You’ve seen them. You’ve pinned them. You may have even printed one or two. Even created one yourself! What the heck am I talking about? Spring cleaning checklists.
By the way Happy Spring!!!!
I’m cutting right to the chase here because
A. If we are here chatting together you already have spring cleaning on the brain so no need to discuss why and
2. (yes I am aware that b comes after a but it felt like more of a 2 ok?...) If the tagline of “pick 5” was what lured you in it is because you are like me and with limited time will be working on said super list until school starts again- ’nuff said.
My mantra this year? Pick the top 5. Yep. Applying the top 5 thing to my values and to cleaning too. My thought process this year was such: I already clean every week. We get the basics done regularly here. It is a necessity in any home. Nod if you agree. Toilets get scrubbed, floors get vacuumed & mopped and rooms get picked up- heck we even dust once a week if we are ambitious! So as I sat looking at daunting checklists that scoured every inch of the house (and included most of the things I, plus the occasional small family members help with regularly) I had a flash to something I read long ago about setting attainable goals. Something to the effect of making short lists that were easy to check off. At least prioritizing longer lists so that you could give yourself big wins every day.
Soooooo why not apply that in this fabulous season too?? Why waste all of this amazing weather inside cleaning? Why not keep doing my regular cleaning and SIMPLIFY- yep that again- my spring cleaning? Why not? With the minimizing that has been going on here this past year cleaning has become easier. Less to pick up, less to dust, even less chaos in the fridge making a regular wipe down before grocery day possible.
I have decided to choose 5 spring cleaning chores for a happier home, a happier me. I looked over my whole house, and over the checklist, and picked the top 5 that would bring the most satisfaction and joy if done. I can pick another 5 come school time if I feel so inclined. This could become the next big thing in cleaning I tell ya. The 5 A Season Method. You heard it here first ok?
If I can only get one done a week above and beyond the regular daily chores of a family with young children then it is OK. I can do 5 deep tasks before summer hits and feel successful. The name of the game this year is finding joy. While a clean home does bring me joy I will tell you that 3 children loving on the mom who took them on a day of adventuring or the husband that gets to hang out with his family on saturday after yard work instead of wiping out cabinets brings me MORE joy. Really. Ten fold. Or even….dare I say it….time out on my own? I’ll ditch the super long list for a few moments alone to read a book. Mom reboot time. That pays off in joy for the whole family.
So here it is, my
Top 5 List for Spring Cleaning
Wash outside of windows
I don’t know about you but when spring comes I want all the light I can streaming in. Grimy glass from winter just blocks all that good fresh light. I may not have the best light situation in this house but I want every ounce that I can. So last saturday I looked up a super stellar window wash recipe, slapped a steamer mop pad on my Swiffer handle with some super sophisticated rubber bands, and got to it. Blast wash windows with hose water on jet setting, scrub with solution (mixed in a bucket or old Tupperware bin in my case) then rinse again with hose. Repeat.
I also sprayed out the window sills and the screens. So yeah. It was a big day for me out there. Pretty proud as I look through my clear windows right now I’m not gonna lie. Best part? No squeegee! Seriously. They just dry after being rinsed off and are so awesome. I am in love with this solution. I DO have a one story ranch style rental house right now so doing all the windows (with a few moments of six-foot three husband help…) was attainable. I might have to buy a ladder, get a super long brush, or hire someone in the future if we move to a two-story. But until then. Here is the wash recipe! (from onegoodthingbyjillee.com)
2. Wipe down baseboards
This is my favorite thing. Said. no. one. ever. (well maybe I shouldn’t speak for everyone….comment below if you are actually a baseboard wiping fan! I’d love to actually meet one) Got these ideas from The Clean Mama. I already love microfiber cloths for cleaning (see my favorites page) and so I know they are good for this task. I have never tried the borax thing but today my girls and I are going to try the Castile soap – ok I will be trying the castile soap with cloths method. I am going to be non eco-friendly today and have my little girls wipe baseboards with some wipes. Gets them involved but I won’t have an overturned bucket. While the littlest naps I trust my 3-year-old to help with the cloths. She loves to help me and is 3 going on 13 so I think she will handle it just great.
3. Clean out the freezer
Like the full-out kind with wiping down and everything. As I mentioned I am able to wipe out my fridge pretty regularly due to better meal panning as of late a.k.a. buying what I need and not whatever I think we might need that week. So the freezer is where it is at. That is slotted for next weekend when the hubs is out of town. Nothing like a date with some frozen food to light up a friday night huh???
4. Deep clean the showers/tubs
I do wash these spaces regularly but it is time for the intense soaking of grout and rims and the really de-griming of the whole thing. I like the space I get clean in to be really clean- ya know? So I am going to try a natural method I came across that uses vinegar and baking soda and such to swipe away all that scum- even the stuff you can’t see. I liked The Wellness Mama’s post on natural cleaning. I love when I already have stuff on hand that I can use to clean, plus feel good that I and my kiddos are not breathing in tons of chemicals.
This one is also going to happen Saturday morning of this upcoming weekend my husband is out of town at a conference. I know. I am so hip. I schedule cleaning sessions for weekends when I am alone. You guys. I am a nerd. I’ll make it up to myself by taking a nice long bath in said tub that night ok?
and last but not least on my spring cleaning top 5 is…
5. Washer and Dryer
Channeling my inner Danny Tanner here (Full House? anyone?). It is time to clean the things that clean. I’m not lining up my bottles and wiping them down, but close. It is time to really wipe out the washer and run a cleaning cycle. Also vacuum out the dryer lint trap as well as blow out the dryer vent to the outside.
Almost every cleaning towel load I wash I wipe the rim of my front load washer with one of the towels. This keeps it dry and from building up any gunk or mildew. However it is time to do a full wipe down inside and out and run the cleaning cycle with some cleaner to keep my machine running tip top. Same goes for the dryer. This is a good one to do at least once a year if not every six months. Dryer build up can cause a fire soooo yeah. That pretty much says why it’s on my list. I’ll need my husbands help with this one pulling everything out and all so I have saved it for the weekend he gets back.
So…. I lied about not having ANY weekends where family helps with cleaning. But one or two big jobs every now and then are good for the family anyway. I just don’t want to spend all my time cooped up in grungy cleaning clothes inside while the cool air is just begging to be soaked up before the heat of summer. We can tackle some more if we want to when we are too hot to go outside in a few months!
There you have it. Spring cleaning PLUS simplifying. Boom. I am feeling so spring happy right now! Best year ever.
What is your favorite thing about spring? What is your favorite/least favorite spring cleaning chore? Any handy tips or tricks you’d care to share? I would love to hear!