Welcoming spring also means welcoming new beginnings, growth and hope for the future. Spring cleaning can help set the stage for these transformations to take place.
By making small changes to how we “spring clean,” we can transform a lengthy list of chores into an intentional practice that sparks feelings of hope and renewal. Turning spring cleaning into a dignified ritual — one that our homes deserve for all they do to protect and nurture us — creates space for expressing our deep gratitude toward the home and toward the items that supported us throughout winter.
When is Spring Cleaning?
Is there a best time to start spring cleaning? According to many of our KonMari Consultants, the best time to spring clean is March or April. In general, you want to wait for most of the winter weather to subside before focusing on cleaning up, so your start date will depend on what kind of climate you live in. The goal is to have a freshly cleaned home to welcome a new season, so the sweet spot for a spring cleaning ritual is often those final gray days just before the weather changes.
That said, even if it’s still winter where you are now, you can get into a spring cleaning mindset starting now — and take some steps to prepare for the process in advance.
Before You Start
Remember: cleaning is not the same as tidying. Your house will never be truly clean if you have not tidied your belongings first.
If you have not completed your tidying festival or if you experienced a rebound of clutter over the winter, start there. To ease the spring cleaning process, be sure your items are completely put away in their established homes and clear cluttered surfaces before you begin.
Once you are finished grounding yourself and your belongings, you can turn to spring cleaning your home.
Greet Your Home, Again
To thank your home for its service over the winter and cultivate a joyful dialogue with your space for the coming spring, start by greeting your home to get reacquainted. Introduce yourself again and express your gratitude for the space — out loud or within your head and heart — for keeping you safe. Then, communicate your aspirations and dreams for the spring. When you open a dialogue with your home, it will hear your kind words and wishes and return the favor by creating a space where they can come true.
Take your greeting one step further — walk through your home and take its energy in by allowing your hand to gently brush against the walls. Note dirty and dusty areas that deserve your loving attention while cleaning. This extra consideration is what elevates the act of cleaning from an absent-minded task into a thoughtful act of service for your home.
Set the Tone for Your Ritual
Set the mood for your spring cleaning ritual — and for spring itself — before you start any actual cleaning. Open as many windows and doors as you can to usher stale air out and welcome refreshing breezes in, giving you and your space the chance to breathe and reset. To circulate the air in her home, Marie starts each day by letting in fresh air. If you prefer, use aromatherapy to create a subtly scented backdrop that will energize you throughout the cleaning process.
Put a lively playlist together beforehand — or queue up a podcast, TV show or movie that excites you if that’s more your speed — to keep your spirits up as you clean! To set an invigorating tone for your spring cleaning ritual is to set yourself up for success.
Clean By Location: A Spring Cleaning Checklist
Now, the cleaning begins! Unlike tidying, which must be done by category and not by location, cleaning can and should be done from one room to the next. Below, you’ll find a KonMari-approved Spring Cleaning Checklist. If it helps to break the process down into more manageable projects, create a detailed spring cleaning schedule for when to address each room in your home — and stick to it!
Each home’s spring cleaning needs will look slightly different, but these are our to-do tasks for each room:
- Wash linens and flip your mattress if needed
- Vacuum or mop bedroom floors
- Swap seasonal apparel and linens out
- Clean shower, tub and drain
- Wipe down bathroom counters, mirror and sink
- Clean toilet – both inside and out
- Launder curtains and wash or dry clean rugs
- Dust electronics, light fixtures, fans, furniture and decor
- Clean window sills, blinds and windows – both inside and out
- Clean the refrigerator, freezer, microwave, stove and any other appliances
- Wipe down kitchen counters, cabinet doors and handles
- Wash any dishes, then clean the kitchen sink and its drain
Work From the Top Down and Inside Out
When you clean your home, working from the ceiling to the floor seems self-explanatory — when you dust or clean something high up, the dirt may fall to the ground. Because of this, the floor is the last part of any room that should be cleaned.
But, the same understanding applies to working from the innermost part of your home first. Starting from the inside and working your way out will help escort dirt from the inner rooms to the outside — and help keep surfaces you’ve already tackled clean for good. Marie typically scrubs the entry space as her last and most important step in the process of cleaning her home. Doing this kicks off the spring season by welcoming fresh air inside each time someone enters.
Let Your Spring Cleaning Set a New Standard
Cleaning your house thoroughly should not be a once-yearly occurrence. Just like when you complete your tidying festival, you must also periodically hold maintenance cleaning sessions to ensure the space remains spotless.
Use this spring cleaning ritual to make the act of cleaning feel more joyful moving forward. By creating an uplifting and intentional routine, you can easily shift your attitude toward cleaning and begin to recognize it as a cherished time for expressing gratitude toward your home.