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?