Fall is almost here, and many of us are getting ready to have family and friends visit our houses for the upcoming holidays. Having company over means it’s time to start deep-cleaning the house!

During the summer, it’s easy to put off cleaning in favor of fun summer plans. Spending more time outside for barbecues and beach days means less time sitting inside. As cooler weather approaches, though, you’ll want to make sure you’re kicking off the season with a clean home to make the holiday preparation scramble a little easier.

As you tackle seriously tidying up, here’s how you can deep-clean every room of your house but remember daily cleaning means you don’t have to deep clean as often.

The Living Room

The living room is where many of us spend most of our time (except maybe the kitchen – but we’ll get to that later). Here’s how to deep-clean your living room for a truly zen space:

1. Tidy up the clutter

Before you get started on the real deep cleaning, you’ll want to pick up any clutter you’ve got around your living room. Put away books, pens, plates or anything else that’s been lying in the living room area.

2. Start dusting

Once you’ve cleared out your space and put everything in its place, you can start dusting. Be sure to use a duster that has a longer handle and allows you to reach high or small areas that may be more difficult to dust. Don’t forget to dust your ceiling fan – dust can collect fast on the tops of the fan blades.

3. Wash your blankets & curtains

Next, you’ll want to collect your living room blankets and throw them into the wash. You can also take down your curtains and wash them according to the manufacturer’s directions.

While your curtains are being washed, you’ll be able to clean your windows. Be sure to clean the outside and inside of your window sill – you can use a toothbrush and a spray bottle of cleaning solution to reach into the long and thin parts of your window to clear out any dirt that’s gathered there.

4. Clean your furniture

Wipe down your hardwood furniture to get rid of any stains or crumbs that may be left there. For upholstered pieces, you can vacuum them to be sure you’re picking up all the clutter that can hide on the fabric. Be sure to lift up cushions and get between them while vacuuming!

5. Sweep and mop your floor

If you’ve got a hardwood or tile floor, you can get started by sweeping up every corner of the living room. It’s important you do this as your last step in cleaning – all the clutter and debris you’ve been cleaning up from your furniture will have likely spread to the floor a little bit during the process.

Once you’ve swept everything up, you can mop your floor as the final touch. If you’ve got a carpet, be sure to vacuum that after you’ve cleaned your furniture.

The Kitchen

The kitchen is usually the most dirty room in the house. If you’re constantly cooking, it can be tough to keep up with keeping your kitchen clean.

Here’s how you can tidy up your kitchen for a lasting deep clean:

1. Clean your oven & refrigerator

As we use them nearly everyday, our ovens and refrigerators can get quite dirty. When cleaning your refrigerator, be sure to take all your food out and set it aside while cleaning the inside. If possible, try to move your refrigerator a bit to clean behind and underneath as well: lots of dust and debris can get stuck here.

When cleaning your oven, start off by clearing out any pieces of food that may have fallen to the bottom. Then, take out the oven racks and set them aside. From here, you can spray the inside of your oven with oven cleaner, and let it sit for the recommended time.

While you’re waiting for the oven to clean, you can soak and scrub your oven racks and set them aside to dry.

2. Wipe down your stovetop and counters

It may feel like your kitchen counters and stovetop are eternally dirty, a deep clean is still necessary!

Wipe down your countertops with disinfectant wipes to clean it off and ensure no bacteria is lingering. Next, you can move on to the stovetop: remove the grates to be able to clean around the burners. You can also clear off your grates with a grate cleaner to get rid of some of the food and debris that collects on them.

3. Clear out your pantry and fridge

It’s easy for old food to sit in our pantry and fridge longer than we’d like to admit.

Start off by going through your fridge and throwing any expired food away. Be sure to check through your sauces and condiments as well – they go bad too!

After you’ve finished clearing your fridge, you can dig into the pantry. Remove anything that’s past its expiration date, or has been open in your pantry allowing bugs to potentially get in. You can also take this time to rearrange your pantry for easy access.

4. Clean your sink & dishwasher

While you clean dishes in your sink everyday, you should be cleaning your sink just as often. You can deep-clean your sink by putting down dish soap and baking soda, and scrubbing with a brush to ensure you’re clearing out any bacteria that may have formed. Be sure to wipe down your faucet and handles, as well as the perimeter of the sink and antibacterial wipes.

To clean your dishwasher, you’ll want to run it with no dishes inside. Use vinegar or a dishwasher cleaning solution while running it. Once finished, remove the food trap at the bottom of your dishwasher and clear that out as well to prevent mold.

The Bathroom

Last but not least, it’s time to clean the bathroom. You will want to deep-clean your bathroom at least once a week to keep it in good shape.

1. Scrub the tub

You can begin to clean your bathtub or shower by first removing anything sitting in there: shampoo, wash clothes or other bath items can sit on the sink as you scrub down the walls of your bathtub. Be sure to use a h2 cleaning material to remove the pesky soap scum that tends to collect.

2. Clean the toilet and sink

Next, you’ll want to start cleaning your toilet by first filling the bowl with toilet cleaning solution. Be sure to scrub not only inside the bowl, but around the rim to clean any debris or rust that may have collected at the top.

Once you’ve finished that, you can spray the seat and the rest of your toilet with antibacterial cleaning solution, and wipe it down.

After you’ve finished cleaning your toilet, you can move on to your sink. Take off anything that may be sitting on your sink, like a soap dispenser or toothbrush holder, and spray the entire surface of the sink with a cleaning solution. Be sure to scrub all around the sink, including behind your faucet – hair and soap scum often collect there. You can use a toothbrush to get that hard-to-reach spot (but don’t use the one you use to actually brush your teeth).

3. Wipe down your mirror

The bathroom mirror gets particularly dirty, and deep-cleaning it is a must. Be sure to use a quality glass cleaner to spray down on your mirror, and wipe it down carefully. Use a microfiber towel – not tissues or paper towels, as they will leave particles on your mirror and make it even harder to clean.

Deep-cleaning your home is a great way to prepare for constant visits during the holiday season. Use this checklist to make sure you cover everything for a clean, company-ready home!

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