Is There a Right Order to Do Chores In?

Cleaning supplies

The Spruce / Ana Cadena

For most of us, any cleaning chore that is done anytime, at any spot in the house (especially by someone else) qualifies as good cleaning. But whether you do chores regularly or only when the house is a disaster zone, we have some tips about doing household chores in the right order to make the work easier. 

1. Let Appliances and Cleaning Products Do the Hard Work

Nearly every home has appliances that can do a great deal of the cleaning for us. When you start in on a session of doing chores (or even a binge-watching evening), load the dishwasher and start a load of laundry so that the appliances are working while you do something else.

Pro tip: the dishwasher and washing machine can be used to clean much more than dishes and dirty clothes!

Next, head to the bathroom or kitchen where you may have some heavy cleaning to do. Get a head start by spraying cleaning products on soap scum, toilet stains, or greasy ovens. Give the cleaning products time to work and cut through buildup while you do other things; removing the gunk will be much easier in 15 to 20 minutes.

Open dishwasher
The Spruce / Ana Cadena

2. Tidy Up First Before Cleaning

If a room is filled with stacks of papers, toys, or piles of clothes, cleaning floors and surfaces becomes much harder. Start in one corner and methodically work around the room straightening or picking up anything that is out of place. Use a plastic laundry basket to gather items that need to be put away and a trash bag for things that need to be tossed. Now you can dust and vacuum much more easily.

Cleaning up play room
The Spruce / Ana Cadena

3. Pick a Room and Stick With It

Now that you have things underway, pick a room to clean completely and stick with it until it is done. If you flit from room to room, you may not see many results from your efforts. Always clean a room from the ceiling to the floor so that dust doesn't fall on an already clean surface. No need to dust twice. Don't forget hard to reach ceiling fans, light fixtures, and the tops of tall furniture. In other words, wipe down or dust off every surface and then vacuum or sweep.

It doesn't really matter which room you clean first. Some people like to tackle the most difficult rooms to clean, like bathrooms or kitchens, first. Or, you can start with the spots where family and guests gather. The key is to get at least one space in really good shape. This is particularly important if you only have a limited amount of time to clean.

Make the tasks easier by having all of the cleaners and tools you need at hand when you start cleaning. Making several trips through the house to find disinfectant wipes, dusters, or the vacuum is wasted effort. 

Bathroom and cleaning supplies
The Spruce / Ana Cadena

4. Create a Daily or Weekly Chore Plan

Every home and family is different. There really is no right or wrong way to accomplish chores as long as they get done. It's best to work together to find a chore plan that works well for each family member. Some like to clean a little every day; others like to wait until they have a whole day for chores. Someone in your home may be a laundry wizard; while another may be better at vacuuming.

Whatever cleaning routine you establish, it's a good idea to make a master list of tasks so that nothing is overlooked. It's almost impossible to accomplish every chore that needs to be done in just one cleaning session and some things only need to be cleaned once a year

If you have kids, it is helpful to make an age-appropriate reminder chore list and post it in a prominent place. They can keep their room straightened up daily (hang up clean clothes, toss dirty clothes in the hamper, pick up toys and books, make the bed) so that weekly sheet changes, dusting, and vacuuming are easier.

Most chores are much easier if you don't wait until the jobs are overwhelming. Doing a bit of cleaning daily when you have a few minutes and correcting bad habits will make the deeper cleaning tasks less scary.

Try to plan your cleaning times so that tasks can be finished completely once you begin. Washing clothes and leaving them to get smelly in the washer or wrinkled in the dryer only makes more work. And no one needs that.

Chore list check off sheet
The Spruce / Ana Cadena

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