If you’re like most people, you may be really good at avoiding the dreaded spring cleaning ritual. The thought of cleaning an entire home from top to bottom can feel incredibly overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! Follow our easy checklist to help you declutter, de-dust and freshen up every nook and cranny of your home as we get ready to welcome warmer weather.
Cleaning Your Home Room By Room
Approaching your spring cleaning on a room-by-room basis will help you accomplish more in less time and eliminate that looming sense of dread when you think about cleaning your whole home in a short period of time.
Just because it isn’t technically a room in your home, doesn’t mean you should overlook it on your spring cleaning checklist. Use this time to declutter the space by purging items you haven’t used since last spring. Make it a point to wash your gardening gloves/tools, clean off your yard work shoes and sweep the floor as well as the front porch, steps or patio while you’re at it.
These days, as more of us work from home, our office spaces are often dual-purpose rooms that tend to gather clutter quickly.
The living room is where we do, well, most of our living! So, it often takes the brunt of most of our mess. It can act as a catch-all for clutter, a family hangout zone, sports den, kids play area and dining room all in one. Needless to say, it could use your attention!
You do a whole lot of living on your living room furniture and sometimes, it’s not exactly glamourous. Pull all your furniture away from the walls so you can vacuum and clean behind each piece and underneath it, areas we often overlook during quick weekly or bi-weekly cleanings. If you have an upholstery tool on your vacuum, use that to go over both sides of the cushions and underneath them to pick up any hair, dust and crumbs that may be lurking in the crevices. If you have a removable sofa cover, now is the time to remove it, as well as any pillow covers, and throw them in the laundry to give them a deeper clean.
Despite what most people think, you can throw your curtains and drapes in the dryer for 15 minutes on an air-only cycle to gently remove dust and grime without damaging the fabric. Just be sure to re-hang them immediately to avoid any unsightly wrinkles.
Hold out for an overcast day so you can avoid streaks from direct sunlight. Start on the shady side of your home and work your way around, raising the blinds/shades and washing the windows with glass cleaner and a microfibre cloth. Don’t forget to close the blinds afterward and clean those off with a duster too!
Bookshelves can collect a whole lot more than books, if you know what we mean. Take some time to empty the shelves, give each a full clean and then reorganize your books and knickknacks as you place things back on the shelves in case you can declutter or re-sort things while you’re at it.
As much as we’d like to imagine our bedrooms as relaxing, tidy havens, they’re often very far from that idealistic vision. A quick clean of specific elements in your space will have your bedroom feeling more like a retreat in no time.
Let’s be real, we tend to avoid cleaning the biggest, bulkiest items in our home on a regular basis because they’re just a pain to handle. Make it a point to clean your bedding (duvet cover, comforter, bulky blankets) as part of your spring clean and two additional times per year to keep it fresh and in good shape. Before you do anything with larger items like bedding, though, be sure you read the manufacturer’s label on each item carefully as there may be special instructions to keep them from being damaged in the process.
While you’re stripping off your bedding, it’s the perfect time to pay attention to what’s underneath those sheets. Use your vacuum’s upholstery attachment to press down firmly on your mattress to clean the tops and sides. Then take a pass over it with a disinfectant spray like Lysol or use a garment steamer/iron to kill off any unwanted (and invisible) dust mites before passing the vacuum over it once more.
While most of us may make it a point to tidy and reorganize our closets regularly, we don’t often take the time to give it a deep clean. Make it a point to remove all shoes to fully clean your shelving, dust in any small areas that are typically passed over, remove any articles that are damaged and take the opportunity to reorganize your closet for the warmer months.
You’d assume the laundry room is the cleanest room in the house, because you know, your clothes get clean there, but that isn’t always the case. You still need to make sure you clean and maintain the machines whose job it is to clean every single day.
Most of us can say with certainty that we’ve noticed a not-so-nice odour coming from our washing machines. Before you even have a chance to notice this smell, freshen up the washer by pouring some bleach inside and turning on your machine’s cleaning cycle. If you make it a point to do this more often, you can avoid discovering that unwelcoming odour before it has a chance to develop.
While your washing machine can be home to unfavourable odours, dryers can be a serious fire hazard if they aren’t cleaned and maintained. Beyond just removing the fuzz from your dryer’s lint filter every time you throw in a load, you can use your vacuum ’s crevice attachment to pull out hard-to-reach dust and grime that might be living in the dryer itself.
Quite possibly the grossest room in our homes on a daily basis, the bathroom can be a tough room to tackle when you get down to the nitty gritty, but the end result is always worth it!
