Is there anything more satisfying than coming home to a squeaky clean home? Yes, all that scrubbing and decluttering can be a bit time-consuming and overwhelming, not to mention energy-draining, but we’re one year into the pandemic, and a well-sanitized surrounding helps protect us from the threat of coronavirus.

Now that the weather’s starting to warm up, people emerge from their caves to do their bout of annual mammoth housework marathon, otherwise known as Spring Cleaning. Yes, folks, it’s time to take advantage of the sunny weather to air the house out and clean it of soot and grime accumulated over the winter– and with a few tips and tricks, you can survive Spring cleaning without a scratch!

Here are nine helpful hacks for a sparkling, virus-free home:

Set a schedule

On average, Spring cleaning may take around a week to finish. But if you tackle this Spring challenge with a schedule in hand, you can make the most of your time. Take a look around your home and gauge which areas are going to take the longest to clean. Set a schedule for yourself and break your tasks apart by room– with a plan of attack for every room, of course!

Get your tools ready

Once you have your spring cleaning checklist in check, it’s best to have the right tools hand before you start the deed. Gather all that you need, like HEPA vacuums, boxes, brooms, mops, etc., and ensure that you have a different cleaner for every surface to avoid doing more harm than good. Getting your supplies ready beforehand will help you avoid stopping halfway through your cleaning schedule.

Think GREEN

Start your spring off on a clean note– like not exposing yourself to chemicals and toxins while you do your cleaning sessions. A steam cleaner is one of the best green products to add to your cleaning tool collection, and you can use it on your microwaves, tile, hard floors, kitchen appliances, bathroom, and outdoor areas.

Declutter

Time and time again, we’ve mentioned the damage that clutter can do to our mental health. So, to avoid stressful Spring cleaning sessions, start decluttering every room. Remove stuff you no longer need and give the remaining items in your home a designated space. Make sure to put them right back where they belong to keep your home from getting cluttered in the future.

Tackle trouble areas first

We’re sure you’ve got areas throughout your home you’ve started to avoid. Make sure you tackle those areas first. These may or may not include your bathrooms, kitchen, kids’ rooms, and every junk drawer or room! Start cleaning these areas on day one or space them out. Set a goal of one trouble area per day and feel a sense of accomplishment every time you finish one.

Start from the top

Make sure to start from the top when cleaning each room. Otherwise, the dust particles will fall on your recently vacuumed floors, and you’ll need to clean again. Clear all dust and debris from your ceiling and fans, and save yourself from having to re-do any cleaning afterward (why put in twice the effort when you can do everything the right way and in one go?).

Don’t forget the walls and windows

Most people typically forget to include the walls and windows on their cleaning list without realizing that not all dust settles on the floor and other surfaces. Use a damp towel to wipe down walls and blinds, and include the window screens outside too! A steam cleaner with a squeegee will be a helpful tool in cleaning your windows.

Check your air

You want to know what’s the most important but overlooked parts of Spring cleaning? Replace furnace and HVAC filters! Keep yourself and your whole family healthier during the Spring season (and any season, for that matter!) by replacing your standard filter with a more robust one with a high MERV rating. This kind of filter can catch smaller, irritating particles. Your air conditioner’s ducts also build up dust during winter, so upgrading filters in an expensive way to contain unwanted particles to stop them from entering your space. Clean, healthy air is essential– never forget!

The gutters and downspouts need your attention

There’s a pretty good chance that your gutters and downspouts need some cleaning after the buildup of ice and snow. Conduct a perimeter check from the ground to make sure nothing has come loose or detached from the house. You must also check your downspouts for any clogs and make sure that water is coming out of them. If you’re not comfortable climbing a ladder, seek a professional that can offer these services for you.