I am busy. Always busy. I work from home and have a side job on nights and weekends. We are always on the go because of the baseball season and my husband is the coach. We have three kids (two in school) and I volunteer at their school. Our weekends are set aside for family time and it is often spent catching up on rest. On those days, the furthest thing from my mind is spring cleaning. Then, days like today, I walk through my house and look at the clutter that has filled our house and say that today is the day. It’s time to do some Spring Cleaning! So here’s my Spring Cleaning tips for busy moms.
I love to clean but I just don’t have the time these days to do that deep cleaning that a house needs when the seasons start to change. I am no Marie Kondo but I do, in fact, love to clean. To stay on track of my chores, I have my own little cleaning method and I’d love to share some tips with you!
I’m the weirdo that likes to clean before I actually clean. I start in the main living areas (kitchen, dining room, living room, family room) and do a quick clean one room at a time. The goal here is to just get everything put away or find a temporary home until we are ready to really clean. For example, move one small pile to another larger pile. Sweep the dirt under the rug (just kidding, it takes only a few minutes to vacuum)! This step should give the impression of clean. Most days, I stop here.
2. Purge and donate.
After the quick clean, it’s time to purge! I start in the kid’s bedrooms. Do a quick clean which basically means, I clear off the bed. Go through clothes in closets and in drawers. The bed, specifically, holds anything you want to keep. I like to put all of the winter clothes into Rubbermaid containers and pull out the spring and summer clothes at this time. Anything that is too small, too tight, or unloved goes to a donate pile. Anything that is stained or worn out goes in the trash. Put away all the clothes you decided to keep. Then, do this in all the bedrooms.
We always have too many toys but, I have a system to help me purge them. The most popular toys are in a basket in the living room. The majority of the toys are in the playroom. I only let the kids keep a few toys in their bedroom. However, if toys from the living room become unpopular, I move them to the playroom. Similarly, toys in the playroom or in the bedroom that lose their appeal are moved to a box in the garage. Once that box is full. Tape it up and write “donate” on it. I like to do this purge when the kids aren’t around getting all sentimental about the toys they haven’t touched in a year! Go through all the current toys and throw away anything broken or missing pieces.
Go back to those piles that you’ve been moving from one area to the next and, go through them. For me, it’s paper piles- school artwork and papers that might be important. Sit down with a cup of coffee (you know, for energy) and go through each pile only keeping the things that you have you really need and throwing everything else away.
Use baskets, plastic containers, and file cabinets, for example, to organize the things that need homes. I try not to go crazy with these because sometimes they cause clutter, too.
5. Let things soak.
Before bed spray down the bathroom and let sit overnight. I like to use a vinegar/ dish soap mixture. It smells pretty good, even though, it has vinegar in it. When you wake, it only requires a quick wipe and rinse. Speaking of the bathroom- use that same mixture in the bathtub to soak blinds and toys. You can also use the dishwasher to clean toys, glass decor (like vases), and light fixtures.
This step’s effort depends on how busy you are! Clean under the couch and in the couch cushions. Dust ceiling fans and home decor. Wash bed sheets and curtains. Wash pillows. Shake out rugs and shampoo them. Wipe down appliances and wash windows. It’s easiest, if you tackle one chore at a time, one room at a time.
Make yourself a chore list of the things you really want to get done. If you are particular about a certain chore, add that to your own list. Give the kids chores. Give the husband a “honey-do list.” It’s time to do the Spring Cleaning. My kids are responsible for cleaning their bedrooms, including under their beds. I can’t even tell you the crazy things we’ve found under their beds! I assign chores like dusting, sweeping, wiping baseboards to my children. My husband has the tougher chores like cleaning out the fridge, yard work, taking out all the trash we gather, and carrying all the donated bags to the nearest charity.
To be honest, I will not attempt to clean the garage without my husband nearby. I’ve seen too many Youtube videos and now assume that a python or nest of spiders has made a home in a remote corner. This chore is reserved for him… or the coldest winter day when cold-blooded creatures sleep (Legit question- do spiders hibernate, too?).
8. Take your time.
There is no law that Spring Cleaning has to be done in a weekend or in a week! It’s done when its done… if it’s ever really done! Don’t become overwhelmed. Work at a pace that works for you but don’t stop in the middle of a step. It usually takes me a few weeks to get the Spring Cleaning done. I don’t do it every day or every weekend and once you get past the cleaning, it’s mostly organizing.
9. Freshen the air.
When I was younger, my mom opened the windows and the doors while she cleaned. The cool breeze blow through the house and our home seemed to welcome the newness of Spring. The house was fresher and brighter. This is one of my favorite things to do when spring rolls around. Pull back the curtains, raise the blinds, and open the windows and doors. Let the fresh Florida spring air blow through the whole house. Light a floral or clean scented candle and take a few minutes to enjoy the fresh new scent.
10. Hire a cleaning service.
Who am I kidding? When the weather warms up, we’d rather be outside enjoying a beautiful spring day with our family than stuck inside forcing our kids to clean and finding what I can only assume is a moldy pop-tart in the couch cushions! If it’s in your budget, hire a cleaning service to get your home spring-ready.
Oh, I forgot my biggest tip…
11. Do you have young kids? Well, unfortunately, there will always be something to clean!
Above all, learn to enjoy it and share the fun with your little ones. Have a dance party while you clean or create a fun game to get the kids excited about cleaning! Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a chore! Happy cleaning! What Spring Cleaning tips do you have for busy moms?