By: Serge Guenette



Spring has officially sprung, which means it’s time to start thinking about your home’s spring cleaning and decluttering to-do lists. Although it can feel overwhelming to think about cleaning your home from top to bottom, having a freshly clean home is the perfect way to leave winter behind.

If you haven’t put your spring-cleaning list together yet, don’t worry. We’ve created a list of key areas on which to focus.

  1. Windows: They get dirty over winter, both inside and out. If you’re able to do both sides, wash your windows using a glass cleaner or — better yet— a mixture of vinegar and water. Use a microfiber cloth to keep the glass streak-free.

  2. Kitchen appliances: They should be cleaned regularly, but if you tend to neglect cleaning your appliances, use this as a good excuse to do so. For your fridge, remove all food and interior parts to clean fully with hot and soapy water. Purge any food that is past its best-before date and reorganize your fridge as needed. If your stove has a self-clean option, now’s the time to use it. If not, soak and scrape away any spills or grease buildup. Then use a combination of baking soda and vinegar to wash the area out.

  3. Curtains: From window to shower curtains, try to give them all a wash. Make sure to follow the materials’ directions for cleaning.

  4. Furniture: Check through every room for furniture that doesn’t get a regular cleaning. Whether it’s your sofas, dining room table, nightstands or storage units, wipe down surfaces and legs, vacuum underneath or within, and tighten any loose legs or handles.

After you've finished cleaning and refreshing your home, look for ways to declutter and simplify your space. Furniture, clothes and assorted items can buildup in our homes faster than you might think, making them feel cluttered and messy. Here is a quick list of items to add to your declutter list for each room.

  1. Bedroom: Go through your closet and purge any clothes you no longer wear or have room for. Then move on tonight tables, dressers and surface areas, making keep or donate piles to help you organize as you go.

  2. Kitchen: Go through drawers and cupboards to see what you can remove to give you more space and keep it less cluttered. Got more dish towels, mixing spoons and cookbooks than you need? Then it’s time to cull them. After that, move on to your counters and shelves to see which appliances can be tucked away or which decor pieces could be donated.

  3. Living room: Take a critical look around your living room. Are there piles of clutter that you usually just ignore, like an overcrowded bookshelf or a crammed fireplace mantel? Look at items individually and decide whether you really need (or want) them. If not, donate it.

  4. Bathroom: Start with your medicine cabinet, removing any old products or medications you no longer use. (These need to be disposed of properly, not just thrown in the garbage. Here are some tips on how to do that.) Then focus on your storage areas. Do you need all those washcloths and towels? Determine what you need and donate the rest.

After decluttering, donating the items you no longer want is a great way to pay it forward and help others. There are several spots in Ottawa that you can donate to. Your furniture, for instance, can go to the Matthew House Ottawa Furniture Bank, Salvation Army OttawaorHelping with Furniture, just to name three. Check out each website for information on how to donate. And here are more options for donating items.