5 Steps To A Calm Spring Clean

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The sounds of furniture scraping across the floor, closet doors opening and closing, and bustling in the kitchen would wake me first, but then the overwhelming scent of Pine Sol so strong it could burn the hair right out of your nose, could only mean one thing…

We were going to be Spring cleaning that day!

I would walk out to the kitchen to find my mom up on a ladder removing all the draperies and wiping down the curtain rods.  Oh the horror!  Goodness only knew how long she had already been at it, but she was ready for a helper and I will give you two guesses who that was.  This girl.  We would then spend the next two days cleaning every surface, carpet, and fabric in our entire house.

This scene repeated like groundhog day, every year.  These are my memories of Spring cleaning.  Even now the smell of Pine Sol makes want to run and hide or drop to the fetal position.  I’m not gonna lie, spring cleaning was not a highlight of my childhood.

My thoughts and memories of Spring Cleaning have since been replaced with peaceful images of curtains flapping in the breeze, white walls, and the glorious smell of Thieves cleaner, lemon, and vinegar.  It took a few years to figure out the best way to tackle Spring Cleaning without killing myself and frustrating my family in the process.  I’d like to share those steps with you.

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Inventory your space–  Before cleaning day, take a notepad and a pen and visit each room of your home.  What does the room need?  Look at it with a critical eye.  What cleaning needs to happen in the space?  Is there clutter that can be thrown away or donated?  Carpets that could use a shampoo?  Woodwork and trim that need to be touched up?   Specifically mark down the tasks, room by room.

Make a Plan–  Once you have your list of what you’d like to work on, it is time to make a plan. What supplies will you need? How do you work best?  Bite Sized Chunks or All in one bite.  Looking at your calendar, how much time do you have to work on the project?

**Make a Deadline for your project.  This one piece of advice may be the best that I can give you.  Open ended projects often get pushed to the back burner and then not completed or accomplished.  Making a deadline and scheduling your plan into the family calendar will help ensure your Spring Cleaning list is completed.

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Enlist Help–  While I was not a fan of Spring Cleaning days as a child, I have since come to realize the value of the experience.  I also think that there are some great tools to use when enlisting the help of your family.

Give a Head’s Up–  Sharing the need and the expectations with your family, days ahead of time, often help attitudes on the day of cleaning.  By sharing the plan with the family, it also eliminates scheduling hiccups by a lack of communication.

Pre-make assignment list’s and share them with the family.  If your family is even a little like ours, there may be some debate over who does what and who did what last.  The day you are trying to be your most productive, is not the day to be settling these debates.

Gather Supplies–  Have boxes designated for donations, trash bags, and cleaning supplies for each task, on hand before you begin.

Start your dusters!–  You have made your plan, now work the plan.  Keep the ending vision in sight and you will be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor very soon.

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Celebrate and Affirm when it is over–  You will hear me say this loud and often.  While it is true our children make the lion’s share of the mess in our home, no one ever wants to feel as if their work was unappreciated.  Thank them, personally and intentionally for what they accomplished.  Let them know specifically what you appreciated about their contribution.  Celebrate a job well done together.  Even if it is just a pitcher of lemonade that you drink in fancy glasses, Or ice cream sundae’s.

I would love to hear your memories of Spring Cleaning time from your childhood!

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