If you’ve got a light-coloured grout in your bathroom, then by now, you’ve noticed it picks up literally everything. Spray yours with a grout cleaner, let it sit for a few minutes and then scrub with a stiff brush to loosen any unwanted and unsightly particles before rinsing it off.
Drains can be really gross. We often forget that what washes off of us in the shower has to go somewhere, and more often than not, it gets caught in the drain below our feet. If your drain is in need of a good refresh, mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with 1/4 cup of table salt. Pour the mixture down the drain, followed by 1 cup heated vinegar so that it foams and bubbles. Let it stand for 15 minutes tops and then follow it up by running hot tap water for at least 15 – 30 seconds. This trick is especially helpful for drains in seldom-used bathrooms like those typically reserved for guests.
Despite the fact that they’re constantly being exposed to water and soap, shower curtains can get real gross real fast. Place plastic or vinyl shower curtains, alongside a few towels, on the gentle cycle with your detergent of choice and let it hang to dry in place before showering again. If you want to keep it smelling and looking fresh on a regular basis, consider spraying it a few times each month with an all-purpose cleaner and let the shower rinse it off before you hop in. You may also consider investing in a fabric shower curtain which can be easier to clean and less likely to hold onto mold/mildew.
Give your sink a good scrub to remove any lingering grime or unpleasant odours and bring back its original shine. Consider cleaning out the drain as well by pouring boiling hot water down the drain, adding baking soda, and then adding vinegar. Cover the drain with a plug for a few minutes and then follow up by pouring some extra boiling water. If you notice any leaks or issues you can’t seem to fix, you may want to consider contacting a plumber.
There are plenty of spots in the kitchen that are crying out for a good clean. Give them the attention and tidy they deserve and you’ll feel inspired to cook again in no time!
Over time, a gross combination of grease and dust can cause an unsightly build-up on your kitchen cabinets. While it may be more difficult to spot on a darker cabinet, it can be very noticeable on a stark white shaker cabinet. Look for a kitchen cabinet cream to de-gunk your cabinets by cutting through the dirt without drying out the wood. In the future, make sure to always turn your range hood on when you’re cooking on the stove to stop grease from settling in places it shouldn’t.
Despite the fact that most people use their microwave almost daily, it’s often overlooked when it comes to places to clean on a regular basis. All the more reason to give it a good scrub down during your spring cleaning adventure. Not exactly sure how to best clean a microwave? It’s easier than it seems. Fill a large microwave-safe bowl with 1 cup of water and a chopped-up lemon/lime/orange or several tablespoons of vinegar and place it inside. Turn the appliance on high for several minutes, or until the solution boils and the window is steamy, then let it cool for 5 minutes before opening the door. Remove and wipe the inside and outside with a sponge.
Most of us are probably wiping down high-traffic areas on our countertops daily, especially if you’re cooking regularly. But if you want to really restore the shine of your granite/stone surface, break out the special polish to remove any gross layers of grease and hidden stains without damaging the surface. The end result: A super clean, super shiny countertop that will transport you back to the day it was installed.
If your oven has a self-cleaning function, you can use that to help you remove that stubborn baked-on grime that’s constantly smoking or releasing weird odours every time you turn it on. If your oven doesn’t have a self-cleaning function, you can place a hot, wet cloth on top of any burned spots to help soften the grime and then scrub with a sprinkle of baking powder and a heavy-duty scour pad before rinsing and wiping dry.
You’d think the place we store our food would be extra clean but often, it isn’t. Cleaning the fridge can be bothersome since you’ll need to empty it out to really get every nook and cranny. Don’t forget to do the same for the produce bins, dairy drawer and door shelves, as those can get pretty yucky over time. Pop out any pieces you can remove and wash them in warm soapy water to remove stains/odours. Before you place your items back inside, consider adding some liners to minimize marks on the plastic and keep spills contained in the future.
This is your chance to open up that precious china cabinet and actually clean the items inside. Launder and press any table linens, polish your silver, dust/polish your furniture, wipe down the walls and baseboards, clean off the light fixture and shampoo any rugs you have in the space.
As difficult as it may seem, you need to resist the urge to reorganize the entire basement as you give it a good spring clean. Now is not the time so just stick to cleaning out shelves and storage areas by tossing/donating/selling items you no longer have a need for. Make it a point to label any storage bins for quick access to items you’re always digging for and clean the shelves and floors of your closets, which often go overlooked in underused places like the basement.
It’s easy to become incredibly demotivated and overwhelmed thinking about spring cleaning your home, but this check list of tasks and tips for each room will make the job a lot less scary and a lot more fulfilling.