Spring Cleaning Tips Leaving More Time for Your Family

Spring Clean - This post includes 5 tips for spring cleaning that leaves more time for your family to enjoy the spring.

I’m excited to start off a new series, “Spring Clean Your Marriage” with a guest blogger Sarah Rollandini today! Check out her bio below to find out more about her and her blog.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.  —Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

I stared aghast at the orange ring in the guest bathroom toilet. How long had it been there? When was the last time I’d forced the kids to clean the toilet?

More importantly, who had recently visited our house and noticed this epic cleaning fail? 😉

Spring Cleaning Tips - This post includes 5 tips for spring cleaning and enlisting your family to help. Click to find out more! #springcleaningtips #cleaningtips #messymarriage #realisticexpectations #perfectionism #cleaningstrategies

And my toilet bowl faux pas was only the beginning. The evidence of a winter’s worth of frigid snow days spent cooped up inside our house threatened to overwhelm me.

Stacks of junk mail lined the counter, dust caked the windowsills, and the dingy carpet sullenly bore witness to our rescue mutts’ muddy paws. Perhaps we could sell the house “as is”, I mused, and start fresh?

Nope. I needed a game plan for tackling the mess, preferably one that didn’t leave me with a broken back and a chip on my shoulder at the end of the day.

Spring and the spring-cleaning season have finally arrived, but with the advent of sunny skies and warm temps, who wants to spend weeks inside dusting and scrubbing?

The truth is, unlike grandma’s spring cleaning, sprucing up our homes in the 21st century shouldn’t require the Herculean effort of one family member, nor perfect rooms which beg for inclusion in a magazine spread.

In fact, beautifying our homes for springtime can be accomplished quickly with a practical list and a team of able-bodied family members.

Here’s a strategy that works for us …   

1. Make a Tidying List that Fits Your Family’s Style

Unless you find meaning in Martha Stewart’s spring-cleaning checklist, which includes items such as “polish metal door and window hardware” and “wax wooden furniture”, following her lead will do you no good. Since most of your recruits are likely joining the cleaning team by force, ask yourself what tasks actually matter to you.

Do you …

  • Love the smell of fresh linens? If so, you’ll want to add “laundering sheets and window treatments” to your list.
  • Get a kick out of sparkling counter tops? Include a thorough kitchen and bath polishing.
  • Change décor by season? Remember to work in creative and fun tasks, such as trading out your winter throw pillows and tablescapes for those with fresh spring colors.

Yes, I know that the women who came before us waxed the floors, polished the silver, and cooked chicken cordon bleu for their families all in the same day.

However …

[bctt tweet=”When it comes to spring cleaning, there is no right or wrong way. Discover what your way should and shouldn’t include at messymarriage today! @SarahRollandini #personalizeyourstyle #springcleaning” username=”BethSteffaniak”]

You are the CEO of this house tidying operation. As such, you get to choose which household tasks bring your family the most joy at the finish.

2. Divide and Conquer

Still taking on cleaning tasks by yourself? There’s no need to be the martyr.

Sure, leaving your family out of the spring-cleaning equation will get the job done, but it won’t teach your broody teen to be part of a team, nor will it keep your energetic preschooler busy.

Handling tasks alone will also foster resentment toward your spouse and kids that bubbles up later. Plus, enlisting extra hands will substantially cut your time spent cleaning and allow for more family fun times.

  • Do little fingerprints spackle your walls at 3-feet height? I’ll bet your vertically-challenged cherubs can wield a sponge and a bucket quite nicely.
  • Do your porch and yard look like they’ve barely survived the zombie apocalypse? Have your husband or teen scoop poop, hose down doors, and touch up trim.
  • Is your tween’s closet a fire hazard? Motivate her to pare back to the essentials by donating gently-used items to your church rummage sale or local charity.

3. Make Peace with “Good Enough”

Since saving time on cleaning means delegating tasks, learn to make peace with good enough.

It’s unlikely that your spouse or children will mop the floor or organize the bookshelves exactly like you would and that’s ok.

The goal of “spring cleaning” with your family is improvement not perfection.

