An Easy Plan to Handle the Most Tedious Part of Your Spring Cleaning

updated Mar 8, 2019
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(Image credit: Diana Liang)

This year, we’re on a mission to help you tackle spring cleaning on your time. Each weekday until April 13, we’ll guide you through a plan to clean and organize different areas of your home, but you’ll have the flexibility to choose exactly what to work on and how long you have to dedicate to the job. Sign up with your email so you don’t miss a spot!

Seasonal cleaning is all about digging in on those areas of your home that don’t get daily or even weekly attention. It’s like a tune-up, and a push to meticulously clean all the trimmings of your home — because who has time for baseboards every weekend?

I covered the basics of our choose-your-own-adventure spring cleaning program in yesterday’s post, but basically, here’s how it works: I give you a zone of your home to focus on, then you pick which track you have time for today. Sounds easy? It is easy. Let’s get going…

Today’s Task: Moldings & Fixtures

Decide how much time you can dedicate to cleaning your moldings and fixtures today, then choose your micro-mission:

If you have 1 day…

Vacuum, clean and touch up all the moldings, baseboards and door and window frames around your home. Here’s what that entails:

Grab your vacuum and cover ground on your baseboards and top moldings, if you have them (do the top moldings first). You can go in whatever order or flow makes sense to you, but I especially love the “follow the wall” method for this task. When you come across a window or door, vacuum the top and sides of the frame and sill. A long extension cord (notably one with a retractable reel) will save you some time from plugging and unplugging the vacuum from room to room.

Do another perimeter sweep around your space, but this time with a cloth or wipe to clean any grime or dirt you spot on the moldings. You might also want to bring along a magic eraser (yes, the generic kinds work great — we tested it) to remove any especially stubborn scuffs, just make sure you’ve tested it on your paint before.

By now you should be really familiar with your moldings, so if you noticed any spots that needed paint touched up, you can go back and do it now, or set yourself a reminder to have the paint matched this weekend.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

If you have 1 hour…

Dust your ceiling fans and light fixtures. You probably have a method you prefer for this, but I do have some tips for you:

  • Before you start, leave a big towel or drop cloth on the ground (or the furniture) below the fixture to catch anything that falls.
  • Use a pillowcase to clean dust from ceiling fan blades. Carefully pull the pillowcase over each fan blade, then grip down and slide the pillowcase off to trap dust inside. (Here’s a video that can demonstrate how it’s done.) When you’re through with all your fans, take the pillowcase outside, turn it inside out, and shake the dust off. You can launder the pillowcase like normal right after.
  • Remove glass globes and covers from your light fixtures and get them sparkling clean by leaving them in a bucket with denture tablets.
  • To dust around intricate parts of a beautifully detailed fixture, use a clean, dry paintbrush.

If you have 10 minutes…

Wipe down your door knobs and handles. If you have a lot of doors at home, giving each of the knobs a wipe down with disinfectant is enough for today’s 10 minute task. But if you have extra time, move on to the pulls and handles on your furniture and cabinets — like on the TV stand or bedroom dresser.

If you have 1 minute…

Order a new air filter. If you need to measure, measure. Then hop online and order it, or leave yourself a reminder to grab one at the store.

What did you work on? Do you have a proven method for working your way around your home when you’re cleaning?

If you haven’t signed up for email updates yet, what are you waiting for? We’re just getting started on the fun! Catch up with yesterday’s assignment right here.