Spring brings with it the renewal of hope—snow is melting, plants are growing, and animals are emerging from hibernation. With this annual changing of the season, we emerge from our own hibernation, and, like chipmunks coming out of their homes, it is time to push out the old leaves and tidy our burrows, to refresh our homes and begin the cycle again. But where do you begin? After all, unlike chipmunks, our homes are a bit more complex and typically have more items to tidy.
There are many ways to tackle the spring cleaning process, including:
- Tidying room-by-room
- Starting from the outside (such as your entryway or mudroom) and working your way inward
- Starting from the top and working your way down
- Working task-by-task (such as decluttering every room, then dusting every room, then vacuuming, etc.)
The process can take a day or be spread out over several weekends, and you can clean as thoroughly or as little as you’d like. Regardless of whether you’re going for a quick tidy or a full-on declutter and replacement of outdated or worn-down furniture, there are some key areas you should try to address during the cleaning process:
Even if it’s hard to see (and easy to put out of your mind), your ceiling fixtures are accumulating dust. This can create an unpleasant spring shower when you turn your fans on for the first time and piles of dust rain down on you. Avoid the dust storm by getting out your telescoping duster or a step ladder and cleaning your ceiling fans and lamps.
While you’re up there, dust the ceiling corners and wipe down the walls—you’d be surprised how dusty they can get. In the kitchen or kitchen-adjacent rooms, you may also want to use a degreasing cleaner in the event of any build-up from cooking.
TIDYING TIP: Before you clean and vacuum any other area of your home, start with your ceiling fixtures. There is no point in vacuuming a room before you clean off the ceiling fixtures because you will just have to vacuum again after you’ve cleaned the dusted them.
Ready for an upgrade? Here are some of our favourite warm modern ceiling fixtures:
Is there anywhere in your home that’s more likely to get messy than your entryway? You’re tired at the end of the workday, your arms are full of grocery bags or children and children’s backpacks, you throw off your coat and boots (and hats and mitts and toques in the winter), drop your bags, keys, and mail—hopefully not your children—and maybe collapse on the couch
Do you return to tidy the entryway? Maybe! But sometimes you’re not up for it, and that’s okay—until a family member or neighbour drops by and sees the chaos.
The key here is to make entering and unloading an easier, more streamlined process. You should have a storage system set up so that there is a place to put every item you have to shed as you walk in the door and will need to grab on your way out again, including:
- Outdoor accessories (hats, mitts, umbrellas, sunglasses, etc.)
- School bags
- Baby bags
- Reusable shopping bags
- Dog leashes
If you need to, label their spots to ensure they end up in the same place every time.
Here are some of our favourite entryway storage solutions:
If it has been a while since you’ve done it, take everything off your shelves and clean each item individually, and then clean the shelf itself. First vacuum them gently to remove excess dust, then wipe them down with a cloth. You can also polish them using an appropriate cleaning product for the material (metal, glass, or wood cleaner, for example). Wipe down the items you have taken off before replacing them.
This is also the perfect time to assess whether you have sufficient shelf storage for your belongings. If you don’t have enough shelf space, declutter and donate your belongings or upgrade your shelving situation.
Kitchen appliances and linens
Spring is the perfect time to get around to all those kitchen chores that you’ve been avoiding. Now that you can open the windows for ventilation without turning into an icicle, it’s time to clean your oven, wipe down your appliances, and check off any other tasks that require heavy duty cleaners. It’s also a good time to clean your kitchen windows and polish metal hardware.
After you’ve finished cleaning your appliances and cabinetry, wash and pack away your winter linens (or toss them) and introduce some spring-themed cloths like these:
Pillows, throws, and fabric-clad furniture
Often overlooked when it comes to spring cleaning, soft furniture can easily disguise dirt and may only get spot-cleaned when there’s a spill. At least once a year, you should take couch cushions, window drapes, throw pillows, and blankets outside and gently beat them by hand to remove dust. After removing the dust, throw anything machine washable, such as blankets, drapes, pillow- and couch-cushion covers, into the washing machine before returning them to their place.
While your washables are in the machine, thoroughly vacuum soft furniture, such as couches, couch cushions, and chairs, and wipe down leather or synthetic fabrics.
If your couch is past its prime, upgrade to one of our favourite family-friendly modern sofas:
Beds & bed linens
Vacuum your mattress and, if it is covered with fabric, your bed frame. Trust us—unless it’s brand new, it needs it. You will be surprised (and possibly horrified) by how much dust and debris gets sucked out. For an extra deep clean, sprinkle baking soda on the surface of your stripped mattress and leave it for an hour before vacuuming. This helps to remove scents and can remove stains if you mix it into a paste before application (check out The Spruce for more details).
If you have bed linens made out of different materials for different seasons, now is the time to change them over. Wash and pack away your flannel sheets, wool blankets and extra thick duvets, and break out some nice linen and cotton sheets, a medium- or light-weight duvet, and perhaps a thin quilt. The temperature is changing and, for maximum comfort and sleep-ability, so should your bedding. If your sheets are looking worse for wear, it might be time to treat yourself to some new luxurious linens:
Wood, metal, stone, and plastic furniture
With your fabrics taken care of, wipe down your remaining furniture with a soft, damp cloth. One it has been cleaned, apply the appropriate treatment:
- Wood - After gently cleaning the wood, apply a wood wax or polish. Let it dry before buffing it with a dry cloth.
- Metal - Apply a specialized metal polish that doesn’t contain any abrasives with a soft cloth to keep metallic pieces looking their best and prevent scratches that can lead to rusting.
- Plastic - Spray with an all-purpose cleaner and wipe clean. If it is clear plastic and it has become foggy looking, you can use plastic polish to return it to its former glory.
- Stone - Care depends on the type of stone it is made up of. Prevention is the key to making these pieces last, so take care to use coasters and always act quickly to mop up spills and clean off pen marks or other damage. A good general rule is to avoid acidic and harsh cleaners. If it is an especially prized piece, consider having it resealed after a few years.
Rugs, carpets, and floors
Rugs and carpets only need to be thoroughly cleaned every 4-5 years. Over cleaning can cause damage, so if it has not been 4-5 years since you got the carpet or since you last cleaned it, stick to vacuuming and spot cleaning to ensure its longevity.
TIDYING TIP: While you can rent special equipment to clean rugs and carpets in your home, antique, Persian, and Oriental rugs, as well as rugs without waterproof backings are too delicate or difficult to clean to attempt on your own. For these types of rugs, you should invest in a professional cleaning.
Is your rug looking a little ratty? If it’s worn-down and fraying around the edges, you may want to start searching for a replacement:
Before returning the rugs to their rightful position, vacuum, wash, and then wax or treat your floors. Special polishes can be used to reinvigorate linoleum floors, and stone and tile can be treated with a material-specific paste or liquid wax.
Sparkling clean for spring
While the weather is still hit-or-miss and perhaps your spring allergies haven’t kicked in yet, now is the time to tackle your spring cleaning before the pull to get outdoors is too strong. You will thank yourself when your home is refreshed and you’re not coming in from that beautiful summer day to a dingy house that still feels like winter inside.
Pay particular attention to these areas:
- Ceiling fixtures
- Entryway storage
- Kitchen appliances and linens
- Pillows, throws, and fabric-clad furniture
- Beds and bed linens
- Wood, metal, plastic, and stone furniture
- Rugs, carpets, and floors
When cleaning your home this spring, you may feel like it’s time to introduce some fresh pieces into your space. Browse our collection to find some new fixtures and furniture for your home.
Join us in welcoming spring with a sale! Use code "SPRING15" for 15% off storewide until March 18-24, 2021.