I have always felt there are two distinct types of people in the world: Spring Cleaners and those (like me) that missed the memo on becoming an adult; #responsibilities. Those of you that already have it together, this list may seem redundant, but for my friends that don’t have their laminated checklist ready that they pull out each spring—check out this list!
- Junk Drawers – yes, drawers with an “s” – Pitch anything that resembles trash! Maybe get some cute organizers for the rest of the junk that you’ll keep until next year’s purge.
- Closets— If you’re anything like me, you have a wardrobe that could last you the better part of a season without repeats, but you wear your rotation of 6 outfits. (The trick is keeping it 6 so that you don’t wear the same clothes on the same day each week. You’re welcome for that little trick.) Really go through your closet and donate, hand down/up, or repurpose the clothes you have held back “just in case.” Also—pack up your winter clothes, unless you live in the Midwest. You just never know. BONUS: Your closet will feel SO much bigger.
- The Kitchen – Make sure to go through your pantry checking dates. Purge the cream of mushroom soup that expired in 2004. (BUT–keep an eye out for foundations that collect expired food!) And, don’t forget the spice rack! Spices don’t have an indefinite shelf life as much as we would like to hope. Make sure you’re putting a date on your spices when you purchase, that way you can toss them at the appropriate time.
- The Garage and/or Basement – Wouldn’t it be nice to fit an actual car into your garage?? If you aren’t using it and haven’t for the better part of a decade—purge it! Again, there are several non-profits that would love to take some of those items off your hands.
- Do you have a collection of mostly used up make up that you’re holding on to because it was your all-time favorite color? Pitch it! Make up is another one of those items that shouldn’t be kept forever. You are applying it to your face and it can harbor bacteria. Cosmetics also expire (who knew?!).
- If you’re like me, I like to have my own “convenience store” of sorts when I open the linen closet. Which is fine!! (At least that’s what I keep telling myself.) Find some cute containers that keep all of that extra toilet paper (and the enormous number of toothbrushes) you bought contained and organized.
SCRUB SCRUB SCRUB
There are items that do need replaced occasionally and now is the best time to “start fresh!” These are just suggestions, so if you still use the dust rags you’ve been cleaning with since 1992 and they are working for you—keep doing that!
- Get new shower curtain liners and wash the decorative curtains with a steam option, if possible.
- Replace or wash bath mats.
- Replace the furnace filters.
- Replace or wash pillows. (I know some types of pillows can be washed, but with others, washing is not an option. I’m looking at you Bamboo Pillows.)
- Replace or refill your cleaning supplies: gloves, mops, brushes, dusting rags, plungers, etc.
Deep Clean! A good rule for this portion is to start at the top and work your way down; seriously, ceiling to floor.
- Brush the ceilings, corners, and air vents for cobwebs.
- Clean the ceiling fan blades.
- Hit the top of those cabinets—you’ll want to prepare yourself for this step…especially if you have never ventured up there!
- Launder all curtains and window treatments. You may want to consider the dry cleaner for this portion. Plus, they return them pressed if you ask!
- Wash all the bedding—mattress pads, comforters, pillow protectors, bed skirts.
- Deep clean all appliances—this would include removing all the lint from the dryer and dryer hose with a vacuum. (You’ll probably find all the mysteriously missing clothes behind the laundry machines!)
- Clean (or replace if you’re me) all the dog/pet beds.
- Remove all your TV equipment from where it is housed. Dust everything there and use some sort of cord organizer when putting everything back. #dreamworld
- Clean your mattress! Click here to learn how!
- Finally—wipe down or vacuum every surface of your home—ensuring you are moving all items (yes, even the couch and beds) when doing so.
UP THE CURB APPEAL
- Clean your decks, porches, sidewalks and driveways. Your local hardware store will have a specific cleaner for each of those surfaces.
- Wipe down all outside light fixtures. Bugs are very much attracted to the light—so taking down the globes and cleaning out last year’s “catch” will brighten up your outdoor space.
- Clean the sliding glass door track and all the thresholds.
- Wash the windows! Depending on the height of your home, this may be one of the few things you hire out. Make sure when doing this step that you hit the sills, too. A lot of dirt tends to gather in that area.
- Clean out the gutters, make any necessary repairs, and check/replace the downspouts and extenders so the water is taken away from the house as intended during a rain storm. This will prevent many other issues in the future. You can thank yourself for that when you finish this project.
- Wash the outdoor furniture and freshen up the pillows with new fabric—if the sun has bleached all of the color.
- And, if after all of that you still have some energy left, plant some fresh new flowers and add new mulch.
Phew! This doesn’t even cover the most detailed list, I’m sure, but if you’re doing these items—your house will be all freshened up for the new season. There have been studies proving the positive impact that having a clean and organized house has on your mind, body, and soul. If this list of items completely overwhelms you, steps 2 and 3 could be done by a professional cleaning company. That would only leave you with the decluttering!
Jimmy Fallon says in his trademark “Thank You Notes,” “Thank you, spring cleaning, for managing to make the idea of cleaning your house once a year sound fresh and healthy.” This, right here, speaks to my soul. Pull on your gloves, put on your protective eye gear, and get at it! Spring is upon us—and so is the Spring Cleaning that comes with it!