Spring Cleaning Checklist

Spring is here! The weather is gorgeous and it’s time to open the windows and start that spring cleaning. But where to start? What needs to be done? If you’re not sure exactly what needs to be cleaned, we’ve got the checklist just for you.

Throughout the House

  • Vacuum/Wipe Down Walls and Ceilings: Start by vacuuming to remove as much loose dirt and dust as possible. Follow this with a soft cloth. Wash with water and soap mixture to clean really dirty areas.
  • Furniture: Vacuum and clean upholstered items and polish wooden items. Clean all dust and treat any problem areas (tears, knicks/scratches, rust spots, loose parts, etc.)
  • Dust: Choose a quality duster that will trap and remove the dust (ex: microfiber cloth) rather than just spread it around. Dust all surfaces of your home including shelves, knick knacks, photos, lamp shades, door trim, window casings and ceiling fans.
  • Air Vents: Clean these yourself or have them professionally cleaned.
  • Vacuum: Vacuum everywhere including all floors and other areas that can quickly be dusted/cleaned with vacuum attachments.
  • Shampoo Carpets and Rugs: Pretreat stained areas and then clean the entire area with a quality rug steam cleaner. If you have valuable/antique rugs, consult a professional before cleaning.
  • Windows: Clean the windows inside and out. Grab a friend or spouse to help make the job go quicker.
  • Baseboards: Dust and wipe down baseboards.
  • Drapes/Blinds/Window Treatments: Clean the drapes and blinds. If heavy winter drapes are used, remove, clean and store them. Replace with lighter warm weather window treatments.


  • Defrost and clean out the freezer: For more info, see our guide How to Clean a Freezer.
  • Refrigerator Coils: Pull out the refrigerator and clean the coils. Be sure to unplug the refrigerator first to avoid any shocks. The coils are usually at the bottom under the grill or in the back. Simply vacuum away any dust or dirt build up with a vacuum with attachments.
  • Oil Wooden Cabinets: Keep your wooden cabinets looking great by applying a thin layer of citrus oil. Use a soft cloth to apply and a clean cloth to remove any excess oil from the surface.
  • Trash Cans: Wash out and sanitize your trash cans to keep them smelling fresh during the winter months.
  • Oven/Stove Cleaning: In addition to cleaning the inside of the oven, look at the exhaust vents. Clean the grease traps and vents as well. Pull the oven out and clean behind the unit to remove excess dust and debris that has dropped/dripped down over the months.
  • Drains: Remove build up and odor causing growth with a quality drain cleaner. There are also a variety of chemical free options, such as baking soda and vinegar.


  • Check Expirations Dates: Sort through cosmetics and prescriptions and discard all expired products.
  • Check Grout in Tile: The grout in tile can wear and become poroused. Regrout areas that are weak or damaged.

Bed Rooms

  • Flip the Mattress: To keep even wear on your mattress, it’s wise to flip it periodically. Spring cleaning is the perfect time!
  • Change the Bedding: Now that warmer temperatures are here, remove the flannel sheets and heavy blankets, wash them and store them. Replace them with lighter, warm weather bedding.
  • Pillows: With use, pillows can house bacteria and mold. If your pillows are machine washable, wash them and dry them completely. If they’re not washable, hand clean them or replace them with new ones.
  • Clean out Drawers and Closets: Add the discard and donate items to your items from the attic/basement and set a delivery date. Store cold weather clothing and bring out warm weather clothing.
  • Smoke Detectors/Alarms: Replace batteries in all smoke detector units.

Home Office

  • Organize Files: Use this time to check policy dates and get rid of excess paperwork. Scan and store important documents on your computer to save space.
  • Book Shelves: Clean them off and dust and/or wipe them down.


  • Outdoor Trash Cans: Wash out and disinfect trash cans to keep odors and pests away.
  • Furnace Filters: Time to replace or clean the filter for your furnace. This is also important to keep your furnace running efficiently.


  • Minimize: Sort through boxes of stored items and clothing. Donate, sell or trash items as appropriate.
  • Sort and Organize: Use bins or boxes to keep like items together in an organized fashion so you can find them easily.
  • Safety: Keep all appliances raised up off the floor to prevent any electrical problems should there be water in the basement.


  • Light Fixtures: Check for burnt out bulbs, broken fixtures or damaged wires. Replace and repair as needed.
  • Outdoor Furniture: Bring your outdoor furniture out of storage and clean it well so it’s ready for that first spring BBQ.
  • Walkways: Clean all decks and walkways to remove any mildew that may have developed.
  • Porch: Sweep away any cobwebs or nests. Wash down the walls.
  • Siding: Clean any areas of the siding that are weathered or stained.

Laundry Room

  • Washing Machine: Clean out your washing machine.
  • Dryer: Vacuum out the lint trap of the dryer and clean the vents and exhaust as well.


  1. Excellent post about spring cleaning. One thing many people don’t do is check expiration dates of cosmetics. We threw away three full bags the other week, so great tip there!

  2. I never realized there was so much to spring clean. I cleaned my house for the spring, then saw this article. Needless to say, I have a ton more work ahead of me. Great article!

  3. Any tips for fall cleaning?

  4. FlyLady and Martha Stewart have pretty exhaustive lists as well; check them out. I also customize my lists for my needs–I have pets, which pose additional challenges; their items must be cleaned too. Exercise equipment should be cleaned and maintained and artificial flowers should be wiped down too. My objective in spring cleaning is to clean everything that I do not normally clean during regular cleaning forays.

  5. I clean all dishes and glasses in the dishwasher. Wipe down all kitchen cabinets. Take out all linens to clean and reorganize from winter/summer/fall. It’s festive and makes each season a holiday in spirit.

  6. This was an excellent spring tip. This is a perfect guideline for anyone getting started. I will share this with friends. :,)

  7. Put coffee grounds down your food garbage disposal, let set for 3 minutes, then add lemon or lemon rinds. Keeps the disposal and home smelling great.

  8. To help remove odors, pour a cup full of vinegar and let it set, overnight or longer, in whatever area needed. This is good for using anywhere or place you need to deodorize–sinks, basements, children’s closets (sneakers)…

  9. Victoria says:

    Excellent article; definitely household chores I hadn’t thought of and I thought I had most spring cleaning covered.

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