Spring time often brings with it thoughts of a spring clean up for your house. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and the weather is sweet. If you live in an area where there are actual seasons, spring is one of the most beautiful times of the year. It is also around the time you realize that your post-hibernation house is now filthier than ever!
A disorganized space is associated with less physical activity. On the contrary, organization and order have been associated with choosing to eat more healthily, being more generous, and conventionality.
However, the time right before winter is another time to do a spring clean up. The busy hustle and bustle of the summer chaos has died down, but with it brought a lot more activity (and dirt) through your home. Preparing for a winter where you will probably be spending a lot more time indoors has a lot of merits.
There is so much to do that you might be confused about where to begin. Should the kitchen be tackled first? Or is the living room in dire need of a visit from the vacuum cleaner? You can find below the ultimate spring cleaning checklist for fall and autumn - room by room - to get you started on the right track. By the end of the article, you'll have a cleaning list by room to tackle your house with.
First on the spring cleaning list is probably the coziest rooms of the entire house: the living room. This is where you spend time hosting family and friends - you'll probably be spending a lot of time here over the coming months, and you'll want it nice and clean.
The easiest way to begin is from the bottom up. Therefore, we will begin with the floor. Most living rooms are usually carpeted, and they will have gathered quite a bit of dirt if you haven’t thoroughly vacuumed it in a while.
Start with a thorough vacuuming... not the kind where you quickly pass over the high traffic areas, but the kind where you slowly pass over all surfaces.
For best results, try to find a carpet cleaner to help you with heavily soiled or faded carpets. Some of the best carpet cleaning products include Arm & Hammer Extra Strength Odor Eliminator, which can help you freshen up the area and leave it smelling cleaner than ever.
For a shampoo cleaner, we recommend going with Nature's Miracle Carpet Shampoo to penetrate into the deepest parts of the carpet to pull away any hidden dirt particles
Related: The Top Pet Carpet Cleaners
Make sure you are going under couches and tables, and use a crevice tool when available to clean the edges of the room. For best results, go over the same area multiple times and make sure your collection bin is emptied out for maximum suction power.
We highly recommend finding a good stick vacuum cleaner to make this task a lot easier for you!
Once the carpet is done, you can move on to surfaces and furniture. Begin by gauging what you will need to tackle your couches. If you can remove the sofa covers to wash them separately, that would be the best option. Otherwise, you might need to get creative.
Try to use some of the same carpet cleaner in a spray bottle and rub it with a soft bristle brush. Make sure the cleaner is not abrasive enough to fade the colors from the couch. Resolve Upholstery Stain Remover is a perfect example of a product that will take out the tough stains without taking the colors too.
Clean the tables with a soft microfiber towel, going over the top, sides and legs as well. Remove any items that are usually lying on the tables, and use a wood cleaner such as Murphy Oil Wood Cleaner to protect your furniture with a safe and natural product.
Lastly, don’t forget to take your vacuum cleaner’s soft reaching tool and take the dust off your curtains. In the case where you don’t have a detachable hose on your vacuum, you can use a brush or a towel to dust off any dirt that might have stuck in your window curtains.
Our spring cleaning checklist room by room has only just started. The living room is done - now lets move on to the kitchen.
No spring clean up is complete without going over the kitchen thoroughly and carefully. Better not avoid this for too long, or else you’ll be too tired to really get things going. Here are the things you need to keep in mind when cleaning your kitchen.
In this area of the house, we can begin working from the top and work our way down. Why do we do this backwards this time? Well, there may be crumbs and bits on the counters that might get carried down when cleaning. If you begin working with the floor and work your way up, you may have to do it again at the end of your cleaning duty.
Take a microfiber towel and go over the counters once prior to spraying it with some multipurpose cleaner. Good cleaners such as Lysol All-Purpose Cleaner can do the job pretty quickly. Remember to let the cleaner settle in for a couple of moments before removing it with a soft microfiber towel.
Over time, grease will build up on your kitchen counters and drawers. Use the same towel to clean cabinet doors and handles. The same all-purpose cleaner should work fine with these surfaces, unless the counters are made with glass accents or specially treated wood.
Careful to check whatever cleaner you do decide to use - make sure it is completely save. Your food will end up on your countertop more than any other surface in your house, and its best to be SAFE regarding what chemicals you put on your counter.
Spring cleaning hacks: Take some time to get all the items out of the counters to clean the inner shelves. This is usually where clean dishes and glassware rest, so it’s a good idea to keep the area clean and free of debris. It may take a little longer, but it’s worth the extra effort.
Stainless steel can look fabulous and elegant when it is kept free of streaks and water spots. Clean all your stainless steel appliances with a special spray such as Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish. Spray some on a microfiber towel or directly on the surface and wipe down immediately.
Different types of stovetops require different cleaning methods. For electric flattop stoves, a multipurpose cleaner and a sponge are usually enough. However, a gas stove will require you to remove the grills and other metal components to clean separately.
Remember to clean the inside and outside of the oven door, and take a microfiber clothe to the edges of the stovetop to get all the little nicks and crannies.
If you're enjoying this article, make sure to check out our comprehensive cleaning guides, segmented by room:
The kitchen sink has been soaking with powder for a while, so now it’s a good time to take the rough side of a sponge or some steel wool and work it with some elbow grease. The sink is one area where you shouldn’t cut any corners. Take your time going behind the faucet and the handles, around the sinkhole and any other areas you might use often.
Finally, sweep the floor and mop it twice. Lots of dirt and food debris can get stuck between the corners of the lower cabinets, so make sure you check twice before mopping. The last thing you want is to mop your floors while they’re still dusty.
This is where keeping a small, lightweight stick vacuum in a closet nearby is handy. Instead of having to get out a big bulky vacuum, you can whip out the stick vacuum each night and quickly run over the high traffic areas. We have put together a complete guide outlining the corded stick vacuum choices, along with the some similar cordless stick vac options.
You can also opt to use a high powered steam mop if you have tile flooring with grout. The steam will work out deep stains and markings, while also helping to preserve your grout for longevity.
Next on the spring clean up is the area that gets used by everybody all the time: the bathroom. Like the kitchen, the bathroom also gets cleaned on a fairly regular basis (hopefully!). This is another area that will need to get extra attention, since some areas are usually cleaner than others.
Begin by doing the same Ajax powder procedure, except this time put some of that power on the toilet bowl and let it settle in. You will get to the toilet bowl later.
Tip: Don't underestimate the power of a clean home. MakeSpace, a storage service that uses technology to help you declutter your life, interviewed various psycho therapists, doctors, and pro organizers and discovered that clutter significantly increases stress, jeopardizes your love life, and decreases productivity
For now, begin by gauging the amount of dust and bathroom product that might be lying on the porcelain tops. Most bathrooms have white surfaces, so it may be hard to see how dirty these surfaces really are. Take a microfiber towel to the bathroom sink and get all the debris off of the top surface prior to using any cleaning products.
Once the white surfaces have been preliminarily cleaned, you can use some products to tackle harder to remove stains. Take a bathroom surface cleaner such as Clorox Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner and spray it on top of the porcelain surfaces around the bathroom sink. Let it soak for a couple of minutes before removing it with a microfiber towel.
Certain steel faucet heads can begin to develop calcium in certain areas when neglected. Make sure you are scrubbing these areas with a steel wool or a wire brush to remove these deposits. Extra spring clean up points for removing the faucet handles and thoroughly cleaning the faucet.
Cleaning your bathroom tiles may seem like a tedious endeavor. However, it is very satisfying to see the tile brighten up when cleaned properly. And, you'll get to enjoy it every day.
Related: How to Clean a Tile Shower
If you would like to try your hand at a homemade cleaner, mix baking soda with hot water and a little bit of vinegar to create a nice bathroom tile cleaner.
Use your new homemade house cleaning product to clean the tiles with either a microfiber towel, or even better, a cleaning brush. Try to pay attention to the clear fillings between tiles, which may have faded over time.
Bonus: Trust us, no one likes this part. But, it has to be done at some point. You need to clean the hair out of your shower and sink drains. It builds up, and will cause a backup at some point. Tackling it before it is a problem is the best way to go.
Use a thin metal coat hanger by cutting it, and creating a hook. Get a set of gloves for your hands, and reach down the drain with your new DIY hook. Make several passes, pulling out as much hair as you can.
Now that the toilet bowl has been soaking for a while, you are ready to take a brush and clean the inside of the bowl. For better cleaning, try to get your hands on some Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner and put it right on the brush. This will take the product wherever you need it the most, and will ensure a maximum clean on the most important area of this room.
Finally, you don’t want to forget about the shower. A clean home is a happy home, and the shower is included. Use the same bathroom cleaner you used on the white surfaces to clean shower and door handles, shelves, and any other corners that might have developed soap scum.
You could also use a powerful cleaner like Scrubbing Bubbles Shower Foamer to make the job a little easier. Make sure you let it soak in for a couple of minutes before taking a brush or sponge to your shower and make everything look squeaky-clean.
Finally, sweep and mop the floor, similar to what you did in the kitchen.
This is your place of peace, quiet and relaxation. You spend most of your time here trying to rest and get ready for the next day. It’s only fair that you give it the respect it deserves and give it a good clean up in this spring cleaning time.
Related: Keeping The House Clean With Kids
Remove all bed sheets, pillowcases, throw pillows, and anything else that might usually rest on your bed. Throw all these items in the wash with your favorite wash soap and give it a long cycle for the best clean. Make sure you read the label to make sure you won’t damage your bedding!
Spring cleaning hack: mix your wash soap with some coconut oil to give it an extra fresh scent.
While that is washing, look out for any stains on the mattress or dirt that might have made its way through your bed sheets. Use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of these stains, or get your hands on some OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover and a soft bristle brush to spot clean stains. Pull the bed out and check between your headrests for any items that might have traveled down under.
