Spring cleaning is ready to sneak its way into our lives. And I have to tell you: I am SO excited! There isn’t anything quite like having a clean, organized and decluttered house. Just the thought of it is calming to my soul. Haha. So, now that we’ve all decluttered our houses and thrown away or donated all our junk (thanks to Marie Kondo’s Netflix series), it is time to dive into some deep cleaning! In this article we are going to show you just how to do that for every space of your house in six weeks or less. Yup! So buckle up and get your cleaning gear ready ’cause this is going to be a ride. Aren’t you excited?! 😉
A LITTLE BACK STORY…
I don’t know about you, but I HAVE to have at least a semi/mostly-clean house. I’m one of those people that can’t mentally function in a messy space. I’m constantly getting distracted by a mess that I can’t remember what I actually came into a room to do. It is so frustrating and causes so much anxiety for me! And then pile three kids on top of that and I pretty much feel like a basket case 24/7. I probably have some un-diagnosed form of ADD that literally drives me crazy when I’m in a cluttered or dirty environment. … I know. I’m weird like that. So in an effort to keep my sanity, I try my best to keep a clean and organized home. (Even with a house full of little kiddos.)
STARTING AT SQUARE ONE:
Now, going from room to room to declutter and de-junk every area is probably the hardest part of keeping a clean and organized space. It is also the best place to start when you’re making your spring cleaning plans. We have a great visual a few blog posts back that will help you declutter your entire house in 21 days. Yep! You read that correctly. Wouldn’t it be so awesome to get rid of all your unused junk in just three weeks? Yeah… I totally agree. It would be amazing. So, if you’re new to the spring cleaning gig, click *HERE to check that article out and take the challenge to transform your home in less than 30 days.
After you have all your rooms decluttered and organized – relish in that for a few moments… Go ahead! You’ve earned it! Next it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty and give your home the extra love and UMPH it needs. **Side note- all of this is for just the inside of the house. All the outside spring-prep type things are for another article… Today, we’re just going to focus on the inside of the house!
GATHER YOUR SPRING CLEANING EQUIPMENT
When you’re gearing to tackle a big project like spring cleaning, you’ll need, well, some gear! Listed below is a checklist of items that might be nice to have on-hand while you clean. This will make things flow a little better and make your hard work a little more efficient.
- Microfiber cleaning cloths
- Your favorite all-purpose and glass cleaners
- A good mop
- Sponges (regular and Magic Erasers)
- Dusters (think furniture, ceiling fans, and blinds)
- Old toothbrushes
- Toilet scrubber
- Plumie brand pumice stones
- Anti-bacterial wipes
- Vinegar/baking soda/Dawn dish soap (use a mixture of these to clean even the toughest stains! See the recipe below)
- Vacuum with attachments
- Lint roller (for dusting off lamp shades)
- Trash bags
- Paper towels
- Rubber gloves
- Spray bottles
- Broom and dustpan
- Drain cleaner/pipe snake
- Cleaning caddy
- Carpet cleaner spray (or splurge to either rent a carpet cleaner or have your carpets professionally cleaned)
- Window squeegee
- Hard water stain remover (like CLR for tough stains or vinegar for light stains)
Now this might seem like an insane list of stuff, but when you’re spring cleaning you have to think of all the essentials you need for EACH AREA of your house. If you don’t have some of these, no worries. Just make do with what you have and get creative.
MAKE A PLAN
Now that you’ve gathered all your cleaning essentials, it’s time to assess the situation and make a plan of attack. Linked here in this article are several printables to keep you organized and on track. So, print those babies out and make them work for you! Take into consideration the amount of time each day you have to spend on your spring cleaning. A word of advice: Don’t bite off more than you can chew! Think small bites for an effective and less daunting challenge. 😉
START HIGH… GO LOW
I like to take one area of our home and work on it for the week. Yes, the typical *family contributions still get done by everyone in the household, but your extra efforts can then be focused on one particular space. One extra tip before you start: generally when I do my cleaning, I like to work with a “top-to-bottom” workflow. This is a great trick so you don’t have to re-clean any items on your list. So keep that in mind when you are going through your checklists.
Tackling the kitchen first can be both daunting and relieving (especially when it’s all done!) For our family, this is typically the biggest room with the most stuff to deep clean. I like to do this at the beginning of my spring cleaning so everything seems “downhill from there”. Haha. (But, of course, do whatever works best for you, your family and your home!)
- First, go through and gather any garbage you see and get rid of it.
