It’s officially spring and there is no better time to refresh your home than now. However, if you’re like me, you might have dove in headfirst only to be overwhelmed pretty quickly. I have to clean how many windows? Do vents actually need cleaning? How DO you clean a washing machine? And I have to get this all done by when?! Whew. The good news is, you know I like to keep things pretty simple around here. And I believe cleaning can and should be enjoyable instead of a source of stress. So let’s tackle our spring cleaning checklist today, minus the stress.
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Spring Cleaning Checklist
First, I want to remind you that you do not need to clean your whole house from top to bottom. The point of spring cleaning is a refresh, not a whole redo. So I’m going to share with you a little hack that helps me tackle the areas that most need it without feeling overwhelmed.
1.)Make your list.
Grab a pen and a piece of paper ( or your phone) and list 5-10 major areas that haven’t been cleaned in anywhere from a month to a year. (!)
My full list includes:
- deep cleaning the dishwasher
- washing machine
- deep cleaning the oven
- re-organizing the pantry
- dusting all baseboards
- cleaning the door sliders
- decluttering the playroom
- decluttering all clothes closets
However, many of these items I end up tackling before spring but I keep this running list to remember. Time for you to make your own list!
2.) Get it done.
Now the dragon has been quantified. In other words, you know exactly what needs to be cleaned and it’s not taking up precious mental space. Next, you tackle one item every Saturday and make a date when it got done. (You can also tackle throughout the weekdays but I find Saturdays to work well.)
I like to physically write out my list so I do so on my M.C. Squares reusable lists that I stick right to my refrigerator. They can be used up to 2,000 times so let’s just say I’ll be making a ton of lists!
3. Figure out how to clean each properly.
When I first started truly cleaning my home I had to google A LOT about how to clean certain areas. How does one clean the dishwasher? How do you clean a washing machine? Etc Etc
So, let me make it easy for you. Below I will address how to clean some of the main areas of our home so you can come back to this as a reference again and again.
First, clean out any obvious food at the bottom of your dishwasher. Then, pull out the filter and clean it off with a toothbrush or similar brush. Lastly, you have a couple of options. You can hit the “easy button” (there is no shame in the easy button!) and grab these dishwasher cleaning tablets that will do the work for you.
A less expensive way to clean your dishwasher is to place a cup of white vinegar on the top and run it on a hot cycle. This will break down all the food, grease, grime, etc, and clear it away. It also sanitizes it and removes mineral deposits. When that cycle finishes, sprinkle baking soda in the bottom and run another hot cycle. (If able, you can choose the quick cycles!) The baking soda will remove lingering odors and break down any stuck on food.
Washing Machine //
For our washing machine, I’m borrowing these three tips from Better Homes and Gardens.
Step 1: Run a Hot Cycle with Vinegar
Run an empty, regular cycle on hot, using two cups of white vinegar instead of detergent. Add the vinegar to the detergent dispenser. (Don’t worry about harming your machine, as white vinegar will not damage clothes.) The hot water-vinegar combo removes and prevents bacteria growth. Vinegar can also act as a deodorizer and cut through mildew odors.
Step 2: Scrub the Inside and Outside of the Washing Machine
In a bucket or nearby sink, mix about 1/4 cup of vinegar with a quart of warm water. Use this mixture, plus a sponge and dedicated toothbrush, to clean the inside of the machine. Pay special attention to dispensers for fabric softener or soap, the inside of the door, and around the door opening. If your soap dispenser is removable, soak it in vinegar water before scrubbing. Give the machine’s exterior a wipedown, too.
Step 3: Run a Second Hot Cycle
Run one more empty, regular cycle on hot, without detergent or vinegar. If desired, add 1/2 cup baking soda to the drum to help clear away buildup loosened from the first cycle. After the cycle is complete, wipe out the inside of the drum with a microfiber cloth to remove any remaining residue.
Ready to say goodbye to the sauce splatter all over your microwave? Either grab an Angry Mama (so cute!) or just a glass dish. Fill with water, a tablespoon of white vinegar, and a drop of soap. You can also add lemon juice or essential oils for a more pleasant smell.
Let’s chat about the inside first. There are a million oven cleaners on the market and feel free to keep using them if they work for you, but for me, I love the self-cleaning function on my oven.
What it does is it heats your oven to almost 900 degrees (!!) which obliterates any food stuck in there. When it’s done all that’s left is ash that needs to be vacuumed or wiped clean. Before starting the self-cleaning function make sure to take the racks out for easier cleaning after. (Plus, some ovens require it as they cannot take the heat.)
And now let’s turn our attention to the outside. First up, the stovetop. The easiest option for me is using a Magic Eraser to get off all the cooked food, and then wiping clean with a rag and multi-purpose cleaner.
Next, what about that greasy oven door?? Mix baking soda and water until you have a nice paste. Spread it on the door and allow it to sit for 20 minutes. Wipe clean with a dry microfiber cloth, followed up by a wet one.
Follow up with a glass cleaner for the outside of the door. Lastly, use a multipurpose spray and magic eraser to clean the stainless steel and buff it to a beautiful shine using a little olive oil and a microfiber cloth.
My last-minute tip would be to use a multipurpose cleaner that can clean several rooms and areas of your home. This will greatly simplify the cleaning process for you. My favorite cleaning product is The Concentrate from Branch Basics because not only can it clean everything from glass to your oven to your shower to your laundry (whew!) but it’s also non-toxic and safe for your pets and kids. Use code SARAHALTHOUSE for 15% off all starter kits to see if it works as well for you as it has for me.
Lastly, if you enjoyed this you might also enjoy my post on how to Declutter Your Linen Closet to add to your spring cleaning list.
Also, if you need help decluttering this spring (so you can focus more on cleaning!) grab my guide “Minimalism for Beginners”if you’re ready to create and maintain a clutter-free home for good!