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Spring Cleansing Guidelines: A Room-by-Room Cleansing Information

When it comes to spring-cleaning, you’ve got to be prepared and organized before you embark on the endeavor that is getting every room in your house spick and span. Read: You’ll need a thorough spring-cleaning checklist to get the job done. (Our free version is available for downloading or printing here.)

But before you even establish a room-by-room game plan, embracing the strategy of looking at your home through the eyes of a real estate agent may serve you well, says Kristi Lord, co-founder of L’AVANT Collective, a home-cleaning products label based in Seattle.

“If you had to put your house on the market, what would you remove, fix or give an extra clean? All of a sudden, the dust on your moldings, the handprints on the windows, the upholstery or carpet smudges and the unorganized closets throughout your home that you have been overlooking all winter will become crystal-clear,” says Lord. 

With that in mind, Rome —or your new sparkling digs — wasn’t built in a day. “A common mistake in spring-cleaning is trying to do it all at once,” offers Lord, noting that  spring-cleaning can feel so overwhelming for some that it causes people to quit before starting. As Lord gently reminds us all, spring is three months long, so there’s plenty of time to get everything done.

Establishing your approach

Ferhat Bataray, a Tasker on Taskrabbit based in the San Francisco Bay Area, says to remember that depending on the size of your home, spring-cleaning timeframes may vary. Be sure to allot yourself appropriate time to get everything on your spring-cleaning checklist done, and enlist the help of loved ones to pitch in, if you can. (All you have to do is ask! You may be surprised at how many people would be happy to help — especially if you offer to cook them dinner or treat them to a few books that have been on their reading list.)

To accelerate the deep-cleaning process, Bataray also advises grouping similar tasks together, and in a logical order. “For example, clean the fridge and then clean the rest of the kitchen. Most people would make the mistake of cleaning up the kitchen countertops and sink first. But after cleaning out the fridge, the countertops would again be dirty,” he says. “So figure out what would make a mess and do that first before your basic cleaning.”

If you’re pressed for time, “start with your biggest priorities, then work down to smaller priorities,” adds Bataray. This might mean focusing on deep cleaning high-traffic areas such as doors, baseboards, kitchen shelves and floors to maintain a fresh and inviting space throughout spring, he says. Or, it might mean just tackling that coat closet that has been driving you crazy for years or finally organizing your pantry. 

Doing something is better than doing nothing, and you may find that checking one thing off the list gives you the motivation you need to power through more spring-cleaning chores. “Start a list that feels manageable and break it up over several days and weeks, even going as far as time blocking a few hours a weekend for certain projects,” suggests Lord, noting the example of tackling two closets a weekend over several weekends or designating one month for indoor areas and one month for outdoor areas if you have a yard. 

Last but not least, don’t be ashamed about enlisting the help of professionals. “Not everyone is able to have the time and ability to clean their home, or they simply may not want to do a certain task. A professional cleaner helps get those jobs done quickly and with ease,” says Bataray.

Download and print our spring-cleaning checklists here.

Overall house cleaning checklist

Simplify your spring-cleaning routine with this targeted list of tidy-up tasks. You can take our free, printable house cleaning checklist with you as you zip from room to room, hitting all the major spots. Not only will it streamline dusting, vacuuming, washing and polishing, but it’ll help you declutter and reorganize for the new season too.

TODAY Illustration

Kitchen cleaning checklist

Granted all the time you spend in your kitchen, it’s bound to get messy. While you should wipe away crumbs and clean up spills as they happen, now is the time to zero in on deep kitchen cleaning gunky drains, grease-slicked range hoods, the insides of major appliances and the outsides of small ones.

Start with a general tidy-up, and then do a deeper dive to thoroughly spring clean the kitchen.

cleaning checklistTODAY Illustration

Clean the kitchen sink

  • Empty drain catch.
  • Pour hot water down the drain.
  • Use cleaner and a pipe-cleaning brush to scrub inside the drain.
  • Use an old toothbrush to scrub the garbage disposal splash guard.
  • Spray faucet and basin with cleaner, then wipe down.
  • Replace sponges (or wash in hot, soapy water).
  • Clean and organize the cabinet under the sink.

More on how to clean the kitchen sink,  faucets, sponges and the garbage disposal.

Clean the dishwasher

  • Wash the dishes that are in it.
  • Empty dishes.
  • Clear the drain and any debris at the bottom of the dishwasher.
  • Do a rinse cycle with vinegar and baking soda.

