Home Spring Cleaning Checklist
This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure page.
Are you ready to begin your Spring Cleaning? This expert guide explains the steps for every room in your home.
Spring Cleaning is an annual tradition in many homes. In the past, it involved emptying entire rooms and taking everything outside for cleaning, waxing, and airing-out while they scrubbed and repainted the entire room. Who has time for that anymore? The good news is that you can get your home sparkling clean one afternoon at a time. This guide, and the printable Spring Cleaning checklist below, breaks it down by rooms. That way, you can prioritize the spaces that matter most to you and tackle them first. Then, as your schedule and energy allow, work your way through the rest.
Before You Begin
To reduce interruptions, gather your cleaning supplies and equipment before each Spring Cleaning session. Check the expiration dates of commercial cleaning products and make new batches of homemade cleaners as needed.
Also, make sure your equipment is ready for use. Inspect your vacuum roller brushes for tangled threads which could keep them from spinning, remove debris caught in your vacuum’s attachments, and empty the bag or canister if it’s more than half-full to improve suction. If you use a cordless vacuum, charge the battery in advance.
Finally, make Spring Cleaning a family affair by involving everyone. Younger children can learn valuable life skills while you can assign older kids entire areas to clean. Cleaning together as a family saves time and fosters pride in the home.
Equipment and Supplies
- Empty laundry basket
- Trash bags
- Empty cardboard boxes
- Microfiber cleaning cloths
- Lint-free polishing cloths
- Extension duster
- Step ladder
- Vacuum cleaner with attachments
- Mop and bucket
- Grout brush or old toothbrush
- Scrub brush
- Glass cleaner
- Furniture polish
- Floor cleaner
- Liquid dish detergent
- Melamine sponges
- Lint roller
- Baking soda
- Tea tree oil (optional)
- Toilet brush
- White vinegar
Spring Cleaning Steps for Every Room
Step 1. Open the windows.
Spring cleaning is a chance to air out your entire home. Try to time it for a warmer, dry spell so you can open the windows. This will also allow surfaces to dry more quickly after cleaning, including carpets if you shampoo them.
Step 2. Pick up trash.
Grab a bag and discard any trash, like old newspapers, food wrappers, and empty packaging. Also discard broken items and clothing or shoes damaged so badly you should not donate them. Set aside the trash bag.
Step 3. Declutter.
Grab any items that belong somewhere else in your home and put them in the empty laundry basket. As you go through the area, also look for things to donate to charity and put them in an empty box. Set the box and basket aside so they’re not in your way.
Step 4. Move furniture.
Pull lightweight furniture such as chairs, side tables, and lamps to the center of the room to give yourself access to the walls behind them and the floors beneath them. For large or heavy furniture, enlist the help of a family member.
Step 5. Remove and clean wall decor.
Take art, wall hangings, and framed photographs off of your walls. Dust or wipe the decorative items. Set them carefully outside the room if possible, otherwise cover them with a clean towel or sheet to protect them from dust.
Step 6. Clean the ceiling and walls.
Use the extension duster to clean the ceiling, ceiling fan, in the corners, and from the top to all the way to the baseboards. Wipe stains with soapy water, then clean other types of wall stains if needed. Use the stepladder to reach ceiling fans if possible and wipe their blades and housing with a barely damp rag to remove grime.
Tip! Use a dry paint roller on an extension pole to clean dusty textured or popcorn ceilings.
Step 7. Clean light fixtures.
Turn off the lights and allow ceiling light fixtures to cool, then remove the light cover. Wash these by hand in a sink of warm, soapy water or, if they’re not vintage or delicate, you can clean them in your dishwasher on the top rack.
Step 8. Clean the window treatments.
Remove and launder your curtains if they’re washable, or take them to the dry-cleaners if needed. For blinds, dust both sides of the slats thoroughly, then wipe them with a warm, soapy rag to remove grime and follow with a clean, damp rag. Deep clean your blinds if they are grimy.
