Home Decor

How to Clean Your House for Spring: A Room-by-Room Guide

Ahhh, spring—a time of warming temperatures, blossoming greenery, and the guilt-ridden realization that it’s been five months since you’ve dusted. Yikes.

Don’t panic, gentle grandparent. Because this year, instead of going spring cleaning crazy, you can follow our handy room-by-room guide to neatening your house, replete with pointers.

First thing’s first: Create a donate box

From that extra potato masher to those sandals you wore one time in 2013, odds are your home is full of forgotten items that someone else could find useful. So, before you begin spring cleaning, make a plan to get rid of extra stuff. “Place a donation binunder your entryway table or hang a giveaway bag on an easy-to-access coat hook,” suggests Maeve. “As you clean, drop items into these containers so they’re one step closer to making their way out of your home.” Once your box is full, load it up and head to a reputable donation site like Salvation Army or Goodwill.

You can use your donate station as a motivator, too: “The simple act of starting an outbox almost always kick starts spring cleaning fever. So give it a whirl.”

The kitchen

For that so-fresh feeling, mopping the floor and scrubbing the sink are always good starts. “[But] the most rewarding spring cleaning fix is to toss old or expired itemsfrom your refrigerator, pantry, junk drawer, and any countertop space that collects clutter,” says Maeve. Grab a garbage bag and go hunting for trash. “Look for half-used condiments, old juices or sodas, ripped menus, almost-empty snacks, and multiples of takeout containers and grocery store bags.”

Once you’ve chucked the detritus, stash heavy, winter-time cookery in the back of your cabinets and move melamine plates and glass pitchers—a.k.a. summertime serving gear—to the front. You might even discover a few items for your donate box.

The bathroom

Before getting down to the nitty-gritty of scouring the restroom, go through the medicine cabinetand scrap expired medications. Not only will you avoid ingesting a past-its-date prescription, but you’ll most likely free up a good chunk of space.

Then, it’s time to get scrubbing. “The best quick fix for a bathroom in spring is to clear the air,” says Maeve. “Take 10 minutes to wipe all surfaces with soapy water or a disinfectant of your choice. Then use an old toothbrush to dig in between tiles, around the sink faucet, and even tiny crevices around the toilet, light switches and light fixtures. Use a cleaner with a smell that you like. The smell will permeate your bathroom, invigorate your senses, and mostly importantly, freshen the air.”

The bedroom

Your bedroom is your haven, so start with something fun, like turning your bedside table into a sanctuary. First, clean out the drawer. Then, “Place favorite photos, treasured memorabilia, perhaps a scented candle, meditation helpers, or a funny book—all things that make you both laugh and smile at the end of the day,” proposes Maeve.

Once you have your mini-refuge finished, move on to your closet and rotate your clothes for the season. “[It’s] an ideal time to review what you own, sort items, and make choices about what stays in your life, and what goes.” Begin by removing 5-10 of your heaviest winter items. “Then do another five, and another five, until you’ve removed the bulk of your winter clothes.” Bring your spring wardrobe to the front, store cold-weather garments, and toss any pieces you’ve outgrown.

When to hire someone

While the room-by-room method of spring cleaning is meant to be relatively effortless, some chores are undeniably bigger than others. If you find a task to be too physically taxing (or you just really hate doing it), it might be worth bringing in a pro. Take cleaning the windows, for example. “Hiring a professional window cleaning company can save you time, extend the life of your windows, and help identify and resolve potentially dangerous problems, like wood rot or sashes that have been painted shut,” says Maeve.

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