- Rinse, load and unload the dishes from the dishwasher.
- Remove everything from the counter space and wipe everything down. Don’t forget the backsplash area! Then dust/wipe off each item as you put things back where they belong.
- Scrub the sink, faucet and drop a garbage disposal cleaner down the drain. (You can also use a sliced up lemon or orange, and it gives the kitchen a fresh citrus scent!) For the sink and faucet area, this is where an old toothbrush comes in handy. Just sprinkle some baking soda on the toothbrush with a tiny bit of vinegar and go to town. It’ll be sparkling clean before you know it!
- Clean all appliances from the inside out. We’re talking ALL the appliances; stove and oven, microwave, fridge, freezer, and yep, even the dishwasher. Did you know that many dishwashers have a drain “catch” at the bottom? I had no idea until we moved into our own home and became “responsible adults”. Be sure to check your dishwasher’s user manual for proper care and cleaning instructions.
- Next, scrub the table, chairs and/or benches. Don’t forget the legs! Our particular table is a “farmhouse” style table with little grooves between the wood slats. This is kind of a pain to clean, but I just grab the vacuum attachment and a soft toothbrush and go to town. The kids like helping with this one!
- Wash the windows and window tracks. This is a commonly neglected area that can always use a little extra love. I generally like to vacuum these out before I scrub them. (You never know what dead bugs are lurking in there!) For a quick and effective cleaner, just sprinkle some baking soda in the track and pour a small amount of vinegar on top. Let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe out with a clean cloth.
- Wipe out and organize each cupboard and pantry area. Make sure everything has a spot, then wipe off the cupboard fronts. It’ll feel like a brand new kitchen!
- Dust everything. This means light fixtures, wall decor, blinds, etc.
- Scrub the walls, light switches, air vents and baseboards. Some all-purpose cleaner should do the trick here, but if you have particularly dirty spots just wipe them down gently with a magic eraser. (You don’t want any paint to come off!)
- Next, give those rugs a good shake; vacuum or even toss them in the washer.
- Then sweep and mop. (If you really wanna go the extra mile, don’t forget to gently pull out your appliances so you can sweep and mop behind them.)
My Favorite Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner
If you’re looking for a good, natural all-purpose cleaner, try this vinegar and baking soda mixture. It works wonders and you can use it on multiple surfaces.
- Remove and wash the sheets, bed spread, mattress cover, pillows, bed skirt, and even your mattress. *TIP: That cleaner recipe above is amazing on mattresses! Just spray it on, let sit, and blot it with a clean, dry rag.
- While your sheets are washing, pick up anything on the floor, gather the garbage and clear any clutter. (Don’t forget places like bookshelves and nightstands.)
- Gather any dirty laundry and separate it.
- Fold/hang all the clean clothes and put everything where it belongs.
- Next, dust the entire room. Don’t forget light fixtures, ceiling fans, blinds, and of course, the furniture, picture frames and other wall decor.
- Wash the windows and tracks.
- Organize drawers and closet spaces. Theoretically you would have done all the decluttering and purging of non-essential items prior to your deep cleaning, so this step should be pretty easy. Remember, everything should have a place. If something doesn’t have a place, make one, have a “closet swap” (more on that below), chuck it in the garbage or donate it.
- Scrub the baseboards and wipe down walls, light switches and air vents.
- Then top it off with a good vacuuming. Just be sure not to neglect the closet floors!
- Finally, when those sheets are washed and dry, make the beds.
After you’ve purged all the unnecessary items in a particular room save them for donations or have a “closet swap” with a few neighbors or friends. I did this with some good friends this past week, and it turned out great! We had everything from home decor to shoes, clothes, baby items, and small furniture. Everything left over after the swap was donated to our local thrift store. It was so fun and a total success! I highly recommend it.
Typically, I like to do the bathrooms in the middle of my spring cleaning marathon. For us, they’re usually the fastest areas and it gives me a little bit of a break that third week.
Gather all your cleaning supplies, rock your rubber gloves and make your way to the royal throne room. First off, pick up and put anything away that doesn’t belong.
- Gather and empty the garbage.
- Clear items off the counter space and wipe everything down, including the sink. Dust off any items as you put them back.
- Spray and wipe down the mirror.
- Organize the drawers, cupboards and linen closet areas.
- Scrub the tub/shower. *TIP: try a magic eraser for hard water deposits. It really is magic!
- Check the drain for clogs.
