Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Cleaning Checklist

Spring is here! With that brings spring cleaning season. For some of you, that brings a freeing, light feeling. For others, you may dread the cleaning, and for others, you may just not do it altogether. I often feel the same way. I find if I make a list, I don't get that overwhelmed, do not know where do start feeling. Perhaps on my list, you will find something you forgot. Or you could leave a comment and add to mine. If yours isn't as long, that is ok. Every family is different and should use what works for you.

Living Room
1. Remove books and knick knacks. Dust knick knacks, wash books, and clean furniture.
2. Deep clean floors. For wood, this means more than a swiffer. For carpets, this means a shampoo.
3. Clean lampshades and lamps. Wipe down cool lightbulbs. Removing the dust helps them work more efficiently.
4. Wipe down walls
5. Wash windows
6. Clean curtains
7. Dust ceiling fixtures and wall hangings
8. Clean the fireplace
9. Vacuum or deep clean furniture

1. Pull everything out of cabinets and drawers. Wash the inside, lay down contact paper or other shelf linings. Throughly wash all contents, and put back, decluttering and organizing as I go
2. Clean fridge. Throw away old foods, wipe down jars, pull shelves out and clean with baking soda and water. Throughly dry and replace. Pull out fridge, clean coils in back, sides, and top, and sweep and mop underneath.
3. Clean ice maker and replace filter, if necessary
4. Scrub stove (I love using salt to remove hard to clean spots). Clean out oven with baking soda and water.
Go to Annie Bond article Non-Toxic Oven Cleaner for an easy way to get your oven clean. Then, pull it out, clean the sides and back, and sweep and mop underneath.
5.  Clean your dishwasher. Get in there and scrub it was baking soda and a toothbrush. Then run a rinse cycle with just hot water. You can also use plain vinegar in your rinse aid cup.
6. Freshen the microwave by placing a bowl of water with a lemon slice or lemon juice in it, and microwaving for 4 or 5 minutes. Once the timer goes off, leave the door closed for 10 minutes or so. The steam will loosen food, and it will wipe right out. If it still smells, give a wipe down with baking soda and water, making sure you rinse well, For particularly strong odors, you can leave a cup with vinegar in it over night.
7. Scrub the floor! Scrubbing with a mild soap or just vinegar and water works well.
8. Clean your table and chairs. Wax the wood or use olive oil, if you prefer.
9. Wash the windows and curtains
10. Wipe down walls
11. Clean range hoods. Soak the filter in hot, soapy water. For really greasy filters, you can try this trick I found on Pinterest.  Cleaning the Stove Hood Filter
12. Dust light fixtures and wall hangings.
13. Pour baking soda and vinegar down the drains, then follow with hot water a few minutes later to keep them clear and smelling fresh.
14. If you have a garbage disposal, run it for a few moments with some pieces of ice and lemon juice. This helps keep it clean and smelling good.
15. Polish your silver, if you have any

1. Scrub the tub with your favorite scrub. Mine is Bon Ami, as it is gentle, cheap, and good for  the enviroment.
2. Wash down shower walls. If you have a lot of soap residue, you can make a soft scrub with bon ami and water.
3. Clean toilet
4. Take everything out of the medicine chest and cabinets. Throw away (or give away) old products, and wipe down shelves.
5. Throughly clean and sanitize plungers and toilet brushes.
6. Clean shower head by soaking in hot, soapy water and scrubbing with a toothbrush.
7. Pour baking soda and vinegar down the drains, then follow with hot water a few minutes later
 to help keep them clear and smelling fresh.
8. Wipe down mirror, toilet paper holder, light fixtures, walls, and towel racks.
9. Clean any decorations.
10. Refill soap and toilet paper.

1. Take down those curtains to wash them, and open the windows!
2. Wash windows
3. Deep clean floor
4. Dust everything, removing items and cleaning them as well
5. Remove bedding to wash. Take mattress outside, if possible to air, along with pillows. If not, keep if close to window to get some fresh air and sunshine! When you put the mattress back, flip and rotate it to help even the wear and tear.
6. Clean wall hangings and light fixtures
7. Wipe down walls.
8. Clear out closets. Clean inside.Return clothes with the hangers backward. As you wear them, turn the hanger facing the correct way. When you "fall clean" anything still turned backward gets donated. For a picture of what I am talking about, you can read The Ol Switcheroo
9. Switch bedding to your lighter linens
10. Hang hard to wash blankets and comforters outside to help freshen

Basement & Attic
1. Dust and get rid of cobwebs.
2. Clean the floors
3. Reorganize
4. Clean washer by running an empty load with just vinegar or just baking soda and hot water, then another load with just hot water. If really dirty, follow the directions on this post, How to Clean your Washing Machine   Wipe out your dryer and clean your lint trap. If you can, clean the dryer vent as well. Sweep underneath and behind washer and dryer, and wipe down the outsides.

1. Dust and sweep
2. Wipe down what needs to be wiped down
3. Do regular maintenance on mowers, trimmers, and other tools
4. Organize
5. Detail your car. Direction can be found in the article Interior Car Cleaning and Cleaning Your Car Headlights

1. Weed your garden beds
2. Till, if you are planning on gardening
3. Dump vinegar or boiling water on plants growing in side walk cracks
4. Mow
5. Plant some flowers
6. Prune plants and trees as needed
7. Pressure wash your house
8. Sweep the porch and sidewalks
9. Tidy up the yard by removing old leaves, branches, etc.
10. Clean outdoor furniture
11. Wash the outside of the windows
12. Clean your grill and firepit

1. Clean office equipment such as computers and printers according to manufacter's instructions.
2. Remove books and decorations from shelves. Wipe down shelves and knick knacks, wash books, and put back on shelf.
3. Declutter your filing cabinet, file anything you need to, and evaluate if your filing system is working for you.
4. Dust desk, chair, and other furniture, as well as decor and lamps.

All of the house
1. Scrub garbage cans and sprinkle a little baking soda and essential oils in the bottom
2. Take inventory (including pictures of big stuff) for insurance purposes. This also helps you see what is broken and needs repaired or replacing, things you may need that you do not have, or are low on.
3. Declutter and organize! I have found lots of cute organizing ideas I will share in a later post. To get rid of things, go to Goodwill or freecycle.org   I love giving things away on Freecycle! Make piles-throw away, give way, keep. Clothes and toys are the big two for us that we need to purge often.
4. Wash windows and curtains, as well as walls, decorations, doors, and light fixtures. Make sure to wipe down the window sills as well.
5. Take your plants to the tub, and run the shower for a few seconds. This helps wash the plant leaves, and water them as well. Pinch off brown pieces, and repot as needed.
6. Empty cat litter boxes (we don't have these, but if we did), scrub them out, and fill with new litter.
7. Wipe down base boards.
8. Check fire extinguishers, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, flashlights (do the batteries work), emergency kits (is food fresh, clothing still fit, etc), etc.

There are things I'm sure I missed, but the list above is an extensive start. What do you put on your list for spring cleaning?

Stay tuned this week for more spring cleaning fun. On Wednesday, we will talk about my favorite cleaners, and Thursday we will have a huge list of links for great homemaking and organizational hints!


  1. That is such a great (and thorough) list! Have fun cleaning...and more importantly, living in your clean home afterwards :)

    Thanks for linking up to the Spring Cleaning Challenge!

  2. i looove this list! thank you so much for posting:)


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