Cleaning Zones 5-6

(Miss something? Here’s zones 1 & 2, and 3 & 4! Plus an introduction to zone cleaning, daily chores, and weekly chores.)

Zone 5: Office, Foyer, & Utility Room


  • clean light fixtures & ceiling fan
  • wash walls, dust baseboards
  • wipe doors, knobs, & switchplates


  • empty shelves in utility room, dust & vet items, clean shelves, organize
  • wash lint trap from dryer, allow to dry completely


  • empty coat closet, clean shelves/floor, organize
  • empty office furniture, especially books
  • dust hats & rack


  • dust computer very well, clean screen
  • empty desk drawers, clean out, organize


  • shake out floor mats
  • sweep & mop floors

Zone 6: Outdoors


  • clear cobwebs from porches & carport


  • sweep porches & carport


  • trim/prune wisteria, if needed (during some seasons, this needs to happen during the 2nd rest week, too!)
  • pull weeds, if needed


  • wipe down exterior doors
  • clean thresholds


  • clean out vehicles, if needed
the outside of a home is important, too!

the outside of a home is important, too!

Cleaning Zones 3-4

(Zones? What are zones? Where’s 1 and 2?!)

Zone 3: Living/Dining Rooms & Hallway


  • light fixtures, ceiling fans
  • doors, knobs, switch plates
  • TV screen
  • dust all surfaces & polish where necessary
  • wash throw pillows & curtains, if necessary


  • wash walls, dust baseboards


  • wash windows & sills, inside & out
  • clear & clean dining table, chairs, coffee table
  • spot-clean sofa cushions
  • remove & launder sofa cushion covers, if necessary
  • dust behind TV stand
  • clean washable baby toys


  • empty linen closet, dust, wipe shelves, organize
  • dust sewing machine table in the hallway
  • empty front desk drawers/shelves, dust/wipe, organize contents
  • empty front living room closet, wipe shelves, organize contents, can anything be moved to the attic?


  • vacuum

Zone 4: Bathrooms


  • light fixtures, exhaust fans
  • wash walls, dust baseboards


  • scrub shower & tub
  • doors, knobs, switch plates


  • empty all cabinets, clean shelves, organize contents
  • empty drawers, clean, organize contents
  • wash cabinet fronts


  • wash window, sill, screen, & blinds
  • sweep & mop floors


  • usual weekly quick clean: toilets, sinks, counters
clean & organize

clean & organize

Cleaning Zones 1-2

(What is a zone? You must have missed my zone rotation post!)

In this and the next two posts, I’ll be sharing my zone cleaning lists. I gleaned from various “experts” to compile these lists, and they are specific to our home. Hopefully, they will give you some idea of the deep-cleaning chores you should consider tackling during your zone rotation schedule.

Zone 1: The Kitchen


  • clean light fixtures & ceiling fan
  • wash walls, dust baseboards, clean backsplash
  • clean doors, knobs, & switch plates
  • wipe down small appliances
    • microwave, can opener, coffee maker, Food Saver machine, toaster
    • run vinegar (then clean water) through coffee maker


  • empty drawers, wipe down inside & out, organize
  • empty pantry, wipe down shelves, organize


  • empty cabinets, wipe down inside & out, organize


  • clean big appliances
    • oven, exhaust fan
    • stove burners
    • wipe shelves of fridge & exterior, throw away old condiments, organize contents
    • wipe down mini-fridge (yes, we have a mini-fridge!)
    • run dishwasher w/vinegar, wipe down inside & out
    • organize chest freezer, defrost if needed


  • clean windows, sills, screens inside & out
  • sweep, mop/scrub floor
  • sharpen knives, if needed

Zone 2: Bedrooms


  • clean light fixtures & ceiling fans
  • wash windows, sills, screens, blinds, & curtains


  • wash pillows & mattress cover, if needed
  • wash walls & trim
  • dust baseboards
  • clean doors, knobs, & switch plates


  • dust furniture & polish as appropriate
  • empty closets, dust shelves, organize contents


  • empty drawers, wipe clean, organize contents
  • swap out sizes in children’s drawers, if needed


  • vacuum, including under/behind movable furniture
a place for everything & everything in its place!

a place for everything & everything in its place!

Cleaning, Zone Rotation

(If you haven’t read my introduction, daily chores, or weekly chores posts, you’re missing out!)

Numerous cleaning “experts” use a system of zoning in the home to accomplish deeper cleaning throughout the year. I researched these various opinions and realized one fact: none of them would work, as is, for my home and lifestyle. I gleaned the core concepts and then devised my own zone rotation schedule.

The concept of zoning is based in the (very old) practice of spring cleaning. Spring was the time of year when women would deep-clean their homes after winter. Many cleaning “experts” still recommend a deep-cleaning once each year.

