Ask the Readers: What Are Your Spring Cleaning Tips?

By Ashley Jacobs on 26 March 2013 (Updated 2 April 2013) 56 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Betty, Christie, and Linda for winning this week's contest!

Spring cleaning is often a dreaded, exhausting project — but it doesn't have to be! This week, let's share tips to help each other organize and clean house from top to bottom, closets to yard.

What are your spring cleaning tips? Do you make your own cleaners, or repurpose household items to help you clean? Do you have a strategy to organize each room? How do you make heavy duty cleaning more fun?

Tell us about your spring cleaning tips and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — here's how you can win!

Mandatory Entry:

  • Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

For extra entries:

  • You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:
  • a Rafflecopter giveaway

    If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

    Giveaway Rules:

    • Contest ends Monday, April 1st at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after April 1st on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
    • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
    • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
    • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

Good Luck!

0
No votes yet
Your rating: None
ShareThis

comments

56 discussions

Add New Comment

CAPTCHA
This test helps prevent automated spam submissions.
Guest's picture
Mary Happymommy

I tackle one room each day when spring cleaning.

Guest's picture
Betty D.

I try to keep on top of it year round, so I don't feel overwhelmed. I make my own cleaning products for the most part. White vinegar and water is amazing for most cleaning jobs.

Guest's picture
Jen

I focus on one room/task at a time so it doesn't seem as overwhelming and I make sure to keep a "to-do" list. Not only does it keep me focused on the task at hand, it makes me feel so successful each time I cross something off of it!

Guest's picture
Christie

So a little bit throughout the year so that it isn't a major chore in the Springtime when you want to be outside! :)

Guest's picture
Elena

I clean a little bit every day to make the spring cleaning easier

Guest's picture
Kristine E.

My best tip is to set aside a whole day to clean, crank up the music and get to it!

Guest's picture
Guest

I blast music and turn my spring cleaning into a personal dance party.

Guest's picture
Varun Narula

(1) Try to go green every year - buy a little less of the same bought last year.
(2) Do away with paper towels and use washable cotton towels instead.

Guest's picture
Angela

I like to make my own cleaners but do have an exception. I find that my bathtub is not as clean unless I use Tilex. So, I splurge on that but try to buy it when there are coupons/sales.

Guest's picture
Raina

My biggest rule for Spring Cleaning is getting rid of things that I think I "might" need someday if I realistically know that day isn't coming any time soon. It's tough to throw away things that seem perfectly fine, especially when you're frugal, but NOT throwing away those things is what leads to clutter.

Guest's picture
Joann

we keep a goodwill box in the laundry room and try to declutter whenever we have a spare 10 or 15 minutes.

Guest's picture

None of it is fun or easy--Just get started. Starting seems to be the toughest part for me but once I jump in there is no stopping.

Guest's picture
Kay

Open the windows and get rid of all that stale air. Then work on the clutter and hold a garage sale.

Guest's picture
Bethany

Give yourself a reward to look forward to at the end so you get that last project done instead of saving it for later.

Guest's picture
Jen

I don't really participate in the usual spring cleaning ritual. It's just me, my husband, and our cat at our house, so we don't have a lot of "stuff". Keeping our possessions to a minimum and doing normal weekly cleaning does the trick year-round for us.

Guest's picture
David

I first throw out/recycle everything that is just weighing me down. Then I clean the floors. Clean floors make all the difference in the world. I do my best to clean with brooms and natural cleaners (Castille soap, lemon juice, and a few drops of tea tree oil). Then I clean windows. It's a hard job, but it is worth it. That's really it. Clean spaces, clean floors, and clean windows.

Guest's picture
Lindsay

I clean out the pantry and look at expiration dates of all the food - if it's old, it's gotta go. If it's been in there more than 6 months, it's gotta go!

Guest's picture

To clean a bedroom, I use "singling handling" a proven time management technique.

1. Clear off the bed (you want an open surface, no crumpled blankets, etc)
2. Put EVERYTHING on the bed. Clear the shelves, closets, floor, etc. all in a huge pile on the bed.
3. Dust, vacuum, etc the empty room
4. Pick up ONE item, and DON'T set it down until it is in it's true place.
5. Repeat step 4 until the bed is cleared.
6. Change sheets and make the bed.

The trick is never put anything back on the bed once you pick it up.

Guest's picture

Get the whole family involved, 1 room a a time. If everyone is involved in the cleaning, they are slightly less likely to undo the tidiness :)
Also, if I do end up cleaning alone, I listen to an audio book so I feel doubly productive!

