Saturday, April 24, 2010

Spring Cleaning Tips

I am the first to admit I am not a great housekeeper. It's not a priority and is a huge exercise in discipline for me to even vacuum & mop once a week. And posting that on a blog for anybody to see must be an exercise in humility & honesty.

I wanted to post some cleaning planning ideas that encouraged me. I thought they might also encourage some of you, too, since "Spring Cleaning" seems so daunting.

  • Look at your calendar for the next month. Choose a week or two that aren't as busy and try to keep those days from filling up - knowing you'll be busy at home.
  • Assign one room or area of your home to each day you've selected. Take my house for example: Kitchen (2 days), playroom, girls' room, nursery, bathrooms, closets, windows (2 days), office, master, garage. I needed 12 days, but I know some will be just an hour or two and others will be all day - or two day - projects.
  • Prioritize the cleaning. I have a whole list of chores that are "once a year" chores and I make sure these top the list. I also have to try not to get distracted with major sorting and organizing (especially in kids areas). The assigned day is for cleaning - I can sort & organize on another day.
  • Don't be afraid to enlist the help of your children. Yes, they may slow you down, but including them is teaching them and those little hands will be big soon enough.

Here is a list of my "once a year" chores if anyone is interested. I know my mom probably would recommend I do these chores more often, but in my stage of life with littles I feel accomplished getting these done annually. I would love to know if you have things I should add. DH and I are continually learning home maintenance and find things all the time we are 'supposed' to be doing. I won't be discouraged so let 'er rip. I love my lists!
  • Run empty dishwasher with vinegar
  • Run empty washer with vinegar
  • Clean lint from around dryer hose
  • Defrost freezer
  • Empty & wipe out upper kitchen cabinets
  • Empty & wipe out lower kitchen cabinets (great one for kids' help)
  • Dust tops of kitchen cabinets
  • Wash cabinet doors (great one for kids' help)
  • Vacuum under fridge and coils behind fridge
  • Clean oven (6 months)
  • Wash curtains/clean blinds (6 months)
  • Wash windows interior & exterior
  • Wash bathroom light fixtures (6 months)
  • Change furnace filters
  • Fertilize grass (6 months)
  • Seal deck (2 years)
  • Seal tile (2 years)

A few other things I do more often but might be good spring cleaning items for your list are:
  • washing your shower curtain,
  • washing your bed dust ruffle,
  • cleaning the inside of the fridge,
  • vacuuming out the couches,
  • scrubbing kitchen chairs and/or barstools,
  • cleaning the inside of your trash cans,
  • washing fingerprints off doorknobs & light switches,
  • check dates in your pantry & fridge,
  • touch up paint inside the house.

Now don't be discouraged! That's a big list, but if you sort out which tasks go with which rooms and/or which days you've assigned it's not as scary. In some cases you only have to do one thing for the whole day (in my case, washing exterior windows is all alone).

I have tackled some of these chores already, but will focus on them when we get back from vacation the 2nd & 3rd weeks of May. I will also be clearing out clutter as part of that process, and I'll show you before & after pictures. This was inspired by moneysavingmom's blog, but I have way more embarassing junk than she does. More embarassing because it's mine, of course.

So make a plan, be encouraged, and let me know what I'm missing!

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