Spring cleaning is a must for our family and something the wife and I have done every year since we bought our house back in 2009. Cleaning the house inside and out after a harsh winter is not appealing but many of us have had all winter to wind up the motor for these Spring cleaning chores.
In 2009 we were dual-income homeowners without a child and we pretty much had all the spare time in the world to keep our home pristine looking. Most times people would compliment us on how tidy and clean our house was and thought it looked magazine ready.
Although we chuckled when those compliments came in these days we’d LOVE if just one person would compliment our toy-ridden house that has been taken over by a 19 month old “Wreck it Ralph”. He contributes to 99% of the disaster around this house and thinks it’s hilarious. We do too in a parenting kind of way, lol.
As a husband and father who works 6 days a week at 2 jobs and blogs I have a pretty tight schedule to fill these days. What I’ve learned in just under 2 years of being a dad is that some things can wait and other things, not so much. Let’s not forget that me time that I need to squeeze in. If I’m not taking care of myself then I can’t be strong for my family.
Looking back I wish I took more time to get renovations done around the house so I can spend more time with my family now. I took for granted that spare time which I no longer have. Every time I get a day off now it’s more about what we will do as a family as opposed to getting on with fixing up the house as planned years ago. I have yet to finish many projects around the house.
My wife said to me the other day, “I’m not worried about the renovations because they are just upgrades but I’d like to get on with the Spring Cleaning”. Although it was a weight lifted from my shoulders to know that my wife supports me on my career quest I know that I still need to contribute to the maintenance of our home.
There have been many times my wife has said that she is tired of being a stay at home mom and would love to go back to work or switch roles with me. Trust me when I say that I don’t blame her some days as our son can be a handful as most kids are.
Being a stay at home parent is not an easy job as it’s very demanding. Spending time with my son when I’m home so the wife can do her thing puts her role into perspective for me. I don’t think we anticipated having a son who only sat down because it was time to eat. Even then it’s still a struggle because all he loves to do is learn and play. The energy that flows from this kid is demanding on us as parents but we love him no less. This is just the beginning of the journey, right?
How to Spring clean with a toddler
Our son has witnessed and participated in Spring cleaning around the house over the past 2 weeks now. We bought him his own little broom and dustpan which he enjoys showing off his skills of making a mess and cleaning it up. He thinks it’s funny to crush his snacks with his foot on the ground, sweep them in a pile then attempt to pick them up. At least he tries.
While at the Goodwill we picked up a vacuum cleaner for $3.00 that he can use since he is always trying to jump in and help out when it’s time to hoover up. He appreciates being able to participate like a big boy.
Tonight he spilled some of his frozen strawberries that were melting on the ground and he quickly grabbed a tissue from the table and started to clean the floor. I’m amazed at how our actions as adults have been watched and executed from such a little guy.
Washing the dishes is a huge job for him and he proves it day after day as he pushes the kitchen chair to the sink so he can help clean up after a meal.
Watching our son grow up and copy things that we do inspires us as parents to make sure that we motivate him to be the best he can be and to realize that there will always be responsibilities in his life no matter what each day brings us.
When I get home from work the last thing I want to be doing is cleaning and although some of you might say that it should be my wife’s job, I never expect that of her. I do my fair share of chores around the house including all of the laundry. We do split the chores in the house which means when Spring finally comes I’ve got even more added to my honey-d0-list.
April Snow in Ontario
This year in Ontario we thought we were getting away with a lovely early Spring which turned into rain, snow, a lovely warm day and back to snow. In other-words Mother Nature is all over the place with the weather which is only pushing Spring further away. Many of you might use this time as an extension of lazy winter days before Spring but not us.
I don’t want to be the guy who is outside cleaning on his day off when the weather is nice and hot. I want to be out back on the deck hanging out by the kiddie pool with my kid or sipping a cold beverage and enjoying a BBQ meal while viewing our lovely landscaped yard.
None of that will happen if I treat this April snow as another reason to come home and sit in front of the television or computer as an excuse to not get Spring cleaning done. The past 2 weeks we have done interval Spring cleaning around the house which started with me sweeping out the garage that was filled with dirt and salt from the driveway over the winter.
