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The Ultimate Guide to Spring Cleaning in 2024

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We can all agree 2020 was a crazy year. And we’re all ready to get back to normal. Many of us have been locked down for over a year, and while we all had good intentions to finally clean out the attic, organize the garage and declutter the kitchen, I think it’s safe to say, very few of us accomplished our goals (myself included). But now is the time to get our homes back in order!

As a kid, spring cleaning was always something I thought happened in a weekend or two. Oh, but now that I’m an adult, I know just how wrong I was. It’s called spring cleaning because it takes an entire season to thoroughly clean the mess you’ve made over the last year. That being said, don’t try to get everything done in a weekend. It’s the quickest way to burn out and not get anything done.

Use this guide to spring cleaning any way you wish. If you want to follow it in the order it’s listed or if you want to jump all over the place, either way is fine. As long as you’re getting cleaned and organized, that is the goal. And if you need to a checklist to make sure you’ve covered everything, we have that too! So open the windows, let in some fresh air, and let’s get to spring cleaning.

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When Should You Start Spring Cleaning?

Well, the simple answer would be the first of spring. However, if you live in a colder climate, you’ll want to wait until the snow has cleared before tackling any areas that are heavy traffic. You don’t want to scrub floors and then have snowy or muddy boots in and out. Same thing goes if it’s a rainy spring season. In those cases, you could actually start spring cleaning a little earlier by working on decluttering rooms or organizing closets.

I would wait until you can open windows before you get into dusting and using cleaners, just to keep allergens under control. Whenever you plan to get started, make sure you give yourself enough time for each room. The more you get done during your spring cleaning routine, the easier it will be to keep your home clean the rest of the year.

Let’s start with the basics steps to spring cleaning, and then we’ll cover each room.

Step 1 to Spring Cleaning: Declutter

Before you can get a thorough clean of your home, you need to declutter. This is also something that can be done while it’s still cold and messy outside. Go room by room, and trash or donate items you no longer need. Put all items back that are out of place. Declutter you home and then organize each room to make it easier to clean during the year.

Related: Declutter Your Small Kitchen in 5 Easy Steps

Step 2 to Spring Cleaning: Closets

The next thing I love to do before it is officially spring is cleaning out the closets. Now’s the time to go through your winter wardrobe and get rid of anything you haven’t worn, doesn’t fit, needs fixed or you just don’t love anymore. Have a donate bag, a to-sell bag (for your summer garage sale), and a trash bag. Now is also the time to go through your summer clothes as well and purge those items in the same way.

Old shoes and purses are another thing that collect in your closet. Now is the time to go through those items. Make sure to clean out any purses before getting rid of them; it may actually pay you to clean your closets. Go through any bedding that is stored in your closet. Sheets that are worn and you’re not using can be donated to an animal shelter. For anything you keep, wash it to keep it fresh and either remake your bed or put it away.

For kids’ closets, start with the clothes. Kids’ clothes sell best at garage sales, if you’re planning for that. You could donate them to a friend or a pregnancy support center. Or store them for your younger children. For kids’ toys, get rid of anything that is broken or missing pieces. They’re likely not playing with those, and they can be unsafe for smaller children. Anything they’ve outgrown again can be sold or donated to a center or younger kids. Get your kids to help. They can learn early how good it is to give to others or how to earn and save money.

Don’t forget to go through your bathroom closets as well. Old towels can be donated to an animal shelter (add it to your bag of old sheets). I usually repurpose old washcloths and dishcloths to be used as cleaning cloths (for showers or walls), which is perfect to keep your spring cleaning efforts going strong.

Step 3 to Spring Cleaning: Top to Bottom Cleaning

Once the weather finally breaks, you can really get into serious spring cleaning. But to minimize your time with any task, you need to do it the right way. That’s why I always do top to bottom cleaning. Never heard of top to bottom cleaning? It’s simple; just start with the highest/tallest items in the room and save the floor for last. I recommend working on one room at a time, so you don’t get overwhelmed and so you are able to put the room completely back together by the end of the day.

Start first by taking down your curtains, and clean them according to the label. Next you’ll want to clean the ceiling. Ceilings don’t typically collect as much dirt as other parts of the house, so you only need to wash them, if you see dirt or mold, or if someone in your home has allergies. Otherwise, you can run a vacuum on the ceiling or use a Swiffer Sweeper; the long handle makes it easy to reach most ceilings.

While you’re looking at the ceiling, you’ll also want to take down any light fixtures, and wash them. Be sure to wipe down any ceiling fans or light fixtures that can’t be removed. The Swiffer Duster Extender works great for those high places, if you don’t want to get up on a ladder.

