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Oregon Family Magazine

Spring Cleaning Family Style

04/02/2021 10:23PM ● By Jan Pierce
Spring is a time of renewal and fresh starts and it’s a tradition in many homes to do a thorough spring cleaning. Historically the long, dark months of winter also came with soot and grime from fires, candles, kerosene and other alternatives to today’s electricity for heat and light. Still, we long for a clean sweep of clutter and dirt. 

Since every member of your family enjoys the benefits of living in a comfortable home, they also have the responsibility to help keep their home in good shape. Why not enlist everyone to get into the act—do a family-style spring cleaning. It might even be fun.

Here is a list of typical cleaning and organizing tasks needed in most homes. You’ll want to tailor your project to the specific needs of your family. And, don’t forget to include some fun times in this family project too. Plan a favorite easy dinner, a picnic, and add a movie or game night to celebrate when the tasks are done.

Tasks to do in a thorough spring cleaning project:

1)    Reorganize closets. This is a good time to clear out old clothing, shoes, and general junk that is no longer needed. Putting down a washable liner on shelving is also a nice touch and will help to keep the shelving clean in the future.

2)    Go through bathroom cupboards to dispose of old or expired medications. Declutter and reorganize drawers.

3)     Clean the kitchen cupboards and sanitize the refrigerator. Throw out expired food items and purge excess storage containers.

4)    Go through living and dining areas to dispose of clutter. Clean and vacuum carpets. Replace frayed area rugs.

5)    Check the batteries in smoke alarms and be sure that fire extinguishers are in working condition. Replace light bulbs in lamps and fixtures.

6)    Wash bedding including mattress pads and see if new mattresses or pillows are needed. Clean flooring or carpets of bedrooms and bathrooms.

7)    Clean or vacuum draperies or curtains throughout the home.

8)    As you clean, make a list of any repairs or replacement items that need to be addressed in the future.

In times past, spring cleaning meant pulling up carpeting, taking it outdoors to air and be beaten clean, then retacking it to flooring. The dust and accumulation of dirt and grime was cleaned away, including washing walls and woodwork. It was a big job, but a satisfying one.

While we may not need to pull up carpeting or wash walls, a brisk day of family cleaning will lift everyone’s spirits, and as you celebrate with pizza and a good family movie, it will feel like a “job well done.”

Jan Pierce, M.Ed., is a freelance writer specializing in family life, education and parenting. She is the author of Homegrown Readers and Homegrown Family Fun. Find Jan at www.janpierce.net