Let’s be honest: the idea of spring cleaning makes a lot of people miserable. Cleaning is rarely fun, and finding extra chores to do, especially as the days are getting longer, and all you want is to get out in the fresh air, is hardly appealing.
Yet most people find they’re happier after reorganizing, decluttering, and scrubbing away at hard-to-reach places. Since spring is all about new beginnings, it can be a great time to get the occasional jobs done–things you don’t clean very regularly, but that definitely need cleaning occasionally.
You don’t need to spend a whole day scrubbing and scouring. If you break up spring cleaning into smaller, logical steps, you can whip your place into shape over days or even weeks and not feel overburdened. Of course, if you find the idea of working harder to finish faster appealing, it’s up to you.
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What is Spring Cleaning? | The Meaning
Spring Cleaning is when you thoroughly clean your home during the Spring months. It may mean cleaning the whole home and garage, shed, and garden area. Spring cleaning is traditional during April, the first week of Lent, to clean the home from top to bottom to get ready for the upcoming year.
Tackling Those “Occasional” Cleaning Jobs
Let’s assume your home is pretty tidy. You stay on top of dishes, vacuuming, laundry, keeping surfaces wiped up, and may even dust the various knick-knacks in your living room. Spring cleaning is more about jobs you don’t think about too often.
Whether you plan to tackle spring cleaning in one weekend or over a month, music will make everything more fun. Make a cleaning playlist — songs that make you happy. Dancing and singing as you work will get you more involved in your tasks, and time will fly by.
Make A Room-by-room Plan
In every room, there are a few ground rules:
• Bring three boxes with you. The first box is for things that belong in another room. The second is for items you can donate away, and the third is for trash/recycling.
• Dust from top to bottom. Use a dust mop or a broom with an old t-shirt rubber banded onto it and dust all the corners and under and behind furniture. Use a vacuum if it’s really dusty.
• Take down all the curtains and wash them. Dust all around the windows and clean the glass with newspaper and glass cleaner. If you have blinds or ceiling fans, make a solution of vinegar and water and use an old sock as a glove to clean them easily.
• Dust anywhere that’s hard to reach and often ignored, such as the tops of doorways, cabinets, and bookshelves (as well as the books, if your habit is to wipe only the exposed shelf). Don’t forget air ducts and radiators.
• Clean the baseboards/Skirting Boards with the cleaner of your choice and rags. If needed, touch up scuff marks with paint as you go. Clean switch plates/Light switches and outlet covers with a rag lightly sprayed with a multipurpose cleaner.
• Run a lint roller over lampshades to get rid of dust. You can buy an eco-friendly roller and clean the dust off with soap and water; it will be sticky again as soon as it dries off.
• Vacuum at the end of cleaning a room. If you have area rugs, be sure to vacuum under them. If you don’t have carpet in the room, follow up with mopping.
Spring Cleaning The Bedrooms
Time to wash all the bedding. Blankets, comforters, mattress covers, and even pillows can and should be washed more often than most people do. If you have a clothesline, bring everything outside to dry in the sun.
Even if you don’t have enough daylight to dry things thoroughly, sunlight kills germs and shortens time considerably. Add a cup of vinegar, a half cup of peroxide, and a half cup of baking soda to the pillow wash to kill off dust mites and freshen them.
Reorganize closets, or at least neaten them. If you take an honest look at your clothes, you’ll find many things you don’t wear. Donate them.
It will give you less clutter and fewer things to take care of. If you have kids, assess what doesn’t fit anymore. Save these items for your younger kids or donate them.
If you have a jumble of things in your room, whether that means jewelry, skincare products, or books and papers, take a few minutes to get it under control. If you don’t use something daily, find a place to put it away or get rid of it.
Spring Cleaning The Bathroom
Go through medicine cabinets. If anything is expired or not needed, get rid of it. Take everything out, clean the shelves, and put it back in a well-organized way. If things you use are expired or running low, add them to a shopping list.
Organize your linen closet. Sheets and towels get jumbled or shoved into corners. Take a few minutes to refold and assess your linens. If they are getting frayed, donate them to your local animal shelter or cut them up to make great household rags.
If you need to replace them, add that to the shopping list. Vacuum out the shelves and corners before returning linens. If you keep other supplies in your linen closet, neaten those things up, too.
Tile and grout may need attention. If grout looks mildewed or shabby, it’s easy to refresh it. You can spray it with a solution of vinegar or bleach mixed with a bit of dish soap. Let it sit while you clean something else, and scrub with an old toothbrush dipped in baking soda. If you save all your old toothbrushes, you can use them for jobs and toss them after. They’re also convenient for cleaning dust out of corners.
If sink and tub faucets have a lot of limescale, rub them with a lemon. You can then polish them with a soft rag to make them shine. As for your toilet brush, the best way to keep it fresh is to fill its holder halfway with a solution of water and bleach, vinegar, or floor cleaner. The solution will kill all the germs, so the brush isn’t filthy. Refresh every week or two.
Spring Cleaning The Living Areas
If you have stains on your furniture from kids or pets, you don’t have to live with them. Squirt dish soap right onto the stain and let it sit a while, then wipe away with a damp cloth. This works even if the stains are old.
If you have kids, now is the time to go through toys. If something is broken or is missing pieces, it goes. Store toys older kids have outgrown that you want to save for little ones, and donate any other unwanted toys. You can also pare down the clutter by putting toys into deep storage (garage, basement, attic) for a while. When you bring them back out, it’s like having new toys again. Kids should definitely be part of this project unless they are too young. If they don’t want to help, remind them they can’t complain about your decisions!
Spring Cleaning The Kitchen
Small appliances gather gunk. Take time to clean the crumbs from the toaster, anything splattered on the mixer or food processor, and to move small heavy devices like the microwave or air fryer to clean underneath.
Run vinegar and water through your coffee maker to remove water scale and buildup. Pour about a cup of vinegar into your coffee pot and fill it up with water. Pour into the receptacle as if you’re making coffee (but don’t add coffee!) and let it percolate through. You can repeat the process a few times if you like but always finish by running through a pot of plain water.
The refrigerator and freezer need attention. Food is easily pushed to the back and forgotten, so take everything out. Store items to keep in a cooler and toss anything spoiled or expired. Turn it off while you clean to save energy; this will also defrost the freezer if needed.
Clean drawers, shelves, bins, and walls by spraying with vinegar and then scouring with a baking soda and peroxide paste or your favorite cleaner, or fill the bathtub with hot water, dish soap, and vinegar and soak all the removable parts while you do the interior.
Don’t forget the outer surfaces, handles, and door seals. It’s a good idea to pull it out from the wall and vacuum behind and underneath the refrigerator if possible. Dust buildup causes a loss of efficiency, and in the worst scenario, could be a fire hazard.
Now is also the time to reorganize and straighten up cupboards, drawers, and pantry. Look for any food or spices that have expired. Consider adding things you’ve had a while to a box so you can plan meals that will use them up. Wipe down the shelves to rid them of dust, dirt, or crumbs that may attract pests. Now is the time to check storage containers. Match everything to its lid and consider recycling any that don’t have a mate. If you find anything your family doesn’t use, consider donating it. Less kitchen clutter makes things easier to locate and keep clean.
Cabinet doors get very grimy. For painted or laminate cabinets, vinegar and water will clean fingerprints and grease. You can use a paste of baking soda and water if you find you need to scrub. You will need to wipe that off with clean damp rags and may need to touch up after it dries. If you have wood cabinets, use a wood cleaner and be careful of too-wet rags. Buff to a shine after cleaning.
Sanitize your dishwasher. Check all the filters and traps for food and clear them (you should make this a habit!) of debris. Spray down the interior with a multipurpose cleaner, vinegar, or bleach and let it sit awhile. Run a full hot wash cycle with no dishes other than a bowl of vinegar on the top rack. When this is finished, look inside and spot clean if needed.
Time for the dreaded oven cleaning. Soak your oven racks and stove grates in the bathtub with hot water and vinegar. Baked on food can be scrubbed with a baking soda paste. Use baking soda and vinegar to clean the interior or a commercial cleaner if you prefer. If the oven is filthy, heat a pan of white vinegar for 30 minutes at 300 degrees and scrub after it cools.
Now Reward Yourself!
That was a lot of work, but now you can relax and revel in your sparkling clean home. Whether it took a weekend or a month of concentrated cleaning sessions, you deserve a treat.
Now that you have a roadmap for seasonal cleaning, you might want to incorporate some of these jobs into chores throughout the year rather than go through it next spring, but that’s up to you.
Where To Now?
Once you have all your supplies and are working through your to-do spring cleaning list, you may find the following articles helpful on your home cleaning journey;