A Professional Organizer’s Comprehensive Monthly Cleaning Checklist

Sandy Park

Learn what areas of your home, big and small, you should be cleaning every month from Tidywithspark's Sandy Park.

Deep cleaning your house can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Following a monthly cleaning schedule with a clear to-do list allows you to ease your way into a consistent routine.

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It can be hard to know where to start — but that’s where I come in. Think of this checklist as your ultimate monthly guide for cleaning your home!

I recommend a two-step approach to prioritize what needs monthly cleaning:

  • Consider the less visible areas of your home. Your eyes land on these areas—like the tops of cabinets—but they aren’t touched daily and are often forgotten when cleaning.
  • And the high-touch items, too. You likely touch these items multiple times a day (think doorknobs or refrigerator handles), yet they’re still overlooked and need attention.

To set yourself up for success, choose a time that works for your lifestyle. Consistency—and convenience—are key! I suggest either the first or last weekend of the month to easily remember your schedule. Dedicating a few hours on a weekend morning is all you’ll need to tackle this entire list—especially if you stick with it every month. If you are only able to carve out an hour or two, you can divide and conquer by alternating between two halves of the list bi-weekly. For more guidance of how to schedule your cleaning, I found this cleaning checklist organized by effort level really helpful.

Your monthly cleaning checklist

1. Tops of cabinets

This is the perfect place to start—because it’s the perfect spot for dust to accumulate. We may use our cabinets daily, but we rarely think about cleaning the tops. Use a Swiffer Dusters Cleaner Starter Kit to reach up there and trap dirt.

2. Top of refrigerator

This is often left to annual spring cleaning, but I recommend adding it to your monthly rotation because it’s a breeding ground for allergens. Apply a few drops of Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid with warm water and wipe away the dust using a wet rag or sponge.

3. Inside the refrigerator

Cleaning the refrigerator monthly allows you to avoid permanent stains—not to mention help you find the expired food you might be forgetting to toss.

4. Front door and entryways

Your front door is the first impression of your home, and it should be wiped down monthly. Door entryways should be swept and hosed down with water as well.

5. Ceiling fan blades and attached lights

Dirt and debris tend to cake onto ceiling fan blades, and bugs make their way inside the light fixtures. Using a mixture of Dawn Ultra and a couple drops of warm water will easily remove the grime from the blades.

6. Light fixtures

We often forget that light bulbs collect dust, but cleaning them regularly could make your rooms shine brighter. I recommend using a Swiffer Duster to gently remove dust — watch your lights immediately cast more light!

7. Baseboards

Baseboards accumulate dust quickly. And if you have an active household like me, you’ll find smudges and random stains throughout that should be wiped clean.

8. Molding and door frame

We walk through the doors daily, but little attention is given to the trim that collects heaps of dust. The framing and molding in your home should get a simple wipe down.

9. Interior window and frames and molding

Window shelves and molding or trim on the interior windows collect dust and debris just like the other molding and trim in the home, and should be wiped down.

10. Inside of the closet

Aside from swapping clothes in and out, people rarely clean the closets themselves. But it’s important to wipe down shelving and clothing rods as dust inevitably creeps in as we go about our daily lives.

11. Behind and under furniture

This is where the dust bunnies hang out. Break up their little party by vacuuming or using the a Swiffer Duster.

12. In between and underneath seat cushions

We’re all guilty of snacking on the sofa, and crumbs make their way in between and underneath the cushions. Vacuum up these areas to catch those runaway chips.

13. Chairs

Wipe down dining room chairs. My kids tend to touch the backs of their chairs during meals and it’s almost guaranteed that their little hands had food on them.

14. Kick board or toe kick of kitchen cabinets

This is an area that needs a good scrubbing every month to get rid of food stains, particles, and shoe scuff marks. I’ve personally found that Dawn Ultra is gentle on painted surfaces, removing stains without taking the paint away with it. Mix with warm water to gently yet effectively tackle this area.

15. Shower curtains

We use the shower to get clean but forget to clean the shower itself. Shower curtains should be washed or replaced frequently as bacteria builds up making them one of the bathroom’s dirtiest surfaces.

16. Bathroom faucets and shower heads

Many homes have hard water that appears as buildup on bathroom faucets and shower heads, impacting how water flows through the faucet over time. It’s a good idea to tackle the buildup before it gets unmanageable.

17. Window treatments

You will want to vacuum, launder, or dust your hanging window treatments with a Swiffer Duster depending on the material.

18. Windows and sliding glass doors

Little kids + sliding doors = fingerprints everywhere. A soapy mixture of Dawn Ultra and warm water does absolute wonders. Squeegee the water mixture and towel dry any remaining water to get a streak-free window. It might not last long (I know mine won’t) but it will look good in the moment!

19. The junk drawer

I can write an entire post just on the junk drawer! Remove all the contents from the drawer, group similar items together, and decide what to keep and what to discard. Clean the bottom of the drawer before reinserting any items.

20. Wall, floor, and ceiling vents

Cleaning vents frequently—and diligently—prevents the headache of a dirty buildup of dust and debris. It’s far easier to spend a little bit of time cleaning this area more frequently than to do a deep clean on an annual basis.

21. Handles, knobs, and drawer pulls

We use handles and drawer pulls nearly every single day, multiple times a day. Cleaning and wiping down handles once a week is a good idea, but once a month is a necessity.

22. Kitchen backsplash

It’s safe to say the backsplash near the sink and stove get the most action in a kitchen—food and oils inevitably splatter. To prevent permanent staining, wipe it down with a mixture of Dawn Ultra and warm water. This will do a nice job on clearing any oils or grease—I’ve even had success with removing tomato-based sauces!

23. Inside the trash sans

Loosen up any hardened food or dirty bits by soaking a mixture of Dawn Ultra with warm water in the can. Then wash and rinse out the trash can, letting it either air dry or hand dry with a towel or rag.

24. Inside rim of washing machine

There always seems to be a bit of grime that comes from doing loads as often as I do for my family of four, so I give the inside rubber rim a good cleaning. This prevents odors and it feels good knowing the machine meant to clean our clothes is actually clean, too!

These chores are the type that most easily slip by unnoticed until it’s too late. Keeping to a regular schedule keeps your home clean and healthy, and ensures you don’t have to spend more time scrubbing (or replacing) later.

Sandy Park

Article by Sandy Park

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