April 13

Spring Cleaning Checklist

Ahhhhh spring.  Finally!  And with the arrival of the warm weather comes the itch to open windows and begin the annual spring cleaning.   I must confess that I look forward to this time every year.   There is nothing like a fresh new beginning, and once this thorough once-over of the house is done, everything will be like new again.   So where to begin? And how to proceed?   Here is a simple Spring Cleaning Checklist to follow to help you through.

1.  Begin by creating a project notebook.   Start in Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 9.00.19 AMthe attic and proceed room by room all the way down through the basement and then proceed outside jotting down every single little task, repair, or spruce up that you believe is needed to be completed.   It will be an extensive room-by-room list, and will likely feel a bit daunting, but it is necessary for three things.   You must be able to plan your schedule.  You must be able to have all needed supplies on hand.  And you must be able to see in advance where you will need to recruit assistance.   You don’t want to get part way into a project and find yourself in a pickle because you can’t do a step alone.

2.  Once you have your project notebook completed, divide it into a manageable schedule.  Keep in mind that your spring cleaning is not likely to be accomplished in a single weekend.  You will likely need to spread it throughout a period of time depending on your other time commitments.   Mark your cleaning goals on your calendar, and then plan to purchase (or make!) your needed supplies ahead of time.

I like to do a once through of de-cluttering of the entire house before I begin the deep cleaning.  I then prefer to complete one whole room before moving on to the next.  Some people like to group chores differently, such as washing all the windows on the same day.  Whichever method works for you is fine.   Just be sure to schedule it in so that you won’t be tempted to skip out into the fine weather before your cleaning chores are done!

3.  De-clutter.   Begin in the attic.   Give away, discard, donate, or sell anything that is no longer useful to you in some way.   Then go room-by-room clearing out every drawer, closet, surface and corner and do the same.   You will be surprised how much useless stuff has accumulated during the past few months.   Finish with the basement and the garage.    Typically I do one big yard sale with any items that are saleable.  I use the yard sale money to fund my cleaning and spruce ups.  (This year my kitchen needs painting, for example.)

4.  Start at the top and work down.  This means both the top floor of your home and also the top of every room.
For me, I will begin in the attic and then down to our bedrooms and two bathrooms that are on the second floor of the house.   I’ll  then work down the stairs, to the office, dining room, living room, laundry room, bathroom, and kitchen.  Then finally the basement and garage.   I estimate the full cleaning will take approximately 2-3 weeks.  We should finish just in time to begin the spring yard work. 🙂

 

Here is a room-by-room guide:

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 9.01.33 AMAttic:

  • First, check for critters that may have moved in during the winter.   Birds, mice, and other pests will have to be exterminated.
  • Once you know you are safe from vermin, check for water leaks or other repairs that may be needed.
  • Then de-clutter.   Throw away, donate, or sell any items you can bear to part with.
  • Organize whatever is left, keeping items grouped according to short-term or long-term storage needs.   Seasonal items should be easily accessible.   Long-term storage can be kept further back.


    Bedrooms:

  • De-clutter both personal items and clothing.   If you haven’t warn it in over a year (except for formal attire), get rid of it.  Clean drawers, boxes, and any other clutter spots you have acquired.
  • Dust and clean ceiling fans
  • Remove and clean window treatments.  Most curtains and draperies can be machine washed.  Check the labels.   Wash blinds with warm soapy water.
  • Remove window screens and wash with warm soapy water and a scrub brush. Rinse.    Wash windows inside and out.   Wash window frames.
  • Remove all wall art and clean.
  • Rotate mattresses, clean mattress covers and wash pillows to remove dust mites and molds.  Remove and clean dust ruffles.   Wipe down the entire headboard, footboard, and bed rails including the space between the box spring and rail where dander and dust tends to collect.
  • Dust and clean all furniture (upholstered furniture should be gently beaten to remove dust and wooden furniture should be waxed.)
  • Wash walls beginning at the top of the wall and working down.
  • Wipe down all woodwork and light switches.
  • Vacuum and wash carpets.  Vacuum and wash bare floors.
  • For children’s rooms, wash all toys according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Replace clean window treatments, re-hang wall art, and replace bedding with seasonally appropriate bedding.
  • Clean the door and polish door knob and metal fasteners


    Bathrooms:

  • Clean out the medicine cabinet.  Discard expired medications and cosmetics.
  • Update your emergency first-aid kit.   Especially if you have children, be sure to have Ipecac syrup and other emergency medications on hand.  As always, store all medications well out of reach of children.
  • Clean out the linen closet.  Discard (or tear into rags) stained and worn linens.Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 9.01.00 AM
  • Clean out drawers, doors, and storage areas.  Throw away anything that you have un-necessary duplicates of.  (Why do we have 14 hair brushes?)
  • Dust and clean ceiling fans and all lighting fixtures
  • Remove and clean window treatments. Most curtains and draperies can be machine washed. Check the labels. Wash blinds with warm soapy water.
  • Remove window screens and wash with warm soapy water and a scrub brush. Rinse. Wash windows inside and out. Wash window frames.
  • Remove all wall art and clean.
  • Remove shower curtain liner and either wash or replace.
  • Throw away and replace toothbrushes (we do this quarterly)
  • Clean out the screens on hair dryers and other appliances
  • Remove and clean screens on faucets
  • Wash walls from top down to floor.  Wash woodwork and light switches.
  • Clean and sanitize bathtub, toilet, and sinks, scales, and other equipment
  • Machine wash bath mats, throw carpets, toilet seat covers
  • Scrub cabinetry and doors and polish metal fasteners and handles
  • Wash and wax floors (where appropriate)
  • Reseal grout where necessary
  • Replace window treatments, wall art, shower curtains, and other decorative items after they’ve been cleaned.

