Inspiration

Your room-by-room spring cleaning checklist

This cleaning checklist will make spring cleaning a breeze.

The beginning of spring is the perfect time to refresh our homes and reset our minds before we descend into the busiest time of year, aptly named the ‘silly season’, where entertaining, visitors and celebrations are a common occurrence.
While we all want our homes to look their best, having a spick and span home is about more than just pride. Tidying, organising, decluttering and cleaning can help you stay in control and will help you assess if you really need more storage or just a damn good clear out. Here’s what to put on your to-do list…

Before you start:

Start your cleaning project by looking at the areas or rooms you need to refresh and reorganise, and work out how long it will take to deal with each one. If you can’t do it all in one go, set aside 30 minutes each day or allocate a couple of hours on the weekend. Here’s how to tackle each room efficiently…

The kitchen:

An organised kitchen is so much easier to keep clean. It’s also imperative for a healthy, happy home – no-one wants gastro from a dirty fridge.

First up, arrange for everyone to be out of the house for at least three hours, particularly if you have young children. Next, gather some old newspaper and towels and your preferred cleaning products at the ready. Use new or freshly washed cloths, scourers and sponges to prevent spreading germs, and for more effective cleaning.

Start by removing any clutter (keys, papers, phones), and any expired or unused food from the pantry, fridge and freezer. Then get all the dirty jobs out of the way. Surfaces and floors should come last. Think about doing a weekly or monthly meal plan to avoid food waste. Batch cooking and freezing meals will save so much time and you’ll only have to clean up the kitchen once.

Checklist:

  • Remove any expired and unused food
  • Decant any opened dry food into airtight jars
  • Spray cleaner on your oven and leave to soak
  • Wipe inside and outside your dishwasher
  • Clean fridge shelves, drawers, sides and seals
  • Clean oven
  • Clean out drawers and cabinets
  • Clean microwave, washing turn table
  • Wipe down surfaces and clean floors

The common spaces:

Living rooms, dining rooms, rumpus rooms… they’re all breeding grounds for dumped jackets, bags and any other debris that has no place to call home.

For these rooms, the vacuum cleaner is your best friend. Make sure it’s empty and you’re tooled up with all its attachments. Dusters and Windex are no-brainers, but you’d also be wise to arm yourself with a lint roller for slick, soft surfaces.

First, tidy up! Get three empty boxes and decide whether to “keep”, “throw” or “donate”, then put away all the mess. Inspect furniture and see if anything needs to be repaired or replaced. If you want to restyle the room, place all your favourite items to one side while you clean. It’s so much easier to style decorative pieces in an empty space.

Checklist:

  • Assess the areas where dumping grounds occur and consider installing hooks and large baskets, particularly for things like toys, bags and magazines
  • Work from top to bottom when cleaning the room, vacuuming spider webs on ceilings, fans and light fixtures, wiping down skirting boards, walls, mirrors, windows, blinds and doors; check for mould
  • Remove dust from furniture and appliances. A lint roller deals with dust on curtains and lamp shades.
  • Vacuum floors, sofa and rugs and steam hard floors
  • Put the furniture back and style away

The bedroom:

We spend around a third of our lives in bed, so creating a clean and clutter-free bedroom is important for our own happiness and relaxation.

If you have hoarding tendencies, then chances are your bedroom built-ins are stuffed full of “just in case” pillows, old bags and shoes and a plethora of things that never see the light of day. It’s time to cull. This task will take time, so get it out of the way before the big clean. And don’t forget under your bed! It’s worth purchasing vacuum storage bags to keep things clean – and stackable. Quilts should be stored in breathable cotton or linen bags.

Pay special attention to bedding and your mattress when cleaning. Dust mites love dark, warm environments so wash bedlinen weekly in hot water. Try adding a capful of eucalyptus oil to the wash. Quilts and pillows should be washed every six months. Always check the label first.

Checklist:

  • Strip the bed and wash the sheets, mattress protector, quilt cover and pillowcases
  • Wipe down all surfaces, including skirting boards, window and door frames, and don’t forget legs of chairs, fronts of dressers and side tables; check for any mould or mildew
  • Using the brush tool, vacuum your headboard and mattress. Concentrate on the piping and crevices where dead skin cells will gather and attract dust mites
  • Vacuum any spider webs on the ceiling and dust ceiling fans and light fixtures. Use a lint roller for curtains and lampshades
  • Clean any glass and mirrors
  • Vacuum floors and rugs, and don’t forget behind and underneath furniture
  • Make bed with clean bedlinen and pop a vase of fresh flowers on your bedside table

The laundry:

Your laundry room is a hardworking space, so mess and dirt can build up. Good storage is key to keeping it in order, as well as a deep clean every few months.

You can either set aside a few hours for this or do it over the course of a few days. You should also arm yourself with white cleaning vinegar and an old toothbrush as part of your cleaning toolkit.

Begin by putting away any clean clothes, doing your ironing and washing any dirty laundry. The room needs to be clear of clutter.

Checklist:

  • Clear floor and all surfaces so they are free of clutter
  • Run empty washing machine with ½ cup of white vinegar to clean it
  • Empty the lint trap of your dryer, wiping with a damp cloth, or you can use your vacuum cleaner
  • Wipe inside your dryer and washing machine, paying special attention to inside seals and any crevices. This is where your old toothbrush comes in handy
  • Clean surfaces, sinks, cabinets and bins
  • Vacuum and mop floors

The bathroom:

The bathroom is a place to unwind so it should be a space you actually want to be in. It’s also a room where germs tend to lurk, so make sure it sparkles.

The night before your blitz, pour plenty of distilled white vinegar into a plastic bag and tie around your showerhead. Leave overnight and rinse in the morning for gleaming results. Gather a few basic cleaning ingredients like bicarbonate
of soda and distilled white vinegar, which can be used to make a paste for cleaning off soap scum.

Remove any unused items from your bathroom cabinet and vanity. Streamlining your products will simplify and speed up your morning routine. When cleaning the toilet, make sure you thoroughly clean the hinges, gaps and handle.

Checklist:

  • Remove unused items from your bathroom cabinet
  • Empty waste bin and clean outside and inside bin
  • Clean shower screen and tiles, plus the bath with bicarb and vinegar paste. Another trick is to turn on your shower until the room is steamy, making surfaces damp and easier to clean with a dry cloth
  • Clean mirrors and any other glass, such as shelves and windows. Don’t forget window frames, which can build up with mould and mildew
  • Scrub toilet bowl and rim with brush and flush. Clean the rest of the toilet. Don’t forget the pipes at the back, if visible
  • Wipe sink, taps and around vanity. Pour white vinegar and bicarb down drains then turn on hot water tap to rinse away
  • Clean toothbrush holder
  • Sweep and mop floors

This article was originally published on Homes to Love Australia

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