Tuesday, April 17, 2012

TIPsters: Spring Cleaning

Maybe you are like me.  Maybe to be inspired to clean, you need a source of motivation.  My biggest motivation to clean is knowing guests are coming over.  This spring we've had friends or family into our home about once a week so I've been motivated to go beyond the normal swishing toilets and sweeping the crumbs from under the table. 

my mother-in-law's birthday party

It's not that I think my house must be perfect to welcome guests or that I keep a dirty house when I'm not expecting guests.  It's just that I see my house through different eyes when I know someone is coming over.  I notice the pile of mail that has been sitting on the counter for a week.  I notice the fingerprints (and dog nose prints) on the sliding glass door.  I see the dirt that has accumulated on the windowsill and the dust that is gathered around the edges of the TV screen. 

our homeschool co-op group during Show and Tell

Another thing that motivates me is the cleaning itself.  When I begin to clean, I get inspired to keep cleaning.  Once I clean one area, I see another area that needs to be cleaned.  While I'm sweeping the laundry room, I notice the cobwebs in the corners and then I see the grit that has accumulated under the front edge of the hamper.  I've even been known to vacuum out the crevices of my dryer vent even though  (I hope) my company will never open my dryer door!  Sometimes all I need to do to motivate myself is simply push to take the first step. 
crafting with friends

I try not to let clutter accumulate during the year so my spring cleaning does not include major re-organizing or clean-out projects, but sprucing up my home for guests usually inspires me to do things like straighten the silverware drawer or wash and put away the winter coats or soak the build-up off of the soap dishes.  A little cleaning here and there prevents spring cleaning from being overwhelming or defeating. 

visiting with the granddog

But what if you've gotten to the point where there is a lot of clutter or dirt build-up and cleaning is overwhelming?    Start small.  Pick the most lived-in area and pick up everything off of the floor.  Having a clear space to walk can also clear the mind and help you concentrate on your task.  Now do a quick dusting of the furniture.  Then sweep or vacuum the floor.  This may be enough...or maybe you will be inspired to keep moving.  Maybe you can wash the windows or clean out the magazine basket or vacuum between the sofa cushions.  Tackle each room in your house in the same methodical way and don't get discouraged if it takes awhile to see results.  As you finish each room, light a candle.  For me, the pleasant scent signals clean.

two cousins, two dolls
I think it is important to note that there is a time and season for everything.  The first few weeks or months postpartum is not the time to do a deep clean (though you can still welcome guests in your home).  Sometimes a  particularly busy season of life makes doing anything beyond the basics impossible...and there is not need or benefit to beat yourself up about it.  So what if the laundry sits in the basket for a week?  There are more important things to be concerned with, and do you think your guests really care if your coffee table is dusty?   They are in your home to be with you, not admire your housekeeping skills! 

pizza and conversation
Are you up for the challenge of inviting someone into your home?  Whether it be for dinner or dessert or simply to play...whether it be a large Bible study group or another family or one friend...try opening your home to others and see if it motivates you to spring clean with company eyes.

As always...
take a moment to visit my fellow T.I.P.sters,
and Christy

Coming Soon:

May 1: Reflecting on the Past School Year
May 15: Summer Learning Plans
June 5: Feeding Picky Eaters
June 19: Television Viewing (What to Watch and How Often)
July 3: Quick and Easy Summer Meals
July 17: Taking Family Photos
August 7: Schooling Kids of Different Ages
August 21: Teaching Kids to Read

Want to write a guest post on one of these topics? 
Leave a comment or e-mail me and I'll tell you how to get started. 


  1. oh, yes. Nothing motivates cleaning like company does! I love all your suggestions and I promise never to look inside your dryer :) I also love that the little cousin's dolls look like them.

    I've added your post to my new TIPsters Pinterest board.

  2. Totally! I'm having some ladies over next week so can you guess what I've been doing? Cleaning things I normally forget about!


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