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The Ultimate Home Spring Cleaning Checklist + 10 Tips

January 31, 2022

The birds are singing, the flowers are in bloom, and the sun is finally shining again. It’s time to tackle your house cleaning checklist to celebrate spring! With a little organization and the right approach, your apartment will be sparkling clean in no time.

Here’s the ultimate spring cleaning cleaning checklist to help you get started.

House Cleaning Checklist Pro Tips

Kick off your spring cleaning checklist with a few pro tips. For starters, make sure your cleaner is safe for use. 

What works on windows probably isn’t appropriate for stainless steel. It might ruin other surfaces. 

Look for all-purpose cleaners that check the boxes for all of your apartment surfaces, from stainless steel to granite countertops.

Any harsh chemicals like bleach should be used sparingly and only in well-vented areas. It’s also dangerous to flush some cleaners like bleach down the toilet.

Exercise caution with sponges and other supplies to avoid cross-contamination. Accidentally using the same kitchen and bathroom sponge during a spring clean is a deal-breaker.

Save your floors for last. Otherwise, you’ll likely need to vacuum or mop again after dusting and decluttering.

Step 1: Living Room

Whether you have a roommate or enjoy your living room solo, check off everything on your house cleaning checklist before watching the next big game.

Supplies Needed:

  • Dust rags and all-surface cleaner
  • Vacuum or mop
  • Dustbuster
  • Paper towels and glass cleaner
  • Carpet or fabric cleaner
  • Floor cleaner, mop, or vacuum
  • Household odor eliminator spray
  • Trash bags

Living Room Cleaning Checklist:

  • Dust coffee tables and end tables
  • Dust mantel or miscellaneous surfaces
  • Wipe your TV screen and surfaces
  • Clean the windows
  • Freshen up the furniture with a handheld or small vacuum
  • Disinfect the doorknobs
  • Deodorize with household eliminator spray
  • Throw out the living room trash
  • Sweep and clean the floors
  • Wipe down the baseboards

Step 2: Kitchen

When was the last time you gave your kitchen a good scrub? Send germs and undesirable smells packing with your kitchen cleaning checklist.

Supplies Needed:

  • All-purpose disinfectant cleaner
  • Sponges
  • Paper towels
  • Broom and dust bin
  • Floor cleaner and mop
  • Trash bags and recycling bags

Kitchen Cleaning Checklist:

  • Clean your appliance surfaces and doors with all-purpose cleaners
  • Clean out the inside of your fridge and oven
  • Clean out your pantry
  • Throw out old food
  • Disinfect the countertops and sink
  • Clean your bar or kitchen tabletops
  • Wipe down kitchen chair and barstool surfaces
  • Clean out the cupboards
  • Add fresh shelf paper to cabinets and cupboards
  • Run the garbage disposal 
  • Donate old plates, pots, or pans
  • Disinfect the doorknobs or handles
  • Deodorize with household eliminator spray
  • Throw out the kitchen trash and recycling 
  • Clean out your kitchen trash and recycling cans
  • Clean the kitchen floors
  • Wipe down the baseboards

Step 3: Bathroom

Roll up your sleeves and start tackling your bathroom cleaning checklist. Make sure to turn on the fan or open a window to avoid feeling woozy from your cleaners in a small space.

Supplies Needed:

  • Sponges 
  • Paper towels
  • All-purpose disinfectant cleaner
  • Toilet bowl cleaner and toilet brush
  • Toilet bowl drop-in tablets
  • Mop
  • Grout
  • Trash bags

Bathroom Cleaning Checklist:

  • Disinfect your toilet with an appropriate cleaner and toilet brush
  • Add a dissolving drop-in toilet tablet to keep your bowl clean
  • Scrub your tub and shower walls
  • Wipe down shower curtain or doors
  • Wash fabric shower curtain and bath mat
  • Consider replacing shower curtains and bath mats if over two years old
  • Add fresh grout to any broken seals
  • Toss or donate old towels
  • Wipe down drawers, linen closet shelves, and cupboards
  • Clean your mirrors and windows
  • Disinfect the doorknobs
  • Deodorize with household eliminator spray
  • Throw out the bathroom trash
  • Clean out your bathroom trash can
  • Clean the bathroom floors
  • Wipe the baseboards

Step 4: Bedroom

Ready to transform your bedroom with your house cleaning checklist? Get a good night’s rest knowing you’re sleeping in a fresh and clean environment.

