10 Home Cleaning Goals You Can Actually Stick to in the New Year

light hued color scheme large coffee table between couches
light hued color scheme large coffee table between couches

Lauren Pressey Photography

For many, a new year is often treated as an opportunity to start fresh and create new personal goals for the 365 days ahead. If one of your objectives is to keep your house tidier, you may already find yourself struggling with where to begin. But the best part about having these ambitions is that you have tons of time to work on them.

Instead of opting to tackle a big home cleaning project—like organizing your entire garage or attic—start by setting some manageable maintenance goals. Even accomplishing something as simple as making your bed every day will give you the confidence to continue your cleaning journey throughout the next 12 months and beyond.

Related: 6 Things to Always Clean Before Guests Come Over

Make a Home Cleaning Checklist

It will feel less overwhelming to manage all that needs to be done around the house when you make a home cleaning checklist. If you have designated days for tasks, you won't be as likely to try cramming everything into one weekend when you fall behind.

Write down all of your cleaning goals, making sure to add include deep cleaning tasks, like sprucing up baseboards and showerheads, too. "Once your entire cleaning list is complete, write 'D' for the items that are daily, 'W' for weekly, 'M' for monthly, 'S' for seasonal, and 'H' for half a year," says Melissa Poepping, founder of The Chemical Free Home. Next, put each task into its appropriate category and write them down in a yearly planner.

Declutter Your Home

Many New Year goals involve ways to promote emotional and mental well-being, and cleaning falls under that umbrella. "Clutter can often cause unnecessary stress and anxiety in the home, which is no way to start a new year," says Vera Peterson, president of Molly Maid, a Neighborly company. "Clutter is the result of procrastinating multiple cleaning tasks. Setting a New Year goal to declutter will ensure a clean and comfortable home all year round."

To efficiently tidy your home, go room by room and take stock of what you have. Which products are damaged? Which do you never use? Get rid of broken toys, damaged cookware, linens with holes, and other items in less than usable condition. Donate any pieces that are still in good shape, but aren't used regularly.

master bedroom blue-gray and white patterned bedding with double nightstand and lamp sets
master bedroom blue-gray and white patterned bedding with double nightstand and lamp sets

Lauren Pressey

Make Your Bed Every Day

Although it may feel like a small accomplishment, many people believe that making your bed daily sets the pace for the rest of the day. "There is just something about being able to walk into this space at absolutely any time of the day, instantly take a deep breath, and feel calm to be there," Poepping says. In addition to tidying up your bedding every day, also make it a goal to wash your sheets at least once or twice per week.

Put Your Clothes Away

Although it's tempting to toss unwanted garments onto the floor, this can easily make your room feel more cluttered than it really is. Make it a goal to put your clothes away after trying them on and store dirty pieces in a hamper until cleaning day. "Even if you need to use a simple laundry basket to house those clean clothes until the end of the week, when they can be properly folded and stored, it will make the room feel tidy and well-kept," says Poepping.

Related: How to Organize Your Linen Closet, According to the Experts


James Ransom

Organize Your Closets

Our closets can quickly become a safe haven for excess cleaning supplies, beauty products, never worn clothes, and more. Make it a goal to clean these areas every six months to prevent overflow. Go through your clothes and linen closets and part with damaged items and pieces you no longer reach for. "This creates way more space for the items you love," says Peterson.

Clean and Put Away Dishes Nightly

Nothing is better than making breakfast in the morning without seeing last night's dirty dishes in the sink. "Every single night, the dishes get done and the stovetop gets wiped down," says Poepping. "Every last item is put in its proper place." Next year, aim to clean and put away dishes every evening, whether it's by hand washing or simply rinsing and placing them in the dishwasher.

Deep Clean the Refrigerator

From leaky condiments to a build up of leftovers, your refrigerator can quickly become unsightly if it's not tended to regularly. Cleaning this space about once a month will help you take inventory of your groceries and keep you from holding onto spoiled ingredients. Start by taking everything out of the fridge, checking expiration dates as you go to see what's still usable. Then, wipe down every surface, including the light fixtures, and place your food and beverages back inside.

white themed bathroom bathtub standing shower
white themed bathroom bathtub standing shower

Lauren Pressey

Wipe Down the Shower

While a nightly deep clean of your bathroom is far from necessary (or manageable), you can keep the space looking and feeling more tidy with one simple to-do: Wipe down the shower after use. "By keeping a small squeegee nearby, you can use this after showering to help prevent water marks on the walls," says Peterson.

Clean Your Countertops

From crumbs on your butcher block to makeup residue on your bathroom sink, built-up grime on countertops can make your home look unclean. Remedy this by making it a goal to wipe down your surfaces nightly. "Keep sanitizing wipes near the sink to quickly wipe off the faucet, sink, and countertops between cleans," Peterson says. This takes just a few seconds, and you'll instantly improve the look of your home.

Vacuum Daily

Few people have time to mop their floors every day, but vacuuming common areas daily can keep crumbs, pet dander, and dirt at bay for a longer period of time. Keep a vacuum nearby as a reminder to tackle this task; you can quickly plug it in and give your home a once over.