It’s crunch time over here, folks! The very last step before we list our home (and timed perfectly with the season, might I add) is to give it a really deep spring clean. From the light fixtures and ceiling fans to the windows and floorboards, it’s time to tackle the areas I typically ignore during my normal daily routine. Spring cleaning is a luxury I used to enjoy (I know, it’s a sickness, I really did enjoy it) before I had kids. During spring break off from teaching I would spend the time dusting, scrubbing, and giving the home a spring freshening after the long winter indoors. With kids in the picture, now I send them out with daddy for the day and give the house a one-day, no-holds-barred, GET OUT OF MY WAY MAMA’S COMING WITH THE SCRUBBER deep clean. I’m assuming many of you are in the same (busy) boat, so I’m partnering with Spot Shot Carpet Stain Remover to share my one day spring cleaning routine from top to bottom!
I know this is an ambitious list, if you have a large house or one that might need a little extra attention you can split this into two days as noted. Better yet, if you have older kids or a really great spouse/friend, enlist some help and get it done in one. It’s amazing how much the promise of home baked cookies can motivate people. 😉
Speed Cleaning Bucket
First up, have everything together in a speed cleaning bucket. This way, you can haul it from room to room and never have to search for what you need. Here’s what’s in my speed cleaning bucket:
all-purpose household spray (I use my trusty Thieves cleaner)
vinegar & baking soda
Spot Shot Carpet Stain Remover
window and glass cleaner
hardwood and/or tile floor cleaner
tub & shower cleaner, if you don’t use the household cleaner
Proper Preparation Makes for Speedy Cleaning
Before your cleaning spree, make sure to have your bucket ready. Starting with an empty dishwasher, sink, washer, and dryer also really helps speed things along. Get the kids out of the house for the day (ideally, have them pick up their toys and bedrooms first!) And, if so inclined, have a nice bottle of wine chilling in fridge to celebrate when you’re done.
Clean Top to Bottom
I’ve always advised to clean ‘top to bottom’ so that dust from above doesn’t ruin freshly cleaned surfaces. I usually take it a step further and clean my top floor first and then the bottom. Makes it easier, in my opinion!
It definitely helps things go quicker if you’ve given your home a big decluttering before you spring clean. There’s much less to clean that way, you have room to work, and you’ll be able to reach areas that the clutter was previously covering. Wondering where to start? Read all about the lifechanging magic of the KonMari method here.
Ready, Set, Clean!
Make sure you’ve had a great breakfast, you’ll need the energy. Don’t forget to take a break for lunch somewhere in the middle of your spree, otherwise you’ll lose steam. Here we go, a deep spring cleaning in just one day!
1. Blankets, Throw Rugs, and Pillows: I start by collecting them from around the house and putting them in the washing machine. Get that started now so you can switch to the dryer and get through a few loads if needed during the day.
2. Light Fixtures & Ceiling Fans: This can be a dirty job, so my trick is to use a microfiber cloth to collect the dust so it doesn’t end up resettling. Also, use an old pillow case around ceiling fan blades to collect dust before it falls.
- Using a microfiber cloth, get to all those areas you skip during regular cleanings. Don’t forget lampshades, picture frames, and art.
- If you have high ceilings or areas where cobwebs gather (it’s okay, we all have those areas) then this long handled duster is a lifesaver.
- Shelves: if it’s been awhile since you’ve cleaned them, you may wish to take everything off of bookshelves, give the shelves a deep cleaning, and then dust each piece as you put it back.
- Another area to dust are your window blinds. This is such a big task, and quite frankly, the only way I’ve found to get them really clean if they’re very dirty is to wash them in the bathtub. Hopefully you can get by with just dusting them, but if you need to take a detour and soak and scrub them in the tub you may wish to put that off for another day. You’re on a tight schedule today!
4. Windows & Mirrors: Spray the panes with a glass cleaner (or use diluted vinegar). While you have the glass cleaner out, spray and wipe all mirrors including bathrooms. Then go for the sills. If they are really dirty, open up the screens and vacuum all the junk out. Then spray with household cleaner and wipe away. I’m lazy and tend to push the leaves and debris right out the window to save time and it makes less of a mess… inside, anyways.
