Tips for spring cleaning and organizing

Last Updated on April 2, 2024

Is your home in need of a major refresh as the weather starts to warm up! Have no fear! With a few easy spring cleaning hacks, you’ll feel better about your space in no time. Here are a few great tips for spring cleaning and organizing from one of our Moms!

For a number of reasons, I think my friends and relatives would be a little amused to see me write a post about spring cleaning. Here are a just a few…

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. There are lots, and lots of downright messy days.

2. In light of point #1 mixed 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 usually 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’t-see-mess-itis.” It is closely linked to the mental phenomenon of “don’t-care-about-mess-itis,” of which I have been known to have episodes. But I’m currently in a stage of remission, because I do care that my children undo everything that 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’m 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 tips at Spring Cleaning for Dummies.

My easy spring cleaning hacks

1. Prioritize

I pick my top major cleaning and organization projects that I typically pretend don’t exist but really should be addressed. Don’t try to focus on everything at once. You’ll only overwhelm yourself! Choose the most important things first and put them at the top of your list. Even if you only get those done today, it’s still a victory.

There are some really great cleaning checklists that you can find online and customize to fit your family.

Here’s a collection of free lists organized by days, rooms and times of year. You can also try some dry erase chore charts like these to get your whole family involved.

2. Motivate yourself

For me, this includes:

• Knowing that organization means being able to find what I actually need before something burns on the stove.

• Nice-smelling homemade organic cleansers are actually enjoyable to use while I get my groove on to TobyMac’s latest with a bucket of soapy water.

• Cleaning up helps me feel like I’m doing a little more to care for my family. I also feel 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 when he gets home is always a win.

• I know some moms who give themselves a little reward for finishing their cleaning checklist. A little Starbucks, anyone?

3. Recruit your family!

Just so you know, I also 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.

If there’s no place for it and your family doesn’t use it, consider donating it to a church, shelter, or thrift store in your area. Reselling items can be a great way to save up for things like Christmas and birthday gifts as well!

5. Just do it

You’ll feel better when it’s done… I promise. 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. Order a pizza, open the windows, turn on your favorite tunes and get to work.

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. …

*Editors Note: This article was first shared on May 14, 2010.*

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