To make spring cleaning as easy as possible I wanted to give you a blueprint for tackling any area in your home. I’ve laid out a blueprint that applies to any room in your house so that you can go in and clean it quickly and efficiently using this simple routine. You can follow this up with any specialty tasks, and you’ll have confidence that you’ve done a thorough cleaning job!
Underneath and Behind
The first thing to clean is underneath and behind any large items in the room. This includes sofas, beds, TV stands and more. Frankly, this isn’t my favorite thing to do—I rarely clean behind my sofa, which only makes the task more daunting! If you can’t move furniture because it’s too heavy, just do the best you can. Now, once you actually move the furniture, you’re going to see some not so nice stuff under there. If there’s anything large that’s not dust—for example, hair elastics or paper clips—manually remove it so that it doesn’t ruin your vacuum. Then simply vacuum up the rest of the dust and put the furniture back where it belongs.
Up High and Down Low
It may sound like a game of “Simon Says” but I assure you, spring cleaning is the time of year when you want to focus on those areas above eye level and below eye level. This includes crown moldings, ceilings, corners, and any areas around your light fixtures that are a little bit dusty. You also want to look down and put some focus on your baseboards. I like to do this with a mop pole. I simply secure a microfiber cloth over the top of it with an elastic band. I use this to do all of my high dusting, and then I just flip it on over and use the same thing to clean the baseboards.
Windows and Window Tracks
Why didn’t I include windowsills in this spring cleaning routine? Because it’s a horizontal surface that often gets dusted when you’re doing a regular cleaning. Windows often get ignored during the winter and window tracks almost never get cleaned.
If you open your window to let some fresh air come into your home, dirt will also make its way in through that screen too. And eventually, it settles right there in your window tracks. To clean those window tracks I like to start with a cleaning toothbrush to brush out any of the debris that’s stuck in the tracks. Then, I take a vacuum and suck up any other schmutz. Finally, I’ll use an all-purpose spray to clean any stuck on dirt, grease or other debris.
To clean the windows, I like to mix equal parts white vinegar and water with a teaspoon of cornstarch. It’s a great solution for window cleaning and I use a microfiber cloth to make sure I don’t get any streaks. Once the windows are done I’ll move down to the tracks. I have a pretty thorough video on how to clean windows if you’re interested in more detail.
Obscure Horizontal Surfaces
In every space, there are those little crevices that you skip over when you’re doing a regular cleaning. I do it too, it’s not a big deal! However, once a year during spring cleaning it’s a good time to think about these little spaces. I’m specifically talking about things like the top of artwork, underneath the microwave, or the top of doorframes. I can assure you, if you take your finger and run it across the top of a doorframe, it’s going to come back with some dust! Get out your ladder, or get down to eye level, and take care of these areas using a microfiber cloth dampened with a little bit of all-purpose cleaner. Give them a quick wipe and you’re done!
I’m not saying you have to clean every wall in your house but there are those special walls that need some extra TLC around spring cleaning time. These are the ones that can get a little grimy—kitchen walls, bathroom walls and anywhere you see drip marks on the paint. Start with a simple spot cleaning with a microfiber cloth. Spray a little bit of all-purpose cleaner on there and give the wall a quick wipe. If there’s a stain, you can add a little bit of baking soda on to your cloth. Now, if you want to clean the entire wall, take a flathead mop and fix a microfiber cloth on the head. Spray it with an all-purpose cleaner and work your way from the top to the bottom using the W pattern. We have a full video on how to clean walls and baseboards if you want more information.
If we consider our soft surfaces for a moment—pillows, cushions, blankets, upholstery—we know they get a lot of use and get really dirty. You sit on them, your dead skin cells get brushed off and absorbed right into them. These things are full of dust, dirt, debris and pet dander.
Start off by checking the fabric care label. A lot of these items are machine washable, but make sure you wash them according to the care instructions. The next thing you can do is sprinkle baking soda on any soft surfaces that you can’t machine wash. This will help break down odors and bring dirt to the surface. Let it site for 30 minutes then simply vacuum it up using a brush attachment. You can also take soft surfaces into the dry cleaner if you can’t otherwise treat them.
You might not think that these need to be cleaned all that often, but over time, they attract odors and dirt and start to smell and look dingy. There are a few different ways to clean these items. You can use a vacuum with a brush attachment, or you can take them down and wash them in your washing machine (again, make sure you check your fabric care labels). You can also steam clean them yourself, or bring someone in to do it for you.
I don’t have drapes in my house, but I have vertical and horizontal blinds which also get dusty and grimy. An easy way to clean blinds is to take the brush attachment on your vacuum and simply go back and forth, getting all dust on both sides. If you don’t have a brush attachment, or you’re short on time, you can use a sock turned inside out with a little bit with all-purpose cleaner. You can also, of course, use a microfiber cloth to do this job as well.