The Best Change You Can Make To Your Cleaning Routine

follow the wall cleaning method

Whether or not you think about it consciously, you probably have some sort of strategy for cleaning your house. But it’s worth taking the time to consider how effective your current strategy may (or may not) be!

While any cleaning strategy can help you keep your house clean, some strategies are more efficient than others! And today I’ll be introducing you to a cleaning strategy that makes it easy to clean your space quickly and efficiently!

For more practical tips for keeping your house clean, check out my eBook Spring Into Clean! You can buy it in my shop, or download it for free if you’re an OGT Plus member!

Related: This Is The Smartest Way To Clean Any Room In Your House

follow the wall cleaning method

The “Follow The Wall” Cleaning Strategy

The “follow the wall” strategy is exactly what it sounds like! You start cleaning in one corner of the room, then work your way around the room by following the wall.

When you follow the wall, you’ll eventually complete a full circuit around your house. That means you won’t miss spots that are often overlooked, like the hall closet or the space behind the couch.

This method is so thorough that it’s a favorite of many professional housekeepers and home inspectors. Sometimes an inspector will even physically touch the wall as they move through a space, ensuring that they don’t miss a thing!

The “follow the wall” strategy is a neat and orderly approach to cleaning that can help simplify your routine! Here are some of the benefits you can experience from adopting this strategy in your own home.

follow the wall cleaning method

3 Good Reasons To Follow The Wall While You Clean

1. You’ll Be More Thorough

When you follow the wall, it makes it harder to skip or forget certain tasks. If you’re working on a section of wall with a window, it’ll be much easier to remember to dust the blinds before you move on!

2. You’ll Feel More Motivated

Another benefit of this strategy is that it produces more obvious results. This addresses one of the major drawbacks of cleaning by task instead of by area, which can leave you feeling as though you have little to show for your efforts.

But when you clean by following the wall, each area will look pristine when you’re finished. When you’re able to clearly see the results of your efforts, you’ll feel more motivated to keep going!

follow the wall cleaning method

3. You Can Do It Your Way

You can adapt the “follow the wall” strategy to fit any cleaning schedule. For those that prefer to do one big weekly cleaning session, following the wall will give you a clear beginning and end point to work from.

For those that prefer to do shorter daily cleaning sessions, you can simply follow the wall to clean one room per day. You’ll still clean your house thoroughly with fewer distractions, and you’ll likely save time in the long run too!

follow the wall cleaning method

Bonus Tip #1: Finish In The Kitchen

Many experts recommend planning your route around the house so that you finish in the kitchen. The kitchen is often the most labor-intensive room to clean, so addressing it last can help you avoid premature burnout.

Bonus Tip #2: Use Imaginary Walls

The “follow the wall” method will automatically include the majority of the furniture in your home. But what about coffee tables, kitchen islands, and other items that are positioned in the middle of a room?

In order to make sure you don’t accidentally forget these items, it helps to construct a few imaginary walls. For instance, if you’re cleaning in the kitchen, you might imagine that there’s a barrier extending from the wall next to the oven that wraps around your kitchen island.

So when you finish cleaning the oven, you would follow the imaginary “wall” around the island before returning back to the wall next to the oven.

follow the wall cleaning method

So if you’ve been wondering if there’s a better or more effective way to clean your house, I hope you’ll give this strategy a try! It may be just the thing you’ve been searching for! :-)

What’s your strategy when it comes to cleaning your house?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • Quick tip for those with walls painted with semi gloss or gloss paint. Mix 50/50 water and liquid fabric softener in a bucket. Use a large sponge and dip it into the bucket. Ring it out and use that to wash the walls. This is something I’ve used in my rental when a smoker lived there. Also helps in the kitchen to clean up grease on the walls.

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  • I heard about this method on the old Mary Tyler Moore show. Sue Anne talked about imagining the room as a clock and working around clockwise. I’ve been doing that for years and it really helps.

  • Sounds interesting but then I’d never finish anything and would have to cart all sorts of different cleaners around instead of just focusing on one thing, like dusting or vacuuming. I hate cleaning with a passion and anything that would interrupt me, would be endlessly frustrating. For me it needs to be task oriented, and can go across various rooms and I generally do it top stuff on down, so you’re not cleaning the same dust or dirt twice. So either a whole house thing of vacuuming or dusting, or a task like cleaning out the fridge, put those cleaning products away and start on the next.

  • I am having trouble visualizing how this would work in my house given the way it is set up, but I am sure it is a great system. Maybe I am too old for new tricks.

    I find doing one task at a time works. That is I dust everything, then I go on to something else. Also if I am not going to do a big cleaning, I do pieces as I see them. A lot of dust bunnies – I dry mop all the bare floors especially along the baseboards and corners. Cobwebs gets the duster out and I do all the ceiling and wall seams and wall corners. If the kitchen or bathroom floor is dirty, out comes the steam mop and all get mopped. All windows get cleaned, or beds changed, or etc. Once in a long while I do one room totally – like the guest room before company arrives. My house is not as spotless as when I was younger – and I have relaxed my expectations, but we are happy and glad to spend more time together – sometimes even cleaning together!

  • I clean for 15 minutes a day breaking up my routines by rooms (Tuesdays are bathrooms) or type of cleaning (Thursdays are vacuuming everywhere for example). Over the course of a week it all gets done and I do see progress! If I cleaned by following the walls I don’t think I’d ever finish.

    • Angie — I’ve heard of this method too, could you share your schedule? Tuesdays bathrooms, Thursdays vacuum, & what else? I just don’t know if 15 mins / day would be enough but I feel like this would make more sense for my house…

  • Love this post Jillee. I have been putting off a full cleaning of the house as in the Summer I just don’t have free time, so I am going to give this system a try this week. Many thanks for a great idea.

  • When I’m pressed for time & have to prioritize what gets cleaned, I stand in the entry and walk through my house, trying to see it w/the eyes of someone coming to visit, rather than someone who lives here & no longer sees the mess. :)

  • I wear a tool apron with an old toothbrush, feather duster, rags, spray cleaner, canned air, scrubbing sponge, and a magic eraser. As I go around the room following the walls, I have all the tools I need right at hand. I always called it speed cleaning.

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