Spring Cleaning Checklist (Printable): By Room Guide
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Ah, spring! There’s nothing quite like that first day it’s suddenly warm enough to open up all the windows after a long, long winter (goodbye sleeping bag coat, hello flowers and sunshine!). It’s also the perfect time to capitalize on that fresh feeling and give your whole house a much-needed spring clean.
What is spring cleaning?
Or so everyone seems to say. But what are you actually supposed to clean during “spring cleaning”? And why is it so important (particularly when you could be out enjoying that absolutely perfect weather instead)?
While most of us have, over the years, developed a cleaning routine that basically works, few of us have the time–or energy or will–to do a true deep clean all that often.
But those deep cleans are incredibly important. Dust, mildew, mold, and other allergens have a way of building up over time, that salad dressing that caught your eye at the grocery store seven months ago eventually goes bad, and your carefully implemented organization system (the one you swore would finally change everything forever) slowly falls apart.
Spring cleaning is shorthand for those seasonal or annual cleaning and maintenance chores around the house that most people—as the name suggests—do in the springtime, after winter has taken its toll.
The benefits of spring cleaning
A deep clean at least once a year helps keep you healthy and your home feeling like, well, home. (And if you fancy a more frequent deep cleaning schedule, far be it from us to stand in your way.)
Your step-by-step checklist by room for the best (and easiest) spring clean
Okay, okay, so it’s a good idea. But how exactly do you do this whole “spring clean” thing? And how do you get started?
Around here, we take a straightforward five-rooms-in-five-days approach–and to make it even easier, in this article, we give you a free printable Spring Cleaning Checklist for every type of room in your house:
- Living Spaces
- Kids’ Areas
You can tackle all five rooms in five consecutive days so you’re done in less than a week (!) or spread it out a bit more if that works better for you–the choice is yours. Regardless, before you know it, you’ll be kicking back in your cleanest home ever with that spring sunshine streaming in through your spotless windows.
Ready? Here we go.
Checklist by room
Day 1: Bathroom spring cleaning checklist
- Disinfect doorknobs and light switches. This one’s important. Think about how often you, your family, and your guests touch these surfaces. Now think about the last time you cleaned them. Yeah, we thought so. Tip: check the labels of sprays and wipes to make sure they’re approved disinfectant by the EPA and to understand exactly how to use them to take advantage of their disinfecting power.
- Organize cabinets and drawers. Take the time to sort through all your makeup and meds and throw away anything that’s expired or that you no longer need or want (helloooo blue eyeshadow). Try to give everything that you decide to keep a specific home so it doesn’t just end up back on the counter next week. Remember, this is your opportunity to start fresh!
- Scrub your shower, bathtub, and sink, paying close attention to any mold or mildew buildup. We recommend using Microban 24 Bathroom Cleaner because it destroys soap scum AND prevents the growth of mold and mildew for 7 days if used as directed.* Trust us, a clean tub is an incomparably wonderful thing.
- Wash your shower curtain and bathmat. Make sure to read the care instructions so you don’t end up ruining them.
- Give the toilet a much needed deep clean. We know, this isn’t anyone’s favorite job, but it has to happen. Don’t forget near the floor and around the hinges where dirt and grime can build up.
Day 2: Kitchen spring cleaning checklist
- Clean your oven. Most ovens have a cleaning cycle, so this step is mostly hands-off. Assuming you do have a self-cleaning oven, it’s going to take a while (upwards of a couple of hours) so get this started first. Then turn your attention to the rest of the kitchen. Be sure to stick around while the oven’s on in case anything goes awry.
- Clean the stovetop with soap and water. If it’s still the worse for wear, break out the trusty Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to get rid of caked-on-food quickly.
- Clean your microwave. If it’s not quite there after a quick soapy-water wipe down, check out these 11 ways to clean your microwave.
- Clean and descale your coffee maker. Your taste buds will appreciate the extra effort.
