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How To KonMari Your Whole House – A 10 Week Spring Cleaning Challenge For The Busy Mom
It’s Time For Some Spring Cleaning!
It’s spring and you know what that means?
Time to do some Spring Cleaning around here.
It’s out with the old and in with the new.
Or rather, just keeping what truly “sparks joy” as per The KonMari Method tells us.
Because let’s face it, less is more.
Why bring in more junk and clutter up our homes when we can spend more time enjoying our family and friends’ company instead?
Why 10 Weeks?
Ok, so why 10 Weeks, you may ask?
Because we are all busy doing all the things, C’est la vie (such is life).
Unless you have it in your budget to afford a maid who you can call in a jiffy to do a 3-4 hour deep clean on your house, you’re gonna be making do with “good enough for now.”
So I figure, a little bit of cleaning here and there is a lot better than an all or nothing kind of deal for most of us.
Small wins make me happy and I hope it does the same for you too. 🙂
10 Areas To Clean In 10 Weeks:
Some Helpful Printable Check Lists For You:
You can download my free printables including my Pantry Inventory List, Weekly Cleaning Checklist all available inside of my Resource Library, to help you get your house in order and up to snuff for when guests, i.e. your mother, show up out of the blue this season.
Just print it out, laminate it, and attached it to the inside door of your pantry.
Using a dry erase marker, you can easily check off all of the things you need to stay on top of your weekly menu planning.
You can also print that out from within my Resource Library as well.
Some Tips For Even Faster Cleaning:
- Print out the Weekly Cleaning Checklist and attach it to a clipboard with a pen or laminate it and use a dry-erase marker so that you can easily reuse it for future cleaning.
- Grab a timer, your smartphone timer will work well here too.
- And while you’re at it, grab yourself some earbuds too!
- You’ll be getting in a great work out session or a listen to that favorite podcast episode you’ve been meaning to catch up on.
- Now you can do it while you are tidying up your home for the Spring at the same time thus killing 2 birds with one stone!
- It’s a win-win! 😉
- Coral all of your cleaning supplies in a handy carrying tote/dorm caddy, the one that college kids use to carry all of their toiletries.
- They also work well for holding all of your household cleaning supplies as well.
- Or if you are lazy, like I am, just keep a tote of cleaning supplies in each of your bathrooms so that you don’t have to lug your cleaning caddy everywhere.
- That way, you can just carry the vacuum cleaner or cannister leaving your other hand free for the oddball list of things that your kids may surprise you with along the way, like stray pieces of legos. Ouch!
Contents of Cleaning Caddy:
If you need to create a cleaning caddy, make sure to include the following cleaning supplies inside.
- Pair of rubber/latex gloves
- All-Purpose Cleaner (my 2 favorites are Method Berry Blend for light cleaning & Clorox Bleach Spray for Heavy Duty Cleaning)
- Paper Towel Roll
- Glass Cleaner
- 1 utility brush
- Spare toothbrush (for cleaning only! lol)
- 2 cleaning rags (preferably dustless, 1 dry and 1 wet)
- Carpet deodorizer (I prefer to make my own with baking soda & essential oils, it’s 1 less to carry.)
- A container of Baking Soda
- Bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide
- Dawn dishwashing liquid (or any equivalent)
- A couple of melamine sponges like Mr. Clean Magic Erasers
- Toilet Bowl Cleaner
- Toilet Brush
- White Vinegar in a spray bottle
Here Is A Break-Down of Areas To Deep Clean Each Week of Our Spring Cleaning Challenge Together:
- Start with the sink, be sure to empty out the dishes and load the dishwasher up for a wash cycle or put away the clean dishes.
- Spray the stove & oven with oven cleaner and let it sit for about 10 minutes to loosen up the grime before scrubbing it and wipe it down well.
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, pour in 1/2 cup water & 1/2 cup of vinegar and cook on 1 minute to loosen the stains inside.
- Wipe up the inside of the microwave with a paper towel.
