The concept of spring cleaning has a long history. The idea is to complete cleaning tasks to get your house ready for the summer. It is also a designated time to complete more detailed cleaning chores that you may have been putting off. If you are wondering when to start spring cleaning, read on for the answer as well as spring cleaning tips to help you refresh your space without getting overwhelmed.
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When to start spring cleaning
Once you notice the weather begins to change, it is time to start thinking about spring cleaning. If you sense the freshness in the spring air, beckoning you to open the windows and creating the desire to spend more time outside, it is time to tackle spring cleaning. There is a sense of newness that comes as winter turns to spring. Use that sentiment to help you clean your space and freshen it up after a long winter.
On a more practical level, you do not have to wait until motivation strikes or a certain date on the calendar is reached. Instead, you can start spring cleaning when you have a free day or two that you could devote to the tasks.
Spring cleaning is more of a sentiment than anything. Though it has historical roots, nowadays, it is more often used as a phrase that is tied to deep cleaning and freshening up your house by tackling some often neglected chores. There is no hard and fast date for when you should start spring cleaning. It is more important that you plan to do the work around the house on at least an annual basis.
Where do I start spring cleaning?
The first step is to make a commitment to spring cleaning. Pick a time to schedule it on your calendar. Ideally, you will need at least a full day to deep clean your whole house. Depending on the size of your house, it may take a second entire day to finish the job.
Next, make a plan. Develop a spring cleaning checklist of the tasks you want to complete by room. For example:
- Window treatments
- Windows glass and window screens
- Shower heads
- Shower curtain
- Toilet seat and bowl
- Medicine cabinet – for example, toss expired medicines
- Cabinet handles and doors
- Junk drawer
Get a more thorough kitchen cleaning checklist here.
Common Areas (Such as playrooms or living rooms)
- Area rugs
- Throw pillows
Spring cleaning and decluttering
It is important to remember that there are two parts to spring cleaning – the decluttering and the cleaning, especially less common cleaning tasks. It is important that you do both to really freshen up your home.
When it comes to decluttering or purging, start with unwanted items such as old towels or kids’ toys that are no longer played with or that are broken. You can also make a space feel more open and calm by decluttering it.
Get our decluttering checklist here.
For example, take a look around your kitchen. Are your countertops cluttered with numerous small appliances and other items strewn across the kitchen and dining room? If so, opting to declutter the space by removing lesser used items from the line of sight can help with the visual appeal of a room. Your spring cleaning day is a perfect time to assess what you have and whether you really need it.
Your spring cleaning list should include cleaning common surfaces as well as more intricate tasks. For example, you likely regularly clean your bathroom, but when was the last time you cleaned hard to reach areas or the switch plates?
In addition to the common laundry you often do, such as cleaning the sheets, you should also clean window treatments and all the linens in a room. Throw rugs and area rugs can attract dust and dirt, so be sure to wash them or vacuum them well too.
Clean out your garbage cans with dish soap and hot water to eliminate any odors and clean up any spills or leaks that might have occurred inside them. The soapy water can kill germs and remove odors. These are just a few examples of cleaning chores that are probably often overlooked.
Is spring cleaning necessary?
Spring cleaning is a great opportunity to reset everything inside your house. However, it can feel like a big project to tackle cleaning your entire home. Additionally, spring cleaning can help prevent bigger problems, such as the accumulation of mold.
By conducting a yearly spring clean, you can ensure that annual chores get done. It will also help you remember the last time you completed a task if you do not regularly need to do it.
Spring cleaning is a necessary undertaking. Taking care to deep clean your house can have a big impact on the look, longevity, and usefulness of your space. Examples of such tasks would be things like polishing or sealing granite.
Some spring cleaning tasks even have a safety component to them. For example, cleaning out your dryer during spring cleaning can help reduce the risk of a fire.
How long does it take to spring clean a house?
