That time of year when people like to couple the word Spring with the word cleaning.
Not my favorite combination, I admit.
I much prefer duos like milk and cookies or bed and breakfast.
But there is another duo that plagues our homes year round and that is kids and messes. Those two go hand in hand.
Whether they are painting the walls with their own dirty diaper, or dumping out those super-organized-Ikea-bins, or shaking out a sand-box-filled shoe on the carpet – if you have kids, there will be mess.
If you are a grandma, I hear you. I hear you telling me not to worry about the mess. That they are only young for a short season. To embrace the mess and confidently declare that my children are making memories. Yes, I hear you. I even blogged about that HERE.
But the truth is, I like a little bit of order.
I kind of break out in a rash if things get overly cluttered with too many piles of mail/laundry/un-emptied lunchboxes/half-eaten bananas/Matchbox cars taking over every surface in our home.
It is hard to make a good memory when those kinds of messes build up. Because I am pretty sure that the memories my kids are making are those of me hyperventilating while sitting in the middle of a Lego explosion.
So here are the 5 things I do to COPE in the midst of the mess.
And they take no more than 5 minutes – total!
These 5 little tricks won’t help you if you have a ring around your bathtub or cobwebs in your chandelier, but they will make your home feel a little more like you can live in it without having a panic attack.
You can call it Spring Cleaning for Dummies. Or Fake Cleaning. Or Sanity Saving Steps to Somewhat Order.
Whatever you call it, I hope these simple ideas will inspire you to have your spring and your clean too!
This is usually where I begin.
If I am completely overwhelmed by the mess in a room, I make the bed.
This immediately helps me feel enough better about everything else (dust, piles, iron that I never use) that I can move on to another task.
I tend to throw things in closets to forget they exist, so when the doors are open, it can make a room feel a whole lot worse than it is.
Take 2 seconds to slide the doors closed and breathe a sigh of relief.
I think whoever first said, “Out of sight, out of mind,” closed a closet door before that zinger fell off their lips.
The same is true for shower curtains.
Every time I give the boys a bath I wonder if their bath toys are procreating in there at night because they just keep multiplying! The little toy basket I bought doesn’t fit them all anymore and it takes way too long to clean them up at the end of the bath when all I want to do is get the monkeys toweled off and in bed.
So we close the curtain and carry on until the next bath.
I must do this about 6,735 times a day.
But it makes the whole room feel company ready (even if when said company sits down they find Cheerios and all manner of unidentifiable crumbs under their toes. And possibly an old snot rag stuffed down in between the cushions).
There comes a day about every 6 weeks where I start feeling a little claustrophobic about what’s happening on our fridge door.
The Happy Buddy seems to think that every single piece of art he creates (including the half-hazard scribbles and unending trail of worksheets from school) are fridge worthy.
I am always secretly throwing his things away and then piling other trash on top because he has discovered one too many times his work in the garbage and then looked at me with accusing eyes and said, “Mommy! Why are you throwing away all of my beautiful things?”
Because Mommy is about to lose her marbles, maybe????
No, actually, I try to say in a bright voice, “Because now we can start over with new artwork, my little Picasso!”
And then we repeat the same scenario 6 weeks later.
So, there you go! Close up your computer or put down your phone and try these 5 simple tips and you will be feeling like a million bucks.
Until the kids decide to have a pillow fight while playing elevator in the closets.
In that case, my only spring cleaning tip for you is to…
Go eat a piece of chocolate and spray everything with Febreze.
Happy Fake Spring Cleaning! :-)