The Art of Efficient Cleaning: Doing It Right

Cleaning your home is a chore we all face regularly. It's not only essential for the well-being of your family but also to make your living space comfortable and inviting. While cleaning in any order is better than not cleaning at all, there is a right way to do it. Cleaning your home in the wrong order can lead to inefficiency and create a mess in areas you've already cleaned. So, what is the right order for cleaning your home? Let's dive into the details.


Cleaning your home safely and efficiently requires a systematic approach. This article will guide you on the proper order of cleaning, ensuring that you don't waste time or effort by cleaning areas twice.

Starting with Chemicals

Many professional cleaning services advocate for starting with chemicals, and there are good reasons for this. First, numerous cleaning solutions require prolonged contact with surfaces to work effectively, whether they're disinfecting or tackling tough grime. Second, working with chemicals can be risky if you're not knowledgeable or focused. In 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one in three adults was using chemicals or disinfectants unsafely while cleaning during the pandemic. It's essential to work with chemicals when you're fresh and alert. Always wear protective gloves, follow the instructions on the product labels, and never mix chemicals.

Bathroom: The Germiest Place

Begin your cleaning routine in the bathroom, which, despite its small size, takes the longest to clean due to its high germ concentration. If you're using a cleaning solution that needs time to work, you can turn on the exhaust fan, leave the door open, and move to other tasks while it does its job. Always keep the fan running to ensure you're not inhaling anything harmful when you return. For instance, after applying bleach to your toilet and allowing it to sit for a while, you can return to the bathroom and perform non-chemical cleaning.

Tackling the Kitchen

Proceed to the kitchen and follow a similar approach. Consider ways to make your cleaning tools work for you while you accomplish other tasks, such as running a load of laundry, soaking dishes, or letting a disinfectant sit on a surface for a while.

Dusting Before Organizing

Once your chemicals have had time to work, or after you've disinfected the bathroom and kitchen to your satisfaction, it's time to dust. While the urge to tidy up and organize may be strong, doing so beforehand can make the process more challenging. Dusting should always start from the top down, including windowsills, doors, the ceiling, and fans, before addressing anything else. Dust particles from higher surfaces will eventually settle lower, so if you organize a room before dusting, you may end up dirtying it again.

Dusting first ensures that when you vacuum and organize, you remove all the dust at once. (Keep in mind that floors are the last to be cleaned, so hold off on that for now.)

The Decluttering Process

Now, it's time to declutter. You can employ techniques such as the "five things" method. During the first pass, collect all the trash in the room. On the second pass, gather all the laundry. The third pass involves collecting any dishes in the room, and on the fourth pass, pick up and put away items that have designated places. Your final round in the room should focus on items without a designated spot. Once you've organized the trash, laundry, dishes, and items with places, you should have enough space for those mysterious items.

If you come across anything that requires chemical cleaning or additional dusting, you can revisit these tasks while moving on to the next room.

Cleaning the Floors

Once everything is disinfected, dusted, and organized, it's time to clean the floors. This step will eliminate any dust that has settled, and by leaving it for last, you ensure that you won't backtrack or walk over wet hardwood or freshly vacuumed areas.


The key to efficient cleaning lies in following a specific order to avoid redundancy. For optimal results with this cleaning schedule, move from room to room so that you're always at the same stage in each room.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When should I clean my home? Cleaning your home regularly is ideal, but the frequency can vary based on your needs. It can be done weekly or monthly, as per your preference.
  2. Can I use natural cleaning products instead of chemical cleaners? Yes, you can opt for natural cleaning products if you prefer them over chemical cleaners.
  3. Should I wear gloves when using chemical cleaners? Yes, it's crucial to wear protective gloves when using chemical cleaners to safeguard your hands.
  4. Can I use the same cloth to dust and then clean the floors? It's best to use separate cloths for dusting and cleaning the floors to prevent transferring dust to the floor.
  5. Do I have to follow the same cleaning order every time? Not necessarily, but following a specific cleaning order helps maintain a cleaner home efficiently.
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