Because I Heart Cleaning

spring cleaning gone wild

I love to spring clean my house. And by love I mean that I love the feeling I get afterward. The cleaning itself? Meh. But after? I feel like I can take on the world. And that my house is awesome. And I, by default, am awesome.

The last two years, I’ve spring cleaned {do me a favor and pretend that’s grammatically correct, mkay? Gratzi.}, organized, and simplified over a whole month to make it doable for my schedule.

My plan of attack:

{Days 1-14}

I organize room by room. I try to assign rooms that are quicker {like the living room} to a busier day, and more complicated rooms {the closet} to a weekend. I give myself two weeks so I can miss some days and not feel bad. Guilt over cleaning = lame. Plus, this is the most time-consuming part of the process. Small caveat: I wait until the end of the month, when our grocery stockpile is at it’s all-time low, to clean out the pantry. It’s all about working smarter, not harder- can I get an amen?

As I go, I make myself three piles:

  1. Keep {Be selective. Have a friend help with this list if you tend to hoard.}
  2. Donate {Give things your family doesn’t need or use to an organization that will give them to a family who will.}
  3. Trash {Get rid of things you wouldn’t give to anyone. Read: ratty, old underwear. Eww.}

I sort through items as I take everything off the shelves. I wipe them, then thoughtfully rearrange as I put everything I’m keeping back. {By thoughtful, I mean I ask questions like, “Do I need to move something I use frequently to a better place?” And, “Are there any small changes that would save time or make life easier?”}

Along with that, I make myself a list of ‘to do’s’ and ‘to buy’s:’

  • Sometimes my to do’s get accomplished right away. For example, I took a delicates bag and hung it on my laundry basket for socks. Now I throw the bag in the laundry and don’t lose socks. {Unless my dog eats them. Seriously. I can’t get him to stop.}
  • We also do a lot of ironing, so on my ‘to buy’ list went a fold-down ironing rack. Granted, I have a feeling this is on a dream ‘to buy’ list, but it may be less expensive than I think. It would sure save a lot of stubbed toes and dangerous ‘the-iron-almost-fell-and-slash-or-burnt-my-hand-off’ moments.

{Days 15-21}

I do my normal weekly cleaning routine, and finish up any extra rooms on the list. I also organize and back up my computer.

{Days 22-28}

I break down deep cleaning tasks: 

  • Cabinets & doors
  • Baseboards & molding
  • High places {vents, fans, etc.}
  • Furniture
  • Floors

Each task gets one day. Leaving margin for busy days is important for me; if I have a crazy day and don’t get to the item, allowing a ‘free’ day keeps me from feeling overwhelmed and giving up.

{Days 28-30}

I go back through my ‘to do’s’ and ‘to buy’s’ with a fine tooth comb. What is unnecessary? What is a priority? I plan out the lists, measure {no skipping this step allowed!}, and go shopping for needed items.

I’ve found this yearly tradition saves me time and money, because I improve the processes I have in place and things are less likely to get lost in the clutter.

Do you spring clean? How do you break it down to make it work for your schedule?

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6 Comments

  • Selah March 20, 2013 at 7:44 AM

    I don’t really do Spring Cleaning. Instead, I do 2-3 deep cleaning or organizational tasks every week, all year round. For instance, last week I organized the bathroom closet, scrubbed the shower, and mopped the kitchen. Over the summer, when I’m not homeschooling, I do a major organization of all our school stuff.

    • Caitlin March 23, 2013 at 9:38 AM

      That’s a great idea, Selah!

  • Amy March 21, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Spring is in the air!
    I had double closet rods hung in the master bedroom, and then went through my and my husband’s clothes. (I put all of the clothes I felt “iffy” about — or didn’t need seasonally — in bins and up to the attic — and donated the stuff that was too small or tired looking. Husband gets top rod (taller) and I get the bottom rod. Then I used our smaller closet for my dresses and work outfits. This doubling up on rods in the closet doubled our closet space. Yes!
    I also cleaned and painted the interior of the closet a bright white and changed the closet bulb to a higher wattage. Now to put the louvered doors back on…!

    • Caitlin March 23, 2013 at 9:39 AM

      What a great idea! You’ve got to feel so accomplished after that. How are the doors coming? That would definitely be my least favorite task :/

  • Iris March 24, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    Hi Caitlin, I’m so proud that we got the majority of our spring cleaning done this week while we were off for spring break. That’s one of the pros for my husband and I both being teachers. Anyway, my goal was to tackle the spare bedroom that became a dumping ground for random stuff. I took everything out and with a few under the bed storage containers and shelves in the garage, we were able to organize everything. I reorganized my books and crafting material in there, and also set up my son’s train table and my daughter’s play kitchen in there. They were so excited. We also hooked up our old desktop computer for the kids to play in there. Since we were on a roll we dusted, mopped, vacuumed everything. I got all my laundry done, reorganized the laundry room, even organized closets. Bathrooms and the kitchen are all clean too! It feels really good to go back to school with a clean house. When it warms up we’ll reorganize the garage and attic. I still have to clean out the kids’ closet – donate old clothes and make room for hand-me-downs and then organize my papers and files. I’m planning on working on those this upcoming weekend. Sorry for this long reply! I’m just so glad that our house is clean!

    • Caitlin March 26, 2013 at 6:22 PM

      Iris, no need to apologize! There’s something SO satisfying about a clean house! Way to go!! Hope you’re having a great week back at school :)

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