Depending on the numbers of rooms and size of your home, this is a fairly comprehensive list of things you should be cleaning weekly. Choose a routine that works for you and go room to room, cleaning from top to bottom, doing the floors last. Start by checking the room you’re in for clutter on vanities, counters, and coffee or side tables. Be sure you toss things you don’t want and put the rest away right then. This includes magazines and catalogs, bills, paperwork, books, disposable coffee cups, etc. Continue on with a cleaning agent and cloth to wipe all mirrors, doors, knobs, light switches, and glass, removing germs and paw or handprints. Always dust from the top down in any room. You’ll need to dust (with a microfiber cloth or vacuum) all light fixtures, vents, door frames and molding, and ceiling fans throughout your home. Check all room corners for cobwebs too. Of course flat surfaces are a must, but also get your banisters, books, wood furniture, picture frames, lamps, shelves and nicknacks. You’ll want to fluff and turn pillows, cushions and comforters, and vacuum or dust mop your stairs and landings. The kitchen and bathroom need special attention due to grease and grime build-up and to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria. In the bathroom you should spray doors, tub, sink, walls, and toilet letting the cleanser sit a moment to loosen and dissolve grime you can and cannot see. Then start from top to bottom and be sure to get behind the toilet bowl! In the kitchen you’ll need to weekly deep clean your whole counter, appliance fronts, vent hood, cupboard doors, refrigerator, and any other flat surface. Don’t forget to check the refrigerator for food items that should be thrown away. Empty out your toaster crumb tray and wipe out the microwave and toaster oven. Once a week it’s recommended that not only do you scrub your sink and faucet areas thoroughly, but you may want to run either boiling water through the drain or bleach water. If you choose the latter, simply fill the sink with water, add bleach, drain, then rinse with another sink full of clean water. As you go through your whole home cleaning routine, empty all household trash and recycling bins and wipe out the insides and outsides of the kitchen and bathroom bins with a germ-killing agent. Change and/or launder your bath mats, towels, and washcloths, sheets and pillowcases, as well as any washable throw rugs. When a room is done in all other aspects, you should then vacuum and mop floors. And one last thing: check the patio or covered porch for a bit of sweeping and decluttering by the door. Whew! That’s a lot of work. Weekly housekeeping chores can become overwhelming quickly, or the prospect of it may have you overwhelmed already if you’re behind. It is likely you will put in 2-3 hours of cleaning; more if you’re just getting started in your new routine. That’s not including daily chores, monthly, and seasonal or annual items to check off your list. How can you possibly stay on top of everything you need to clean around your home? A maid service can really come in handy to keep you ahead of the cleaning avalanche so you can focus on the rest of your domestic and family duties. Remember, things will build up quickly if they’re not cleaned regularly. It’s easier on you in every aspect to get ahead of the cleaning game and there’s nothing wrong with asking for help from a professional housekeeper if you need it.