Welcome Spring: Cleaning, Organization and Seasonal Tips

Get the most out of your spring cleaning session with this step-by-step guide for repairs, decluttering, and around-the-house spruce-ups.

Everything In This Slideshow

  • Welcome Spring!

    Ready to tackle your spring projects? Our handy guide breaks them down: Spring Cleaning & To-Dos (once-a-year tasks perfectly suited for spring), Exterior To-Dos (fix-ups and repairs for the outside of your home), and Room-by-Room Tasks (decluttering and cleaning tips for specific rooms).

  • Spring Cleaning & To-Dos

    Wash Windows

    Be sure to pick a cloudy day to wash windows. "If it's too sunny, the cleaning solution will dry too fast and you'll have streaks," says Donna Smallin, author of Cleaning Plain & Simple (Storey Publishing, 2005). For a window-washing solution, Smallin combines 1/2 cup of sudsy ammonia (which is a specific type of ammonia), 1 pint of rubbing alcohol, 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid, and 1 gallon of water.

  • Must-Know Dusting Tricks

    Make dusting less of a chore with these genius tricks for cutting cleaning time.

  • Spring Cleaning & To-Dos

    Sliding Door Tracks

    Sliding glass door tracks probably aren't the first spots you'd think to clean, but you'll appreciate having done it before the outdoor entertaining season gets into full swing. Smallin suggests scrubbing the tracks with an old, dry toothbrush to loosen debris, then using your vacuum hose to remove it. Finish with a wet sponge.

  • Spring Cleaning & To-Dos

    Overlooked Surfaces

    You may overlook these surfaces on a daily basis, but once a year, give your baseboards, door frames, and walls a good scrub-down. Wash them with a sponge and a squirt of dishwashing liquid mixed in a bucket of warm water.

  • Spring Cleaning & To-Dos

    Deep-Clean Carpets

    To maintain a new carpet's warranty, you may need to have it cleaned professionally every 12-18 months, Smallin says. Otherwise, you can do it yourself by renting a deep cleaner or buying a professional-style model designed for home use.

  • Spring Cleaning & To-Dos

    Clean Under Furniture & Appliances

    Grab a partner and move your sofa and chairs, roll up area rugs, then vacuum the floors. Move your kitchen appliances away from the wall as much as you can. "In some cases you can pull them out enough that a vacuum hose will reach," Smallin says.

  • Make Floors Sparkle

    Clean floors faster, smarter, and better with these tricks.

  • Spring Cleaning & To-Dos

    Freshen Furniture

    Restore smooth leather with an upholstery cleaner and conditioner. Use a suede brush to perk up nubuck leather. For wood furniture, use Smallin's recipe to make your own all-natural cleaner and polish: Mix 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and 1/2 cup of vinegar or lemon juice in a plastic spray bottle; shake well and spray onto a microfiber cloth.

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    Spring Cleaning & To-Dos

    Refresh Window Treatments

    Curtains and draperies aren't typically dirty enough to launder. Instead, go over them thoroughly with the upholstery attachment on your vacuum. "To remove dust from sheer curtains, put them in the dryer on low with a fabric-softener sheet," Smallin says.

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    Spring Cleaning & To-Dos

    Dust Light Fixtures

    Use a microfiber or lint-free cloth to dust fixtures and bulbs you can reach. For ceiling fans, skip the ladder and use an extendable duster. To clean grimy bulbs, lightly dampen your cloth with vinegar. Caution: Be sure bulbs are cool to the touch and your hands are dry.

  • Next Slideshow Cleaning Hacks to Add to Your Bag of Tricks

    Cleaning Hacks to Add to Your Bag of Tricks

    Be a better and faster cleaner with these clever ideas that use why-didn't-I-think-of-that tools and creative techniques that help take the work out of your chore list. So tuck these ideas into your bag of tricks and consider your home cleaning done.
    Begin Slideshow »
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