Here we are: summer has ended and we’re gearing up for fall. So, why is it that I feel the need to do spring cleaning now? Could it be because, now that the children are in school, some items will just “happen” to disappear into the ever-growing donation box? Could it be that I just love the fall and I want all that extra summer clutter out of my living room and family room so I can begin decorating? I’ll have to say “yes” on both counts.
In our house, a new season means out with the old and in with the new. Well, not new, but beloved decor that makes its appearance every year. Bright vibrant flowers begin to fade away as the golden hues of fall begin to surface. I can see it now: pumpkins and scarecrows will begin making an appearance any day. The aroma of apple cinnamon candles will begin to fill air.
But first, I sit wondering which cleaning project I should tackle first. I do a quick overview of each room, and on the surface things don’t seem so bad. Then I notice a corner of clutter here and there. The piles aren’t high YET, but there are way too many stacks of clutter neatly placed on tables, under tables, on a hope chest, near a hutch, and the list goes on. Then I realize that one corner has my husband’s Scout stuff, another corner has my daughter’s music books and sheet music, the other corner has containers filled with what looks like fifty pounds of Legos stacked on top of one another. I guess I should be grateful that at least my family has decided to be organized clutter-bugs. It seems everyone had a designated corner of clutter that hopefully mom wouldn’t see because it was in a neat pile. Unfortunately for me, and lucky for them, I didn’t see it this summer because we were having too much fun. But now, with the quiet of the house surrounding me, I have the opportunity to take stock and see what kind of deep cleaning needs to be done now that summer has turned to fall.
After inspecting the house, I noticed a few things that could use some TLC. The only problem is, I don’t want to hog all the joy of cleaning and I don’t want to keep everyone else from enjoying it too. So, I think I’ll share they joy of cleaning with my family this season. Aside from everyone putting their clutter piles away before they go to bed, I’ve come up with a new way for my family to deep clean each week, Monday through Friday. We will focus on one room or one section of the house and accomplish a little bit of cleaning every day. For example, one day everyone will clean the baseboards in the front half of the house and with four of us doing the same task we should be done in thirty minutes or less. The goal is to give the whole house a good deep cleaning and finish it in one month. If our family can give up thirty minutes a day to help deep clean the house we should be in good shape in one month.
I’m hoping that with this new plan, we’ll actually get to have some family fun time on the weekends. No more driving ourselves crazy on Saturday morning because we’d rather be at the park instead of cleaning. No more wishing we were at the movies or the beach. Now, we’ll actually have our weekends back and we’ll be able to have time for all the fun things we want to do.
Although it’s not fun to clean and cart in boxes full of fall decor, I’m at least grateful that as the seasons change, I have a subtle reminder to give our home a little TLC. It’s a great time to make sure our house is clean, and with my family’s help, it will be easy to get it done…before I start unpacking the Christmas decorations.
QUESTION: How do you handle deep cleaning? Do you do it all at once, or a little at a time? Does your family help? (Or, do you just not do it? We don’t mind!)
CHALLENGE: If you rotate your decorations seasonally, try to use that time to deep clean and de-clutter.
Image from Michael G. Taylor at flickr.com.
Article originally posted on September 23, 2011.