Rather than pointing out your son’s unorthodox organization style, praise him for his creativity. And remember: if you want every job done just as you would do it, you’ll have to commit the time to teaching the task alongside your helper.

Say it with me now: It’s good enough.

[bctt tweet=”Find out how to make peace with spring cleaning that’s good enough rather than perfect. Free up time to be with your family, rather than wasting time impressing your friends! @SarahRollandini #SpringCleaningTips #familymatters” username=”BethSteffaniak”]

4. Make it Fun

Sprucing up your home does not have to be drudgery …

  • Set a timer for five minutes and see who can pick up the most items and return them to their homes.
  • Have a contest and hand out awards for “Dirtiest Job”, “Best Attitude”, and “Most Improved Cleaner”.
  • You could even host a family fashion show and have everyone weigh in on what needs to go.

5. Follow the Tortoise

The tortoise was much slower than the hare. But in the end, his persistence won the race. Believe it or not, spring-cleaning does not have to be done in a day or even a weekend. It’s ok to break up your list into increments and accomplish a few tasks at a time.

Sure, adopting this approach to cleaning takes longer, but it still hits the mark.

Instead of attempting a 12-hour “cleaning-palooza”, tackling chores together over time will build family relationships and conserve energy as you steadily strive toward the goal.

Tortoise-style cleaning also allows plenty of leftover enthusiasm for celebrating once you’ve crossed the finish line!

[bctt tweet=”Beautifying our homes for springtime can be accomplished quickly with a practical list and a team of able-bodied family members. Here’s a strategy that works for us. @SarahRollandini #SpringCleanYourMarriage” username=”BethSteffaniak”]

Wasn’t Sarah’s post great? To find out more about her and/or to read more of her insights and perspectives, visit her blog – sararollandini.com, where she often shares about her journey of infertility and adoption. You can also find her hanging out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Be sure to join me for another post in the, “Spring Clean Your Marriage” series, with Aimee Imbeau up to bat next week. She will be sharing how to correct messy mothering methods, like undermining a spouse’s parenting, and/or putting your kids before your spouse, etc. You won’t want to miss it!

Check out the graphic below to see who else will be sharing in this series in the weeks to come!

Spring Clean Marriage - This blog series includes eight amazing Christian bloggers who know just how to spring clean your life and marriage! This week is spring cleaning tips! #springclean #messymarriage #marriage #springcleaningmarriage #improvemarriage #lessonslearnedinmarriage

 

Which of these 5 tips is your favorite?

 

What spring cleaning tip would you add to Sarah’s creative and practical list?

 


Here are some other lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me MondayLiterary Musing MondaysTea and Word TuesdayPurposeful FaithTell His StoryRecharge WednesdayPorch Stories Linkup, Welcome Heart, Worth Beyond Rubies WednesdayEncouraging Word WednesdaySitting Among FriendsDestination InspirationTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementMoments of HopeGrace and Truth Faith and Friends Faith on Fire FridayFresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday

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22 responses to “Spring Cleaning Tips Leaving More Time for Your Family”

  1. My kids loved pitching in with little buckets and sponges when they were little.
    The trick was getting the teens engaged, and it does seem as if the minute kids are old enough to be REALLY helpful, they begin to lose interest. Nonetheless, it’s such an important life skill for our families to work together on keeping the house clean. After all, the house if FOR all of us, so we should all participate in maintaining it.

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    1. Exactly Michele! I have some moans and groans from my teens, but I have found a “to-do” list is better than my nagging. If they ask me if they can do something fun yet, I simply point to the list without uttering a word. 🙂

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  2. Such great advice that I cooperates the family and of all ages!! The learn “it’s good enough” is actually so important for a few reasons and others will benefit from this advice so very much!!

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    1. The “good enough” mantra sounds like such a cop out, but I think in this age of Pinterest and Instagram, we tend to go way overboard with so many things. Sometimes good enough really is good enough! 🙂

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  3. Sarah, this post was “spot” on with nothing “swept under the rug.” Hehe. Seriously, I really relate to your words. I’m a recovering perfectionist and neat-freak with a touch of OCD. While I love all the tips, for me, to make peace with “good enough” is my favorite point. Over the years, I’d ask hubby or one of the kids to do something to help out around the house, then I came behind them with the do-over. It sent a message their contribution was not good enough.

