Apartment Therapy 2022 Spring Cleaning - Starts March 28
posted March 8, 2022 6:02 AM   RSS | iCal | +googleCal

Sun April 10 at 6:00 PM
Hi everyone! Starting on March 28, Apartment Therapy has a 10-day 2022 Spring Cleaning Cure. Come join us for asynchronous scrubbing, accountability, and general conviviality & get your home ready for spring. It's free.
Several of us participated in the January Cure (IRL link) earlier this year. It was fun! And knowing that others were following along, I felt so much more accountable.

The Spring Cure has a similar setup as last time. You sign up here, and then you get daily emails from a cleaning expert, follow the assigned tasks, and in two weeks your home is sparkling with freshness and light and ready for the new season.

There's a different expert this round.

As with the last cure, there's no obligation to do every task. If you complete one task you otherwise wouldn't have, you're doing great. If you want to spring clean but do your own tasks, come check in and share your progress. All are welcome.

Oh! And if you're planning to follow along with the program but don't want to give AT your email, they tend to link the day's task on the front page of their website. I'll also plan to post a link to the daily tasks here as well.

Day 1: Clean your favorite window *
Day 2: Clean under the bed *
Day 3: De-stink your kitchen garbage can *
Day 4: Dust up high *
Day 5: Clean your cleaning tools *
Day 6: Deep clean your rug *
Day 7: Wash all your bed linens *
Day 8: Deep clean the bathroom *
Day 9: Reclaim your fridge *
Day 10: Vacuum the sofa *

Here's a full list of tasks that updates with each new day (in case I'm late posting above!)
posted by mochapickle to Online (62 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

I'll join in - thanks for the link to the January Cure! It was helpful to see what sorts of tasks were given back then. "Clean off the dining table" - yep, I can do that. "Refinish the dining table" - no, probably not within my cleaning wheelhouse right now.
posted by Gray Duck at 2:11 PM on March 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

I haven't signed up yet, but it sounds like fun. Any idea how much email I'd receive outside the plan's emails?
posted by Wilbefort at 8:11 AM on March 9, 2022 [1 favorite]

Signing up seems to put you on their daily email list. I signed up with an alt email for January and that account now gets one AT email every morning with a daily roundup of their most recent website content.

They say they don't share their email list and I think that's true. Even so, I'll link each task in the description above like I did in January so folks can find it more easily if they don't want to hand over an email.
posted by mochapickle at 8:26 AM on March 9, 2022 [2 favorites]

Cool! I signed up. Thanks for sharing!
posted by silverstatue at 9:24 AM on March 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

I simply refuse to perform any task that I've been told to do, but at the same time I've needed to, for example, "clean off the dining table" for a very long time now, so maybe I should make an attempt...
posted by phunniemee at 2:12 PM on March 10, 2022 [3 favorites]

I'm in!
posted by dearadeline at 8:49 PM on March 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

phunniemee, with the January one, I often found myself weirdly resisting the day's assignment yet feeling strangely compelled to move forward in some way. Like, there'd be a "wipe down the kitchen cabinet doors" email and I'd be like, nope, I'm going to go organize the craft closet. And I'd do it with sheer delight because rejecting the posted assignment made deep-cleaning a closet feel like a tiny revolution. I'm hoping for the same this round, too.
posted by mochapickle at 7:52 AM on March 11, 2022 [10 favorites]

You're One Step Closer to an Impeccably Clean Home!

Where's the newsletter for peccable homes?
posted by phunniemee at 8:01 AM on March 11, 2022 [4 favorites]

Madge: You're soaking in it.
posted by mochapickle at 8:10 AM on March 11, 2022 [4 favorites]

Signed up
posted by kathrynm at 4:44 PM on March 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

I mostly didn’t do the January tasks, but hope springs eternal! (Also, the company in this thread is great. 😸👍)
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 8:30 AM on March 19, 2022 [1 favorite]

It'll be Autumn cleaning for me but I'm in!
posted by ninazer0 at 4:10 PM on March 19, 2022 [2 favorites]

I've been sick recently (Covid, then pancreatitis) and am just starting to feel like I'm coming out the other end of the Sick Times. So a gentle cleaning challenge is just the thing :)
posted by altolinguistic at 7:35 AM on March 21, 2022 [1 favorite]

Ooh, thanks for organising again mochapickle! I'm in. I got a lot done in the January Cure that I probably wouldn't have done otherwise and it made me feel a lot better about my place.

