Save Time and Money With This Spring Cleaning Guide

Updated: Dec. 20, 2023

We've created this detailed guide that highlights when and how to begin spring cleaning and everything you need to get your house in order.

Smiling Woman At Home Cleaning The WindowWestend61/via getty images

We hardly treat spring cleaning as a celebration to welcome warmer days, but it serves many important purposes. One of the most crucial is eliminating allergens to help us breathe easier.

History of Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning is by no means a new idea. Many cultures across the world share this tradition.

Jewish tradition dictates a thorough clean before Passover. Many Middle Eastern and Asian cultures celebrate the new year in the spring, on or around the vernal equinox. In those, a thoroughly cleaning acknowledges and welcomes the new year.

In parts of the world with the coldest winters, spring provided the first opportunity to open up the home and air it out after a long season cooped up. All the soot from the cooking fires, the stale air and any lingering dust could finally be expelled from the home.

Why You Should Spring Clean

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, it’s imperative you rid your home of dust, mildew, mold, pet dander and bugs that accumulated during the colder months, according to a study by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

Spring cleaning also eliminates clutter. That results in an organized home, boosting productivity and increasing energy levels, according to experts. And spring cleaning can relieve stress, make you a happier person and improve your focus.

When to Start Spring Cleaning

Some researchers traced the kickoff of spring cleaning to the Persian New Year, which is the first day of spring. According to the National Day Calendar, it begins the fourth Sunday in March.

“National Cleaning Week shows up just in time for fair weather!” says the authoritative source for fun, unusual and unique National Days. But any time is a good time to begin spring cleaning.

However, in some parts of the country, the first day of spring still means snow on the ground and potentially more to come. Then there are April showers that turn that leftover snow into muddy slush.

If you can commence spring cleaning on the first day of spring, great! If not, begin when temperatures are mild. That way you can open your windows, let out the stale air and let in the fresh.

Bonus: A spring cleaning playlist will make your work seem less mundane and more fun. Happy cleaning!

Where To Start Spring Cleaning

One school of thought recommends starting spring cleaning wherever you feel the most motivated. If you’ve been itching to tackle your kitchen cabinets for months, start there. Or if you prefer checking off easy tasks first, do that.

Either way. follow the Golden Rule of Spring Cleaning: Work from the top down. The last thing you want to do is clean a room or surface, then “undo” it by working on something above it that will dirty it up again — say, wiping down the ceiling fan after dusting the furniture.

Assemble a checklist that shows you how to approach your whole home. Room-by-room is a great way to keep you on track and avoid feeling overwhelmed. Here’s a spring cleaning checklist/guide to get you started.

Spring Cleaning Tips for Every Room

These tips and tricks can be applied to every room you spring clean.

  • Dust ceiling fans and light fixtures: Be sure to switch your ceiling fans to spin counter-clockwise during the warm months so they move the warm air up instead of down. Replace burned-out lightbulbs.
  • Dust the corners of the walls and ceiling: Use a soft broom, or a step ladder and a cordless vacuum.
  • Clean windowsills and window tracks: These accumulate a ton of grime.
  • Clean window treatments: When was the last time you laundered the drapes or curtains in all your rooms? If you can’t remember, spring cleaning is the perfect time to do it. Be sure to wipe down blinds.
  • Dust shelves: Pull off books, knick-knacks and other items to get rid of dust. A microfiber cloth is most effective because it traps the dust instead of moving it around.
  • Disinfect door knobs, cabinet handles and light switches: We love Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner. Simply spray a little on a cleaning cloth and wipe off each knob, handle or switch. Then dry with a clean towel. We also love these Seventh Generation Disinfecting Multi-Surface Wipes — no towels required.
  • Wash the walls: After a solid scrub-down with a mild household cleaner, use a Magic Eraser to gently remove scuffs and stains.
  • Clean out the closet: Clear off shelves and find another place for things you don’t need or love. Get everything off the floor and give it a good scrub.
  • Vacuum under furniture: After cleaning everything up above, it’s time to tackle the floors. Move all the heavy furniture and clean underneath it. Tackle upholstery with the handheld attachment.

Room-by-Room Spring Cleaning Tips:

Use these tips and tricks for specific rooms in your home.

Spring cleaning bedrooms

  • Swap out clothing: Who needs bulky sweaters taking up valuable space in your closet all summer? Pull out the storage bags with summer clothes and put away your winter garb. We love these soft storage bags.
  • Sort through your shoes and socks: If you no longer wear a pair of shoes, it’s time to donate, toss or fix. Likewise, there’s bound to be some socks missing their counterpart, and others with holes. Toss ’em.
  • Go through your dresser: Pull everything out, donate what you no longer want, then re-fold the rest.
  • Wash bedding and pillows: When was the last time you washed your pillows?

Spring cleaning bathrooms

  • Tackle the medicine cabinet: Clear out expired medicines and old cosmetics.
  • Declutter shelves and drawers: It’s too easy to accumulate products in bathroom drawers and let clutter pile up on shelves and in the vanity. Toss what you don’t need, then organize and put back the rest.
  • Deep clean the sink, shower and toilet: It’s probably your least favorite task, but it’s a definite spring cleaning must. Along with scrubbing, be sure to wash the shower curtain, bathmat and any throw rugs.
  • Declutter your linen closet: Pull out the old towels and sheets to donate, and re-fold the ones you still want.

Spring cleaning the laundry room

  • Clean behind the washer and dryer: Be careful not to dislodge electrical cords or the gas line.
  • Deep clean lint traps in the washer and dryer: Try a vacuum hose attachment to make the job a little easier.

Spring cleaning the kitchen

  • Deep clean the refrigerator: Remove all shelves, racks and bins in your fridge and freezer, then wash and dry them. Toss out expired and unwanted items. Wipe down the interior walls before you put the shelves back.
  • Deep clean your cabinets: Pull out all food, toss expired items and organize the rest. We love this container set and these storage bins.
  • Toss out or donate old pots and pans: Same goes for water bottles and plastic food containers. Check to see if any can be recycled.
  • Organize that junk drawer: Self-explanatory.
  • Clean your oven, cooktop and vent hood: Replace or clean any filters as well.
  • Clean your microwave and toaster oven: Don’t forget the crumbs at the bottom of the toaster oven.
  • Sort through your mugs and glasses: It’s amazing how easily these can build up. Donate what you don’t want and organize the rest.

Spring cleaning the fireplace

If you used your fireplace all winter, you can bet it needs cleaning right now.

Spring cleaning the entryway

  • Begin by decluttering: Grab a bag for trash, another for donation and a third for items that can be stored. Anything you’ll use regularly can be placed in a pile before you put it back.
  • Wipe down doors, knobs and switch plates: Use a disinfectant wipe or spray.
  • Shake the entry mat: Or consider replacing it altogether if it’s old and gross.
  • Sweep and wash the floors: These could really be a mess. Let everything dry out completely.

Spring cleaning the basement

Declutter shelves and storage areas. Toss what’s expired/unwanted, but don’t go crazy with deep cleaning. Save that for a stormy day in the winter.

Spring cleaning the garage

Cleaning your garage is another great spring project. Declutter and throw out any items broken beyond repair, and donate things you no longer need. If your kids have outgrown their bikes, it’s time to let someone else ride them. The same goes for no-longer-used pool toys, camping gear and gardening equipment.