Your Spring Cleaning Checklist
The flowers are blooming and the birds are chirping–spring is here! It’s time to clean and refresh your home by way of the wonderful tradition of Spring Cleaning. I enjoy this time of year as it allows us to let in more light, fresh air and make the house function at its best and brightest for the warm weather seasons to come. Below are some of my favorite tips on where to start and how to get the job done:
Your Spring Cleaning Checklist
1. Organize Your Closet First
Take some time to focus on cleaning out your closet. Go through your closet and remove and box up your winter clothes to be stored, then bring out your warmer weather wear. While you’re at it, if you have clothing or accessories which you haven’t worn for at least two years, pack those items up and donate to charity or sell them.
Hanging your clothes–I prefer a closet that is organized by like item. Start with tanks and sleeveless items, then short sleeve, long sleeve and jackets, followed by pants, skirts, shorts and dresses–all hung from left to right. Organizing the clothes by color can also be appealing but you’ll need to decide which way works best for you to make your routine easier–you can also do both–organize by like item and then by color within each category.
Make use of the shelves and wall space within your closet-– I like to roll my leisure wear such as tanks, sweats and sweatshirts, and place them in a basket on the shelf below my hanging items. I do the same for scarves, belts, shawls, wraps, etc. This enables you to free up space on the rod. The wall is a great place to hang bags, purses and hats. Get creative in order to see what works best for you.
Tip: If you need to save space (AKA fit more clothes in your closet) try switching out your hangers for my favorite felt variety. These felt hangers can typically be picked up at stores like Ross and Marshall’s. They allow for about 20% more clothing to fit in the closet when compared to the thicker wood style hangers.
After your closet is organized, vacuum the floor and walls to prevent bugs from finding a home in your closet.
2. De-Clutter Your Rooms
Grab a large bag, or container. Start in the room of your choice and scan the floor, surfaces of furniture, book shelves, counters, and even look under the objects in the room for items that do not belong there. Place the items in your container and repeat in each room of the house. Now, put all the items away where they belong.
For more on how to de-clutter your rooms check out this site–I found its tips to be helpful: http://www.home-storage-solutions-101.com/how-to-declutter.html
3. Thoroughly Clean All Horizontal Surfaces
Dust, vacuum, and mop all horizontal surfaces. Check to make sure that you are using the proper cleaners on your woods, counter tops, tiles, etc. Also be sure to wear your cleaning cloves. There are many great products out there. I prefer the following:
Wood Floors: Vacuum and then lightly damp mop with a solution of water and one cap full of Murphy’s Oil Soap. Follow the directions on the bottle.
Tile: Look for a cleaner that has neutral pH. You can also mix baking soda and water for a homemade cleaner. Pour 1/2 cup baking soda into 2 gallons water and mix very well. Use a mop on the tile and a soft brush on grout.
Fabrics: Take measures to clean the upholstery and bedding on the house.
Counter tops: For stone counters look for a “natural stone” cleaning product.
Don’t forget to clean the lights and ceiling fans free of dust and buggies.
4. Clean the Walls and Vertical Surfaces
Dust the fronts of all your furniture pieces in the home. Clean the fronts of your appliances and polish your stainless steel. Use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to freshen up your painted walls.
Check your window treatments for dust and stains—follow the manufacturer’s recommended method to clean them.
For a great breakdown of how to clean a home properly, I found this post very helpful:
5. Wash the Windows or Get Them Washed
In my family, we have always used a solution of white vinegar and warm water in a bucket, a sponge, a squeegee and old newspapers (in that order) to wash the windows. The vinegar is fantastic for cutting the dirt and grime that accumulate over time. Once you have massaged the sponge around on the window a bit, use the squeegee to get the majority of the water off the window and then use old newspaper, instead of towels or paper towels, to absorb to rest of the water. The windows will shine like diamonds. The vinegar also cuts right through pet gunk too, such as nose and mouth smears and paw marks.
6. Yard and Patio Clean Up
Spring is a great time to get the outdoors ready for entertaining.
- Rake, sweep and clean the yard and patio free of leaves.
- Weed the garden and lawn and then rake around plants and trees to freshen up the dirt and make the garden look happy!
- Spray the patios down and water the gardens and grass.
- Do any needed landscaping repairs to the lawn, shrubbery, and plants.
- Check your exterior doors and windows or fences to see if they need attention. Touching up the paint or stain on fences is a great way to make the outdoor areas feel new again.
- Don’t forget to clean the BBQ and the grill!
Outdoor cleaning projects can be fun and it’s always great to involve the whole family. With a little effort this spring, your outdoor areas will be ready to entertain throughout the summer.
7. A Well Organized and Useful Garage– Isn’t this everyone’s dream?
It may be a little overwhelming, but chances are your garage could use some help this spring. You can do this in steps and phases. First, take a look at the boxes and bins you are storing. Can any of the contents or even the whole box be taken over to Goodwill. Do you know of someone who could currently use items that you may not ever use again?
If looking at the old boxes in the garage is uninspirational to you, then try purchasing some new containers. As you transfer sports equipment, Christmas decorations, or whatever your family hides in your garage space into the new containers you will surely find things that you can do without. Be diligent in tossing out things that you haven’t used in years. It can be hard at first to let go of things, but once you let them go, you’ll feel so good! For more tips on organizing the garage check out this HGTV post.