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Updated: 10 Jan 2022

Six spring-cleaning mistakes you should stop making now

Spring cleaning your house from top to toe is a big undertaking. These are the common spring cleaning mistakes you should avoid to make the process as smooth and effective as possible
a freshly spring cleaned room

With the long list of jobs that comes with embarking on a thorough spring clean of your house, it's surely not the most exciting thing on your to-do list. However, if you can adopt the mindset of improving your environment to boost your health and happiness, the chores can fly by. We've put together a list of common spring-cleaning mistakes to avoid to ensure you don't hit a snag during the process.

Consider using this guidance alongside other advice about spring cleaning. By contemplating tasks you might not have on your list at the moment and creating your own unique plan, it will help you to create a thorough list that's right for your space.

1. Starting without a plan

notebook ready for spring cleaning plan

An easy mistake to make when you start spring cleaning is to begin without a plan for what you're going to do. Start by making a to-do list of essential tasks, with the most important, time-consuming at the top, and smaller, easier jobs at the bottom.

Once you're clear about what needs to be done, work systematically through your house room by room. Clean from one side of the room to the other, and from the ceiling to the floor. This logical system ensures you'll be thorough without missing any areas.

Before you begin the core tasks of a spring clean - such as dusting and vacuuming - make sure you tidy and declutter rooms of possessions first, so you can reach everywhere, and won't leave dirty patches in a room when you move items later. If you regularly end up with piles of clothes strewn untidily around the house due to lack of storage space, consider some fitted wardrobe ideas.

To speed up your spring-cleaning process, divide tasks between members of your household. If you have kids, this could be a great opportunity to give them an introduction into cleaning and responsibilities. This will be easier to do with a proper plan, to-do list and tidy rooms.

2. Incorrectly preparing cleaning tools and equipment

From cloths and dusters to the vacuum cleaner and dustpan and brush, you are going to need a variety of equipment for a proper spring clean. Make sure all of your tools are clean and in good working order before you begin, as this will help you get the best results.

Your vacuum cleaner in particular will be essential to any spring clean, so check it's in good condition. Clean out your vacuum cleaner by emptying the bag, and check everything is working properly. If it's struggling with suction, use our guide on how to fix a vacuum cleaner that's lost suction to see if you can resolve the problem without purchasing a new vacuum cleaner.

3. Forgetting to look up

It's easy to get caught up in cleaning the areas and objects that you can see, and completely forget to look up and clean anything above your eye line - or things that are out of sight. However, your ceiling, any fixtures and fittings above (such as lights or ceiling fans) and even shelves and door frames, also need to be cleaned.

The problem is, if you forget this until after you've cleaned everything closer to ground level, you'll spread dust and dirt all over your lovely new clean areas. To prevent this from happening, clean each room from top to bottom.

While you're looking at your ceiling and other areas that are above your line of sight, check for any signs of damp. If you need help identifying damp, or find damp and want to tackle it, make sure to read our guide on how to get rid of damp. It's vital to stop the problem before it gets worse.

4. Ignoring your mattress

someone vacuuming a mattress

You may not often think about your mattress other than when you go to bed, and even then it's not necessarily at the forefront of your mind. However, even if it doesn't have noticeable stains or smells, a mattress still collects bodily fluids and dead skin. This creates a haven for dust mites, which can trigger or cause allergies, so it's important to look after your mattress.

For detailed advice, tips and more specific information, read our guide on how to clean a mattress.

If you decide that what you actually need is a new mattress, check out our best buy mattresses to find our recommended products that will give you the most comfort. Additionally, have a look at the best mattress deals for 2021 to see if you can save some money on your new mattress.

5. Forgetting about indoor air quality

an air purifier

Make sure to consider the air quality of your home. This can easily slip your mind, given that it's not something you can visually assess. Nevertheless, there are a number of things you can do while spring cleaning to improve the quality of your air.

Be conscious of the chemicals you're using during cleaning, and the air pollution they might create. Ensure good ventilation by opening windows, and consider investing in an air purifier.

Read our guide on how to improve your indoor air quality at home for advice on how to improve your indoor air.

6. Starting with a negative mindset

a man and girl enjoying spring cleaning

It can be easy to look at a long list of spring cleaning tasks that need doing and view them as dreary chores, requiring you to slog through cleaning, scrubbing and tidying. If you can instead approach with a positive attitude, seeing this as a chance to improve your home and get some exercise, the whole process will become more enjoyable.

A spring clean is not just for your home, it's for your state of mind and health, particularly if you tackle any damp or allergy problems. Furthermore, as coronavirus lockdown restrictions start to ease, it's a great time to clear away the cobwebs and get your home ready to receive visitors, when it is safe to do so.

Even in the post-lockdown era, it's likely you're still going to spend more time at home than prior to the pandemic. Cleaning and improving your work space will help induce a positive, productive mindset. Consider our home office ideas, tips and inspiration to freshen up an area of your home that has seen more use than ever before.

Finally, if you want some professional help with your spring cleaning, use Which? Trusted Traders to find a reliable carpet cleaner.