Cleaning From Top to Bottom


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Cleaning Top to Bottom | Top to Bottom Cleaning Checklist | Spring Cleaning Ideas | Cleaning Hacks | Household Cleaning Tips

Spring is finally officially here, which means that today, after clearing out our clutter and making our own green & thrifty cleaning products, it is now time to CLEAN! Are you ready?

Once-or-twice-a-year deep cleaning is a lot different then regular old day-to-day cleaning. (For daily cleaning tips, check out my speed cleaning routine!)  It is your chance to take care all those often-neglected, out-of-sight, out-of-mind areas, to reduce allergens, minimize clutter, and to make your home a haven.


Download our simple printable cleaning schedule to help you tackle all your household chores. Our simple Cleaning Schedule will help you keep on task allowing you to accomplish more in less time. Simply click the button below to get your Cleaning Schedule delivered straight to your inbox!


For this process, I find it helpful to follow a system of cleaning the entire house from top-to-bottom rather than room-to-room so that all the dust and debris that gets stirred up along the way is removed once and for all in one final sweep. How long it takes will probably depend on how big (and how dirty) your house is, but I find that it usually takes me two full days to make it through the entire list. The first day is spent pre-cleaning, then doing the Top and Mid-to-Top zones, while the second day finishes off the Mid-to-Bottom & Floor zones.

Are you ready to get out the spray bottle and start cleaning?

You should note that this list does not include much to do in the kitchen. Don’t worry….I didn’t forget! The kitchen has its very own checklist, which you can find here. For now let’s just wash the dishes and wipe down the counters like we normally would and worry about the kitchen after we’ve deep cleaned the rest of the house.

So without further ado, here is the list:

1. Pre-Clean

The purpose of pre-cleaning is simply to clear the surface clutter & misplaced items so that your house doesn’t feel like a complete disaster area while you dig in and clean a little deeper than you normally would. You can skip this step if you really want to, but since you have to do it anyway, you might as well do it first.

  • Pick up clutter throughout the house–it works well to have a basket or box for each family member. Go room by room picking up misplaced items and putting them in the appropriate box, then give each person their own box of things to put away.
  • Wash & put away dishes
  • Clear & wipe down kitchen counters

2. Top Zone {Anything above your head}

This zone includes those mostly-neglected high spots in your home–forgotten ledges, high windows, ceiling fans, light fixtures, & air vents. While you’re up there, be sure to change out filters and replace light bulbs!

  • Dust or vacuum upper ledges & above cabinets
  • Clean airvents
  • Dust or clean ceiling fans
  • Dust or wash light fixtures
  • Clean high windows
  • Change  light bulbs & replace air filters

3. Mid-to-Top Zone {Eye Level}

This zone includes anything you look at while standing up, which includes mostly windows, walls, & tall bookshelves or other tall furniture.

  • Wash, iron, & re-hang curtains 
  • Dust bookshelves & other tall furniture
  • Wash windows
  • Dust pictures, mirrors, clocks, & other wall hangings

4. Mid-to-Low Zone {Waist Level}

This zone includes most of the traditional cleaning spots–bathrooms, furniture, beds–just hits them all a little more intensely than your average day-to-day clean.

  • Dust surfaces
  • Polish wood furniture
  • Clean leather furniture
  • Vacuum & spot clean upholstered furniture
  • Wash sheets & change bed linens
  • Clean & wipe down bathroom sinks & counters
  • Scrub showers & bathtubs
  • Clean toilets

5. Bottom Zone {Floor Level}

This zone includes just the floor & baseboards–which means you’re almost done! Sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, & taking the time to clear out any lingering dust & dirt in the corners will leave your home spic & span.

  • Sweep hard floors
  • Spot clean & mop tile or linoleum floors
  • Vacuum rugs & carpets
  • Wash small area rugs
  • Dust baseboards
  • Sweep front & back steps and/or porch

Finally, you should know by now that although I can’t actually come and clean your houses for you, I do want to try to make this process as easy and painless as I possibly can. Today that means providing you with another darling printable so that you have the entire Spring Clean checklist right at your fingertips. Hang it in your laundry room right next to your 10 Green & Thrifty Homemade Cleaners  page and you will be all set!

