Due to recent occurrences, we are all stuck, or should I say “safe” at home. While it is likely making us all a little crazy, this is a great time to get started on some spring cleaning items we want, or likely, should get taken care of.
If you want to find the best Spring Cleaning supplies, click here.
While most of us aren’t crazy about either the idea of being stuck in the house OR spring cleaning, this is the best time to tackle a few projects. Here is a list of 12 Spring cleaning projects to tackle:
- Clean out the refrigerator
- Clean out the pantry
- Clean bathroom closets/drawers/cabinets
- Clean coat closets
- Clean bedroom closets
- Clean baseboards
- Clean windows
- Clean screens
- Power wash house, sidewalk, driveway, deck
- Super clean microwave
- Clean ceiling fans
- Clean sliding glass door tracks
While none of this sounds like a bundle of laughs, let’s face it, this is the perfect time to get these jobs done! No more using the “I don’t have time” excuse!
1. Clean Out the Refrigerator
This job can be particularly nasty depending on how long it’s been since you tackled it. You will want to remove EVERYTHING from the refrigerator, this will allow you to reach every corner and crevice to clean it. As you remove each item, check the expiration date on each bottle, can, or bag. If the date is old, throw it out. Open each container you put in with leftovers etc. to be sure they are still worthy of consumption. You don’t want to risk the chance of eating something past its date that is spoiled or it could make someone sick. Take out each shelf and drawer and soak it in the sink with water and dish soap. Use this mixture of warm water and dish soap to wipe out the entire refrigerator, including the doors.
For stubborn stains you may need to use baking soda and an old toothbrush. Once you get the drawers and shelves clean, put them back in place. As you put your food back into your refrigerator, wipe down each bottle, jar, can, etc so you don’t get any nasty residue on your nice, clean shelf. Put similar things together and keep it organized so things will be easy to find. They make these neat can organizers for the refrigerator too.
Having a clean refrigerator has so many positives. It will save you money because you won’t buy things you don’t need. You will use up food before it spoils because it won’t be lost in the abyss. Cleaning your refrigerator is a great spring cleaning idea.
2. Clean Out the Pantry
This is about as much fun as the refrigerator, but also a must to keep your sanity! Take EVERYTHING out of your pantry, once again, enabling you to reach every corner. Check the dates on each item and throw away anything that is out of date. You may also want to test any open items, such as chips or crackers, to be sure they aren’t stale. I was shocked at how long some of the things had been in my pantry! Kind of embarrassing at first, until I realized I wasn’t the only one with this problem. You will want to clean all of your shelves with warm water and dish soap, reaching deep into each corner, even wiping down the walls.
A clean pantry is one of the top things on my list of spring cleaning ideas. Now if we could just keep it that way!
3. Clean Bathroom Closets/Drawers/Cabinets
The bathroom closets can get pretty messy depending on what you’re keeping there. Take EVERYTHING out the cabinet or drawer. If you have anything that is broken, or missing parts to, get rid of it! If it’s been there for awhile, you likely won’t ever fix it or replace the parts to it. Once again, clean out the cabinet/drawer with warm water and dish soap.
Before replacing everything, get some organizers to give you more room under your cabinets. These will help keep chemicals away from other things as well. Some drawer organizers are a Godsend for messy hair and makeup drawers. For your closet get some baskets or bins to help keep sheets, toilet paper, extra cleaning supplies, etc. neat and clean.
Cleaning and organizers our storage spaces in the bathroom gives us more room and helps us find things we are looking for. We spend so much time in this room, it is important to have this space in your spring cleaning plan.
4. Clean Coat Closets
Sometimes the coat closet can get out of control. Especially if you live in a place that has all four seasons. Hopefully by now you are seeing some warmer weather and you can put away most of your winter coats, scarves and boots. Go through every item in your coat closet and determine:
- Does this item still fit?
- Will this item still fit during the next appropriate season?
- Is there anyone else in the family to pass the item on to?
- Does anyone even like this item anymore?
