This guide will walk you through a room-by-room cleaning checklist for the perfect, easier spring clean.
It’s that time of year again. Spring has finally sprung and is shining light on the state of your home after a stint of winter hibernation.
With more time spent at home and less motivation to keep on top of the cleaning over Christmas, spring is the perfect time for a big clean. This time-honored tradition has a history that runs deeper than you might think, yet it still has a firm place in today’s society.
So, to kick things off, let’s start with how to prepare for your spring clean.
Prepare For Your Spring Clean
Preparation is key, after all.
Be Prepared to Invest a Whole Weekend
As something that’s done once a year, it’s no surprise that spring cleaning is quite a time-consuming project – hence why so many people put it off.
It’s a good idea to be prepared for your spring cleaning to take longer than anticipated, but if you don’t have any free weekends coming up then there’s no need to panic.
We’ve broken down the most common spring cleaning chores and compiled them in a handy checklist for you to work your way through, split into room-by-room sections that allow you to complete your cleaning either in one weekend or by tackling one room every day for a week.
Purchase/Prepare All The Tools You Will Need
Assuming you won’t want to head to the store in your spring cleaning attire, it’s best to gather everything you’ll need for a big spring clean before you get started, to avoid having to stop midway through cleaning the toilet and head out for more disinfectant.
For a list of the best spring cleaning products to keep a clean home, check out the recommendations in this Martha Stewart article, or simply make sure you’re fully stocked with your favorite usual cleaning products.
It’s the first thing your guests see when they walk in, so you won’t want to be confronted with the wreckage of winter and piles of disorganized shoes, coats, and scarves in your entryway.
Clear the entryway of all furniture so you can get right into the corners and up against your skirting boards for a big spring clean.
Sweeping is sufficient in between cleaning, but for that proper spring clean feeling you’ll need to grab your mop and bucket and get down and dirty with your entryway floor, provided it is hardwood instead of carpet. In the latter case, clean the floor with a vacuum.
This should clear the floor of muddy footprints or any lingering dirt that was trodden in during the colder months, as the entryway is a hotspot for dirt and debris and thus requires a deeper clean.
It’s not just the floors that need wiping down, as the entryway walls will also suffer several scuff marks throughout the year.
Most of these can be easily wiped away using a sponge and some mild detergent.
It’s perhaps not the most exciting part of your spring cleaning routine, but if you don’t wipe down your baseboards they’ll ruin the look of your freshly cleaned walls and floor.
Whether you wipe your baseboards with a brush, a magic eraser, a damp sponge, or even a sock, cleaning away any dirt, mud, and dust accumulated will be the finishing touch.
Your front door is what keeps the mud and dirt out, but in doing so it becomes one of the grimiest doors in your home.
This probably isn’t the welcoming vibe you’re looking for, so give it a clean and watch the visitors roll in.
Likewise, a dirty ‘Welcome Home’ mat is hardly a welcoming sight, so next up on your spring cleaning checklist is to clean your doormat.
Designed to prevent mud and dirt from outside from being trekked inside your home, you’ll need to give it a good shake-off (we recommend doing this outside!) before cleaning. You might be surprised to see how much comes off.
Spring is the time when toes start peeping out of sandals again and thick, fur-lined boots are swapped for sneakers or pumps. To keep your entryway organized, put away winter shoes so that your shoe selection matches the season and can be easily grabbed on your way out.
Jackets on banisters may be convenient at the time, but it won’t be when you’re having to look through layers upon layers of jacket fabric to find the right one. Hanging them on coat hangers or a coat rack will make it much easier to find the right jacket for the weather.
Just like you did with your shoes, go through your jackets during a spring clean and take the time to put away anything you won’t wear going into the warmer months to reduce clutter.
Often referred to as the heart of the home, your kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your house. As the room where you cook, eat, and sometimes entertain, it’s no surprise that the kitchen is also one of the dirtiest rooms, perfect for tackling during a spring clean.
Grab your sponge or paper towels, it’s time to clean your stovetop. You might need to apply some elbow grease here as grease from your food often splatters on the stovetop while you’re cooking, but don’t use anything stronger than a mild detergent to clean it with.
Take a cloth to the inside of your microwave to wipe away any bacteria that has built up or to clean any food spills.
Another handy trick is to microwave a mug of water for a couple of minutes which will loosen any food bits stuck inside.
A dishwasher’s job is to clean dishes, but it can’t do this effectively if it isn’t clean itself. Remove the interior parts of your dishwasher (if possible) to clean them and run an empty load with some cleaning detergent so the insides are as sparkling as your cookware.
We’ll get into cleaning the interior of your fridge momentarily, but first, clean the outside by wiping it down with a damp cloth to eliminate any fingerprints, dirt, or traces of food.
