AJ Earley is a personal chef, freelance writer, and root beer float enthusiast from Boise, Idaho.
Spring is here again, which can only mean one thing: spring cleaning. When it comes to taking on difficult tasks that may take several days to complete, conflict can easily arise. Teamwork is a very important aspect of any marriage, and it comes into play almost every day.
There are two types of teamwork. There’s the kind where you both pitch in where needed to keep things running smoothly, and then there’s the kind where you are both working on a new or frustrating task together. Anyone who’s taken on their first home renovation or landscaping project together knows that things can get tense quickly.
You could just divide the house up into sections and work on them separately, but it’s important to learn how to work well together as a team. It can also be fun! Try these tips to make spring cleaning joyful:
Declutter For A Cause
One of the first steps to spring cleaning is to go through your stuff and get rid of all the unnecessary clutter. Challenge each other to do some research and come up with one charity that you each feel is important and keep that in mind when going through your home. In the end, you’ll each have a box or two to bring to a group that will benefit from your unused things. You might learn something new about your husband, and you’ll come out of it with a new found respect for each other’s views.
A Little Healthy Competition
If there’s a chance of “winning,” you will both be a little more motivated to get things done. If you’re dusting, have a contest to see who sneezes the fewest times. When cleaning out the fridge, get down on the floor, count down from three, and see who can collect the most expired items. If you’ve got kids, see who can find the most toys hidden in all the nooks and crannies of your home. When there’s a competition involved, you’ll come up with creative places to look and you’ll be surprised how much you find!
Add Something Fun To The Mundane
If you have a room that is going to need a lot of work, it’s easy to get discouraged before you even start. An easy way to boost morale is to add rearranging and redecorating to the mix. Even if you don’t have a ton of money, you can set aside a little and find creative ways to refurbish your home on a tight budget.
Working together on the budget and the shopping can bring about disagreements, but if you make it a point to always use words of affirmation during this process, it will go smoothly. Once you have your new items, you won’t be able to put off cleaning that one awful space. And the best part is that when you’re done, you’ll be able to look at your new decor and know that it was melded together by both of you.
Make A Game Out Of It
I like to call this the “I need your help” game. “I need your help” can be a scary phrase for some to hear, and for others it can be difficult to express. This exercise can help both types of people be more comfortable with the idea, and spring cleaning is the perfect time to try it out.
You’ll each make a list of tasks that you can’t complete without the other. If you have high windows and your husband is taller than you, write “I need your help to clean the whole window.” If your husband is great at laundry but can’t fold those fitted sheets, he’d write “I need your help folding the laundry.”
The point of this is that you don’t actually “need” each other for these tasks. You could find a chair to stand on and clean the top of the window, and your husband could watch one of many online sheet folding tutorials. The fact that the help isn’t necessary eases fear in those who have subconscious issues with being needed, and your partner coming to your aid even though you could handle it on your own shows those who fear asking for help that it is actually happily offered by the people who love us most.
Even if neither of you deal with either of these common issues, this game can be beneficial because you will grow closer when joining your unique talents together to make something easier.
What is your best Spring cleaning ideas to kick the conflict?