An organized closet can save you some headaches down the road, so it’s important to tackle it now that we are doing this spring clean up. Do a winter wardrobe audit by storing away your summer clothing and gathering your winter clothing. If you don’t think you’ll use some of that winter attire, head to your local donating center and give it to someone that might need some clothes.
The best way to organize your clothes is by season and type. Keep the summer shirts and tanktops to the back, and move forward the heavy winter coats and thick long sleeves. This will make it easier to reach for the clothes you are bound to use in the colder months coming up.
Related: 11 Hacks for a Clean and Tidy Home
Sometimes, we may forget something in our pockets while we hang out clothes and they end up on the floor. Remove anything lying on the floor and give it a good sweep or a pass with the vacuum.
Another thing you might want to take care of is any folded items that might have unfolded over the past months. We tend to be too busy to care about what is disorganized, and we forget that we have a crumbled up shirt in the back of the drawer. Pull out everything from the shelves and drawers and fold everything appropriately.
Vacuum/sweep the floor deeply and thoroughly.
This deserves its own category for a simple reason: most rooms have at least one window. Windows can be easily neglected given the perceived difficulty of cleaning them. We tend to steer away from wiping them down regularly due to rain season or fears of leaving streak marks. Try the following tips and tricks to get your windows looking clean and clear.
Use a new microfiber towel and a fresh sponge. Try to find a couple of buckets to put soapy water for cleaning and a plain water bucket for rinsing. Car wash professionals use this two-bucket method to give windows a clear looking finish.
Take another microfiber towel to preliminarily remove any loose dirt that you can get rid of without any cleaning products. Be sure to remove any window screens if you can and wash them separately.
Take a sponge and soak it in the soapy bucket a couple of times before taking it directly to the window. Go around window edges and channels to take off any excess dirt that might have gathered in these crevices. Soak the microfiber towel in the clean water bucket and squeeze the excess water off before removing the soap from the window.
For extra spring cleaning points, use your garden hose on the outside area of the window to remove soap and dirt from the window surface. Once that is done, you can use a window cleaner such as Windex® Window Cleaner and a clean microfiber towel to remove any streaks and leave the surface clear of imperfections.
Once the windows have been taken care of, it’s time to take care of those window screens. These can get a lot of dirt stuck on them over time and can make windows look off putting if not properly cleaned. Make sure you aren’t being too hard on these, since a lot of window screens tend to be fragile and can rip off of the support edges.
Grab a garden hose, preferably attached with a trigger water nozzle, and rinse out the dirt from the window screens. If you can, use a soft brush and regular soap to take off any extra dirt that might have remained. Rinse once more before letting them dry out in the warm autumn sun.
Lastly on our spring cleaning list room by room comes the dreaded task of cleaning out the garage and or attic of your home. This is probably the least desired part of the entire house that definitely needs to get cleaned. There are countless of reasons why, but we will just list a couple to convince you to clean this very important area.
During the summer, it’s only expected that there are now a couple of new additions to the house. This could be anything from new decorations, unexpectedly large gifts, or simply more clothes to put away. No matter what get through the course over the year, you're going to have to find a place to put it.
Surprisingly, there may be a lot of things put in the back end of your garage that you might not have seen for a couple of years now. How many things can you really do without? Take some time to move things around and figure out what you have used and what you haven’t. If you haven’t seen something for the past two years, you can get rid of it.
47% of Americans with a garage admit that there have been times they couldn't park in it because of clutter - Sparefoot.com.
Chances are your garage has gotten a little disorganized over the summer. Life can be choatic, and its easy to not always put everything back in its proper place.
Put away all of the loose odds and ends that might be floating about. Do a check of your power tools, such as your saws and drills, to make sure they still work properly.
If you find anything that doesn't have a home, now is a great time to create a permanent place for it.
While you take your time to figure out what you want and what you don’t, you can find some interesting items that you thought you had lost forever. This is the time where you might find that old skateboard you once rode, that pearl necklace you left in a box, or those nice dress shoes you thought you threw away.
However, keep a conservative eye on what you keep and try to not become a hoarder. There are many times where the intention is to throw away anything you might not want only to find out everything is there to stay. Don’t get attached to material things, and make more space for the new things to come.
Once you figure out what you can throw away, take everything out and give the entire room a good sweep. If you can vacuum the corners and crevices of the room, this is even better. This makes the room a little more inviting than a dusty room full of dirty boxes.
Whew! That was quite the day. We hope this spring cleaning checklist room by room helps you tackle your future cleaning days. Remember to be extra detailed and follow a simple mantra: If you haven’t grazed it in a while, it definitely needs to be cleaned. This applies to floors, counters, and ceilings. Anything is up for cleaning grabs when it comes to this spring clean up.
This spring clean up list covers every aspect of the house. We have left no room untouched, and tried to think of anything that might help you reach even the most easily forgotten areas.
Remember to use reusable materials such as washable microfiber towels and soft brushes to help you remove the most stains and remain environmentally conscious. This should take up most of your day given that you are pretty much tackling your entire house. Look at your hard work after you’re done with this list, and enjoy the following months in your freshly cleaned home.
Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.