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The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist

Updated on March 10, 2020
Alyssa Nichol profile image

Alyssa is a wife, mom, and coffee enthusiast who loves sharing her favorite lifestyle tips with the world.

Spring is in the air! Here in Ohio, daytime temperatures are starting to get warmer and we're seeing more sunshine. Now that we've officially lost an hour of sleep, we can look forward to longer days spent enjoying the outdoors, soaking up all the bright, warm rays.

These two factors combined have given me a sudden burst of energy. There's nothing I want more than to open my windows, let the warm breeze soar through my house, and carry out the weight of the long winter. What better time to start a little spring cleaning?

Some people groan at the mere thought or mention of the word cleaning. When I was younger, I thoroughly despised the chore. Who wants to spend valuable time cleaning stuff when there's fun activities to partake in? However, as I've gotten older, I've found cleaning to be a source of joy. It's meditative and cathartic for me. I like to blast music at full volume, singing and dancing along as I go. Luckily for me, my neighbors are far enough away that the music doesn't bother them and if they do hear it, they appreciate my musical tastes. I also enlist the help of my son and my husband, getting the job done quicker and more efficiently.

With all that in mind, I thought it would be a great idea to share my ultimate spring cleaning checklist. Below I've outlined the areas I feel are important to tackle, broken down by room, along with a few tips and tricks to make the job easier and more streamlined.

Getting Started

I'm a list maker. At any given time, I have a pile of index cards neatly stacked on my counter with various to-do lists, broken down by category. I have a master list of all the tasks I need to accomplish each week, a day-by-day list of yoga poses I need to photograph for Instagram, as well as lists for each of my writing projects. I love to be organized and my to-do lists help keep my Type A personality happy.

Before gathering up your cleaning supplies in a haphazard pile on your counter, it's important to create a list of all the tasks you want to accomplish in your spring cleaning. Not only will this help keep you organized and on track, but it also will ensure that you don't miss anything. If you think of something else while you're elbow deep in cleaning, simply add it to your list. An added benefit of creating your own list is the satisfaction that comes with crossing off tasks as you complete them. This is a powerful action that will leave you feeling uplifted and accomplished.

I always have these cleaning supplies on hand.
I always have these cleaning supplies on hand.

Every Room

These are important areas to tackle commonly found in multiple rooms of the house:

  • Walls
    People often overlook cleaning their walls. Every couple of years, it's a good idea to remove all wall hangings and wipe them down. If you are looking to refresh your home with new paint, you can use TSP mixed with water to prep your surface. Make sure to wear disposable gloves if you plan on doing this. Otherwise, a simple mixture of hot water and a few drops of dish soap work wonders! This can be a daunting task and it's quite a workout! I recommend dedicating a day or two solely to walls if you add this to your list.
  • Door knobs and light switches
    With all the germs floating around during flu season, it's a good idea to wipe down these high traffic items. I like to use a pump of hand sanitizer on a paper towel or disinfectant wipes for this task.
  • Ceiling fans
    If you are able to detach the blades from your fans, it makes this task a lot easier! I also love using my steam cleaner to remove dust and polish my fans. A rag with hot, soapy water also works great.
  • Light fixtures
    Be sure to detach any plastic or glass light covers to clean out dust, dirt, and any dead bugs.
  • Windows, screens, doors
    Q-tips help clean out the nooks and crannies in windows. A steam cleaner is great for tackling blinds. Throw curtains in the washer if you are able. For fancier curtains, Febreeze works great to refresh fabric. Don't forget the outside! A garden hose is great to get rid of dirt and cobwebs. You could also use a pressure washer. I also like to use my steam cleaner to sanitize and clean my front door. To take care of the wood on my patio door, I use Murphy's Oil Soap or Old English.
  • Vacuum and mop floors
    This pretty much goes without saying, but once again, I have to shine a light on my Shark Steam Mop. Not only does it clean and sanitize my hardwood floors, but it also leaves them looking gorgeous. Plus, my house always smells so clean and amazing every time I use it. If I'm feeling particularly ambitious, I'll hand mop using diluted Murphy's Oil Soap and an old rag.
  • Base boards
    You can easily remove dust using a dryer sheet. Yes, this really works!
  • Wash or air out rugs
    If you have rugs that can go in the washer, toss them in! Otherwise you can shake them out and you'll be good to go.

