Tips to Make Spring Cleaning a Breeze
I LOVE A CLEAN HOUSE. I mean, I REALLY LOVE A CLEAN HOUSE! Just ask my husband and kids…(or maybe don’t)…because my mood can sometimes be altered by the state of our house.
That is not a badge of honor, however, and I really am trying to work on that area of my personality. I think I’m getting better about not being so out of sorts…if things are at least tidy, I feel a lot better. When I started teaching full-time, on top of my other responsibilities, some things just had to be let go of, to be perfectly honest.
So on any given day, you’ll find dust bunnies in the corners, spots on the floors, and smudges on the shower tile. If you’re looking for a spring cleaning blog coming from someone with a pristine house, I’m not your girl.
But I also get the strong desire for a clean home, paired with the reality of a busy lifestyle, and how the two don’t always connect very well.
I also have to be honest and say that I’m not a fan of cleaning systems. Over time, I’ve found the products that work best for our home and that is going to look and feel a little (or a lot) different for everyone! I have linked up the things that I keep stocked in my cleaning closet, but you’ll want to substitute with whatever products fit your preference and needs!
Now…I’m going to share my top two tips for spring cleaning.
Get ready for it…earth shattering. (Haha!)
NUMBER ONE TIP FOR SPRING CLEANING
“Spring Clean” all year long.
Now hold on…that doesn’t sound easy or fun or exciting or simple at all! But it really works and it really is less stressful. For example, with teaching full-time, I cannot spend an entire day deep cleaning the kitchen. However, I can schedule in a few hours over the course of a week to make sure the kitchen is in tip-top shape! So for deep cleaning and large organizational tasks, I schedule them out over time.
Here’s how I do it:
Keep Up with Regular House Cleaning, DAILY
- Every single day, our family does the following:
- Wipe down bathroom counters and sinks
- Spray daily shower cleaner
- Wipe down kitchen island, countertops, and sink
- Vacuum kitchen and main living space. THIS vacuum is our favorite because it is easy to move around and shares a battery with our other cleaning tools.
- Tidy all spaces and put things away where they belong
- See THIS POST or THIS POST for organization ideas; I’m a stickler for “a place for everything and everything in its place!
Now that my kids are old enough to help, these things are part of their daily chores and of course, my husband and I carry our share as well. None of us spend more than 5-10 minutes a day doing any cleaning. But it makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE!
Keep Up with Regular House Cleaning, WEEKLY
Every week, I like for the following list to be done. Now, I’ll be the first to say, that every possible chance, I hire someone to help out for the weekly cleanings. We are fortunate to live in a college town and there are always great college students looking for work.
I’ll also be super honest to say that there are weeks when I’m not able to get someone to help and choose to spend my weekend time doing other things than cleaning. So as much as I would love for our house to be cleaned every week, and while that would be the goal, it is safe to say that this happens 3 times a month, rather than every single week!
This is an area that I had to really take pressure off myself and am learning to be content with a “reasonably clean house” some weeks!
However, my preference would be that the following things happen each week and I hope to eventually get back to this schedule:
- Bathrooms and kitchen thoroughly cleaned
- Clean stove top
- Wipe down appliances with stainless steel wipes (hyperlink)
- Vacuum all rugs
- Mop all hard floors
- Dust: I use THIS to dust my vintage and chippy pieces. A cloth and cleaner usually just push the dust down in all the cracks! I use THIS for dusting regular surfaces!
- Wipe down all light switches, door handles, etc.
- Sweep porch areas
- One “extra” thing from the monthly list
Keep Up with Regular House Cleaning, MONTHLY
Again, I’m the first to say that these are goals and we definitely do NOT get all of these things accomplished every month. But it wouldn’t get done nearly often enough if we didn’t at least set a goal for it! By trying to do one of these items each week, it helps us to stay on top of things a little better too.
- Vacuum under/behind movable furniture (I do not pull out our big cabinets!)
- Use 4-in-1 cleaner on hard wood floors
- Dust light fixtures (we don’t have ceiling fans, but if we did, those would be included with light fixtures)
- Magic eraser on kids art table and desks
- Check for wall smudges and magic eraser those too
NUMBER TWO TIP FOR SPRING CLEANING
Spring clean when it works for YOUR schedule!
With working full-time, it is nearly impossible for me to set aside a particular week each spring to do my spring cleaning. Doing a little every day/week/month allows us to keep the cleaning under control. I try to do some major organization each summer when we are off from school and then again in January when our schedule is a little more clear.
So our “spring cleaning” typically doesn’t happen in the spring at all!
Here is a list of things that I try to make sure happen at least twice a year:
- Clean out clothing closets: sort clothing, donate, toss, consign
- Clean out kids’ toys: keep, donate, toss, consign
- Organize kitchen/bedroom/bathroom drawers and closets: keep, toss, yard sale piles
- Refresh outdoor spaces: power wash, touch up patio paint, wash cushions, clean light fixtures
- Wash windows and sliding doors
There are many other maintenance and general up-keep that we do on an as-needed basis. For example, this spring, we are doing touch up painting on our interior. We’ve been in our home for going on four years and it is definitely time! I don’t schedule those things on a particular list anywhere; we simply try to fit them in where we can and when we really need to!
I am often asked how I keep our house so clean with all the other things I do. The simple answer is that I try really hard to never let it get too bad. Is it a perfect system? Nope. Does it always happen exactly how I’d like? Definitely not. Is it always a work in progress? Absolutely!
Different seasons of life also require different cleaning styles and schedules. With our kids’ ages, things get dirty unbelievably fast. The flip side is that they are also old enough to help out. So right now, it feels like we are constantly cleaning and keeping up. I also know that in the blink of an eye, we will be sitting in a quiet home that stays more clean than we want it to, with all the time in the world to clean…an already clean house!
To me, the two keys for “spring cleaning” are:
- Create daily habits for your entire family. Everyone feels better in a tidy, clean home.
- Fit cleaning into YOUR schedule. Most of us don’t have entire days to devote to cleaning. Schedule out those bigger “spring cleaning” tasks over time, try to stick to your schedule, and offer lots of grace for yourself!
The teacher in me must also say that I am a big believer in helping children develop a good work ethic. Over 16 years of teaching, it is an area of emphasis that is slipping. Our kiddos are far from perfect and we have to remind them all too often of their chores. I don’t have adult children and I can’t say our theory will pay off. But my hope is that by learning the intrinsic reward of hard work, we will send out three young adults that give quality contributions to the world around them. Running the vacuum after dinner or wiping down the table is a small thing…but I hope that it eventually leads to a much greater ability to be a productive adult someday.
You can CLICK HERE for my spring cleaning checklist! I left lots of space for you to personalize it and add those things that are specific to your home and family needs. I hope it helps you to break down the tasks and make your cleaning a non-stressful, habitual part of your family life!
Now…off to check my own list and see what little task I can complete today!