Let’s be real: Cleaning is likely not your favorite activity. If you’re anything like me, it falls somewhere between listening to the airplane safety demonstration and going to the dentist in the hierarchy of things I have to do as an adult. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but there are plenty of other ways I’d like to spend an afternoon. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over many years of dreading cleaning, it’s that when armed with the right supplies and a solid plan, the actual task of cleaning isn’t so bad. I’ve also learned that when you find a lifesaving hack like Grove Collaborative to save time and effort in getting everything you need for the job, that helps too. To walk you through my routine, I’ve put together this step-by-step cleaning checklist that breaks down a whole house’s worth of cleaning tasks into easy, achievable chunks.
Consider this your go-to cleaning checklist for when you’ve got overnight guests coming over and need a clean house stat. Or for when it’s been a while and you want to commit your Sunday afternoon to a good deep clean. Whatever your reason, you’ll no doubt have a tidy, fresh-smelling, immaculately clean space when you’re done.
Read on for the ultimate cleaning checklist and all of our Grove Co. favorites to get you started.
What You Need
The first step to any good cleaning routine is grabbing the right supplies. I love sourcing my cleaning products from Grove Collaborative because all of their products are sustainably made, cruelty-free, and healthier than most options you’ll find elsewhere. The first time I used Grove and added items to my cart, I was absolutely stunned with how many free things they added in, plus, their products get the job done without any of the harsh chemicals and fumes that can make cleaning so unpleasant.
Grove Co. cleaners come in super-concentrated formulas that you mix with water, so they actually end up being more affordable (and more convenient to store!) than your typical cleaning products. Plus, right now, you can choose between four FREE starter sets when you make your first $20 purchase from Grove Collaborative AND snag free shipping: Grove Co. Refill Hand Soap Set, Grove Co. Refill Cleaners Starter Set, Mrs. Meyer’s Set, and Grove Co. Paper or Grove Co. Sustainable Laundry.
As you’re stocking up, be sure to grab these essentials. If you’re not in the market for that free starter set, you can start small and opt into one of our favorite products from Grove Co. for 20% off today, plus 5% off every other time if you subscribe:
Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
Countertop Cleaning Set
Compact Broom with Collapsible Handle
Ultimate Dish Soap Refill
Bubble Up Dish Soap Dispenser & Brush Set
Floor Cleaner Concentrate + Reusable Cleaning Glass Spray Bottle
Compact Mop with Collapsible Handle
Glass Cleaner Concentrate + Reusable Cleaning Glass Spray Bottle
Tub & Tile Cleaner Concentrate
Grunge Buster Grout & Tile Brush
Toilet Brush with Replaceable Head
Ultra Concentrated Laundry Detergent + Laundry Detergent Dispenser
Walnut Scrubber Sponge
Multi-Purpose Cleaning Concentrate
Wool Dryer Balls
Once you’ve gathered all your supplies, download our free cleaning checklist for a room-by-room breakdown of everything you need to clean.
2023 Cleaning Checklist
Download our free printable for a step-by-step guide to cleaning every room.
Note: If you have more rooms than we listed here (like a second living area or multiple bedrooms and bathrooms), simply repeat the steps for each additional room.
It might be tempting to start with the room that’s most in dire need of cleaning (likely the kitchen or bathroom), but that’s an easy way to burn yourself out and end up on the couch watching Netflix instead of actually completing your cleaning checklist. Lead with something a little more manageable and tackle the living room first. Here’s your to-do list:
Pick up clutter
First things first: Clear out unwanted clutter. Grab anything that’s on the floor or that doesn’t belong in the room and put it back in its rightful place.
Dust from top to bottom
Like most things, dust is subject to gravity, so you’ll end up doing more work if you dust from the ground up. Instead, start with the uppermost parts of the room (such as the ceiling fan, window trim, and wall corners) and work your way down to shelving, furniture, and other surfaces. Use Grove Co.’s duster with the telescoping handle for high-up areas and a microfiber cloth for everything else.
Vacuum or sweep floor
Give the floor a good vacuuming to pick up all that dust you just stirred up and any other debris. If you have hardwood floors, sweeping with a broom also works!
Reset the sofa and coffee table
The last step is to make the room look put together again. Fold up throw blankets, fluff pillows, and straighten up any items on the coffee table or other furniture.
Now that you’ve got the living room out of the way, it’s time to tackle something a little more involved. Head to the kitchen to clean up your cooking space.
To start, clear off anything that doesn’t belong on the countertops and put it back in its rightful place. Grab Grove Co.’s countertop cleaning set—it comes with the multi-purpose cleaning concentrate, a cleaning spray bottle, and a walnut scrubber sponge to tackle stubborn messes. Spray the surface of the countertop and use the sponge to wipe away any crumbs, spills, or other residue.
Wipe down appliances
Clean off any splatters or smudges using a microfiber cloth sprayed with a multi-purpose cleaner. Make sure to hit the oven, stovetop, refrigerator, microwave, and any countertop appliances. If you have time, wipe out the inside of the microwave and your refrigerator shelves, too.
Put away dishes
Place any dirty dishes in the dishwasher, and once it’s full, run it. Hand-wash any remaining dishes using Grove Co.’s high-powered dish soap. It easily cuts through grease and stuck-on food (even if it’s been sitting for a couple of days!). When the dishwasher is done, empty it and put the clean dishes away.
Wipe out sink
Once your sink is clear of dishes, rinse and wipe it out to remove any leftover debris. If needed, use the walnut scrubber sponge to remove stuck-on residue.
Vacuum or sweep floor
Use a vacuum or broom to pick up any crumbs, dirt, and other debris from the floor. The Grove Co. compact broom works like a charm for sweeping under cabinets, in between the fridge and the wall, and in other tight spots.
Mop or spot-clean floor
If you have time, mop the whole floor using the Grove Co. microfiber mop, which has a removable pad you can toss in the washing machine afterward. In a pinch, you can get by with spot-cleaning any sticky or visibly dirty spots using floor cleaner and a microfiber cloth.
Time for everyone’s least favorite room to clean: the bathroom. The good news is that once you’re done with this space, the hard part is basically over.
Put away countertop clutter
Empty the countertop of any toiletries and other items that don’t belong there.
Wipe down countertops and sink
Use Grove Co.’s multi-purpose cleaner and a microfiber cloth to wipe down the countertops and sink, including the faucet. Pay special attention to the areas around the faucet and sink edges where grime tends to collect.
Once the countertop is clean, spray the mirror with glass cleaner and wipe to remove streaks and smudges. The Grove Co. glass cleaner concentrate is my go-to because it uses 95% plant-derived ingredients for a shiny, streak-free finish. Plus, it’s scented with essential oils and plant extracts, so it won’t make your whole bathroom smell like chemicals.
Sanitize toilet inside and out
Apply a toilet bowl cleaner around the inside of the bowl, then let it sit while you clean the rest. Spray the exterior—including the lid, seat, handle, and base—with a multi-purpose cleaner and wipe with a microfiber cloth, working from the top down. Use a toilet brush to scrub around the inside of the bowl and under the rim, then flush to finish.
Scrub shower or tub
Spray the entire surface with Grove’s tub and tile cleaner, and let it sit for a few minutes to loosen grime. Use toilet brush for a good scrubbing, including around fixtures, then rinse the shower or tub clean.
Vacuum or sweep floor
Go over the floor with a vacuum or broom to pick up dust, dirt, and other debris.
Plush rugs in a moist environment like a bathroom can get pretty gross after a while. Wash your bathroom rugs in the warmest water that’s safe for the material to remove bacteria and restore their fluffiness. Grove’s ultra-concentrated detergent uses 98% plant-derived ingredients for a powerful clean without the harsh chemicals.
While the rugs are in the wash, clean the floor using a microfiber mop and floor cleaner. Pay special attention to the area around the toilet and right outside the shower, which tend to gather lots of germs. Grove Co.’s floor cleaner concentrate works on tile, laminate, and finished wood floors for a streak-free clean that’ll have your bathroom smelling great afterward.
Now for the final stop on our cleaning checklist, it’s time to tidy up your bedroom. If you’re the kind of person who puts their clothes away in a timely manner and generally picks up after themself, this is going to be fairly easy. If not… well, at least it’s the last room you have to clean.
If it’s been a while since you last changed your sheets, take this opportunity to strip the bed and throw your bedding into the washing machine. When it’s time to put your sheets in the dryer, toss in a few wool dryer balls as well. They can help reduce wrinkles and drying time—think of them as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional dryer sheets.
Put away clothes
Pick up any clothing that’s on the floor or anywhere else it doesn’t belong and either put it in the dirty clothes hamper or hang it back up. If you have any clean laundry sitting around, fold it and put it away.
Use a duster and/or a Grove Co.’s countertop cleaning set to remove dust from the ceiling fan, furniture, shelves, and other surfaces. Work from the top down to avoid dirtying up surfaces you just cleaned.
Straighten up nightstand and dresser
Remove any trash or unwanted items from your nightstand and dresser, then tidy up the items that belong there.
Vacuum or sweep floor
Vacuum or sweep the entire floor, including under the bed and in the closet.
Pull your sheets out of the dryer or grab a fresh set and remake your bed.
And there you have it! A sparkling-clean home with some extra time to spare thanks to Grove Collaborative Without the harsh chemicals or synthetic fragrances, you’re just left with a fresh-smelling, healthier-for-you clean. Now go treat yourself to a glass of wine or a good ol’ Netflix binge. You deserve it!
This post is sponsored by Grove Collaborative but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.