Spring Cleaning in an Organized & Fun Fashion

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 in Family Organizing | 0 comments

As a child I remember my mother’s excitement when she would see the first Spring Robin of the season.  Today I carry on this tradition to look for the first Robin but living in the Birdland area of Aldershot it is hard to see the Robins through all the Bluejays, Cardinals, Chickadees, even an occasional spotted hawk!

Seeing (or looking for) that Robin means it’s time for… Spring cleaning!  With many years in the organizing industry, I have developed a reliable process to get the family in line to make Spring cleaning a fun and productive event:

Stay C-A-L-M (Control, Assess, Lighten Up, Maintain) so everyone can appreciate an organized house and look forward to enjoying the riches of the season that Spring brings to us each year.


Spring cleaning starts with CONTROL

Someone has to take control of the situation and if that is you, put on your coach’s cap and get the team players in line.  Perhaps starting off with a “kick off” dinner of pizza to bring the team members together to formulate the game plan and address Q&A to enable for all members to have their concerns or needs heard.

When – Try to choose dates far in advance.  Four-hour windows work well because it gives each member the time frame to accomplish at least one room if not two without getting too tired or bogged down.

Why – Explaining the importance of a clean and organized home will help get everyone on board with this Spring project. For many people this includes:

  • being able to find things
  • not wasting time looking for a particular item
  • allow regular cleaning to be easier

Who does what – It is a family affair so everyone needs to be involved, regardless of age—delegate tasks that work with each person’s abilities, with more basic tasks for toddlers and more sitting-oriented tasks, such as sorting into “keep and discard” piles for persons with limited mobility.

I typically start with each family member working on their respective bedrooms then moving onto a group project of the family room or basement.


With game plan in place, it’s time to ASSESS

The easiest way to assess the situation is to make a list which I call the Activity Planner.  On a chart I create columns such as:
Room: the place where the activities need to be done. Equip each person with 3 cardboard boxes for sorting items into toss, donate or keep.
Activity: what tasks need to be accomplished in this room so it is in order and clean. Remember smaller tasks for children, medium tasks for tweens and teens and with adults… load it on!
Name: the responsible person for this activity. This is important so Mom is not doing all the work!
Materials: use this space to note any special needs, i.e. cleaning products, boxes, labels, etc.
Completed: this area is used to check off once the activity is completed…yahoo!

Print off copies of this activity planner and go through each room and list what needs to be done.  The Assessment should not take more than 15 minutes per room.


On ‘cleaning day’, LIGHTEN UP on…

Meal Prep—
• Start the day with a nutritious meal
• Have plenty of accessible, grab-and-go healthy snacks on hand throughout the day
• Place a container of water in each room so everyone stays hydrated

Volume control—Set up a radio or two or make sure the mp3 players are charged ahead of time and the headphones are handy.

Your walletPerhaps an allowance can be doubled by a child being speedy–or how about ‘no attitude for the day’!!
Alternatively, you could create a treasure hunt by hiding coins in corners especially where the dust bunnies hide!  I personally throw a handful of coins under their beds!

Your words—You love your family and want the spring cleaning to be successful and enjoyable (and annual!), so use words of encouragement and positivity to each member of the family throughout the day.

Their curfew—For tweens and teens who are being responsible for their activities, perhaps you could extend Saturday night curfew, or allow them to take on another extracurricular activity.

After the Spring Cleaning is complete, you’ll want to MAINTAIN

Make sure you create a maintenance plan so the Spring Cleaning doesn’t have to be repeated as Summer Cleaning!
Your plan might include:

    1. Each person takes 5 minutes at the end of their day to put away their items.  This is easier now that each item has its place
    2. “One thing in, one thing out”blog1-8cleanroom so clutter does not accumulate—if you buy that “must have” pair of shoes then an old pair of shoes needs to be donated or trashed
    3. Putting together a check list for the back of the bedroom door for each child so they can check in to repeat the cleaning tasks, and promote a good habit. (This one is my personal favourite.
    4. Put a box or bin in the front hall closet for donations; once it is full it is only a couple of steps to take it out the door
    5. A monthly quick review with the team to share the house progress so everyone is on the same page. Perhaps through this process they have some organizing ideas that they have come up with.

Once you have finished on the inside of your house, it’s time to start thinking about an activity list for outside cleaning when warmer weather arrives. Also if you want to entice your own first Robin of the season fill up the feeder with fruits and suet because Robins don’t eat seeds! Or better still, water the grass and the Robins will flock to your lawn for the worms!

Organize Me Please
“We help families create order”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *