Library The Prudent Homemaker

Super Spiffy Day is a day where the tasks that don’t get done on a regular basis (like cleaning baseboards and walls) get tackled. I call a Super Spiffy Day whenever the house needs a good deep clean, but it’s also great for seasonal cleaning, or to do before guests are expected.

I have a list on my computer of items that need to get done. This list is for the children. They get to pick and choose which tasks they want to do, while I work on other major cleaning projects (such as cleaning the carpets, scrubbing furniture and walls, washing shower curtains, and cleaning the hood vent, stove, and oven). Letting them choose which chores they want makes the job a bit more fun. They write their name down next to a task, and then cross it off when it is done and pick another task. My list has grown in length as our children have gotten older and have become capable of harder (and higher) tasks. This year my three oldest suggested several new tasks that we added to the list.

I organize my list by rooms. Halls and the entryway are listed as rooms too. For each room, I have broken down the job into items such as:

Wash both sides of door frame

Wash both sides of door

Clean baseboard

Clean windowsill(s)

Clean lightswitch(es)

Wash walls (each wall is listed as a task)


Dining chairs are wiped every day, but on Super Spiffy Day, they get scrubbed. Each chair is listed as one task.

The kitchen jobs includes such tasks such as cleaning the toaster, cleaning the outside of the fridge (including the top), and wiping cabinet fronts (which I break into sections for jobs).

Vacuuming under the couch cushions is another job.

Most of our scrubbing is done with washcloths, using a bit of Murphy’s Oil Soap and warm water in a couple of buckets. For some jobs (like the vinyl covered seats of our chairs) a scrub brush is in order. 

Kitchen The Prudent Homemaker 

At the end of the day, we have a treat (usually ice cream).

In case your little ones are needing a little inspiration, check out this cute Backyardigans Epsiode with Mr. Spiffy.

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  1. I love this! My kids have chore charts to complete each week, but this would be good to do every once in a while. I can see how giving them power over the decision as to which chore they are responsible for would encourage them to do it well. I’m definitely pinning this post to remember for later.

  2. Hi Brandy and one and all from Australia :D.

    We usually have a standard clean every Friday which was yesterday here in Australia. This consists of –

    – Cleaning all the bathroom, toilet, shower screen glass and the floor around the toilet bowl with citrus vinegar. Although the toilet got more of a super spiffy cleaning with the walls and belt rails being deep cleaned.
    – Doing all the clothes washing, including sheets, towels and all clothing and folding it up.
    – Washing up all of the dishes.
    – Cleaning and dusting the skirting boards and belt rails throughout the house if they are dusty.
    – Cleaning and dusting the entertainment unit where the T.v sits if it is dusty.
    – Washing up all dishes, we rinse them all and sit them on the side of the sink and wash up when we have a decent pile from the two of us, which could be a few days worth of dishes. Each morning we put 1/2 sink worth of water in the sink and all the dishes get rinsed in hot soapy water for the day. To save water on water restrictions.
    – Sorting my husbands and my nests ,which are an accumulation of junk mail, paperwork and whatever else builds up beside our lounge chairs during the week.
    – Make bed with clean sheets and put out clean towels.
    – Vacuum all floors and mop if necessary.

    Some of a super spiffy day will be on Monday when we are doing the following tasks –

    – Moving fridge, freezer, buffet unit and stove and vacuuming and mopping underneath and cleaning cabinet faces to the side of the stove if they are greasy.
    – Cleaning outside of all kitchen cabinet doors and front of stove.

    We take things step by step on super spiffy and set out our tasks to be small due to my husband’s back injuries. But with doing little super spiffy tasks regularly room by room we get everything done.

  3. Brandy your house is beautiful. You are such an inspiration. What do you use to wash painted walls? At the moment mine are covered with dirty hand and fingerprints.

  4. The Murphy’s oil soap works well for taking handprints off walls and is an inexpensive cleaner (1/4 cup to a gallon of water, and I usually dilute it a bit more than that). It takes off handprints and dirt just fine. One place that gets really dirty is the walls next to the children’s beds (if you child has his bed up against a wall) and of course in the halls.

  5. Now that we’re empty nesters and it’s mostly me who does it all, I try to do a few deeper cleaning tasks each week. This past week I got most of the inside windows washed. Last week I planted flowers in a small bed I’d enlarged in Spring and wiped down walls in my bed/bath areas. It all adds up and keeps me ahead of tasks, making it easier on me. When my kids were home we had deep cleaning days. Some of the jobs were ‘for hire’ like washing windows inside and out (&.75 per window) and painting porches or deck, etc. Some jobs were just expected they’d help with (dusting walls and cleaning ceiling fans, etc). It worked well for us then just as my current solo plan works for me now.

  6. Brandy,

    Your home is lovely! I especially love how neat and organized your kitchen is.

    I love how you do the chore lists for your children. It’s is such a great idea! Do you loan them out? Just kidding! 🙂

    I have been using Murphy’s oil soap on cupboards for years. It is the best product out there.

    Thanks for a great post. I am off to clean my kitchen now. Thanks for the motivation!