Step 9. Clean the doors and windows.
Use a soapy rag to wipe doors, door frames, window trim, window frames, and ledges, then go over them again with a clean damp rag. While those air dry, use glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth or squeegee to clean windows and door handles. Wipe the door hinges and latch, too.
Step 10. Clean the baseboards.
Use your vacuum cleaner’s dust brush attachment to remove debris on your baseboards, then switch to the crevice attachment and clean the gap where the baseboard meets the floor. Wipe the baseboards with a warm, soapy rag and follow with a clean, damp rag. Gently use a damp melamine sponge to remove any black scuffs or marks on your baseboard.
Step 11. Clean the soft furniture.
Vacuum upholstered sofas, chairs, recliners or headboards. Treat any stains with warm, soapy water on washable surfaces, or consider washing your upholstery if the care label permits. Clean real leather furniture by vacuuming with the dust brush, then apply a good leather conditioner to keep it supple. Clean faux leather furniture with a warm, soapy rag and immediately follow it with a clean damp rag, then buff it dry.
Step 12. Clean the wood furniture.
Use a warm, soapy rag to wipe furniture from top to bottom, then go over each item with a clean damp rag. Buff dry. Spray commercial or homemade furniture polish onto a lint-free cloth and apply following the wood’s grain. Switch to a fresh lint-free cloth and buff in the same direction to leave wood gleaming.
Step 13. Clean the floor.
Clean around the edges of the room first, using the correct vacuum attachment or floor setting. Vacuum where the heavy furniture normally sits, then move the furniture back into place. If you have hard flooring, pause and mop these areas by hand before putting the furniture back. Then, continue vacuuming wall to wall until you’ve covered the entire floor. If you have carpeting, turn at a right angle and go over the carpet again to vacuum properly. If you plan to shampoo or steam clean your carpet, do so after vacuuming. Continue mopping the rest of the floor if you have hard flooring.
Step 14. Reassemble the room.
Put small furniture back in place. Spray a clean lint-free cloth with glass cleaner and wipe the glass on framed photos and artwork before hanging it back on your wall. Rehang other decorative items, including your curtains once they’re clean. Use your vacuum’s dust brush or a lint roller to clean lampshades then dust the lightbulb.
Step 15. Finish up.
Empty and wash the room’s wastebasket or trashcan and let it dry outdoors in sunlight for added deodorizing and disinfection. Discard the bag of trash, put away the things in the laundry basket that belong elsewhere, and take the items for donation to your local charity shop.
Perform the steps above, then complete the following before cleaning the floor.
- Empty the cabinets and drawers. Clean them with warm, soapy water, then wipe them again with a clean, damp rag.
- Check the things you removed from the cabinets and drawers. Discard expired or stale items. Put any unopened items that you don’t want into a box for donation. If you find signs of a pantry moth infestation, vacuum holes for shelf pegs with the dust brush and wipe your shelves with a 50-50 solution of vinegar and water to kill any moth eggs.
- Organize your shelves. Sort the items you’re keeping into categories, like snacks, canned goods, baking items, and spices. Group them in cabinets near where you use them.
- Clean the backsplash and counters. Remove everything from your kitchen counters and wash the backsplash with a warm, soapy rag. Use a grout brush and homemade grout cleaner on your backsplash, and then wipe it clean. Wipe your countertops with a fresh soapy rag. Sprinkle baking soda on any stubborn spots and gently wipe it with a damp rag to remove grime.
- Clean appliances. Empty crumb trays on toasters and toaster ovens. Wipe the outside of small appliances, including their feet. Clean your coffee maker or descale your Keurig. Take your time now to pull out and clean the oven, refrigerator and freezer, including the wall and floor behind them. Then move onto cleaning your range hood and filter, dishwasher, microwave, and stovetop. Here are my guides about how to clean appliances.
