The Seven Stages of Spring Cleaning with Children


The weather is getting warmer. The birds are chirping. Spirits are brightening. Spring is in the air. Spring doesn’t only bring cheery faces, flowers, and baby bunnies. It also brings spring cleaning. Everyone is anxious to air out their homes. To purge their unwanted items. To let out the stale winter air and dust and let in the warmth of spring. We put aside a weekend to deep clean our homes. Yet, there are those of us with an affliction known as children.

Try as we might, spring cleaning is never truly accomplished. But every year we go through the same seven stages…

mess 6
mess 3
mess 5


Kids, it’s time for a little spring cleaning! Wait! What?!? What, in the name of Mr. Clean, has happened here?!? Didn’t I just clean this entire house like three months ago for Christmas? There is no way that you could have made such a mess in three months? Are those dinner dishes from Thanksgiving leftovers?!? I’m speechless. Absolutely speechless. Well, you better get to work. I want this disaster picked up before Dad gets home.



Nope. No way. There is no way that I am going to help clean up this mess. You made the mess. You clean up the mess. I will not pick up a single item.

denial mayve


Please clean up this mess. If you clean up the mess before Dad gets home, I will do the vacuuming. If you get it cleaned up before the weekend, we can watch a movie. We can go to a movie. We can buy a movie theater. We will go to frickin’ Hollywood and make a movie. Please just clean this up.

bargaining 2


Okay, I guess I’m the only one in this house who actually cares. I’m the only one who doesn’t want to live in filth. I don’t like living in a trash can. You must think our house is a big trash can. If you don’t want to help your mother keep our home, at least a little respectable, then fine. I will just do it all myself. 

guilt 2


Get your lazy butts in here and clean up this mess. I am sick and tired of cleaning up after you. When you have your own homes, I’m going to come over and leave empty wrappers all over the floor. Yes, I will. And I’ll get into your make up and get concealer all over your sink without cleaning it up. If you think for one second that you are going to go anywhere, do anything, or get anything before this mess is cleaned up…you thought wrong!

anger maybe


Our house is never going to be clean. I am the only one who cleans. I am the only one who cares. I am the only one who will ever actually try. My entire family doesn’t care at all about me. About our house. About anything.