Pink cleaning supplies in a bucket on the floor of a modern living room with a Whole Home Spring Cleaning Checklist superimposed over one corner.

Complete Guide to Spring Cleaning Your Home

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Who has time anymore to set aside an entire week to work nonstop cleaning their home from top to bottom? When it’s time to refresh my home after a long winter, I rely on my Home Spring Cleaning Checklist instead.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time or energy to disrupt my entire home for days on end. One day a weekend, though? That’s doable.

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How to Use this Spring Cleaning Checklist

Below, you’ll find general Spring Cleaning steps that apply to every room in your home. These are grouped together to prevent repetition. Then, I detail the specific deep cleaning tasks I perform in each individual room.

For example, when it’s time to Spring Clean the kitchen I do the General Spring Cleaning Steps plus the additional kitchen tasks.

Clear? Yay! In that case, roll up your sleeves and let’s get cleaning!

General Spring Cleaning Steps

Be sure to gather your cleaning equipment and check your supplies so you have everything you need before you start. I’ve listed them on the printable Home Spring Cleaning checklist at the end.

Step 1: Open the windows.

It’s important to open windows when you’re cleaning, so fresh air can dilute any cleaning product fumes and indoor air pollution. Open windows can also help freshly cleaned surfaces dry faster.

Step 2: Pick up trash.

Grab a bag and fill it with any trash you see: food wrappers, empty packaging, broken or worn-out things you can’t donate. Be sure to look under and behind furniture. (Or is it just my family?)

By getting the trash out of the way, you can more easily see what’s left sitting out and decide what does and doesn’t belong in this room.

Step 3: Declutter.

This first round of decluttering is about clearing off surfaces so things are easy to clean. It’s not about finding homes for things or organizing.

Instead, you’re looking for three specific types of things:

  1. Things that don’t belong in this room. Stick them in the empty laundry basket to put away later.
  2. Things that belong here but are sitting out. Put them away so you’re clearing surfaces.
  3. Things you don’t want or need anymore. Add these to a box set aside for donations.

If you feel stuck, review my tips about how to decide what’s clutter.

Step 4: Move furniture.

Pull lightweight furniture like chairs and side tables to the center of the room so you can clean behind them. It takes effort, but cleaning spots like this and other hard to reach places separates Spring Cleaning from regular tidying.

But please, ask a family member or friend to help with the heavy stuff. A strained back can completely derail Spring Cleaning your home.

Step 5: Remove wall decor.

Time to get those walls naked! Remove any art, photos or wall hangings and wipe them off as you go, including the backs. I don’t know why, but a lot of dust collects there.

Don’t break out the glass cleaner to polish picture frames just yet, though. I leave that until we’re putting things back so we don’t smudge stuff we’ve already cleaned.

Step 6: Clean the ceiling and walls.

Now, if it’s been a while since you cleaned your walls and ceilings, you may notice an outline in the dust where your artwork used to be. News flash: that dust is on your ceiling, too!

So, use the long-handled duster on the ceiling, ceiling fan, walls and corners of the room, to the top of the baseboards.

Then turn off the ceiling fan and climb the stepladder so you can wipe the blades with a damp cloth.

Pro Tip

If you have popcorn ceilings, use a clean, dry microfiber paint roller on an extension pole to lift away dust without pulling the texture down.

Step 7: Clean the light fixtures.

Let me clear: don’t use damp rags on warm lightbulbs or light coverings or things may shatter or spark! Turn the lights off and wait until they’re cool, and keep them off until you’re done with this section.

• Recessed lighting: Dust the opening of the recessed housing. Don’t shove your duster in the fixture.

• Ceiling-mounted light fixtures: Remove the cover and wash it by hand. Or, if it’s not delicate or vintage, clean it in your dishwasher on the top rack. Wipe dust off the bulb.

• Lamps: Unplug and clean the lamp base and bulb with a damp cloth. Then clean the lampshade with your vacuum’s dust brush or a lint roller.

Step 8: Clean the window treatments.

Curtains collect all sorts of dust and odors, so launder them as the care label directs. You can sometimes wash dry-clean only ones at home.

Or, run them through your dryer using the no-heat setting and a dryer sheet to dislodge dust and freshen them up while you continue Spring Cleaning your home.

To clean blinds, close them so you can dust one side, then reverse the direction and dust the other. Wipe the cord and rod, too.

Pro Tip

I take grimy blinds down to wash in the bathtub or outside with a hose if a spot test confirms they’re colorfast.

Step 9: Clean the doors and windows.

Remember how dusty the walls were? Doors, trim and windows get dusty, too. And in my home, they also collect dog nose smudges. So, let’s get them clean.

  • Use a soapy rag to wipe the doors, window frames, sills, and trim.
  • Wipe the door hinges, too. It’s wild how much dust collects there!
  • After cleaning an area, wipe it with a clean rag and plain water to rinse away soapy residue.

