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Your Grandmother’s Spring Cleaning Checklist

March 6, 2024

Your Grandmother’s spring cleaning checklist most likely wasn’t written down. Like so much of what she did, it was in her head. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a thorough and detailed process; it was, and it was more than that! She learned about spring cleaning from her mother, who learned it from hers. It was passed down for generations. Here are a few practices grandmothers might have followed for spring cleaning, including yours.

Use of Natural Cleaning Products

lady in kitchen with hands on hips

Grandmothers used natural cleaning products, partly, because they were available and were less costly. My mother was a child in the great depression of the 1930s. She cleaned with baking soda and vinegar because her mother did that.

Then, in 1882, Bar Keepers Friend Powdered Cleanser was invented. I don’t know if my Grandma, born in 1901, used it, but my mother did. She used it all over the house. We always had a can or two.

Opening Windows

The start of spring cleaning for my mom was opening all the windows, letting the fresh air in and the germ-ridden stale air out. She would even take a folded-in-half newspaper and “sweep” the air. Moms and Grandmothers believed in letting fresh air into the home for proper ventilation and a sense of renewal.

Deep Cleaning Rituals

Spring cleaning for mothers often involves deep cleaning, such as washing walls, scrubbing floors, and polishing wooden furniture. My mom paid particular attention to areas that may have been neglected during the rest of the year.

Repurposing and Repairing

Instead of immediately discarding items, grandmothers and mothers often repurposed or repaired them during spring cleaning. They believed in making the most of what they had and were skilled at finding new uses for old items. My mom had a couch that she recovered twice that I know of.

Involving the Family

Spring cleaning at our home was a family affair, with everyone pitching in to help. My mom would assign tasks to family members and supervise the work. Sometimes, my dad wasn’t very receptive. I remember when the kitchen sink window was open, and my mom sprayed my dad from the sink because he and I were outside playing catch and not cleaning. He sprayed her back with the hose, and a water fight broke out.

Traditional Superstitions

My mom’s mom and my maternal grandmother believed sweeping dirt out the front door after winter swept away bad luck.

A 21st Century Updated, Old-fashioned Spring-cleaning Checklist

Holiday Cleaning

Spring cleaning is a tradition that dates back centuries, and it’s all about giving your home a thorough cleaning to welcome the fresh start of spring. An old-fashioned spring-cleaning checklist typically involves tasks that focus on deep cleaning and refreshing every nook and cranny of your living space.

Declutter and Organize

  • Start by decluttering each room, donate or discard items you no longer need
  • Organize your shelves and drawers
  • Declutter and organize clothing and accessories


  • Clean the oven, including the racks and interior
  • Defrost and clean the refrigerator and freezer
  • Clean the stovetop, range hood, and microwave
  • Wipe down countertops, cabinets, and drawers
  • Clean the sink and garbage disposal

 Living Areas

  • Vacuum carpets and rugs thoroughly
  • Sweep and mop hard floors
  • Consider waxing or polishing hardwood floors
  • Clean upholstered furniture, including cushions and pillows
  • Dust windowsills and light fixtures
  • Clean windows inside and out
  • Wash or vacuum curtains and blinds


  • Change bed linens and wash them
  • Flip and rotate mattresses
  • Dust furniture and vacuum carpets
  • Clean mirrors


  • Scrub tiles and grout
  • Clean and disinfect the toilet, sink, and bathtub/shower
  • Clean mirrors and fixtures
  • Wash shower curtains and bathmats
  • Refill soap dispensers and toiletries

Outdoor Areas

  • Clean and organize the garage
  • Sweep and clean outdoor spaces
  • Check and clean outdoor furniture

Check Safety Devices

  • Test smoke detectors and replace batteries
  • Check and replace air filters

Remember, spring cleaning is a marathon, not a sprint. Break down the tasks into smaller, manageable chunks, and enjoy the process of refreshing your home for the new season! And don’t forget all the Bar Keepers Friend Products that are easy to use and environmentally safe, which will help you clean your home for spring.

About the Author

Randy Clark - Headshot

Randy Clark is a speaker, coach, and author. He publishes a weekly blog at Randy Clark Randy is passionate about social media, leadership development, and flower gardening. He’s a beer geek, and on weekends (after COVID-19), he can be found fronting the Rock & Roll band Under the Radar. He’s the proud father of two educators; he has four amazing grandchildren and a wife who dedicates her time to helping others. Randy is the author of the Amazon bestseller The New Manager’s Workbook: A crash course in effective management.


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