Working with our top to bottom method, you’ll want to dust all the items in the room, pulling them away from the walls, as you go. Take everything off the walls, and dust each item. Next you’ll want to wash the windows; inside and out, if you can. Now would be the time to clean the mirrors, as well.

Now it’s time to wash the walls. This is the one time in our top to bottom method that you actually want to start at the bottom. It is harder to wipe away a dirty streak from a dirty wall than wiping it from a clean wall, and we don’t want to spend any extra time washing those walls. I suggest using the Swiffer Sweeper again on your ceiling and walls in the fall, to keep the dust and cobwebs away. Once the walls are finished, you can go ahead and run your cloth over the baseboards and vents.

Once everything else in the room has been cleaned, it’s time for the floors. On hardwood, tile, or linoleum floors, I usually use a Swiffer Wet Jet, but when spring cleaning, I like to give the floor a good soap and water scrub.

For carpets or rugs, spring cleaning is the time of year you need to deep clean, so yes vacuuming is a must. After vacuuming, you’ll want to scrub your rugs with a rug shampoo or mild dish soap. For carpeting, you can use the same cleaner and scrub it by hand (time consuming), purchase a carpet cleaning machine, rent a machine, or hire someone to professionally clean your carpets. Once the rugs and carpets are scrubbed, let them dry and vacuum once more.

Scrubbing the carpets is usually a two day step, as you need to wait for one side of the room to dry before you can vacuum and move the furniture back. But once the carpet is done, that’s it, you’re good to move on to the next room.

Step 4 to Spring Cleaning: Electronics

While I mentioned that you need to dust all the items in a room before cleaning the floors, I wanted to mentioned your electronics. The Swiffer Duster is great for removing dust from televisions, laptops, or gaming systems. But you don’t want to forget about the smaller electronics, such as your phone, television remotes, game controllers, and your computer mouse and keyboard. Use a disinfecting wipe for those heavily touched surfaces. And don’t forget about your vacuum and broom. Empty the vacuum, dust the outside, and snip any hairs wrapped around the beater bar. Clean the bristles of your broom. Replace the batteries in your smoke detector.

ultimate guide to spring cleaning: rubber gloves and spray bottle

What do you do for spring cleaning?

Spring cleaning is the yearly deep clean you perform on your home (inside and out). It’s the time to clean those areas of your home that normally get missed. So let’s go room by room, so we don’t forget anything.


entryway with stairs meeting doorway
Photo by Curtis Adams from Pexels

If you have an entryway, you should start there, as it is the first thing people see as they enter your home. If you have any winter coats there, put those away. Either store the coats in your closet, or rotate your winter/summer wardrobes. Keep your cold weather clothes in storage totes to make more room in your closets.

Go through any shoes in your entry space, and get rid of anything that no longer fits or is destroyed. Again trade out your winter boots for summer sandals. Set up a shoe rack in your entryway to keep your shoes in order in the future.

Perform any other decluttering tasks and then start your top to bottom cleaning remembering to vacuum or wash any rugs. It’s also a great time to change out rugs and go with a warmer theme to make your entryway a more inviting space.


white kitchen with wrap around counter
Photo by Curtis Adams from Pexels

The next step on your spring cleaning journey is your kitchen. You can actually start cleaning parts of your kitchen well before the weather has changed. You’ll need to clean out your refrigerator, freezer, and cupboards. Get rid of any expired food or anything that has freezer burn. Defrost your freezer, if necessary. Clean the shelves, drawers and walls of the refrigerator and freezer. Don’t forget the outside and the top. Clean the inside and outside of your cupboards. Rotate all your canned goods when restocking.

Clear out the space under your sink. Scrub your dish drying rack or replace it, if needed. Scrub your trash can, inside and out.

Related: Organize Your Small Kitchen in 6 Easy Steps

Clean your appliances. Empty the bread crumbs from your toaster and wipe down the outside. Heat a bowl of water in your microwave, then wipe it out with soap and water. The steam will loosen any stuck-on food. Scrub out your oven, or use the self-cleaning feature, if you’ve had a lot of spills. Wash the drip pans on the stove, and lift the stovetop to clean underneath. Don’t forget to clean the drawer underneath the stove. I would even suggest to pull the stove and refrigerator away from the wall, to clean underneath.

If you have a dishwasher, get a dishwasher cleaner, and run an empty cycle while you’re cleaning the cupboards. Wipe down all the other appliances that are sitting on your counters collecting dust: mixer, blender, coffee pot, etc.

