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7 Simple Spring Cleaning Tips for Busy Families

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What is it about spring that makes us want to dive in and purge our closets? It could be something in our hard-wiring, like an echo of that New Year’s resolution spirit. Or it could be the promise of that springtime sunshine on our face that gets us up and moving.

Either way, spring provides a great opportunity for you to make some serious headway on your organizing and decluttering goals. The trouble for most families, mine included, is that life is busy. The idea of squeezing in spring cleaning can be a real challenge; however, it isn’t impossible.

That’s why we’ve assembled seven simple (keyword “simple”) spring cleaning tips specifically for busy families like yours.

Keeping it Simple: Spring Cleaning Tips for Families on the Go

1. Mark it on everyone’s calendar.

Good intentions don’t always go very far in a busy house. If you’re serious about redoing your office files or sorting the garage, then set the appointment officially. Mark it on your calendar, but don’t stop there. I know Apple users can sync their calendar app with other family members. Therefore, if you mark next Saturday as a “family spring cleaning day” and add everyone else when you create the event, they’ll receive reminders and can prioritize that timeframe too.

2. Tackle one category at a time.

If you’ve researched Marie Kondo’s methods for tidying up, they’re very simple, and yet, families all across America are getting results.

Rather than cleaning one room at a time, choose a category to sort and organize. For example, in the KonMari method, you begin by sorting through all of the family’s clothing. After that, you sort books, then paperwork, and on it goes.

Is there a category in your home that needs to be sorted? This may be just the right time to assemble it in one location and dive in.

3. Start a weekly sorting basket.

If you have piles of paperwork sprinkled throughout the house, you may benefit from this idea developed by professional organizer, Lisa Woodruff. She calls it her “Sunday basket.”

In a nutshell, you collect your scattered papers, magazines, leaflets, children’s school memos, etc. in one basket. Then, schedule a day of the week to sort your basket. Depending on the age of your children, they could have their own sorting baskets. What a great way to help them develop organizational habits when they’re young.

4. Install or upgrade an organizational tool.

Sometimes our greatest challenge is using a space in our home effectively. We may have enough square footage, but it can feel crowded when there isn’t a proper place for everything.

Take a quick walk through your home and identify a space that seems cramped and cluttered. What’s one small space solution you can find? A new filing system? Does your old system need an upgrade? Like an extra laundry hamper or two? What about a few storage bins that slide under the bed?

Simple solutions like that could go a long way in helping you create a more relaxing and spacious area you can enjoy

Bonus Reading: “How to Make a Small Room Look More Spacious”

5. Add a daily 10-minute pickup or two.

Spring cleaning occurs once a year. So why not also launch a simple habit to your cleaning routine that can help you maintain the progress you’ve made?

Research shows how daily habits influence successful people. Try setting a timer for five, 10, or 15 minutes every morning and/or evening. I like to do this immediately after I’ve put the children to bed. It’s amazing how much you can get done in such a short amount of time.

6. DIY deep-clean with common and natural household items.

If you’re ready to give your house a good scrub, but you’d like to keep it simple and safe, try using what you already have. For example, with a lemon sliced into quarters, you can clean your garbage disposal. Shaving cream can erase water stains. These ideas and more came from  this list of 21 DIY safe and quick tips at

You might have a few items in your pantry already to make your spring cleaning that much easier.

7. Swap the deadline for an incentive.

We’re all familiar with the concept of a deadline. Most would agree that it can be very motivating. What if you tossed in a positive incentive as a way to celebrate your spring cleaning triumph?

For example, what if once everyone in your family cleans and organizes their bedrooms, you celebrate with a bowling night? Perhaps you purged enough sellable items to have a garage sale and you decide to use the proceeds to purchase a new piece of furniture or a fun kitchen appliance.

Simple steps. Long-term success.

Some people may think a major, one-time overhaul is the path to success when it comes to cleaning up. We all love a good makeover, right? But what often goes overlooked are the simple habit changes we maintain over time. Sometimes, a few minor course corrections will lead you toward the spring cleaning progress you desired. We hope this list will help to inspire and equip you as you tackle those goals.

Got a spring cleaning tip you’d recommend for busy families? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

--Laura Harris


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