Here's a few ideas to make your spring cleaning as pain and stress-free as possible.
-Short on time? Spring clean one room a day. This method can be a lot less stressful for moms and families with lots of activities and can't block out several full days in a row.
-Have a plan. What day? What room? What to do? I like lists. I get satisfaction from checking things off. Whatever works for you.
-Make assignments. This is good for children who need chores to earn extra money or an attitude adjustment. Short of cleaning the barn stalls, washing walls and baseboards is great therapy!
- Have your cleaning supplies organized. Fill an empty bucket to contain the basics you'll be using in most rooms; 1) spray bottle with all-purpose cleaner, 2) sponge 3) Magic Erasers (dollar store brand works great) 3) clean wash rags 4) scrub brush 5) window cleaner 6) furniture polish 7) old toothbrush.
I use a hanging shoe rack from the dollar store to organize everyday cleaning products. It's a spacesaver and makes it very easy to see. Items that small kids use the most are put at lower levels - like dusting and window cleaning materials.
- Have the family help clear things out before starting - toys off the floor, junk mail and old school papers cleared from counters and desks.
-Clean from top to bottom. Use the broom to dust out any corner cobwebs, dust the ceiling fan, clean the valances, throw the curtains in the washer and dryer while completing the room. Keep going!
-Don't neglect outside. Front and back porch, summer chairs and tables to spiff up, outdoor grills to wash down. Warning: Spring cleaning outdoors will get you in the mood to invite family and friends for a fun-filled barbeque!
-Take a picture when you're done. Why? Because all of us with big families know that the toys and backpacks will be back the next day. It's nice to just see it all clean AND picked up, all at one time.
-A place for everything, and everything in its place. If there's not a designated place for something, it will end up where you don't want it. OR, you won't be able to find it when you need it. If you can't find a place for something, there's a good chance it's not something you need.
Cubbies are a good organizational tool. We have cubbies in our mudroom. They were purchased at Ikea for about $40, and my son, Noah, put them together for me. Ours are quite heavy duty and durable. Make sure each child knows where they're expected to put their things.
-Last but not least, REWARD YOURSELF! Whatever it takes to keep you motivated. Maybe that's a personal reward after every room, or a family reward, like a fun outing, when the entire job is completed.
See you in the summer!