5 rules for successful spring cleaning - transform your home from dusty to dazzling

Grab your cleaning kit - it's time to get your house spick and span with the help of five essential spring cleaning tips

Cleaning equipment against a green wall
(Image credit: Future PLC/Phil Barker)

 Spring is nearly here (yay!), and most of us are getting ready to dust away the cobwebs and fling open the windows, in the spirit of breathing new life into our homes. Whether you look forward to spring cleaning or not, you should know the top five rules for successful spring cleaning before you jump in.

Spring cleaning is the ultimate date in the annual cleaning calendar. The longer days, warmer temperatures, and bluer skies (or so we hope), mean the drive to refresh our homes and give everything a deep clean is renewed.

But what makes a spring clean successful? The idea of a full house clean can feel a bit daunting, and we all want to try and get the most out of the spring cleaning process. That's where knowing the five rules for successful spring cleaning comes in, to make the task more efficient, and less overwhelming.

We've spoken to cleaning experts to get their thoughts on what makes for a successful spring clean, and narrowed everything down into five essential rules for you to follow.

5 rules for successful spring cleaning

'Spring cleaning is usually done as winter fades away and spring is starting, typically in March or April,' says Natasha Brook, Dr. Beckmann. 'The weather is becoming milder, the days are lengthening and it’s a great time to refresh and revitalise your home.'

Knowing the 5 rules for successful spring cleaning will make your cleaning as productive as possible, and give you an extra surge of motivation. From storage and organisation tips to devising a cleaning plan, these expert-approved rules have you covered.

Cleaning equipment against a green wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

1. Plan your clean

A successful spring clean is made in the preparation. The toughest part of a full house clean is getting started, so begin the process by making a list so you have a clear idea of what the spring clean will look like. 

'One of our top tips to help kick off your annual spring clean is to make a list,' Michelle from Zoflora advises. 'To avoid feeling overwhelmed by your cleaning tasks, write down your jobs in order of priority and tick them off once they’ve been completed.'

Prioritising the cleaning jobs and getting the bigger tasks over and done with first will make the process more efficient. Like with most tasks, spring cleaning works better when you organise and plan before jumping straight in. You'll also be able to take stock of what supplies and products you need to get going.

Green staircase with door

(Image credit: Future PLC / Mark Scott)

2. Declutter before cleaning

Decluttering is an essential part of the spring cleaning checklist, and it should be done first to make the cleaning easier. 'Decluttering is a cornerstone of a successful spring clean, offering a fresh start to your home,' says Natasha from Dr. Beckmann. 'Begin by assessing each room and parting ways with items that no longer serve a purpose. Cleaning away the unnecessary allows you to focus on the essentials and create a sense of order.'

Get your decluttering checklist in place, and start organising your home. Take inspiration from Stacey Solomon use the declutting method of creating piles of items to keep, donate, or recycle. This will make the cleaning part much easier, as there will be less clutter to move around and fewer places for dust to hide. 

Decluttering doesn't have to eat into your cleaning time either. It can be as simple as decluttering 5 key areas in the home to get things kickstarted.

Living room with built-in seating under sofa in bay window area

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

3. Tackle one room at a time

The idea of spring cleaning the whole home can feel overwhelming, which in turn can lead to procrastination. To combat this, the experts recommend you tackle one room at a time, breaking the spring clean up into separate components. 

'My advice for planning your spring clean is to only do one room at a time and focus on it until you’re happy with the results,' says Laura Harnett, Founder, Seep. 'The kitchen will be the toughest one to tackle so go for that first. Start with the hardest jobs such as cleaning the oven and fridge.'

A systematic cleaning routine goes a long way when it comes to a successful spring clean. Make sure you finish one job completely, such as cleaning the kitchen cabinets, before moving on to the next, as this will encourage you to stick to your plan.

