May Mini Challenge: Clean House!

Happy Monday!  How has your month of May been going?

Things around here have been a whirlwind this last couple of months, and some exciting things have had us shift our priorities and focus around the abode {nothing too crazy, just a few personal things}.  With that, I had to take a month off from the monthly challenges, but I am back this month with a mini-challenge that I am posing to myself, and thought that some of you may want to play along!

Did you know it was spring?  I live in Wisconsin so spring is juuuuust starting to make a presence, which has totally thrown me for a cleaning loop this year.  I have the hardest time getting motivated to do any of my "spring cleaning" if I can't even throw open my windows.  So, I wait.  And I wait.  And this year, I waited some more!  {Winter boots and hats were worn at baseball just yesterday!}

We have a pretty basic cleaning plan from day to day, week to week, however, there are those other things that get neglected throughout the year and are always in need of a little extra attention around spring time.  You know, like cleaning out the garage, wiping down all of our interior doors, touching up trim and picking up our backyard after the snow melts.  Some drawers need to be purged, items need to be sold and others need to be donated.  The things that are on my quarterly cleaning list, like cycle cleaning appliances, changing filters and batteries, etc... get some attention too.  Even the cars need a lot of scrubbing, winters around here are harsh and it's not too easy to clean out the cars in the snow.

I love this time of year because it motivates me to be ruthless with our house, give it a fresh eye and declutter, clean and get ready to enjoy the upcoming summer months!

Although I have been feeling busier than ever as of late, I know it shouldn't take long to knock a few cleaning tasks off the list.  So, I am posing a mini-challenge to myself.  I will take the final three weeks of May to get some things done around this place I call home.  Won't you join me?

Whether you are going to put together a cleaning caddy....

Implement a cleaning plan....

Or stock up and organize your cleaning arsenal....

I want to hear about it!  At the end of the month, I will host a fun link party, in which you can share your favorite cleaning tips, your cleaning routines, your favorite cleaning supplies, or even the craziest thing you found when doing your spring cleaning.  Anything goes, as long as it shows that you took on some sort of cleaning task.

Did you know dusting with dryer sheets repels dust for longer?  And that they are also great for removing buildup from glass?  Me either.  But you friends told me and I have a feeling I have a lot to learn, so I couldn't be more excited to have you link up your awesome-pants cleaning tips this month!

So where does one begin?

The one big thing that helps me get our home whipped into sparkling shape, is my portable cleaning caddy.  I adore that I can easily transport my basics from room to room to quickly get tasks done.  Taking a few minutes to build a caddy will save you oodles of time down the road.My second tip is to devise a cleaning plan.  By doing simple tasks each day, you have less to focus on during the weekend or even during spring cleaning time.   Our cleaning plan also helps us to divide our tasks evenly throughout the family, so it doesn't feel like too much for any one person to take on.Stick to the basics.  How may specialty cleaners does one need?  A single all-purpose cleaner can take place of many of the individual ones.  Using 17 vacuums for different purposes?  Find a single one that can break apart to handle any task.  Even with cleaning, less can be more!Find inspiration.  Check out the www and your favorite magazines for ideas and products that work well for others.  Tips to get things done faster, products that work better, etc... Schedule it in!  Make time to get it done, whether it is 15 minutes per day or an hour on a weekend.  Ask for help watching the kids or get them involved to help with some of the simple household tasks.  Set a timer and race the clock.  The goal is to spend less time cleaning each day, and more time playing!Play music!  I can't help but blast through my chores with a smile on my face, when my favorite tunes are streaming out the stereo speakers.Light a candle, cut fresh fruit or simmer fresh herbs on the stove.  The aroma of things like lemon, lilac, vanilla and rosemary can invigorate your cleaning senses!Embrace it!  I like to wear a pretty apron and gloves when I clean, it doesn't make it feel like such a chore. Reward yourself!  Set some simple goals and work towards them.  Select a reward to keep you inspired to get through your list {if the thought of a shiny happy home isn't enough}, ice cream is a great motivator!Share it!  Blog about your cleaning tasks, tips and favorite products and share them with the world!  You have just accomplished something, you should be proud!  At the end of the month, we will link up all of our tips and share the ideas and inspiration with the IHeart Organizing community!

This month I am going to do a follow-up post on our greener cleaners, answer one of your most frequently asked cleaning/organizing questions and hopefully check a few extra cleaning tasks off our ol' to do list!  But cleaning is so much more fun when you have someone to do it with, so I hope you will join in on the clean house challenge!

So who is excited to tackle a cleaning project or two with me?  What other cleaning tips do you have to share to kick off the challenge?  Any products or systems that are working wonders for you?