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Spring Cleaning Checklist

It’s that time of year again! Spring is in the air, and that means it’s time to freshen up your home with a thorough spring cleaning.

Not only does spring cleaning help us physically by getting rid of clutter and dirt that’s accumulated over the year, but it also helps us de-stress and improve our mental well-being.

The physical activity involved in deep cleaning produces endorphins, reducing stress and anxiety and boosting mood. Studies have even proven that every hour of cleaning is associated with a 53% boost in overall happiness.

Getting rid of clutter has many health benefits, including eliminating environments that are ideal for breeding mold and bacteria, removing allergens, and improving mental well-being. Letting go of things we are emotionally attached to can be difficult, but it’s essential for our mental health.

Clutter, either out in the open or hidden away, weighs us down and makes us feel stressed. Getting rid of things we no longer need and having an organized home will make us feel more relaxed. Plus, spring cleaning can save time by reducing the amount of time spent looking for things.

But where do you start? To make the task of spring cleaning your home easier, we’ve put together this comprehensive room-by-room guide with tips and tricks you need to get rid of all the junk and make your house sparkle.

Declutter Before the Spring Cleaning Begins

Decluttering your home before you start your spring cleaning can help you to clean more effectively and efficiently. It’s a good idea to go through each room of your house and make a list of items that need to be discarded, donated, or recycled.

You can also take this time to organize closets and drawers and get rid of things that you no longer need or use. Additionally, it’s a good idea to set aside items that can be stored in other areas of the house or in a storage unit.

In some cases, it might be worth donating items that are still in good condition. Once you’ve finished decluttering, you can move on to the actual spring cleaning.

Additionally, decluttering before the spring cleaning begins can make the process much easier and more efficient. When you’re dealing with less stuff, it’s much easier to clean and organize your space.

Here are some tips to help you get rid of the clutter in your home:

The first step is to decide which items you want to keep and which ones you want to discard. Make four piles:

  • Items to keep
  • Items to donate or sell
  • Items for recycling
  • Items to throw away or have hauled away by professionals

Using this Declutter Your Home checklist, we created our own checklist with things we all tend to accumulate on the inside of our homes. Going through these and deciding what to keep and what to get rid of is a huge step toward making your spring cleaning easier.

Decluttering a Home

Start by going through every closet, cupboard, and drawer. Make sure you have enough plastic bags, extra boxes, and whatever containers you need on hand to fill with your unwanted items.

Dishes and glassware Cutlery and serving utensils Serving dishes and pitchers Mixing bowls and trays
Baking and measuring tools Food storage containers Pots and pans Small appliances and gadgets
Pantry dry goods Freezers and fridge food Cleaning supplies
Living Areas
Unused furniture Wall art and decorations Figurines and accessories Candles and holders
Baskets and blankets Games and puzzles Books, magazines, and newspapers Audio/visual components and cables
DVDs and CDs Video game systems, games, and accessories Memorabilia
Dining Room
China Crystal Cutlery Table linens
Vases Small decor
All clothes and accessories Coats Footwear Extra hangers
Jewelry Purses and bags Suitcases Nightstand clutter
Baby clothes Baby supplies Stuffed animals Kids’ artwork
Decorative accessories Wall art and decor
Over-the-counter medicine Personal beauty appliances Toiletries Hair accessories
Makeup Towels and bath mats Cleaning supplies
Laundry Room and Closets
Laundry supplies Household supplies Cleaning supplies Linen sets
Pillows Duvets and comforters Blankets Towels
Coats Footwear Winter accessories Rainwear
Office and Craft Room
Computer equipment and cords Office supplies Manuals Old schoolbooks and papers
Photographs Photography supplies Sewing supplies Craft supplies
Gift wrapping supplies

Enlist the help of your family and make it a “fun” experience by pumping up a cleaning playlist like this one to get everyone in the mood. Promising pizza for dinner at the end of the day is also a great way to get your kids and significant others to buy in.

  • “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce
  • “Rock Your Body” by Justin Timberlake
  • “Just Dance” by Lady Gaga
  • “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars
  • “Happy” by Pharrell Williams
  • “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus
  • “Firework” by Katy Perry
  • “Sugar” by Maroon Five
  • “I Gotta Feeling” by Black Eyed Peas
  • “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys

Let the Spring Cleaning Begin

Now that you’ve relieved your home from all the unwanted clutter, garbage, and junk, you’ll find it much easier to start to spring clean and then store items where they belong.