5. Kitchen: You could spend all day cleaning in here, so let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
- Start by soaking your kitchen vent filters in hot water with a degreasing dishsoap for 10 minutes. Also do the same with your stove grates and oven racks if they’ll fit. If your grills and grates are really bad, you can actually soak them in a coating of oven cleaner.
- While they soak, give the outside of your fridge and appliances a good wipedown. Cleaning the inside the fridge can take about an hour if you really do it right (or if it’s been a year since you last deep cleaned it), so you may wish to save that task for another day– I usually do it on a grocery shopping day before I head out for groceries. 🙂 If your fridge just needs a light cleaning, then take this time to wipe down the inside and throw away expired food.
- Move everything off your countertops. Starting from the top of your cabinets, wipe down the cabinet fronts, backsplash, and counters. Give the kitchen table (and chairs, if wood) a good wipedown too.
- Now scrub the filters, grills, and racks and dry. Spray your sink and faucet with a household cleaner and really make them shine.
- Don’t worry (yet) about the floors. We’ll get to those in a minute.
If you’re spreading this over two days, here’s a good place to stop and pick back up tomorrow.
6. Bathrooms: I like to tackle the bathrooms not individually but rather in bulk. Handle it the way that’s best for you, but I find doing all tasks together before moving on to the next works best for me.
- Squirt toilet cleaner inside all the toilets and let soak.
- While that soaks, tackle the tubs. Spray a tub/shower cleaner and let soak for a minute. I either use my Thieves cleaner or this awesome homemade combo. Wipe down shower walls, scrub the tub and faucets, and rinse.
- Wipe down counters, sinks, and faucets.
- Spray household cleaner on the outside and rims of the toilets, wipe down, and then use a toilet brush to scrub the inside of the toilets. Flush.
- TIP: When you are done, rest your toilet brush with the brush over the toilet bowl, close the lids, and let drip dry while hanging over the edge, like so:
7. Baseboards: I use a Magic Eraser to remove scuff marks on baseboards. If baseboards are simply dusty, use a microfiber cloth to dust. If they’re more on the dirty side, spray a cloth with household cleaner and wipe down.
8. Grout: got dirty grout? No problem! Here’s my magic solution for cleaning grout the easy (and practically free) way. If you have a lot of dirty grout this may take awhile, so feel free to save this task for another day if it’s too big.
9. Carpets: Getting stains out of carpets is a biggie, especially for us since we’re putting our home on the market. We have a few stained spots and also a high-traffic area with dirty carpet. First test a hidden area to make sure it’s colorsafe, and if it’s good, then spray the dirty/stained area(s) with Spot Shot Carpet Stain Remover. DO NOT SATURATE. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, then go back and blot (do not rub the area!) Trust me, this works… here’s a quick photo in the middle of blotting, yuck!
We had a handyman come and work on retiling a surface and he must have stepped in grout and then walked across the carpet because there were grout footprints in our sunroom! Spot Shot took it right out, here’s the before and after:
Here’s a high traffic stair tread into our playroom, before and after:
Once you’ve tackled the stains, spread carpet freshening powder on dry carpets and let sit for about 10-15 minutes. AVOID ANY WET AREAS where you’ve worked on the stains, or the powder will stick and make a mess.
10. Floors: You are almost done! Hang in there!
- Give all floors a good vacuuming. Pull out the attachments as needed to get hard to reach areas.
- For hardwoods and tile floors, get out your mop and bucket. TIP: Use two buckets! One for the water/cleaning solution combo and the other filled with fresh water to wash off the dirty mop. Your floors will sparkle this way.
11. Trash: Collect all the trash from trashcans, plus the trash from your cleaning spree, and haul outside.
12. DRINK WINE, if you’re into that kind of thing (I am). Or lemonade. Or anything. Put your feet up in your dazzling clean home, and enjoy the fruits of your labor!
I realize this is an ambitious list, but if you have the energy it’s my favorite way to knock out a year’s worth of deep cleaning in a few (hard labor) hours. I was thinking of turning it into a printable checklist, and if so, what must-do spring cleaning tasks am I missing, and which ones do you typically skip?
So tell me: are you a ‘get it done in one day’ type of person, or do you like to really take your time with your spring cleaning?
Disclosure: Many thanks to Spot Shot Carpet Stain Remover and the WD40 brand for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions and crazy cleaning schedules are 100% my own.