Spring cleaning is a thing. When the sun shines a little longer and a little more brightly during the day, when the green things begin to show themselves again, when the cold is not quite so biting, we start to wake up a bit more.
The light shines through our windows and reveals a layer of cruft we didn’t notice while nestled in our gray winter cocoons.
With the need generally also comes the motivation. Time for spring cleaning!
Spring cleaning is a noble itch, and we should definitely seize the motivation when it hits. However, there’s a way to seize the motivation that will give us momentum into summer and a way to burn it right up instantly.
What counts as Spring Cleaning? Spring cleaning is any extra time put into housework beyond normal routines. It includes annual chores that don’t need to be done every day or week or month. Spring cleaning also is deeper than everyday cleaning.
Instead of just wiping down the counters, we move everything up and clean the edges, too. We might wipe the inside of cabinet doors and not just the outside.
The exact level of depth or extent of a Spring Cleaning checklist is personal. There’s no one right way to do a spring cleaning.
That’s why I have a flexible, customizable April cleaning calendar you can download and quickly design your own spring cleaning checklist that will work for you and your home.
The first page is a brain dump page because before we know what we ought to do, where and how we need to clean house, we have to do a little thinking and looking. The brain dump sheet will help you make the best choices about what to put on your own cleaning checklist.
Then the second page is the Spring Cleaning checklist created especially for the month of April, with places for you to fill in what needs to be done in your house.
Whether you’re in declutter mode, basic housecleaning recovery mode, or housecleaning level up mode, the checklist will work for you because exact tasks are not defined. Instead, types of tasks and time blocks are the structure.
Typically, there are three areas to focus on as you make your own Spring Cleaning plan.
Spring clean your kitchen
It’s no secret that kitchens suffer from grime build up. Sometimes it’s easy to ignore because it sneaks behind the appliances and crockery kept on the counter.
So at least once a year, we should entirely empty the counter, section by section, and wipe it down, backsplash and all, with a degreasing cleaning solution.
You might also consider choosing your most-used drawers or cabinets to wipe out. Personally, with a busy, always-home large family, I go at our drawers and cabinets with a handheld vacuum because the crumb-accrual is so significant. No worries.
Just do something to make it better without telling yourself that it shouldn’t ever get this dirty.
If you generally keep a very clean kitchen already and you’re shocked at the idea of only thoroughly cleaning the counters this way once a year, then you probably want to take it a step further.
There’s always another layer of cleaning to do. We all just need to find where we’re at and take the next step. The free April cleaning guide and customizable checklist will help you figure that out for yourself.
Spring clean your home’s public areas
If your normal cleaning routine involves putting things away and generally maintaining decent appearances, then Spring Cleaning in your living room, dining room, entry, and other public spaces will include moving the furniture and cleaning the edges of the room. Dust bunnies and crumbs tend to gather in corners, and corners in these rooms are often covered.
If you’re truly brave, you can remove the cushions of your couch and vacuum there. But that’s not a job for the faint of heart in a family with many kids. It’s more than a 15 minute job, most likely, because of all the legos and matchbox cars and bits of candy wrapper you have to deal with will require 15 minutes of breathing into a paper bag first.
But if normal living doesn’t leave time for basic dusting and damp mopping or vacuuming, then that’s where your Spring Cleaning routine begins (and ends).
Having a Spring Clean Fling isn’t about everyone achieving a similar, standard level of clean, but just of taking the opportunity to do the next level jobs we don’t have time for on a typical week.
How much time should spring cleaning take?
There is no right amount of time spring cleaning ought to take. The real question is how much time do you have? Do you have a Saturday to dedicate to it? Then take a little extra time Friday tidying up first and making sure you have rags and cleaner and a low-effort dinner ready.
Do you not have any large chunk of time? You can still spring clean effectively in small pockets of time if you’re intentional about it.
Even if you have a full day to dedicate to cleaning projects, you should still write out your tasks in 10-15 minute chunks. Before you begin, list out the top 5 things you’d most like to get to that you don’t usually address, but if it’s something that will take more than 15 minutes, break it up into multiple tasks.
Highlight your top 5 or write them on a separate sticky note and then keep a running side list of others you think of. You might not (probably won’t) get to them all, but you won’t have to waste time wondering what to do next. Just look at the list and pick something you can get moving on quickly.
Download the April Spring Cleaning checklist
This list is different from others you might find on the internet that tell you to dust ceiling fans when you don’t even have ceiling fans.
Instead, this 2-page worksheet + checklist will help you come up with the plan that fits your real life, right now, not create some ideal and unrealistic life where your house stays clean all the time.