Ahhh, springtime. It’s been a little big time coming (and in some parts of the country we’re still waiting), so the first thing we feel like doing is cleaning, right? I’m totally kidding. In our house, we’re climbing the walls to get outside with the kids. However, after bouts of the flu, general ongoing sniffles, and overall close quarters, it does feel like we can’t enjoy the coming of a new season without getting the house orderly and clean first. Ugh. But, there are ways to undertake spring cleaning without feeling like you’re climbing an impossibly high mountain. Here are some spring cleaning tips that I use to help me mentally and physically get the job done:
Make a list.Don’t underestimate the joy of crossing tasks off your list. It also helps you visualize and organize your thoughts. It’s one huge step towards taking the stress out of the jobs when they’re not a constant worry floating around your brain.
Deep cleaning vs. regular cleaning.If you have a regular cleaning routine, you can actually make a separate list of deeper cleaning that you can undertake - then continue with the usual routine after you’ve done the spring stuff. So, by cleaning all the windows, wiping down walls, and scrubbing all those corners, you can consider yourself done.
Go for done, not perfect.This is a hard one for me; I was lovingly raised by a perfectionist (and seem to have been gifted the same tendency towards cleaning). But, seriously. Don’t beat yourself up. If your space feels fresh and clean when you’re done, who cares if you dusted the top of the window molding that no one ever sees?
Take the word “spring” loosely.If you’re super overwhelmed (or are being challenged in other areas of your life - say if you have a newborn at home), spread the cleaning out over a month or two (or more). If you don’t mind the house not being perfectly spic and span all at one time, at least you’ll tick all of the boxes on your to-do list...eventually.
You’re not the only one who lives at your house, so you shouldn’t be the only one cleaning...unless you want the control. So, if you’re comfortable delegating tasks to others in your house (husband and any child big enough to hold a rag) and possibly not having them done to your standards, GOOD! Go with it! Otherwise, if you’re the one cleaning, ask for support in other ways - say, by having your significant other take the kids out of the house so that you can crank the tunes or favorite show and dig into the job solo.
Ask nature to help.Throw those windows open. Hang your sheets, rugs (and clean wet diapers, for that matter!) out in the sun. Pick some flowers to display on your clean mantle. And use biodegradable, natural cleaning methods. It does wonders for your mood and freshens things up tremendously.
Take the opportunity to purge.If you’re cleaning closets and drawers, anyway, think about what you actually use. Donating what you no longer need will help you live a simpler life (and make your spring cleaning job even easier next year).
Find the joy in it.Most people dislike cleaning, but if you find what you enjoy about it, you’ll find motivation, too. Maybe you like the quiet, “mental time” alone to think. Maybe you actually like the zen of running a vacuum. Maybe you’re weird like me and actually enjoy the satisfaction behind the sparkle of a clean toilet. Or, perhaps it’s just the final tidy outcome that puts a smile on your face. Whatever it is, embrace it! You can also practice mindfulness by being intentional with your actions, showing gratitude for your favorite things while you pick them up and dust them or for wiping down windows (because you’re lucky enough to have a house, dirty windows and all).
Invite guests over.Literally, nothing motivates me to clean like knowing that people will be visiting.
When you’re done, do some decorating.Sometimes it’s rearranging furniture but it can be as simple as switching out some brighter spring-ish decor on your mantle or lightweight bedding in your room. The refresh does wonders visually but also emotionally.
What are your favorite spring cleaning tips? Do you dread it or enjoy throwing off the heavy coat of winter with a nice freshening up? I’d love to hear how other moms and dads feel about this big job.