Spring and Spring Cleaning
Crystal Miller



Spring and spring cleaning have always gone hand in hand. It seems like the perfect time to devote to extra cleaning tasks. I like getting these types of chores done so that I can enjoy other activities during the spring. I have been looking around my home and seeing cobwebs in the corners, dust building up and other jobs needing to be done. Since we are still in the midst of school time and my garden is calling my name as often as I have a dry day I have broken my home up into smaller bite size jobs in order to get some spring cleaning done.

I started with my bedroom. I cleaned up the clutter, flipped my mattress, and dusted dresser tops on one day. The next day I removed the curtains and washed them, vacuumed around the windows and cleaned out my closet and dusted and cleaned up all the books that seem to collect on my nightstand. Then I vacuumed in closet corners and the folding doors on my closet.

Then the next room to tackle was the living room. Once again I pick a project and work on it in small sections. Move furniture and vacuum and collect all the “stuff” under them, you know all the Lego’s, socks, pens and pencils, hair ties and combs, etc.  Vacuum the ceiling and corners. Next day is move the piano away from the wall and vacuum and wipe down the floor (I have hard wood floors with a large rug on it, so the floor around the edges needs to be wiped down.

Next is the laundry room. Clear off the shelf where I keep my cleaning and laundry supplies, clear any collected clutter from the area and wipe the shelves down. Then move the washer and dryer and clean under and behind them. I also check dryer hoses for build up of lint and remove any screens from the inside of my dryer and vacuum and clean them out.

But more than give a detailed list of what needs to be done in each room , I want to stress the need for learning to manage our homes well enough that when spring cleaning time comes it is not an overwhelming burden to think about. I have never been the greatest housekeeper but have valued a clean home enough to work hard to keep my home under control. If I am facing a large cleaning job, I can get overwhelmed by the size of the job very easily, because usually this job is on top of all the rest of my daily responsibilities. I am soon discouraged and don’t know where to begin. I think this is why I emphasize systems of home management so much. If my home is running smoothly and I feel like things are under control then tackling a few extra items spread through a week does not seem so overwhelming nor do I dread the job.

I love a clean and organized home. It just feels so much more comfortable to be in. When I was growing up my mother always had a clean home and that is what felt right to me. But she never did teach and train me on how to accomplish that in my own home. I spent many years working to achieve this in my own home. I did not know how to organize or manage anything.  I read many books and worked hard to have a home that felt clean and under control. Many years have been one step forward and two steps backward, and then two steps forward and one step back! I just keep learning and doing and moving forward.

Nowadays, I have found the best way of dealing with my home is to have a good routine that includes daily maintenance and have certain times of the year that I deal with various things in the home. In my daily routine I make sure we have times in the day for dealing with basic home clean up and clutter control and laundry. During the year I spend extra time dealing with different areas of my home. In January I told how I redefine and reset all my systems of managing my home, I spend this time of year cleaning out closets and going through my storage room. In the spring I tend to try and take care of the details that go unnoticed or overlooked. Things like cobwebs, dust bunnies, dusty refrigerator coils, dusty shelves, book case organization, widow washing, washing curtains in different rooms, refrigerator cleaning (this is done more than once a year), oven cleaning, and any other cleaning chores that come up.

Because I did not have the training on how to keep a home, I want my children to grow up with not only the feeling of what a clean and well managed home feels like but also the knowledge on how to achieve that in their own homes. I always include them in any type of home maintenance and cleaning. My children are very important and necessary part of our home operation. They work with me in all these areas and help to make the job go much more quickly. I let them know on Sunday night what area of the house we will be tackling for the week and then divide these extra jobs among each child, with me working along side them. Accomplishing these extra spring time cleaning chores can go very quickly with everyone working on them.

Spring is also the time I spend going through my children’s clothing and thinning out the winter clothes and making room for the summer clothes. We still have a lot of cool days in spring but I want to make sure we have what is needed for those warmer days when they come. I cull out the old and check my containers of stored clothing in the basement and see what will work for what child. I make a list of any summer type clothing that is needed and we then plan a trip to Good Will (a large thrift store), Wal-Mart and the fabric store (for any items that will be sewn) to fill in any needed clothing. My girls especially love the Good Will shopping day and I love the fact that we can walk away with many good quality clothing items for a fraction of what we would spend elsewhere. I then take the good and useable winter clothes and put them in the storage bins to be pulled out again at the end of fall.

To me there is just nothing better than to know that my house is clean, organized and running smoothly. I can really enjoy things like gardening and spring animal chores, and field trips with my children so much more knowing that I am managing my home and taking care of my priorities.

Finally, one thing that I enjoy doing with my spring cleaning is to make sure I have something to add to a room when I am done cleaning it that will add to the enjoyment of that room. When I finished my bedroom I added a new nice smelling candle, when I finished the dining room I put a new table cloth on the table that I had bought on sale at Wal-Mart last month, I have also put fresh flowers (we love the spring wild flowers that grow around our property for this) or silk flowers on the table or a collage of family pictures in a frame on the wall or anything that adds a homey touch and adds to the fresh feeling of the room.

 

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