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Your 2021 spring-cleaning checklist

Give your regular spring-cleaning routine a makeover. Here’s how to quickly and efficiently clean every room in your house — the right way.

After spending more time than ever inside our homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, spring couldn’t have come a moment too soon. The season of renewal is upon us, which means it’s time for spring cleaning the clutter, grime and dust bunnies that’ve been breeding inside our homes all year long.

We understand if the extended lockdown put a damper on your annual spring cleaning inspiration, but all that time indoors probably means your house is in greater need of TLC than usual. Don’t worry, these house cleaning checklists — which include a bunch of time-saving tips — will let you breeze through deep-cleaning your kitchen and bathroom, give tips for organizing your home and even help you tidy up the backyard.

To quickly jump to the spring-cleaning checklist you're looking for, click on the links below or keep scrolling to see it all.

House cleaning checklist

Simplify your spring-cleaning routine with this targeted list of tidy-up tasks. You can take our free, printable house cleaning checklist with you as you zip from room to room, hitting all the major spots. Not only will it streamline dusting, vacuuming, washing and polishing, but it’ll help you declutter and re-organize for the new season too.

This quick house cleaning checklist is perfect for everyday cleaning.TODAY illustration

Kitchen cleaning checklist

The kitchen gets messed up, then cleaned up, multiple times a day, but spring cleaning is the excuse we all need to zero in on deep kitchen cleaning gunky drains, grease-slicked range hoods, the insides of major appliances and the outsides of small ones. This checklist not only shows you how to clean and disinfect the kitchen, it offers numerous ways to clean the kitchen in minutes. Start with a general tidy-up, and then do a deeper dive to thoroughly spring clean the kitchen.

Here's kitchen cleaning at a glance. Find more details below.TODAY illustration

Clean the kitchen sink

More on how to clean the kitchen sink, how to clean faucets, how to clean sponges and how to clean the garbage disposal.

Clean the dishwasher

More on how to clean the dishwasher.

Clean the stove and oven

  • Remove grates, burner caps and reflector pans and wash separately
  • Spray stovetop and range hood with cleaner and wipe down
  • Spot-clean as necessary with a baking soda paste
  • Use an ammonia, dish soap and water solution to clean inside the oven
  • Remove the range hood fan filter, soak in hot water and dish soap, rinse

More on how to clean the stove top, how to clean the oven and how to clean stainless steel.

Clean the microwave

  • Place water and vinegar in a microwave-safe bowl
  • Microwave on high until boiling
  • Wipe microwave interior down with a damp sponge
  • Spray and wipe down the exterior

More on how to clean the microwave with vinegar.

How to clean your microwave

March 18, 201901:26

Clean the refrigerator and freezer

  • Clear out the fridge and freezer
  • Brush out any lingering detritus
  • Spray shelves, walls and drawers with cleaner and wipe down
  • Spot-clean any sticky spots
  • Wipe down the gasket seal on the fridge and freezer doors
  • Spray and wipe down the exteriors of the fridge and freezer
  • Clean water and ice dispensers
  • Wash and refill ice cube trays, return to freezer
  • Get rid of any expired products (and anything past its prime)
  • Return food, drinks and condiments to the fridge and freezer
  • Clean the drip pan under the unit
  • Use a soft brush and vacuum to clean condenser coils and fan

More on how to clean the refrigerator and how to clean the freezer.

Clean walls and floor

More on how to clean the kitchen floor, how to mop the floor and how to avoid mistakes cleaning the house.

How to clean wood floors

March 15, 201901:23

Clean light switches and plates

More on cleaning light switches and light switch plates.

Clean windows and ceiling

More on how to remove mildew.

Clean counters, shelves, cabinets and drawers

  • Move appliances, decorative items and anything else covering kitchen surfaces (including tops of cabinets)
  • Spray and wipe down surfaces (including fronts of cabinets), handles and drawer pulls
  • Return appliances and decorative items to their places
  • Tidy any clutter on countertops, in drawers or in the pantry
  • Reorganize your kitchen junk drawer

More on how to organize cabinets, drawers and the pantry.

