The Essential 2023 Spring Cleaning Checklist

Cardinal Financial April 10, 2023 | 6 min read
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It’s officially spring! For homeowners especially, that means it’s officially time for spring cleaning. There’s no wrong way to go about it, but a spring cleaning checklist certainly doesn’t hurt. And remember, the key to not losing steam halfway through is to take it one step at a time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your spring cleaning doesn’t have to be done in one either.

The 2023 spring cleaning checklist

There are generally two schools of thought on the best way to tackle your spring cleaning checklist: Room by room or task by task. Both have their pros and cons, but we’d argue that the best approach is actually a hybrid of the two, broken out into three phases (it’s less technical than it sounds). 

  • Phase 1: Declutter
    • Room by room, throw out or donate what you don’t want
    • Store winter items out of the way
  • Phase 2: Clean
    • Wash bedding
    • Dust and wipe down surfaces
    • Clean baseboards
    • Sweep, mop, and vacuum
  • Phase 3: Organize
    • Choose a method that you can maintain all year
    • Utilize vertical space
    • Replace any essentials you threw out in Phase 1

Before you dive in, you’ll want to set aside some moving boxes for items you’re donating, items you’re throwing out, and items that need to be stored for the season. 

Spring Cleaning Phase 1: Declutter

For Phase 1, we recommend the room-by-room approach.

  • Bedroom
    • Remove winter clothes from drawers and hangers and place in boxes for storage
    • Place any items in good condition that you no longer want in your donation box
    • Throw out any clothing or decor items you no longer want that can’t be donated
    • Throw out sheets if you’ve been using them for over three years
  • Bathroom
  • Kitchen
    • If you have any utensils, towels, or cookware that need to be replaced, throw them out 
    • Donate any unused items (like that fancy blender from your wedding registry that’s never seen the light of day)
    • Throw out expired food from your pantry, fridge, and freezer
    • Donate non-perishable food items if you know you won’t be using them

Not sure what needs to be thrown out? Use the handy chart below as a guide. Just remember, the exact expiration dates will depend on the quality of the item and how much you use it.

ItemReplace every…
Bathroom towels2 to 5 years
Kitchen towels1 to 2 years
Sheets2 to 3 years
Mascara3 to 6 months
Eye shadow6 to 9 months
Eyeliner3 months
Lipstick1 year
Foundation6 to 12 months
Concealer1 to 2 years
Face powder2 years
Blush1 to 2 years

Pro Tip: If you’re a bit of a clothes collector, it can be hard narrowing down what to keep and what to get rid of. A good way to keep yourself in check is to buy a set number of clothes hangers and don’t buy more when you run out. Instead, solve the problem by getting rid of clothing items you have, or holding off on purchasing new ones. Hello, closet equilibrium.

Spring Cleaning Phase 2: Clean

In Phase 2, we recommend tackling your checklist by task (dust, sweep, mop, etc.) rather than doing every task in one room, then repeating the list for the next room. When it comes to cleaning, start from the top (literally) and work your way down to avoid dust and grime from higher areas getting swept down onto a surface you already cleaned.

  • Strip beds and start the laundry cycle 
  • If you have ceiling fans, dust or wipe down the blades
  • Clean windows, mirrors, and any other glass surfaces
  • Dust and wipe down furniture, shelves, cabinets (inside and out), and counters
  • Especially if you have little ones of the fur or human variety, vacuum your furniture
  • Wipe down baseboards and molding
  • Sweep, mop, and vacuum all rooms
  • Place clean bedding back on beds
  • Take a nap on that clean bedding, you earned it

Pro Tip: If you want to get really particular about your approach, take out your trash and recycling before you clean the floors. This way, any drips from the garbage bag or dirt you track back in won’t undo all your hard work.

Spring Cleaning Phase 3: Organize

Now that you’ve cleared up space and cleaned your home, it’s time to organize what you have left. This is also the time to replace any essentials that needed to be thrown out, like new cookware or towels. In Phase 3, we recommend going room by room. How you organize is up to you, but here are a few tips for each area.

  • Bedroom
    • Utilize vertical space in your closet
    • Get a bedside table with built-in storage
    • Store out-of-season items under your bed
  • Bathroom
    • Keep a stylish bin or tray on the bathroom counter to store items you use every day
    • Install a shower caddy
    • Add shelves over the toilet
  • Kitchen
    • Add riser shelves inside cabinets
    • Stack towels vertically (like books)
    • Use a caddy for sponges, dish soap, and other sink-side cleaning products

There are a lot of elaborate and aesthetically pleasing organization methods out there, but remember to choose one that you can realistically maintain in the long term. Spring cleaning is all about setting you up for a better homeownership experience for the rest of the year.

Any other spring cleaning tips?

With your spring cleaning checklist squared away, you’ve got all the essentials you need to handle it like a pro. But because we like you, we have a few more spring cleaning tips for you to take or leave before you get started.

  • Don’t try to do it all in one day
  • Make a physical list that you can check items off of to see your progress
  • Gather all the necessary cleaning supplies before you start so you don’t lose momentum making a run to the store
  • Recycle as much as possible

Ok, NOW you’re ready to go. Oh, and if your home needs more than a thorough cleaning to feel refreshed, renovation loans could help you finance upgrades like new floors, fresh paint, and new appliances. The more you know.

With the right spring cleaning tips, you’ll be ready to make your house feel like home for the season in no time.

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