Spring cleaning is a relatively common practice in areas where cold weather months can keep people cooped up for a large part of the winter. However, spring cleaning tips can apply to any thorough home-cleaning endeavor, regardless of the season.
1. When to Start Spring Cleaning
As odd as it may sound, you can “spring clean” any time of the year. However, it tends to be most popular in the springtime, particularly when the weather starts to get consistently warm.
The duration of a spring cleaning spree can also vary. Some people prefer to get their spring cleaning over with quickly, whereas others like to clean in small bursts over a longer period of time. Keep in mind that, whichever method appeals to you, it is a good idea to determine a deadline (or deadlines) beforehand, in order to prevent procrastination.
2. Cleaning List by Room
In many ways, the manner in which you address spring cleaning will depend on your home and on how thorough you want to be in your efforts. However, there are some basic cleanup tasks that will make almost any home look significantly tidier. The following list will cover these tasks for cleaning some of the most common areas found in a household.
- Scrub the counters, stovetop, and sink.
- Clean the oven.
- Clean the microwave.
- Sweep and mop the floors.
- Clean the refrigerator and freezer (inside and out).
- Re-organize the cupboards.
- Vacuum thoroughly. Move the furniture to get parts of the floor that are normally missed.
- Shampoo or mop the floors.
- Wipe down chairs and tables.
- Clean the television screen.
- Finish all laundry.
- Separate cold weather attire and other rarely-used clothing for storage.
- Re-organize closets and drawers.
- Clean the bedding.
- Scrub surfaces. Bleach them where applicable.
- Scrub and bleach the toilet.
- Clean mirrors.
- Wipe down and reorganize drawers/medicine cabinets.
- Sweep and mop.
- Wipe down the washer and dryer.
- Throw away empty cleaning supplies.
- Organize cleaning supplies.
- Fold and put away any clean laundry.
- Sweep and vacuum/mop.
- Remove clutter such as mail, coats, and shoes.
- Clean or replace the welcome mat, if applicable.
- Clean windows.
- Clean entry lighting fixtures.
- Organize any loose papers.
- Utilize cable management.
- Clean keyboards, mice, and mouse pads.
- Clean computer screens.
- Wipe down desks and office chairs.
- Throw out old documents, broken pens, and donate any unused office equipment.
- Bring in or throw away anything that shouldn’t be outside.
- Clean outdoor light fixtures.
- Clean patio furniture.
- Look for any seasonal items that you will soon need and separate them.
- Re-organize. Make sure everything is easy to find and easy to reach.
- Throw out anything old or broken, or donate the items if possible/relevant.
- Move anything that is rarely used to a storage space off of the property. Depending on the nature of the items that need to be stored, it may be useful to invest in a storage unit with additional features, such as climate control.
- Clean the floors.
- Clean the windows.
- Remove clutter.
- Clean curtains/blinds.
- Remove spider webs.
- Make any necessary repairs.
- Check your air filters, smoke alarms, and carbon dioxide detectors.
3. General Spring Cleaning Tips
There are also more general strategies that you can use to make the experience of spring cleaning less stressful and more effective.
Perhaps the most important part of spring cleaning is building and sustaining the motivation to do it in the first place. To a large degree, keeping up your motivation will depend on what works for you, and there are many options you can try, such as:
- Set a specific start and end date for spring cleaning. Make sure you give yourself more than enough time.
- Set specific, realistic daily goals. It may be helpful to write them down.
- Make it social. See if any of your friends want to help you out for some or all of the cleaning. Maybe you can trade off and help them clean their home next. Having someone help you will both cut the time and make the endeavor less boring.
- Celebrate. Go out for dinner, throw a party, or even just have a movie night when you’re done. Pick your reward before you even start. This will give you something to look forward to.
It will be helpful to have a plan at the outset so that you can work efficiently and stay on track. During the planning phase:
- If anyone else will be helping you clean, consult them and determine what time frame works for everyone.
- Set the time frame, and make sure that everyone involved is on the same page.
- Make sure that you have all of the cleaning materials you will need before you start.
- Keep a checklist.
- Divvy up specific tasks.
- Stay on schedule as much as possible.
One of the most difficult aspects of spring cleaning can be deciding how to organize your belongings. It may feel like you have so much stuff that the only option is to throw it all in a closet and hope it disappears. Fortunately, there are many strategies to help successfully organize your things:
- Separate any items that you never or almost never use. Throw them out, donate them, or find a storage unit near you so that you can store them outside the home until you need them again. Challenge yourself to get rid of things that have been doing nothing but taking up space. If you find that you have a large number of items to work with, storage rentals often sell moving supplies, which can provide general packing and storage supplies.
- Choose a home for every item. It will benefit your organization system to designate a place for every item, rather than just finding a place to temporarily put things. This will also help simplify tidying down the road.
- Utilize vertical organization. Vertical organization, such as tall shelves, will provide you with more space to store things without sacrificing as much walking space. It can also make your home look less cluttered.
- Label any totes or containers clearly, so that you can find items later without blindly digging through them.