If the answer to each of these questions is no, then you will need to decide what to do with it. Will you give it to a friend or other family member? Will you give it to another place such as Goodwill? Whatever you decide to do, DO NOT put it back in the closet! Put all of the items you wish to give away in a box or bag and put it immediately in the trunk of your car to get it out of your house! This includes coats, boots, shoes, scarves, anything you are keeping in your coat closet. Then take all of your empty hangers and put them on one end of your closet so they are easy to access when you need them. Get some more bins for the shelf of your closet to store scarves, gloves, mittens, or any other small item.
5. Clean Bedroom Closets
This can be quite time consuming, but so worth it when you’re done. You will want to take each item out of the closet one at a time and decide:
- Does this item still fit?
- Do I still like this item?
- Can I pass it on to anyone else?
Anything you don’t want or doesn’t fit anymore, throw into a box or bag to get rid of. You can take these to another family member or friend if they’d like them, or if not, take it to a place such as Goodwill that accepts donations. As you put the rest of your clothes back into the closet, try to keep it organized in some way, such as short sleeves and long sleeves, or like colors together. Keep each seasonal piece of clothing together with the same season so when you’re looking for that pair of shorts in the heat of July, you don’t even look at the long pants section. Take all of your empty hangers and put them together in one place of your closet so they are each to get to when you’re looking for them.
Keep all of your similar shoes together: sandals with sandals, boots with boots, dress shoes with dress shoes etc. If you have room in your closet get one of these for your shoes. These belt/tie hangers are wonderful for keeping your belts and ties easily accessible and nice and neat. Plus, they take up almost no room! To store caps, this is great, and it even has additional clips on the outside for more belts. You can get some more boxes or bins for other types of hats, gloves, scarves, purses, bags, etc. that you may be keeping your closet. Be sure to put one of these moisture absorbers in your closet to keep the moisture away and help prevent any mold and mildew buildup.
6. Clean Baseboards
This is one of my most hated jobs! It seems like they just get super nasty overnight! Start off by moving any furniture out of the way. Then take your vacuum attachment with the brush on it and vacuum as much of the dirt and dust as you can. You will undoubtedly have more to clean as it seems everything sticks to the baseboards. You can take some warm soapy water and clean them, or I prefer to use these Magic Erasers by Mr. Clean. Get a bucket of warm water, get the Magic Eraser wet and squeeze it, it’s already loaded with cleaner. I love these things! They remove almost anything! Just be sure to dry off the baseboards after you’re finished to prevent dampness that will cause mold or mildew.
If your baseboards are terribly bad in places, you may need to repaint them.
7. Clean Windows
Now that the sun is out, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to see outside? Especially if you are stuck…oops, I mean safe…at home! The best way to clean windows is with a mix of one part distilled vinegar and ten parts water. Spray your windows with this mix, or you can use a sponge. Then wipe the window with a paper towel or a soft, clean, lint-free microfiber cloth. If you have a squeegee, you can use this as well, just be sure to wipe it dry after each swipe. My mom used to say to use a newspaper to prevent streaks, which actually does work, but you get newspaper black all over your hands! Cleaning the outside of your windows is a bit different. Winded makes this great product that attaches to your hose. You just spray the window with this and it should clean it right up with no streaks. It’s won’t hurt your plants or grass and it’s safe to use on patio furniture, decks, siding and play sets as well.
8. Clean Screens
Screens are another thing that really don’t get the attention they need throughout the year. The good news is that they are extremely easy to clean! You will want to remove the screens from all of your windows so you can get them clean on both sides. Mix warm water with a mild soap and take a gentle brush to scrub the screens clean. Then rinse them with the hose. Wait for them to completely dry before replacing them on your windows. You can also try this cleaner. Simply spray it on your screens and wipe it with a towel. No need to rinse. Once again, let the screens dry and replace in your windows.