As spring cleaning your home can be a huge job, we suggest you tackle the project one room at a time. To make your life easier, you may want to give up using the current room you’re cleaning for the purpose it’s intended. Sleep in another room, use a second bathroom, and prepare your family that the living room will be a mess and the kitchen might be closed for the duration.

Beginning Spring Cleaning

The more you pull your rooms apart, the deeper and more thoroughly you can clean. And no matter which room you start with, the ideal order of cleaning is the same.

  • Clean the insides of everything.
  • Move everything that’s not fixed in place into the middle of the room.
  • Clean the “bones” of the room.
  • Wash fabric items.
  • Wipe down all non-fabric and non-wood items.
  • Polish all wood items.

Spring Cleaning Supply Lists

To make your life easier, make sure you have all the cleaning supplies you will need on hand and ready to go. This will save needing to interrupt your cleaning to run to the store for more supplies.

Spring Cleaning Supplies

Here’s what you’ll want to have on hand:

  • More garbage bags
  • Paper towels
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Lint-free dusters
  • Spray bottle
  • Bucket(s)
  • Vacuum cleaner with assorted heads
  • Broom and mop
  • Steam cleaner

Here’s a great list of natural cleaning products, along with 27 chemical-free recipes using:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Salt
  • Lemon
  • Dish soap

You can find an exhaustive list of the 30 Best Spring Cleaning Products That’ll Set You Up for Success. This list includes cleaning tools and cleaning products and might just make you want to extend your cleaning projects into the garage and outside areas!

Getting Down to the Business of Cleaning

Assuming you have thoroughly decluttered your home and got rid of all the “extras” you no longer need or want, you’re ready to start working from the inside out and the top down.

Clean the Insides of Everything

It’s amazing how much dust and dirt can accumulate in places that are almost always closed and covered, like closets, cupboards, and furniture drawers.

By removing everything from all closets, you’ll be able to vacuum or wipe down the enclosed spaces’ tops, sides, and bottoms. Don’t forget to wipe down each shelf, hanging rod, and any hooks or hangers that are inside your closets.

Vacuuming the Floor

Finally, you’ll need to vacuum and wash the floors in the closets to get rid of dust and dirt that hide. Before you place items back where they belong, make sure to wipe off or dust each one first.

Move Everything That’s Not Fixed in Place into the Middle of the Room

Spring cleaning goes way beyond the regular cleaning that happens the rest of the year. For most people who spring clean, their world gets turned upside down in the short term to get the ultimate clean for the next year.

Now that the insides of closets, cabinets, and furniture are spic and span, you can drag everything that’s not part of the room’s structure into the middle of the room (or out into the hallway), so you can have clear access for cleaning.

Person Moving Furniture

Remove draperies as well as blinds. If you fear removing your blinds will make it impossible for you to put them back, just leave them and clean them in place.

Clean the “Bones” of the Room

No matter which room you’re in, you’ll want to start by cleaning the “bones” of the room.

Wiping Down Windows

With the exception of the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry rooms, this checklist will look the same for each room:

  • Dust walls and ceilings.
  • Wipe out window tracks.
  • Wipe down blinds that can’t be removed.
  • Dust off drapery tracks.
  • Wipe down installed blinds.
  • Wash windows.
  • Wipe doors and door hardware with a damp cloth.
  • Wipe hardwired lighting fixtures with a damp cloth and glass cleaner.
  • Wipe off switches and outlets.
  • Vacuum and wipe wall and floor vents.
  • Dust moldings and trim.
  • Vacuum and steam clean tile, laminate, and stone floors.
  • Vacuum and lightly mop wood floors.

When it comes to kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms, your checklist will also include:

  • Empty out, vacuum, and wipe down the insides of all fitted cabinets.
  • Wipe off the outsides (including the tops) of fitted cabinets.
  • Clean appliances and stove hood fan (inside and out.)
  • Scrub countertops.
  • Scrub sinks and taps.
  • Scrub all bath fixtures (toilet, tub, shower inserts, etc.)
  • Steam clean wall tile.
  • Wash bath and shower glass doors or take down and wash fabric shower curtains.