And it's an autumn cleaning challenge for me too, ninazer0, backwards hi five (or maybe a low five?) from the southern hemisphere!
posted by happyfrog at 2:17 AM on March 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

I have the promise of actual houseguests in April and May in an actual guest bedroom I'm currently setting up, so it's time to get the house fit for a broader audience. I need to clean as well as hang towel bars / mirrors / doors / pictures.

My main house goal is it being somewhere people feel comfortable hanging out, I feel like I'm starting to get there!
posted by momus_window at 9:51 AM on March 23, 2022 [2 favorites]

I'm not signing up for the emails from experts, but I'm in the process of moving house, which involves doing a lot of everything, cleaing-wise, so count me sorta-in!
posted by aubilenon at 2:19 PM on March 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

I will sign up; I need to clean.
posted by Merus at 2:40 AM on March 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'm in Europe so have probably seen the day 1 challenge earlier than most - I'm still pretty wiped out from being sick but think I can manage to clean a window later. We had a load of Saharan dust blow over recently, so house and car windows are less transparent than usual!
posted by altolinguistic at 6:07 AM on March 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

Day one! Clean your favorite window.

Hmm, I'm going to be able to clean PART of the window - inside only. We're getting another shot of snow/sleet this week so I'm going to keep the storms up for a bit. I can wash the curtains and clean the interior sills too. But I will have to hold off on the inner parts/outside cleaning until the weather cooperates.

Having to kind of half-ass this first one makes me nervous. I remember trying Unfuck Your Habitat - the first task every day was "make your bed". If I remember right, the direction was actually something like "Make your damn bed! What are you, some kind of animal?" Well, I got up before my husband every day so I could not make the bed because he was still in it. So I just didn't do that one, for good reason, but eventually I gave up on UFYH because I grew weary of getting sworn at and being called an animal every morning. Starting every day with failure was kind of wore on me. I hope that this doesn't give me the same bleh feeling.

Anyway, there's my cleaning digression for the morning. Window! Clean! I can do most of it.
posted by Gray Duck at 8:13 AM on March 28, 2022 [2 favorites]

Thank you so much for this, mochapickle! I just signed up for the AT emails, which means I've missed the first one, so thanks, too, to the folks who have shared the Day 1 challenge!
posted by Hellgirl at 4:11 PM on March 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

OH NO! I just found the AT description of the Day 1 task, and it's way more involved than I can handle at this particular location in our space-time continuum. I much prefer Gray Duck's "Clean your favourite window" summary. I especially love the way that sentence is four words long and ends with both a period and a paragraph break. I can totally clean my favourite window! And feel pretty good about it! And then move right along!

I might unsubscribe from the AT email right now and go with the much more humane translation that appears here, in fact. Metafilter to the rescue yet again!
posted by Hellgirl at 4:19 PM on March 28, 2022 [3 favorites]

I took a single Clorox wipe and wiped the nose goo off the lower blinds of my dogs' favorite window. Target achieved.
posted by phunniemee at 5:12 PM on March 28, 2022 [7 favorites]

Yeah. I can pretty much mange squirting some windex on a random window (a favorite window? wtf?). Probably the kitchen one since I still have to do dishes. Also, it's too fuckin cold here to open a window for the amount of time it would take to clean the sill out.
posted by kathrynm at 5:50 PM on March 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

In the spirit of going at your own pace: There is a snowman figurine on a windowsill in my living room that I discovered about a week after I’d packed up all the Christmas decorations. I’ll finally dig out a box and put him away. That counts, right?
posted by erloteiel at 6:29 PM on March 28, 2022 [3 favorites]

That totally counts!

The official rule here is, if this thread encourages you to do one thing that you wouldn't have otherwise done, at any time during this two-week run, you win. Gold stars for you! It doesn't have to be the emailed task.

I'm having A Time Of It this week and I'm going to steal phunniemee's smudgy dognose goo idea. I did clean most of the windowsills on a pretty day in January, if not the glass, and seeing all that grey dust on the paper towel was super rewarding.

