Welcome to your Super-Sweet, Borderline Magical Spring Cleaning and Decluttering Extravaganza Guide for 2022. The truth is that when most people start thinking seriously about spring cleaning, they’re not feeling very magical. Lacking motivation, instead of just going ahead and getting their spring clean on, they wonder how to get out of it and whom they can convince to do it for them. But fear not, dear reader! You have found the ultimate in spring cleaning posts, packed with all the best tips for spring cleaning you’ll need. Read this, then check out our post on how to make a spring cleaning routine more sustainable.
1. First, strategize to declutter.
Decide on a few categories for stuff (like keep, donate, trash, recycle), then work your way through your house, sorting room by room. Your goal is to remove clutter, so grab a few big boxes, bags or storage bins, label one for each of your categories, and get to sorting. Once you hit every room, you probably have several containers that need to either leave your home or be redistributed into their proper places. Drop off those donations, mail off those gifts, trash that junk, recycle those recyclables, and put away those keepers wherever they belong. Feel better? You’ve just completed a huge first step toward achieving spring-cleaning success.
2. Next, freshen things up.
Begin by opening your windows to get some fresh air. Ah, what a relief. Now it’s time to start those long-standing standards of spring cleaning, like deep cleaning your mattress and bedding, washing both sides of all your windows, wiping down blinds, and cleaning window treatments and upholstery. Don’t forget to clean under and around appliances and furniture and deep-clean the fridge, stove, dishwasher, washer and dryer. After you get most of this out of the way, you’re probably about ready for the rest of those usual suspects: the sweeping, dusting, mopping, vacuuming and scrubbing you’ve hopefully been doing all year. It’s up next.
3. Get some help (and some simple ingredients).
Enlist your fellow household dwellers to help you out and do their share. Even the kids should have a stake in these efforts that benefit the whole household. Also, you probably need fewer cleaning products than you think. You can clean just about anything with vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, lemon and salt. Think about how you could incorporate any of these spring-cleaning tips into your regular weekly cleaning routine. If you do all of them more often throughout the year, you’ll make your more in-depth annual spring-cleaning session a lot easier.
4. Use lemon, vinegar and baking soda.
- Citric acid in lemons is an effective, affordable and natural spring-cleaning agent. Salt half a lemon (for scouring) and rub it on faucets to remove water stains, inside microwaves to attack baked-on gunk, and on steel or copper cookware to bring back the shine.
- Meanwhile, vinegar is perhaps the grand champion of natural home cleaning, with more uses than we will try to list here. A 50-50 mix with water is your go-to spray cleaner.
- With a long list of uses, baking soda is another heavy lifter when it comes to cleaning. It’s tough to beat when your sinks and bathrooms need a scrub.
5. Use newspapers, cream of tartar and onions.
- Newspaper is great for cleaning windows without streaks or paper towels. Just mix a quarter-cup of white vinegar with a couple teaspoons of liquid soap and two cups of water, then spray and scrub with the newsprint, and you’ll arrive promptly in sparkle city.
- Wondering what to do with that old cream of tartar in the back of your spice cabinet? Mix a spoonful of it with water into a paste. Massage this into stainless steel, from appliances to flatware, and wipe it away with a clean, dry cloth for a one-way ticket to shiny town.
- Naturally acidic and conveniently shaped, the humble onion is the perfect tool for cleaning your grill before your first spring cookout. When it’s warm, spray the grates with a little vinegar, then scrub them with half an onion to primed and ready for cooking.
6. Use coffee filters, butter knives and old socks.
- The soft fibers in coffee filters are perfect for clearing dust and fingerprints from screens on your devices, but be sure to use a gentle touch to avoid scratching.
- Wrap a butter knife in a cleaning cloth to clean out the gaps in your A/C vents. This is a great habit to get into regularly whenever you change your A/C filters.
- Instead of throwing them out, wear old cotton socks over your hands as you dust. You’ll have more control and won’t spread dust all over the place as you might with a feather duster.
7. Try Velcro, dryer sheets and cotton swabs.
- Reduce the clutter of items like remotes for all your gadgets (or tools) with a little Velcro. There are myriad uses for this excellent invention, as it excels at keeping things in place.
- Dryer sheets are helpful if you need a way to remove the remnants of past meals from the surface of your range. Once food is burned onto your stove, a wet dryer sheet soaking on top of the stain for 20 minutes can make removing that old gunk easier.
- If your computer keyboard is gross (and let’s face it, it probably is, whether you realize it or not), start with a can of compressed air. Then clean between keys and crevices with cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove stubborn gunk and kill germs.
8. Use turntables, squeegees and dividers.
- Turntables or Lazy Susans are great for closets, kitchen cabinets or garage shelves. Little things like nuts and bolts or herbs and spices are easy to misplace. Making them accessible via rotation in one spot can help you stamp out that clutter.
- Until we heard about it from a friend, pulling out pet hair from carpets and rugs with a squeegee that we’d normally use for car windows had not occurred to us, but it works! Drag it across the floor, removing hair as you go, and finish by vacuuming.
- When we say dividers, we’re talking closet organizers. We’ve barely touched on these options, but the possibilities are endless for getting better organized and saving space. One way is to divide clothes in your closet with category cards you hang between them.
9. Use shower rings, hooks and vertical space savers.
- Shower rings are an excellent space-saving trick in your closet that also free up extra hanger space for scarfs, ties, belts and any other items that don’t need an entire hanger.
- Never underestimate the amount of space you can save anywhere in your home by hanging hooks on the wall or from the ceiling. Hooks come in every conceivable shape and size, perfect for hats, bags, jewelry, belts, watches, purses, tools and much more.
- Now that we’ve touched on closets briefly, we want to take this opportunity to encourage you to invest in some sort of closet organizing system. These vertical space-saving systems are a great way to free up space and get organized.
10. Use shoe shelves, can tabs and closet drawers.
- What list of the best spring-cleaning tips would be complete without shoes? Who doesn’t need a good shoe shelf? If you have more than a few pairs, you’ll want to avoid cluttered piles of them or their boxes on the floor.
- The tiny, lightweight aluminum pull tabs on cans of soft drinks and beer (and sometimes wine) are a perfect way to extend storage capacity. Thread tabs over the hanger, then hang a second hanger from the lower tab loop. You can hang a whole outfit together like this!
- If your old closet (or new closet-organizing system) lacks drawers, you can make your own or buy some. The better you organize your closet, the less clutter you’ll have and the more you’ll feel the impact of your deep spring cleaning, decluttering and reorganizing.
So, that’s it! Go forth and get your spring clean on, keeping a keen eye on decluttering and organizing to make all that cleaning much easier! If you’d like, feel free to read about the life hacks we wish we’d known sooner on our spring cleaning checklist or about our survey of American cleaning and decluttering habits while stuck at home during the pandemic. You can also learn how we’ve elected to spring forward with this home maintenance checklist and more great tips for sustainable spring cleaning 101. For even more inspiration, follow us on Instagram.
The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.