We are on the tail end of another wonderful crazy winter here in Minnesota! Despite the endless amounts of snow we have been receiving and crazy below average temps, I think we can “hopefully” say spring is on its way? With spring kicking off officially on March 20th, now is the time to start thinking about those spring cleaning projects. For many like myself, when you have kids and balancing work and home life things can get hectic. And you take one look at your house and think where to even begin?
You are not alone people! Most do not even consider spring cleaning and avoid it all together. But if you break your tasks down by day, it can make the simple tasks seem more achievable. So here is our 30-day checklist to getting your home clean from months of winter. This plan will help you declutter and get your home clean from head-to-toe without to much stress. So that we can get out and enjoy the warm months while we have them.
Day 1: Deep clean the fridge and kitchen pantry
Do you open up your fridge and wonder when the last time you even used some of those items in your side doors? Yup me too! Deep clean your fridge and freezer by removing all the shelves, racks and storage items and washing them with dish soap and warm water. Check the dates on all your food items including canned items and salad dressings. Toss out any old and unused foods as well. Soak your ice cube trays. Wipe down the sides of the fridge and freezer. Pull out dry food storage space and sweep/vacuum the flooring. Wipe down the shelving and check the dates of dry food items. Throw out anything old/outdated and re-organize the pantry space.
Day 2: Clean out your closet
Yes, go through your closet and the kids closets. When it comes to your own personal closet go through and pull out any clothes you do not wear anymore or that do not fit. Put them in donation bags if they are savable. Same applies with the kids closets. Go through their clothes and store away in bins any clothes you want to save. Pull the rest into donation bags. Go through and organize the closet so finding your clothes is easy, including hanging up purses, bags, belts, scarfs and hats.
Day 3: Purge Your Kitchen Cabinets
Open those kitchen cabinet doors and start sifting through all your old tupperware. Organize and make sure you have matching pieces the rest toss to the recycling. Pull out glasses and plates and wipe down cabinet shelving. Clean the outside of the cabinet doors. Simple and done!
Day 4: Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet
If you are like us, you probably have items sitting in there just aging and unused. Go through your medicine cabinet and check dates on all your old supplements and meds. If its outdated and has not been used in quite some time, you are probably safe to toss it. Toss any liquid makeup over three months old and powder makeup over a year old. Go through and make sure you have an updated first aid kit. You always want to be ready for an emergency situation.
Day 5: Time To Dust
When you live in Minnesota, your home does not get a lot of fresh air. Those windows are squeezed tight all winter long to keep us warm. Which means additional amounts of dust will be collecting. Dust your books, knick-knacks, furniture, railings. Take a brook to the corners of your ceilings and any windows where cobwebs collect. Time to sweep and vacuum those floors. Lastly, if you have drapes get them in the laundry (make sure to follow directions per the tag and type of drape.) If you have shades wash them down with a rag and warm soap and water.
Day 6: Clean Out Your Junk Drawers
We are the worst with these in our house. In fact, I am really dreading getting this one done. We have probably four drawers in our house where a million items get thrown into. And now it is getting to the point where I cannot even open these drawers nonetheless find anything in them. Pull the drawer out, dump it out and organize. Toss anything un-needed items and store those that are used. Wash down the drawer and your done!
Day 7: Clean Your Oven and Appliances
Start with the outside including the cook top, underside of the hood and front of the hood. At the same time, clean your microwave. When it comes to the inside of your oven. The way you decide to clean can vary. Some ovens have the self cleaning option available. Or if you prefer to not risk starting your house on fire you can use this simple tip. Mix baking soda, For your dishwasher pull out the dish holders and start scrubbing.
Day 8: Organize Your Cleaning Supplies
Yes, if you are like us they are all thrown in one big mess in a cabinet or under the sink. I don’t even know what we have or half of what we have. This is a serious issue in our house. Invest in some organizing kits you can get at Home Depot or Menards. Look through and organize by type and make sure none are old and outdated. Throw out any that are old or not useful.
Day 9: Clean Your Windows
Wash your windows inside and out. If you are in a colder state like Minnesota, you might have to wait until the warmer days to get outside to reach the outside windows. If you don’t have the proper tools to reach your exterior windows I suggest hiring a professional as they are fairly affordable and save you time. Remove the screens and vacuum and soak in soapy warm water. For your windows good old fashioned Windex will always do the trick or you can use a spray bottle with vinegar and water. Wipe them down with a microfiber cloth. Dust your windowsills and the frames.
Day 10: Wash the Walls
This one can be timely but so worth it! If you have kids you know how easily their little grimy hands can leave lots of fun fingerprints on your walls. Wash any interior walls that looked stained or discolored. I usually just use some warm soap and water.
Day 11: Clean The Bathrooms
Make sure you take a deep breath, get some cleaning gloves and prepare yourself. These for most are the most un-favored chore in the house. But for most we are in a rush and do a partial cleaning. It’s time we hike up those cleaning gloves and get on our hands and knees and really scrub. This includes the walls, shower, and floors. Pull out any old shower curtains that are discolored and either wash or discard for a new one.
