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If you can’t quite find the motivation to join in on the annual chore that is spring cleaning, blogger Stacy Myers is right there with you. As a mother of three, Stacy explains in this TODAY.com essay why spring cleaning isn’t for her — and how she manages to keep her home clean without it.
I’m coming out of the cleaning closet. Are you ready for this? Much to my mama’s dismay, I don’t do spring cleaning.
Yes, I know — your eyes are bugging out of your head. I’m keeping it real.
My goal in our home is to make sure we don’t live in a dump. At this stage of my life, with three little children and a messy dog, good enough has become good enough for me. When I’m 93, I won’t look back and say, “Well honey, I sure do wish I had spring cleaned our house in 2015. I really missed out. Shoot.”
Sometimes I’m getting four hours of sleep at night, so I’ll be honest: The last thing on my mind is getting down on my knees to clean the corners of the bathroom using a toothbrush or moving all the furniture out so that I can vacuum behind it. (What you can’t see won’t hurt you.)
In all stages of life, I’m trying to learn to give thanks — even when I’m cleaning up pee off the kitchen floor or answering “How do you know?” 5.6 million times per day.
Some days are hard. Some days my “spring cleaning” consists of vacuuming up crackers every hour. Some days I want to pull my hair out, but then I change my mind because I really don’t want to clean that up either.
I am not supermom. Considering I just yelled at my 5-year-old because she spilled coffee all over my day planner, I feel like a failure most of the time. But I refuse to feel like a failure because I don’t spring clean. What mom needs more guilt? Let’s kick it out.
Now, all that was not to say we live in a pig pen. Yes, I do feel like I fight a losing battle with dust bunnies and grass all over the kitchen floor. Sometimes my son brings me handfuls of dust bunnies and says,“Here, Mama.” Then he just goes back to playing with his tractors. Dust is a fact of life.
I do my best to keep our home maintained instead of doing a deep clean once per year. To me, it makes more sense to make sure things are picked up regularly than to live in a big dump and just clean periodically. I’m the type of person that would become SO overwhelmed at a project that large that I just wouldn’t do it. I’d sell my home and move instead.
So what’s my secret? How do I live in a reasonably clean home without spring cleaning? Lists. I use cleaning lists every single day. They’ve saved my sanity on multiple occasions. Not only can I get things done this way, but when the husband comes home and wants to know what we did that day, I can actually tell him instead of scratching my head and saying “Uh, what time is it and why are you home already?”
I don’t do something every day because life happens. But I figure if I work myself through the list weekly, our house is still getting cleaned.
So, that’s my secret. No big revelation, huh? Also, as I clean I’m teaching my children to do the same, so as they grow older, cleaning the house with me will become part of their chores.
Disclaimer: If you spring clean, that’s cool. I don’t hate you. My mom spring cleans, and she’s my best friend. I’m not pointing fingers, because when I do, there are three more pointing back at me.