Jen Charron: Control Freak


Enjoyable Spring Cleaning?

Is There Really Such A Thing

It has been a long winter.

Even though spring technically started weeks ago, it sure hasn’t felt like it. Whenever we had a warmish day it was gone as quickly as it arrived. It felt like a mirage. The next day snow was flying again. Or at least a bitter wind was blowing.

I have been anxiously awaiting spring this year – even more so than usual. Mid-January we moved into our new home, in the dead of winter. We love the house and one of the key selling features for us was that the kitchen opens right up to our cute little backyard and garden, with one of those magic recoiling screens across the entire doorway. But all winter long, we haven’t been able to use it.

We’ve been cleaning and organizing but being cooped up indoors… well… it still doesn’t feel totally spic and span. I’m sooo ready for the warm weather. I can’t wait to get that kitchen door open, crack some windows, and really air this place out!

Tips for Tackling the Tasks
Who wants to spend all of those precious warm spring days inside cleaning? Contrary to popular belief, not even me! Here are some ideas for tackling your clutter and those big spring cleaning jobs so that it doesn’t seem all that overwhelming and gets done as quickly and painlessly as possible. You might even enjoy it!

1. Work Together
Why should you be the only one doing the work? I say make spring cleaning a family affair. Luckily I have a husband who cleans as much as I do. (Oh wait. Truthfully? He cleans even more than I do!) And the Kid is big on helping. He always wants a job and to feel like he is part of the family team. Getting the whole family involved and making it a team effort means you get more done in a shorter amount of time and you all share in the responsibility.

2. Focus your Time
Try putting aside a certain amount of time, choosing a specific task, and setting an attainable goal to achieve in that window – like overhauling the kitchen on a Saturday morning or clearing out your basement storage area on a Sunday afternoon. By focusing on one space at a time, you can get a single room sparkling clean and feel a real sense of accomplishment. Then afterwards, make sure you go and enjoy yourself.

3. Make it Fun
If you have to be working indoors, make it as fun as possible. Maybe “whistling while you work” sounds like a cliché – but it really does help. Turn on your kids’ fave tunes while you clean. (Taio Cruz’s Dynamite is all the rage around our house these days!) Or make it into a game for the kids if you have competitive little ones. And give them jobs they like. Some kids love the water sprayers. Mine loves to vacuum!

4. Clear the Air
If you’re cleaning on a nice day, open up those windows and doors and let in the spring breeze. Makes such a difference. And if you can’t open a window, Febreze has lots of great odour eliminating products that can freshen the air in your home. My bathroom only has a glass block window. Living with a man and a little boy… well let’s just say that it is a room that is often in need of some serious re-freshening. Trust me, I put a Febreze Set & Refresh in there and it really helps.

5. Get Excited about the Change in Seasons
At the end of a long winter, I find it gratifying to put away winter coats and boots and purge outgrown or worn out items. Digging out our spring jackets, my gardening tools and the Kid’s scooter brings the excitement of the change in the weather. Pack that winter away, celebrate the spring and maybe even start thinking about summer!