What is spring cleaning? Tips and tricks for tidying up

Last Updated February 2020
By Allen Foster

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In climates with colder winters, spring cleaning is an annual event that takes place after the weather turns markedly warmer. The longer days and congenial temperatures make it more conducive to opening windows, letting in fresh air, and working outside.

It’s tempting to downplay the importance of spring cleaning, especially if you stay on top of your daily chores. However, what you tackle during this intensive cleansing period is different from your typical day-to-day tidying tasks. 

 

What is spring cleaning?

During spring cleaning, you're going beyond the routine chores, taking a deep dive that fortifies your health, elevates your mood, increases your productivity, enhances your creativity, and makes your home more habitable.

Since spring cleaning is such an all-encompassing endeavor, it can seem overwhelming. If you plan accordingly by mapping out a strategy and taking a room-by-room approach while recruiting other family members for help, the task will not seem quite so daunting. Additionally, if you draft a list of essential cleaning equipment and make certain that all of them are on hand, you won't experience the aggravation of needing to stop mid-process because you forgot to get some crucial supplies.

Following are a few tips and cleaning essentials, which have been organized in a room-by-room fashion to help ensure that this year's spring cleaning event is a sweeping success.

 

How to do spring cleaning

It's not always the big things that you need to focus on during spring cleaning. Sometimes, the tasks with the most impact are the little ones that you tend to let slip throughout the year. Scuff marks on the walls and baseboards, cobwebs in those inconvenient corners, dust on the top of ceiling fans, and that ever-growing collection of electronic waste items (old cell phones and batteries) are just a few examples of those pesky little tasks.

Microfiber Ceiling Fan Duster: $12.97 at The Home Depot

This microfiber duster is designed to clean both sides of the ceiling fan at once while preventing unwanted dust from swirling about the room. The unit is lightweight and has a removable sleeve so it can be washed for repeated use.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser: $7.97 at Amazon

Whether it’s scuffs on the wall, dirty fingerprints on light switches and doors, smudges on your windows, or even stains on your upholstered furniture, a magic eraser can help. This miraculous little sponge works like very fine sandpaper to quickly clear away those marks you've been neglecting.

 

How to spring clean your kitchen and pantry

Spring cleaning is a good time to go through your salad dressings, condiments, and other less frequently used items to check expiration dates, making sure these oft-overlooked items are still safe for consumption. You also want to use this time to vacuum your refrigerator coils, clean and sanitize your coffeemaker and other countertop appliances, reorganize drawers, and clean inside and behind your range.

Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner: $299 at Amazon (was $399)

When you need to clean under the refrigerator or behind the range, you'll want a powerful, lightweight, handheld cordless vacuum cleaner that can get the job done with ease. This Dyson is powerful enough even for homes with pets, and it’s lightweight for easy handling.

DII Swedish Dishcloths: $12.63 at Amazon

Sponges are not very hygienic. If you want a better, more eco-friendly way to do your kitchen spring cleaning chores, consider a reusable Swedish dishcloth. These handy, absorbent items are machine washable and they are effective on a wide variety of surfaces, including glass.

 

How to spring clean your closet

The best approach for spring cleaning a closet is to tackle the whole closet at once by emptying it out completely. Clean out the space, check for mold, apply touch-up paint as needed, then evaluate all of the contents before replacing them. Decide whether each item needs to be cleaned, repaired or mended, donated, or discarded. Return the items that have been cleaned and repaired or mended to your closet in a freshly organized manner.

Mold Killing Primer: $50 at Amazon (was $55.84)

Mold has a tendency to sneak up in those dark corners at the top or bottom of a closet. With a mold-killing primer, you can get rid of those unsightly patches of fungus, eliminate odors, and take a proactive step for achieving healthier air quality in your home.

Over-The-Door Storage Pockets: $8.99 at Amazon

Even in the best-organized closet, items such as gloves and knit hats can get misplaced, making them a real chore to locate. During spring cleaning, take the time to slip these frequently lost items in an over-the-door storage unit will ensure they are always easy to find whenever you need them.

 

How to spring clean your bathrooms

The bathroom has its own set of unique challenges when it comes to spring cleaning. You need to evaluate and clean drains, scrub down tile and grout, check caulk, and scour those neglected areas of your toilet, such as under the hinge caps. Additionally, this is the perfect time to swap out those old toothbrushes and discard any personal hygiene or makeup products that haven't been used in the last six to nine months.

Mr. Clean Premium Latex-Free Gloves: $8.99 at Amazon

If you're going to be doing any cleaning in questionable areas that are rife with germs, such as the toilet, you're going to want to make sure you have something on hand to cover your hands. A comfortable pair of latex-free gloves can drastically reduce the "ew" factor while doing bathroom chores.

McCulloch Heavy-Duty Chemical-Free Pressurized Steam Cleaner: $139.99 at Amazon (was $199.99)

The beauty of a pressurized steam cleaner is that it is an all-natural, environmentally friendly way of cleaning that disinfects as it cleans. This appliance isn't a miracle cleaner; you will still need to use a bit of elbow grease to accomplish the job, but you can do it without adding any undesirable chemicals to the environment.

 

How to spring clean your office

In a single year, an office space can accumulate an extraordinary amount of clutter. Because of this, spring cleaning is often as much an act of decluttering as it is an actual deep clean. Your tasks may range from simply tossing out all those pens that no longer work to shredding unneeded documents that are filled with sensitive information. Spring cleaning is also a great time to thoroughly wipe down your monitor, as well as clean and disinfect your keyboard and mouse.

iRobot Roomba 980 Wi-Fi Connected Vacuuming Robot: $946.71 at Amazon

Spring cleaning is not only a time to tackle those tough, annual chores, it's a time to develop better habits. Employing a robotic vacuum to do routine cleaning is a wise, time-saving trick that can keep your entire home cleaner, making it a healthier place to live.

Guardsman Wood Furniture Dusting Cloths: $26.49 at Amazon

The office in your home probably has more dust-collecting surfaces than you realize. These specially treated cloths trap and remove dust better than spray and a paper towel does. However, the aspect that makes them the most appealing is that they are designed to be reused, thus cutting down on household waste while being kinder to the earth.

 

How to spring clean outdoors

Spring cleaning shouldn't only be relegated to indoor activities — the exterior of your home and your property need attention, too. The best thing to do before the growing season is in full bloom is to rid your yard of all the debris that has accumulated over the winter months. You will also want to inspect your home for signs of damage and perform those tasks that often get overlooked such as washing the trash cans, repainting the oil tank, cleaning the patio, and re-staining the deck.

Fiskars Steel Bypass Pruning Shears: $9.98 at Amazon (was $12.99)

If you've got a lot of light-duty snipping on your to-do list, you'll need a conveniently sized pair of stay-sharp pruning shears. This model from Fiskar is manufactured using precision-ground steel and it features a low-friction coating that helps keep the blades moving smoothly while preventing rust.

RYOBI 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer: $99 at The Home Depot (was $119)

Unless you've used a pressure washer, you just won't understand the tool's appeal and versatility. This model from RYOBI is a compact, lightweight electric pressure washer that is easy to operate, carry, and store. It can be used on siding, fencing, decks, patios, gutters, concrete and more.