Interior Design

Spring cleaning: decluttering your space


There’s nothing like the warm winds of a new season to make cleaning feel like less of a chore and more like a way to hit the refresh button on life. 

Before you fling open all the windows of your apartment to enjoy the spring breeze, you’ll want to get it in tip-top shape to start a fresh chapter. But if you’ve been holding off on a deep clean of your household, the idea of doing a sweeping cleanse of your space can feel harrowing. The drains, the storage closet, the bathroom tiles…where do you start?

In this guide, we’ll break down some go-to spring cleaning tips to vitalize your enthusiasm for the warmer weather and give your space the fresh start it deserves.

Cleaning The Kitchen

If you’re ready to throw the kitchen sink at your spring cleaning spree, there’s no better place to start than the kitchen itself.

This is arguably one of the most important rooms to tackle on your spring cleaning checklist, which means you’ll want to set aside one day to focus on this section of the apartment. Since it’s a communal area, you can take this spring cleaning Goliath on with your roommates. Here are some cleaning tips to help you get started:

#1 Scrub the Sink

There’s a lot of action that happens in the kitchen, especially when living with roommates. The condition and smell of your sink is a tell-tale sign of how much deep cleaning you need to take care of. 

Here’s how to handle any unseemly sink smells you might have on your hands:

  • Scrub the sink basin with your usual dish soap and some warm soapy water.
  • To take care of any stubborn grit and grime, use an old toothbrush with a spot of baking soda to scrub away at the tricky spots in the drain.
  • Give the sink a white vinegar glaze to sterilize and remove any stubborn stains. If you’ve used some baking soda, you may have a slightly volcanic 5th-grade science project on your hands.
  • Lastly, try running a couple of orange or lemon rinds through the garbage disposal with cold water to give your drain a zesty, refreshing smell.

If you want to make your sink sparkle, you can even use a few daubs of EVO to gloss the basin!1 

#2 Detox the Fridge

Gather your roommates and roll up your sleeves—it’s time to get rid of those long-lost condiments holed up in the backmost recesses of your refrigerator:

  • Toss what’s expired – During a fridge deep-clean, trust the expiration dates over any sentimental attachments to the fennel-mint chutney you bought 29 weeks ago and have yet to polish off. If it has a weird smell, toss it. If it’s turning into a petri dish, toss it. When in doubt, trust your gut.
  • Remove the shelving – Rookie mistake: thinking cleaning the fridge means simply removing your weeks-old cartons of takeout rice. A true fridge cleanse means removing all the shelving and drawers as well, and giving them a lather in the kitchen sink.
  • Dust the coils – While your fridge shelving is drying, it’s time to haul the refrigerator away from the wall. In the no man’s land behind the fridge where dust bunnies reign, an enormous amount of fluff and debris can accumulate around your refrigerator’s cooling coils, depressing its energy efficiency.2 To clean them, give them a once-over with your vacuum using one of its small attachments to reach the nooks and crannies.
  • Wipe it down – Last but not least, give the front-facing side of your fridge some cosmetic attention. Mix a simple solution of white vinegar and water (and even a few drops of Peppermint essential oil), and use a rag or old T-shirt to wipe it down.

Once your fridge is polished and gleaming, don’t forget to give some attention to the freezer by decluttering any frozen TV dinners purchased in a panic-buying spree.

Finally, the pantry is a precinct of the kitchen that can easily become a bedlam of seasonings, fancy salts, and Tums that lost their way to the bathroom cabinet. Remove all the contents from your pantry and consolidate any redundant spices. For kitchen cleaning bonus points, alphabetize your spices for easier access.

#3 Wipe Down the Appliances

Don’t blemish your newly sparkling countertops by neglecting the kitchen gadgets that sit on them. Remember to also wipe down your: 

  • Microwave – The inside of the microwave is frequently neglected during kitchen-cleaning frenzies. If you’re a popcorn enthusiast or have been known to let liquids bubble over when you use your microwave, you’ll want to de-grease it. Use a degreaser (or water mixed with baking soda) to strip the doors and turntable of any grime, while making sure to avoid the vents in the back.
  • Toaster – If your go-to no-fuss breakfast routinely consists of toast, make sure to dump the carb debris like crust crumbs and sesame seeds into the trash. Be sure to unplug it before giving the exterior a rinse in the kitchen sink.
  • Coffee maker – If you’re a daily drip coffee drinker, it’s time to give your machine a dry run to dispense with any residue mottling the current brew you’re sipping on. Complete one or two rinse cycles using only water (no filters or beans) to restore the quality and clarity of your morning brew.

In addition to the smaller appliances, you’ll also want to clean the oven, dishwasher, and laundry machines like so:

  • Scrub down your burners, stovetop, and make sure to get the inside of the oven as well. Use a dust brush to remove any debris (or a scraper if you ever left a sweet potato cooking too long). Then, use a mixture of ammonia, baking soda, and white vinegar to give it a wipe-down.
  • For your dishwasher, run a cycle with no dishes or utensils using a specialty cleanser. This will not only clean the machine itself, but it will also help your machine clean your dishes more thoroughly.
  • While you’re at it, show your washing machine some love with a blank cycle of its own. You can use hot water and distilled white vinegar, or even hot water with a dash of bleach. If you use bleach, run one more blank cycle afterward to avoid any laundry mishaps after your deep-clean. 

Lastly, don’t forget to tend to those old-fashioned, non-electric kitchen tools. Your entire household is sure to appreciate a loving seasoning of any cast iron pans or even a trip to your local kitchen goods shop for a knife sharpening session. 

#4 Make the Floors Sparkle

Depending on how diligent you are about keeping them tidy, cleaning your kitchen floors can mean serious business.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning your floors as thoroughly as possible.