Guest's picture
Chrysilla

My hacks are all dust related b/c I'm allergic :-/. Rubber gloves while cleaning/sorting so it doesn't dry out my hands, a cheap dust mask so I don't inhale any, and do the dusting of furniture last, after all the other cleaning, possibly the next day after so the dust has settled and you can just get it all up with a cloth.

Guest's picture
Lisa

For me, the first step to spring cleaning is decluttering every room. Go through each room w/a "donate" box and get rid of any extra stuff that needs to go. Then I tackle one room at a time and clean from top to bottom - starting w/ceiling fans and working my way down.

Guest's picture
BRB

I've made a rotor so I have a room or tasks that I do each day to keep on top of everything.

Guest's picture

I plan the end of my cleaning to coincide with a yard sale. It's easier to clean when you don't have clutter.

Guest's picture
Shannon

I break my cleaning down into smaller more managable tasks

Guest's picture
MELISSA HANSSON

I try to motivate myself on that first sunny, warm day when I can open all the windows. Just the feeling of spring and fresh air is enough to help make cleaning less of a drag.

Guest's picture
Diane

My best suggestion is to declutter while you clean. You'll end up with less to clean and put away so it will be easier to keep up later.

I try to declutter small areas regularly~ clean out the medicine when I'm putting vitamins in my daily dispenser; clear out the pen drawer while I'm on the phone; clear out the makeup while I'm cleaning the bathroom sink; clear out clothes while you're switching from winter to spring wardrobe.

Less stuff equals less cleaning in the long run!

Guest's picture
Monique

I like and recommend having one manageable project to focus on at a time, along with a plan for getting it done. I love using vinegar and water to clean just about anything. Also, I recently discovered that paper coffee filters are great for cleaning mirrors without worrying about lint residue.

Guest's picture
Guest

I use Pine-Sol to clean virtually everything. It cleans great, it disinfects, and it works every bit as good as any of the newer, more expensive products available.

I also dust using a microfiber cloth, which attracts and picks up dust extremely well. Microfiber works way better than, say, a regular cotton cloth.

Guest's picture
Kelli

We pick a day in advance to do a big clean. Before that day I'll declutter so there isn't stuff all over surfaces that need cleaning. My husband and I usually go out for a big hearty breakfast to fuel up, and then we just hit the ground running, usually working on one room at a time. We use somewhat natural multipurpose cleaners whenever possible. We just try to get through it and know it'll be a great feeling of accomplishment when we're done, and we'll enjoy the nice clean house. Oh, and we'll usually have a treat afterward, like a cupcake, to reward ourselves for a job well done.

Guest's picture
Brenda Faulkner

I start from kitchen and work my way out!

Guest's picture
Sherry Butcher

Using the old but very good cleaner of water & vinginer usually does the task and without the high cost of new clearners.

Guest's picture
Guest

Bust out your steam cleaner! We just hit everything in our place with the steam corner: stove, floors, tub, toilet, etc. I think I paid $60 for it online. Worth all the time and definitely the money.

Guest's picture

Dust dust dust those dust bunnies out! I use a Swifter dry sheet, spiked with lavender!

Guest's picture
katie m

Use a friend! I invite a good friend over to keep me company and keep me on task (no cleaning required on her part!). I don't notice what I'm doing as much when it is the background to chatting with my friend. And then I do the same for her!

Guest's picture
Guest

I can't clean until I declutter more. So that is my priority. It doesn't make sense to move stuff around to clean it if it is stuff I don't truly need to have.

Guest's picture
Valerie B

I have a regular cleaning schedule that I follow year round; the house is divided into sections. During spring cleaning I just put a little extra effort into things I may normally skimp on. I make my own cleaners using vinegar, water, and baking soda; I use microfiber cloths which work great. And open up all the windows in the house to let that fresh air in and chase the hidden dust bunnies out into the open where I can get em'!

Guest's picture
Nicholas

The only strategy for me is to clean on a semi-consistent basis. I cannot just choose a day and clean all day. Generally, I am cleaning on a daily basis. As I go through the day, if I see something that needs to be taken care of I do it right away.

Guest's picture
Tiffany S.

I usually do small tasks throughout the entire year so I don't have one massive spring cleaning to get through. When I do decide to clean, I either choose to do one room at a time sorting, reorganizing, and cleaning...or I choose one task to do and do it in every room...and music is almost always a part of the process ; )

Guest's picture
Tabathia B

We usually try to do it during the weekend when the oldest two are home from college and we assign cleaning duties for everyone and I use old shirts, sponges and cleaning supplies purchased with coupons

Guest's picture
Claire P.

