hygienic.

Toilet: After cleaning your toilet with a cleaner or vinegar, pay attention to the base and area behind the toilet, t where dirt and grime collect. Use a brush or sponge to keep them looking good. Regularly cleaning these often-overlooked areas will help you maintain a spotless bathroom and prevent the buildup of unpleasant odors.

Sink Faucets and Fixtures: Don't forget to clean and polish the bathroom faucets and fixtures to remove water spots, soap scum, and fingerprints. Use a mild cleaning solution and a soft cloth to wipe them down thoroughly, restoring their shine and ensuring they look sparkling clean.

Showerhead: Over time, mineral deposits from water can build up on your showerhead, affecting water flow and quality. To keep the water flowing freely by removing the showerhead and soaking it in a mixture of vinegar and water to dissolve the deposits. Scrub away any remaining residue with a brush or sponge, then reinstall the showerhead for a refreshing and revitalizing shower experience.

Mirrors: Clean mirrors thoroughly to remove streaks and smudges for a crystal-clear reflection. Use a glass cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water to wipe down the mirror surface, then buff it dry with a clean, lint-free cloth for a streak-free shine.

Floor Mats: Wash floor mats and rugs regularly to remove dirt, grime, and bacteria. If machine washable, launder them according to the manufacturer's instructions. For non-machine washable mats, scrub them with a mild detergent and rinse thoroughly before allowing them to air dry completely. Clean floor mats and rugs not only enhance the appearance of your bathroom but also contribute to a cleaner and more hygienic environment.

Living Room Space In-Depth Clean

Dust/Polish Furniture: Ensure to dust and polish all furniture surfaces, including coffee tables, side tables, bookshelves, and entertainment centers, to eliminate dust and restore their shine, enhancing the living room's appearance and creating a welcoming atmosphere. Just remember when you start dusting, it’s best to work from the top down.

Wash Slipcovers: If your upholstered furniture has removable slipcovers, wash them to remove stains, odors, and dirt, maintaining the cleanliness and hygiene of your furniture upholstery.

Vacuum Sofa and Chairs: Use a powerful vacuum cleaner with upholstery attachments to remove dust, crumbs, pet hair, and debris from sofas, armchairs, and other upholstered furniture pieces, maintaining the cleanliness and hygiene of your furniture upholstery. If possible, remove any cushions and vacuum in the cracks and crevices where food and other debris accumulate.

Dust Blinds: Dust both sides of blinds using microfiber cloths to eliminate accumulated dust and dirt, improving the appearance of windows and enhancing natural light.

Clean Window Sills: Clean window sills to remove dust, dirt, and grime, using a mild cleaning solution and microfiber cloths to ensure they are spotless and ready to showcase your windows.

Wash Windows: Clean windows inside and out, using a streak-free cleaning solution and squeegees or microfiber cloths to remove dirt, fingerprints, and smudges, providing crystal-clear views and brightening the room.

Clean Ceiling Fans: Use a vacuum and a damp cloth to carefully clean ceiling fan blades, motor housing, and light fixtures to remove dust and dirt buildup, improving air circulation and reducing allergens in the room.

Dust and Clean Lamp Shades: Vacuum or gently dust lamp shades using a soft brush or microfiber cloth to remove dust and dirt, ensuring they look clean and bright when illuminated.

Dust Electronics: Use dryer sheets or specialized electronics cleaning cloths to gently dust and clean electronics, including TVs, stereo systems, gaming consoles, and remote controls, removing dust and fingerprints without damaging sensitive components.

Dust and Clean Decor: Dust and clean decorative items such as picture frames, figurines, vases, and artwork to remove dust and maintain their appearance, enhancing the overall aesthetic of the room.

Mop or Vacuum Floors: Finally, mop or vacuum floors, depending on the flooring material, to remove dirt, dust, and pet hair, leaving the living room fresh, clean, and ready to enjoy.