- Next, let’s spray down the entire insides of your oven with oven cleaner and let it sit for about 10 minutes to loosen up the grime before scrubbing it out and wipe it down well.
- While you’re waiting, clean the stove and backsplash with your all-purpose cleaner.
- Wipe down all surfaces from top to bottom (light fixtures to cabinets and then lastly, the floor) after a quick spray of all-purpose cleaner, be sure to wipe down all parts of the chairs too.
- Let’s not forget the often neglected tops of our kitchen cabinets and give that a good wipe down as well!
- Repeat these steps for the dining room as well.
- Remember to clean from top to bottom that way you are letting all the dust fall instead of just floating around in the air.
- Now let’s tackle the pantry, and empty out everything onto your countertops and give all those shelves and corners a good wipe down.
- Clean all of the nooks and crannies that you’ve neglected for months and really get in there with your wet rag or paper towel.
- Be ruthless with it, toss out old expired foods, and make 2 piles for each shelf.
- Sort your 2 piles by type and expiration date.
- You can use your handy dandy free printable Pantry Inventory List to help you keep track of everything inside your pantry and keep it organized by sticking it on the inside of your pantry door.
- Now let’s give the fridge and the freezer some love too!
- Empty everything out of the fridge & freezer and toss out the rest of your old expired foods.
- Spray down that mystery puddle in the corner of your fridge or freezer and give it a good scrub to get rid of that stain.
- Once it looks sparkling clean again, place all of the food that you will be keeping to eat in the near future back inside your fridge and freezer making sure to label each item with the description and expiration date or best by date outside of its container.
- Begin by squirting the toilet bowl with cleaner and letting in steep for about 10 minutes.
- Spray the surrounding area (walls, floors, & entire toilet) with bathroom cleaner.
- Scrub well and wipe up.
2. The Sink-
- Declutter your countertop surfaces and ruthlessly purge expired items & items you no longer use.
- Spray bathroom cleaner onto your countertops, fixtures, cabinets, vanity area.
- Spray your mirrors and glass surfaces with glass cleaner.
- Wipe down your surfaces, mirrors, & glass thoroughly with a paper towel.
3. The Tub & Shower-
- Turn on the water in your tub and shower and wet the surrounding areas inside.
- Give your tub and shower area a good squirt of bathroom cleaner and let it sit for about 10 minutes to loosen up all the soap scum.
- Rinse well with water
4. The Ceiling & Fan-
- Using a step ladder extendable duster, dust the surrounding ceiling, walls, and corners to let the dust fall to the ground.
- While you’re up there, give your ceiling fan a good wipe down with a paper towel & a spray of all-purpose cleaner.
5. The Light Fixtures-
- Use plenty of paper towels & all-purpose cleaning spray or a wet rag for this since it is one of the most neglected items that we tend to forget to clean.
- Spray your sconces or light fixtures and light switch and wipe them down with a damp rag or paper towel.
6. The Bath Rugs-
- Remove all bathroom rugs and mats and place them in another room, for now, to clear everything off the bathroom floor.
- Check to see if they are washable in your washer and dryer if so, throw them in the washer for your weekly cleaning routine.
7. The Floor & Doors-
- Mop your bathroom floor with the soapy solution, scrubbing the floor evenly across your bathroom.
- Remember to wipe down the baseboards as well as any floor vents.
- Last but not least, wipe down each door and doorknob with a wet rag.
1. From Top to Bottom:
- Dust ceiling & 4 corners
- Dust & Wipe walls
- Open up the drapes & let light in
- Open windows for fresh air (weather permitting)
- Spray the drapes with room deodorizer or your favorite air freshener
- Declutter surfaces
- Dust & wipe the tops of furniture with furniture polish
- Spray & Wipe mirrors and glass surfaces with glass cleaner
- Remove your bedding & pillowcases & throw it in the washer on heavy duty cycle
- Flip your mattress and vacuum it with your handheld or canister
- Change your bedding & pillowcases
- Make your bed (You deserve it, I promise! 🙂
-fluff your pillows
-tuck in the bedding, sheets, covers, and blankets
-arrange in odd or even number of pillows symmetrically
-artfully drape a cozy blanket over the foot of your bed
- Pick up all the things off the floors and place them back where they belong.
