Every time we spring clean our homes we say what everybody says: ”I’m never going to let my house get this way again!” Here are a few tips and ideas to help make our spring cleaning less frustrating and more effective:
The majority of spring cleaning time is spent clearing out items to throw out, move to storage, donate, or hand down. Learn to hate holding on to “stuff” in your house because my life is so much easier without it. We won’t go into that too much, but if you want to learn more about minimalism (and we would definitely recommend reading about it!), here are some good websites: Miss Minimalist, Becoming Minimalist, and The Minimalist Mom. Here is a small sample of what you can rid of this spring cleaning:
First get rid of everything that you don’t need, you don’t love, and that doesn’t make life significantly easier (these are the minimalist rules). Also, try and apply these rules to what you buy as well. Only buy “stuff” that fits into one of these categories, if you do you won’t have a lot to clean out. A minimalist house is much easier to spring clean than a non-minimalist house.
Managing Kids’ Clothes:
You may notice clutter that builds up is either clothes that they are close to growing into or clothes they’ve recently grown out of. Used some boxes to create spaces for these items so they don’t build up as clutter. You can keep the “too big” clothes in a box until they’re ready to go to the dresser, and I keep “too small” clothes in a box until they’re ready to go to the attic, get handed down, or get donated.
Managing Clutter Around the House:
Next is that annoying clutter around the house, outside of the kids’ rooms, are items that need to be taken to the bedrooms. Create little bins, one for each child. They now have to bring up the items in the bin every time they go up the stairs or into their rooms. If the bins are not empty by the time they go to bed, their items get put in a separate box and have to be earned back.
Items that Need a Home:
The other clutter-building items that you can collect in the house are things like gifts that you have purchased for upcoming events or items that you need to give or return to people. These types of items don’t have a place to be put away to yet, so keep a used a box to keep track of them. Using the box, you can easily find the items when you need them, and they won’t be laying around the house in the meantime. You can take this approach for anything that doesn’t have a permanent spot.
When all of the ”belongings” clutter had been taken care of, you will likely need a system for the paper clutter. First, keep a file for all of the important papers. Then you likely need something for the papers that tend to sit around on the counter or desks, etc.. You can use something like this handy paper organizer from Target. The labels are dry erase, so it’s easy to change the labels on it.
Getting the House Clean:
Once you have finished all of the clutter-clearing (from everywhere – closets, rooms, basement – every space in the house), the actual cleaning is easier. Keep a cleaning schedule that details when to do general cleaning, such as the bathrooms, as well as deep cleanings, such as cleaning behind the oven. You can find that post here: Easy Cleaning. This way the actual cleaning never gets too out of hand. For awesome information, printables, and how-tos on cleaning and organizing, I highly recommend this site: Ask Anna Moseley. She is the cleaning expert!
Some Suggested Rules:
Consider creating some new rules that will make it easy to keep the house spring cleaned. Here is a suggested plan:
- Make it easy to purge unneeded items on an ongoing basis by keeping boxes for items that need to be donated or handed down.
- While purging unneeded items on an ongoing basis, also go through each room at least once every three months for items to donate or hand down.
- Make sure that every item in the house has a home – if it doesn’t have a home, create one.
- Label all boxes – this will make it easier to find everything, and it will also keep you from getting lazy and putting something that doesn’t belong into a certain box.
Good luck coming up with a successful strategy to keep your home clean and organized!