Dining Room In-Depth Clean

Dust/Polish Dining Table and Chairs: Dust and polish the dining table and chairs to remove any dust buildup and restore their shine, creating an inviting atmosphere for meals.

Clean and Sanitize High Chairs: If you have high chairs in your dining room, clean and sanitize them to remove any food residue, stains, and germs, maintaining a hygienic environment for your little ones during meal times.

Dust and Clean Light Fixtures or Chandeliers: Carefully dust and clean light fixtures or chandeliers to remove dust, cobwebs, and debris, improving the lighting quality in your dining room and enhancing its overall appearance.

Wipe Down Chair Cushions: Wipe down chair cushions to remove any spills, stains, or crumbs, ensuring that your dining chairs are clean and comfortable for seating during meals.

Clean and Sanitize Dining Room Surfaces: Clean and sanitize dining room surfaces such as the dining table, sideboards, or countertops to remove any food residue, spills, or bacteria, ensuring a hygienic dining environment for you and your family.

Clean and Polish Any Glass Surfaces (e.g., Glass Tabletops): Clean and polish any glass surfaces in the dining room, such as glass tabletops, to remove fingerprints, smudges, and streaks, ensuring that your glass surfaces sparkle and shine.

Clean and Sanitize Any Dining Room Storage Cabinets or Shelves: Clean and sanitize dining room storage cabinets or shelves to remove dust, dirt, and food debris, ensuring that your storage areas remain clean and organized.

Vacuum or Mop Floors: Finally, vacuum or mop the floors in the dining room to remove any dirt, crumbs, or spills, ensuring that your dining room floors are clean and free of debris, creating a welcoming space for family meals and gatherings.

Laundry Room In-Depth Clean

Clean and Sanitize Washing Machine and Dryer Exteriors: Thoroughly clean and sanitize the exteriors of the washing machine and dryer to remove any dust, grime, or detergent residue, maintaining the cleanliness and hygiene of the appliances.

Wipe Down Laundry Sink and Faucets: Wipe down the laundry sink and faucets to remove any soap residue, water spots, or dirt, maintaining the cleanliness and appearance of the sink area and ensuring that it remains functional for handwashing or pre-treating laundry stains.

Clean and Organize Laundry Supplies (Detergent, Softener, etc.): Clean and organize laundry supplies such as detergent, fabric softener, and stain removers, ensuring they are neatly arranged and easily accessible, making laundry tasks more efficient and convenient.

Dust and Clean Shelving Units: Dust and clean shelving units to remove any dust, lint, or debris that may accumulate, keeping laundry supplies and accessories clean and preventing contamination of freshly washed clothes.

Clean and Sanitize Countertops: Clean and sanitize countertops to remove any spills, stains, or bacteria, ensuring a hygienic surface for folding laundry or sorting clothes.

Clean Lint Trap and Dryer Vents: Clean the lint trap and dryer vents to remove any lint buildup, which can reduce the efficiency of the dryer and pose a fire hazard, ensuring that your dryer operates safely and effectively.

Sweep and Mop Floors: Finally, sweep and mop the floors in the laundry room to remove any dirt, dust, or spills, ensuring that the floors are clean and free of debris, creating a safe and hygienic environment for laundry tasks.

Clean and Organize Storage Areas: Clean and organize storage areas such as cabinets, drawers, or closets to remove clutter and ensure that laundry supplies are stored neatly, making it easier to find and access items when needed and helping maintain an organized laundry room space.

Office In-Depth Clean

Dust and Organize Desk and Workspace: Thoroughly dust and organize your desk and workspace, ensuring that surfaces are free from dust, clutter, and debris, creating a clean and productive work environment.

Clean and Sanitize Computer Keyboard and Mouse: Carefully clean and sanitize your computer keyboard and mouse to remove dirt, germs, and bacteria, maintaining a hygienic workspace and preventing the spread of illness.

Wipe Down Computer Monitor or Screen: Gently wipe down your computer monitor or screen using appropriate cleaning solutions and microfiber cloths to remove dust, fingerprints, and smudges, ensuring a clear and unobstructed view while working.