Miss something? Check out the entire Big Spring Clean series:

Part 1: Clearing the Clutter
Part 2: Green & Thrifty Cleaning Products
Part 3: Cleaning from Top to Bottom
Part 4: Conquering the Kitchen 


  1. Amanda
    March 20 at 08:26AM

    I am SOOOOOOOO ready! Thanks for the checklist!!! LOVE this series!

  2. Denise
    March 20 at 09:00AM

    I love the printable! Can’t wait to get started!

  3. Mel
    March 20 at 10:27AM

    This is awesome.

  4. Anne
    March 20 at 10:38AM

    I’m on #1 pre-clean. I have great difficulty with the top areas in my home as some are very, very high. High ceilings and walls are so hard to clean. Any ideas??? Suggestions??? I have a two story house – smallish in size except in the stair are the floor is at ground level and the ceiling, chandelier and small window are at 2nd floor height. I’m not the most coordinated with a ladder. Help!!! Thanks.

  5. February 12 at 01:23AM

    Notice 1 thing that Even I Forget!! wipe your Doors down in the house!! Mine are always dirty!! Have 6 panel Door thru out my house and notice that they r dirty??

  6. March 12 at 12:42PM

    I love this checklist so much that I shared it on my blog. Here’s the link…
    Thanks so much!

  7. Hello, of course this post is really good and I have learned lot
    of things from it regarding blogging. thanks.

  8. July 3 at 04:31AM

    Even I prefer top-to-bottom cleaning rather than messing up room-to-room. But it takes more than a couple of day for me: may be we are more dirty 😀
    Well thanks for sharing these tips, they might speed my course 🙂

  9. July 20 at 05:39PM

    Thank you for the list dear. It was a great help. I really have problems when I do spring cleaning since there are
    instances on I have no idea where to start because of the mess I have in the house. Thus, I end up calling a cleaning company for my spring cleaning and woah! It was really expensive. Now, I can do it by myself with the guide list that you gave.

  10. September 27 at 10:57PM

    Thank you, I’ve recently been looking for information about this topic for ages and yours is the best I’ve discovered till now.
    However, what about the conclusion? Are you certain about the

  11. October 15 at 05:04PM

    Love all of the levels of cleaning. Pinned to my “Teaching Children How to Clean” checklist.

    • jim
      October 25 at 07:21AM

      Yes me too, such a beautiful explanation regarding cleaning.

      • lara
        October 25 at 07:25AM

        Hi jim, i totally agree with your post. All the above listed points are very helpful in cleaning home in a perfect way. If i couldn’t make it, i would rather prefer to take help from Professional Cleaning Services In Toronto, who are being the best in all kinds of luxury cleaning services.

  12. Louise S. Barragan
    March 23 at 05:59AM

    The spring cleaning is a big task for every mothers. Arranging those shattered toys, cleaning the drapes and furniture, including blinds and doors. Kitchen is most hardest of them all. In every year. With kids and family I cannot manage alone the spring cleaning most of the time. So I used to consider a professional spring cleaning services in Barrie for an easier cleaning all around
    ( ) Some of the shortcut cleaning tips are; ceiling fans are easier to clean with a pillow cover and using a microfiber or lint-free cloth to dust fixtures and bulbs. Also a masculine tape helps to remove those pet’s hairs from the couches.

  13. michael lusk
    August 25 at 10:48PM

    How do I get a copy of the cleaning check list

    • Ruth Soukup
      August 26 at 11:54AM

      I just sent you an email. 🙂

  14. March 7 at 03:32AM

    Thank you very much for this post. I was a Cleaning Professional. You can clean virtually any house in about four hours a week.

  15. Nancy
    March 17 at 11:59PM

    I wish I could trust someone in my home. I need help deep cleaning a mobile home. And I realize that it shouldn’t be this way.

    It a mess I like to get done at least in one full day.

  16. May 8 at 04:38AM

    This is excellent information of cleaning. Thank you a lot for sharing this blog.

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