One of the weirdest things I’m excited about now that I have a bunch of time on my hands after being laid off is spring cleaning. Spring cleaning is one of those things that honestly just didn’t make the cut while balancing an intense corporate career with foster parenting and the addition of two little ones under two to our family. Getting the basics done was hard enough, let alone finding the time and energy for a big deep clean.
Week one of unemployment was spent resting and recuperating from a bad cold. Week two? I spent it taking baby steps towards planning for the future, as well as cleaning out our fridge a little every day. Of course, we’d been keeping up with spills and the worst of the crumbs as they occurred, but taking everything out and really scrubbing it down? It’d been way too long. A week later our fridge is pristine and I feel a sense of peace and calm every time I open the door. I’m calling that a win!
I’m a huge believer in the power of checklists (see The Checklist Manifesto), which was the inspiration behind putting together this spring cleaning master list. While I plan to tackle it all this year, my hope is that going forward, when we hit another season of life where everything is crazy busy, we will refer back to the list as a guide for choosing which key tasks to tackle. By gathering them all together, it’ll be harder to forget something important, or neglect something big for whatever seems most urgent.
Prepping for Spring Cleaning Success
My best piece of advice? Prep for success in advance. Stock up on trash bags, cleaning supplies, and rags before you begin. Set up a cleaning station, so you won’t be trekking all over the place before you can get started. Recently, I’ve been more conscious of the environmental impact of our cleaning supplies. While the toilet brushes with disposable heads are convenient, we’ve switched over to this one by OXO to cut down on the plastic waste we’re sending to landfills. And I still love my Swiffer, but these reusable cloths are just as good as the disposable ones and I can throw them through the wash. We also have a dog, and one of the best things we did was splurge on this vacuum. I thought our old one was good, but this thing sucks up so much more. It’s a bit on the heavy side, so I wouldn’t recommend lugging it up and down stairs a lot, but it’s perfect for our ranch house. I find myself breaking it out all the time because it’s so easy to use.
Now, without further ado, below is my spring cleaning checklist for 2019. I hope you find it useful!
Spring Cleaning Checklist
- Remove and rinse the filter
- Clean off any dirt or grime and blow coils clean with compressed air
- Schedule annual maintenance
- Mix one part hot water to one part distilled vinegar. Use a squeegee for a fast, streak free clean. Work from the top down, wiping off the squeegee after each stroke.
Walls, Doors and Baseboards
- Use a sponge and dish washing detergent to wash all surfaces. It helps to have two buckets: one for the detergent solution and another for cleaning your sponge.
- Rotate mattress
- Wash pillows
- Swap out winter bedding and blankets for spring ones
- Wash and put away winter clothes
- Go through summer items and discard or donate any that are worn out or no longer fit
- Fix items that need mending
- Dry clean seasonal pieces as needed
Cabinets & Closets
- Clean inside and out
- Donate unused items you no longer need
- Toss anything that has expired
- Update first aid kit
Fridge & Freezer
- Wash all interior surfaces, including the rubber gaskets that seal the doors
- Remove the grill at the bottom of the fridge. Wash off with warm soapy water.
- Vacuum the coils behind the fridge
- Toss old food and expired food
- Organize shelves and add storage as needed
- Find a place to keep a sharpie nearby to quickly label jars and cans with their open date going forward
- Sweep and vacuum
- Wet mop with appropriate cleaning products
- Have rugs professionally cleaned
- Wax and seal hardwood
Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Vacuum to remove dust
- Replace batteries
- Check the pressure gauge
- Check the expiration date and replace as needed
Exterior of Home
- Pressure wash the siding
- Clean the deck
- Wash and install window screens
- Check the roof for any winter damage
- Clean the grill
- Refill grill propane tank
- Wash the patio furniture
- Clean the gutters
- Touch up trim. Between the dog and the kids, this is an ongoing process for us!
- Declutter and organize
- Sweep the garage floor
- Swap snow shovels for beach toys and sleds for bicycles
- Prepare snow blower for storage
- Wash the exterior of the car and clean the wheels
- Vacuum seats, floor mats, rugs and trunk
- Wipe down interior surfaces
- Check and restock car emergency kit
- Check fluids
- Replace windshield wipers if needed
- Remove dust and dirt
- Remove lighting fixtures and wash the globes
- Dust lamp shades
- Wipe down light switch plates with a disinfecting cleaner
- Replace and burned out bulbs we haven’t gotten around to replacing
- Wipe down with disinfecting cloth
- Dust and polish wood furniture
- Dust bookshelves
- Touch up any nicks on painted furniture and fill in wood pieces with a wood pen
- Replace any missing felt furniture pads
- Spot clean fabric pieces as needed and vacuum
- Check credit report
- Clean out files and shred unneeded documents
- Review insurance policies
- Create a tax folder for the coming year
- Organize photographs and other important digital files
Are you excited for spring cleaning, or do you avoid it at all costs? And are there any spring cleaning tasks I missed that you’d recommend adding to my list?