Spring-cleaning tips, adapted from Erin Bried's "How to Sew a Button: And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew" (Ballantine Books, 2009):
Step 1: Schedule the spring cleaning (to get into the proper mindset). Have all of the proper supplies on hand and set aside plenty of time.
Step 2: Make a checklist, room by room, of what needs to be cleaned. In each room, dust every surface, wipe down dirty walls and doors, vacuum and/or mop, steam clean rugs if necessary, wash light fixtures, remove and clean drapes or blinds, beat cushions, rugs, pillows and mats (outside), and clean windows inside and out.
Step 3: Room-by-room specialty tasks:
Kitchen: Wipe out fridge, defrost and wipe out freezer, clean oven, organize pantry and drawers.
Bedroom: Flip and rotate mattress, change bedding, wash pillows (if washable), swap out winter clothes for summer clothes (donate anything no longer worn).
Bathroom: Besides the usual cleaning of toilet, shower, sink and counter, clean out the medicine cabinet and drawers.
Home office: Remove books from shelves and dust; wipe down computers; organize important papers.
Step 4: Prioritize tasks. If you have helpers, delegate tasks. If not, make sure you can finish what you start to avoid bigger messes.