How to Avoid Spring Cleaning

How to Avoid Spring Cleaning at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

As you know from the post I wrote a couple of weeks ago, I don’t really do spring cleaning.  Why?  Because I’m lazy lol.  So instead I spread out all necessary tasks throughout the year.  I don’t just wait until a certain time of the year to clean, organize and purge.  I am doing it all year long.  It really works and I never have to come up with extra time in the spring to fit in additional tasks.  Want to see how I make it work?  Here are 6 things I do regularly to avoid spring cleaning in my house.

1.  Follow a weekly cleaning schedule

One way to avoid having to do a huge list of cleaning tasks every spring is to incorporate these things into your weekly cleaning.  Having a schedule to follow for each day can help spread it out from week to week to keep you from feeling overwhelmed with having so much to do all at once.  Some resources that might help you include:

Becky from Clean Mama publishes a monthly cleaning schedule as a free printable, you can find April’s list here.  Anna from Ask Anna also has some free printable cleaning checklists for you.  If you want some more options Pinterest has a ton of free printables if you just do a search for weekly cleaning schedules.

2.  Follow my 52 weeks of organizing series

A couple of years ago I ran a 52 Weeks of Organizing series and it lives up there for easy access on my blue nav bar.  You’ll find a task to complete each week for 52 weeks.  While some of the weeks provide practical organizing tasks, the majority of the tasks were intentionally created to teach basic organizing skills.  So as a supplement to this first list, I’ve created a second list of 52 Weeks of Organizing Tasks that lists a practical task for each week to help you get your home in order over the course of an entire year.  I hope to have this list added to my organizing app (app currently unavailable, sorry!) for those that have been requesting a practical list on there.  I’ll keep you posted on when that happens but in the meantime you can always manually add the list under the “all tasks” section.

 Download the 52 Weeks of Organizing Tasks here.

3.  Get your kids involved

I believe so strongly about this one, I’m writing an ebook about it (although I’ve been saying that forever I know!).  I think it’s so important for kids to have daily and weekly chores and to contribute to the running of the household.  Everyone makes the mess so everyone helps clean it up.  It’s that simple.  Start teaching them young and by the time your kids are teens (like mine oldest two are) you’ll have worked yourself out of a job.  It’s brilliant really.  Please go and read this post I wrote on Getting Your Kids Involved.   You might also find my free printable responsibility charts for kids helpful to get you started.

Kids can most definitely be taught to help out around the house, you shouldn’t be the only one doing all the work.  Here is an age appropriate list of chores for kids chart that you can print off to get you going.

4.  Set up a donation station and purge weekly

It makes no sense to only purge once or twice a year.  Doing this only leads to piles of clutter that you’ll just be tripping over.  What if you had a donation station set up in your home that provided you somewhere to put the stuff you no longer need but don’t know what to do with in the meantime.  It’s easy, grab a big box, find a space somewhere for it (mine is in my linen closet) and as you find things that are no longer loved and used, toss them into the box.  THEN it’s about getting into the habit of regularly making thrift store drop offs of your stuff.  Please read this post for more information:  How to make weekly household purges happen.

5.  Clean as you see a need

Here’s the thing, we tend to put off doing something because we think it’s going to take too long and we just don’t have the time.  So we put it off thinking we’ll get to it eventually when we have more time.  What I’ve come to realize though is that “more time” just never magically appears and the task we’ve been putting off never actually takes as long as we think it will.  So when you see some cobwebs floating around on your ceiling why not just grab a broom right then and there and wipe those cobwebs away.   If you see some dirt on your walls, grab a cloth and clean it.  Better yet, hand some wet wipes to the kids and let them do it.  Young kids love to help especially if they think it’s fun.  We won’t tell them any different will we?  🙂

6.  Daily maintenance

Finally daily maintenance is so important.  Small chunks of daily time staying on top of the clutter means less time and frustration in the long run.  It is so worth it, even when it’s the last thing you want to do.  Now it’s become such a habit for me, and the benefits are so rewarding, I don’t even have to think about it most days.  Small daily habits like doing a 10 minute tidy each night and never leaving a room empty handed are big contributors to the daily maintenance.