Over the past 2 years the wife and I have gone from using harsh chemicals to clean the house to simply using vinegar and water. Not only is it safer to have vinegar and water around our son it’s cheaper on the budget. I can’t tell you how much we’ve saved on cleaning products over the years even though we had a decent stockpile to begin with.
Obviously there are some big cleaning jobs that require a heavier product but we’ve been lucky to get away with old-fashioned white vinegar. Vinegar has lots of uses and if you’re starting your Spring cleaning chores put your money towards something that needs fixing or replacing instead of cleaning products you don’t need in the house.
Our Spring Cleaning list
Sometimes I wonder if we have too much on our Spring cleaning list but as homeowners we understand that if we don’t get it done our house could fall apart around us. When we let simple things go around the house they will eventually need repair which means spending money you shouldn’t have needed to spend had you kept up the maintenance.
A similar comparison would be vehicle maintenance. If you don’t clean your vehicle, replace the oil, brakes, tires or other jobs to maintain your car the car won’t run in the best condition. I don’t want to be that homeowner that other people on the street look at and turn a blind eye to because their house is run down.
We have a street in our neighbourhood that most people say they would never move to because of the way homeowners keep their properties and these houses are selling for close to $500,000. It’s true the street looks dirty and run down. You don’t have to sink tonnes of money into your property to keep the outside looking nice. Imagine how much more you could get for your house if you kept it looking pristine.
Below are some Indoor and Outdoor Spring cleaning chores that are on our to-list
Outdoor Spring Cleaning Chores
- Hand wash any visible siding on the house (we have an almost all-brick house)
- Scrub the front porch
- Clean the sun-room from top to bottom
- Scrub the deck, sand and stain it
- Bring out the patio furniture
- Clean the vehicle inside and out to rid of any salt residue
- Put all the deck, front porch and sun-room furniture outside
- Clean the outside windows and doors
- Rake up any leaves outside left from Fall
- Dig up anything that doesn’t need to be there
- Sweep the walk-way and driveway and general tidying up
- Spray paint any of the black wrought-iron that needs updating after the winter
- Get the planters ready for flowers and herbs
- Uncover the Air Conditioner unit outside ready for Summer
- Clean all the outside vents around the house
- Check the gutters to make sure they are empty
- Check around the house for any needed repairs
Indoor Spring Cleaning Chores
Since the snow doesn’t want to go away quite yet these are some indoor Spring cleaning chores that we have been able to get a head start on while we can.
- Clean all the windows inside on all levels of house (I will clean the outside upper level of the house when the weather is nicer)
- Clean all the window screens and install them back in for the Spring and Summer months (we remove them in the winter to clear off any visible condensation that may happen from time to time)
- Clean the entire basement with the central vacuum
- Defrost and clean out the freezer once we stop filling it up
- Wash and clean the washer and dryer inside and out
- Change the furnace filter- See my free downloads for a printable furnace filter Checklist
- Dust and clean all the ceiling fans
- Clear any dust bunnies from around the ceilings and walls
- Purge the house for anything we no longer need or use so we can sell it at an upcoming garage sale
- Clean the kitchen cabinets inside and out
- Swap around the mattresses and clean under the beds with the vacuum (Spring is a time we like to move furniture and get in behind or underneath)
- Wipe all the interior doors in the house
- Clean all the baseboard
- Clean inside the main hall closet to rid of any salt, dust and dirt after winter
- Clean under kitchen appliances *we do this monthly if we can but definitely in the Spring)
- Dust and then wash down the blinds with vinegar and water to remove any dust and residue
- Clean out the vents and bathroom fans around the house
Parenting has sure changed me but in a good way because now I appreciate the time that I have with my family. I want to ensure that I prioritize my homeowner duties so I have plenty of time to spend with my family this Spring and Summer having fun like we should be doing.
As you can see our Spring cleaning list is fairly straight-forward although I’m sure we can easily add more chores to the list. I’d like to create a Spring cleaning list to add to my printable page for those of you who would like to track what you need to Spring clean and what you’ve done.
