Anyone who knows me may be laughing out loud that I’m writing a post about cleaning. As a busy working mom of two, I typically struggle to find time to do the normal daily tasks required to keep a tidy home. I can make a mean dinner, organize a pantry, or plan a birthday party with the best of them, but deep cleaning is a stranger to my priority list! I love a good list and even better, crossing things off of it, but a spring cleaning check list brings more overwhelm than inspiration. If you also dislike spring cleaning, check out these 5 strategies to make it a doable activity you actually accomplish this year!
Strategy #1 – Pay someone to help with Spring Cleaning
You’re probably thinking “ha ha Melissa, real funny…great strategy!” But actually, I’m serious. Maybe you’re fortunate enough to have a cleaning service on a regular basis, but if you’re not, it may be worth it to have one come in for a few hours to help with the deep cleaning. If you’re not interested in a cleaning service, you may consider select services like having your rugs or upholstery cleaned, or hiring someone to clean your windows, gutters, or chimney. Maybe you don’t have the budget for a professional service, try hiring a high school or college student for a few hours. The investment would be less than $100, but they could help you with some of the things on your list.
Strategy #2 Get the Whole Family Involved in Spring Cleaning
There’s a saying, “Many Hands Make Light Work.” Getting the family involved could actually make cleaning more fun! If you have young kids, they likely won’t be focused for long, so break up the task into 10 minute activities. Adults can do things that require sorting and organization, technical knowledge like cleaning coils, or a risky task like standing on a ladder or dealing with a chemical. Check out the chart for age appropriate Spring Cleaning Chores.
Notes about the above chart:
- Age assignments assume that an adult could demonstrate and then kid could execute
- They target the youngest appropriate age
- For older kids in the category, they may be ready to tackle things at the next level, but require adult supervision
Strategy #3 Work Smarter Not Harder
We’re already in agreement that we’d prefer to do anything BUT cleaning the house. The following tips can help you do spring cleaning tasks faster, easier, or while you do something else.
- Use a Swiffer or dust mop to wipe down hard to reach places on walls
- Run your dishwasher through cycles using vinegar, baking soda and bleach to get a squeaky clean end product. Check out Jillee’s post on One Good Thing for her fool proof self-cleaning recipe
- Disinfect the washing machine while you do anything else – Pop an Affresh tablet in your washing machine to disinfect and remove odors.
- Use smart cleaning technology like a Roomba to clean your rugs while you clean other parts of your house
- Use tongs wrapped in a micro-fiber cloth to dust your blinds. Check out One Crazy House’s post for full details.
- Clean your shower head over night by using a bag filled with vinegar, water, and essential oils. The NY Melrose Family shares tips for this hack.
This list barely scratches the surface. Pinterest or Google have a ton of posts with cleaning hacks to help you be the most productive with your time.
Strategy #4 Breakdown Tasks into Bite Size Chunks
When I commit to a new discipline, mentally it’s harder if I think it’s going to take all day or if I have to do it every day. Breaking down less desirable tasks like spring cleaning into small chunks inspires a “can-do” or “you got this” attitude. Consider the following approaches for cleaning in more frequent but smaller bursts.
- Commit to 10-30 minutes a day for a week or two
- Dedicate one day a week for a month to tackling your top priority spring cleaning chores
- Don’t wait until spring. Break up your annual chores over the course of a year and dedicate one day a month so that the cleaning doesn’t pile up.
Strategy #5 Prioritize- Don’t Try to Do it All
Identify your top priority spring cleaning projects and plot them on the following Impact / Time grid. Focus on the tasks that have the highest impact. When you have a moment to take on a project, determine if you have 30 minutes or less or an hour or more and choose from your priority list.
Note: The level of impact will vary by family. If you have a new house, your cabinets may not need to be wiped down. If you just decluttered and donated items your kids had outgrown, organizing the kids closet may be a small low impact task.
Spring Cleaning Success – You Got This!
So, maybe you don’t love cleaning…maybe you can think of 101 things to do before you tackle spring cleaning. That’s ok, we don’t all have to be Martha Stewart! Hopefully these 5 strategies encourage you to take a different approach to spring cleaning this year. You got this! You can do it! Feel free to outsource if that’ works for you or break down the tasks into bite size chunks. Enlist your family in the Spring Fling! Don’t delay any longer- let this year be the year you tackle and triumph this annual cleaning ritual!