If you think spring cleaning feels significantly more relevant this year, you’re not alone.
“Most of us are doing literally everything at home these days,” says Havenly designer Lauren Cox, “which means we’re noticing those dusty corners, growing junk drawers and everyday wear-and-tear even more than usual.”
Because we’re spending so much time at home, it’s even more important that we give ourselves the gift of neat and tidy spaces, Lauren says, “not only for our mental well-being but also for physical wellness!”
And there’s this: just the act of spring cleaning has benefits. It’s been linked to a better mood, a more creative outlook, decreased stress and increased physical activity.
To get you pumped for spring cleaning, here are 10 designer-approved spring cleaning tips and tricks:
1. Make It Manageable
No doubt about it: Spring cleaning can feel daunting if you try to tackle all your tasks in a single day or weekend. That’s why Lauren recommends breaking your to-do list into weekly tasks.
“Week 1 could be dedicated to the kitchen and dining spaces. Each day during that week, commit to tackling one big spring-cleaning task, like cleaning the oven or purging your fridge, freezer and spice cabinet, and a few smaller tasks tied to general tidying of the space, like organizing the silverware drawer or scrubbing the sink.”
In Week 2, move on to your living room and the common areas of the house. Focus on bedrooms in Week 3, and so on.
2. Find Motivation in Joy
“Just because spring cleaning is a chore, that doesn’t mean it needs to feel like a chore,” Lauren says.
Bring your inner Marie Kondo to life and focus things that bring you joy while you work. That might mean lighting your favorite scented candle, catching up on a podcast or opening the windows to allow in some of that refreshing spring air. Lauren’s also a fan of musical motivation. “Put on a playlist full of your favorite hits,” she says.
3. Use Products You Like
Speaking of tapping into those things that bring you joy, definitely use products you favor. You’ll enjoy the experience (seriously!) and be more inclined to use them more often, too.
“I’m personally obsessed with anything from Method,” Lauren says. “I love their sustainable approach to cleaning products, and always feel comfortable using their products in my home, plus, their cleaning supplies smell amazing!”
4. Start at Eye Level
Here’s a great spring cleaning tip designed to give you a feeling of accomplishment: Focus your initial cleaning efforts on items at eye level. Once you complete the most noticeable tasks, you’ll gain momentum to proceed to items on the ceiling or at floor level.
For bonus cleaning points, tackle a space that no one will see, but you will know it’s cleaner than when you started (the kitchen junk drawer, the area under the bathroom sink, the catch-all bottom of the linen closet, etc.)
5. Devote Some Time to Your Closet
The beginning of a new season is a terrific time to evaluate your wardrobe.
“If there’s anything in your closet that you haven’t worn in at least a year, and you don’t visualize yourself wearing again in the next six-plus months, it’s probably time to donate,” Lauren says.
Many of us have also shifted our day-to-day wear because of all of the time we’re spending at home, and it’s likely that most of us will adopt a totally new wardrobe in the years to come.
“Why not start the next season with a totally fresh palette?” says Lauren.
6. Lay It All Out
If you’re purging or decluttering a closet or set of drawers, pull everything out and place it where you can see it, giving you a chance to see what’s been hiding in the back of your pantry or in the depths of your sock drawer.
“This presents a truly clean slate to reorganize and tidy up and ask yourself, ‘Do I really need all four of these cans of kidney beans?’ or, ‘Do I need to hold on to this sequined shirt from 2017?’”
7. Invest in Some Organizational Tools
While you’re decluttering, help yourself stay more organized moving forward.
“I’m a sucker for matching hangers, coordinating storage bins and labels,” Lauren says. “I highly recommend considering pieces like this during the decluttering phase.”
Organize well this spring and you won’t have to completely reorganize in 2022.
8. Toss Expired Foods
When was the last time you fully purged and cleaned your freezer, vegetable drawer or spice cabinet? Hey, there’s no time like the present.
“With so many of us cooking even more meals from home these days, it’s well worth the time investment to get rid of anything that’s way past its prime,” Lauren says. Then, restock for a spring and summer of great home-cooked meals.
9. Do That Thing You've Been Avoiding
Everyone has a deep-cleaning chore that they’re all too ready to delay. For some it’s cleaning out the gutters, for others it’s washing windows.
For Lauren, it’s mopping. “I personally put this task off more often than I should throughout the year.”
Whatever it is for you, spring is a great time “to really dig deep and scrub in all of those dark corners and high-traffic areas to get rid of that winter grim and residue.” And there’s the added benefit of getting in a great arm, shoulder and back workout — no free weights required.
10. Give Your Appliances a Once-Over
Has it been awhile since you wiped down the shelves of your refrigerator or cleaned your oven? You know what to do.
It’s important to keep appliances clean year-round, and not just to keep them in good working order. “Our dinnerware and food that we eat sit right on these surfaces, so we certainly don’t want them getting too dirty before taking action,” Lauren says.
Once you’ve completed your spring cleaning, reward yourself by reading up on spring decor trends (hint: shabby chic has made something of a comeback) and get inspired with some fresh spring decorating ideas (such as swapping out winter blankets for lightweight throws). Then, relax and enjoy your newly spring-cleaned space.
A clean home deserves a fresh look. Pinpoint your unique interior design style with our style quiz.