Complete Spring Cleaning and Safety Guide

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After hibernating all winter, the first hint of warm air is the best way to wake up. But the coming of spring isn’t all birds and bees. Allergies, pests, and afternoon yard work are just around the corner.

Streamline your work with spring cleaning safety tips on cutting the clutter, disinfecting your home, safety testing, and emergency preparation.

1. Declutter and disinfect

Things tend to accumulate over the winter. Once spring rolls around, it’s time to take care of the left-out holiday decorations and piles of sweaters. Clutter can collect dust, which causes allergies. Here’s how to get started.

Clean out the attic or garage

It sounds like a daunting task, but spring is the perfect time to clear the dust off the storage areas of your home.

Start by untangling and sorting nests of cables and extension cords. You probably don’t need a dozen phone chargers anyway. For the ones you don’t want to keep, look for an e-waste recycling center near you. Chargers, cables, and cords can add to pollution and be hazardous when burned.

For everything else, create piles of things you want to dump, donate, or keep. This process thins out the clutter and uncovers items you forgot you loved.

Restock cleaning supplies

Check under your sink and replace any old household cleaners and rags you don’t need. Items like unscented bleach, white vinegar, and fresh sponges are great additions to your home arsenal.

If you want gentler cleaning products, ingredients like olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice combine to create nontoxic home cleaners. But you need to bring in the heavier chemicals like bleach to truly disinfect your home. If you use bleach, do not mix it with any other chemicals.

Clear the air

Cleaner air means fewer itchy eyes, runny noses, and sneezes in your home. Crank up the air purifier, vacuum, dust, and wash linens regularly to break up dirt, pollen, and dander.

Replace your HVAC air filter and clean the vents throughout your home to remove dust. If you have floor vents, pets, or allergies, consider hiring a duct cleaner to get all the dust bunnies out of your ductwork.

Household mold, including black mold, is also a prime suspect when it comes to spring allergies. If you come across moldy spots in your bathroom, under the sink, or around windows, clean them up quickly to avoid any further problems.

Disinfect your home

Multi-surface cleaner

* price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.

Between winter colds and spring allergies, there might be a lot of sneezing in your house. Keep the bugs under control by deep cleaning your home.

Start by disinfecting hard surfaces like countertops, doorknobs, faucets. Commonly touched areas like these should get a thorough cleaning to avoid spreading germs. Clean toys, games, and electronics too, especially ones your kids use often or share with siblings and friends.

We recommend using a bleach solution or nontoxic household cleaners like hydrogen peroxide when you can. Or, learn about effective natural cleaners.

You don’t need much bleach to make a solution that will disinfect the hard surfaces in your home. But we recommend changing the recipe based on what you’re cleaning.1  Use gloves when handling bleach solutions, and be sure to open a window or vent. And NEVER mix bleach with ammonia or vinegar.

How To Make a Bleach Solution

Type of surfaceSolution recipe
Food contact surfaces1 tablespoon bleach : 1 gallon of water
Changing stations, bathroom, kids' rooms surfaces3/4 tablespoon bleach: 1 gallon of water, soak for five minutes and air dry

2. Start yard work

You don’t have to be a gardener or hardcore DIY-expert to make your yard safer and more fun this spring. As the winter chill thaws away, there are a few things you can do to make sure your home is in good shape for spring and summer.

Clean the gutters

Your gutters and roof may have weathered some damage after a season of snow and ice (check out our winter safety guide). Even if you live in a warmer climate, your home’s drainage system could have clogs from leaves or sticks. Wash out all the debris and unclog your drains and downspouts to make room for the coming spring showers.

Start some planting

Even novice gardeners can get started on their yards in spring. Early spring is the best time to plan your flower and vegetable gardens. With the warm weather, you can till soil, plant bulbs and seeds, and weed any growth that started over the winter.

Prepare for pests

You aren’t the only one coming out of hibernation in spring. As the weather warms up, pests become more active. Thankfully, there are a few ways to keep the bugs at bay.

  • Seal and stain the boards on your deck or porch if you have one. Wood treatment can help keep pests from making your deck dinner. 
  • Check any window and door screens for tears or loose ends that mosquitos, flies, or beetles could use to get inside.
  • Remove any standing water in your yard or garden too. Pests lay eggs in stagnant water. Birdbaths, buckets, and puddles are prime real estate for mama mosquitos.

Check the sprinklers

Before you know it, warm weather will turn hot, and your lawn may suffer for it. Get a head start by checking your sprinkler system or installing sprinkler heads throughout your property. Run a few tests on warm days to make sure you’re ready for summer.

