It’s time for Spring Cleaning again! Some women groan at the sound of those two words, but not you, BFF. You’re pumped up and excited to get your home back in order and feeling fresh and new! Wanna know how I know that? Because you and I are buds. You know I’m going to be right by your side, walking you through every inch of the way, giving you all my secrets, and helping you stay motivated. Me, and coffee. Coffee will do a lot of the motivational work…
Instead of jumping in head-first into a planless Spring Cleaning like you did last year, I want to make sure you’ve got everything laid out so you can get your cleaning done right, and fast! So I’m doing something awesome, just for you! Every day for a week, I’m sharing a jam-packed super helpful post to keep your mind on track on get your plans in order. This Spring Cleaning series is about to rock your world, so stick with me Girl! **You can check out all 8 Series posts in the Archive here.
Spring Cleaning Binge Series: Day One- How To Plan
What Kind Of Cleaner Are You?
Before you can start mapping out your game plan, you need to know what kind of cleaner you really are. Because not everyone cleans her house the same as her neighbor. We all have different personalities, and different things that motivate us. We move at different paces and we value different things. So it’s time for a quick test. Don’t worry, you’ll pass.
During my time working with clients, I realized there are 3 types of “cleaners” and everyone seems to fall into one of these categories:
The Sprinter. She likes quick, short sessions. She’s energetic and has a ton of drive, but she loses focus quickly and is always moving onto something else shortly after beginning. She’s the type of chick that can knock out a task in no time, when others take a lot longer. But she knows she can do things quickly so she tends to procrastinate.
The Marathoner. She takes pride in finishing her work. She starts a project, gives it her all, and doesn’t stop until it’s done. She hates taking breaks, often skips lunch, and refuses to start anything else until that to-do list gets a big, bold check mark. She’s awesome at sticking with her work, but often gets burnt out and feels a sense of resentment towards cleaning altogether.
The Endurer. She’s slow and steady. She takes her time to do things right, doesn’t get in a hurry, and is super thorough. She’s a borderline perfectionist, and refuses to settle for anything short of immaculate. She spends four hours cleaning one bathroom and takes all weekend just to get the basic house-cleaning done. While her desire to do things correctly is great, she usually loses her motivation due to the extensive time she puts into things.
Know which type you are yet? I’m guessing you knew instantly. So now that you know who you are, let’s make a plan that will work for YOU.
How To Plan For Your Specific Cleaning Type
Spring Cleaning For Sprinters
Where To Start:
Start from the top in all rooms and work your way down. Unlike most cleaning plans you’ve read that suggest you work room by room, Sprinters should work on small easy-to-accomplish categories instead. Start by dusting the ceiling, light fixtures, and fans in every room for a session. Then clean the windows in every room for another session. By breaking up your Spring Cleaning into categories instead of rooms, you can get into Flow State and breeze right through.
Do each category (from top of all rooms to bottom) in short blocks of time. These need to be written in your planner and time should be scheduled. You’re a planning type of girl, I know that about you. And if it’s not scheduled, you’re not doing it. After each mini-session, you should always have something scheduled immediately after to help you stay on track and not procrastinate. If you know you have time to clean between 4 and 5, but at 5:15 you have to take the car to get serviced, you’ll get your butt in gear and move it!
Use a timer and treat it like a race. Sprinters are very competitive. You love playing games, and more importantly, you love to win them. Come up with a realistic amount of time you think it will take to finish the category you’re working on. Then set a timer for that number and try to finish before the buzzer goes off. You’re racing against the clock, and I bet you can win every time!
Sprinters need something that can keep up with their level. Think Party Pop Dance Music. The kind of jams that come on the radio in your car that make you shake it at every red light.
Your Secret Weapon:
A Dry Mop is your best bud, Sprinter. You can zoom through the house with one of these bad boys making all the turns, running up and down the walls, banishing cobwebs, and acting as an impromptu microphone the whole time.
Spring Cleaning For Marathoners
Where To Start:
Start in the primary bedroom and bathroom. Then work on the kid’s bedrooms. After you knock those out, feel free to work in whatever order you want. The key to finishing the bedrooms first is having a fresh new space to crash after a full day of work. I know you, Marathoner. You’ll set your alarm to get up early, you’ll have a power bar for lunch, and you won’t stop until dinnertime. That nice clean room is going to feel so nice when you finally put your head down.
Finish a room in its entirety before you start another. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200 (unless someone is giving out free hundred dollar bills). Don’t allow yourself to start tidying up the kitchen when you walk in there to grab a trash bag for your Bathroom cleaning session. Keep your head in the game and stay focused on one thing at a time.
Plan a reward for when you finish your Spring Cleaning binge. You’ll work so hard, I know you will. And all those Power Hours warrant some “you time.” Book a massage appointment or schedule brunch with your favorite people. That appointment in your calendar will keep you from slowing down, losing interest, and missing your planned deadline.
You need to be blasting your current faves in your earbuds all day long, Girlfriend. Have you seen Guardians Of The Galaxy before? Dude’s got ONE mix tape on a new planet with no other music at all. He can only hear those 13 songs for the rest of his life. Make your own Awesome Mix Volume One playlist of songs you could listen to for eternity and jam on, Sister!
Your Secret Weapon:
A Cleaning Caddy should be following you around like a new puppy. Stock it with multipurpose cleaners and carry it from room to room as you check things off your to-do list. You’ll always have what you need on-hand and you won’t waste time or energy going up and down the stairs for more supplies. *Here’s my ultimate Cleaning Caddy list if you need help stocking yours.
Spring Cleaning For Endurers
Where To Start:
Start with the small rooms and work your way up to the larger rooms. Endurers like you lose momentum if you start with the big stuff first, not to mention you’re set way back on completion time. Knock out the entryway and the hall closet first, then work your way into the primary bedroom, living room, and kids’ rooms. Save the kitchen and garage for last.
Finish a room completely before you start another. Endurers sometimes get caught up doing too much at one time. Which is totally fine if you have the time to allot to perfect work. But if you’ve got three rooms that only half finished and it’s time for bed, you’re waking up to a big fat mess. Stick with one room at a time to save you from overwhelm.
Save your least favorite room to clean for last. Endurers tend to lose motivation easily and if you know you hate cleaning bathrooms, don’t do them until everything else is finished. Nothing drags down the morale of an Endurer like doing something she doesn’t like. When it comes time to tackle that room, find a way to make it fun. Let your imagination go wild and turn the cleaning sesh into something super hilarious in your head.
Nostalgic music is going to be your jam! How do you keep an Endurer from losing steam? You crank up the songs of her childhood. Think back to your junior high days. What songs made you turn up the radio until your parents grounded you for being too loud? What songs made you bust your best moves at the school dance? And what bands did you dreamily obsess over? Whoever and whatever those were, that’s your fuel, my friend.
Your Secret Weapon:
Your cleaning partner in crime is your vacuum’s hose attachment. I know you. You will want to bring out every tool, machine, broom, and gadget you’ve got. You see Spring Cleaning as a time to finally use that thingy you got from the As Seen On TV Store (after you figure out what it even does). But that vacuum hose attachment is a freakin’ superhero! It can dust blinds, clean baseboards, de-gunk vents, and so much more.
3 Basic Planning Tips For All Types
1. Start from the top (the ceiling) and work your way down. Just like washing a car. You don’t want the icky stuff on your ceiling fan tumbling onto your fresh clean bedding.
2. Organize as you go. Don’t be silly and clean all your stuff, then go back through another day and try to declutter and organize it all over again. Keep a donation bin nearby and drop unneeded stuff in it immediately. Purge the duplicates and get rid of old and expired items. Organize drawers, cabinets, and closets right after you’ve cleaned them. And *always* empty a space completely before cleaning. You don’t realize how much crap you actually have in there…
3. Keep a running list of needs and repairs. As you’re cleaning, you’ll find all kinds of things that require attention. You may need better baskets and bins for your craft room. Or you may need to have a plumber come out and fix a leak under the kitchen sink that you just found out about. Keep those lists handy so you don’t forget the important stuff.
Need A Full Step By Step Spring Cleaning Planner?
Grab my 20+ page Spring Cleaning Planner inside the Organized-ish Binder Kit Collection for room-by-room checklists of anything and everything you could possibly clean in your house. These checklists will keep you on track and help you breeze through your cleaning sessions without forgetting a thing. I even created a cleaning supply shopping list and timeline for you to follow so you don’t have to do any planning at all.
Elizabeth A Nazaruk says
Omg! Thank you so much for your cleaning personality quiz! Dead on, I’m a sprinter and no, working thru one room at a time never works! I never make it! This makes soooo much sense.
I was wondering if you had any thoughts on a weekly cleaning schedule for sprinters? Because, no, bathroom on Wednesday, master bedroom on Friday has never made sense, I end up dragging out the vacuum most days and who needs that out 4 tines a week? I’d never even wrap the cord because I’ll just need to unwrap it again tomorrow!
I’d love to see a post that had a sample weekly cleaning schedule geared more for sprinters!
Thank you so much for letting me know I’m not the only crazy one out there that manages to spend more time planning than doing, and still gets distracted!
Brad - Admin says
Hi, Elizabeth! First of all, thank you so much for your comments about our quiz. Lela and I were both elated to hear about your results and how spot on they were for you. My personal suggestion for sprinters is what we call the 5 minute declutter, and there’s another post about it on our site if you’re interested. Just type 5 minute declutter into the search box at the top-right. Essentially, you pick a spot in your house, like a small kitchen drawer, set a timer or some music for 5 minutes, and just go like you just spotted the very last bottle of your favorite soap at Bath & Body Works. No distractions, no “Mommmmmmm!” All you want is that clean feeling (and probably some soap, too, now that you’re thinking about it.)
That post has fifty things you can declutter in 5 minute increments, and to set up your whole schedule like this, go into each room 5 minutes after the exact time you’ll use it during a typical day. That way, you’ll still have your scheduling aspect, but it won’t be as spread out, and once you get used to how the system works, you’ll be able to do it for longer to tackle the bigger cleaning projects. I hope that helps!
Leigh Ann says
Totally enjoyable read! 😀 You are so right too, about the 3 cleaning types. I found that I am a little of all three but MOSTLY a sprinter. Really great tips! Thanks for sharing.
Lela Burris says
Hi Leigh Ann! So glad the tips were helpful for you, and I think it’s great that you’re a combo of all 3. That means you can adjust your mood to any cleaning situation. Good luck with your Spring Cleaning sessions this year!