Simple Steps to a Comprehensive Spring Cleaning

Spring-cleaning isn't what it used to be. In today's busy households, it can be difficult for one parent, let alone two, to find time to dedicate to a big annual floor-to-ceiling deep cleaning. One solution is to prioritize your tasks, taking a more realistic approach to home cleaning and organizing. First, approach your cleaning by room, rather than chore. Then, by separating spring must-do's from warmer-weather good-to-get-done's, you can get essential tasks out of the way, and apportion other work for later in the spring or early summer. Here are some common-sense strategies to help refresh your home without putting your life on hold this season.

KITCHEN
Spring-cleaning must-do:

  • Deep-clean fridge and freezer
  • Sort and file items in junk drawer (look for income tax receipts!)
  • Self-clean oven interior if needed
  • Clean window interiors and exteriors

Can do later:

  • Almost any and all cleaning can be divided up and conquered year-round, including detailing tile, deep-cleaning and conditioning wood, washing walls, cleaning light fixtures

BATHROOMS
Spring-cleaning must-do:

  • Cleaning window interiors and exteriors

Can do later:

  • Almost any and all cleaning can be divided up and conquered year-round, including detailing tile and grout, washing walls, cleaning light fixtures

LIVING AREAS
Spring-cleaning must-do:

  • Replace winter drapery with summer curtains (send the former to the dry cleaners)
  • Clean light fixtures
  • Store any knickknacks that were on display over winter, replace with spring/summer accessories or fresh flowers

Can do later:

  • Almost any and all cleaning can be divided up and conquered year-round, including washing walls, cleaning molding and baseboards, cleaning and polishing wood, cleaning and protecting leather furniture. (If you can postpone larger cleaning tasks to summer, it may render the overall spring project less daunting.)

BASEMENT
Spring-cleaning must-do:

  • Get rid of junk; donate items in good condition, dispose of broken items
  • Check furnace filters and replace if needed

Can do later:

  • Shop-vac any dust or debris from workshop
  • Mop floors
  • Clean windows indoors and out

CLOSETS
Spring-cleaning must-do:

  • Sort, clean and pack away winter clothing and sports gear and footwear, donating items no longer needed and disposing of any damaged items

Can do later:

  • Install a customized closet organization system if desired

GARAGE
Spring-cleaning must-do:

  • Put snow removal gear in storage
  • Store winter tires, if applicable
  • Shop-vac and (if needed) degrease floor

Can do later:

  • Dust ceiling rafters
  • Clean warm-weather sports equipment and then move into accessible garage location
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