- Sprinkle carpet deodorizer on your rug or carpet and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Vacuum the entire room even the area under your bed and furniture.
- Vacuum yourself out of the room.
- If you have a hard surface floor, mop it with a gentle floor cleaner like Swiffer or Bona.
4. The Finishing Touches: (my favorite part)
- Choose your favorite flower put in a vase by your nightstand.
- Only 1 stem will do, if its an ornate flower, like an orchid.
- Remember, a little goes a long way.
- Choose your favorite photo and display it on your nightstand
- Choose some of your favorite artwork and display it on your wall.
- Purge & donate or throw out:
- Get rid of everything that does not belong in your living room. Do you really need 8 remote controllers for the one TV that we own? Maybe not, time to toss those controllers.
- Imagine coming home after a long day of running errands to finally sit down and enjoy a show on Netflix with your hubby only to discover that you’ve just sat on that one weird doll your daughter was looking for all week. She seems to be perfectly content now, not caring where its been. So you justify that now is the perfect time to donate it to another little girl who will treasure it even more.
- Recycle, Reduce, & Reuse
– That shoe box that you were going to throw out is the perfect size to place inside your cabinet. Ever thought of covering it in a pretty wrapping paper and reuse it as a pretty storage bin?
– All those magazines are gathering dust in the basket next to the couch. If they haven’t been read in a while, how about donating them to your local library instead?
– Those drapes do look nice, but maybe they’d look much better in your room as a contrasting color rather than be all matchy matchy in your living room with your wallpaper? :/
- A place for everything:
– Decide whether or not you love this item.
-Is it sentimental to you? If not, toss or donate it.
– Otherwise, it is going to be taking up precious real estate in your home.
-Only keep items that are important to you, not your Great Aunt Gertrude (sorry Gertie, not gonna babysit your urn :/ ).
- And everything in its place:
-Now that you’ve trimmed the fat and made the decision to just keep only the MVP’s (most valued pieces), let’s find a place for them to be proudly displayed.
-Storage pieces can serve both as form and function.
-These can be pretty matching storage bins, wicker baskets, or even old shoe boxes that are covered with pretty wrapping paper
-Just be sure the items you are hanging onto fits into the storage piece and add a nice sized label to storage piece so that you can tell at a glance what is stored inside.
3. Tidy Up
– From top to bottom, from up in the corners of the walls to the bottoms of the baseboards so that the dusts falls to the floors.
– Tip: use an extendable dusting wand to get those tough to reach areas like the chandelier, ceiling fans, and high placed air vents.
– Wipe down all surfaces with all-purpose cleaner and a dustless rag or paper towel.
– Use glass cleaner for glass and ceramic surfaces
– Use furniture polish for wooden pieces of furniture
– Sprinkle some carpet deodorizer onto your carpets, rugs, and couches.
– Spray your drapes/curtains with Febreeze or a similar odor eliminator and vacuum it with a hand held vacuum cleaner.
– Vacuum every surface that you’ve sprinkled with deodorizer and vacuum yourself out of your living room
– This will leave those nice looking carpet lines and it’s yours to enjoy! 🙂
Wash, Dry, & Fluff
– Gather up your throw blankets, toss pillows, stuffed animals, and anything else that can be laundered in the washing machine and wash as directed.
– Dry everything as directed and put them back into their designated areas.
– Fold your blankets, fluff your toss pillows, and store your stuffed animals where they will be ready for your kids to cuddle and play next time.
4. Maintenance Mode
- Now that you’ve done everything on this checklist up to this point, all there is left to do is to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
- The next time that you need to straighten out your living room before your guests arrive, just set a time for 15 minutes & repeat these 4 steps weekly or as necessary.
- Take everything out of your hall closet, hall tree, hooks, hangers & bins.
- Let’s get rid of all of those balled up clumps of paper, receipts, business cards, random menus that we carry around in our bags and coats.