If you want to help contribute to this list please leave a comment on this blog posts of Spring cleaning chores that you believe MUST or Should be on this Spring cleaning list. Anything and everything is acceptable as we all live in different dwellings and cities so don’t hold back.
Once I’m done with the Spring Cleaning list…it’s time for a Summer property checkup list! The cleaning never ends but neither does the need to live under a roof.
What did I do this week?
This week was nothing more than a repeat of most other weeks except we managed to get out of the house a bit more as a family. We didn’t end up bringing our son to the gym to hang out with his buddies as he got up too late so we did a mall run which he seems to like.
Although it’s not as interactive with other kids it gets him out of the house. We also play outside of the house and go for walks around the block too but the weather wasn’t so great this past week. Hopefully this is the end of the snow and we can finally get on with Spring.
The wife and I started to Spring clean this week although it felt more like winter cleaning but none the less we cleaned up some bits and purged items that we can sell. We have plenty more to do but we are taking it little by little. Life sure does change when you become a parent. 🙂 All good though.
Have a great week everyone!
Awesome posts I published this week
Just in case you’ve missed any of my blog posts this week I will share them all below. If you are looking for past Saturday Weekend Review posts scroll down to the bottom of this post where I will list up to 5 previous weeks for you to read.
If you have a question that you would like to ask Mr.CBB fill out the Contact Mr.CBB form on the blog home page and I’ll do my best to reply to each one. If you want to share a story via a Fan Question please ensure that there is minimum 500 words and lots of details…we love details! I’m more than happy to chat via email to bring your story to life.
New: If your story submission gets chosen and published you will be entered into a yearly draw for a $25 Gift Card or $25 CDN via PayPal if you are from the USA.
Right now CBB is posting Tuesday (Grocery Game Challenge), Thursday (Personal Finance Post), Saturday (Personal Finance and Weekly Wrap-Up and a Frugal Recipe on Sunday!
Top performing CBB Post this week : How much should my Grocery Budget Be?
You got WHAT for HOW Much?
Submit your Deal or Brag:
Saving money while grocery shopping is essential in the CBB family and that’s why we share our grocery shops every week in The Grocery Game Challenge .
Join the Budget Brag Challenge 2016 and WIN!!!
What I love the most is when my fans share their amazing shops with me whether it be groceries or other deals they find at a garage sale, online or freebies! In 2016 if you send me your Budget Brag you will automatically get entered into a yearly draw for a surprise gift card.
If your Budget Brag gets chosen you get an extra ballot! So start sending in your brags with a photo and tell me about your deals. If you are from the USA and win I will PayPal you the money in CDN dollars. Open to Canada and USA only.
Email me at canadianbudgetbinder@yahoo.(ca) < remove brackets) or fill out my contact form by Friday each week to have your brag considered for the Saturday post.
Hi Mr. CBB and Fans,
This week I scored a great deal on these Anchor Hocking glass Fire King set of three measuring cups. In the set there is a 1 cup ,2 cup, and 1 litre measuring cups.
Regular price for the measuring cups was listed at $16.99 but I got them for $7.00 at a going out of business sale. – Colleen K.
Making a difference (MAD)
Welcome to the 2016 Making A Difference series! Join the networking movement of Personal Finance Bloggers around the world. If you are a personal finance blogger (anywhere around the world) and would like your blog to be MAD featured simply drop me an email and I’ll explain the process to you. I’m currently booking for May/June 2016!
This is my way of giving back to the personal finance community through networking and sharing knowledge with my fans. Today it is my pleasure to share with you the blog, Struggling To Be Debt Free!
Hi Mr. CBB and readers,
My name is Michelle and I am a 34 year old female blogger living in Florida (United States). I am a lawyer by trade and a personal finance enthusiast in real life. My blog is a mix of topics all loosely related to personal finance. Some of the things I blog about include: budgets, work, savings, spending, debt, friendships and family.
But, that’s enough about me, let me tell you why I started blogging. I had been a fan of personal finance blogs for quite some time prior to starting my own blog. I found the blogs encouraging, inspiring and helpful to my own journey to become debt free. (And believe me, I had it all, student loans, car loan and credit card debt!)