To clean your freezer, you’ll first need to defrost it. This can be a messy job in itself as the build up of ice melts, so it’s best to get this done before you move on to cleaning the floors…
Clean Fridge/Freezer Seal
Don’t forget the seal! Although often overlooked, food can easily spill and become stuck in the seal where it breeds bacteria. Luckily, it’s easy enough to wipe clean with a damp cloth.
Wipe Drawers and Shelves in Refrigerator and Freezer
A spring cleaning session is the perfect time to take out all the food and wipe down the insides of your fridge and freezer, including the drawers, to remove stains, spills, and odors.
You could even reorganize your fridge as you replace the food you removed for cleaning!
Discard Old or Expired Food in Pantry, Fridge, and Freezer
While doing this, it’s worth checking the expiration dates of food you’ve had lying around in your kitchen for a while to make sure they’re okay to eat. Get rid of anything that’s past its best, and create separate piles of food that’s to ‘keep’, ‘donate’, and ‘throw out’.
Cluttered countertops make for a messy-looking kitchen, so clear away anything you won’t be reaching for on a daily basis to leave room for the things most often used.
For example, if your morning routine can’t start before caffeine but you don’t have toast for breakfast every day, put the toaster away and replace it with your coffee machine. Put cookbooks and coffee mugs on shelves so they’re out of the way for clutter-free kitchen counters.
Degrease Cabinet Doors and Backsplash
Use disinfectant wipes to clean the grease off of the cabinet doors and backsplash around your cooker of spray lightly with a mild detergent before wiping them down.
Remove Items From Cabinets and Thoroughly Clean Inside
Like you did with your fridge and freezer food items, take everything out of your cabinets.
If you have a hand-held vacuum in your home, now is the time to use it! Hoover up any dust or dirt hiding in the corners of your cabinets for a thorough interior cleaning.
Dust Top of High Surfaces Including Fridge, Microwave, Range Hood, Cabinets Etc.
Just because you can’t see certain areas to know if they’re dirty doesn’t mean they don’t need cleaning, so a spring clean is the perfect opportunity to tackle any overlooked spaces.
Using a damp cloth or sponge and some washing-up liquid, wipe over high surfaces and the tops of your kitchen cabinets, as well as appliances or any areas that are difficult to reach.
Deodorize and Degrease Kitchen Drain
No one wants a kitchen sink that stinks, so take care of odors by deodorizing and degreasing the drain to make way for the fresh scents of spring.
There are a few different methods for deodorizing your kitchen drain which you can check out in more detail here.
Wash Dish Rags and Clean Sponges
There’s no point cleaning anything with washcloths and sponges that aren’t clean themselves, so pop all of your cleaning rags into the washing machine for a full cycle.
Wipe Walls and Baseboards
The walls in your kitchen will have a bigger build-up of grease, but wiping them down with a natural lemon solution or a mild detergent for tougher stains should leave you splatter-free.
Clean the baseboards to remove any food stains or grime that’s built up throughout the year.
Shake-Out Dust or Dirt From Floor Mats
Get rid of dirt, dust, and mud that your kitchen mat collects while it’s protecting your floors from the same fate by shaking the mat out, and run a vacuum over afterward if needed.
Leave this until last or risk spoiling your freshly clean floors with dust bunnies as you work through the rest of our cleaning checklist.
Just don’t do it before you break for lunch, as you won’t be able to walk on mopped floors until they’re fully dry.
Whether you’re entertaining or enjoying dinner for one, the dining room is the next one to tackle on your spring cleaning checklist.
Dust China in China Cabinet
If your china is on display, it’s because you want people to admire it, which is hard to do when it’s covered in a layer of dust.
Keep your displays looking their best by putting a feather duster over the china in your china cabinet, and dust the inside of the cabinet as well.
Launder and Press Table Linens
Fresh linens are practically synonymous with spring, so grab the lot and do a load of laundry whilst you tackle some of the other steps on your cleaning checklist.
Dust and Polish Furniture
As most furniture is kept in one spot for prolonged periods of time, dust can easily collect.
Keep all your surfaces and furniture clean and gleaming by dusting and giving them a polish.
Vacuum or Spot Clean Chair Cushions
Don’t keep crumbs of food for later – run a vacuum over your chair cushions to collect dirt and debris and spot clean the areas that need it, like any accidental coffee stains.
Wipe Walls and Baseboards
Wipe down the walls in your dining room to freshen up the space and get rid of dust. Similarly, wipe down the baseboards.
Clean Light Fixture
Remove and clean the light fixtures to eliminate dust bunnies, using a microfiber or lint-free cloth and being careful not to touch any bulbs that are still hot.