So there you have it, 6 steps to help you avoid spring cleaning.  If you hate cleaning as much as I do then try the above, trust me it works.  Then when you hear everyone else going on and on about all the spring cleaning they have to do, you can just sit back and smile with a nice cold fruity beverage in your hand 🙂

Filed under: Organizing Basics, Simplicity


18 Responses to How to Avoid Spring Cleaning

  1. 2
    Becky - Clean Mama says

    I love this post Laura – and THANK YOU for including me in your list! A little bit every day is the key!
    xo, Becky

  2. 3
    Kimberley says

    I don’t spring clean either and try to stick to a daily maintenance plan although I have some serious habits to adopt in this area!! I use the Motivated Moms app on my iphone as a guide.

    Cleaning is so not a priority to me……but organizing sure is!!

  3. 4
    Kate @ Teaching What is Good says

    Laura, I grew up doing fall AND spring cleaning. Taking apart all the windows (the old ones with pulleys to hold them in) and washing them inside and out, washing all the walls and woodwork, decluttering every drawer and closet in the house. It was a KILLER and required 3 full days to do the house from top to bottom.

    But over the years, I, like you, stopped doing it. We have a schooling schedule where we school 3 weeks and take off a week – from end of August to end of May (then we school every other week in the summer). So our week off during the year, I deep clean 1 room – complete spring cleaning in that room. It gets me through my house twice in a year.

    It’s not as lovely as the 1 week after spring cleaning where the entire house is absolutely clean, but it keeps me from stressing out with spring and fall cleaning!!

  4. 5
    Susanne says

    Love the tips. Who has time to do huge chunks of cleaning that takes days on end. I’d much rather spread it out like you suggest!

  5. 6
    Michelle says

    Thanks! I hate spring cleaning too, so these tips are awesome!

  6. 7
    Mridu Parikh says

    Laura, I feel like I purge on a daily basis! LOL. It’s true what you said. I don’t have big cleaning binges either because I’m always getting stuff out throughout the year. Thanks for pointing out these reminders though. xo, mridu

  7. 9
    Crystal says

    Great tips!! I’m getting ready to do my spring cleaning before my daughter’s birthday. I hate cleaning the blinds and windows. Thanks for the tips!

  8. 10
    Ella says

    Great tips there and very nice website too! I’m going to browse it a little bit more hehe! I believe that it’s all about getting into the habit of doing some cleaning there and then, as soon as it’s needed. Once you learn to do that, it’s easy to keep it all a bit more under control.

  9. 11
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  10. 12
    Janet Barclay says

    Great tips!

    I agree with getting the kids involved in cleaning, but based on my experience, I’d like to add this advice:

    Don’t redo their work if it’s not up to your standard. Instead of doing more next time, they’ll probably do less, figuring you’re going to redo it anyway. Instead, just be glad it’s being done, and make sure that chores aren’t always done by the same person. That way if Susie tends to miss corners, Pete will probably get them next time. And sometimes you’ll need to give that room a really good cleaning yourself.

    • 12.1
      Laura says

      Yes I absolutely agree with you Janet! I’m so sad my oldest, who does most of the cooking for us now, will be graduating in June and leaving us for University. But boy will she be prepared for managing her own home 🙂

      • Janet Barclay says

        One of my good friends is in a similar position, but her daughter does most of the cleaning. At least that’s something she can do when she comes home for weekends and holidays!

  11. 13
    Audrey Cupo says

    I use the concept of “clean as you go” in my house. I do the basic house cleaning but if I see something that needs some attention in the course of my day, I attack it right then and there. That way, my house always looks neat and clean.

  12. 14
    Ellen Delap says

    Love this post! I agree on the team effort for families. Our kids are a valuable resource. Sharing responsibilities makes everyone’s life better.


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