It’s officially spring, and we couldn’t be happier! While it’s only been hitting the 40’s, we’re breaking out our T-shirts and shorts and soaking up the sun! Now that the weather is warming up, it’s about time for a thorough cleaning to sweep away those winter blues. Not only does a good spring cleaning make your home look good, it feels good to get rid of the dust bunnies and air out that lingering winter musk. We’ve put together a few general spring cleaning tips and included a checklist to help you brighten up your home!
First of all, how do you like to clean? “I don’t” is probably your response. While it may take work, a thorough cleaning is well worth the effort, and it has to be done sometime or else the mess will accumulate until it’s out of control. You can clean room-by-room, or take a whole-home approach to cleaning by working top-to-bottom and cleanest-to-messiest.
Make it a Game
Does cleaning bore you? Well then make it fun! Get out a deck of cards or some dice and assign suits/numbers to different chores. Then take turns with your roommates so the tasks are split up fairly (though it may not turn out to be even!). Even if you are cleaning solo, using cards or dice will help keep it interesting. Reward yourself every few tasks if you need more motivation!
Just like when you have a bunch of homework, getting the easy tasks out of the way helps you feel accomplished and ready to take on the next chore. Starting with the cleanest room will help motivate you to clean messier ones. This also applies to each room – when you’re in the kitchen, start to the right of the stove and work in a clockwise rotation. This way you’re ending with the dirtiest part of your kitchen. In the bathroom, wipe down the mirror first and finish with scrubbing the toilet. This approach also helps you get more distance from your cleaning rags!
This strategy should be used no matter what approach you take to cleaning. Always clean top-to-bottom. This means when you’re dusting, start with ceiling fixtures and work your way down to window frames to countertops to your trim molding near the floor before moving onto cleaning the floors. It’s pointless to sweep if you’re just going to wipe off a bunch of dust onto the floor!
Below is a checklist of some spring cleaning basics. While it may not include everything, it’s sure to help motivate you to jump-start your seasonal scrub-down. And one more tip – take before and after pictures – by the time you’re done cleaning you may have forgotten how dirty your place was before! Post them to your newly-cleaned fridge to encourage you to keep your home clean! If you have more tips, leave them in the comments below for others!
Spring Cleaning Checklist
- Light fixtures (including bulbs!), fans, window frames, cupboards, around electronics, woodwork, blinds
- Toss old food, wipe down condiment bottles and coils
- An old toothbrush Is great for scrubbing those sticky spots in hard-to-reach places!
- Stove and Oven
- Did you know your stove top lifts up? Go ahead – try it – just lift the top and it should pop up with holders to keep it in place. Now how much crud has built up underneath there? No wonder you smell something burning every time you cook!
- If it’s electric, pull out the coils (make sure they’re not hot!!) and clean underneath them
- Ovens have a self-cleaning setting, but make sure you do it on a day that you can open all the windows and turn on your fans – to limit breathing the fumes
- Clean microwaves, pizza ovens, and toasters inside AND out!
- Flip your mattress & change your bedding
- Pack away seasonal clothes
- Leave a few colder-weather items, (we’re still in Wisconsin)
- Donate or sell clothes you don’t wear
- Wash blankets & pillows
- Wipe down & vacuum (including underneath the cushions!)
- Clean out junk and throw it away!! Reorganize neatly
- Take rugs outside and shake/beat with a broom
- Sweep everything
- Vacuum carpeting
- Wash floors – hands and knees and elbow grease! (Swiffers are only for light cleaning!)
- Wash windows (or at least Windex them!)
- Rearrange & Set a New Mood
- Spring is about feeling fresh and new
- Move furniture around to a new configuration
- Reorganize your closet and move things around – you’ll find clothes you forgot about!
- Eliminate Odors
- Put 2 capfuls of vanilla extract in a coffee mug in the oven at 300 degrees for an hour = Heaven! (it’s a realtor’s trick… great for when your parents are stopping by!)