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This post is sponsored by Lively Clean, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board.

I’m a Mom Who Hates Cleaning: This is the Spring Cleaning Checklist I Swear By

Source: Steph Alleva Cornell
Source: Steph Alleva Cornell

“Los vagos hacen mas trabajo, Stefy.” To translate: Being lazy will only cost you more work. This is the phrase my dad hammered into my brain all throughout my childhood. You see, my dad is the neatest, most organized person I’ve ever met. He’s the guy who sorts his closet by color and keeps his home in pristine order with not a dust bunny in sight. Stains don’t stand a chance around him because he will spring into action with his trusty pack of wipes. Tidying is his preferred method of relaxation, and his cleaning checklist would make Martha Stewart envious. His one and only child, on the other hand? Yeah, I’m the apple that fell a million miles away from his tree.

Sadly, I did not inherit his love for all things organization. Instead, my family lovingly calls me a little tornado because I always leave a mess in my wake. It obviously drove my dad insane during my teen years. But no matter how much I tried to keep my room tidy, I’d blink and find ten cups on my nightstand and a pile of clothes on my desk chair. It really shocked no one when I was diagnosed with ADHD at 18. My spaces often resemble the clutter in my own brain, and I’ve carried a lot of guilt and shame around my disorganization. As I became an adult, I had to unlearn a lot of that and figure out what works best for my mind. It’s been a long process, but I’ve developed routines and use products that make cleaning far more manageable.

I’ve been a homeowner, mom, and pet owner for four years now, and while I still dread cleaning with my whole body, we’ve got our routine down to a science. Each spring, I find the motivation to get my life together and follow a checklist that is thorough yet not overwhelming. My husband also understands my organizational struggles, so we make sure to tag team and motivate each other. Read on for my cleaning routine and the products that never fail me:

spring cleaning lively clean
Source: Steph Alleva Cornell

First, start with the right cleaning supplies

I need proper motivation to get anything done, and I’m not afraid to admit that using aesthetic cleaning supplies is my preferred way to do that. I am just a girl who loves pretty things, after all. And when my Lively Clean products are both pleasing to the eye and good for my home, I can’t help but recommend them. I started using Lively Clean’s Multi-Surface Cleaner this year, and it’s already drastically improved my routine. This one item has replaced 10 others in my usual roundup, and that alone is a major feat.

It takes me far less time to clean my house when I can use only the Multi-Surface Cleaner on my countertops, sinks, tubs, glass, mirrors, sealed floors, granite, AND fabric (like couches and curtains). Seriously, it cleans everything. It even gets in those hard-to-reach cracks in my tiled floors and backsplash. I can easily move from the kitchen to the living room, and to bathrooms with one bottle and a washcloth. Lively’s multi-functionality is an incredible benefit, but it’s not even the coolest thing about them; their unique ingredients are.

Their formula is effective because it’s created with probiotics that help eliminate dirt, odors, and bad bacteria at the microscopic level. I may not be a scientist, but I know that our bodies thrive on good bacteria like probiotics. Lively’s whole lineup helps maintain a healthier indoor environment—with kids and pets that bring home a whole array of gross germs, this is a huge pro. My toddlers are notorious for dropping food and shoving it into their mouths before I can stop them, but it’s less of a worry when I clean with health-conscious cleaning products. Also, a nice benefit is that when a surface is touched that has been cleaned with Lively probiotics, they are transferred to other surfaces and will help clean that second surface as well. Essentially, these products work hard so I don’t have to.

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Multi-Surface Cleaner

This is truly the lazy girl’s solution to cleaning. I can use it on so many different surfaces, and I love that the good probiotics within the formula transfer with touch. It’s an incredibly intuitive product that I can always rely on.

Use code LIVELY15 for 15 percent off your purchase!

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Lively Clean
Laundry Stain Remover

Lively’s laundry stain remover is a must-have with messy kiddos. I can’t count how many food stains I’ve had to spray on their clothes in the last week alone. This formula is fragrance-free, biodegradable, and pH neutral, so it doesn’t irritate my kids’ skin either.

Use code LIVELY15 for 15 percent off your purchase!

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Lively Clean
Pet Multi-Surface Stain and Odor Remover

No matter what type of pet you may own, dirty furniture and floors are gonna happen. Even though my cat doesn’t have as many accidents as a dog may, she’s quite fluffy, and those hairballs are a nuisance. I use this on my couches, floors, and carpet to remove any gross residue, and it works super quick.

Use code LIVELY15 for 15 percent off your purchase!

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Formulate a realistic plan

So now that we’ve got the supplies that will make this 10 times easier, we’ll break up the routine into more manageable steps. I start with my goals first:

  • Deep cleaning
  • Decluttering
  • Organization

I then break that up even further into rooms by order of importance. I’m also realistic and know that a good spring cleaning may take longer than a week or two, especially during a busy season. I’ll set a general timeline but give myself room to make adjustments. A little progress is better than no progress. My husband and I will divide up the chores and then block out times in our family calendar after the kids go to bed (it’s far too easy to forget if it’s not scheduled).

Our three main goals will get divided into two-week spans:

  • Week 1: Decluttering and reorganizing
  • Week 2: Deep cleaning all those nooks and crannies with our Lively Clean products

Each week, we focus on one to two rooms per day, with breaks in between if possible. The kids’ rooms get done while they’re at school or over the weekend while the other parent entertains them. It may seem like a marathon of cleaning, but it’s much easier to accomplish a big project in small chunks rather than all at once to avoid burnout. If you’re a visual girlie like me, then we also created a spring cleaning checklist that you can save for later.

Make the process more enjoyable

My biggest issue with cleaning is that I always rather be doing something else that brings me far more joy. Especially now that my window for me-time is limited to the hour or so after the kids go to bed. To help motivate me and lessen my dread, I started habit-stacking a few years ago. Now, I listen to audiobooks anytime I clean—that way, I’m being productive and doing something for myself simultaneously. If you feel the same way but don’t read, I suggest listening to music, podcasts, or a comfort show in the background that doesn’t require too much attention. This is also why I recommend using cleaning items that are extremely efficient, so you spend less time scrubbing and more time relaxing at the end of a long day.

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This post is sponsored by Lively Clean, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board. We only recommend products we genuinely love.