Today people do not take the time for a thorough “old fashioned cleaning” like my Mother insisted on doing back in the day. Everything, including furniture, was moved, organized, and cleaned — whether I thought it needed to be or not! This usually was done over one exhausting marathon weekend. There was no such thing as a quick once over. Okay, we all know how Mom would have us clean, but if we have time to run through the house with the vacuum once a week, and wash the kitchen & bathroom we are satisfied.
There are 3 things to train for a race that apply here, that I think will be easier, less stressful, and you will have the same Aha feeling when you are done but stretching it out through the entire year.
- Stretch It Out – spring has started and there is 5 weeks until May 1st, so stretch out the process over that time period. Take it slow and methodically. Work on 1+ rooms a week.
- Get Everyone Involved – Yes, everyone! We all live in the house, we all make it dirty and cluttered so we all need to take the time and really clean it thoroughly this year. Many hands make light work! Make a list – room by room – of what needs to be done and divvy up the chores. For example: clean closets, sort, throw out; organize dresser drawers; vacuum and wash the woodwork, wash windows (inside and out); dust and polish furniture; and clean carpets etc. Some tasks can be done after work while watching TV (organize drawers etc.)
- Create Cleaning Schedule – When you finish the room of the week, look at what you have completed and create the to-do list for the room. Assign family member a room or rooms and hold them accountable.
By breaking it down in small parts cleaning is done regularly on an ongoing basis instead of once a year. Weekly: vacuum, clean kitchen and bathrooms; every 3 months sort and organize dresser drawers and closets; every month dust and polish furniture; twice a year wash windows and woodwork; annually have carpets cleaned. This way the entire house will be kept spring clean throughout the year. Doing spring cleaning throughout the year, the clutter that overwhelms us today will not build up and be so burdensome. There will be no need for an annual Spring Cleaning Marathon just periodic 5K’s.
Oh by the way, plan a celebration with favorite treats for everyone on May 1st when everything is completed and enjoy the Aha moment! The entire house has been thoroughly cleaned over the past 5 or 6 weeks and a plan is in place to change from Spring Cleaning Marathon to a manageable 5 K’s. Continue to celebrate the accomplishments and enjoy the moments throughout the year!