What makes spring cleaning different than what we do every day? Life is busy, and many of us clean in survival mode.

What makes spring cleaning different than what we do every day? Life is busy, and many of us clean in survival mode. You know...throw the dirty dishes in the oven when someone calls and says they’ll be over in a few minutes! Unlike our everyday routine, spring cleaning gets into the dark places and corners we neglect the rest of the year. But with a job and/or kids and/or a life, how in the world can we make it happen?
Make a plan
Spring cleaning is not a spontaneous activity for most of us. It's going to take some planning. First, you need a list. It saves time and keeps you focused. Each room should have its own to-do list. My suggestion - start by checking out a few spring cleaning lists. Next, get a pencil and paper, stand in the middle of each room, slowly turn in a circle, look top to bottom, and make note of everything you want/need to accomplish. Use these observations to develop a plan.  Figure out when you can make this happen, start collecting supplies, and schedule a few workouts at the gym to build your stamina!
One room or one day?
There are two ways to spring clean - one room at a time or go all out for a day or two. If you know someone willing to trade kids (you know, you watch her kids this Saturday; she watches yours next week), a spring cleaning marathon might work best. Eight hours of cleaning without kids is worth a month of cleaning with kids. In fact, cleaning with kids is kind of like not cleaning at all! The other option is to clean one room at a time; it takes longer and requires more discipline, but you might have a better chance of still being sane when you finish.
Cleaning products
There are a ton of products on the market. Choose your favorites, ask a friend what they use, or experiment with more natural solutions. I recently discovered the wonders of vinegar, dish soap, and lemon juice in a spray bottle to make my bathroom & kitchen sparkle. (I’m also in love with my microfiber window polishing cloth!)

Consult Pinterest for Spring Cleaning Tips:
Stuck on grime? A stain you can’t get out? Do what I do when in doubt – search Pinterest! It’s full of spring cleaning tips and tricks, so consider collecting them on a board like this: http://pinterest.com/qcmomsblog/spring-cleaning/

Start cleaning
Don’t worry about any of the cleaning tasks you do on a regular basis. Focus, instead, on the areas that never get cleaned. Start at the top of the room (dust the crown molding and ceiling fans), and work your way down (vacuum, sweep, and mop last). Keep a laundry basket handy for anything that belongs somewhere else...do NOT allow yourself to get distracted by running from room to room to put stuff away. Create designated areas for garage sale treasures, donations, trash, and borrowed items. At the end of the day, force yourself to pack up everything, carry bags out to the car, and take out the garbage- or you run the risk of those bags sitting there until next spring!
Check it off as you go
One of the best spring cleaning tips can not only help you get organized, but help you feel accomplished. Make a to-do list and cross items off as they’re complete. Have kids old enough to help? Give each one a different colored highlighter (don't forget one for yourself!) and mark off tasks as they are completed. This makes for a colorful list and maybe even a friendly competition- who can finish the most jobs?

Depending on where you are in life, you may need to give yourself a break. If you don’t get your spring cleaning done this year, just remember- spring comes around every year. A thoroughly cleaned house can give you an amazing sense of accomplishment, but at the end of the day, happy families are more important than all the sparkly faucets in the world!

Contributor:  Skinnygirl® Cocktails Insider Camye Halvorson of quadcitymomsblog.com

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