I don’t know about you, but I LOVE deep cleaning. A little clutter here and here is okay by me but I disdain dirt and dust! My husband is the exact opposite so you would think we would have an immaculate house but we don’t. Every year spring cleaning leaves me exhausted but also with a deep sense of accomplishment. Last year I was pregnant during spring so I had to do things a little differently and space out my bursts of cleaning. I actually enjoyed cleaning that way and I don’t think I’ll ever attack spring cleaning the same way again.
What about you? Don’t know where to start with your own spring cleaning? I’ve developed a four week list that will help you break it up into small, manageable bits. Follow my week-by-week checklist of three items per week to restore order and cleanliness to your home and help you prepare for a relaxing spring and summer.
Week One: De-Clutter Your Kitchen
Attack your spring-cleaning cabinet organization by addressing the problem areas first. Think junk drawer, Tupperware cabinet, spice cabinet, etc. Try to figure out what the problem is and why it’s a problem for you. For example, my spices were in the top cabinet above my stove and as my husband and I used a spice we returned it to a different part of the cabinet. They had no sense of order and caused a frustration for both of us. Find a solution to address the root of the problem. For us, I moved all of our spices into a large easily accessible drawer and used that difficult to reach space for holding rarely used items. Your solution may need an organizational product from the store but you can probably make due with a little reorganization.
No one likes cleaning their fridge but what better time to do it thoroughly than spring cleaning? The frugal side in me doesn’t want to say this but if you have the money to do so, cleaning companies usually have a fridge fee and it’s generally pretty inexpensive. If you are going to tackle this project by yourself I recommend by starting with the freezer. The USDA says frozen foods remain safe to eat indefinitely but you will sacrifice the foods taste and quality after a so much time passes. You can use their chart to determine how long each food should be kept. After you’re through tossing out old leftovers, clean your freezer with a 1:3 mixture of vinegar and water. Vinegar is great to use because it’s safe to use on areas that foods touch and it’s powerful enough to remove tough stains and odors. Aren’t you glad you cleaned out your cabinets so you can easily find your vinegar? Repeat this with your fridge then finish up by dusting the top of the fridge, wiping down the sides, and vacuuming your refrigerator coils. Clean coils will help your fridge run more efficiently and help keep money in your pocket.
All you need to do for the oven is wipe off the outside and turn on the self-cleaning feature. To clean your dishwasher, start by wiping down the outside and then work your way in. Inside the dishwasher you’ll want to wipe down the front, sides and bottom which never get a good wash from a normal wash cycle. Next, clean any debris out from the wheels, arms, and the draining grill. Then add some distilled white vinegar and baking soda and run a hot wash to help remove any hard water deposits and nastiness you can’t reach.
Week Two: Clean the Details
1. Closet Clutter
I get stressed out just thinking about cleaning my closet. You can read more about the mental exhaustion I face during cleaning closet clutter here. However, if you are a more decisive person than me you can attack your closet giant for this step. You can ask yourself the regular question, “Have I wore it in a year?” Don’t forget to make a trash pile and a donate pile as you’re sorting through. For those who keep a tidy closet or who need a full two weeks to clean their closet, I have another task for you. Organize your dresser drawers. Use the same problem solving skills you used in cleaning out your kitchen cabinets. This is a great time to find old t-shirts you can re-purpose into cleaning rags.
2. Ledges, Backboards, & Backsplashes
Get a damp sponge and a dry towel and wipe down every backsplash and baseboard in the house. If you haven’t dusted your baseboards in a while it may be a good idea to follow up with a vacuum around the baseboards using your vacuum’s extension tube. Clean the ledges or lips of furniture and appliances in every room. Be sure and use furniture polish or a dry rag when dusting wood. Examples of these ledges include bathtub rim, mirrors, and any chair railing you may have. These are often-missed surfaces that gather dust.
3. Corners & Hard-to-Reach Areas
Any corner or crevice that you can think of that harbors dust or dirt go for it. Light fixtures that contain dead bugs, cobwebs in ceiling corners, dust behind the toilets, etc. This is a good time to clean your lint filter if you don’t do it regularly. Fabric softeners build up and prevent proper air flow which slows down on the efficiency of your dryer. Don’t believe me? Run yours under water and see how the water gets trapped in the mesh. A quick wash with hot soapy water will do the trick and help extend the life of your dryer! Fill your bathtub half full with warm and soapy water and give your blinds a little soak. This will get rid of the difficult to remove dirt and dust that has been collecting all year.
