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Cardinal’s 30-Day Spring Cleaning Challenge

Cardinal’s 30-Day Spring Cleaning Challenge

A checklist with a challenge is our kind of checklist.

Emerge from winter’s icy grasp with arms (and windows) wide open. When you feel that first warm day, who doesn’t get bit by the cleaning bug? There are so many ways you can embrace the warmth of spring in your home when you use our spring cleaning checklist!

Kitchen

Day 1: Anti-stink the sink

Cleaning the sink sounds like an oxymoron, but believe it or not, the place where your dishes get clean gets dirty itself. Take an old toothbrush (or a new one designated for home cleaning), some baking soda, and a little bit of lemon juice and go to town on that sink—especially getting in the nooks and crannies of the drain opening/garbage disposal. Wipe down the faucet as well. Be sure to wipe the whole area dry so there’s no standing water.

Day 2: Reclaim your refrigerator

To deep clean your fridge, remove all food (it might be best to do this right before you go grocery shopping) and wipe down the inside with a good multipurpose spray. Then wipe it dry and put everything back neatly. Throw a box of fresh baking soda in there too to absorb the odors, but remember to replace it every 30 days. Don’t forget to wipe clean the outside of the fridge, including the handles.

Day 3: Home on the range (and oven)

Give your oven some lovin’. Clean off all that baked-on food that’s on the inside. Then, wipe down the stovetop (range). Also, wipe down the vent/hood and the area surrounding your stovetop because, though you might not notice it, oil splatters everywhere while you cook.

Day 4: Do the (micro)wave

For many families, the microwave is a major mess zone in the home. Spray the inside with a multipurpose spray or warm vinegar, let that sit for a few minutes, and wipe clean. Use a scrubby sponge on particularly tough baked-on stains. Remember to also wipe clean the microwave facing and handle too!

Day 5: Backsplash and baseboards

Think about it: every time you spill something, there’s a splash. If you spill something on the counter, your backsplash catches it. If it’s on the floor, it’s your baseboards that are in the splash zone. Give these a nice scrub and wipe dry. Your kitchen is going to sparkle!

Bedrooms

Day 6: Air it out

Though you might want to do this throughout the whole house, airing out the bedrooms is especially important. Since the bedroom is where you sleep, it just feels like a groggy place. Get some fresh air in there and open up the windows!

Day 7: Don’t let the bed bugs bite

Most people recommend you wash and change your bedding once a week, but we all know it doesn’t happen that often. Now is a good time to wash the sheets that have probably been on your bed all winter and maybe swap them with some different, clean sheets. Try sheets that are made with more satin and less cotton to keep you cool in the warmer months.

Day 8: Bye-bye monsters

Oh yes. Don’t think you get to continue ignoring that mess under your bed. Now’s the time to pull everything out from under there, sort through it, put it where it belongs, and actually vacuum under your bed. Don’t put it off any longer. Remember, a clean home is a happy home!

Day 9: Giving back feels good

Go through your clothes and sell and/or donate what you haven’t worn in the past year. Donating helps clothe the needy while selling some clothing can give you a little spending money to update your wardrobe with a couple items.

Day 10: Give your clothes a 180

Rotate out your winter clothes and rotate in your summer clothes. When you store them away, make sure you’re using a tightly closed container so that bugs and moisture don’t creep in.

Bathrooms

Day 11: Toilet time

Scrub the inside of the toilet bowl, wipe down the seat, and wipe down the seat lid and the tank lid. Get in the crevices around the hinges of the seat and lid too. Don’t forget to clean the outside of the bowl as well as around the base of the toilet. You’d be surprised how dirty the outside gets too!

Day 12: Give it a good spray

Clear off the counter around your bathroom sink and spray it down. Also use a glass cleaner (like good ol’ Windex) and spray down the mirror too for a squeaky-clean reflection. This area is prone to lots of water and toothpaste splatter.

Day 13: Scrub-a-dub the tub

The bathtub/shower is a big task. This one truly requires its own day. As you spray and scrub, pay attention to the shower head, faucet, and drain. Take that cleaning toothbrush we talked about and get into the cracks and grout where mold and soap scum love to hide. Re-caulk in the places that need it. When you’re done, wipe it dry. In fact, wiping your bath/shower dry after each use keeps it clean longer.

Day 14: Curtain call

One could argue that this should be part of day 13, but we’ve given the shower curtain its own day because it entails shopping. If you have a shower curtain, we have two tasks for you: 1. Buy a new shower curtain liner. They are incredibly cheap and easy to install. Truthfully, you should buy a new one at least once a month. As for your decorative shower curtain, throw it in the washing machine (read the tag first!) or, if it’s moldy beyond repair, go out and buy a new one! This is a simple way to give your bathroom a visual facelift.

