A house cleaning checklist is a promotional tool for your cleaning company, an accountability tool, and a functional document—all in one.

Pop quiz: What’s the best—and most basic—tool you can create for your cleaning company?

Answer: A formal cleaning checklist.

The concept may seem too simple to be as powerful as it is. But a cleaning checklist is so much more than a cleaning checklist. It serves as a shared agreement between you, your customers, and your cleaners, keeping everyone on the same page. A checklist can remove any ambiguity—and cut down on disagreements—by outlining every specific detail.

Today, we’re sharing all the ways a checklist can support your business and what types of checklists you should have. We’re also sharing a few tips for developing your own cleaning checklist.

The many perks of using a house cleaning checklist

A house cleaning checklist serves many important functions:


Your checklist should live on your website so your potential customers can easily discover exactly what you offer. This makes it easy for them to decide whether you’re the right fit for their needs. Plus, it can save you a lot of time! Far fewer people will call you with hyper specific questions when every detail is listed on your public checklist.

You may find yourself wondering whether you’re giving away too much by making your checklist public. Fear not: That’s what your customers want. Clever taglines and mysterious fanfare simply don’t sell on their own. Clarity is vital to winning customers!


A checklist sets clear expectations for both your cleaners and your customers. Customer complaints are inevitable, but if they’re upset about a specific task not getting done, refer to the checklist. If the task in question is not included in the checklist, then you can gently remind them that it’s not a service you provide.


A checklist makes it easy to hold your cleaners accountable to all relevant tasks. They can’t get away with skipping steps or claiming forgetfulness when it’s all outlined in the checklist. This makes it much easier to establish a clear definition of a job well done.

The case for multiple checklists

If your cleaning company offers multiple service tiers or options, you can develop checklists for each type of cleaning. For example, you might have:

  • A checklist for a regular, recurring cleaning appointment.
  • A checklist for a deep clean. This will likely include everything from your regular checklist, plus additional items or services.
  • A checklist for any specialty services. For example, if you offer carpet shampooing or fridge cleaning, a checklist outlining each service could be a great asset.
  • A checklist for specific properties. Some cleaning companies offer services for new construction or vacation rentals. A cleaning appointment for those properties may look a little different. For example, if you’re cleaning an Airbnb, you might handle some laundry chores. You can communicate those nuances with a checklist.

One tip: If there are specific services you don’t provide, such as pet clean-up or heavy lifting, make sure that’s clear.

Developing your own checklist

If you’ve never made a cleaning checklist before, here’s a good example to get you started. Keep in mind that this is just a jumping-off point. Every cleaning company will put their own spin on a step-by-step checklist, based on how they do business. You can and should make changes as you see fit.

You might also check out some other cleaning companies in your area for research purposes. If you can, download their checklists and cross reference them against your own. This is a great way to determine whether your offering is competitive. You might also see an opportunity to offer a specialty service or extra touch that they don’t provide.

If you want an extra set of eyes, show your list to a trusted family member or friend. Ask them to review it through the lens of someone looking to hire a maid service. Is there anything they would add? Anything that’s not important to them? They have a different perspective than you, so their insight could be valuable.

Another good place for insight: Your cleaning team. They’re the ones doing the work. Have them take a look and make sure you didn’t miss anything.

Remember, you can always add things over time, based on customer feedback and other changes.

Do you work from a checklist? Tell us in the comments!