More on how to clean the dishwasher.

Clean the stove and oven

  • Remove grates, burner caps and reflector pans, and wash separately.
  • Spray stovetop and range hood with cleaner, and wipe down.
  • Spot-clean as necessary with a baking soda paste.
  • Use an ammonia, dish soap and water solution to clean inside the oven.
  • Remove the range hood fan filter, soak in hot water and dish soap, and rinse.

More on how to clean the stovetop, the oven and stainless steel appliances.

Clean the microwave

  • Place water and vinegar in a microwave-safe bowl.
  • Microwave on high until boiling.
  • Wipe microwave interior down with a damp sponge.
  • Spray and wipe down the exterior.

More on how to clean the microwave with vinegar.

Clean the refrigerator and freezer

  • Clear out the fridge and freezer.
  • Spray shelves, walls and drawers with cleaner, and wipe down.
  • Spot-clean any sticky spots.
  • Wipe down the gasket seal on the fridge and freezer doors.
  • Spray and wipe down the exteriors of the fridge and freezer.
  • Clean water and ice dispensers.
  • Wash and refill ice cube trays, return to freezer.
  • Get rid of any expired products (and anything past its prime).
  • Return food, drinks and condiments to the fridge and freezer.
  • Clean the drip pan under the unit.
  • Use a soft brush and vacuum to clean condenser coils and fan.

More on how to clean the refrigerator and the freezer.

Clean walls and floor

  • Dust and spot-clean walls, baseboards and moldings.
  • Wipe down backsplash; degrease with cleaner, if necessary.
  • Vacuum the floor to remove dust, dirt and debris. Mop hardwood, stone or tile floor with the appropriate floor cleaner.
  • Wash area rugs.

More on how to clean the kitchen floor.

Clean light switches and plates

  • Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down light switches and plates.
  • Wipe them down with rubbing alcohol or wash with liquid cleaner. Turn the electricity off first.
  • Clean the dirt out of crevices with cotton swabs.
  • Replace bulbs, as needed.

More on how to clean light switches and plates.

Clean windows and ceiling

  • Dust and clean window frames and sills.
  • Spray windows with cleaner and wipe clean or squeegee.
  • Vacuum dust out of corners.
  • Clean ceiling with a dry microfiber mop.

More on how to remove mildew.

Clean counters, shelves, cabinets and drawers

  • Move appliances, decorative items and anything else covering kitchen surfaces.
  • Spray and wipe down surfaces, including fronts of cabinets, handles and drawer pulls.
  • Return appliances and decorative items to their places.
  • Tidy any clutter on countertops, in drawers or in the pantry.
  • Reorganize your kitchen junk drawer.

More on how to organize cabinets, drawers and the pantry.

Clean small appliances

Coffee maker

  • Put a paper filter in the coffee machine.
  • Brew a vinegar and water solution.
  • Turn the machine off halfway through brewing for about 30 minutes.
  • Turn on machine and finish brewing.
  • Pour out solution, replace filter and brew clean water a few times.
  • Wipe down the outside of the coffee maker.


  • Clean the cold water reservoir, drip tray and pod holder.
  • Descale and replace water filter, as necessary.
  • Wipe down the outside of the Keurig.

Coffee grinder

  • Grind bread or raw rice.
  • Empty crumbs and dust with a small brush.
  • Wipe down the outside of the coffee grinder.

More on how to clean a coffee maker, Keurig and coffee grinder.

Stand mixer

  • Wipe with a damp microfiber cloth. To remove old or stubborn marks, add some baking soda to the cloth.
  • Use a dry toothbrush or toothpick to loosen and remove caked-on food.

More on how to clean a stand mixer.


  • Fill the blender halfway with warm water and a few drops of dish soap.
  • Put the blender on its base and let it blend for 30 seconds.

More on how to clean a blender.

Clean other kitchen items

Wipe down and spot-clean as necessary:

Bathroom cleaning checklist

Since the bathroom is one of the most-used rooms in the house (and the place where everyone cleans up), it needs more attention than other rooms. You probably do a cursory clean of it every week or so, but your bathroom spring-cleaning efforts should go further to remove soap scum build-up, graying grout, mold and hard water stains.

cleaning checklistTODAY Illustration

Clean bathroom fan

  • Check the bathroom fan filter and change, if necessary.
  • Vacuum vents (or clean with a microfiber duster or cloth).
  • Remove vents and soak in hot, soapy water. Clean any residue with rubbing alcohol. Let covers dry before reinstalling

More on how to clean bathroom fan vent covers.

