The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Guide

Living in Orlando, Florida has so many perks–Disney World, Universal, tons of beaches, pools are more common, outdoor activities are everywhere, lots of small little towns to visit, and spring comes faster.

When you live in an amazing city so close to the beach and other tourists spots, you get lots of guests. Zack and I have our calendar set with two extra bedrooms and book up the weeks fairly quickly once spring arrives. We love having our little home open to friends and family.  I know that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but Zack and I love being able to offer a free and comfortable place to stay to maximize our friends and family’s vacations.

With this impending season of visitors quickly approaching, I have two posts in the works. One is how to set up a comfortable room for your guests. That one is coming! However, before we can talk about the decorative part, we have to talk about the cleaning part.

Remember when I said spring comes faster in Florida? That includes spring cleaning!

We are going to have a quick chat about the different rooms of your house that need a good spring cleaning. I am going to also share tips to make you more efficient and my favorite products–some are storebought and some are homemade! Also, I am also in the process of creating a  hand-lettered Spring Cleaning checklist that you can download–stay tuned for that!

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Breaking Down the Rooms

Now, I know spring cleaning can be a beast! The best way that I have found to really make myself efficient and organized is to label 1-2 rooms a day. This process can take anywhere from a week to a month depending on how busy you are. Here is the breakdown of general rooms in a home. Rooms with an asterisk are rooms that might require an entire day, depending on your home and your schedule.

  • Kitchen*
  • Living Room*
  • Family Room*
  • Dining Room
  • Bedrooms*
  • Closets
  • Guest Room
  • Office*
  • Master Bathroom*
  • Guest Bathroom
  • Powder Room
  • Garage*
  • Back Porch
  • Entry Ways
  • Front Porch

Kitchen

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The kitchen is probably my biggest beast to tackle every year! For many families, it is the area that gains the most traffic and has the most potential for messes and spills. There are also so many nooks and crannies that can gather not only dust but food particles. This is my favorite room to deep clean, and I will admit, some of the items on this list I do multiple times a year. Here is a list of what I recommend for a deep cleaned kitchen:

  • Pull off everything from the counters and clean them well with a multi-purpose cleaner.*
  • Wipe down the tops and doors of all cabinets with mild soapy water
  • Clean cycle your oven
  • Clean your stove top hood vent & degrease rangehood
    • Here’s a simple how-to guide by Serena Bakes here.
  • Clean the refrigerator
    • Check all labels and throw out anything that has expired (especially all of the condiments and bottles!)
    • pull everything out and deep clean the doors, drawers, and shelves with water and mild soap
    • organize the items that are hanging on your fridge (coupons, pictures, drawings) and file or trash whatever is needed–make room for new.
    • wipe off the top and sides of the fridge
    • defrost your freezer if needed
  • Deep clean all small appliances (coffee maker, toaster, mixer, etc)
  • Deep clean dishwasher
    • Here is a simple how-to guide from Clean Mama here.
  • Pantry
    • throw out expired products
    • wipe down any grimy areas
    • sweep and mop floor
  • Clean out spice rack
  • Wipe down backsplash
  • Reorganize and clean drawers + under the kitchen sink
  • Deep clean sink and garbage disposal
    • Sink–I typically use Comet to deep clean my kitchen sink every other week.
    • To deep clean your faucet and sprayer, try this homemade cleaner and routine by the Thrifty Couple here.
    • Garbage disposal–I use lemons and ice to clean out the disposal and make it smell fresh.
  • Do you have any butcher block or wood surfaces? Give them a good clean with vinegar!

Bathrooms

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  • Clean base of toilet
  • Clean shower head
    • Try this simple and homemade shower head cleaner routine by the Thrifty Couple here.
  • Change out shower curtain liner and wash shower curtain
  • Wipe down any shelves
  • Everything off of counters and clean it super good
  • Mirrors*
  • Wash floor mats
  • Deep clean shower and re-caulk if needed
  • Throw away and reorganize all drawers and cabinets
    • I typically take a washcloth and wipe down all of my drawers and such–I know mine accumulate a lot of hair!
  • If you have a glass shower door, check out my post on the best way to clean your glass shower door and keep it clean! Bar Keeper’s Friend is a MUST have!