     

    Stair ways

  • Remove wall art and clean
  • Wash walls from top down to floor
  • Wash hand rails (and check that they are still securely fastened. Repair where necessary)
  • Wash spindles
  • Wash all wood work, doors, knobs, and light switches
  • Vacuum halls and stairs
  • Wash carpeting
  • Re-hang wall art
  • Change smoke detector and carbon monoxide batteries.


    Office

  • De-clutter personal items, papers, books, receipts.  File prior year paperwork and store in attic or basement.
  • Check that current insurance policies are easily accessible in a fire-safe place.
  • Dust and clean ceiling fans
  • Remove and clean window treatments. Most curtains and draperies can be machine washed. Check the labels. Wash blinds with warm soapy water.
  • Remove window screens and wash with warm soapy water and a scrub brush. Rinse. Wash windows inside and out. Wash window frames.
  • Remove all wall art and clean.
  • Wash walls from top down to floor.
  • Clean all woodwork, doors, knobs, and light switches/switch plates.
  • Remove all books and items from shelves.  Clean shelves, dust books, wipe down leather book spines with a soft cloth.
  • Clean computer and keyboard according to manufacturers instructions
  • Clean and polish all furniture
  • Vacuum
  • Wash carpet and/or floors
  • Replace all window treatments, art, and other decorative items once clean.


    Living Room/ Dining Room/ Den

  • De-clutter. Clean drawers, boxes, and any other clutter spots you have acquired.
  • Dust and clean ceiling fans
  • Remove and clean window treatments. Most curtains and draperies can be machine washed. Check the labels. Wash blinds with warm soapy water.
  • Remove window screens and wash with warm soapy water and a scrub brush. Rinse. Wash windows inside and out. Wash window frames.
  • Remove all wall art and clean.
  • Wash walls from top to bottom
  • Clean all woodwork
  • Remove all books, CDs, videos and other items from shelves. Clean shelves, clean decorative items, dust books, CDs and videos, wipe down leather book spines with a soft cloth.
  • Clean computer and keyboard according to manufacturers instructions
  • Clean and polish all furniture (upholstered furniture should be gently beaten and vacuumed to remove dust).
  • Vacuum
  • Wash carpet and/or floors
  • Wash doors and polish knobs and metal fasteners
  • Replace all window treatments, art, and other decorative items once clean.

    Kitchen

  • De-clutter. Clean drawers, boxes, and any other clutter spots you have acquired.  Throw away duplicates.  Why do you have 3 whisks?  And how many measuring spoons does one kitchen need?   Where did all those plastic cups come from?  Get rid of them.Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 8.59.45 AM
  • Dust and clean lighting fixtures.   Use a good degreaser if necessary.
  • Remove and clean window treatments. Most curtains and draperies can be machine washed. Check the labels. Wash blinds with warm soapy water.
  • Remove window screens and wash with warm soapy water and a scrub brush. Rinse. Wash windows inside and out. Wash window frames.
  • Remove all wall art and clean.
  • Clean out the refrigerator and throughly clean inside/outside and vacuum coils.   Defrost the freezer.
  • Sort through food storage.  Discard expired items.
  • Sort through spices.  Clean shaker tops.
  • Clean out all cupboards, wipe down inside and out
  • Organize storage containers, lids, pans, and baking sheets.  Throw away mystery lids
  • Clean stove and oven
  • Clean stove vent and change filters.
  • Clean microwave
  • Clean toaster, coffee maker, can opener, and all small appliances
  • Clean and treat cutting boards
  • Wash walls from top to bottom
  • Clean all woodwork and cabinetry
  • Clean around knobs and polish knobs
  • Clean countertops.   Seal granite, if necessary.
  • Scrub furniture and wax, if necessary
  • Clean doors, knobs, light switches.
  • Vacuum and wash floors
  • Change batteries in smoke detector and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Check fire extinguisher and replace if necessary

    Basement

  • De-clutter
  • Check for infestations of insects, mice, or other intruders.
  • Check for evidence of water infiltration.
  • Lift items off of the floor to protect from flooding
  • Change smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector batteries.
  • Check for cracks in foundation and floor.
  • Check radon systems
  • Check water filtration systems
  • Schedule cleaning of furnace
  • Dust and vacuum


Tags:
Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

Posted April 13, 2015 by The50sHousewife in category "Cleaning & Organizing--Vintage tips

5 COMMENTS :

  1. By Elese on

    Funny you should post this today… when I woke up this morning the first thought that came to mind was “time to flip the mattress and vacuum it, and clean the ceiling fan… and clean the BBQ… and wash the windows, etc…” Something about April 13th just flipped that switch in both of our heads today! ;). Here’s to a clean and summer-ready house!

    Reply
  2. By Donna on

    I just have to say, I stumbled across your blog a few days ago and have been reading ever since! I am in love with the idea of living like a 50’s housewife and have been striving for it since the idea popped in my head. Your blog makes light work of trying to figure out how the women did what they did. Your articles on their eating habits, routine, and mindset have really helped me in making the decision to make a commitment to this lifestyle. As I read this article on spring cleaning I thought it funny that I did my spring cleaning on the 13th of April without even knowing that’s when other housewives do their spring cleaning, I am new to the role of being a wife as I was just married on June 28th. Your lists are flawless, I already make lists because i’m slightly OCD and need to be very organized, but your lists blew me out of the water when it came to attention to detail:) I will be adopting them as my own for the future. Let me add that after reading your lists I have decided to do a second spring clean to get off on the right foot this year! Thank you so much for your blog, I cant wait to read more as I begin my journey to becoming a housewife goddess!

    Reply

Leave a Reply