Clean and Sanitize Office Phone or Headset: Clean and sanitize office phones or headsets to remove dirt, oil, and germs, ensuring they are clean and safe for use, maintaining a hygienic communication environment in the office.

Dust and Clean Office Furniture (Chairs, Shelves, etc.): Dust and clean all office furniture, including chairs, shelves, and cabinets, to remove dust, dirt, and debris, maintaining the appearance of your office furniture and creating a clean and professional workspace.

Organize and Declutter Paperwork and Files: Organize and declutter paperwork and files, ensuring that documents are neatly filed or stored away, improving efficiency and productivity by making it easier to find important information when needed.

Vacuum or Clean Office Rugs or Carpets: Vacuum or clean office rugs or carpets to remove dust, dirt, and allergens, ensuring a clean and healthy indoor environment, improving indoor air quality, and creating a comfortable workspace.

Empty and Clean Wastebasket or Recycling Bin: Empty and clean the wastebasket or recycling bin, removing any trash or debris and sanitizing the interior, maintaining cleanliness, and preventing odors in the office.

Garage In-Depth Clean

Organize and Declutter Items on Shelves and Workbenches: Organize and declutter items on shelves and workbenches, ensuring that tools, equipment, and other items are neatly arranged and easily accessible, maximizing space and improving efficiency in your garage.

Sweep or Vacuum Floors: Thoroughly sweep or vacuum the floors to remove dirt, dust, and debris, ensuring a clean and tidy garage space, preventing slips, trips, and falls, and maintaining a safe working environment.

Dust and Clean Garage Door and Tracks: Dust and clean the garage door and tracks to remove dirt, grease, and grime buildup, ensuring smooth operation and prolonging the life of the garage door system, improving functionality, and enhancing the appearance of your garage.

Clean and Sanitize Garbage and Recycling Bins: Use a cleaner with a disinfectant to clean and sanitize garbage and recycling bins to remove odors, stains, and bacteria, ensuring a clean and hygienic storage area for waste disposal, maintaining cleanliness, and preventing the spread of germs in your garage.

Wipe Down Walls and Baseboards: Wipe down walls and baseboards to remove dust, cobwebs, and stains, ensuring a clean and well-maintained garage interior, improving the overall appearance of the garage, and creating a more pleasant working environment.

Clean and Organize Storage Cabinets or Shelves: Clean and organize storage cabinets or shelves, removing clutter and reorganizing items for better storage efficiency, maximizing available space, and making it easier to find and access stored items.

In-Depth Clean Kid Areas and Playrooms

Clean and Sanitize Toy Chests or Storage Bins: Thoroughly clean and sanitize toy chests or storage bins to remove dust, dirt, and germs, ensuring that toys are stored in a clean and hygienic environment, promoting the health and well-being of your children.

Wash and Disinfect Toys, Including Stuffed Animals: Wash and disinfect toys, including stuffed animals, to remove dirt, germs, and allergens, ensuring that toys are clean and safe for your children to play with, reducing the risk of illness or infection.

Vacuum or Sweep Floors: Vacuum or sweep floors in kid areas and playrooms to remove dirt, dust, and debris, creating a clean and safe play space for your children, reducing the risk of slips, trips, and falls.

Organize and Declutter Toys and Games: Organize and declutter toys and games, ensuring that they are neatly arranged and stored away when not in use, maximizing space and making it easier for your children to find and play with their favorite toys.

Clean and Sanitize Child-Sized Tables and Chairs: Clean and sanitize child-sized tables and chairs to remove spills, stains, and germs, ensuring that furniture pieces are clean and safe for your children to use during playtime and activities.

About Molly Maid's Cleaning Services

If your house cleaning checklist is too much for you to handle with everything else you have going on, it might be time to enlist the help of the cleaning professionals! If you’re wondering how much house cleaning costs and what is included in our house cleaning service? Here is an explanation of how we determine cost and cleaning included in our services. 

