Spring Cleaning

Phwew! Spring break is over and the kids are back at school FOR SIX HOURS TODAY!! We survived!                I survived!!! Now, to update you on our week!

Last year for spring break we took an amazing road trip to Mystic CT (<—click it) to see the aquarium and a few fun little museums. This year (are ya ready for this?) we stayed home to spring clean our house! I know…that crazy Whatever family! It’s all about balance right? Amazing fun doesn’t come without the price of cleaning up a mess. Don’t worry; this isn’t another blog about how to clean your house, or what schedule you should follow to spring clean in 30 minutes or less. This is a blog about survival.

Although I do love me a good clean house to live in, having me tell you how I clean my house really doesn’t matter. You know how to clean a house right? Even if you clean your house in a different order than I do mine you’re not doing it wrong. It may set you at ease to read this next confession of mine; I haven’t cleaned my home in five years. OK that’s a little misleading. I have cleaned my house, but I haven’t been able to clean my house for FIVE. YEARS. All the sticky parts were cleaned up and the most trafficked areas maintained, but cleaning any deeper just did not happen.

When you have two little kids always stuck to you like Velcro, and zero extra help you do what you can to survive. Even if that means stacking things high on top of the fridge, or into as many distant corners as possible to keep them from destroying things. That’s what you do. Survival. Survival can get dirty. I didn’t even take pictures to share with you because, well things were dirty. We cleaned behind furniture and found things we thought we lost years ago. Did you know spiders can create webs that connect your furniture TO the wall? Yep. Found a lot of those too.

We washed curtains, shampooed carpets, washed windows and here’s my favorite part: we threw things away!! If you’ve read my posts before you know I am an avid “chucker.” I love to throw out duplicate items, small random toys that have no meaning and riding my closet of tiny clothes I’ll no longer squeeze my mom bod into. I admit I felt a sharp pang in my heart when my five year olds fit into my old concert t-shirts. I’d be lucky if I could get even one of those shirts over my thigh now. *sigh*

We moved furniture to new locations and organized kitchen cabinets. So much work. But, so happy it’s all done. I am having a lot of emotions about the girls starting Kindergarten and I feel like settling things in our closets and cupboards will help me feel like I have some amount of control over this new season of parenthood (and maybe breathe a little better without the inch of dust on my walls). In some weird way it makes me feel more prepared. I feel like we are closing a chapter on their early childhood. All the baby stuff. All the toddler games. It’s all gone. We are no longer spending hours piled under tents and learning our ABC’s. My kids know their ABC’s.

This spring cleaning was about tucking away the memories of our lives at home the last five years. It was about me carefully and lovingly packaging those moments up neat. I packed away all evidence of our preschool years now preserved in a box on a shelf. We can visit those days again, but we won’t have those moments to live again. I’ll miss being at the park at 10:15 a.m. on a Tuesday soaking up the sun while listening to my kids gleeful screeches. I’ll miss watching them in the backyard lost in a daydream while swinging higher and higher.

As I blew off the dust that collected during the last five years of survival, I began to look forward to surviving the next five years. Bullies. Heartache. Bus rides. Science. Learning. Navigating friendships. Understanding more about the world. This spring cleaning was a way of holding on and letting go at the same time. It is so hard to let go of those “little” years, but I have to let them go to make room for what’s to come in the next five years.

I know I’ll never have everything perfectly crossed off of my list. I’ll never accomplish all the things I want to with my kids as time passes by too quickly. But, I’m doing my best to hold onto who they are today, before leaving those little people in our past. Now that our house is clean I feel like we each have a fresh place to start this next leg of our journey. Join me five years from now when I “deep clean” our house once again. *wink*

Got a great been there done that survival tip for the Kindergarten year? Please share it below! You can also share it on my Facebook Page or Twitter!

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

 

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41 Comments on Spring Cleaning (Not A Guide)

    • Yes, we are early. Another friend of mine doesn’t have break until April. Easter was so early this year and we had no snow days so my guess is the teachers were all ready for break by now. 🙂 Have fun in DC!!!

  1. Oh my gosh, reading this post makes me want to deep clean my entire house. Literally, I was sitting here on my couch with my laptop on my lap and read the part about spider webs and furniture and reached behind my sofa to see what the heck might be going on back there. It sounds like you guys had a productive break!

  2. We just finished our Spring Break a week before Easter. I had a ton of cleaning to do as well and I always get my girls to help out. We had at least 4 garbage bags full to send off to the Salvation Army thrift store.

  3. It’s so nice to have a clean house! You inspire me – we are on the go the next few weekends but I need to do some spring cleaning next month!

    • Normally I don’t have help. So, I often make a list of tasks like windows, bathrooms, closets and tackle one at a time. Then when I’m done I like to stare longingly at my progress. I know it won’t last long, but I want to relish the satisfaction of a finished project. 😉

  4. I love spring cleaning… or rather I love chucking a load of old stuff out and de-cluttering. My kids, however, wouldn’t part with a toe nail for fear they might need it one day. Can’t wait till they’re older and it won’t matter to them as much.

  5. We’re on spring break this week and I’ve been working on organizing and spring cleaning. I think I need way longer than a week! Our issue is clutter. My goal in life is to have a place for everything in our home.

    • That’s what I want! A place for everything and everything in it’s place. Well, that’s hard with a hubby and two kids. But, we purged a whole bunch of stuff to make room for the things we use the most and truly love. It already feels less stressful!

  6. I just make sure that I work on one area at a time, instead of thinking of it as the entire house needs to be cleaned, one closet, one set of drawers, one corner. I have the same thing, two littles stuck to me all of the time.

    • I agree! We did one room at a time because there were two of us working together. When the kids get involved they like to “help.” Normally I encourage it, but not when it will take me another 3 hours to clean up their help. lol

  7. I started laughing when you mentioned sticking items so high up so little hands can’t reach! Haha! Yes we have all done that I’m sure! Thanks for giving a wonderful narrative of your spring cleaning. I really enjoyed reading it!

  8. I am at the point where I don’t get to do the deep cleaning. I keep wanting to, but it doesn’t get done! But, someday it will happen…I hope 🙂

  9. I can totally relate to your feelings about cleaning. I too clean when Im trying to control something…. especially when my world is spinning out of control! Kids grow up way too fast don;t they! Unfortunately I can relate to that too 🙂

  10. oh wow it’s always so emotional when you put away or pack up items from the kids so we can move on to the next phase of their growing up. I need to do this on the past couple of years still and hopefully will get to it soon.

  11. I try to deep clean my house at least every 6 months. Well here’s the truth…I cannot seem to keep furniture in one place for too long. So I move the furniture, get horrified of what I find under it (I have a 4 yr old!) and begin to ask myself if I’m going to find any rodents somewhere and the deep cleaning begins!

  12. Thanks for not sharing another how-to guide for spring cleaning. I think I’m going to lose it if I see another one.

    I’m not at kindergarten level yet with my boys (they’re under 3), but what my friends tell me who have been there is to have LOTS of patience. And more patience to back up that patience. Haha.

  13. Yay, you survived. Spring break is over here and the only thing I do like is that there is no traffic in the morning when it’s time to drive to work lol. My youngest is 17. It’s so different now. Glad you enjoyed it.

  14. Our spring break is over and I already started spring cleaning. But I’m kinda nutty with my spring cleaning. It can take me weeks to get things where I want them to be. lol!

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