Goo awaits. Carry on! (And welcome to Autumn cleaning for our southern hemisphere folks!)
posted by mochapickle at 6:45 PM on March 28, 2022 [6 favorites]

AT's idea of an easy weekday task and my idea of an easy weekday task are a bit different. I did put a bit of time into making the space beyond the window a little more scenic, though!
posted by mersen at 7:04 PM on March 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

It looks like I'm going to be flooded in again for the second time in a month, so stress-cleaning will certainly make this challenge go a lot easier. Although, if the power goes out again, it's going to make some tasks impossible so I reserve the right to swap those out with wailing and gnashing of teeth, and some moderate drinking.
posted by ninazer0 at 8:10 PM on March 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

Also, does anyone know a good method of removing old, brittle window tint?
posted by ninazer0 at 8:43 PM on March 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

Okay, I cleaned the panes inside and out (old windows, I did some contortionist shit to get the outside of the upper and lower sashes) and I also cleaned the insides of the storm windows. I'll get the outside of the storms and the screens later this spring. Right now we're in Fool's Spring in Minnesota so I'm going to try to be patient. My favorite window looks out over my bird feeders. I hope that the windows not so clean that the birds will crash into it (that's never happened).

Today's task: Clean under the bed. Easy! We have nothing under the bed except for dust bunnies. I have been meaning to do a good, thorough vacuum of the upstairs so perhaps today is the day. Our beloved doggo has been permanently banned from the upstairs because she has fallen down the stairs too many times (old eyes and stiff hips) so it's time to disassemble her upstairs bed and do the baking soda thing on the carpet to get the Dog Bed smell out of the room.
posted by Gray Duck at 6:53 AM on March 29, 2022 [3 favorites]

I cleaned the windows (inside) and dusted the blinds in the guest room, cleaned some paint off the floor, and set up the bed frame. Which means day 2 is already done, so there!

Today I'm planning to swap my current mattress to the guest room and put the new one on my bed, then wash bedding and maybe shop for some bits I lack. The list is so long, but this much sounds doable.
posted by momus_window at 7:29 AM on March 29, 2022 [2 favorites]

Guess I should pull out the tubs of stuff for work and see if there's anything I can get rid of. I cleaned a lot of shit during the January clean and under my bed must be one of them.

Also, for some reason, I'm not getting the emails even though I know I signed up and then signed up again. This time I tried another address. We'll see if that works. If not, I'll get my fix through this thread.
posted by kathrynm at 4:20 PM on March 29, 2022 [3 favorites]

Whew. Today's job has fewer components for me, and gets done semi-regularly. So the bedroom is vacuumed, and I circled back and cleaned the inside window panes in the living room. It appears that the top corner panes had not been cleaned by the last people who lived here either.
posted by mersen at 6:56 PM on March 29, 2022 [2 favorites]

I have drawers under the bed specifically to prevent me from pushing anything else under there, so that space is quite civilised.
posted by Merus at 12:44 AM on March 30, 2022 [3 favorites]

Day 3: clean the smelliest thing in your kitchen.

So far this damn list has read me for filth
posted by Merus at 6:24 AM on March 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

I have no good advice on window tint. Sometimes it's just adhered by static cling, so a spray bottle of soapy water should help get it slipping around again? Maybe warm, to make it less brittle?

I put the new mattress and sheets on my bed, and it's quite comfortable. Underneath is clean because I moved furniture for painting last month. The old mattress is on the guest bed and I rolled around on it to make sure it's not creaky and the other set of sheets is clean and in the dryer. I still need to get another bed skirt (both beds are folding metal frames) and maybe a mattress protector.

