A Lazy Mom’s Guide to Spring Cleaning
A few years into our marriage, my husband made a remark about how dirty our windows were. “That's so weird,” he mused. “My mom cleaned hers twice a year, how often have we cleaned ours?”
I looked at him blankly. Say what now? Windows? I was supposed to be cleaning windows, like outside of our home?
I truly had no idea that people did that sort of thing. I guess I just assumed that because windows were outside, people just went with the dirt flow or the rain washed them away or something. (Also, in my defense, we had just moved into our first home and I was only 23 at the time and also working nights and pregnant with our second baby, so don't judge me too harshly, OK?)
But alas, apparently window cleaning is very much a thing, along with 10,429 other chores that come along with spring cleaning and owning a home. And frankly, I'm not a fan of any of them.
So if you, like me, are a lazy mom who's not too keen on spring cleaning but knows it needs to be done anyways, here are a few tips for you, us, OK, fine, mostly me:
Tip #1: Windows do have to be cleaned
To get out of this yearly chore, I recommend moving houses like I did. I still have yet to actually clean my windows, muahahaha. If moving is not an option for you, however, the easiest way to clean your outside windows is to remove the screens, let those soak in warm water, and then unlatch your windows and wipe them down without the screens on.
Tip #2: Don't start with cleaning
Now that we have the windows out of the way (phew!) let's get down to some real talk. True “easy” spring cleaning doesn't start with cleaning. It starts with getting rid of your stuff and decluttering your home to make cleaning easier for everyone.
I know, I know, it's a lot to think about. But it makes true scientific sense. The less stuff you have, the easier it will be to clean and to keep clean, right? Pretty sure Albert Einstein discovered it. So, to make it happen, I recommend getting started with decluttering from a minimalism expert like mom-of-four Allie Casazza. She has everything from guides to printables to courses to help moms take practical steps to getting their houses decluttered and I promise you, it will make spring cleaning 1,000 times easier if you start there.
Tip #3: Hire out the initial deep-clean
I know, I know, this sounds privileged and snobby of me and maybe it is, but I had never really even considered hiring help with housecleaning because I thought for sure it would be way too expensive and I could just do it better anyways. I would urge you to at least look into prices of housecleaners.
You seriously might be surprised by how affordable they actually are. Especially if you go with an individual instead of a service, you can find cleaners around the $13-$15/hour price range and a professional can get a lot done in an hour, especially if he or she is not stopping along the way to change a dirty diaper, switch a load of laundry, answer an email, check Facebook (ahem) and be interrupted like I know you are. It might be worth it to hire an initial “deep clean” to tackle the first layer of grime so you can really dig into deep cleaning the areas your home needs.
Tip #4: Get the kids involved
I am 32 years old and my oldest child is 10 and I am embarrassed to admit to you that I have never made my children do chores. I just assumed they should get to play while I slave around cleaning 24/7. But you know what? That's not good for anyone. So I started giving my kids a chore chart. Each week, I rotate chores that need to be done and when they complete their chores, they get a reward ticket. They can then save up their tickets and “cash them in” when they earn 10 tickets for a prize from the reward box. (Hello, Target dollar items!)
I am telling you, this chore system has changed our lives. I give my kids actual chores, like collecting all the garbage from the house, bringing down laundry, dusting, cleaning windows (told you I hated that!), vacuuming, and even cleaning out the car. It's amazing what a family working together can actually accomplish and your kids are capable of SO much more than you realize, so don't be afraid to get them involved.
Tip #5: Get ye a hand vacuum
This tip goes in line with Tip #4 because it's the best purchase I've made in a while. I bought a cheap hand vacuum off of Amazon for 20 bucks and my younger kids think it's so cool to use. They can vacuum the floor with it, the stairs, and the backseat of the minivan and they think it's a big treat at the same time. #winningmomlife
OK, fellow lazy moms, your turn: let's hear your best tips for spring cleaning!