How Many Days Will Your Spring Cleaning Take?

woman in black long sleeve shirt holding white and yellow plastic bottle

If ever there were a time to organize your spring cleaning, It’s NOW. The March equinox happened 3/13 at about a half-hour before noon EST: the official start for spring. Online spring cleaning task lists started re-appearing well ahead of that inaugural moment, however—many began populating the web in early February. Rather than just revisiting any of those checklists, this year it might be more interesting to take a step back to consider a more holistic approach to preparing for the annual effort:

First – if the oven has a self-cleaning cycle, try using it, following the manufacturer’s directions. These may include removing the racks and catch-pans and using a soapy cloth or scouring pad to reduce thick spills. Also, be sure the kitchen is well-ventilated before you begin.

Second — pick an appropriate corner to serve as a ‘donation space’—and let everyone in the house know where it is. Into that area will go all the excess things that have accumulated through the years (sweaters, VHS tapes, board games no longer in use, lamps that never found the right place to be plugged in, etc.). At the conclusion of spring cleaning, they’ll go to a worthy local charity.

Third — pick the end date for this year’s spring cleaning. Count the Number of Days from now until then.

Fourth — Do a quick survey to determine the Number of Rooms that need attention. Divide the Number of Rooms by the Number of Days. That will determine how many rooms have to be addressed per day.

Fifth — Designate room responsibilities among household members. Adopt enlightened management techniques: if you get dirty looks or eye rolls as you distribute room responsibilities, make sure some ownership is distributed, too. When the feeling of accomplishment is part of the bargain, spring cleaning becomes less of an ordeal.

Sixth — Relax. Await the end of spring cleaning, when you will drive to the designated charity to donate the excess things.

If you are wondering why the oven-cleaning item was first on the list, that is because it’s psychologically pleasing to dispense with a spring cleaning item with the press of a button—especially for one of the most unpleasant (and smelliest) of spring cleaning jobs.