It’s March in Michigan and we’re having a gorgeous pre-Spring! We recently crossed over to daylight saving time (which is always met with mixed reviews) and while the dark mornings are not my favorite, the bright evenings are a reminder of all things summer! I even have the windows open. Inhale. Exhale. Ahhhh!
It’s this time of day when the sun pokes through the long afternoon shadows drawing attention to what you thought were your perfectly clean surfaces. Ugh, there is dust everywhere! And sure as the sun, it’s time for some Spring Cleaning! We put out two checklists in our 2020 Spring Chaos Survival Kit to tackle both indoor and outdoor Spring cleaning endeavors.
The indoor list: The Spring Cleaning Checklist addresses 8 areas to reduce your Spring chaos.
1. Laundry – specifically, the management of Spring sports uniforms. Whether you have t-ballers, soccer stars, elite travel athletes or another varietal, you know the pain of uniform upkeep. Our best advice is wine. No, kidding. There’s a better plan. Keep a copy of the schedule in the laundry room – post it where you and your athlete can see it and hold each other accountable. Next to each game, note which uniform they are wearing if you cater to a multi-uniform sport. Each game night, after the game is called for darkness and you concede to going out for post-game ice cream in April even though it is 47 degrees because you rationalize that you haven’t yet fed your family dinner and ice cream falls under the umbrella of a major food group, strip your kids to their skivvies and toss the jerseys into the laundry immediately. Take the whites and pre-soak overnight with oxiclean or other stain remover. Then, first thing in the morning, wash those whites (why sports uniforms involve white is beyond this mama.) Whatever you do, stay ahead of it. And on the days when you have to pull the dirty uniform out of the laundry basket because it didn’t get washed, throw it in the dryer for five minutes with a damp towel and a few drops of essential oil and it will be Good. As. New . . . because that’s grace!
2. Mudroom – We recommend tackling the mudroom at each season change. In Michigan, each season warrants a full change-over of footwear and outerwear. For Spring, launder the heavy coats and stored elsewhere. I store the kids’ coats in their closets and the adult coats in the front entry closet (since mama’s closet is at capacity). Move boots out as well. Make room for the cleats and other sporting equipment so the kids can stay organized for the grab-n-go when they have a quick turnaround between school and sports.
3. Closets – Flip all clothes closets to Spring. In Michigan, this means storing heavy sweaters and such. If you don’t physically move them out of your closet, rearrange your closet so that the things you wear most often are in your line of sight. Also, consider taking this time to reorganize your closet. Here is a great step-by-step article from thespruce.com to accomplish just that. Alternatively, consider joining our May declutter challenge in The Grace Experiment where we’ll tackle this very task together!
4. Junk Drawer – Quite simply, this is a quarterly necessity. We challenge you to rid yourself of anything with “junk” in the title, but we can appreciate that some households depend on this like a member of the family – that’s grace. So, if you’re not ready to take that deep dive and part with the junk drawer altogether, at least give it a seasonal refresh. The key to cleaning the junk drawer is taking EVERYTHING out of it. Pick up a drawer organizer or silverware tray from the dollar store to keep things a bit more tidy. Decide what has to stay and what can go (likely to the trash). Then, put what remains away in an orderly fashion. You’ll be surprised by how fast you can get this done. My money is on under 7 minutes.
5. Bedding – Spring is a great time to wash bedding . . . mind you, it shouldn’t be the only time . . . but if you live in a place with multiple seasons warranting multiple levels of bedding, take this opportunity to wash and pack up the “Winter” comforter, heating blanket and flannel sheets and pull out the Spring spread. While you’re Spring Cleaning, you might consider flipping and/or rotating your mattress if it is recommended.
6. Windows – I have my windows cleaned twice a year by Spotless Window Cleaning and every single time, I’m amazed by the difference it makes. A-mazed! Cleaning the inside of the windows and the window treatments is one thing but tackling the outside is a J-O-B. Certainly, there are products designed to do just that, but unless you’re good with heights and ladders, consider hiring this done.
7. Outdoor Spring Clean-Up – This is another thing we hire-done. It seems like it runs us about $125 and saves these black thumbs hours of stress. That said, if you love to work in your yard and plant flowers, etc., I’m not here to stop you. If you don’t know where to begin, thespruce.com has yet another great article for you that includes a yard clean-up checklist.
8. Pantry: Declutter & Stock With Grab & Go Snacks – Did you ever watch that show Quantum Leap in the nineties? That is how I think of Spring with kids. You blink and you’re in the car then blink again and you’re suddenly on the sideline of yet another game. Do yourself a favor and get your pantry in order for this busy season. Stock it with ingredients for quick and easy meals and grab & go snacks so you’re never caught having to figure out what your kids will eat in the car from one activity to the next.
The Outdoor Maintenance Spring Checklist is more detailed and technical. I’m handing that one over to my husband. Nevertheless, it’s a great idea to get ahead of things like cleaning the gutters and the HVAC system and to revisit fire safety. If you haven’t already, be sure to download this checklist and start tackling it over the next few months. Remember to consider hiring it done if necessary.
You’ve got this Mama! Set yourself up for a happy Spring and remember to sprinkle in the grace as needed! Leave a comment below with your feedback on these checklists and if you have a different approach, please share the love!
I would love to hear what your ideas for good grab and go snacks/small meals are for your kids?