Spring is a perfect time to clean your castle. The sunlight is finally pouring in, and – whew! It’s dirty in here. Our pandemic winter is in the books, and it’s particularly good for our mental well-being to think optimistically about spring and summer.
Before You Start
Sometimes, the cleaning is the easiest part. It’s often the tidying and organizing that makes the cleaning possible that can get us sidetracked from our cleanliness goals.
Declutter Your Space
One of the best things you can do for your home’s interior is to declutter. An organized home is generally more attractive than an overcrowded one. Decluttering also gives you a better idea of what you already own, so you’re less likely to buy things that you don’t need. Decluttering trends like the KonMari Method can help make your home feel cleaner and less chaotic.
Swap Out Your Clothes
A change of season is a perfect time to do some serious closet pruning. Rotate your winter clothes out and move your relevant pieces to your sightline. Donate your stragglers that haven’t been worn in a while, or that collection of bridesmaid gowns hiding in your closet.
Clean Off A Surface
Many homes have a surface or two that becomes a dumping ground. Take this as an opportunity to clean it off and put everything away. Then, develop a system to keep it from getting junky again and maintain your new, clean look.
Organize Your Cleaning Supplies
Take a few minutes to get your cleaning supplies inventoried. Pull bottles that you have all over your house – in the bathrooms, the kitchen, laundry, garage, or anywhere else – and put them in one pile. Throw away anything expired or questionably old. Trash or use any almost-empty bottles and put back only what you’ll really use going forward.
Your Spring Cleaning Checklist
The inside of your home is a great place to start when spring cleaning, but it can be very overwhelming to know where to start. Use this checklist to identify the key areas of your home’s interior that might need a good cleaning.
Windows are one of the first things you see dirt on when it finally gets sunny, so it’s a must for your spring cleaning list. Fill a bucket with clean, cool water and a few drops of dish soap. Then, use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the windows, top to bottom. Finish with a vinegar-and-water spray, and then squeegee from top to bottom.
Don’t forget to wipe down the frames, too. Use a soft cloth to wipe off your blinds, and take down window treatments to run them through the washing machine if they are washable.
Turning on ceiling fans that have gone unused for months can send dust particles scattering through the air and across your bedding and furniture, which is not what you want.
Put on a baseball cap (seriously!) and spray an old pillowcase with a vinegar and water mixture. Standing on a ladder, slip the pillowcase over each blade and pull back to remove the dust.
Your dishwasher needs its own cleaning to perform to the best of its ability. To improve its efficiency, start by cleaning out the drain located in the bottom of the dishwasher.
With an empty dishwasher, place a cup of white vinegar in a container on the upper rack. Run the machine through its hottest cycle. Finally, sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher and run one more cycle.
Spring is the perfect time to organize and reassess your pantry. You should remove all items from the cabinets or shelves and wipe down the pantry area. Then, throw out anything expired or suspicious (onions growing hair, we’re looking at you).
Use a handheld vac to quickly clear the shelves of crumbs. Place multiple items of the same food together so you don’t lose track of things and make unnecessary purchases.
Washing machines have a tendency to get grimy. You can run an empty load with 2 cups of white cleaning vinegar in lieu of detergent. Then, run a second empty load with a half-cup of baking soda in the drum. This will help eliminate odors.
While you’re at it, spray your surface cleaner of choice onto a soft rag and wipe down your machine. Wipe the top, sides, door and inside the lip of the door. Focus on areas that tend to collect moisture grow mildew.
The vents on your dryer should be cleaned once a year. Blockages in these vents can cause house fires, and spring is a perfect time to take the necessary safety precautions.
Home dryer cleaning kits are readily available with brushes designed for this task. The most important objective here is to get all of the lint removed from the dryer itself before you move on to the venting.
Dirty baseboards can contribute to an overall look of neglect and shabbiness, even if everything else is clean. You’ll be amazed at how much dirt accumulates here.
Do your baseboards after you’ve finished the rest of your spring cleaning, as they tend to attract dirt from other housework. Scrub stray marks and dirt with dish soap and water. Then, finish with a dryer sheet to repel future dust.
It’s easy to overlook shower curtains, but due to their proximity to water, they can really get gross over time. It’s important to clean them at least once a year to avoid build up.
Most shower curtains are washable, but check the label first. You definitely will want to wash the liner, too. Remove the rings before washing and add half a cup of baking soda into the machine along with the curtains.
Wash on warm or hot for best results. Do not put a plastic shower curtain liner in the dryer – instead, hang it back up to dry in place.
Carpeting is comfortable but can get very dirty. It’s best to deep-clean it at least once a year. First, vacuum the carpet as thoroughly as possible. Move furniture out of the way and try to cover each section from three directions to get all the dust up.
Next, you can create a DIY carpet spot cleaner. Mix 1/4 cup salt, 1/4 cup borax and 1/4 cup vinegar and apply that to any stains. Allow to dry completely and then vacuum up.
Finally, for best results, use a steam cleaner for that last deep-clean. You can rent these machines at many hardware and big box stores. You should follow their directions exactly and let your carpets dry completely before moving your furniture back in place.
Tub And Shower Drains
Tub and shower drains have a tendency to get clogged over time. In order to avoid it becoming an issue, you should clean them out once a year, especially if they’re used by someone in your household with long or thick hair.
You might need to use a screwdriver to unscrew the drain cover. Then, stick in your finger (gloved, if you’d prefer) and remove any hair or other gunk blocking the pipe. This is nasty, but it will immediately speed up the draining of your tub.
Beyond Spring Cleaning: Tips For Refreshing Your Home
Want to make your home feel like new? Here are some additional ideas that go beyond your spring clean-up list.
Refresh Your Decor
Making updates (both big and small) to your home decor can make a significant difference when it comes to making your place feel fresh and renewed for spring. Focus on the room or space that you use the most, and try to make a few small changes to make it more functional and beautiful. If you’re still feeling inspired, move on to more rooms!
Bring In New Plants
An easy way to bring life, style and that springtime feeling into your home is with plants. A few indoor houseplants not only add vibrance to your living space, but they can also potentially help to purify the air in your home. If you want more than one plant, get a variety of styles – perhaps mix tabletop pots, hanging plants and potted trees for a layered, interesting look.
Swap Out Art
Have a frame that you’re tired of looking at? Swap out the photos or art inside to change the look of the space. You can also consider rearranging your hanging art and creating a gallery wall for a new springtime look.
Rethink Your Lighting
Another great way to make a room feel lighter and ready for spring is by literally making it brighter. Assess the lighting in your space and aim for at least three different options. Overhead lighting, task lighting, table lamps, floor lamps and wall sconces are all options.
Make Those Home Repairs You’ve Been Putting Off
If there are repairs that need to be made to your home, this is the time to make them. Walk your property and make a list. Classify each item as either something you can DIY or as a job that you need to hire out. To save money on specialized repairmen, consider asking neighbors if they need any similar work done – you might be able to negotiate a group discount.
Consider A New Coat Of Paint
A great way to make a home feel clean is with fresh paint. Be sure to get a sample of the color (or colors) that you like and test them on multiple walls. Paint spots next to any molding, flooring or unmovable objects. Check the samples out multiple times in morning, noon and nighttime lighting before committing to a color.