Springtime marks that special time of year when most of us finally come out of hibernation mode. With this metamorphosis, though, comes the slightly horrific realization that our homes are covered in a fine layer of dust, dried winter slush and cookie crumbs. Plus, the hallway closet is probably overflowing with remnant holiday gifts (some from two years ago), and you’re positive that your pet has already shed every single hair from their winter coat. If the task of spring cleaning just jumped above “arrange anniversary dinner” on your to-do list, we’ve pulled together our top tips to help you take back your home from winter’s grimy grip!
It’s important to get cleaning before the weather warms and you’re tempted to spend weekends on the patio. Once you’ve identified a day that you can dedicate to the cause, pick out a playlist that will keep you motivated throughout the project and belt out a few tunes while you’re scrubbing. Wear clothes that are comfortable but expendable, because you never know what could spill, stain or splash.
As a first step, go through your storage areas, particularly your interior closets, and start clearing out unnecessary and unused items. You’ll want to create three categories: one for donation, one for garbage and one for items that need to be repaired or cleaned. When considering things to throw away or donate, think about the last time you’ve used or worn an item—if it hasn’t been within the past year, into the donate bin it goes. It may be helpful to create a few rules for yourself as you clean, and stick to them, to take some of the sentiment out of your decision-making.
Deep Clean Every Room
Since it’s time to get down to business, it’s essential to do more than just surface cleaning. Spring is the perfect time for a deep clean of every room in your house. Remember to always work from the top of the room (cobwebs in the corners, ceiling fans, the top of the refrigerator) down to the floor. That way you’re not duplicating efforts. And while only you know what needs the most attention, here are our favorite spring cleaning tips for each room of the house:
- Entryway: It’s often the first part of your home guests see, so make sure you give this well-worn area a good clean. Give your entryway rug new life by vacuuming really well and then using a carpet cleaner to remove winter dirt and stains. Use the crevice tool of your vacuum to get the cobwebs out of the wall corners and the pet hair off your baseboards. Then clean the baseboards with a dryer sheet to repel future dust.
- Kitchen: Wash all appliances top to bottom—this includes the top of your refrigerator and scraping the gunk out from your burners. Use that crevice tool again to clean under the refrigerator and around the stove. Wash the legs of your chairs and kitchen table, making sure to clean between the spokes of your chair backs.
- Living and Dining Rooms: The living areas where you spend lots of time in the winter tend to get a little dingy by spring. Use those vacuum tools that you never get out to help you remove dust and hair from curtains, chairs and couches. If there are stains on those cushions, try a carpet cleaner tool to get those out. Then use that carpet cleaner to get your floors clean. Since this is spring cleaning, we suggest moving your furniture out of the way, then vacuuming. After that, use your carpet cleaner to lift out all the accumulated dust and dirt.
- Bedrooms: When is the last time you washed your comforter? Don’t worry. It’s been awhile for us too. So, throw your bedding in the wash and hit the bedroom for a deep clean. Start at the top by cleaning the overhead light and fan (don’t forget the light switches), dust the furniture and give your mattress a good vacuuming. Then use the vacuum to get all the accumulated dust out from underneath your bed.
- Bathrooms: While your bathroom is likely one of the rooms that gets the most regular cleaning, it still deserves an extra shine during spring cleaning. Use steam mop attachments to clean grout between tiles and soap scum from around the edges of the bathtub. Wipe down the cabinets and polish all handles and knobs to a fingerprint-free finish.
- Garage: This space is easily overlooked when it comes to cleaning the house, but it’s still a space where you spend time every day. De-stress your morning commute by starting with a clean garage. Clean all the flat surfaces, get bins for cans and recycling, and organize tools and toys so that finding things this summer is a breeze. Then finish the job with a thorough vacuuming with a wet/dry vacuum.
You’ve been cleaning all day (maybe longer), and you’re probably covered in a few different kinds of dirt and household cleaner. Take that much-needed shower, grab some take-out and relax. You’ve earned it!