15 Cleaning Tips for When You Want to Clean (or Have to!)

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When you are in the mood to clean or even if you’re not in the mood to clean but you HAVE to clean because it’s going to be Thanksgiving soon and you HAVE to clean, it’s nice to have a method to the cleaning madness.

I like cleaning tips that take me room by room through the house, so that’s what I’ve put together for you.

If cleaning makes you feel overwhelmed, breaking it down by room will make it less overwhelming. You can even tackle a room a day.

Room by Room Tips to Clean Your Whole House

The best cleaning advice I’ve ever gotten for cleaning the whole house is to go room by room and within each room, start at one corner of the room and work your way around the room.

It’s orderly and it keeps you on task. Keep a basket handy for things that need to be distributed to other rooms in the house, but generally, this methodical way of cleaning is going to keep you focused.

So, then, to keep it interesting and sort of a challenge, I have tips for you to try as you go through each room.

The purpose of this post is to get the big things clean. The large surfaces, the things that are in your face when you walk in the door and if they are dirty, then the whole place looks dirty.

I’ve got more cleaning hacks for the nitty gritty stuff.

Kitchen Cleaning Tips

#1 Keep your sink shiny

Keeping the kitchen sink shiny is an old Fly Lady trick to help spur you into cleaning action. The idea is that you pick one thing at the end of the night to keep clean.

I call it a trick because it’s not like you can shine the sink with all of the dishes in there. So you have to put those in the dishwasher first. Oh and the dishwasher is already full, so you have to empty that first. Now you can shine the sink.

So you’ve nearly cleaned the whole kitchen at this point.

But the shiny sink is very nice to wake up to in the morning. Shiny things are clean things.

The Thrifty Couple has some great tips for getting your sink shiny with items you probably already have in your home!

#2 Keep your appliances shiny

Somehow, I’ll never understand it, but somehow we’ve all been convinced that stainless steel appliances are totally awesome to have in our homes.

But they are not easy to clean. At all. They are constantly smudged and dull looking.

Remember how I said before that shiny things are clean things? Dull things look dirty.

Have no fear, there’s a great DIY appliance cleaner from Mom for Real that will keep your kitchen looking sparkly.

#3 Keep your baseboards clean

Technically clean baseboards are important all throughout your house. You do probably have them in every room and they all get dusty.

But, in the kitchen, they are the worst.

The part under your cabinets is like a magnet for messes. You probably barely notice it, but now that I’ve mentioned it you’re going to go look and be horrified.

So let’s clean.

I love this baseboard cleaning method from Country Chic Cottage.

#4 Degrease your cabinets (yes, they are greasy)

Sometimes messes defy the laws of gravity. Why are the cabinets so greasy? Is it from the food?

But even the cabinets that are like on the opposite side of the kitchen from the stove seem greasy!

I think it’s from our grubby little hands. We cook, get dirty hands and then we touch the cabinets and suddenly it’s grease city in the kitchen.

Living Area Cleaning Tips

#1 Polish the wood surfaces

We’re starting with the same premise in the living room as we did in the kitchen. If it’s shiny, it’s probably clean.

So get the wood surfaces in your living areas sparkling.

Polished wood table

I’ll admit this is not my favorite task because it can be labor intensive depending on how much stuff you have on top of your wood surfaces but it is a must.

If you love to DIY your cleaning materials, Tips Bulletin has 5 different concoctions you can try.

#2 Vacuum & spot clean the soft furniture

You eat on the couch, just admit it. We all do, it’s fine.

You just have to clean up after yourself. Vacuum the couch and other soft furniture periodically, maybe once a week if you’re a frequent couch eater.

You’re also going to need to spot clean the couch. Salsa drips are hard to contain, after all.

A Brick Home has a great method for cleaning your fabric couches and other furniture.

Speaking of linens, that giant linen at your feet (your rug!) gets super dirty. It’s dirtier than your toilet. It’s part of the reason I chose a Ruggable rug. They go IN THE WASHING MACHINE!

You can check out my full Ruggable review if that sounds like a rug you would like to have.

#3 Wash the linens

Cleaning tips - Clean curtains

This is equally the easiest and hardest tasks for cleaning your living room. You’re basically going to collect the linens you use in the living room and toss them in the washer.

But getting things like pillow covers off of pillows and curtains off of windows is a big old pain in the butt.

