I'll be the first to admit that I have difficulty keeping our place clean all the time. Sure I get all the surface dirt, but rarely do I set aside time for a true deep clean, which is what my Spring Cleaning Checklist is all about. By getting everything spic and span now you'll be able to spend more time outdoors when the weather is nice, instead of worrying about the dust bunnies under the bed.
To keep me from completely losing my motivation (and my cool), I try to break it up into pieces. I have set aside time this weekend, then next and a few weeknights to finish it off. One day on each room and if I get ambitious and want to accomplish more, I can take on another room.
Our apartment is pretty small right now (hence the "Small Home" part of the blog), but it's just as difficult to clean as a larger house because there is more clutter to contend with. I basically have to clear out a room before I can get started on it, then bring the stuff back in and clear out the next
Some Things to Keep in Mind...
1. Set Aside Time: Be realistic with how long it will take for your home's size. A single weekend isn't going to cut it. This year I'm doing 2 weekends (with breaks!) and a few weeknights to finish up.
2. Make a Repair List as you go: You'll find small repairs and touch ups as you going along, so keep a notepad with you to make a list for yourself (or in our case, our landlord). But don't stop and take care of them right now - focus on getting the cleaning done first or you'll get sidetracked.
3. Plan Easy Meals - Now is the time to dig out the crockpot, or better yet treat yourself to some takeout!
4. Set up "Donate", "Repair" and "Return" Bins: As soon as you spot something for one of these bins, drop it in. Schedule a day to do returns, drop off donations and take things in for repairs you can't do yourself.
5. Don't beat yourself up if you don't get it all done. I honestly have never completed everything on the list, but I aim for 100% and usually fall at about 80%.
What you'll need:
- Broom & Dustpan
- Mop & Pail
- Paper Towels or Rags
- Garbage Bags
- Bins for Sorting
- All-Purpose Cleaner
- Glass Cleaner
- Floor Cleaner
- Dish Detergent
- Wood Polish
- Awesome Tunes (more on that at the end)
Spring Cleaning Checklist
(Printable Version below)
Windows – Clean all the windows and the windows sills.
Dust - Take everything off all the shelves and dust everything using a duster or a damp cloth.
Walls – Wipe down walls with hot soapy water, especially kitchen, bathroom and children’s rooms.
Baseboards - Clean all the baseboards.
Light Switches - Wipe down with damp cloth and a bit of rubbing alcohol.
Window Treatments – Wash or vacuum them.
Floors - Take area rugs outside and shake out. Sweep and mop all tile, stone or wood floors. Vacuum all carpeted floors, including around the baseboards. If you have a steam cleaner, now is a good time to give them a shampoo. Move all the furniture that can be moved and clean underneath.
Houseplants - Clean and re-pot if necessary (or if they’re still alive). Wipe the dust off the leaves with damp cloth.
Change the batteries in the smoke detectors and check all fire extinguishers.
Take everything off of the counters and clean them.
Clean the stove top using mild dish detergent and a sponge OR a baking soda mixture and paper towels. Disassemble pieces (burner covers and drip pans, coils and reflector bowls, knobs) and clean them too.
Clean the oven, including the racks and window.
Take everything out of the fridge and clean it out - every bin, every shelf and every bottle.
Defrost the freezer and clean out with a mixture of water and vinegar. Toss anything that is freezer burnt and store everything else in a cooler with ice until its back up and running again. Make sure to have towels set underneath it in case you have any ice buildup that will melt.
Disinfect the garbage bin and recycling with a cap full of bleach and some warm water.
Wipe down lights, range hood and any other surface that grease can land on.
Clean microwave inside and out – place a bowl of water with lemon slice in the microwave and nuke for 30 seconds. Let steam for 5 minutes and then wipe out with a damp sponge.
Polish all stainless steel.
Deep clean the sink, including the faucet, drain and drain plug.
Empty all cupboards and wipe out the shelves. Discard any expired products and put the rest back.
Empty all drawers (including under the oven) and wipe out. Clean any utensil holders.
Vacuum the couch, inside and out. Collect change for celebratory ice cream cones.
Dust picture frames with a damp cloth.
Clean slipcovers and removable throw pillow covers.
Apply wax or polish to wood furniture.
Clean television and all electronics with an anti-static product specifically for screens.
Wash all bed linen, including removable bed skirts.
Vacuum the mattress and flip it.
Wash pillows and throw in the dryer for 10 min to kill all the dust mites.
Vacuum under the bed!
Dust headboard, alarm block, nightstands and any other surface.
Deep clean around all faucets and the drains.
Clean the mirrors.
Empty medicine cabinets, drawers and under sink. Wipe clean and toss anything that has expired.
Check and restock your first aid kit.
Clean the toilet, including behind it.
Clean soap scum off the shower walls with a bounce sheet on the wet walls while wearing gloves.
Clean light fixtures and exhaust fan filters.
Sweep all porch surfaces. Scrub and hose down if needed.
Scrub all outdoor furniture.
Clean outdoor light fixtures and replace any bulbs.
Remove all spiderwebs with a broom. Wash walls as needed.
Wash windows outside.
Spring Cleaning Playlist
Here are a few songs to keep you motivated while you clean. I'm a big fan of blasting some tunes while I blast away those cobwebs. Any more song suggestions are always appreciated!
- Uptight (Everything’s Alright) – Stevie Wonder
- Another One Bites The Dust – Queen
- Stronger – Kelly Clarkson
- Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough – Michael Jackson
- Perfect – Sara Evans
- Hey Ya – Outkast
- One Way Or Another – Blondie
- You’ve Got The Love – Florence + the Machine
- Proud Mary – Tina Turner & Ike Turner
- Country Strong- Gwyneth Paltrow
- All The Things I’ve Done – The Killers
- Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison