1. Work Down
Always start at the top of your house and work down. You don’t have to do the whole house in one go—pace yourself. Start with the tidying, then go on to dust, clean, and vacuum, in that order.
Clear out your junk! If you haven’t used it in the past year, you don’t need it. Contribute good clothing and toys to charity or hold a yard sale.
3. Curtain Call
Don’t forget the curtains. If you don’t clean them thoroughly at least once a year they will rot. Dry-clean velvet, tapestries, brocades, chenille, and interlined curtains. Cotton and similar textiles can be washed. Just remember to remove any hooks.
4. Deep Clean
Give your carpets a deep clean at least twice a year. If you aren’t up to doing it yourself, hire a carpet cleaner or rent a carpet-cleaning machine.
5. Thwart Moths
Clean the inside of your drawers and wardrobe, and then wipe the insides with cedarwood oil. Kill moth larvae by washing clothing at the highest temperature possible—or you could stick your clothing in a plastic bag and freeze them for 24 hours.
6. Brighten Up
Turn off your lights and remove their shades, globes and bulbs. Wash the removable parts with regular dish soap and wipe the fixed parts with a damp cloth.
7. Turn Over
Flip your mattress every three months and switch head and foot as well, which will help it maintain its shape. Vacuum your mattress on a low setting.
8. Freshen the Beds
Launder all of your quilts, duvets, and pillows. Both natural and synthetic fibers can be washed, but you may have to head to the Laundromat for big enough machines. Tumble dry.
9. Cheer Upholstery
Loose upholstery covers should be washed or dry-cleaned and then placed back on the furniture while still damp to reshape them.
10. Share the Load
Don’t do all of the work yourself! Enlist the entire family to chip in, or hire a cleaning service.