Big Cleaning Jobs: How to Make Them Easy

Big Cleaning Jobs How to Make Them Easy by North Carolina LIfestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

A common New Year’s resolution is to clean away the clutter and get organized.But somehow, it doesn’t always get done, or get done all the way…sometimes the big jobs sit undone year after year. I have my hand raised, are you? 
Why is this the case? Is it sheer laziness or is it because the big jobs seem too overwhelming to tackle, and you think it’s not worth even trying if you don’t have a whole week to dedicate to that one job.

With that mentality, you’re right – it will never get done! And I am so guilty of this. My closet is my problem area. So let’s change the way we look at big jobs. To make big home cleaning chores more doable, break them into little parts. Yes, it’s worth it – don’t be tempted to think that there’s no use doing anything if you can’t do it all at once. Here are some tips on how to break up those big jobs into small tasks.

Motivate the Family

Whether it’s cleaning out the garage, attic, or basement, or cleaning out all the clutter from the bedrooms, big jobs are best done as a group. It’s almost never a case of one person’s stuff – nearly everyone in the family has mess somewhere, so delegating and asking each person to take care of his or her own mess is a start toward making it more doable. I can honestly say that it is also less overwhelming than if one person decides to do the whole job. 

Motivational tips include:

  • *Point out how much neat stuff you’ll find when you clean out – “I was wondering where I put that” or “I wondered what happened to that” are common exclamations when cleaning! Plus if I can find the black pants that I wore in this picture I would be so happy.

Big Cleaning Jobs: How to Make Them Easy by North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

  • * Note the unsanitary and even unsafe conditions that can come with accumulated clutter – vermin can infest it, mold can cover it, and clutter (especially paper) can be a fire hazard. And let’s not even mention those creepy crawlies.
  • Offer incentives unlimited cell phone use for teens.

Cleaning Party

For big jobs like cleaning out the basement or garage, it helps to get help from others. Make specific to-do lists and hand them out to your help, breaking the big job down into smaller ones that can be done by individuals. And make sure you repay them: give out “coupons” for cleaning help at their house that you can come and do, and/or have everyone stay for dinner. Have a big cake or other special desserts to celebrate and thank them. Now let me tell you this might not work unless you have some really awesome friends. 

List the Tasks Required

Even if you are not hosting a cleaning party, you can make a list of tasks as if you were, like cleaning under the cushions of your couch. Pretend you are managing the big cleaning job and you have to assign tasks to employees (this can help if you are eliciting help from family members, too). Here is a sample list of tasks that might go into a big cleaning job, such as cleaning out the basement:

  • Go through boxes – two boxes per person at a time – and throw out or donate what is not needed.
  • Consolidate “keeper” items into boxes and plastic bins.
  • Stack bins against the wall and label their contents. That would be helpful when you go to look for the Christmas decorations next time.
  • Sweep and/or vacuum basement floor.
  •  Call junk hauling service to take care of big items that need to be scrapped.
  • Store items to donate in another room, and schedule a trip or trips to the second-hand store. Plus think of the items you can shop for when you drop off your donations. There is nothing I love better than shopping at a thrift store. 

Give Yourself Time

If you are doing things in steps, it’s going to take a bit. Give yourself time; anything you do is working toward getting the big job done. And remember, it’s been sitting undone for so long that another few months or weeks won’t hurt!

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