Clean bathroom sink area

  • Remove any hair or debris from the drain.
  • Pour hot water down the drain.
  • Use cleaner and a pipe-cleaning brush to scrub inside the drain.
  • Clean and organize inside the medicine cabinet, drawers and the under-the-sink area.
  • Disinfect handles and drawer pulls.
  • Spray and wipe down the mirror above the sink.
  • Spray faucet and basin with cleaner, then wipe down.

More on how to clean the bathroom sink and drain.

Clean toothbrushes

  • Soak toothbrush bristles in vinegar for 30 minutes, rinse and let air-dry.
  • Replace any old toothbrushes. Remember: Standard toothbrushes should be replaced at least every three months or after recovering from an illness.
  • Rinse toothbrush holder in hot water. Use a small bristle brush or pipe cleaner to scrub the inside of the toothbrush slots.Fill the holder with antibacterial mouthwash and let sit for several minutes. Rinse with clean water and let air-dry.

Clean shower

  • Remove all items from the shower. Get rid of any products you don’t need or use.
  • Spray the inside of the shower with cleaner. Wash walls, shower caddy, door / curtain, floor and drain cover.
  • Use a soft-scrub brush and cleaner to scrub soap scum build-up and grout.
  • Seal grout, if worn out.
  • Clean and descale shower head.

More on how to clean your shower, tile grout, glass shower door and shower curtain.

Clean bathtub

  • Remove bath products, toys and other items from the tub.
  • Wash any soap scum or mold off containers and bath toys.
  • Toss old loofahs, dull razors and empty bottles.
  • If your tub is porcelain, use a powder cleaner to scrub away soap scum. For acrylic tubs, try vinegar and water (avoid acetone, bleach and abrasive cleaners).
  • Scrub the faucet and drain.

More on how to clean your bathtub and its drain.

Clean toilet

  • Spray the outside of the toilet with cleaner. Wipe down the tank, handle, base, seat and lid.
  • Sprinkle toilet cleaning solution into the bowl, then clean with a brush and flush.
  • Disinfect the toilet brush holder.

More on how to clean the toilet.

Clean windows, walls and ceiling

  • Dust and clean window frames and sills.
  • Spray windows with cleaner and wipe or squeegee.
  • Vacuum dust out of corners.
  • Wipe down the walls, baseboards and moldings with an all-purpose cleaner, bleach or vinegar solution.
  • Clean ceiling with a dry microfiber mop.

Clean floors

  • Shake out bathroom rugs, then launder.
  • Sweep or vacuum the floor.
  • Apply cleaner, then mop.

More on how to clean the bathroom floor.

Clean washcloths and bath towels

  • Collect washcloths and towels, then launder.
  • Add a cup of distilled white vinegar during the final rinse to remove odors.

More on how to get the smell out of towels.

Clean hair brushes

  • Use scissors or a comb to pull hair out of the brush.
  • Soak brushes in a solution of warm water and shampoo.
  • Lay brushes with bristles down on a towel, then let air-dry.

More on how to clean hair brushes.

Clean makeup bag and makeup brushes

  • If your makeup bag is beyond cleaning, toss and replace it. Otherwise wipe it down or launder it, depending on the material.
  • Take stock and toss any products you don’t use.
  • Toss any expired makeup products. As a general rule of thumb, get rid of anything that you’ve had for a year or more.
  • Clean your makeup brushes.

More on how to clean your makeup bag and brushes.

Living room cleaning checklist

This the room you live in, but often do you really clean it? We’re talking vacuuming upholstery, washing curtains and disinfecting grimy light switches. Let this checklist be your guide on how to properly clean your living room.

cleaning checklistTODAY Illustration

Clean furniture

  • Vacuum upholstery on the couch and chairs. Spot-clean any stains and use a wet vac, if necessary.
  • Clean and polish wood furniture.
  • Wipe down tables and storage cabinets.
  • Change filter in the air purifier.

More on how to clean upholstery and wood furniture.

Clean television

  • Use a microfiber cloth to dust the television.
  • Dampen the cloth to wash the TV screen.
  • Disinfect the TV remote control.

More on how to clean the television.