- Wipe down the toilet. *TIP: If you’ve never used the Plumie before, it will be your knight in shining armor! It literally scrubs away those toilet rings in seconds. I will never be without at least one of these in my cleaning arsenal.
- Hang clean towels.
- Wash the shower curtain and liner. Yes, even if it’s plastic! Just wash it in hot water with a little bit of bleach. It’ll come out looking brand new!
- Scrub baseboards, walls, light switches and air vents.
- Wash the windows and tracks.
- Sweep and mop the floors.
- Wash out pet dishes. For our family, these items and the litter box are in our master bathroom (to keep them away from tiny humans), but if you don’t have a cat you can skip this step and count yourself lucky. 😉 #anyonewantacat
Yahoo! We’ve made it through half of our list! This week we’re going to work on the laundry room area of the house. Now, some of you might have a separate laundry space while others might have a mudroom/laundry combo of sorts. Just adjust this list as needed for your home.
- Put clothes in the dryer.
- Empty the lint trap and vacuum with an attachment. (This step takes 30 seconds and can save you from potential lint-causing fires. Please don’t neglect it!)
- Load washer.
- Fold/hang clean laundry.
- Put the clothes away. Since you’ve already organized and decluttered your dresser and closet spaces, this should go pretty quick.
- Sort the dirty laundry. Do you have little helpers at your house? We do, and they are oh so helpful at shoving any type of laundry (dirty or not) in any bin they feel like… This item is a frequent flyer even on our regular checklist. Haha.
- Pick up the floor and clear any clutter.
- Hang up any runaway outerwear.
- Organize any cupboard and/or closet spaces.
- Scrub walls, baseboards, light switches/fixtures, air vents.
- Sweep or vacuum the floors.
LIVING ROOM AND OFFICE SPACES
In general, I like to leave these areas toward the homestretch of the spring cleaning. Since they are the most-used places in our house it just makes sense for us. But, as always, do what works best for you and your family.
- Pick up floor and put things away that don’t belong. This includes any paperwork, files, media storage, etc.
- Check for any items hiding under the couch.
- Clear any clutter and gather any garbage.
- Fold/hang the blankets.
- Vacuum the couch cushions and pillows.
- Fluff pillows.
- Dust furniture, light fixtures, ceiling fans, and the T.V.
- Clean the windows and tracks.
- Scrub walls, light switches, air vents.
- Move furniture and vacuum the floors.
- Vacuum, sweep or mop entry landing areas.
For our family, the garage and any other outdoor spaces get cleaned very last. We all get out as a family, turn up some tunes and pitch in for the afternoon. We’ll make it fun with a picnic or BBQ (if the weather is good) and celebrate our six week stretch of hard work.
- Organize shoe bins. We have a pretty strict “no shoes” policy at our house, so all the kids shoes and most frequently worn adult shoes have a space outside.
- Put away any outerwear and store snow gear away for the season.
- Pick up and put lost items away.
- Clear any clutter and gather the garbage.
- Organize storage compartments or overhead storage.
- Remove everything out and off the garage floor, then sweep or vacuum the concrete with a shopvac. I love this step! It really makes a huge difference.
- Spray/vacuum any rugs or mats.
- Bring everything back into the garage and put everything back in its home.
After this part of the garage is done, then we move to cleaning the cars:
- Gather all the garbage in the car.
- Pull out/spray car mats.
- Wipe out car interior.
- Condition/scrub seats.
- Vacuum out the interior.
- Wipe the insides of the windows.
- Wash the car exterior.
- Scrub/shine wheels.
Whew!! That’s a LOT of stuff! If there are any other areas of your home that differ from this general list, I would do them all before or after these six main areas. With these free printables you can use the write-in cards to plan out your tasks.
Spring cleaning can be a total pain in the butt. However, the feeling of knowing everything has a place, is organized, clean and free of clutter is priceless. One more thing to note: while this list is GIANT, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Take things one step at a time. Use this as an opportunity to teach your kids (or spouse) new skills that will add to their senses of significance and belonging. For different tips and tricks on how to get your kids to pitch in with household tasks, click *here to learn about how we got rid of “chores” and what we do instead. Spoiler alert: it is AMAZING!
Above all, just remember to take it on a little bit at a time, have fun and keep in mind your reason for spring cleaning. It’ll fuel your passion for a clean home, that’s for sure!
Do you do a yearly deep clean or spring cleaning? What are your favorite spring cleaning hacks? We’d love to hear your thoughts!