If you’ve never owned a home before, cleaning it from top to bottom for the first time can feel like a daunting task. Here’s a guide to deep-cleaning your house.

 

  1. Declutter


    Before you start cleaning, get rid of as many items as you can — then you’ll have less to do! If you haven’t touched it or worn it in the past year, ask yourself: Do you really need it?

  2. Start at the top


    Gravity can be your friend — or your enemy. Start cleaning at the top of each room and work your way down so that you aren’t knocking dust and debris onto your freshly cleaned floors.

  3. Let there be light


    When was the last time someone cleaned your light fixtures? Many of them can be detached for a deep cleaning in the sink or tub.

  4. Screens and windows


    Remove screens, wipe them down, and dry them. Then wash your windows on the inside and outside. Scrub your windowsills while you’re at it.

  5. Clean out your dryer vent


    Despite the best effort of lint traps in dryers everywhere, quite a bit of lint still gets into dryer vents. It’s not only a potential allergen, but also a fire hazard, so clean them seasonally.

  6. Vinegar-steam your microwave


    Put a cup of white vinegar and a cup of water in a microwave-safe container, crank up the power and nuke it for 5 to 10 minutes. Then wipe it down.

  7. Detail your kitchen appliances


    Clean your oven, your fridge, and your stovetop at a micro level; this would be a good time to remove everything from your kitchen counters and clean them, too.

  8. Deep-clean your floors


    You might have a few different kinds of flooring in your home. Make sure you’re using the cleaning technique best-suited to each type of floor for best results.

  9. Organize, organize, organize


    Establish a place for everything and put everything in its place. When you always know where to find the essentials, you’ll find your life in your home goes more smoothly.

 

Image via Karolina Grabowska