3. Test home safety alarms

It only takes a few minutes to test your home safety sensors. The beeping might be annoying. But making sure they work could save your life in an emergency.

Test smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide alarms

Start by asking for help from a partner, child, or roommate. Tell them to find the furthest possible room in your home and wait for the alarm to sound. Next, hold down the button on your smoke or CO detector down until the alarm sounds.

Your assistant should be able to hear the alarm from their post. If they can’t hear the alarm go off, you should change the battery or place an additional device in your home.

New Detectors Every Decade

We recommend replacing your smoke and CO detectors once every 10 years. Today’s models are much more advanced too. Products like the Best Fire and Smoke Alarms and Best Carbon Monoxide Detectors.

Check fire extinguisher

Fire extinguisher
Amerex B402 fire extinguisher
Amerex B402

* price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.

Love to cook? Be sure there’s a fire extinguisher nearby. Even experienced chefs need to be prepared for unexpected fires.

We also recommend testing your fire extinguisher or purchasing one if you don’t already have one. Show anyone in your home who cooks how to use it in case of a fire. Check out our reviews on the best fire extinguishers to learn more.

Install a water leak detector

Water leak detector
Resideo Wi-Fi leak detector

* price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.

As spring approaches, water may pool in your home. Water leak detectors sound an alarm when they sense pooling water. They help prevent floods, leaky faucets, and defective appliances that could damage your floors or pipes. Place a water leak detector under your water heater, kitchen sink, or washing machine to prevent water damage.

Check out the best water leak detectors to learn more.

4. Make an emergency plan

While it isn’t much fun to think about, creating a safety plan for a natural disaster, pandemic, or other emergency is the responsible thing to do. With just a day or two of planning, you can be prepared for the worst.

Create a fire drill

Sit down with your family and establish a plan for escaping your home in a fire. Establish two routes out of every room in your home, as well as alternatives for anyone with a disability. Choose a rendezvous spot to meet up once everyone’s out. We also recommend setting two meeting places where your family can meet if you’re separated.

Once you’ve run through the plan with everyone, practice until everyone understands what to do.

Gather an emergency preparedness kit

Survival kit
Complete Earthquake Bag

* price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.

With warm weather and moisture rolling in this season, areas across the country are preparing for storm season. Tornados and hurricanes can put your home and family at risk. So it’s smart to have an alternative to panicking.

Start by gathering supplies for an emergency preparedness kit, planning an evacuation route, and establishing emergency contacts. Clothes, food rations, and water are essential, but don’t forget items like pet food or medications.

Spring cleaning FAQ

Removing clutter is a time-honored spring cleaning tradition. Separate piles of clutter into three categories: keep, trash, and donate. This will help you sort your stuff quickly. The donation pile can include extra electrical cords and cables you may not need, clothes that no longer fit, or toys your kids don't use.

Absolutely, especially when mixed. Bleach on its own can be dangerous if ingested or inhaled deeply. But combining it with vinegar, ammonia, or rubbing alcohol can result in hazardous chemicals like chlorine gas, chloramine vapors, and even chloroform. Hydrogen peroxide and vinegar can create peracetic acid, a corrosive chemical that can irritate your eyes, nose, throat, and mouth.

How do I start an emergency preparedness kit?

Having an emergency kit for each member of your family can be a lifesaver in an emergency or natural disaster.3 Here’s a quick list of what you should include in your kit:

  • Water or water purifying method (one gallon per person per day)
  • Food (at least a three-day supply per person)
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Dust or medical mask
  • Moist towelettes or disinfecting wipes
  • Daily medicines, spare glasses, or contacts
  • Pet food
  • Extra clothes and blankets
  • Cash

Related articles


  1. Centers for Disease Control, "Cleaning and Sanitizing With Bleach," February 2021. Accessed June 20, 2022.
  2., “Build a Kit”. Last updated November 2020. Accessed June 20, 2022.


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Katie McEntire
Written by
Katie McEntire
As a renter, pet-owner, and woman living alone, Katie McEntire takes safety seriously. She’s tested devices like pet cameras, home security systems, and GPS trackers in her own home and devices in the name of safety. In addition to testing, writing, and reviewing for SafeWise, she also makes videos for the site’s YouTube channel. She’s been featured on publications like TechGuySmartBuy, Forbes, Healthy Moms, and Digital Care. Katie has a Bachelor’s degree in Technical Writing from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. She’s held previous writing positions at and Top Ten Reviews.

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