- Come on, you know what I’m talking about.
- Check your coat pockets and your bags, I’ll wait…
- Ah! So you’ve found them! Yep, I knew it, me too!
- Ok, toss them all! (recycle, reduce, reuse or donate them to GoodWill)
- Not that you ever needed it, but I just gave you permission to pitch them all out. 🙂
- Now, doesn’t that make you feel lighter, easier to breathe perhaps?
- Great! Let’s keep going!
- Next, we’re going to wash and dry our seasonal coats, jackets, hats, scarves, mittens, etc. before we put them away for the season.
- Now will be a good time to check your boots and shoes too.
- Give them a good wash and brush them off with a medium bristled brush to get rid of the mud and snow from last season.
- After they are thoroughly dry, sprinkle them baking soda or foot deodorizing powder before you put them away for next fall and winter.
- Now I know you’ve got a huge mess on your hands, but don’t worry because that’s what we want.
- Now we are going to keep the things you truly want and store them nicely in a pretty bin, basket, or box.
- Brownie points if you are able to find clear containers to store your goodies inside.
- If not, don’t worry, you can improvise by covering some empty cardboard boxes with your favorite paper or fabric and label them with your favorite sticker.
- Stack them up with the heaviest items at the bottom and the lightest on top.
- Similarly, you want to put tall items in the back, where you can easily spot them.
- Now put the short items in the front where you can easily grab them.
- I will assume that you are short on time, like I am, otherwise baking a batch of your favorite cookies is a good way to welcome your guests.
- Everyone loves the smell of freshly baked cookies and a fresh pot of coffee brewing to go along with it.
- But again, we may be short on time to prep, so let’s grab your favorite candle and light it up.
- If you do not have a candle ready, try peeling some oranges from the fridge or spray your favorite scent of perfume by the vent or the inside of your drapes.
- Just a couple spritz every few feet or so will go a long way.
- Your guests will think you’re always this clean! 😉 haha! shhhh!
- One final step left to do and it is the most important
- And it is to relax and enjoy yourself.
- People remember how well they are treated.
- So if you are relaxed and comfortable, so too will be your guests
Keep Only The Necessities:
Now that we can see what we have to work with, let’s make a list of things to replace.
- a comfy chair (get a good one that you’ll actually enjoy, otherwise you’ll be wasting your hard earned money)
2. a handful of pens and pencils with erasers that can actually fit in 1 cup
3. papers arranged neatly by size, color, order of importance (however you’d like)
4. If you simply insist on keeping those tax returns from 1998, let’s back that up and save it in a cloud storage of some kind so that you don’t have to deal with the paper clutter.
5. ample natural light & a well-lit work area (a study lamp, overhead lighting, etc.for when you have to work late into the wee hours)
6. a pair of headphones/earbuds to help you focus on your tasks whenever your kids are around
7. spray can of air to clean around your computer/laptop/keyboard
Step 1- Make a wish list:
After you’ve decluttered and removed the unnecessary items, make a wish list of what you want to do within that particular space in your home.
Step 2- Consult the wise wizards of Pinterest:
Look at Pinterest for ideas & inspiration on creating functional storage areas & save those pins to help you bring your vision to life
Step 3- Map out & Create Zones:
Using graph paper with grid lines, make a rough sketch of the layout of your space and label where your furniture, storage pieces, and contents will go inside of each area in your drawing.
The purpose of doing this is to give you a physical visualization of placement so that you can easily execute according to what you have already planned out on paper thus eliminating confusion and wasting time with indecision.
Step 4- Create a budget to keep you from overspending:
Nothing puts on a damper on a project quite like going way overboard on your budget and throwing your bank account way out of wack in the process.
This can be avoided by planning ahead and creating a sinking fund to start saving for your space remodeling project.
You can also download a FREE DIY Project Planning CheckList to help you stay within your budget too, just scroll to the bottom to get your copy.
Step 5- Recycle Reduce Reuse:
This is my favorite because it is free!
