Giving your home a thorough spring clean, and getting rid of some clutter while you’re at it, can be incredibly satisfying.
It may not always be easy to get started, but the results can make your home feel like new. You could tackle a different job or room each day and get your family involved too.
We’ve created a room-by-room checklist of some household chores to help you get started, including some of the jobs you might have forgotten about.
In the kitchen
Cutlery drawers: An often overlooked cleaning job. You’ll need to empty the drawer out, clean the contents and give the drawer a good cleaning, too. If you have any special silverware, this is a good excuse to give it a clean too.
Fridge and freezer: Wipe down the sides of the fridge and freezer. Remove all shelves, racks and storage items and wash them. Then throw out old or unused food from your fridge. Although frozen food can often last a long time, it’s worth having a check through in case anything has been long forgotten.
Oven: This chore needn’t be as difficult as you might expect. Some people combine equal parts of baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice to create a natural remedy they swear by. Others use shop-bought products (careful if you do, as these are often powerful and corrosive). Either way, you’re going to get a good workout from all of that scrubbing.
Drains: Tried and tested methods to clean both kitchen and bathroom drains include pouring down a kettle of boiling water, using a plunger, or adding a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Leave for 15 minutes and just follow with another kettle of boiling water – quick and easy.
In your bedroom
Bedside table: Sleep experts will tell you that reducing clutter in your bedroom, and particularly on your bedside table or nightstand, can help you clear your mind for a peaceful night’s sleep. Try and keep the bare minimum of items on your bedside table – just those you need within reach every night.
Winter clothing: Wash your winter gloves, hats, and scarves, and put them all into storage. You may also want to consider which items you haven’t used this winter and put them aside to give to charity when you can.
Your car: This is a year-round tip, but it deserves a place on your checklist. Don't put your car away into the garage or under protective sheets while it’s wet or grimy; it’s really worth giving it a clean first. Don’t forget to give the interior a clean too, as you’ll be amazed by what germs can accumulate in cars.
Garage: On a dry day, empty out the contents of your garage so you can give it a really good clean and declutter. Maybe you could return it to its original purpose and make enough space for your car to stay inside, especially if you aren’t using your car as much and want to keep it safe and protected.
Go room to room
Electronics: Keypads in particular can get really grubby. So clean your remote controls, phones, tablets and computer keyboards. Consumer group Which? has pulled together some advice on how to clean your mobile.
First aid box or medicine cabinet: You’ll probably find all sorts in here. Look for old, expired medicines. Bin them and be sure to replace them with new ones if you need them.
Houseplants: Water, feed, prune, re-pot and re-position houseplants. They need some love and spring is about the best time of year to do it. See this basic guide from the Royal Horticultural Society for some pointers.
Windows: If you haven’t cleaned your windows in a while, you might just be amazed by the bright light that floods into your home as a result of a good scrub.
Sofas and armchairs: Clean underneath your sofas. Take off the cushions, pocket any loose change, and get into the gaps with your vacuum cleaner. Also, you can take advantage of a breezy, warm day to wash big items like your sofa covers and other linens.
Arts and crafts: With all of those fiddly little bits, it’s easy for an arts and crafts cupboard or box to become chaotic – especially if kids are constantly taking things in or out. While you’re sorting through your craft supplies, take the opportunity to sort through any board games too – you might rediscover old games to play and keep the kids entertained.
Interior walls, cabinets and doors: Wash interior walls that look stained, and give them a touch up with paint if needed. Wipe down doors, giving doorknobs and cabinet handles a bit of extra attention as they’re likely to be a little grimier.
A final round of decluttering
You’ll have done a fair bit of decluttering by working through our checklist, but there’s more you can do if you’re up for it.
You can go from room to room and ask yourself: if you haven’t used something since last spring, do you really need it? You can even use Marie Kondo’s now-famous technique of considering whether each item brings enough joy into your life to merit keeping.
What to do with your rubbish?
If you’re left with a lot of rubbish after your spring clean and your council doesn’t currently collect bulky waste, this guidance from the District Councils’ Network might help:
- Contact your council to see if they are still operating paid for bulky waste collection
- If you find a private company offering bulky waste collection, check it is properly registered for handling waste by the Environment Agency
- Store any excess waste from DIY projects, spring cleans or garden waste at home until it can be disposed of safely and legally
- Cut down cardboard boxes so they can be put into the appropriate recycling bin
- Try and compost any garden waste at home
If you’ve got through the checklist above, then it’s time to relax and give yourself a pat on the back – you certainly deserve it.