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Spring-Cleaning Checklist

Martha Stewart Living, April 2007

There are few rites of spring more satisfying than the annual clean. For many people, however, the pleasure comes only after the work is finished. Your spring cleaning may never become effortless, but you can make the project more manageable --  and even enjoyable. This printable checklist offers an overview of everything you need to know -- including information on cleansers, stain removal, fabric care, and storage -- to zip through the process and arrive at a happy end.

After you read through the tips and techniques, tailor the list to your home and yard. Create a realistic schedule, keeping in mind that a single weekend won't suffice, as you'll need several days for more involved projects, such as shampooing carpets and organizing closets. Whether you prefer to proceed from the attic to the basement or start outdoors and wind your way inside, focus on one task at a time. And be sure to enlist the help of family members.

The information on this checklist was excerpted from "Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook" (Clarkson Potter/Publishers; 2006).

Comments (60)

  • joshtellersucks 30 Mar, 2015

    great read. i loved for spring cleaning!

  • MBradley1 23 Mar, 2015

    Thanks for such a thorough list. My house is getting grimy, and I get so overwhelmed I don't know where to begin. This will help me tons. Thanks! web site

  • helenajames 23 Mar, 2015

    I am a professional cleaner and this is a great list. Everyone has to find a system of what works for them. There are home chores that need to be done each day, some each week, some monthly and yearly. Professional cleaners always work from the top down, first clean bathroom vents, lights fixtures and work yourself down.Once your whole is done, it is easy to maintain by figuring out what system works for you.Best regards

  • helenajames 23 Mar, 2015

    I am a professional cleaner and this is a great list. Everyone has to find a system of what works for them. There are home chores that need to be done each day, some each week, some monthly and yearly. Professional cleaners always work from the top down, first clean bathroom vents, lights fixtures and work yourself down.Once your whole is done, it is easy to maintain by figuring out what system works for you. Best regards

  • rdw of geneva 21 Mar, 2015

    Add a teaspoon of liquid detergent to the window washing solution. Windows cleaned with commercial sprays have wax residues that will leaves streaks when cleaned with vinegar and water, the detergent cuts through the wax.

  • maid2match 5 Feb, 2015

    Super useful checklist, thank you for sharing. Wondering what the thoughts on more organic cleaning products would be?

    Thanks again!

  • montrealaerus 22 Apr, 2014

    Really helpful checklist to make sure your home is as clean and healthy as possible after the long winter. For the best tips to best vacuum your home visit

  • Home Cleaning Services 8 Jan, 2014

    Good Checklist. They can also try some of the natural and affordable cleanser recipes which you can search on the internet.

    Mini Clean,

  • Home Cleaning Services 8 Jan, 2014

    Good Checklist. They can also try some of the natural and affordable cleanser recipes which you can search on the internet.

    Mini Clean,

  • Lex Dameron 8 Dec, 2013

    Any high wind storm or Ice storm can drop your trees to the ground, or on top of your house.

    Do not run out there and start chopping with your chain saw. Trees can jump and twist when being cut. Even limbs are heavier than you think and can crush what is under them. A professional will look and see what stresses the limbs may be under and exactly where to cut them safely.

    Using a chainsaw on a ladder is a skill and not to be taken lightly. For more information on storm clean up safety see my

  • ianmc89 13 May, 2013

    A working link this time! Conquer Clutter in a Month Infographic by Terrys Fabrics.

  • ianmc89 13 May, 2013

    I stumbled across a helpful infographic on this topic, I think you may find it helpful for spring cleaning!

  • maisie54 27 Mar, 2013

    Brilliant checklist. I am a hoarder so the first thing I need to do is have a clear out before a clean up. I have two boxes ready. one for charity/sell and one for the dump. I am a lover of shoes, some I haven't even worn. Time to clean up my house and life.

  • MH07 13 Dec, 2012

    I'd love to see Martha's Gardening calendar, check lists and supplies lists as apps. I have a binder full of household cleaning checklists, it would be so handy to be able to keep them all on my phone or tablet. Please consider!

  • Outdoorman 26 Mar, 2012

    The biggest challenge I've found for spring cleaning is to remove the oil stains from my driveway where the cars leak.

    I tried pressure washing but that only removed some of the oil. My friend recommended a green cleaner called eXIMO. It's a waterless concrete cleaner that worked well for me and I had never heard of it before.

    Here's the link

  • HannahM09 2 Mar, 2012

    I have added cleaning out my bookshelf to the checklist. All the books that I have read or no longer want, I sell them to This helps makes space for more and also helps clean my shelves. Great way of recycling too. Someone else will get to enjoy my books.

  • rkpaulus 29 Feb, 2012

    Just wanted to know if it's too early to think about Spring Cleaning?!

