It’s that time of year! The days get longer, the weather warms up, and early spring flowers pop up all around. And something about all the fresh air and sunshine makes us look around and realize it’s time to get our homes in tip-top shape. That’s right, we’re talking about that time-honored annual tradition: spring cleaning. And we’re here to help with more than 30 of our best room-by-room spring cleaning tips, plus a handy spring cleaning checklist to keep you on track.

Now, if this all sounds overwhelming, don’t worry too much. Take things one at a time, and you’ll be basking in a sparkling-clean house in no time. If deep-cleaning your kitchen feels like more than you’d like to tackle today, start with a single drawer. Declutter it, organize it, and check it off your list—no matter how big or small it may be. Once you get going, you’ll be motivated to continue checking off items, and you won’t want to stop until every corner is clean.

We like to start in heavy-traffic areas like the kitchen and living room because you’ll feel so rewarded when you’re done. Then move on to the bedrooms and other areas that most guests don’t see. So don’t fret and get moving to create a spring cleaning plan to make every room in your house sparkle.

1 Spring Cleaning Checklist

Before you get started, print this checklist to make sure you clean every inch of your home.

2 Kitchen | De-Smudge Windows

A simple mixture of two parts water to one part white distilled vinegar is all you need for a streak-free finish on windows and glass surfaces. Wipe the inside of windows from side to side, and the outside of windows from top to bottom. This makes it easier to see which side (if any) needs further cleaning. William P. Steele

3 Kitchen | Dispose of Old Food

Go through the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer for foods that are past their expiration dates or those items you know you’ll never use. Throw them away. For unopened can and jar foods that are still good but you know you won’t eat, donate them.

4 Kitchen | Organize Your Pantry

Use old wooden crates or wicker baskets to keep bottles and packages standing upright.

5 Kitchen | Create a Natural Air Freshener

Give your room a fresh scent. Whip up a room deodorizer on the stovetop by simmering orange rinds or lemon slices and rosemary in a pot of water. The scent will freshen your space.

6 Kitchen | Take Inventory of Small Appliances

Donate the novelty appliances you rarely or never use. Clean out the inside of your microwave. And turn your attention to your must-have appliance: the coffee maker. To clean your coffee maker, brew a pot using 2 parts distilled water and 1 part vinegar. Brew this mixture 3 times, then follow up with 3 brews using distilled water.

7 Bathroom | Go Through Old Linens

If your towels, rugs, and shower curtain are looking shabby or worn, it might be time to donate them (check with your local humane society) and replenish your supply with fresh ones. Organizer Michelle Paxton of The Organizer Gal says it’s smart to invest in products such as containers, racks, shelves, or drawers for extra storage in a small bath.

8 Bathroom | Neaten Up the Medicine Cabinet

Throw away any medicines or health and beauty items with expired dates. Many personal care products deteriorate after six months. Also, be realistic with yourself and toss anything you haven’t used recently.

9 Bathroom | Create Natural Scents

Soak a cotton ball with essential oils and toss it under the bathroom sink (out of reach from pets) for a clean, fresh smell. Try lavender, jasmine, or any fragrance you like. The cotton will stay fragrant for about two weeks.

10 Bathroom | Scrub Tile Grout

Clean grout is like a facelift for your bathroom. To remove mold and mildew, home care expert Cheryl Mendelson, author of Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House, recommends scrubbing grout with a toothbrush and a simple solution of 1/2 cup chlorine bleach diluted in a gallon of water. Test on an inconspicuous section of grout and tile first. If deep cleaning your tiled surfaces doesn’t go far enough, try regrouting the surfaces.

11 Bathroom | Clear Your Counter

Organizer MaryJo Monroe of Respaced says those little bottles of lotions and potions are dust-catchers. “If you’re not using them, give them away or throw them out. If you do use them, find a storage system to hold and organize them in your bath.”

12 Bathroom | Organize Drawers

Clear plastic drawers are the “little black dress” of organizing, says Barbara Reich, a professional organizer. Use them in every room of the house. They’re great in the bathroom when used to divide and organize drawers or to make great use of space under the bathroom sink. When they get dusty, clear them of their contents and wash them in the dishwasher.

13 Bedroom | Tame Your Closets

Dry clean or launder coats, sweaters, and any items you are keeping. Toss or donate any items that are worn, don’t fit, or don’t like. Inventory your spring and summer clothes and make a list of new items you need to purchase. Michelle Paxton, a professional organizer at the Organizer Gal says it’s good to invest in storage containers, clothing bags, and cedar blocks to store out-of-season clothing.

14 Bedroom | Purge

Remove everything from your bedroom that doesn’t serve you—books you’ve read or don’t intend to read, clothes you don’t like, magazines, newspapers, and more. Make your bedroom a haven by first cleaning out the piles.

