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9 Spring Cleaning Mistakes You’re Making

Ready or not, here comes spring cleaning. Stay ahead of your to-do list and avoid these common cleaning mistakes.

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Hand of The man checking data for cleaning workThanakitt Kayangarnnavy/Shutterstock

Mistake #1: Not Having a Plan

For a successful spring clean, go in with a plan. Sure, tidying up here and scrubbing down there will make your home look a little better, but you’ll get a lot more accomplished with set goals. A few weeks before you start, make a list of your home’s rooms and what you need to clean in each one. (Or save some time and print out our room-by-room cleaning checklist.) Then, make a list of any supplies to buy or services to schedule. Once you start cleaning, cross off each task on the list—and eventually each room.

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New electric oven in kitchenAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Mistake #2: Skipping the Tough Jobs


If this is the fifth year in a row you’ve put off cleaning the oven because, well, there’s five years’ worth of burned-on gunk in there, it’s time. Stop procrastinating the tough cleaning projects. Instead, formulate a plan of attack, set aside some time to clean your oven and get ‘er done. An added bonus? You won’t feel that pang of shame every time you walk past the oven anymore.

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Household. Cleaning tools on the floorY Photo Studio/Shutterstock

Mistake #3: Using Dirty Tools


To truly clean, you need to start with clean tools. Before you begin, gather up all of your cleaning supplies and take note of which ones are expired, almost empty, dirty, broken or otherwise unfit for the task. (Here’s how to tell if your sponges and scrub brushes are past their prime.) Make a list of what you need to replenish or replace, then head to the store.

Psst: These cleaning products make doing chores way more fun.

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Daughter and mother cleaning home together and having funDrpixel/Shutterstock

Mistake #4: Cleaning All by Yourself


Unless you live alone, there’s a good chance you’re not dirtying the entire house by yourself. Enlist partners, children and roommates to help with the cleaning. Assign each person a room (such as their bedroom) to tackle, and then divvy up tasks in the communal areas. Even little kids can pitch in. Here’s our chores list by age.

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Cropped image of beautiful young woman in protective gloves using a flat wet-mop while cleaning floor in the house;VGstockstudio/Shutterstock

Mistake #5: Expecting to Clean Everything in One Day


Deep cleaning takes time, so don’t expect to finish the entire house in one day. Try this fun minute-by-minute cleaning routine. Or set aside a designated cleaning time each week—such as weekend afternoons—and tackle one room at a time. After a month or two, your entire home will be sparkling!

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Close up view of woman cleaning a houseKiwis/Shutterstock

Mistake #6: Using Only One Product


We wish there was a magical formula that could deep-clean all of our home’s surfaces with one swipe, but sadly that product doesn’t exist. Kill germs, add sparkle and avoid damage by using specialized cleaners for each surface. If you insist on using an all-purpose cleaner, opt for our top-rated brand.

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Donation box with clothes on table in the roomAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Mistake #7: Holding on to Too Much


If one of your spring cleaning goals is to reduce the amount of stuff in your home, try tidying expert Marie Kondo’s method. Her approach involves tackling different categories of items—such as clothes or paper—and only keeping the items that “spark joy.”

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woman makes cleaning the house. people vacuums the floorYuganov Konstantin/Shutterstock

Mistake #8: Cleaning from Bottom to Top


Save the floors for last. As you clean, dust and debris from shelves, ceiling fans and furniture will naturally fall to the floor. Vacuuming or mopping the floor last will save you from doing the task twice and ensure the room is as clean as it can be. Find out if a Dyson is worth the money.

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Beautiful woman opening window in the morningAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Mistake #9: Keeping Windows Closed

Part of the reason we call it spring cleaning? It’s finally warm enough to open your windows! Fresh air brings new energy into your home after a long, stuffy winter. Plus, a cracked window ventilates your space—which is particularly important if you’re using chemical cleaners. Time to clean your windows? Try these tips from a pro.

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