The ultimate spring cleaning checklist

As winter slowly melts into spring, I can tell it's time for me to put on some rubber gloves and grab a sponge. Seasonal illnesses and cold weather have kept my family indoors. As a result, the playroom is in disarray and my kitchen is grimy. An increase in children's crafts has allowed bits of paper to sneak under the couch. Needless to say, I'll be starting my spring cleaning a bit early this year. Here is a checklist that will help make my house sparkle.

Kitchen

  • Clean out the refrigerator: First, you can take out all of the food and discard expired items. Then, remove shelves and drawers and wash in warm, soapy water. Use a non-toxic kitchen cleaner to wipe down the inside and outside of your fridge.
  • Clean out pantry: First, you need to throw out expired or stale items. If necessary, remove old shelf liners and put on new ones. Then, organize your spices and baking items. This is a great time to install pantry organizers
  • Clean oven: Most "modern" ovens have a self-cleaning option. Also, clean the stove top, microwave and back splash.
  • Scour sink and counter tops: I have found that baking soda is a wonderful way to whiten my sink and counter tops. First, make a paste with water and baking soda. Use an old toothbrush to clean the grout and then rinse well with a wet dishtowel.
  • Clean floors: A washable microfiber pad is an excellent way to pick up dirt and dust.

Bathrooms

  • Disinfect trashcans: I don't even like to think about the bacteria lurking in my bathroom trashcan. Banish germs by spraying a disinfecting product into the basin of your wastebasket.
  • Clean bathtub, toilet and shower: Heat up a cup of vinegar and pour it into a spray bottle. Add an equal part of dish soap. Spray away and then let it sit for an hour before wiping off with a sponge. Pour diluted white distilled vinegar into the toilet bowl to deodorize and clean.
  • Wash shower curtains and bathmats: I wash my shower curtain and bathmats in hot water.

Bedrooms

  • Donate and organize toys: One of my favorite things is purging the toy chest. I donate several bags of toys. Then, I organize the rest into bins and shelves.
  • Clean carpets: I like to get my carpets cleaned professionally or use a steam cleaner to remove dirt and stains.
  • Wash linens: Wash all sheets, duvets, mattress protectors, and bed skirts in hot water. A thick comforter can be taken to the dry cleaners.
  • Organize closets: I pull out old clothing to toss or donate. I also like to discard broken hangers.

Common Living Spaces

  • Dust lamp shades and appliances: Dust with a soft feather duster.
  • Use wood cleaner on wooden furniture: Wood cleaner gives furniture a glossy appearance.
  • Clean blinds: Use equal parts of vinegar and water. Then, place on a soft cloth and wipe blinds clean.
  • Vacuum: For spring cleaning, I like to vacuum under furniture. I also use the hose attachment to get crumbs out from under couch cushions.
  • Clean along baseboards: A little trick I've learned is to use a baby wipe to remove the grime. Dryer sheets are wonderful for picking up pet hair along the bottom of the baseboard.
Happy cleaning!