- Clean out your fridge and freezer. Now’s the time to throw away the freezer-burned frozen fruit you bought a year ago when you decided to become a smoothie person. Once you’ve gotten rid of all of your expired food, give your shelves a good wipe down with soapy water. If that doesn’t do the trick, bring out the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser again.
- Degrease cabinets and walls. If you cook with oil (or really, if you just cook at all), chances are you’ve got little grease spatters all of your kitchen cabinets and walls. Tackling them is easy, though. Get a cloth or sponge wet in some soapy water (a few drops of Dawn mixed into a bucket of warm water works like a charm), and then scrub away.
- Move your stove and fridge away from the wall and sweep and mop behind them. Try not to be too horrified by what you find.
- Empty out and organize your pantry. Throw away any expired items. Then put everything else back. Try to come up with some organization system (even a rough one). It’ll make it so much easier on those nights when you’re trying to pull together a pantry pasta dish.
- Empty the toast tray in your toaster.
- Disinfect cabinet handles, light switches, sinks, and countertops. Try to incorporate this step into your more regular cleaning routine. (It’s the kitchen after all.)
- Sanitize your sink. Your sink can harbor all sorts of bacteria, so it’s important not to skip this one.
Day 3: Bedroom spring cleaning checklist
- Sort, launder and organize your clothes. Try to see this as an opportunity to take stock of your entire wardrobe. Clothes that don’t fit? Bag them up to donate. Those socks with holes in the heels? Now’s the time to toss them. Take a page from Marie Kondo and give away any items that just don’t do it for you anymore. Are you feeling lighter already?
- Wash your bedding and pillows. Yes, you can–and should–wash your pillows. Just make sure to read the care and cleaning directions.
- Rotate your mattress. It’ll extend the life of your mattress and help out your back.
- Shampoo any rugs or carpets. A big undertaking, but well worth it–particularly if you have pets or are in the habit of wearing shoes indoors. Dust, pollen, and other allergens LOVE your rugs and carpets. Get ready to breathe easier.
Day 4: Living spaces spring cleaning checklist
- Move furniture to vacuum and mop underneath. Pro tip: bribe a housemate or friend to help you. Your back will thank you tomorrow.
- Vacuum couches, chairs, and curtains. This one’s especially for all you pet owners. If there’s still fur everywhere even after vacuuming, check out these tips for removing dog hair and tried and true ways of banishing cat hair.
- Dust in all the places you normally overlook in your more routine cleanings (think the shelves, ceiling fan, lampshades, etc.). A Swiffer duster makes this easier with specially coated fibers that grab onto dust and don’t let go (so you’re not just spreading all that dust around the room).
- Wash cushion and throw pillow covers. Just be sure to read the care instructions first. If you can’t wash them, use a product like Febreze Fabric, which cleans away odors embedded in fabrics and other soft surfaces, leaving a light, fresh scent.
- Disinfect remotes and other high-touch items and areas like doorknobs and light switches.
- Shampoo rugs or carpets. You just did this in your bedroom, so you now know what a difference it makes!
Day 5: Kids’ areas spring cleaning checklist
If you’re living a kid-free life, congratulations! You’re done a day early. Folks with kids, you’re almost there!
- Move furniture and vacuum underneath it. You know the drill–you’re an expert by now.
- Use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to get rid of those crayon marks that have accumulated over the last year.
- Sanitize plastic toys. Truth be told, this should probably be done more than once a year.
- Wash soft toys that can’t be sprayed down.
- Donate the toys your kids have outgrown. Less clutter for you and another kid gets to enjoy a new-to-them toy. It’s a win-win.
- Organize toys and play areas and enjoy the brief moments of calm and order before your kids mess everything up again come back to play.
Whew! You did it. Five rooms in five days. No, you don’t have to conquer it all in five days, but if you do, not only will you get to experience the one-of-a-kind joy that comes from a sparkling clean home, but you’ll also be able to take the weekend off.
And remember, just because it’s called spring cleaning doesn’t mean this has to be a spring-only activity. Feel free to rinse and repeat as much as it suits you. Your home will thank you.
*Effective against Aspergillus niger.