Tips for a Major Dirty House Cleaning

Tom Ross

Depending on the number of kids and pets that call your house their home, a major dirty house cleaning may be necessary monthly, which is in addition to a regular schedule of maintenance, of course.

Spring cleaning is not enough, sometimes the house just needs a major cleaning.

A major cleaning of a dirty house should be a family project so each member realizes that if he dirties the house, he will end up cleaning it. Set aside an entire day on which each family member is available to participate.

Remove Clutter

Clutter in the house makes cleaning very difficult. Clutter also gives the house a dark closed-in look that does not encourage the family to keep the house clean on a daily basis. Ask each family member to remove old toys, clothes and other clutter from rooms that is no longer used or wanted. Plan on a huge family garage sale, and allow everyone to keep the proceeds from the items they contribute, which will act as an incentive to dig deep into closets, under the bed and everywhere else in their rooms to get rid of the items that have collected there for years.

Your job will be more difficult. You must decide on what items the household really doesn’t need or use without consideration of a mild sentimental value. Items that simply must be saved should be boxed up and stored in the attic or cellar. An open, clear and sunny room encourages family members to pick up after themselves.


Sit down with the family, and present a detailed plan to each member about how to clean her room. Each room should be cleaned in the same order, if possible, so you can monitor who is not keeping up with the group. Get everyone’s buy-in on the plan as well as their input. Set a date for the major house cleaning when everyone is available. Once the date is set, attendance will be 100 percent, no excuses or exceptions.


Take inventory of the cleaning supplies that are on hand; running to the store on cleaning day will disrupt the process, slow it down or even stop it altogether. When the organizational meeting is held with the family, get their input on what is needed. Keep enough of the commonly used cleaners and equipment available; if family members have to wait for cleaning supplies, they will quickly lose focus on the project.

Inspection and Maintenance

At the completion of the day’s cleaning, take the entire group of family members through each room. Inspect each item on the cleaning list so that the group knows what is expected and what is acceptable. Interjecting some peer pressure will also spur everyone to do a better job. Give every room a quick inspection on a weekly basis to prevent backsliding that could result in an unscheduled major dirty house cleaning.