  • chakrasyoga 19 Mar, 2011

    Great fun article on cleaning out and letting go

  • Pattycaker 14 Feb, 2011

    One of the best sets of cleaning products I have ever used is made by a company called F.A. Seeds' which is based out of Atlanta, Georgia. They make a cleaning set called the Parlor Maid's Helper which is a high quality set of polishes including a wood and silver polish that are the best. Their website is

  • h4ppy_girl 11 Apr, 2010


  • h4ppy_girl 11 Apr, 2010


  • jdraw 9 Apr, 2010

    Moths are a huge problem in this area. I clean and store woolens in plastic containers, but have moth problems. What really works to prevent moth damage?

  • emileemitchel 9 Apr, 2010

    When doing your spring cleaning also remember your box spring under your mattress. I turn the box spring also and vacuum it'd be surprised at the amount of dust it collects.

  • hwgang 9 Apr, 2010

    @wordsnob: Is Mother's Choice only available at Canadian Costcos? I can't find it on line and I've never seen it in a Costco in the states, but I may have missed it.

  • leeannleblanc 24 Mar, 2009

    Hey Jescongo, I sent you the file, hope you get it!!

  • jescongo 23 Mar, 2009

    does anyone have a copy of the checklist they can email me, my link isnt working.

  • gabriellanoordink 14 Mar, 2009

    An easy solution that I use to clean blinds is to put them in the bathtub and spray with SPRAY 9. Wait a few minutes and spray them down and viola all shiny and clean.

  • ShariLyszkiewicz 6 Mar, 2009

    Yes! I know how to easily clean your vinyl blinds. Put them in the bathtub, or hang them over the shower curtain pole, and spray them with Scrubbing Bubbles foam. Rinse with hot water, and it takes off ALL the dirt, even greasy dirt and marks. Really works amazingly well - also on vinyl lawn furniture in the spring.

  • KarenGuglielmo 6 Mar, 2009

    To Rupee RE: cleaning vinyl vertical blinds
    My suggestion is to take them down and put them in nice warm-hot water in the bathtub. Then I would use the detergent with a soft scrub brush or very rough cleaning pad (not steel wool) to get the dust off. If there are additional marks, try to Magic Eraser. It works on a variety of trouble spots. Hope this helps!

  • Rupee 3 Mar, 2009

    Does anyone have a tip on how to clean vinyl vertical blinds? I know Martha recommended mild detergent and water, but mine are dust laden and it doesn't take all the marks off. thanks!

  • thegoatatemymap 2 Mar, 2009

    Bar Keepers Friend cleaner and polish is good on porcelain and stainless cookwear. I use it on the inside of my All Clad cookware. It looks like new afterwards. I used it a couple of weeks ago on the sink in the laundry room. It looked really bad. It was dirty and scratched from plastic buckets. Afterward, my maid asked me what I used because she had trouble in the past making it look good. The can says strainless steel, porcelain, fiberglass, glass cooktops, copper, tile, and brass.

  • wordsnob 2 Mar, 2009

    For TeaSea: At Costco, they sell a product called Mother's Choice. It's a pumice-based "puck" of solid surface cleaner in a 500ml container. It doesn't scratch, yet took out the nastiest tea stains that nothing else, even bleach, could take out of my sink. It is completely safe, even for birdie homes. No chemicals or fumes. You can also buy the kit, which is a large bucket of highly concentrated, buttery stuff that you mix with water for all-purpose cleaning. The solid surface puck is incl.

  • giagirl 2 Mar, 2009

    or...hire a maid

  • TeaSea 2 Mar, 2009

    I have some serious stains in my bathtub and I've tried everything. I believe the tub's material is acrylic. Any suggestions?

  • GwenHex 2 Mar, 2009

    this is so cool! i've never had all this that applies to me written down! i'll try to get it all done, but i don't think it's gonna happen! :)

  • LisaBrit 2 Mar, 2009

    brilliant! So simple, yet it never crossed my mind to do it that way! Thanks!

  • CobyJordan 1 Mar, 2009

    To wash window screens, I fill a bathtub about 1"-2" with water and a little dish soap, then place the screen in the tub, swish around a bit and wipe with a brush, flip and repeat then remove the screen lean it against a towel on the side of the tub to air dry, wipe access water off and reinstall screen (mine remove very easily). Happy Spring Cleaning!

  • goldenwillow 1 Mar, 2009

    For my stainless steel pans. I use vinegar to clean (soak) the insides.
    I "wash" the outsides with the same mixture and wipe dry. The "wash"
    is half and half.
    I use the same mixture for my sink. Good Luck and Happy Spring.

  • BethPH 1 Mar, 2009

    How do you remove permanent marker off of wool?

  • carolynink 1 Mar, 2009

    Re: Green remedy for stains on cookware: On that wet pan, sprinkle the salt, but then use the cut side of a lemon for a scrub brush! Works like a charm, expecially on copper.

