Are you excited to spend an entire weekend cleaning your house? Nope, thought not. It doesn’t need to be a painful process though – and think how good it’s going to feel when it’s done. Here are some tips and an easy schedule to spring clean your home in a weekend without getting overwhelmed. By the end of the weekend, you’ll be enjoying fresh, clean spaces and a feeling of accomplishment.
Spending a Weekend Spring Cleaning
I believe that weekends, for the most part, should be about slowing down, recharging and enjoying yourself. And because of that it makes sense to deal with as much life admin and domestic stuff as you can during the week – or by allowing chores and errands to take up only a small part of your weekend.
BUT sometimes life gets in the way and you need to spend a weekend TCBing – taking care of business – round the house. And that has never been truer than this year: pandemic life and winter lockdowns have meant we are home All The Time. (And in my house, it shows.)
Spring cleaning tends to be something we feel we “should” do. Historically, people always did a big spring clean because they lit fires all winter long, which left a build-up of soot and dust in the house. These days we don’t have that problem, but it still feels worth giving the house a thorough clean after being indoors so much for months.
How Not to Spring Clean in A Weekend
No one actually wants to spend days spring cleaning the house. If you’re looking for one of those 5-page-long cleaning checklists you get on Pinterest, you might want to look elsewhere. Instead we’re going to focus on what can be done for maximum effect in one weekend.
The last thing you want is to spend the entire weekend cleaning, and then get to Sunday night only halfway through the list and totally demoralised. Instead you want to focus on high impact jobs that make a real difference, so you can sit down on Sunday evening feeling all calm and zen in your fabulous clean space.
You also need to overcome any feelings that you’re “wasting” your weekend when you could be doing something more fun. So focus on the end goal (and promise yourself a reward) but also limit the amount of time you actually spend cleaning. We’re not going for 12-hour days here, and we’re going to make sure we relax as well. (And don’t worry, you will get a checklist!)
Getting Organised for a Weekend of Spring Cleaning
Get your supplies together in advance to save time when you start on Saturday morning.
Get Your Cleaning Kit Together: You’ll need cloths (microfibre ones are most useful), paper towels and/or wipes. Other incredibly useful items are a microfibre glass cleaning kit and a stainless steel-cloth.
You’ll need an all-purpose cleaner/spray, oven cleaner solution, rubber gloves, duster, vacuum, and mop. To make things easy, put all your supplies into a box or caddy that’s easy to carry from room to room.
Make sure you also have a supply of boxes or bags for rubbish and for donating to charity.
Have an Exit Strategy for Unwanted Items: Most importantly, have a solid plan for actually getting stuff you’re giving away out of the house. And no, just putting them in the car and driving around with them in there for weeks isn’t a plan. Check where you can drop off any donations this week.
Think of a Reward as Motivation: Lastly, make sure you think of a way to reward yourself for getting the job done!
Using Timers for Successful Spring Cleaning
By the end of the weekend, you want to feel a sense of achievement and be looking at a cleaner, fresher, all-round better version of your home. What you don’t want is to be only halfway done, looking at the mess, full of Sunday night anxiety and feeling that you’ve wasted your time and precious weekend.
In order to get through all the rooms and finish by Sunday evening, try setting timers for each task or room. Work in 30-minute focused bursts, then take a break. Step outside, sit down, or have a coffee for 10 minutes and then start again. This is a variation on the Pomodoro Technique for time management and should mean you don’t burn out and want to quit after a couple of hours.
Schedule For Spring Cleaning in a Weekend
Here’s how to get as much done as possible in just one weekend. At the end of the post there’s a handy checklist for the weekend, showing you what to do each day.
Friday Evening: Tidy Up and Make a Plan
Let’s be honest: starting on Friday night might be the last thing you want to hear. But hear me out: getting ahead on Friday evening will mean you’ll be so much quicker off the mark in the morning. Don’t spend too long on it – just sweep around the house getting these things done and it will make a huge difference.
Do a Quick Tidy Up and Declutter: Put on some happy music and do a quick tidy up. First, put everything back in the right room. I’m and big fan of the laundry basket technique for this: get a basket, tote or box and go from room to room. In each room, pick up anything that doesn’t belong and put it in the basket, and put away anything in your basket that does actually belong in that room. It will save you walking backwards and forwards. Next, tidy and clear your main surfaces. Cleaning is going to be a hundred times easier if you start with clear surfaces and floors in the morning.
Clear Out The Fridge: You don’t need to actually clean it now, but clear the shelves so it’s easier to clean tomorrow. Chuck out all the sad-looking leftovers and mouldy half a lemon. That crusty bottle with two drops of salad dressing can go too. Again, it’ll be much easier to clean the fridge when it’s been cleared.
Deal With Paperwork: Sort out / file any paperwork that’s lying around, plus get your home office / workspace tidied up ahead of the weekend and so you can clean it and have it all sparkling for Monday morning. If you have a lot of paperwork to deal with, put it in a tray or folder to be dealt with when you have time.
Plan: I’ve made a handy checklist at the bottom of this post, so you don’t need a detailed plan of attack. However, make a note (either mentally or written down) of the jobs you’re NOT going to do this weekend. You won’t get the house cleaned if you get sucked into clearing out the junk drawer(s) and reorganising the Cupboard of Doom. Put away all thoughts of re-ordering the bookshelves by genre, or colour-coding the Lego sets. These are not the maximum-impact things and are jobs for another day.
Saturday Morning: Kitchen and Dining
Kitchens build up a lot of grime over time and take longer to clean than a lot of other rooms, so it’s a good place to start.
Clean the Oven: Start by opening the window because oven cleaner needs ventilation. Remove the racks and put them in the dishwasher on a hot/intensive cycle. Spray the inside of the oven with oven cleaner and shut the door.
