We've put together our top spring cleaning tips for tasks that should get done at least once a year. Some of them require a decent amount of time, but don’t get overwhelmed. Just take them one at a time until you have worked your way through the list. Before you know it, your home will be sparkling like it did when you first moved in!
- Dust high ledges/shelves – Most people put off cleaning these hard to reach areas because they are a pain. So if you commit to cleaning them once a year, you can get your ladder out for a day and knock them all out at once. Don’t forget those dusty ceiling fans.
- Clean windows – Remove your screens and clean your windows inside and out to make sure you have a great view the rest of the year. Don’t forget to clean out the window tracks as they collect a lot of dirt and gunk throughout the seasons. Need another reason to clean your windows? If you do it on a day when the weather is nice, you will get a little workout and get to enjoy the sunshine at the same time. It’s win-win!
- Clean windows treatments – Do you remember the last time you dusted your blinds? If not, this is a great time to wipe them all down. If you are really motivated, you may want to take the time to launder or dry-clean all the curtains too. If the curtains still look good, at least dust the tops of them to keep them from turning brown with dust in the next few months.
- Deep clean your floors – Move your furniture and vacuum underneath. If you have carpet or rugs, you can also take this opportunity to have them professionally cleaned. Many carpet warranties require a minimum of annual professional cleaning. Satisfy the requirements of the warranty and make your carpets feel new all at the same time by bringing in a professional carpet cleaner.
- Wash your big linens – Most of us remember to change our sheets often enough. After all, who wants to get into a dingy bed? But when is the last time you cleaned the other bedding? The blankets, comforter, mattress pad, and even pillows all collect dust, drool, and sweat which can lead to some less than desirable sleeping situations. At least once a year, make sure the bulky bedding is cleaned thoroughly to get rid of all those nasties. If you have a large capacity, front-load washer and dryer, you may be able to fit these items in. Just make sure to put 3-4 clean tennis balls in the dryer to help fluff the items. If your washer and dryer aren’t able to handle the larger items, don’t try and cram them in, simply take them to your local laundromat and use the giant machines. Or, if you prefer not to spend your afternoon watching your linens go round and round in a dryer, drop them off at your local cleaners. Just keep in mind it may take up to a week for them to be cleaned and returned.
- Clean the upholstered furniture – During your spring cleaning spree, make sure to clean out the never-never lands of the sitting furniture. As you go, count how much money you find and how many writing utensils you add to your collection. Who said cleaning can’t be fun, right? If you have had your furniture for a few years, you may want to have the professional carpet cleaners work their magic on the living room furniture when they’re done with the rugs. They can often do a steam clean that pulls a ridiculous amount of dust and stains out of any type of upholstered furniture. The first time we had our couch cleaned by a professional, I couldn’t believe the difference in color and firmness it had after the visit. Invest in keeping your furniture looking nice by having this service done once a year.
- Dust the bookshelves – Clear out and dust all the cluttered and overworked shelves of knick-knacks and books. Most of these areas can be maintained with a quick swipe of a duster throughout the year, but it is always good to pull the items out and give it a thorough wipe-down at least every 12 months.
- Clean behind appliances – Think you have a clean kitchen? Wait until you pull out the fridge and stove. You won’t believe what you’ll find back there (maybe good, maybe scary). You might find your child’s long-lost favorite toy. Or you might find your child’s long lost favorite hamster. At the very least, you will likely find dust, pieces of small food, and spills down the side of the appliances and cabinets. Pulling them out on an annual basis will help prevent the messes from being too bad, but I would still advise you to prepare for the worst.
In addition to the kitchen, make sure you pull out your laundry room appliances and clean behind them as well. While you’re at it, remove the dryer hose and clear it of any built-up lint. These can become fire hazards if not cleared on a regular basis.
- Clean inside appliances –This is the time to wipe down all those gooey messes from your fridge, burned-on pizza remnants from your oven, and mold from your dishwasher. Just make sure when you are cleaning your fridge and freezer to store any displaced food in an ice chest so it doesn’t thaw or go bad during the process. When you put things back in your fridge, organize them back to the way that makes you happy and motivated to keep it that way. To clean your dishwasher, run an empty load with a cup of vinegar. This helps remove hard water build-up and is one of the easiest tasks on your spring cleaning checklist, so don’t overlook it.
- Clean the refrigerator coils – When you have your refrigerator pulled out, take a few minutes to dust and wipe down the grills and coils. This is something that is usually overlooked but can save you money in the long run. This allows the fridge to run more efficiently and therefore will help you use less electricity.
- Pantry – At least once a year, clear out all the expired food and wipe down the pantry shelves. You may be amazed at how much food you waste with an unorganized pantry.