Spring Cleaning Guide: What, Why & When [With Full Task List!]

By thewriteDuffy •  Updated: 05/08/24 •  9 min read

There are very few times that I find cleaning enjoyable, but by far the top of the list is spring cleaning. Below, I dive into the what, why, and when of spring cleaning (including why people like me who hate cleaning do it anyway) and give you some lists — both big and small — to get started.

What is Spring Cleaning?

Spring cleaning is the practice of deep cleaning your home at the start of spring. It’s the time when you clean and/or organize the things that don’t get cleaned during your other chores but that could use some care and attention.

To explain, there are certain cleaning jobs that we need to carry out regularly, like vacuuming and cleaning countertops, because leaving them would quickly make our homes unhygienic.  But spring cleaning chores don’t require that level of frequency, rather the dirt builds up over a matter of weeks or months. Things like dusting ceiling fans, and window washing, only need to be done every few months or even once a year.

Why Do People Spring Clean Their Home?

There are a ton of reasons people find spring cleaning important, including:

  1. Tradition. We find the tradition of a spring clean in cultures from across the globe, with the common theme of cleaning the home thoroughly to symbolize starting afresh.  (Source).
  2. Mental Health. We all know that a thoroughly clean, tidy home feels easier to keep on top of in terms of the daily and weekly cleaning jobs, and it also feels like a calmer, more welcoming environment to live in. A 2009 study showed that a clean home provides positive short-term and long-term benefits for mental health including an immediate improved mood and an overall reduced risk for depression.
  3. Investment protection. Spring cleaning jobs can also play an important role in the general maintenance of a property and its contents. There are jobs that, if ignored, can reduce the lifespan of items, appliances and fittings within your property.  If a lack of cleaning hampers an object’s ability to function properly, you could end up needing to pay for repairs or a replacement. From lime-scale blocked showerheads to blocked drains in window wells, some well-planned spring cleaning can prevent a range of problems.
  4. Perfect Timing. If you live in a cold climate like I do, the start of spring is an excellent time to deep clean your home because you can actually open the windows. In late March you can fully open your windows to let in the air, let out the fumes from any cleaning products, and not have to worry about bugs.

When Should You Start Spring Cleaning?

Spring cleaning can of course be done anytime, especially if you live in a warm climate, and is best planned for when you have some time to spend on it, but the official National Spring Cleaning Week takes place on the fourth Sunday in March, which makes the most sense for us cold-climate folks.

How Long Does Spring Cleaning Usually Take?

Many professional cleaners offer spring cleaning services, often asking for two to three days to do a thorough spring clean. If you’re planning on doing the cleaning yourself, it’s fair to estimate that it would take you around four or even five days to give your home the same deep clean if you’re doing a top-to-bottom clean.

Of course, the time it takes depends upon the size and cleanliness of your property, as well as how much time you have each day to dedicate to the spring clean – and your energy and motivation levels!

If you don’t have full days available for cleaning, or struggle with that much work due to your energy levels, spring cleaning chores can be broken down into smaller, individual jobs which you can carry out across the year rather than in the space of a weekend or two. As always, do what works for you.

How Can I Make Spring Cleaning Easier?

Spring cleaning is of course a big task no matter how you slice it, and we’re all busier than ever, so most of us want to make it easier and faster.

So, how can you make spring cleaning easier? The simple answer is organization. Organizing your cleaning products supplies and organizing your cleaning tasks, often into a list, will help make your spring clean easier, and faster. Let’s take a look at both:

1. Organize And Gather Your Cleaning Products

Figuring out which cleaning supplies and products you need to complete the tasks on your list will save you a lot of time and frustration. There’s nothing worse than getting jazzed up for a chore, maybe even pulling something down, and then realizing you’re missing something.

Take an inventory of what items you have and pick up anything you’re missing (I’m always out of furniture polish!). If you have a new job on your list, take some time to think about, or even research, the best cleaning method for the job and make sure you have everything you’ll need.

Because your spring cleaning will involve, well, a lot of cleaning, try to opt for products that won’t harm your health or the environment.  The American Lung Association recommends using cleaning products that have reduced levels of fragrance and volatile organic compounds. You’ll find it’s easier to clean for longer if the products don’t have potent scents, and if you protect your hands with cleaning gloves, you won’t have to worry about itchy, irritated skin.

2. Use or Create a Spring Cleaning Checklist

Why You Should Have a Spring Cleaning List? Depending on how much you want to take on for your spring clean, a list can really help you feel organized and accomplished. If the idea of spring cleaning fills you with dread, a list helps you start with smaller jobs that you can complete fast to gain a sense of achievement and spur you on to try bigger tasks.

While there are lots of ready-made lists online, including the one below, success lies in modifying the list to your lifestyle, needs, and activities.

All Room Spring Cleaning List

Below is an exhaustive list of spring cleaning chores, but again, it should just be a reference for you, and your list should reflect your own needs.

If you’re someone who wants to make spring cleaning as quick and painless as possible check out our article about Spring Cleaning Your House Fast: 11 Easy 10 Minute Tasks!  

When you’re ready to tackle outdoors, you can also check out our list of 11 Outdoor Spring Cleaning Projects [Get Them Done In An Hour!] 

Just those two mini lists will be enough to get your home fresh and clean, but for those of you who are more ambitious, here’s the full list of things you could do for your spring cleaning:

Indoor – Whole Home

Entryway

Bathroom(s)

Kitchen

Dining Room

Living Room

Bedroom(s)

Laundry Room

Den/Playroom

Office

Garage

Outdoors

References

Saxbe, D. E., & Repetti, R. (2010). No place like home: home tours correlate with daily patterns of mood and cortisol. Personality & social psychology bulletin36(1), 71–81. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167209352864

Cleaning Supplies and Household Chemicals. (2020). American Lung Association. https://www.lung.org/clean-air/at-home/indoor-air-pollutants/cleaning-supplies-household-chem

thewriteDuffy

At home, April is a mom, wife, and DIY darling. Among other home projects, she helped her husband Dan renovate their 1986 bungalow and is currently designing and decorating the 2023 custom home they are building themselves. Professionally, April is a writer, author, and online marketer with 15 years of experience writing for newspapers and magazines, building online authority websites, and publishing books.