Making our homes as fresh as spring is simple and quick when we have a plan. Storing winter bedding, getting rid of outgrown clothes, and finding the back corner of closets doesn't take long and makes us feel so good and ready for summer.

Set a time limit for cleaning.  Keeping to this limit helps with deciding which areas need cleaning the most.

Without a time limit, going through old cards and sentimental baby clothes could last throughout the summer. But with a limit, we know we have to keep moving and not get stuck going through only one box all day. We may even get ideas for fun summer projects like making baby scrap books or crafts from past Birthday cards. So limiting time makes spring cleaning quick and thorough. Summer craft ideas can come out of it too.

Picking a time that is good for the whole family lets everyone clean together. When everyone works together, jobs get done quicker, and the cleaning crew may stay motivated longer.

Perhaps three hours every Saturday morning in May is the time limit. Perhaps the second weekend in May is the time for spring cleaning. Knowing the time limit and sticking to it makes deciding what to clean first easier.

Plan spring cleaning together. Decide what to do with that time. Get each person's opinion of which projects to do. Break down and divide up the cleaning projects among family members. So those of all ages and abilities have jobs they can do. Having a clear plan beforehand helps everyone know where to start and which project to spend the most time on.

Agree on what toys and clothes to give away, so no one gets upset when they see their things go out the door. It might be helpful to give everyone time to think about what they are giving away, so there are no last-minute mind changes. Nothing ruins a good cleaning plan like pulling things out of boxes already packed up and ready to donate to charity.

When everyone agrees on what to clean first and what to get rid of, it saves time and makes cleaning simple. Now everyone knows what they want to do. They also know they won't be cleaning all day or all summer, and there is an end.

Giving out rewards like a round of ice cream bars, or even getting new patio furniture or a backyard play set can motivate everyone to complete their cleaning tasks. If the agreed upon projects aren't finished in the set time, people may not get a reward.  Or the reward is smaller if the job isn't completely finished but yet done well.

Using non-toxic cleaners like white vinegar and baking soda when possible lets all ages help clean. The younger members of the spring cleaning crew could wash sliding glass door windows with white vinegar supervised by an older member of the cleaning crew.

Rearranging and organizing is part of the spring cleaning plan. Just moving some furniture around freshens a room and makes it feel new. It also inspires organization. Get ideas from everyone of how to change around the family room. Perhaps invest in a closet organizer to keep everyone's treasures safe and easy to find.

Planning a quick spring cleaning time makes it simple for everyone.