Spring cleaning: day one

Welcome to day one of the Spring Cleaning Party! The first day’s task in my ebook, Spring Cleaning for Normal People, is a “clean sweep.” The goal is to quickly sweep through your home, throw away trash, and toss items you no longer need or want into a box for later. And that’s basically it – a project that should only take about two hours max (more or less, depending on the size of your home).

There are several reasons for starting with this:

1. Just like Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball involves paying off your smallest loans first in order to blow them out of the water and gain some emotional traction, picking up trash is an easy, brainless small task that packs a lot of punch. When you have quick visual progress, you stay motivated to continue with the rest of the job.

In fact, I’m listening to Dave Ramsey at this exact moment, and he just said, “Your attitude at the beginning of the task that determines how well you finish. How excited you are about something determines how well you do it.” Well said.

2. Getting the surfaces cleaned off helps you see what you really need to declutter and clean. If we’re going to get into the nitty gritty, we need to see where the real clutter lies. Wiping off the surfaces provides an accurate picture where we need to focus for the rest of our spring cleaning.

3. When you clean off the surfaces, it’s easier to keep up with basic housework for the rest of your two weeks. My spring cleaning process involves only a few hours a day of intense cleaning, in order to still have a life and do things like make dinner for your family, run your errands, and answer your email. If you take a day to surface clean, like you’re doing today, then it’ll be much easier to have time for dinner prep and toy pick-up.

Mandi’s post today on Organizing Your Way is all about Decluttering 101.  Her ideas will get you stocked with motivation and tips to get started.

My work on Day One:

I hope this encourages you all to post your own photos! This is visual evidence that I’m a real person, running a home full of real people.

before: after:
before: after:
before: after:
before: after:
before: after:

I feel much better having our surfaces cleaned. I’ve got my work cut out for me, but I can tell from first-hand experience, spring cleaning gets easier every year you do it. We really don’t have that much stuff, so cleaning our home from top to bottom takes only a few hours. I love having a small home.

In the culture where we live, people don’t tend to buy used items, so I’ve consolidated two separate “give” and “sell” boxes into one box. I’m not sure if we’ll sell anything; most likely, we’ll just give it away to neighbors in need. Here’s our box:

And I don’t have a photo of the trash I collected because my sweet husband took out the trash before I had a chance (I can’t believe he didn’t know I wanted to photograph our trash). But it was about four small grocery bags.

And as I mentioned in my e-book, our major purging happened before we moved overseas. We got rid of so many things we just didn’t need, so I was pleasantly at ease when I did today’s work. Almost everything in our home is something we need or love.

Alright, are you ready? I’d love to see everyone’s progress. For now, I’m not going to provide a Mr. Linky, because there are just too many issues that arise with that widget.  Please leave your post for day one in the comments below – just copy and paste the URL and put it in your text.  That’ll keep things easy.

You don’t have to write much in your post – just show some simple before and after shots, and share your thoughts on today’s discussion question from the e-book:

Am I feeling emotional about any of this stuff? If so, why? Do those knickknacks create your memories, or are they just things you happened to collect during those times on which you enjoy reflecting?

Even if you’re not blogging your spring cleaning process, feel free to join in the comments with your thoughts about getting rid of clutter.

Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

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  1. I have to agree that clearing mess is necessary before cleaning. You just can’t get at everything if you don’t. I also feel that way before I pack for a trip. I need everything tidied and washed and put away before I can think what to take. Very difficult with kids who love messes!

  2. Love to see your spaces cleared. Sometimes it’s difficult for me to know what to do with the things that are in that sell/give box.
    I’ve currently been selling things through Amazon, Ebay, and Craigslist. The process is not that difficult, but it’s hard to know where to put the things in the meantime.
    Now, off to clear some more surfaces….

    Nicole´s last blog post…Go Heart Your Own City

  3. I am in dire need of this today after a busy weekend with visitors. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Shannon´s last blog post…Food Roots – April 30th

  4. wow! Love your pics! I started this week too. Pop over to my blog when you have a moment. I don’t have a before-and-after photo, but I DO have pic of some of the “stuff” that went to the donate center (and this was just the first load). I have only just begun!

  5. Thanks for the pics – really makes me want to get back to work and fix those open surfaces and get them rid of the things i dont need. On my blog I have just a general before pic at the moment but will be sure to most more as the day goes on!

