Spring is drawing to a close and summer is officially on its way. For many kids that means long-awaited vacations to Disney Parks, hours spent splashing in the pool pretending to be a little mermaid, and trips to the Park to climb a jungle gym like they’re the king of Pride Rock. But for us Disney moms, it means the kids are home from school and it is time for the annual balancing act of the kids and all their summer activities, our work busy schedules, and of course managing the home. A big part of managing the home this time of year is, of course, the annual Spring Cleaning session. As winter melts away and the sun finally comes out, our instincts tell us it is time to dust off the old and make way for the new. But with everything we already handle, it can seem a bit overwhelming. To help you out along the way, here are some tips from your favorite Disney Princesses.
Whistle While You Work
The first Disney Princess had it right when she said, “Whistle While You Work.” Music is a cornerstone of the classic animated Disney films, and these tunes have been bringing joy to audiences for generations. Listening and singing along to some of your favorite Disney songs while going about housework is a great way to not only boost your mood but actually help you be more productive. Music does not merely provide background noise while working, it can also improve cognitive performance, manage anxiety, and help maintain motivation.
Involve The Whole House
Going about daily housework, or diving into deep cleaning and organizational projects in the home can be not only tedious but isolating. While doing the dishes, mopping the floors, or folding the laundry it is easy to feel a kind of loneliness in performing each individual task. The answer to combating this feeling of course is to get the whole family involved. Gather up all your little worker mice, and set aside a day of the week for the whole house collectively to help out with chores. This not only teaches responsibility but also makes the experience of maintaining the household feel like a team effort. As different members of the household finish a certain task, the others can cheer them on, or even attempt to compete to see who will finish first.
Take Breaks When You Need Them
One of the biggest causes of procrastination is often the seemingly insurmountable totality of what needs to be done. When looking at your house you may first notice all the daily cleaning tasks that need to be done, then see the weekly deep cleaning tasks that you have to do on top of that, and then notice all of the clutter that has accumulated over the years what you should really sort through at some point. When looking at all of that at once it seems like too much, and there is an impulse to give up on all of it as a result. But, of course, putting off what needs to get done only causes the work to build up and leads to more stress. What to do instead? Take on each task one by one, with small breaks in between each of them to recharge. Every time you cross something off your list allow yourself time to sit, get a drink, read a book, or take a power nap.
Take Inventory of Your Collections
Is your attic, basement, garage, or hall closet overflowing with gizmos, gadgets, whosits, and whatsits galore? Well, you are not alone. Lots of homes have some dark place where the inhabitants have shoved away items they did not know where else to put over the years. We gradually add to the clutter over the days, months, and years telling ourselves one day we will actually go through everything in there and straighten it all out. And, of course, we never do. But while we ignore the problem, all of the items collected in that dark little space have remained. Some of these items are things that we likely no longer want or need, but there are also likely hidden treasures among them. There may be old collectibles, trophies, photos, or childhood artworks that do not deserve to be packed away and instead proudly displayed. For these items, take a tip from Ariel and buy or build a set of shelves or frames in order to make these things a visible and interactive part of your home.
Let Go of the Old
While sorting through your secret grotto of items and singling out the treasures, you are also likely to encounter a lot of other items. These are things you may have held on to from nostalgia (of the time when it was of use to you), out of guilt (for the gift you never used but felt bad getting rid of), or out of “what if” (the feeling that you may possibly need to use it in the future). But holding on to these things is not helping you, they are taking up space in your home as well as your mind, space that deserves to be freed for other things. Open yourself up to “adventure in the great wide somewhere” by risking letting go of the old. It may possibly feel painful in the short term, but the long-term benefits greatly outweigh this feeling.
Don’t Take Short Cuts
When scrolling down our feed or browsing videos online nowadays, it is hard not to see some kind of “hack” video. Individual creators, as well as large companies, make lots of money on video compilations or click-bait slideshow articles promising quick fixes to daily problems that “you won’t believe.”And when they run out of problems to solve, they’ll often make up solutions to problems nobody had in the first place. More often than not even the few cleaning, organizing, or time-saving hacks that do in fact work is made far more complex than they need to be. And the ones that don’t work waste the individual’s time and create another cleanup in their aftermath. Resist the temptation to follow these “genius” life hacks, and instead, use your good old-fashioned common sense to avoid further frustration.
Stick to a Schedule
We already talked about setting aside a day of the week to blast some Disney tunes and getting the whole family involved in household chores, as well as some tips for tackling bigger de-cluttering projects in the home, but what about the average everyday cleanups? For this, we look to the amazing Rapunzel, “7 a.m. the usual morning lineup…” Being a busy mom can sometimes feel overwhelming, what helps is giving yourself a schedule to stick to. There is of course the usual: getting the kids up and dressed, breakfast, carpooling (to daily classes, camps, or play dates), etc. But it can also help to give yourself an allotted time every day for a specific chore. Start a habit of doing things at a certain time every day and soon they become second nature, making it much easier to maintain your home in the long run.
Are you planning on having a family cleanup and singalong? Have you found hidden treasures while going through the clutter that was stored away in your home? What is the biggest Spring Cleaning goal you have for this year? What is your favorite way to reward yourself for a job well done? Comment and let us know!