Readers Weigh In: This is the Room You Should Always Clean First

published Oct 16, 2017
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Last year, we asked Durk Johnson, the executive director of Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals (VRHP), to share his simple, but fail-safe approach to quick and quality housecleaning: “Follow the Wall.” His strategy suggests using your walls as a roadmap to guide your housekeeping as you move from room-to-room, cleaning each wall (and everything around it) of your home from top to bottom (so you don’t miss a spot); saving the most arduous room—the kitchen—for last.

However, based on a host of comments, we soon realized that our readers didn’t fully agree. While the idea of using your walls to guide your cleaning seemed reasonable enough, the thought of tackling your kitchen at the end of your strenuous housekeeping routine seemed particularly problematic. By contrast, most readers felt the kitchen was in fact, the best place to start the cleaning, suggesting that getting the toughest room out the way first will help jumpstart the rest of your housekeeping responsibilities.

Why the Kitchen is the Best Room to Clean First

As commenter jerk nugget explains: “I do the kitchen first when I clean other people’s homes because yeah, it probably takes the most work and… who wants to do that when you’re already beat from cleaning the rest of the house?” Reader iriedesign echoes this sentiment in their comment, explaining: “I always like to start with the kitchen, so something complicated and major is off my list and end in the bathroom, my least favorite room to clean!”

Commenter Candace C points out that cleaning kitchen-first might also add to your focus: “I always start with the kitchen because it’s the least ambiguous of the cleaning tasks. I know exactly what to do to get those rooms clean and all my actions are straightforward. When it comes to other rooms (bedrooms, living room, dining room), while some tasks are straightforward, most of it involves finding a place to put things, fitting something in my closet, etc., …things that require brainpower and tire me out more quickly.”

In the same thread, jerk nugget offers another reason why saving the kitchen for last might actually be counter-productive to a streamlined cleaning process. They explain, “Saving the worst for last doesn’t work out for me. I am regularly returning to the kitchen for this or that and it only makes the whole ordeal take longer if you have to search out a clean spot to put something down or wash something each time.”

Or: Consider the Bathroom…

While most of our commenters agreed the kitchen is the smartest room to begin your cleaning routine, some made a strong case for the benefits of putting your bathroom first. As reader discerning explains, “I always do the ‘worst room’ first, which for me is the bathroom because [of the] acres and acres of tile and grout.”

Commenter tonis totally concurs in their comment, too. “As a stay @ home dad I tend to agree with most of the above mentioned but I like to do all the bathrooms first and then the kitchen as these areas take up most of my time. This way if something comes up, I can leave the other rooms for later. I totally agree with working from the top down regardless whether it’s the wall, shelves or furniture (gravity works on everything).”

Thanks for all your awesome insight readers, and as always, keep sharing and posting your ideas!