    Kristin R´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning Day 1

  6. i am READY to get lean and clean! i downloaded your book a while back and we used it this weekend to spring clean our family beach home. there were four of us gals (my sister, sister-in-law, my 15 year old daughter, and myself). we did it all in two days and the place looks GREAT and is so CLEAN and READY for all our summer fun at the beach. and now i am even more motivated to start on my house after seeing the wonderful results on the beach house!

    lea´s last blog post…may 1st part b…

  7. Those before/after pics are encouraging. It’s amazing how something so small can make such a difference!


    steadymom.com´s last blog post…A Diaper-Free Family

  8. I started my Spring Cleaning with our entry way since its small and fairly easy to clean. Not to mention that the surfaces there tend to collect a lot of stuff. It’s so nice to walk in to a clean entry when I get home now. You can see my post here

    Holly´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning Party – Day 1 The Entry

  9. It’s amazing how much visual clutter affects my moods. Clean surfaces make me happy! I’m going to be working at trying to keep mine clear… It’s ongoing. Your before/after pictures are great (and your kitchen counter is oh-so-pretty).

  10. I feel fresh and lighter after I declutter. I have always liked uniformity, clean lines, and little visual-clutter. I feel weighted down when I don’t know what I own. I know that there are so many people in this world with so little, many who actually carry on her person all that they own. I wonder sometimes is it fair that I have such luxury, a home, food to eat, and clothing for many occasions when others have nothing. I know a photo can be lost, knick-nacks can be broken but I have memories in my head that will never fade if I don’t let them. So I try to keep what I own to a minimum.
    I had a good time decluttering this morning. This cleaning task was definitely something that needed doing in my busy house. You can view some of my pics at http://www.organizing-life.com/spring-cleaning-day-1-a-clean-sweep/
    Thanks! Abbie

    Abbie´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning Party at Simple Mom

  11. I’m playing too. I’ve never been so happy to clean. I’m taking my little guy to preschool and then on home to do a massive clean sweep. I’m already getting pumped to go into each room and purge. And the best part is, I’m purging all of my “fat” clothes so then I have no excuse to not keep up my exercise routine. Thanks for the push

    Jenny in Illinois´s last blog post…His Own Person

  12. Great first start! I feel inspired this Monday to clean sweep my home, too. I’ll be making a ‘garage sale’ pile for unwanted items.

    Thanks Tsh!

  13. This is EXACTLY the motivation I need to kick off the week. I really needed to hear the Dave Ramsey quote, too. I want to be enthusiastic from the start!

    Emotions and decluttering – exactly what I’ve written about on Simple Kids today. I have very strong emotional attachments when it comes to purging “stuff.” That will be my biggest challenge during this Spring Clean!

    Megan@SortaCrunchy´s last blog post…When It All Comes Down

  14. I decided to join in on the party, I have been putting off my spring cleaning for too long. 🙂 I have one thing to say about the knickknacks though. I agree they do not create the memories but they can help us remember little details. Some people are very visual and when they look at these trinkets, memories can come flooding back. What might have been a faint remembrance will become greater with a little visual reminder.
    I don’t believe we have to hold on to these knickknacks forever, if you don’t love it but your just holding on to it for the memories then take a picture and let the item go. The picture will have the same affect as the object itself. To take it a step further keep these pictures in an album that you can journal in so you can keep these memories alive when your older and might not have the best memory.

    I’ll be posting day 1 later. Have fun everyone!

    • Love the picture idea! For those that hold sentimental value to things, that’s a great way to hold on to that thing while still clearing up space.

    • I took pictures of our children’s art projects — just couldn’t keep them all. Kept a few – framed one it turned out well and would like to frame a few more.

  15. I’m so excited to join in with everyone in their spring cleaning, what a great way to stay motivated! I started last week in my kids room, this by far is the hardest!

    Bonnie´s last blog post…Friday Fill-Ins

  16. Morning everyone! I’m doing great today. It feels so good to look around and see clean surfaces. I still have to head upstairs and run through the bedrooms and bathroom but I feel like I’ve accomplished so much already! I’ve posted before and after photos…

    I love seeing all the photos from everyone, it’s really encouraging!

