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House Spring Cleaning Tips & Checklist – How to Spring Clean

These days, we often use the term “spring cleaning” in reference to a variety of things, from clearing out the garage to going through our work inboxes.

But if you talk to anyone from an older generation, you’ll hear about the days when they scrubbed every nook and cranny and polished until the whole house gleamed. Spring cleaning was not a phrase to be taken lightly, and it was not an optional project. It was an arduous responsibility taken on every spring without fail.

Who has time to keep up with this tradition now? Actually, you do! Not only can spring cleaning be manageable, but it’s essential to keeping your household fresh, clean, and healthy.

Read on to discover what spring cleaning involves and how you can make it a part of your seasonal routine.

What Is Spring Cleaning?

Essentially, spring cleaning is about clearing out the things you no longer use, while at the same time doing a deep cleaning of the entire house. It’s a time to declutter, reorganize, and complete tasks that only need to be tackled once or twice a year.

This all-out cleaning frenzy can take place any time of year, although spring is the ideal time to do it. Not only is it time to wash and store away your winter clothes, but it’s also perfect weather to open your windows and work inside and out. It’s an opportunity to air things out after being cooped up in the house all winter.

What shouldn’t be considered part of spring cleaning? Anything that should be done on a regular basis, such as scrubbing the tub, vacuuming, and dusting. These should all be part of your normal cleaning duties. If you only do these things occasionally, set up a weekly house cleaning schedule or consider hiring a cleaning service if you can afford one.

Spring Cleaning Regime

How to Take on Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning is quite the task. The key is to find the most manageable approach for you. There are a couple of ways to go about it:

  • Do It In One Fell Swoop. With this approach, you set aside a block of time to get the entire project done, whether that’s an entire weekend or an entire week. The idea is to get spring cleaning done and over with as quickly as possible. I like this approach because, even though it may be intense at the time, you won’t have the project hanging over your head for long.
  • Break It Down Into Smaller Projects. Another option is breaking your spring cleaning down into many smaller projects, spread out over time. For instance, you could spend one Saturday cleaning up the outside of the house, another Saturday working on sorting out old items to sell on eBay, and yet another Saturday shining up your place. This is a better approach for someone who’s unable to block out a chunk of time to dedicate to cleaning.

Either of these strategies will work as long as you commit to completing the chores in the designated time frame. Don’t choose the “one fell swoop” approach if you think you may get overwhelmed and run out of time. Likewise, make sure that if you choose to break things up, you schedule time for each project and stick to it. The point of this overall household deep clean is lost if it stretches on for months or is never finished.

Once you’ve chosen your time frame, come up with a clear plan of action. Take a look at the following tips and strategies to make the most of your spring cleaning.

Spring Cleaning Tips and Strategies

These 10 tips and strategies will help you create a workable plan for spring cleaning.

1. Make a List

List out everything you want to accomplish during this year’s spring cleaning. Then group like tasks, such as washing window screens and washing the siding on your home. This will make it easier to go from one task to another without having to waste time wondering what to do next.

2. Assemble a Team

If your family is willing and able, get them to work with you as a team. If you’re single or live alone, get some of your friends to help you with the promise that you’ll help them in return.

Assign tasks according to your team members’ strengths or allow them to sign up for the tasks they’d prefer. Not only will this help you get things done faster, but it will also make spring cleaning much more fun.

3. Gather Your Supplies

Spend the week before spring cleaning gathering up the supplies you’ll need. If you’ll need to visit several stores, plan to hit a store a day during that week. If you’re planning well in advance, buy your supplies when they go on sale and utilize discount grocery coupons. You can also use safe, natural household cleaners, such as baking soda and vinegar.

4. Plan Ahead for Time-Consuming Tasks

If you’re planning any time-consuming tasks, set aside extra time outside of your actual spring cleaning schedule. For example, if you’re going to shampoo your carpets, they’ll need a day or two to dry. You don’t want to have to worry about avoiding them when you’re trying to do everything else. So plan to do them before, or even after, you do the rest of your cleaning.

5. Focus on One Task at a Time

I tend to fumble around when I have a lot to do. I feel as though I’m spread too thin and start jumping from one task to another without ever really completing anything.

To avoid this, focus on only one task at a time. If you attempt to do too many things at once, none of them will be done well, and you may get lost and forget what you were doing altogether.

6. Celebrate Your Progress

It’s easy to get discouraged when you have a large project and are only focusing on what you have left to do. Last year, I had a huge spring cleaning list of over 40 items, some of which were time-consuming. At times, I felt very discouraged when I looked at my list of things to do and saw so many items still on it.

This year, I’m promising myself to focus on what I have completed and recognize my progress. At the end of each spring cleaning task, reflect on all you’ve done and be proud of your hard work.

7. Take Breaks

You are not a machine, so don’t feel like you need to work like one. Pre-schedule breaks so you not only have something to look forward to, but also have a chance to relax – especially if it’s a beautiful spring day. By pre-scheduling your breaks, you’ll remind yourself to take time out, but you won’t take an excessive amount of time.

8. Prepare Snacks and Meals Ahead of Time

With all the energy you’ll be spending on cleaning, you’ll need to refuel yourself with snacks and healthy meals. Put together a slow cooker meal the night before so you won’t have to prepare dinner after a long day of cleaning. If you’ll be cleaning for a week straight, make a large batch of something you can eat over several days.

