You never fully realize just how quickly your space gets dirty until you’re spending most of your time at home. Especially during a long, cold winter, it’s amazing how quickly dishes will pile up in the sink when you’re cooking most of your meals at home, how fast recycling accumulates when you’re ordering everything, or how soon your laundry hamper grows into a laundry mountain. But warmer weather is nearly upon us, which means it’s time for some spring cleaning.
While washing dishes, doing laundry, and just generally staying on top of cleaning are important all the time, a full-on spring clean means extra little projects beyond the standard weekly chore list. It can be super easy to overlook projects that aren’t part of your usual routine. There’s a time and a place for a quick speed-cleaning, but spring cleaning isn’t it. From the insides of your appliances to the pillows you sleep on at night, make sure these spots are at the very top of your spring cleaning checklist.
What Is Spring Cleaning?
The best way to put the dreary, dull days of winter behind you is to take part in spring cleaning: a thorough cleaning that is completed at the start of the season. From wiping down your baseboards to doing a spring closet cleanout, it’s an opportunity to dust off winter’s energy and welcome the bright colors, sparkling sunshine, and fresh scents of spring into your home. While it requires a good chunk of time to complete (unless you have it in your budget to hire a cleaning service), cleaning your home room by room is one of the best ways to kick off the season.
Your Spring Cleaning Checklist:
As you work through your home, these are the areas that deserve some extra spring cleaning attention.
1. Your appliances
You probably already scrub your microwave every so often and clean your stove or refrigerator when you spill something, but those messier appliances aren’t the only ones that deserve a spot on your spring cleaning to-do list. That’s right, even appliances like your dishwasher and washing machine that you might assume are generally pretty clean (seeing as, you know, that’s their whole purpose) need a good once-over with your cleaning supplies. Pay extra attention to the dishwasher filter, seal, and water sprayers, all of which should be cleaned to make sure your machine is at its best.
When it comes to the washing machine, make sure you’re cleaning it every so often to remove any built-up detergent or other residues. It’s not an everyday chore, but if you’ve never done it? It’s definitely time.
2. Your baseboards
Even if you vacuum or mop your floors regularly, you probably don’t give the baseboards the attention they deserve. Go take a good look at them. See that dust? Now that you’ve seen it, you can’t just leave it like that, can you? Grab a rag and get to dusting.
3. Your air filters
Indoor allergies are no joke, but one of the ways that you can combat them is by making sure that your air conditioner filters are squeaky clean. Give your air filters a good vacuum to keep the dust, mold, and dirt at bay, and make sure to change them regularly as well.
4. That spot under the couch that the vacuum doesn’t reach
Let’s be honest: you’re not regularly cleaning underneath your couch, bed, or other large, heavy furniture—or, at least, you’re not cleaning it like cleaning experts would. And while that might seem generally fine (or easy enough to ignore) most days, it’s time to make sure those dusty spots finally get vacuumed. Moving your couch, dressers, entertainment cabinets, and bed might seem like a big job, but it’s really more annoying than anything else. Dedicate a little extra time to vacuuming and make sure you actually get those spots clean once and for all.
5. Your rugs
Vacuuming your rugs is probably on your regular chore list, but when it comes to spring cleaning, it’s time to get those suckers really clean. Any rugs (or carpeting) in high-traffic areas need a deeper clean every now and again. For small, machine-washable rugs, simply read the directions and toss them in the washing machine. For larger rugs or any that can’t be washed in a machine, first, take note of the material your rug is made of to determine your action plan. Then, as Architectural Digest advised, start by vacuuming before following it up with a carpet cleaning solution that will make your rug sparkle (you know what I mean). Don’t forget to make sure it’s thoroughly dried before walking on it or moving any furniture back on top of it.
6. Your pillows
I’ll never forget the first time it dawned on me that you’re supposed to clean your actual pillows, too, and not just be diligent about washing your pillowcases. But worry not, you don’t actually have to wash your pillows that often. According to Good Housekeeping, anywhere from two to four times a year should be enough to keep your pillows clean. Take a look at the tag and follow the instructions—and make sure you replace your pillows when necessary. Don’t forget the ones in your living room, too!
