Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...
Spring cleaning is your chance to really make your home sparkle. Everyday cleaning is more about maintenance and ensuring things look good on the surface, rather than going beyond the basics to eliminate the hidden dust, dirt and debris that accumulates over a long winter. Tackling a top-to-bottom cleaning may sound daunting, but the results are well worth the effort. Follow our simple spring cleaning guide for a home even Martha Stewart would approve of.
Before you start, we have some tips that will help ensure your efforts are efficient and low-stress.
Set the scene: Put on whatever music motivates you and keeps your energy up. We suggest classical or fun '80s pop tunes – anything that will keep you going as you scrub or polish.
Stock up: Put all your cleaning supplies, including dust rags, soaps, sponges and paper towels, into a clean bucket to carry from room to room so you don't have to waste time running around in search of the things you need.
Break it up: Rather than try to do everything at once (which can be exhausting) set aside a few days, or even an hour a day, depending on what your schedule permits.
Stay on track: Work on one room at a time, even if you'll be doing similar chores like sweeping or vacuuming in several rooms. You'll save time and maximize your feeling of accomplishment if you finish one room before starting the next.
Ready, set, scrub!
Now it's time to get your hands dirty and dive into your seasonal cleaning. Our comprehensive checklist provides a detailed breakdown of what to clean and how to do it, but see our tips below for more general spring cleaning tips and advice to get you started. Whether you look forward to the annual spring scrub-down or you shudder at the mere thought of dealing with mops and dust rags, we're here to help get your home ready for a new season.
The whole house
Every room is different, but there are a few common tasks that should be done throughout.
Thoroughly dust and vacuum all surfaces, especially the ones you might miss on a daily or weekly basis. This means baseboards, under furniture, under area rugs, light bulbs, chandeliers and mantels.
Take down curtains and toss them in the washing machine or take them to a dry cleaner.
Give interior windows and windowsills a good washing.
Wash the walls using diluted all-purpose cleaning solution and a large rag. Clean areas that are too high to reach using a sponge mop.
Take books and other items off of shelves so you can dust and reorganize.
Breathe new life into area rugs by hanging them outside and beating them with a broom or rug beater.
Start with the fridge. Throw away any items you can no longer recognize or are so old you don't remember buying them. Then give the interior a good cleaning with baking soda and water or an all-purpose spray cleaner. Don't forget about produce drawers or smaller shelves that can accumulate grime and food residue.
Move on to cupboards and cabinets. Remove the contents and toss anything that's passed its prime (like those stale crackers hiding in the back of the cupboard) or that you never use. Wash the inside and outside, then restock in an organized fashion. All the baking supplies should go together, starches (pasta, rice, barley) in another and so on. Make things easy to find.
Wash the tops and bottoms of cupboards and cabinets, which can accumulate grease and grime.
If possible, move appliances so you can clean or vacuum under and behind them.
Wash the floor, making sure to get into all the corners and crevices. If you've got tiles, use a scrub brush to thoroughly clean the grout.
If your bathmat and towels have seen better days (i.e., they're threadbare), this is a good time to toss them and refresh your space with new ones.
Take down the shower curtain and plastic liner and give then a good washing.
Scrub the bathtub, paying close attention to built-up soap scum around faucets. Use a scrub brush or old toothbrush to get rid of mildew on tiles.
Remove everything from your medicine cabinet and wash the interior. Throw away expired medication and makeup you don't use. Just like pills that are past their expiration date, using expired cosmetics isn't safe.
Wash your duvet cover or comforter and any other items that don't get washed on a regular basis, like the bedskirt and pillow shams.
De-clutter closets and dresser drawers by getting rid of anything you no longer wear or use -- donate to charity or give away to friends. If you don't use it, lose it.
Take a look at what's in your nightstand. If it's cluttered with old magazines, receipts and half-finished to-do lists, empty it out.
Sweep and mop the floor (if you don't have carpeting).
Flip and rotate your mattress and spray it lightly with fabric refresher.
You may be exhausted just thinking about all that scrubbing, but giving your home a thorough cleaning at the onset of spring is a great way to welcome a new season and freshen up your space. Remember to keep our spring cleaning checklist handy to make sure you didn't miss anything. Happy spring cleaning!
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