One of my goals for the year is to finish an organization project that I’ve been planning for awhile now. I’ve started it, but I still have a long way to go. Right now I’m in the “let’s get rid of stuff” phase of the project. In other words, I have clothes bagged up that the kids can no longer wear and things boxed up that we no longer use. All of these bags and boxes are currently stuffed in my foyer waiting for me to have a garage sale after LTYM. Whatever you do, don’t ring my doorbell! Right now, back door guests are most definitely best.
I’ve always found that spring is the time I feel most inspired to do this type of clearing out. I don’t know if it is because everyone is talking about spring cleaning or if it is because after being closed up in the house all winter you are ready to ditch everything you own. Either way, I think it is a good idea to hold on to this feeling and let it push me to make some major strides into my organization project.
My main problem is that, while I have the drive and inspiration, I tend to be overwhelmed at the enormity of the project. I’m a big thinker and sometimes it is a challenge for me to focus on making small steps. That’s why I’m happy to be sharing these spring cleaning and organizing tips courtesy of LG’s home economist Laura Johnson, on how to spring clean most efficiently. She also has ideas to help us involve the kids in the clean-up routine.
Chores is such an ugly word. Just saying it makes our kids run and hide. So how we can go from chores to fun, family-oriented activities that get the house organized and keep mom out of the therapists office? Here are some spring cleaning and organizing tips that will do just that:
Laura recommends the following:
- To battle feeling overwhelmed by cleaning the entire house, start with the rooms that the family or guests are in the most. Prioritize cleaning and de-cluttering common areas including the kitchen, family room, and main bathroom, as they are the best places to start.
- Focus on one room at a time. Cleaning one room per weekend is a great way to make a dent in cleaning and not feel too overwhelmed.
- Make a list to help break large chores down into smaller ones that are more manageable. For instance, if the family room needs to be cleaned and picked up, break it down into smaller parts of that task that you can hand out, or do one night at a time (organizing a bookshelf, putting blankets and pillows away, vacuuming, etc).
One thing that I’ve also found has helped in the past is to use a timer. We can set it for 15 to 30 minutes. When the timer goes off, we stop working for the night and move on to something fun. Like watching Sponge Bob for the 57,945,823 time. (penny, penny, penny, penny, penny, penny)
Involving the Kids
Another way to make the chores go by faster is to involve your kids. I know right now you are thinking that will most definitely not make the chores go by faster, but maybe it will if we try some of these tips from Laura:
- To help involve kids in cleaning, it’s all about making it a fun experience. Make a list of all the items you want to accomplish, then pick the ones that are age appropriate. Display them on a table or wall so the whole family can see. Roll a pair of dice to see who gets to pick first, and have everyone (parents included) choose their chores. This will allow the kids to choose what they think they might enjoy, instead of cleaning because the parents “said so.”
- To further engage kids, you could also have an alternative goal within whatever chore they’re assigned or picked for themselves. For example, when organizing a bookshelf or kitchen cabinet, they need to alphabetize the books or spices, sort the books by color, etc.
I’ve also learned that specific instructions work best when it comes to my kids. “Clean the living room” results in nothing but whines, but if I say, “pick up those towels and take them to the laundry room” the work gets done a lot faster.
Keeping It Up After Spring
This summer my kids will be home with a sitter, and one of the things I’m considering is a daily chart with activities. Some will be fun (picnic at the park), some will be related to keeping up with school so they don’t fall behind (read for 15 minutes), and some will be to teach them more responsibility (unload the dishwasher, fold a basket of laundry), something I’ve failed miserably at in the past. I’m hoping this will teach all of us how to better share the responsibilities of keeping up the house, and that it will stay more organized going forward.
What are your ways that you involve your kids in helping around the house, or how about some spring cleaning and organizing tips? I could definitely use those.
I’m a member of the LG VIP Bloggers group. Throughout the year I will be sharing tips and information that I find helpful. I was not asked or paid to write this post, and all thoughts and opinions are my own, like always.