Spring Cleaning

3 Things You Need to Do Before You Can Start Spring Cleaning

published Feb 23, 2021
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Woman opening a kitchen window
Credit: Sarah Crowley

No one needs to tell you that this year is different than any other, but spring cleaning is just around the corner and, well, it’s going to be different. In a good way.

For one, it’s not going to sneak up on you. After valiantly making it through lonely holidays and riding out the new-year-new-start energy of January, you may be starting to look ahead to the next “events” on your calendar. Anything to make these days that bleed seamlessly into one another a bit more exciting.

Silly as it may seem, spring cleaning is one of these events, or it can be! Having the space on the calendar to not just properly clean for spring, but to get ready for its arrival is an opportunity that really might not come along again.

Last year, when I wrote a bit about the history of spring cleaning, one thing that stuck with me most is that spring cleaning used to be when people cleaned their homes from the soot and grime that built up inside from months of burning kerosene lamps and fires in houses shut against the winter cold.

Now I know we haven’t been doing that, but we have been shut up in our homes through a literal (and figurative) winter. Taking advantage of warmer air and longer days to clean out all the buildup of winter is a ritual with practical, physical effects, but one imbued with a symbolism that I, for one, can’t escape, and that I choose to enjoy, especially this year.

If you’d like to do the same, you can start now, by getting yourself ready for the best spring cleaning of your life.

Here are some things you can do to prepare:

Refill and restock your cleaning products

Take inventory of your cleaning supplies. Are you stocked up on your all-purpose sprays and specialty cleaners? Make sure you have enough of your usuals like vinegar and baking soda, and order your unusuals like CLR, if you need to. You might want to try something new that you’ve read about, like using Dawn Powerwash to tackle your glass shower enclosures.

Take inventory of your cleaning tools

In addition to your products, make sure your tools are in good working order. Do you have enough rags and microfiber cloths? Maybe your mopheads could use replacing; there’s no better time of year than now to get some new ones. Don’t forget the tools that you might take for granted, like buckets and brushes. Maybe getting a bucket with a spout for easily pouring out dirty water would make your deep cleaning that much more efficient. Next, consider disposable tools that you might need. These could include Magic Erasers, electrostatic duster refills, and pumice stones.

Clean up your clutter

Cleaning up before spring cleaning involves several steps. First and foremost, you should declutter. Thinning out a toy collection or even the decor that’s collected on your bookshelves not only gives you less to clean but will make your space look fresh and updated.

But there’s also all the stuff that can’t so easily get tossed or donated. This is all the clutter in limbo, like items you haven’t made decisions about, things that have to be put away but don’t really have a place, things you need to mail, and returns you need to make to people or stores. Use this time to get these items out of your space. Make the decisions, make the trips, and clear out your home so you can clean what’s left.

Now you’ll be set up for a spring cleaning season that involves none of the demoralizing quests for clean rags or frantic searching for grout brushes and all of the soul-restoring scrubbing and scouring you can do.

Want some more help with spring cleaning? Sign up for Apartment Therapy’s Spring Cleaning Cure and we’ll help you check 20 common tasks off your spring cleaning checklist with plenty of advice and encouragement along the way.

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