As much as we’d like to, we can’t put off our spring cleaning any longer! It is time. It isn’t sexy to talk about, but it is time to freshen up and get ready for spring and summer. After a long Boise winter, chores need to be done. However, we’ve got you covered to organize those chores so they won’t seem so overwhelming, and your house will be sparkling in no time!

First, you may need to send your family members out for an extended day trip – perhaps dad can take the kids for a morning at the Boise Zoo or Discovery Center of Idaho, and then to lunch, followed by a detailed grocery shopping list – to free you up at home. Next, put on your favorite active wear and your playlist to rev up your energy and get you motivated to clean!

After doing some research, we liked Martha Stewart’s spring cleaning tips best. However, Joanna Gaines has a good blog also. We liked Joanna’s recommendation on organizing before you start your cleaning. She says, “This spring cleaning is a perfect opportunity to rid your home of the “stuff” you can live without. I can’t stress this enough—your whole family will feel the benefits of rooms and spaces that can breathe, so before you even start the cleaning, get five trash bags and start filling them with items your family has outgrown or no longer needs. If you don’t love it, toss it. Trash anything that is broken and serves no purpose and donate items to local shelters and you’ll feel much better before you even start.”

Click here for Joanna’s full blog and checklist.

Back to Martha — she recommends, “After you read through the tips and techniques, tailor the list to your home and yard. Create a realistic schedule, keeping in mind that a single weekend won’t suffice, as you’ll need several days for more involved projects, such as shampooing carpets and organizing closets. Whether you prefer to proceed from the attic to the basement or start outdoors and wind your way inside, focus on one task at a time. And be sure to enlist the help of family members.”

Click here for a thorough and printable Martha Stewart spring cleaning checklist.

Throughout the House

The tips below outline basic techniques that will help you clean almost every surface (or object) in any room:

  • Wipe Walls and Ceilings: Use a vacuum to remove dust. Tackle stubborn surface grime, especially prevalent in kitchens, with a solvent-free degreaser (test it first in an inconspicuous area to ensure it won’t mar the surface).
  • Reseal Grout Lines: The cement-based material between wall, floor, and countertop tiles is extremely porous and stains easily. Protect it with a penetrating grout sealer; it’s best to apply it with a small foam brush.
  • Vacuum and Shampoo Rugs: Synthetic carpets and rugs with waterproof backings can be deep-cleaned with a rotary shampoo machine and a hot-water extraction machine. Rugs without backings, including Orientals, require professional cleaning.
  • Dust Books and Shelves: Take everything off the shelves, and brush shelves and books with a feather duster. Use the dust-brush or crevice tool on a vacuum to reach into tight spots. Wipe the spines of leather-bound books with a clean, soft cloth.
  • Clean Upholstered Furnishings: Take cushions outside and gently beat them by hand to remove dust. If there are stains, check the pieces for care labels. Use a vacuum’s upholstery and crevice tools to clean under seat cushions.
  • Polish Metal Door and Window Hardware: Liquid polishes and polish-impregnated cloths work well for medium-tarnished surfaces; pastes and creams are for heavier work. If tarnish doesn’t come off, try a stronger product.
  • Dust Your Home Thoroughly: This includes hard-to-reach places, such as the tops of ceiling fans and window casings. Always work from the top of a room down, vacuuming the dust that settles on the floor. Avoid using dusting sprays.
  • Wax Wooden Furniture: Wipe surfaces with a soft cloth dampened with water and mild dishwashing liquid. Apply paste wax, such as Butch- er’s wax, a few feet at a time with a cotton rag folded into a square pad. Let wax dry; buff with a clean cloth.
  • Ensure Fire Safety: Change batteries in smoke detectors (this should be done twice a year), and make sure units are free of dust. Teach everyone in your household how to use a fire extinguisher, and review escape plans.
  • Wash Window Screens: Using warm water and a mild dishwashing liquid, scrub each screen with a brush; rinse thoroughly.
  • Clean Window Treatments: Many draperies and curtains are machine washable; check labels. Dry-clean fabric shades. Wipe wooden blinds with a damp cloth; warm water mixed with a mild dishwashing liquid is safe for metal and vinyl blinds.
  • Wax Non-Wood Floors: Vinyl and linoleum floors that have lost their shine should be waxed with a polish designed for these surfaces. Most stone and tile floors can be treated with either a paste or a liquid wax designed for the material.

And, don’t forget about the outside of your home. Check out last month’s blog on tips for spring cleaning the exterior of your home:

Related: For ideas on decorating the inside or outside of your home, check out some of East Boise’s fabulous new homes and neighborhoods: Boise Hunter Homes, River Heights, Harris Ranch, Harris Crossing.


By Bonnie Way Snider, April 11, 2017

Sources: The information was excerpted from “Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook” (Clarkson Potter/Publishers; 2006).