Growing up, I never understood the point of spring cleaning. Why not just clean any time of year? Don’t we clean all summer, fall and winter, too? Isn’t that enough. Now that I’m grown and in charge of my own house I anticipate spring cleaning and enjoy a simple spring cleaning checklist.
Sure, when I was little, we cleaned year ’round. Not just the springtime. In a house of six people and a dairy farm to run, we didn’t do much “spring cleaning.” We just did cleaning when we had the chance.
When we had time to wash windows, they got washed. Actually, our windows were over 100 years old, so we only got the insides washed.
Bedding got washed when someone peed the bed or was sick.
We didn’t have a shower, so no shower curtain needed to be washed. And we didn’t have a dryer, so there was no need to vacuum the vents.
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Simple Spring Cleaning for Me
As an adult, I see how convenient spring cleaning is. The weather is beautiful and motivating. It’s warm enough to be hanging out the side of the house washing windows. The blankets can dry on the line.
Just the overall motivation and mood boosting that the spring season brings is the perfect time to tackle all those cleaning jobs that get overlooked.
Now that I’m married and the homemaker, I have discovered all kinds of things that I have to clean and maintenance:
- Things our home didn’t have growing up so I never had to worry about them.
- Things that my parents took care of without me ever knowing.
So each year, I find more little things that need a good cleaning once in a while that essentially get ignored for a year (or two, or three).
Simple Spring Cleaning Checklist
1. Wash and put away winter clothes
We live in northern Wisconsin so bulky winter boots, coats, snow pants, mittens and stocking hats are needed for at least five months of the year.
I put my husband and mine’s winter clothes to the back of our closets and bring spring jackets to the front.
My little guys clothes I pack up in a box and put them in the back of his closet floor.
2. Wash curtains
Curtains get so dusty and full of spider webs! Make sure to do this step before you do an in-depth dusting.
Read More: How to Make Your Own Curtains
3. Wash throw rugs
If you have a washer that can handle the bulk of throw rugs, wash them. Otherwise just lay them outside in the sunshine for a day until you can get them washed.
4. Wash all bedding
Comforters, blankets, sheets and mattress protectors all need to be washed. If you have a mattress pad that can’t be washed, lay it outside in the sunshine for a day.
5. Wash pillows
If you can’t wash your pillows, take off the cases and lay them outside in the sunshine for a day.
6. Wash shower curtains
Tip: wash shower curtains right after someone takes a long hot shower. This acts as a pre-soak for the scum at the bottom!
7. Vacuum mattresses
Don’t use the power head attachment! Only sucking.
8. Get rid of clutter
Am I the only one guilty of three boxes in the closet waiting to get dropped off at the thrift store? Get rid of it!
Throw out what you wouldn’t want to pass on to your friend.
9. Rearrange bedrooms to vacuum under furniture
I never vacuum under my bed or dresser unless I’m rearranging furniture. However you do it, vacuum under bedroom furniture at least once a year.
10. Vacuum and sweep closet floors
So the other day my son’s hat fell to the back of the closet. I pulled it out full of cob webs and dust bunnies.
Vacuuming and sweeping the whole closet floor rarely gets done in my house. While I have everything pulled out, I can declutter a bit, too!
11. Dust light fixtures and clean light covers
My hanging pendant lights get so dusty. But whenever I notice them, they have been on and are hot. So then I forget about cleaning them.
Make a point to dust light fixtures. Even unscrew the covers and empty out all the bugs and spiders. This may be a two-person job.
12. Wipe cobwebs out of every corner
Unless I’m specifically looking for cob webs, I can’t see them. It’s amazing how well they hide. Cover the end of your broom with an old hand towel or bath towel. Tie it around the handle with a string. With this new cleaning device you can reach most corners and crevices of your house to get cob webs.
13. Wash screens
Washing screens is a pain! But it’s amazing how much it brightens your house once they are cleaned.
Pull out a few screens at a time. Lay them on a cement surface like the sidewalk or garage. Hose them off. Take a scrub brush and soapy water and gently scrub the screen while its laying flat on the floor. Hose it off. Flip it and do the same on the other side.
We live in the country on a dirt road with field dust flying and lots of flies so our screens get pretty dirty. Yours might only need to be washed every couple of years.
14. Wash windows inside and out
Put a splash of white vinegar in warm water and clean away. Keep one rag for wet washing and another dry. I personally love my lint free window rags to dry that don’t streak. I just got mine at the hardware store. They’ve lasted me through two years of cleaning houses and are still going strong for me.
15. Clean the dryer vent on the outside of your house
If you have a ShopVac, suck out the dryer vent with it. Otherwise, take a metal coat hanger with a small hook fashioned on the end and stick it into the dryer vent to pull out any lint buildup.
16. Vacuum the dryer vent inside the dryer
Stick your vacuum hose as far into the dryer vent as you can on the inside to clear out any lint buildup.
17. Clean the dirt trap under the washing machine
This was a new one for me! I grew up with a wringer washer and had no clue new machines had this trap. Thankfully my husband knew about it and cleaned it out for me. We just slid a cookie sheet with sides under the machine to catch the water when he pulled out the trap.
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18. Clean grease filters above stove
Check out some of this cleaning tutorial.
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19. Dust ceiling fan blades
Use a wet rag to keep the dust from flying too much.
20. Change furnace filter
You are supposed to change your filter every month or three months depending on the brand of filter you buy.
Subscribe & Save through Amazon so that you never forget again!
21. Pull out laundry and kitchen appliances
Clean behind the fridge, microwave, stove, washer and dryer once a year to keep dust bunnies under control (and find lots of treasures that have gone missing!).
22. Clean the fridge
Take everything out of the fridge and clean it top to bottom. Your refrigerator foods will be fine on the counter while you clean. If you can, throw all your freezer stuff in a cooler while you clean it.
23. Shampoo carpeting
If you have carpeting, use this season to shampoo it. It’s still cool enough to open windows but not too humid to keep it from drying.
Hire someone to shampoo your carpeting or go to a home goods store and rent a machine to do it yourself.
Bonus: Split and re-pot houseplants
Grab some potting soil and replant your root bound house plants. Dig out the huge plants and split off the little ones to help it flourish. Give away the splits or re-pot them yourself.
Read More: Homemaking Skills for the Modern Housewife
Whatever you do, don’t try to do this list all in one week! Spring cleaning means the month(s) of spring. I consider March, April and May my spring cleaning months before it’s time for too much garden work.
Pull out appliances, clean dark corners and wash things that you never think of during your spring cleaning routine. Use this simple spring cleaning checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything!