Give your living room a deep cleaning that doesn’t miss a spot. Use this checklist for Spring Cleaning or any time you want a thorough, intensive clean.
In many homes, the living room is the first thing guests see as they step through the front door. In some homes, this room doubles as the family hangout while in others it’s reserved for entertaining guests. No matter how much or how little use it gets, your living room gathers dust and grime all year long. This deep cleaning checklist gets it spotless.
Steps to Deep Clean Your Living Room
Time involved: 30-90 minutes
As with all of my printable cleaning routines, I encourage you to read through the steps below to understand what’s involved and then grab the free checklist at the bottom of this article.
Gather your materials and supplies
See my homemade cleaner recipes to make your own
- Furniture polish
- Glass cleaner
- Floor cleaner
- 3 boxes or trash bags
- Microfiber cloths
- Warm water
- Long-handled duster
- Broom or beater
- Vacuum with attachments
- Step stool (optional)
Step 1. Let the Light In
It is difficult to clean well in a poorly lit room. Fortunately, part of Spring Cleaning includes washing curtains and cleaning blinds. So, remove the curtains or open your blinds all the way. You can usually wash curtains at home, but you should always check the label. Very formal curtains and drapes require dry-cleaning. If that’s not within your budget, you can still freshen and remove dust by running them through your dryer on a no-heat cycle.
Step 2. Declutter
This is your chance to declutter your living room. For this step, you’ll use the empty bags or boxes you’ve gathered. You might find it helpful to label them “Elsewhere,” “Donate,” and “Trash” so you don’t accidentally toss things you mean to keep. If you struggle with deciding what you should get rid of, here’s how to decide what’s clutter and what’s not.
Ordinarily, cleaning a room efficiently is all about not going over the same place more than once. That’s not true when it comes to getting clutter out of a room. In fact, for this step, you’re going to go around the room three times. Why? Because every round of clutter you get rid of is likely to reveal more.
- Grab a bag and collect things that go elsewhere in your home. Set it aside and pick up a second box.
- Next, gather things you want to donate or give away, like old knickknacks or decor you’re no longer fond of. Put this box in your car so you can drop it off next time you’re running errands.
- Finally, gather any trash you see. Don’t put this box or bag too far away, though. You’ll probably add to it as you clean.
Step 3. Dust the Structure
Dust the ceiling fan. Use the long-handled duster to do this. Or, climb on a ladder and slip a pillowcase over the blade, running it back and forth to catch the dust. Shake the dust outside. If your ceiling fan is really dirty or old, you might want to use a can of compressed air to blow dust out of the motor housing. Then add a few drops of non-detergent motor oil to the bearing at the top to prevent squeaks.
Remove artwork from the walls and start dusting the room’s structure. Use the long-handled duster for this and work in this order: ceiling, light fixtures, corners, top of window frames, walls, window sills, then baseboards. This route moves dust and dirt down to surfaces you haven’t yet cleaned so that you can get it out of your room. Then, using a clean cloth, dust the artwork. Spray a fresh cloth with glass cleaner and polish glass picture fronts. Return the artwork to the walls.
Step 4. Clean Soft Furniture
Soft furnishings like sofas and throw pillows collect a lot of dust. In humid areas, they may grow hidden mold or mildew, too. Remove decorative pillows and sofa cushions. Unzip covers on throw pillows and sofa cushions and check the care label to see if they’re washable. To clean non-washable cushions, remove the cover and tumble it in a dryer without heat to remove dust.
If you can’t get the cover off, take the entire thing outside and give it a good beating with a clean broom or rug beater. (An old tennis racquet works, too). Let them air out while you return to work inside. Wash your throw blankets as recommended on their care label.
Meanwhile, pull your furniture away from the wall so you have access to all sides of it. Use the crevice attachment to get into the nooks and crannies of your sofa and accent chairs. Then switch to the upholstery attachment and every surface of your sofa and chairs. Once the cushion and pillow covers are dry, put them back in place.
Step 5. Dust the Rest
Starting at the door and working to your left, dust every surface, including knickknacks amd decorative items, books, and bookshelves. Turn off lamps before you clean your lampshades and wipe the bulbs while they’re cool. It’s best to use a lightly damp cloth, since dry cloths don’t hold onto dust the way damp ones do. Rinse your cloth now and then, and switch to a fresh one when it starts looking dirty.
Step 6. Polish and Shine
Run your hand over the flat surfaces of your wood furniture to see if it feels gummy. If it does, follow these steps to remove sticky buildup on wood. If your kids have left a few dings or gouges, this is a good time to fix scratches in your wood furniture, too. Then make it shine with furniture polish and a lint-free cloth, rubbing along the grain to leave a nice shine.
Then, clean your windows using this easy homemade window cleaner that doesn’t streak. You can use window cleaner on other glass surfaces, too, but it’s best to apply it to cloth then buff the surface rather than spray it directly.
Step 7. Vacuum All the Things
Your vacuum and its various attachments are the best weapons against dust. The soft brush attachment is designed to remove dust from surfaces like your hearth and wood stairs. The long, narrow attachment with the angled tip is for vacuuming crevices, so it does a great job picking up dust at the base of walls and heavy furniture.
If your vacuum came with a felt-covered head, use that on hard floors. It’ll pick up dust and clean them without scratching the surface the way a roller-bar could. For area rugs and carpets, though, you’ll get the most dirt and pet hair out using the roller-bar or beater-bar attachment. Be to vacuum the right way, using long overlapping strokes and going in two directions. For area rugs, turn them over and vacuum their backs to remove ground-in dirt, too.
If you have hard floors, mop them immediately after vacuuming. This homemade floor cleaner works on all hard flooring surfaces and doesn’t require rinsing when you’re done. Whether you use it or a store-bought floor cleaner, be sure to turn off your ceiling fan before you mop. Although a fan speeds up drying times, it can also cause your cleaner to evaporate unevenly and leave streaks or spots.
Step 8. Finish Up
Don’t skip the finishing touches after Spring Cleaning your living room. You’ll want to rehang your curtains, of course, but also take the time to neatly fold any throw blankets you laundered and arrange your books on the shelves.
Remember to deal with those boxes you’ve filled, too. Throw away the trash and put away items that belong in other rooms. Then take that donation box to your favorite charity and treat yourself to a latte or other splurge while you’re out because you’ve earned it.
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