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Yes, Spring Cleaning Is Still a Thing

Updated on March 11, 2020
Susan Caplan McCarthy profile image

After growing up in a home with parents who hoarded, Susan cleared her own clutter and then became a decluttering coach to help others.

Reset Your Home

Once upon a time, spring cleaning was a necessity. After months of people being stuck inside with the windows shut tight, everything needed laundering, mattresses needed to be stuffed, carpets were beat free of dust, and walls were scrubbed of smoke build up from fireplaces and wood burning stoves.

The air felt stale (and probably smelled awful) and so the house was cleaned from top-to-bottom.

If you do regular wiping, vacuuming and dusting, do you still need to spring clean? Probably. Chances are that there are areas you don’t get to and tasks that get overlooked because they don’t need to be done often.

And, while scrubbing your entire house is no longer a necessity for the reasons it was centuries ago, if stuff piles up and makes it difficult to clean surfaces, then you are allowing dust (and possibly mold) to build up in these inaccessible spots.

Doing a deep clean is like resetting your home to 'clean and organized.'

Freshen Your Space

Freshen your home by tackling cleaning tasks you may have overlooked during the winter months.
Freshen your home by tackling cleaning tasks you may have overlooked during the winter months. | Source

I hate housework! You make the beds, you do the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again.

— Joan Rivers

Your Goal Isn’t Perfection

You’ve probably heard the joke, “I dusted once. The dust came back. I’m not being fooled a second time.”

Your goal in spring cleaning isn’t to wipe away every speck of dirt and smear of grime. Let’s face it, by the time you finish cleaning your house, dust is probably settling over the location where you started.

If a task isn’t important to you (dusting the walls), skip it. Before you start a deep clean, decide what you want to focus on in a room, so you don’t get distracted. Also, don’t start by pulling everything out of every drawer, cabinet, or closet in a room. You’ll end up with a lot more stuff to deal with, you’ll end up overwhelmed, and you might give up and walk away from the mess!

Get It Done

Let’s face it, cleaning isn’t fun. Deciding when you’re going to start and (most important) when you’re going to end can help prevent you from dragging your feet when the task starts to drag. If you know you’re cleaning until 3 p.m., around 2-or-2:30 p.m., start wrapping up by finishing the task you’re working on, returning items to their spots, and hauling trash, recycling, and donations out of the house.

Plan something fun that will get you out of your house after housecleaning and showering. Even better, make plans with someone else. This will encourage you to finish instead of pushing yourself past your ‘end’ time. And, it’s a nice reward for your effort.

To make the process slightly more bearable, listen to upbeat music, a podcast, or a fun audio book.

Envision Your Clean Home

Spring cleaning your home can start you on the habit of doing light daily or weekly cleaning on a regular basis.
Spring cleaning your home can start you on the habit of doing light daily or weekly cleaning on a regular basis. | Source

If you want to get rid of stuff, you can always do a good spring-cleaning. Or you can do what I do. Move.

— Ellen DeGeneres

General Cleaning Tips

To start, take a walk around your house and remove recyclable items (newspapers, magazines, soda bottles and cans) and pop them in the appropriate receptacles. Take a second trip around with a trash bag to clear away clutter that can be thrown away.

When cleaning, work top to bottom and counterclockwise (or clockwise) around each room.

Declutter and Organize

If you have piles of stuff on your flat surfaces, including your floor, you may need to declutter and get rid of things before you can effectively clean. If you try to declutter and clean at the same time, the process could be frustrating and far more time-consuming than you expected.

Pushing a couple of knickknacks to the side so you can wipe a shelf is one thing, but if you can’t see a flat surface or close a drawer or closet door, then you need to declutter first and then put the things you’re keeping where you’ll find them when you go looking.

Reacquaint Yourself with Your Stuff

Moving stuff around gives you a fresh perspective on what you've been holding onto. Is it still important to you?
Moving stuff around gives you a fresh perspective on what you've been holding onto. Is it still important to you? | Source

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

— William Morris

Deep Clean Your House

Around the House

  • Replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test them
  • Check fire extinguishers
  • Stow away seasonal items

Kitchen

  • Clean windows, screens, and blinds
  • Wipe down walls and backsplash
  • Move refrigerator and clean beneath and the walls behind
  • Clean inside of oven, stove burners, and range hood
  • Clean cabinets and drawers, inside and out
  • Clean exterior of appliances
  • Clean refrigerator and freezer, inside and out
  • Check expiration dates of food in refrigerator and pantry. Check herbs and spices
  • Seal stone counters
  • Scrub floor
  • Wash trash cans and recycling bins

Bathroom

  • Dust exhaust fan
  • Clean windows and screens
  • Dust light fixtures
  • Empty and wash medicine cabinet, vanity, and storage spaces
  • Toss expired makeup
  • Properly dispose of medications and supplements
  • Launder shower curtain or wash shower door
  • Clean showerhead
  • Clean scaly buildup in toilet
  • Scrub floor
  • Wash trash can and litter box

Living Room/Family Room/Home Office

  • Clean and inspect fireplace
  • Dust light fixtures
  • Dust artwork on walls
  • Dust walls
  • Wash curtains
  • Clean windows and screens
  • Dust books and bookshelves
  • Dust shelves of knickknacks
  • Polish wood furniture
  • Dust baseboards
  • Sweep or vacuum beneath furniture
  • Wipe down light switch plates and doorknobs
  • Wipe remote controls
  • Wash trash can

Bedrooms

  • Wash curtains
  • Clean windows and screens
  • Flip mattresses
  • Wash mattress pads
  • Wash comforters
  • Wash blankets
  • Polish wood furniture
  • Dust display items
  • Do seasonal clothing swap
  • Clean floors and carpeting
  • Wash trash cans, recycling bins, and litter boxes

Basement/Garage

  • Have furnace inspected, change furnace filters
  • Vacuum dryer hose
  • Scrub lint trap on washing machine

Outdoors

  • Clean debris from gutters
  • Power wash siding
  • Sweep (power wash) porches and patios
  • Clean outdoor furniture and set out for use
  • Pick up branches, rake yard
  • Hook up garden hoses
  • Service lawn mower

Enjoy Your Clean Home

Enjoy your efforts. You've done a lot of work.
Enjoy your efforts. You've done a lot of work. | Source

The Awesome Benefits of Spring Cleaning

Sure, you won’t be able to spring clean in a couple of hours, but a weekend of deep cleaning means it will be easier to clean during the hazy days of summer. You’ll have clean and cleared surfaces, wiped up dirt that’s been accumulating for months (or years), tackled some obvious clutter, all leaving you with a fresh start – something you may not have felt since you moved into your home.

If you have a large or crowded home, and you won’t be able to do a total deep clean, pick the rooms where you spend the most time or where any visitors will hang out.

Wiping away the dirt and dust may even leave you feeling happier now that you won’t be distracted by dull, crowded spaces in your home.

Do You Do a Big Spring Cleaning?

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