After the bustle of the holidays (where we collect new treasures and need to make space for them) and a season of keeping the doors and windows shut against the cold, it feels good to air out the house and make it sparkle. With the baseboards dusted and your closets decluttered, your home will feel warm and inviting again. It can also make your living space more functional.
Sorting through both your physical belongings and digital files will get you energized and motivated, so you can live your best life (in the most beautiful space possible). You might even get inspired to transform your bedroom with a new color scheme or finally try out one of those cheery Pinterest ideas you posted on a cold winter evening.
Jump straight to the section below you want to focus on for your spring cleaning ideas:
- Clean coffee filter reservoir by running equal parts water and white vinegar through a cycle. Pause it halfway through, let it sit for about an hour, then resume the cycle. Run a few cycles with just water before brewing a fresh pot of coffee.
- Sanitize your cutting board with hydrogen peroxide or vinegar. If it harbors any odors, you can use the side of a cut lemon and a teaspoon of salt to brighten wood cutting boards and remove lingering smells. Conditioning the wood with mineral oil will protect the surface and make it last longer.
- Soak the stove knobs in soapy water so they’ll be easier to clean when you get to them. This can be done while you’re cleaning the oven (or the rest of the kitchen).
- Clear out expired condiments and mystery foods from the refrigerator, then sweep and mop under the fridge.
- Deep clean the microwave. An easy way to do this is by letting the steam do the work. Place a bowl of water with a little bit of vinegar and chopped up citrus to loosen debris and deodorise.
- Wipe down cabinets, fridge, stove top, and all door handles.
- Corral clutter with a vintage or wooden tray. You can use it as a resting spot for frequently used items such as spices and display pretty printed tea towels. This will make it easier to keep your counters wiped clean.
- Vacuum floors and under furniture. You might want to take the opportunity of rearranging furniture while vacuuming to change up your living room space.
- Use a broom with fine bristles to sweep up smaller particles of dirt and dust, if you have hard floors. A dustpan with a rubber edge will make sure you don’t leave behind a line of dust.
- Dust ceiling fan blades and wash glass lampshades. Replace light bulbs, if necessary.
- Wipe down baseboards and molding. Cleaning baseboards can instantly make a room look brighter and will make your wall paint pop. Vacuuming the edges first will give you better results, and make cleaning with microfiber and dish soap a breeze.
- Organize books and toys. A basket system can help you quickly determine which toys stay, and which can be donated. Storing some toys out of sight (for when they are more age-appropriate, for example) can make them an instant hit when you do bring out the basket.
- Remove stains from couches, chairs, and carpets. Since these items can’t be thrown in the washing machine, you’ll need to use a little more care. However, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with stains. Pour a small amount of white vinegar on the stain, sprinkle with baking soda and let sit for half an hour before blotting. Once it’s completely dry, vacuum up the baking soda.
- Clean your decorative pillows. They are pretty and functional but can often be used for cat naps or may have accidentally fallen on the floor.
- Add plants like pothos or peace lilies to purify the air and reduce toxins.
- Start with the bed, as it’s usually the focal point of a room and making it can instantly make your bedroom look cleaner.
- Sprinkle baking soda on your mattress for at least 30 minutes to eliminate allergens and help you get a better night’s sleep, then slowly vacuum using an upholstery attachment.
- Deep clean pillows and sheets by washing them on hot water in the heavy duty cycle. Dry in the dryer with wool balls or tennis balls to improve air flow and help get them completely dry.
- Sort out the jewelry you don’t wear and clean your favorite pieces. Use a shallow glass dish or stylish coaster to organize jewelry you wear every day, like wedding rings.
- Clean out and organize closets. Donate things you haven’t worn in over a year, and if you find yourself hesitating, remind yourself that you will have space to add something new!
- Take apart your humidifier and soak parts in a water and vinegar or hydrogen peroxide mix before scrubbing (refer to owner’s manual for specific instructions). A toothbrush can help you reach into crevices and tight spaces.
- Declutter your medicine cabinet and dispose of expired prescriptions by placing them in a sealed plastic bag with dirt, coffee grounds or kitty litter (to make them unappealing to kids and pets).
- Throw shower curtains and liners in the washer since they can grow mildew or replace them for a fast and easy style update.
- Wash bath mats and wipe down baseboards. Bath mats can be home to mildew and microorganisms, so add these to your list to wash once a month. Check the care instructions first. Shake out dirt and debris, and wipe down the rubber backing. If they are machine washable, wash on cold and tumble dry on the lowest setting (or hang outside to dry).
- Remove trash from the trash can and scrub it out. It’s best to wash them outside, if possible. Clean out the gunk with paper towels or rags, and scrub with hot water. To sanitize, wet down the surface with a mixture of hot water and vinegar and let sit for half an hour. (Vinegar will kill your plants, so toss out the water in the gutter or drain instead.)
- Clean makeup brushes with liquid dish soap or baby shampoo, then rinse and blot dry with a paper towel.
- Wash the linen lining of your laundry hamper if you have one or spray it with disinfectant.
- Remove fan vent covers and wash them in warm, soapy water. Dry them with a lint-free cloth.
- Use a long-handled tool to dust the ceilings. Then spray with an all-purpose cleaner and turn on the shower to create steam for about five minutes. Use a clean, dry microfiber mop to wipe it clean.
- Clean the toilet brush and disinfect your toilet at the same time, by adding a few cups of washing soda to the bowl allowing the toilet brush to soak while you’re finishing your other spring cleaning tasks.
- Clear off desk clutter and sort it into “to be shredded,” “to be filed”, and “return to desk” piles.
- File paperwork, organize and sort through digital files.
- Create a folder called “desktop” and drag old documents, folders, and icons there. It helps to sort things while still keeping things accessible.
- Store your odd-sized books or magazines in colorful document and art boxes.
- Go through your “junk drawer” since it can all too easily become a catch-all; toss items that you don’t use or store them somewhere else in the house.
- Clean up digital photos on your computer and upload them to a secure site so they don’t get lost or accidentally deleted. Even better, you’ll be able to quickly make photo books and gifts out of your favorite photos!
Whether you are finally fulfilling a New Year’s resolution (did we mention that cleaning counts as exercise?) or just trying to get organized before summer vacation starts, you can’t deny how good it feels to have a home that’s fresh, clean, and dust-free. Now that you’ve made space on your walls and cleaned up your digital photos, it might be time to embark on a fun photo collage project or start planning your annual summer BBQ.