With warmer weather right around the corner, many people are gearing up for their annual spring cleaning routines. However, effective spring cleaning is more than just wiping down countertops and vacuuming around baseboards. If you want to get the most out of your spring cleaning here are are some tips to help you achieve a cleaner, less cluttered home.

Out with the Old, In with the New

Closets are often some of the most cluttered spaces in our homes. Between old clothes, bedsheets, towels, and everything else that we want out of sight and mind, closets often get filled up fast. While it may be tempting to put off decluttering your closets, tackling these first allows you to free up extra storage space, and give you a larger sense of accomplishment right of the bat! To make the process easier, follow these steps when decluttering your closets.

  • Take Out Everything: First off, start by taking out everything in the closet and laying it out. This allows you to see everything that you have and better identify what you want to keep and let go of.
  • Sort Everything into Piles: Once you’ve laid everything out, start sorting everything into “keep,” “donate,” and “toss” piles. You can also put aside clothes that you wish to keep, but need tailoring. There are an estimated 7,880 tailors, custom sewers, and dressmakers according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if you truly don’t want to part with a favorite top, shirt, or dress, consider tailoring the piece so that it won’t just lay around unused.
  • Reorganizing Everything: Once you have your piles sorted out, it’s time to organize everything and place what you’re keeping back into the closet. Leave spaces between things if possible, and consider using colorized bins or totes to further break up specific items. For instance, placing tennis shoes in a red bin can help differentiate them from dress shoes in a green bin. Organizing this way also makes it easy to remember where things should go meaning you’re more likely to stick with the system.
  • Take Care of Other Piles: If you have piles to take out, donate, or take to a tailor, don’t allow them to sit for long. If you let these boxes sit for too long they are likely they will find their way back into the closet until next spring. Nip this in the bud by dealing with these piles as soon as possible.

Additional Organizing Tips

  • If possible keep the floor of the closet as clear as possible. Not only does this help it appear less cluttered, but it can help make general cleaning easier.
  • Labeling can also help you keep things more organized over time. If possible use color-coded or clear containers so that you can more easily find the things you need. Try labeling these containers with either marker or printed labels for even easier identification.
  • If you find that you still have too much clutter, consider going back through what you’ve kept more thoroughly to get rid of additional items.

If you have items like coats, blankets, and winter clothes that you want out of the way, consider placing them in bins and storing them in their basement or garage. Seasonal items like this can often take up a lot of space when not in use. Spring is the perfect time to box up these items and store them away until next winter.

Spring Gardening

Gardening in spring is one of the best ways to improve the appearance of your home. A recent Zillow survey of real estate agents named curb appeal as one of the most important factors when selling a home. After winter, dead leaves and plants can build up and leave your garden looking worse for wear. It can also harbor disease or fungi that can hinder the growth of new plants. Removing all of the debris and dead material can help your garden look better and grow better throughout the season.

Cleaning out your garden should take place once the weather has warmed enough to thaw the ground and dry everything out so that it can be raked up and disposed of. Once the weather is warm enough you should also take your garden hose out of storage and hook it up to ensure it’s primed for the coming season. A well-cared-for hose can last up to 10 years.

Spring Gardening Made Easy

If you’re unsure where to get started, here are the basics of everything that should be done to ensure you start your garden out right this spring.

  • Pruning Shrubbery: Firstly, remove any winter protection from your shrubs and begin pruning. This process helps kickstart new growth and prevent future issues. However, if the shrub is spring blooming, it’s advised to wait until after blooming to begin pruning.
  • Using Leaves to Your Advantage: While removing some of the dead leaves is advised, leaving some can help promote growth. Dead leaves can act as a natural mulch which helps feed the soil and give nutrients to new growth. If you are planning on adding additional mulch, you can add this directly over the leaves.
  • Pulling Dead Annuals and Perennials: Annual flowers that only live for one year can be pulled come spring. Perennials should also be pruned, with the dead leaves removed to help trigger new growth. Care should be taken around the base of these plants to ensure that you don’t accidentally prune or pull new growth.
  • Pulling Weeds: Spring is the best time to get a head start on weeding. Starting now allows you to remove weeds before they have fully established themselves and taken root. Additionally, since the groud is often wet from thawing, they are usually easier to pull during this time. Once all the weeds have been removed, add a thick layer of mulch to prevent others from springing up.

With these tips in mind, you’re well on your way to establishing a healthy and attractive garden.

Deep Cleaning

Lastly, spring cleaning isn’t complete without cleaning those often overlooked items. This includes furniture cleaning, dusting seldom cleaned fixtures, and cleaning things like drapes, carpets, area rugs and windows.

In every room, aim to wipe down and clean the walls, doors, and baseboards. You’ll be surprised by how much grime can build up over the year. You should also vacuum out the vents, dust blinds, and clean or replace dirty or burned out lightbulbs.

In the kitchen, you should clear out the pantry and cabinets, as well as cleaning behind the refrigerator and stove. Don’t forget to scrub down the interior of these appliances as well.

Take some time to go through your living room. Furniture cleaning, including upholstery cleaning and vacuuming, are necessary for removing built-up grime and keeping your furniture in good condition. Likewise, dust lampshades and steam clean or wash drapes to remove odor and staleness.

Don’t forget to schedule carpet cleaning for your home as well. This will remove dirt and dust that even the best vacuum can’t tackle alone. The latest technology to come on to the carpet cleaning scene is dry foam carpet cleaning. This method provides not only a thorough cleaning but there is zero drying time needed. Dry foam carpet cleaning works by applying a biodegradable powder cleaner to the carpet. This is then pushed down deep into the fibers with a motorized machine and brush. The powder then absorbs dirt before being removed. It might also be a good idea to consider a new area rug if yours is looking beyond help.

Spring is also the best time to flip your mattress and replace batteries in all the carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Keeping these things routinely scheduled for this time will help you remember them in the future and ensure you don’t forget. Furthermore, be sure to change out shower liners or shower curtains that might have attracted mold or water damage.

Final Cleaning Thoughts

Spring is the perfect time for taking out the old and overhauling your home both inside and out. Deep interior cleaning and decluttering can help your home feel more open, while deep cleaning helps get rid of built-up grime and germs that could have accumulated during winter.

If you’re looking to get the most out of your spring cleaning routine, keep these tips and mind so that you can set your home up for success this season.