The most refreshing way to get into spring cleaning is by clearing out all of the unnecessary clutter. For me, this is mostly in the form of clothing, so I create three piles: one to give to Salvation Army, another to keep (if I still can't let go!), and another to try and sell at consignment stores. I keep all the bags (except the bag to keep) in the trunk of my car so I can stop by a consignment shop or Goodwill on my way home from work or on the weekends.

Whatever doesn't sell at a consignment shop I give to Goodwill.

Guest's picture
DeeDee

Wash windows and curtains

Guest's picture
Rebecca B. A. R.

Declutter before you spring clean, then is will be easier to get to everything to clean.

Guest's picture
Jessica

I use old dryer sheets to dust with

Guest's picture
Guest

vinegar and baking soda. clean those closets out and move all the spring stuff in, winter out!

Guest's picture
Lynda

my spring cleaning tip is to do one room or area or task at a time.

Guest's picture

Sometimes, looking at the big picture is WAY too overwhelming to start -- so I'll look at nice, de-cluttered rooms online for motivation. Then, when I pick a room, I try to notice the things I've just gotten used to seeing -- that stack of paperwork on the corner of the desk -- that pile of clothes that needs to be mended on the dryer -- that box of trinkets that I STILL haven't gone through since the move...that sort of stuff. What DOESN'T belong? What items ALWAYS make me think, 'I don't like that there.' Start there. You'll get yourself going, and will keep tackling the more simple stuff, too.

Guest's picture
Jennifer

I always start with the hard tasks first so then the easy ones are left and I do not mind doing them.

Guest's picture
Lisa Under the Redwoods

It's like eating an elephant. You have to do it one bite at a time 8-). I focus on one surface type at a time. Such as going through and wiping down all the cobwebs, mopping all thefloors, cleaning all the windows, etc.

Guest's picture
Margaret

I use two "motivators" over the weekend I spring clean: 1) I get a Post-it style flipchart page from work and list the rooms and the areas of each (Kitchen - table, Bedroom - closet, LR - TV area, etc.) so I can mark them off as I go along then I also use it for 2) writing down fix-its and follow-ups so I don't stop cleaning and get distracted. For instance, need to get replacement hangers for some broken or metal ones or calling a friend to ask if they have my game I loaned them 2 months ago. Having the list on wall makes it easy to see, it is repositionable as I move from room to room and I have a running future To-Do so I have no excuse to "just take a minute" and to something now.

Guest's picture
Berta

I use those magic erasers from Mr.Clean. They make cleaning less of a chore, thus I am more likely to do it.

Guest's picture
Leigh

We like to make it fun! Like the picture above, we engage the kids and make it a Spring Clean Party. We make lists. We dance or reward (healthy snacks, ok sometimes a cookie :) when we complete a task from the lists. Everybody has their own list yet we all stop and celebrate when someone comes running with a task checked off. We cheer and high five and everybody encourages everybody. Albeit, this may not work with all families, but our 3 and 5 year old loves it! This builds our family and support for one another's accomplishments. We are also teaching the little ones how to work hard and the satisfaction of a job well done. We also do something special like go on a bike ride if everybody doesn't quit and gets everything on their list finished!

Guest's picture
Carmen

Get organized before you start - gather all your cleaning tools together. Also, carry several bags/boxes between rooms: one for items that are in the wrong room, one for giving away, and one for toss.

Guest's picture
Guest

I use microfiber cloths to dust everything; they work best for attracting dust. The best thing I've found to clean marks, stains or virtually anything else on walls is a Magic Eraser pad. For everything else I use Pine-Sol, an old-fashioned cleaner but still one of the best.

Guest's picture
J. Pario

We throw a get-together. Afterwards, I mean. It motivates us to clean, and for spring cleaning we just kick it up a notch. Best wishes for happy sweeping, washing, and dusting every one!

Guest's picture
Ron

My tips:
Do it all in one day! Why? cause once you get momentum it's easy to keep going and make a day of it, and you'll feel great when you finish! The hardest part is getting started, so why not just keep at it until the job is done.

Guest's picture

I think I'm late for the contest. However, I couldn't agree more with the folks who said that they do a bit of cleaning each day. This eliminates the whole problem! I find that once I build a habit of cleaning after myself every day, it really does become second nature. Of course a good sweeping or vacuuming each spring is still necessary, but this takes 30 minutes at most.