As the weather starts to warm, it seems everyone around me is talking about spring cleaning. But just because it’s spring doesn’t mean that the calendar has suddenly presented several wide open days that I can set aside for cleaning. Between work, school, sports, church, and family, there’s not a whole lot of margin left.
If you find yourself in the same boat, I’d like to propose spring cleaning tips for the rest of us. Here are 5 ways we can sneak in good, deep down spring cleaning to already full days.
1. Use overlooked downtime.
Some jobs can be done in small increments of downtime. If you’re waiting on a casserole to bake, wipe down the cabinets. If you’re on the phone, walk around the house and clean light switches. Make a list of the small jobs that you can sneak in, post them on the fridge and then be mindful to work them into your small bits of downtime. These 16 spring cleaning hot spots will help you get started.
2. Hire your kids.
I have vivid memories of polishing my mom’s silver because that was the job she gave out when I wanted extra spending money. Keep a list of child-friendly jobs handy so that when your child asks for money, you can let him earn it by completing one of the spring cleaning tasks on these printable cleanup cards.
3. Use as a consequence.
If your child’s behavior needs a consequence, assigning an extra chore can often fit well. For instance, one Saturday, when one of my kids played all day and didn’t complete his chore, instead of nagging or yelling, I assigned an additional task. Cleaning a section of baseboards works well for this because it virtually always needs to be done. And if siblings are continually picking at each other, assigning a chore that they must do together will help them figure out how to cooperate. Clearly, your kids aren’t going to do all the spring cleaning, but you may find the physical activity of an extra chore a logical consequence.
If your child’s behavior needs a consequence, assigning an extra chore can often fit well.
4. Clean as you go.
What jobs can be added to your normal routine? When the refrigerator is low on groceries, clean off the shelves before you load up new groceries. Dust the ceiling fan blades along with your regular dusting. Spin the mattresses when it’s time to change sheets. Clean the utensil drawer when doing the evening dishes. You can sneak in many spring cleaning chores right along with the routine weekly cleaning.
5. Prioritize maintenance over cosmetic.
Washing walls is cosmetic and, while it looks nice, it doesn’t protect the home. Cleaning out gutters, on the other hand, is necessary maintenance. If you only have time for a few big jobs, choose those that will protect your home.
Tell us! How do you sneak in spring cleaning?