Memorial Day was the unofficial beginning of summer. The actual summer solstice is on June 20, which also happens to be Father’s Day this year. This means we technically have a couple weeks of springtime left. Whether you want to call it spring or summer cleaning, it’s never a bad time to clean up around the house!

Here are a few spring cleaning tips that I’ve always found helpful:

1. Start with a Plan

Cleaning is usually pretty easy once you get started. It goes even smoother when you have a plan. Before you start cleaning, go through your house and make a checklist of all the things you need to do. This will help you avoid overlooking certain chores. Think about each room, as well as exterior tasks like gutters, paint and windows. Check out this handy spring cleaning checklist I found on Taste of Home.

2. Remember to Work Top Down

This doesn’t mean cleaning while topless, though go ahead if that’s your thing! It means start from the top of each room and work your way downward. Dust the ceiling fans, shelves and high-up places first and then let the excess dust settle before you vacuum, shampoo or mop up the floors. If you are going for a deep clean, remember to get under and behind the furniture. This is the best way to clean up as much dirt, dust and pet hair as possible.

3. Have Fun with It

Not too many people look forward to cleaning their house, especially the children. Do what you can to make the process fun, rewarding and maybe even a little competitive. Give everyone their own tasks and create a reward system. Make a race out of it and design silly challenges to keep everyone having a good time.

4. Get Rid of Stuff You Don’t Need

Beyond just cleaning and disinfecting surfaces throughout the home, you should go through your closets, garage and storage areas. Pull out stuff you no longer need and donate it to Goodwill or any other charitable organization collecting used goods. Only donate items that are still useful. Throw out or recycle the rest. You can also go room-to-room and declutter a bit. Take down old décor and freshen up your living spaces.

5. Remember to Go Outdoors

We all tend to focus on the inside of the home and the areas we occupy most. Meanwhile, the garage gets piled up with junk and the yard gets neglected. Make garage and outdoor tasks part of your spring cleaning routine. Pull some weeds in the garden. Lay down some new grass seed for summer. Clean up the driveway. Put away all the kid’s toys that might be laying around. Properly clean and chlorinate your swimming pool. Make your house look as great on the outside as it does inside.

6. Don’t Forget Safety

Be sure and make a safety inspection part of your spring cleaning routine, as well. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, replace air filters, clean out dryer vents, and fix any cracked surfaces or loose nails/screws/carpet tacks that could be dangerous. Southern California is a severe wildfire danger zone, so don’t forget to clean up excess brush around the property and create the safest fire barrier possible.

7. Hire a Professional

If you don’t have the time or energy to do spring cleaning yourself, especially in a big home, then invest money in a professional cleaning service or landscaping service. You can bring them in for a big seasonal job like your spring cleaning, or have them come by regularly to keep your place neat and tidy all year long. Let someone else do the dirty work!

These are just a few helpful spring cleaning tips for all homeowners. These are also great ideas to consider if you are planning to sell your home in the near future. You want your property to be as clean and presentable as possible before you list. Good cleaning, decluttering and home staging go a long way toward enabling you to get the best price out of your home.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Los Angeles or the San Gabriel Valley, contact The HD Group for a no-obligation introductory real estate consultation.