Spring Cleaning with Kids
There's something so relaxing about a clean house, especially in the spring when you can open the windows and let the sunshine pour in. Even just having one room clean gives me an instant mood boost. Cleaning the house with littles, though, is a true test in patience - but there are some simple ways you can make the whole process a little easier on everyone.
I can't stress this enough! You do NOT have to clean, rearrange, reorganize, whatever the whole house in one day, and you shouldn't try! If you try to get the whole house clean top-to-bottom in just a day, or just a weekend, then you'll probably end up exhausted and discouraged by whatever you didn't get to. That'll just make it easier to push off the remaining chores, and you'll end up in this half-clean limbo.
Instead, give yourself a reasonable timeline, like 1-2 weeks or even the month, to get everything done and done well while sparing your sanity.
Take It One Room at a Time
If you concentrate your efforts in one room at a time, you'll be rewarded with more immediately-noticeable results as you go. Instead of each person taking a room and getting a little bit done in 4 spaces, divvy up all the tasks for one room and get everything done as a team. Letting everyone choose what tasks they'll be responsible for can keep everyone engaged a little longer, too. Just try to keep the workloads balanced!
The one-room-at-a-time-approach also gives you the satisfaction of crossing entire rooms of your to-do list, which I highly recommend.
Make Two Lists
Speaking of to-do lists, I recommend making two for this project. The first should be all the absolute musts - dust the ceiling fans, vacuum, wipe down the windows, put away winter clothes, etc. The second can be all of the loftier, not-necessarily-essential, potentially-more-involved goals you might have, like new labels on containers, new drawer liners, organizing books and movies... Things that you want to do, and will be glad you did, but also won't be super upset about if you don't get to them immediately.
List #1 is what you should prioritize, then when all of the must-dos are done, you can focus on list #2. Your lists can include whatever you want - whatever will have the biggest impact for you. Maybe those container labels are looking rough and you've been meaning to redo them for years because they drive you crazy every time you look at them. Sounds like list #1 to me!
Make It Fun
A spoonful of sugar, and all that! Turn up the tunes, or put on a podcast - whatever will energize and engage your dust-busters without distracting from the task at hand. A little incentive (beyond just the satisfaction of a clean house) can be a great motivator, too! Maybe treat everyone to pizza for dinner if you meet a certain goal, or go out and see a movie or do some other fun activity once the whole list is done.