With spring just around the corner and the sad first anniversary of the pandemic, now is the perfect time to clean up our living space. We have never spent so much time at home as in the last few months: most of us live, work, educate our children, practice our hobbies and entertain our (online) social life from home. This is why it is so important to feel good in our house or apartment and to take care of our precious living environment, and that starts with making our home a clean and healthy place.
In order not to give up too quickly in front of the sum of the tasks we need to accomplish, we have prepared a list of thirty little things to do to clean, sort and purify your home in depth, which you can spread over the course of a full month by doing one task per day, so as to stay motivated.
What's more: all these steps can be accomplished in a way that generates little waste, with natural household products. Ready to take the challenge?
Room by room cleaning list
Day 1. Clean the surfaces
Using a natural multi-surface cleaner or a simple mixture of white vinegar, water and lemon juice, scrub everything from your table to your counters to the tops of cabinets.
Day 2. Scouring the appliances
Clean the exterior and interior of your appliances and small appliances with an effective grease cleaner. The oven, refrigerator, coffee maker, microwave ... nothing must be forgotten! The oven and microwave knobs can also be washed, as well as the refrigerator and freezer handles.
Day 3. Wash the sink
Is the sink often forgotten in your regular cleaning sessions? To make it shine clean, nothing could be simpler: cut a lemon in half, sprinkle your sink with salt or baking soda and rub all over with the lemon halves laid flat. Rinse it off with plenty of lukewarm water and there you go! Your sink is clean, shiny and good to go!
Day 4. Sort the food
Take EVERYTHING out of your cupboards, refrigerator and freezer, and pay close attention to expiration dates and the general condition of foods. Compost anything that is expired and recycle cardboard packaging.
Day 5. Classify the drawers
These famous jumble utensil drawers, the dish towels and oven mitts ... we take it all out of the drawers and we classify everything! It will be much easier to find your way around afterwards. Take the opportunity to clean the bottom of the drawers and put your oven mitts in the wash!
Day 6. Organize the pantry
You will probably have guessed that the principle is repeated here: we empty everything, we sort it all, assess it and we put it away. This is the key to a successful spring cleaning! You can also take the opportunity to take inventory of what you have to avoid waste. And why not replace what is missing as you go along with its bulk equivalent?
Day 7. Sort clothing items
A good rule of thumb when it comes to sorting our clothes is to ask ourselves if we have worn an item in the past year. If the answer is no, we donate it. If the garment in question is too worn out to be donated or repaired, we try to find a second purpose for it, such as using it to make scouring cloths or make-up removing pads, for example.
Day 8. Wash the bedding
We clean everything with a mild and natural laundry soap! Sheets, duvets, pillows, mattress covers, decorative cushions ... everything! If the weather is nice, you can hang everything on a clothesline in order to save energy ... and enjoy the fresh scent of your bedding!
Day 9. Classify fashion accessories
Jewelry, shoes, handbags and hats all over the place? We take the time to unravel everything and arrange it in an attractive way. We take the opportunity to clean the soles of our shoes and treat the leather of our leather goods. You will see; it is very satisfying (and budget-friendly) to shop ... in our own closet!
Credit: Instagram / @lexxypr
Day 10. Deep cleanse
We start by cleaning the sink, toilet bowl, tub and shower with an appropriate cleaner. Then we clean the tiles, the counter and cabinets, as well as the mirrors. We want everything to be sparkling clean!
Day 11. Sort cosmetics
We take makeup and skincare products out of drawers and cabinets, check their expiration dates, and watch for changes in their smells and textures to make sure they're all still usable. To dispose of our cosmetics, we first empty their contents in the trash (not in the sink or in the toilet). Then, we rinse their packaging carefully, we recycle what is appropriate and we look for a TerraCycle box in our neighborhood to efficiently recycle what does not go directly in the bin.
Day 12. Dispose of expired medicines
To dispose of expired drugs, the pills need to be emptied from their containers first. Most of these can be recycled, while medicine must be disposed of responsibly at the local pharmacy laboratory.
