Spring Cleaning Checklist

From a Professional Organizer’s Perspective

Can you believe it’s that time of year again? Spring Cleaning may feel overwhelming, especially if you’re also struggling with clutter. Traditional spring cleaning checklists involve a lot of elbow grease and scrub brushes and while that’s important, I’m a big believer in organizing before you clean! Dusting shelves and cleaning windows will make your home sparkle, but that’s hard to do when you’re cleaning around your clutter. Don’t fret — you’re not alone in this dilemma. The clutter struggle is real and if you’re having a hard time getting started with your spring cleaning, this could be why. Decluttering will streamline your cleaning process, making things easier and faster. My spring organization checklist will help you refresh your home and reap all the benefits of this rejuvenating time of year.

Spring Home Organization Plan

Not sure where to begin? A little bit of planning goes a long way when you’re trying to tackle your entire home. Spring cleaning checklists are widely available, but spring home organization checklists aren’t as common.

An entire home organization process can take months, but for the sake of a spring refresh, we’re going to focus on a quick decluttering of the main areas in your home. The following spring organization checklist is intended for a jumpstart in decluttering.

Before you begin, gather your supplies. You may be doing some cleaning as you go, so feel free to grab a few basic cleaning tools, but for decluttering be sure you have the following on hand:

  • Boxes & bags (for donations & trash)
  • Masking tape & Sharpie (to label boxes)
  • Dust rag
  • Optional: Label maker
  • DO NOT buy a bunch of new containers before you start. Wait until you know what you need before you purchase anything new.

The list below refers to a ‘quick sort’ in every room. Prepare for this step by labeling boxes donate, keep, & elsewhere. Items that belong in a different room should go in the ‘elsewhere’ box so you can stay focused on the space you’re in rather than getting distracted when putting away misplaced belongings.

Focusing on one area at a time will help keep the overwhelm factor in check, but if you do suddenly feel swamped, just remember — take things one step at a time! It’s the only way to get anything done, even the largest organizing projects. You can do this!

*An easy to follow, downloadable PDF is at the bottom of this page!

Spring Organization Checklist

ENTRY

  • Quick sort
    • Toss anything that is broken, torn, or worn out
    • Place any items you no longer use in your ‘donate’ box
  • Swap seasonal gear like parkas, boots, & scarves for lighter jackets & shoes
    • Box up the seasonal gear and store it elsewhere if possible
  • Create a place for everything… Anything you tend to drop in this area should have a spot designated so you can keep it tidy. Label sections so items are easily placed where they belong. 
    • Mail
    • Keys
    • Shoes
    • Jackets
    • Briefcases/backpacks/purses
  • Optional: Quick Clean As You Go
    • Wipe down shelves
    • Vacuum/sweep
    • Other as needed

KITCHEN

  • Quick sort each section
  • Pantry
    • Toss expired food or anything you won’t use
    • Create zones such as baking, canned goods, snacks, pasta & rice, etc.
    • Separate zones by using bins, shelves, & labels
    • Write a quick inventory of bulk items & tape inside the pantry
  • Drawers
    • Toss anything that is broken
    • Donate anything you no longer use
  • Counters & Cupboards
    • Donate any appliances or tools you no longer use
  • Fridge & Freezer
    • Pull everything out & quick sort into categories
    • Toss expired food or anything you won’t use
    • Establish zones in the fridge & separate them by using containers, shelves, & labels
    • Write a quick inventory of bulk items in freezer & tape to the inside
    • Clear off anything on top of the fridge and toss or categorize
  • Create a place for everything…
    • Anything you tend to drop in the kitchen (such as mail or papers) should have a spot designated so you can keep it tidy. Label areas so items are easily placed where they belong.
  • Optional: Quick Clean As You Go
    • Wipe down & sanitize surfaces
    • Wash fridge drawers while empty
    • Other as needed