9. Pump Up the Jams

There’s no reason why you can’t have fun while you’re cleaning. Create a playlist of your favorite tunes to keep you motivated, and pick something upbeat to get you moving faster. Cleaning can actually be a good way to fit in some indoor home exercise.

Get Ready Jam Out

10. Keep Your Goal in Mind

Spring cleaning is a big project. It takes hard work and sacrifice when you could easily be doing something else. But also know that you will get a sense of satisfaction and pride out of the hard work you put in. There is joy in pushing yourself to the limit and reaching your goals.

Example Spring Cleaning To-Do Checklist

The following is a sample checklist of what may need to be done during a typical spring cleaning. Obviously, your own list will be tailored to your needs. Some things may not apply to you, and others may be missing. This is merely a template to help you start your own checklist.


  1. Clean Inside of Oven. Follow the directions oven cleaner directions exactly. Make sure this task is done by an adult.
  2. Dust Refrigerator Coils. Remember to unplug the refrigerator first. Vacuum and mop in the spot where the refrigerator sits as well.
  3. Clean Out the Refrigerator. Although you should clean your refrigerator regularly, this is an opportunity to go through everything, including condiments, to make sure nothing has expired. Scrub the shelves and drawers thoroughly to rid the space of any food residue and bacteria.
  4. Clean the Ceiling and Walls. This includes air vents, light fixtures, and switch plates.
  5. Clean Curtains and Blinds. Wash any curtains and dust blinds.
  6. Clean Out Drawers and Cabinets. Remove items you no longer need and wipe down the insides of drawers and cabinets. Take this opportunity to do any needed reorganizing.
  7. Clean the Garbage Disposal. You can freshen your drain by pouring down baking soda and a lemon peel with warm water.
  8. Clean the Dishwasher. Pick out any food left at the bottom of your dishwasher, and then run it empty with either a little baking soda or vinegar.

Living Area

  1. Clean the Ceiling and Walls. This includes air vents, light fixtures, and switch plates.
  2. Dust the Ceiling Fan. Be careful if you’re using a ladder. Have a spotter if you can.
  3. Shampoo Carpets and Rugs. Allow a day or two for drying.
  4. Clean Curtains and Blinds. Wash curtains and dust blinds.
  5. Clean the Couch. Depending on the material, you may be able to shampoo your couch as well.
  6. Reorganize. Remove any unwanted or unneeded items to arrange living room furniture and improve flow.


  1. Rotate the Mattress. Doing this distributes the usage more evenly, making your mattress last longer.
  2. Put on Summer Bedding. Time to put away that heavy winter bedding and put on cooler summer bedding.
  3. Wash Pillows. Most pillows are machine-washable, but you can hand-wash them in a tub.
  4. Clean the Ceiling and Walls. This includes air vents, light fixtures, and switch plates.
  5. Dust Ceiling the Fan. Be careful if you’re using a ladder. Have a spotter if you can.
  6. Clean Curtains and Blinds. Wash curtains and dust blinds.
  7. Declutter Closets. Sort through your clothes, shoes, and accessories. Donate anything you haven’t used in the past year. Also, store your winter clothes to make room for your summer clothes.


  1. Update the First-Aid Kit. You should do this periodically to make sure nothing is expired or running low.
  2. Remove Expired Cosmetics and Beauty Products. When in doubt, throw it out.
  3. Clean Curtains and Blinds. Wash curtains and dust blinds.
  4. Clean the Ceiling and Walls. This includes air vents, light fixtures, and switch plates.
  5. Wash Out the Trash Can. Don’t just dump the trash; clean out the inside of the can.


  1. Wash Outdoor Furniture. Get it ready for spring and summer use.
  2. Wash Windows. This includes the screens.
  3. Spray Down the House. If your siding looks dirty, spray it down with a hose. Use a pressure washer if necessary.
  4. Pressure-Wash the Driveway. This probably isn’t something you need to do yearly, so take a look at your driveway’s surface and make a judgment call.


  1. Check Fire Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Monitor Batteries. Do this every six months for home fire safety and protection and to protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning.
  2. Clean Out Your Files. Sort through your filing cabinet. Be careful not to get rid of anything you may need in the future, such as tax returns (which the IRS recommends keeping for at least three years).
  3. Shampoo Carpets and Rugs. You can do this yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Just remember to let these dry thoroughly before putting your furniture back in place to prevent furniture stains.
  4. Reseal Grout. Grout is no fun to clean, so protect it with a sealer.
  5. Clean Out the Garage. Get rid of your old stuff. Think about having a garage sale.
  6. Shine Doorknobs. Doorknobs are full of germs and should be cleaned regularly.

Remember, the items on this list go above and beyond more routine cleaning tasks, such as wiping down counters and cleaning toilets. If your house needs a good routine cleaning, add those items to the list as well.

As you complete a task, cross it off. It will help you stay on track while fueling your sense of accomplishment.

Final Word

Spring cleaning is a lot of work, but you can make it more manageable by developing a schedule and plan of action. When all is said and done, your home will feel fresh and renewed, you’ll be happy you took the time to clean out the winter dust and dirt.

When you’re finished, be sure to reward yourself and all those who helped out. Have a BBQ, go bowling, or just relax. You deserve it!

Do you plan to do some spring cleaning this year? What does the process typically look like for your household?

Casey Slide
Casey Slide lives with her husband and baby in Atlanta, GA. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and worked for a prominent hospital in Atlanta. With the birth of Casey’s son in February 2010, she decided to become a stay-at-home mom. Casey’s interests include reading, running, living green, and saving money.

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