spring cleaning: part two | make a list + get started

Last week we talked about supplies and tools. Today, we’re setting cleaning goals and getting down to business.

If you’ve ever googled “spring cleaning” or looked it up on Pinterest, you probably noticed that there are a lot of lists and printables of what specifically you should clean when you are spring cleaning your house. The problem with someone else’s to-do list is that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to spring cleaning. We all have different priorities and amounts of time we can dedicate to cleaning. That’s why I won’t give you a list here, rather I’m going to help you identify what matters to you so you can set your own cleaning goals.

Quick tidy. First, start by tidying the floors and surfaces of your home. If you’re overwhelmed by that idea, start a timer for 30 minutes, grab a laundry basket and throw in everything that isn’t where it belongs (don’t forget to give yourself time to empty this basket later!). The goal is to be able to take a good look at what you are going to clean in your house, which is hard to see if it’s not first tidy.

Make a list. Pick a room and sit down somewhere where you can look around at the entire room. Make a list of all the things that look dirty, are bothering you, you’ve been putting off, etc. This is a list of things that matter to you and your family, not a list of things that you “should” be cleaning. When you’re finished, move to the next room until you’ve visited every room.

Mark quick jobs. On the list you just made, highlight any tasks that can be completed in 15 minutes or less. Most of us don’t have an entire uninterrupted weekend to dedicate to cleaning, which is why I like to split my tasks into two categories: quick tasks (like dusting or throwing curtains in the wash) I can do while the kids are playing or napping, and more involved tasks (like washing windows or cleaning out the cabinets) for after bedtime or the weekend when my husband can keep the kids busy for a longer amount of time.

Schedule bigger tasks. Take a look at that list of more involved tasks and decide which you want to tackle first, then schedule a specific time to start. This gives you time to round up help with keeping your kids busy or the cleaning job itself, and keeps you accountable to actually getting around to it.

Start small. I like to think of this as the cleaning version of Dave Ramsey’s “debt snowball”. If you’re not familiar with this concept, the point is to start small so you can experience little victories and be encouraged to keep going. If you start off a long list of spring cleaning goals with trying to deep clean your entire kitchen while the kids are napping, you might lose steam pretty quickly! Start by finishing a couple of those 15 minute or less jobs to give yourself some momentum, then move on to the more intense tasks.

Get others involved. If you need help, ask your husband or roommate. Some jobs are much more fun with help. If your kids don’t nap, give them small jobs to help with. James loves to dust, and it keeps him busy so I can work on something else.

Don’t stress. There’s no rules when it comes to spring cleaning! The goal is to enjoy your home, not to achieve perfection. Relax and allow yourself to appreciate the process of caring for your home.

Finishing touches. Once you’ve cleaned a room, make it feel fresh! Treat yourself to some flowers, light a candle, or diffuse something energizing. Don’t forget to open the windows to let in that fresh spring air!

In part three we’ll be talking about how to maintain your home once it’s all fresh and clean. In the meantime, comment here or on Instagram to let me know how it’s going or if you have any questions!


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