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What is a House Cleaning Checklist?

By Bethany Keene
Updated May 16, 2024
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A house cleaning checklist is a type of chore list that includes all the items that must be done to clean a home. Many people create checklists to remind themselves of what needs to be done; items can then be checked off as they are completed. A list may also be used to divide up chores among family members, so everyone is clear on what needs to be accomplished.

Some families choose to create a weekly cleaning checklist, which might include items such as cleaning the kitchen, cleaning the bathroom, running the vacuum, doing laundry, or dusting the furniture, for example. The chores may then be divided up among the family members. Some families choose to post the list on the refrigerator or in another central place so everyone can see what still needs to be done.

A house cleaning checklist might also be made seasonally. For instance, someone might want to wash the windows on the outside of the house in the spring, or to clean out larger areas such as the basement or the attic. Keeping a running list of things that need to be done around the house, from cleaning to home repairs, is a good way to ensure they get done. People can then schedule time to complete the chores or, if necessary, save up money for home repairs.

Making note of when a chore was last completed can help busy families keep track of a cleaning schedule. Some chores obviously do not need to be completed every week, for example, but it is easy to forget when one was last done. A checklist can eliminate this problem. It may be helpful to encourage other family members to add their own chores to the checklist, so everyone can see what needs to be done to keep the house clean; for instance, kids might add their responsibilities to keep their rooms clean to the checklist.

Checklists can be written on a simple piece of paper, but there are also some software programs and even free online applications that allow users to create personalized ones. They often allow users to add features, such as scheduled completion dates. Tasks can then be virtually "checked off" or rescheduled each week or month as needed. An electronic checklist can be a good way to keep a running house cleaning checklist going without needing to constantly rewrite it and make changes.

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Discussion Comments
By irontoenail — On Mar 03, 2013

I make these kinds of lists all the time but I never follow them! I try to make them online, in fact, because I was using up too much paper on them.

Usually I only get one or two items into the list before I get distracted. Personally, I think it's better to just do the things as they occur to me, rather than trying to organize them, but that's just me. Everyone works differently.

By bythewell — On Mar 02, 2013

@pleonasm - It depends on the house and the people, really. If you've got a "chore wheel" at least it's all spelled out and you don't have to feel like you're the only one who ever bothers to clean the toilet.

When I'm living by myself or with family, I like to have a list just to keep track of everything that needs to be done. It's easy to forget something like watering the plants if you don't have one. And, as a bonus, if you need to go away and leave someone house sitting, you've already got the list right there, and you don't have to worry that you've forgotten something.

By pleonasm — On Mar 01, 2013

I have to admit, I don't really like the idea of a checklist for house cleaning when I'm living in a shared house. It seems a lot more rigid than I prefer and I have bad memories of living in apartments where people got very angry over this kind of list.

It seems straightforward, but it almost never is. Someone doesn't want to wash the millions of dishes that have been put out, or vacuum up the cat hair when the cat doesn't belong to them. I much prefer it when the house goes by the tactic of everyone pitching in and just cleaning up after themselves.

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