Supplies Needed:

  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Dust rag and paper towels
  • Vacuum or mop and floor cleaner
  • Household odor eliminator spray
  • Laundry basket
  • Trash bags

Bedroom Cleaning Checklist:

  • Dust your dresser, bookcases, tables, and any other surface
  • Declutter drawers or shelves 
  • Flip your mattress
  • Wash your bedding
  • Clean out your closet
  • Wash dusty clothes
  • Donate or toss old clothes
  • Throw out old pillows and replace with new ones
  • Clean the windows and mirrors
  • Wash the curtains or dust the blinds
  • Disinfect the doorknobs
  • Deodorize with household eliminator spray
  • Throw out the bedroom trash
  • Clean out your bedroom trash can
  • Sweep or vacuum all floors, including under the bed
  • Wipe down your baseboards

Step 5: Home Office or Extra Room

Whether you have a dedicated home office, extra room, or just a space where you like to read, it’s time for a spring clean.

Supplies Needed:

  • Dust rag and all-purpose cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Vacuum or mop and cleaner
  • Trash bags

Home Office or Extra Room Cleaning Checklist:

  • Declutter your desk or tables
  • Wipe down the desk, tables, and other surfaces
  • Clean the mirrors
  • Clean the windows
  • Disinfect the doorknobs
  • Deodorize with household eliminator spray
  • Throw out the trash
  • Clean out the trash can
  • Mop or vacuum floors
  • Wipe down baseboards

Step 6: Hallways

Your hallways need some spring cleaning love, too. From picture frames to floors, here’s how to approach your house cleaning checklist.

Supplies Needed:

  • Dust rag and cleaner
  • Broom
  • Mop and cleaner
  • Trash bags

Hallways Cleaning Checklist:

  • Dust and declutter the entryway table
  • Clean out the hallway closet
  • Toss and replace broken umbrellas
  • Toss or donate old jackets and other closet items
  • Wipe down picture frames or hallway mirrors
  • Disinfect the doorknobs
  • Deodorize with household eliminator spray
  • Throw out the hallway trash
  • Clean the hallway floors
  • Wipe down the baseboards

Step 7: Laundry Area

Keep your laundry room or nook looking clean and fresh with a quick clean. 

Supplies Needed:

  • Dust rag and all-purpose surface cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Mop and floor cleaner
  • Trash bags

Laundry Room Cleaning Checklist:

  • Wipe down washing machine and dryer
  • Remove lint from the dryer
  • Clean out inside of washer and dryer 
  • Throw out old detergent bottles or fabric softener sheets
  • Wipe down the laundry basket
  • Disinfect the doorknobs
  • Deodorize with household eliminator spray
  • Throw out the laundry room trash
  • Clean out the laundry room trash can
  • Mop the laundry room floors
  • Wipe down the baseboards

Top 10 Spring Cleaning Tips

Not that you know what to clean and what you need to clean it, it's time to get down to business. Spring cleaning is a lot of work, no matter which way you slice it. However, there are ways to make your spring cleaning job a little easier on you.

Here are our top tips to make the most of your spring cleaning this year.

1. Donate or Sell Before Tossing Away

When getting rid of your gently used old belongings, donating and selling usually net the best results.

With donation or selling, not only do you free up some space in your home, but you also have an opportunity to help others or earn some extra income.

Moreover, selling or donating items helps them avoid the landfill. As the average American produces 4.9lbs of waste a day, giving items a second life can help you reduce your waste impact.

If protecting the environment isn’t enough to sway you, consider the fact that some charities or thrift stores will pick up your donated items free of charge.

2. Treat Yourself

The psychology behind rewarding yourself suggests that rewarding yourself for behaving in a certain way can help to reinforce the behavior.

In layman’s terms, if you’re not looking forward to cleaning your apartment, apply the ‘treat yo’self’ method. Clean up and reward yourself with little treats to make the process a little more enjoyable.

Consider setting a price per room, where you get to spend the amount of money set for each room after you’ve finished cleaning it. A little gamification can go a long way to motivating you to speed through your spring cleaning.

3. There’s an App for That

Yes, there’s an app for everything, including cleaning your home! Use the search query ‘household chores’ to get started.

When searching for a household chore app, you can go the simple to-do list app route or dive into the niche of apps designed specifically to track and manage household chores.

Many of these apps offer useful features, including chore reminders, room categories, sharing with others, and supply lists.

Just remember that some of these apps may be free to use, while others lock features behind subscriptions or one-time payments.

If you find a promising household chore app, opt for a free trial before buying anything! Make sure it offers enough bang for your buck.

4. Get Your Entire Household to Participate

If you live in a home with multiple people or rent with roommates, those who can help with cleaning should be put to use. Teamwork makes the dream work.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you should ask your roommates to help you clear out your closet, but it does mean that you should consider planning a spring cleaning chore chart together.

If possible, make it fun! Try for a communal cleaning party in which you and your roommates schedule a weekend of cleaning to tackle spring cleaning your apartment.