- Clean the sink and drains. The last step before cleaning your kitchen floor is washing the sink with hot, soapy water and cleaning your garbage disposal by running a few ice cubes or thin strips of citrus peel in it.
Perform general Spring Cleaning steps above, but pause before cleaning the floor to first do the following.
- Wash the cabinets and drawers. Use warm, soapy water to clean the empty shelves and drawers, then wipe them again using a clean, damp cloth.
- Sort the contents. Before you put things back into the cabinets or drawer, discard expired items and medications. This includes expired cosmetics. Put unopened products you don’t want into a box for donation.
- Organize your bathroom cabinets and drawers. Sort the items you’re keeping into categories, such as cosmetics, toiletries, and hair products. Consider designating one basket or container to hold all the items you use daily so they’re easy to grab and put away. Group the other items by category, such as medicines, hair products, etc.
- Wash the shower curtain. Unhook the shower curtain and put it in your washing machine with two hand towels to act as scrubbers. Wash these on the gentle cycle using warm water and half your usual laundry detergent. Do not add other laundry products.
- Clean surfaces. Turn on the exhaust fan and apply bathroom cleaner to the sink, toilet, shower, and bathtub. Let this soak as directed on the container, then wipe down each surface with a separate clean, damp rag.
- Scrub the toilet. Flush the toilet to remove any cleaning product over-spray then use your favorite toilet bowl cleaner according to the product label. To clean your toilet naturally, sprinkle baking soda and a few drops of tea tree oil on the bowl interior. Scrub this well with the toilet brush and add 1 cup of white vinegar to the boil. Wait for the fizzing to subside, then scrub again and flush the bowl to rinse.
- Wash the bathmats. Once the shower curtain has finished, hang it to drip dry in your shower. Then wash your bathroom rugs and line dry or tumble dry them while you finish by cleaning the bathroom floor as described above.
Follow the steps above for cleaning every room but pause before cleaning your bedroom floor to complete the following.
- Wash all bedding. Remove all sheets, blankets, mattress pads or protectors, and pillowcases from your bed. Launder them according to the care label. Wash your electric blanket and launder your comforter or duvet insert, too.
- Vacuum and clean your mattress. While your bed is bare, sprinkle a light layer of baking soda over your mattress and rub it in lightly with your hand so it can absorb surface moisture from sweat and body oils. Wait 10 minutes to vacuum your mattress with the upholstery attachment and then treat any mattress stains as needed. Rotate pillow-top mattresses head to foot. For all other styles, flip the mattress over and rotate it then repeat the steps to clean the other side.
- Inspect under-bed storage. Pull out anything you have stored under the bed. Open containers and purge anything you don’t want. Wipe the outside of the containers, then clean beneath your bed before putting them back.
- Make your bed. Once you’ve finished cleaning the floor as described above, reassemble your bed by putting on the mattress protector and clean bedding.
- Empty and sort it. Take everything out of your closet. As you do, sort your clothing, shoes, and accessories into three piles: keep, donate, and discard.
- Clean the space. Once your closet is empty, clean it as you would any room following the steps above. While the floor dries, continue organizing your clothing.
- Organize the keep pile. Separate clothes by type (shirts, pants, dresses) and then by colors within each category. Hang types together, with the longest items—dresses and coats—toward the ends of the closet rod so they don’t block floor space. Arrange shoes by pairs neatly on the floor or shoe racks.
- Finish up. Bag up the items that are not suitable for donation and discard them. Take the box of donations to your local charity.
Follow the steps above for cleaning every room, but pause before cleaning the floor to complete the following.
- Clean the china hutch. Remove everything from your china hutch or display cabinet and wipe the shells. Polish it, then treat any scratches in the wood. Wipe your china with a clean cloth before putting it back into the hutch.
- Polish the silver. If you have formal silverware, use a silver cleaning cloth or spray to remove any tarnish, then polish it before storage.
