It feels so good to get the spring cleaning underway, but after the initial few days of sunshine flowing in through my dusty windows, I tend to lose momentum. It’s no longer the glorious feeling like coming out of hibernation, but a little more like chores. But I appreciate a challenge, so I’m going to share a few of my “go-to” tricks to get going and stay motivated.
Go for the Gadgets
Having a new “toy” to help me get the housework done makes it feel a little less like work. Be it a Roomba or Shark, getting techy makes me feel like I’m working smart, not hard. Figure out what your least favorite chore is and look for a tool that will make it easier. A little splurge won’t hurt. In fact, I think you’re more likely to use it long-term.
My latest find is the TubShroom. For years I spent money at the self-serve dog washes because it was easier on my plumbing. Washing away German Shepherd and Rottweiler winter coats and caked on mud looks good and feels better, but the drain will need to be snaked out later. But now there’s this cool gadget called a TubShroom that catches hair and gunk before it heads into your drain. Rated 4.3 out of 5 by Amazon users, I see this as a total game changer for my dog-washing routine, and will save me a ton on grooming costs.
Cleaning feels better when your routine is safe for the environment. But this is even more important when you’re a pet parent. A 2008 study showed that dogs and cats are more likely to be contaminated by chemicals, in some cases at levels 23 times higher than those found in humans. But don’t panic, there are plenty of alternatives and options that are safe.
A friend of a friend turned me on to Norwex and their awesome window cloths. She sent me one, writing “give your kids this and a bottle of water. Your windows will look sparkling, but even better, your kids can stay occupied for hours.” That was some of the best mom advice I’ve ever received. The cloth is safe for pets and kids, requires no chemical cleaners, and leaves no residue. I keep one by my bathroom mirror and one by my sliding glass door. Kayden goes out, runs around in the mud, and scratches to come in, leaving smeary mud and nose marks all over the glass. I let my kids loose on it and, in seconds, I have a sparkling clean window.
While you're checking out the window cloths, pick up a bottle of their odor eliminator. The pet parent in me wants easy-deodorizing products for the dog’s bed and my furniture, but most products have things like phthalates that I wouldn’t trust anywhere near my pet or kids. But this stuff is enzyme-based, phthalate-free, and safe for families. But, most importantly, it works! A quick spritz and it’s almost like the oversized dog couch that’s been collecting dander and fur all winter became new again.
Speaking of eco-action: did you know you can help the birds in your own backyard by sticking your dog’s fur into a feeder or basket to help line their nests?
Getting ahead of the mud and fur is the only way I can keep my sanity. Here are my favorite spring pro-tips to help you stay ahead of the game.
Put a shirt on your shedding pet. I know most animals aren’t fans of fashion, but I promise, if you can throw a cotton tee over your dog for the few weeks that the shedding is the worst, you’ll catch a ton of hair before it hits your hardwood.
I feel like such a dork doing it, but I’ve also become really accustomed to cleaning my dog’s feet at the door. We take our shoes off at the door, so it only makes sense to wipe Kayden’s paws. We hang a shammie by the door for quick wipes, but there are options like the Paw Plunger to make this move a painless part of your walk routine.
Go for Fun
These suggestions are in no way pet parent specific, but holy moly, do they make a difference for me.
When was the last time you had a dance party? Or caught up on your podcasts? Plug in your headphones or home stereo to help you pass the time. I guarantee you that 30 minutes of Missing Richard Simmons will fly by and before you know it you’ll have dusted all your woodwork.
Recruit a friend to join you in cleaning duties. Somehow 2-3 hours of cleaning as a team is much more effective than working solo for half a day, and is much more fun. Then you switch to their house, and before you know it you’re both putting your feet up on a clean coffee table, celebrating with a glass of wine.
What gets you over the spring cleaning hump? What are your go-to gadgets and products to get ‘er done?