The winter was cold. The air was frigid. The sky was grey for what seemed like days on end. You persevered through multiple holidays which left you little time for anything else.
Occasionally you had a day where the weather would break and you would take full advantage of it. Maybe you decided to take down the Christmas decorations or maybe you felt like getting out of the house for a day. What you probably didn't want to do was give your house a thorough deep cleaning.
Several months have passed and you can tell the weather is turning. You can see the days are getting longer as the sun moves higher in the sky. You feel a gentle breeze in the air and a warmth you have been longing for. You hear the birds chirping and children laughing as they play outside.
Your soul feels as if it wants to sing and your body feels as if it wants to dance. You excitedly think to yourself, “It's spring!”
I have to admit, I absolutely love spring. For me, it's that time of year where mother nature works her magic by transitioning the earth from cold dark days of winter to the warm bright days of summer. It that wondrous time of renewal and rebirth. And, like mother nature, I make a similar transition through the tradition of spring cleaning. It is my time to wash away winter and prepare my home for the active summer to come.
When spring is nearing I like to wander around my home taking notice of all the cleaning and organizing that will need to be done. Doing this year after year I have noticed that if I had a busy holiday season the amount of deep thorough cleaning that needs to be done can be a bit overwhelming. Almost to the point where I just can't keep track of it all.
I decided a year ago I needed a spring cleaning checklist to help with the overwhelm. What I came up with is a simple yet detailed list that helps me focus on what spring cleaning needs to be done.
Let me tell you, this checklist has been invaluable year after year! It has been so helpful for me I have decided to share it with you.
As you look at the spring cleaning checklist please keep in mind that you don't have to do everything on the list in a day. That would be insane! It's something you do throughout spring not just crammed into a one-day work-fest.
I prefer to take my time and focus on one room at a time and do the best job I possibly can. To me, it's not just about the cleaning, it is also about making room for new things to come, efficiency, and even safety.
Feel free to make this checklist your own. Add to it or adapt it to your own spring cleaning needs. I recommend writing down notes or manufacturer cleaning instructions as you come across them. This way you will have them ready to use for next year. You can also keep a list of things that will need to be repaired or replaced in the future.
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Alright, here is your spring cleaning checklist.
- Wipe down any ceiling fixtures such as fans, chandeliers, vents, etc.
- Wipe down and dust wall décor, walls, baseboards, crown moldings,
window ledges, door frames, and vents.
- Wipe down windows and door glass with an appropriate glass cleaner.
- Wipe down or wash blinds, curtains, and valances.
- Sanitize light switches and doorknobs.
- Polish any metal hardware on windows and doors.
- Remove any floor mats and rugs. Vacuum, take outside and beat, wash, or replace them if needed.
- Vacuum carpeted floors or shampoo if needed.
- Clean and polish hardwood, tile, or linoleum floors with an appropriate cleaner for your floor type.
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- Refrigerator: Wipe down the entire outside of the refrigerator starting from the top and work your way down. Remove all items from the refrigerator. Wipe down all shelving, drawers, tracks, sides, top, and base. This would be a good time to pull the refrigerator out from the wall and vacuum behind it. Do not forget to clean the vent typically found at the front base of the refrigerator.
- Microwave: Clean inside and outside of microwave oven with a cleaner that is safe for your microwave.
- Stove/Oven: Remove rack from oven and remove grease and grime with an oven-safe cleaner. Also clean and degrease the inside of the oven. Wipe down the stove top, sides, and base of the entire unit.
- Other Appliances: Clean dishwasher, toasters, coffee makers, blenders, food processors, or any appliance that needs extra or specialized cleaning.
- Sharpen knives and other cutting devices.
- Cabinets and Drawers: Remove items from cabinets and drawers. Any items that are not used, broken, aging, or are simply not needed can be put in a box to be given away, put in a garage sale, or be thrown away. While items are out, wipe down the inside of the cabinets, drawers, and doors. When finished, replace items you removed and reorganize as necessary. This would be a good time to add any organizational items or try new organizational methods and ideas.
- Trash Receptacles: Clean and sanitize trash receptacles and the area around.
- Sink Area: Clean and sanitize sink basin and faucets. Be sure to remove hard water stains from faucets and polish to a shine. Clean and sanitize all counters, food prep areas, and ledges. Wipe down or clean any décor, utensil holders, racks, etc.
- Wash table linens, cloth napkins, placemats, etc.
- Make sure you check to see if your fire extinguisher is the proper type and up to date. Replace it if needed.