Clean fireplace

  • Call the chimney sweep and schedule an appointment to get the chimney inspected and cleaned.
  • Sweep out the fireplace.
  • Take care of any soot removal.
  • Remove decorative items from the mantel. Dust and clean the mantel.
  • Remove any wood you don’t plan to use.

Clean walls, ceiling, windows and shelves

  • Dust and spot-clean walls, baseboards and moldings.
  • Vacuum dust out of corners.
  • Dust and clean ceiling fan.
  • Wipe the pull chain and clean any sconces.
  • Clean ceiling with a dry microfiber mop.
  • Dust and clean window frames and sills.
  • Spray windows with cleaner and wipe or squeegee.
  • Wash the blinds.
  • Clean the drapes.
  • Dust and wipe down shelves.

More on how to clean walls and the ceiling fan, along with tips for window cleaning.

Clean lamps, light switches and plates

  • Use the upholstery attachment of your vacuum or a microfiber cloth to clean lamp shades and sconces, or wash them with cleaner if they’re plastic or glass.
  • Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down light switches and plates.
  • Wipe grimy light switches and plates with rubbing alcohol or wash with liquid cleaner. Turn the electricity off first.
  • Clean the dirt out of crevices with cotton swabs.
  • Replace bulbs, as needed.

More on cleaning light switches and plates.

Clean floors

  • Vacuum or sweep floors.
  • Vacuum carpets.
  • Shake out and launder area rugs.
  • Wash floors with the appropriate cleaner.
  • Clean baseboards.

More on how to vacuum and clean hardwood floors, plus tips for rug and carpet cleaning.

Bedroom cleaning checklist

Your bedroom is a haven of rest and relaxation, but it also pulls double duty as an office, storage closet and, well, everything else. At this point, it’s probably been a little neglected. Start with your usual daily bedroom tidy-up, then follow this checklist for a top-to-bottom refresh.

cleaning checklistTODAY Illustration

Clean bedroom closets

  • Out with the old, in with the new: Pack away winter clothes, shoes and boot, then bring out your spring and summer favorites.
  • Toss, donate or give away things that you don’t love or no longer fit.
  • Fold and stack t-shirts, light sweaters, jeans and other clothes that don’t need to hang on hangers.
  • Reorganize your shoe rack, so the ones you’ll wear most often will be easy to grab and go.
  • Dust surfaces and vacuum the closet floor.
  • Clean your luggage and store it neatly.

More on how to clean your closet.

Clean dresser

  • Dust and polish the top of the dresser
  • Assess each drawer, remove any winter items and get rid of things you don’t like or never wear anymore.
  • Neatly fold underwear, socks, shirts and pants.

More on how to properly fold clothes.

Clean nightstand

  • Clear off the nightstand and set aside any clutter that needs to go elsewhere.
  • Dust and polish the nightstand.
  • Choose items that should stay on the nightstand — alarm clock, family photo, tissues, water glass and whatever else you need.
  • Put reading glasses, ear plugs, eye mask, lip balm, hair accessories, remotes and chargers in a decorative box.
  • Shelve books you’re no longer reading, toss old magazines and store current ones in a magazine holder.

More on how to organize your nightstand.

Clean jewelry

  • Dust and polish your jewelry box.
  • Untangle necklaces.
  • Pair up earrings with their partners.
  • Set aside any jewelry you plan to give away or donate.
  • Polish silver and gold jewelry.
  • Clean costume jewelry.

More on how to clean and organize your jewelry.

Clean ceiling fan

  • Use a fan blade duster or slip a pillowcase over each blade to remove dust and dirt. Empty and launder the pillowcase after cleaning.
  • Use a microfiber cloth and dust-repelling spray to clean fan blades.
  • Wipe the pull chain and clean any sconces.
  • Replace any broken light bulbs.

More on how to clean a ceiling fan.

Clean headboard

  • Use a lint roller or the upholstery attachment of your vacuum to remove dust and dirt from your headboard.
  • Use soap and water or a fabric cleaner to clean a fabric headboard.
  • Polish a wood headboard with furniture polish.

More on how to clean a headboard.

Clean bedding

  • Remove decorative pillows and throws from bed, set aside or clean as necessary.
  • Strip the bed. Remove the duvet cover from the duvet.
  • Launder bedding and pillows.

More on how to wash sheets, clean pillows and clean a duvet.

