Cleaning & Organizing

Spring Cleaning Checklist: 14 Areas You Need to Clean ASAP

Graphics by: Caitlin Schneider
Graphics by: Caitlin Schneider

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, how fast recycling accumulates when you’re shopping online instead of venturing out, 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. We’re talking about those cleaning tasks that aren’t part of your usual routine and might be easy to overlook. While there’s a time and a place for a quick speed-cleaning, spring cleaning isn’t it. From the insides of your appliances to the pillows you sleep on at night, this spring cleaning checklist covers all the tasks you should tackle this spring.

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.

Source: @homemadebycarmona

Your Spring Cleaning Checklist

As you work through your home, these are the areas that deserve some extra spring cleaning attention.

The Everygirl’s Spring Cleaning Checklist printable


1. Appliances

You probably already wipe out 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. Baseboards

Even if you vacuum or mop your floors regularly, you probably don’t give the baseboards the attention they deserve. Although it’s easy to overlook, dust often collects on baseboards until suddenly it becomes an eyesore that you can’t unsee. For a quick solution, go over your baseboards with a vacuum brush attachment to suck up most of the dust and debris. Then give them a once-over with a damp cloth to pick up any remaining particles.

3. Air Filters

Indoor allergies are no joke, but one of the best ways you can combat them is by making sure that your home’s air filters are squeaky clean. If your furnace and air conditioner use disposable filters, simply remove the old one and replace it with a new filter. For washable air filters, use a vacuum with a hose attachment to remove dust and debris or soak it in water before rinsing off the buildup.

Source: @briahammelinteriors

4. Shelves

Because it requires the hassle of removing all your books and knickknacks and painstakingly putting everything back afterward, cleaning your shelves is not likely a task you do weekly. But shelves can collect a lot of dust over time, so it’s a good thing to add to your spring cleaning checklist (and do a few other times a year). Once your shelves are clear, spray on a cleaner that’s appropriate for the material (such as glass cleaner or wood furniture spray) and wipe up the dust using a microfiber cloth. Let the shelves dry before rearranging your items.

5. Underneath Furniture

Let’s be honest: You’re probably not regularly cleaning underneath your couch, bed, or other large, heavy furniture. 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.

6. 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 those 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 to clear up any stains or lingering dirt. Don’t forget to make sure it’s thoroughly dried before walking on it or moving any furniture back on top of it.

Source: Aimee Mazzenga for The Everygirl

7. Pillows

If you think just washing your pillowcases is good enough, we’re here to tell you that your actual pillows need cleaning, too. Take a look at the tag and follow the instructions—most pillows can be machine-washed on a gentle cycle. Just be sure to use a small amount of detergent and wash two pillows at a time to prevent your machine from becoming unbalanced. And don’t forget the ones in your living room, too!

8. 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 looks 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.

9. 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. In general, you should wash your shower curtains 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!

10. Ceiling Fans and 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. To clean your ceiling fan without making a mess, use an old pillowcase. Simply slip the pillowcase over the fan blade and wipe the surface as you remove it, trapping the dust inside. Repeat every few weeks or months to keep the dust away.

Source: Emily Henderson Design | Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

11. 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 supplies for the type of flooring you’re working with. A microfiber mop will work well on most surfaces, and using a cleaner specifically made for your flooring material is always a safe bet.

12. Refrigerator

If you’re not cleaning your refrigerator regularly, it’s probably pretty gross. To do something about that, start by taking everything out of your refrigerator. Dispose of anything that’s gone bad or you don’t plan on using. Then wipe down the shelves and drawers—as well as any bottles or jars with residue on them—before you reorganize everything inside.

13. Under the 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.

14. On Top of Woodwork and Wall Decor

Even if you think you’re a pretty thorough cleaner, you might sometimes forget to wipe down the tops of the woodwork, 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.

Source: @theheartandhaven

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 to make spring cleaning feel like less of a chore.