Start on the bathroom
istock/KatarzynaBialasiewicz Now that you’re ready to head inside, start your spring cleaning in the bathroom. “Most people dread the bathroom, so if you start there then it’s off the list,” says Novak. “Now that you’ve done the worst first, everything else seems so easy.” Start by applying products that work at dirt without any scrubbing. Take off the toilet seat, then apply a paste of baking soda and water to the inside and outside of the toilet, particularly under the rim, says Lauren Haynes, cleaning expert at Star Domestic Cleaners. You can also drop a couple antacid tablets into the bowl to help clean and disinfect, she says. Work at mineral deposits by attaching a plastic bag half-filled with vinegar to your showerhead with a rubber band. Now apply your baking soda paste to the bathtub to attack that grime, says Haynes. Let those solutions do their magic while you clean the rest of the bathroom. Don’t miss the ways you could be cleaning your bathroom wrong.
istock/fstop123 While those products are breaking down filth, use some elbow grease in other spots around the bathroom. Sprinkle baking soda over the sink and rub it away with a soft, wet cloth, says Haynes. “You also have to pay attention to the drain and give it a good treatment with an old toothbrush,” she says. Rinse with warm water to get rid of the baking soda. Wipe down the mirror with a microfiber cleaning cloth—no cleaning solution necessary, says Novak. Take this time to go through products you keep in the bathroom too, she says. Toss expired medications, ointments, makeup, and sunscreen, along with these other useless bathroom items. By the time you’re done with all that, you can easily scrub down the toilet, shower, and showerhead, and be out of the bathroom within half an hour. If you’re truly pressed for time, use this guide to clean a bathroom in five minutes.
Move on to the bedroom
istock/rakoptonLPN “It’s good to get the bedroom out of the way before the middle of the afternoon when you think ‘I’ll just take a nap,’” says Novak. As with any room, she suggests circling around the bedroom, from top to bottom, so you don’t drop dirt to spots you already cleaned. If you have a ceiling fan, start there using Novak’s trick: Roll back an old pillowcase as if you were going to put a pillow inside, then close it over the fan blade. As you slide it back, the pillowcase will capture the dust instead of letting it fall to the floor. Once the fan is clean, use an old mitten to wipe down your blinds, suggests Novak.