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House Spring Cleaning Tips & Checklist – How to Spring Clean





The term “spring cleaning” probably conjures images of retro housewives in aprons and handkerchiefs, scrubbing the grout with toothbrushes. These days, we often use the phrase in reference to a variety of things, from clearing out the garage to going through your work inbox.

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

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You hear the term all the time, but how many people actually keep up with this tradition in modern times? In theory, it sounds like a fantastic idea, but is it manageable?

The answer is a resounding yes. Not only can it be manageable, it is 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 is a time to downsize your home and take on tasks that only need to be tackled once or twice a year.

Really, 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, it is 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 done as part of your normal cleaning duties. If these tasks are only done occasionally, I highly recommend using a weekly house cleaning schedule to ensure that they do not become part of your spring cleaning regime.

Spring Cleaning Regime

How to Take on Spring Cleaning

Obviously, spring cleaning is quite the task. Sometimes I struggle with getting myself to clean the bathroom, yet spring cleaning consists of cleaning the entire house – which isn’t easy. The key is to find the most manageable approach for you.  Here are a couple of ways to go about it:

1. One Fell Swoop
With this approach, you set aside a block of time to get the entire project done, whether that may be an entire weekend or an entire week. The idea here is that you 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 will not have the project hanging over your head for long.

2. Break It Down into Smaller Projects
In contrast, you could break 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 for selling on eBay, and yet another Saturday shining up your place. This might be the better approach for someone who is unable to block out a chunk of time to dedicate to cleaning.

Either of these will work, as long as you commit to completing the chores. 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 kind of lost if it stretches on for six months, or is never finished.

In order to ensure that this doesn’t happen to you, once you’ve chosen your time frame, you need to come up with a clear plan of action. Take a look at the following tips and strategies for making the most of your spring cleaning.

Spring Cleaning Tips and Strategies

Now that you’ve decided what approach you are going to take, you are ready to start cleaning! Well, maybe not quite. You still need a clear, well thought out plan to help things run as smoothly as possible. Here are ten tips and strategies to help you create a workable plan for spring cleaning:

1. Make a list
List out all that you would like to accomplish during this year’s spring cleaning, and then group the like tasks, such as washing window screens and washing the siding on your home. This will make it easier for you 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 are single or live alone, get some of your friends to help you with the promise that you will help them in return. Then, assign tasks according to the strengths of your team members. You may also want to allow the team members to sign up for tasks, similarly to how they would sign up on a cleaning schedule. Remember, the more, the merrier!

3. Gather your supplies
Spend the week before spring cleaning begins gathering up the supplies you’ll need. If you require visits to several different stores, plan to hit a store a day during that week. Or, if you’re planning well in advance, buy your supplies when they go on sale and utilize discount grocery coupons. You can also rely on using 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 are going to shampoo your carpets, they will 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. Plan to do them before, or even after, you set about completing the rest of your cleaning.

5. Focus on one task at a time
I start to fumble around when I have a lot to do. I feel as though I am spread too thin and start jumping from one task to another without ever really completing anything. To avoid this, make it a priority to focus on one task at a time. If you attempt to do too many things at once, you will only get lost and forget what you are doing. This is a great time management skill to have as well.

6. Recognize your progress
It is easy to get discouraged when you have a large project, and you 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 very 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. Instead of doing what I did last year, this year I am promising myself to focus on what I have completed and to recognize my progress. Similarly, at the end of your spring cleaning shift, be sure to look back to reflect on all you have done, and be proud of your hard work.

7. Be realistic
Know that 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.

8. Take breaks
You are not a machine, so don’t feel like you need to act like one. Pre-schedule breaks so that you not only have something to look forward to, but also have a chance to relax, especially if it is a beautiful spring day. And, if you pre-schedule your breaks, it will hopefully prevent you from taking them too frequently or for too long.

9. Prepare snacks and meals ahead of time
With all the energy you will be spending on cleaning, you will need to refuel yourself with snacks and healthy meals. Try putting together a meal for the Crock-Pot slow cooker the night before so that you will not have to prepare dinner the evening of the cleaning. Also, make sure you have leftovers recipes for the next day, if you will be cleaning again.

10. Get ready to jam
There is no reason why you can’t have fun while you’re cleaning. Create a playlist of your favorite tunes and jam out. 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

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 simply a template that will hopefully help you to start a thorough checklist, unique to your household.


  1. Clean Inside Of Oven – Follow the directions of the oven cleaner exactly. Make sure the task is done by an adult.
  2. Dust Refrigerator Coils – Remember to unplug refrigerator first! Vacuum and mop in the spot where the refrigerator sits as well.
  3. Clean Out Refrigerator – Although you should clean your refrigerator regularly, this is an opportunity to go through everything, including condiments, to make sure the food has not expired. Scrub the shelves and drawers thoroughly to rid the space of any food residue and bacteria.
  4. Clean Ceiling and Walls – This includes air vents, light fixtures, and switch plates.
  5. Curtains and Blinds – Wash any curtains and dust blinds.
  6. Clean Out Drawers and Cabinets – Remove items that you no longer need, and also wipe down the insides. Take this opportunity to do any needed reorganizing.
  7. Clean Garbage Disposal – You can freshen your drain by pouring down baking soda and a lemon peel with warm water.
  8. Clean Dishwasher – Pick out any food that has been left at the bottom of your dishwasher, and then run it empty with either a little baking soda or vinegar.

Living Area

  1. Clean Ceiling and Walls – This includes air vents, light fixtures, and switch plates.
  2. Dust Ceiling Fan – Be careful not to fall if you are using a ladder.
  3. Shampoo Rugs – Allow a day or two for drying.
  4. Curtains and Blinds – Wash curtains and dust blinds.
  5. Clean Couch – Depending on the material, you may be able to shampoo your couch as well.
  6. Reorganize – Remove any unwanted or no longer necessary items to arrange furniture and improve the flow of your living room.


  1. Rotate Mattress – This will distribute the usage more evenly.
  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 they can also be hand washed in a tub.
  4. Clean Ceiling and Walls – This includes air vents, light fixtures, and switch plates.
  5. Dust Ceiling Fan – Be careful not to fall if you are using a ladder.
  6. Curtains and Blinds – Wash curtains and dust blinds.
  7. Closets – Sort through your clothes, shoes, and accessories. Donate what you have not used in the past year. Chances are, if you have not used it in the past year, you will not use it in the future. Also, store your winter clothes to make room for your summer clothes.


  1. Update First-Aid Kit – This needs to be done periodically, so spring cleaning is a good reminder to do so.
  2. Remove Expired Cosmetics and Beauty Products – When in doubt, throw it out.
  3. Curtains and Blinds – Wash curtains and dust blinds.
  4. Clean Ceiling and Walls – This includes air vents, light fixtures, and switch plates.
  5. Wash Out 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 House – If your siding looks dirty, spray it down with a hose. Use a pressure washer if necessary.
  4. Pressure Wash Driveway – This is probably not something you need to do yearly, so take a look at your driveway’s surface and make the judgment call.


  1. Check Fire Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Monitor Batteries – Do this every 6 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, but do not get rid of anything that you may need in the future.
  3. Shampoo Carpets – You can do this yourself, or hire someone to do it for you. Just remember to let them dry thoroughly before putting your furniture back in place in order to prevent furniture stains.
  4. Re-seal Grout – Grout is no fun to clean so protect it with a sealer.
  5. Clean Out 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. This is the time to help them shine.

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

As you complete a task, cross it off. This 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, you will be happy you took the time to clean out the winter dust and dirt. Your home will feel fresh and renewed.

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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