How to Start Cleaning Without Crying

Pull back the curtains and open those windows — spring is finally here! But before you head outside to enjoy the warm weather, you might want to brush off the dust and smudges that have built up over the winter.

We know you’re not excited about donning those rubber gloves—who wants to spend a sunny day deep cleaning a house, anyway?

If the thought of cleaning is just making more streaks (mascara streaks, that is), you know it’s time to change your approach. While spring cleaning is pretty much the worst thing ever, these tips can help turn that feeling of despair into a glimmer of hope. So dry your eyes, Mom! You, too, can achieve a clean home without dissolving into tears.

  1. Have a Dance Party

Don’t even think about picking up a spray bottle until you’ve cranked up your favorite tunes in the background. It’s an obvious tip, but one that makes all the difference. Turn on something that lifts your spirits and gets your blood pumping, then take that vacuum for a twirl around your own personal dance floor.

  1. Set a Deadline

Spring cleaning a house can easily take over an entire day, but does it have to? If jamming through the ordeal in one intense cleaning session sounds better than tackling various tasks throughout a week, then more power to you. But setting a start and end time will help you stayed focused and efficient and maintain a positive attitude. Set a deadline to get it done and stick to it.

  1. Claim Your Reward

You know that sticker chart you made for your toddler when it was potty-training time? There’s a reason it worked! Reward for yourself with something special after a day of cleaning. If you know a fresh manicure, a delicious chocolate milkshake or a relaxing massage will give you the motivation to get that oven cleaned as fast as possible.

  1. Purge and Merge

I don’t know about you, but spring cleaning equates to purging at my house. It’s a great time to assess belongings, minimize dust collectors and improve the efficiency of your storage systems. Tackle a closet or area at a time, ensuring that everything in there still suits and serves your family’s life.

  1. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

You know those people you live with, the ones who ground those Cheerios into the carpet and smeared toothpaste into the grooves on the bathroom cabinets? Unless you made the mess all by yourself, your team should be spring cleaning along with you. Send your husband outside to clean windows. Assign baseboards to the kids—they’re closer to the ground anyway. Even toddlers can help by wiping dust from low bookshelves or throwing things away.

  1. Find the Silver Lining

Spring cleaning means attacking parts of your house that usually get neglected during regular day-to-day cleaning. That’s part of the motivation: knowing that your house will be totally free of ick. Embrace the novelty tasks of cleaning like de-greasing the dreaded oven, sealing the granite countertops and vacuuming the drapes. Even the dishwasher and washing machine need a good cleaning! Using fun tools like furniture gliders and Magic Erasers make cleaning sessions a cinch.

Spring cleaning is not the most fun part of the season, but it doesn’t have to be awful. Setting the space for fun and approaching it in a good mood can help a ton.

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