It’s spring. Don’t freak out.
If you begin a large spring cleaning project like cleaning the garage or attic out before the rest of your house is in some sort of order, you’ll only get discouraged.
There’s no point in cleaning the garage until you’ve PROMed the play room, the closets, and the stack of Real Simple magazines from the side of your bed—–you’ll just be tempted to put the stuff in the garage because you “have room.”
But! if you have been doing a pretty good job keeping up with the day-to-day stuff and the grime on the blinds is starting to get on your nerves, or you’re hesitant to turn on the ceiling fans because you’re not interested in starting a dust storm, it’s time to spring (or fall. This is an approximate twice-a-year list) clean.
The operative word here is clean.
Not organize, not straighten, not hide.
You do NOT need to do all of these things. Do what is the most important first, and go down the list.
Give yourself an entire month to get through the tasks—this isn’t a race, or a competition.
No prizes will be doled out if you finish quickly, nor will penalties accrue if you don’t get to something. Just put it on the next list.
— wipe down blinds, wash windows, and launder curtains. I like to use baby wipes or disinfectant wipes on the blinds, or a microfiber cloth spritzed with a degreaser (Fantastic, 409, Windex Multi-surface, or whatever I can find at the Dollar Tree). You can also use a vinegar and water solution, or Dr. Bronner’s—it doesn’t really matter
— clean ceiling fans. I use wipes or a misted cloth again. Dry dusting will just disturb the dust and it will settle back down, causing frustration.
— clean kitchen cabinet fronts. If you have a lot of grease built up, you’ll need to use a degreaser. You can use a spray on/wipe off method, or wash with a little dish soap and water.
While in the kitchen:
clean range hood, the top of the refrigerator, and run the self-clean cycle on the oven.
If you don’t have a self-clean cycle, I’m so very sorry.
The spray-on oven cleaners work, but they take a while and smell horrible.
A safer cleanser, although it doesn’t work as well, is to combine equal parts vinegar with baking soda and a few drops of dish soap. Spread the paste on the stubborn stains and let it sit for a few hours. Scrape off with a plastic spatula.
Once your oven is clean, put a layer of foil on the bottom (under the heating element if electric, and do not block the vents on the bottom if gas) to keep it that way.
The bathrooms should be in pretty good shape, if you are doing the bathroom wipe-down more often than not from the Daily 7.
If the shower stall needs some help, sprinkle a liberal amount of powdered cleanser (or baking soda) on the shower floor and agitate with a slightly wet scrub brush.
Scrub up the sides of the shower walls, and in the door track.
Let this sit for a few hours. When time has elapsed, run the water for a bit, then scrub again with the remaining powder. Leave the scrub brush in the shower to finish the job the next time you shower.
For icky grout, the bleach pen works really well to remove stains.
If you have soap scum on the shower door that won’t disappear, lemon oil (furniture polish aisle) works wonderfully—-just put a tiny bit on a microfiber cloth and the streaks disappear.
Be careful using lemon oil on nicer faucets and fixtures, it can cause pitting.
To keep the shower sparking year-round, wipe it down (dry it) daily, and use a scrub brush every so often while in the shower to keep grime and mold from building up in grout lines.
If you leave the door or curtain open during the day, the fresh air will help to keep mold at bay.
Other Stuff To Do to Spring Clean:
Vacuum and clean under stuff —-
The couch, the stove, and the refrigerator could use a good cleaning behind/under once or twice a year.
The washer and dryer are also on this list, and anything else you know in the back of your mind that should be done.
You know what they are—-but you don’t have to do everything at once, or at all. If you do half the house in the spring, do the other half in the fall. Once a year for a lot of this stuff is plenty.
🙂 SERIOUSLY. No one is judging you as harshly as you end up judging yourself.
Hose off the porch, the front of the house, and the lawn furniture.
I like to pick a somewhat warmish day and let the kids run around in their swimsuits and rubber boots (or aqua socks).
I spray off all the cobwebs and the layer of dust that has accumulated on the window ledges and the eaves.
Your paint job will last longer if you do this twice a year.
Since the hose is already out, spray the lawn furniture down.
The attic? The garage? The storage shed?
Don’t tackle any of these things until you feel satisfied that the house is in good shape.
Many people choose to go through their photos during spring cleaning, and/or clean up their computer files.
This makes a lot of sense, and only you know if you need to add that to your list.
One cool thing about the Totally Together book is that all these (and other) chores are laid out as weekly tasks to accomplish throughout the year, so you (me!) don’t feel overwhelmed at the change of the seasons.
This handy-dandy weekly planner will hold your hand throughout the year and will give you all the reminders and helpful prods you need to have the Very Best Year, ever. No need to wait for the New Year to start your organization mission, you can start at any time. Enjoy!