The secret to deep clean your home

Do you sometimes feel like you spend your entire weekend trying to deep clean your home only to have it messy again before Monday? Is it just me, or does anyone else collapse on their couch after a marathon cleaning session feeling a little bit like Cinderella?

Over the years I’ve looked and looked for a solution so I don’t have to spend my Saturday’s cleaning. And today, I’m sharing with you my secret to deep clean your home with ease: use zones. What the heck are zones and how do I do that? Keep reading and I’ll explain it all!

Deep clean your home with zone cleaning

If you’ve been around for a while, you know that I don’t like an all-in-one spring cleaning day in which I wear myself out cleaning the entire house top to bottom in one day. I do have a super-fast two-hour cleaning plan I like to follow if I need to clean in a hurry. But overall, I like to take things slow and steady. 

Enter zone cleaning from FlyLady. Thanks to using this method, it’s much easier to tackle deep cleaning one room at a time. And just like all her other methods, only tackle what you can put away in one hour. 

There isn’t any marathon cleaning session that will leave you not wanting to clean again for months on end. Instead, you do a little bit each week so you never have to worry about spring cleaning again. 

The zones

Here are the exact steps to deep cleaning your home with zones. The general premise is that there isn’t a strict schedule you must follow. Because let’s face it, deep down we’re all perfectionists and if we miss a day in a perfectly laid out schedule, we’ll never come back to it. We’ll consider ourselves failures and wait until it’s a total disaster before returning to tackle it. And then we’ll be tired, worn out, and feeling sorry for ourselves. Let’s stop that madness now. 

Use the zones to guide your cleaning, but don’t worry about a strict schedule. When you see what zone you’re in for the week, spend the first day doing a surface pick-up and declutter session. Like FlyLady always says, don’t spend more than 15 minutes on this.

This isn’t your typical deep cleaning schedule, so it will take time to get used to doing small chunks to avoid burnout! And the first day doesn’t have to be Monday. Kick the perfectionist out when using this schedule. After that first day of surface cleaning, choose one task from the zone cleaning list. 

Here is the key to the non-perfectionist cleaning schedule: trust the process. Eventually, it will all get done, it doesn’t have to get done all at once. Trust that it will get circled back to when the time is right.

Think about it, with Spring Cleaning the entire premise is that your entire home is cleaned in one day. And then, what? You don’t come back to it for another year? Even if you take an entire year to cycle through your zone cleaning list, it’s still just the same as spring cleaning. And as someone who hates cleaning and will avoid it at all costs, rarely does something sit on my list for that long without tackling it. 

So, with that caveat out of the way, let’s jump into the zone cleaning checklists. 

Zone 1 – Entrance, Front Porch, Dining room

  • Sweep patio, deck, or porch
  • Deep clean or vacuum floor mats
  • Clear off dining room table and wipe down
  • Dust china cabinet or hutch

Zone 2 – Kitchen

  • Wipe down and disinfect countertops and sink handles
  • Shine your sink
  • Wipe down cabinet doors, appliance fronts and microwave exterior
  • Scrub inside microwave
  • Scrub inside oven or run self-cleaning option
  • Wipe down refrigerator shelves and drawers with warm, soapy water
  • Throw out old sponges and replace with reusable silicone option

Zone 3 – Bathroom and one extra room

  • Scrub shower, sinks, toilets, tubs
  • Clean the mirror
  • Wash glass enclosed shower, if applicable
  • Wipe down and disinfect faucet handles, light switches, doorknobs
  • Wash cloth shower curtains and bath mats
  • Wipe down or change out plastic shower curtains

Zone 4 – Master bedroom

  • Wash bedding
  • Flip mattress
  • Dust baseboards, window treatments and ceiling fans
  • Wipe down windows
  • Clean out under the bed and vacuum
  • Move dresser and vacuum, dust baseboards

Zone 5 – Living room

  • Vacuum couch cushions and under them
  • Dust baseboards, window treatments and ceiling fans
  • Wipe down electronics (and remotes) with a dry microfiber cloth
  • Wipe down windows
  • Clean out fireplace
  • Straighten and dust bookshelves

These aren’t all-inclusive lists. Your home will have spots that need to be cleaned, that mine doesn’t. So change your list to match the needs of your home and family. Also, you’ll notice that vacuuming, dusting, mopping isn’t really listed much in any of the lists. That’s because I do a quick rundown of these steps during my weekly home blessing hour.  

Next-level your notecards with Trello

If you prefer to keep things digital, you will love tracking your zone cleaning with Trello! I love that it’s on my phone (and that it’s free!). And once I’m done with a task, I can simply hit the checkmark and it saves what’s been done and what still needs cleaning. 

When you only tackle small sections spread out over time, you’re never going to remember what you’ve recently cleaned. So, take the time to either create a notecard system, a binder, or a digital way to track your zone cleaning. 

If you want a free Trello board to use, here is a link to mine. 

Remember, deep cleaning is easier when you’re not moving around clutter to do it. Take the time to spend 15 minutes decluttering each day so you never feel forced to spend an entire weekend doing it. 

The kitchen zone has the most tasks, topping out at seven. Once you’ve cleared the clutter, you’ll find that your zone cleaning will go much faster and be much easier to tackle. You could reasonably hit all these deep cleaning tasks every month if you find yourself cleaning every day.

However, like I said, trust the process. Life happens. And when you’re in the kitchen zone you might all of a sudden find yourself dealing with an unexpected dentist appointment on the same week as the science fair. Don’t worry about it, you will get back to this zone next month. And compared to how often you’ve cleaned your baseboards before, skipping one month won’t matter. 

Stop feeling like Cinderella!

The key for me really has been using Trello. I don’t have the capacity to remember what was done last week or last month. And using a notebook never really worked for me as I also seemed to keep losing it! (Irony?!?)

If you’re having trouble keeping up with deep cleaning your home, then you need to try out zone cleaning. And, if you’re like me and can’t seem to remember anything anymore, then check out how Trello can help you uplevel your zone cleaning.