    Thanks for this beautiful reminder.

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    1. Thank you for your wise words, Karen. Sounds like we suffer from the same perfectionist disorder :).

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  4. Your encouragement to adopt a “good enough” mindset is so important. If perfectionism isn’t kept in check, either the job won’t get done at all, or family relationships will suffer. Either option is undesirable. Thanks for this excellent approach to a task that is often separated from reality and what matters most.

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    1. Hi Jana. I’m always trying to weed out the extra and focus on what matters most. I believe it is the journey of a lifetime. 🙂 Thanks for your kind feedback. 🙂

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  5. Thanks Crystal! My kids are tweens and teens, but they still enjoy the silliness of a cleaning award. We usually end up laughing together, which is a bonus connection with my young adults. 🙂

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  6. Love the idea of tackling tasks bit by bit and involving the family in the process. Thanks for these tips. I’m always looking for ways to get the house clean bit by bit.

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    1. I agree, Brittany. Growing up, I learned there was only one right way to clean which kept me from EVER cleaning because I never had time to do it “right”. Being okay with baby steps over time and prioritizing what works for my family is a much more effective attitude for getting things done!

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  7. I love this approach to spring cleaning! We never had spring cleaning when I was a kid, and I’ve tried in vain to be like all the Martha Stewarts of the internet and get it done the “right” way. I only discovered their right way wasn’t right for me!

    I loved this: “You are the CEO of this house tidying operation. As such, you get to choose which household tasks bring your family the most joy at the finish.”

    Now, I am doing one room a month and focusing on the things that matter to me. It is helping so much. In fact, it’s not really spring cleaning at all. Which helps me feel a lot less pressure to get it done quickly and the “right” way!

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    1. Hi Rebecca. I agree! As in parenting, there are a variety of “right” ways to get the job done and you are much more likely to accomplish anything when it seems “do-able” to you. I’m so glad this approach works for you. I love the one room a month idea. Last summer, I did one closet, drawer, or cupboard each day. My home had been gutted by September, but I still had plenty of time leftover for hanging out with my family!

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  8. “The goal of ‘spring cleaning’ with your family is improvement not perfection.” These words are powerful. Etching toward a goal holds tons of encouragement, even if we’re not at the goal yet. There’s lots of wisdom in this post. Thank you!

    Like

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment, Joy! I’m glad you found the post helpful. 🙂

      Like

  9. Great tips! If the kids have left the nest, my tip would be enlisting a church youth group that wants to raise money for a project to help out :). Just make sure you’re well organized ahead of time, with supplies and list of how you want things done. It’s a win-win situation–you get a clean house and they raise money for their project! (and you don’t have to eat baked goods 😉 ).

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  10. Wow, what a great idea! Thank you Anita! 🙂

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  11. #1 hits home for me! Life is much different in this season than back in the day when there were little ones, friends in and out, a super busy schedule, a super messy house!

    yes, let’s tweak and tailor what we read to what fits us in this season. wise words, indeed!

    thanks, ladies!

    Like

    1. Yes, with changing seasons come changing priorities. Thanks for chiming in , Linda!

      Like

  12. Great post!! I love including my kids in deep cleaning projects. I try to act excited about it first so they will also get excited…lol My older ones has caught on but my little ones still sees themselves as the “big helpers”. It is beautiful to watch my older ones to teach the younger ones. I think cleaning together teaches them how to treat their home for the future and how to be part of maintaining a home with their future spouse. I try to teach my sons to not just leave it to their wives and my daughters to take honor in a home their family is comfortable in.

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    1. Great job, Mama! My husband is the youngest of six and his mom expected him to help right along with all of his siblings. As a result, I have a partner who knows how to clean, do laundry, cook, pick up his socks, and bring me flowers! 🙂

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  13. Wow! This is a great idea for families out there. Thanks for sharing this!

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