Spring Cleaning in June
Technically summer doesn’t start until June 21st, so we’re just not going to waste an ounce of energy beating ourselves up because we didn’t get to our spring cleaning yet. We’ve still got time and we’re taking every last day of it before we admit defeat.
If you’re wrangling two kids, a husband and a full-time job and you’re completely done with your spring cleaning, I tip my hat to you. If not, join me in this “good enough” spring cleaning plan and let’s get on with our lives. There’s never enough time, but there is some time. We think it’s all in the priorities.
Must Do, Should Do, Wish We Could Do
Creating a Smarter Spring Cleaning Plan is important. It will keep you on track and it’s very satisfying to tick things off your list. Plus, you can put things under three headings, capture all your ideas and get at least some of them done. We like to make our list and divide it into three categories: Must Do or we’ll be living in our own filth, Should Do so that the house doesn’t disintegrate, and Wish We Could Do so the neighbors would think we were good housekeepers. Our goal is to tackle the Must Do so no one dies and the Should Do so we’re safe for another year. Then and only then, will we get to the Wish We Could Do.
Let’s Make Your Plan
Every plan needs goals to keep everyone focused, help you feel good about your environment, give you some much needed work-life balance and establish positive habits like putting everything in it’s proper place and keeping everything in good working order.
Spring cleaning should fall into the following Must Do categories:
- Freshen-up your house and de-clutter
- Put winter things away and haul out the summer gear
- Repair broken things
- Make a list of stuff that needs replacing
This can be a family project. It’s the ultimate act of renewal and commitment to a family’s mutual enjoyment of the house and yard. And, by working together Mom doesn’t get overwhelmed, overworked, and cranky. Let’s remind the loved ones that Spring cleaning and upkeep sets the tone for your whole year and makes it a lot easier to find things, which leaves you all more time to enjoy each other and create a more productive family life.
Sit down and list what you’d like to accomplish this spring. To get you started, borrow ideas from this spring cleaning checklist from homemaking expert Martha Stewart. We know what you’re thinking. Martha’s perfect and we’re not. But why reinvent the wheel when Martha already put together a rock star list?
Schedule your cleaning tasks onto your calendar. A smart spring cleaning plan is spread out over several days or weeks to avoid total spring cleaning burnout. Some tasks require several days while others will require preparation time.
Here are some smart ideas:
- Schedule together activities that allow multi-tasking (e.g. doing laundry while cleaning blinds)
- Save valuable cleaning time by planning certain activities that should precede others, like dusting before vacuuming
- Discuss your expectations with your family helpers (e.g. “garage cleaned so cars can park inside”); it will improve your results
- Write your plan in clear terms that can be referenced later for an even smarter 2012 cleaning; better yet, put the plan into a Spring Cleaning Plan binder once you’re done and you won’t have to recreate your plan next year.
Remember: Trust that your plan is the best use of your time. As new tasks pop-up during your cleaning you must avoid the temptation to wander into doing them. Instead, write them down and schedule the new task. That way you won’t get distracted with every new cleaning chore.
Ten More Smart Spring Cleaning Tips
Here are tips to get on the right track with a Smarter Spring Cleaning Plan this year:
- Welcome-in spring: focus on tasks that create renewal — the way dusting and window washing enhances your fresh air and sunshine indoors
- Set the mark high: remember that certain areas of the home — kitchen, bathrooms, kids rooms — require higher sanitary standards than others and make those a priority
- Don’t forget your workspace: include your home office, desk, and inbox; be sure to spend time filing and recycling letters, catalogs and email
- Prepare your tools: store task-specific supplies together in a labeled bucket (e.g. “dusting supplies”) making them easier to find next time you need them
- Minimize your environment: make decisions to purge your house of rarely used and unnecessary items; create boxes of items to sell and things to donate
- Clean your financial house too: this is a great time to sort your tax info, organize your bills, and improve your financial habits
- Hire out: certain tasks can be hired out affordably, allowing you to focus time elsewhere; get rates from a local maid service to help with windows or a lawn crew to do a good yard clean up
- Begin one new habit: commit yourself to a new healthy activity, like cleaning the refrigerator weekly or buying more green products
- Plan forward: use this time to set in stone some daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning routines; write your household cleaning plan and keep it in your planner
- Don’t create more waste: consider the environmental impact of your cleaning by using reusable towels, sponges, and mops instead of paper towels and Swiffer-type disposable sweepers.
Share what’s On Your List
It’s easy to get overwhelmed while planning your spring cleaning checklist and to put it off until almost June, like we did. So remember to keep your plan realistic, and commit yourself to only as much as time allows. Knock off your Must Do’s first and then see what else is possible.
Do you have a particular spring cleaning strategy spruces up your home and yard without making Mommy cry? Help a Mommy out and share for goodness sake!
Editor’s note: This post was written by Cindy Ratzlaff.