Pro Tip:

Break cleaning into bite-sized chunks to make it more manageable. For example, you might devote a day to cleaning up the kitchen. Another day might be geared toward clearing out closets. Spreading tasks out makes cleaning less over-whelming and more satisfying.

Kitchen

  • Polish cupboards
    I love using diluted Murphy's Oil Soap on my wooden cupboards. It's actually one of my favorite things to do!
  • Coffee Pot
    After you drink all your coffee, empty your coffee maker out. Run six to eight cups of distilled white vinegar through. I do one time on the strong setting and one time on the regular setting. Once the vinegar has cooled, I reuse it for the second round. I follow this step with two cycles of water to completely rinse out the vinegar. Do this once a month to keep your coffee pot clean and running smoothly. I do this every 1st of the month so I never forget.
  • Clean out pantry
  • Clean/organize cupboards and counter tops
  • Clean refrigerator
    This is a great time to not only clean out your refrigerator, but to also wipe down the inside. After cleaning, you can put Glade Press and Seal wrap on your shelves to keep them tidy. If you ever have a spill, just remove the wrap and replace. No more messy refrigerator! Don't forget to also clean the drip tray.
  • Over-head vent on the stove
    You might also consider cleaning the inside of the oven. Fortunately, my oven has a self-cleaning mode. I set that up, open my windows, and let the oven work its magic while I tackle other tasks on my list.
  • Sink
    Baking soda is magic on stainless steel.

My Shark Steam Mop
My Shark Steam Mop

Living Room and Dining Room

  • Dust shelves
  • Dust and organize book shelves
  • Clean fireplace
  • Clean couch and chairs
    If you have an upholstery cleaner, break it out and put it to good use. If not, Febreeze works great!
  • Dust or wipe down TV and TV stand
  • Clean and organize table
    My dining room table is an over-sized shelf. I keep a collection of plants, workout gear, books, and other miscellaneous items on it.
  • Clean and organize closet
    Now is a great time to wash coats, hats, scarves, and gloves.
  • Dust wall hangings and knick knacks
  • Clean out magazine rack
    I have a small end table that has a magazine rack built in. I always throw my magazines in there after initially flipping through and then forget about them. If you also have a magazine rack, be sure to go through it and recycle any old magazines you no longer need.
  • Clean out and organize file cabinet
    If you haven't touched your file cabinet in a while, it might be a good idea to go through it and make sure it's organized to your taste. This also a great time to file anything that's been sitting around in a pile.
  • Clean and polish chairs and bar stools.

Bathroom

  • Deep clean toilet
    Everyone's least favorite task, I'm sure, but an important one. Chances are you are already cleaning this at least once a week, but now is the time to make sure you hit all the nitty-gritty parts. Be sure to get the sides and the pieces that attach to the floor.
  • Clean sink and counter top
  • Clean shower
    This is the time to deep clean and do any minor fixes you may have been putting off.
  • Clean overhead vent
    This collects so much dust and dirt. A can of air works great for this task!
  • Organize cupboards
  • Vacuum/Mop floors

Bedrooms

  • Clean and organize closets and dressers
    Go through your closet and donate any gently used clothes you never wear. This is a great time to create a list of any clothes you or your family need as well.
  • Clean and organize toy boxes
    If your kids are old enough, this is a great task for them to handle. Donate any gently used toys that your child has outgrown.
  • Wash linens
  • Clean and organize tables and/or shelves
  • Vacuum/mop floors

Laundry Room or Utility Room

  • Lint vent and filter
    If you aren't regularly cleaning your dryer's lint filter, now is the time to start. This is important because a build up of lint can heat up and cause your dryer to catch fire. As for spring cleaning, now is the time to clean out your dryer's lint vent. Use a dryer vent brush and be sure to clean the outside vent as well.
  • Washer
    Make sure to clean your washer. You can buy washer cleaner or save your money and use bleach or vinegar instead. I like to pour bleach into the bleach trap and run the clean washer cycle. After that's done, I run an additional cycle with just hot water to make sure all the bleach is rinsed out.
  • Tackle clutter
  • Remove used bottles and containers
  • Organize shelves and cupboards

Car

Now is the perfect time to clean your car. This is another one of my favorite tasks. I take my vacuum outside and vacuum my car right at home. I throw my floor mats in the washer and dryer after shaking them out and vacuuming them. I have Dodge floor mats and they always look brand new when they come out of the washer. I use a special cleaner designed for leather to wipe down the seats and interior of the car. Rubbing alcohol works better than Windex on the windows. I wipe down the headlights using Windex, though. I also make sure to clean out and vacuum the trunk. Most of the time we wash our car at home. We use Meguiar's Gold Class for the body of the car and Chemical Guys Diablo Wheel Cleaner for the rims. However, if the car is extremely grimy, especially after all the winter driving, we take it to the car wash to wash it.