Wash Fabric Items

As spring cleaning happens only once each year, you’ll be able to decide how dirty and dusty your fabric items are and which is the best way to clean them.

At the least, fabric items must be aired out and shaken off.

Washing Fabric Furniture Items

The types of fabric that could use attention include:

  • Vacuum upholstered furniture and steam clean any stains.
  • Wash draperies, including shower curtains and liners (take your draperies to a laundromat if your washing machine isn’t big enough to hold the draperies.)
  • Wash duvet covers, quilts, comforters, and blankets (again, use a laundromat if necessary.)
  • Wash mattress covers and pillows (remember the laundromat.)
  • Remove accent cushion covers and wash along with throw blankets (read the label on the covers and blankets to make sure they are machine washable.)
  • Vacuum first, and then rent a carpet cleaner for fitted carpets and area rugs.

One of our favorite tricks if you can’t or don’t want to wash some of the draperies and bedding items is to take them outside, shake them out thoroughly, and let them air out. Think of the old-school ways grandmas would beat the dust out of fabric with a stick.

Wipe Down All Non-Fabric and Non-Wood Items

Most things in your home can handle being wiped with a damp cloth. And once you start wiping, you’ll realize how many things in your home can benefit from a good wipe.

Regarding case goods (furniture that’s not upholstered), you may be surprised at how many cobwebs will have gathered under the furniture. Tip the pieces over to vacuum, dust, or wipe these pesky aftereffects of abandoned spider webs.

Fill a bucket with warm or hot water and add a dose of your favorite cleaning product into the water. Immerse one of the microfiber cloths in the water, wring it as dry as possible and wipe as thoroughly as needed.

Wiping Down a Window

If elbow grease and your damp cloth don’t do the trick, use a stronger cleaner or a more abrasive cloth. Just consider whether what you’re wiping will be damaged by more vigorous cleaning.

Glass cleaner will also come in handy to clean and polish up:

  • Mirrors
  • Glass on framed artwork
  • Glass, chrome, and other metal furnishings

Note: Don’t use glass cleaner on your TV or computer screens. You should dust your screen and use a well-wrung-out microfiber cloth to remove smudges and fingerprints.

Polish All Wood

Depending on how dirty and grimy any wood items like furniture, doors, window and door trim, and wooden accessories and decorative items are, you have a few options for deep cleaning them.

If your furniture has embedded grime and a build-up of dirt, you want to do more cleaning than if your furniture just needs its yearly refresh and cleaning.

For deep cleaning, gather the following supplies:

  • Cloths — microfibre, cheesecloth, and drying cloth
  • Mineral spirits
  • Optional: wax polish

Start by gently wiping with a damp cloth to remove the dust without getting the wood too wet. Using a new, clean cloth, wipe a coating of mineral spirits onto the wood in the direction of the grain.

Wipe away the residue that’s lifted by the mineral spirits. If the piece still looks dirty, apply a couple more coats as necessary.

Dry with a clean, dry cloth and finish off by applying wax polish with a cheesecloth, again, in the direction of the grain.

Polishing Wood

Move your newly cleaned furniture back into place, arrange your decorative items and accessories, re-hang your wall art, make up your beds, place your cushions and throws, and hang your draperies.

Take a deep breath and relax. You deserve it!

To give you even a little more motivation to keep you going through your spring cleaning, a recent study from The Clorox Company shows these statistics around how people benefit just by being in a clean space:

  • 80% are more relaxed
  • 60% are less stressed
  • 72% are more productive
  • 72% get a better sleep
  • 77% can focus better

And we at JunkRelief know that getting rid of junk is a big part of preparing a clean space. Call us today to get a fast and no-hassle quote!


Joe Weidman

Joe is a Chicago native, born and raised in Elmhurst. He founded Junk Relief more than 10 years ago and has worked with more than 20,000 homeowners and businesses throughout Chicagoland. His passion for starting a business in junk removal stemmed from seeing the need to do things differently. He prides himself on his company's model to provide unexpectedly professional service.


If you’ve got junk in Chicago or the Chicagoland Suburbs, we can help. CALL US or TEXT US at (312) 800-1940.


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