- Clean sticky dining furniture. Remove any sticky buildup on your furniture by spraying it with a 50-50 mixture of warm water and white vinegar plus a couple drops of liquid dish soap (for light wood) or with strong black tea (for dark wood). Let this dry, then polish your furniture with a non-silicone spray, such as a homemade furniture polish that moisturizes and protects wood.
For this area, it’s best to declutter toys before you clean. Then wash stuffed animals and wipe down hard toys with soapy water followed by a clean, damp rag. While the toys dry, perform the usual Spring Cleaning steps above. Once the toys are dry, put them in labeled bins or baskets, or display them on shelves where children can find and put them away themselves.
Spring clean the laundry room as you would any other room, but pause before you clean the floor to deal with the appliances.
- Pull out the appliances. Enlist a family member’s help if needed to pull your washer and dryer out a few feet so you can clean the wall and floor behind them.
- Clean your washing machine. Wipe all gaskets and seals, then deep clean your washer by running a sanitizing load using a washing machine tablet or 2 cups of vinegar in place of the laundry detergent. Wipe the exterior clean, too.
- Clean your dryer. To clean your dryer, wipe the drum with warm, soapy water and wash the lint screen. Use your vacuum’s crevice attachment to remove debris from the lint trap. Remove the hose and brush clean it outside. Vacuum the area where the hose attaches to the dryer and clean the wall vent. Reattach the hose, push the dryer back into place, and wipe the exterior clean. Replace the lint screen once dry.
- Declutter. Remove everything and sort through the contents. Discard torn linens as trash. Donate unstained linens in good condition to local charities or animal shelters. They may even accept stained towels.
- Clean the interior. Once your linen closet is empty, treat it as you would any room and Spring Clean starting with the ceiling and following the steps above. While the floor dries, sort the contents.
- Organize the contents. Sort the linens you’re keeping into categories (sheets, towels, blankets, etc.). Fold these neatly, using separate baskets or shelf dividers to keep them tidy. Label the shelves so your family knows where to find things.
- Treat mustiness. If your linen closet routinely smells musty, stash a box of opened chalk or bowl of silica crystals on a top shelf to absorb odors.
See my favorite musty closet odor solutions
- Empty it. Take everything out and sort items into keep, donate, and discord piles. Sweep the ceiling, walls, and floor with a broom. Lower the garage door and sweep the inside as well. Raise the garage door again.
- Clean the floor. Use a push broom or shop vac to remove dirt and debris. Treat oily spots with baking soda and degreasing liquid dish soap. Scrub cement stains and rinse with a strong spray of water. Use a squeegee to push standing water out of the garage. Allow the floor to dry completely, using fans if needed to speed up the process.
- Organize the contents. Sort tools and equipment by category and use vertical storage solutions like shelving or pegboard. Label containers and store large items like bikes and lawnmowers along the wall to leave room for your car.
Your Home’s Air
Now that you’ve cleaned the contents of your home, help reduce household dust and keep your home smelling fresh by cleaning your air, too.
- Clean your air ducts. If you believe there’s mold in your system, contact a professional. Otherwise, you can clean your own air ducts, vents and registers with a vacuum hose extension and brush. Wash floor and wall registers and cold air return grates, too.
- Run your whole-house fan. It’s a good idea to run whole house fans after every cleaning session so your system can remove and filter any dust you’ve stirred up. With Spring Cleaning, you may want to run it for a half-hour to an hour after finishing each room.
Printable Whole Home Spring Cleaning Checklist
Note: The following checklist is for personal use only. Not to be distributed or sold. Copyright 2023 Katie Berry.
On desktop: download or print from the screen.
On phones and tablets: download then print from your device.
If you have already subscribed, please re-enter your email. You will not receive duplicate newsletters. Thanks!
Comments are moderated and may take 72 hours to appear. Not all comments are approved. Comments may be removed in the future if they are no longer relevant.