Day 15: Show your towels some love

Washing your towels should be a routine, but now is a good time too. While you’re out there buying a new shower curtain, you may want to grab some matching towels, especially if yours have lost their softness.

All rooms

Day 16: Dust your little heart out

Some cleaning tasks can apply to all rooms: dusting is one of them. Dust your ceiling fan blades, window sills, walls and corners, trims and moldings, knick knacks, frames, bookcases and shelves—the works! Dusting is so easy; it just takes time. But afterward, your home will feel so fresh.

Day 17: Shake it off

Take your small rugs and shake them out outside. Let them sit for a couple of hours in the sun. You can do this with your curtains too. Sun-warmed, they come back in the house smelling like spring.

Day 18: Channel your inner Mrs. Doubtfire

Remember that scene with the broom? That’s what we’re talking about. Don’t be shy—have fun with it! Sweep and mop all hard-surface floors. Be sure to get in the corners where dirt and dust like to build up.

Day 19: Break out the Dust Buster

Vacuum all carpet (and bigger, vacuum-able rugs). Spring is as good a time as any to actually move your furniture and vacuum underneath the sofa, bed, dresser, etc. All year you vacuum around your furniture—make this the one time of the year you get every crumb underneath it!

Day 20: Get organized

Go to your local home goods or hardware store and buy some home organization tools. Now that everything in your home is nice and clean, it’s a good time to organize your things. Try buying some plastic totes, drawer and closet organizers, and hooks to start. Grab a permanent marker and some masking tape or sticky notes and label away! At this time you might want to create a system for keeping your home organized for months to come, but make sure it’s sustainable and practical for your family’s needs.

Entryways

Day 21: How a-door-able

Let’s face it, your home’s entryways probably had the hardest winter. Wipe down both sides of the doors that lead out of your house, paying close attention to the kick plates and thresholds.

Day 22: Welcome to our home

Shake out your welcome mat or give it a good power spray with the hose. Your method might be different depending on the material your rug is made of. This could also be a good time to replace your welcome mat—get something fun and seasonal! Welcome mats take a beating in the winter (think about every time you stomp off the snow, salt, and slush).

Day 23: Wipe all over

Your entryway is dirtier than you think! Take a closer look and you’ll see this area tends to get a lot of splatter, like muddy water or salt residue. Wipe clean the surrounding floor, baseboards, and walls.

Day 24: Show your shoes some love

Clean your shoe rack. Whether that’s a tray, a box, or whatever else you may use to catch the dirt under your shoes, time to give it a proper cleaning. (You may even decide to replace it altogether.)

Day 25: So long, winter!

Say see you later to winter! Pack away all your cold weather gear. Boots, hats, scarves, gloves, winter coats, and the like can go into storage until next year. Time to break out the light jackets, sandals, and sun hats!

Outdoor

Day 26: Spruce it up

Pull weeds. Prune dead leaves. Plant new flowers. Decorate your outdoor space with some potted plants and decorative side tables. Make your outdoor space come alive! If you have kids, this can be a fun day to spend with them outside getting your hands dirty and breathing in some fresh air.

Day 27: I’ve got the power

Power wash your driveway, sidewalk, and walkway. You’ll be surprised how much dirt and grime you lift up. While you’re at it, you may want to power wash the sides of your house too. And for those pesky oil stains on the driveway, pour on some cola, scrub, and rinse—this trick works wonders!

Day 28: Gutters and shutters

Inspect your gutters, shutters, and other outdoor things that are easy to forget. Even if you cleaned your gutters in the fall, they might have caught some branches and other debris brought down by winter’s storms.

Day 29: The grass is greener where you water it

Mow the lawn and weed whack along the fence line just to tidy up the yard. Edging the driveway, walkway, and sidewalk is an extra step that makes your grass look clean and orderly too. And if you’re really in the spring cleaning spirit, water your lawn for a few minutes to make it extra green.

Day 30: Trim those trees

Now that it’s spring, you can clearly see which tree branches didn’t make it through winter. Trim any dead tree branches that didn’t bud to keep them growing healthy and strong (this goes for shrubs and bushes too). You’re going to have the handsomest home on the block!

Ready to take on Cardinal’s 30-Day Cleaning Challenge? Share photos of your progress with us on social media!

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About the Author

Laura is one of our blog authors. Currently living in Charm City, she's a Great Lakes native who likes salsa dancing, brews a mean cup of Joe, and reads the Chicago Manual of Style for fun. As a young first-time home buyer, Laura likes writing educational pieces that dispel mortgage myths and give helpful hints about what the home buying process is really like.

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