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20 Spring Cleaning Tips for a Fresh Start

Spring is here, and with the arrival of warmer weather and new blooms comes the desire to refresh the home. Perhaps it’s been awhile since you’ve dusted the tops of tables, or maybe it’s time to pack those winter clothes away. From tidying strategies to organizational hints, we’ve compiled a list of spring cleaning tips to guide you through the process. Here’s to new beginnings!

Home Organization

Let’s start with the inside of the home. In fact, let’s open drawers and closet doors and determine what needs to stay, what can go, and how to organize what’s left! Begin the process by assessing your storage needs and taking a trip to a shop that sells bins, drawer dividers and other handy containers. In fact, purchasing a stylish filing or shelving system is a great incentive to do the more tedious work that lies ahead! [image from The Container Store]

Closet Organization

Closets are often sites of spring’s trickiest cleaning endeavors. Start by removing items that don’t belong. Perhaps stacks of holiday decorations have migrated to the corner, or maybe there are clothes that you are ready to part with. Remove items for donation and make room for warm-weather clothes. Pack away winter sweaters so spring colors can really shine! [dresses from dELiA*s]

For pantries and supply closets, consider adding shelving for your storage needs. See-through drawers organize without hiding the contents inside! Below, The Container Store’s Like-it Modular Drawers neatly stow art supplies.

There are times when concealing the contents of a drawer or box is extremely helpful. Keep closets tidy with RiverRidge Storage Bins from Target (shown below). These opaque containers are also perfect for kids’ rooms, and they are attractive enough to display.

Pantry Organization

Take stock of pantry supplies. Toss products that are no longer fresh, then make sure items that were hidden in the back now see the light of day. Is there a new way to organize your pantry goods? For example, group snacks on one shelf, canned goods on another, and baking items in a space of their own. [image from Daily Clutter]

Drawer Organization

Even small spaces are in need of attention! Kitchen and bathroom drawers may be areas of clutter. Purchase drawer organizers for products like cooking tools and cosmetics. At the very least, sort items by type and group them together. [image from Kit Cosmetics]

Office Organization

When you’re done with the closets and drawers, head to the rooms of your home that are in need of special organizational help. Chances are, you’ll end up in the office! Luckily a range of stylish storage products can give your work space a clean look. Begin by removing or shredding documents you no longer need to keep. Invest in a good filing cabinet, and neatly group papers by purpose. A helpful hint: the more often you need an item, the more accessible it should be. [image from The Container Store]

Choose standing drawers to conceal stacks of copy paper or small items like paperclips and pens. If possible, unify your containers with a similar color or style in order to create a clutter-free look. For example, The Container Store’s Landscape Paper Drawer nicely coordinates with other translucent organizers:

Garage Organization

While finding the motivation to organize the garage may be difficult in the cold of winter, warmer spring temperatures make the task bearable. Once again, take a good look at items you haven’t used in months or years. Is it time to donate them? Next, make sure that much-needed supplies are visible. Invest in wall-hanging organizers for tools and other equipment so they are attractively at-the-ready. [image below from Total Garage Systems]


Household Cleaning

There’s no way around it: you’ve got to begin the cleaning tasks at hand! Just because you must scrub doesn’t mean you have to be toxic about it. Choose environmentally-friendly products when possible, or make your own from household items like baking soda and vinegar. When you settle on a cleaning material, don’t be shy–sweep, mop, vacuum and wash. You’ll thank yourself when you see the gleaming home that results! [image from TLC]

Dusting Surfaces

Give your home a thorough dusting, including walls and baseboards. You’ll be amazed by the layer of grime that appears on the cloth but ultimately pleased with the sparkling results! [image from Westchester Woodcrafters]

Cleaning Carpets

While the cleaning basics of home maintenance may be obvious, don’t forget about often-overlooked details like rugs. Spot-treat stains on carpets after a heavy vacuum. It’s amazing how removing a few blotches can make flooring look brand spanking new! If it’s been awhile since a good scrub, it may be time for a carpet shampoo. [rug from Jonathan Adler]

Cleaning Upholstery

Couches and chairs can be spot-cleaned as well. To begin, rub upholstery with a dry cleaning sponge to pick up stray particles and grime. Don’t forget to remove spare change and other surprises from under the cushions! For more details, check out both the shortcut and full-length tutorial at Real Simple. [image of Butterfield Sofa from Jonathan Adler]

Updating Textiles

Now that the cleaning is done, it’s time for some fun! Refresh your decor by switching out dark or heavy textiles with light, springy alternatives. Switch winter pillows with vibrant selections like West Elm’s Clinton Friedman Palm Pillow Cover (shown below). Speaking of pillows, make sure you start the spring with a clean resting space for your head. Check out Decoist’s pillow cleaning tutorial here.

Some folks find spring to be the perfect time for a drape update! Choose colors that mimic newly blooming flowers or the bright blue sky. Z Gallerie’s Mimosa Panels in aquamarine add a crisp touch to a white-walled room:

Rotating Artwork

Take the opportunity to refresh the walls with bright colors. Dig out those framed posters you didn’t think you had room for, or make a new purchase for the new season! [framed art from Monster Marketplace]

Patio Cleaning

Don’t forget about the exterior of your home! Sweep the leaves off the patio, wipe down furnishings and get ready for some outdoor lounging and dining. [image of the Mendocino Dining Set from Crate & Barrel]

Yard Maintenance

When you’ve stepped off the patio, turn your attention to the lawn. With the sun out from behind winter clouds, the grass is in growing mode. Give it a good spring mow, removing leaves and branches from the yard as well. Don’t forget about those pesky weeds! [image below from Sunset magazine via Stephmodo]

Trim Touch-Up

Does the trim on your home’s exterior need an update? Peruse paint samples for new ideas, or touch up existing paint on window frames, shutters and doors. [image from Charles & Hudson]

Window Washing

Give your spring cleaning a glossy finish. That’s right–it’s time to wash the windows! While cleaning the glass from the inside of the home adds shine to your interior, wiping down panes from outdoors will make your home the gleaming gem of the neighborhood!


Kate Simmons

Kate Simmons is a freelance writer and design blogger with a love of all things decor. She spent her childhood writing stories and working on interior design-themed DIY projects. Kate’s published writing reflects her special interest in how design has changed through the decades. Her blog Mirror80 ( http://mirror80.com/) explores the fashion and [...]

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