The length of time it takes to spring clean your house will depend on numerous factors including how large your house is, as well as the condition it is in. If you devote a full day to spring cleaning, you will be able to make a significant impact on the state of your house. However, you likely will not be able to deep clean every square inch of the space.
If you make a long list of all the cleaning tasks that need to be done in your entire home, you will likely feel overwhelmed and paralyzed to even start. One of the benefits of spring cleaning is that it creates a fresh feeling in the house to mimic the fresh air outside as a result of the shifting seasons. If you spread out your spring cleaning over a longer period of time, you need to recognize that the tasks will be marked off but you probably will not enjoy that fresh reset feeling in your space that comes when it is all clean from top to bottom at one time.
However, do not let this deter you from spring cleaning season. It is better that the tasks get done than that they are all done on a single day.
How to organize your spring cleaning task list
Spring cleaning tips should be actionable and realistic. One important tip when it comes to spring cleaning is to make your task list more manageable. Consider what you can realistically do in the amount of time that you have. There are several strategies to focus your spring cleaning checklist into a more manageable project.
Focus on tasks that impact multiple areas of the house
If you focus on completing tasks that impact a variety of areas in the house, you will feel a sense of accomplishment. For example, consider bedding. If you wash all of the pillows, blankets, sheets, and other linens, you can know that all of your family has clean bedding. Another example would be cleaning all of the windows in the house or all of the cabinet doors at once, instead of going room by room.
It is more efficient to group tasks by what you are doing instead of just by room. By focusing on tasks across the whole house, you can touch various rooms multiple times. You also cut down on the stopping and starting inherent with going room by room. Instead of having to regather the necessary supplies each time, you can knock out all of one task with its necessary cleaning solutions at once.
Another strategy is to choose what you are going to focus on first based on what you can realistically accomplish in the amount of time you have available. It is not recommended to try to tackle everything at once, as you will likely just make a big mess and then run out of time to complete the projects. This will cause you to feel even more overwhelmed than when you began.
As you analyze your list, you will likely notice some things that could be completed pretty quickly and some that will take more time. Recognize this difference when you are choosing what to work on.
Likewise, some tasks may take longer but they do not require your full attention the whole time. For example, cleaning linens requires very little time from you in terms of hands-on tasks. However, the washing and drying cycle take more time. This is an example of a task that you can start with just a few minutes of time and then do something else while the cleaning process is underway.
It is also important that you know yourself. What are the chores that you regularly procrastinate completing? What things do you not mind doing?
When it comes to tackling those chores that you tend to procrastinate on, you can use the momentum generated from spring cleaning to finally knock them out. Not only will the task be complete, but you can also enjoy the emotional boost from getting a dreaded chore done.
Similarly, there are likely tasks that you have been meaning to get to but just have not been able to for one reason or another. If you start with these items, you can feel a sense of accomplishment that can spur you on to other less enjoyable home cleaning tasks.
Start with harder tasks
If you are worried about losing momentum the longer you are engaged in spring cleaning, consider starting with the harder tasks. That way, as your energy fades, easier tasks are left on the list.
When did spring cleaning start?
Spring cleaning is a long standing tradition. It has many cultural and historical roots.
Historically, the idea of spring cleaning is traced back to a time when houses were kept warm in the winter through fires and kerosene. This heating method endured through a long winter and filled the house with soot and grime. Eventually, this would need to be cleaned.
Once the warmer days arrived and there was more daylight, windows could be opened in order to allow the house to air out. This was also the time that people began deep cleaning their houses in order to remove the soot and dirt that had accumulated during the winter.
Even though modern houses may not be warmed by the burning of coal, the practice of spring cleaning remains. There is still a desire to open the windows and tackle the dust and dirt that has accumulated in our houses.
As the weather turns warmer, there is a pull for a fresh, new start in our lives that follows the change in seasons in nature.
Simple Plan for Spring Cleaning in a Day
Here is a breakdown of a simple plan for how to spring clean in one day.