    Donna S´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning – Day One

  17. The Dave Ramsey quote is a very good one! Good connection to a similar process. So many of us can relate.

    Mal´s last blog post…Weekly roundup

  18. I love that you think this would only take me 2 hours! Ha! You have obviously not been to my house. I have been working on this all weekend! Granted, I don’t have a lot of spare time so it’s in drips and drabs, but still. I am getting there though! Hopefully I will be ready tomorrow. 🙂

    MB´s last blog post…Monday Link Love

    • I say do what you can in two hours, and then take a break. Either pick up tomorrow, or get back at it after your break. It’s not the biggest deal to do it all in two hours, but if you try to do it in one huge chunk all day, I think you might get a little demotivated after the first day. Just my $.02, though… Maybe an all-day purge would encourage you.

      • Oh, I’m not discouraged. Most of what I said was sarcastic…guess the tone doesn’t come across well across the internet. 😉 It’s very much ongoing process for me. We have so many little tidbits of things that my son has made or brought home and because my husband is in IT, we have computer bits all over too. I’ve actually been throwing papers and more out for over a week. And, I swear baby things just breed in my house. It’s everywhere and sometimes I don’t even know where it came from (going in the giveaway pile!). I’m still working on it though. I have waged a war and I will win!

        MB´s last blog post…Monday Link Love

        • I knew you were being sarcastic. Apparently my response to your sarcasm doesn’t come across well on the internet. 🙂

          But YES, I totally know what you mean about baby (and kid!) stuff breeding itself. Sometimes I step back and take inventory that 95% of the mess in any room is due to our children. Somehow, that makes me feel a little better.

  19. That was FUN!!!!!!!!!!! Really! it took me under 2 hours that was almost 4000 sq of house!!! lots of “piles” though…. Garbage, donate, fix (that was a big pile), pass down to next kid, give back to whomever we borrowed it from (big pile too…lots of the neighbor kid’s junk)….and now i just have to go “file” the paper piles. okay…so maybe 2.5 hours once the filing is done! ♥

    Tara B.´s last blog post…Family Yearbook Challenge 2009 – Week 15 – Remembering Mom

  20. I’m loving all the posts! Keep them coming, and don’t forget to link to your specific post here.

  21. I have been really excited for this event! Although I won’t be blogging about it on a daily basis, I do plan to put it into action. We recently downsized and moved across town – so I did all of our de-cluttering then and I can attest to what an amazing experience it was! I had no idea we had collected so much “stuff” in our 5 years there! Wowzers! Certainly worth it, simple living is quite simply the best way to live! 😉

    Angie @ The Creative Mama´s last blog post…It’s a Spring Cleaning PARTAY.

  22. This was great! My sister-in-law and I are doing it together. She’s in OK and is the homeschooling mother of seven (ages 10 & under- yikes!) and I live in GA and have one child (age 9) who attends public school. We are both pastor’s wives but have opposite personality types (I am methodical about everything, she is much more laid back!). We decided this was something we could do together and encourage each other. So, not only are our houses getting cleaned, we are getting to spend time together (via internet & phone!) encouraging each other. What a great treat for both of us!!

    Teri Lynne´s last blog post…Springing into Spring!! Day 1 of Spring Cleaning Party …

  23. I am constantly decluttering. I can usually part with anything of mine fairly easy. My husband would probably call me a Decluttering Queen. I wish I could get the rest of my family on board. Almost anything that I have to dust on an end table or on top of the fireplace mantel is gone. My kids toys are an entirely different story. Oh, and the stuffed animals that my 4 year old daughter loves are really hard to part with too. I try sneaking some out of her room and put down in the basement and if she doesn’t ask about them they are donated or put in the yard sale. However, as many as she has, she usually knows when one is missing. Crazy! I had my yard sale this past weekend and it was a great feeling to get rid of so much “Stuff”. However, as of this morning, I already have a good size brown box almost full of items that will be shipped to my mom’s house for her garage sale later in the summer. I am defintely going for the Simplified Life. Thanks for the Spring Cleaning motivation. I have relatives coming in this weekend for my soon-to-be 3 year olds b-day party this weekend so I am not sure how fully I can participate, but do hope to accomplish some of the steps along the way.