  7. I wish I was as organized and as motivated!! After keeping house for 53 years, I have decided that housework bores me to tears! I don’t mind laundry, and keeping the kitchen and bathroom clean, as those obviously need to be done regularly or we are in a total mess. Cooking is generally not a problem either, as I like cooking and we get hungry at regular intervals.
    It seems I am always in a rush to be done and be able to sit down and read or play or watch TV or anything except housework! My daughter has taken to dusting the ceilings and walls occasionally when she comes over, and grabs the dust mop to do so. I am barely 5 feet and we have tall ceilings, so this is a helpful habit of hers! I know that de-cluttering would make it easier, but I have honestly been de-cluttering since January, and while I have taken a lot of things out, there still seem to be even more things yet to be gone through. Due to a back problem, I can only stand to be on my feet about 20 minutes at a time, and then have to sit for a bit. I always seem to sit for longer than necessary! My house is about 105 years old and gets very dusty. I keep telling myself I could use a small dose of obsessive compulsive disease—the best cleaners must surely have that disease to some degree! We are fairly good at putting things away after ourselves, but I fear I will never get to the end of the perpetual dust in here, nor ever get rid of the things we no longer need or want. Does anyone have ideas for motivating me? Maybe someone to poke me with a stick when I slow down?

  8. My mother and I have been working through some of the rooms in our house over the last couple months. My mom is the clear and organizer in the family and I’m the helper. I find I am far too detail oriented when I clean (as in toothpicks come out to clean in little cracks type of detail cleaning). What should only take an hour or two turns into a major project when I get involved, so I try to pick one area in the room that really needs work while my mother whips through the rest. It’s what seems to work best for us.

  9. I knew your home would be beautiful! I LOVE the picture of your kitchen 🙂 I have been tackling a big project every day or two since becoming unemployed. The house is slooooowly brightening and coming together 🙂

  10. Watch a few episodes of “Hoarders” – it is a huge motivator for me – I am able to go thru things faster and let things go much easier after seeing what can happen when clutter is let go to an extreme!

    Brandy – I hope the cleaning day was before the injury! Good planning 😛 – now you are set for the holiday!

    I wish any one of my household members would just see what needs to get done and do it but this house was only a house in my mind for so long that I have only just started making it a home and keeping a schedule to make sure things are getting done. Our life was turned upside down 8 years ago and it has been an uphill battle for me to recreate myself, know I have worth and to make keeping the home and being a wife and mom my priority. I am far from where I want to be but getting closer all the time. When my son said to me that he and his girlfriend would much rather be at our home rather than her parent’s because we are relaxed and our home is not a showroom – that made me feel much better and to focus on what I have accomplished rather than what I haven’t!
    Thank you for the inspiration that you provide thru this blog – so many of us need it!

  11. You have a beautiful home, Brandy! Thanks so much for sharing those photos.

    I noticed you have clean the switch plates on your super spiffy list. We started cleaning the doorknobs and switch plates each week on the recommendation of our MD. We truly believe that we pass bugs (colds, flu, etc.) around much less with cleaning those each week than once in a while.

    Thank so much for sharing you Super Spiffy List idea – I think we need to do something like this at our house!

  12. Hi Marcia and understand the dust scenario, we live in a approx. 100 year old house as well. It just seems to fall from everywhere onto all the furniture and appliances with great glee, it perpetually looks like a dust storm has erupted inside the house most of the time.

    I would love to poke you with a stick but I fear I would need a huge stick as I live in Australia and I am afraid the risk of RSI and hernia would be great.

    However I do have a suggestion we use in our home which helps us as my husband does have extensive back injuries as well that we have to do a work around on to get tasks done. We focus on a cleaning task each day that takes a minimal amount of time. If I am in the kitchen for instance a small job might just be to clean the outside of the cabinets, while my husband cleans the venetian blinds. Next day it might be that I clean the whole outside of the oven, and my husband will clean all the splashbacks behind the stove and kitchen sinks.

    Not being a huge fan of housework myself I find that keeping tasks small tends to spur me on more. I usually do one small task and say to myself well that looks better and end up doing another small task as well.

    With the height issue I have a husband who is 6’2″ tall and I affectionately call him the tall ship of the family, he designates all the tasks that are usually out of my reach unless I have a chair. Things like cleaning fans, vacuuming as the vacuum cleaner we bought with extra extension pieces so he can do that without bending, the higher parts of walls etc. That suits my husbands injuries as he cannot bend below his waist without help to get up. I on the other hand am affectionately known as the short ship of the family, although not that short at 5’8″ I still do look like a midget next to my husband. My tasks are chores below the waist level such as cleaning lower parts of the walls, fronts of kitchen cabinets, the bath, toilet etc.

    Give it a try, and I hope this strategy works for you as it does for us.

  13. Mine are covered with FOOTPRINTS. :p I never thought about those summer days when we’d play outside in crocs and then they’d go to bed to get a bath in the morning. i saw the wall around their beds from them drumming their feet and it’s filthy. Probably I’m going to tackle it next weekend.

  14. We had a big clean up day due to the wedding of my nephew weekend before past. Lots of relatives and friends from out of town. We had 5 guests with us, all young unmarried. My daughter next door had 12 of the unmarried cousins and friends. We had at our house the boyfriends and girlfriends of those at her house. Most arrived Friday and some stayed through til Sunday.

    Our old house, the one next door, always had major dust as we were growing up. It had a coal furnace so coal dust was always everywhere. It was normal to wash ceilings and walls down, with long handled brushes, especially before any big gathering, like a holiday or wedding, birthday etc. No one was sad when we converted to a gas furnace.

  15. I agree. The top picture looks so inviting…curl up and read a book. Is that the library you have mentioned? I love the dark wood of the furniture.

  16. Hi Brandy! Beautiful rooms you have! I’ve been looking for a gas range/cooktop with front knobs. Is yours a range or cooktop and is it gas or electric? What brand is it? Thank you for sharing all your ideas and talents!

  17. It is gas (stove/oven combination). It’s a Kitchen Aid. It’s wider than the average stove by 6 inches, but if you’re looking for a 6 burner that will fit in the regular 30″ spot, there are some companies that make them, including GE.

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