15 Bedroom | Launder Bedding

Dry clean or launder the heavy comforter on your bed, store it, and replace it with a lighter blanket. Swap your heavy bed sheets for lighter sheets and store the rest. Wash linens in hot water to kill allergens. Invest in a new odor-eliminating, anti-bacterial mattress pad.

16 Bedroom | Get Rid of Dirt

Dust everything from the top down. Start with cleaning walls and the ceiling fan, move to baseboards, and finally sweep up all dust.

17 Bedroom | Organize Small Items

Corral small items like loose change, eyeglasses, remote controls, and your lip gloss on a tray to transform what might otherwise look messy into a neat arrangement that’s stylish and chic.

18 Living Room | Cut Down on Paper

Magazines and newspapers create clutter in living spaces and collect dust. Store them in a basket until you’re done with them, and donate magazines to a hospital or library. Recycle newspapers.

19 Living Room | Wipe Down Walls and Ceiling

Use a vacuum attachment to remove dust and cobwebs from corners, and wipe down grimy walls with a solvent-free degreaser.

20 Living Room | Wash Textiles

Vacuum upholstery and launder curtains. Update furniture with slipcovers—one of the simplest tools for refreshing a room. Shop for light or neutral slips that are machine washable. Sure Fit slipcovers are treated with Scotchgard protectors to keep color stains at bay.

21 Living Room | Add Plants

Houseplants freshen and filter the air in your home. Plus the green brings life to rooms that have been bundled up for months. Try one of these favorites recommended by ferns, orchids, peace lilies, philodendrons, massangena cane, anthuriums, or palms.

22 Living Room | Clean Carpets

Send out the rugs for a professional cleaning. For wall-to-wall carpet, consider hiring a pro for deep cleaning and stain removal.

23 Laundry Room | Clear Dryer Vents

Check and clean your dryer vent and ducts to remove lint build-up. If the ducts get clogged with lint, it can be a fire hazard. Drying clothes with fabric softener sheets can leave a residue on the lint trap. Wash the trap with soap and water in a sink. Bonus: You’ll be amazed at how much faster your clothes will dry when the dryer duct is free from lint.

24 Laundry Room | Maintain Washer & Dryer

Pull out the washer and dryer. Vacuum the backside of each appliance with a brush attachment to remove dirt and dust, says Steve Ash of Wipe down the top and sides of the appliances with an all-purpose cleaner.

25 Laundry Room | Clean Inside of Washing Machine

Run the washing machine cycle with distilled white vinegar and hot water. This will get rid of any mildew and soap scum.

26 Laundry Room | Wipe Down Iron

Clean the plate of the iron with a baking soda and water paste to remove any build-up from spray starch. Check the condition of your ironing board and board cover and replace if needed.

27 Laundry Room | Tidy Up Shelving

Line cabinet interiors with wallpaper and edge shelves in trim for a cheerful greeting every time you open the door. Floral-patterned trays corral laundry and sewing supplies.

28 Kitchen | Clean Around & Inside Appliances

Dirt, pet hair, and dust particles can build up behind your refrigerator, says Steve Ash of Airborne materials can block appliance coils, restricting airflow through the appliance. It’s worth it to pull out the refrigerator and vacuum the coils. Also, sanitize the dishwasher. Place a shallow dish of vinegar on the top rack of your dishwasher and run it (empty) on a long sanitation cycle to kill fungi.

29 Porch & Patio | Power Wash Surfaces

Grime and dirt can leave surfaces looking dingy or even a different color. Power washing your porch and patio before the summer entertaining season starts will freshen your outdoor spaces up. If you don’t have a power washer, you can rent one from your local hardware or tool rental store.

30 Porch & Patio | Check Boards

Give the deck boards a good look. Raised nails can be pounded back in. If the floor is in disrepair, take time to replace rotting boards and to scrape, sand, and refinish existing boards.

31 Porch & Patio | Wash Furniture

Most patio furniture, cushions, and umbrellas can be cleaned using a mild soap and water mixture and a soft cloth, says The Maids. Saturate the furniture and cushions then rinse well with a damp cloth or garden hose. Follow the manufacturer’s directions when cleaning wood or other specialty furniture. Wipe down the grill with a soap and water mixture. Or, for caked-on grease, scrub with a wire brush.

32 Porch & Patio | De-Grime Screens

If you have a screened-in porch, vacuum the screens to remove dirt and allergens. Fill a bucket with soapy water and wipe down the screens using a sponge.

33 Porch & Patio | Plant Flowers

Add plants. Buy planters and flowers to welcome the season and add a little color. Fill window boxes with bloomers.

Source: ~ BY KATHY BARNES ~ Image: Canva Pro

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