5 Spring Cleaning Tips for Busy Families

Posted on Mar 13 2013 - 11:04am by Susan Bewley

As anyone in my family knows, I am not a big fan of cleaning. While I love the thought of living in a clean, organized house, that has sometimes felt like a dream. In reality, my house is organized chaos. Things have been worse than usual since we moved back to Kentucky – some rooms are still covered in boxes, while others are really just organized piles.

Now that spring is right around the corner, I've decided it is time to get organized and make this house look like a home! I'm starting the cleaning, and my husband is starting to work on some of those house projects that need some extra time and attention. While some people hate spring cleaning – I see it as a chance to make things look new and cheery after the dreariness of winter. To help make spring cleaning a bit easier for you, I included 5 Spring Cleaning Tips that have made cleaning easier for my family!

Spring Cleaning Tip 1: Make A List

If there is one thing that really helps me when it comes to spring cleaning, it's starting by making a list. Out of all my spring cleaning tips, this is the one that probably shocks people the least that know anything about me. I make lists for just about everything – ranging from grocery lists to daily to dos.

When my husband and I start our cleaning, I write everything down on my dry erase board that we hope to accomplish that weekend. Once we get everything down, we then prioritize things that must happen that weekend, and things that can be put off if we run out of time. In my opinion, nothing is better than erasing something and seeing how much you have accomplished with your cleaning!



Spring Cleaning Tip 2: Organize

While I value my list, I think this is the most important on my 5 spring cleaning tips list. By organizing items in the home, you are more likely to keep it that way, since there will be some a feeling of importance that things make it back to their original home. While this is a very time consuming step, it is the most important if you truly hope to keep everything organized and cleaned after you finished your spring cleaning, rather than just looking good for a little while.

Spring Cleaning Tip 3: Toss, Sell, & Donate

As I said in my recent article about getting rid of old electronics – we are pack rats. We have not just electronics laying around, but old movies, clothes, and some boxes that haven't even been touched since we were in our first apartment together. Rather than keeping these boxes and old things piling up in closets collecting dust, it may be time to go through them.  If there is no reason to keep them, you may want to consider getting rid of those items.

While your old college homework probably won't draw interet, another person may very well be interested in those old clothes you are never going to wear again, or those DVDs you are sick of watching. Once you throw away the unusable items, I recommend putting your old things in one of two piles – one for donations, the other, items you can sell. While we all know about donating our clothes and old stuffed animals, relatively few people realize there is a significant market for old DVDs, electronics, and games. To get the most money for these items, I recommend going to a site like Music Magpie where you can turn these items into cash. Who knew that getting rid of clutter could turn into some extra money for spring DIY projects?

Spring Cleaning Tip 4: Delegate

This spring cleaning tip is something I learned from both of our mothers.  With both of us having come from large families, there is one thing we learned to do very well – delegate! Both of our mothers were masters at dividing up cleaning chores and making sure everything got done as quickly and efficiently as possible. When Demelza was still living with us, we did the same – dividing up chores between three of us and making sure that chores went to those who were best suited for each task. My husband sometimes has to remind me to do this and give him some responsibility when it comes to cleaning or I will stress myself out trying to do everything myself. By delegating chores between you and other members of your family, you will be more productive and efficient with your cleaning.

Spring Cleaning Tip 5 :One Room at a Time

I'll be the first to admit it, when it comes to cleaning, I'm bad about biting off more than I can chew. This is one of those spring cleaning tips that I still need to master myself. I am terrible about trying to go from room to room getting things done – only to find I got nothing done except stress! Rather than try focusing on different rooms at once, focus your attention on one room and don't worry about messes in other rooms until that one is finished. Believe me, that mess will still be there when you're finished. I find it best to focus on one room a day and call it quits after that room is finished. Obviously some days will be busier than others with your spring cleaning, but it makes it more manageable and easier for busy families like ours!


Susan Bewley is a professional writer who has been writing content online & in print format for over 10 years. As well, she is an alumni of the University of Louisville with a Masters Degree in Special Education. When not working as an online business consultant or ghost writing, she can be found writing on Budget Earth, on her own novel, or working with various entities in the pet industry.

56 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. tami s March 13, 2013 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    Never thought about making a list.  That would be a good idea to make sure you get everything done tha you wanted to get done

    • Susan Bewley March 13, 2013 at 1:04 pm - Reply

      I agree! It also makes your day seem so much productive when you get it finished!

  2. Michele March 13, 2013 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    One room at a time is the hardest to stick too

  3. Alaina Bullock March 13, 2013 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    Wow, I sure needed this!  Our poor apartment is in dire need of a Spring Cleaning, although we just moved in! There are still so many boxes to unpack….Great tips to make it easier and more organized!

    • Susan Bewley March 13, 2013 at 1:50 pm - Reply

      I know all about that! We are still living out of boxes in some rooms! You don’t even want to see our love seat filled with laundry!

  4. Suzi Satterfield March 13, 2013 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    Ah, the list.  I love them, but my husband dreads the "honey-do" list.  It means his weekend gets less relaxing.

    • Susan Bewley March 13, 2013 at 1:50 pm - Reply

      Oh yes, my husband dreads when the words ‘cleaning’ become part of the weekend!

  5. Jenn March 13, 2013 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    Those are great suggestions! I definitely need to start making a list!

  6. Tara March 13, 2013 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    I agree with Michele.  I have the hardest time stinking to one room.  I take something from this room back to where it goes, then I find something in that room to do, etc etc.  Feels like nothing gets done!  But we do delegate with the 3 kids because there is definitely things that they can do πŸ™‚

    • Susan Bewley March 13, 2013 at 1:49 pm - Reply

      Its the hardest thing for me too, but I have had to force myself to do it. Granted, it was Daniel’s idea. Leave it to an engineer to be logical! LOL!

  7. Amanda Greene-Lebeck March 13, 2013 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    Thanks a bunch for the spring cleaning tips.  When it comes to that we need all the help we can get.  I start on one thing then move around to other things that need to be worked on, so no one thing ever gets completely done.  I am going to do just as you suggested and I will update on how it went πŸ™‚

    • Susan Bewley March 13, 2013 at 5:54 pm - Reply

      Please do! I know this system works well for us!

  8. Susan Alban March 13, 2013 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    I make lists, I delegate, I plan on doing one room at a time.. somehow I end up doing too many things and more than one room at a time! Thanks for the great tips

    • Susan Bewley March 14, 2013 at 10:57 am - Reply

      The one room at a time thing is the hardest for me. I really want to deal with each mess I see. It usually leads to nothing being done.

  9. Makoy Guevara March 14, 2013 at 12:09 am - Reply

    great list

  10. HD March 14, 2013 at 2:28 am - Reply

    I agree with your system. It has always worked for us.

  11. Jennifer March 15, 2013 at 5:29 am - Reply

    The hardest thing for me is to get the mindset that if I haven't used something in a very long while that I should get rid of it….I tend to keep things 'just in case' πŸ™‚

  12. Lenora D March 15, 2013 at 8:21 am - Reply

    Great list.  I'm doing better at involving my kids so that they are a little more prepared for being on their own. 

  13. John Ruiz March 16, 2013 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    Making a list is easier than ever thanks to smartphone apps. Any.do and ColorNote user here πŸ™‚

  14. Wendy Pence March 17, 2013 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    Great tips. Thank you!

  15. Rinkesh March 19, 2013 at 12:49 am - Reply

    Great tips. The best one is 'Delegate' which I normally do. The more you can do is to involve your wife and kids to do some household work. πŸ™‚

  16. Shan March 20, 2013 at 9:45 am - Reply

    Nice tips! I've been consistently weeding out, organizing and selling for several months. I go through and create piles to sell and donate and keep a trash bag for trash (of course, I take out all recycleable items) Recently, I went through my "clothes to sell" and donated anything that hasn't sold.


    LOVE spring cleaning and I love the organizing!

    • Susan Bewley March 20, 2013 at 11:17 am - Reply

      I realy need to do more in our own house and it’s frustrating how slow it can be. We are still opening boxes from our move in October. I can’t believe how much stuff we have.

  17. Cortney M Walls March 20, 2013 at 10:30 am - Reply

    These are really great tips. For some reason I always try to clean more than one room at once, and thn I get so overwhelmed and stressed out. I am going to make a point of sticking with one room at a time this year for spring cleaning!!

  18. lisa March 20, 2013 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    We women didn't make the mess on our own. Give everynody a task to do. Above and beyond any allowance they may earn. This'll teach team work.

    • Susan Bewley March 20, 2013 at 10:27 pm - Reply

      I 100% agree. In my family everyone had a chore, including little ones. As you got older, your list grew or you ‘outgrew’ chores.

  19. Sarah B March 20, 2013 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    I live by my lists.  I have a couple.  Small obtainable tasks. But then a big list for the bigger projects like painting the basement.

  20. Donna George March 20, 2013 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    I have so many cords from electronics. I don't even know what they go to! I need to get rid of them. Donate is the way to go.

  21. candess phillips March 20, 2013 at 9:47 pm - Reply

    This list (list lover!) is practical current knowledge.  Spring cleaning with an eco-friendly theme is the best.  Those old electronics don't need to be land fill any more!  Repurposing and giving away items.  Almost everything can be discarded in an enviromentaly sound way.

    • Susan Bewley March 20, 2013 at 10:26 pm - Reply

      Exactly! I am very big into recycling, donating, or making money off old things in some cases πŸ™‚

  22. Sunnymay March 21, 2013 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    Start at the doorway of a room and work clockwise.

  23. Nataly Carbonell March 21, 2013 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    Our backyard is a disaster right now. I'd really consider #5 I tend to try to clean evry room at a time, which isn't helping at all, I get overoad and never end

  24. Becky Richied March 21, 2013 at 9:28 pm - Reply

    I think number 5 is my favorite one room at a time. It is so very easy to get off task and feel like nothing is being accomplished when the whole house is a focus versus one room at a time.