9. Power Wash House, Driveway, Deck, Sidewalk
Power wash your house is not just good aesthetically, but it’s a must to keep mold and mildew away. Power washer is using pressurized water to deep clean dirt, algae, mold, mildew from outdoor surfaces. If you do not own a power washer machine, you can usually rent them from your local hardware store. This cleaner is a great asset for this job. It can be used on wood, composite, vinyl, metal, plastic, wicker, concrete, stone, brick, asphalt, just about every outdoor surface. It’s safe, non-toxic and without harsh chemicals. It’s a good idea to not only power wash your house, but also your driveway and sidewalk. Because concrete is porous, contaminants can soak into the surface and high pressure is required to flush them out. You will be amazed at the difference in the look of the concrete when it’s clean too. Power washing your deck is a great idea as well. You will want to do this before repainting or resealing your deck. The proper amount of pressure will actually remove any loose paint or even some sun spots. Be careful not to use too much pressure though, as this can ruin your deck. It’s important to find the proper amount of pressure to power wash any wooden surface. Here is an example of a power washer. There are many to choose from, or you can actually hire someone to come to your home and power wash for you.
10. Super Clean Your Microwave
I know, we should all be cleaning our microwave after each use, but let’s be honest, that doesn’t happen. A lot of microwaves have a round plate in the center that spins while the food is cooking. You will want to remove this and run it through your dishwasher or wash it with hot water and dish soap. While this piece is out of your microwave, clean out all of the loose crumbs and food from the inside. Now, mix one cup white vinegar and one cup water in a cup or bowl and place it in the microwave. Next, turn on the microwave for 5-10 minutes depending on how powerful your microwave is. This will loosen up all of the stuck on food that’s been cooking away each time you use your microwave. Now take a microfiber cloth and clean the microwave, remembering to clean the back, top, and sides. Replace the rotating plate. Now clean the door with a window cleaner or a grease cutting dish soap such as Dawn. Don’t forget to wipe down the sides of the door as well.
11. Clean Ceiling Fans
I am always amazed at the amount of dust our ceiling fans can actually hold! They get so nasty! And just think about all of that dust flying around when you turn the fan on…allergy nightmare! Let’s get those fans clean. You will need an old pillow case, a cleaning solution and a ladder to reach your fan. You may want to wear a mask as well. It’s a good idea to turn off the breaker to your fan as well for safety sake. Spray the inside of your old pillowcase with the cleaning solution, then slide the pillowcase over the fan blade. Now, wipe the top and bottom of the fan blade as you pull the pillowcase back towards you. This not only cleans the blade, but it keeps all of the dust, grease, dirt, etc. on the inside of the pillowcase, not all over your floor. Just don’t forget to shake out the pillowcase before you wash it, or you could have a different mess on your hands.
For those fans you can’t reach even with a ladder, you will need a different type of tool. Something like this, with a long handle and a brush with a hole in the center. This way, you can clean the top and bottom of the fan at the same time. This will send dust flying to the floor, so you will want to cover the area with an old sheet or towel before doing this. You will also want to make sure your nose and mouth are covered so you don’t inhale any of the flying dust.
You will also want to be sure to clean the chains that turn the fan on as well as the light bulbs. This is another reason to be sure the power to the fan is off. You can clean the light bulbs with a soft, dry cloth. Any spray solution can damage the light bulb. You will be amazed at how bright your light will be once you clean the light bulbs off!
12. Clean Sliding Door Tracks
This is another area of our home that seems to get really nasty, and isn’t a fun place to clean. Start out by vacuuming out the track to get as much of the loose dirt out as you can. Now take some soapy water and a brush, such as this one from Amazon.com and scrub away the dirt. Now take a towel or paper towel and wipe the track dry. If you have more stubborn dirt in your track, you can try warm water mixed with vinegar. Spray it in the track and scrub it with your brush, then wipe dry with a towel or paper towel.
No one likes the idea of being stuck in our house, not being able to see our family and friends, but it’s the perfect time to tackle some spring cleaning projects we have been putting off because we haven’t had the time. This list of projects is a great starting point.