Last night, I fell asleep thinking about how it was almost time to open windows and start spring cleaning and I ended up having a dream that we still had all of our Christmas decorations up even though it was March. Surprisingly, in my dream, I was very eager to take down the decorations and get started spring cleaning.
Every room in your house deserves a spring refresh and your kid’s room is no exception.
I’ve been fortunate. I have a kid who grew up a perfectionist. When he was very little, we ended up instituting a no play date clean-up rule, which his friends especially loved. My son did not want help cleaning up because he said that he was the only one who could put things back in their rightful place. Eventually we moved the playroom upstairs and it became a man cave. Secluded upstairs, it is now a room frequently filled with boys who love to eat non-stop, consume sticky drinks that often get knocked over during excited rounds of video games, and…let’s just say that one time I found pizza sauce on the ceiling.
Your survival instincts may kick in. Here are my top 5 tips for tackling the man cave.
1. Create your plan
Teens don’t look at cleaning the way moms look at cleaning. If we say clean your room, they hear pick everything up off the floor. Planning ahead is crucial. Decide who is going to do what. Teens don’t like to be bossed around or micromanaged, so it is best for them to know ahead of time what they are expected to do.
There are two major approaches to cleaning. Some people divide their room in sections and tackle everything in that section first before moving onto a new section, and some people divide the room in tasks and tackle each task completely before moving on to the next task. I like the second approach.
2. Stock up on supplies
- a large plastic bin
- trash bags
- Lots of paper towels. I recommend Viva® Vantage® and Viva® Towels. Why two styles of one brand? Take a look at the photo below and you can see why.
Viva® Towels, on the left, have a soft, smooth texture that is similar to a cotton t-shirt. These are perfect for gently cleaning electronics, furniture, and glass. Viva® Vantage®, on the right, have a terrycloth-like texture, so you can scrub and scrub touch stains, even in carpet.
You can find great deals on all Viva®, Scott®, Cottonelle® products at your local Walmart. Be sure to stock up!
- your favorite cleaning products. See my Spring Cleaning Pinterest board for the best natural carpet cleaner, furniture polish, all-purpose cleaning spray, air freshener, and electronics cleaner.
- a vacuum cleaner
3. Prepare the room
- Take down the curtains and open the windows. Sunlight usually gives people more energy.
- My son has three big 6-foot bookshelves and one smaller 3-foot bookshelf in his room. Plus a big screen TV, a large TV stand with shelves, and a computer desk with more shelves. Needless to say, there are a lot of shelves that can house potential clutter.
- Take everything off every single shelf and surface. Put everything on the floor. It may sound chaotic, but it is really not. Having completely bare shelves and surfaces is really cathartic. It will also give you an idea of how much space you really have in your room.
- Make lots of room on the floor. Push things into the corner if you must. You’ll need room on the floor for these 3 things…
1) a large plastic bin with a lid that will be filled with stuff you want to store away, sell, or give away. 2) trash bags for stuff to throw away. 3) a pile on the floor for all of the stuff that will stay in the room and get put away.
Cleaning will be so easy once the room is decluttered. The yearly spring cleaning session is the perfect opportunity to reassess how important things are in the room and what your child has grown out of or no longer cares about. My son collects really big LEGO sets and his favorites are the Star Wars sets. Several years ago he was really into Ninjago, but they are no longer important to him, so I know now that he is old enough to let them go. (By letting go, I mean letting them go into a bin in the basement. Neither of us will ever be fully ready to get rid of LEGO sets.)
There are also video games that he has played through and will never play again. These can go into the large plastic bin to be reassessed for trading in for other games or giving away to friends. Same goes with the books that he has read but will never pick up again.
5. Do all of your major cleaning
Gently wipe any electronic equipment. Spray the cleaner on the paper towel, not on the device. Turn computer keyboards upside down to shake out debris.
Don’t forget to do these crucial, but often overlooked steps
- Wipe down the lamp shades
- Wipe down the baseboards
- Wash the curtains in the washing machine
- Wipe down the window blinds
- Vacuum the vents
Thank you to Kimberly-Clark and The Motherhood for sponsoring this post.
*Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.