The Ultimate Guide To Spring Cleaning
Deep cleaning your home once a year is a fantastic way to ensure everything stays up-to-date, in good condition and free of excess. Spring cleaning is a concept most people have heard of. Many people set aside time as soon as the winter chill leaves to get reacquainted with their home and ready it for the rest of the year. For some people, this comes naturally. For others the process is daunting and they could use a little help. That's why we have put together this comprehensive "Ultimate Guide to Spring Cleaning".
Ever wonder how long people have been spring cleaning? Or how many calories it burns? Our guide talks a little about the history of this tradition, and gives you tips for how to have a stress-free cleaning experience. We've compiled a list of every necessary chore organized by each area of your home. If you're looking for something a little less-intensive, check out the "Abridged 1-Day Super-Clean" at the end of this article.
A beautiful, cool, spring day brings to mind linen sheets drying in the breeze and crisp white blossoms on the trees. The season is marked by the passing of the vernal equinox, or the day between winter and summer when the hours of day and night are equal. The weather is just warm enough to open the door and let out the stale air of winter hibernation.This makes spring an especially effective time to clean as fumes from cleaning products and dust can blow out the door.
Because of its association with fresh air and the end of winter, spring cleaning is a holiday tradition in many cultures. The history of spring cleaning is a new year tradition dating back thousands of years. In Catholicism "clean week" arrives just before Lent and the entire church is cleaned. The Lunar New Year is a major holiday in Chinese culture and celebrants engage in spring cleaning to move the energy of the old year out and welcome in the new. Similarly, Khaneh-Tekani, or shaking the house, is a Persian spring tradition where the whole family cleans the house for the new year. In the Jewish tradition homes are scrubbed free of chametz in preparation for Passover.
Whether you're observing a special holiday, or just looking to make use of the extra daylight and warmth, this guide has everything you need for some serious spring cleaning.
Make a Mental Note
You can avoid a lot of frustration, overwhelm and wasted time by making a detailed plan before you start. It's a good practice to thoroughly clean your home at least once every year, and it probably won't be as bad as you anticipate. Cleaning is good for you. Before you pick up your broom and dive in, read the list below. Keep it handy as you take a walk-through of your house.This way you'll know what things you need to focus on, and what items on the list don't apply to you. Still too much? It's alright. You don't have to do everything in an afternoon. If the workload seems too tough, you might want to consider following a monthly cleaning schedule throughout the year.
Get a Game Plan
Now that you've got a good idea of where you're at, sit down and come up with a plan. How much time do you want to commit to this project? How much time do you think each room will take? When do you want it done by? Don't forget to think about upcoming holidays such as Easter or spring break. How will that affect your deadline? Are you able to work when the family's home? Can you get them to pitch in? Once you've got an answer for all these questions you'll be ready to gather your supplies.
You've gone through everything on the list and mapped out your schedule. Now is the time to check your cleaning supply inventory. Haul all those cleaning products out from your broom closet and under the sink cabinets and see what you're working with. Don't forget to check the pantry. Baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar are all popular and effective cleaning agents. Discard anything you find under there that's no good, or you don't need (see, you're already making progress). Go over the list again. Do you need glass cleaner? Boxes for donations? Trash bags? Vacuum bags? Caulking? Make a shopping list of everything you will need to accomplish your tasks and have everything on hand before you begin. If you've split your spring cleaning into more than one week, you can buy just what you'll need to accomplish that week's tasks. This is helpful if your budget is tight.
Helpful Tips to Get Started
You're good to go and ready to start cleaning! While the work shouldn't be too difficult, you can work up a pretty good sweat so here are some common sense tips that might have slipped your mind.
Wear Comfortable Active Wear
It's a good idea to wear something that moves with you and won't get in the way. Don't wear anything that you wouldn't want to get stained or damaged. A comfortable t-shirt and shorts is probably your best option. If you're not planning on being bare or stocking-footed wear shoes that are snug and safe for going up and down stairs. If your hair is longer, pin it out of your face with bobby pins or a snug braid.
Eat a Good Breakfast and Plan an Easy Supper
Make sure you eat something nutritious and energizing so you'll stay motivated. If you're spending the whole day cleaning and you're the chef in the family, plan something easy the night before. You probably won't feel like cooking (or cleaning up) in the evening. Keep some power bars handy throughout the day.
Play Some Upbeat Music
Playing some of your favorite up-tempo music will get you moving and keep you focused. It will keep things fun and help keep you from getting stressed or too serious. Remember, this is basic home maintenance: you don't have to be Martha.
Don't Forget Your Fitness Wristband
Spring cleaning burns about 90 calories every 15 minutes. You're doing the hard work, you should get credit for it!
Entertain the Kids
If they're home and not helping, keep the them out of the house as long as you can. Entertain them with bubbles, jump ropes and sidewalk chalk.
Protect Your Pets
If you're able to let your pets enjoy the outdoors for a while, or have someone take them for a walk, it's a good idea to do so. If not, make sure they are secured in a room where there is plenty of ventilation and they are not able to get into any of your cleaning products.
Most importantly, don't stress. Schedules and lists are wonderful for accomplishing your goals but, at the end of the day remember that it's just cleaning. Do your best to accomplish your tasks and let go of what you can't control.
