How We Managed to Achieve a Happy and Frugal Spring Cleaning
After a long winter of being
cooped up indoors, it's a welcome relief to throw open the windows to a spring breeze. Unfortunately, that spring sunlight also revealed the amount of dust
and clutter than had built up during our so-called winter hibernation. Spring cleaning wasn't an option, it was a necessity! The kids and I used some
creative techniques to keep it in budget and make it fun.
Managing Cleaning Costs
Spring cleaning isn't cheap, unless you approach it with a plan. We used the following strategies to keep everything within budget:
· Dollar stores are home to a lot of great deals. Not only can you sometimes find quality cleaning chemicals there, they also stock cost effective tools. Sponges, scrub brushes, and mops were just a few of the things we found at a bargain.
· Don't overlook coupons and sales! We hunted for bargains all year, especially when cleaning supply coupons and sales were on. We found the best time for stocking up on deals was right after the back to school rush and again after the holidays.
· DIY options are often both inexpensive and more effective. My favorite all purpose cleaner is a mix of equal parts vinegar and water, with a drop of essential oil to take away the odor. This mix also works great for cleaning tile floors. Another favorite is baking soda. Use it plain or make a paste with water to scrub out toilet bowls or areas plagued by soap scum. You can even use plain baking soda to deodorize your carpet – simply sprinkle it on and then vacuum up both the soda and the smells.
Keeping It Organized
One of the biggest joys of spring cleaning is enjoying the perfectly organized home afterward. We used two strategies to get this done:
· We made sure everything had a place.
· We labeled that place to make sure it would always be put back properly.
The dollar store came to the rescue again when we started putting items away. Little bins, tins, and assorted storage containers ensured every drawer and shelf in our home was picture perfect.
Once done, I attacked everything with labels – stick-on labels in the pantry, pretty chalkboard labels in the spice cabinet, and even labeled tags for every cord coming off the computer desk. Even the linen closet and medicine cabinet is neatly labeled, so there's no reason for an item to be misplaced again.
Making It Fun
I know what you're thinking – sure, cleaning is pretty straight forward, but what about the fun? We managed this by cleaning as a family. There are few things more enjoyable in life than cranking up the tunes and dancing your way through an otherwise mundane chore. We even staged friendly competitions to see who would get done first, and then rewarded everyone daily with small treats. It's amazing at how clean a grade school boy can scrub the bathroom tile when he knows there is an ice cream cone awaiting him at the end!