Where to start spring cleaning – expert-approved methods to kickstart your cleaning

I tried my hand at some expert-approved methods to kickstart spring cleaning and these are the techniques that worked best in my home

Three images of spring interiors, including cleaning supplies, a living room and a clean kitchen
(Image credit: Future / Polly Eltes / David Brittain / Simon Taylor Furniture)

While spring cleaning isn't my favorite activity, few things beat the satisfaction of having a spotless home by the time the summer sunshine returns. However, one aspect of this yearly deep cleaning ritual often catches me off guard: how and where do you begin?

This year, alongside my usual spring cleaning checklist, I decided to test-run some professional advice on where to start spring cleaning. While I'm confident in my ability to blitz and declutter my home, I was eager to discover some new strategies to the make the process even smoother.

From knowing how to prepare for spring cleaning to choosing the best room to begin your routine, below, I share the five techniques that really worked for my home.

Where to start spring cleaning 

Having recently learned the exact date you should start spring cleaning, I felt it was time to elevate my approach by applying some professional tips to my routine. After plenty of research – and consulting with expert cleaners – these are the strategies I recommend you try:  

1. Careful planning pays off

A living room with spring decor and couch with lots of scatter pillows

(Image credit: Future / David Brittain)

Without a doubt, the top piece of advice I received from professional cleaners on where to start spring cleaning was to plan my approach on paper before I picked up a single tool.

While it is certainly possible to spring clean your house in one day, that wasn't a task I was willing to try this year. Spring cleaning can often feel overwhelming and exhausting, but when it's broken down into simpler, smaller tasks, it can be far more manageable. So, I took heed of this sage advice and began by creating a list of all the tasks I wanted to achieve this year. Then, on my calendar, I decided which tasks I planned to combat each day.

When you give yourself the time to plan your actions, you can set yourself up for a successful decluttering session or deep clean. I found it much easier to know where to start spring cleaning when I blocked out specific times in my diary and made a conscious effort to commit to those hours.

2. Try setting SMART goals

This next strategy builds upon the first technique, so if you found that helpful, you may want to try this as well.

'View spring cleaning as a goal-setting opportunity,' urge Kristi Lord and Lindsay Droz, Co-Founders of L'AVANT Collective. 'Utilize the SMART process of making the cleaning Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.'

Now, the idea of setting SMART goals in my personal life – alongside my working hours – didn't exactly fill me with joy. However, I have to admit, it works. For example, a SMART goal for your spring cleaning might be: 

'By the end of the week, I will have decluttered and deep-cleaned the kitchen, including purging expired goods from the pantry, cleaning the refrigerator, and organizing the cabinets, dedicating 1 hour each afternoon to achieve this.'

Try setting SMART goals for several spring cleaning tasks prior to starting a session and notice how much easier these chores become. 

3. Begin with the busiest room of the house

A marble kitchen with pink accents

(Image credit: Future)

With planning complete and measurable goals set, the next thing to consider is which room to start your annual spring clean in. When I asked professional cleaners to weigh in on this question, they were torn between the kitchen and the bedroom, but my favorite piece of advice was to begin in the busiest room of your home.

For me, the busiest room has to be the kitchen, and Maria Mooney, a cleaning expert at Truly Free, agrees: 'This space often needs the most attention since it's used by everyone in the household multiple times a day.'

If you agree with us, I recommend you start this year's spring clean by finding out what quick kitchen cleaning tips work best for your home and blitz this space first.

The methodology behind this technique is simple: tackling the busiest room in your home first eliminates the biggest hurdle between you and a visibly cleaner home. Plus, the satisfaction of ticking the hardest area off your list at the beginning should be enough to motivate you to keep going.

Method Citrus Multi-Purpose Spray |

Method Citrus Multi-Purpose Spray | $7.47 at Walmart
I swear by Method cleaning sprays. Not only are they beautifully scented, but they're tough on grease and they don't stain my white kitchen surfaces. 

4. Start with your closet


(Image credit: Ted Todd)

Another suggestion I found helpful was to start with your closet first.

'This is the first moment that shows the transition from one season to another,' explain Kristi Lord and Lindsay Droz. 'Launder clothes that are winter-focused by cleaning, folding, and storing these wools, pieces of cashmere, and heavier blends in bags to store and protect over the months of spring and summer.'

I've learned a few closet decluttering tips over the years and I like to tackle this space at the start of my spring cleaning because it not only helps to clear out items I no longer wear but it also helps me to organize my clothing in a way that makes daily selections easier. 

If you haven't worn something in the past year, consider donating it. This approach simplifies your wardrobe, making it quicker to get dressed in the morning and ensuring your closet space is optimized.

5. Tackle high-traffic floors

entryway with wooden floorboards, stripe runner, bookcases each side, bench with cushions, open front door

(Image credit: Kersaint Cobb)

When considering where to start your spring cleaning, don't overlook the ground beneath your feet. High-traffic flooring areas – such as entryways, hallways, and living room floors – often bear the brunt of daily life, collecting dirt, dust, and debris more than any other surfaces in your home. 

I like to start my spring cleaning sessions by giving my hallway floor a thorough vacuum, followed by any carpets and area rugs, paying special attention to edges and under furniture, where dust and dirt accumulate. 

For hardwood, laminate, or tile floors, I find that a good sweeping followed by mopping with an appropriate cleaner restores their shine and cleanliness, instantly refreshing the overall look of my home.

Starting your annual deep clean by following these key five techniques should help you spring clean without getting overwhelmed. Remember, the goal of cleaning is not to feel pressured to scrub and polish every inch of your home but to refresh and rejuvenate your living spaces. So, tailor these tips to your needs and find what works best for you. 

Gabriella Dyson
Head of Solved

Gabriella is Head of Solved at Homes & Gardens. She is a DIY enthusiast and a lover of all things interior design, often found antiquing or browsing the aisles of her local hardware store. 

She has a particular passion for historic buildings and is in the process of renovating a Victorian coachhouse in the British countryside. 

For much of the past decade, Gabriella has worked as a freelance writer, crafting copy for national publications and renowned homeware brands. Most recently, she worked on Homebuilding & Renovating Magazine, focusing on case studies for the magazine and website, as well as writing features about issues surrounding historic and listed building projects.