Clear the Clutter with this Spring Clean Challenge (with printable checklist)!
It happens every year- the challenge of spring cleaning rears it’s (ugly?) head and if you’re like me, you feel both the urge to purge and the dread of the trying to tackle it all.
However, almost anything is more fun to do when you can make it a challenge or a game- so I’ve made this into one for you! I’ve got a printable spring cleaning checklist for you and I’ve divided it up over thirty days for our 30 Day Spring Cleaning Challenge- throw your email in the box below and I’ll send it to you!
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Starting with the most important: the Spring Clean Challenge for your heart.
I know most spring clean challenges are in reality a house cleaning challenge, and there is a lot about house cleaning in this challenge…but I didn’t want to start there.
First, let’s take stock of where we are personally- a spring clean challenge for the heart, if you will. Because it’s all well and good to spring clean your house, but if you are a mess inside…have you really done yourself or anyone around you any good?
So let’s take a look at spiritual spring cleaning and self-care spring cleaning!
Day 1: Spiritual Spring Cleaning
A spiritual spring cleaning will look differently for each person, so rather than give you a specific ritual to follow for this, I’ve created a list of things that might be helpful.
Step 1: Assess
In a spiritual spring cleaning, you want to take some time away (ideally alone, even though I know that’s hard to do with kids!) and really assess where you’re at in your heart. Do you feel lost, overwhelmed, disconnected? Do you feel stagnant and need to rekindle or renew your spiritual relationship? Or do you need to bravely take a next step of faith in some area?
Step 2: Commit
Commit to moving forward in your spiritual relationship. This will look different for everyone, but here are some suggestions for things to commit to as a part of your spiritual spring cleaning:
- Pray or journal
- Meditate on truth. Choose some theme verses or words and write them down and hang them up where you can see them! If you’d like, you can use these free Scripture cards I’ve made.
- Listen to truth (I love the Risen Motherhood Podcast!)
- Study spiritual truth in depth. I’m currently doing this study on Walking with God in the Season of Motherhood.
For myself, I believe firmly that faith is received by grace and cannot be a “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” type of thing, so I highly recommend reading Jesus’ words in the New Testament in the Bible and hearing what he had to say about our spirituality- it’s the best cleanse you will ever experience.
Day 2: Self-Care Spring Cleaning
I realize that this probably sounds weird to do a self-care spring clean, but here’s what I mean: while you’re decluttering your house and getting rid of and organizing your stuff- why not also take a few minutes and declutter and organize your routines to make sure you’ve got time for self-care?
Taking care of yourself will give you energy to do allllllllll the other things on this list, so it’s worth taking a day to think through what YOU need and how you can make that happen for yourself.
Side note: this may not look like bubble baths and chocolate. Self-care sometimes means arranging for a monthly date night, creating a routine to keep the kitchen clean, or scheduling your therapy appointments. Really take the time to think through what self-care is for YOU!
A Financial Spring Cleaning
Part of the point of spring cleaning is to reduce your stress, and what is one of the biggest stresses (often) in our lives? Money. So this is a perfect time to take a few minutes and do a financial spring cleaning!
Day 3: Organize your coins and cash
Most of us probably have some sort of coin/cash jar somewhere in our house. Today, take a moment to see what’s in those jars! It’s kind of fun to see what “extra” money you’ve got lying around!
The next step of the financial spring cleaning is to collect your cash from around the house/wallets/bags/stashes and see what you’ve got. It’s a good idea, if you can, to keep a couple hundred dollars in cash somewhere in your house in cash of an emergency. And if you know you need more cash for other activities (like the buying/selling we talk about in the 30 Day Saving Money Challenge), keep that cash around, too. Otherwise, take it to your bank and deposit it!
Day 4: Assess your budget and money goals
Getting your finances organized will save you soooo much stress! I’ve written a whole post with lots of tips on Saving Money and a course on Personal Finance, but here are a few basics to get you started:
1. Set up a budget.
Think of having a budget as an organization system for your money. It’s easier to live in your home when your house is tidy, and it’s easier to stress less about money when your money all knows where to go. I love YNAB (You Need a Budget) for it’s simplicity and ease of use, and how they focus on giving every dollar a job. It’s what I use when I teach my Personal Finance 101 class, and I highly recommend it if you need a place to start!