Once all the cupboards and appliances have been thoroughly cleaned, continue with the top to bottom cleaning method. Wash the curtains and clean the windows. Maybe replace the curtain with something springtime, to let in more light. Don’t forget lights or ceiling fans. Wash the walls and floor. Vacuum and wash any rugs. Replace worn rugs.

Dining Room

dining room table with two chairs
Photo by Curtis Adams from Pexels

Not everyone has a traditional dining room these days. You know the ones, with the massive china cabinet and grand table. Usually the room where you, as a child, where never allowed to play and chairs you probably weren’t allowed to sit on. Whether it’s a traditional room, or more of a breakfast nook, it still needs that good deep clean.

If you have a china cabinet, now is the time of year to take all the dishes and glasses out and wash everything (preferably by hand, as most dishwasher detergents are too harsh). Wash or Windex the shelving and dust the cabinet. Move it away from the wall to clean the wall and floor. Move it back and replace all the dishware. Finish with top to bottom cleaning. Go through your checklist to make sure you got the lighting, the windows (and curtains), walls, the table, chairs, rugs, carpets or hardwood.

Living Room

white living room with large sofa and chair
Photo by Terry Magallanes from Pexels

Once you’ve decluttered, the living room should be fairly easy to clean. Use the top to bottom cleaning method, but I would dust everything before washing the walls and baseboards. Make sure to vacuum the couch and under the couch. Spray the couch and pillows with Febreze to eliminate odors and refresh. Don’t forget to wash the windows and curtains.


cream bedroom with king bed
Photo by Terry Magallanes from Pexels

If you started with Step 1, you’ve already gone through your closets, so now we’re just tackling the cleaning. Take all the bedding off and wash everything. Clean your pillows, as per the instructions. Either remake the bed, or swap out with your summer bedding. (Satin sheets are great for summer, since they stay cool.) Dust the bed, dressers, any other furniture and lamps, and wipe down mirrors. Clean lights or ceiling fans, wash windows and curtains, wash the walls and baseboards. Don’t forget to vacuum under the bed, and go through any storage containers you may have under there. Deep clean the carpets or rugs.


white bathroom
Photo by Curtis Adams from Pexels

The bathroom. (My least favorite room to clean.) Second to the kitchen, it’s the room you should keep the most clean. First, it’s the dirtiest, and second, it’s the room your guests will most likely see. Start by going through your cabinets. Clear out expired items: creams, makeup and medicines (move these to another room). Get new toothbrushes. If you keep cleaning supplies under the sink, clear out what you don’t use, and get a new toilet brush. Obviously, you’re going to clean your shower, sink and toilet, but also remember to clean your shower curtain, bath mats, and rugs. Perform the top to bottom cleaning method, and you’re done!

Laundry Room

woman pouring detergent into washing machine
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For your laundry area, get rid of any old soaps and replace any broken laundry baskets or hampers. Use Affresh to clean the inside of your washer. Be sure to empty the lint trap of your dryer every time you use it. Take this time of year to clean the trap with soap and water. Vacuum the hose and all areas around the dryer. Then go outside and clean the outside of the vent. Finish with top to bottom cleaning.


If you have a finished attic or basement, all the top to bottom cleaning rules apply. If you only use the attic or basement for storage, now is the time to go through your items and decide to purge anything that you no longer need and pare down on the storage containers.


Your garage mostly needs to be organized. If you’re planning a garage sale over the summer, it’s even more important to organize. Try shelving for storage containers. Use a pegboard wall organizer to keep your tools off the floor. Get a tool tower for rakes, shovels and brooms.


front of home
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You want the outside of your home ready for summer barbecues or pool parties. Clean doors, windows, and shutters. Rent a pressure washer to clean your siding. Wash down porches, railings and outdoor furniture. Clean your grill and your pool. Landscape your yard to give your home a fresh look: cut your grass, trim your trees and bushes, and plant some flowers. Wipe down your mower and gardening tools when complete.


gray car
Photo by Mike from Pexels

One thing that’s often overlooked – your car. If you’re in a cold climate, wash your car or take it to the car wash in early spring to clean the salt from your car. Be sure to get the undercarriage as well, so you keep it from rusting. Vacuum the seats, floors, and trunk. Dust the dash and clean the inside of the windows. Double check when your car needs inspected or if it is due for an oil change to keep it in top condition.


There you have it: the Ultimate Guide to Spring Cleaning! Get a jump start before spring arrives to get ahead of your spring cleaning schedule and have more time enjoying your summer. Don’t forget to get the checklist, so you don’t miss any part of your home.

ultimate guide to spring cleaning: cleaning supplies

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