4 Expert-Approved Ways To Refresh & Reinvigorate Your Home This Spring
Ahhh, spring cleaning. The phrase conjures up images of soapy buckets of water and forgotten household items piled up for donation at the door. After seemingly endless winter months, the first signs of spring can really get us in the mood to breathe life into our homes again.
So how do we get started? What's the protocol? And do we start in March, April, or May?
The truth is, spring cleaning—at least in my mind—is about harnessing the powerful energy that overtakes us when we encounter a nice spring day. It might be the first day it's warm enough to throw open windows or when the tulips begin to appear in the yard. Mother Nature usually sends us a sign. As for what to do once the sign comes? That's entirely up to you, but from my perspective, spring cleaning is a metaphor for rebirth. It's a time to start fresh, clear out the old, and prepare for the new.
Here are my top go-to spring cleaning activities, each with its own power to inspire:
Let there be light.
If you are a sun worshipper like me, chances are you know exactly which rooms of your home get the most light. Maybe the sun floods into your living room in the mornings or brightens your kitchen in the late afternoons. After long winter months, springtime sunshine is like therapy. So, my first stop when it comes to spring cleaning is always the windows and mirrors, especially in those bright rooms.
I'll walk about my home and give all the glass a good clean by spraying my go-to DIY cleaner (equal parts water and white vinegar, a dash of baking soda, and a few drops of lemon or lavender essential oil for scent) and then wiping with a microfiber cloth, a squeegee, or if I can get my hands on it, newsprint! Newsprint is hands-down still my preferred tool for getting rid of window dirt and streaks.
If your panes pull forward—or you can safely access outdoors—clean the outsides of your windows too. After you've conquered windows, move on to all other glass surfaces including mirrors, picture frames, and glass tables and shelves too.
Sparkling glass surfaces capture springtime light and toss it all over our homes. In my book, they're a quick ticket to spring that put a pep in our step and brighten our moods.
Remove the "winter layers."
Next stop, I get back to basics by removing any layers of winter still lingering in my home. You know the culprits: hats in mudrooms, tissue packets on shelves, perhaps that midwinter romance novel you began but never finished. If it settled on a surface, wall, or fridge during winter, it's time to clean it out. Trust me, new trinkets like fresh flowers, graduation invites, and concert tickets will soon appear in their place.
Removing winter dirt sure feels great too. Personally, I go room by room and mindfully clear all surfaces, wiping down dirt and dust along the way. If I'm inspired, I'll also declutter my space and freshen up the decor. And don't forget those floors! Whether it's a sweep, a vacuum, or a deep wash, nothing says "spring cleaning" like getting winter grime off your floors. If you have time for nitty-gritty tasks like deep cleaning your microwave or shower, that's also super satisfying.
As you go, eyeball anything that's torn, broken, or impossibly stained. Clean it if you can—or make a note if it needs to be repaired or perhaps, replaced.
Refresh your closets.
Winter often means less time outdoors and more time stuffing things in closets. The coming of spring is an opportunity to check the pantry, linen closet, and utility closets for any stragglers that don't belong there.
And of course, don't forget your clothes! Spring cleaning isn't complete without a seasonal wardrobe swap. Reviewing your clothing can be time-consuming, but trust me, it's worth it. You don't want to spend the next warm spring day hunting for your favorite dress only to find it crumpled in a pile or jammed in between wool sweaters.
So do yourself a favor and grab an hour to get busy with your clothes. Rotate spring and summer clothes front and center, and move winter clothes to the back or high on top shelves. As you work, be honest and realistic about what fits, what could use a deep clean or repair, and what might need to be donated or recycled.
Create categories as you work according to the themes of your life (i.e., work clothes, play clothes, hanging-about-the-house gear), then place everything back using systems that work for you.
Clean your fridge.
Finally, I'll turn to my fridge and clear out anything old to make way for fresh seasonal foods. Maybe spring is your season to start shopping at your local farmers market or going straight for your backyard garden. Maybe you like to enjoy morning smoothies or make colorful quinoa salads. Whatever gets you going, your fridge can be there to inspire those healthy eating habits.
And if fridge cleaning really isn't your jam, find someone in your household who loves detail-oriented tasks and set them to it. Reward a conscientious teen or a fastidious partner with a hug and a kiss for tackling that crisper drawer. (Pro tip: If there are any other aspects of cleaning you don't like, ask someone else for help and prepare them a healthy meal as thanks!)
Whenever and however you begin, spring cleaning is as much for you as it is for your space. Dirt and dust are remnants of our past, after all, and clean homes help us to move forward feeling refreshed and ready to embrace change. So grab a sunny weekend afternoon, or a few hours a day over the coming weeks, and get ready to begin anew.
Maeve is the founder and head coach of Maeve's Method, a home organization firm. Maeve and her team teach sessions in homes, through video coaching, and in workshops. A graduate of Brown University, Maeve is passionate about helping people to create homes they love.
Maeve credits family, friends, and New York City for helping her to see the beauty in all objects—both saved and let go. She also credits time as a student teacher at The Children’s School in Stamford, Connecticut, for graciously demonstrating the powerful relationship between environment, language, and positive learning—for kids and adults alike. Maeve is an accomplished jazz musician and energy healer and loves to box, take ballet, and make pretty things for family and friends.
A frequent contributor to lifestyle magazines and blogs including Good Housekeeping, Reader’s Digest, Real Simple, and mindbodygreen.com, Maeve has begun to dabble in YouTube videos and as a tips expert on TV. A native Vermonter, Maeve loves trips to the country, where sunlight is plentiful and the air is pure and free.
Sign up for Maeve’s Method Video Coaching or pre-register to be the first to own The Maeve’s Method Kit, a do-it-yourself version of Maeve’s successful home organization method.