Spring can be a beautiful time of year, but there’s one aspect of the season that some people find not so glamorous—spring-cleaning.
If your deep-cleaning efforts are as perennial as the flowers in your garden, you’ll want to make the most of the time you spend tidying up. The guide that follows can help you plan, declutter, and organize your spaces to start the season with a clean slate.
Declutter and downsize
You don’t want to dust or rearrange items you’re inevitably going to get rid of, so the first step of your spring-cleaning should be to declutter. Consider taking this process room by room to make it more efficient.
Bedrooms are a great place to start with the decluttering process, especially the bedroom closet and dresser. It can be helpful to first completely empty your closet and dresser before separating your clothing into piles. Doing so allows you to see everything you’ve accumulated, which can help you feel better about parting ways with some of your belongings. A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t worn an item in the last year, it’s probably safe to donate or get rid of it.
Bathrooms can be some of the smallest spaces in your home yet clutter often accumulates in them. If you have under-the-sink storage, remove everything from the cabinets and throw away any items that you no longer use or that are expired. Go through your medicine cabinet, too, and dispose of expired medications accordingly. (You can check your municipality’s website to see if it has a take-back program.)
It pays to have a well-organized, clutter-free kitchen. Starting with your top shelves or cabinets, sort through and remove any items you no longer have use for. Remove all food items from your pantry and throw away what’s expired.
Dust and disinfect
When the decluttering process is over, you’ll be ready to get down to cleaning. Here are a few tips to make the cleaning process quick and efficient:
- Start with the tasks you like least. It might sound counterintuitive, but think of how good it will feel when you can look at your list and all you have left to do are the chores you enjoy.
- Work from top to bottom. You’ll kick yourself if you vacuum or sweep only for dust from fan blades or tall cabinets to fall on your newly cleaned floors.
- Keep it simple. You shouldn’t need a vast array of cleaning products to get the job done. A few essentials to have on hand include:
- vacuum/handheld vacuum
- broom and dustpan
- handheld duster
- multipurpose cleaner
- antibacterial spray
- distilled white vinegar
- baking soda
- rubber gloves
- Make it a game. What could make cleaning more fun than turning it into a competition? The rules are up to you; the winner could be the person who cleans a room the fastest or the most thoroughly or who cleans the most rooms overall.
- Pace yourself. There’s no written rule that says you need to get all your cleaning done in a day. Spread out cleaning tasks over a weekend or two, and reward yourself with a fun activity, such as dinner at your favorite restaurant or a trip to the movies, after finishing each cleaning session.
Devise a plan
Spring-cleaning can be made much easier when you prioritize your cleaning routine throughout the year. Tasks like dusting, sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming should be performed at least weekly. However, large tasks, such as cleaning and reorganizing your refrigerator, wiping down baseboards, and dusting high surfaces like fan blades, can be completed less often. Keep a log of tasks to do weekly, monthly, and seasonally to make spring-cleaning less overwhelming each year.
- Wash clothing, towels, blankets, and bedding
- Dust hard surfaces
- Vacuum and sweep floors
- Clean and disinfect toilets, sinks, and showers
- Wipe down the stovetop and kitchen countertop
- Dust light fixtures and fan blades
- Wipe down high-touch areas (e.g., remote controls, light switches, doorknobs)
- Vacuum furniture and under cushions
- Clean inside the oven and microwave
- Vacuum and rotate mattresses
- Wash drapes and curtains
- Wipe down the insides and outsides of windows
- Empty the refrigerator, and clean its shelves and drawers
- Clean outdoor furniture and doormats
With spring-cleaning season officially here, use this guide to make sure you and your home get a fresh start!