There are two problems, though. (1) If you only deep-clean once each year, the dirt and grime and dust really build up, making the job more difficult. (2) This difficult job requires days or weeks to accomplish.

Zoning solves those problems! With zone cleaning, the deep-cleaning chores are done on an 8-week rotation (or 6- or 10-week rotation; you get to choose!). The dust and grime hasn’t a chance to become overwhelming. And you know the best way to eat an elephant, don’t you? One bite at a time! Doing a little deep-cleaning every day is easier to manage and incorporate into a busy schedule.

So, how does it work?

1. Decide how long of a rotation you wish to create. I like an 8-week rotation that includes two rest weeks. You could do a 6-week rotation (4 zones, 2 rest weeks; 6 zones, no rest weeks!) or even a 10-week rotation (8 zones, 2 rest weeks; 6 zones, 4 rest weeks; you get the idea).

2. Divide your house into the appropriate number of zones (saw that coming, didn’t you?). As with the weekly chore list, group rooms or areas with common cleaning requirements. Don’t forget outdoors (porches, carports, garden)!

3. Make a list of cleaning tasks each zone requires. Remember, this is deep-cleaning. Some things to remember are walls (yes, walls can and should be washed), baseboards, ceiling fans, windows, curtains, closets, toys. This is also a time for organization — as shelves/drawers/cabinets are being emptied and cleaned, the contents should be vetted, organized, and replaced neatly.

4. Organize each list so that you are cleaning from top to bottom (ceiling fans before baseboards). Then, divvy the chores into the five days of the week (or however many days you have available for dedicated deep-cleaning) — keep your busiest days in mind. Try to spread the time spent cleaning evenly throughout the week.

5. Include rest weeks in your rotation, if you can! Rest weeks give you flexibility in your schedule. As you look ahead in your calendar, you may notice that one week will be particularly busy (kids have final exams at school, there are three doctor’s appointments, it’s a holiday week when you usually travel). You can easily shift your zone rotation weeks around so that a rest week falls on that busy week — it’s better to switch around the rotation than to skip a week altogether. If you plan for those busy weeks, you won’t get off-track and lose motivation! Also, rest weeks allow you down-time to spend on hobbies or a special outing (maybe a zoo or museum trip or day of shopping in the city). It’s a great time to do some extra canning in the summer time, too. 🙂

You may be wondering about my zone rotation schedule. 🙂 My rotation is an 8-week schedule with 6 zones and 2 rest weeks.

Zone 1: kitchen
Zone 3: living/dining rooms, hallway
Zone 5: office, foyer, utility room
Zone 2: bedrooms
Zone 4: bathrooms
Zone 6: outdoors

I know the names and numbers are wonky — I wrote out my zones and listed the cleaning tasks many months ago, but recently moved from a 6-week rotation to an 8-week rotation. And I decided not to do the zones in numerical order… don’t ask me why!

I’ll be listing my cleaning chores for each zone in the next few posts. 🙂

Sprout's cleaning zone :)

Sprout’s cleaning zone 🙂

Cleaning, Weekly Chores

(If you haven’t seen my introduction or daily chores posts, you should check them out!)

Weekly chores consist of “surface cleaning” and grocery shopping. We have a small refrigerator and pantry, so shopping bi-weekly doesn’t work for us (I’ve tried!).

My schedule of weekly chores is this:

1. Monday – grocery shopping & paperwork (filing & entering receipts into my grocery tracking spreadsheet)
2. Tuesday – living areas (dry dusting surfaces & electronic screens, vacuuming)
3. Wednesday – bedrooms (dry dusting surfaces, removing/washing bedding, mirrors)
4. Thursday – kitchen (scrubbing stove drip pans, washing the dish rack, sweeping)
5. Friday – bathrooms (toilets, counters, mirrors, sweeping)

These tasks, along with my daily chores, keep the house presentable. I chose to do the shopping on Monday because we are usually scrounging the depths of the freezer and pantry for meals over the weekend. I like cleaning the bathrooms on Friday because they get heavy use during the weekends.

TIP: Store relevant cleaning supplies in each area of your home. You will spend less time fetching that bottle of whatever you forgot!

Below are some steps you can take to build a weekly chore schedule to suit your family and home.

  • Divide your home into 4 or 5 areas (4 if you don’t want to do any cleaning on shopping day!). Group rooms together that require the same tasks if you have a large home.
  • Consider your busiest days. Do you always go to the library or have a group meeting on Wednesdays?
  • Schedule the lightest cleaning for your busiest days. For me, the bedrooms require the least amount of time. (I don’t really have a “busy day” at this time in my life, but if I did, I would choose to clean our bedrooms on that day.)
  • Make a list of tasks that should be done weekly in each area. Be realistic. 🙂

Weekly Cleaning Chores! | Beloved Brown-Eyed Girl blog