Also found in: Thesaurus, Wikipedia.


1. The cleaning and tidying of a house and its contents.
2. Informal Removal of unwanted personnel, methods, or policies in an effort at reform or improvement.

house′clean′ v.
house′clean′er n.


(ˈhaʊsˌkli nɪŋ)

1. the thorough cleaning of a house or apartment and its furnishings.
2. the reforming of an organization, system, or the like by eliminating personnel or revising methods of operation.
house′clean`, v.t., v.i.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.housecleaning - (figurative) the act of reforming by the removal of unwanted personnel or practices or conditions; "more housecleaning is in store at other accounting firms"; "many employees were discharged in a general housecleaning by the new owners"
reform - a change for the better as a result of correcting abuses; "justice was for sale before the reform of the law courts"
figure of speech, trope, image, figure - language used in a figurative or nonliteral sense
2.housecleaning - the act of cleaning the rooms and furnishings of a house; "efficient housecleaning should proceed one room at a time"
cleaning, cleansing, cleanup - the act of making something clean; "he gave his shoes a good cleaning"


Informal. A thorough or drastic reorganization:


[ˈhaʊsˈkliːnɪŋ] Nlimpieza f de la casa
References in classic literature ?
I was down there one day in housecleaning time helping Leslie a bit, and I was frying doughnuts.
She discusses the contexts of work, housework, and paid domestic work, as well as theories about paid domestic work; her research project and its methodology; the politics of demand for outsourced housecleaning and implications for gender equality and relationship quality in the household; the construction of domestic cleaning as dirty work; how the research respondents conceptualized paid domestic cleaning in terms of the structure of cleaning work and whether anyone can do cleaning for living; the meanings of domestic cleaning as work and labor in the wider context of paid and unpaid work; and the occupational relations of domestic cleaning, cultural injustices in the interactions, and how service providers negotiated these injustices.
At the same, spring housecleaning and sprucing up the ol' homestead could be on the minds of some, and that could explain the resurgence this week of The Home Depot.
Instead of being in denial, BOC officials must confront this problem head-on and launch a long overdue housecleaning.
During the second week of the study, all participants were asked to do both extra handwashing and housecleaning.
The City Council's former hand-picked inspector general on Tuesday shined more light on the hate-filled culture in the city's Department of Water Management laid bare in racist, sexist and homophobic emails that triggered a high-level housecleaning.
Embassy in Algiers' consular section recently did housecleaning and found historical artifacts--such as 1960s-era photo registration cards for American citizens in Algeria.
'(T)he seemingly orchestrated events from parties threatened by the housecleaning efforts of the current administration have not dampened the sentiments of the common people, and those unheard and underserved by past administrations,' Abella said.
So late one night, when a door-to-door salesman selling vacuum cleaners offers to help, Schnitzel sees an answer to his housecleaning woes.
SPRINGFIELD - Some relatives of a Springfield resident who had died got quite a surprise when they went to the relative's home to do some housecleaning Sunday.