Here’s Your Spring Cleaning Checklist

You nested all winter. Now it’s time to clear out the clutter. We’ve got the five musts for your spring cleaning checklist.

1. Dust It Up
Start your cleaning with a thorough dusting using microfiber or lightly dampened soft cloths (or even a vacuum with an attachment). Dust from the top down to prevent residue from falling on clean surfaces.

Clean the tops and edges of ceiling fan blades and the tops of tall pieces of furniture first. Move on to the tops of picture frames and door frames. Dust blinds and shutters, making sure to clean both sides.

Work your way down to furniture that sits lower. Don’t forget window sills and baseboards.

Tip: If you are allergic to dust or have respiratory issues, wear a face mask.

2. Curtain Call
If your curtains are washable, take them down and toss them in the washer. If they are not washable, consider having them dry cleaned or use this at-home dry cleaning substitute: send them for a spin in the dryer on the delicate cycle with a scented dryer sheet.

A fabric refresher spray can also be used to give curtains a clean scent. One final option is to steam clean your curtains with an inexpensive clothes steamer.

Bonus: Open the windows for an afternoon and let your home air out.

3. Clear the Closet (and Garage)
Take a day to go through your closets and sort through the clothes, shoes, and toys that are no longer worn or enjoyed by your children. Make three piles: throw away, donate, and sell.

Purge cabinets of expired beauty products and medicines. Clear your garage of old paint, cleaning products, and other stuff that’s been gathering dust for years.

Note: Before you toss medicines, paint, electronics, or other items that may be hazardous to the environment into the trash, check to see if your city has a designated drop-off site for safe disposal.

4. Take a Seat
For furniture such as sofas and chairs, remove pillows and cushions and use a vacuum attachment to get dirt and dust out of crevices. Thoroughly vacuum all the upholstered surfaces (or consider professional cleaning). Use an upholstery spot cleaner on stains.

For leather furniture, wipe arms and cushions with a damp cloth. Leather conditioner applied to a soft rag or premoistened leather wipes can return luster to worn leather.

Tip: Regularly flip and/or rotate pillows and cushions for more even wear.

5. On the Ground Floor
Wet or snowy shoes and boots and dirty little pet paws can take a toll on rugs and carpets. Spring is the time for an extra-thorough vacuuming — and possibly a real cleaning. Move furniture to get to hard-to-reach areas where dust may have collected all winter.

If you have a carpet cleaner, fire it up. If you don’t have one, they are inexpensive to rent from a home improvement store or even a grocery store. Spot treat stains before you get started.

Bonus: If you rent a carpet cleaner, you can use the upholstery attachment to steam clean the cushions and pillows of any upholstered furniture.

And when you’ve checked off your entire list? Get outside and enjoy some spring sunshine!