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Spring cleaning 101: The 5-day spring cleaning challenge

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As we close in on the final days of Winter, we approach a very important ritual that we all know as ‘spring cleaning.’ It’s that time of year when we de-clutter, purge ourselves of junk we hoarded throughout the year, and scrub down every counter, corner, and edge of our home. With our busy work and personal schedule, giving your home a proper scrub down can seem impossible. You know what they say-- Rome was not built in one day. And surely cleaning your entire house doesn’t need to be done in one day either! By breaking up your tasks into smaller, more manageable days you’ll notice that spring cleaning doesn’t have to be as dreadful as it sounds. Follow this day-by-day schedule that guides you towards a lighter, brighter and cleaner home.

Day 1: The walk-through
Day 1: The walk-through by PhotoAlto, Getty Images

Day 1: The walk-through

Day one should be pretty easy-breezy and ease you into expert-cleaning mode. On the first day, you should walk through your entire house and pick up anything laying around that shouldn’t be where it is. It’s time to pick clothes off the floor, put the books back in the book cases, tidy up the shoe rack, and clear up the coffee table.

After your walk-through, every walkway, counter, table top, shelf, and surface should be clear and uncluttered. Everything should be put back to where it belongs, and if you find something that doesn’t have a home, then it shouldn't be in your home. Don’t forget to also walk-through your closets--fix any clothes hanging off the hanger, fold anything that is unfolded, and reorganize so that everything is more easily accessible to you.

Tip: When you’re doing the walk-through, bring a large trash bag with you. You’ll notice that you have a lot of junk that you need to get rid of, and that trash bag will come in handy. Separate a bag for donations and a bag for the trashman.

Pro tip: Open every cabinet, drawer, dresser, storage unit and get rid of anything that you haven’t used the past 2 years. If there wasn’t a need for it in the past 2 years, It will most likely waste space and collect dust for the next 2 years. Get rid of it.

Day 2: Laundry & restrooms
Day 2: Laundry & restrooms by Michael H., Getty Images

Day 2: Laundry & restrooms

Now that you’ve tidied up the pad and picked up after the entire house, you should get the laundry going. This includes sheets, blankets, curtains, towels, and clothes. This will most likely take multiple loads and a few hours. After every load, fold and put away everything into it’s proper place.

You’ll have some time in between loads, so use this time to clean up your restroom. Start with your countertops, then gradually move to your sink, mirrors, tub/shower, and toilet.

Tip: If you notice any mold or mildew in your restroom, take a rag and wipe down the surface with straight vinegar.

Pro tip: A little bit of baking soda on your toilet brush goes a long way! It’s a easy home remedy that is affordable and effective.

Day 3: The kitchen
Day 3: The kitchen by AE Pictures Inc., Getty Images

Day 3: The kitchen

The kitchen is probably the most used room in the house if you do a lot of cooking. And no matter how often you tidy up your kitchen and clean up after each meal, an annual deep-cleaning makes all the difference.

Checklist:

  • Refrigerator- Go through and throw away anything expired, molding, and old. After doing that, wipe down the shelves and handles of any grease, grime, and spills that built up over time.
  • Pantry- Go through your pantry and get rid of expired canned goods, junk food, and anything you’re not going to eat anymore. Reorganize everything and make room for new stuff.
  • Oven, stove, & microwave- This is a must! Deep clean all the spills, splatters, and grease that has accumulated over time. Get to those corners and edges that you miss during quick clean-ups and really make those appliances shine.
  • Cabinets- Clean out your kitchen cabinets and reorganize your plates, bowls, and utensils. Again, anything you don’t use or need anymore should be tossed or donated.
  • Sink & countertops- Once everything else is done, wipe down your sink and all the countertops. Make sure you detail all the corners so  you get rid of dust, dirt, and crumbs.

Tip: When you’re done, take out the trash immediately. Leaving a trash bin full of disposed food can create quite an odor. Also, adding a fresh box of baking soda will remove any odor in your refrigerator.

Pro tip: Countertop cleaners are filled with harmful chemicals. Save money with this easy DIY formula-- Mix 4 part water + 2 parts vinegar + 1 part baking soda. Apply, scrub, and wipe away!

Day 4: Floors
Day 4: Floors by PhotoAlto/Ale Ventura, Getty Images

Day 4: Floors

Congratulations You’ve made it more than halfway through the 5-day challenge! Day 4 should be a breeze after you tackled the restroom and kitchen. Today is all about the floors. Bust out the vacuum, mop, and broom because you’ll be going through each room of the house and making sure that it’s spick-and-span! It should be immaculately clean and spotless by the time you finish.

Tip: Before mopping or scrubbing your floors, make sure to sweep or vacuum first to pick up hair, dust, or dirt. If you don’t, you’ll be wiping around all that grit back into the floor and it will make cleaning more difficult.


Pro tip: Purchase a micro-fiber mop or rag to clean with. Micro-fiber picks up all the dirt that sweeping and vacuuming misses.

Day 5: Final Inspection
Day 5: Final Inspection by Image Source, Getty Images

Day 5: Final Inspection

As much as you want to just sit and relax, today should be dedicated to addressing the tiny details that you might have overlooked or missed. This includes cleaning windows, touching up paint, replacing light bulbs, and fixing anything that’s broken. Don’t forget the outside of your home as well--lawn, porch, mailbox, etc. Do a final walk and make sure that you are pleased with how emmaculate your home looks!

Tip: Having a home that smells good is also part of a clean home. Go purchase a nice scented candle, air freshener, or even some fresh flowers to make  your home smell just as fresh as it looks!

Pro tip: If you want to keep your house immaculate throughout the year, the 5-day challenge is also a great schedule to follow on a weekly basis, Monday through Friday. You don’t have to go into extreme detail but by picking up after yourself and having a daily cleaning routine, you’ll notice that your home will always be in great shape and you’re cleaning won’t pile up.

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