Clean small appliances

Coffee maker

  • Put a paper filter in the coffee machine
  • Brew a vinegar and water solution
  • Turn off machine halfway through brewing (for 30 minutes)
  • Turn on machine and finish brewing
  • Pour out solution, replace filter and brew clean water a few times
  • Wipe down the outside of the coffee maker

Keurig

  • Clean the cold water reservoir, drip tray and pod holder
  • Descale and replace water filter as necessary
  • Wipe down the outside of the Keurig

Coffee grinder

  • Grind bread or raw rice
  • Empty crumbs and dust with a small brush
  • Wipe down the outside of the coffee grinder

More on how to clean a coffee maker, how to clean a Keurig, how to clean your coffee grinder, and how to clean a toaster the right way.

Stand mixer

More on how to clean a stand mixer.

Blender

  • Fill the blender halfway with warm water and a few drops of dish soap.
  • Put the blender on its base and turn it on for 30 seconds.

More on how to clean a blender.

Clean other kitchen items

Wipe down and spot-clean as necessary:

More on how to clean a knife block, how to clean a wooden block, how to clean pans, how to clean silver and remove tarnish from silver, how to season a cast iron pan and how to clean water bottles.

Bathroom cleaning checklist

Since the bathroom is one of the most-used rooms in the house (and the place where everyone cleans up), it needs more attention than other rooms. You probably do a cursory clean of it every week or so, but your bathroom spring-cleaning efforts should go further to remove soap scum build-up, graying grout, mold and hard water stains too. Before you hop to it, check out these creative tips for how to clean a bathroom fast and how to quickly clean your shower while you shower.

This bathroom cleaning checklist will get your bathroom sparkling clean.TODAY illustration

Clean bathroom fan

  • Check the bathroom fan filter and change, if necessary
  • Vacuum vents (or clean with a microfiber duster or cloth)
  • Remove vents and soak in hot, soapy water
  • Clean any residue with rubbing alcohol
  • Let covers dry before reinstalling

More on how to clean the covers of your bathroom fan vents.

Clean bathroom sink

More on how to clean the bathroom sink and drain.

Clean toothbrushes

  • Soak toothbrush bristles in vinegar for 30 minutes, rinse and air-dry
  • Replace any old toothbrushes
  • Rinse toothbrush holder in hot water, clean holes with pipe cleaner

More on how to clean your toothbrush and toothbrush holder.

Clean shower

  • Remove all items from the shower (get rid of any you don’t need or use)
  • Spray the inside of the shower with cleaner
  • Wash walls, shower caddy, door (or curtain), floor and drain cover
  • Use a soft-scrub brush and cleaner to scrub soap scum build-up and grout
  • Seal grout, if worn out
  • Clean and descale shower head

More on how to clean your shower, how to get that tile grout white again, how to clean a glass shower door and how to clean a shower curtain.

Clean bathtub

  • Remove bath products, toys and other items from the tub
  • Wash any soap scum or mold off containers and bath toys
  • Toss credit-card-thin bars of soap, old loofahs and dull razors
  • If your tub is porcelain, use a powder cleaner to scrub away soap scum
  • For acrylic tubs, try vinegar and water (avoid acetone, bleach and abrasive cleaners)
  • Scrub the faucet and drain

More on how to clean your bathtub and make it sparkle and how to clean the drain.

Clean toilet

More on how to clean the toilet the right way, how to unclog the toilet, how to get rid of bathroom toilet smell, and other cleaning hacks (like how to use Coke to clean a toilet).

Clean windows, walls and ceiling

More on how to remove mildew.

Clean floors

  • Shake out, then launder bathroom rugs
  • Sweep (or vacuum) the floor
  • Apply cleaner, then mop

More on how to clean the bathroom floor.

Clean washcloths and bath towels

  • Collect washcloths from the shower or tub
  • Remove towels from the bathroom
  • Launder all washcloths and towels
  • Add a cup of distilled white vinegar during the final rinse to remove odors

More on how to clean them and how to get the smell out of towels.

Clean hair brushes

  • Use scissors or a rat tail comb to pull the hair out of the brush
  • Soak brushes in a solution of warm water and shampoo
  • Lay brushes with bristles down on a towel, let air-dry

More on how to clean hair brushes.

Clean makeup bag and makeup brushes

  • Assess your makeup bag; if it’s beyond cleaning, toss and replace, otherwise wipe it down or launder it, depending on the material it’s made of
  • Take stock and toss any products you don’t use (seriously, just get rid of them)
  • Think about how long you’ve had products; any liquid ones for lips or eyes have shorter lifespans, so toss them
  • Don’t forget to clean your makeup brushes

More on how to clean your makeup bag and how to clean makeup brushes.