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Bedrooms

  • Wash comforter
  • Clean out under beds
  • Flip and clean mattress
  • Go through all clothes
    • pack up all winter clothes
    • sell or give away any unworn clothes
  • Dust all furniture
  • Reorganize/purge any toys in kids rooms

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Closets

  • Sell or give away any unworn clothes
  • Reorganize if needed
  • Clean out any unused items
  • Wipe down shelves
  • sweep/vacuum floors

Living Room + Family Rooms

  • Reorganize and purge children’s toys
  • Reorganize and purge any books or magazines that are unused or unwanted
  • Pull everything off of shelves and furniture to dust
  • Vacuum or wash couch cushions and pillows
  • Move furniture to vacuum underneath (sweep and mop if not carpeted)
  •  Move any area rugs to clean underneath
    • Fun Tip: Rotate your area rugs every 6 months to even out traffic patterns
  • Dust TV with a dry cloth–no chemicals!
  • Consolidate small appliances and remotes that are not needed
  • Clean out any drawers of unused items

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Dining Room

  • Wash any table runners/cloths/placemats
  • Clean under centerpieces
  • Dust all furniture

Office

  • Go through all old paperwork/files
    • Keep 7 years of receipts, but anything older, feel free to shred if it’s of no value to you
    • Shread everything that you toss for identity purposes
  • Pull everything off of desks and other furniture to dust and clean under
  • Clean out all drawers and reorganize if necessary

Garage

My husband is the King of the Garage! Thank goodness, because it is a beast! He takes care of this giant task about twice a year. Here are his suggestions and tips

  •  Reorganize!
    • Section off different categories
      • Seasonal Decorations
      • Memorabilia
      • Tools
      • Lawn equipment
      • Outdoor activities
      • Stockpiling
  • Sweep
  • Get rid of old and/or unused toxic items (paint, spray paint, bug sprays, etc)
  • If anyone gives you free shelving–utilize it! Don’t get rid of it! Shelves are an amazing way to organize your garage and really use the space effectively. And, they can get really pricey, so if you’re ever given a set take it!

Outdoor Living

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We Floridians take our outdoor living areas seriously. Whether you have a lanai, slab of concrete, screened in porch, deck, pool area, front porch–it needs a good cleaning too! We spend so much time on our personal lanai, that I had to add this to the spring cleaning list! Some of these tasks I do a couple of times a month, just because we use the area so frequently!

*Edit: I wrote a whole post about my Top 5 Ways to Spruce Up Your Outdoor Living after you have cleaned it out!

  • Sweep (vacuum if you have a rug)
  • Clean upholstery and outdoor throw pillows/cushions
  • Dust (if you have an enclosed area, this makes more sense than it sounds!)
  • Wipe down outdoor TVs
  • Clean grills + smokers
  • Wash curtains (yes, I have these on my lanai!)
  • Freshen up your landscaping
    • Now, I have a black thumb, so in all honesty–I would hire somebody to help me with this!

Tips for Every Room

Now, some of you may have made it this far and thought, “great! I can handle just dusting my dining room and running a load of tablecloths!” No intending to trick or have a gotcha moment, but instead of adding the same list to every single room, I decided to come up with a master list of items that you will find in nearly every room that can use a deep scrub. Here’s my list below.

  • Windows
  • Blinds
    • If dusting is enough, grab your duster and wipe! If it’s been a while, I use a warm washcloth to get off any extra caked on dust.
  • Curtains
    • Follow the directions on your label, but if you are able to wash all of your curtains. You may need to iron them too, and that’s ok! I would be weary of dry cleaning–it is a hefty fee for curtains!
  • Baseboards + Doors
    • Grab a sponge/wash cloth, a spray bottle of water, and wipe down all base boards and doors.
  • Light Fixtures
  • Mirrors
    • Get your favorite spray! Mine current favorite is The World’s Best Glass Cleaner. It goes on as a foam and doesn’t leave any streaks! Seriously the best glass cleaner I’ve ever used!
  • Grout
    • Sometimes things just need to be re-grouted, and I get that! However, before selling our previous home, I got down on my hands and knees with (believe it or not) a toilet bowl cleaner and cleaned my grout. What?! I saw this pin a few years back by Holiday Sparkle and tried it. I used Clorox toilet bowl cleaner, a toothbrush, a rag, a multi-purpose cleaner, and then followed up with a good mop job. My grout looked as good as new!
  • Clean carpets
    • A few things depending on the gravity of your carpet needs.
      • 1) I have listed my spot treatment carpet cleaner recipe below–it is excellent to use on tough stains throughout the years.
      • 2) I would recommend renting a carpet cleaner (if you don’t already own one) from Home Depot or Lowes. Knock out all of your carpets in a day! (I remember my mom always doing this as a kid and having the carpets wet for what felt like forever! But it really made all the difference)
      • 3) If you’re not able to get a carpet cleaner, I definitely recommend a simple baking soda carpet powder for your floors. Pour it on the carpets, let it sit, and vacuum it up. So simple, and leaves a really awesome fresh scent.
  • Sweep + Mop non-carpeted floors
  • Walls
    • Typically I just use a duster to wipe down my walls. When we live in a house for longer than 5 years, I will probably grab a bucket of warm water with mild soap and wipe down the walls with a rag. Every 5-10 years this is a good practice.
  • Ceiling Fans
    • dust dust dust! Also, this is where the handy dandy hand held vacuum comes into play–check that out under my must have cleaning products below!
  • Air Vents
    • Who thinks of these things?! But it has to be done every few years! Again, I remember my mom taking our vents out of the floor, soaking them in warm water in the sink, washing them and putting them back. Again, we never had a problem with them (and they stayed in tip-top shape!)
  • Air Filter
    • Make sure to keep up with your air filters! They are affordable (especially when bought in bulk) and really improve the air quality and allergens in your home. If you have pets, check them more frequently as they collect fur.

