Anyone else feeling like their house needs a good spring cleaning??! Maybe you’ve always done your own cleaning but you have more bodies at home than usual with school and work at home. Or maybe you have had a regular cleaning service that is on pause until further notice and you aren’t sure where to start. (I’m a little of both!) I’ll tell you one thing: the dust in my house is accumulating like we have 10 dogs instead of one! I noticed my dresser the other day had a quarter inch layer and knew I’d have to do something about it.
Spring Cleaning Detox
While I tidy up and clean common areas everyday, the deeper cleans often get forgotten until the dirt starts to become visible. You really don’t even know how bad it is until you start pulling cushions off the couch or peeking under a bed. But we do need to deep clean every and then. Spring is the one time of year I always go into cleaning overdrive. (I usually go on a big decluttering roll after the holidays and then cleaning starts a few months after that!)
I love to open the windows on a warm day and air out the house too. It’s like a detox from the stale air of winter. The goals are threefold: detox your home of clutter, do a deep clean, and give your space an overall refresh. Here’s a step by step flow of the areas I tackle and some spring cleaning tips and tricks for you to try.
Spring Cleaning Tips And Tricks
1. Declutter Before Spring Cleaning
In order to get a good deep clean, you need to declutter each space first. (You can’t wipe down a tabletop if it’s covered in stuff!) Remember the first step is always to reduce before you organize and clean. Create a big donation area in your garage, storage room, or a single closet and move everything you’re not in love with there. As you know from the Marie Kondo method, only keep what sparks joy! Whether we’re talking about shoes on a closet floor or actual pieces of furniture, the less you have the easier it will be to clean your house today and forever. Don’t get stuck in this step though because decluttering itself can be a days-long project. Just move enough that you can see surfaces and floors to clean.
2. Go Room by Room
When it’s time to start actually cleaning, you might be tempted to start with the busiest rooms, but those are probably the ones you clean the most often. Instead, start with a room that isn’t on your daily or weekly list. I don’t clean our bedrooms as often as the living rooms. You might be tempted to go category by category and say, clean all the windows in the whole house and then dust all the baseboards. But I think that makes it a bit too overwhelming. Going room by room so you fully finish a room before starting another creates a snowball effect and gives you a good feeling of accomplishment.
3. Wipe & Polish Cleared Spaces
Once you’ve cleared the spaces, you can clean them. You’ll be shocked how much dust can accumulate in the back of your pantry, behind bottles on your wine rack, or in the back of closets. You can use a damp cloth or dryer sheets for dusting if you don’t have a duster. A 12 pack of microfiber cloths that you can wash each day is a greener choice than paper towels, which are wasteful and can also leave lint as they go.
4. Dust Ceilings, Blinds, & Other High Up Fixtures
Dust or wipe down surfaces like your blinds, TV, the back of your headboard, ceiling fans, etc. I am always horrified when I look behind my furniture. It’s annoying to move, but you gotta do it every now and then! If you don’t have access to a stepladder, a trick for capturing high dust cobwebs is to attach a duster or microfiber cloth to the end of a broom and secure with a big rubber band.
5. Organize Your Belongings
Once surfaces are clean and the dust has settled (ha!), start to put your items back on shelves and tables. Here’s another opportunity to ask yourself if the 10 knick knacks on your dresser are bringing you all the joy! Is there a candle that’s 90% burned down you could remove or jewelry you don’t wear? Do your best to truly organize. Use bins, baskets, drawer organizers, etc. Make sure everything has a place. Here are some of my clutter zone tips.
6. Deep Clean Frequently Used Appliances: Kitchen + Laundry
No spring cleaning is complete without a deep clean of your appliances. This is probably my least favorite of all the steps! At the least do a quick wipe of microwaves, dishwasher, washing machine, refrigerator, toaster, etc. If you don’t do a weekly or biweekly fridge clean, do that here. (Yes, that means the spilled sauce that dripped under the shelves – ugh!) Give everything a good deep clean, make sure there is no food residue or grim and gunk in all of your appliances. You can run your washing machine empty with bleach or vinegar. Clean the dryer tube and vacuum the lint from behind the dryer with the tube attachment on your vacuum.
My biggest shock during spring cleaning has been how dirty my freezer was. (I organized all the food we’ve stocked in there, and did a quick vacuum and wipe while I was at it. Where do freezer crumbs even come from?!)
7. Clean Frequently Touched Items & Surfaces
Sometimes you can forget about light switches, remotes, and even drawer handles. But those surfaces are often the most dirty because of how often we touch them. So give all of your frequently touched surfaces and gadgets a wipe down as well. Especially with the virus on the loose, you can also learn more about disinfecting high touched surfaces from the CDC here.
8. Polish Your Windows, Wipe Down Walls and Floors, & Vacuum
Wipe down the high traffic walls and windows. If your kids are anything like mine, there are probably lots of handprints in the areas around their rooms. (It’s like they put their hands in mud and then swing around doorways!) Mop or swiffer the floors that aren’t on your every week list (like the bedrooms or the basement entry). Vacuum under and behind things. I LOOOOVE my Dyson Cordless vacuum because there is nothing to plug in and it’s so skinny it can fit underneath and behind things a traditional upright vacuum can’t! There are some things that only a Magic Eraser can do.
I like to do the whole house at a time, and I wear gloves. But a good eraser session can get rid of SO many scuffs and dirt patches in a short session. I also keep a mason jar of trim paint handy so I can run through the whole house and touch up white paint that has chipped off. It’s one of those twice-a-year things that makes a big difference!
9. Launder pillow cases, slip covers, and duvets
It’s one of my most-hated tasks, but now is the time to remove pillow covers, your couch cushion slip covers (if you can) and the bedding and duvets on less-used beds, shower curtains, and maybe even hanging curtains. Pick 1-2 things per day to send through the laundry and do them all throughout a week. If it’s warm and sunny where you live, you can dry them outside to save electricity or simply air them in the sunshine instead of washing in the washing machine. At the very least, take some time to spot clean any stains before they get worse.
10. Open Your Windows and Use Green When You Clean
Elbow grease and woman power is a lot more effective in spring cleaning than harsh chemicals. White vinegar, baking soda, lemon, essential oils, and greener cleaners are all better choices than strong cleaners, but use them if all else fails. If you do use something with a harsh scent, open your windows and let the fresh air carry it out.
Spring Cleaning Recommendations:
- Molly’s Suds (my favorite laundry detergent; I like the Ocean Mist scent) + Dryer Balls
- Greener concentrates include Puracy, Branch Basics and Shaklee
- Dr. Bronners
- Aunt Frannies floor cleaner
- Microfiber cloths
- Magic Eraser
- Dyson Cordless vacuum
- And the EWG Cleaning List is a great reference
Hopefully this post is helpful for you guys and motivates you more than overwhelms 🙂 Some of these tasks are more important than others (your oven will still cook with splatterings on the wall, for example) so do what you can! Do you plan to do any spring cleaning during your Stay At Home time? Would love to know which products you love and recommend. Plus, if you have any tips for spring cleaning please share them in the comments below!
And there’s one thing I forgot: strollers and car seats!! Next on my list is to vacuum both of mine 🙂