Spring cleaning tasks are one of those things I tend to put off every year, despite knowing that they really do need to be addressed at some point. I keep waiting for the elusive “perfect time” to do those annoying annual tasks, where I have a whole day to devote to cleaning and organizing, and my family is perfectly willing to help out with the effort. But oddly, that day never seems to come along! ;-)
But not this year! In order to ensure my success during spring cleaning this year, I’ve gone through a list of some of my least favorite chores and broken them down, step-by-step. I revised and streamlined my routine for each chore, so that I’ll only need one or two tools and a few free minutes to complete each one. That way I’ll be able to tackle a project here and there when I have time, which is a much more realistic prospect than finding a block of several uninterrupted hours.
Here are some of my favorite tips for spring cleaning success!
Under the Furniture
Tools: Vacuum, height adjustable duster, furniture sliders
Bending and twisting to try and clean under heavy furniture is no one’s idea of a good time. But luckily, there are a few tools that make can make this job astoundingly easy.
The first option I like is getting a pack of reusable furniture slider pads. I got a package of 4 large slider pads at Bed Bath & Beyond for about $15. They were large enough to support the legs of our massively heavy meeting table at our studio, and once they were in place, sliding the table to the side to vacuum under it was a breeze!
Using furniture slider pads, you can clean underneath every heavy piece of furniture in your home in no time!
The second option, for those who would prefer that their furniture stay where it is, is an extendable duster. I got this one for around the same price as the furniture sliders. The microfiber duster is machine-washable, and the head can pivot to multiple different angles depending on what you’re cleaning.
Just put the head at a 45-degree angle, and extend the handle to dust under large pieces of furniture like our media unit in OGT studio. It took me all of about 5 seconds to sweep all of the dust and dirt out from underneath it, and then I used a vacuum to suck it all up. An annoying chore made virtually painless!
Washing the Walls
Tools: Vacuum, bucket, microfiber cloths
Washing walls is another job that most of us tend to put off. The thought of wiping down ALL the walls in the WHOLE house can certainly seem daunting! My advice is to streamline your process, and take it one room at a time.
Start by using the extension attachment on your vacuum to suck up dust or cobwebs, which you’ll typically find near the ceilings.
When you’re done vacuuming, fill a bucket with a simple multi-purpose cleaning solution. My go-to solution is a 1:1 mix of warm water and white vinegar. The other tool in your wall-washing arsenal is a stack of microfiber cleaning cloths.
Soak one cloth in the cleaning solution and start wiping down those walls! Rather than rinsing out the rag in a separate bucket or in the sink, when one cloth gets dirty I just toss it into a pile and pick up a clean cloth from my stack. This keeps me focused on cleaning, and saves me quite a bit of time since I don’t have to move back and forth to a sink. When I’m done for the day (generally after one room is done,) I just toss all the microfiber cloths into the washer.
Tools: Bucket, homemade window-cleaning solution, long-handled brush
Ever since I first posted this method for cleaning windows on the blog way back in 2012, I have never used a different solution or technique. The whole process takes an hour or two if we’re organized, and leaves the windows looking spotless. And it is SO nice to have clean windows during springtime! It’s hard to enjoy the cool air, the sunshine, and the spring blossoms if you’re looking out at them through grimy windows.
All you need to get started is a bucket full of the homemade window-cleaning solution, a long-handled brush, and a spray nozzle for your hose. (A long-handled brush can either be a car-washing aid or even a standard wet-dry mop. Anything that’s got a washable cleaning pad on it, and a handle long enough to help you reach those windows!)
Spray down your windows with the spray nozzle to loosen up the dirt and grime, then dip your brush into the cleaning solution and scrub those windows. Finally, give them another blast with the hose to rinse, and that’s it! No further wiping required. Your windows will dry to a sparkling finish, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner! :-)
Clearing Out the Gutters
Tools: Trowel, ladder, hose
This has to be one of most universally despised spring cleaning tasks, but it’s also one of the most important. If your gutters get clogged by leaves and other debris, it could lead to damage to your roof and landscaping. Rather than paying for costly repairs, you can prevent issues from happening by spending one afternoon devoted to clearing out those gutters.
Using a ladder to access your gutters, use a simple garden trowel to scoop out any gunk that may have collected in there. Just scoop it out onto the ground and pick it up later to dispose of it.
Once any major obstructions have been cleared out, use a spray nozzle on your hose to blast any remaining dirt and debris towards your downspouts.
Some people just aren’t comfortable climbing ladders, and that’s understandable. For people who would rather stay on solid ground, there’s a handy tool for just that purpose! It’s a Telescoping Gutter Cleaning Wand, which attaches to your hose. The handle extends, and sprayer on the end is hook-shaped. You’ll be able to blast the gunk out of your gutters safely from the ground. I haven’t tried this tool, but it sounds like a great way to get the job done!
The cleaning tasks listed above are ones that I personally would prioritize, but you may have an entirely different list of tasks cleaning tasks you need to accomplish. Luckily I’ve posted dozens of quick and simple cleaning tips over the years, so I thought I’d add some of those links here in case you need to address anything during your spring cleaning that I didn’t highlight in today’s post. :-)
What is your most dreaded spring cleaning chore?