Checklist for house cleaning: Room-by-room guide

This first-day cleaning checklist can help you get started.

You’re probably happy to let someone else dust and mop, but you may also wonder where to begin. You can ensure that you and your cleaner have the exact expectations. One of these is providing a checklist for house cleaning on Day 1. How to make a house-cleaning list that makes everyone’s life easier.

Walk through the initial layout together.

You can have a cleaning professional come to your home to show you around and tell you what services they provide.

Claire Zeysing is the founder of Make It Shine, a cleaning company in Las Vegas. She says: “We walk through the home thoroughly so that our cleaners know what to do.”

It’s a great time to ask questions and confirm that you understand what is expected.

Please share any special cleaning requirements.

Tell the cleaner about any special requests you may have during the walk-through so they know them upfront. You may ask them to use mild products on marble tiles, or your rug may need special care.

Val Oliveira founded Val’s Services in Chicago, which offers cleaning and organizing services. If these tools are needed regularly, the cleaner can prepare in advance.

By communicating preferences in advance, you can avoid issues later.

Zeysing says, “We set expectations with our staff and customers from the beginning of the service.”

Deep cleaning is the perfect way to kick off your spring cleaning.

The majority of cleaning services will offer deep cleaning on the first visit. So expect to have everything done thoroughly. This means that you might pay more than for a standard cleaning.

Jeneva Aaron is a designer, blogger, and professional cleaner. If the homeowner maintains their home, subsequent cleanings will be simple. I clean up, vacuum, and perform basic maintenance tasks.

Mary Cherry, the owner of Houston’s Evie’s Cleaning Company, a residential cleaning service, agrees, citing baseboards as an example. Her cleaners typically hand-wash baseboards on the first visit.

Cherry says that “dusting may be all needed for the next visits since they were already wiped and scrubbed on the first visit.”

Review and align your regular cleaning checklist.

We asked all the cleaners we spoke to if they had a checklist for cleaning homes. Ask if you need clarification. They’ll likely send it to you for review.

Consider providing a house cleaning checklist if they do not have one. You could use something like:


Clean appliance surfaces.

The microwave interior and exterior should be cleaned.

Clean the cabinet handles and fronts.

Tables and chairs should be cleaned.

Cleaning sinks and faucets

Vacuum or mop the floor.

Clean the blinds and windowsills.

Clean the baseboards.

Dust wall art, knickknacks, and other curiosities.

Dust lights or ceiling fans.


Clean the walls of your tub, shower, or shower.

Toilets should be cleaned and sanitized both inside and outside.

Mirrors and glass surfaces should be cleaned regularly.

Cleaning sinks and faucets.

Vacuum or mop the floor.

Clean the blinds and windowsills.

Clean the baseboards.

Switch plates should be cleaned periodically.

Living areas, bedrooms, and other rooms

Dust the tops, sides, and fronts of furniture.

Vacuum or mop the floor.

Mirrors and glass surfaces should be cleaned regularly.

Clean the blinds and windowsills.

Clean the baseboards.

Dust wall art, knickknacks, and other curiosities.

Dust lamps, ceiling fans, and lights.

Switch plates should be cleaned regularly.

Empty the trash.

If you agree to the checklist beforehand, you will understand what your cleaners will and will not do. Just because a list is provided does not mean the cleaners will go through the motions.

Zeysing says, “The checklist we provide to our customers details exactly what we clean in each room and additional services that we offer for a deep cleaning.” While we have a checklist, our staff can stay within expectations.

Aaron also agrees that she strives for her customers to be impressed, particularly at the first clean.

Aaron says, “[I] make it easy for people to understand my services. Aaron says, “Aside from the basic things like cleaning the toilets, vacuuming carpets and mopping kitchen and bathroom floor… I also like to clean the appliances, such as the stove and fridge, because they are shiny, and many homeowners need to remember this. This adds a bit of shine to the kitchen, making it look extra clean.

Request your next deep cleaning.

If you regularly use the cleaning service — for example, weekly, bimonthly, or monthly — your cleanings could take less time and may be less thorough because your cleaners are maintaining the work they did during your first deep clean. Consider asking for another deep clean as necessary.

Aaron says that some people, particularly those with small children, need deep cleanings more often than others. Most people need deep cleans only twice or three times a year.

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