Each spring, you’ll hear people say, “this weekend I’m getting some spring cleaning done!” Yet as a kid, I had no idea what that even meant.
As an adult, I’ve slowly taken it from a myth to a reality. For some, spring cleaning is not just about cleaning the home, but about cleaning the mind and body as well. For me, spring cleaning is a way to kick my ass into gear; it revitalizes the house and seems to jumpstart my mood from hibernating grizzly bear to excitable chipmunk eagerly anticipating the spring warmth.
Spring cleaning should change the fashion in your home (like blankets and curtains) from heavy winter to breezy spring, and also touch on areas that you don’t normally think of cleaning.
Spring cleaning tips
First, let’s determine what you’ll need in order to begin your spring cleaning.
|Items to Begin:|
|White vinegar, 1-2 gallons||Duster|
|Baking soda, large box||Lint-free cloths|
|Soft bristle brush||Sturdy step ladder|
|A few sponges||Dishwashing Liquid (Dawn)|
|Rubber gloves||Vacuum & Mop|
Now, a few tips for cleaning any room in your home:
- When cleaning any room, remember to start from the ceiling and go down. If you begin vacuuming your carpet and end with sweeping down cobwebs, you’ll just end up adding more dust on the floor, therefore adding an additional vacuum step.
- Wipe down ceilings and walls. You can use an extendable duster manually or use the step ladder with lint-free cloths. No solution is needed in most rooms; you’re simply removing the cobwebs and loose dust. If you have gloss paint in your kitchen (most do for easier clean up), you can use a sponge damp with warm vinegar solution. (To make vinegar solution, use 2 parts water and one part vinegar, the smell will subside when it dries, simply air out the room.)
- Use the duster to dust all shelves, books, knick-knacks, and fans.
- Vacuum (and, if you’re very ambitious, shampoo) the rugs and carpets, thoroughly.
- Use wood conditioner on your dining room table and any other large wood pieces you may have.
- Polish any furniture or door/window hardware.
- Using a mild dishwashing soap solution and a soft bristle brush wash any screens on doors and windows.
- Remove the winter linens and curtains and wash them before storing them for the spring and summer.
- Pull the spring/summer linens and curtains out and decide if they need a wash or simply to air out.
- Wipe down all baseboards and doorways with simple vinegar solution.
- Use a baking soda paste on any grout. Let sit for 30 minutes and wipe up.
- Determine how to clean your upholstered furniture: take the cushions outside and beat them to remove dust or use a store bought cleaner to wipe them down (or both).
- Replace batteries in detectors, if necessary.
- You’ve basically already cleaned this room by the “every room” list, but take time to organize media and cords. Use colored rubber bands to bundle like cords together and keep them out of the way so people don’t trip on them.
- Hang the spring/summer curtains and replace any rugs you’ve shampooed.
- Clean refrigerator coils. These will generally be under the fridge. Turn the fridge off from the fuse box. Use a vacuum or duster attachment to get this dust.
- Deep clean freezer. Clean with a baking soda paste, allow to sit for 15 minutes and wipe up. Use this time to clean out all your frozen goods and clean up your fridge.
- Use a vinegar solution to clean the fridge surfaces.
- Put new baking soda boxes in fridge and freezer.
- Rearrange pantry items, throwing out old items.
- Rotate the bed, if necessary. Change blankets to lighter weight linens.
- Clean pillows! Most pillows are able to be washed in a regular washing machine, when drying add one or two tennis balls so they will be fluffy.
- Check all dates on medicines, vitamins, and prescriptions.
- Throw out old cosmetics and hair products.
- Put a baking soda paste on the faucets and bath/shower. After 15 minutes spray it down with vinegar solution, allow to foam and drip off. Rinse with warm water and wipe dry.
- Organize files. Keep tax and other sensitive information locked up and shred things you don’t need.
- Wipe down electronics with a nearly dry lint-free cloth (dampened with mild dishwashing solution and a bit of vinegar, but like I said, nearly dry!).
Storage and Closets
- Swap cool clothing with the warm clothing.
- Donate clothes you no longer wear.
- Clean other storage areas like garage and basements, discard or donate items you no longer need or want. (Or plan a yard sale.)
- Wipe down bannisters and porch overhangs.
- Sweep porches and walkways.
- Check all your outdoor light fixtures.
- Clean your garbage area.
- If applicable, clean your pet doo area.
- Wash outdoor furniture with a mild dishwashing solution.
Yes, you should definitely use this time to wash your windows. It’s a big project; in fact, this may take a whole day, so be prepared.
- Begin by opening your windows and vacuuming the ledges and any area you can reach with the vacuum wand! This is especially important if you live in an area that deals with Asian Lady Beetle infestations. (I do!)
- For the inside of the windows (so while you are inside): wipe the windows down with a sponge soaked with the vinegar solution.
- Using a squeegee or good quality paper towels wipe the windows from the top down.
- Use gloves when wiping down the window frames so you won’t get splinters from a wood frame or accidental scrapes from a metal frame. Wipe them down with a mild dishwashing solution.
- If wanted or necessary, from the outside: remove the screens (or push them up) and repeat process from the outside.
- Pay attention to any gaps in the windows and frames or the screens. If your screens or frames aren’t fitting properly you may get more bugs visiting you! Think about calling in someone to fix it or caulking the area, if able.
Is there anything I missed? Leave a comment with your legendary spring cleaning repertoire.