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Tipnut’s Guide To Spring Cleaning

Here’s a peek at this year’s battle plan for my home, I’ve also included references to homemade cleaners, tips for specific jobs and assorted fix-it projects that will help make this year’s job a big success. Every surface is conquered, everything is emptied out, washed & scrubbed, decluttered and organized.

Work from Top to Bottom, Left to Right so you always know where you left off when returning to the room to finish.

Supplies

Specific jobs & chores will depend on what room you’re working on, here’s an overall plan…

Working From The Top Down:

  1. Ceilings – Dust from corner to corner and wash if possible, don’t forget the light fixtures, ceiling fans, smoke detector covers (might as well replace light bulbs and batteries while you’re up there).
  2. Walls – Dust corner to corner, floor to ceiling; Wash & scrub walls & everything on them (such as fixtures, pictures, mirrors, doors & door frames, hanging shelves, clocks, etc.).
  3. Windows – Inside & outside glass; Wash tracks & window frames; Wash all curtains, drapes & blinds. Find homemade window cleaners on this page [1].
  4. Cupboards, Counters, Drawers, Shelves – Empty, remove shelf paper, wash inside & out, top & underneath, line with fresh shelf paper, sort items as you put back (keep/trash); Wash all knick knacks; Tighten, repair or replace handles and knobs where needed; Declutter & organize all items in drawers, on shelves, in cubbies.
  5. Furniture & Appliances – Pull out to wash floor & walls behind as well as all sides of furniture or appliances (inside & out); Steam furniture if possible; Wash all kitchen appliances [2]; Dust [3] all electronics; lamps & lampshades.
  6. Floors – Sweep well & wash; Vacuum & clean carpets and rugs [4], bring laminate to a shine [5].

Declutter & Organize As You Work:

  1. Review all bedding items, linens and towels, are they getting threadbare and won’t make it through the next few months? Too stained? Either trash them or cut them into rags. You can also pack away for craft & repurposing projects, see Recycling Old Towels: {Crafty Ideas & Projects} [6].
  2. Wash and sort all clothing to be given away, pull items that you can repurpose for around the home. See these ideas 20+ Crafty Things To Make With Old Jeans [7], 12 Things To Make With Old T-Shirts: {Crafty Repurposing} [8] and 30+ Things To Make With Old Sweaters [9].
  3. Pack away all household files from the previous year and prepare new folders for the upcoming season. If you don’t have a home filing cabinet, a cardboard filing box should do the trick.
  4. Items to be tossed are sorted: Box for charity, Box for garbage, Box for garage sale [10] (if one is planned this year).
  5. Toss all food items that have no expiry date and you’re not sure how old they are (Herbs & Spices: Storage Tips [11]). Replace spices and herbs you don’t regularly use. List all food items that need to be re-stocked on the next grocery trip.
  6. Remember: Beware Of Junk Bunkers [12].

All Areas Of The Home Are Tackled:

All Spaces Are Washed, Decluttered & Organized:

All Appliances Are Scrubbed:

Seasonal Preparations:

Keep A Running List

Note all nicks, scratches and repair jobs needed. This is the perfect time to evaluate your home’s needs:

Tips & Tools

The job can be overwhelming, but the end result is well worth it. A few days of housework and some elbow grease is all it takes to enjoy a sparkling and well organized home!

Outdoors

The above information is for indoors, but the yard and outside of the house has a bunch of chores that need to be tended to–plus there’s plenty of prep work to be done for the upcoming season (whew!). Here’s a list to help you get organized…

Chore List:

Wheelbarrow

  1. Check & clear gutters, look for leaks & fix
  2. Check roof, shingles & chimney
  3. Wash siding, doors & windows
  4. Wash & inspect fence
  5. Wash out the rain barrel
  6. Check or setup the compost area (see DIY Compost Bins & Boxes [35] which includes tips for composting).
  7. Clean garage, shed, dog house or dog run
  8. Rake up the dog potty area
  9. Rake lawn
  10. Wash deck [36] or patio
  11. Sweep and hose down the driveway [37] & sidewalks
  12. Prepare flower beds and gardens
  13. Clear debris from hedges, bushes, trees
  14. Wash garden containers if they weren’t before storing away
  15. Check and maintain garden tools and equipment (if not done in the fall before storage)
  16. Wash and set out all patio & yard furniture, check for needed repairs
  17. Pull out BBQ, prepare fire pit [38] or outdoor grill [39], check propane tank
  18. Prepare plant potting center [40]
  19. Wash bird bath and set out
  20. Set out hummingbird feeders [41]
  21. Set up the cold frame [42]

Keep A Running List:

Motivation Helpers

DusterHere are a few tips that will help put a little bounce in your step and some fire in your belly while doing the best job you can this year…

Reward Yourself!

If visions of a sparkling, decluttered and organized home aren’t getting the juices flowing, promise rewards for yourself–and this really makes things fun:

Decide to implement one new idea in each area of your home that will pretty the place up or serve the space in some way. I like to choose things that are useful rather than just adding more clutter, and these things don’t have to cost a bunch of money! Here are some ideas:

It can be something as small as adding fresh new shelf paper, new switchplates or cupboard knobs and handles. The time flies pretty fast while you’re scrubbing and thinking about all the lovely things you’ll be adding to your home.

Spring cleaning is a great opportunity to get things back in top shape and you will enjoy the benefits of your efforts for many months :).