Re-purpose the items that you already have to save yourself some money
Example: That chair that you thought looked great in your bedroom now seems clunky and out of place.
Why not bring it into your new space and give it a whole new purpose with a throw pillow and a cozy quilt draped over top for an inviting feel?
Step 6- Think outside the box, literally and figuratively:
Example: A side table can have a multi-functional purpose because it can be used as a storage basket and a stool hence saving you space and money!
Step 7- No doors? No Problem:
Create some privacy with curtains, movable room dividers, or just use 2 tall shelves and face them opposite of one another and then anchor them into the floor or the ceiling for safe measure.
Step 8- Go Neutral:
Keep a neutral palette for furnishings so that you can easily swap them out and interchange them in any room for a more cohesive look that ties it all together.
Just accessorize with various colors of artwork, pillows, blankets, and plants which costs way less than your furnishings.
Step 9- Hosting overnight guests often?
A futon couch that folds out into a bed is the perfect solution for that.
Step 10- Check places like Ikea for affordable storage pieces that won’t break the bank.
However, if you’re still low on funds, be sure to check out the “Free” section in your local CraigsList ad, FB Marketplace, & also freecycle.org.
Step 1- Park Outside & Remove Everything:
Take everything out of your garage so that you will be able to see everything that was crammed inside & take inventory of all of the things you currently own.
Step 2- Purge & DeClutter:
Now that you’ve removed everything, you are going to decide whether to sell, toss, or donate any unwanted items you have stored inside of your garage.
Step 3- Sort and Label By Type:
Once you‘ve pared everything down to the bare bones, corral them and keep all of the like items together to make them easier for you and your family to be able to locate those specific items later on. For instance, you want to sort your things by; Lawn & Garden, Sports Equipment, Outdoor Toys, Paint, Tools, bikes, etc.
Step 4- Determine Your Garage Layout:
Grab a pad of graph paper and a pencil and sketch it out so that you have a visual template that allows you to make use of all of the potential “hidden spaces” in your garage that can be smartly used for storing things. Start thinking like those smart people from Ikea who love to maximize the hidden spaces in your home.
Ask yourself these questions:
Do you have high ceilings?
Consider adding storage overhead to store seasonal items like that Christmas tree, & save floor space for things that you use often.
Can I hang that on my wall to save floor space?
Make the most of those 4 walls by using shelving units and wall organizing storage systems like a pegboard, hooks, & wall shelves to store your tools, rakes, shovels, etc.
What about all of those bikes?
Bikes can take up a lot of space. Thankfully they are not too heavy, so you can easily mount them each on a heavy duty hook and hang them on an equally heavy duty pole that’s screwed into your garage wall stud for durability.
Step 5- A Place For Everything & Everything In Its Place:
Separate your garage into different zones based on the things you’ll be keeping and find a spot for everything you are going to kee. Store it into its own designated area with its own labeled storage containers. If you want to store things out of sight, try using tall skinny cabinets for things like loppers & weed whackers. Otherwise, consider using shorter cabinets for smaller tools like wrenches, hammers, bungee cords, etc.
Step 6- KISS (keep it super simple):
Make it easy to see & sort so that even your kids (or your husband) can tell without a shadow of a doubt what to do with their water toy after they are done playing with it without being told by you to clean up every single time! Set them and yourself up for success and your garage will be put back in order the way you’ve always wanted.
Step 7- Less is more:
The less you have, the easier it will be to maintain and keep track of. Reuse the items you already own to store things inside your garage. Got a popcorn tin for Christmas? Toss that stale old popcorn, wash out the tin, dry it, and reuse it to store those outdoor toys for your kids instead. If you think the Xmas print is just too tacky, just spray paint it in your favorite color and label it for a new purpose. Oai la! Instant organization for free! Also, congrats to you for saving the planet and your sanity in the process! 😉
Alright girlfriend, great job!
We are going to call it quits for our Spring Cleaning Challenge today.
Be sure to check back each week as we tackle the rest of your Spring Cleaning together.
Ta ta for now! 😉