April 15

The Beginner’s Guide to Spring Cleaning


I’m going to show you how to do spring cleaning in one weekend. This can be an enormous, daunting task. In this brief blog, I’ll show you how to strategize and organize a spring cleaning blitz. 

You have to have a vision of what you want before you start, or you’ll find yourself going down rabbit holes and sitting on the floor with your high school yearbook and cruising Facebook.

Really think about how clean and beautiful your home can be. Write down the things that would make the most impact for you: kids toys organized and out of sight? More plants? A workable workshop in the garage? Let’s plan it out! 

You can do this on Friday night: First, prep your tools and helpers. It’s no good having your teenagers say they're going to help, and then whoosh, they disappear on you while you’re struggling to get that desk out of the smallest room. No, you need committed help and plenty of tools: trash bags, gloves, cleaners, scrubbers).

Next, mark out places where things go during the clean:
- Throwaway (bonus if you get someone’s trailer or pickup to put these into right away)
- Giveaway (ReStore, Goodwill, food pantry, free pile)
- Staging area for things that need to be moved back in after cleaning.

NOW, you can start. Begin in the same far corner of your house with each pass, so you don’t get lost in the process.

Throw away anything that you aren’t using, don’t love, or haven’t used in 3 years. Be ruthless, but not unreasonable. Last year, I tossed a funky old dress, and my husband pulled it back out, because apparently, he loves me in it. But 2 copies of Danielle Steele? Those are giveaways.

Go though a second time, and put things in their new forever home. Stuff always winds up scattered throughout the house. Sometimes it’s better where it is (mugs in the kitchen, not the pantry), but sometimes they need to move to a more sensible place (backpacks hung in the garage, not laying on the hall closet floor). Since you’re going to be cleaning that new space, leave these things in boxes until the cleaning is done.

Take a break, you deserve it!

Now it’s time to call in your assistants. Crank the music, and start CLEANING. Start in that back room, and do each room thoroughly. Move stuff out to the staging area to give yourself more room to work in. Work top to bottom, back to front. Ceiling, walls, windows, furniture, woodwork, floor.

The only thing that gets done ahead of schedule is the soap scum remover that you spray on the shower and bath while you’re working on the bedroom. Leave the fan on, and open all the windows.

Put the moved items back in as you finish each room. Mow the lawn, declutter your car (you can detail it next weekend). Take the trash to the dump, the giveaways to Goodwill and the ReStore, and give your helpers pizza and lemonade.

Ta-da! Now you have a lovely, clean, relaxing home again!

Bookmark this so you can come back next spring. Let me know in the comments what worked best for you!


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