I have a small kitchen garbage can under the sink that I cleaned over the weekend. The current smelliest thing in my kitchen is the milk I sniffed and put back this morning, so that will be an easy win. I will try to chivvy myself into hanging a towel bar for extra credit.
posted by momus_window at 8:37 AM on March 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

I solved the window tint problem by grabbing a flapping piece and yanking. And it just...peeled off. There's adhesive of some sort left behind but dishsoap and warm water seem to deal with it just fine. And you guys!!!!! OMG the difference!!!!! I am in love with my "new" window!! If this is the only thing I take away from this challenge, I am so very happy!
posted by ninazer0 at 4:57 PM on March 30, 2022 [4 favorites]

My kitchen trash is a grocery bag, so I took it out. Done?
posted by Gray Duck at 5:47 PM on March 30, 2022 [4 favorites]

Y'all are a delight! I love reading all of your updates! I'm scrupulous about the kitchen in general so my trash can, it sparkles. I'm taking the day off.

kathrynm, I had that same issue with the emails. I just added a link at the bottom of the event description that has every day's task as it's available so we don't have to hunt down the new task each day.
posted by mochapickle at 7:01 PM on March 30, 2022 [3 favorites]

I poured out the sour milk! Also emptied out the random things in the guest closet and shoved them in other closets. Put a lamp and side table in the corner. The guest room is now functional! Planning to add a wall hook and hang a mirror inside the closet door and sort out a bedding/art *~aesthetic~* that uses as much stuff I already own as possible. Pawing through my fabric stash to see what might suit is on for tonight.

Also, I will clean my ceiling fan because I learned the hard way to do that before I turn it on the first time in spring and it's getting nice here.
posted by momus_window at 9:52 AM on March 31, 2022 [1 favorite]

Tonight is trash/recycling so I guess I can clean the cans in the kitchen.
posted by kathrynm at 9:58 AM on March 31, 2022 [1 favorite]

I recently visited a relative with a complex trash system (at least six different receptacles for different waste streams, spread throughout the kitchen, all unmarked), and was infuriated/inspired. My trash system is good. My ceilings fixtures are...not. I guess I'll try to do something about that tonight?
posted by mersen at 11:08 AM on March 31, 2022 [2 favorites]

This... isn't going too well, so far. I didn't clean the window. Underbed is already pretty clean, so that's good. Other two tasks not done yet. But there is still time and if I can use my limited energy to do maybe one or two things, I'll be happier than I am now!
posted by altolinguistic at 9:48 AM on April 1, 2022 [2 favorites]

It's okay, altolinguistic. I had a bit of a medical issue this week and I'm wiped out. Just now, I switched the laundry from the washer to the dryer and it felt like the training montage from Rocky, and when I read the task for today I literally laughed until I cried and then went back to bed.

The January program only had tasks for weekdays so you could kind of pace yourself a bit. This spring (autumn!) program goes straight through for reasons beyond my comprehension.

I'm hoping to rally by early next week to CLEAN ALL THE THINGS, but I'm also thinking maybe we should do a Spring (Autumn!) cleaning afterparty in early May, for those of us who fell into some bad timing this month. Thoughts?

My house is technically generally clean, but my true big issue is clutter. Maybe if I dig around, I can find something online to guide us through that.
posted by mochapickle at 11:26 AM on April 1, 2022 [3 favorites]

I crashed out last night and slept for ten hours. I have another personal project going right now and it's too much. I also will not be wiping out the inside of my vacuum cleaner today, wtf?

Saturday is my day to do life admin, so I will at least read the instructions to hang the bathroom mirror and hopefully decide that's a manageable task. Probably I will also clean the ceiling fan and rummage through my fabric for a few small projects I've been putting off.

mochapickle, I'm one of the annoying people who is into Marie Kondo. I used to be a big advocate of reading the book, but the website has short articles on the "6 Rules of Tidying" that give a good overview of her method. Take what sounds helpful and ignore e.g., the $70 charcoal sticks. I think my biggest takeaway is being in the habit of noticing when I own something I don't like or need and donating / rehoming / trashing it.
posted by momus_window at 12:37 PM on April 1, 2022 [3 favorites]

mochapickle: a lot of us seem to have clutter issues here so if you find a helpful guide, please do share it. I am entering Year 2 of cleaning a hoarding issue and while the worst of it has gone, my endurance is flagging.

Re the task, I actually took apart my ancient Dyson stick vac last month (with the help of some YouTube videos), cleaned everything and replaced the dead battery. It was surprisingly cathartic to try to fix something that was already dead - completely took the "omg what if I ruin it?" mental block out of the equation. And....it's running again! Not brilliantly, but hey - it's okay for picking up the worst of the cat hair.

