As a kid I remember when my mother would start her spring cleaning schedule. She would go room by room (and still does to this day). She found great pleasure in moving everything, washing everything down, and cleaning around and behind everything. Somehow, I did NOT inherit this gene.
Although I like a clean house, I’m not motivated to wash, sweep and move everything in my house once a year. I enjoy creating things rather than maintaining things. Maybe you’re the same way.
I admire people who like to clean and make things look spotless, but I just don’t like to take the time to do it myself.
So how do I live with myself? How do I keep a fairly clean house without spending hours or days cleaning every nook and cranny of our house?
Here’s How I Approach Spring Cleaning
I’m a firm believer in using the technology that is available to us. In the age of cell phones and computers, some very smart people also created cleaning tools that work incredibly well too.
Back in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s housewives used rags a lot. I remember my mom laying a wet rag on the floor and putting a mop head in it and wrapping the wet rag around the mop head. Then she would rinse out the rag after a while and go back at it.
Housewives also used rags for dusting. They would either spray furniture polish, use the rag dry, or wet the rag and wipe their furniture.
To wash walls they would wipe down the walls by hand with a wet rag too. Although rags are a great invention, it’s time to move on and use some of the awesome technology that is available to us now.
First Things First Before You Start Your Spring Cleaning List
- Don’t use chemicals! This is the worst thing you could do for your family and their respiratory health. I’ll share what to use instead that will clean our house better and cheaper than anything you’ve ever used in the past.
- Don’t burn candles or use wall plug-in devices! This is also bad for your family’s respiratory health!
- Don’t get overwhelmed! Take this process one step at a time and keep reading the tips below to make this whole process as simple as possible.
- Get help when you need it – If you have children who are 5 years old or older, ask or make them help you clean. They live there too! Give them daily/weekly cleaning jobs and have them help you with the big jobs too. If you have small children, trade time with a friend. Watch her kids for you when she cleans and have her watch your kids for an afternoon so you can each clean uninterrupted.
Here are some of my favorite spring cleaning supplies:
- Swiffer Sweeper XL with cloths
- e-Cloth – Microfiber cloths (take advantage of new technology and stop using rags!)
- Thieves Cleaner – chemical-free cleaning at it’s best! I’ve had stains that bleach didn’t get out that Thieves Cleaner just eliminated.
- Telescopic Duster – Just run this thing over each blade of your ceiling fan and shake it off outside when you are done. Or use it for hard to reach places like ceilings or between furniture.
Two Schools of Thought for Housekeeping
You can either go room by room and do a room completely before you move to the next room or you can batch clean. When I say “batch clean” I mean that you clean all of a certain item in each room. So when it comes to cleaning a ceiling fan, will you clean all the ceiling fans in your house at once or will you clean a ceiling fan in a room when you clean that room completely? There is no wrong answer. You just decide which way you would like to do it.
Basic Spring Cleaning Tips for the Busy Mom:
- Get the Dust Off the Walls – Whether you move your furniture away from the walls or not, the Swiffer cloths with handles on them are a great way to get most of the dust out of your house.
- Less Items on Surfaces – Do a walkthrough of your house and look at what is on the flat surfaces. Do you love each item that is displayed there? Does it bring you joy? The less items out on flat surfaces, the easier our houses will be to clean.
- Wipe Down the Main Surfaces – Now that you have less items sitting on the flat surfaces, it will be easier to move things and wipe them down. You can get as detailed or broad as you want here. You can use a damp or dry cloth for this step.
- Pay Attention to Corners – My mother always said that you can tell if a room is clean if the corners are clean. Look up and dust out those corners with your tools. Look down and use your tools (a toothbrush works great here) to get the gunk out of the corners of each room. You will feel so much better about the room when you look in the corners and see that they are clear!
Spring Cleaning Hacks
Save time and money and use Thieves Cleaner for everything – This one bottle will clean your whole house for 38 cents. Just mix a capful of Thieves Cleaner with water in a 30 oz spray bottle and you’re ready to go. Not only that, it will be the most effective cleaner you’ve ever used. On top of that, it is totally non-toxic and safe for your family (and their lungs).
Spot Carpet cleaning – Spray any carpet stain with your spray bottle of Thieves Cleaner. Let sit 5-10 minutes and rub the stain out. Here is how it worked at our house…
Oven Cleaner – Spray your Thieves Cleaner mix all over your oven. Let sit 10-30 minutes and wipe clean with our favorite microfiber cloth.
Stove Top Cleaner – Use the handy e-Cloth Stove Top and Range Cleaner and get your whole stove top sparkling clean in minutes with very little scrubbing.
How to Get Motivated to Clean Your House
- Have a party – When I have to clean for a reason, it’s amazing how motivated I can get and what I will clean. If I know people are coming over and they might think I’m a bad housekeeper, I will clean things I would have never cleaned just for my family.
- Read minimalist blogs or books like The Life-Changing Habit of Tidying Up.
- Watch an episode of Hoarders on TV. This could work either way. You could either be motivated to clean your house after watching, or you could think your house looks amazing and doesn’t need to be cleaned. Hopefully, you will see how easy it is to clean your house and you will get things tidied up quickly.
- Diffuse some essential oils or put some oils on your temples. We love Young Living oils at our house and wouldn’t use any other brand. These are safe to apply to our skin and diffuse in our house. The great thing about diffusing is that, not only do they smell amazing, but they can help everyone in the house at the same time!
It might be time for a cleaning lady if…
- You can’t find your dining room table and you don’t think you ever will because it’s piled with stuff. Be careful here though. If you don’t deal with why the table got buried in the first place, you might have someone come in and clean it up and find that it gets messy again in a couple weeks.
- You have small children who can’t help you and your spouse is very busy, deployed, or not interested in cleaning.
- You don’t enjoy cleaning jobs and you have a good amount of money in the bank to spend to hire someone else.
- You have started a new business that is earning money and you need to spend more time getting it off the ground rather than cleaning your house.
House cleaning checklist
- Decide whether you will batch clean or go room by room.
- Decide on your house cleaning schedule. What is the deadline you want the spring cleaning done? I know I work better when there is a deadline! Then either list the rooms or list the tasks and back them up in time accordingly so that your final task or room is done before the deadline.
- Gather your supplies – Cloths, Swiffer, and Thieves Cleaner
- Get rid of as much surface clutter (both on the floor and on tables) so you have an easier time cleaning.
Final Thoughts on the Best Cleaning Schedule
Whether you have a house cleaning checklist, house cleaning schedule, or you just wing it, the important thing to remember is to make things simple for yourself so that you will actually do the cleaning. Then you can move on to things you enjoy more than cleaning.
This spring cleaning post has been so fun to write. I hope it has helped you and given you some good tips and ideas for making your spring cleaning list seem even easier. Please check out the resources I mentioned and let me know if you have any questions or comments at all.