While those air dry, use glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth or squeegee to make those windows sparkle.

Step 10: Clean the baseboards.

No one enjoys cleaning baseboards. I’m short, and still find it’s hard on my back. But Spring Cleaning your home means doing things like this. So I try to work smarter, not harder.

  1. Remove dust: Use your vacuum’s dust brush attachment or the long-handled duster.
  2. Wipe: Use a gentle all-purpose spray and a clean mop or cloth fastened to a broom with rubber bands.

Pro Tip

Attach a used dryer sheet to the end of a dry mop and run it on your baseboards to repel dust for weeks at a time.

Step 11: Clean the upholstered furniture.

People and pets aren’t the only things to settle on sofas and recliners. Dust does, too. There may even be food stains and spills to deal with as well.

  1. Take the cushions and loose pillows off of your furniture and set them aside.
  2. Using the vacuum’s upholstery attachment, go over your fabric-covered furniture and headboards. Tip them back and clean the underside, too.
  3. Switch to the crevice tool and get into the nooks and crannies.
  4. Vacuum the cushions or check the care label to see if they’re machine-washable.
  5. Wipe real and faux leather sofas with a lightly dampened cloth and condition leather to keep it supple.

Step 12: Clean the wood furniture.

There are three things to focus on when you’re Spring Cleaning wood furniture:

• Gummy or waxy buildup is furniture spray buildup. Scrub it with equal parts white vinegar and warm water to get rid of the sticky buildup on wood.

• Scratches look shabby. Use a scratch-repair kit or fix scratches in wood furniture with wax from a matching crayon.

• Dull wood furniture needs moisture. Skip the silicone and make homemade furniture polish from olive oil and white vinegar.

Step 13: Clean the floor.

Unless you have the room (and strength) to move all the furniture out of the room, you’re going to have to clean the floor in sections.

For this step, work from the edges of the room to the center.

Edges: Use the crevice attachment around the base of walls then vacuum and mop where the furniture usually goes. Once that’s dry, put the wall decor and furniture back in place.

Center: If you have an area rug, vacuum the top then roll it up and move it aside. Then vacuum and mop the center of the room. Let it dry.

Area rug: Roll it out face-down and vacuum the back, which collects dirt that sifts through the rug fibers. Flip it face-side up when you’re done.

Pro Tip

Vacuum your carpets and rugs by moving back and forth slowly. Make sure the lines overlap a bit. After you finish one way, turn and vacuum across the way you just did. This cleans all the sides of the carpet fibers and gets more dirt out.

Step 14: Reassemble the room.

Now it’s time to use the glass cleaner on that wall art and other reflective surfaces. Leaving a nice sparkle is makes your room look Spring Cleaned! Rehang curtains and reinstall your cushion covers once they’re clean.

Step 15: Finish up.

So, remember that laundry basket we’ve been filling up with random stuff? Put those things away where they belong. Then move the box of donations to your car so you can take them to the charity shop next time you’re out and about.

Room-Specific Spring Cleaning Tasks

As far as the additional Spring Cleaning tasks in each room, it’s up to you how you want to work them in.

I try to coordinate things so I’m cleaning a room literally from top to bottom, moving dirt off of surfaces then down and out of the room.

But if that seems all a bit confusing, grab one of my room-specific Spring Cleaning checklists and I’ll cover it all one step at a time.

Kitchen Deep Cleaning Tasks

Cabinets and drawers: empty everything and wipe them inside and out. Declutter the contents and put things away based on function. (See also, How to Organize Kitchen Cabinets.)

Appliances: Unplug, empty, and deep clean your appliances inside and out.

Dining Room

  • Empty and clean all cabinets and drawers.
  • Donate unused or unwanted items.
  • Discard trash.

Bathrooms

  • Empty and clean all cabinets and drawers.
  • Donate unused or unwanted items.
  • Clean the exhaust fan blades and cover.
  • Clean hair clogs from shower, tub and sink drains.
  • Scrub the shower grout.
  • Remove any soap scum in the shower.
  • Deep clean the shower head.
  • Wash the bath mats and shower curtain.

Bedrooms

Laundry Room

Clothing Closets

  • Remove and try on everything.
  • Discard worn-out and torn items.
  • Donate things you don’t like or fit.
  • Sort what you’re keeping by type and hang them up by group.

Linen Closets

  • Remove and inspect everything.
  • Donate ratty towels to animal shelters.
  • Refold and store everything by type and size.
  • Add damp absorbers for musty closets.

Playroom

Garage

Your Home’s Air

  • Clean your vents, registers and air ducts to remove dust.
  • Change your air filters.
  • Schedule an HVAC tuneup.

Remember, you don’t have to Spring Clean all at once—or ever if you don’t feel like it. But if you do, using a Home Spring Cleaning Checklist can help you spread out the work so it doesn’t become another full-time job.

Whole Home Spring Cleaning Checklist

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