Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist

12 steps to follow for a productive session


MAY 27, 2021

spring-cleaning desktop

Spring cleaning involves getting rid of clutter, removing dust and dirt, and refreshing your home’s spaces. It also just makes you feel better mentally and physically. Rather than getting overwhelmed by that seemingly infinite task list, use these handy spring cleaning tips as a starting point to help keep your house organized, your mind quiet, and your life peaceful all year long.

Do the prep work

Don’t try tackling your entire spring cleaning checklist in one day or even one weekend. Make lists by room to ensure you cover the entire home and concentrate on one space at a time. Before you begin, restock cleaning supplies such as all-purpose cleaner, microfiber cloths and sponges, dish soap, baking soda, white vinegar, and reusable spray bottles. Depending on the state of your mop and broom, you may want to purchase those as well.

Don't overlook surfaces

It’s easy to forget the tops of door or window frames, ceiling fans, behind furniture, and the rugs you walk on every day. Remove and clean any curtains, window shades, blinds, or dressings. Furniture cushions and pillows throughout the home also hide allergens, so vacuum them regularly to keep dust at bay.

Clear the clutter

One of the biggest goals on your spring cleaning list should be getting rid of useless items. It may be helpful to divide your things into categories — toss, donate, storage, or use. If it’s been years since you’ve needed something, chances are you won’t miss it.

Wipe down windows and screens

Wash windows on an overcast day, and start on the shady side of the house. This will help highlight all the streaks and dirt on the glass. Remove and wash window screens thoroughly using warm water with mild dishwashing detergent and a soft-bristled brush.

Care for your kitchen

  • Discard any expired foods from your fridge, cabinets, and pantry.

  • Remove the remainder of food items from the fridge, and deep clean all shelves and drawers.

  • Clean behind, under, and around your fridge.

  • Consider donating utensils and appliances you don’t use that take up space in your cabinets and drawers.

  • Clean the oven. Use its self-cleaning mode or, if your oven doesn’t have one, place a hot dish cloth on top of spots to loosen heavy-duty grime, then sprinkle with baking powder and scrub with a sponge.

  • Chop up lemons, limes, or oranges and place in a bowl with several tablespoons of vinegar. Microwave for several minutes, and then wipe down your microwave with a sponge.

  • Make stainless steel surfaces shine by combining one teaspoon of dish detergent with one quart of hot water. Use a soft cloth to clean surfaces in the direction of the grain. Finish by rinsing with hot water, wipe dry, and polish.

  • Start at the highest spot in your kitchen, and wipe down all cabinets and drawers. For surfaces close to high-grease areas, such as the stove, use a degreasing agent like Mean Green or Easy-Off.

  • Sprinkle cutting boards with salt or baking soda, then rub a cut lemon over the board to remove food stains and smells.

  • Run leftover lemon rinds through your sink’s garbage disposal, and follow them with cold water to get rid of odors.

  • Finish off the room by polishing granite countertops, sweeping and mopping the floor, and assessing your kitchen for any potentially unsafe cooking elements.

Brighten your bedroom

  • Give pillows and your comforter a little TLC. You may not regularly clean them throughout the year, so check the manufacturer’s instructions and toss them in the washing machine if it’s safe to do so, or bring them to the dry cleaner.

  • Use your vacuum’s upholstery tool to clean crevices in your mattress. Then spray a disinfectant or use a garment steamer or iron to eliminate dust mites, and vacuum again afterward.

  • Go through your closet and drawers to discard any clothing, shoes, scarves, or other items you don’t wear. Store away winter clothing, and replace them with your warm-weather wardrobe.

  • Pack up cold-weather decor to make room for refreshed spring items.

  • Use a dishwasher to disinfect some of your children’s hard toys.

  • Insert well-loved stuffed animals in a mesh bag and wash them on a delicate cycle. After they’re cleaned, deposit into the dryer and tumble for 15 minutes to freshen and kill germs.

Sterilize the bathroom

  • Start with your medicine cabinet, and safely discard any old or unused prescriptions or over-the-counter supplies. Follow suit with other cabinets and drawers.

  • Run vinyl or plastic shower curtains through the wash with a few towels on the gentle cycle. Let the curtain air dry before reinstalling.

  • Clean shower doors with a vinegar and Dawn mix, Scrubbing Bubbles, or your preferred cleaning agent.

  • To clean the shower drain, pour a mixture of half a cup of baking soda and a quarter cup of salt in the drain. Follow that with one cup of heated vinegar. Let the mixture work its magic for 15 minutes, and follow it with hot tap water for 15 to 20 seconds.

  • Proceed with scrubbing the shower, and move on to the toilet and the tile around it.

  • Clean grout and protect it with a penetrating grout sealer, which is best applied with a small foam brush.

  • Wipe down countertops with a soft microfiber cloth and an antibacterial cleaning solution, such as Lysol or Mr. Clean.

Organize your office

  • Give your work area a refresh with organizational totes, tubs, and accessories to keep your paperwork in order.

  • Clean out any junk drawers in your office. Get rid of what you don’t need — like those old pens and extra rubber bands — and organize the remaining necessities with small bowls, dividers, or other containers. Add a non-slip liner to the drawer so everything stays in place.

  • Don’t forget your digital files, which can be just as disorganized as your paperwork. File away any unused items on your computer’s desktop, and consider organizing haphazard folders.

  • Back up important documents to an external hard drive or cloud-based service, such as OneDrive or Google.

  • Clean germs and grime off your mouse and computer keyboard with a microfiber cloth or Lysol wipes.

  • Evaluate what you should or shouldn’t store in your home safe.

Clean your washer and dryer

  • Freshen up your washing machine with a bit of bleach during the cleaning cycle. Or use a washing machine cleaner tablet.

  • Vacuum under, around, and inside your dryer to dispose of any unseen lint, which can cause house fires.

Revitalize outside spaces

  • Combine mild dish detergent and hot water in a bucket, and wipe down all outside furniture.

  • Clean out flower beds and pots, repot old plants, or plant new ones.

  • Get the grill ready for the season by warming it up for 15 minutes before cleaning. After it cools a bit, scrub with a wire brush and hot water. For tough spots, add dish soap to the water or use a grill cleaning solution.

  • Hose out garbage or recycling bins, and assess whether your deck and outdoor surfaces would benefit from a pressure wash or resealing.

Set up good recycling practices

  • Purchase reusable bags for grocery shopping to cut down on plastic waste. Check to make sure the bags you buy are machine washable for easy cleaning.

  • Select a space for recycling bins so you can responsibly dispose of paper, plastics, and other recyclables.

Assess home safety

Spring cleaning not only rids your environment of dust and dirt, it also offers the opportunity to examine your home’s security. Learn more about making your home a safe place by visiting the Brinks Home™ Smart Center.

Jason Stevens is a senior writer for Brinks Home. He is a "tech guy" who enjoys sharing home security and automation tips with others.

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