    Jenny´s last blog post…1st Haircut & Rainy Days

  24. I actually started this yesterday so my husband could help me and make choices about his stuff along the way. We did it on and off all day and by the end of the day we both felt really happy with the lack of clutter around. Our bags we moved around with us were trash, donate and recycle. We had two small bags of trash and four or five BIG bags of recycling – old magazines, papers, old lists, etc. that were all over the place. I didn’t take a ton of before and after pictures. And honestly, if I stopped with what we did our house would look at least 50% better than before. But, I’m going to keep going and get the insides of those drawers and cabinets taken care of too casue man, we have too much stuff! See my first post here…

    Chris Clark´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning, Day 1

  25. I love your pictures!

    When we lived in a small house I felt like things piled up the walls on me and I hated it. It was so hard to keep it from looking cluttered.

    Now we live in a very large house and the clutter is so spread out – the house doesn’t look as bad but it would (will-heh) take me more than 2 hours to do this.

    And doesn’t it take a long time to sort through the stuff you clear out of each room – putting it where it belongs, deciding whether to toss it, etc…

    Also I declutter (particularly the kitchen) and within 48 hours it looks like I never did it. Happens.every.time. How to get the other people who live there on board??

    Amy @ Milk Breath & Margaritas´s last blog post…Husband Stuffed Peppers

  26. I need to do this so badly. I’m just not sure I CAN do this. It’s so frustrating to see it all staring at me. It’s hard to part with some of it. Maybe I’ll get the guts to start soon.

    • You can do it, Rachel. It really is true – the first step is the hardest. Once you see a little bit of progress, you’ll get jazzed about seeing more. Just try doing a room, or set a timer and go for a specific amount of time. Don’t kill yourself first.

  27. What a great thing to do! We have our house up for sale so we did this a while ago. Anyone who may still be wondering if it is worth the time and effort, yes! A million times yes, yes, yes! I can not figure out how we lived with the clutter before de-cluttering. Thank you for the great post now and always!

    Laura´s last blog post…15 Reasons Mom Will Love an IPhone

  28. I thought it would be faster than it was, but this was so necessary! It felt great to remove a number of items I have been intending to get rid of for a while!

    mary´s last blog post…Organizer’s Heaven

  29. Your series comes at a perfect time, as our home is in serious need of spring cleaning. I want us to begin our summer vacation in an orderly home, so hopefully we can avoid the vacation chaos that seems to plague us. Thanks for the tips!

    Melissa Lester´s last blog post…Garden Tea Party

  30. gretchen says:

    I too love living in a small house it forces us to live simply. I purge a little every day so we don’t get caught up in the mess.

  31. Thank you so much for the motivation! Those pictures definitely inspired me to get started.

  32. Like the picture idea!!! Is nice to see the before and after pics! Thanks for sharing! Maybe I should get into the spring cleaning mood, but at this time of the year, we are pretty busy! 🙁 But the break is coming in 2 weeks! whooohooo…. meanwhile, try to keep up with other tricks! 🙂

    lvlc @ From Mom To Mom´s last blog post…Making it BIG Technique: how to get your kids engaged in almost everything you want…

  33. I’m joining up. We are getting an exchange student in August and I really need to get this done now. We are also in the process of trying to move furniture around because we have ordered some new stuff that should be here in the next week. I’ll try to keep up. Sounds like this will fit right in with what I am doing at my declutter blog.

    Christy´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning Party

  34. These pictures were so helpful. I have had the e-book for a long while, but this will be my first ever spring cleaning event! Off to clear the surfaces in our home…

    MaryBeth @ Four Silly Sisters´s last blog post…Wordless Wednesday- Horsin’ Around

  35. Rebekah says:

    This is SO awesome! I LoVE the ebook! Thanks again for blessing people all over the world through your words!

  36. I joined and posted pictures of my first cleaning/deluttering area. After I cleaned the table I actually pulled out the wood wax and gave it a good waxing. Wow, I haven’t done that in ages!

    Diann @ The Thrifty Groove´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning!

  37. I ADORE having clear surfaces like that.. in fact my desktop right now is in a rather tragic state which I’ll need to fix ASAP!

    Desiree Fawn´s last blog post…more babywearing love.

  38. So enjoyed this today – of course, my toddler was with Grandma, so that made it a wee bit easier 😉 Your question about emotional connection to stuff made me think – a lot of what I deal with today was “surface clutter” stuff that enters the house & doesn’t have a home, or never made it to it’s home, etc…there is so much other stuff that I have “put away” that still needs to be dealt with and only held on to if I love it. More thought & action definitely needed there!

