Get your spring cleaning done with one task per week, like a 1940s housewife with this spring cleaning routine from the 1940s.
Dreading all of those spring cleaning tasks and spending hours everyday cleaning? You aren’t alone, even housewives in the 1940s hated this task.
In reading old homemaking magazines from the 1940s I came across a spring cleaning schedule a housewife had shared. Instead of doing all the tasks in one week she did one task per week from March through April.
This meant it was all done by May Day but she didn’t feel overwhelmed or overworked. We often see over the top cleaning routines from that time so it’s nice to see a more laid back routine.
I’m thinking about trying this routine this year. Of course with modern homes, I’ll need to switch things up a bit but I think the routine overall is solid.
Spring Cleaning Routine from the 1940s
Making Repairs (Week 1)
Grab a notebook and go around the house to see what needs to be repaired. Check things like curtain pulls, upholstery, chips in the paint, doors that aren’t shutting properly, anything that could possibly need to be repaired.
After that make your shopping list for supplies for the things you can fix yourself. Gather the supplies and make the repairs.
For jobs, you can’t manage yourself, set those up right away. Hire someone to come make the fixes or take the items to a repair shop.
What Needs Replacing? (Week 2)
Grab that notebook again and walk around the house. What items can’t be repaired or you are ready to donate and move on from?
If you have the budget for these changes go ahead and get the items and donate the things they are replacing.
If you don’t have the budget now, keep the list and make a note to start saving for these items. Be sure to also watch for good sales.
Tackle the Cupboards (Week 3)
Go through all the cupboards in your home and declutter the items that need to go. Be honest with yourself with the things you don’t really need or love.
You also need to clean the cupboards. Clean them inside out while they are empty. Go ahead and check supplies that are stored in these places as well and make note of things you need to stock up on.
Clean Out the Storage Room (Week 4)
No matter if it’s the attic, basement, garage, or spare room it’s time to get these areas in order.
Re-organize what needs a little work, declutter items you are no longer using and clean up the area.
This is a good time to grab items around your house that you know need to be put away in this area as well.
On to the Kitchen (Week 5)
Kitchens can build up a lot of grease so every surface needs a good washing, don’t forget the cabinets and walls. Work from the ceiling down so you don’t get things you just did dirty again.
This is a good time to put out some new curtains or a table cloth, replace shelf papers, and replace those worn-out linens.
Clothes Closets Are Next (Week 6)
Give all the clothing areas a good cleaning and decluttering. If you have broken hangers now is the time to replace those as well.
It’s also time to clean and put away winter clothes and start getting out the spring clothes. Don’t forget to donate the items you didn’t use or know you don’t want to next year.
Time for all the Knick-Knacks (Week 7)
Gather up all of the knick-knacks from around the house. Give them all a good cleaning, polishing or anything else they need.
Donate any items you no longer love, put things away that you still like but don’t want to use now, and get out of storage things you want to use again.
Lights, Walls, and Vacuuming (Week 8)
Go to room-to-room and polish and clean light fixtures. For things that can be taken down for easier cleaning stick them in a basket to take them to the kitchen for easier cleaning. Now wipe off fingerprints and do any wall cleaning that needs to be done.
Vacuuming those items you don’t get to in your weekly cleaning is up next, draperies, bedsprings, books, walls, and moldings. And don’t forget to move the furniture and vacuum behind things as well.
Finishing Touches (Week 9)
Clean and polish any woodwork, including wood furniture that needs it and hasn’t already been done.
Clean windows and don’t forget to launder curtains. Washing the windows will be easier while the curtains are down.
Clean your upholstery, launder slipcovers, clean rugs, and spot clean things that need it.
That still seems like a lot but doing all of it over the span of two months makes it more manageable. With modern homes, we need to remember things like cleaning our dishwashers, washing machines, and likely many other things in your home but there are also tasks we don’t need to do as much. A lot of our woodwork is painted now so less polishing, most of us don’t have a lot of fancy silver to polish, and things like that can be taken off our list.
If you’d like to follow along with this routine I’ve created a simple free printable for you to use. Just sign up below and you will get the printable featuring these tasks and some space to add your own tasks.
Free Spring Cleaning Supplies
One thing I’m grateful for about living in the present times is I can have my cleaning supplies delivered to my door. It saves me a lot of time and I’m always stocked up and ready to go.
My favorite place to shop for cleaning supplies is Grove Collaborative. And the best part is new customers can get a free Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning kit which is perfect for your spring cleaning.