Whether you’re cleaning a living room used to entertain guests or cleaning the family room hangout, this checklist covers every surface.
Here’s a printable weekly living room cleaning checklist for those of you who’ve made a New Year’s Resolution to get the house clean and organized. According to my inbox, that’s quite a few of you! While I’ve shared several printable cleaning checklists, I’d forgotten to post one for the living room! Time to fix that.
Family Room or Living Room?
What to call this room seems to be a matter of debate. According to Wikipedia, it depends on who gets to use the room and what kind of stuff occupies the place. Living rooms tend to be more formal and focused on things like sitting and entertaining guests. Family rooms are more for hanging out and usually feature kid-friendly materials.
In my house, the front door opens onto a large sitting room. When we moved in, I dubbed this the living room, put our best furniture in there, and pronounced it off-limits to my son. Naturally, it became his favorite place to play. Meanwhile, we have a family room in the basement where the furniture is all pointed at the television. The board game closet is down there, along with my son’s computer and our gaming consoles, so it’s where we hang out the most. I use this weekly cleaning checklist on both.
Before You Begin
I recommend reading through all of the steps below, so you understand the checklist. All of my house-cleaning checklists are divided into sections for adaptive cleaning. If you have the time and energy to do the whole checklist in one session, that’s great. If you are low on time or energy, or you’re dealing with mobility issues, you can do one section at a time at your own pace. Or get the family involved, especially if it’s the room you all spend time using. Either way, by the time you’ve completed the checklist, you’ll have a clean and comfortable place no matter how you use it.
Equipment and Materials
- Microfiber cloths
- Glass cleaner
- Furniture polish
- An extension duster to reach high areas
- Two bags or boxes
- A vacuum with dusting, crevice, and upholstery attachments
- A mop (optional)
1. Straighten Up
- Let the light in by opening all of the curtains. Give them a good shake to dislodge dust. If you have blinds, dust them before opening them.
- Pick up the trash and put it in one of the bags or boxes. Set it aside.
- Gather the clutter that belongs elsewhere and put it in the second bag, then set it aside, too.
- Neatly store whatever stays. Put all CDs, DVDs, toys, games, and other regularly-used items that belong in the room into their respective storage locations.
2. Hard Surfaces
- Get dusting. Lightly dampen a microfiber cloth for dusting. If there’s a TV in the room, clean the screen properly. Now, work the room from left to right, top to bottom, and dust the window casings, furniture, and decorations. Try to pick up items as you dust them and dust beneath them, too. Be sure to get lamps, including their bulbs.
- Polish furniture with a dry, lint-free cloth.
- Make glass shine. Grab a microfiber cloth and your glass polish. Again, work the room left to right, top to bottom, and polish all glass surfaces. When your cloth feels damp from glass cleaner, change to a dry cloth to prevent streaks.
- Do smudge patrol by cleaning the light switches, door knobs, and door jambs.
3. Soft Furnishings
- Vacuum soft furniture using your vacuum’s upholstery attachment to get up crumbs and other strange things that accumulate under seating cushions. Next, vacuum the back, sides, and front of your sofa and chairs.
- Vacuum around the base of walls and heavy furniture using the crevice attachment.
- Vacuum lampshades and throw rugs using the dusting attachment.
- Now vacuum the floor using the regular vacuum head. Move footstools, ottomans, and floor lamps as you work and clean beneath them, too. (Yes, dust accumulates around the base of these things and builds up.)
4. Finishing Touches
- Spray the room with air freshener if you’re using it.
- Put away your cleaning supplies and vacuum.
- Throw away the box of trash you’d gathered.
- Return other items from the box of clutter that belongs elsewhere to their appropriate locations.