…And How You Can Too!
First of all, let me be honest and admit that title is a little misleading. I didn’t really quit spring cleaning. Because I’ve never been one to do it in the first place. In reality, I just quit feeling bad about not doing it.
Whew. I feel better now, coming clean with you like that. Whoa, bad pun there. Moving on…
This is the time of year when cute spring cleaning infographics and fun printable charts start popping up all over Pinterest and the rest of the internet. All the home magazines run articles on it, and promise to make it easy and fun. And every Mommy Blogger worth her salt has a tip or twenty to help you out. It’s enough to almost inspire me to do it. But then I remember that it’s much more fun to imagine it being done, than to actually turn off the computer and hunt down my yellow rubber gloves. So this year, not only am I not spring cleaning, but I’m on a mission to get you to not clean with me!
“But Meredith,” you say, “won’t my house be a pig sty? And won’t my family live in danger of germs? And what if I want to have friends over? Will I have to start the visit with the obligatory ‘Sorry it’s such a mess’?”
Let’s start with that first pig sty question. I’ll answer it with another question: Is your house a pig sty now? If it is, then yes, you might want to do something about that. If it bothers you. If not, then just keep doing what you’re doing. Your house will not fall down the first day of summer if you have missed the spring cleaning deadline.
Second question, and an important one, about germs. Now, I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty sure germs are already everywhere, and don’t wait for spring to make their debut. I think it’s much more important to wipe your counter-tops right after cutting raw chicken in the evening, than it is to set aside a week once a year to pull down your drapes and launder them. So again, just keep doing what you’re doing. (And if you don’t already wipe your counter-tops after cutting chicken, now is a good time to start.)
Finally, aren’t we all a little tired of stepping into our friends’ perfect houses, and hearing them apologize for their imperfections? What, you don’t have it all together enough to have a clean house, well-behaved children, and perfect hair? Well then, I like you all the better for being like me.
So, now that that’s settled, I promised to show you how you could quit spring cleaning. But first, I have a friend who loves to clean. She mops her floors when she needs a little pick-me-up. Her idea of a lovely afternoon is when her baby takes a long enough nap for her to dust her whole house. If you’re like my dear friend in this way, then to you I say, “You go, girl!” And I mean that literally, because if you stick around to read the next part, you will probably not get anything out of it, except less inclination to drop by my house sometime.
Simply put, I avoid spring cleaning by putting it off. Yes, I do occasionally launder my drapes, but not all at one time, and not while I’m trying to do everything else. See, I love my house, and I love my family. And when I try to take on mammoth cleaning projects, I get irritated with my beloved family and home, and really want to say bad words. It’s better for everyone if I just sneak in a little extra cleaning task when I’m not paying enough attention to be bugged by it. So while a typical day on a spring cleaning checklist might look something like this:
- Vacuum Dryer Vents
- Sweep and Mop behind Fridge and Oven
- Dust Fan Blades
- Wipe Baseboards Throughout House
Mine looks more like this:
“Hmm, (as I’m dropping a load of laundry into the washer) I seem to remember it was taking my clothes longer to dry last time. Wonder when was the last time I cleaned the dryer vent?” Quick check. “Eeewww. Apparently a long time. Where’s that vacuum cleaner attachment?”
And then a few weeks later:
“Is that a spider web up there in that corner? Guess if I have to get the extension duster out anyway, I should go ahead and do the fan blades”
See? It’s like stealth cleaning! Boom, you’re done before you even had a chance to groan at your checklist. Now, for those of you who really like the checklist, I’m including your very own printable Anti-Spring-Cleaning Calendar.
It features cleaning tasks grouped by when it makes the most sense (to me) to do them. And I’ve tried to group things together that use similar tools, so you don’t have dig through all your stuff every time. Bonus: There are no tasks in June, July, and December. I find there’s too much going on during those months to be worried about extra cleaning duties.
But wait, there’s more! I’m going to let you in on another secret. This is big. (Picture me leaning in conspiratorially.) If you want to do even less cleaning, do yourself a favor, and get organized. Having less stuff means less stuff to clean.
So, while I don’t spring clean, I do LOVE a good spring organizing. It feels so good to shed that winter coat of stuff that’s accumulated over the last year. And all the stores have great sales on their organizing stuff, like bins and baskets. They’re so cute, it makes you want to get organized, just to have an excuse to use them. (I don’t know why this tactic works for me with fun baskets, but not with cute designer brooms and dust pans.) So stay tuned till next time, when I share the rest of my organizing secrets with you. In the meantime, Happy Spring Non-Cleaning!