The snow is finally gone and it’s time to wake up from the sleepy slumber of winter. As I open my eyes to the grass turning green and the bulbs beginning to bloom, I know it’s time to start spring cleaning.
Now, I’m not one of those people who have endless energy to tackle every room at once. I like to divide my spring cleaning tasks over a few weeks. This prevents me from rushing and skipping over the stuff I really don’t enjoy doing—like cleaning the dirt and grim from window sills.
Following this spring cleaning checklist holds me accountable and ensures I don’t miss anything important. I like to begin with this spring cleaning checklist on Saturday or Sunday mornings before doing my regular clean-up of doing dishes, wiping counters, vacuuming carpets, and washing floors and bedding. Why? Simply put, I don’t like to re-do my hard work. If I wipe down the walls and ceiling before vacuuming the carpets and moping the floor, I know I’m not leaving any dust behind.
You can divide these spring cleaning tasks by room or by task. Just make sure to pace yourself and remember how great you’ll feel when it’s finally done.
Spring Cleaning Around the House
Wipe down walls and ceilings
I’m short and somewhat uncoordinated when it comes to things like standing on ladders, so to clean my ceilings, I typically reach for a soft-bristle broom and do a gentle sweep.
I use a dry microfibre cloth to wipe down the walls and remove dust.
You can use the same kind of microfibre cloth to wipe down your baseboards, but for the harder-to-clean grooves, I choose an old (cleaned and dried) toothbrush. It gets the job done—just be gentle so as not to destroy your grout lines. If you do small, soft sweeps across the groove, this is more effective than scrubbing.
Vacuum and wipe down wall vent coverings
I take the soft-bristle attachment for my vacuum and do a twice-over on all the vents before wiping them down. Most of the time, all you need is a damp sponge cloth to do the trick, but if you haven’t cleaned your vent coverings in a while, you should use a green cleaning solution like my all-purpose natural surface cleaner.
Deep clean your throw rugs
Vacuum your throw rugs and toss them into your washing machine with an eco-friendly laundry detergent. You can use soap nuts or a DIY mix of washing soda, borax, and grated bar soap. If you’re not into DIYing, opt for a commercial brand that has a low rating on the Think Dirty app like Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent.
To keep things green, line-dry your rugs in the sun instead of using your dryer. When they’re dry, I like to spray them with my DIY eco-friendly linen spray to add a nice fresh scent.
Clean light fixtures and ceiling fans
These are some of the most neglected areas in every home, so it’s likely they haven’t seen some love in a long time. Since the dust tends to pile up, I pull out my DIY citrus vinegar cleaner. I’ll spray it, let it sit for a minute, then wipe the dirt away. Make sure to spot-test before use and fully dry the area after washing.
Wash windows, screens, and windowsills
First things first, take out your window screens and bring them to the shower. You can do a simple rinse, or, if you have a lot dirt built up, give it a gentle wash with some eco-friendly liquid soap. I use Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap and my hand to clean the screens and then rinse them. Then I bring them to the deck and let the sun dry them as I wash my windows with my DIY green glass cleaner and newspaper.
To clean the gross grim in windowsills, I first do a quick dusting to remove any loose debris. Next, I take a cotton tip and dip its end in vinegar. I then proceed to thoroughly remove any sign of dirt in the window frame.
Wash waste, compost, and laundry bins
If you have plastic bins, simply hand wash them with some Castille soap. If you have cloth waste and laundry bins, toss them in the washing machine on the cold setting with a low spin and let them sun-dry.
Wash curtains and blinds
I wash my curtains on a cold and delicate setting in the washing machine and tumble dry.
For blinds, simply dust them and then wipe them down with a water-vinegar solution.
Change air filters
Replacing air filters is a crucial spring cleaning step. It helps reduce pollen, smoke, dander, bacteria, dust, mold, dust mites, and a whole host of other nasty stuff. It also ensures your furnace or A/C is working at optimal efficiency and not wasting energy.
Spring Cleaning the Kitchen
Clean behind all your appliances
Start by sweeping away any fallen debris behind your moveable appliances. Next, wipe down the back wall and counter edges with a sponge cloth and some all-natural surface cleaner. Finally, mop the floor. I use Murphy Oil soap and a reusable mop mat.
Reorganize the pantry and fridge
Knowing what you have in stock is an important step in preventing food waste.
If you’ve collected cans of things you know you’re not going to eat (it happens), do your pantry and community a favour and donate to the local food bank. Check your condiments for expiry dates and remove any leftovers that have left behind.
Sanitize your fridge
Now that you can actually see inside your fridge, you probably notice some spills and such. Grab a sponge cloth, dip it in some vinegar, and wipe down the inside of your fridge. Remove your drawers and wash them in the sink with liquid Castille soap.
Clean your oven
Baking soda is your best friend when it comes to deep cleaning. Make a soft paste with baking soda and water and gently wipe down the inside of your oven. Let the solution dry before gently wiping clean with water.
Wipe down your cabinets
For a full-service clean, remove your dishes and wipe down the shelves and interior panels with a sponge cloth and a little water. Make sure to dry everything before putting your dishes away. Next, wipe down the outside doors and handles. I typically have a few splishes and splashes of sauces on my cabinets, so I use the natural all-surface cleaner and sponge cloth. Dust the tops with a duster and wipe down with the same spray.
Declog and shine your stainless steel sinks
Simply sprinkle baking soda all over your sink basins and put 1/4 cup down each drain. Pour vinegar on top and 1/2 cup down each drain. Scrub your basins as the bubbles foam. Pour boiling water down each drain to clear them. Any odours and stains will be easily and safely removed this way.
Spring Cleaning the Bathroom
Wash the toilet brush and plunger
You can use liquid Castille soap and hot water to green clean your toilet brush and plunger. I like to add either a little dollop of soap or vinegar to the bottom of my toilet brush holder after each use as well.
Clean out and reorganize cabinets
Knowing where everything is streamlines your mornings and prevents you from buying things you already have, but just can’t find. Put all the hair-ties in one place, keep like-items together in a single drawer, and wipe down the inside of cabinets.
Polish the porcelain
Dust behind your toilet and all over the toilet basin and water tank top. Then, grab some of my all-natural surface cleaner and spray the whole thing and wipe clean. While you’re there, you may as well clean the toilet basin, too. I put a little liquid Castile soap on my brush and scrub away.
Spring Cleaning the Bedroom
Go Mary Kondo on those closets
It’s time to transition your closet from the warm and cozies to lighter threads anyways, so while you’re there, make a point of putting winter clothes you didn’t wear into a donation pile. When you go through your spring stuff, scrutinize every item. Honestly, most of us have way more clothes than we need and so many outfits just sit there creating clutter and collecting dust. Do away with them!
If your donation centres are already overrun, think about ways to re-use clothes for cleaning needs or host a community clothing swap.
Flip and rotate your mattress
This isn’t just about extending the life of your mattress, it’s also about your sleep quality.
The Sleep Advisor suggests rotating between once a month and once a year, depending on your mattress, because doing so helps “keep your spine in a rather neutral alignment.”
“This is a critical aspect of getting a night’s sleep that’s good and relaxed. It’s also playing an important role in the prevention of wake-ups through the middle of the night.”
Clean under the bed
Do a good vacuum under the bed, or, if you have hard flooring, vacuum and mop.
When all is said and done, sit back and relax as summer rolls in.