Traditionally spring cleaning happens simultaneously with the Easter holidays, which signifies a time for rebirth and renewal. More commonly, spring cleaning dates and times vary across the country as the climate changes from harsh winters to cool breezes, open windows and being able to enjoy the outdoors after a long cold season.

Once the flowers start blooming in your area, it’s time to clear out the winter blues. The cleansing, deep cleaning, and reorganization of your home can be very satisfying. With a bit of planning and some time carved out into your schedule, this task does not have to be daunting at all. There are numerous check-lists available that you can follow, 30-day guidelines, and other tools to make this job manageable. Goddess of all things domestic, Martha Stewart even offers a printable checklist with everything you need to know to zip through the process.

If you’re not sure where to begin, the short outline below with guided steps will help you make that fresh start and get your home shining from the inside out. The process of decluttering and cleaning a space is actually pretty easy once you begin.

Rethink Cleaning Products

Before beginning, take inventory of your cleaning products and ahead of purchasing anything new, put some thought into what kind of chemicals you do or don’t want in your home. Spring cleaning can also pertain to cleaning your living environment, ridding your home of unnecessary toxins. Going natural might be a wise choice for your family. There are many citrus-based and non-toxic products available on the market these days. Simple vinegar and baking soda have always been a proven standby for most cleaning projects. Also, reuse cotton clothing for rags instead of one-time use paper products.

One Room at a Time

Instead of looking at the big picture, this one time it is more productive to go piece by piece. Tackling one room at a time will give you a sense of accomplishment and keep the cleaning frenzy from getting too chaotic. Focus on sections that were probably neglected over the winter: baseboards, window sills, blinds, and ceiling fans.

Seasonal Cleaning

To prepare for warmer weather, a wise decision would be to tackle some of the seasonal chores that need to be covered. Start working on outside jobs, such as giving porches and patios a good wipe down; grab the hose and do the outside of all windows; trim, weed and prepare the front and back yards for outside activity. Inside the house, you can store winter items (clothing, bedding), and don’t forget to deep clean carpets and floors.

Big Appliances

This means the refrigerator, dishwasher, and washing machine. To refresh your fridge, pull all items out and wipe down bottles with a warm wet cloth. Then use soapy water to hit all the surfaces inside, drawers too. Place a new small box of open baking soda in the back and you’re all set. For the dishwasher and washing machine, run long cycles with hot water and a simple vinegar and baking soda solution. This will remove any built-up residue on surfaces and inside the cleaning compartments.

The Mattress

For such a heavily used and deeply loved piece of furniture, the mighty mattress might be the most overlooked. Next time you change the sheets, take a few extra minutes to get the vacuum out and clean all the crevices and edges of your mattress. Make sure to wash the mattress cover too. Before replacing clean sheets, hit the mattress with a spritz of disinfectant spray, or for a more organic method use a diluted essential oil spray, such as tea-tree, citrus, or lavender.

Clear the Clutter

Nothing feels quite as good as clearing clutter! It freshnes up your home, brings a sense of order and calmness, and adds breathing space. One method to get in the right frame of mind is to pretend you are moving and will have to pack up the whole house. What would you honestly keep? What could go? Once you can make some sorting decisions, there are a few options to help you make the most of these unwanted items. Sell, donate, recycle, or upcycle. One of the fastest growing services in the Phoenix and Bay Area cities is Remoov, a hauling service that sells, then donates or responsibly recycles everything you no longer want.

Depending on the size of your home, most of your deep spring cleaning chores can be handled in one weeknd, or two at most. Get the whole family involved. Plan for one day of decluttering and organization, followed by a day of group cleaning assignments. Then relax and enjoy the change of season and your refreshed home.

By Tara Dickinson

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