Birds are singing, flowers are blooming, and spring is – well – springing. It’s that time of year and with it comes the traditional “spring clean.” While you may shudder when thinking of this marathon of cleaning, it is important. For both your physical and mental health. Physically as it removes tons of allergens that have been stored throughout the winter. Mentally as it lightens and livens your mood up. Who doesn’t feel better afterwards?
Overall, the best way to tackle a spring clean is to approach it room-by-room. Each room has its own function in your home and therefore its own personality and priority. The family room – which has been in use throughout the winter – may need gentle attention. The spare bedroom – which hasn’t seen much action – will need more. Its best to focus on the parts of your home that have been neglected throughout the winter, but all rooms benefit from a top-to-bottom clean.
Aside from the deep clean, de-cluttering is also a principal goal of a spring clean. The best way to declutter is to be both systematic and ruthless. Identify the areas that need help and what “clutter” is messing up the space. Do you need it? If so, organize it better. If not, remove it. Some will go into the trash, some will be donated, some will be stored. Don’t worry – we all have that special momento from a fabulous vacation or a family heirloom that we love or a cascade of photo frames that needs to be seen – they don’t go. Just moved around or organized better. We all also have saved papers and post-it notes, tech accessories and winter gear, restaurant delivery menus and pens, décor and other items that are laying about. Pitch what you don’t need and put the rest away.
And now – the nitty gritty. Time to roll up the sleeves and initiate the actual cleaning process…
In each room, there is a checklist of work that needs to be done:
- Dust ceiling fans and light fixtures.
- Clean windowsills and window tracks.
- Vacuum curtains and blinds.
- Wipe down baseboards and moldings.
- Dust corners for cobwebs.
- Disinfect light switches, cabinet handles, and doorknobs.
As previously mentioned, the best way to tackle the spring clean is room by room. Use these checklists as you traverse your house…
Oh, the kitchen! Bottles of olive oil that need to be easily accessible, small appliances that clutter the countertops (we’re looking at you toaster, coffee grinder, and air fryer!), enough coffee cups for a legion of people, far exceeding those who live in your house. Yep. You know what to do. Pitch or find space in your cabinets – it may take an extra 30 seconds to fetch the olive oil from the pantry, but it does make a difference. Once you have done that:
- Clean all large appliances, small appliances and surfaces.
- Wipe down the microwave, coffeemaker and other small appliances that remain on the counter.
- Empty the crumb tray in your toaster.
- Empty and clean the refrigerator shelves.
- Clean behind and underneath the refrigerator (coils are full of dust).
- Clear out the cabinets, clean the shelves, and organize them.
- Sanitize your sink.
Bedrooms are super important to deep clean. They are the rooms where we spend the most time (even if most of it is during sleep.) It’s time to get down and un-dirty – especially those who suffer from allergies. Make sure to:
- Dust and clean all shelves, furniture (top-to-bottom, front-to behind), and window frames.
- Organize drawers and closets.
- Wash all bedding (particularly that which hasn’t been used in a long time as dust will have settled on it).
- Rotate your mattresses.
Time to get to sanitizing! Germs and bacteria along with mold and mildew easily rest in bathroom spaces. It is important to rid the spaces of these pesty invaders. Don’t forget to:
- Scrub the shower/bathtub.
- Wash the shower curtain and floormat (some can go into the washing machine).
- Scrub the toilet and surrounding tile.
- Disinfect the sink.
- Dispose of old medicines and toiletries.
With so many of us working from home, this space has quickly flown up the ranks of rooms that need a good spring clean. Make sure to:
- Dust shelving, storage space, and the area around your desk or workspace.
- Clean your keyboard with canned air.
- Disinfect your computer mouse and phone.
Living Room, Dining Room, Family Room
The living room, dining room, and family room areas in our homes are in near-constant use. Because of this, they have generally not been neglected throughout the winter. Light touches need to be applied:
- Remove furniture then dust and vacuum.
- Clean furniture cushions.
- Dust all furniture from top-to-bottom.
This little room in the house needs little attention. The attention that it does need revolves around the starring appliances:
- Clean behind the washer and dryer (they are dust magnets).
- Thoroughly clean the lint traps in your dryer AND washer.
- Sanitize the area around the sink (if you have one).
Garage and Outdoor Spaces
Spring cleaning isn’t confined to the inside of your home. Cleaning and organizing outside spaces are important too. Make sure to:
- Remove everything from your garage and reorganize.
- Pressure wash your deck and outdoor furniture.
- Hose out your garbage and recycling bins.
- Remove your window screens and wash them.
- Wash your windows.
- Clear debris from your yard.
- Scrub down and wash your grill.
A good spring clean is a marathon – no question about it. But the clean doesn’t need to be accomplished in just one day. Break it up if you need to. And remember, how good you will feel when it is finished.