Spring Cleaning 101

Spring Cleaning 101

The beauties of spring are here: spring break, spring showers and flowers, spring breezes – and spring cleaning. Yes, there is beauty in a refreshed home cleared of cobwebs, dust, dirt and clutter – and that’s especially true for a house on the market.  As daunting as it may seem to take on a whole-house cleaning project, spring offers the perfect climate of mild temperatures and longer days that you need to make the house sparkle from spring to autumn. Here is the basic spring cleaning to-do list for homeowners looking to shine up their space.


1. Get it together.


Take stock of your cleaning supplies and equipment the week before you start. Now is the time to resupply your favorite all-purpose cleaner, vinegar, baking soda, dusters, microfiber cloths, sponges, floor cleaner, and degreaser. Need a new mop, broom, or vacuum cleaner? There’s no better time to look for the latest incarnation of these home-cleaning staples.


2. Get a plan.


Some like to clean by task – floors, baseboards, or refrigerator – and check those off their list. Others prefer to clean by room. Whatever your style, be sure to begin at the top – ceilings before floors; upstairs before downstairs – and work your way down. If you’ve ever swept a floor before dusting a ceiling fan, you understand the wisdom of up before down.

Tip: Make sure your plan doesn’t include too many major projects, like cleaning the refrigerator or oven, in one day. 


3. Get busy.


According to Home Made Simple, your spring cleaning should include dusting surfaces and ceiling fans; cleaning baseboards and moldings; washing window glass, sills, and tracks; wiping down light switches, doors, and doorknobs; and cleaning blinds and shutters. 

A kitchen-cleaning list should include:  stovetop, oven, microwave, coffee maker, refrigerator and freezer, pantry, toaster, countertops, and sink. Don’t forget the drawers and especially the “junk” drawer. If you’re really committed, move the stove and refrigerator away from the wall. After you recover from the sight, sweep and mop behind them.

In the bathrooms, disinfect doorknobs and light switches, clean out cabinets and drawers, scrub the sink, shower, bathtub, and toilet, and wash shower curtains and bathmats. This is also a great time to sort through towels and linens for wear and tear.

Bedrooms may look fine, but bedding and pillows can be washed, and don’t forget to flip or rotate your mattress. Dry cleaners often offer spring-cleaning discounts on comforters and bedding. While cleaning the closet, look for clothes and shoes that should be donated or discarded.

In other living spaces move furniture to vacuum and mop underneath, then vacuum the furniture and curtains. There’s a lot of hard-to-see dust on those fabric surfaces. Get the kids involved in cleaning playrooms or other kids’ areas. This is a great opportunity to organize toys and donate ones they have outgrown.


4. Get outside.


Remember, first impressions are lasting impressions. Now is the time to check your curb appeal. Cleaning the front door and surrounding glass and woodwork will make the outside sparkle as guests or potential buyers arrive. 

Don’t forget outside surfaces. Sweep porches, patios and decks and look for siding, shutters or screens that need cleaning. Finally, take time to clear the lawn of leaves and other winter leftovers and refresh mulch in flowerbeds.


5. Get off your feet.


Enjoy the feeling that only a refreshingly clean house can bring and, if you’re selling, know that you’ve increased your home’s appeal to potential buyers. You’ve earned an afternoon with a good book and your favorite beverage in your spotless home.