2. Set up savings goals.
Most of us have a list in our heads of things we want, whether or not we can afford them. So instead of having a wishy-washy “savings” account, why not decide when you want to have/do that thing you want, and set savings goals accordingly? If you want to have $1200 to spend at Christmas, you’ll need to set aside $100 from January to December. If you want to buy a $100 watch in 3 months, you’ll need to save $33.33 per month. You get the idea! Set up specific goals and you’re much more likely to meet them!
3. Assess your accounts and payment methods
While you’re doing this financial spring clean, do a quick check of your banking and your bill pay. Are you getting the best rates, or are there better rates elsewhere? Have you got your bill pay set up in the most efficient way to save you time and money?
The House Cleaning Part of the Spring Clean Challenge
In the next bit of our spring cleaning, I’m going to give you some basic steps to spring clean around the house! I love the feeling of things leaving the house for good and the lightness that comes from less STUFF! For the house cleaning part of our spring clean, there are two basic parts for every room:
Part 1: Spring Clean Decluttering
Go through every item in the room, either section by section or all at once, depending on your personality and preference. As you do, go through the following steps:
1. Throw out the trash!
That includes anything you don’t want or don’t want to deal with anymore, not just emptying the trash cans. Go through those junk drawers and closets and toy bins and clear out what really doesn’t need to be kept!
2. Sort out anything that you want to consign or sell into a pile or bin.
I make a decent amount of side cash each year selling items we no longer need (in a local Buy/Sell/Trade group). If you have the time and need the money, it’s worth a try!
3. Create a donate pile…
…and take a moment to pick a time and day where you will actually go and donate it. Otherwise that pile is just going to sit and take up space in your house or your car! Move it along so someone else can be using it.
Side note: another way to get rid of things (more time consuming, but perhaps more rewarding) is to join a Buy Nothing group on Facebook and offer up your items there. They’ll go to people who want them, and you may find some items for yourself on the group as well! It’s a great way to build community and save money.
4. Create a pile of things that need to be fixed or repaired.
If the repairs are quick- something needs new batteries or a screw tightened- do it now! Then for the rest, sit down with your calendar and pick times/ways to make that happen- or throw out/replace the items and be done. If it’s been sitting around for months waiting to be fixed….do you really need it?
Part 2: Spring Cleaning and Organizing
This will vary from room to room, but let’s assume in every room we spring clean we will need to do the following:
- Remove any decor or knickknacks that are in the way of cleaning.
- Wipe down all surfaces with an appropriate cleaner- windows, mirrors, fans, dressers, baseboards, chair railings, doorknobs, light switches, blinds…give them all a good wipe! This step can feel like it takes forever, so put on a good podcast or music or audiobook and knock it out!
- Wash any fabrics.
- Organize as necessary/put it all back.
Make sense? So rather than list “clean the toilet” I’m going to assume you know that when you get to the bathroom day, cleaning the toilets is a part of it because it would fall under Part 2 above. We’re moms- we do this stuff continually- so I’m going to assume you know to do the basic cleaning steps and I don’t need to list them all….because that would grow to a really long list (as we all know too well)!
Now that we’ve talked about the general steps for each room, let’s talk specifics for each area. Adjust these however you need to for your home, since of course I don’t know what your house looks like- but hopefully this will cover the basic ideas of each main area. I’ve given you multiple days for each area because especially if you’ve got littles- it’s going to take longer than one day!
Day 5-7: Main Living Areas
Go through the steps above, and don’t forget to purge the kids’ toys! Depending on how old they are, they may even want to help- or it may be better to do this step when they’re not around.
As you go through their toys, consider lessening the amount that is out at once- pick a bin to store somewhere accessible that you can rotate out when they get bored of the current ones!
Pro-tip: Having a bin in each main area that serves as a “catch all” for kids stuff can go a long way in keeping the rooms tidy and in getting kids involved in helping to clean up!
If you need to rearrange furniture or organize the areas a bit, now is a great time for that as well! And speaking of furniture- don’t forget to vacuum out the couch and chairs and wash any cushions. It’s also a great time to borrow or buy a steam cleaner and really get into those carpet stains (or maybe those are just at my house?).
Day 8-9: Spring Cleaning the Bedrooms
First up- clothes! Go through ALL of your clothes, including the ones in storage (kid’s stuff too!) and purge what doesn’t fit/isn’t worn. Switch out seasonal items and store things as needed.
And while you’re at it, throw all the sheets and bedspreads and pillowcases and drapes in the wash- it’ll make for a full day of laundry, but it’ll feel so good when it’s done!
Don’t forget to dust the high-up things like ceiling fans and lamps/lights. Tip: a lint roller (particularly the disposable kind) works GREAT to get the dust off of fabric lamps!
It’s mentioned in the decluttering list above to do this, but be sure and go through all the “stuff” on your dresser and in your drawers…you’ll feel so much lighter when there is more space and less things in your personal space!
Now is also a good time to rearrange or organize the kids’ rooms- purge some toys and add storage or shelves to adjust to their current season of interests.
Day 10-11: The Bathrooms
I’m always a little shocked when I go through my medicine cabinets at just how many things have expired…is that just me? So go through your medicines and make up and shampoo and soap and any other products you’ve got in the bathroom! If they are expired or you haven’t used it in months or years…let it goooooooooo! While you’re at it, make a list of anything that needs to be replaced or restocked.
Clean out or dispose of (and restock if needed) all your brushes- make up brushes, hair brushes, toothbrushes, etc.
Don’t forget to wash things like the bath mats and wipe down things like the baseboards and behind the toilet (ewwww)!
Day 12-13: The Laundry Room/Linen Closet
Time for slightly easier ones- the laundry room and linen closet. First, purge! Get rid of detergents or stain removers or towels you no longer need (do you really need 12 bath towels???).
Organize the items so you can find what you use the most. Restock the laundry room (stain removers, detergent, etc.). Wipe down the outside of the dryer and washer while in there, and run a bleach load and/or do your washing machine’s cleaning cycle to clean the inside as well. Washing machines can get especially gross!
Day 14-18: Spring Clean the Storage Areas
Whether your storage areas are closets, an attic, a basement, or a garage, it’s time to tackle the storage areas!
While you’re in there, switch out any seasonal items for the current season (and throw away the ones you don’t really want anymore!). Be ruthless as you purge the storage rooms….if you haven’t used it in years, you may not need it any more!
When in your closets, go through the cleaning supplies. Get rid of products you don’t use and make a list of needed products to purchase. Think about what products might do multiple jobs and allow you to have less cleaning products in your house, too!
If you need better ways to store things, now is a great time to look for organization options, too. It’s easier to keep things clean if you know where everything is and can get to it!
Day 19-22: The Kitchen
Dun dun dun….the kitchen. We spend so much of our lives in here, it’s an important room to get organized- but can also feel like a lot! On your kitchen spring cleaning days, I encourage you to be sure and go through every drawer and cabinet and decide if you really need/want that appliance or utensil…can a few things be replaced by one? Can you save space by putting seasonal items in storage? Organize lesser used items in the back and the commonly used ones up front- Pinterest has lots of creative solutions for small spaces as well!
In your wipe-down, go for a good scrub of your appliances and run your oven’s self-cleaning cycle as well. To clean your microwave easily, pour white vinegar in a bowl and microwave it for a couple of minutes- it should wipe down much easier!
It’s a good time to clean out your fridge and give it a good clean inside and out as well- and while you’re moving all that food, write down an inventory of what you’ve got so that you can more effectively meal plan! Here are some of my favorite tips for organizing your pantry and fridge.
Give your sink a good shine as well, and replace any sponges or brushes that are worn out (I love these scrubbers for not getting stinky or gross!).