Gather some food, drinks, and tunes, and you and your roomies can give your home a good once-over.

5. Invest in Your Space

Spring cleaning allows you to do out with the old and in with the new. As you get rid of things, don’t forget to consider where adding items to your space would help to improve it.

For example, as you get rid of a build-up of excess clothing in your closets, consider investing in totes or vacuum-sealed bags to improve their storage.

If you clear out a spare room or carve out some space in a different room, consider how you might use that space in the future.

An empty corner is a perfect spot for a corner desk if you’d like a more formal office space to get your Zoom meetings done.

Just be aware of how you can adjust your space to better suit your needs through subtraction and addition.

6. Invest in a Steam Cleaner to Refresh Your Place

Steam cleaning may sound like a technique of yesteryear, though it’s an excellent way to keep a modern home sanitized.

Steam cleaning uses pressurized steam to break up dirt, kill germs, and reach deep into fabrics and other dense textiles.

While the upfront cost of a steam cleaner can range anywhere from $30 to $300, investing in a steam cleaner can help you keep your couches and mattresses fresh throughout the year.

Moreover, if you are a fan of thrifting you can use a steam cleaner to refresh the older fabric that you might pick up from your local thrift shop.

7. Pay Attention to Trash Collection Schedules

If you live in a municipality that does not collect large trash items on a regular basis, check in with your local sanitation department to see if there are any scheduled days for large refuse pickup.

Generally, these ‘Big Trash Days’ (as we call it in my house) are scheduled twice a year with one of the days falling around spring cleaning time.

If you know when you can toss out large items or set out more trash than usual, you can plan your spring cleaning purge for those days without incurring any penalties.

8. Rent Industrial Cleaning Tools

Okay, this tip may seem over the top. However, if you’ve ever watched one of those ‘oddly satisfying’ type cleaning videos, you’re well aware of their effectiveness.

Many home improvement stores, like Lowe's or Home Depot, allow you to rent industrial cleaning tools. Those tools include carpet cleaners, floor cleaners, lawn equipment, and more.

The cost of renting these items is much lower than actually purchasing them yourself, so they’re usually cost-effective for once-a-year use.

You'd be surprised at how much dirt or grime can hide in a seemingly clean carpet or floor. Using industrial cleaning tools will certainly show you exactly how much hidden dust and debris may have collected in your home over a year.

9. Take a Trip to the Laundromat

If you have many clothing items, comforters, or any other bulk textile, you’re going to end up with many days' worth of laundry loads in a traditional washer (like the ones you’d find in an apartment with in-unit laundry).

So, save yourself the headache and head out to your local laundromat.

Most laundromats use industrial washing machines and dryers, meaning you can get more laundry done in a single load than you could get done in your own home in three loads.

Additionally, these larger washers and dryers are made to accommodate bigger and bulkier textiles such as comforters that overload your at-home washer.

If you’re really feeling over the whole laundry deal, consider taking your bags of laundry to your local laundromat that offers wash and fold services. They’ll do the hard work for you so you can focus on other things to get your place clean.

10. Outsource Your Deep Clean

According to data from HomeAdvisor, the average cost of a deep clean for a 2,000 sq. ft. house is $300. As apartments are smaller, the average cost to deep clean is just $110 per cleaning.

Although it may seem like an undeserved luxury, to pay someone else to deep clean your home, it's actually a move that can save you time and energy.

If your home needs deeper cleaning or sanitizing, you’re better off letting the professionals handle it. This is especially true if you are cleaning to manage allergies, asthma, or any other respiratory issue.

Professional cleaning services have the tools and know-how to give your home the clean it deserves. Plus, it’s an opportunity to support locals! So long as it fits in your budget, outsourcing is a win-win.

Last Recommendation: Inspect Your Home

When the cleaning is done, there's still one last step. There are always a few items on your spring clean that people overlook on their house cleaning checklist. Now’s the time to:

  • Swap out batteries in your smoke detector
  • Clean that awkward space where you’ve been stashing your umbrella
  • Donate old furniture, books, and rarely-used household items
  • Get rid of broken things
  • Declutter with joyful abandon
  • Ask your landlord about any necessary repairs

The only thing left to do is celebrate your completed spring cleaning checklist. Invite friends and neighbors over for a festive spring get-together.

After all, your apartment might not be this clean until next spring!

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Susan Finch is a freelance writer and content manager focusing on local experiences, travel, and anything relating to really good food and craft brews. Her work has appeared in travel guidebooks and national magazines and newspapers. Read More
Davina Ward is a contributing author at Apartment List and freelance writer specializing in real estate and digital marketing. She received her B. Read More
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