  • Step 1 – First things first: remove any floor coverings from the area. If you keep a kitchen mat beside the sink to catch any food droppings or water, give it a shake-out and toss it into the washing machine to clean.
  • Step 2 – Before you do anything else, vacuum and sweep your floors to clear the premises of any loose debris. Otherwise, you won’t be cleaning your floors—you’ll simply be pushing around the dust and grime from one region of the kitchen to another.
  • Step 3 – The type of flooring in your kitchen will dictate what kind of cleaning solution you should use, although it’s always best to avoid harsh chemicals or ones that promise “shine,” and opt for a pH-neutral soap and some white vinegar instead.3 Basic cleaning supplies such as a mop and bucket don’t always do a thorough job, particularly for tiled flooring. You’re better off using a microfiber mop—or, for even more consistency, hunkering down on your knees with a microfiber cloth. 

After you get up close and personal with your kitchen floors, it’s recommended you sweep up kitchen debris daily and clean your floors twice a week to avoid build-up.

Cleaning The Bathroom

Some things in life will always be a chore, and one of those things is cleaning the bathroom. To keep your spirits up, remember that the more of a beast the bathroom is to clean, the more satisfying it will be once you’ve finally slain the dragon. 

The Toilet

The truth is that cleaning the toilet isn’t as scary as it seems. Remember that toilet plumbing uses clean water to begin with, so the more attentive you are to tending the bowl regularly, the less threatening it will seem when you clean it.

To clean a toilet, you’ll need the following cleaning products:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Bleach
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Disinfecting wipes

Start with the bowl. Squeeze the toilet bowl cleaner around the bowl’s circumference, and make sure you get the removable seat as well. With your rubber gloves on, use your scrubber to clean the entirety of the toilet body, taking care to remove any grime skirting the surface of the water.

Once you’ve spread the cleaner around the bowl, give it five minutes to settle. After that, give it a flush, douse the bowl with bleach, and flush again. 

Lastly, sterilize the outside of your toilet with disinfecting wipes. Don’t forget the base of the toilet, top of the toilet, lid of the toilet, and the exteriors near the wall that you can reach. For the finishing touch, use a new disinfecting wipe to polish the handle to remove any lingering germs.

The Shower

One of the main concerns in bathrooms is mold—some breeds of which, like black mold, can be particularly noxious (and even deadly). Mold can accumulate because of:

  • Shoddy ventilation, or not using the bathroom fan post-shower
  • Letting products sit too long in your shower caddy
  • Soggy bath mats or towels
  • Leaks or plumbing issues

The trickiest part of deep cleaning the shower is tiling and grout, which can compound the number of places where mold can accumulate. If you’re contending with mildew or a mild stain, use a high-pH cleaner with a medium-bristle scrub brush. However, be careful not to use too harsh a tool (like wire scrubbers) or a chemical solution—this can corrode the grout, which can mar the condition of your tiling.

Once you’ve rid your shower of any mold enclaves, give the entire vestibule a general clean using a shower cleaner and a large, dense sponge.

The Bedroom

More than any other room of the house, cleaning your bedroom is mostly a matter of decluttering. Here are a few Marie Kondo-worthy steps for refreshing your habitat:

#1: Clean Your Sheets

While many among us self-report a weekly linen-cleaning schedule, the truth is we probably toss our sheets in the wash less frequently than we should. Sheets are a magnet for dead skin cells and sweat, not to mention a casualty of spillage from a midnight snack in bed. 

Before you toss your linens and pillowcases in the wash, be sure to check the labels for cleaning and bleaching instructions. 

#2: Switch Up Your Furniture

Even if you’re committed to a certain mise-en-place for your bedroom, switching up the arrangement of furniture—even temporarily—will help to revitalize the space and keep the energy moving. Practically, some feng shui will enable you to vacuum and dust any nooks that are normally shrouded by furniture.

#3: Target Hard-to-Reach Spots

It’s not uncommon to forego tough spots when doing your daily tidying, like making the bed and putting away the laundry. For thorough spring cleaning, however, you should focus on dusting neglected areas, like the blades of your ceiling fan, any lighting fixtures or string lights, and the moldings hemming the ceilings and floors.

#4: Introduce Some New Décor

There’s no need to shell out for a total bedroom makeover, but buying yourself one small item can be a lovely way to christen the bedroom cleaning process. Consider: 

  • A scented candle 
  • A fresh bouquet from your local farmers market
  • A throw pillow

Whatever it is, treating yourself to one nice thing will inspire you to keep your habitat clean and cozy. Revamp your personal space and decorate your room with some new items.

#5: Take a Deep Breath and Declutter

Few would argue that the pièce de resistánce of bedroom cleaning is decluttering. 

Decluttering has a sentimental dimension that can make it hard to part with your belongings, but holding onto possessions also has a domino effect: the more clutter you have, the more crevices and corners there are for dust to accumulate, and the more difficult it is to make cleaning your space a regular thing.

If you’re having trouble parting with something you suspect is just keeping you stuck in the past, try giving it to a friend or roommate instead of tossing or donating it. If you miss it, you can always ask for it back!

Make Cleaning a Spring Breeze With Common

While there’s no better way to welcome warmer weather, few would argue that spring cleaning takes a lot of effort—unless you’ve got a professional cleaning team to help take some of the work off your plate.

Common coliving homes include professional cleaning services to keep your shared living spaces tidy year-round. Plus, every home has laundry on-site so you have the ability to wash all your sheets and linens as frequently as you want.

To learn more about the suite of amenities included in each Common home, contact us and book a free tour of your next spotless home today.



  1. Real Simple. How to Clean Your Kitchen Sink and Garbage Disposal.
  2. Science Direct. Cooling Coil.
  3. Real Simple. 8 No-Sweat Tricks to Clean Any Type of Floor.


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