Spring Cleaning Made Easy – 5 Easy Tips For Success


Spring is here! Well, according to our beautiful Arizona weather, Spring has technically been here for months. But according to the CALENDAR, spring is almost officially here. Many mom minds start turning to spring cleaning. Today we are going to talk about clutter.

Ah, clutter. The constant battle we moms face. And let’s face it, no one with kids (or a husband) is going to have a clutter-free home. Really, do we even want that? A home should look lived in. That said, making a few habits to keep your clutter to a minimum can help de-clutter your mind as well! It really does feel nice to walk into a clean kitchen, even if it is just once a day for a few minutes.

With that in mind, here are a few tips to try to get the stuff under control. These are things I try to do, they won’t work for everyone’s lifestyle. But maybe you can bring one or two of these ideas into your home.

spring cleaning1. Be ruthless with purging. One thing I have learned from moving as much as we do is it makes moving so much easier if you don’t have so much “stuff”. By this I mean, try not to keep things around you don’t actually use. We are all guilty of it. I know every time we move, we purge and purge extra stuff and still, once we are settled in to the new house, get comfortable and kind of take a break from the purging. And we all have our “things”-mine happen to be books, nail polish, jewelry, makeup.. I sometimes can’t stop myself from buying more of these things, even though technically I don’t “need” it. One thing I do to keep this madness to a minimum is allow myself a certain space for these things and I am not allowed to move beyond that. For example, I have a shoebox for nail polish (OK, two shoeboxes.. I have to organize the colors, OK?) and I don’t allow myself to let this collection grow beyond that. Recently I made a small promise to myself that if I read the books I own on my “to be read list” (and don’t buy any more), I can buy a Kindle. Hey, that will also decrease my clutter! Win!

Toys are hard to deal with. Honestly, I don’t have much advice. Again, I try to give my daughter a space for her toys and that’s all the space she gets. Sometimes I will bag some of them up and put them in the garage and if she doesn’t ask for them for a month, off they go. I also ask her to donate toys at least twice a year (around her birthday and Christmas). It’s good to get the kids involved in this process too. But, yeah, toys are hard.

When going through your stuff, ask yourself “Do I need it? Do I use it? Does it bring me joy?” If the answer is no, someone else might need it or use it; consider passing it on.

2. Go through your mail as soon as you bring it in the house. I once heard from a personal organizer that mail is the Achille’s heel of many people when it comes to clutter. I think the key is to not let it pile up to the point where it becomes overwhelming. So, only pick up your mail at a time when you have time to go through it. Then go through it and put it where it belongs. In this house it’s usually one of four places: recycling bin, magazine rack, desk drawer (for bills that need to be paid), or shredder. Done! Doesn’t your kitchen counter look cleaner now? By the way, I would also extend this rule to the kids’ backpacks and folders. Go through them. Right away.

3. Don’t put it down, put it away. I don’t remember where I first heard this phrase, but it definitely changed my mindset when it comes to clutter. I tell my family this too. I am sure this is one of those phrases my daughter will remember later: “My mom always said..” Really, though, it’s simple to remember and makes so much sense if you put it into play.

4.  One item in, one item out. Another little saying popular among the declutters of the world. Not one (-ahem-) I always live by; Mama does need more than one pair of shoes after all. But a good thing to remember, nonetheless.

5. Start small, one area at a time, 10 minutes a day. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was your clutter free house. And maybe it will never be “clutter free”. But think about a zone in your house that could use some help. Set a timer and start there. When the timer goes off, you are done. Consider it a work in progress.

And with that, I am off to clean my kitchen. Happy Spring!

How do you keep clutter down at your house? What tips do you have for other moms who are fighting this constant battle? Let us know in the comments!

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Eileen has been married to her husband, Eric, an Air Force officer, since 1998. A pharmacist by trade, she worked that gig for ten years until her promotion to full time stay-at-home mom in 2009. Eileen and Eric have one daughter, Little E, who is a feisty little girl obsessed with Octonauts. As a military family, they move every 3-4 years, most recently from Southern Virginia to Arizona. They have lived in the Phoenix area since July 2012 and love the southwest! Hopefully they have found their “forever” home. Eileen’s passions and hobbies include photography, reading, travel, cooking, doing creative projects with her daughter, hiking and working out. She can often be found sipping a latte at Starbucks, looking for the next great read at Barnes and Noble, or browsing Ulta for the latest beauty find.


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