ULTIMATE SPRING CLEANING LIST
It's finally the first day of spring, and if you're like me, you've probably already been bitten by the spring cleaning bug and if not, you will be soon. So in light of that, I thought I'd put together the ultimate list of things you can (and should) clean this spring to help get you started.
I'm the kind of person that, when I clean, I always start in one place and end up doing something completely different: I found something in the living room that needs to be put away in the basement and oh this thing in the basement needs to be cleaned and actually this thing down here can go upstairs in the kitchen and it's a vicious cycle, BUT everything ends up getting cleaned ... eventually. We're also moving sometime this summer, so I'm trying to organize and purge things at the same time and everything is a mess but it'll all be worth it ... at some point.
Anyways, here's my ultimate list of things to clean, some of which you probably knew and some you may not have thought of! I broke it down into categories such as general cleaning and then room-specific types of cleaning to make it easier. I might turn this post into a printable and post it on my Pinterest, if you're feeling really crazy!
GENERAL CLEANING TIPS AND TRICKS YOU CAN APPLY TO YOUR WHOLE HOUSE
Some of these can apply to more than one room (such as cleaning light fixtures), so I just put them in the general cleaning area instead of repeating myself.
Clean from the top down! If you start by cleaning the floors and then dust the top of things, you might end up with dirty floors all over again. For example, whenever I clean the kitchen, I always do my floors last because I know crumbs are going to fall off the counters and make a new mess, so I might as well leave the floors messy until the very end.
Store things such as clothing/footwear/outerwear and decor by season/occasion, so it's easy to find the next time you need it (for example, store fall/winter clothing together, fall/winter decor together, etc.)
When you're preparing to store things like clothes and decor, use large plastic bins instead of bags or cardboard boxes. It's a little expensive to buy a bunch of plastic tubs all at once, but you can continue to use them for the rest of your life. When you store things in cardboard boxes, the contents are more susceptible to damage from leaks/floods and any small creatures that might sneak into your basement or attic during the winter. Some animals are nuts and they'll chew through plastic bins, but it's still more difficult than chewing through cardboard.
Also, label your storage bins with a label maker or even tape and a permanent marker, so you can easily see what's in the bin when you're looking for something.
Dust the top corners of walls/ceilings, because I promise you (even if you never saw them) spiders were hiding in them all winter.
Dust or wipe down all light fixtures (because we rarely think to and also the spider thing).
Change any lightbulbs that might've burnt out during the winter and you were too lazy to change (guilty).
Dust or wipe down blinds. Wash and/or steam curtains.
Dust and wipe down window sills/surrounds. Clean all interiors of windows.
Clean inside and outside of the windows if you're feeling really crazy!
Dust and wipe down:
walls and doors, especially in higher traffic areas like around light switches and door handles
wipe down the actual light switches and door handles
baseboards and chair rails (pictures of chair rails in case anyone doesn't know what that is)
don't forget to dust the tops of interior doors that spend most of their time left open
If you're feeling really crazy, put fresh batteries in smoke detectors, remotes, etc.
Change air filters (especially if you suffer from spring-related allergies).
Go through and organize any junk drawers! We all have them.
Say RIP to any plants that may have died during the winter (guilty).
Dust the tops of appliances and cupboards.
Wipe down the fronts of all cabinets.
Go through all cabinets/cupboards/drawers/pantries and get rid of any expired foods.
Get rid of (give away, donate, or sell) any dishes, small appliances, etc. you no longer use.
While going through cabinets/cupboards/drawers/pantries, take everything out, dust and wipe down the interiors.
Reorganize anything that's gotten unorganized or messy; use new, simpler organization systems that will motivate you to stay organized.
Dust and wipe down backsplash.
Wipe down garbage cans and recycle bins.
Wipe down sink(s). If you're feeling brave, snake your sink(s).
Wipe down the exteriors of appliances (fridge, oven, dishwasher) with appropriate cleaners.
Clean outside AND inside of microwave; if it's in an area that it can easily be removed from, take it out and dust its compartment, too.
Clean inside of dishwasher and oven.
Clean inside of refrigerator:
take everything out
wipe down all shelves and insides of drawers
throw away any old/expired food that may have been forgotten
reorganize with an easier system you'll be able to maintain
If possible, pull out ovens/refrigerators/mini fridges and vacuum/clean behind them. You'll be surprised and horrified at what you find lol.
Wipe down counters.
Sweep/vacuum and mop floors.
If you have an extra fridge and/or freezer somewhere else, don't forget to go through and clean it out, too!
