how to spring clean the family home

I’m just like you – I have every intention of spring cleaning the home and washing away the literal and metaphorical cobwebs. I envision sparkling floors, clear surfaces, neatly made beds and wardrobes boasting folded clothes in designated areas. In my mind there are a few bunches of flowers dotted around the place, lemon and eucalyptus essential oil diffusing in the loungeroom and a kitchen void of dirty dishes.

But that is not going to happen because I have three children.

They say that once you have three children you learn to let go in ways you never thought possible. For me, that means closing the door on a shambles of a house every morning and only getting a quarter of the way through the house cleaning on any given day.

Artfully curated vignettes have morphed into displays of pre-school recycling-bin-craft-work that inevitably meet their demise by the hands of a toddler. Said toddler recently added some vibrant orange crayon artwork to my linen armchair and a library book.

Sometimes the mess is so great that I actually don’t know where to begin and so I sit with tea and read picture books instead.

And perhaps that is just how I’ve grown as a mother – I can look past the mess and share the stories of Shirley Hughes and Richard Scarry with my kids instead of frantically cleaning…essentially chasing my tail.

There is a very, very fine line between done and undone in the family home.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to be sharing tidbits of spring cleaning inspiration to celebrate the season; natural homemade cleaning products, tricks for decluttering, tips for keeping it simple when baby arrives.

But I want you to know that I write them from a home that is – in no way, shape or form, spotless. My home is not spick and span and gleaming. It is lived in and comfortable and every single day it has a (rather loud, chaotic, dramatic) story to tell.

From where I sit right now I can see a green bean under the couch, four piles of clothes waiting to be put away, a strange assortment of craft paraphernalia on the table and a random teaspoon perched precariously on the speaker.

This year, spring cleaning means some fresh linen on the beds (and if I’m feeling particularly adventurous, mattresses airing in the sunshine), a bit of a sort through and tidy up, open windows and some roadside freesias in juice bottle vases.

It won’t be much but it will be good enough.


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Showing 6 comments
  • Helle

    Love this realistic spring clean! I’d love to do a real big spring clean – if only the world would stop for a week and allow me to do it!

  • Reannon

    I can’t tell you how comforting I find this Jodi. With 4 kids, 2 dogs ( one who we think is pregnant!), 1 cat & 9 chooks my house is rarely tidy & quite often dirty. I have learnt to live with the mess, the chaos, the constant stream of dirt, sand & mud that is walked through our home. I have learnt that my washing basket will only ever be empty for 37 seconds & there will always be clothes that need folding or putting away at my dinner table. I often lament at how nice & tidy other peoples homes are but cleaning is just not my thing. If you’ve seen my Instagram you’ll know I spend 99% of my time in the kitchen & I’ll choose cooking/baking/making over cleaning every time. So while I’feel like our home needs a good Spring clean, like you, I’ll do what I can & that will be good enough x

  • jilske

    This sounds so familiar! Thank you for sharing, glad I’m not the only one (shared misery… ;-)) Are you sure it’s a green bean though…perhaps it’s some other throwaway that has sprouted green hairs hehe!

  • malayka

    I can’t really even begin to tell you how much I needed to read this today! THANK YOU! I’ve been in bed with an awful ear infection for the past week and while my husband is doing a great job of holding down the fort, a dirty house is not something that bothers him let alone that he even really sees! I’m lying here bed bound watching the entire house unravel and there’s literally nothing I can do about it. The amazing thing is… that life goes on! It doesn’t feel great but I’m the only one that it’s bothering, my kids, husband and dog just continue doing what they’re doing without even noticing. Hmm that’s given me something to think about!

  • Jo

    This is just so wonderfully affirming. Thank you x

  • Cynthia

    Believe it or not, a GREAT DATE is letting the grandparents take the kids on a half-day adventure and then just going to town on the house with hubby. Once a big clean is complete, I simply did one cleaning task a day besides the usual decluttering and sweeping and staying on top of dishes and laundry. Monday: all the sinks/tubs. Tuesday: flat surfaces…floors and windowsills and tabletops dusted or polished. Wednesday: Vacuuming. Thursday: Glass…no not every window but keeping up on the finger and paw prints. Friday: Kitchen…as much as I could get to but at least everything wiped down and the fridge cleaned and organized. I swear to you none of these daily tasks took more than 30 minutes. It’s when things get so far gone that cleaning is an insurmountable chore.

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