Welcome to The Lazy Girls Guide to Spring Cleaning!! Whether you need to declutter, deep clean or BOTH I’ve got some great spring cleaning tips, decluttering processes, and a sweet and simple spring cleaning checklist so you can mark things off as you go! (I adore a good checklist!)
Spring cleaning is definitely a chore for me, but I embrace the difficulty because who doesn’t LOVE a freshly cleaned house for spring!?
I’m not supermom. My house is not immaculate.
I know that spring cleaning in some seasons feels like handing a drowning man a glass of water…..you’re trying to cook healthy meals, take time for self care, keep up with the laundry, work or run a business from home, exercise, shower occasionally, spend quality time with your spouse, read your Bible, oh and did I mention, keep the tiny humans alive?!
It’s a lot, friend. Come in close and I’ll tell you a secret: if you don’t “spring clean” it’s okay. I’ve certainly skipped it a few springs and no spring cleaning police showed up to arrest me.
Spring Cleaning May Not Be for You if…
- You can hire help!! There are people you can pay and they will get your house shiny and clean FOR you!!! This is the real lazy girl way and I am THERE for it as soon as we can afford it!
- Get into a rhythm of daily household tasks and just hold steady until inspiration and motivation to deep clean strike you! Sometimes you just notice something like wicked dust on your blinds and for some reason up until this point it has never bothered you, but NOW it feels like you will die if you don’t wipe all your blinds down right. this. second. If you do this and you feel happy with the state of your house and how often that random urge strikes maybe just print one of the checklists below and date each big task as you do it!
- Just hold steady because life is crazy right now. There are seasons that you just need to get through without big projects like spring cleaning and that is fine. You can deep clean in the summer or fall and it’s FINE.
Spring Cleaning May Be for You if…
- You don’t like cleaning, but you really, really love a sparkling, clean house all at once! (This is me!!!) You are willing to be uncomfortable and get your lazy rear in gear to enjoy looking at wiped down cupboards, sparkling showers, and cobweb free corners!
- You like to clean. Cleaning is your therapy. You are “that friend” that offers to come clean and organize for others because you adore it so much! When life is out of control, how much shiny you can make your sink is something you CAN control!
- You don’t hate cleaning, but you don’t love it terribly either. It’s a chore that you do because it needs to be done and you’re not one to shirk from your duty. Plus you like to organize a LOT so you may as well clean while you declutter and organize!
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of spring cleaning tips there is one BIG question I need to ask you.
Do you need to declutter and organize, deep clean or both?
These are different processes and one may appeal more to you than the other, but ask yourself which do you need MORE?
Decluttering is removing unnecessary items. Then making sure “everything has a place and everything is in its place.” For more decluttering resources I recommend
- Allie Casazza — She has great courses, freebies, and a podcast!
- The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
- New Order: A Decluttering Handbook for Creatives (and everyone else)
Deep cleaning is getting in the nooks and crannies, cleaning, scrubbing, wiping down, etc.
- Clean Mama — Her cleaning routine is what I use! She also has a lot of “how-to” posts if you’re looking, for example, for the best way to clean window blinds.
- Martha Steward — Martha knows all. I love her magazine and website for cleaning tips.
I declutter fairly regularly and I watched Tidying Up on Netflix in January so I need a small bit of decluttering and a large bit of deep cleaning.
How about you? You may be a minimalist when it comes to your spaces, but it’s been too long since you washed windows and wiped baseboards, so you just need to deep clean! Or if your excess is driving you crazy then start with a decluttering challenge listed above and come back to deep cleaning when you’re done!
What to do with your kids
Those precious chubby cherub toddlers who just love to put fresh handprints on the windows? Those kids who throw apple cores under their bed until the rotten stench must be investigated? Ah yes!
Have them help!
Depending on the child’s age and ability they can help! We all work together to keep our house clean!” is a little chant that we repeat often in our home. It’s not JUST mommy’s or daddy’s job to clean up and take care of things, we’re a family and we work together.
I have enlisted my 5 year old in helping wipe down walls, baseboards, cabinets; cleaning couch cushions and carpet; emptying trash and dustin g. My 3 year old can also help wipe and dust, move pillows and pick up toys. I believe that spring cleaning can totally be a family affair!
If your kids are older or teenagers there is a LOT they can help with! They can most certainly spring clean and declutter their own room (with help or input as needed). In the future I’d like to designate a “family spring cleaning day” and give each household member responsibility of a certain number of tasks on the spring cleaning checklist below. Mark each one with their initial, crank up the tunes, and get to work!
Each member can have the satisfaction of checking off their own tasks as they do them and everyone is working together to keep the house clean. Then once the whole family is finished with the list go out for pizza and ice cream! (And that way the kitchen stays clean a little longer!)
Keep them busy!
