8 Must-Do Tasks Experts Always Tackle Before Spring Cleaning

Tackle these to-dos to ensure spring cleaning goes smoothly

White kitchen cabinets

Design: Morse Design / Photo: Heidi Harris Photography

Let’s be honest, deep cleaning your home is a lot like exercising. You know you’ll be thrilled you did it when it’s over, but right now, the entire concept just sounds overwhelming, exhausting, and frankly, a bit intimidating.

But, spring cleaning doesn't have to be laborious—we promise. A little planning before starting to clean will eliminate many headaches down the road.

With the help of some of our favorite cleaning experts, we’ve narrowed down the best things to do before you start your spring cleaning. With these steps ticked off the list, you'll be in the best shape to begin your spring tidying.

Meet the Expert

  • Jill Koch is the owner and creator of Jill Comes Clean and the author of "DIY Cleaning Reciepies for the Non-Toxic Home."
  • Kathy Cohoon represents Two Maids & a Mop, a cleaning company that prioritizes safe, reliable, professional-grade cleaning.
  • Alex Wojenski is a cleaning guide for the sustainable cleaning brand, Grove Collaborative.

Don’t Start Until You Declutter

Jill Koch of Jill Comes Clean says there’s one thing you have to do before you can clean: rid yourself of excess. 

“Before deep cleaning a home, you should first declutter each room,” Koch says. “There's no sense in cleaning around items you no longer need or want. This is a good opportunity to free up some space—and it will make cleaning these rooms easier.” 

Kathy Cohoon of Two Maids & a Mop agrees, noting that before deep-cleaning, she likes to reorganize and prep for a big clean. Her plan of action begins by going through old clothing, housewares, and toys and after determining what stays and what goes, run to your local donation center to donate items you are no longer using.

But even if you’re not tossing or donating unwanted items, Koch says that this is still a critical step, as decluttering can also just be putting things away and clearing surfaces.

“A room can be cleaned top-to-bottom, but when it's cluttered with items, it won't feel as clean as it might be," she says. "Decluttering before cleaning tidying makes a big difference in a room feeling clean.”

Decluttering before cleaning tidying makes a big difference in a room feeling clean.

Organized closet
The Spruce / Marty Baldwin

Do Your Laundry

Along with decluttering, Alex Wojenski of Grove Collaborative says that she always does her laundry before tackling a deep clean. She notes that washing hand towels, curtains, furniture covers, and any other household items is a great first step to getting things tidy.

Cohoon agrees. “Unlaundered linens, curtains, throw rugs, and blankets can make a clean room feed dirty, so make sure to put your fabric pieces through the wash," she says.

Clean laundry room

House Sprucing

Make a Gameplan

As you declutter, it’s a good idea to assess your space and start brainstorming your approach and write it down.

“Come up with a plan for deep cleaning before you begin,” Koch says. “If you like to knock it all out at once, a checklist might be better suited. That way, you can move around your home and check off items as you go.”

On the other hand, if a one-and-done approach isn’t your style, Koch says you can ditch the to-do list––in this case, a schedule might be better.

“If you prefer to deep clean room-by-room or do a little each day until it's finished, then I would suggest making a calendar or schedule with what you will tackle each day,” she says. “No matter which method you go with, a checklist or schedule ensures that nothing is missed.” 

If you’re still not sure where to start, Koch suggests prioritizing your high-traffic areas.

“Start in your most used and lived-in spaces, such as the kitchen or bathrooms,” she says. “These are where messes are most noticeable because you are in them frequently. Tackle these first, while your motivation is high, and then things will get easier as you go.”  

A clean and tidy bathroom with shelves

House Sprucing

Take It From the Top and Work Down

No matter where in your home you begin, Cohoon tells us she always keeps one method in mind: start from the top.

“Try configuring your routing from the top down, as this will eliminate any unnecessary extra steps,” Cohoon says. “Begin by dusting the top of the ceiling fans and cabinets. Then, tackle the mid-level areas, which include countertops, sinks, and tops of dressers and side tables. Last, you’ll vacuum and mop, which will ensure you’ve collected all of the dust particles that fell from the ceiling fan or even, the countertops.” 

As you work your way down, don’t forget to incorporate an often overlooked area—a deep clean of your carpets. “A dirty carpet can make a clean room feel grimy so make sure to scrub those carpets for an all-around fresh feel,” Cohoon says. 

Clean and tidy dining space with area rug

House Sprucing

Start with the Most Intense Spaces

Wojenski gave us another tip—she likes to start with the most cleaning-intense spaces. 

"The kitchen and bathroom can take the longest to clean and require the most materials and effort,” she says. “While these spaces can sometimes be messy to clean, starting with them can avoid a potential mess from spilling into other areas.”

Charge and Upgrade Your Tools

Before you start cleaning, be sure to check that all of your cleaning tools and equipment are in working order.

“If you’re using gadgets like cordless vacuums, electric scrubbers, or anything that needs a charge to work, be sure to do this in advance so you have full batteries," Koch says. 

Along with making sure you have the right tools on hand, Koch also says that this is prime time to upgrade or replace anything, too.

“Make sure you have a good vacuum, some type of mop or device that mops floors, cloth rags as well as microfiber cloths for electronics, glass, mirrors, and dusting,” she says. “I would also suggest an extendable duster of some sort to get high areas, and an electric scrubber that can power through tough messes easier than having to do it by hand.”

Stock Up on Supplies

As a final step, Koch suggests making sure you have all the supplies you need fully stocked and ready to go. Take inventory of your supplies and make sure all your basic cleaners are stocked, as well as some products to help with tough jobs.

If you’re starting from scratch, Koch points out that now is also a great time to build out your arsenal and make sure you’re fully equipped. She says that your cleaning caddy should have all staple cleaners on hand for bathrooms, kitchen counters, sinks, glass, and more.

“A good multi-purpose cleaner or even some baking soda, dish soap, rubbing alcohol, vinegar, and microfiber cloths would allow you to knock out a ton of chores," she says. "Also, have one or two stronger cleaners for when a task requires a little more elbow grease.” 

Make Re-Stocking a Habit

Whether your spring cleaning is just a seasonal refresh or it’s meant to solve much bigger clutter problems, Koch tells us that now is the time to start new habits when it comes to keeping your space in order.

“I recommend always repurchasing cleaning products when they are running low—not when they are empty,” Koch says. “This way, you don't get on a roll cleaning only to run out of what you need.”

If you’re a checklist person, Wojenski gave us her list of must-have products for her own cleaning arsenal. Crosscheck this list with your own supplies and replace and add as needed!


  • Multi-surface cleaner 
  • Glass cleaner 
  • Shower cleaner (Tip: using concentrated cleaners makes it easier to store extra since they take up such little space)
  • Dr. Bronner's Castille soap
  • Toilet cleaner  
  • Floor cleaner
  • Bon Ami (or another light abrasive)
  • Specialty cleaners as needed, depending on the types of furnishings in your home: carpet cleaner, granite cleaner, stainless steel cleaner, glass cooktop cleaner, and a leather cleaner and conditioner

Equipment & Accessories

  • Microfiber clothes (Tip: keep a stack of clean microfiber cloths on hand so that you won’t find yourself reaching for paper towels)
  • Walnut scouring pad
  • Scrub brush
  • Mop and broom
  • Duster  
  • Dustpan 
  • Cleaning gloves 
  • Bucket
  • Vacuum