The warm weather has finally arrived and that means it’s time for spring cleaning! Tidy up your house, wash everything and get summer off to a clean start.
This is a big task – so we’ve broken it down into 28 days: take it one day at a time!
Tackle the big clean as a family! Make it a fun event by approaching each task cheerfully. Play some upbeat music, make snacks and have surprises at the end of the day to motivate your troops. Don’t forget to wear gloves when you’re handling strong cleaning products.
Start your big clean off on the right foot and give dust the brush-off!
Before you do anything else – dust everything. The hubbub of spring cleaning is going to stir up the dust that has accumulated everywhere, in every corner of your house. Lighting fixtures, blinds, shades, baseboards, frames, knickknacks, window sills, the tops of door frames, furniture, shelves, bookcases, shelves. Don’t forget fans – if don’t dust them before you turn them on for the first time after the winter you’ll cause a dust avalanche!
Vacuum everywhere, even under the furniture and inside closets.
Wash your curtains and your screens: dust can accumulate in the fabric, even though they’re vertical. Wash your car’s floor mats too – after the winter they’re full of salt and all kinds of other residue. Clean your mirrors; dust and dirt stick to them easily.
Wash your windows. Also take a walk around your home and disinfect all your doorknobs.
Ceilings, walls and floors
Open all the windows for this step. Make sure you have good ventilation and fresh spring air all through your home so you don’t breathe in fumes from the cleaning products.
Wash the ceilings and the walls. You only have to do this chore once a year, but don’t skip it if you have young children who may tend to leave marks (or even drawings) on the walls. Use a cleaning product that’s safe to use on paint.
Wash the floors, being careful to follow the instructions for the type of floor you’re cleaning: generally you shouldn’t use water to wash laminate and hardwood floors, but a slightly damp mop or a cloth should be okay. Tile floors, on the other hand, should be washed using a mop and a bucket with plenty of soapy water.
Rooms in your house
Again, for this step, make sure you open the windows to get some air flowing through, because these cleaning products can give off a strong and potentially harmful fumes if you’re not careful.
Disinfect the handles on the cabinets, drawers, fridge, oven, microwave and dishwasher. This little tour should be done on a regular basis, because these are the places we touch most often. Wash the cabinets from top to bottom. You may want to wipe down the kitchen table and chairs too.
Wash your drawers, because crumbs and other things often spill in. Empty the drawer, clean off the bottom, wash dividers and reorganize the contents: utensil drawers often end up jumbled! Wash your reusable bags too.
Scrub the sink with a disinfectant product. Because you use it every day, the sink should be washed thoroughly on a regular basis. Wash the dishwasher too, gunk can build up in there.
Wash the counters. Remove all the small appliances and various objects arranged on your counters, where lots of little crumbs can be hiding. Wash the appliances too, with a soapy cloth, before you put them back. Also wash the garbage can, the compost bin and the recycling bin.
Clean the fridge. Put all the food into a cooler so it doesn’t warm up too much, especially products stored in the door. Wash shelf by shelf, starting at the top and not forgetting the top, bottom and side walls. Check whether anything has expired or gone bad and don’t put those products back in the fridge once you’ve cleaned it.
Sanitize the microwave, the outside as well as the inside, and wash the glass plate. Scrub all surfaces of the microwave, and don’t forget the window and the grill. Shift the microwave so you can get the crumbs that have fallen between the counter and the appliance. Also clean the fume hood, the filter may have accumulated dirt over time.
Take a look through the pantry, and throw out anything that’s expired. This will give you an idea of everything you have and the basic foods you should keep on hand for those times when you can’t get to the grocery store: things like pasta and sauce, and canned fish, legumes, and vegetables are great shortcuts for a quick meal.
There’s no better feeling than freshly laundered linens in your bedroom.
Switch your winter curtains to your summer curtains and wash all the bedding: sheets, pillowcases, quilts, covers, pillows and stuffed animals.
Take a look through your closet and get rid of any clothes you don’t wear anymore: if you haven’t worn something for over 6 months, you probably won’t miss it. Sort into piles of things to be donated, reused, recycled or thrown out. You can also sell any unworn clothes to second-hand sellers, another good eco-friendly option.
Rotate your seasonal clothes. The change of season brings a breath of fresh air to your wardrobe; rediscover your colourful clothes with summery patterns.
Do the same thing you did on Day 15, but for your kids’ clothes this time. And ask them to help you make decisions!
Do the same thing you did on Day 16, but for your kids’ closets this time. Have a fashion show to make sure their summer clothes still fit.
Time to attack the room you spend most of your family time in.
Wash the couch and armchair covers, cushion covers, blankets and throws. These fabrics often get assaulted with spilled juice, dirty feet, chip crumbs and pet hair. Clean the kids’ toys with soap and hot water, not with disinfectant products.
Your spring cleaning is really in full swing now. You’ve reached a serious room, time to clean up your professional image!
Clean your desk, vacuum the seat of your chair and wipe it down with a damp cloth. Clean your keyboard, mouse and computer screen; we use them all the time and they can get really dirty. Throw out any pens that are out of ink and shred any papers you no longer need.
Do a quick check up on the contents of your computer: are your files properly named and organized? Can you find all your documents easily? How cluttered is your desktop? Take a look at your email inbox too. Unsubscribe from any mailing lists you’re not interested in anymore, delete any outdated and unnecessary emails, and file important emails in clearly identified folders.
Because it’s such a warm, humid and high-traffic area, the bathroom deserves a thorough cleaning every week. Include this weekly habit in your spring cleaning to encourage you: you’re almost done!
Wash the shower, bathtub, shower curtain, glass walls, etc.
Wash the toilet, the sink and the counter, and don’t forget the floor. Also clean all your bathroom accessories, like soap dispensers, soap dishes, and toothbrush holders.
Take everything out of the bathroom cupboards and wash the doors, shelves and walls of the cupboards. Throw out any beauty products that have gone bad (yes, makeup expires!). Bring expired medication back to the pharmacy, and take advantage of the space you gain to make sure your first aid kit is complete.
Usually this room does the washing, now it’s the laundry room’s turn to be washed.
Wash the washing machine. First, check the manufacturer instructions on the machine, or in the instruction manual: do a regular wash cycle or a special cycle, and use a specific product recommended by the company or use vinegar. Also clean the sink, countertop and storage cabinets.
Just a little more work before you get to relax on the patio!
Remove all the debris blown into your yard over the winter and rake up all the dead leaves. Then, get out your patio furniture and wash them with soap and water. Sweep asphalt, concrete or brick driveways instead of hosing them down with water.
Now, it’s your car’s turn to shine.
Dust the dashboard and vacuum the floor and the seats: you might find crumbs from snacks nibbled in the car or uncover small objects hiding in the nooks and crannies. Take out the winter floor mats and wash them, and put in your summer floor mats. Clean the windows, inside and out: you’ll be able to see so much more clearly! Put away the snow brush and shovel; with the winter season over, you shouldn’t need these for a while.
On the last day of your spring cleaning, it’s time to reflect.
Take note of any repairs that are needed and improvements to be made that came to mind when you were working in the different rooms in your house. Finish up your spring cleaning by thinking about your home insurance needs: have you made any big purchases this year, like a new couch or a new dryer, that should be included in your insurance coverage?
You made it to the end of 28 days of spring cleaning, you’ve done great work. Now you can celebrate the arrival of summer in your fresh, clean and comfy home.