General Spring Cleaning Tips
First off, make a list. Go throughout your home and write down everything that you would like to accomplish out of each room. Be careful to not get too overwhelmed when doing this. It’s merely a list. Make sure to write down EVERYTHING that you want to get done. Anything from disinfecting your child’s toys to cleaning out your closet to dusting the mantle; leave no stone unturned.
Once you have made your list (and it’s okay if it’s more than one page long) sit down and examine it. Beside each chore, write down the cleaning supplies that you need for the task. Also, write down how long you think it will take you to do something. When writing down the time, overestimate just a little bit. You never know what you’ll find if your cleaning out your closet or under the sink.
After you have written down all the cleaning supplies, transfer them over to a grocery list. Check your home supply and see if you are going to need more or less of a certain product. For example, you will probably need less of window cleaner and more disinfectant and sponges. Remember, it’s better to be over prepared than it is to be under prepared. Don’t be afraid to buy a larger size of a product. Then you wouldn’t have to buy a certain cleaning product for a while. It is usually cheaper to buy a larger container of Lysol than it is to buy two or three. Plus, you can use certain products for more than one use. For example, if you buy a bottle of Febreeze for your house, take it out to your car to freshen it up. Or, you can try using a simple household cleaner such as Mr. Clean can be taken out to the shop to clean tools off. You’ve seen the commercials for the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser…try it out for yourself!
So now you have a list of all the chores you want done, how long you think they might take, and what type of cleaners or objects you would need to accomplish your list. You also have a grocery list for the products you will need. Let’s go back to the grocery list for a little while. Take another look around the house. Is there anything that needs to be replaced? Are the laundry baskets and trashcans in good shape? Is the toy box still in one piece? After making sure nothing needs to be replaced, take note of anything that you want to be more organized. Maybe you want some new shelves above the washer and dryer for laundry soap and extra hangers. Does your office need a file cabinet? Is the desk in need for some tiny storage containers? Go ahead and add these things to the list. When spring-cleaning, you might as well get organized. Put labels on the list while you are at it. When you do get your storage containers, label them. That way there is less confusion and mess.
Currently you have all of your lists. You can either go shopping and buy everything at once, or choose to purchase a little bit at a time. If you are on a budget, I suggest the latter. This is one way to start your spring-cleaning early. Try to keep all of the supplies in one place. If you scatter them all out, it may be difficult to find the items needed to start a project.
Remember the time frames that you wrote down for each project? Try to organize them either in ascending or descending order. Accomplish one task a week starting now and you should be able to knock out spring-cleaning in a snap. If you have more time, do the chores that take a longer time to accomplish. If you’ve done everything that takes 15 minutes or less, take one of the larger chores and break it down. For example, you want to clean out your dresser, but only have 15 or 20 minutes to do so, go through one drawer. Have a basket or trash bag ready to toss everything you don’t want anymore into. Then you have some time to refold and organize the drawer before your next commitment.
Take this time to have the family help you as well. If your child has a numerous amount of toys (and you’re not planning on having another child) disinfect the toys and have him or her help you choose the toys that will go to other children. This will also teach your child the act of giving. Or, if you are planning on having another child, have them help you choose what toys should go into storage for a while. Make sure to take out any broken toys before doing either.
Use the time limits as an aid. If you want your significant other to help you out, but he has to be somewhere in a few hours, give him a chore that will only take an hour or so. Also, don’t be afraid to have fun and reward yourself. Play music while cleaning. Take a whole Saturday to clean and reward the family with pizza and a movie for dinner. Make sure that when you involve the family to give out chores appropriate to age and skill level.
Starting on some projects now, such as cleaning out the closet and dresser, will help the list grow smaller. Plus, you won’t be so burnt out as you would if you tried to do everything the week of spring break. Take back your spring by using these tips!