So instead of cleaning it again, I've found yet more window tint to destroy. I may have an addiction.
posted by ninazer0 at 5:16 PM on April 1, 2022 [3 favorites]

No. Just no. I'm not cleaning my brooms or dustpans or vaccum cleaner. The fact I remember to empty it when I'm finished is the best I can do. I mean, how dirty does your broom get? I pull the cat/human hair off it when I'm done with it. I'm not using it to spread mud around on my floors.
posted by kathrynm at 6:19 PM on April 1, 2022 [2 favorites]

I am totally in love with the overall idea of this project and reading everyone's comments is making me want to go do something but it's all really overwhelming. I am an inveterate slob. I do have the UFYH app on a super old phone and I should see about using that, or I might just jump in and start cleaning things.

I think I need more of a decluttering project than a cleaning project. Nonetheless, tomorrow I am going to clean a window and organize the under-bed storage boxes and clean under there too.

I'm taking a chaotic approach to this, but that is how my mind works. Thank you so much, mochapickle, for organizing this and thanks to everyone who is commenting for better or worse. I am looking forward to the rest of this!
posted by danabanana at 6:41 PM on April 1, 2022 [3 favorites]

I've fallen behind because I've been swamped with other stuff (life); but I'm going to try to catch up this weekend.
posted by Gray Duck at 7:13 PM on April 1, 2022 [4 favorites]

Day 6: I have no rug. So I threw the bathmat into the washer and it's swishing away!
posted by mochapickle at 9:20 AM on April 2, 2022 [3 favorites]

So last night I got very excited about this project and cleaned the front windows, inside and out. My husband really loves this project and what it's doing to me so he jumped up to take out a screen and go over spots I had missed.

I had deep cleaned the vacuum a couple months ago (what an allergy attack that was) so I am not doing it again, but I did vacuum the bedroom and under the bed and moved the under-bed boxes for organizing today or later. And then I emptied the vacuum and wiped it down.

Also wiped down: the kitchen garbage can.

We have rugs but we take them to the laundromat to use the triple load washers. So today I'm washing the bath mats and swiffering the bathroom floors.

I'm also going to spend an hour doing some organization and decluttering. Maybe with the under-bed boxes?

So I'm kinda caught up and looking forward to more!
posted by danabanana at 11:26 AM on April 2, 2022 [4 favorites]

Today's task couldn't have been better timed! After months and months of rain, we finally have a couple of truly clear, sunny days. I am washing anything that sits still long enough - sheets, blankets, pillows... The cat is starting to look nervous and I am thanking my stars that my late mother decided that she needed an industrial-sized washing machine.
posted by ninazer0 at 4:28 PM on April 3, 2022 [4 favorites]

The cat is starting to look nervous and


This is the one task that I've been able to get to with absolute joy and verve. I love a clean set of bedding! I have the blankets in now, soon it's the mattress topper, then the sheets and various covers. Then it's a shower and clean PJs and it'll be just heaven for sleeping.
posted by mochapickle at 4:32 PM on April 3, 2022 [2 favorites]

I knew this would be coming at some point and I also knew that it all needed a wash, so I did 4 loads of bedding, everything except the pillows because I don't think my washer can handle that stress. So the pillows will go to the laundromat with the rugs...

It's really nice to have a fresh bed! I'm exhausted but I still have a few things to do, then I will have some luscious sleep in my fresh bed!
posted by danabanana at 6:40 PM on April 3, 2022 [2 favorites]

I laundered the bed and accidentally wound up washing a pillow that shouldn't have been washed. Nothing too awful happened (it is a foam core that got waterlogged, not a feather pillow that exploded in the dryer) but it kind of sucked! But the bed is all clean. I even baking soda's the mattress and vacuumed it.