Cleaning costs will vary depending on the size of the home and the service requested. Before starting a recurring cleaning job, a Molly Maid professional will come to your home and provide a free inspection and cost estimate. Our house cleaning service starts with an initial cleaning. This allows us to pay extra attention to oft-neglected corners of your home.

We’ll wipe down surfaces, including windowsills, faucets, countertops, chairs, dressers, sink basins, and appliances. Next, we’ll spend a little extra time in the bathroom, focusing our efforts on cleaning the shower, tub, toilet, and mirrors. Then we’ll move into dusting and vacuuming. After dusting picture frames, light fixtures, and baseboards, we’ll vacuum the furniture. We’ll finish our cleaning by vacuuming and mopping the floors.

Since each Molly Maid location is locally owned and operated, some locations will also change bedding if fresh linens are provided. Some locations also clean ovens and refrigerators when requested.

Cleaning Services We Don't Offer

While we offer many home cleaning services, there are some things we are not equipped to help with. These tasks often require special equipment, training, and experience. As you create your house cleaning checklist with Molly Maid in mind, here is a list of things we can’t help with:

  • Carpet cleaning/stain removal beyond vacuuming
  • Unclogging drains and pipes
  • Window washing
  • Porch and patio cleaning
  • Small appliance repair or cleaning
  • Fire and water damage restoration
  • Wood scratch or damage repair
  • Garbage can sanitization
  • Descaling of faucets
  • Cleaning vent covers
  • Defrosting and cleaning freezers
  • Dishwasher cleaning
  • Dish, pot, and pan washing
  • Shower curtain cleaning
  • Aerator cleaning
  • Degreasing stovetop hood
  • Picking up clutter
  • Cleaning tile grout

Professional House Cleaning Services

Our dedicated and diligent cleaning team is committed to your satisfaction and back it with the Neighborly Done Right Promise™, which ensures we’ll get the job done right! Your home will sparkle, making maintenance effortless. Contact your local Molly Maid for regular house cleaning services or request a FREE estimate today.

Ready to schedule a service? Call us to speak with our friendly customer service representatives. Or Schedule a free estimate today!

FAQ About Household Cleaning

What’s included in a deep cleaning home cleaning checklist, and why is it important?

A deep cleaning home checklist is a comprehensive list of tasks and areas to clean thoroughly in a home, which typically goes beyond regular cleaning routines. It covers areas such as appliances, fixtures, furniture, and hard-to-reach spots. In-depth cleaning is essential to maintain a healthy and hygienic living environment, removing built-up dirt, grime, and allergens.

How often should I use the deep cleaning home checklist?

How often you give your home a deep cleaning depends on factors such as the size of your home, whether you have young children and/or pets, your cleaning preference, and level of cleanliness. As a general guideline, in-depth cleaning is recommended every few months to keep your home looking its best. Regular cleaning routines should take place on a weekly basis. However, some cleaning tasks that are more involved, such as cleaning kitchen appliances or washing windows, may be done less frequently.

How long does it typically take to complete all the tasks on the deep cleaning home checklist?

The time required to complete the deep cleaning checklist varies depending on factors such as the size of your home, the extent of cleaning needed, and your cleaning speed and efficiency. Some households may complete the checklist in a single day, while others may prefer to spread the tasks over a weekend or multiple days to avoid fatigue and ensure a more thorough clean.

What are some tips for effectively using the deep cleaning home checklist?

To make the most of the deep cleaning home checklist, consider the following tips:

  • Prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance.
  • Gather all necessary cleaning supplies and equipment before starting.
  • Make it a team effort by encouraging everyone in the household to participate.
  • Work systematically, focusing on one area or task at a time.
  • Take short breaks to rest and recharge as needed.
  • Celebrate your progress and accomplishments along the way to stay motivated.

This resource is provided to help DIYers clean their own homes. It is not intended to reflect the steps taken by Molly Maid’s professional cleaning teams. Each franchise is independently owned and operated. Services may vary by location.

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