For grimy fixtures, use a diluted mixture of water and vinegar, and remember to turn the lights off during cleaning.
Dusting blinds is easy enough but typically overlooked. Give your blinds some TLC this spring cleaning season and dust them or opt for a deeper clean if they’re particularly grimey.
Dust Curtain Rods
Similarly, put a feather duster or a cloth over your curtain rods to remove dust.
Clean Window Sills
Don’t forget the window sills, either! Clean with a damp cloth and some mild detergent.
Finally, wash the actual windows. You don’t need to use an intense detergent, and it’s best to clean the windows when it’s cloudy outside to avoid streaky marks forming on the glass.
Clean or Vacuum Curtains
Either remove your curtains from their pole and pop them in the washing machine or if you don’t think they need it, run a vacuum attachment over the curtains to clean.
Mop or Vacuum Floor
Next, turn your attention to the floor and mop or vacuum depending on what type of flooring you have.
Shampoo Rugs or Carpet
Don’t hire a professional to clean your carpets for you this spring. Follow the useful instructions and tips we found here and you’ll be able to refresh your rugs in no time.
Ever seen your bathroom after an evening spent in there getting ready to go out? Well then, you’ll know just how much your bathroom can be in need of a good spring cleaning.
Discard Expired Personal Care Products and Makeup, and Bring Old Medications to a Drop-Off Site
One of the first things to do when spring cleaning your bathroom is to remove anything you’re not regularly using to declutter the space.
Discard or throw expired products away, recycle any packaging where you can, and responsibly dispose of medications or personal care items.
Clean Makeup Brushes
Anyone else guilty of forgetting to clean their makeup brushes regularly?
Spring cleaning is the perfect excuse to get out your brushes and clean them all. At least you won’t be needing them while you’re knee-deep in elbow grease 🙂
A lot of people do their makeup at their vanity so it’s easily covered in product, but even the brightest eyeshadow can be wiped away with a cloth or disinfectant wipe like these lemon-scented ones.
There’s no point asking “who’s the fairest of them all” if your mirror is too dusty to show a perfect reflection, so wipe away the grime to reveal the answer.
Clean Tub and Shower
You can’t get clean in a dirty tub or shower, so spray with a natural or mild soap scum remover, and after waiting a short while for it to take effect, give your tub a good scrub.
A build-up of limescale or soap scum is particularly common around the showerhead area, so repeat the previous step to remove it.
Replace Shower Curtain Liner
Over time, the lining of your shower curtain can become grubby and dirty, so it may be time to think about replacing it with a new one.
Scrub Tile Grout
If you have any old or spare toothbrushes lying around the house, they make the perfect tool for scrubbing grout to remove any mold or mildew.
You can treat your toilet by switching off the water and adding a small amount of baking soda to the bowl. Once you’ve let this sit for a few minutes, scrub all over then flush.
Don’t forget to clean things like the faucets, towel racks, toilet paper holders, handles, and other hardware in your bathroom.
Get rid of any dust by sweeping the floors first. Once they’ve been swept, it’s time to reach for your trust bucket and mop again to clean the floors.
It’s a room dedicated to household chores, so by taking the time to clean and organize your laundry room during a spring clean you’re helping to set up for the year of housework ahead.
Clean Washing Machine
To keep your family in clean clothes, it’s important to remember that your washing machine also needs occasional cleaning to maintain it.
Do this by removing certain parts of your washing machine, including the bleach and fabric softener wells, and soaking them in a diluted water cleaning solution mix. At the same time, clean the inside of the washer then replace the removable parts once they’re clean and dry.
Clean Dryer Vent
With over 2,900 home clothes dryer fires reported each year, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, it’s clear that taking care of your appliances is just as much about safety as it is cleanliness.
To clean your dryer vent, remove any loose lint or threads and use a cloth with a little bit of all-purpose cleaner around the inside of the dryer.
Clean Lint Trap
Lint is one of the worst things you can allow to build up, as this can then clog parts of your dryer. To prevent this from happening, clear the exhaust system and vacuum inside the dryer.
Organize Laundry Supplies
Knowing that everything is in its designated place will make housework much easier down the line, so the next step on our spring clean schedule is to organize your laundry supplies.
Keeping things like laundry detergent, fabric softeners, and color catchers together means they’re easy to find, and having everything in one place helps you to get the job done faster.
Walls, Baseboards, and Floors
Once again, finish off the room by turning your attention to the walls, baseboards, and floors, and give them a thorough cleaning using whatever method is appropriate for the floor type.
Seeing as the average human will spend around half their lifetime (or around 36 hours) in bed, it makes sense to prioritize your bedroom being clean and organized.
Use a cloth and a little bit of polish if necessary, wipe around all of the furniture in your bedroom to get rid of any dust that has accumulated.
