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To Spring Clean or Not to Spring Clean

A mom I know used to cancel homeschool in order to do a thorough spring cleaning.  After helping her empty room after room, clean everything, and then put it all back, her family was exhausted. Her children never complained when their ‘spring break’ was over. 

My mom never believed in spring cleaning.  “Just keep up with things all year long, do a bit extra every week, and you’ll never need to spring clean,” she’d tell me.

As for me, I tend to do a bit of both.  While I never do a complete deep cleaning, I do spend a few weeks in the spring and fall focusing on the home. 

Right now, for example, I’m concentrating on lots of little cleaning jobs I never get around to:  washing the lights, washing the inside windows, clearing my desk, and dusting valences.  Last week we worked on the Little Miss’s closets, the overstuffed bookshelves, and the nooks and crannies of the stairs. 

On the other hand, basic maintenance-level cleaning and de-junking are perpetual chores at our home.  If we keep up with those, we can ignore the extra cleaning jobs if necessary.  For example, I’d been sick for a long, long time, and today I washed the bathroom lights for the first time in years.  Occasional dusting had kept them quite presentable, though not sparkling, while I slowly got weaker and weaker until I was diagnosed with celiac disease.  The casual observer would hardly have noticed that they needed to be washed, although I’m thrilled to have them pristine again. 

Regular maintenance and de-junking interspersed with bursts of focussed cleaning work for me.  Our home stays presentable year-round and we never have the exhaustion and upheaval that a thorough spring cleaning would cause.

How about you?  Do you spend a week or two every spring making your home sparkle, or do you spread the work out over the year?

For more about spring-cleaning, visit this week’s  Works for Me Wednesday.


  1. This is a good post. I end up spreading cleaning throughout the year, although I tend to have more energy for it in the springtime. It would be nice to have that one moment where everything is clean, but that is gone about 12 hours (if not sooner) after I just vacuum. It’s not going to last for long anyway, so might as well not tire myself out trying to look perfect.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      I agree with you!

      Little bits at a time work for me. This morning I just took down all the winter cobwebs, and I may clean out a cupboard, but that’ll be it for the day. Mind you, each of the children has a small spring cleaning job, too, and that helps.

      Annie Kate

  2. JoAnn says:

    I’m more like you, we keep it pretty kept up all year long, though there are some things I clean when it gets nice out. For us, here in Idaho, spring cleaning doesn’t normally happen until late May, it’s never nice enough out to open all the windows until then. 🙂


    1. Annie Kate says:

      We’re fresh air lovers, so we air out the house as often as possible all winter long, and just put on our parkas for a while. When it’s really cold, though, the windows freeze shut!

      But we’re supposed to have nice weather soon, and last night’s snowfall is already melting.

      Annie Kate

  3. MissMOE says:

    I’m trying to get off the couch right now to spend some time spring cleaning! During spring break this week we are spending about an hour a day focusing on things that don’t normally get done. Yesterday, I cleaned out our bookshelves and now I’m off to clean my bedroom! or I will be once I get off the very comfy couch. 😉

  4. I clean much like you do – “Regular maintenance and de-junking interspersed with bursts of focussed cleaning work for me. There is something about spring that makes want to clean all the windows, organize the garage and clean out the basement though!

  5. Joanna_Topaz says:

    Like you, I do a little bit of both. I’m trying to get to the point where I do both maintenance and deep cleaning all year, but so far, that hasn’t happened. 🙂

    And, as some others have said, there are some things that we can’t do until the spring weather truly warms up and the snow melts — like washing windows (ours pop out to be washed).

  6. Jenn4him says:

    I try to keep it up all year. Right now I am doing just a little extra here and there. I get the “middles” during the fall and winter, but the corners get missed often. I also spent a whole Saturday going through the kids clothes. So glad that is done.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      I know what you mean! There’s something about doing only the middles doesn’t really work with spring. Perhaps that’s the essence of my spring cleaning: to tend to the corners and edges.

  7. Jenn4him says:

    No problems for me commenting here. 🙂 Glad you have that spam thing. That would be a problem without it. Have a great day!

  8. Leah says:

    Hi Annie Kate!

    I loved reading your post. As for me, I try to keep the house presentabel all year long, but we still have to do a spring cleaning every year. Not like the spring cleaning you mentioned, but just removing all chametz (leavened food) from the house for Pesach.

    In fact, with Pesach approaching rapidly again, this is what we’re doing right now. I always start by emptying my kitchen cupboards and checking for foods we need to have eaten before Pesach starts: Pastas, biccies, cakes… that sort of thing.

    Then, the last few days before Pesach I’ll do a thorough dusting and vacuuming, and a clean the kitchen with water and soap.

    The day before Pesach, I put away the “ordinary” cutlery and china and get the Pesach cutlery and china out. It’s rather exhausting, but despite all the work and restrictions, Pesach is one of my favourite Holidays.


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