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8 spring cleaning steps you can't afford to skip

Grass is growing, birds are chirping, and chores are piling up.

Our guide to the essential spring cleaning chores. Credit: Getty Images / Moyo Studio

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Days are getting longer, crocuses are starting to poke through garden beds, and spring is in the air. As the equinox approaches, it’s time to come out of hibernation and prepare your home for a new season.

While winter is all about hunkering down and getting cozy, spring is the time to stretch your legs, open the windows, and refresh your space. That’s right, it’s time for spring cleaning. Unfortunately, giving your home a deep clean can feel overwhelming when there are so many rooms and surfaces that need attention. To make it less intimidating and not occupy every weekend in the near future, we’ve put priority on the spring cleaning tasks you should deal with first.

1. Clean out your closets

A person cleaning out a closet
Credit: Getty Images / OKrasyuk

Just because closets are out of sight and out of mind, doesn't mean they don't deserve a proper clean out.

Closets are the epitome of “out of sight, out of mind.” When the doors are closed it’s easy to forget about all the clutter that you’ve tucked away. However, we’re confronting the mess during spring cleaning so it’s time to parse through it all.

Starting off your spring cleaning with a closet clean out allows you to do two things: get rid of what you don’t need and swap out items you have in storage.

Go through all of your closets and make piles for items that need to be tossed or donated. Once you’ve gotten rid of all the extra stuff, swap out your spring and summer clothes for winter coats and sweaters.

Since you’re spending all this time in your closets, now could be the time to upgrade your closet organization. This will help keep your closets tidy year-round so that when spring cleaning time comes around next year, it’s a total breeze.

2. Clear out your gutters

A hand reaching into a gutter and clearing it out of a gutter.
Credit: Getty Images / Marc Dufresne

Clearing out gutters of any scum, keeps them clear once April showers hit.

It's time to head outside, but when it comes to clearing out your gutters, it's best to wait until all the snow and ice has melted. Plus, it will be safer to get up on a ladder to examine what’s going on. Removing leaves, acorns, and other detritus from your gutters after a winter that brings scummy build-up will keep them working properly in the new season.

If you don’t already, after giving your gutters a good clean you may want to install gutter guards. These keep leaves and large debris from building up, which only makes your gutters easier to clean year to year.

3. Clean your windows and doors

A person cleaning a window pane,
Credit: Getty Images / Ksenia Valyavina

Grab your window cleaner and microfiber cloth to get your windows sparkling.

Gutters cleaned? Time to clean your home's exterior window panes and doors. Months of dirt, dust, and water stains will have accumulated on your window panes, and all that gunk will catch the light, making your windows look less-than stellar.

For a basic clean on your windows, grab a great glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth and wipe both sides of your windows to get them sparkling. If you want to take it to the next level, you can purchase a window washing kit with professional cleaning concentrate.

Also scrub the sills of your windows to remove any dust and grime that’s built up. Replace your glass panes with screens where needed so you can get some air flow into your home.

You can also give your doors a good clean using a multipurpose cleaner or a vinegar-based solution.

4. Dust off your ceilings and fans

A person standing on a ladder cleaning a ceiling fan.
Credit: Getty Images / Edwin Tan

Dust clings to the blades of ceilings so turn it off and wipe away any build up.

Through the winter when the windows are shut, your home can get stuffy and dusty, especially in the corners of your walls and and across your ceilings.

Grab an extendable duster to bust away the dust bunnies. But, if your walls feel dirtier than just dust, they may need a quick clean. A simple solution of water, vinegar, and dish detergent can clear away grime. If you have a lot of surface area to cover, then make use of one of your old paint rollers as a mop for your walls.

Don’t forget about ceiling fans, too. Dust clings to the blades, but it's easy to wipe away any build-up. While you’re cleaning your ceiling fan, it’s also time to adjust its settings. In the spring and summer, ceiling fans should spin counter-clockwise to push air down and create a breeze in your home

5. Downsize the kitchen pantry

Two people in a pantry cleaning out the shelves
Credit: Getty Images / mixetto

This spring, take everything out of your cupboards and get rid of those boxes of pasta you know you're never going to get to.

Your pantry and kitchen cabinets may also need some attention this spring. Take everything out of the cupboards and sweep out any food or crumbs that may have escaped their packaging.

With everything out of the cupboards, it’s a great time to downsize your pantry. Any non-perishable you’re looking to get rid of can be donated to a local food pantry. Just make sure to check the date on the products before doing so. If it’s expired, toss it.

6. Clean out the refrigerator

A woman cleaning the front of a refrigerator
Credit: Getty Images / Zinkevych

Time to clear out the nearly empty jelly jars and give your refrigerator a refresh.

Hopefully, you're cleaning your refrigerator more than once per year, but if you're not, now's the time to do it.

First, take everything out to survey what you have and take the time to throw out any expired, wilting food. While you've got an empty fridge, clean the interior with a simple cleaning solution to wipe away all the spills and crumbs.

Before replacing your food, swap out that open box of baking soda with a new one to absorb the odor of future leftovers.

7. Wipe down surfaces

A person cleaning a shelving unit.
Credit: Getty Images / Andrey Popov

Dust off all surfaces including bookshelves, lamps, and side tables.

Dust across all the surfaces in your home; this means countertops, side tables, and dressers. Don’t forget to dust table and floor lamps, including exposed light bulbs which sneakily collect dust.

Once that's done, clear off surfaces and actually clean them using a gentle multi-surface cleaner and paper towels.

8. Vacuum and disinfect floors

A person mopping the floors with a child seated on the floor.
Credit: Getty Images / freemizer

In the winter, we track in so much water and snow so the grime builds up quickly.

Last, but certainly not least, look down and tackle your floors. If you’re in need of a good vacuum, now is the time to invest in one that can tackle the whole house.

Then, it’s time to get mopping. In the winter we track in so much water and snow that grime builds up quickly. A classic Swiffer Wet Jet is a fantastic mop for cleaning up any mess on your floors.

If you want something with a little more power behind it, then swing for a steam mop. Using just water and heat, a steam mop will disinfect floors to rid your space of dirt and bacteria. It takes a bit of patience so it’s the perfect task to do during a thorough deep clean.

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