Super Simple Spring Cleaning with Young Children

Last year I got a really bad case of spring cleaning fever. I’m the kind of person that doesn’t get the urge to clean very often, so when I do, I know I better run with it or I won’t do it. At the time, my girls were 19 months and 1 month old. I came up with a plan to do spring cleaning even though I had young children, but I never followed through with my grand plans. Less than a week into it, I pretty much gave up. The only excuse I can come up with is that it became too overwhelming to care for my two girls, cook, do a regular cleaning routine (which ends up being mostly the dishes and laundry), AND do another task each day for spring cleaning. Just too much.

Got young children AND a desire to do some spring cleaning? You can do it, but follow these tips to keep things super simple.

© detailblick-foto / Dollar Photo Club

I personally don’t see a problem with putting off spring cleaning until your kids are old enough to help you with it. 😉 But since I know that there would be many areas of my home that would bother me if I did that, I decided to come up with an even easier plan to accomplish these spring cleaning tasks this year.

How to Keep Spring Cleaning Super Simple

I believe the key to getting some spring cleaning done with young kids in the house is to keep it super simple. Unless you have kids who can miraculously play by themselves, you probably don’t want to outdo yourself. The time will come in the future when you can dedicate more time to cleaning your house, but these are not the years, IMHO.

1. Write a list of tasks to accomplish

Part of my downfall last year was that I had one task to accomplish every day of the week except Sundays. I scheduled each one into my calendar and could easily see what I could “look forward” to cleaning for future days.

Skip that step! With young kids, you can’t expect to accomplish one task a day (if you’re anything like me). But if you just write out everything you do want to accomplish over the course of a month or two, you can pick and choose when you do the tasks and if you do them on a daily basis or not.

2. Come up with your own list

Another problem with my plans last year was that I put things on my spring cleaning tasks that were on other people’s lists — stuff that I really shouldn’t have bothered with until other more important things were cleaned first.

This time around I’m coming up with my own spring cleaning checklist. I’m listing out each room/area in my house and all the things I should concentrate on in each one (see the bottom of the post for my list). Those really specific tasks can be dealt with once I have focused on the big things.

3. Do not go to Pinterest

You’re gonna laugh at my third mistake with spring cleaning last year. I couldn’t focus on the task at hand. I would get on Pinterest to find the recipe to make the solution I was going to use to clean, and then it was 15-30 minutes later and my time was up. I had spent most of my cleaning time browsing Pinterest. Not looking at cleaning solutions, mind you. Just recipes. Oh my. Oh my. Oh MY.

My advice then, if you want to get some spring cleaning accomplished, is to avoid Pinterest and other social media sites until you have completed your chores. Knowing that you can get on after you do some cleaning might be a great incentive to get the task done. It’s just too hard with kids to waste that much time when you know the moment they are awake, you won’t be able to get anything done.

4. Keep the tasks short and sweet

Finally, probably the biggest problem with my spring cleaning list last year was that some days had me cleaning more than 30 minutes and up to an hour. I want something I can do in less than 15 minutes, you know? So this time, if I have a large task that needs to be handled, I’m telling my husband to do it going to break it down over a few days.

Five (not-so-serious) Ways to Involve Kids in Spring Cleaning:

Got young children AND a desire to do some Spring cleaning? You can do it, but follow these tips and get the kids involved to keep things super simple. 1. Use the child’s “mop-like” hair to dust the light fixtures. (Now I know not every child has a head full of hair, but ours does, so we might as well get some use out of it).

Got young children AND a desire to do some Spring cleaning? You can do it, but follow these tips and get the kids involved to keep things super simple.2. Instead of beating the pillows, just let your kids throw them around for a while.

3. Have your child mix the cleaning solution of the homemade recipe you found on Pinterest while you browse Pinterest.

Got young children AND a desire to do some Spring cleaning? You can do it, but follow these tips and get the kids involved to keep things super simple.4. Let your child crawl around and pick up anything she finds off the floor. As an added bonus, let her eat it if so desired. That way you don’t have to vacuum (or feed her. Kidding. Just kidding.).

5. Put the kids in the bathtub with all their bath toys and give them rags. Count that as cleaning the bath toys.

See? You can do spring cleaning with kids! It might take all year or a couple (of years), but they will have fun helping.

Ok, ok, in all seriousness, your child could help you do this spring cleaning business or you could do it while he sleeps. It’s up to you. I will probably get my toddler to help me with some tasks and do the rest while both of my girls are asleep.

My Own Spring Cleaning List

Here is what I came up with for my own spring cleaning, but come up with your own list!

Kitchen

Oven

Fridge

Sink

Counters

Pantry

Floor

Microwave

Cupboards

Cabinets

Table and chairs

Sliding glass door

Garbage can

Living Room

Couch

TV

DVD case

Windows

Staircase

Carpet

Bathrooms

Bathtub

Toilet

Floor

Sink

Counter

Cabinets

Drawers

Window

Home Office

Desk

Windows

Our Bedroom

Bed

Closets

Nightstands

Carpet

Window

Girl’s Bedroom

Closet

Shelves

Dresser

Toys

Beds

Carpet

Window

Laundry Area

Washer

Dryer

Window

Basement

Under the stairs

Storage

Front Yard

Grass

Flower beds

Tree

Cement

Back Yard

Grass

Trees

Deck

Under the deck

How do you get cleaning done with kids around?

Linked to: One Project at a Time

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Charlee

I'm a mom of 3 on a journey to feed my family nourishing foods. Personally, I believe that you can feed your family healthy, delicious meals without spending a fortune or slaving away in the kitchen.

Comments

  1. HA! Love the toddler cleaning intermission! Hilarious!!

    I love your checklist too – woah… got to get to work!

    Loved these tips Charlee and just the fact that we’re talking about spring cleaning has me delighted. This winter has been so long!!

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

    • Hehe. Thanks, Jennifer! I think those girls would make darling little “Cinderellas”! As for the checklist, I’ll get to it…at least within the next few years. 😉 I am so happy for spring, too. I hope that you get to enjoy the beautiful weather and sights that come with it all.

  2. Reelika says:

    I love it! Have to get into my spring cleaning as well, and soon! 🙂

  3. Looooove this!!! I had this problem, especially the past two years when I had an infant and a toddler. It was a nightmare. I really love your tips because I can tell that they would already work for me. Also, thank you for sharing your list!! It’s nice to get an idea of what you meant when you said you wrote your own.

    • Thanks so much, Jessica! Glad you liked the tips, and I hope you can get those boys of yours to help out with your cleaning. 😉

  4. Mama instincts says:

    I was so serious and reading this post and already thinking about what I was going to comment but the end of it made me crack up! Hahaha! This has got to be the funniest post you’ve ever written. Love it!

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