Spring is steadily coming. If you’re anything like us, you’re already beginning to feel the restlessness of spring fever. And you know what always comes with spring fever….
Okay, not EVERYONE gets excited about spring cleaning, but we certainly do. It’s a time to revitalize, revamp, and revisit. Dingy carpeting suddenly looks great again. Bedrooms and living rooms get a little extra pizzazz with some brand new spring pillows and decor. Closets and dresser drawers are aired out and organized. A donations pile by the door steadily grows and the trash bin begins to overflow.
So, to celebrate one of our favorite times of the year, we’re starting a mini-series on the best ways to tackle spring cleaning. We’ll share tips on how to clean most effectively, how to make the most of limited time, the tools no spring-cleaner can be without, and some deep cleaning suggestions for commonly overlooked areas of the home. We’ll even include some ways you can make spring cleaning (dare we say it?!) — fun!
To start, we’re going to give you some of our best spring cleaning tips. This advice will apply no matter what part of the house you’re cleaning.
Tip #1. Clear the clutter
This is one of the earmarks of a good spring cleaning — getting rid of things you no longer need! Spring is a time of restless energy, where we find ourselves and everything around us ready to shed anything that’s weighing us down.
Rather than simply moving piles of infrequently used items from hiding place to hiding place, pile to pile, just get rid of it. Donate it. Or, if you really do need it, find a permanent location to store it. You’re not going to make any headway in your cleaning project until you get rid of the clutter first.
When de-cluttering and organizing, we recommend sorting belongings into four separate categories. You can use empty laundry baskets, toy bins, cardboard boxes, trash bags — or a combination of all of these. Each container will be assigned one of the following four categories.
- It can go in the trash.
- It can be given away or donated.
- It needs a place to be stored.
- It has a place to be stored and simply needs to be put away.
Tip 2. Get your kids involved
Spring cleaning chores will go more quickly if you can get the rest of the family involved. Some kids will be excited to be a part of the project, and others significantly less so. Here are some quick ways to help your kids get motivated to help with spring cleaning.
- Turn it into a game. Play a song and have them race to finish their tasks before it’s over. Have them pretend they’re on a rescue mission to pick up all their stuffed animals before the floor turns to lava. Get creative!
- Give them all something to look forward to when you’re done. Let them know that if the cleaning gets done, you’ll have a pizza and movie night (you know you won’t feel like cooking, anyway). Promise them a special toy or outing if they’re helpful and behave.
- Give them interesting tasks to do. Not all spring cleaning chores are fun, but some are! Allow your kids to pick some of the chores that interest them.
- Give them decisions to make. Are you trying to get rid of old clothes or toys your kids have outgrown? Invite them into the decision-making process by giving them the responsibility to choose what they keep and what they donate or throw away. (Caution — this strategy will not work with toy hoarders!)
- Use it as an opportunity to impart life skills. Not every kid knows how to clean. Make sure your kids have the knowledge they need so that when they’re on their own and out of the house, they’ll know what to do to take care of their own dorm rooms and apartments. We know — that seems so far away. But it’ll be here before you know it!
Tip 3. Clean Room by Room
This is one of our most important tips for you. Clean only ONE ROOM at a time! It’s tempting to wander from room to room doing the same tasks for each, but we promise you — it’s far more effective to go one room at a time.
How many times have you decided to start with closets, only to find yourself a frazzled mess only 24 hours later because now every closet in your home has turned itself inside out in your organizational frenzy?
Best of all, you can reasonably spring clean an entire room in one day. This way, you can avoid becoming overwhelmed and discouraged. You also get that dopamine rush of successfully completing a whole area.
If you need some really good advice on how to create your own cleaning routine visit our friends over at Clean Mama.
Tip 4. Have a Cleaning Kit
Load your cleaning caddy, laundry basket, or whatever container you have on hand with all the cleaning products you’ll need. Just so you know, there will be fewer products that you’d expect. There are so many dozens of specialized cleaning products on the market, but you really don’t need them. More to the point, most of those cleaners have unnecessarily harsh chemicals in them that you do NOT want near your family.
When it comes down to spring cleaning, it’s really your cleaning basics that are the champions of the day.
Here’s the list of natural cleaning products to add to your cleaning kit:
- All Purpose Natural Cleaner
- Sink Scrub
- Window Cleaner (Our favorite DIY recipe calls for equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle with a few drops of your favorite essential oil — easy and safe!)
- A stack of clean flour sack towels or microfiber cloths
- A scrub brush
Don’t forget to bring along a vacuum or mop, if applicable.
Tip 5. Find Ways to Make it Fun
Not just for your kids, but for you. Turn on some music that will get you energized. Listen to an audiobook or a podcast while you work. Reward yourself at the end of the day with something that makes you happy — a glass of wine, a cupcake, a bath, a few episodes of your favorite show, etc. You can look forward to your reward while you work.
Take time to sit and enjoy some of the things you’re organizing. When was the last time you look through that photo album? Give those clothes your kids have outgrown a hug, or possibly a tear or two before they move on to a new home.
Whatever it is that could make this chore a little less like a chore and a little more enjoyable for you personally, do it.
Can’t Wait for the Rest of the Spring Cleaning Series?
Neither can we! We’re excited to share with you our best tried-and-true methods for deep cleaning each room of the house. If you want to be sure you don’t miss a thing, sign up for our newsletter.