Spring is here and cleaning is in the air

Around 1:15 this morning, those of us in the northern hemisphere officially started spring. The local weathermen explained to me as I sipped my coffee that because this is a leap year, spring showed up on the calendar a day early. As we did yard work and waved to our neighbors over the weekend, it was obvious — at least in our part of the country — that winter had ended.

If spring sprung up on you and took you by surprise, the following 10 tasks are what I consider to be the most valuable spring cleaning activities. These are the Firsts, the things to get to before the other activities:

  1. Check fire extinguishers, furnace filters, and batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (if you didn’t do these tasks when you moved your clocks ahead an hour). Remember, safety first.
  2. Purge all expired food from your refrigerator and pantry. If you’re unsure of an item’s freshness, check StillTasty.com and/or the product’s website (especially good for condiments that take up near-permanent residence in the door of your refrigerator).
  3. Clean gunk out of your gutters if you have gutters.
  4. Rake the last batch of dead leaves out of your yard and pick up sticks and debris that fell during the last few months of winter.
  5. Inspect any lawn maintenance chemicals you had stored for the winter, such as pesticides or fertilizers. Make sure none of these items are leaking or expired.
  6. Have your law mower serviced so it’s ready and working when your yard is ready to mow.
  7. Dust. I like to carry a hand vacuum with me as I go to suck the grime off the cloth.
  8. Move furniture (including your bed and bookshelves) and vacuum or sweep every inch of your floors.
  9. If you have pets, bring out the Furminator and start the regular task of brushing to get rid of that heavy winter coat.
  10. Sort through your clothing and coat closets and donate to charity all items you never plan to wear again. Clean heavy sweaters you intend to keep and take steps to properly store them to prevent pest invasions over the summer. Clean and put away heavy winter boots and shoes. Finally, bring out any stored warmer weather clothes and get your wardrobe ready for the next six months.

What must-do items are on your spring cleaning list? If I don’t do the items listed above, I feel like I’m not ready for spring. How about you?

More spring cleaning tips and advice from our archives:

7 Comments for “Spring is here and cleaning is in the air”

  1. Profile photo of

    posted by chacha1 on

    Back before married life, I was a bit of a swine. I had very rudimentary housekeeping skills. After getting engaged I determined that I needed to step it up, so I got myself a copy of “Home Comforts” by Cheryl Mendelson, and read it cover-to-cover. Highly recommended for its treatment of both the hows and the whys of home cleaning and maintenance.

    All I would add to the above list is a schedule. Safety stuff first. Outdoor cleanup and prep second. Decluttering third, and only then deep cleaning – one room at a time, starting with the least-used.

  2. posted by Holly on

    Well it’s Autumn here now, and after a summer of very heavy rain we need to focus on getting rid of mould…on paths etc, but even clothes. I am focusing all this year on decluttering, and when I took a dress out of my wardrobe that hadn’t been worn for maybe 2 years so I could donate it, it was entirely covered in mould spots! Disgusting! However, soaking it in a solution of vinegar did the job, then washing, and it was back to near perfect condition. Its the perfect time now to get out my winter clothes and see what I really don’t need, so ‘Autumn Cleaning’ for me! Less is More (Facebook).

  3. posted by OogieM on

    While it may be spring officially we fully expect more snow and freezing temperatures. We can’t put away of winter clothes, coats and sweaters until the middle of May or so as we almost always get snow on Mother’s day here. So the list is good but will have to be adapted to your area as to timing.

  4. posted by Kate on

    I don’t have that many ‘spring cleaning’ chores that I do, but I was just thinking that this week would be a good time of year to go through my disaster/emergency preparedness items and fill in the many blank spots, etc.

    Maybe I’ll make it an every-time-change chore so it gets done twice a year.

    Frankly I’m woefully unprepared except for some water stashed around!

  5. posted by Cari on

    Your list is a good one, and I need to start doing the things on it. The only other things I can think of involve the car (I do a lot of driving so I tend to baby my car). Things like giving it a good wash and wax, especially if you are in an area with lots of snow and ice and the resulting salt/road chemicals; checking the wiper blades; taking out the winter items from your trunk; and checking the tire pressure.

    I also like Kate’s suggestion to check disaster supplies. Tornado season is starting in Texas, and hurricane season is not far behind.

  6. posted by pat on

    Instead of using a furminator for the pets I use a product from FlyLady.net. It’s called a “Rubba Scrubba” brush. It’s a great multi tasker that only costs $5.49 plus shipping. The cats love the rubber bristles on the brush and it pulls off piles of hair. The best thing is you can just put it in the top rack of the dishwasher to clean and sanitize when you’re done.

  7. posted by et on

    You forget to mention what to do with leaking/expired pesticides and fertilizers. The answer is never to dump them down the drain or put them in the garbage!

    Find a local, safe disposal. Pesticides kill – amphibians, fish, honey bees, earthworms.

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