You most likely wash your pillowcases, sheets, and duvet covers regularly. During spring cleaning, you should clean your pillows, blankets, and comforters too. Make sure to read the care instructions on the tags. Most bedding can be washed in the washing machine and some can even be dried in the dryer.
It will not take long to strip the bedding off the beds and begin washing them. While the linens are washing, you can move on to cleaning the mattress itself.
It is also important to clean your mattress. Sprinkle baking soda on the mattress and let it sit. Then, vacuum slowly over the whole mattress using the brush attachment. Then use the crevice tool on the vacuum to clean around the seams that encircle the mattress. This will help remove dust mites from the mattress. Use this time to rotate your mattress as well. If applicable for the type of mattress you have, you can flip it at this point in time too.
Deep clean your shower head by submerging the shower head in a bag of vinegar or other cleaning solution. Use a rubber band to secure the bag to the shower head. Starting this cleaning process will not take long, and you can move on to other tasks while the shower head is soaking for approximately 30 minutes.
Once the time is up, remove the bags and rinse off the shower head. This is also a good time to scrub the shower and tub and clean the bathroom well.
Take out all of the trash in the garbage cans around the house. Take the cans outside and rinse them down with a water hose. Be sure to remove any dirt and grime that has built up in crevices. Use warm soapy water to clean them well, then rinse them off. Finally, let the garbage cans dry out in the sun.
Upholstery and Rugs
Spot clean any stains on your upholstery and rugs.
It is important to polish your wooden furniture regularly. To simplify the task, aim to polish all of the wood in your house at one time. This will allow you to use the same supplies without having to stop what you are doing and go find the polish and rag again later.
Dust from top to bottom
Pick an area or a room to start with, and dust from the top to the bottom. This includes the tops of any furniture in the room all the way to the baseboards. Do not forget about light fixtures or light bulbs. The top of door frames and bookshelves are also common areas for dust to accumulate.
Use a clean cloth or duster to clean all of the surfaces. Depending on how dusty things are, you might need to replace the duster in the middle of the project.
It does not take long for dust to accumulate on curtains or blinds. Either remove the curtains to wash them or vacuum them while they are still hanging.
Use a microfiber cloth or duster to remove the dust from shutters, shades, or blinds. You can also use a damp dust rag to get rid of grime build up that is hard to remove. Other options for cleaning shades include using a vacuum cleaner, lint roller, or a microfiber cloth that is slightly damp.
As the weather gets warmer, you will likely be reaching for the switch to turn on your ceiling fans. If you have not been dusting your ceiling fans regularly, you will be met with an avalanche of dust. You can use an extendable duster to clean the ceiling fan or slip a pillowcase over the blade one at a time in order to clean both the top and bottom at once.
Doors can get surprisingly dirty. Just think about how often they are touched. To start cleaning the doors, dust the top of the door frame. Use a damp microfiber cloth and an all-purpose spray to wipe down both sides of the interior doors. Be sure to wipe the doorknobs as well.
Your kitchen cabinets are frequently touched and can easily get dirty from the grease and food particles dispersed from cooking. For this reason, it is important to use a cleaner that will cut through grease.
If you have other cabinets throughout your house, such as in a playroom or storage areas, be sure to wipe down their fronts as well when you are spring cleaning.
Take the screens off to clean them separately or use a lint roller to remove dust and grime while they are still in place. Do not forget to clean the window tracks as well as both sides of the window panes.
By now, tasks you started earlier in the day should be dry. Replace the cleaned bedding and hang the washed curtains back up. Collect the garbage cans from outside and put them back in their proper places.
The dust you wiped up earlier has had time to settle, so now is a good time to vacuum your floors. Do not forget to vacuum under rugs or furniture. If you need a good vacuum, check out our best vacuums under $200.
Choose one small place to declutter. This could be a cabinet or a storage shelf or even just a drawer in your nightstand. Start small and be realistic about what you have time and energy to complete.