7. Your shower curtains
When was the last time you cleaned your shower curtains or swapped the liners? If you have to think about this for more than a few seconds, it’s been too long. Shower curtains should be washed at least once a month. Luckily, this is usually pretty easy to do. Simply check the care tag on your shower curtain and follow the instructions (you can usually throw them in the washing machine). Just be careful not to shrink them in the dryer!
8. The slats on your ceiling fans or window coverings
You probably don’t wipe down the slats on your window blinds or ceiling fan every time you clean your house, but it should be something you’re doing every so often. For window treatments, close the blinds before you dust to easily catch everything in a few wipes. Repeat every few weeks or months to keep the dust away.
9. Your floors
If you regularly sweep or vacuum your floors, you may think they’re pretty clean. That being said, they might not actually be as clean as you think. Add “give floors a deep clean” to your spring cleaning checklist, but make sure you’re using the right materials for the type of flooring you’re working with. Currently walking around barefoot in blissful ignorance? You won’t have to do that once your floors really are clean.
10. The tops of woodwork, mirrors, and frames
Even if you think you’re a pretty thorough cleaner, you might sometimes forget to wipe down the tops of the woodwork (think door frames, built-in shelves, etc.), mirrors, and frames in your house, but those can gather some serious dust. Just use a dust rag, microfiber cloth, or even warm water on a paper towel. It’s quick and easy but often overlooked.
11. Your refrigerator
Your refrigerator is probably pretty gross. I know, I know, that sounds like a personal attack, but it’s not! You’re not alone—if you’re not cleaning your refrigerator regularly, it’s just probably pretty gross. To do something about that, take everything out of your refrigerator, wipe down condiment bottles and pickle jars and all of that, toss anything that’s gone bad, clean the shelves and drawers, and reorganize it all. You’ll feel like a brand-new person.
12. Under your sink
Whether you have an under-the-sink cabinet or just a patch of floor that’s all-too-often ignored, the spot below your sink needs a good cleaning, too. Wipe everything down, make sure nothing has spilled, and while you’re at it, clean your garbage disposal with baking soda and white vinegar.
13. Your garbage cans
Let’s just get this out of the way right now: if you’re not cleaning your garbage cans, it is absolutely time to start. Whether it’s visibly dirty, smells a little funky, or just hasn’t ever been cleaned before, your garbage can needs a deep clean, and it needs it now. According to Apartment Therapy, you should clean out your garbage can about once a month. Make sure to wipe it down, disinfect it if necessary, and let the inside dry thoroughly before replacing the bag (this part is KEY). This is the most dreaded part of spring cleaning for most people, but trust us, your home will feel cleaner and you’ll feel like you’ve got your sh*t together. It’s a win-win.
Spring Cleaning Tips
You don’t need to be a cleaning expert to tackle all of these to-dos. These spring cleaning tips can help:
1. Create a schedule
Trying to tackle your entire home in one day can be overwhelming, not to mention exhausting. Instead, create a realistic schedule. Maybe this looks like cleaning your bathroom on Monday and your living room on Tuesday, or if you want to work on a smaller scale, tackle your junk drawer one day and your floors the next. Decide what will work best for you, and add it to your calendar!
3. Use scrubber brushes for hard-to-reach areas
There is truly nothing worse than trying to clean behind the toilet, a tall ceiling fan, and other hard-to-reach places. This year, invest in scrubber brushes (we love the ones with extenders!) that will make your job a million times easier and faster.
4. Open the windows and doors for ventilation
If you can, open up your doors and windows to allow fresh air into your space. Not only will air circulation help dissipate the fumes from cleaning products, but it can also help prevent the buildup of dust particles and mold.
5. Always work from top to bottom
Have you ever cleaned your bathroom countertop before you cleaned the mirror above it and realized that your countertop needs to be wiped down again? This is probably because the dust from the mirror above it fell onto the counter. To prevent this, always work from the top to the bottom, so you never have to clean anything a second time.
6. Play your favorite music
Unless you’re a #CleanTok super fan, spring cleaning isn’t usually high up on the list of things we actually want to do. But that doesn’t mean we have to dread it the entire time. Play your favorite music, dance around, and have fun with it!