Spring is here at long last – well, in some parts of the world. And with the season comes the cleaning. The earth sheds its debris, its winter weight, and its harsh drama of the cold months. Your house needs to shed its dirt as well. But Spring Cleaning doesn’t have to be the drain that it has been reputed to be. Here are five ways to allow Spring cleaning to bring you and your partner together:
One – HAMILTON! together
Yes, as in Lin Manuel-Miranda’s miracle on Broadway. Hamilton is the absolute perfect cleaning music. The story line will distract you from the “bleh” of deep cleaning while each song is the perfect stage for your own singing.
You may be stuck with cleaning the base-boards, scrubbing the tiles in the bathroom, or once again sorting the dreaded “catch-all” closet. But, goofing off with your partner, singing way too loud and dancing the craziest of dances will relax the tension of a long to-do list.
Two – Strategize together
Think of your house as a mine field with exhaustion, defeat, and strange emotional attachment around every corner. Think of your significant other as your partner in battle, working together to defeat the enemies of cleaning. Make a list of everything that needs to be done, the normal kitchen cleaning, scrubbing the walls, organizing miscellaneous drawers, and clearing closet space. Then, divvy up the tasks according to who can get it done. The person in the partnership who can get the most satisfaction from scrubbing a year’s worth of dirt off the walls should scrub the walls. The partner who can vacuum and turn it into a dance party should vacuum. Continue down the list until all the tasks are assigned then plan a reward.
Three – Clear out the closets together
Though one partner may be the hoarder, or one may have emotional attachment to items the other deems as clutter, closets should be cleared out together.
Closets often hold heaps of unused, unneeded goods that need to be thrown out and don’t need four hands to do so. However, closets can also hold memories and conversation starters. When partners clean out clothes together, various outfits can aid reminiscing. When partners clean out “junk closets” or “catch-all closets”- the ones that we all have the seem to be the place that everything goes when it doesn’t have a place to go – items can trigger memories.
Now, partners are holding tangible memories and Spring cleaning has just gone from a horrible, dreaded chore with delayed satisfaction, to a walk down memory lane. And what partnership can’t use a long walk on the beach you went to on your honeymoon where you lost the partner of the shoe in your hand? Or what pair can’t use a walk down that terrible first trip you took together when you were homeless for a night and you bought that mug that you’ve never used?
Check out these closet organization ideas from Pinterest.
Four – Buy new cleaning products together
Even though cleaning supplies shopping is not a normal couples’ date night, make it one of yours. Spring cleaning symbolizes a change, the turned-over leaf, the shedding of your house skin, a preparation for a new chapter of life. So, why not buy some new scented cleaning products to aid the metamorphosis? With your new scented Pine Sol, the bathroom might be a new palette of sensory experience rather than a cesspool of nasty. With the new carpet cleaner, your carpet may actual be the “Caribbean Sea” transport that Winter was beckoning for. Or, the new air freshener that basks the house in “Warm Summer Sun” may be the final touch to a day of togetherness. Also, who can’t benefit from picking out cleaning gloves – the perfect accessory for a dramatic toss when the jobs are done?
Five – celebrate together
Spring cleaning is hard. The whole house is awaiting a scrub. As you clean, more things appear dirty. Not to mention the physical and emotional toll of being hunched over, sponge in hand, and task list in mind. Make a goal with your partner and a celebration to commemorate the battle you two have just won together.
After the kitchen is cleared of condiments, old spices, miss-matched Tupperware, chipped dinnerware, etc., buy flowers together. After the closets have been rid of the clothes you never wear or the souvenir that have never seen the light of day, buy each other a new outfit. After the living room walls have been washed, carpet cleaned, couch vacuumed, and pillows fluffed, buy a new candle. Here is one of our favorites:
The reward doesn’t have to be expensive or over the top. The reward could simply be ordering in from that place you both love. The important thing is that the reward is celebrating the victory you have won together after spending a whole day laboring for a better home-feel.