A Monthly To-Do List of Cleaning Chores

person cleaning an oven

The Spruce / Ana Cadena

There are chores that should be done once a month in order to keep your home as clean as possible. These tend to be more intense than daily tasks such as washing the dishes or picking up clutter. Instead, a good monthly cleaning list includes often forgotten areas such as the ceiling fan and light fixtures. It also means taking care of things such as spot cleaning the carpet you've been vacuuming over for a few weeks and dusting places you likely pass right by.

Be sure to customize your cleaning schedule to fit your needs. Some chores may be monthly in one family and are needed more often in others. If you find that cleaning an item or dealing with it only monthly still leaves it very dirty when you tackle it again, add it to your weekly or biweekly cleaning.

Dust Ceiling Fans

If it has been a while since you've cleaned your ceiling fan, take a look up. You're likely to see a ton of dust and dirt clinging to your fans. Dust the ceiling fan at least once a month to keep it looking nice, functioning well, and prevent all that dust from being dispersed in the air.


To make ceiling fan dusting less daunting, invest in a microfiber high duster with extension pole, so you can dry-dust and even damp-clean fan blades from the safety of the ground.

Clean Light Fixtures

Cleaning light fixtures on a monthly basis keeps your globes and fixtures from dulling and becoming encrusted with dust. It's often a quick task that requires wiping the fixture with a cloth and removing the globe or pan for a quick shine as well as dumping any bug remains. You'll be surprised how much brighter the light is with a little cleaning.

person cleaning a light fixture

The Spruce / Ana Cadena

Dust Air Vents

You may not notice the air vents in your home regularly, but they can quickly build up dust around the vent and wall areas. Dust them down monthly to keep dust from blowing out into your rooms. Wipe down the nearby wall as well to remove any dust that has accumulated there.

If you have a vacuum with a long hose and an upholstery or dust cup attachment, they make sucking all that forgotten dust out of the vent grates and slats a breeze.

Clean Walls

Even families without small children will discover occasional marks on the walls of their home. Spot clean the walls of your home to remove crayon marks, furniture scuffs, dust, and splatters. Food preparation, eating areas, and the place where you store your trash will be likely candidates for a monthly wall wipe down.

person cleaning walls

The Spruce / Ana Cadena

Dust Intensively

Besides the quick dusting that you do on a daily and weekly basis, more intensive dusting needs to be done monthly. This is the time to reach deep behind furniture and appliances and dust window sills, ceilings, and baseboards. Don't forget to dust down your doors, molding, and hidden corners were cobwebs may form, too.

Vacuum Inside Furniture

It is amazing how so much stuff finds its way into the depths of the sofa and living room chairs. You may not know how it got there, but a monthly cleaning and vacuuming is likely to reveal many long lost items and quite a bit of dirt.

Go down into the crevices to pull out items and either throw them away or place them where they really belong. Then, vacuum under and around the cushions to get rid of dust.

person vacuuming inside a sofa

The Spruce / Ana Cadena

Clean Windows

A monthly cleaning for windows includes cleaning the inside of the glass and wiping down the windowsills. Use a glass cleaner to remove streaks and spots on the interior of the windows. If you wait for an overcast day, you can reduce the chance of leaving streaks on the glass.

Spot Treat Carpet and Upholstery

Check for spots on the carpet and upholstery and treat any stains you find. Be sure to test the stain treater in an inconspicuous spot before applying it liberally. If it's been a while since your carpet was last cleaned, it may be time to schedule a shampooing as well.

person spot cleaning the carpet

The Spruce / Ana Cadena

Check Smoke Alarms

Double-check that your smoke alarms are functioning properly. Change the batteries if they need to be replaced. Be sure to dust down the smoke alarms to keep them in working order as well.

Change Filters

To keep your air conditioner running smoothly, you'll need to change the filter monthly. This is a good time to check your vacuum cleaner filters and clean or replace them, too.

Deep-Clean Appliances

Appliances take a lot of abuse. At least once a month, treat them to a deep cleaning that renews them to their original glory.

  • Use a good oven cleaner to remove baked-on drips and overflows from your oven.
  • Remove everything from your refrigerator and freezer and wipe them down thoroughly. Toss any outdated food while you're at it. Be sure to place new boxes of baking soda in both to help control odors.
  • Scrub down the inside and outside of your microwave oven.