How to Work Spring Cleaning into Your Busy Schedule

Hooray for spring!  Seriously, it’s my favorite time of year.  The flowers, the warm weather, a freshly green landscape.

But the second I fling my windows open to welcome the cool breeze and fresh air, I see it.  The dust on my furniture.  It’s shameful…an inch thick.  My carpet is retaining the mustiness of winter…and possibly the remnants of last month’s stomach virus.  Ick.

Bring on time for spring cleaning…yet another task I have to somehow smush into an already crazy schedule.  How on Earth are we busy moms supposed to work it all in?

Well, I am so glad you asked…

 

The first thing to do is breathe.  Then follow these 4 simple guidelines for tackling your spring cleaning…

Figure out what you have time for at a given moment and bust that one task really, really well.

Simply getting started is one of the biggest hurdles to spring cleaning.  It sounds like one of those things that’s going to take forever, so we put it off as long as possible.  In reality, all you need to do is take 15 minutes and get the ball rolling.

For instance, one of the most daunting tasks is purging all those items you no longer want or need.  This is where I like to start my 15 minutes.  Set a timer and just start purging a closet.  Simply get it done.  Toss all the unwanted, untouched items in a donation bag and keep it moving.

If you have a bit of time after that, say 30 minutes, start a project that may take a bit longer and get that finished.  This is when I’d start taking down all the curtains and stripping the bed linens for their deep cleaning in the washing machine.

If you have an hour, tackle the organization of an entire room.  (Just not a kids’ room or a playroom.  You know damn well that’s going to take you at least a couple of hours.)

You’ll be amazed at how many closets you can purge in 15 minutes.  Then spring cleaning may not sound so bad after all.

Get the purge mentality into your head.

Sometimes spring cleaning can be made into an an impossible mountain to climb simply because the thought of purging all the stuff in your closets can seem like such an arduous process in itself.   Here’s a perfect solution:

  • If you haven’t touched it in a year…donate it.
  • If it’s expired or a product that you haven’t used in forever…toss it.

The bottom line is that you are holding onto stuff…you do not need it nor do you truly want it, or else it wouldn’t still be sitting there collecting dust in storage.  Just take a page from Elsa’s book and let it go.   You’ll feel so much better to get that unneeded crap out of your house and out of your life.

 

Don’t fight the battle alone.

Another reason I find myself procrastinating on the spring cleaning chores is because there is so much damn manual labor involved.  The dirt and grime built up over the winter months were not mine alone…I’m a member of the household, and there are 3 other people in this house leaving their own filth (and possibly DNA samples) all over our residence.

This is not only your mess to clean.

Get the rest of the family involved!  

Chances are the kids brought more dirt and germs into the house than you did anyway!  Hand those munchkins some dust cloths and have them start wiping down some baseboards.  If they’re in my munchkins’ age ranges (6 and 4 years old), they may even be small enough to get under your bed and clean out that no man’s land.

Putting some of the responsibility of spring cleaning on the other members of your household, especially the kids, helps everyone take ownership of the home that you all share together.  Some chores and responsibility can’t hurt your munchkins either.  It’s true what my grandmother used to say…”Housework builds character.  Now iron these handkerchiefs.”

 

Don’t expect to get it all done in one day.

There is this psychological phenomenon that happens as we get deeply involved in planning something.  It’s called a planning fallacy, and it’s when you assume that tasks are going to take a lot less time to complete than they actually do.

Nothing shows me my own planning fallacies quite like the headstrong force with which I try to tackle spring cleaning every year.  I think I can get it all done in a day, when I really can only put a dent in my chore list with that time.  It’s time to plan realistically.

Use your schedule wisely and give yourself a good week to deep clean your home for spring.  You probably could get it done in an entire day…if you wanted to be a deranged, cleaning lunatic who scares your family.  Be reasonable with your time.  Scrubbing the house from top to bottom isn’t worth sacrificing your sanity.

 

 

Spring cleaning is like the big bummer on top of an otherwise super cool day.  You have to deal with it, no matter how badly you want to go play outside.  Just put your nose to the grindstone and get it done…you’ll feel so much better. And getting rid of all the baggage and clutter from the past year is really worth very painful, maniacal scrubbing moment.

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