We've split our Ultimate Spring Cleaning Guide up into seven easy sections organized by area. Let this list be a jumping off point for you. Print it out and add your unique needs. Skip over anything that doesn't concern you. The tasks on this list can be accomplished in two basic ways. The first, do everything in order by area. For example, begin with the kitchen and don't move on to the dining room until you've accomplished each task. An alternative way to work this list would be to clean by task. You might go room by room decluttering, then move on to dusting, then polishing, etc. This guide is intended to give your home a full, deep clean. We've added household chores that are often neglected so we think it's great if you can accomplish all of them. However, if you've stumbled upon this article two days before your family is coming for Easter dinner, we've included an abridged super-clean that can be done in a day.
List of Chores
- Throw away food that has perished
- Donate extra canned-goods to charity
- Clean ceiling fan and light fixtures
- Replace batteries in smoke detector
- Clean exhaust fan
- Wipe down cabinets
- Wash backsplash
- Clean behind oven and refrigerator
- Remove dust from refrigerator coils
- Remove everything from fridge and wash interior
- Wash fridge exterior
- Deep clean oven and burner pans
- Clean microwave
- Clean toaster
- Run white vinegar through coffee maker
- Remove curtains and wash
- Clean registers
- Clean dishwasher
- Scrub sink
- Sharpen knives
- Sanitize cutting board
- Reseal tile or caulking
- Oil wooden utensils and cutting boards
- Sweep and mop floor
- Remove and store winter china and linens
- Put out spring table settings
- Wipe down chairs and chair rails
- Vacuum cushions
- Polish silverware
- Wash drapes
- Clean art and decor
- Clean lighting fixtures
- Clean, polish and wax table
- Clean floors
- Remove all cosmetics and medications that are passed expiration
- Dispose of drugs properly
- Wash vanity inside and out
- Wash mirrors
- Clean drains
- Scrub bathtub, toilet and sink
- Wash faucets
- Clean light fixtures
- Remove and wash curtains and fabric shower curtains
- Throw away ragged/stained towels and cloths
- Clean makeup brushes
- Wash bath mat
- Wash or replace non-slip mat
- Discard and replace shower curtain liner
- Reseal tiles or caulking
- Sweep and mop
- Clean entryway
- Declutter coat closet
- Clean welcome mat
- Wash doorway and windows
- Vacuum couches and chairs
- Wash and put away winter throws and pillows
- Dust bookshelves
- Donate unwanted books to library
- Donate or recycle magazines and newspapers
- Donate unwanted music and movies
- Clean television and electronics
- Clean and sanitize remote
- Dust picture frames
- Update family photos
- Spackle nail holes
- Wash end tables
- Dust lamps and shades
- Trim houseplants
- Have carpet cleaned
- Vacuum or sweep stairwell
- Clean and polish handrail
- Vacuum/beat scatter rugs
- Donate unused toys and knick knacks
- Donate clothes that don't fit
- Clean dresser
- Tighten drawer pulls
- Store winter duvet
- Wash curtains
- Clean light fixtures
- Freshen mattress with linen spray
- Clean lampshades
- Wash mirrors
- Organize under bed and in closet
- Clean and polish bed posts if necessary
- Wash pillows
- Replace sock drawer liners/sachets
- Replace cedar/sachets in closet
- Wash and sweep porch
- Restain or touch up paint on porch and trimmings
- Give front door a fresh coat of paint
- Clean or replace welcome mat
- Wash siding
- Clear walkway of debris
- Clean bird feeders
- Wash barbeque grill
- Refill propane tank
- In every room
- Open the windows
- Vacuum window screens
- Wipe down blinds
- Wash walls and light switch plates
- Beat, vacuum or replace scatter rugs
- Wash windows
- Remove dust and cobwebs from ceiling
- Clean registers and vent covers
When you're all finished sit back and enjoy the hard work and clean air. Make yourself a pitcher of iced tea. Put a fresh bouquet of flowers in each room, and a new bar of soap in every bathroom. Light your favorite candle and relax; you've done a phenomenal job.
Abridged 1-Day Super-Clean
- Open the windows
- De-clutter all countertops and large surfaces
- Discard all expired food, condiments and medications
- Take down all curtains and throw them in the wash
- Run the oven on a cleaning cycle
- Wash the complete interior of the fridge
- Scrub the inside of the microwave
- Run a cup of vinegar through the dishwasher
- Wipe down exterior of oven and fridge
- Clean oven door and burner plates
- Wash Backsplash
- Scrub toilet and bathtub
- Wipe down sinks and faucets
- Wash mirrors
- Shake out throw rugs
- Wash windows
- Dust bookshelves, photos and ceiling fans
- Wash comforters and pillows
- Vacuum, sweep and mop
- Wipe down exterior door
- Sweep walkway
- Have a glass of wine!
We hope you've enjoyed our "Ultimate Spring Cleaning Guide" and have found that it has made your life a little bit easier. We wish you well on all your cleaning endeavors and over any holidays that you celebrate with family. Be sure to bookmark this guide so you can refer to it time and again. Happy Spring!