As spring gets underway, it is once again time to partake in the annual spring cleaning tradition. Regardless of how you feel about this extensive task, there is no point in putting it off. Here are a few tips to keep your spring cleaning from driving you absolutely crazy.
Before beginning any cleaning, you should first create a plan of action. You do not need to go to the extent of writing down every single chore that needs to be done. However, it is important to have a clear idea of what tasks you want to tackle and the order in which you want to complete them. There is little point in spring cleaning, if you cannot see an improvement when you are finished. You want to know ahead of time what rooms and areas of your home, such as the attic or garage, you plan to focus your attention on.
Spring cleaning is a great time to get the entire family involved. Getting your entire family to pitch in is essential to the spring cleaning process while bringing the family together for an all around bonding experience. Delegating jobs will help prevent everyone from attempting to tackle the same task, and can speed up the entire process. Let everyone know what tasks they have and what changes you would like to accomplish. This will prevent arguments as well. More often than not if you have children, they have completely contradicting opinions than you on what it means to be clean. Be careful, and try not to delegate any tasks that you know they will be unable to accomplish, or tasks that you are particular about.
If you have younger children that are eager to help you out, you can turn your spring cleaning into a game that will get them helping and keep them happy at the same time! You can play music and your family can dance and sing together while making improvements to your cluttered living area. You can also try to race to see who can finish their task first, awarding the winner with a prize. Treat your family and yourself to a special lunch or dinner to thank them for their hard work. The idea is to get your family to have pleasant memories of your spring cleaning and good times together. This will also make it easier to get them to pitch in the following year.
During your spring cleaning separate items that can be sold, donated, or trashed into separate boxes or piles. The overall goal of spring cleaning is to ultimately decrease the clutter in your home. Getting rid of some stuff is vital. Do not let emotions and sentiment keep you surrounded by twenty years worth of your children’s clothes that will never be used again. Instead, donate those clothes to a charity helping children and families in need.
After giving away unneeded items, look for better ways to organize the stuff that you plan to keep. See what items can be stored away in trunks, totes, or chests. Understand that putting everything back where it was prior to your cleaning will detract from all of the cleaning that you have done. Better organization does not always mean storing items away. You may find a better way to display stored items such as pictures, trophies, and figurines. For instance, a shelf kit could give a stylish and affordable way to display smaller items that you have not had the opportunity to enjoy in years.
It is important to try and clean your floors last. This may go unsaid often, but cleaning your floors last will keep you from having to clean your floors over and over again. As you and your family clean, you will pull out items onto your floor repeatedly. Not to mention the fact that, dust, dirt, and mud tracked in from cleaning the yard, garage, and basement areas often keep floors pretty dirty throughout the day.
Another good tip is to remember that spring cleaning may take longer than a day to complete. Getting your house to this point took your family months or years and cleaning will take some time as well, especially if you are including major cleaning projects such as attics, garages, and basements. When you realize that it may take you longer than a day to clean, start to look for good stopping points. Reaching a good stopping point before you decide to call it a day, will help you quickly assess what tasks are left while hopefully keeping your home from looking like a disaster area in the mean time.
Spring cleaning will probably never be as exciting as a family vacation, but hopefully if you follow these tips you can get through it with help and maybe even a laugh or two.
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Mike Cole is a freelance writer who writes about home remodeling and maintenance, often discussing a specific topic like home organization.
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