LIVING ROOM/FAMILY ROOM

  • Quick sort
    • Donate items you no longer use & toss anything that’s broken
    • Categorize your ‘keep’ items & contain them with bins, shelves, or drawers
    • Practice tough love — how many throw pillows are really necessary?
  • Create a place for everything…
    • Things you tend to drop in this area (remotes, magazines, general clutter) should have a spot designated so you can keep it tidy. Label areas so items are easily placed where they belong.
  • Optional: Quick Clean As You Go
    • Wipe down surfaces
    • Vacuum
    • Other as needed

BEDROOMS

  • Quick sort
  • Donate linens that are torn or have holes in them (textile companies will upcycle)
  • Donate items you no longer use
  • Create a place for everything…
    • Things you tend to drop in this area (clothes, robes, shoes) should have a spot designated so you can keep it tidy. Label areas so items are easily placed where they belong.
  • Optional: Quick Clean As You Go
    • Wipe down surfaces
    • Vacuum
    • Other as needed

BATHROOMS

  • Quick sort
    • Toiletries & medications
    • Toss any that are expired or no longer used (safely dispose of medications per your local guidelines).
    • Too many? Keep a realistic amount and give away unopened items you’ll never use.
  • Donate towels that are torn or have holes in them
  • Donate items you no longer use
  • Create a place for everything…
    • Things you tend to drop in this area (clothes, toiletries, jewelry) should have a spot designated so you can keep it tidy. Label areas so items are easily placed where they belong.
  • Optional: Quick Clean As You Go
    • Wipe down & sanitize surfaces
    • Clean floors
    • Other as needed

LAUNDRY ROOM

  • Quick sort
  • Toss anything that is broken
  • Donate items that are no longer used
  • Establish a simple system for your family
    • Examples: a separate basket for each person or a specific laundry day per person
  • Categorize keep items & contain them with bins, shelves, or drawers
  • Create a place for everything…
    • Things you tend to drop in this area should have a spot designated so you can keep it tidy. Label areas so items are easily placed where they belong.
  • Optional: Quick Clean As You Go
    • Wipe down surfaces
    • Vacuum
    • Other as needed

PAPER & MAIL

  • Gather all paper and mail in one place
  • Quick sort through each item:
    • Recycle
    • Shred
    • Action
    • File (only what you need)
  • Establish a basic paper system if you don’t already have one
    • Long term documents in a filing cabinet
    • Short-term paper/action items in a simple desktop system
  • Create a place for everything…
    • Things you tend to drop in this area (junk mail, bills, reading materials) should have a spot designated so you can keep it tidy. Label areas so items are easily placed where they belong.
  • Optional: Quick Clean As You Go
    • Wipe down surfaces
    • Vacuum
    • Other as needed

GARAGE

  • Quick sort one section at a time when spring organizing the garage
    • Create zones such as sports equipment, outdoor gear, tools, yard care, & automotive
    • Toss anything that is broken
    • Donate anything you no longer use
  • Create a place for everything…
    • Things you tend to drop in this area should have a spot designated so you can keep it tidy. Label areas so items are easily placed where they belong.
  • Optional: Quick Clean As You Go
    • Sweep floors
    • Other as needed

…THE REST!

You’ve probably noticed a pattern by now! For any other spring home organization projects, simply follow these similar steps:

  • Quick sort into toss, donate, & keep
    • Categorize ‘keep’ items into zones
    • Contain zones & label them
  • Create a place for everything so items can always have a space to be put away
  • Quick clean as needed and deep clean following a traditional spring cleaning checklist!

Good luck with your spring home organization project! I’d love to know which room is your biggest struggle — tell me in the comments below!

Once you’ve completed this quick decluttering, you can dive into more detailed spring cleaning with a guide & checklist like this one. I’m also available to help you continue your organizing project if you’re still finding yourself overwhelmed and in need of some hands-on assistance. Reach out with any questions!

Ready to get started? Download and print an easy to follow PDF of the information above:

SFK

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