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How to Clean a Filthy House: Your Clever Step-by-Step Guide

You know that feeling when you walk into your home and it looks like a tornado just blew through?

We’ve all been there. This is the guide to teach you how to clean a filthy house without breaking a sweat!

The Best Guide for How to Clean a Filthy House

how to clean a filthy house

I think we’ve all been at a point where we look at the mess and just don’t know where to start. It can be overwhelming to clean a filthy house but it doesn’t have to be.

As a mom of three small children, I know this feeling of all too well.

This how-to guide will show you how to get the job done quickly and without all the stress!

#1 Get Your Supplies

Before you begin cleaning your house the first thing you need to do is to gather all of the supplies that you’ll need.

You’ll want to have a vacuum cleaner with attachments; cleaners for your windows and floors, bleach, powdered Tide, a scrubbing brush (or two), loads of rags, a bucket, and a cleaning caddy.

Honestly, you don’t need that many cleaning supplies at all. Here’s a list of the things that I use regularly:

It’s also wise to have a trash bag with you so that you can just pick up rubbish as you go.

#2 Do One Room at a Time

cleaning with spray bottle

You cannot focus on doing the whole house all at once. It’s also wise to break down your tasks by room. If you do it this way then it’s less of a big deal if you get interrupted.

It’ll also boost your motivation levels as you see entire rooms being completed.

Make a list of the rooms that you want to clean and the order in which you’d like to clean them. This is the best way to keep on track with everything and not get so overwhelmed.

I also like to prioritize which room is the most important to me. In our home, it’s the bathroom and kitchen.

A clean kitchen and bathroom are vital when you have young kids who like to make a mess of them really quickly.

If those two rooms are clean then the rest of the house doesn’t feel quite so bad.

#3 Have a Checklist

printable cleaning checklist

Knowing what areas you need to clean will help you stay organized but knowing exactly what it is you need to clean is vital.

Make a checklist of all the cleaning tasks that are necessary to complete in each room.

For instance:

– Vacuum carpets and floors with a handheld vacuum or steam mop, using the appropriate attachment for each surface type

– Dust furniture with microfiber cloths to get into all those hard-to-reach corners and crannies, then polish wood pieces with lemon oil

Your list may look different, but that’s a jumping-off point. If you’d like a nice easy quick-reference list then scroll to the end of this post to grab your free copy.

#4 Pick Up All the Stuff

As you move around the house you will come across items that can be washed in the washing machine or dishwasher.

Check to see how many loads of laundry need to be done and load up the washing machine with dirty clothes at the start of your cleaning.

By putting on a load of laundry you’re multitasking and getting more done. You’ll have nice clean laundry at the end of it all.

The same can be said about getting dirty dishes clean. Put them in the dishwasher as you go and then turn it on. By the time you’re finished, you’ll have clean dishes to put away.

If we’re talking about pro tips, I like to keep a laundry basket in each room that I’m cleaning to put all the random stuff in that doesn’t belong. Then I don’t have to keep leaving the room over and over again.

Pile it all in and then put everything away once you’re finished.

#5 Start With the Messiest Room

toddler playing in messy playroom

I always like to start with the most challenging area because then everything else feels just that much easier.

Often times it’s the kitchen or perhaps a child’s room that is overwhelmingly messy. Start there and see how much you can get done.

Once you have clean kitchen counters and a polished kitchen sink it’ll make you feel as though you’re getting somewhere. Small things really do make a difference.

#6 Set Aside Time

I know that we all have busy lives but you’re going to want to schedule time for cleaning.

The reality is that it takes time. If you can be dedicated to it then it won’t take nearly as much time as it would if you were getting interrupted.

I personally also like to set a timer for myself so that I can stay focused. It helps with efficiency for sure when there’s a sense of urgency.

There are many different ways you can clean your house, and how much time it takes will vary depending on how old the dirt is. If there’s a lot of heavy-duty cleaning to do – give yourself a realistic amount of time to get it cleaned up!

#7 Get Childcare

Cleaning can be challenging if you have children to take care of.

For this reason, it might be a good idea to get some childcare or wait until a day when your spouse or other family member is able to do most of the care.

Don’t stop after you’re done cleaning – make sure your children are doing their own chores as well! It takes effort to teach them, but it is so worth it in the long run.

The running of a family home should be a team effort.

They’ll feel more invested in how clean the house is and will help out with things like tidying up or washing dishes which ultimately helps keep it from getting quite so filthy again.

What Order to Clean Your House

Knowing what order to clean a house is vital – start with getting rid of dust from high places, then move on to surfaces, clean up clutter, and finally finish with the floors.

It is a lot more difficult to clean a house if it is full of too many things.

A good rule of thumb is that if it’s in your way, you need to get rid of it. If there are too many things laying around or piling up, the mess will only get worse.

#8 Start With the Dust

woman dusting

It’s so much easier to do this when the room is empty but it’s not always possible. If you’ve got a lot of clutter, just vacuum as much of what you can and then put things back how they were.

Getting rid of dust will make a big difference. This is especially important if you suffer from allergies, as it can be very hard to breathe when dust is present.

If you don’t dust first and just start wiping everything down, you’ll end up with wet dust. It is super important to vacuum up all the dust first and then go over things with a clean cloth.

I like to start by getting rid of the cobwebs up high in corners and on the ceiling fans and then focus on dusting off flat surfaces.

#9 Declutter as You Go

Get rid of old clothes, broken toys, and anything else that is no longer useful.

The best thing you can do for yourself and your house is to declutter as you go. It’s easy to accumulate clutter in the blink of an eye – but it doesn’t need to be this way!

Avoid the excess mess by getting rid of things on a regular basis.

It doesn’t matter how clean your house is if there’s too much clutter in it you’ll find that it always looks messy.

I’ve found that the fastest way for me to have a tidy home is to make sure that there’s a place for everything to go. Having a messy home stresses me out so decluttering is something we do regularly.

#10 Clean the Floors Last

mopping the floors of a filthy house

Finish off by cleaning the floor. Vacuum and then mop it.

If I’m just doing a maintenance clean then I just use a mixture of hot water and powdered Tide. However, if the floor is in need of a really deep clean then I add about 1/3 of a cup of bleach to the mixture.

A clean floor is the finishing touch on a good deep clean and makes the house feel so fresh.

More Helpful Tips

While it’s great to have the information you need in order to get the job done, sometimes it can be hard to remember it all.

Use the free printable checklist provided down below as an easy reference guide for your cleaning needs.

Cleaning a Neglected House

Cleaning a neglected house is difficult and can take a lot of time. The most important thing is maintenance.

If you don’t regularly maintain your home then it will be much harder to clean in the long run.

Start using a cleaning schedule where you do one or two simple tasks per day and you’ll find everything so much easier to keep on top of.

If you are beginning to do a deep clean of a really filthy house then it might be best to divide the whole process into stages.

It can take days to get a place back to how it should be, especially if you’re doing it all on your own.

Clean a Messy House Checklist

If you’re aiming for a clean house but feel totally overwhelmed then you need this printable checklist.

printable cleaning checklist