Week Three: How About That Home Office?
1. File, File, File
During week three of this spring cleaning challenge I’m suggesting that you organize your file drawer. If you don’t have a file cabinet or file drawer go buy one and then file your important papers there. A few hanging file folders later and you’re organized! Suggested categories are taxes, medical, insurance, etc. If you already have a system in place go through it and see what documents you can shred. Here is a handy list of how long to hold on to important documents.
2. Clean Up Your Computer
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be only about physical spaces! Electronic clutter can slow you down and clutter your mind just the same. Clean up unused items on your computer, run your anti-virus and anti-spyware scans, and defragment your hard drive. This is also the time to electronically organize your pictures. Upload your camera cards, add them to Facebook or a photo printing site (if you want), and organize them on your computer by date. If you have important documents or pictures on your computer find a file back up system that works for you. You could manually add everything to a cloud, copy it to an external hard drive, or pay one of those services that updates your information to a cloud automatically for you.
3. Drawers and Cabinets
Take a few moments and clean out your office drawers and cabinets. You may find a way to house everything more efficiently or maybe you just have a few broken rubber bands that need to be thrown away. Organize this space so your mind is free to focus on what really matters.
Week Four: Big Spaces
Grab a ladder and a buddy to hold the ladder and clean out your gutters. Since I’m not the one in my home who does this chore I’ll refer you to a tutorial from DIY Network on cleaning and repairing your gutters yourself.
Clean the inside of your windows by using a window cleaning product or a 1:1 mixture of hot water and vinegar. Vinegar to the rescue again! Next, go outside and use a cloth (or a broom and a cloth) to sweep away any cobwebs and debris from the outside of your windows. Then you can clean the glass itself with the solution of your choice. Using a squeeze to wipe away excess water saves time and helps prevent streaks. Finally, wipe dry with a soft cloth.
3. Deck & Patio Furniture
Sweep your deck and if it’s really grimy get a spray-on deck wash to use with your water hose. To clean your patio furniture, I recommend mixing dish-washing liquid with warm water for a sudsy solution. Use a brush or cloth to scrub your table and chairs, rinse, and if needed repeat.
You’ve done it!!! Four weeks of three tasks per week is behind you and now you can relax, sit back, and enjoy the warm weather! Or, if you have extra time, take care of some other every-few-months tasks:
- Change your air filters.
- Change your water pitcher filters.
- Inventory items in your home in case of theft or fire.
- Sun orange food containers.
- Check out this information that answers the question, “How Often Should I Clean This?“
Do you enjoy or dread spring cleaning each year? What tasks are on your must-do list? I would love for you to share your thoughts in the comments!
I dread it so much that I don’t do it! I try to just keep up on things on a monthly basis so as not to have to do it all at once in big chunks. But looking at your list, there are some things that need doing in my office — my most hated place to organize!
Yes, ugh, I hate cleaning my office too. I feel your pain.
Beeb Ashcroft says
Good tips! We’re in the middle of re-painting the whole house so we’ve been spring cleaning for a while, LOL!
I know, I’ve enjoyed watching your house transformation. It’a amazing what a new color will do to brighten up the place! 🙂
I’m going to have to print this out and stick it to my fridge. I would love to give the entire house a deep clean this spring and using these tips would help.
I’m so glad you found this helpful!
Daisy Tremorev says
This is a really great idea to break it down into smaller and more manageable steps!
Thank you for the compliment, Daisy! I’m glad this was helpful!
I hate deep cleaning but your check list makes it seem much more manageable!
Oh good, I’m glad to hear it!
Shell Fruscione says
Pinned! This is brilliant.
Aww Thank you, Shell!
Brett Martin says
Thank you, Brett! I’m glad they were helpful!
Thank you for the great tips! I enjoy cleaning and can’t wait for the warmer weather so I can spring clean our house. 🙂
Yes, I know what you mean!
Stephanie R. says
These are amazing tips! I need to start my spring cleaning, Im going to pin this for later reference.
