Spring Cleaning: Room-by-Room

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You are not alone, we promise. There are plenty of people with super messy houses; it happens. Now you’ve just got to get it clean, and we know you can do it! There were a couple of questions in the comments we wanted to address.

Angela wrote, “I always have the problem of once it is clean the kids think that is the best room to play in…therefore not lasting very long.”

Ha, what’s up with that?! That’s one of the reasons it’s best to start with one of the smallest rooms in the house- the kids are less likely to want to play in there, and it’s easier to clean up afterward if they do.

CanadianCarrie asked, “I’m wondering if the mess gets more manageable when the kids are all in school all day? ANYONE?? Does it?”

Well, yes and no. Yes, because they’re just not there as much to mess things up, but no, because it seems like they work overtime to make a giant mess. But yes, again, because by the time they’re in school, they’re old enough to pick up some of the slack and do age appropriate chores.

If your kids are anything like Heather’s three year old, who is part Tasmanian Devil, it can be hard and frustrating to have kids who go right behind you messing up as you’re cleaning. Don’t stand for it- put them to work. Even the youngest can be put to work with a spray bottle filled with a water/vinegar mix and a rag, washing fingerprints off walls and doors. Make the work age-appropriate, and don’t let them get away with playing when they should be cleaning. Talk to them about how great it feels to have a clean house, and enlist them in helping to keep it clean. Eventually, it will sink in, and they won’t be so messy- or so we keep telling ourselves. Our older kids are pretty good about cleaning up after themselves, but there are times we question our life choices when we look in their bathrooms.

So, remember we told you we were going to give you room-by-room cleaning tips? Let’s start with the kitchen and bathroom.

spring cleaning kitchen and bathroom, cleaning supplies on pale green background

Spring Cleaning: Kitchen and Bathroom

Kitchen Cleaning Tips

  • Start with the dishes. If you have a dishwasher, load it, then hand wash the rest of the dishes, dry, and put them away.
  • Once the dishes are dealt with, fill up your sink with some hot, soapy water. Completely clear off your counters and give them a good wash-down.
  • Then move on to the refrigerator. Clean it out and wash it thoroughly, inside and out. Don’t forget to vacuum the coils!
  • Dust the ceilings and tops of your cabinets, then wash the fronts of the cabinets. Pull your stuff out of the cabinets and re-organize. Wash the insides of the cabinets if necessary.
  • Yes, you are going to have to deal with the plastic stuff cabinet, too. Suck it up and just do it.
  • Go through your pantry or wherever you keep the food. Get rid of anything that is expired, or you’re just never going to eat. Don’t give expired stuff to a food pantry! Anything you’re not going to eat can be donated to a food pantry.
  • Wash the floors and woodwork on your hands and knees*. Yes, yes, I know. A mop is so much faster. But washing the floors on your hands and knees gets it cleaner. You can mop normally, but for spring and fall cleaning, get down there and do it right.

Bathroom Cleaning Tips

  • Start at the top. Dust the ceilings, light fixtures, walls, etc.
  • Vacuum the exhaust fan.
  • Put some toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet bowl to get it soaking. Same with spraying your shower.
  • While you’re giving the toilet and shower some time to soak, pick up any trash that may be out, and then take the trash out.
  • Clean everything off the bathroom counters. Just set it aside for now; you’ll deal with it later.
  • Wipe down your shower walls and rinse them off. If you have tile grout that needs to be dealt with, deal with it. We know, we know. Lisa likes these scrubbers for the grout in her bathroom.
  • Now, the crappy part. (Pun totally intended) Tackle the toilet. Start with cleaning the bowl, then clean everything else. Take it apart if you need to. If cleaning the toilet really grosses you out, imagine you’re a crime scene investigator or you’re cleaning some rich and famous person’s toilet. I used to clean the toilets of the rich and famous, and their toilets were as nasty — sometimes nastier than anyone else’s. Then you can imagine yourself telling your friends how nasty your Kix Brooks’ toilet was**.
  • Clean your sink and bathroom counters. Use an old toothbrush to get around the corners.
  • Get out the Windex and clean your mirrors and bathroom fixtures to bring them up to a high shine.
  • Go through your cabinets and all the stuff you took off your counters. Get rid of anything that’s expired, or you won’t use. Same with your towels and washcloths. Anything that’s torn or really worn put it in the rag bag. What, you don’t have a rag bag? Start one!
  • Finally, wash the floor, cabinets, and woodwork. Again, on your hands and knees unless you have a physical problem preventing it.