Then putting those things back on is also a big old pain in the butt.

Creekline has a great cleaning tip for cleaning curtains.

#4 Dust

Nobody. Not a single body on the earth, enjoys dusting.

It doesn’t mean you can skip it though. It has to be done. I mean, what are you going to do when the lady with the white gloves comes to your house for a sneaky pop inspection?

Better get on with the dusting, right?

Pop Sugar has a homemade Dusting Wipes recipe that looks like it would be fun to make.

Bathroom Cleaning Tips

#1 Stay on top of it

The bathroom is one of those places you do not want to allow to get built up filth.

It will be way, way harder to clean. So stay on top of things with daily tasks like cleaning off the sink and giving the toilet bowl a scrub and weekly tasks like scrubbing the tub.

I know you hate scrubbing the tub. Everybody does. But it’s light years easier when you do it regularly.

This tub cleaning tip from One Good Thing by Jillee will make your life a lot easier.

#2 Keep the shiny surfaces… shiny

Start with the mirror, but don’t forget the faucets, toilet bowl handle and other fixtures like towel holders.

If those things are dull, the bathroom won’t look really clean.

Try a homemade glass cleaner like this one from The Frugal Navy Wife.

#3 Clean the grout and other small crevices

If the grout in your bathroom is dirty then the bathroom is doomed to look grimy and dull.

It’s one of those things that you just have to bite the bullet on and get it clean.

I like this method for cleaning grout from Practically Functional because it involves using bleach. I love the smell of bleach. And I love that it kills germs and removes stains.

And you can’t argue with those before and after pictures, can you?

#4 Clean the linens

I know you probably clean your towels all the time. But they eventually kind of get…

Stale. And not so fluffy. And, truth be told, a smidge stinky.

It’s ok, it happens to everyone. There are ways to fix this. A nice fluffy white towel will go miles in saying, “This bathroom is clean!”.

Passion for Savings has a great tip for getting old towels to look brand new again.

And don’t forget about the shower curtain and liner. You KNOW those are dirty. They are like dirty clean, because, what even really is soap scum? It’s the scum of soap? How is that dirty?

Anyway, it looks dirty, so let’s clean those curtains.

Hometalk has a great tip for getting the somewhat delicate shower curtain liner nice and clean for you.

Bedroom Cleaning Tips

#1 Put everything that is on the floor or otherwise not in it’s proper place, on the bed.

cleaning tips - pile everything on the bed

This one sounds nuts. I know. But if you’re the type who starts cleaning and gets distracted and moves to a different and starts doing something else until suddenly the whole house is half clean and a half clean house is about the messiest thing ever, then this is the thing for you.

Because you won’t be able to get in your bed at night until you’ve dealt with it. So you have no choice but to stay focused or sleep on the couch.

So gather all of the junk that is either on the floor or otherwise out of place and toss it on the bed. Obviously if there is trash, throw that away.

Otherwise, on the bed. Start going through bit by bit and get that stuff to its proper home.

If you have a LOT of clutter in your room, you might want to do one corner of the room at a time. Just don’t move things from corner to corner. You’ll never finish.

#2 Put away your clothes

Your clothes are making your bedroom a mess. Make a habit of putting them away every day. If you do this weekly you will hate yourself on Sunday night when you have to put a mountain of laundry away.

If you already have a mountain of laundry, then start by doing 10 minutes of just putting clothes away every day.

#3 Strip the Bed

Clean sheets are a small luxury. It feels so good to get into a nice freshly washed bed. It’s never an easy task, but it is so worth the outcome.

One thing that makes this task a tiny bit easier is to always have “on deck” sheets. This means having a set of sheets on the bed and then a second set of sheets in a laundry closet.

Otherwise, you’re going to have to wash and dry the sheets before you can put them on the bed and that’s no fun.

Here’s a great tip for storing your sheet sets from Four Generations One Roof:

#4 Clean your mattress

Mm, yup. You need to clean your mattress. It’s just a fact and no one wants to do it, but next time you strip the bed, clean the mattress.

You will so much better getting into a bed at night that you know has been cleaned.

I know this seems like a huge undertaking. But it’s really not that difficult.

We’ve written a how to clean a mattress post with detailed instructions for you!

You still want to clean the little things with some fun cleaning hacks, because they’ll contribute to the overall cleanliness of your home, too.

Want More Cleaning Tips and Ideas?

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