Spring Cleaning Checklist for a 5-Star Spring Clean|
Whether the idea of spring cleaning sparks joy or ignites anxiety, there’s one tool you need to have in your arsenal: a spring cleaning checklist.
Download our free spring cleaning checklist template and use it as a planning tool, so you can divide and conquer the overwhelming notion of tidying up your home or apartment.
If you’re a procrastinator who secretly hoped the groundhog would have seen his shadow and provided six more weeks of winter, a cleaning checklist can help you easily schedule and manage the task(s) at hand, dividing home cleaning into realistic chunks.
If the notion of spring cleaning has you channeling your inner Marie Kondo, you may be so excited to clean and declutter that you completely gloss over some important aspects of the job.
FREE PRINTABLE DOWNLOAD: SPRING CLEANING CHECKLIST
This spring cleaning checklist is filled with all the areas you need to cover for spring cleaning. From the bathroom, kitchen, living room, and to the garage, you’ll be covered. Download or print it out for free.
In this blog, we’ll touch on the various areas of your house or apartment and the things that might need attention in those areas.
- Whole House
- Family Areas
- Laundry Room
How to Start Spring Cleaning Your Home
When is the best time to start spring cleaning? To ensure you have all the right cleaning products, it’s important to start early. Follow that by creating a schedule, and breaking chores up into smaller tasks.
One of the most common approaches is to segment out your cleaning schedule by room(s) or areas of the house.
Just remember, unless you have in-laws coming to visit, there’s no right or wrong time to clean, nor is there a hard-and-fast deadline you must adhere to. You can do each section in a couple of hours, throughout the day, over the course of the weekend, or whenever you get a break in your otherwise hectic life.
Sweep, Dust, Mop, Vacuum and Sanitize
A direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have recently adopted the habit of regularly sanitizing commonly touched surfaces, such as countertops, light switches, door handles, faucets and the like. If this sounds like you, awesome, keep up the good work. If you’ve let that slide a little, now’s a good time to get back on track. Wipes or cleaning sprays and paper towels work well for this—read the directions to see how long it takes for the disinfectant to reach full effectiveness.
After sanitizing, the next phase of cleanup is sweeping, dusting, mopping and vacuuming. Start from the top (ceilings), then address furniture surfaces before moving to your floors. Modern vacuums can often be used on bare floors, which is infinitely easier than sweeping.
Pro tip: There’s never been a better time to own a disposable duster. These make it easy to clean any number of surfaces, and since the pads are disposable, cleanup is virtually nil. Some even have a telescopic handle for getting cobwebs off the ceiling or dusting off light fixtures.
Here are the areas to concentrate on:
- Door handles
- Light switches
- Toys and toy chests
- Ceiling fans
- Light fixtures
- Window Blinds
- Sweep or Mop
- Hardwood Floors
Cleaning Family Areas
When you’re cleaning the common areas your family spends the most time in, don’t overlook those cracks, crevices and hidden areas. Dusters and vacuums are your tools here. These include:
- Couch cushions
- Seat cushions
- Underneath furniture
- Behind couches
Bedroom Cleaning Tips
For many parts of the country, spring is time to change the bedsheets completely, from flannels to cotton, and replace the comforters with lighter-weight blankets. The temptation is to throw everything into the closet or laundry room and forget it, but you’ll end up regretting your decision when it comes time to clean up around the washer and dryer. So just take your sheets from the bed and put them into the washing machine right away. We have no advice for folding those fitted sheets, however.
While the bed is torn apart, don’t forget to rotate the mattress. This will help keep one side of the bed from wearing out too quickly.
Other areas to concentrate on are the closets and drawers. If you have items you only wear certain times of the year, such as long underwear, ugly sweaters, fleece-lined pants, wool socks, flannel shirts and the like, it’s a good time to put those into bins or boxes and take out the spring and summer apparel.
Don’t forget about getting those dust-bunnies out from under the bed, too!
Here are the areas in the bedroom to concentrate on:
- Bedding and pillowcases
- Rotate mattress
Pro tip: Many retailers like the Container Store sell long, flat storage bins that can be used for under-bed storage, which is especially useful if your bedrooms are small, or storage space is limited.
Kitchen Cleaning Tips
If you’re like most people, the kitchen gets cleaned fairly regularly, but spring cleaning is a good chance to give everything a deep clean. This means sanitizing and degreasing, as well as cleaning out the refrigerator, drawers and cabinets.
Note that if you have lots of different types of surfaces, you’ll probably need at least a few different cleaners. Below are some links to our favorite (impartial) resources, describing the different kinds of cleaners and degreasers you might need:
New refrigerators are easy to disassemble these days since many of the trays and shelves just pop into place. Even better, many of the components can be washed in the dishwasher.
Take an extra few minutes and check expiration dates on some of the items in the fridge, plus those in your cabinets. The crackers you opened on New Year’s Eve? Probably stale. The salad dressing from Thanksgiving? We give you permission to toss that.
