Screw Spring Cleaning! Here’s How To Get It Done Without Turning Into Mary Poppins

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Spring has arrived! Cue the buds and the birds…and the dreaded “spring clean.”

That’s right. It’s that time of year when mommy magazines start laying on the guilt, convincing us that we should be beating the rugs and vacuuming the curtains the moment the sun peeks through the clouds.

But we beg to differ! Just because spring is here doesn’t mean you need to turn into Mary Poppins. Find out how to tidy up without feeling like a failure, and without sacrificing what’s really important: time with your family in the beautiful outdoors!

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1. Break it down.

First things first: don’t overwhelm yourself with the pressure to get everything done in one day. Start by breaking the house up spatially — either floor by floor or room by room — and then divide it by task. Breaking it down into smaller projects will help you and your helpers (see page 2) feel a sense of accomplishment as you go. Plus, you’ll move faster when you’re not constantly switching between tasks.

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2. Start with a purge.

But wait! Before you get cracking with the scrubbing and shining, it’s crucial to jettison anything that might get in the way. It’s hard (not to mention inefficient) to do a good clean if you’re moving piles of toys and clothes out of the way every few minutes. Once the surfaces have been cleared of clutter, then start your cleaning.

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G. H. was raised in Minnesota, but currently calls Seattle her home. She's a blogger, editor, and journalist, and she's written everything from news reports to restaurant reviews. If she's not putting pen to paper, G. H. is probably experimenting in the kitchen, chilling out on her yoga mat, or running through a city park.