Back to Blog

8 Spring Cleaning Ideas (and How to Get the Whole Family Involved)

Every year, it’s a good idea to spruce up the home with some spring cleaning. Not only does it reduce clutter and help bring life back into tired decor, but spring cleaning is also good for your health! Reducing clutter leads to lower levels of anxiety. Additionally, removing your old stuff gets rid of accumulated allergens.

With that said, it can be difficult getting everyone on board with your cleaning plans, especially young kids. With these 8 tips you’ll be able to turn spring cleaning into an event for the entire family!

Make a Schedule and Delegate Roles

Family delegating chores for spring cleaning

Cleaning up the house is no easy task, but if you have a family of helpers, it can be made easier. The first step is to create a master schedule. Determine all of your cleaning goals, and assess how long each task will take. If you need an entire week, then schedule the entire week. Be sure to include plenty of time for your other obligations (and the always-present surprises that arise with kids).

Once you have a schedule, celebrate how your family can help with each task. To help make sure your children are involved, have them focus on their rooms and toys. Ask them to create toy storage bins that they can label and decorate. Or, have them go through their toys for those they don’t play with anymore. Old toys can be donated to kids in need—and that’s a great way to teach your children compassion and responsibility.

Go Green!

picture of all natural cleaning agents such as vinegar, lemon, and baking soda

Once it’s time to start cleaning, use green methods and products. Spruce up your kitchen with a lemon and some baking powder. You can bring back the shine to pots, pans, and other metal surfaces with these two safe ingredients. Cleaning is a great way to upcycle your old clothes and towels. Turn them into scraps and rags for dusting, scrubbing, and polishing. Before anything is thrown away, think of other ways it could be used. 

You can also make many effective cleaning products at home. They use all-natural ingredients, so you know exactly what you’re exposing to your family. Vinegar, baking soda, and essential oil make a great all-purpose cleaner. You can even create your own laundry detergent from Borax and baking soda. There are countless recipes for quality products with common and safe ingredients, and most can be made with your children.

Properly Dispose of Hazardous Waste

partially full paint can

Not everything is reusable. While cleaning, you might come across some items that need special care. Hazardous cleaners and other chemicals shouldn’t be just poured down a drain or tossed in the trash. Always read the label for disposal instructions and check on the Recycle Coach App in the ‘What Goes Where’ search tool. Try to use all products until completion. Then, rinse the containers out with water for several minutes. Many containers can often be recycled.

Other products will need additional steps. Old paints or automotive liquids, for example, should be brought to specific local drop-off locations. Likewise, old tires are banned from landfills in most states. Auto shops may take and dispose of them for a fee. Or, you can contact your local recycling service to ensure they are correctly repurposed.

Declutter Your Home (and Earn Some Money)

Piles of clothing and household items ready for a yard sale

Decluttering is an excellent stage to get the kids involved. Everyone in the family should go through their low-attention areas, such as closets and attics. Pull everything out and get rid of items you don’t use anymore.

Help your kids go through their old toys and clothes. If anything is still in great condition, they can be resold for some extra cash. ThredUP is an online consignment store that sells second-hand clothes for kids and women. Be sure to split the profits with your kids!

Don’t stop with your closets. Maybe it’s time to toss out that old couch to open the room up. And don’t forget that box of old books in the attic. If this sounds like you, get rid of those household items you just don’t use anymore. Anything in good condition can often be sold on local online marketplaces. However, even used items can be donated to second-hand shops or shelters.

Make a “Donation Day” With the Family 

Cardboard box that says Donation on it with old clothes inside

Set up donation locations within the house to limit how much of your stuff is going into the trash. As your family comes across items that deserve a second life, they can leave them in the donation location. Once everything is in their piles, sort the items based on what they are. 

For the next step, the entire family should research where to take each pile of donatable items. Habitat for Humanity will take home goods, and even building supplies. Local consignment stores will be great locations for old toys or your kid’s clothes. Once the research is done, pick a date for your family’s Donation Day. Focus on teaching your children about reusing and recycling. Plus, highlight how other kids are struggling to have just one toy. Donation Day can thus be a fulfilling and educational day for the entire family.

Use Items Found Around the House for Upcycling Projects

Not everything can be donated. Even before hitting the recycling center, there are plenty of ways to upcycle items from around the house.

Old toilet paper and paper towel rolls can be used as seed starters for a homemade family garden. Nearly anything sturdy can become a planter for indoor and outdoor plants. And wouldn’t it be neat to turn all those forks your son bent for his toy car’s racetrack into a wind chime?

You can also refurbish existing household pieces for entirely new uses. Your old knife block can become a craft organizer for your kids’ playroom. Or, turn that old dresser into a mobile snack cart. Upcycling is a great way to teach your children creativity and thriftiness. Extending the life of an item is a beautiful skill for kids to learn.

Start Your Spring Gardening Early With Composting 

Garden Compost bin filled with green materials

Spring cleaning shouldn’t stay inside the home. Bring the family out into the yard, as well. The outdoors can use some seasonal sprucing. Before spring, you can start making compost to prepare those earlier seed starters. Collect your organic fruit and vegetable scraps in a bucket until you’re ready for some yard work. 

Once it’s time to head outside, add any old leaves and grass clippings to your compost. Homemade compost is the perfect alternative to sending scraps to landfills. It’s also an easy process for the entire family. There are even more advanced composting techniques if the idea takes off, such as vermiculture.

Put Finishing Touches on Your Clean Home

Family high fiving to celebrate

Once your home is cleaned and tidied, it’s time to celebrate your family’s hard work. Proudly display your upcycled projects. Have your kids teach you what they learned, and be sure to celebrate their contributions. Instilling a sense of tidiness is a great way to minimize future messes—even if it’s only slightly minimized.

Your home should shine from cleanliness and pride by the time you’re done. Celebrate your family’s hard work, and allow yourself plenty of time to relax afterward. You’ve earned it!

Final Thoughts

Make spring cleaning a yearly event for the entire family. Your kids will remember the fun and lessons learned, even though they had to do some cleaning. And, if you come across items in good condition, you might even make a few bucks. At the end of the day, always keep sight of the goal: a happy home and family. 

Author Bio:

Rachel Perez is an Outreach Associate with North Star Inbound. She’s an honor graduate of New York University who contributes landscaping and home improvement pieces to help promote eco-friendly living. When not writing, she enjoys gardening with her mom, participating in beach clean-up initiatives and spending time in the Florida sunshine