Get down in the dishwasher and give it a good scrub, too…it turns my stomach what builds up in there!
Day 23-25: The Shelves
Ah, the shelves. Here’s one I personally need to do badly…we LOVE books in our house, and we’ve accumulated so many that our shelves are constantly overflowing! I need to go through and pull out the ones that are too young for my kids or that we just don’t read anymore- and this is the day for you to do the same! You don’t have to get rid of them- but storing them somewhere else and rotating them out can make the ones that are out more appealing.
Don’t forget any shelves that have CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, or other media, too. It’s a good time to undo the domino effect in your discs, too- you know where you put one disc in the wrong case and then do the same for the next one because that case is full….and eventually none of the are in the right place? Yep. Undo that.
Day 26-27: The Office/Desk
You may or may not have an official office or desk, but wherever your papers and any work stuff accumulate- we’ll call that your office. Just like you decluttered and purged items you no longer needed in the other rooms, do the same for your papers. Save the ones that are special (create an organized area/bin for them!), hold onto necessary receipts and tax documents, file papers that you need for later, and throw away or shred the rest!
I consider this step a great day to take a moment to organize your tasks and to do lists as well. Personally, I use the free app Trello and I LOVE it. I use it to organize my work tasks, “mommy” tasks, homeschooling tasks, goals…it’s a great way to keep things organized.
P.S. Want to learn how to organize your Mom Brain using Trello? Click here!
Day 28-29: Cleaning the Car and Outside
Clean out your car, and if you want to, give it a wash as well. With kids, our cars can get GROSS fast, so take the vacuum and some Lysol wipes to those floors and car seats. You may even find that sippy cup lid you’ve been missing forever!
While you’re in the car, clean out and wash the car seats- just make sure to do it properly. You can see instructions on how to clean your seat safely here.
And since you’re already outside, take a moment to pick up the yard- clear out the toys and throw away that broken wagon. Sweep the porch and blow off the driveway…make it look nice!
You could also throw some landscaping or gardening in here- or make plans for it.
Day 30: Screens and a Digital Spring Clean
Grab a screen-safe wipe and wipe down all your screens! Phones, tablets, computers, and keyboards, too! Then run any updates you’ve been avoiding on your devices…get them all up to speed! Don’t forget things like a GPS or other electronics in this as well.
Next, go through your apps and delete ones that are outdated or unused. Organize the ones you do have with the ones you use most being front and center. We’re on our phones a lot, so saving yourself a few steps every time you go to get on your favorite app is worth it!
Speaking of digital spring cleaning- it’s a good time to clean out that inbox! If you’re one who has let your inbox pile up and overwhelm you, sit down and knock it out. It’ll feel so nice to get to “0”! For some help with this, I use Unroll Me– it helps to keep down the number of emails I actually have to see and deal with each day.
You can also organize your emails with folders, rules, and forwarding to make sure it doesn’t become overwhelming again!
Finally, clean up your files themselves. Maybe you need to delete a bunch of old school papers on your computer, or maybe you need to offload some photos of your adorable child onto a hard drive to free up some space.
Wrapping up the Spring Clean Challenge
Whew! That was a lot! If you kept up and got that spring clean challenge completed in 30 days, give yourself a HUGE round of applause. And if it’s taking you more than 30 days…let’s be real, we’re moms, everything takes longer than we plan…then just keep on going.
Giving your life a good spring clean will refresh you and give you a great boost of motivation- it feels great to have everything clean, decluttered, and fresh! It takes time, but it will be worth it.
Want to give this Spring Clean Challenge a try? Download the checklist below and follow along to get it all done!
Enter your email below to receive the FREE 30 Day Spring Clean Challenge printable checklist!
Similar Posts to our Spring Cleaning Challenge:
- Spring Clean your meal planning with this simple how-to guide!
- Continue your financial spring cleaning with this 30 Day Saving Money Challenge
- Organize your family’s chores to make spring cleaning easier
- Spring clean your to-do list with this easy matrix and method
- Go in-depth with time management in our Time Management Strategies for Moms course!