Why Wait to Spring Clean? Start With These Tasks

So what if spring isn’t in the air yet? You can still freshen up your house.

Sure, we know why they call it spring cleaning: After a long winter of hunkering down inside, we want to throw open the windows, welcome in the fresh air, and clean out the clutter. But honestly, the idea of refreshing our home sounds good any time—whatever season we're in. Whether it's March 1 or October 1, why not get some dusting and tidying done right now? Here are some tasks to tackle today—no need to wait for spring.

01 of 08

Clean the Dryer Vent

Chances are, you take your clothes dryer for granted. But if it's been working hard for the past few months (or years), it's likely in need of some attention to continue to run safely and efficiently. If you've been a little lax about regularly sweeping or vacuuming around your machine, now is as good a time as any to catch up. (And a friendly reminder: Always remove lint from the lint screen before every load!)

In addition to this general upkeep, you should thoroughly clean the dryer vent at least once a year. Lint buildup not only makes your laundry take longer to dry, but it's also a fire hazard.

To clean out the dryer vent, detach the tubing from the back of the dryer and vacuum it well or use a brush to dislodge any lint stuck inside. Finally, give your lint screen a quick scrub with a soft brush—a clean toothbrush works well—and soapy water. Then rinse, air-dry completely, and replace.

02 of 08

Dust Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are notorious dust collectors. If you haven't turned it on in a while, give your fan a quick clean first.

One way to tackle dust is with an extendable, microfiber duster. Before you start, put a sheet on the floor or over any furniture beneath the fan to catch wayward dust balls. Or, if you're comfortable on a step stool or ladder, try this popular pillowcase hack: Place a clean pillowcase over one blade at a time and then carefully slide it off, trapping the dust inside. Use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe dust from other parts of the fan as well as the lightbulbs.

If your fan has glass shades, soak them in warm, soapy water and dry completely before putting them back on. Last step: Check that your fan is set to spin counterclockwise so it's ready to cool the room as the days heat up.

03 of 08

Decrumb Your Couches

Remember all the crumbly chips and cookies you've been noshing on during your Netflix binges over the past few months? Well, now's the time to do a serious clean-out of your couch, chairs, and ottomans.

Vacuum fabric-covered furniture with a handheld vac or the upholstery attachment on your regular vacuum. If the cushions are not attached, remove them so you can vacuum all sides plus the frame of the furniture. Fluff and flip cushions before putting them back in place. If cushions are attached, switch to your vacuum's crevice tool to suck up debris from tight spots where the cushions meet the frame.

For a leather sofa, use a soft cloth or a vacuum with a soft brush attachment. While you're at it, toss any washable throws that live on your sofa into the laundry for a quick freshening.

04 of 08

Deep Clean Kitchen Cabinets

Whether your kitchen is the site of impressive culinary feats or mostly a place where you plate some take-out, this hard-working room is a prime place for dust, grease, and fingerprints to collect. Since cabinets take up the most real estate, giving them a thorough cleaning will make the whole space feel fresher.

With cabinets, gentle cleaning is best. Skip the abrasive products and use a solution of warm water and dish soap. First, empty your cabinets and drawers and vacuum up crumbs and debris using a crevice attachment. Next, wet a soft cloth with the soap and water solution and wring it out until it is just damp. Wipe down the inside and outside of the cabinets as well as handles or knobs.

Don't forget to go over frames or trim where grime can accumulate. Follow with a cloth slightly dampened with plain water to rinse and then dry thoroughly with another soft cloth. Use a glass cleaner on any glass cabinet fronts.

05 of 08

Catch up on Laundry

Is it just us, or is the sound of the washing machine and the act of folding warm-from-the-dryer clothes actually pretty soothing on a gray day? Allow this positive thought to propel you to catch up on laundry that you've let go over the last couple weeks (or longer, no judgment!).

Some items may have taken up residence in the laundry area because they are in need of a little extra TLC. Now's the time to tackle hand washables and other delicate pieces. Also, make a pile—or sort through your pile, if you already have one—of clothes or accessories that need minor repairs such as reattaching a button or fixing a fallen hem. Carve out some time to listen to a podcast while you make these simple fixes.

06 of 08

Show Small Appliances Some Love

Kitchen appliances work hard on a regular basis. Even the smaller ones, such as your toaster and hand mixer, can benefit from a seasonal spruce-up. To banish dried-on batter, smoothie, or sauce from your hand mixer and blender base, rub the exteriors with a damp cloth. Don't forget to wipe the cords (unplugged, of course) as well, since they can also be targets for splatters.

To clean your toaster, start by unplugging it and gently shaking it upside down over the trash to dislodge crumbs. Remove the crumb tray and wipe it and the exterior of the toaster down with a damp cloth. Dry the crumb tray completely with another cloth before replacing it. Finally, use a clean, damp cloth to wipe down your coffee machine base. Other parts, including the carafe, lid, and filter basket, can be washed in warm, soapy water. If you haven't cleaned your Keurig recently, follow these steps to descale it.

07 of 08

Beautify Baseboards

Depending on the size of your home, this may not be the quickest task to tackle, but it is super satisfying. A chilly day when you're stuck inside anyway is the best time to get it crossed off your to-do list.

Start by removing dust with your vacuum's brush attachment. Follow up by wiping down baseboards with a cloth dampened with a warm water-dish soap combo. Dry baseboards with a clean microfiber cloth. Work your way around the room to ensure you don't miss any spots.

08 of 08

Unclutter Closets

Take advantage of a couple of indoor hours to cull the contents of your closet. Pull everything out and purge items you no longer wear and are ready to part with. Put the keepers back into your closet organized by type (all jeans together, all skirts together, and so on). For a simple upgrade, use all matching hangers and hang everything facing the same direction.

Want all the spring feels? Go full-on The Home Edit and arrange items in rainbow color order. Finally, bag up any pieces you decide not to keep but are still in good condition. This way, you'll be ready to donate to spring clothing drives or to sell online or at a good, old-fashioned garage sale. Bonus: The extra space in your closet means there's plenty of room for new spring purchases.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles