It's THAT time of year again... actually, spring cleaning, once it's done... is AWESOME!  There's something comforting about being in a CLEAN house.  I had a reader message and ask for some spring cleaning tips/ideas.  Here's what I found... about.com has LOTS of GREAT tips and ideas.  I picked one article to read and try (for now) and wanted to share what I got out of it with you (click here to see the rest).

We all want to involve the entire family on a Saturday morning for some spring cleaning.  Check out these tips for a successful family cleanup day.

Make sure that EVERYONE'S schedule is open and that there are NO PLANS on that day.  NO EXCEPTIONS!  It should be something that has EVERYONE involved!
    Children's Favorites, Vol. 1
  • NO interruptions!  Have everyone turn off their CELL PHONE and unplug the house phone.  Have everyone focused so you can get everything done in ONE DAY!!!
  • Make it FUN!  Have everyone make a playlist of their favorite MP3s or bring their favorite CD.  About.com suggests that you "Have a small certificate or prize for both the best and worst 'Cleanup' music." (I like that one!!).
  • Be prepared!  Make sure that you have all the supplies and products that you will need (you can find a great basic list here).  It's a good idea to organize them too... like using a caddy or at least putting them all in a central location that is easy for everyone to find.) 
  • Schedule breaks.  Buy or make yummy snacks ahead of time.  It might also be fun to play a quick game during the break (like playing tag, blowing bubbles, or throwing a frisbee).  Let the kids get outside and enjoy the spring weather (OBVIOUSLY if it's raining, you'd have to play inside :-( ).
  • Reward hard work.  Kids LOVE praise.  Younger children (through 2nd grade) LOVE praise of all types.  A simple "Way to go" or "I'm SO proud of you" (that's my 2 year olds biggest thing right now) will go a long way.  But the older kids don't really care about words anymore.  So having simple prizes/rewards (pencils, bubbles, stickers, movie night certificate, piece of candy or cookie)for hard work is a GREAT idea.  Probably works for husbands (and wives) too. ;-)  
  • Make it a competition.  Assign 'teams' to work together and finish the list.  The team that does the most things on the list, wins (make sure that if your kids are young that EVERYONE wins.  If they fail or lose too many times in the beginning, they won't continue to try.  Make them successful at first and they'll like it and strive to continue being successful)!
  •  Be sure that your chores fit the age of the kids.  Smaller children are great at organizing things (It might be a good idea to take pictures and print them out ahead of time to label things.  It would also be a great idea to print out their list of things to clean in pictures ahead of time)
This is a picture that is on Addison't morning routine chart.  When she sees it, she knows that it's time to make her bed (on her chart, the words 'Make your bed.' are there too.  It's NEVER too early to expose your kids to print).

  • Party when you're done!  Have some type of special treat, go to a fun dinner, make ice cream sundaes, order pizza and watch a movie together.  Just plan to do something for everyone to say 'thanks' for working so hard!
Well, I hope that these ideas/tips helped you out and inspired you to 'get your clean on'!  Thanks about.com for your wealth of info.  Remember that you can click here to read more GREAT ideas!!!

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