Be sure to check all your fluids as well.

My car cleaning arsenal
My car cleaning arsenal

Garage

If you've been putting this task off, now is the time to tackle it. Go through all your things and, if you don't have one yet, set up a good organization system. If you find things you no longer need or want, donate them or plan a garage sale.

Miscellaneous

  • Essential oil diffusers
    Don't forget to clean these! Like my coffee pot, I designate the 1st of the month to this task. Simply pour distilled white vinegar in your diffuser and turn it on. Once all the vinegar is gone, rinse with water and you're good to go.
  • Yoga mat and fitness equipment
  • Computers, gaming consoles, other electronics
    These devices easily collect dust, dirt, and grime. Vacuum up any dust and wipe down your monitor using an approved cleaner. A can of air works wonders for keyboards and don't forget to sanitize your mouse! The same goes for any gaming controllers you have.
  • Phones
    Our phones collect so many nasty germs. I like to turn off my phone and use a pump of hand sanitizer on a paper towel to clean mine.
  • Plants
    When it's warm enough out, I drag my picnic table and benches into the backyard. Then all my houseplants (the ones who will tolerate the sun) go outside to soak up the sunshine. While they are out there, I like to pour water over their leaves to get rid of any dust. They appreciate the bath and fresh air! Once they are all dry, I check them over for uninvited guests and bring them back inside.
  • Polish boots and shoes
  • Clean box fans
    If you have any box fans, now is a good time to disassemble them and wipe them down. I like to unscrew the front and back and throw them in the shower to clean. I use a little Dawn dish soap and an old rag. I use paper towels and all-purpose cleaner to wipe down the blades and the inside. Once the front and back are dry, I reassemble the fans.
  • Polish jewelry
  • Clean make-up brushes

Just a reminder:

If you haven't yet, be sure to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Alyssa

Comments

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    • Alyssa Nichol profile imageAUTHOR

      Alyssa 

      2 weeks ago from Ohio

      Thank you, Dora! I completely agree, and with the extra time on our hands, it's a great way to be productive. :)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      This is a great cleaning guide to keep for reference. Thank you very much. Good for always but especially now in the light of this pandemic viral disease.

    • Alyssa Nichol profile imageAUTHOR

      Alyssa 

      2 weeks ago from Ohio

      Thank you, Shaloo! I think we all have to find what works best for us, our families, and our lifestyle. :)

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      2 weeks ago from India

      This is a great checklist and too much work too. I have just finished reading 'The life changing magic of tidying up' and now came across this hub. May be the universe is trying to tell me something!!

    • Alyssa Nichol profile imageAUTHOR

      Alyssa 

      2 weeks ago from Ohio

      Thank you, Liza! :)

    • Alyssa Nichol profile imageAUTHOR

      Alyssa 

      2 weeks ago from Ohio

      Hahahahaha! Thank you, Bill! :)

    • Alyssa Nichol profile imageAUTHOR

      Alyssa 

      2 weeks ago from Ohio

      Thank you, Pamela! I think it's great that you have people to help you. Plus, I'm sure it makes for wonderful company! :)

    • lizmalay profile image

      Liza 

      2 weeks ago from USA

      I have to admit that I am very compulsive when it comes to cleaning. It started while I was in a boarding school as we (other students) have to make sure the dorm, the beds, the lockers, and the surrounding area organized and cleaned. It continues until I went to college. I'm so ready for Spring cleaning especially, I have to extend my trip due to the current situation. Thanks for sharing your great checklists!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I'll get back to you on this one. I'm too busy watching Poldark right now, but maybe next week, eh? lol

      Good luck with yours, though. I'll be rooting for you from afar!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      2 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      This is a very thorough list of all the things we should do for spring cleaning. I use to do all of this but now in my senior years it is a little harder. I have a nice lady I pay to come and help me and my daughter-in-law helps me also. Thanks for such good reminders of what should be done each spring.

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