Each spring, we talk about cleaning our homes after cocooning during the winter months.  The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) publishes an annual survey that reveals how many of us actually do a “spring cleaning,” as well as cleaning priorities and outcomes.  However, beginning spring cleaning during the winter can make your spring a breeze.

According to ACI’s stats from their 2019 survey (, 41% of respondents do not remember the last time cleaning their refrigerator (4% respondents never cleaned their refrigerator).   Would you be surprised to know that 23% of respondents don’t remember the last time they cleaned their bed linens?  Another 16% can’t remember the last time they cleaned their guest bathroom toilet.  Maybe not a surprise is the 47% who do not remember cleaning their ovens, and the 20% who never cleaned their washing machines.   Of those who clean, 25% believe they don’t clean well, and about 33% do not clean everything in their homes.

Nonetheless, the ACI reported 77% (their highest number recorded) of respondents indicated they would be doing a spring cleaning.  A majority of respondents indicated their cleaning will take five or more days. Windows take top priority during the spring cleaning, followed by closets/drawers, ceiling fans, curtains and carpets.  Why is spring cleaning a big deal? ACI Senior Vice President of Communications Brian Sansoni stated, “Clearing out the clutter, getting rid of dust and adding some shine. That’s why spring cleaning is such an intuitive activity for so many Americans.  We clean things that might not otherwise get cleaned all year long, and we feel happy and satisfied with the results.”

But don’t wait for spring.  Any winter cleaning you do is beneficial, and may reduce the load during your spring cleaning.  Additionally, cleaning tasks you do during the winter may also positively affect your health and well-being.

One of the best ways to clean is to prevent winter weather dirt and debris from entering your home.  Having a large enough heavy-duty entrance mat can help with removing dirty/wet shoes and boots at the door.  Consider placing a shoe tray near the front door to place dirty/wet shoes to dry.

Rather than letting dust build up, schedule periodic dusting.  Experts recommend removing dust to relieve allergy and sinus symptoms.  Dust can build up around door jambs, window sills, hanging pictures, under furniture and appliances.  Vacuuming carpets will remove dust and dirt from carpets. Do not forget to dust hanging fixtures, such as chandeliers and ceiling fans and do not forget to change/clean your bed linens to reduce dust mites.

Think hygiene during winter cleaning.  Even though it may not be used often, consider deep cleaning the guest bathroom.  Odors can remain in trash cans (especially in the kitchen), sanitizing trash cans may eliminate odors and reduce bacterial growth

We to spend more time indoors during the winter months, and our inertia allows us to collect things.  But rather than letting clutter build up for spring, consider beginning your decluttering early.  Decluttering is one of those tasks that can be overwhelming and easily put off for another time.  But if you think about decluttering logically and create a reasonable plan, your winter decluttering can save you time in the spring.  Decluttering is one of those tasks that can be life changing.  Some experts believe that decluttering is somewhat of a portal to better health, as it can promote feelings of wellbeing and energy.

Dan Krell is a Realtor® with RE/MAX Platinum Realty in Bethesda, MD. You can access more information at

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