Get a jump on the warm weather this year by starting your spring cleaning inside with our helpful checklist. Then, when it warms up in a few weeks, you’ll be ready to finish the job outside. Not only does this keep you from working out in the cold, but it helps break up your spring-cleaning list into something that won’t scare you or the kids.
Now let’s get started!
o Walls and moldings
Wipe down walls and moldings to remove any stains, smudges, or squashed bugs. Warm water and dish soap work great, but you may need stronger cleaners for greasy areas (like those around the stovetop).
Vacuum above any cabinets that don’t go all the way to the ceiling first. Then, wipe down cabinet faces with a microfiber cloth and hot, soapy water. You can also use a vinegar-water mixture if that’s more your style.
Work from top to bottom by clearing shelves and throwing any expired food away. Wash drawers or shelves in the sink if you can and wipe the rest with a microfiber cloth and warm, soapy water. Don’t forget to clean the seals between doors. And do your best to dry everything before reorganizing with food.
Remove any grates, grilles, or rings and give them a good scrub in soapy water using steel wool. If your oven has an auto-clean feature, set it, forget it, and then sweep out the mess when done. If you feel like getting down and dirty (literally), warm up the oven a bit first before cleaning. 10-15 minutes on 250° F should do the trick. (Never try to clean a hot oven. You only want it warm.) Finish the job with a nonabrasive cleaner and nylon brush.
Oprah has a wonderful tip for cleaning your microwave: “Put a microwave-safe bowl of water and some lemon juice inside and heat it to boiling for 2-3 minutes. The steam will loosen gunk, and the lemon’s acid will help lift grease.”
A vinegar-water mixture can work wonders around the sink. Don’t be afraid to get out an old toothbrush to scrub those dark lines of mold and mildew free from around handles, sprayers, and drains.
Check out our Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Windows.
o Walls and moldings
The ceiling, walls, and molding in bathrooms can get dusty and dirty in no time. Vacuum and wipe down all the flat surfaces to remove any dust and debris, and then clean any pesky mold or sticky residues with your favorite cleaner. Don’t forget those light switch plates!
Remove items from the cabinets and drawers and give them all a good wipe-down with a clean microfiber cloth and your cleaner of choice.
There’s really no better way to clean your shower or tub without jumping right in. And when it comes to removing soap scum and mildew, vinegar and baking soda work wonders. Spray everything down, let it soak for 15-20 minutes, and hit it with an abrasive brush or scouring pad.
Spray everything with your preferred cleaner and let it soak. You’ll be amazed at what a little time will do when it comes to breaking things free. If you have a clogged faucet, consider removing the aerator and soaking it in vinegar.
Nothing beats a good stiff toilet brush and liquid cleaner when it comes to polishing the throne. Soak the inside of the bowl with cleaner and then clean the outside of the tank while the little bubbles are working their magic. When you return to the bowl, be sure to get that hard-to-reach area around the underside of the rim. And don’t forget the seat! It may go without saying, but any rags you use for the toilet should not be used anywhere else.
If your rugs are cotton or synthetic, you can toss them in the washing machine along with your towels. To keep them in good shape, try not to run your rugs through the machine often, and be sure to wash in cold water on the gentle cycle when you do.
Don’t forget the mirrors! Vinegar and a microfiber cloth will really make them shine.
Living Room/Den/Family Room
Living rooms usually have the most to dust, so try not to leave anything out. If you have a fan, this is a great place to begin. Move to window treatments next and then clean the art and photographs hanging on your walls. Once you’ve dusted the walls themselves, you can move to lamps, entertainment centers, and decorations galore!
If you’re feeling a bit peckish, this is a great time to grab a snack from the couch before they’re all gone (kidding!). Use your vacuum hose and clean out all those sneaky crevices that trap food and debris. Once you’re done with the dry stuff, remove any stains from furniture with an upholstery spot cleaner or the nifty attachment found on most rug shampoo machines.
At least 72 hours after your last fire, give the fireplace a good sweeping and store any unused logs. It’s also a good idea to consider a professional chimney sweep once a year.
If you have carpet in your living room, give it a good vacuuming and remove any stains by spot-cleaning as needed. Houses with wooden floors will benefit greatly from a strenuous mopping. Be sure to sweep or Swiffer first, and remove any spots or stains by gently rubbing the area with #000 steel wool and wax.
o Walls and moldings
Wipe down walls and moldings to remove any stains, smudges, or leftover finger paintings. A warm water and dish soap mixture works great. Use a microfiber cloth, and don’t forget to wipe down those light switches. They can be a breeding ground for germs.
Start dusting from the top and work your way down. Don’t forget the lamps, knickknacks, and closets.
o Bed Linen
Wash sheets, decorative pillowcases, bed covers, and duvets in very hot water. Larger or more delicate bed coverings may require a trip to the cleaners.
If you have an extra set of hands and you’re feeling motivated, clean it. But be sure it’s completely dry before replacing the sheets.
Give carpets a good vacuuming by moving furniture around and hitting every single inch. Once done vacuuming, consider spot-cleaning problem areas or renting a steam cleaner to bring them back to their original state.
Many synthetic rugs with a waterproof backing can be thrown in the wash. If they’re made of sensitive materials or too big for the washing machine, consider spot cleaning them by hand or with the same machine you use for your carpets.
You did it! Put down the mop, step away from the dustpan, and order yourself a delicious pizza STAT! You deserve it. With the clutter gone and things tidied up, you may see room for more improvement with new replacement windows, patio doors, or even an upgraded entryway. When the time comes, one of our expert design consultants will be ready to lend a hand. Securing your free appointment is just a click away.