Spring cleaning checklist: Life hacks we wish we knew sooner

Start your spring cleaning with a checklist, and enjoy a cleaner, healthier home.

Key tips to remember

  • You can save money by doing your own spring cleaning.
  • Avoid expensive cleaning products.
  • Make a checklist ahead of time.

It’s almost that time again: The birds are chirping, the clouds are parting, the sunshine is sparkling — yes, springtime is in the air! Sure, we’re being a little optimistic because it’s still winter, but we’re tantalizingly close to that inspiring season of new beginnings, fresh starts and warmer temperatures. Spring is just around the corner! What’s not to love about it? Spring cleaning, you say? Nah, no biggie. With a little help from this handy blog post and your homemade checklist, you’ll have your place looking primo-clean in no time flat. Well, maybe more like at least 10 minutes per room, but forget the cleaning service. Save that extra cash for something fun. You can do this, as in do it yourself. You know, DIY? Trust us. You’ve got this.

You made it to this second paragraph, so we can tell you’re really in the mood for some serious adulting. You’ve put away those childish daydreams of hiring a house-cleaning service and have embraced the inner you — the one that’s not afraid to put on sweatpants and a bandana, grit your teeth like PFC Vasquez in Aliens, and prepare to inhale the fumes. You’re now entering the mode to deep clean a house, and there’s no turning back. It’s genuinely inspiring. You’re doing great — small victories! Anyway, the first step (after getting into the zone and your soft pants) is to create your checklist for cleaning. Again, this is not a list for cleaning house services. We’ve established that they are not involved here, have we not? DIY!

Here is your spring cleaning checklist!

This list, by the way, is by you, for you, and all about YOU. You’re the author of your guide to cleaning your own home, so fly free. Assert your priorities, and determine your destiny. Just try to make it a clean one. We’re merely your friendly advisors on this journey to clean, gently nudging you to seize on the best aspects of your personality, harness their power to make your life cleaner, and act on these impulses. Maybe we should be life coaches instead.

Anyway, your cleaning-the-house checklist commences now. We’re just going to make some suggestions about important parts that might otherwise be neglected, along with a few tips on cleaning we thought might prove useful. Selecting the ones that matter most to you, ranking them, and incorporating them into your cleaning list (or not) is entirely up to you.

1. Bedding: Sure, you know you’re supposed to clean your sheets and pillowcases, but when was the last time you washed your comforter, duvet cover, or all that other stuff piled on your bed? While you’re at it, how about vacuuming, spot-stain removing and sanitizing that old mattress?

2. Outdoor Furniture: This one seems a little obvious, doesn’t it? Who wants to step outside for the first picnic of the year, only to sit down — while wearing new hot pants — into a pile of rotten leaves and bird poop? Grab a bucket of warm water with a squirt of soap. Wipe, rinse, repeat.

3. Closets: Sure, what’s left in the closet often stays in the closet, but what is spring cleaning without spring organizing? They go hand in hand. Get your closet in order, and then getting your life in order seems a little easier. Purge the unused. What do you really need? Organize what remains.

4. Bookshelves: If you’ve got one of those handy-dandy wee handheld vacuum cleaners, now’s the time to break out that bad boy because dust is having a party in your bookshelves and has invited all its friends. While you’re at it, take the time to get a little better organized in this space.

5. Walls: Walls? Yes, people clean them. It’s a thing. You see, the paint on your walls collects grime over time, and the more dirt it accumulates, the more that once-crisp, clean paint job looks, well, dirty. Use water and soap to spot-clean with a cloth, sponge or magic eraser.

6. Stainless Steel: Let’s face it, stainless steel looks terrible when it’s dirty. It may not be stained, but it can accumulate greasy fingerprints, dried cookie-dough remnants, and even a little dust. Buy special cleaners, or stick with vinegar, dish soap, club soda and soft cloths.

7. Other metals: So, maybe you inherited Grandma’s silver. Maybe you collect modern bronze jewelry. Maybe you create meticulous action-hero figurines out of various metallic alloys. Hey, whatever works. You might want to clean your metal because clean metal is shinier metal.

8. Oven: Contrary to popular belief, you still should spend some time cleaning your oven. Even if it’s one of those fancy “self-cleaning” models, it’s probably about as good at cleaning itself as your car is. Baking soda and white vinegar can do wonders, after you scrape out the chunks.

9. Washing Machine: While you’ve got that baking soda and white vinegar handy, use this magic combo on your washing machine because a dirty machine won’t get your clothes clean — truth. Run the hot water, add the magic combo, and let it sit for an hour. Restart, drain and wipe dry.

10. Wood Floors: If you’re dusting your wood floors on the regular, you’ll probably only need to use hardwood cleaning polish once every couple of months. But if an armada of mud-slinging, floor-scratching rapscallions stomps through often, you might want to polish monthly.

11. Carpets: Here’s another one that depends on how much foot traffic happens, as well as what might be stuck to said feet. A vacuum refresh is often all you need for low-traffic areas, but a deep clean two to four times a year makes sense for any carpeting in areas where the party happens.

12. Refrigerator: If you prefer not to become intimately acquainted with mysterious growths, remove the shelves, wash them, and then proceed to wash all over the inside. Then put the shelves back. Do this twice a year.

13. Windows: Want to take window cleaning to the next level and make that glass sparkle like never before? Check out these tips, and before you know it, you’ll be cleaning your windows like a pro. 

Now you’re all set. Your customized, DIY spring-clean checklist has sprung.

How to keep your house in tiptop shape, all year-round

There’s more to this, of course, but it’s a good start. Go forth and clean, but before you leave, have you ever considered a little extra help keeping your home in tiptop shape, all year-round? A home warranty, like a home protection plan from Cinch Home Services, makes it easy to cover all your major appliances and your home’s core systems. Take a look and consider investing in an affordable, award-winning plan that delivers peace of mind and helps keep your home running reliably and comfortably.

Get a free quote today!

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.

Related stories