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Spring cleaning tips for the whole family

Molly Cerreta Smith has enjoyed a career in the publishing industry for more than 10 years. As an editor of several regional magazines, she has had the opportunity throughout her career to meet many local celebrities, businesspeople, ent...

Spring clean, family style

It's time to clean house! From your kids' rooms to your over-packed closet, a total home overhaul is probably way overdue. But a family style spring cleaning project doesn't have to be a total wash.

SheKnows offers these tips to make spring cleaning fun (or at least not terrible) for the entire family.

Plan ahead

Before you announce the "big news" to your family that you'll be dedicating the weekend to -- yippee! -- cleaning, map out what you want to accomplish and how you want to accomplish it. Make a checklist for each member of your family.

Check out these spring cleaning checklists >>

Delegate

Decide which members of your family will be best suited for certain tasks and assign accordingly. There's a caveat to this one -- you need to be realistic about which cleaning tasks your children can actually complete without you needing to come back through and do it all over again.

Give your toddlers dust cloths or feather dusters and have them remove dust from height appropriate and safe objects and pieces of furniture. Keep them away from chemical laden cleaning products.

Give teens the task of tackling their rooms, but be specific. You don't want to discover in a week's time that your kid simply shoved everything on the floor under the bed or in the closet.

If your husband is a garage junkie or the master of the backyard, let him handle those areas on his own.

Organize

Rather than simply putting things away, take this opportunity to really clear out the clutter! Out with the old and in with the new. Take it one drawer, shelf or cabinet at a time. Remove everything from the space, clean it out then only put back items that you use on a regular basis. A good rule of thumb: if you haven't used something in a year, you probably don't need it (unless of course it's a family heirloom or something of that nature).

Need a little incentive for ridding yourself of your stuff? The less you have of it, the less you need to spring clean!

Check out these tips to organize your clutter >>

Ask your children to make a pile of the items they are ready to trash/donate, but check through it before anything goes to approve the pile.

Up the ante

Before you kick off your Spring Cleaning event, throw a challenge out to your family -- including a prize for the winner. Chose a winner for the family member who donated the most old items, the one who does the best overall job, etc.

Read more on getting your kids involved in Spring Cleaning >>

Additional cleaning tips:

  • Dust high/tall items before vacuuming, sweeping and mopping floors.
  • Take this opportunity to flip the mattresses and wash pillows, curtains and other linens that don't get a weekly wash.
  • Use an antibacterial cleanser in particularly germy areas like the bathroom and kitchen.
  • When it comes to the kitchen, check the expiration dates on cans, dried items and frozen food. After cleaning out the fridge/freezer, store a box of baking soda in the back to absorb odors.

More cleaning inspiration

5 spots in your house you should disinfect daily
5 Organization tips for every room in your house
Cleaning with vinegar

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