Being a mother is busy at any time of the year. But during the spring, life gets exceptionally jampacked.

Now’s the time to plan for summer vacations, get the kids through their last few weeks of school, and attend all those musical performances, sporting events and graduation ceremonies.

And then, there’s spring cleaning.

Maintaining a clean house doesn’t need to be that complicated. Here are some tricks of the trade that might make your spring cleaning — and your never-ending to-do list, a little easier to manage.

How to do a proper spring cleaning

There is a right way and a wrong way to clean. Sometimes, we spend so much time just planning how we’re going to clean that we don’t actually go through with it. Give these hacks a try:

  • Declutter first. According to Simplifying Mom Life, decluttering is a crucial step. Before you start dusting and bleaching every surface in sight, remember to get rid of the clutter first. While it might take a while, you’ll be surprised at how much easier it is to scrub the tub when there aren’t so many old bottles, containers and stuff around.
  • Create a list. You can print off a colorful list of spring cleaning items or make one for yourself. Either way, it always feels good to check off a box or scribble out a to-do item once you’ve completed it. Break down each big project into smaller, more manageable tasks.
  • Consider child care. If you clean better alone, consider sending the kids away for a day. According to Practical By Default, this is an essential spring cleaning step. Whether they spend the day at school, with a relative or with friends, it could be nice to have the house to yourself. Blast some music, pull your hair back and get to work.

How to get the kids involved

Your kids can be your greatest helpers! Here are some tips to get them involved in spring cleaning:

  • Make it kid-sized. If you have little ones, they probably won’t be able to handle some of the bigger cleaning projects. But they can pick up their toys, make their beds and declutter their rooms, all while listening to music or doing a fun activity. If you’d like, print out a smaller “checklist” for them to complete!
  • Reward. My family always had a fun activity planned after we finished cleaning. We would go to the movies, get some ice cream or go to the pool. Either way, we cleaned as a family, and we celebrated as a family.
  • Make a game out of it. Some families are more competitive than others. But one fun way to motivate kids is by putting them on the clock. Consider making a timed challenge where each child has 20 minutes to clean their rooms or put away all their laundry. Not only is it energizing, it makes the work go by quickly.