Spring has sprung! The bright days are in bloom. Mr. Sun's rays are peeking through the drapes on your windows. But aside from the soft breeze, the gentle spring rain and fun family times in the outdoors, spring is almost never quite the new season that it is without the bulk of house work that needs to be done!
Runners, drapes, and beddings need to be loaded into the washer. Floors and the carpets need to be vacuumed, steamed and scrubbed. Surfaces need to be dusted, and some need to be polished. The winter clothes need to be washed, folded and tucked away.
While spring cleaning is nothing new, getting this massive chore done for families with little children can be a little bit more challenging. But that's okay - we got you!
Here are a few tips on how you can, with your little ones, ace and embrace spring cleaning.
Tip #1: Expect to be distracted
The littles will always, always, always need you for something - that's a given.
Sometimes, they need to ask if mermaids are real. Other times, they need help with the doodle they are working on. And sometimes, they just feel like it's a great time for a hug.
Whatever they need you for, you know that it is valid.
You don't need to put off the huge task of spring cleaning just because you cannot finish everything at once or at least as scheduled.You can break it down in smaller tasks that you can finish each day.
Take it in stride and think of it as a marathon water stops than a 100-meter dash. Those bouts of "distractions" can be your water stops.
Tip #2: Create a schedule that complements your family's lifestyle
There are so many spring cleaning or general house chores calendars that you can download online. The best calendar or schedule you can adapt is the one that revolves around your family's unique dynamics.
Here are a few things that will be helpful in creating a cleaning schedule that your family can easily follow:
1. Make a list of the tasks that you need to do every day. And then make a list of tasks that you can do every other day or every week.
If you feel like you have too many tasks to do very often, think about ways to alter that. For example, if you need to clean the floors every day, maybe you can keep outdoor footwear outside and just switch to wearing slippers when indoors.
2. Alternate between cleaning sessions and tidying sessions.
Cleaning is when you use tools to remove dust, dirt, and grime throughout your house. Doing the laundry is a cleaning task as well as loading the dirty dishes in the dishwasher.
Tidying, on the other hand, is just putting things where they belong to bring back order in your house. Making one's bed, organizing your work desk, and putting away toys in their bins and racks from your catch-all are examples of tidying.
3. Decide on a regular decluttering schedule. This is most especially for clothes, toys, books and other things that are most likely to pile up.
Here is a home keeping fact: the more stuff you have, the more time you will need to clean and tidy.
Regular decluttering is the secret to actually being able to ace your cleaning and tidying routines.If you need help in decluttering your little ones' toys, here is a helpful post by Abby Lawson - The Easiest Way to Declutter Kids' Toys.
Tip #3: Station a "catch-all" in every room
Catch-all baskets are often used to hold keys, loose change, an extra chapstick, and your smaller "et cetera". They give a temporary room for these small stuff so they don't become clutter or so that they don't get lost.
You can also do the same for bigger stuff. A catch-all for bigger stuff allows quick tidying. Getting one stationed in the living room, for example, allows you to quicky sweep through the room and collect things to organize later.This means that even when you don't have the time to tidy-up as or clean up as scheduled, your home will be clutter-free.
Of course, you must remember to empty the catch-all on your next cleaning or tidying session.You don't need to buy that brand new ottoman with secret storage or some matching catch-all bins for your home.
Check out the video below and learn how you can make a DIY storage box using spare cardboad and some sewing supplies.
Tip #4: Let the little ones help (because they can)
When children are given the idea that they can do something, and when you give them the opportunity to actually get a task done, it boosts their confidence and sense of responsibility.Here is a children's chore chart from Your Modern Family.
Let your little ones help in the family spring cleaning tasks or even in the regular tidy-up routines by:
1. Setting a good example. In one of the episodes of "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo", Marie shared how her toddler daughters learned how to tidy just by watching her have so much fun tidying up. Children's attitude toward chores is something they adapt from grown up around them.
2. Assigning them age-appropriate chores. Making one's bed with supervision and putting toys in the catch-all basket are "little tasks" a toddler can do that helps a big time in the family's overall list of chores.
3. Reward your little ones for helping you out. While bigger kids may choose to be rewarded money for a new phone they are saving for. For kids who are too young to accept cash rewards, here are a few house chore reward ideas they will love.
Tip #5: Know that a clean home is conductive to wellness
Aside from keeping illnesses ccording to happiness expert Tamara Lechner, spring cleaning...
1. ... sharpen's focus. Clutter is a focus-buster. Getting clutter out of the way allows your brain to function better.
2. ... improves happiness. Starting a chore and getting it done rewards you with a sense of fulfillment, pride, and happiness.
3. ... sets the stage. Life, of course, is bigger than your messy kitchen countertop. However, putting kitchen clutter away gives a sense of calm necessary for the family to plan out a hearty picnic or fishing trip. Doesn't it?
4. ... reminds you of good times. A trip down memory lane when you find old photos is always a great feel-good treat. Of course, finding the little one's lost building block piece or her favorite hair clip are equally rewarding.
5. ... limits mess. Knowing where things belong to, creates a "snowball" effect in limiting mess around the house overtime
The perks of getting the home clean, fresh and clutter-free are clear. While the task can be a little more challenging to families with little kids, we're hoping that the tips we have given above will be helpful!
Do you have spring cleaning or routine tidying tips that you can add to our list? Maybe you have a fun spring cleaning story to tell? Let us know in the comments below!