Is Spring Cleaning Really Necessary?
Seriously how can it be the first day of spring? When a girlfriend told me today was the first day of spring I was shocked. After all, as many of you know, this is how it looked in my town a couple of days ago. What’s up with that?!
So I’ve only ever lived in places where life is devoid of any type of spring until much much later. Say May for instance. I suppose that could be why the idea of spring cleaning completely baffles me but in all honesty that’s not the only reason spring cleaning is foreign to me. I just don’t really understand it. There I said it.
Now keep in mind that I think there is a big difference between cleaning and organizing. When I speak of spring cleaning I’m referring to the scrubbing of stuff. In my mind I see an entire weekend/week/month devoted to the scrubbing of walls, doors, windows and whatever else people do when they “spring clean”.
Instead my philosophy is just to clean as I go throughout the year. If it’s dirty I clean it. Plus my kids help out tremendously as well with their regular weekly chores which is fantastic. In all honesty I don’t think I’ve cleaned a toilet in over 4 years. My kids have that one down. We all help out. If we see cobwebs we clean them, if we see gunk on baseboards we wipe them (this is a great job for young kids by the way) or if we see dirt on the walls we wash them and so I find that nothing ever piles up for us that we need to do a big spring clean. Plus because I’m organizing and moving furniture around all year long (such fun!) I make sure to clean those areas right then and there. I do suppose the only big project we save for summer is the outside window cleaning as that can’t be done in winter but then again only if it’s really needed. I’m not a make work kind of girl.
For those wondering about what specific chores my kids do weekly, here is a quick breakdown:
Youngest son (7): cleans all mirrors, disinfects all doorknobs and handles, wipes baseboards down, feeds the dog (daily)
Middle son (13): cleans toilets and sinks, empties waste baskets from every room, sorts the recycling, unloads dishwasher (daily)
Daughter (15): cleans bathtubs, mops kitchen floor, dusting and cleans up after dinner (daily)
However after talking with some girlfriends about the subject of spring cleaning, one of them said that to her spring cleaning doesn’t mean actual cleaning but instead the organizing and decluttering of her home. Ahhh now we are talking my language :) Yet I think saving the task of decluttering to one particular time of year could be very overwhelming to some. It’s why I highly encourage the declutter as you go method, the same method I use for cleaning, a task I really don’t enjoy but know has to get done regardless.
One of the best ways to do this is by setting up a donation station (click on the link for more info on how to make weekly household purges happen) somewhere in your home. Why wait and declutter massive amounts at one time when you can do it all year long! Woohoo! Can you tell I love purging stuff, it makes me so happy :) Here’s how I challenged another friend recently. She asked for my help because she has so much stuff (her words) and didn’t know where to start. I suggested she spend 15 minutes a day on organizing and decluttering. You seriously would be amazed at what can be done in that short amount of time. In fact while I was at her house we organized all her medications and first aid supplies and it only took us….15 minutes! Next I told her to find 5-10 items each day to put into a donation station. Get the whole family involved. Those per day items will add up so quickly and in the process it won’t feel like work because you are breaking it all down to manageable bits.
It’s totally what I do with the cleaning….manageable bits and with the whole family participating. Everyone helps make the mess and adds to the collection of stuff, so it only makes sense that everyone be a part of the decluttering and cleaning it all up.
Day by day.
So I know I may be opening up a big ole can of worms here but spring cleaning really is a topic that fascinates me. I’d love to know more. How do you feel about the whole idea of spring cleaning? What does it mean to you? How many of you save up your deep cleaning for one particular month or week a year? Do your kids help regularly with the cleaning? Curious, oh so curious :)
Happy spring everyone!