    I did purge 2 sets of napkin rings that I don’t like/never use but have kept for almost 8 years now…I did count that a great victory toward derailing my stuffitis! thanks for the great motivation!


    jodi @ bpr´s last blog post…Long Time, No Blog

  39. I’m trying this kind of thing for the fortieth million time. I took some before and after pics, which I’ll post later.
    Anyone have any tips for doing this with 2 preschoolers (an easy going 3-ish year old girl and a 2.5 year old in your face and nosy boy)? PS- they don’t nap.
    I guess I ask that because it seems like whenever I earnestly do this, it’s ruined the next day. I just get discouraged and honestly, give up, because it seems like I’m stuck in Ground Hog’s Day… and isn’t the definition of insanity doing something the same way over and over again, expecting a different outcome??
    However, I’m starting to make quite a few social friends, and would like to have people over, but with a shedding dog, a child that will wreck a room in 2 seconds, I don’t know how. ::sigh::

    Erin P´s last blog post…My Grandmother…

    • Hi Erin…

      I usually don’t do spring cleaning BUT when I have major projects to do I make sure my son has a schedule… that makes it much easier to stick to the plan rather to run after him. He is 5 now, but I had lots of those moments. I also suggest to make a schedule and not try to be wonder women for a day. I bet you are a Super Mom every day! So try to keep things simple and do one or two tasks per day. Hope it helps! Hugs!

      lvlc @ From Mom To Mom´s last blog post…Making it BIG Technique: how to get your kids engaged in almost everything you want…

    • CarrieK says:

      Your post sounds so familiar!!! I decided a while back that I was going to embrace Erma Bombeck’s style of living: don’t wait until the dog stops shedding and the children are perfectly behaved before you have your friends over. Just have your friends over! I stress out every time I have a friend over and guess what? They don’t care my laundry is on the couch and the kids rooms are a mess. Most times, their houses look just like mine. Whenever I go to a friends house and they are apologizing for dirty dishes, I just tell them I feel right at home. I think of the friends I wouldn’t have if I had waited until my house was perfect. I far prefer the friends 🙂 And if you haven’t read Erma Bombeck yet, get yourself to the library. Her words are a true today as they were a generation ago.

  40. I found your website today and decided to start spring cleaning. We’ve been decorating our baby’s room but we really need good cleaning.
    My blog is in Finnish only but I wanted to tell that this project is very inspiring!

    PäiviT´s last blog post…Kevätsiivousjuhlan päivä 1

  41. I’ve been participating in something called the 1000 Things Challenge – removing 1000 things from your possession. Things that are being thrown out don’t count – they have to be given, sold in a garage sale, donated etc. It’s been a great kick in the rear end to get rid of “excess” and simplify. I came across the idea on Ravelry in a group called Live Simply. It’s been a wonderful exercise so far.

    Happy Spring Cleaning!

    Prairie Girl´s last blog post…A peek at projects

  42. This is great inspiration to get the house looking really good in time for summer parties and bbqs! I’m already curious to see what tomorrow’s topic will be.

  43. Just noticed the button and thought I’d join your party too! Doubling up on cleaning can’t be a bad thing right?

    Prairie Girl´s last blog post…A peek at projects

  44. I posted my tip for getting my toddler in on the Spring Cleaning at the end of my post for today…

    The 6 O’Clock Stitch´s last blog post…Look What I Found

  45. I had slow start but it turned out to be a productive day! I’m showing off a picture of my computer desk area on the blog! Can’t wait to see how everyone else is doing with Day 1 of the Spring Cleaning party!

    Olivia´s last blog post…Day 1: Declutter your Home

  46. First of all, Simple Mom…thank you for this opportunity. I am so excited to see the end product! I did get the most important areas done today. I had a bunch of stuff happen to “derail” me. I feel so accomplished with just what I got done! You can see pictures on my blog. I will finish this evening with my kids areas and post them later. I decided they need to help when it is their mess!! Most of my mess is just not getting it to a home or not having a home for it. Can’t wait until tomorrow!

    Michele´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning Party, Day 1

  47. Ugh….a killer headache on Day 1, so no de-cluttering for me yet. I’ll catch up. Way to go everybody!!!

  48. tsh – i am so inspired by your simplicity and your encouragement of others to join in this spiritual discipline. today i had most of the surfaces picked up but now i am going to get radical with those two boxes. i already feel better … ahhhhhh!! i wish that i had taken a picture of what our room and our entryway looked like this morning before i swept in! oh well. have fun everyone!!

    esther´s last blog post…Test

  49. I’m a little disappointed. 🙁 I was looking forward to tackling my house right along with everyone else. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to catch up later. All that extra flying dust surely wouldn’t be good for this nasty sinus and head cold I came down with over the weekend. Everyone’s before and after pics look great! I’ll catch up as soon as I feel like I can give it 100%.

    Amanda @ Mommy’s Idea Book´s last blog post…Mom…and loving it! by Laurie Hilliard and Sharon Autry

  50. oops here is my post!

    esther´s last blog post…Test

  51. Here’s my before and after pics of my dining room table….
    this cleaning party is very motivating:)


  52. We are working through our house too. With a new baby I am not sure how far we will get but I did manage to organize and clean out the boys’ room this week.

    The Happy Housewife´s last blog post…Commissary Deals

  53. Claire says:

    My trouble is, I never get a chance to put away the box of stuff I mean to put away after i pile it into that basket or shove it into the drawer. And 3 days later, with 2 kids, it’s back to how it was. Yes, it’s peaceful and calming to see the clean counter in the kitchen, but the mail comes and the lunch boxes and then it’s back to square 1. UGH! HELP! Send me some hints!

  54. I’m so thankful for this- I didn’t get to everything I wanted to today, but knowing that I’ll be blogging about it is really great for accountability.

    Candace´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning Day One

  55. It’s done, even with a sick little boy! We sorted through some books as well – have a pile of 40 kids books to donate (scary that 40 didn’t make a dent in our collection;) Pictures are posted on the blog post below. Ready for Day Two!

    Casey´s last blog post…The Reveal!

  56. I am very excited about this project! I plan to do my “clean sweep” tonight after grocery shopping and making a quick dinner. One question though – where do you put stuff that doesn’t need to be tossed, but is cluttering up the countertops?

    Zarah´s last blog post…Clown Pants

    • Those things need to have a home. If there’s no home for them, then… well, consider if you need it! I’d say either create a home for it, or consider getting rid of it. If it’s something you truly need, but you don’t have any place to create a home, then perhaps something else needs to go so that a home can be found. Just my $.02. 🙂

  57. Main floor and master bedroom done! Will tackle the kids room tonight during commercials 😉

    I love this idea, I really needed the motivation to get some major cleaning done, and its a good week to start since I have a garage sale this weekend and the following weekend I am away, so I leave a clean house 🙂

    Laurie´s last blog post…Day 1 Spring Cleaning Party

  58. I’m actually at work today – but my latest post is appropriate to clearing the clutter, so I’ll share! I plan to join the party in full force on Thursday!! Thanks for the inspiration – Love all the pics!! Everyone’s homes look so nice!


    Peggy´s last blog post…MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! I’ve halved my pantry!!

  59. Tsh, Thanks for being so inspiring and sharing a bit of yourself with us. The pics are great. Everyones pics are great. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.


    Rana´s last blog post…Spring Clean Day 1

  60. I too love clear surfaces. So much in fact I almost always have them unless I have emptied a cupboard to organize. Looking forward to more of your Spring Cleaning inspiration because I’m neat and organized but not always clean.

    BTW, I am working on a project to winnow my family possessions to 100 items per family member. It is probably along the lines of your overseas move. I will be posting about the progress soon. I’m not including books or individaul toys parts. But otherwise we are actually coming fairly close to our goal.

    nina´s last blog post…Small Success

  61. Tsh, here is the first room I spring cleaned in February… http://lifeatbuttercupfarm.com/can-i-get-a-hallelujah/ …it is still in pretty good shape. We started the girls rooms this weekend…lots of work and organizing to accomplish. I love the “spring cleaning” inspiration and have a goal to complete the deep dive cleaning before the girls get out of school on June 19…. xoxo Shawn

  62. I am totally affected by visual clutter. Since I’m an English teacher, I can barely grade anything until the ENTIRE area around me is clean (okay, and I like to use that for an excuse to put off grading papers too). Thanks for posting the pics. Cleaning is instant gratification. Thanks for the specific tips. 🙂

    Heather @ alis grave nil´s last blog post…Book smell (and a giveaway!)

  63. Day 1 post up, before and after photos. Man, am I tired. See you tomorrow.

    Lynnette´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning Party: Day One

  64. I’m jumping on the bandwagon! Some areas took longer than I thought they would, some took less time, but it’s definitely nice to see the house a bit tidier and less cluttered. And I’ve realized that my cats are really lazy … they were in the same spots in the before and after pictures, which were taken three or so hours apart!