I’m really hopeful that the whole family spring cleaning day will come to fruition for us, but for now I have some “busy ideas” to keep my kids occupied while I deep clean and declutter.
- Play dough at the table (or puzzles or anything else) that can hold their attention for a half hour or so.
- Nap time — I can get a lot done in an hour or two of nap time!
- Playing outside — Our fenced in back yard is such a gift!
- Baby in pack and play — Give them some toys, duplos, etc. They may not love it, but they will make it.
- Watch a movie — I’ve never had the anti-movie police get me either. 😉
- Playroom — We have one with a door so if I need to bust out some good cleaning they can play in there too.
One parent on “kid duty” while the other is on “cleaning duty”. My husband taking the kids to the park, store, McDonalds for the morning so I can deep clean? Heaven.
Enlist a friend to watch your kids at their place while you clean yours and then swap.
Ask grandma! Or hire a babysitter! Or take the day off when your kids are in school or daycare and knock it out!
Gather Your Tools
I keep most of my cleaning supplies in a caddy in my bathroom. Here’s what I like to keep on hand:
- Magic Erasers
- Pine-sol — I like most of my products more natural, but I freaking love the scent of a house cleaned with pine-sol! And it’s a once in awhile thing, not every week.
- Thieves Cleaner from Young Living
- Norwex window cleaning cloth or similar
- Microfiber cleaning cloth or rags — I have soft rags aka old burp cloths/cloth diapers and absorbent rags aka old towels cut up. We fancy over here!
- Folex Carpet Cleaner — This stuff is amazing!
- Paper towels
- Broom and dustpan
- Mop (I love my steam mop!)
Finally, you’ll need rocking music or a hilarious, inspiring or otherwise binge-worthy, podcast lined up and ready to go!!
Turn your phone on airplane mode or at least silence all notification, except emergency calls! You need to focus!!
Get it done!
Where to start?
I like to start with the most offensive area. This is called “eating the frog” and it’s a huge motivational principle.
Get the worst job out of the way first and everything else will seem downhill. Your energy and motivation is highest at the beginning so get after the tough stuff! For me, that’s probably the kitchen or the bathrooms.
If you are less of a “cannonball into the deep end” type and your brain needs to wade into things, then start small, but impactful. Like a snowball that starts tiny, but grows bigger and picks up momentum.
If it makes more sense to you to start in at one end of the house and work your way to the other or top to bottom that’s fine too! You do you!
In the end, YOU are going to know how best YOU will be motivated and how YOU want to divide and conquer spring cleaning.
Do NOT start with overly emotional decisions. Do not start with sorting through baby clothes or your college yearbooks under your bed.
DO get quick wins under your belt like decluttering water bottles, wiping down their cupboard, and putting them back with the most often used ones in front.
What to do?
Bring a trash bag (for trash, duh!) and a box for clutter that needs put away somewhere else with you to each room. Set a timer for 15 minutes and spend the first 15 minutes mini decluttering and/or picking up a space. Then begin on the cleaning tasks working top to bottom using the simple spring cleaning checklist provided!
Wait, I thought this was the lazy girls guide to spring cleaning, this seems like work?
Yup, it sure is! And most things in life that are worth doing involve work, but that’s just some free life advice. If you want the “laziest” secret to getting a good enough spring clean here it is….
Invite someone over you don’t know that well.
This will motivate you, is time sensitive, and will help you prioritize the biggest “bang for buck” spots to declutter or deep clean in your house. I did this recently and I was amazed at all I was able to get done in such a short time! (And we made these chicken enchiladas for dinner which I prepped ahead and it made the whole thing SO much easier!)
Why even bother when they are just going to mess it up?
Houses are for living. Please don’t miss my heart for peaceful homes and meaningful messes!! Of course, once cleaned homes will be messy again.
Deep cleaning is not as much about the little day to day things (your awesome routine is for that!), but those hard to reach spots that when you notice it’s clean will bring a smile to your face.
It’s about knowing it was DONE once and DONE WELL, even if it’s not like that forever.
Decluttering is about not being dragged down by your stuff.
Good decluttering and organization should make your day to day cleaning and life in general easier because you’re not bogged down by tedious, minute decisions. (One reason I use a capsule wardrobe too!)
I hope this lazy girls guide and simple spring cleaning checklist will inspire you to do some spring cleaning this year! Even if you’re busy, your kids are crazy, and it’ll just get messy again — the feeling of pride in a sparkling clean house is a sweet, sweet reward.
I’d love if you grab a friend and share the spring cleaning checklist with her and we can all work together to tackle spring cleaning! I’ll be busy over on Instagram stories this week sharing our home’s spring cleaning progress so be sure to follow along AND share your journey too! Just tag me @katemovingforward so I can be sure to cheer you on!!
If you found this post useful/enjoyable I’d love for you to share it with someone today via email, Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook!