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Playful Self-Discipline: Spring Cleaning

It’s Thursday and time to check in on my Playful Self-Discipline Project! March’s theme is Organization, and so far I’ve written about making my bed every day (a success so far!) and setting priorities with my time. Today’s topic is spring cleaning, because here in Vancouver at least, it’s spring!

Cleaning is definitely something that I’ve had to work much harder at accepting, practicing and streamlining since I became a mother. In my pre-baby days, my approach to cleaning was sort of along the slash-and-burn approach. I’d let things pile up and pile up until I was grossed out and then I’d attack it all in a flurry of deep-cleaning. Nowadays I haven’t got the luxury of the big chunks of time required to approach housekeeping this way, and even if I did, I’d rather do other things in those big chunks of time. Things that really need focus and concentration, like reading and writing. If at all possible, I want to get the cleaning done during the day.

Spring Cleaning One Small Step at a Time

Spring cleaning usually involves the bigger, more involved jobs like sorting out closet spaces, cleaning the oven, dealing with the drifts of paper and clutter or doing those really awkward and time consuming tasks like rolling up rugs and cleaning the floor underneath. Have this work done professionally, get a quote and let the amazing house cleaning team do it for you. Despite the obvious benefit of doing these things without a toddler underfoot, I’m still aiming to get them done during the time I have during my day with the girls. It’s not my ideal situation, and if I was able to send them off to the Aquarium with grandma for a day or two I would probably prefer to do that, but since our extended family lives out of town and my hubby is working long hours at the moment, I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got.

This means doing my big cleaning piecemeal style.

One day this week I took everything out of the tea and chocolate cupboard and washed it out thoroughly. The rest of the cupboards still need to be done, but the dirtiest one has been cleaned and I’ll get to the others soon. I scrubbed down the windowsill beside the stove with baking soda and water. The stove still needs to be pulled out and cleaned behind, but I ran out of time. That job will get done soon too. If you need help with dirty carpets, professional house cleaners will help you get rid of all the dirt, gunk, stains, and grime piling up deep in your carpet fibers.

Today I pulled out all the bags of toys that had been culled from the regular rotation and stashed away in the storage room to be sorted another day. Their day had come. I was feeling kind of mopey and lazy due to being stuffed up and sick, but I said to myself, “No backing out of this one! I’ve got to write about spring cleaning with playful self-discipline today!” And so I sorted through it, allowed the girls to keep a small handful of toys they fell in love with all over again, and drove the rest down to the thrift store immediately.

And lo, it was good.

What’s your approach to spring cleaning? Do you clean while your kids are around or wait until you can clean in uninterrupted peace?

If you are a tenant and if you are planning to leave the property check out end of tenancy cleaning checklist, and you can leave the property without any mess.

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  • Rachael March 18, 2011, 12:13 pm

    I’ve been inspired to make my bed every day! (Well, also it’s part of a mindfulness practice I’ve taken up as a part of my training.) It really makes a difference!

    Also, I tend to let the dishes pile up in the sink during the day. Washing the dishes is really my husband’s responsibility. But I’m finding that washing just a few at a time two or three times a day really helps both of us out. It keeps the kitchen neat for making dinner in the evening and cuts a lot of time from his evening dishwashing.

    I take care of clutter piecemeal, and we also vacuum piecemeal. Also, it’s how I’m trying to catch up with keeping track of our finances. But we don’t have a regular cleaning routine, let alone a spring cleaning method! Now that our apartment is getting more tidy and organized, I really want to find ways to clean it regularly, too. Given our schedules, I’m actually contemplating hiring someone to help out periodically with the kitchen and bathroom.

    BTW, do you read the blog Small Notebook? Her “homekeeping” tips are super useful, and she seems to take an approach similar to what you are describing here.

  • Andrej March 22, 2011, 3:12 pm

    Its still a bit early here for spring cleaning, still a little cold. But i guess i can start inside the house:P Better to do that and develop my self discipline than to watch TV :)