Don’t let the thought of spring cleaning overwhelm you! Below are some much needed steps to simplify the tasks to help obtain you goals.
Kids Be Gone
Set up a playdate or ask a grandparent to provide some much needed assistance. Nothing will make you throw your arms in air more than the feeling of completing a cleaning task to only find out your children have created two new ones for you.
Kids are not meant to be organized, so plan ahead and have an outing planned for them instead. A movie, lunch or sleepover will do wonders for being able to fully engage at the task at hand. Small Steps
No need to wear rose coloured glasses. Judge your time for each task appropriately.
Aim to complete a room or a floor level in a day, not the entire house! Factoring in the time required to gather, sort and organize the debris obtained from the recent holidays (Halloween, Christmas & Easter) and the assortment of Happy Meal Toys scattered throughout your household will leave you frustrated if you plan to unrealistically.
Emphasize that less is less. Hoarding a ten year old sweater in case you go to a bonfire isn’t going to free up space in the closet.
Have an understanding of what you should be ridding your house of and how you would like to pass along the items to others. Typically options are:
- Donations – Have a preset knowledge of what quality and quantity of supplies you want to give away and to which organization.
Sales – Same as donations but discuss the how. Below are the typical methods in an order of least profitable to most but also from least preparation time to most.
o Garage Sale – Attempt to align with any neighbourhood community garage sales as the foot traffic compared to an individual event is large.
o Second Hand Stores – Similar to stores like Value Village, these second hand stores are popping up everywhere. Your clothes and toys need to be of a certain quality and washed beforehand but you do get offered money or store credit for the exchange.
o Online Advertising Service (i.e. Kijiji) or Online Auction Sites – The two negatives here are the time to prepare, divide and price out the items and having individuals from the Internet arrive at your house to haggle on prices. It can lead to some good value but you definitely need to put your time in.
Pre-Game to Avoid the Double Touch
Before you take the first dusty toy out of the closet, have a plan in place for how you envision the final product to look.
Purchase some storage totes or hefty garbage bags and know which tote is assigned for what. That way when a donation bag is full, simply tie it up, put it in the trunk and you are set.
When you attack a room and simply pile all the no longer required items into one big pile, sorting that pile becomes a worse chore than the original task.
Short and sweet, attempt to only touch an item once and your time will be much more well spent on the tasks at hand.
Engage the Outside World
Take back the much needed space inside of your house and garage by setting up your seasonal furniture and equipment in your yard.
Nothing de-clutters your living quarters as greatly as adding space back to it. Emptying a closet or shed filled with yard furniture creates additional space for proper storage of winter gear.
As we are in the middle of spring cleaning and not summer preparation, if you were unable to find other plans for your kids, simply hook up the water hose and have them spray all the dust and spider webs off your yard furniture. The in depth cleaning of the outside will follow once the house is tidy and you are ready to rake…
Engage the Kids
As the tasks will be longer than any potential playdate for your kids, find a way to keep them engaged. This is typically accomplished by a couple methods:
- Come to an agreement that a portion of or all the funds earned from selling their unwanted toys or clothes will be split with them.
- If you are having a garage sale, encourage them to come up with additional sales at the event. Either by selling homemade cookies, coffee or drinks. While you are cleaning, set them up with the goal of creating the sales sign for the event as preparation.
- Set them up as testers. As most toys will need battery replacements, set them up as quality control. Provide a screwdriver, batteries and any toy that needs to be confirmed as working or not.
Gauge interest in long lost toys. If they come in and pick up a toy they forget they had, let them go off and have fun. From this, you can gather a few toys that they won’t miss and store in your closet for those days of boredom. Not all ‘new’ toys need to be new!!
Refer to the Calendar
Before waking up Saturday morning and deciding, it is go time…check the calendar.
Having a full day to spend on de-cluttering is the true effective way. Having to stop in the middle of the task will only enlarge the re-engagement when you return.
Ensure you have quick snacks in the house so that you can easily keep away the hangry feelings while minimizing downtimes to make any meals.
With proper planning to take back the space in your house, the ability to complete an in depth clean is possible.
The floors will be clear to clean without the collection of toys on them, dressers will be tidy to allow the proper dusting and you will quickly realize the wanted end result is doable.
Continue reading on Spring Cleaning Made Easy.