How to clean your hairbrush

March 15, 201901:04

Living room cleaning checklist

Because it’s one of the main gathering spots in your home, you may clean the living room frequently, but how often do you deep clean? We’re talking vacuuming upholstery, washing curtains and blinds and disinfecting grimy light switches and plates. Let this checklist be your guide to spring cleaning the living room. You may also find these house-cleaning tips from cleaners helpful when you’re trying to clean your house quickly.

TODAY illustration

Clean furniture

More on how to clean upholstery and wood furniture cleaning.

Clean television

More on how to clean the television.

Clean fireplace

  • Call the chimney sweep; get chimney inspected and cleaned
  • Sweep out the fireplace
  • Take care of any soot removal
  • Remove decorative items from the mantel
  • Dust and clean the mantel
  • Remove any wood you don’t plan to use

More on how to clean the fireplace.

Clean walls, ceiling, windows and shelves

More on how to clean walls, how to clean a ceiling fan, along with tips for window cleaning.

Clean lamps, light switches and plates

More on cleaning light switches and light switch plates.

Clean floors

More on how to vacuum and clean hardwood floors, plus tips for rug cleaning, carpet cleaning and how to use a steam cleaner.

Bedroom cleaning checklist

Your bedroom is a haven of rest and relaxation, but over the last year, it’s done double-duty as a home office (and a refuge from your family). At this point, it’s probably been a little neglected. No problem! Start with your usual daily bedroom tidy-up, toss dirty clothes in the hamper, put away things that have piled up on the dresser, grab a box to gather things that don’t belong here and then use this checklist for deep-cleaning your bedroom like a pro.

TODAY illustration

Clean bedroom closets

More on how to clean your closet, how to organize your closet and how to do it in 15 minutes.

Clean dresser

  • Dust and polish the top of the dresser
  • Assess each drawer, remove any winter items and get rid of things you don’t like or never wear anymore (goodbye, old socks and undies!)
  • Neatly fold underwear, socks, shirts and pants

More on the best way to fold clothes.

Clear nightstand clutter

  • Clear off the nightstand and set aside any clutter that needs to go elsewhere
  • Dust and polish the nightstand
  • Choose items that should stay on the nightstand — alarm clock, family photo, tissues, water glass and whatever else you need
  • Get a decorative box to keep on the nightstand; put things like reading glasses, ear plugs, eye mask, lip balm, hair accessories, remotes and chargers in it
  • Clean nightstand items (be sure to disinfect your glasses while you’re at it)
  • Shelve books you’re no longer reading, toss old magazines and store current ones in a magazine holder
  • Sort leftover clutter, throw away anything that’s no longer needed and put away the rest

More on how to organize your nightstand.

Clean jewelry

More on how to clean jewelry at home and how to organize your jewelry.

Clean ceiling fan

  • Use a fan blade duster or slip a pillowcase over each blade to remove dust and dirt (then empty and launder the pillowcase)
  • Use a microfiber cloth and dust-repelling spray to clean fan blades
  • Wipe the pull chain and clean any sconces
  • Replace any broken light bulbs

More on how to clean a ceiling fan.

Clean headboard

  • Use a lint roller or the upholstery attachment of your vacuum to remove dust and dirt from your headboard
  • Use soap and water or a fabric cleaner to clean a fabric headboard (and stain remover to remove any stains)
  • If the headboard is wood, polish it with furniture polish

More on how to clean a headboard.

Clean bedding

More on how to wash sheets the right way, how to clean pillows and how to clean a duvet.

Clean mattress

More on how to clean a mattress and how to wash a mattress pad.

Clean lamps, light switches and plates

More on cleaning light switches and light switch plates.

Clean walls and floor

More on how to clean the bedroom floor.

Clean bedroom windows

  • Dust and clean window frames and sills
  • Spot-clean windows with a microfiber cloth or a rag and window cleaner
  • Spray windows with cleaner and wipe or squeegee
  • Clean dirt and debris from window tracks with an unused paint brush, toothbrush or cotton swab

More on how to clean windows.

Laundry room cleaning checklist

Even rooms devoted to cleaning get dirty, so the laundry room should definitely be part of your spring-cleaning agenda. Even if your laundry “room” is more of a closet or an area, the machines themselves need some annual attention. Here’s how to clean your laundry room and run maintenance on your cleaning machines.