Rail hung with pots and baskets to create order in the hallway

(Image credit: Future PLC)

4. Pay extra attention to high-traffic areas

The top 5 rules for successful spring cleaning aim to give the whole home a refresh, but there should be a particular focus on high-traffic areas that are used daily, especially at the start of the spring cleaning process. The hallway, kitchen and bathroom are spaces that we use day in, day out, so take the opportunity to give them some extra attention. 

'High-traffic zones bear the brunt of daily activity and deserve special attention,' says Natasha. 'Pay extra care to frequently used surfaces, such as countertops, floors and frequently touched objects.'

The best vacuums will make the world of difference for properly cleaning carpeted floors, and to give them a real refresh, try Zoflora's Linen Fresh Carpet Fresh and Foam Care, £7 at Amazon. This will eliminate any unwanted odours and leave your floors bacteria-free.

open plan kitchen, timber flooring, skylight, plants, countertop top, storage, lighting, stools, tiling, pendant lighting, sink, faucet, appliances, pink countertop, pendants lights, extractor fan, fridge

(Image credit: Future PLC/Philip Lauterbach)

5. Clean things that aren't cleaned regularly

Spring cleaning is an opportunity to scrub down everything in the home, including elements that we wouldn't tackle in our weekly cleans. The washing machine, oven, fridge, freezer, microwave, and even the sofa are things we use pretty much every day, and yet we're all guilty of cleaning them less than we should. 

'Spring is a good moment to give attention to those sometimes ‘forgotten’ cleaning tasks, such as the fridge,' says Michelle from Zoflora. 'A fridge deep clean will help avoid the spread of any harmful viruses and bacteria.'

Cleaning the fridge is a good job to tackle first with it being where we keep our fresh food. That being said, make the spring cleaning process work for you and think about which element of your home needs cleaning most urgently. And don't let the thought of how long each job will take put you off either; you can learn how to clean an oven quickly for example, and there's be bound to be other jobs that won't take as long as you think.


What is included in a spring clean?

The short answer is anything and everything that needs a clean. By the end of your spring clean, you should feel like you've refreshed your entire home, room by room.

'So that you don’t feel overwhelmed with cleaning, break down the rooms and tackle just one room per day,' says Laura Harnett, founder of Seep eco cleaning tools. 'Depending how much you have to do, spread it over a few weeks but certainly by the time May comes you will want to have completed the whole house.'

Spring cleaning is an opportunity to look at the areas in our home that we wouldn't clean on a daily or weekly basis. This can be anything from the skirting boards to the curtain poles, to the washing machine and tumble dryer. 

Laura adds, 'we have a calculator on Seep’s website which will work out how long it’ll take to clean your house so you know when you need to start.'

How to do a good spring clean?

A good spring clean is made in the planning stage. Taking the time to make a plan before jumping right in will help you set a realistic timeframe for the whole process, so you don't procrastinate or spend too long on one area. Once you've made a plan, spend some time decluttering and organising your home's contents.

'Decluttering is absolutely essential before you even start to clean,' Laura says. 'This is the perfect time to re-evaluate what you have, what you need and what can be recycled, donated to charity or sold.'

Once you've streamlined your belongings, you can start cleaning room by room. We recommend getting the mammoth tasks over and done with first, which is usually the kitchen followed by the bathroom. 

Different rooms may require cleaning products and equipment,.For bathrooms, Zoflora's Caribbean Grapefruit & Lime Power Bathroom spray, £3.06 at Amazon, is great for removing soap scum and limescale, and will leave everything smelling fresh and zingy afterwards.

It's also important to understand the cleaning products that can be harmful (and how to stay safe). Natural cleaning alternatives can be just as good for spring cleaning too. Cleaning with vinegar always has good results, especially when paired with bicarb of soda.

We're confident that if you follow the top 5 rules for successful spring cleaning, your home will feel brand new afterwards. Happy cleaning!

Katie Sims

Katie Sims has been writing for Ideal Homes since spring 2022. She qualified from her Master’s in Media and Journalism in 2021 and has been writing freelance since. She has worked on Ideal Home’s ecommerce team where she researched the best home products on the market, and on the news team, researching the latest trends for feature pieces.