My Must-Have Cleaning Products

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  • Basic on-hand items for many of my homemade cleaning products
    • Essential Oils
      • If you haven’t checked out my post The Truth About Essential Oils, do that now. It digs deep into essential oils, highlighting the Young Living Company and its oils.
      • I prefer YL oils, but whatever you decide make sure it is certified organic.
    • Baking Soda
    • Vinegar–I can’t say enough about the power of vinegar and baking soda!
    • Dawn
  • Pledge–cause we gotta dust!
  • Borax (so many uses! I will later post my homemade laundry detergent that is created with Borax!)
  • Bar Keeper’s Friend (again, so many uses!)
  •  Multipurpose
  • Mirror/Glass Cleaner
    • I have yet to find a homemade glass cleaner that I love, but my favorite one so far is Sprayway World’s Best Glass Cleaner. It is foaming and doesn’t leave any streaks or mess! It is by far the best that I have come across, and it is also very affordable–win, win!
  • Coke
    • We don’t keep cokes in the house anymore. However, if we do buy a 2 liter, it makes a great cleaner for lots of things! Car batteries, driveways, and toilets to name a few. My MIL calls coke her “toilet cleaner” now!
  • Hand-held vacuum
    • Life changer. Seriously. I saw one of my close friends, Brandy, use a hand-held vacuum instead of a dustpan years ago. I thought, “man, that seems silly.” Boy, was I wrong! This little trick makes all of my sweeping much more effective!
  • Stinky Scent Remover
    • I am not sure the fancy name for this homemade cleaner, but my husband and MIL have been using this mixture for years! It really works! Cat pee and all (and yall know cat pee/spray is the worst and hardest smell to kill!) Grab an empty spray bottle and make this Scent Remover:
    • We typically spray whatever is needed and lay it outside to air dry if possible.

  • Carpet Spot Treatment
    • I found this recipe on my Pinterest board years ago. It is my favorite thus far. Unfortunately, the author no longer has the page so I can’t give credit. I will do my best to repeat this recipe by what I create from memory.
    • Just spray and dab!
  • Sink and Tub Cleaner
    • My tub cleaner was in the same spot that I found my Carpet Cleaner years ago on my Pinterest board. I cannot remember the original recipe exactly, but here’s what I typically create:
      • 5 TBS of baking soda
      • 1/4 cup of vinegar
      • 1 cup of warm water
      • 5-7 drops of lemongrass essential oils
      • 5-7 drops of tea tree essential oils
    • This mixture lasts me several months, smells amazing, is so much better for you, and actually works! I don’t think I’ll ever buy another foam or spray cleaner for the tub again!

Who’s ready to clean?! I know it isn’t super fun (unless you’re a Monica like me), but spread it out, involve your family, and make it fun! A little work each day goes a long way. A good spring cleaning (or whenever you’re able to give your home a good deep cleaning) will really improve your home value, teach your kiddos life-long lessons, and make the environment of your home less stressful and more enjoyable.

Soon I will be creating a hand-lettered, digital download checklist for you to utilize! Stay tuned, and happy cleaning!

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