As blossoms open and leaves thicken, you might be turning your attention to summer plans, garden clean-up, and spring travel. Perhaps you’re also feeling inspired to do a little spring cleaning. Tidying up for the spring can help your home feel new again. It’s also great preparation for any spring and summer visitors you’ll be having and makes it easier to clean up after the kids when they’re home for summer break. Here are our top six tips for tidying up this spring.
Try the Marie Kondo Method
If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo, the gist is that you get rid of everything that doesn’t “spark joy.” That means anything you don’t use, any decorations you don’t love, any clutter. It’s a great way to clear the junk and make more space. And once you’ve reduced clutter, it becomes much easier to keep the home clean.
Marie Kondo works precisely because it requires a lot of work. When you commit to spending an afternoon really getting your closet under control, you’re more likely to think critically about where you put things and diligently work to keep the closet clean.
A Little Bit Goes a Long Way
You don’t have to give up your weekend to clean. Try investing a little time here and there. Fifteen minutes a day can help you steadily cut through the mess and clutter. Try targeting a different area of your house each day until things are on track. Get the kids involved by offering them a bump in their allowance, or giving them a penny for every item they get rid of or put away.
A Place for Everything
Most of us are familiar with the cycle of clutter and cleaning: you get everything clean and organized, vow to keep it that way, and before you know it, it’s a mess again. One of the primary reasons this happens is that most of us have too much stuff. That makes it difficult to have a specific space where each item is stored. So you end up randomly stashing things in drawers or closets, moving clutter around to create more clutter. Before you know it, you’re back where you started.
The key to fixing this is to ensure that everything—everything–in your home has a specific place. Then put everything away in the exact same place every time.
Don’t just trash your stuff. And don’t stick it under the bed or in the basement. Do some good and give back while you tidy up. Donate to someone who might love what you no longer need. Here’s a great list of places to donate the items you no longer need.
Make a Little Spending Money
To declutter and ensure everything has a place, you need to get rid of the things you no longer need. Make it easier to do so by making some money. Plan a neighborhood garage sale and split the proceeds with your kids. Or sell items at a local consignment store or on eBay and LetGo. When you’re getting paid to clean up, it feels a lot less painful.
Do it Together
In most families, one parent takes it upon themselves to do the tidying up. This might make logistical sense. It might even feel like the only way to get things done. But it’s a recipe for failure. When only one person has put in the work to keep the house clean, only one person is invested in keeping it that way. Get the whole family involved.
Make it Fun If you want to involve your whole family in cleaning, you need to make cleaning feel fun. Turn it into a game. Have the kids race one another to see who can finish a task first. Give a reward for each completed task. Or consider offering your child the chance to pick a new toy for each space they clear in their closet. Put on a movie or some music and binge on snacks. Take frequent breaks, and praise your kids for their hard work. Cleaning can be a fun family event—not something everyone dreads.