This Is My Golden Rule When It Comes to Deep-Cleaning My Home (It’s Life-Changing)

published Apr 9, 2024
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Some people don’t like cleaning their homes, but it’s an unfortunate inevitability, a detail of adulthood that must be revisited with begrudged regularity, like going to the grocery store or visiting the dentist. If only there weren’t so many other ways to spend free time; if only dust didn’t accumulate so quickly. 

I’ve always been a relatively neat person, so much so that I remember straightening up my childhood bedroom without being asked, but there’s no avoiding the eventual yuck that comes from just existing in my home. The shower needs to be scrubbed, the sheets have to be washed, and the rugs should be routinely vacuumed. And if your schedule is like mine, that often means that weekends are the most flexible time to get things done.

There’s nothing wrong with deep-cleaning a home on a Saturday or Sunday, but I’ve found that reserving these precious, open-ended hours for chores can be more soul-sucking than an afternoon of meetings that could’ve been emails. Instead, I’m convinced that the best time to deep-clean a home is on a Thursday — a Thursday evening, to be exact. 

On a Thursday evening, excitement is high: The weekend is just around the corner, and any work stress likely felt on Monday or Tuesday has either dissipated or cemented into a simmering frustration. In other words, there’s no better time to roll up your sleeves. 

After dinner, I put on music and get to the deep-clean tasks: Mopping the floor, vacuuming, and scrubbing the bathroom are usual contenders, although I’ve also used these hours to toss expired food from my refrigerator and organize my pantry. I still have energy on reserve from deadlines I’ve met earlier in the week, and I don’t feel pressured to fit activities into the day like I would if I were cleaning on a weekend afternoon. 

When I’ve made the most of this designated day, I’ve also remembered to throw my bed linens in the wash that morning, so that I can sleep on clean sheets by Thursday night. But overall, as long as I write a to-do list on my Thursday calendar to deep-clean my home, I know I’ll cross the most important items off my list. By doing so, I’ll have barely any cleaning to do over the weekend or nothing at all. If I deep-clean on a Thursday, my weekends can be entirely devoted to rest and fun, just as they should be. 

Of course, my plan to save deep cleaning for Thursdays is a lot easier to do in a solo household, where no one else’s schedules interrupt my own. There are occasional Thursdays that get skipped, either because the week was too busy or an event is taking place. I try not to be too stringent about this idea because life is full of unpredictability. But if I do my best to make Thursdays my usual deep-clean day — fingers crossed — then it’s my golden rule for ensuring more of a work-life balance. My suggestion? Try it for yourself, and see if you feel the same. 

Looking to spring clean? Sign up for Apartment Therapy’s 10-day Spring Cleaning Cure, a free guided program that’ll bring you one step closer to a tidier home.