There are some folks who make their beds as soon as they get up in the morning. Then there are the rest of us. While we strive to have a neat and orderly home, keeping on a cleaning schedule can be overwhelming at times. If this describes you, then try to approach your cleaning chores in an organized and systematic way. The cleaning pros behind Consumer Reports' "How to Clean Practically Anything" suggest the following cleaning schedule for routine upkeep.  

Every Day

  • Make beds.
  • Pick up clothes and throw dirty ones in the laundry.
  • Clean the bathroom sink and shower after each use.
  • Straighten up newspapers, magazines, and other papers.
  • Clean the kitchen: Load dishes into the dishwasher after each meal or wash and dry them by hand. Wipe counters after each use. Clean the sink and wipe the cooking surfaces (including the microwave) after each use.
  • Empty the garbage.

Every Week

  • Dust furniture, shelves, radiators, woodwork, pictures, and mirrors.
  • Vacuum rugs and floors.
  • Vacuum or brush upholstered furniture.
  • Empty the wastebaskets.
  • Wash bathroom basins, fixtures, and floors.
  • Sweep or mop the kitchen floor.
  • Clean range or cooktop burners.
  • Wipe the refrigerator and the front of kitchen cabinets.
  • Do laundry.

Every Month

  • Vacuum or brush curtains and draperies.
  • Clean under and around furniture and appliances.
  • Wipe woodwork, windowsills, and walls where needed.
  • Dust or brush lampshades and blinds.
  • Polish floors and furniture, if needed.
  • Vacuum books and bookshelves.
  • Organize or store books, CDs, DVDs, photos, and other loose paraphernalia.
  • Vacuum upholstered furniture, cleaning under cushions and in crevices.
  • Clean the oven, if needed.

Versatile Vacuums

A good vacuum can help you keep to your cleaning schedule.
Miele Complete C3 Marin

To get the most out of a vacuum when using it on carpet, floors, curtains, and upholstery, look for a model with a suction control feature, which lets you reduce the flow of air through the hose for more delicate tasks. Canisters are better than uprights for cleaning bare floors, stairs, drapes, and upholstery, and under furniture—and some are as good as uprights at cleaning carpets. Here are five uprights to consider (in alphabetical order).