Fall Cleaning Challenge Week 5: Kitchen, Bathrooms & Touch-Ups

Fall Cleaning Challenge

Whoa, where did all the dust go?

If’ you’ve been taking part in the fall cleaning challenge so far, you’ve made a ton of progress in getting those dusty surfaces and dirty nooks and crannies cleaned up. Good for you!

What I’ve learned during this process: cleaning – even thorough, deep cleaning – actually doesn’t take that long. I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly I was able to complete the challenges most weeks.

Less encouraging? Cleaning might be quick, but tidying isn’t. Surfaces that are covered with stuff must first be un-covered before they can get really clean, and the more stuff you have, the longer it takes. Maybe a winter de-cluttering and organization project is in order? 

You probably noticed that I left a few crucial rooms out of the challenge so far – notably, bathrooms and the kitchen – as well as a few other tasks. I decided that I wanted to finish the challenge with some spaces that would make a big impact so you can end feeling accomplished. Plus, most likely you’ve been cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms all along, even if just a quick wipe-down. If we’d done those rooms in week 1 or 2, they’d just be dirty again by now!

So this week’s challenge is to hit the spaces we’ve missed so far, and touch up those that have gotten dirty/dusty again in the interim. 


In Zone 4, we’re going to tackle:

The Kitchen, including:

  • Wash/wipe down appliances and counters
  • Clean out the insides of small appliances: coffee machine, microwave, toaster crumb tray
  • If applicable, remove burners/drip trays from range and clean 
  • Clean out fridge and freezer
  • Clean oven
  • Mop or wash floors
  • Scour/scrub sink

The Bathrooms, including:

  • Scrub inside of shower/bathtub
  • Replace shower curtain liner or wash shower door
  • Scrub toilets
  • Wash floors around toilets
  • Wash walls behind toilets (particularly if you have little boys with bad aim) 
  • Hand wash or mop floors
  • Wipe down mirrors
  • Wash sink and countertops

Touch-Ups – some possibilities:

  • Hit up dusty (I know…again!?) areas with a quick wipe-down. In our house the TV and other electronics need it most frequently.
  • Vacuum under sofa cushions
  • Take a look around and see if you missed any obvious spots. Dusty blinds? Streaky glass table tops or window panes? 
  • Is there a cluttered surface that’s bothering you? Decluttering can help you enjoy your freshly-cleaned space that much more. 

Looking back over this month-long challenge,  we covered a lot of ground! But of course, I’m noticing a few things I missed along the way. We’re planning to compile all the “zones” into one useful resource, so if you have suggestions for things we should add, we’d love to hear them. Just leave a comment. 

And in case you missed the previous weeks or need a memory jog, here’s a review:

Zone 1: Up High

  • Clean all ceiling light fixtures and fan blades
  • Wipe down the tops of door frames, window frames and high windowsills
  • Dust tops of high furniture and artwork/framed photos
  • Vacuum cobwebs in ceiling corners
  • Dust blinds 

If you missed it, find out my favorite gentle household cleaners in this post.

natural cleaning supplies
Zone 2: Middle Spaces

  • Clean windows
  • Vacuum window wells and cleaning sills 
  • Dust furniture, TVs, lamps, electronics, and book shelves
  • Wipe down dirty spots on walls and door frames

For a detailed list of supplies for Zone 2, be sure to click through to the post.

Zone 3: Down Low

  • Vacuum carpets
  • Steam clean high traffic carpet areas
  • Mop wood or laminate flooring and bathrooms
  • Steam mop kitchen floors

Be sure to click through to the Zone 3 post for my favorite floor cleaning products.

Did you participate in the Fall Cleaning Challenge? Let us know how it went!

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