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Housekeeping Guide

Why clean house?

  1. Sanitary reasons. When you clean your home, clean with disinfectants or cleaning products designed for a specific task.
  2. Keeps your belongings in better condition. Cleaning on a regular basis will keep appliances, pots and pans, towels, sheets and furniture in better condition and will last a lot longer.
  3. Self-esteem. Having a clean home gives you a feeling of accomplishment. It gives you a better outlook when other things may be going wrong. A clean home makes family members feel good about their surroundings and will make them want to pick up after themselves and keep their rooms clean.

What is a clean house?

  1. All trash carried out, stored in closed containers.
  2. All rooms free of trash and clutter. DON’T leave food or trash out overnight. This could attract roaches and rats.
  3. No insects or vermin in the house.
  4. Clean kitchen and bathroom: clean fixtures and free of dirt and hair; clean drains, sinks, tub and toilet.
  5. Clean kitchen utensils, eating utensils, dishes.
  6. Food stored properly, covered.
  7. Clean bedding; well-made beds.
  8. Clean laundry, folded, put away. DON’T leave WET clothes or towels lying around or in piles. This could cause roaches, they like damp areas. This will also cause mildew and the clothes will have to be rewashed.
  9. Free of dust, crumbs, surface dirt and cobwebs.
  10. Clean curtains, shades, blinds, upholstery and pillows.
  11. Clean doors, windows, floors, and woodwork. DON’T clean carpet stains with any type of bleach. This will take the color out and rot the carpet. DON’T let children drink colored fruit juices or Kool-Aid in carpeted rooms, as these liquids will PERMANENTLY STAIN the carpet.
  12. Neat surroundings outside the home, free of trash.

When to clean

Some things require cleaning on a daily basis, while other things may only need to be cleaned weekly or monthly. Make a list and tape it to the inside of a kitchen cabinet door for easy access. Below is a sample list and a good guideline for many cleaning chores:


  1. Wash dishes after meals, using a clean cloth and lots of water.
  2. Wipe off kitchen counters, table, range top. Wipe up spills immediately
  3. Mope or sweep up kitchen floor. (If feeding small children use newspaper under chair.)
  4. Make beds
  5. Put dirty laundry away or wash if there is a load ready. Hang up clothes.
  6. Empty trash, especially if it is food items.


  1. Mop kitchen and bathroom floors.
  2. Wash out garbage cans if you do not use trash can liners.
  3. Vacuum floors and rugs. (If pets are in the house, this may have to be done more often.)
  4. Dust furniture.
  5. Change sheets, pillow cases.
  6. Clean mirrors when needed.
  7. Change towels at least once a week, or when needed.
  8. Wash smudges, fingerprints off walls, woodwork.

Monthly or When Needed

  1. Wash windows. Clean curtains. Dust blinds.
  2. Clean closets and cabinets. Clean drawers.
  3. Clean bedspreads and mattress pads.
  4. Dust walls, ceilings, and baseboards.
  5. Clean oven

Cleaning tools and supplies

Cleaning is less time consuming when you use the proper tools and supplies for specific tasks. Below is a list of some of the products and tools you want to keep in stock.

  1. Laundry detergent
  2. Dishwashing liquid
  3. Ammonia or vinegar
  4. Bleach
  5. Lemon oil, furniture polish
  6. Pine-Sol, or comparable cleaner
  7. Paper towels
  8. Dust rags
  9. Vacuum cleaner (if possible)
  10. Toilet brush
  11. Brillo pads
  12. Trash bags and trash can liners
  13. Lysol disinfectant

Methods of cleaning

When you have to clean, you want it to be quick and easy and if possible a pleasant experience. Organize your work and materials. Make a list of what needs to be done and the tools and supplies needed for the job. Put all supplies in a basket or box to carry from room to room. Before you start cleaning, pick up all the clutter throughout the house such as newspaper, clothes, trash, etc. Decide which is easier for you – to clean a room at a time, or to do the same job in every room before you change tools or supplies. For instance, vacuum or dust all rooms at the same time, or vacuum or dust each room as you clean that particular room. Once you get a system that is easiest for you, then you will not dread the task.

Inexpensive cleaning tips

  1. Wash windows with a solution of ½ cup ammonia, 1/8 cup white vinegar, 1 gallon of warm water. Your windows will glow with no streaks and this solution is less expensive than a prepared spray.
  2. Wipe windows dry with newspaper. It leaves not lint on glass.
  3. Clean window screens with your vacuum cleaner. This removes dust thoroughly and easily.
  4. Remove paint from windows by rubbing with a cloth soaked in heated vinegar. Brush stubborn decals with several coats of vinegar. After vinegar has soaked in, decals will wash off.
  5. Remove hairspray on your bathroom mirror by wiping with a cloth dampened in rubbing alcohol.
  6. To polish metal surface and bathroom fixtures, rub with a soft cloth dipped in alcohol.
  7. Add a few drops of vinegar to rinse water when washing plastic curtains, shower curtains, or table cloth. This cuts down static that attracts dust.
  8. To remove mildew from shower curtains, drop the curtains into a cup of bleach water (enough to cover curtains). Let them soak for a half-hour, then scrub with a brush. Rinse curtains and hang on shower rod to dry.
  9. Water softener or inexpensive bubble bath in the bath water eliminates bathtub rings and other stains.
  10. A hint for alleviating smoke filled rooms or to get rid of cooking odors is to put out saucers of vinegar.
  11. A handful or tow of salt followed by boiling water does an excellent job of cleaning the drain. For clogged drains, change to bicarbonate of soda. Pour in a handful, followed by ½ cup vinegar.
  12. For burned pans, fill with cold water and lots of salt.. ½ cup for a small pan. Add small piece of onion. Let stand overnight. Bring to a boil slowly, and boil for 5 minutes. Set pan aside and let water cool. When cold, clean and scour. You may also use past of soda and liquid detergent and a small amount of water. Let stand.


Reward yourself and other members of the family who have helped you clean the house. Whatever the reward may be for you or your children, be proud of your accomplishment. It WILL make you feel better.