For a number of reasons, I think my friends and relatives would be a little amused to see me attempt to write a post about spring cleaning. Let’s see …

1. Cleaning up after preschoolers is like shoveling snow in a snowstorm or, as I have been reminded, like running a blender with the lid off.

2. In light of point 1), shaken together with my right-brain tendencies, there are pockets of my home that look a little less like the trail of Alice from The Brady Bunch and a little more like that of Oscar the Grouch … or the Tasmanian Devil.

3. With the current ages of my children, I just aim to have my teeth brushed by 10 a.m. It’s not like I’m sitting around pondering, “What shall I do with myself today?

4. I have actually invited members of my family into my home to help me organize because I have a visual disorder commonly referred to as “don’tseemessitis.” It is closely linked to the mental phenomenon of “don’tcareaboutmessitis,” of which I have been known to have episodes but am currently in a stage of remission, because I do care that my children undo everything I make neat. Common symptoms of this disorder (pun intended) include phrases such as, “What’s the point? I do it, and it gets messed right back up again.”

5. I am writing from my 7′ x 7′ laundry room, which doubles as my office, pantry, housekeeping, and creative education think tank. ‘Nuff said.

So for those of you who are like me and would rather raise your eyebrows at spring cleaning or would carefully organize that between “are you kidding” and “where would I even start,” let me offer my brief and amateur attempt at Spring Cleaning for Dummies.

1. Prioritize

I pick my top major cleaning and organization projects that I typically pretend don’t exist but really should be addressed.

2. Motivate

For me, this includes:

• being able to find what I actually need before something burns on the stove

• nice-smelling homemade organic cleansers getting my groove on to TobyMac’s latest with a bucket of soapy water

• feeling like I’m doing a little more to care for my family feeling a sense of completion in “bonus” work (the little ballpoint horizontal line over a

• to-do list item is tremendously satisfying)

• envisioning my husband’s look of surprise

3. Recruit

I get my kids involved with their own buckets of soapy water, a spray bottle (they love it), or organizing their own stuff once I get them started. Sometimes, if I’m clueless about where to start my own organizing, I have been known to call in people who actually, strangely, love to organize, and feel their own sense of accomplishment when they can see the entire surface of my dryer. Weird.

4. Get generous

A big part of organization is just sorting through what we don’t — really — need anymore. A friend of mine got rid of any clothes she hadn’t worn in a year, and I’m finding out that applies well to a lot of things beyond clothes.

5. Just do it

If you need to put it on your calendar, make a family day of it, or get a pint of ice cream and do what it takes to go from start to that beautiful, much-less-rotten-smelling finish.

She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Proverbs 31:27

Guess I should go clean something before someone in my family reads this. …