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Preparing for spring cleaning

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Preparing for spring cleaning does not have to be the biggest feat of the year. The following are recommendations to transform this year’s spring cleaning into a smooth process that includes the entire family.

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Make a list

The first step to a stress-free spring cleaning is to divide all of the household chores into smaller tasks. Divide the list into sections, one for each room of the house. Each segment should contain tasks to be done in each room including everyday cleaning, potential purging, and re-organizing. This will serve as your checklist that organizes your to-do list, as well as reinforces accomplishing your goals.

Assignments

Assign an item from the list everyday to each member of the family. Since the tasks are smaller, one item per day is feasible (i.e., sort through food items in pantry or clean desk drawers in office). Reinforce completion by checking the items off the list and providing a reward contingent upon the children completing their assignments (and do not forget to reward the adults too). If the family reaches their weekly goal, the entire family earns a fun reward at the end of the week. Rewards can include re-decorating a room by adding new bedding sets, a new splash of color, fun decorative items, a family outing, or individualized special treats.

Thorough cleaning

Spring cleaning should include larger tasks that are typically ignored on a weekly basis, such as shampoo carpets, clean upholstered furniture, wash window screens, clean window treatments (check labels if these are machine washable), clean sliding door tracks, and dust bookshelves. Check out Martha Stewart’s spring cleaning guide for tips on tackling heavy tasks (Spring cleaning).

Purging

Spring cleaning is the time to re-organize storage systems, discard expired products, and tidy closets. Some tasks include discarding expired cosmetics, organizing files (including digital files, ensuring photos and documents are backed up), donating clothes you no longer use, donating toys the kids no longer play with, organizing pantry and discarding expired foods, and sorting items in drawers and cabinets. Donate magazines no longer in use to art classrooms (teachers typically collect these for art projects) and save a few for engaging in arts and crafts with your kids at home.

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