My blog has helped me remain accountable and make (most of the time) the best choices for my finances. I found that it is a powerful tool to put your financial decisions out into the blogosphere for the world to judge. I want to make a difference and help others that were and are in the same situation that I was and am. I want to encourage and inspire people who have an interest in improving their finances.
By reading through by posts and following my journey, I think it will be clear that anyone can improve his or her financial situation just by making sacrifices and making a few small changes. I think it will also be clear that becoming debt free and improving your finances is not easy, it is a struggle.
If you’d like to read more come visit me at Struggling To Be Debt Free. That is, of course, after you have finished checking out all the helpful information posted by Mr. CBB!
My best recipe find
Food and grocery shopping are relevant to us because food is a large part of the budget which people struggle the most with.
We all have to eat to survive but just because we have a budget doesn’t mean we can’t eat delicious home-cooked meals that are drool-worthy.
If you are someone who would rather buy convenience foods consider cooking homemade meals or baking from scratch. Not only will you save money but you will be proud of what you’ve accomplished and you’ll see that from the smiles on those you feed.
For the past 2 years I’ve had a second Facebook page called The Free Recipe Depot where I exclusively share recipes from Food Bloggers around the world. I also share recipes on the blog on Sunday either made by home cook and mom Nicola Don or myself.
This week our Top Recipe Pick goes to British Home Baker Lisa over at Sweet 2 Eat who caught my attention with these Cherry Bakewell Cupcakes.
If you’ve ever had a Cherry Bakewell before you know what I mean when I say these are simply delicious looking. A Cherry Bakewell cookie tastes like almond and has a white icing and cherry on top. I can’t wait to try these and we have all of the ingredients in our pantry already.
Top DIY project
You might still have snow on the ground but Spring is certainly here which means it’s time to get a move on getting your seedlings ready for the garden. Many of you may have already started in March depending on what you are growing.
I found this excellent list, “When to Plant Your Vegetable Garden“. Never miss planting season again. Print this chart out and keep it somewhere you can stare at it all year for a reminder! Clearly the chart will differ depending on where you live due to climate differences.
When I did grow peppers for our garden ( I don’t any longer) I would start the seedlings in March early April. Herbs did very well in our Ontario garden. The Basil I would start early indoors but the parsley, spring onions, chives etc. seemed to do well by a simply planting them outdoors after the first frost.
Make sure to check out Listotic (Listed and Loved) where you find all sorts of informative lists that will surely help you stay organized.
Editor’s Choice weekly read
Every week I will pick a blog post of the week from around the web that I found interesting and want to share with all of you. Please head on over and give the post a read and let them know that Mr. CBB sent you if you comment. Thanks.
Editor’s pick (That’s me Mr.CBB) This week I read a post by well-known blogger in the finance industry, J.D Roth at Money Boss who showcases The Millionaires Mindset in 53 habits that you need to review if you want to build wealth and become successful. A great read.
The things people Google
Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. Any spelling errors below are because I share with you the exact way they typed their search engine query to land on my blog. Some of them are serious and others are meant to have a laugh.
- What stores participate in the Wrong Tag Program?– I love when people just make stuff up like this because they don’t know the exact name. In this case it’s- Scanning Code of Practice.
- Does my wife have access to my RRSP?– Well the internet isn’t going to tell you. Call your financial advisor. If you plan on divorcing her ask your lawyer for advice since you’re paying for it. – RRSP and Divorce
- Getting married for financial security– Is stupid!
- Must have kitchen #2016– I’ve never written about kitchen trends yet but they can gladly have our kitchen if they’d like.
- Why is holiday luncheon meat cheaper at Dollarama?– Do you really need to ask this?
That’s all the fun for this week, thanks for dropping by.
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- The Saturday Weekend Review #163: Change Your Financial Behaviour from Zoom to Panoramic View
- The Saturday Weekend Review #164: Money Is A Resource Not To Be Confused With A Power tool
- The Saturday Weekend Review #165: Frugal Easter Traditions We’ve Started As A Family
- The Saturday Weekend Review #166: The Dollar Store Should Be Called The Dollars Store