I know the vernacular is “spring cleaning,” but I prefer to do a top to bottom clean and purge of our house every few months or so.
I do admit, though, that my spring cleaning is typically the most thorough, only because my family tends to spend more time inside during the winter months, resulting in more clutter, grime, and dust.
I’m one of those people who actually enjoys purging and tidying, so I look forward to my quarterly cleaning-spree. That being said, time is hard to come by, so here are my top 5 tips for spring cleaning sprees for busy parents:
Tip #2 – Get your materials in order:
- Clean out your vacuum and tune it up with a fresh or cleaned filter.
- Purchase new air filters for your home.
- Stock up on Magic Erasers, cleaning supplies, and rags (don’t forget about any specialty cleaning items for dishwashers, washing machines, or ovens.)
- Prepare boxes, bins, and/or bags to organize items during the sort.
- Buy labels and sharpies to help organize as you go.
- Pick up your favorite bottle(s) of wine, because day drinking pairs well with cleaning and sorting.
- DO NOT buy anything to organize or store items until you’re done the entire house. You have to know what you’re storing solving before you spend any extra cash on containers.
Tip #3: Plan it out:
As a compulsive planner, I like to have an agenda so I can use my time efficiently. To do that, I make a list of everything that needs to be done and organize it by room, so that I can break each part the house down into smaller tasks. Here’s an example of my home breakdown list:
- Wipe down doors, door knobs, switches, molding, and wainscoting.
- Run washing machine clean cycle.
- Clean dryer vent.
- Sort coat closet and storage baskets.
- Wash out dog-food bin.
- Sort drop-zone drawer and cabinet.
- Shake out and vacuum runner.
- Clean toilet.
- Wipe down door, door knob, switch, molding, and wainscoting.
- Clean sink and mirror.
- Clean window and shutter.
Tip #4 – Start with the smallest space:
I think of this as the snowball effect – starting with small spaces will help you feel accomplished instead of overwhelmed. That’s a momentum-building feeling and helps power me through when it comes to bigger jobs, like closets and kitchens. I start with the drawers in my TV stand in the living room. It’s usually a quick project. Then I tackle the rest of the living room, cleaning the furniture, window treatments, and so on.
Tip #5 – Don’t wait until the end of the season to sort clothes:
Even though I’m a serial purger, I still hate the idea of wasting or losing money on things that others might enjoy or need. I like to start the seasonal closet purge on the early side so that thrift stores will still accept the current season clothes, along with the upcoming season’s styles. This also helps me to be more in-the-moment with my current wardrobe. If I haven’t worn it at this point of the winter, I probably won’t miss it!