Even if you tidy it regularly, your living room deserves some extra attention with a thorough Spring Cleaning.
In many homes, the living room is the first thing guests see as they step through your front door. If you’ve got a separate room where your family hangs out, your living room may not get used unless you’ve got visitors. But those of us who’ve got to make do with one seating area for both company and family usually find it challenging to keep the room tidy.
How to Spring Clean Your Living Room
This living room Spring Cleaning checklist guides you through deep-cleaning every surface in this gathering spot.
Time involved: 30-90 minutes
Equipment You Need:
- A long-handled duster with multiple heads
- Lint-free cleaning cloths
- A clean broom or beater
- Three empty boxes or trash bags
- Vacuum with attachments
- Ladder (possibly)
Materials You Need:
- Glass cleaner
- Furniture polish
- Floor cleaner
For a list of the specific tools and supplies that I use to clean my own home, check out my Recommended Products Page.
Steps to Spring Clean Your Living Room
As with all of my printable cleaning routines, I encourage you to read through the steps below, so you understand what’s involved, then grab the free checklist at the bottom of this article.
1. Let the Light In
You can safely launder most curtains at home, but you should always check the label. If yours are washable, follow these steps to launder curtains at home. Very formal curtains and drapes require dry-cleaning. If that’s not within your budget, you can still freshen them and remove dust by running them through your dryer on a no-heat cycle.
Most Roman and wood blinds should be cleaned where they hang, while vinyl or metal blinds are best cleaned in your bathtub or even outdoors. Here’s more information on how to clean blinds to help you decide.
2. Start with Small Chunks
This is your chance to declutter your living room. For this step, you’ll use the empty bags or boxes you’ve gathered. You might find it helpful to label them “Elsewhere,” “Donate,” and “Trash” so you don’t accidentally toss things you mean to keep. If you struggle with deciding what you should get rid of, here’s how to decide what’s clutter and what’s not.
Ordinarily, cleaning a room efficiently is all about not going over the same place more than once. That’s not true when it comes to getting clutter out of a room. In fact, for this step, you’re going to go around the room three times. Why? Because every round of clutter you get rid of is likely to reveal more.
- Grab a bag and collect things that go elsewhere in your home. Set it aside and pick up a second box.
- This time, go around the room and gather things you want to donate or give away, like old knickknacks or decor you’re no longer fond of. Put this box in your car so you can drop it off next time you’re running errands.
- Finally, gather any trash you see. Don’t put this box or bag too far away, though. You’ll probably add to it as you clean.
3. Dust the Structure
Dust the ceiling fan. Use the long-handled duster to do this. (Here’s the one I use.*) Or, climb on a ladder and slip a pillowcase over the blade, running it back and forth to catch the dust. Shake the dust outside. If your ceiling fan is really dirty or old, you might want to use a can of compressed air to blow dust out of the motor housing. Then add a few drops of non-detergent motor oil to the bearing at the top to prevent squeaks.
Remove artwork from the walls and start dusting the room’s structure. Keep using the long-handled duster for this and work in this order: ceiling, corners, top of window frames, walls, window sills, then baseboards. This route moves dust and dirt down to surfaces you haven’t yet cleaned so that you can get it out of your room. Then, using a clean cloth, dust the artwork. Spray a fresh cloth with glass cleaner and polish glass picture fronts. Return the artwork to the walls.
4. Move Onto Soft Furniture
Soft furnishings like sofas and throw pillows collect a lot of dust. In humid areas, they may grow hidden mold or mildew, too. Add in pets and kids, and the cushions probably don’t smell great, either. So, please don’t skip this part of living room Spring Cleaning — it can make more of a difference than you think.
Remove blankets, pillows, and cushions from the sofa. The easiest way to clean decorative pillows and cushions is by laundering the covers if you can. To do this, unzip the cover and look for a label with care instructions. If you don’t find one, skip laundering and follow these steps to clean sofa stains. Wash your throw blankets as recommended on their care label.
To clean non-washable cushions, remove the cover and tumble it in a dryer without heat to remove dust. If you can’t get the cover off, take the entire thing outside and give it a good beating with a clean broom or rug beater. (An old tennis racquet works, too). Let them air out while you return to work inside.
Pull the furniture out from the wall. (Get help if you need it!) Dust the wall behind the furniture, including the baseboard. Using the vacuum’s upholstery attachment, vacuum your sofa and chairs. Be sure to get their backs as well as the sides. Use the crevice attachment to get into any nooks and crannies, then run the vacuum on the floor where the chair/sofa sat before returning the furniture to its place.
5. Dust the Rest
Starting at the door and working to your left, remove every item from flat surfaces like your coffee table or mantle and dust it. Empty your bookshelves and dust them, too. (Here’s how to clean books.) Turn off lamps before you clean your lampshades and wipe the bulbs while they’re cool. It’s best to use a lightly damp cloth to dust surfaces since dry cloths don’t hold onto dust the way damp ones do. Rinse your cloth now and then, and switch to a fresh one when it starts looking dirty.
6. Make it Shine
Once you’ve dusted your wood furniture, run your dry hand over it to see if it feels gummy. Follow these steps to remove sticky buildup on wood. If your kids have left a few dings or gouges, this is a good time to fix scratches in your wood furniture, too. Then polish it using a lint-free cloth and rubbing along the grain to leave a nice shine.
Clean your windows using this easy homemade window cleaner that doesn’t streak. You can use window cleaner on other glass surfaces, too, but it’s best to apply it to cloth then buff the surface rather than spray it directly.
7. Vacuum All the Things
Your vacuum and its various attachments are the best weapons against dust. The soft brush attachment is designed to remove dust from surfaces like your hearth and wood stairs. The long, narrow attachment with the angled tip is for vacuuming crevices, so it does a great job picking up dust at the base of walls and heavy furniture.
If your vacuum came with a felt-covered head, use that on hard floors. It’ll pick up dust and clean them without scratching the surface the way a roller-bar could. For area rugs and carpets, though, you’ll get the most dirt and pet hair out using the roller-bar or beater-bar attachment. Be to vacuum the right way, using long overlapping strokes and going in two directions. For area rugs, turn them over and vacuum their backs to remove ground-in dirt, too.
If you have hard floors, mop them immediately after vacuuming. This homemade floor cleaner works on all hard flooring surfaces and doesn’t require rinsing when you’re done. Whether you use it or a store-bought floor cleaner, be sure to turn off your ceiling fan before you mop. Although a fan speeds up drying times it can also cause your cleaner to evaporate unevenly and leave streaks or spots.
8. Finish Up
Don’t skip the finishing touches after Spring Cleaning your living room. You’ll want to rehang your curtains, of course, but also take the time to neatly fold any throw blankets you laundered and arrange your books neatly on the shelves.
Remember to deal with those boxes you’ve filled, too. Throw away the trash and put away items that belong in other rooms. Then take that donation box to your favorite charity and treat yourself to a latte or other splurge while you’re out because you’ve earned it!
Living Room Spring Cleaning Checklist
Use the printable cleaning checklist below to give your kitchen a deep cleaning any time of year. To make it reusable, slip it into a plastic page protector and cross off each item with a dry erase pen. Once you’re done, wipe the sheet clean, and you’re ready for next time.