Here are some extra tips to consider around the kitchen:
- Microwave: to loosen cooked-on grime, microwave 2 cups water mixed with 2 tablespoons of vinegar for 5 minutes, let rest for another 15 minutes. (Careful, it might still be hot!)
- Toaster: now’s a good time to empty the crumb tray.
- Refrigerator: shelves and trays can usually be placed in the dishwasher.
- Freezer: wipe with hot, soapy water, then repeat with clean water. Dry everything.
- Coffee Maker: wash components in dishwasher. Apply damp paper towel to soak stained area. Replace that charcoal filter in the water reservoir.
- Oven: remove racks, cookware (even from the warming tray on the bottom), and large spills before cycling a self-cleaning oven. Alternately, spray-on oven cleaners can be used if the area is well-ventilated.
- Stovetop/cooktop: glass cooktops can be cleaned with special cleaners and degreasers can be used on crevices, drip trays, exhaust hoods, etc.
- Surfaces and fixtures
- Kitchen sink: stainless steel and porcelain/enamel sinks require different cleaning methods, as explained here.
- Kitchen cabinets: take everything out, toss the outdated items, wipe surfaces with a damp cloth and allow to dry before restocking. Wipe outsides with a wood-friendly cleaner.
- Kitchen drawers: take everything out and, if possible, remove drawers and shake out crumbs. A good time to store the cookie cutters and nutcrackers and find the corn cob holders.
Much like the kitchen, you probably clean the bathrooms fairly frequently, but spring cleaning means a little deeper clean everywhere. Many of these surfaces will also have specialized cleaners, as well as some DIY counterparts.
Areas to focus on in bathrooms:
- Sink: clean the aerator on the faucet
- Tub: soap scum, hard water deposits
- Mirrors and glass: soap scum, hard water deposits
- Showerhead: soak shower head in vinegar to remove hard water deposits
- Shower curtain liner: these are cheap to replace
- Toilet: you already clean this weekly, right? Right?
The laundry room is often overlooked, but it’s important to keep it clean and clutter-free to avoid fire hazards, keep mildew out, and generally look tidy.
Laundry room areas to focus on include:
- Dryer exhaust vent: detach (using pliers) and clean
- Clean the washer tub: specialized cleaning packets available
- Behind the washer/dryer: sweep it out, look for water leaks
- Lint bunnies: they get everywhere
- Spilled detergent: Absorb recent spills with kitty litter
Pro tip: leave the washer lid/door open when not in use to prevent mildew from forming in the drum.
See the Light: Window Cleaning
Cleaning windows is probably best saved for a sunny, warm day. There are a couple of reasons.
First, many newer windows can easily be removed. Sliders, for instance, can usually be removed by centering the panes and lifting up and pulling inward. Double hung windows can also be tilted inwards and removed for cleaning.
Second, having a sunny day can help you see—and appreciate—when the glass is clean and streak-free.
Pro tip: Good Housekeeping ranks the best window cleaning solutions on their site. If you’re going to all the trouble of doing it yourself, it’s worth the investment in a cleaner that will not make the window look worse when you’re done.
We realize this might not apply to ALL the windows in your house. If you have non-removable windows or high ceilings, you may need to get a ladder to clean the ones that are higher-up. If you do need to use a ladder, be careful—the CDC reports that 500,000 people are treated annually for ladder accidents, and about 300 die.
With that said, remember that you can always hire professional window cleaners—keep in mind that they probably charge by the pane.
More Words of Caution
There are plenty of household cleaners that don’t play well together. The main example of this is bleach and ammonia, which create toxic chloramine gas when mixed. Mixing these two items together (or even using them soon after one another in poorly ventilated areas) can cause severe illness or even death.
“ If you do accidentally mix bleach and ammonia, get out of the contaminated area and into fresh air immediately. If you’re having a hard time breathing, call 911 or your local emergency services, and then call your local poison control center at 800-222-1222. ” – Healthline.com
Other potentially lethal or harmful mixtures include bleach and acids, such as vinegar, some glass and window cleaners, automatic dishwasher detergents and rinses, toilet bowl cleaners, drain cleaners, rust removal products, and brick and concrete cleaners. And there are others, too—read about them here.
Wrapping Up: Spring Cleaning Checklist
One of the things about spring cleaning is that you suddenly rediscover all the stuff you own that’s been put away or hidden in corners or in cabinets or drawers for months or even years. Spring cleaning, therefore, represents a good time to decide if you want to go full Marie Kondo and start decluttering.
Despite what Tidying Up may want you to believe, there’s no rule against KEEPING all your stuff. You just need to be strategic about storing the stuff that’s in the way half the year. Whether that involves bins and boxes under the bed or in the attic, garage or basement, or renting a self-storage unit, that’s up to you.
If affordable, secure storage sounds like an option, consider Store Space. Use our storage finder to locate the nearest location. And thanks for reading. We hope the free Spring Cleaning Checklist sparks some joy in your life, or at least reduces the anxiety to a manageable level!
Writer who also enjoys cars, guitars and Mars bars.