It turns out that not all aspects of spring cleaning are equal—there are some hacks that are totally worth implementing, and there are others that you're better off skipping as you refresh your space for the season.
We spoke with designers to get the details on the spring cleaning steps that people often view as key or time-saving, but really aren’t worth pursuing after all. Take a look below before you dive into your tidying.
Salvaging Pieces Past Their Prime
“Not every item can be brought back to life with cleaning. Sometimes, it’s best to replace and start the new season with a fresher look.” —Rande Leaman, founder of Rande Leaman Interior Design
Purchasing Too Many Cleaning Products
“I don’t think you need to buy a million different gadgets to clean with. Most everything can be cleaned with inexpensive bar rags that can then be washed. It’s better on your purse and better for the environment.” —Rande Leaman
“It’s not worth the extra money to invest in specialized and gimmicky cleaning products such as laundry detergent pods versus powder or liquid detergent. It’s a significant price increase when compared to how much detergent one actually gets for a minimal upside—just so that one doesn’t have to measure the amount of product to use for each washing cycle.” —Jean Liu, principal at Jean Liu Design
“Purchasing products that are geared to cleaning just one material is often a recipe for crowded cupboards and long receipt tapes jammed into your pocket at the checkout line. Likewise, the countervailing urge to simplify one’s stash of cleaning products is a natural one, but many all-purpose cleaners are not right for stone. As outlined above: acid is not stone’s friend. If you don’t know where a product falls on the acid/basic scale, think before purchasing and using.” —Roy Marcus, brand ambassador at Artistic Tile
Cleaning Upholstery Too Frequently
"Almost all designer fabric needs to be dry cleaned professionally. However, unless you are excessively using your upholstery, there is not a pressing need to clean it annually. If your upholstery is being used excessively, I recommend saving yourself the time and getting it cleaned professionally." —Barbara Karpf, founder and CEO of Decorator’s Best
Organizing By Color
“I think the obsession with color-coordinating closets and shelves is overhyped in our Pinterest-obsessed world. The whole point of cleaning and organizing is to maximize functionality. Try grouping your clothes by category rather than color, as it will make getting dressed in the morning so much easier and faster.” —Sara Hillery, founder of Sara Hillery Interior Design
Doing It All At Once
“It’s not worth my time to block out a weekend to clean out my entire kitchen, so while I am cooking, I’ll clean out a cabinet or two drawers. I take everything out, toss or donate what I don’t regularly use, wipe down the interior, and redo the drawer liners. It’s an easy hack that keeps my kitchen clean and clutter free.” —Laura Casey, founder of Laura Casey Interiors