Contrary to its name, spring cleaning doesn't have to last for the whole season. In fact, stretching out the cleaning for so long can quickly lead to burnout and an incomplete to-do list. What's more, it is a bad way to spend your whole spring.
To avoid running out of steam and failing to complete my spring cleaning checklist this year, I decided to give my mom’s three-day spring cleaning blitz a go myself. This cleaning tip helps to preserve energy for the rest of the month and ensures the tasks you pick are done with close attention to detail – rather than trying to achieve more without truly tackling the areas that need cleaning the most.
Here is how I got on over the three days, and how you can replicate something similar yourself.
The three-day spring cleaning blitz
Through experience and talking to experts, I have learned that the best tip for successful spring cleaning is to keep it simple. Stripping the cleaning routine down to the basics and setting clear goals is essential to avoiding spring cleaning overwhelm.
My mom always loved quick cleaning tricks like fake cleaning, so I knew her three-day spring cleaning blitz would be the answer to this otherwise laborious task. The trick is to use each day to work on a different level of each room.
Day one is centered on cleaning things at the top of your rooms like your ceilings and lights. On day two, it's everything at the mid-level such as furniture and counters, and day three focuses on your floors. This way, any dirt you knock off top levels will settle on the layer below and be cleaned up the next day, not dirtying anything you have already spent time on.
Day 1 – Centred on ceilings
Day one of my spring cleaning blitzes was all about completing some of the tasks higher up in my spaces and prepping for the bigger tasks ahead of me. My first job was to spot-treat any stains on the rugs and carpets in preparation for cleaning them later in the routine. My favorite product to rely on for this is Dr. Beckmann’s Carpet Stain Remover, available at Amazon, which comes with a brush head attachment to make dispersing the product and scrubbing super simple – especially for my cream living room area rug.
Next, I moved on to the true task at hand for day one – cleaning anything up high. I started by using the long stick attachment on my cordless vacuum cleaner to suck up any cobwebs that had formed across the ceilings around my entire home. Living in a period property there were way more than I care to admit after the long winter. While working on the ceiling, I also used a long-handled duster, a little like this duster from Walmart, to gently wipe any dust from my ceiling light fixtures too.
Then, I moved on to cleaning and dusting any high-up shelves and tops of cabinets around my home. I made my way around the house from dusting easy spots such as the shelves in my living room, to cleaning kitchen grease from the top of my floating kitchen cabinets and the top of my range hood. When doing this, I made sure to use a sturdy stepladder to prevent clambering across countertops and risking a fall.
Once clean, I laid out some sections of old newspaper on top of the cabinets (a hack I saw on TikTok) to help collect grease and dust that settles in the future. That way I can pull the old paper off and replace it instead of having to scrub with a cloth and spray again.
These tasks, although they sound like hard work, don't take me very long to do at all, so I used this day to clean the windows, too. For the outsides of my windows, I use the ‘Pink & Blink’ method, using The Pink Stuff to help break down old water marks from months of rain.
Finally, I dusted the tops of any picture frames around my home and cleaned my mirrors properly as opposed to giving them a quick wipe for a super shiny surface.
Day 2 – Anything in easy reach
Day two was all about working at the mid-level of my rooms – which means anywhere that I can easily reach without a step ladder or stool. To start the day, I stripped my bedding and used baking soda to deodorize and clean my mattress. I sprinkled an even layer of baking soda over the surface and allowed it to sit while I got on with the rest of my daily tasks (I came back to vacuum it up later in the day).
Next, I tackled the other easy jobs on my list and went around my house collecting any machine-washable throw blankets that were heavily used and throw pillow covers to throw in the washing machine, setting up a laundry load to run as I vacuumed upholstery to pick up any dust that had settled from the day before and crumbs from under the seat pads. I didn't have any stains on my furniture, but you could use this time to deep clean upholstery if needed too.
Although a task I do regularly, I also wiped down and disinfected any surfaces at mid-level too, such as dusting my coffee and side tables and degreasing my kitchen counters after the previous day's dusting. This also forced me to declutter countertops and surfaces too – moving items back to their designated ‘homes’ and throwing out trash.
The final big task for day two was to declutter my closet. I knew this would be the task that took me the longest so I tried to set aside a good chunk of the afternoon to get it done and challenge myself to complete the ‘scary hour’ productivity tip to help force myself to declutter this overwhelming space as I transitioned my wardrobe to spring/summer.
Day 3 – Focusing on flooring
The final day was dedicated to everything on the floor from vacuuming to deep cleaning carpets and cleaning area rugs. By day three, any dust and dirt from higher up will have settled down on the lower level, making it the perfect finishing task.
Having pre-treated stains on day one, I cleaned my baseboards (a task I often totally forget about) and vacuumed the floors to pick up any loose debris, moving quickly forward with the vacuum cleaner and slowly backward to pick up every last crumb.
Next, I used my mom’s carpet shampooer to deep clean any carpeted areas in my home. It helps to do this task as it warms up in spring to allow the carpets to dry with the doors and windows open for warm airflow. I also used my dehumidifier in rooms that didn’t have as good ventilation.
The final task for my spring cleaning routine was to pour some baking soda and vinegar down my drains to deodorize after pouring any dirty carpet-cleaning water away and popped two cups of white vinegar in the detergent drawer of my washing machine to help deodorize and clean the washing machine after two days of constant laundry cycles.
This three-day spring cleaning blitz may sound intensive, but spending a long weekend getting everything done from top to bottom will free up more time over the rest of the month than trying to remember to clean one thing every day for 30 days.
I find that spreading out the tasks in order of height in the room cleverly works a common cleaning tip into your spring cleaning routine without having to think too hard about the order of cleaning or accidentally cleaning a lower surface before realizing you need to dust something above.
Overall, this three-day spring cleaning blitz is the best spring cleaning hack I have used – and it is all thanks to my mom.
What should be included in a spring clean?
Generally speaking, a spring clean should target all of the spots in your home that are neglected when doing weekly chores. It may be that you have not shampooed your carpets recently, need to polish up your windows after winter, or need to dust your forgotten baseboards – especially behind the couch. A spring cleaning checklist will vary from person to person, depending on the size of our home and how to use it.
What is the difference between a spring clean and daily cleaning?
The main difference between spring cleaning and daily cleaning is the level of detail and attention you pay to areas of your home that are usually forgotten about. Think of spring cleaning as a dedicated deep cleaning period, designed to truly refresh your home and furniture, rather than just perform a quick surface clean.
This three-day spring cleaning blitz is a great way to power through your spring cleaning tasks without the lethargy caused when you go over the top with cleaning all month long. In reality, your spring cleaning doesn’t need to last for any longer than a few days, and the results, when you work on a smaller scale, are often more satisfying than completing more tasks less thoroughly.
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Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for a year, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.
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