Ah Spring! It’s that time of year when you’re itching to get cleaning. Now is the time to open the windows and freshen up the whole house. This helpful spring cleaning checklist will help you organize the necessary tasks for your spring cleaning. Don’t worry if it takes more than a weekend or two accomplish all of the tasks (and some may not be necessary). The goal is to get your home looking and smelling fresh after being closed up all winter long.

Shampoo Carpets and Rugs – After the pollen has fallen is a great time to shampoo your carpets and rugs. If you suffer from seasonal allergies you’ll notice an improvement right after you’ve cleaned your carpets and rugs. It’s best to hire a professional, but you can rent the equipment from your local hardware or big box store and do it yourself. Be sure to keep pets and children off of your carpets until they are completely dry (about 2 days depending on the humidity in the house).

Dust Bookshelves and Books – Grab your feather duster or damp cloth and start dusting. If it’s been a while since you dusted your bookshelves and books you may want to start with a hand held vacuum to collect dust bunnies and cobwebs before using a cloth or feather duster for the detail work.

Dust Walls and Ceilings – Dust collects on walls and ceilings too, believe it or not. You can use a vacuum attachment with a soft brush at the end or a soft cloth if there is no texture for it to get caught on.

Clean Under Tub – If you have a claw foot tub be sure to clean underneath it. Dust that has settled under the tub can be difficult to remove since it is likely damp. A duster won’t usually work under the tub. You’ll need to get under there with a sponge and some soapy water or a vinegar/water mixture to get it sparkling clean.

Dust Hard to Reach Areas – This is where a decent hand held cordless vacuum comes in handy. Use the soft brush attachment to clean on top of windows, door frames and other hard to reach areas.

Wash Windows and Screens – If you can remove your screens take them out back and give them a good spray down. Use soapy water and a soft cloth or brush to remove years of dirt and dust. Wash windows inside and out with a commercial brand such as Windex or a water/vinegar mixture. Clean windows in the sun so you can spot any streaks that might be overlooked.

Mop Floors – Ideally you’ve been mopping your floors all year long, if you haven’t now is the time to do a thorough cleaning. Consider hiring a professional to steam clean your hardwood or laminate floors.

Clean Underneath Couch and Chairs – If you have kids and/or pets, then you have things underneath your couch and chairs. If possible, move the couch to access what is underneath it. If you can’t move the furniture on your own, and don’t have anyone to help, use a broom to pull items to the front so you can reach them. Use a dust mop to dust up any dust bunnies, animal hair and other debris.

Clean Under the Bed – Same goes for under the bed. If the room is carpeted used a vacuum attachment to vacuum under the bed after removing anything that doesn’t belong there.

Clean or Replace Shower Curtain – Wash fabric shower curtains in the washing machine following manufactures instructions on the tag. Replace worn out and moldy shower curtain liners with new ones.

Clean Picture Frames and Mirrors – Like windows, picture frames and mirrors get dirty. Use Windex or like cleaner to clean the glass and a soft cloth to wipe away dust from around the frame.

Deep Clean Refrigerator – Now is the time to throw out anything that has expired. It is also time to get rid of anything you don’t like. That bottle of kale juice that’s never been opened, probably won’t expire for another year or two and that absolutely no one will drink — toss it out, it’s just taking up space.

Clean out Pantry – Same goes for the pantry. Toss anything that has expired and weed out the things you don’t like and know you will never use. Dust off cans and organize by type of food or alphabetically if you are so inclined.

Rotate Mattresses – Most mattresses these days can’t be flipped over, and are not designed to be. They do need to be rotated however, for even wear. Wash any mattress pads that might not get laundered as often as sheets.