Clean Cabinets, Surfaces and Appliances: Wipe everything down. If you can see it, wipe it: cabinet fronts, surfaces, appliances, stovetop, microwave. Make sure you’re lifting appliances up as you go to wipe underneath them. Don’t forget the kickplates if you have them under the cabinets. If you have appliances or canisters etc that aren’t used regularly, put them away. Nothing makes more impact than clean lines and surfaces, and it will make the room feel tidier and cleaner.
Tip: If your microwave has a build-up of dirt inside, put a bowl half-full with water and a couple of tablespoons of either lemon juice or vinegar inside, then microwave for 2-3 minutes. Remove the bowl (with an oven glove!) and then the inside of the microwave should be much easier to clean as the steam should loosen any baked-on dirt.
Clean the Fridge: If you managed to clear out the fridge last night, this should be easier. Wipe down the insides of the doors and the shelves. If needed, bring out the shelves and drawers and wash in warm soapy water. If you want to get super-organised, try putting in some fridge baskets to keep items together.
Clean Tables and Chairs: Give your dining table and chairs, plus any kitchen bar stools, a good wipe down.
Dust the Blinds: If you have wipeable blinds, dust them down and wipe them.
Clean Stainless Steel: For stainless steel surfaces or appliances, you can use a stainless steel cloth, or clean with warm soapy water and then put a few drops of baby oil on a microfibre cloth and rub gently to take all the streaks away.
Finish the Oven: After the allotted time on your oven cleaner instructions, wipe the oven clean. If it’s bad you might need paper towels for this. Put the racks back in when the dishwasher is finished, and then run the dishwasher on a maintenance cycle.
Finish with the Floors: Vacuum and mop, then step back and admire your work.
Time for a well-deserved lunch break.
Saturday Afternoon: Bathrooms and Bedrooms
This afternoon, tackle the bathrooms and bedrooms to get rid of any unneeded stuff.
Put Away Winter Clothing: Start in the wardrobes and swap out any winter clothes. Either put them away in storage bags (I like the vacuum-sealed ones for efficient storage) OR if you haven’t worn an item all winter, get rid of it! Have a pile for donation and don’t be afraid to fill it.
Clear Old Toys in Kids’ Rooms: If your children have toys that are outgrown or broken, have a cull and get rid of as much as possible.
Discard Unused Toiletries and Beauty Items: Throw away any old bottles from the shower that aren’t being used, and any makeup or face creams you haven’t used all year.
Deep Clean the Bathrooms: this is nobody’s favourite task, but it’s never as bad as you think it will be. Try sticking on a podcast while you work. Clean bathrooms make a huge difference, so you’ll be able to finish the day with things feeling much cleaner. Make sure to vacuum and clean floors as part of this.
Lastly, Bleach Discoloured Bathrooms Seals: Use bleach or a mould remover spray to get rid of any nasties lurking in the bathroom seals.
Finish for the day. It might look unfinished and but don’t stress about it. By this time tomorrow you’ll be looking at the finished article. Have a bath and a glass of wine to reward yourself for your day’s work.
Sunday Morning: Dust, Vacuum, Wipe, Mop
Time for a lot of the dirty work of spring cleaning: dusting, vacuuming and wiping down. You got the kitchen and bathrooms thoroughly wiped yesterday, so it’s time to tackle everywhere else.
First, Strip the Bed: as soon as you get up, strip the bed and get the sheets in the washing machine. After all the grime of today, you’re going to really appreciate getting into a clean bed tonight. If you’re lucky enough to have a bright and breezy spring day, hang them outside. (U.S. friends – us Brits LOVE to dry our laundry outdoors. Smells amazing!) Once the sheets are done, launder any washable throws or cushion covers that need freshening up.
Dust Everything: Time to get the happy music on again. Then, moving from top to bottom, work your way around the whole house, dusting everything. Use an extendable duster to reach cobwebs in corners and round light fittings. For surfaces, a wet microfibre cloth squeezed out as hard as you can until it’s barely damp is the best. Make sure you’re lifting items off surfaces to clean underneath. Don’t forget to do the skirting boards / baseboards. They can be quite back-breaking, so employ/bribe any passing children to help!
Vacuum Everywhere: Once all the surfaces have had a good clean, get to work on the floors. Vacuum every room, including in the nooks and crannies that usually get neglected. Make sure to do under the sofa and in between the cushions. While the bed is stripped, vacuum the mattress too. Depending on your heating system, remember to vacuum either behind the radiators or around the air vents.
Lunch break! And look forward to being done really soon.
Sunday Afternoon: Windows, mirrors and make the place look great
Time to get finished. You’re really on the home straight now, so keep going for the last leg.
Clean window interiors and mirrors: I used to hate cleaning mirrors and windows as they were always streaky and never looked good. I tried loads of different glass cleaners and couldn’t get good results with any of them. Then I bought a microfibre glass cleaning set. It’s two cloths, one you use wet and one to dry, and is honestly the best cheap cleaning product I’ve ever bought. No streaks, no stinky sprays, and so easy. The wet cloth will also work on any grime that’s built up on the window frames.
Make the bed: Get fresh sheets on the bed. Flip the mattress beforehand if your mattress is double-sided. Change duvets for lighter tog if necessary.
DONE! Time to relax and enjoy your decluttered, clean, calming space. Make the most of your evening by having dinner delivered, and enjoying the reward you planned.
Spring Cleaning in a Weekend Checklist
Here’s a simple checklist for spring cleaning your home in a weekend. Print it out or Pin it for Later.
I hope this post has helped you to see how you can spring clean your home in just a weekend. If you have any spring cleaning tips, let me know in the comments!