    • Susan Bewley March 22, 2013 at 8:30 am - Reply

      It sounds so simple but most of us don’t do it! I think as women it’s very hard for us to focus on just one mess at a time!

  25. Ashley Chassereau Parks March 21, 2013 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    Great list!  I really need to show this to my hubby, especially cleaning tip #3!  Maybe I can convince him to help me clean out and have a yard sale!  πŸ™‚

    • Susan Bewley March 22, 2013 at 8:30 am - Reply

      I love yard sales ^^ A great way to make money off old stuff. The best is when you can convince your whole street to do it together and share in advertising costs.

  26. Nicole Strunk March 22, 2013 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    I am preparing for spring cleaning. We had a garage sale last weekend and got rid of a lot. As I spring clean I will go through everything again (and some forgotten areas) and start another garage sale pile for June. I like the list idea, it is especially good since I only really have Saturdays to clean the entire house and get all the laundry done. I am going to do one room at a time and my house should be totally "Spring Cleaned" by end of April, just in time to start over again. LOL

  27. Karen Glatt March 23, 2013 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    One Spring Cleaning that I hate is cleaning out the refrigerators. I am doing that this weekend. I probably will do this on Saturday and Sunday. For Spring cleaning I usually do two rooms a week and get so many of the closets organized. The closets always get so messy from the winter.  Thanks for your tips!

    • Susan Bewley March 23, 2013 at 1:02 pm - Reply

      Ugh…cleaning out the fridge is always a pain. I really need to do it but dreading it, especially since we did a Sams Club trip last night!

  28. margaret peg m March 23, 2013 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    thank you for the tips, especially what to do with unwanted stuff…trying to sell some of it is a great idea, then do something special w/ the money.

  29. Tara Berke Torres March 30, 2013 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    I have a hard time getting side-tracked.  Also, I get a little too "perfectionist" on parts of the room, and I can't get the whole room cleaned because I'm busy detailing one part of it. πŸ™

  30. julie March 30, 2013 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    The one room at a time is a great tip! I'm going to use these ideas for spring cleaning:) Thanks!


    jmatek AT wi DOT rr DOT com

  31. Amanda Williams April 1, 2013 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    I love your spring cleaning tips. I carry three boxes in each room that I do. One for recycle, one for throw away, and one for storage. I have a small trash can in each room so I can easily throw away papers and such. With 5 kids, we can knock it out pretty quick after the initial whining. I always offer my stuff that I am giving away on Freecycle.org. There is one in almost every city and it is a grassroot community through yahoo groups. The point is to keep things out of the dump/ landfills and give them to people who can actually use them. Thank you for sharing the other tips. I think a list will cut down on the whining about what is next or are we done yet!

  32. Shamara Catama April 2, 2013 at 7:18 am - Reply

    What a great list! I will have to keep this handy for my spring cleaning 

  33. carissa joslyn April 15, 2013 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    I for one ALWAYS do one room at a time.
    I started to do this, but i need warm weather to be in the mood..it snowed here the other day!
    well also be donating a lot of stuff!
    great article, though! πŸ™‚

  34. Cassandra Smith April 22, 2013 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    I love the toss, sale and donate tip…we have just picked this up around our house because I used to be such a pacrat!

  35. L. Ehrman April 23, 2013 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    This is a great list.  I like the delegate point.  When your kids can help, give them a chore.  When everyone works together, it gets done so much faster.  The kids are also not as messy, when they have to help clean up!

  36. md kennedy April 27, 2013 at 8:50 am - Reply

    My tip: in each room, work from the top down: after taking care of the clutter, start by dusting the crown moldings, and work your way down to the baseboards and then the floors.  And I, too, do it room by room – much more satisfying and motivating to keep going once you have a room completely finished.

  37. md kennedy May 8, 2013 at 12:29 am - Reply

    I also like to operate from the "top down" rule : always start the cleaning in each room from the top (dusting ceiling corners and moldings), finishing with the floors.

  38. kathy j May 19, 2013 at 12:37 am - Reply

    I to am not a big fan of having to clean. Great tips! Now I just need to find the time to put your advice into play! πŸ™‚

  39. Maria Iemma May 27, 2013 at 10:21 am - Reply

    We have finished our Spring cleaning just in time for Memorial Day. It took a while but everything looks good and the whole family pitched in so now we can relax and play for the summer.

  40. Rachel N June 20, 2013 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    I like the one room at a time way.  It's the only way I don't get overwhelmed.

  41. Lisa F. July 27, 2013 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    I wish I had someone to delegate to! Unfortunately, it all falls on me. Of course, that makes me lazy about it, too.

  42. Sarah B July 31, 2013 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    I don't know what I would do without a list.  No matter how many times I put dust on there, I can't seem to get the dusting done.  I just hate dusting.

  43. Ianna @ Carpet Cleaning Canberra September 8, 2014 at 10:52 pm - Reply

    These are great tips of yours and you’re right you have to be organized first especially on the task to perform to make it easier and manageable.

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