  • jellylava 1 Mar, 2009

    When using commercial oven cleaners, be careful not to inhale the fumes. Unfortunately I did, over 30 years ago, and my respiratory system has been troubling me ever since. I would suggest only using it as a last resort.

  • Christine951 1 Mar, 2009

    SUGARKITTY - For a "green" remedy for stains on cookware... on a wet pan, try sprinkling the stain with salt and scrubbing with the scrub side of a scrub sponge. The salt is a mild abrasive that won't scratch and then dissolves, and I find that, with a little elbow grease, it works quite well to remove stubborn stains.

  • k-9 1 Mar, 2009

    My Miele Vac doesn't seem to blow much dust and sure removes a whole lot more than it must be blowing--we aren't trying to create a "clean room" for the manufacture of micro chips, after all. We're going to have to do it again real soon, right? I say vacuum, using any good vacuum, anyway you like, after using a washable, reusable microfiber dustcloth to capture the dust as much as possible.

  • Amandakay 1 Mar, 2009

    JCsmelodie.....When you vaccum, it causes dust to fly up, thus getting on furniture. So vaccum first, then dust !

  • morgang 1 Mar, 2009

    I'll be right back, I have to go buy a corn broom to get those pesky basement cobwebs. Oh wait... maybe the vacuum with the extension wand will work...

  • JCsMelodie 1 Mar, 2009

    Regaring the "dusting down" theory, think of it this way. If you start at the top (ceiling, then walls) the dust that flies falls to the floor.Then you only have to dust the floor (or vacuum) once. Saves steps.

  • JCsMelodie 1 Mar, 2009

    I agree with my fellow "Stewart " followers here. The checklist is great, but when dusting, one doesn't need to SPREAD the dust and allergens. INSTEAD of a feather duster, use one of the dust catching products - you know the brands I mean. And there are so many GREEN products out there to clean with - we all need to pitch in the wellness of our homes and planet. I believe it's time for the list to be updated.

  • randoreen 1 Mar, 2009

    I have discovered that Ceramabrite cleans stains off my stainless cookware. It is typically used for ceramic cook tops to clean and protect the surface.

  • kathiguam 1 Mar, 2009

    BTW:why 's it when I dust down

  • kathiguam 1 Mar, 2009

    A list of green cleaning products made from inexpensive ingredients such as vinegar, etc would be great to have linked to this list; in addition to contributors' approved products. Haven't tried the bubbles, always use that pine smelling stuff. Cleaning overall is bad haiku for me. :-)

  • brendastarstudios 1 Mar, 2009

    I am a BIG fan of scrubbing bubbles. It works extremely well on laminate kitchen cabinets. Mine are white and really show the dirt and grease build up from cooking. A light spray and 10 minutes later I rinse with clear water and have bright clean cabinets. I also use it on baseboards and window sills.

  • Amyred 16 Apr, 2008

    OK, I MUST propound this newly acquired wisdom, and I do it simply, as a haiku:
    Ah, Scrubbing Bubbles!
    You get the funk off my stuff
    Everthing so clean
    Yes, foaming bathroom cleaner is good for a multitude of cleanings, like my kitchen cabinets (and walls), just test in an inconspicuous area so you don't remove paint from something. . .like I did, but with oven cleaner, which has more limited uses. I feel another haiku coming on:

    Easy-Off Cleaner
    Cleans the gunk from my oven
    But burns my skin off

    Time to get back to work,eh?

  • 1specht 5 Apr, 2008

    Thanks , sometiimes I do not know where to start . This gives me guidance Thanks again. I love this web site. I'm new to this site.

  • Heritagehouse 1 Apr, 2008

    Spray oven cleaner can be used on stainless, glass, and baked enamel pans to make them spotless. I spray then leave mine overnight. Do not use on aluminum. It will ruin the finish.

  • jumpygrouch 31 Mar, 2008


  • jumpygrouch 31 Mar, 2008

    SugarKitty: Steel wool leaves microscopic ridges behind that are places for bacteria to live, so they're a bad idea. Bon Ami is commonly used by serious dishwashers, since it's very fine and makes things look like new without scouring. Also, I've used brass

  • SUGARKITTY 30 Mar, 2008

    I have beautiful stainless steel cooking pans. They have cooked on stains on the bottom from something cooking over. But I cannot find any sure way to get and keep them shiny. Some of the scouring pads scratch the finnish. What would you recommend. Please send along of name brands that you recommend, because this is driving me crazy.

  • BonnieG123 27 Mar, 2008

    Is there a homekeeping handbook in Spanish?

  • stanko21 7 Mar, 2008

    For my bridal shower, my mother gave me the Homekeeping Handbook and I have used it everyday to figure out everything from buying our mattress and setting up our home to cleaning every inch of our house. I have never felt so domestic and satisfied with cleaning.

  • rlhrlh 3 Mar, 2008

    I highly recommend this book, "Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook" for lots of organized charts for cleaning every room.