Your Guide for Quarantine Spring Cleaning

As the days grow longer and the pollen on your windshield gets thicker, that can only mean one thing: spring has arrived! And with the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and excess time on our hands, more people are taking advantage of this time to do a more thorough deep cleaning. So, what exactly should you clean, and how can you convince yourself to finally get rid of that dress from high school you swore you’d fit in again? Keep reading, my friend. We’ve got a comprehensive, extensive spring cleaning (Quarantine version) guide for you.


The Basics: What Your Mom Taught You

For a cleaning “warm up”, start with the basics by doing a top-down cleaning of the most commonly used places, i.e. the bathroom(s) and kitchen. “I’m an old-fashioned girl!” says Josephine Paige of Pinch-Hitter Professional Organizing, who specializes in professional organizing for businesses and individuals. “I always recommend that Spring Cleaning includes:

  • Behind the stove and refrigerator
  • Under the bed and other furniture
  • The floor of the closets
  • The kitchen and bathroom cabinets under the sink
  • All of the baseboards”
Spring cleaning
Photo courtesy of Andrea Picquadio on

You’ll need:

Spring cleaning
Photos courtesy of (left) and (right)

Key Locations:

  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom(s)
  • Living Room/Family Room
  • Bedroom(s)

How to:

  • Dust shelves and clean cabinets
  • Disinfect countertops, doorknobs, and sinks
  • Disinfect and wipe down toilets, bathtubs, and mirrors
  • Vacuum or mop floors
  • Vacuum under large furniture, such as couches and beds
  • Wipe down all baseboards

Once major appliances and high-traffic rooms are sparkling, you’ve leveled up to the next phase: Decluttering


Decluttering: You vs. the Kitchen Junk Drawer

This phase is what you typically associate with Spring Cleaning: going through cabinets and closets to purge old, unused items to make room for the new things you’re not going to use in six months.

Photos courtesy of

You’ll need:

  • 4 boxes (Donate, Repair, Store/Put back, Throw Away)
  • Paper/pencil or computer to keep a list of what you completed, and make note of projects or repairs you’d like to do later

Key locations:

  • Clothes/bedroom closets and drawers
  • Kitchen cabinets and drawers
  • Medicine closet
  • Pantry

How to Declutter:

  • The four boxes make it more efficient to go through items and separate them into different “action items”: Donate, Repair, Store/Put Back, and Throw Away
    • Go through each item in drawers and cabinets, and if it isn’t used often, put the item in the appropriate box
    • Finish decluttering a location before moving on to the next or placing an item in the right place. For example, if you find a misplaced tool in your linen closet, do NOT stop to go put it back; place it in the “Store/Put Back” box and keep going!
  • Write down repairs and projects you’ll need to do once the deep clean is finished
    • For example, if you notice cabinet handles are loose, keep a running tab of “Kitchen Repairs”
  • For clothes and accessories, use this flowchart to determine (read: convince yourself) which to save and donate


Deep Cleaning: Removing All Traces of Your Former Craigslist Roommates

Congrats, you’ve used your self-quarantine time well and have graduated to the final phase: deep cleaning the places you may have forgotten about (or not realized you need to clean!).

Spring cleaning
Photos courtesy of

You’ll Need:

Key locations/tasks:

  • Deep clean stove and oven
  • Clean all plumbing/pipes (using hot water and baking soda)
  • Wash walls
  • Clean kitchen exhaust fan and bathroom vent fan
  • Computer Keyboards and Towers

How to Deep Clean:

  • Clean stove and oven:
    • Use baking soda and a warm washcloth to wipe down the top of the stove and the inside of the oven
    • For instructions on how to clean specific types of ovens, check out this page
  • Clean kitchen and bathroom drains/pipes:
    • Boil a pot of boiling water and pour it down the drain
    • Pour a cup of baking soda directly down the drain and let it sit 5-10 minutes
    • Pour a cup of white vinegar down the drain (you’ll see a foaming reaction) and let it sit for 5 – 10 minutes
    • Pour another pot of boiling water down the drain
    • Run plain hot tap water for 5 minutes
  • Clean kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans:
    • It’s a specific process, so check out this article for a clear break down
  • Wash walls:
    • Using a washcloth, wipe down walls to remove any stains and fingerprints
    • You can use diluted baking soda in water or an all-natural soap, such as Dr. Bronner’s All-in-One soap, for this
  • Computers and Keyboards:
    • Paige wants to remind people to vacuum keyboards and the back of computer towers, as “keyboards are full of crumbs, dust and other things that fall into it;  towers are full of dust and may cause the computer to overheat.”


Boost Productivity: The Virtual Deep Clean

Especially for those working from home or who want to increase their productivity, Josephine Paige has a great secret tip: deep cleaning your inbox: “I often recommend to my clients that they make an attempt to delete unwanted emails as part of their spring cleaning and, because we all have so much time on our hands now, this is a very good time to reduce the number of unnecessary emails. Unnecessary emails are just clutter and [eliminating these emails] will improve locating important emails.”

Photo courtesy of Adrianna Calvo of

Additional Resources and Information:

Josephine Paige and her logo. Photo courtesy of Josephine Paige

Where to Donate:

Spring cleaning
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