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Spring cleaning 2021 has a much more refreshing feel for many of us, especially if you’ve been working from home for much of 2020. If you’re ready to refresh your space, it’s a good idea to create a checklist and work each room from multiple angles.

Clean From the Top Down

Take a look at your ceiling fans and make sure you clean the blades from the top down. Give window blinds the same careful look. Water products often won’t work on these areas, but a good dusting tool can often suffice. Now work around the rest of the room in the opposite direction, dusting what you noted on the first pass and using a mild cleanser for the rest. Avoid using too many scents or complex cleaners; often these can trigger an unpleasant reaction. As possible, open the windows to bring in some fresh air.

Working Around the Room in Both Directions

Start at the door with a trash bag, a cardboard box and a clothes basket. Work counter-clockwise for the first step. Everything that needs to go should be put in the trash bag, everything to be donated goes in the box, and everything that is just in the wrong place should go in the basket. As you pass around the room, you’ll see areas that need cleaned or dusted. If you have help, ask your helper to follow you with a microfiber cloth to pick up the dust behind you. If not, simply make note of it and keep going.

When you get back to the door, you’ll have decluttered the space and made decisions about what to toss, donate and keep. Put the basket outside the door for redistribution, seal the box and put it at your front door for donating, and take the trash bag to the chute or outdoor bin.

Outdoor Maintenance

Working from the top down on the outside of your home is also a good idea. You’ll want to check your gutters before the rainy season hits. Wash windows as you can reach them and keep an eye out for dried caulking and peeling paint; be ready to address these issues before small cracks turn into big wastes of energy.

Go through your outdoor relaxation areas. Clean the grill and check your patio furniture for weather damage. From your roofline to your AC unit to your residential septic tank cleaning, spring is the best time to get things serviced and checked out. Once it gets hot, you may have a hard time scheduling a service technician.

A Word About Decluttering

Decluttering doesn’t just make cleaning easier; it makes life easier. That being said, combining spring cleaning with closet cleaning will make for an exhausting mess. If you need to clean out a closet, block out a couple of hours of alone time early in the day so your brain is able to make the necessary decisions. To clean your closet, you’ll want to use a

  • black trash bag for garbage
  • white trash bag for donations
  • box for items to sell

Selling items can be done via Poshmark, ThredUp, Mercari and many other platforms. If you’re prepping to move, ThredUp is faster but the payout is smaller. If you’re using another platform, be aware that you will have to store whatever you list until it sells.

Don’t Do It All At Once

Use a simple timer to clean in short bursts of time especially if you’re cleaning with children. Make sure that they understand the purpose of the bag, box and basket and invite them to help you put things away. Share the goal, and when you reach the end of the time limit, wrap things up and celebrate!


Spring cleaning can’t happen all in one day, but you can make serious headway with a pattern of movement, working your way twice around the room, and with short bursts of time. If you love to garden, you may need to put off your spring cleaning to that day when you finally have to turn on the AC. Once the house is closed up and the cool air is moving, you can get started.