Spring Cleaning 101

It’s a perfect day for spring cleaning 365 days of the year. Much to everyone’s surprise you can actually spring clean all year long. I know.  Breaking news.


Kind of.  We woke up to a raging snowstorm in Southern Ontario this morning. Yet for some reason, I still felt like spring cleaning. My guess is, it’s because I figure if I start spring cleaning, spring might actually come.   It’s the exact same reas oning that prompts me to stop wearing my winter coat from about February 17th. I’m generally close to hypothermic for the last month and a half each winter.

My Spring Awakening plan hasn’t worked thus far, but perhaps I’m just not being extreme enough. Next February I plan to give up winter boots, heating and any recipe that resembles a chili or stew. Plus I’ll wear flip flops for all outdoor excursions.

Give that a go and see what happens with the weather.  I get the feeling Spring is laughing it’s head off at us in Ontario right now.  Spring’s a bit of a jerk.

Anyhow, I’ve compiled a list of 3 things you can do in an hour or less to help kick start your Spring Cleaning motivation.   These are 3 of about a billion things that need to be done.  But … they’re 3 things that will have a great big, satisfying impact!  Oh!  And none of these things involve wearing flip flops or frostbite.


Spring Cleaning You can Accomplish in Under an Hour!



Clean the tops of things.

Being of a diminutive stature, I can’t see a lot of what other people can.

Things like top shelves, or the tops of lamps for instance.

As you can see, the left side is still dirty and dusty, the right side is cleaned.

I prefer the clean side.


Clean your light switches.

Yeah, so um, I really debated about whether or not to show you this picture.

It’s a real picture of a real light switch in my house.  Honest to God.

It’s not the light switch from a back alley men’s shelter.

It is not the light switch from a hog rendering plant.

It is the light switch from my kitchen.

To be fair, (to me) the switch is in a bit of a difficult to reach place, so I don’t clean it as often as I should.

In case that wasn’t clear to you.

Most of my other switches I wipe down every so often.

This one I don’t see, so I don’t wipe it down as often as I should.

In case that wasn’t clear to you.


Wipe down your switches (I used a Magic Eraser and a toothpick for an extra good result).

Re-align your screws so they’re even and level.

Touch up your screws with either white paint or white nail polish.

Little effort, HUGE impact.



Touch up chipped paint.

This particular chest of drawers in my kitchen takes a beating because it’s where I shove 2 very heavy pans.

Every so often, as I’m shoving the pan in the drawer, I miss and hit the chest.  It’s usually because my arm is so tuckered out from throwing guck at my light switch all day long.

If you take a look around your house, there’s probably at least a dozen places that could use a quick touch up.



To touch up painted furniture first apply a quick coat of primer, let it dry and then touch up with the original paint.

I just used a tiny little brush like you get with a paint-by-numbers kit.




Again, little effort, HUGE impact.


Wipe down grimy doors and walls.

With everyone inside the house all winter, things are bound to get filthy.

Take a quick look at your doors, doorknobs  and walls and give them a rub down with a damp cloth.  On particularly stubborn areas rub lightly with a Magic Eraser.




And once more for the win … little effort, HUGE impact.

Obviously, this is just an elementary Spring Cleaning list.  There are all kinds of things to do for Spring Cleaning, but when you think of it as a big, HUGE job you tend not to do it.  You just think about it, worry about it, decide there’s just toooo much to do and you don’t do any of it.  If you just think of doing 3 tasks at a time it’s a bit more manageable.

Now that I’ve shattered the perfect image you all have of me and shown myself to be a filthy, little pig, I implore you to do these 3 things today.  You really can do all of these tasks in under an hour.     And I have a hunch if  EVERYONE does it, we might just kickstart Spring’s ass right into gear.

Although to be perfectly honest with you, I’m not entirely certain Spring has an ass, or just is one.


For those of you who also love cleaning and the Magic Eraser … watch me try to remove blue Sharpie from a white wall with one!



  1. Patricia Englund says:

    I used to use the magic eraser until someone told me there was formaldehyde in them. Have you heard this?

    • Karen says:

      No I hadn’t, but it’s possible. Even probable. Formaldehyde is everywhere and in everything (including ourselves.) O.K., it’s not in everything, but it’s a very common “ingredient”. ~ karen!

  2. Cat says:

    Every other year I clean the grout in my kitchen floor with baking sofa and vinegar, using old tooth brushes I save. It’s unbelievable what a difference it makes. I use the aforementioned products as we have two cats we want to keep from harm.

  3. karen hedges says:

    HI Karen,
    I used to get your blog but it stopped coming. I’d like to resubscribe. Thank you.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen! It looks like you accidentally unsubscribed in July. I’ve sent you another subscription confirmation notice so when you get it, just click on the email to get your subscription up and running again. :) ~ karen!

  4. Laura Bee says:

    Today I discovered my dishwasher has a filter. Won’t tell you how long we have lived in our house. Ick. Going to wipe some things down & – ick – need to wash the cat’s nose prints off the windows too.

  5. marilyn says:

    i too love the magic eraser but they fall apart so fast!

    • Karen says:

      Marilyn – If you’re cheap like me you probably already do this, but I tend to cut the Magic Eraser in half. That way you don’t waste a whole one. If I just have one little smudge I just cut off a corner and use it. Seems to help make a block last longer. ~ karen

  6. Sarah P says:

    Ha! I do the same thing with my winter coat! After the brief warm spell we always get in February, I stay with my spring coat… and we had snow here in Boston this week, too. I’m cold all the time.

    I also realized around the end of January that my long-missing snow boots are never going to be found, but I figured “winter’s almost over, so there’s no point getting boots until next year.” It was wishful thinking that has resulted in cold wet toes many times over.

  7. Ruthy Sue says:

    That light switch makes me feel so much better about my house! I also have hard-to reach switch (it controls the dishwasher-long story) that probably looks about the same. I’ve added it to my weekend do to list.

    BTW, Karen, I absolutely love your site. I am a religious reader of it. Thanks for all of your posts!

  8. lori says:

    Ok now that you made me totally exhausted. I’ll think I’ll just move on. he-he No I will get at and just try and get some things put back where they belong then do the hour of cleaning that you suggested. Thanks for the inspiration!
    love your blog!!

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