Day 13. Wash the shower curtain and the bathmat
Does our shower curtain have traces of moisture? We unhook it and we clean it thoroughly. Does the bathmat have a weird smell? Put it in the washer and hang it up to dry.
Day 14. Sort DVDs and books
Books and DVDs easily collect dust. What's the best way not to sneeze every time we pick a movie to watch or a novel to read? We keep the bare minimum, namely the films and books that we are sure to consult again. Then, we organize them according to a system that makes it easy to find what we are looking for (in alphabetical order, for example). It is much easier to maintain our possessions when we have little of them!
Day 15. Clean the furniture
In addition to dusting and washing surfaces, we vacuum sofas, couches, and if we can, wash the sofa-covers!
Day 16. Disinfect remote controls
Remote controls ... these objects so often handled but so rarely cleaned! Spring cleaning is the perfect timing to get into the good habit of disinfecting them with an appropriate spray or biodegradable wipe once a week ...
Day 17. Disinfect electronic gadgets
... and the same goes for our keyboards, computer screen and mouse, tablets, cellphones and so on!
- File the paperwork
Did we realize, while doing our taxes, that our filing system was inexistant or insufficient? We find a filing system that suits us (by year, by category, etc.) and we stick to it! This investment of hours now will save us a tremendous amount of time down the road! Our future self will thank us.
- Empty and file the "catch-all drawer"
EVERYBODY has one. This famous drawer where we put things like mail, paperclips, electronic chargers, batteries ... the time has come to empty it, classify it, and to get rid of all the unnecessary items it probably contains for good.
- Dust the radiators
We vacuum our heaters and radiators to avoid allergens and that characteristic burning smell when the time comes to turn on the heat.
- Wash the curtains
Curtains can also accumulate dust mites and pet hair. Pop them in the clothes washer, then, hang them up on their pole so they can dry without inelegant creases.
- Shampoo the carpets
Vacuuming our short-pile and long-pile rugs is good enough, but it's even better to shampoo them every once in a while, to remove stubborn stains and odors. And what better timing for this than spring cleaning!
- Clean baseboards and moldings
Using a cloth and a natural multi-surface cleaner, we go around the baseboards and moldings and make sure to dust everything. It's also a good way to see if these require a paint touch-up!
- Disinfect door handles
How many handles do you touch in a day? The answer is MANY. But when do you think about cleaning them? Now is the time to add this simple and necessary gesture to your routine! Using an effective natural disinfectant, we clean the handles and the locks thoroughly ... and why not take the opportunity to wash the doors, too!
- Wash windows and mirrors
The days are slowly getting longer, and what better way to let in as much light as possible than beautiful windows with clean, streak-free panes? We do not neglect the frames and mosquito nets, and we also wash our mirrors! For an eco-friendly cleaning, use reusable cloths or newspapers instead of single-use paper towels!
- Wash the floors
We make tiles, wood, marble and all our floors shine with a natural, non-toxic floor cleaner that will be safe for our children and our pets.
- Clean knick-knacks and decorative items
Trinkets and other decorative items add personality to our home. But whether they are purely aesthetic or sentimental, we need to dust them off!
- Wash fans and light fixtures
Whether our fans are the pedestal kind or in the form of ceiling fans, we should remember to clean their blades regularly, so that they do not move dust unnecessarily. We also dust light fixtures and suspensions.
- Wash and disinfect garbage cans, recycling and compost bins
We take all our garbage cans and bins (indoor and outdoor), we clean them with plenty of water and we disinfect them, to avoid bad odors and the proliferation of bacteria.
- Wash the walls
We take care of removing anything that adorns our walls (picture frames, art, etc), and we clean them from ceiling to floor. If we discover any roughness there, we take the opportunity to plaster and paint them!
Now that you are properly equipped and on a mission, keep your goal in mind, because that feeling of living in a clean, healthy home is so worth the effort! Feel free to involve your kids in your spring cleaning challenge if you can. You can even make a game out of it, why not?
Need extra motivation? Our Spotify playlist is perfect for boosting morale!