Day 12: Clean the Furniture
Move those couches and chairs, and clean under them by sweeping or vacuuming. Pull out the handheld attachment to vacuum the couch and chairs. If you have microfiber, I suggest pulling out a shampooer if you have one and doing a good scrub.
Day 13: Organize Your Shoes
Yes that is right! How many of us have a clutter of old shoes in which over half you probably do not even wear. Go through all of the families shoe supply. Toss out old and unused shoes and donate ones that you don’t wear and of good condition.
Day 14: Clean Your Garage
Okay, maybe we put this on the summer list for some. Depending on time of year and weather permitting. Get out and declutter your garage and throw out any items you have not used since last year.
Day 15: Clean Your Fireplace
If you have a fireplace gas, electric or wood burning. It is always good to ensure proper working condition that you clean it properly. We have a gas and electric fireplace. In our situation we simply remove the screens in the front and remove unwanted dust.
Day 16: Time To Clean Your Bedding and Linens
We are fairly good about doing this in our house. We try to keep up with washing our bedding on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. But if you do not do this. Now is the time to get it done. Go room by room and get those linens in the wash. This goes for iron board covers, drapes, rugs, pillow cases.
Day 17: Clean Your Car
For those of us in colder temp states this gets put to the wayside awfully quick during the colder months. Get in there and clean out your trash, vacuum and wash down the floors and seats. Depending on your budget you could just pay a detailer to do it for you.
Day 18: Organize Kids Toys
If you are like us, your house at times can look like a toy box puked all over your house. Go through all the kids toys and decide which need to stay and go. Put toys that are unused or no longer age friendly in a donation box or garage sale pile. The toys you decide need to stay I would suggest potentially cleaning down from germs and organizing them appropriately.
Day 19: Sweep and Scrub Entryway
For many that live in snowy states, we all know how hard it is to keep the mud and water from the entryway. But when the snow finally melts, it is time to vacuum, sweep and scrub the dry mud and dirt off the floor. But during the muddy days of spring, I like to keep a cloth easily accessible to clean up water and mud that comes in from the outside.
Day 20: Toss Clutter in Your Bathroom
Clean your bathroom drawers and toss out old items unused or providing clutter. Old toothbrushes, shampoo and soap bottles. Re-organize your bathroom closet. Clean towels and linens.
Day 21: Clean Your Electronics
Get the cleaner out and start wiping down remotes, televisions, phones, tablets and computers.
Day 22: Tend to Your Plants
Do you have plants and flowers in your house? Spring is a good time to trim the dead leaves and stems and add some more fresh dirt to the pot. This is a great project for kids to handle. (Under supervision of course.)
Day 23: Scrub Your Kitchen Table & Chairs
If you have kids this one will become a necessity in younger years. Kids are notorious for putting their grimy little hands all over tables and chairs. I have found myself on numerous occasions scrubbing food stuck underneath a table and chair. Depending on the style and type of wood your table and chairs are. I suggest starting with some warm soap and water and scrubbing and finishing with a wood or top cleaner.
Day 24: Scrub your Floors
I try to do this once a week if I can remember but it can get easily forgotten. If you have a steamer this is a great and easy way to tackle this project. I always put a tad bit of vinegar in some hot water and steam the floors. For others a simple swifter will work or mop.
Day 25: Clean Your Washer and Dryer
I know that this one is a task that I don’t do often enough. And there are so many suggestions out there on how to do it properly. I simply run an empty cycle with some vinegar. And wipe everything down also with a vinegar cloth. After the cycle with the vinegar is complete I re-run with bleach and let the bleach sit for an hour before resuming the cycle to rinse out.
Day 26: Go Through Your Mail Pile
Once again guilty as charged. When you are self-employed and balancing running two companies and a normal life with children, the rest gets easily put to the wayside. And right now there is a massive amount of mail and papers on our desk in the office. Go through your office space and open mail and organize those that are essential and toss/recycle anything that is junk.
Day 27: Clean Your Plumbing
Clean every drain in your home (bathroom and kitchen). If you have a garbage disposal you will want to do this one as well. Pour boiling hot water down your drain, add in baking soda, followed by vinegar. Cover the drain with a plug and follow in a bit with another round of hot water.
Day 28: Organize Your Bags
This includes purses, backpacks, briefcases and suitcases. Go through each and wipe down, throw out any garbage and put away anything un-necessary from the bag.
Day 29: Clean Out Cold Air Exchanges and Furnace Vents
Ours get fairly dusty throughout the winter months. I usually pull each of the vent covers off and place them in the kitchen sink with hot soapy water, dry and replace on the wall. Same applies for the furnace vents and vacuuming down the holes as much as you can reach and trying to check for toys that may have been stuffed down there by the kids.
Day 30: Treat Yourself
You made it through a month of trying to clean and de-clutter your home. You deserve a treat or better yet a massage, or glass of wine!