The First Thing You Should Clean When You’re Cleaning the Living Room


Image Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Others clean for self-satisfaction. And some folks clean when they just can’t ignore the popcorn crumbs in the cushions any longer.

Some people clean to prepare for company.

Image Credit: Rikki Snyder
Image Credit: Apartment Therapy

There are people who attack mess in a cleaning frenzy, and others who clean like a slow-dripping faucet.

The point is: There’s no wrong way to clean. 

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Taking a breath to consider where you’ll start impacts how much time and work you have to put in to get the room spotless.

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As tempting as it is to begin your living-room cleaning around a central point, you shouldn’t start with the coffee table. Instead, 

start with the overhead light fixture.

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We often talk about cleaning from top to bottom, and cleaning the living room is no exception. Your living room light fixture is a landing spot for dust and dirt.

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The last thing you want to do is knock that mess onto your already meticulously polished and arranged coffee table and have to clean it up again.

Image Credit: Séverine Piller

The top-to-bottom strategy is great if you’re cleaning for speed and efficiency. But it’s an advanced effort, and here’s a lesson from Housekeeping 101:

Do your own thing.

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If what gets you motivated to clean the rest of the living room is seeing your reflection in the gleaming wood of your freshly polished coffee table, start there.

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If the thought of vacuum lines in your carpet makes you reach for your cleaning kit, cleaning from top to bottom can take a seat.

Image Credit: Rikki Snyder

Cleaning “rules” might be ways to get the job done according to someone’s definition of efficiency, but, it’s all going to get dirty again no matter what’s cleaned first or last.

Image Credit: Lauren Kolyn

The actual best cleaning routine is the one that works for you!