TODAY illustration

Clean washing machine

  • Spray and wipe down the exterior of the washer
  • Disinfect knobs, dials and buttons
  • Wash around the door and gasket
  • Scrub the detergent, fabric softener and bleach dispensers
  • Clean the washer drum

More on how to clean the washing machine.

Clean dryer

  • Spray and wipe down the exterior of the dryer
  • Disinfect knobs, dials and buttons
  • Clear the lint filter
  • Check the dryer drum, clean if necessary
  • Remove lint and other debris from dryer exhaust system and vents
  • Vacuum or sweep up any lint from behind the dryer

More tips for cleaning the dryer.

Additional laundry room tasks:

More on how to organize your laundry room (or laundry area).

Home office cleaning checklist

Whether you have an actual office in your home or an area you’ve carved out as a makeshift office while you work remotely, the space where you go to get stuff done needs spring cleaning too — especially this year. While COVID-19 is mainly spread through airborne respiratory droplets, we all need to protect ourselves from other germs, too, to help keep our immune systems strong. Spring-cleaning this space will help you avoid contact with surprising office germs — plus it feels good to work in a clean and decluttered environment.

TODAY illustration
  • Sort your paperwork: what to keep, what to toss
  • File “keeper” paperwork; recycle the rest
  • Use a disinfecting wipe to clean your phone, earbuds, headphones and mouse
  • While you’re at it, use a wipe to disinfect your wallet, the handle and bottom of your purse, laptop and tote bags
  • Dust your computer screen and tablet with a microfiber cloth
  • Shake debris from your computer keyboard, clean with a disinfecting wipe
  • Remove objects from your desk, spray and wipe it down
  • Dust any lamps, shelves, framed art or other decorative objects
  • Wipe down cords
  • Clear away clutter
  • Dust ceiling with a dry microfiber mop
  • Spray windows with cleaner and wipe or squeegee
  • Clean drapes and blinds
  • Clean light switches and plates
  • Vacuum or sweep hardwood floors
  • Vacuum carpets

More on how to organize your home office and how to clean your smartphone.

Cleaning checklist for the rest of the house

Congratulations on spring cleaning all the main rooms in your house! Since every home is different, here’s a catch-all checklist to help ensure you get every area of your living space disinfected, tidied and freshened up for the new season.

TODAY illustration
  • Clean for coronavirus and cold and flu germs by disinfecting all commonly used surfaces, especially door knobs and light switches and plates
  • Get a wall hanger or basket to store face masks by the entryway door
  • Tidy the shoe rack, coat area and any storage baskets in your foyer
  • Dust and spot-clean walls, baseboards and moldings
  • Sweep, vacuum and mop floors and clean carpets, as necessary
  • Shake out and wash area rugs
  • Dust ceiling with a dry microfiber mop
  • Wash windows, sills, curtains and blinds
  • Clean all your closets, including linen closets and storage closets
  • Dust and clean the lamps and lighting around your house (replace broken bulbs)
  • Clean any pet stains and hair
  • Dust knicknacks, decorative objects and framed art and photos
  • Clean the humidifier
  • Clean the attic and basement, organize stored items and check for mold and mildew
  • If you have small children, get the kids to clean with you, tackle the playroom and kids’ bedrooms together (try this clean-up song for kids)
  • If you have a cat, clean the litter box (consider getting a self-cleaning litter box)
  • Neaten up the porch
  • Clean outside of the house — front yard, backyard and get gutters cleaner
  • Clean up the driveway and sidewalk

More on how to disinfect common surfaces to prevent cold and flu germs, how to clean a humidifier and how to clean and organize the attic and basement.

Clutter cleaning checklist

Now it’s time for an overall home edit on clutter. Channel your inner Marie Kondo, and start going room by room to seek out any clutter that you might’ve missed during your initial spring-cleaning efforts. Don’t forget about closet clutter or the clutter that accumulates in cabinets and drawers, and other storage areas! Here’s how to streamline decluttering.

Download TODAY's free, printable house cleaning checklist below!

More tips for clearing clutter and spring cleaning during the coronavirus pandemic.

To keep these tips handy, print our complete home-cleaning checklist.

Related video:

This article was originally published on March 29, 2021.