Zone Cleaning Is The Tidying Method That Will Simplify Your Life

By Emma Fantaccione

I love feeling like my home is a clean an cozy place for me to relax. But I'm also a realist, and I know that by the time I get my rubber gloves on I'm lucky if I manage to scrub down one countertop before something else grabs my attention. Lucky for me (and you, if this behavior sounds familiar), there's a cleaning method that's basically made for people who want to give their time and care to everything including the kitchen sink — and it's called zone cleaning.

So what's zone cleaning? It's simple: Zone cleaning is a focused approach to tidying, where areas of the home are divided into “zones” that you tackle one at a time. It’s a great strategy for ensuring everything that needs a deep clean gets one — without filling up your precious weekends with marathon scrubbing sessions. It's been a game-changer in helping me feel that I'm spending my time with those I care for in a safe and comfortable space. And with the help of trusted Clorox products, I rest easy knowing that my house is as clean as it looks.

Interested in giving this new-wave tidying method a try? Read on to learn about each of the designated "zones," then get started by focusing on cleaning one zone each week while maintaining your everyday tidying tasks. You'll get a noticeably cleaner space without noticeably more effort.

Zone 1: Entryway & Coat Closet

Your entryway is dubbed "zone 1" for a reason; it's essentially mission control for your essentials like your outerwear, your bags, keys, umbrellas... you get it. Be strategic and start cleaning this area from the top down.

Begin with coat storage. Whether you use a couple of hooks on the wall or have a full-on coat closet, it's worth straightening up this oft-overlooked area. Since you’re more likely to wear what you can see, hang up your outerwear that gets the most use. Clutter — including stray shoes, umbrellas, and hats — can easily crowd a tight entry space, so make sure these items are stashed on racks or stored in designated bins.

Wrap up this zone by giving welcome mats a strong shake. Sweep the stairs or landing free of dirt and debris, and while you're at it, now’s a good time to give any entryway plants a healthy spritz.

Zone 2: Living Room & Office

The places where you work and play hard deserve special attention. Start by reducing the stray stuff: papers, books, and games all need a home in shelves or drawers, and baskets are great for stylishly hiding extra blankets or pet toys.

Next, it's time to dust off picture frames, art, and tchotchkes, plus wipe down tables and shelving. To make sure that germs and bacteria aren't collecting on frequently handled objects, give knobs, switches, and remotes some extra love. I use Clorox® Clean-up® Cleaner + Bleach for high-touch surface areas, since it kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria.

Once everything has been wiped, break out your vacuum's hose attachment to suck up crumbs and dirt on seating and couches. End by steering the vacuum over carpets and area rugs or sweeping and mopping away loose dust.

Zone 3: Kitchen & Dining Room

In the kitchen, take stock of what you have by emptying your fridge and pantry and giving each a thorough wipe down before organizing.

Layers of grime can build up even with daily maintenance cleaning, so a product like Clorox® Regular Bleach with CLOROMAX® is your best friend when it comes to disinfecting mysterious food stains and unseen germs and bacteria. Dilute with water and use it to keep stains and dirt from sticking to surfaces and appliances. Focus on cabinet fronts, countertops, and appliances like ovens and microwaves. Don't forget to scrub garbage and recycling bins to keep them clean.

Before sweeping and mopping, make sure you move furniture as best you can. In these areas, lost bits of food can easily roll under appliances and create a less than ideal smell.

Zone 4: Bedrooms & Bathrooms

The bedroom should be the cleanest room in your home because it’s where we put our problems to... well, bed.

Just like in your entry way, clean from the top down. Start by wiping fan blades and air vents to reduce unwelcome allergens. Then, take down and launder curtains before wiping blinds and windows.

Strip your bed, and while your sheets and comforter are in the wash, get stray clothing off the floor and into a drawer or laundry basket. Shop your own closet by rotating seasonal pieces as needed.

In the bathroom, clean out medicine cabinets, wrangle toiletries and makeup, and wipe down mirrors. If you have a shower curtain, throw it into the wash with your towels and a capful of Clorox® Regular Bleach with CLOROMAX® to prevent mildew before scrubbing your shower and tub.

To clean the best seat in the house, I like using Clorox® Toilet Bowl Cleaner — it's a quick, trusted way to disinfect.

With each round of zone cleaning, your peace of mind will increase as the clutter and dust decreases, leaving you with more time to care for yourself and the people you live with.

This post is sponsored by Clorox.