Sunday, April 1, 2018

Cut the Clutter: 5 Tips for Spring Cleaning with a Big Family

spring cleaning tips
The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and the temperatures are warming up. You know what that means-- spring is here! Now is the time to go through your home to cut the clutter. Let's face it, when raising a big family, you have a lot of stuff that needs to go; however, it can seem like a monumental task. In fact, it will likely take a couple of days to complete. To make the challenge a bit easier and to save some money in the process, there are some simple tips to use when eliminating your home of unnecessary junk.


1. Hand-Me-Downs 

I always start with the kids' rooms. Why? Because I know they are going to need new clothes because someone was bound to have grown a few sizes over the last couple of months. Plus, they are often the hardest areas to clean. Although I tend to avoid entering the disaster zones at all costs, I am willing to step on a few Lego's and Barbie shoes to get the job done.

Start by having your kids go through their toy boxes and bookshelves to get rid of things that they have not played with within the last six months. As they pull the stuff out, I sort through them to look for things that the younger kids might still find useful. Everything else gets sorted into things to sell, stuff to toss in the trash, or items to be donated.

I move on to the closets and pull everything out in one enormous pile. I sort through them to look for the old ratty clothes that need to be tossed and the ones that they have outgrown. If they are still in good condition, they get passed down to a younger child. If there are any remaining clothes that are still in good condition, I either donate them to a friend or sell them online. You can then use the money you made from the sales to help pay for the new clothes to get them through the summer months.

2. Get Reinforcements

When there are a lot of people in your home, there is a lot of stuff that needs to be cleaned to get spring-ready. I tend to be a person who likes to do things myself, but when it comes to spring cleaning, I will take all the help I can get. If you get your children involved, it will save so much time while also teaching teamwork.

Generally, an older child gets paired with a younger one and they are assigned a room or task. They will work together to get it done. Honestly, there is quite a bit of bickering, but in the end, they both feel accomplished for working together to finish the job faster.

As an example of how it works in our home, one set of kids will be assigned a room, like the living room. The older child will be responsible for running the vacuum and disinfecting, while the younger will help with the dusting or cleaning the baseboards.

3. Turn on Some Music

You know that cleaning the house is going to take a long time...a really long time. So, why not have fun while you do it? We take turns picking songs and artists to listen to and turn the music up louder than our neighbors probably prefer. It makes time go by faster while also giving us family time as we dance and sing through the chores.

4. Reward the Work

No one likes doing chores, especially kids. To give them something to look forward to after all their hard work, have a fun reward in mind. I tend to have a couple planned. Halfway through the day, we will have milkshakes or ice cream cones. At the end of the day, it is usually something to spend time together as a family, like laying out on the trampoline looking at the stars or a movie night with popcorn and goodies.

5. Stay on Top of It

After you have taken the time to rid your home of all the unnecessary clutter, do not let it pile up again. I know, this is easier said than done, but if you stay on top of it, you will help to create a stress-free and clean home for your family. Plus, there will be less Lego's to step on throughout the day.

Are you ready to start your spring cleaning? Let's hear your best tips in the comments section!

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