Wonderful! I’m glad this was useful for you!
Lorie Shewbridge says
Great post… I’m going to print it out to give to hubby because he does the cleaning around here. I know, I’m a VERY lucky woman!!
Wow, you are blessed! I’m thankful to have a sweet husband who helps out around the house too!
Ashleigh Swerdfeger says
Thanks for the ideas! This is very useful information and does help organize my cleaning.
You’re very welcome! I’m glad you found it helpful.
Julie Dickerson says
Thanks for this post! I always have a tough time getting started with spring cleaning.
You’re welcome! I’m glad you liked it. 🙂
Sounds almost like all the things I wanted to get done while nesting, but didn’t. Someday!
Rachel N says
Great list! Even though spring cleaning season is over I think I will use this list in the fall, especially the kitchen part!
Danielle D says
WILL be implementing this into our house!!
Ah Spring…warmer weather but more work…
Oh yes, but isn’t the warmer weather worth it? 🙂
Robin Rue says
I like the way you broke it up like this so it’s not so overwhelming. I have so much to do and I really need to get started.
I need to go through my cupboards and clean the heck out of them. I need to clean my fridge too. Who knows what lurks in that fridge of mine! Yikes!
cleaning is good, but I love to PURGE!! give me a goodwill bag and watch me work!
Louida M says
I’m currently purging in my apartment. A lot of stuff must go that my family are not using. Next up on my list is getting rid of a lot of stuff in my daughter’s room.
Thanks for the great tips! I pinned this to help with my cleaning.
Stacie Haight Connerty says
That’s a pretty good plan. We are still in the process of finishing the spring cleaning.
Veronica Solomon says
This is a great list to keep me on track. I really don’t like cleaning but it is so necessary
I love the weekly breakdown. I’m only a fan of deep spring cleaning when I have time to do it!
I need to pin this. It’s definitely something I need to follow.
PHEW> we have no big spaces. that means i can skip a whole week. RIGHT? 😉
Great tips for those that are wondering how to get it all done!
Great suggestions to maximize time and be efficient. I’m not a fan of spring cleaning. – Jenn @ The Rebel Chick
Great way to make a big task appear manageable! I really need help in the kitchen organizing my tupperware… haha
Jenni E. says
This is what I’m working on now. I love to spring clean. The hardest thing for me to do is keep up with dust and doggy hair on my hard wood floors. Dry mopping every single day has become habit.
This is a nice list for keeping cleaning on task. I keep every room picked up, and I do a room a day (deep, thorough clean), sometimes more but always a room a day. It seems silly I know when I say it out loud, but we’ve got 14 rooms to clean in this house, and if I don’t do it that way I can easily get overwhelmed.
Dina Demarest says
You make it sound so easy. I need someone to do this for me. I hate housework even though I do it.
This is a great list! I really needed this one! – Tracey @ Just
Great breakdown. I get overwhelmed, so it’s nice to take it week by week
I need to get on the spring cleaning something awful! Thanks for the tips.
I should print this. I’m a terrible housecleaner.
Susanna Barbee says
Wow! This is an incredible cheat sheet. I have pinned and definitely plan to use.
I can’t thank you enough! This is exactly what I needed to get my butt in gear!
April Mims says
This is a great way to break spring cleaning up into manageable tasks. I dread the cleaning part but really enjoy when it’s done!
I love having a list like this. If I just start cleaning things I either get overwhelmed or I forget something. This is a great way to stay on track!
Angie | Big Bear's Wife says
Love this list! I’m saving it now, i’m going to be working on the house the weekend and I’ll need it!
These are great tips! Will you come spring clean for me?! LOL!
These are wonderful tips. I need to print this out and maybe it will help me get in spring cleaning mode.
Teresa McCluskey says
Awesome tips! I love spring cleaning cause afterwards I feel such peace of mind!
A Mom's Take says
Windows is the job I always dread!! What a great list!
Janeane Davis says
This is a great post for people like me who are not good at housekeeping. I bookmarked this so I can start using it in the morning.
Cassie Tucker says
I need to declutter my kitchen. Just looking at there’s soooo much stuff on the counters and that’s before you even make it into the cabinets.
Amber Killmon says
This is fantastic. I need to declutter quite a few rooms so I love that you start with that!