  65. Wow, thanks so much for sharing your pics for inspiration! 🙂

    I don’t mean to sound thick, but are we supposed to box things we *do* plan to keep but don’t have homes for yet, or are we supposed to be organizing those as we go into homes? I would LOVE to have permission to just throw everything into boxes, but suspect I’d just end up with a house full of boxes cluttering everything up, heh.

    Charmaine´s last blog post…Mother’s Day events

  66. Thanks so much for this Spring Cleaning Party – perfect timing. I’ve been sorely lacking in the motivation dept, and your post got me in the mood to do some cleaning!


    Wendi´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning Party

  67. I find the older I get the more I hate having extra stuff laying around. We used to have a big DVD collection and a couple years ago we halved it. Now I keep looking at it and wondering if it is time to get rid of some more, since we hardly ever watch them. For some reason my husband has a strong attachment to them and so I’ve managed to just get him to agree to store them on a closet shelf instead of on our bookcase. Letting go of “stuff” appears to be much harder for men!

    Megan´s last blog post…Menu Plan Monday – May 4

  68. Well, I got a lot of the work for day one completed today. What a great feeling! We’re planning on having a garage sale later this month, so I will have such a great jump on the work for that by doing this spring cleaning. I will have to finish up the work for day one tomorrow, but I’ve posted pics of today’s work.


  69. I was brave, and posted before and after pics. Yikes and Yay! 🙂


  70. Love this, but I have a question: I’m excited to make all the cleaners in your ebook, but what the heck is washing soda and where do I get it? Thanks so much for what you do! It makes my life that much more enjoyable.

    • Washing soda is very similar to baking soda, except that we can’t ingest it. Something different about the chemical makeup, though I don’t know what it is. You can find it in everyday grocery stores, usually near the cleaners or near the laundry detergents. Hope that helps!

  71. What fun! Thank you for hosting this Tsh! I only have a couple of photos of before/after posted (can’t figure out how to do the rest) but I really love how the picked-up “edness” is making me feel. Wahoo! I will be doing as much as I can throughout the week right along with you.


    Katie´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning Party: Day 1

  72. I’M DONE! took WAY more than 2 hours, but I’m done!

    Erin P´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning Party- Day 1

  73. This was just the challenge I needed to get motivated. I had wanted to start spring cleaning but felt the house was too messy so here’s my attempt:http://ordinarysplendor.blogspot.com/2009/05/update-summer-preparation-indoors.html

    Scroll down for photos!

    AMY´s last blog post…Summer Preparation and Work-Outdoors

  74. I didn’t have a chance to take before and after photos but I am so proud of “me” that I was able to do the main floor and upstairs clean sweep. We won’t talk about the basement today …

    More Than A Mom´s last blog post…Menu Plan Monday ~ May 3-9

  75. Great to see so many places being cleared in your house on the 1st day. Mine has so many of these type of “untidy” corners to be tidied out.

    Dominique´s last blog post…WW- The Ultimate Mother’s Day Card

  76. Got through most of my spaces. I posted a few photos and thoughts up:


    Allegra´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning Day 1 – Space Clearing

  77. This is great! What a satisfying experience!

    Charity´s last blog post…Dishtowel Totebag

  78. Here’s my clean sweep “before” post.


    I’ll post the “after” pics (and link here) this evening. I work during the day so I started Day 1 last night at 6 p.m. By the time I finished, it was too dark to take “after” shots.

    I had a lot of work to do, but the feeling afterward is too good to describe. My husband and in-home babysitter are quite pleased as well! 🙂

    I’m excited to start deep-cleaning the living room tonight. I may get a little behind since I’m at work all day, but I’m determined to finish this process before the school year is over so my family and I can start the summer in a deep-cleaned home.

    Thank you for this party — it’s just what I needed!

    Love. Sarah.

    Sarah´s last blog post…spring cleaning party: clean sweep "before" photos.

  79. Jami @More Than Just Surviving says:

    Thanks for the motivation! It feels so great to be getting this stuff done.


