Even though the weather outside may try to tell us otherwise, spring is here people. And with spring comes the need to spring clean.

Here are a handful of tips ― from organizing your closet to creating your own cleaning solutions ― that will help make spring cleaning easier, more effective and less time consuming.

1) Pick a room, any room, work clockwise

Work in cycles going from room to room, cleaning from high to low while circling the room clockwise. Not only does this method ensure that you don’t miss a spot, it prevents you from dirtying something you may have just cleaned (ex: if you dusted low to high, you would be dropping dust down onto the area that you just cleaned).

2) Declutter your closet

Go through each article of clothing piece by piece. Have you worn it within the last year? No. Donate it. Does it have holes? Yes. Pitch it. Is it pilling and a little rough around the edges? Yes. Then donate or pitch. Unless the clothes you’re not wearing have sentimental value, it’s time to part with them.

Have an article of clothing you haven’t worn recently but aren’t sure if you should part with? Turn it inside out and do another thorough closet clean out in six months. If said article of clothing is still hanging inside out in your closet (and it’s appropriate season has come and gone), get rid of it.

3) Make vinegar your friend

Did you know there are literally hundreds of uses for vinegar? It’s great for everything from dressing your salad to cleaning your floors. Who knew?

Here are just a few creative uses for this wonder liquid. (Check out this article for more tips.)

  • Make a zesty green cleaning solution. Soak orange peels in vinegar for a few weeks in a sealed jar. Pour the vinegar into a spray bottle. Use as an orangey smelling, non-toxic, green cleaner.
  • Clean your dishwasher. Dishwashers clean your dishes, but what cleans your dishwasher? Vinegar, that’s what. Pour one cup of vinegar into the bottom of your dishwasher and run it through a cycle without dishes. This simple trick will remove built up soap residue and keep your dishwasher fresh and clean.
  • Unclog clogged shower heads. Has your shower head seen better days? Try unclogging it by soaking it in a mixture of boiling water and a ½ cup of vinegar. Simply soak the shower head for 10 minutes and the clogs will disappear. If your shower head can’t be removed, tape a plastic bag full of vinegar over the head and let it sit for an hour or so.
  • Remove rust. Soak rusty tools in vinegar for several days. Stare in amazement that the rust is gone, then rinse the tools in water and dry well.
  • Clean wood floors. Mix a ½ cup of vinegar with one gallon of warm water, then mop as usual. Be sure to completely dry your floor once competed. If you want to cut back on the vinegar smell, add a drop or two of scented oil to the solution. Lemon or lavender oils work great.

4) Say goodbye to clothing stains with this homemade miracle cleaner

It’s time to kiss stubborn stains goodbye once and for all. This amazing homemade stain remover from Modern Day Moms IS. A. GOD. SEND. Seriously. It’s ridiculously easy to make and incredibly effective. (Pro tip: Always do a small spot test in an inconspicuous place before using any type of stain remover.)

Directions for miracle cleaner:

  • 1 part Dawn Dishwashing Liquid (the original blue kind)
  • 2 parts hydrogen peroxide
  • Mix together and pour directly on the stain

If you’ve got a lot of area to cover you can add the mixture to a bucket of hot water and submerge your stained clothing. If you’re just spot treating, pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray away.

Modern Day Moms readers tested this cleaner and found it to be an effective stain remover for all sorts of things:

  • Skunked dogs
  • Carpet
  • Microfiber couch
  • Cloth diapers
  • Floor grout
  • Clothes
  • Carpet cleaner
  • Upholstery
  • Red wine stains (seriously, the worst)

5) Start using tartar for more than just a topping for fish

Has your grout seen better days? Do your pans and casserole dishes need a facelift? If you answered “yes,” then you need to make cream of tartar your new bestie. This under appreciated, all-natural cleaning agent can clean all of the above. Just mix with a little water or vinegar (shocking) and you’ve got yourself a solution that will lift even the most stubborn caked-on stains.

P.S. This works great for clothing stains as well!

6) Use this ceiling fan cleaning hack

Have you ever tried to clean a ceiling fan? It’s awful. Nine times out of 10 you end up with more dust on you than was even on the fan to begin with (how is that even possible?!).

Well, kiss that full face of dust goodbye with this trick for dusting off the blades of a ceiling fan. Grab an old pillowcase and simply slide each blade into the case, one at a time. Use the inside of the pillowcase to wipe off the blade while all the dust and grime stays inside. When you’re done shake out the case and throw it into the wash. Viola! Clean fan.

What cleaning hacks do you have that make your life easier? Share in the comments!