As the weather gets warmer it’s time to say goodbye to your fur coats and woolly jumpers to make way for your summer wardrobe. Organize your clothes by style or color, and go through any boxes you may have put away at the top or bottom of your closet previously.
Donate Unused Clothing
Spring is the perfect season for a big clear-out of your closet as you’ll need to swap out your winter garments for summer sundresses.
As you go through your belongings, create three designated piles; one for clothes you’re keeping, one for clothes you’re donating, and one for clothes that need throwing out.
Wash Bedding Including Sheets, Pillows, Duvets, and Bed Skirts
Strip the bedding and chuck it on a wash cycle as you start your spring cleaning in this room, as you can work your way through the rest of our checklist while you wait for this to finish.
Remember that certain fabrics have specific washing instructions, so pay close attention and check the labels before turning on your machine.
Vacuum the top side of your mattress to get rid of any bits of first or debris (read: toast crumbs) then flip it over to the other side. You might need two people for this job!
Just like you did in the dining room, clean around the window area as well as the glass itself, including the blinds, curtain rod, and the window sill. Wash or vacuum the curtains to finish.
Waking up is much nicer when the first thing your feet touch as you swing your legs out of bed in the morning is a soft, freshly cleaned carpet.
Vacuum first, followed by mopping if you have hardwood rather than carpet floors. For even fresher carpets, sprinkle baking soda on and leave for a few minutes before vacuuming,
To finish, wipe around the baseboards with a damp microfiber cloth and some soapy water.
Similarly, wash or shampoo any rugs in your bedroom to clean them of any trodden in dirt.
After the bedroom, people tend to spend the second-largest portion of their time at home in the living area, which is the next room to be ticked off our spring cleaning checklist.
The slipcovers in your living room require less frequent cleaning compared to say, your bedding or pillow covers. However, dust and mold can collect on your couch, so when it’s time for a spring clean you should always strip the slipcovers and give them a wash.
Wash Blankets and Pillows
Similarly, take any blankets or pillows that live in the living room and wash them as well.
Vacuum Sofa and Chairs
Once the covers have been removed, use a vacuum on the surfaces of your sofa and chairs so that they’re clean before the slipcovers are put back on.
Another room, another set of windows to clean. You probably know the drill by now, but if not, remember that this encompasses the whole window area.
Clean Ceiling Fans
Many American homes feature a ceiling fan to help cool the room during the warmer months.
Dust is left to build up on these fans through the winter when they’re less frequently in use, so come springtime it’s worth dusting them so they don’t send flurries of dust bunnies down on your head the next time it’s warm out and you go to turn it on.
An extendable feather duster can really help with this, as it allows you to reach areas that your arms aren’t quite long enough for.
Dust and Clean Lamp Shades
The same step can be applied to any lamps you have in your living room, which are great at providing mood lighting in the evening when the main light fixture is too bright to have on.
Kid’s Play Room
Kids are messy. It’s a fact of life, one that most parents have to come to terms with early. It also means a spring clean is essential, as you don’t want your child playing in a dirty room.
If they’re old enough, why not get your kids involved in the big spring clean? For ways to make cleaning fun for children, check out some of the ideas listed here.
Sanitize Plastic Toys
Children are always putting things in their mouths when they’re young, so sanitizing their plastic toys can be a good way to eliminate germs and reduce the risk of them getting sick.
Wash Stuffed Animals and Stuffed Toys
Soft toys can be just as germ-filled as plastic toys, if not more, so it’s important to wash these also during a spring cleaning session.
If they’re machine washable, pop them in for a cycle and allow them to hang on the line to dry. Just don’t let your kids see the freshly washed toys, or they’ll never forgive you!
Donate Unused Toys
Kids are known for accumulating a lot of stuff, especially after Christmas when new presents mean that the old toys are soon forgotten.
Donating toys your child no longer uses to a charity or friend with children of a similar age is a great way to give old toys a new lease of life, and is more sustainable for the environment.
Organize Toys and Play Areas
Tidying up toys is a daily occurrence for most parents, so go through and organize their play areas so that toys can be easily reached and put away, preferably by your kids themselves.
Mop or Vacuum Floors
Children spend a lot of time on the floor, so the last step in your spring cleaning should be to clean it by vacuuming or mopping depending on the type of floor your kid’s playroom has.
If you’ve reached the end of this article and you’re starting to panic, don’t!
We’ll admit that when everything is laid out in a list like this, spring cleaning can seem like an overwhelming chore, but that’s why we broke it down into room-by-room checklists.
If you don’t like the thought of cleaning for three days straight, you can work your way through each room one by one instead. However you decide to go about it, at least you can get started knowing there’s a comprehensive, full spring cleaning checklist to refer back to.