Updated on 03.18.15

A Frugal Spring Cleaning Checklist

A deep clean comes cheap using a combination of homemade cleansers and elbow grease.

cleaning toilet

 Photo: Evil Erin

The snow has melted, the daffodils are pushing up, and the birds are busy chirping away. You know what that means; spring is almost here, and with it, a whole bunch of unpleasant household chores.

That’s right — it’s time to clear out the cobwebs, sweep up those dust bunnies, and get your yard and garage in summer barbecue condition. But where should you start? And even more importantly, how much is this going to cost?

The good news is, spring cleaning can be as cheap or expensive as you want it to be. The bad news is, spiffing up your home on a budget might take a little more leg work. If you want to spruce things up without burning up too many Benjamins, consider this frugal spring cleaning checklist.

Eight Steps to a Frugal Spring Cleaning

De-clutter cabinets, closets, and common areas: When you’re trying to get rid of stuff and de-clutter, it helps to work from one side of your home to the other — or from top to bottom. Whichever strategy you choose, go from room to room and clear out unwanted items from closets and cabinets. Start a garage sale or donation box and don’t stop until it’s full. Also take the time to check closets for unwanted or out-of-season clothing you can sell or donate.

Clean your windows inside and out: Make your own homemade glass cleaner with equal parts white vinegar and water. Pour your solution into a spray bottle and use it to clean your windows without any harsh chemicals or fumes. Use old dust rags or cleaning towels for a streak-free shine on your windows- both inside and out!

Clean ceiling fans, woodwork, mini-blinds, and ledges: Some say you should clean baseboards and other woodwork with equal parts white vinegar and lemon juice. Others say you can get up the most dust by wiping your woodwork down with dryer sheets. Whichever frugal hack you choose, make sure to wipe down all of the wood surfaces in your home that have been neglected all winter.

Clean up your yard: If winter left your yard in bad shape, it’s time to clean it up! That may mean raking last year’s leaves, cleaning up forgotten toys and trash, or picking up sticks. Get out a large yard bag and fill it with all of the yard waste you can find. And no matter what, don’t forget to pick up the yard waste your family pet left behind all winter.

Sweep and mop your garage: All kinds of nasty things can build up in your garage during the cold, dreary winter months. Now that it’s warm outside, it’s time to clean it all out. Sweep dust and debris from all corners of your garage before mopping with solution of warm soapy water or vinegar water. As you remove items from your garage to clean, make sure to put them back in an organized, uncluttered fashion.

De-gunk your bathrooms: Don’t bother buying expensive chemical cleaners for your bathrooms. Instead, make your own and use a little elbow grease to get the job done. You can make your own homemade scrubbing cleaner by mixing ½ cup baking soda, 1 tablespoon of dish detergent, and distilled vinegar to texture. Clean toilets, drains, and showers with a baking soda and vinegar mixture. Rinse with warm water when you’re done, and enjoy.

Dust, sweep, and mop floors: No matter what kind of floors you have, they could use a good cleaning this spring! Start with a dust mop, broom and dustpan, or floor vacuum and work from side to side until you’ve swept or vacuumed up any and all dirt in your home. Next, mix your own floor cleaner and get to mopping. Wellness Mama offers homemade floor cleaner recipes for different floor types on her website.

Vacuum furniture and curtains: Keeping the windows closed for months on end could mean plenty of build-up on your furniture and draperies. Use a vacuum attachment to thoroughly clean all hanging draperies, couch and chair cushions, and rugs. Make your own homemade deodorizing spray and use it in place of Febreze to freshen things up when you’re done.

It’s hard to enjoy the warm weather when you have a ton of cleaning to do. Fortunately, it doesn’t take a lot of money to get your home in tip-top condition this spring; all it takes is an open weekend and a handful of non-toxic and cheap ingredients you can buy at your local grocery store. So don’t delay; get started on your spring cleaning checklist early and put it behind you as quickly as you can. The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll be ready to enjoy the season.