Whew, that’s a lot of information for one post! Tomorrow, we’ll explore cleaning the bedrooms, living room, dining room, and all that fun junk.

*Unless, of course, you have some physical reason you can’t. In that case, use your normal method. Or make someone else do it.

**I have never cleaned a toilet Kix Brooks has owned, so I don’t know if he has nasty toilets or not. I just wanted to type “Kix Brooks” a few times.

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16 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning: Room-by-Room”

  1. Great post!! I always get overwhelmed at the thought of cleaning the whole house. It’s not that I don’t know “how” to clean it’s that I need a plan and your advice gives me just that.

  2. Ooh, clean potties top to bottom. Less dirty up top and the cleanser drips down (evil gravity).

    And wherever you are, don’t forget to clean light switches and door knobs. Those get SUPER germy.

  3. Silly question alert!!
    I have tried to clean my floors on my hands and knees but just seem to make a bigger mess. Can you give tips on cleaning your floors by hand, please!
    Maybe I should make this question anonymous?? No, Im going to be brave and put it all out there! LOL

    • I know you asked this question a long time ago, but I’m going to answer now anyway.  I would say, use a stick vacuum (not a broom if you can help it) to get up all the crumbs and fuzz and dust bunnies first.  Then use a good quality mop to clean the middles and then hands and knees to get the edges and corners when it is necessary.  After we had the wax stripped of our floor, the guy who did it for us told us to use nothing but HOT water (use gloves to avoid burning your hands) to clean our floors.

  4. No, 4 year olds are not too young to help. My 2 (almost 3) year old LOVES to “help,” and while it may be more trouble than it’s worth, teaching her now to help is what’s important.

    FlyLady has a rule to keep your sink shiny. I find that if my sink is shiny, then I want my kitchen “shiny,” too. If my kitchen is shiny and I fix dinner, then I want my table to be clear and shiny so we can eat on it. And then I want my table cleared of dirty dishes, so we put them on the sink, which has to be “shiny.” It’s a nice cycle to get caught up in. 🙂


  5. wonderful tips, I always go by what my nan told me, start at the top of the house and work down. The most difficult thing is just getting cracking in the first place, its like the first few pieces of the jigsaw, just be brave and make a dent, the rest will follow 🙂

  6. You shouldn't clean your mirrors with any product with amonia ie windex, window cleaners etc (ok everyone in a while is OK) because errodes the silver finish which is the main reason mirrors deteriorate over time. So 409 or just a rag and vinegar water…

    • I usually use water and a micro-fiber cloth.  But it is definitely good to know not to use ammonia based products.  Thanks for the tip!!

  7. My mother was a sly one when it came to getting us to help out around the house. The key is to make it a competition; she would give us a dust cloth and tell us that whoever got the most dust from their room would win and then when we brought them back she would declare it a tie and send us into the next room and in the end all three of us won because she would have a nicely dusted house AND kids out from under foot, and we would get ice cream!

  8. For the record, I have a love/hate relationship with my plastic stuff cabinet.  I love having light-weight easy to organize containers for leftovers, but I hate that I can’t wash them in the dishwasher without anchoring them under some heavy object, which means something doesn’t get as clean as it should, or I have to hand wash my plastics.  I am going to be replacing them with new glassware soon.  Maybe a small set for my b-day and another small set for Christmas, and then I should be able to toss out all my plastics 🙂


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