It’s getting to be that time of year where the sun shines a little bit longer, the temperatures start to warm up a bit, and I break out my favorite pair of flip-flops. I love the springtime, the sun shining on my face, and throwing open the windows to let in a warm breeze. There is, however, one part of the spring time that I dread every single year – spring cleaning.
Ladies, I’ll be the first to admit that I hate cleaning. It’s almost my least favorite thing to do. I love organizing, but cleaning, now that’s a whole different deal. Each year I promise that this will be the year that I will make a list and complete every task on it. You know how many times I’ve actually completed that list?
I find a list that I think is perfect on Pinterest- I’ve tried a different one every year. I usually manage to get a few of the things on each list done, but before I know it, I’m discouraged, and all my ambitions have flown right out the window with the stale winter air.
This year I promise to finish my list, even if it kills me.
So I’ve come up with a plan that is actually doable. I’m not trying to blow it out of the water in just one weekend, but I’m not going to spend an entire month trying to get things tidy either. I’ve found a middle ground, and a plan to help even ME get me ready for my big spring cleaning list.
My one-week plan is the perfect way to get my yearly chores squared away. It will keep me focused, but not require me to be focused for weeks on end. Who has that kind of time anyway!?
Spring Cleaning Prep
I know you think I’m probably crazy when I say this, but this year I’m going to plan ahead for my spring cleaning and not just try to jump in. Not only am I a busy mom of a house full of teenage boys, but I’m a working mom and wife, too. Oh, did I mention I’m in the middle of building a new house? I might have a little bit on my plate. I’ll bet you do too. So, to get things off on the right foot, this is my battle plan:
1. Stock up on all my favorite cleaners. I personally don’t like strong chemical cleaners, so I tend to stick with those that are a bit more natural. Whatever you prefer, pick up what you need and get your cleaning caddy organized. Be sure your caddy has your favorite cleaners, rags, and trash bags. Don’t forget to have a good broom and mop on hand, too.
2. Stock up on trash bags, rags or paper towels, and something that smells fantastic. I like to use my essential oils in a diffuser, but if candles are your thing, go ahead. Make the house smell good to motivate you to clean when you get started.
3. Plan a week of dinners ahead of time and consider favorites that you can throw in the slow cooker, instapot or oven. In my house, food is key (house of teenage boys- remember?), so if it’s time to eat and I’m not cooking, I’m not going to be able to focus on my cleaning because the boys are going to be hounding me. Besides, after you’ve done a full day of cleaning, the last thing you are going to want to do is fix a full dinner.
4. Make a cleaning schedule. I know, I know – “But I never follow a list.” This year you will because you’re planning ahead. Write your list on a clipboard and hang it on the refrigerator or spruce up a chalkboard with your list. Be creative.
Time to Get to Work
It’s time to put your planning to work.
This year, you’ve got this.
Here are seven days’ worth of work that will keep you focused, get your cleaning done and keep you from burning out in the process:
Day 1: Clean all the high and tall places in every room. There’s no reason to clean anything lower if you’re just going to knock dust from up high back down on the ground. Do this the very first day by starting at the top and dusting, wiping, and cleaning shelves, ceiling fans, and anything else up high. This is also the day to clean your curtains and blinds.
Day 2: Clean everything at eye level. This will include the inside and outside of all your windows. With all the sunshine and warm breezes, you’re going to want to have the windows open- make sure they’re clean. You also want to wipe down the doors and walls to get rid of any marks and fingerprints.
Day 3: Tackle the bedrooms. If you’re brave enough, get your kids to help with their own rooms. Really clean each room, vacuum the mattress and flip it over, empty out the closet and clean out clothes and items that no longer fit or are not being used. Channel your inner Marie Kondo and get to de-cluttering.
Day 4: Kitchen Day! This is probably the most used room of your home, so it is likely also the messiest. Start from the top and wipe each cupboard and shelf clean. Clean all the knobs and handles. Empty the fridge and scrub all of its pieces. Don’t forget the inside of the oven and microwave.
Day 5: Bathroom day. Not only should you wipe down all of the surfaces and freshen things up, but go through the medicine cabinet and get rid of anything that is expired, clean makeup brushes and hairbrushes, and replace toothbrushes.
Day 6: Tackle the lower part of the rooms. Clean baseboards, under appliances and furniture, and vacuum and mop the entire house. Dust out any rugs and mats, too. If you can, wash them to get them really clean.
Day 7: LAST DAY! WooHoo! I bet most of the house is looking pretty good, so it’s time to wrap things up by tidying the smaller things. Go back to the linen closet and get rid of any bedding, towels, and other items that you don’t use. Freshen up and restock your first aid kit. Tackle any other smaller tasks that might need to be done such as changing out light bulbs, changing air filters, etc.
If you’re lucky, day seven wasn’t too bad and you can enjoy the rest of your day kicked back in your flip-flops and enjoying the smell of your freshly cleaned home. Now that is a part of spring that I can get in to!