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Every year when the first signs of spring start to happen I get the overwhelming urge to clean and purge my home. I think it is a natural thing to want to clean away the cobwebs of winter. And I really think it’s a great opportunity to sanitize the house and rid ourselves of the last remnants of seasonal illnesses. Don’t you just want to throw open the windows and air out your home on the first semi-warm day after a long, cold winter? That’s why I came up with a spring cleaning list to help motivate not just myself but others as well.
It can be a daunting task to deep clean your home after the long hibernation of winter. If you’re like me during the short days of the year my motivation for weekly cleaning tasks just seems to dwindle with the sun. Maybe it’s seasonal depression, I’m not sure. But it definitely means a deep cleaning in the spring is much overdue.
Tips to Plan Your Spring Cleaning
These are the best tips I have found for spring cleaning.
- When purging ask three questions: Do I use it? Is it in good shape? Do I love/need it or can I get by without it? It’s important to be extremely honest with yourself.
- Take one room at a time per weekend or you will become quickly overwhelmed.
- Have the other members of the home actively participate in the process.
- Delegate tasks that are age appropriate.
- Have a sale for any usable items that are still in good shape. Throw away broken or items in bad shape. All other items can go to a second-hand store.
- Keep like items in the same place. This will make the junk drawer a thing of the past. ie: All tools should be in the garage together. I know it sounds crazy! But walk your happy butt out to the garage and get that screwdriver. You don’t need a catch-all drawer in the house.
- Once you have completed the spring cleaning list follow through with maintenance cleaning or it will end up a mess again come fall clean time.
Where To Begin With Cleaning?
Speaking of daunting. Where do you even start with cleaning the house after a long winter? My best advice is one room at a time. Deep cleaning is a process, it’s not necessarily something that’s going to happen in one day. For that very reason I’ve made a cleaning list broken down by common rooms.
I think it’s important to pace yourself when spring cleaning. If you have a smaller house it’s safe to say that it won’t take as long. But I say pace yourself because it’s a good idea to purge each room as you clean. And the best way to do this without losing hope or motivation is to take a room or two over a weekend and spread the project out over a month.
Spring Cleaning List: The Rooms
Cleaning Inside the Home
Main Living Areas to Spring Clean
- Living Room/Family Room: Dust ceiling to floor. Wipe down side tables and coffee table. Vacuum couches and chairs (get in the cracks). Clean slipcovers or spot clean cushions. Dust lampshades, TV, dust and wipe down baseboards, and any wall hangings. Wash windows inside and out. Wash curtains. Move furniture to either sweep and mop floors or vacuum carpets, and have area rugs cleaned or clean them yourself.
- Dining Room: Dust from ceiling to floor. Clean area rugs. Dust and wipe down all tables and furniture, any wall hangings, and light fixtures or ceiling fan. Wash any windows inside and out. Dust and wipe down baseboards. Vacuum any area rugs and clean them. Take everything out of hutches or other furniture and go through and purge (wipe down shelves and drawers).
- Kitchen: Dust the ceilings, walls, and tops of cupboards. Wipe down cupboards inside and out with a good sanitizing cleaner. Remove all items from drawers and cupboards (including the one under the sink), purge and wipe down the insides. Wipe down walls around stove/oven. Do a thorough clean of the oven and stove top. Remove all items from the pantry and clean from top to bottom, toss any expired food items. Remove all items from the refrigerator and discard old or unused food, remove all shelves and drawers and clean with a sanitizing cleaner (do the same with freezer). Sweep and mop floors. Wash windows inside and out. It’s a good idea to purge this room as well!
- Bedrooms: Same as the other rooms dust top to bottom. Wipe down any surfaces and wall hangings. Clean mirrors. Remove all items from side tables, closet, and dressers. Go through all items and purge. Store any winter items away and bring out spring and summer items. Vacuum any rugs and sweep and mop if you have other floor types. Wash windows inside and out. Wash curtains.
Not-So Common Areas of the Home to Spring Clean
- Bathroom/Laundry: Like the other rooms start with a good dusting top to bottom. Remove all items from cupboards and medicine chests, discard any old or unused items. Sanitize all surfaces. Clean all mirrors and windows if any. Wash fabric shower curtains (replace plastic liner if needed). Remove all items from the shower or tub area and give it a good scrub down. Thoroughly clean toilet inside and out (don’t forget under the water tank). Sweep and mop floors.
- Entry/Linen Closets: Take everything out of the closet and purge any items that are old and you no longer use. Wipe down shelves. Fold items and organize by use.
- Hallways: Dust top to bottom including any wall hangings. Dust and wipe down any hall tables. Wipe done baseboards. Vacuum or sweep and mop the floors.
- Basement: Use the same techniques you used when you cleaned your living room if your basement is a completed basement. If it is more of a storage area you should purge any unused items and reorganize.
- Office: Top to bottom dust and wipe down baseboards. Vacuum or sweep and mop depending on what type of floors you have. Remove all items from shelves and desks if you have them. Purge any items you haven’t used in a year. Reorganize and put like items together. Go through any paperwork and shred old documents. It’s a good idea to have a bill or paper sorter on your desk. Wash any windows inside and out as well as any curtains. Dust and wipe down any light fixtures.
Cleaning Outside the Home
- Porches/Decks: Remove all items and spray down with a hose. Clean any deck furniture. Thoroughly clean any BBQ or cooking areas. Power wash any hard to clean areas.
- Gutters: Thoroughly remove any debris and spray with a hose. Note any areas that need to be repaired.
- Gardens: Remove any debris left from the winter and compost or burn if allowed in your area. I have an article on how to get your garden ready for spring planting that goes over steps you should take.
- Garage/Shed: This area usually requires some effort. As we tend to collect a lot of stuff that gets stored in these areas. It’s safe to say cleaning and organizing this area may take an entire weekend. This is where purging unused items will really help to deal with clutter. You should remove all items from storage areas and
tool boxesone by one and keep like items together. Check to make sure garden tools are in good shape and sharpen any if needed.
Cleaning Tools to Have on Hand
This is a list of the items that really are important to have on hand when doing a spring clean.
- Magic Erasers
- Garbage bags
- Plastic totes for storage
- Long handled and short handled duster
- A great all-purpose sanitizing cleaner I love using either a spray bottle with water, lemon essential oil, and vinegar. Or my new go-to Force of Nature
- Cloths for cleaning surfaces
- Extra clothing hangers
Yearly Spring Cleaning Tasks Around the Home
Just like my fall cleaning post, there are tasks that should be twice a year around the home. And if these things are done it ensures you won’t be spending extra money in maintenance if these items were not kept up.
- Check the gutters to ensure they are clean and free of debris
- Check filters on your vents or air conditioner
- Clean and inspect that box and free standing fans are working for the coming warm weather
- Remove window screens and clean or replace if needed
- Properly clean dryer lint trap and vent (Check this article on how to properly do that)
Keeping the House Clean
The biggest reason homes, at least in western cultures, are so messy is because we have too much stuff. The easiest way to reduce the amount of cleaning we have to do
A minimalist lifestyle isn’t just the next trendy thing on Pinterest. But ultimately is a way of life that can help us focus on the things that truly matter. And the piece of mind that comes with a clean home really can’t be overstated. Make your home your retreat and enjoy spending time there. Instead of avoiding it because you know you have a sink full of dishes waiting for you. Happy Spring!
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