- Remove all items from the pantry.
- Wipe down all cabinets, shelving, containers, racks, etc.
- Add any new organizational items, cabinets, racks, containers, etc.
Return back any food items previously removed. Pay attention to expiration dates. Remember FIFO (First In First Out). Newer items to the back and older items to the front to be used first. Any expired items should be thrown away. Try to keep like items together and not scattered about.
- Items that are not expired that you will not consume can be boxed and donated to a local food pantry.
- Any other items removed can be added back to the pantry.
- Remove all items from drawers and cabinets. Throw away any unneeded items. Wipe down inside of empty drawers and cabinets. Any bathroom medication should be checked for proper seals, safety caps, and expiration dates. Medications out of date should be disposed of properly. Medications should also be stored in a safe place out of the reach of children.
- Clean and sanitize sink area. Remove hard water spots and polish faucet. Replace lotions and soap if needed.
- Clean and sanitize toilet from top to bottom and outside to in. Sometimes it is best to remove the toilet seat as buildup can found under the hinges. This would be a good time to completely replace the toilet seat if needed. Caulk around the base of the toilet if it is in bad shape.
- Clean and sanitize bathtub and shower with an appropriate cleaner. Be sure to scrub shower doors, polish faucets, shower heads, caddies etc. If you have shower curtains, be sure to wipe them down also. If they are worn or stained this would be a good time to replace the curtains with new ones. Re-seal grout or tile if needed. Also, it is a good time to re-caulk around the bathtub or shower if needed.
- Bathroom linens and floor mats should be cleaned or replaced.
- Expired makeup, lotions, soaps, and hair care products should be properly disposed of.
- Bathroom closets should be cleaned and organized.
- Clean and sanitize sink area. Remove hard water spots and polish faucet.
- Wipe down and organize cabinets. Be sure to discard any items no longer in use.
- Wipe down washer and dryer. Pull them out and clean behind.
Clean out the lint trap and check dryer exhaust for any lint obstructions.
- Wash all clothing & linens.
- Install any space-saving or organizing items that you feel are necessary.
- Dust and polish all bedroom furniture.
- Remove clothing and other items from drawers, cabinets, and closet. Wipe down the inside of drawers, cabinets, and shelving. While you have your clothes out, this would be a good time to sort through all of them. Any unused or out of date clothing should be boxed and given away or sold at a garage sale. Winter clothing can be stored and replaced with spring and summer clothing.
- Move furniture so the floor, the wall, and the back of the furniture can be cleaned as well.
- Remove and wash sheets, comforters, and pillowcases. Some pillows are machine washable so now would be a great time to get them washed as well.
- Rotate mattress and remake bed with spring/summer bedding or your freshly cleaned and dried set.
- Remove stored items under bed and sort. Anything that is not needed anymore should be given away or sold at a garage sale.
- Dust and polish coffee table, entertainment center, end tables, and shelving.
- Dust lamps and lampshades.
- Remove cushions from couches and/or recliner then vacuum.
Clean cushions/cover according to the manufacturer's recommendation.
- Throw pillows can be vacuumed or cleaned according to the manufacturer's recommendation.
- Pull out large furniture and vacuum underneath and behind.
- Dust computer, printer, monitor.
- Organized file cabinet. A general rule is to keep at least the last 5 years of documents. Any documents that are no longer needed should be shredded.
- Dust and organize bookshelves.
- Desk drawers and shelves should be emptied and cleaned. Items throw away items no longer needed. Replace needed items back in a well-organized manner. Add any organizing items such as racks, containers, etc. if needed.
- Inspect and clean out gutters. Check for leaks in corners and make sure they are sloping towards downspouts.
- Power wash siding.
- Clean windows.
- Tighten bolts and fix loose nails in siding, trim, railings, etc.
- Repair and re-seal/repaint decking and fencing.
- Sweep or power wash outdoor porches.
- Remove oil spots and other fluids with a dry soak compound and then power wash driveway. Look for and repair cracks in the driveway and in sidewalks.
- Clean and organize tool shed. Provide spring maintenance on tools such as lawn mowers, trimmers, chainsaws, etc.
- Clean and organize the garage. Be sure to get rid of any items that are no longer needed by donating them, selling them in a garage sale, or giving them away.
Be sure to have fun with your spring cleaning! Get together as a family and throw on some music and a smile. Sing, laugh, and dance together as you clean. It is amazing what this can do for you as a family.
The graphic below is a shortened version of the checklist. Please share it with those you love. I am sure they would appreciate using it also.