Clean mattress

  • Strip off the bedding and mattress pad.
  • Vacuum the mattress with the upholstery attachment.
  • Spot-clean any stains. Deodorize — sprinkle baking soda on top, leave for an hour, then vacuum it up.
  • Rotate or flip the mattress. Deodorize the other side.

More on how to clean a mattress and wash a mattress pad.

Clean lamps, light switches and plates

  • Use a the upholstery attachment of your vacuum or a microfiber cloth to clean lamp shades, or wash them with an appropriate cleaner if they’re plastic or glass.
  • Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down light switches and plates.
  • Wipe grimy switches with rubbing alcohol or wash with liquid cleaner. Turn electricity off first.
  • Clean the dirt out of crevices with cotton swabs.
  • Replace bulbs, as needed.

More on cleaning light switches and plates.

Clean walls and floor

  • Dust and spot-clean walls, baseboards and moldings.
  • Vacuum the floor. Mop hardwood, stone or tile floor with the appropriate floor cleaner. If it’s carpet, spot-clean or use a carpet stain remover.
  • Wash area rugs.

More on how to clean the bedroom floor.

Clean bedroom windows

  • Dust and clean window frames and sills.
  • Spot-clean windows with a microfiber cloth or a rag and window cleaner.
  • Spray windows with cleaner and wipe or squeegee.
  • Clean dirt and debris from window tracks with an unused paint brush, toothbrush or cotton swab.

More on how to clean windows.

Laundry room cleaning checklist

Even rooms devoted to cleaning get dirty, so the laundry room should definitely be part of your spring-cleaning agenda. Even if your laundry “room” isn’t really a room itself, the machines themselves need some annual attention.

cleaning checklistTODAY Illustration

Clean washing machine

  • Spray and wipe down the exterior of the washer.
  • Disinfect knobs, dials and buttons.
  • Wash around the door and gasket.
  • Scrub the detergent, fabric softener and bleach dispensers.
  • Clean the washer drum.

More on how to clean the washing machine.

Clean dryer

  • Spray and wipe down the exterior of the dryer.
  • Disinfect knobs, dials and buttons.
  • Clear the lint filter.
  • Check the dryer drum and clean, if necessary.
  • Remove lint and other debris from dryer exhaust system and vents.
  • Vacuum or sweep up any lint from behind the dryer.

More on how to clean the dryer.

Additional laundry room tasks:

  • Clean residue off the iron.
  • Organize laundry products and wipe down containers.
  • Recycle empty containers.
  • Empty the lint bin.
  • Vacuum or sweep the floor

More on how to organize your laundry room.

Home office cleaning checklist

The space where you go to get stuff done needs a little work, too. Take some time to tidy up your at-home office so you can get your job done in a clean and decluttered environment.

home office cleaning checklistTODAY Illustration

  • Sort your paperwork into the following categories: what to keep and what to toss. File “keeper” paperwork and recycle the rest.
  • Disinfect your phone, earbuds, headphones and mouse.
  • Dust your computer screen and tablet with a microfiber cloth.
  • Shake debris from your computer keyboard and clean it with a disinfecting wipe.
  • Remove objects from your desk and wipe it down.
  • Dust lamps, shelves, framed art or other decorative objects.
  • Wipe down cords.
  • Dust ceiling with a dry microfiber mop.
  • Spray windows with cleaner and wipe or squeegee.
  • Clean drapes and blinds.
  • Clean light switches and plates.
  • Vacuum or sweep hardwood floors.
  • Vacuum carpets.

Cleaning checklist for the rest of the house

You’ve tackled all the main rooms in your house, which means it’s time Since every home is different, here’s a catch-all checklist to help ensure you get every area of your living space disinfected, tidied and freshened up for the new season.

cleaning checklistTODAY Illustration

  • Tidy the shoe rack, coat area and any storage baskets in your foyer.
  • Dust and spot-clean walls, baseboards and moldings.
  • Sweep, vacuum and mop floors.
  • Shake out and wash area rugs.
  • Dust ceiling with a dry microfiber mop.
  • Wash windows, sills, curtains and blinds.
  • Clean all your closets, including linen and storage closets.
  • Dust and clean the lamps and lighting around your house. Replace broken and burnt-out lightbulbs.
  • Clean humidifiers.
  • Clean the attic and basement, organize stored items and check for mold and mildew.
  • If you have a cat, clean the litter box.
  • Neaten up the porch.
  • Clean outside of the house — front yard, backyard and gutters.
  • Clean up the driveway and sidewalk.

Products to help you get the job done

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