Spring might have officially started on March 19, but as Calgarians know, “spring” in this city is an elastic concept. Now that temperatures are rising and nature is showing new signs of life, it’s time to give your home the spring-cleaning treatment.

Thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, keeping your living space clean (and sanitized) is more important than ever. Due to social distancing measures, people are spending the bulk of their time at home, and the novel coronavirus can live on surfaces there for several hours.

Health Canada recommends regular cleaning and disinfecting of hard surfaces with either household cleaning products or diluted bleach (created using a ratio of one teaspoon of bleach for every 250 millilitres of water). A list of hard-surface disinfectants and hand sanitizers that meet Health Canada’s requirements for COVID-19 is available here.

Focus on high-traffic areas of the home first, as these are the places where viral buildup is most likely to occur. Also, stick to a few all-purpose cleaning products to save money and simplify the process.

Depending on the size of your home, the number of people in your household you recruit to help and how thorough you want to be, your spring-cleaning routine could take anywhere from a couple hours to a few days. So, assess the situation and plan accordingly.

The following checklist is a solid baseline for any spring clean, but feel free to add and subtract tasks to customize it to your home’s layout.

As a bonus, if some of these tasks become part of your regular cleaning routine, next year’s spring clean will be a breeze!

Spring cleaning checklist

Entry

  • Wipe down the door
  • Shake out doormats
  • Wipe down railings
  • Organize shoes or store them in the closet

Kitchen

  • Tackle the pantry – purge, clean and reorganize
  • Deep clean appliances (e.g., microwave, oven, fridge, etc.)
  • Wash kitchen cabinets

Bathrooms

  • Disinfect the bathtub and/or shower (including the shower head)
  • Clean and disinfect the toilets
  • Wash bathmats, shower curtains and liners
  • Wipe down counter spaces and mirrors
  • Clean and reorganize the space beneath the sink and/or the medicine cabinet
  • Clean floor tiles

Bedrooms

  • Wash bedding (including pillows)
  • Vacuum and flip mattresses
  • Clean and reorganize closets, as well as any belongings stored underneath beds (purging old clothes as necessary)

Laundry room

  • Clean/sanitize the washing machine (vinegar works well)
  • Empty the dryer lint trap and wipe down the interior
  • Clean behind the washer and dryer, but be careful not to damage the hoses

Dining room

  • Wipe down the table
  • Dust any furniture, decorations and light fixtures
  • Wash chair cushions (if relevant) and placemats

Living room

  • Vacuum furniture/upholstery and lampshades
  • Wash throw pillows and blankets
  • Polish wood furniture
  • Clean carpets
  • Scrub windows and mirrors
  • Sanitize remote controls

Garage

  • Declutter and get rid of any junk that has accumulated
  • Sweep out the garage floor, then hose it down to clean off stuck-on grime
  • Wipe down windows, the doorframe and any shelving
  • Leave the garage door open for awhile to air out the space

Throughout the home

  • Sweep/mop floors
  • Vacuum carpets
  • Wipe down walls and baseboards
  • Clean windows, window coverings and doors
  • Wipe down houseplants
  • Dust light fixtures and ceiling fans
  • Declutter wherever possible and discard or donate unwanted items
  • Clean air vents/registers
  • Sanitize door handles and light switches
  • Test and replace batteries in smoke and CO alarms