Monday is March 1 and what better time than now to start a 31-day spring cleaning challenge?! Join us in tackling one area of the home each day for 31 days! Print off the graphic at the bottom of this post for an easy checklist to keep in front of you. Happy cleaning!
1. Car Often the inside of the car gets neglected in winter – it’s too cold to go outside and vacuum it out! Throw away the assortment of receipts, wrappers, lollipops and tissues scattered around the car, vacuum the seats and mats, dust the dashboard, and drive through a car wash. You’ll feel so much better!
2. Windows Today is window washing day! Get out the Windex for some good-as-new windows, and don’t forget the tracks, screens and the dusty windowsills!
3. Sinks Give your sinks a good cleaning! For your kitchen sink, if it’s stainless steel, a good tip is to sprinkle some baking soda before scrubbing, and then rinse with vinegar. Baking soda is gentle on stainless steel, and vinegar is a natural disinfectant.
4. Trash cans Go around the house and round up all of the full trash bags and take them out! Use this opportunity to also scrub down the trash cans themselves.
5. Furniture Furniture needs some cleaning too! Remove couch cushions and collect the odds and ends that have fallen between the cracks. Vacuum up any crumbs, vacuum under the furniture, and vacuum the cushions themselves. Don’t forget to dust the coffee tables, end tables, bookshelves and TV stands!
6. Under beds Under the bed is a natural place to stash things, but odds are you haven’t checked under there in a few months (or years?). Are there things you can get rid of? Things that can be stored somewhere else? Once it’s cleared out, sweep a vacuum under there!
7. Oven & stovetop
We’re spending the next few days in the kitchen! Today’s a good day to clean that burned-on mess inside the oven, and to give the stovetop a good scrub! Depending on your oven type, there are many great ways to clean the inside of an oven…just Google it!
8. Microwave To clean the inside of your microwave, fill a bowl with water and squeeze in some juices from a lemon, lime or orange. Run the microwave on high for several minutes until the liquid boils and the window steams up. Let it cool for 5 minutes and scrub out the inside of the microwave. Don’t forget to wipe down the microwave door and buttons!
9. Pantry Tackle that dreaded pantry today! Start by removing everything and wiping down the shelves. Then, take inventory of all the items and throw out anything expired or unwanted. Organize by category, color, or alphabet, and put it all back in the pantry!
10. Fridge & freezer Similar to the process for cleaning the pantry, empty your fridge and freezer completely and use this opportunity to wipe down the shelves. Take inventory of all of the food items, look at expiration dates, and toss what you no longer need. Arrange by category, color or alphabet and fill the fridge and freezer back up again!
11. Range Hood Range hoods can get steamed up and greasy over time, so wipe it down with a cloth and some spray (depending on the material it’s made of)!
12. Dishwasher Even though your dishwasher is always cleaning, the dishwasher itself needs some cleaning! Food particles, grease and soap scum tend to collect in crevices. To clean your dishwasher, fill a cup with white vinegar and set it in the top rack. Run a full cycle, with only the cup of vinegar inside, on the hottest setting possible to disinfect. When the cycle is done, wipe out the inside using a clean, dry cloth.
13. Kitchen counter & cabinets Take everything off of your countertops and wipe them down with a warm soapy cloth or some multi-surface spray. Take a damp cloth to the cabinets too!
14. Doors & light switches Our doors and light switches have a tendency of getting spotted and stained with fingerprints, so use a warm soapy cloth or multi-surface spray and wipe down all of the doors and switches in your home.
15. Shower head Add a ½ cup of baking soda to a gallon-sized plastic bag, and slowly pour in 4 cups of white vinegar, and then 1 cup of water. Fully submerge your shower head into the bag and secure it with a rubber band. Allow it to soak for 4 hours, or even overnight. Use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe it down.
16. Bathroom sink, toilet & counter Ahh, cleaning the bathroom…few of us enjoy doing it. Use today to scrub the bathroom sink, toilet and countertops! You’ll thank yourself later!
17. Storage room
If you’ve got a storage room with a collection of boxes, take today to sort through it, organize it, and label it! When it comes time to decorate for the next holiday and you’re getting down the boxes, you’ll be grateful you did it!
18. Baseboards This is an area many of us forget to clean! Dust tends to collect on the baseboards and they’re rarely cleaned. Take a microfiber cloth and some wood cleaner and run it across all the baseboards in your home.
19. Flip mattresses When’s the last time you flipped your mattresses? They should be rotated every 3 months to ensure that the fillings are distributed evenly and that each side gets equal wear. Flip ‘em today!
20. Rugs & mats Depending on how much love your rugs need, take today to shake them out, vacuum them, or wash them entirely.
21. Wash blankets & curtains Round up the throw blankets and curtains in your home and throw them in the wash!
22. Porches & decks After a rough winter, many of our porches could use some cleaning. Sweep them off and spray them down for a good cleaning! If the weather is warm enough by now, it may be a good chance to put out a potted plant on your clean porch!
23. Grill Rinse out any residual ash with a hose. Then, put on some gloves and grab hot water, a plastic scour pad, and either dish soap or degreaser. If you use dish soap, just scrub the entire firebox and grates with hot, soapy water, then rinse well and dry. If you use degreaser, make sure it’s safe for food surfaces and then let it sit for about 20 minutes to penetrate the dried-on grease. Then scrub and rinse well with hot water!
24. Pet areas Wash pet beds, vacuum up pet hair, clean out kennels, wash food and water bowls…your pet will thank you!
25. Blinds Blinds can get dusty! Take a cloth or brush and gently wipe them down.
26. Fans & light fixtures When dusting, make sure you get the fans and light fixtures too! Take a stick duster to reach those up-high spots. Vacuum after you’re done, as the dust has to fall somewhere!
27. Washing machine & dryer vent This process can be different for every washer and dryer, so make sure to look up the best way to do this for your particular brand and model of washer and dryer!
28. Laundry room Take today to organize your laundry room/area. Clear off the clothes hanging area, consolidate bottles of laundry detergent and fabric softener…whatever will make this area feel fresh and clean!
29. Carpet, wood & tile floors If you have a carpet cleaner or steam mop, get that out today! Otherwise, whatever you normally use to clean floors will be just fine! Vacuum, mop and sweep away!
Sort through each closet one-by-one with “keep or donate” in mind. If you haven’t worn it in more than a year, you probably won’t! Sort your newly-cleaned closet by color or season to make getting dressed in the morning so much easier!
31. Walls & touch up paint Check your walls (and ceilings) for dirty spots and scrub them down. If there are nicks or imperfections, touch them up with paint.