I also just deep-cleaned the vacuum about a month ago so I'm calling that done. I dusted the upper corners with the "feather" duster. I'm going to deep clean a rug (or two) once the snow melts and I can do it outside. Shouldn't be too long now...right?
posted by Gray Duck at 7:15 AM on April 4, 2022 [2 favorites]

- I cleaned my ceiling fan and half-assed cleaned the tops of the kitchen cabinets.
- I don't have a rug, so ha!
- I washed the dust ruffle, which is the bedding that didn't get washed earlier
- I need to wash my shower curtain liner and clean the bathroom generally and didn't get to it this weekend, so that's perfect.
- I did read the instructions for hanging the mirror, but didn't get further and will probably use some other mounting bits from the old mirror instead.
- I think I'm going to shoot for blues and white as a guest bedroom color scheme. Boring and neutral as befits a guest bed. I have a lot of grey stuff but it makes the small room look a bit sad and cramped and dirty.

I also actually did the cooking and shopping and cleaning that is supposed to be a baseline weekend for me, so that frees up some space for bonus chores during the week.
posted by momus_window at 8:45 AM on April 4, 2022 [2 favorites]

I changed the bed on Saturday, so I'll wash the mattress pad next weekend. Tomorrow is my day to clean the bathroom, so I'll give everything an extra buff and polish. Happily there's no grout in the bathroom because we had Bath Savers put up a tub surround in the fall.

And reading that article on the bathroom makes me want to tackle the grout on the kitchen floor. Maybe Sunday since Saturday is going to be filled waiting for the washer delivery at my brother's house.
posted by kathrynm at 5:16 PM on April 4, 2022 [3 favorites]

I fell short of washing the shower curtain yesterday but I did scrub the bathroom sink and basin and I wiped down various surfaces like I usually do. I did an aggressive scrub of the bathroom grout (and kitchen grout, too!) in January and it was super rewarding and still looks really good.

Today is clean-out-the-fridge day and it's good timing for it, as I'm overdue for restocking and this is the best way to figure out what goes on the list. One day left!
posted by mochapickle at 8:48 AM on April 5, 2022 [3 favorites]

I washed my shower curtain and nylon bath scrubby cloth and, ewww, I should do that more often. I scrubbed the tub a bit and got off random paint spatters from recent interior painting and cleaned the bathroom floor. Mercifully, I have no grout.

I just noticed an accrual of onion skins at the back of the fridge, so yep, time to clean. It's also a good time to think about fridge organization as Spring = way more greens.

I also took the first steps toward hiring someone to fix a leak by my patio door (/ whatever horrors are behind the wall from said leak). Weather is starting to turn nicer and I feel like I've built up some momentum with spring cleaning!
posted by momus_window at 12:06 PM on April 5, 2022 [3 favorites]

I already cleaned both fridge and freezer earlier this year so I'll just do a light wipe down and call it done. Defrosted my mothers old stand-alone freezer and found $400 cash stuffed in an envelope (thanks Mum!) and bags and bags of ancient fossilised frozen plums intended at one point for jam - both of which made me cry. And now we've just had the third flood watch in a month called for the local river, so I guess I get to stuff the fridge and freezer full again in preparation. Except that they're mostly full from last weeks flood watch that never eventuated. Got to say, I'm a little over 2022 so far.
posted by ninazer0 at 4:52 PM on April 5, 2022 [3 favorites]

My fridge is unsettlingly clean now. There was a disgusting amount of cat hair in there somehow? I also found a couple very old condiments that I don’t like, so all the condiments fit in the door again.

I vacuumed my sofa and washed the throw Sunday, so I’m calling myself done. I’m happy I’ve gotten in the habit of doing some chores after work and not just vegging on the couch, so I’ll try to keep on with my personal task list.

Hope you stay dry and safe, ninazer0!
Thanks for organizing this, mochapickle!
posted by momus_window at 6:59 AM on April 6, 2022 [3 favorites]

I've fluffed the couch cushions and my dog has naturally already squished them back how she likes them, but the effort was there and my couch looked momentarily perky and now I can check that off the list!

Thanks again to everyone for joining me for seasonal cleaning! Progress was made, tint was removed, linens were laundered, cash was found, and surfaces were scrubbed.

I call this a win for everyone!

posted by mochapickle at 3:54 PM on April 7, 2022 [3 favorites]

Hey folks,

A few of us are doing The Artist's Way this spring, so I thought I'd mention it here because there's been some overlap in interest. I'll be starting on May 8 and there's an IRL progress thread with additional info here.

Please join us if you'd like!
posted by mochapickle at 10:23 AM on May 1, 2022

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