  80. CarrieK says:

    Such great inspiration… I love all the before and after pictures. Like many of the posters here, I am struggling with the everyday management of clutter. I have organization systems, places, areas to put everything, but with 2 kids undoing everything I do and a husband who won’t even bring his own dishes to the sink, I’m drowning in clutter! I downsize twice a year when I participate in a children’s consignment sale, and I’m very choosy about what I bring into our home. I’ve taken a hard stance on schoolwork coming home (I only save the really special ones), almost all of it goes into the recycling bin. I think many of the do-over shows and organization websites fall short in the area of maintenance. How do all of you maintain your neatness on a daily basis?

  81. Great assignment. I’m a little late posting, but I did the assignment yesterday. Here’s a link to my post.

    Day 1

  82. Hi there, this is awesome! I feel more motivated to get organized than I have in a long time! Thanks for this great idea, and for helping show us bloggers how it’s done! 🙂

  83. This felt SO GOOD, even though I’m a day behind.


    Katie @ 3 Blondes and a Redhead´s last blog post…{Days 1} I forgot to Spring Clean!

  84. I went through this step yesterday and it looked great – for about 2 hours. Then my toddler son took the pots out of the pot drawer, the crayons out of the crayon box and moved various toys and things around. Do we get a do-over? 🙂

  85. Thanks so much for this week of cleaning! I’m a day behind but, here is my post: http://rueboudreaux.blogspot.com/2009/05/spring-cleaning.html

    Bridgette´s last blog post…Power Cooking

  86. thank you SO much for this!! this really couldn’t have come at a better time, and i am totally jumping on the bandwagon. i’m a day behind, but i’m still going to do it!

    here are my before/after shots of day one :: http://www.twelve-paws.com/index.php/2009/05/06/spring-cleaning-day-one-beforeafter/

    keli_h´s last blog post…spring cleaning: day one :: before&after

  87. I got a jump start on ya’ll, though my decluttering took more than a couple of hours on 1 day!

    Night 1
    Night 1 Update
    Night 2
    Night 2 Update
    Morning Day 3
    Final Update

    Jennifer S´s last blog post…Giveaway: Evenflo Comfort Select Breast Pump

  88. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted by cleaning off the surfaces. I got almost everything I wanted to do Monday,done. Thanks for the kickstart!


    Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning – Day One

  89. Monday I didn’t have any unclean surfaces, we have been trying to be really good about cleaning up after ourselves every night before bed, because I didn’t want to have a lot of super cleaning the week of graduation (this week). http://pensivechristy.blogspot.com/2009/05/spring-cleaning-party-day-1.html

    christy´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning Party!

  90. Thank you for hosting this Cleaning Party!
    I’ve been wanting to de-clutter in a major way and this is really helping me. I’m also loving using the Daily Docket. I’ve tried various systems and so far this is the one that fits best.

    cortney´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning Party- Day Three

  91. Oooh. This is a hard one. I feel like most of my spring cleaning IS clearing surfaces. But I know it will feel great to get this done, so I’m gonna GO FOR IT!!

    Emily´s last blog post…Suffering

  92. I just came across this, so I am going to try to start on Day 1 tomorrow. Wish me luck.

  93. Here’s my progress from day one! I’m working on day 2 now – living room – and it’s wearing me OUT! LOL!

    Emily´s last blog post…I did day one!

  94. Thanks so much for posting the pics. I must admit – that while I always love your posts here at Simple Mom, sometimes there is this horrible voice in the back of my head that says “Yeah right! She must be supermom if she can keep all this up! Not realistic at all!” But your pics shooed that voice away. You have clutter too! Who knew?

    I’ve been away so am just getting to Spring Cleaning now but am looking forward to tackling those nooks and crannies to get ready for the lightheartedness of summer with a clean, decluttered home! Thanks 🙂

    Jen´s last blog post…Fix, Freeze, Feast and Toddler Firsts

  95. Just saw this and I’m late to the party! Here’s my part of day one. http://craftyniche.com/?p=414

    June´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning Party Clean Sweep Day 1 Part 1

  96. Just wanted to let you know that I’m FINISHED! I haven’t posted my final pictures yet, but I’m DONE. 🙂

    Tiff @ The Faery Inn´s last blog post…I Must Become Less

  97. Here is my second part of the clean sweep.

    Going to do living room next!

  98. thank you so much. I’m late to the party but loving it nonetheless. A couple of pics: http://amaysing-life.blogspot.com/2009/05/when-you-dont-know-what-to-do.html

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