Dust any electronics (tv, tops of dvd/blu-ray players and game consoles, speakers).
Dust and wipe down fireplace mantles.
If you have a real fireplace, take appropriate steps to clean it.
Dust and wipe down any tables and media stands.
Spot clean any furniture that might need it.
Dust any art and decorations.
Vacuum and clean floors. Don't forget to vacuum under chairs and couches!
Clean dining table and chairs with appropriate cleaners.
Clean and disinfect sinks, showers, bathtubs and toilets.
Don't forget to clean the WHOLE toilet: dust the top of the tank, wipe underneath the seat.
Dust and wipe down countertops.
Empty and wipe down cabinets and drawers, reorganizing as you put everything back. Also, throw away any old toiletries and expired medications.
Wash bath mats and decorative shower curtain(s). Wipe down or replace plastic shower curtains.
Snake shower drains.
Wash ALL bedding, including duvet covers, pillow and decorative pillow covers (if possible), bed skirts/box spring sheets, extra blankets/quilts.
Put pillows in dryer on HIGH heat, or replace any old or dirty pillows.
Shake out and/or wash area rugs.
Dust headboards and footboards.
Dust and wipe down nightstands. Reorganize and clean out drawers, if you have them.
Dust and wipe down dressers/chests.
Go through all clothing, organizing by season for storage purposes; also, donate or sell any unworn, still-in-good-condition clothes/footwear/accessories.
Sweep/vacuum; mop if you have wood (or other non-carpet) floors.
Don't forget to sweep and vacuum inside closets and under/behind beds!
Empty any small garbage cans that might usually be forgotten.
Organize closets and drawers (wash and put winter coats/clothing/boots in storage).
Take anything off of shelves and dust/wipe down.
Clean and store boot trays.
Add in any spring jackets and footwear you'll be needing.
Wash any area rugs; shake out outdoor mats.
Vacuum and mop. Don't forget to clean the floors inside the closet!
Dust and wipe down tops and outsides of washer and dryer.
Make sure the lint trap is clean.
You can even run a cleaning cycle for the washing machine.
Everyone's garage is different, so these are pretty open-ended.
Put away any winter items (snowblowers, car brushes, shovels, salt).
Organize anything that's been piling up all winter.
Bring out any patio furniture; dust or wipe down.
Shovel or sweep off patio/deck.
A lot of us are guilty of this, especially during the cold Canadian winters, but pick up any forgotten dog poops in the yard before it turns into a mess and your dog needs a bath every time they go outside.
If you're up for it, take your car(s) somewhere for a thorough cleaning/detailing. If not, here's what you can and should do to your car this spring:
take out any garbage or items that have been piling up
VACUUM! (if you don't have a powerful enough vacuum, find a local do-it-yourself carwash or find a gas station with vacuums)
take out all floor mats to clean
wipe down, wash, or vacuum floor mats; don't forget trunk liners, too!
clean out cupholders (ew)
dust and dust consoles, screens, interiors of doors and door handles
wipe down the inside of all windows/windshields
clean out consoles and reorganize with only the necessary items
Go through the car wash or wash your car at home
Get (or do) an oil change
Replace wiper blades
Fill up wiper fluid
Have tires changed (if applicable; don't do this too early in case you end up sliding around all spring)
Make sure tire pressure is correct on all tires (including any spares)
TIPS FOR PURGING DURING SPRING CLEANING
When it comes to getting rid of things you just don't use or wear anymore, there's a lot of different things you can do with them: take them to places like Value Village, Goodwill, or the Red Cross (or similar/depending where you live), donate to local shelters, sell them on apps/websites like Depop, Carousell, Kijiji or your towns' Buy and Sell Facebook page, have a yard sale, or you can just give things away to your friends/family members.
Before you drop your stuff off at Value Village or Goodwill, try to find a local shelter you can bring stuff to. Of course Value Village is a great place for people to get things like clothing and small appliances at a much lower cost, but when you're looking for somewhere to donate, don't forget the people in your community that may be in crises and needing more help than just discounted clothing. See if your city has a local shelter (homeless, women's, etc.) where you can donate clothes and toiletries.
Similarly, if you're trying to get rid of some nicer clothing/shoes/accessories or even decor and furniture, don't be ashamed to sell it on apps like Depop or Carousell, or use your local Kijiji and Facebook pages. It's still better than just taking things to the dump, and having a little extra money in your pocket is never a bad thing.
And that's all! Hopefully this inspired you to clean and organize your house, and to donate anything to your local shelters in the process. Now, time to go get lost under boxes of stuff for the next two months.