Almost everyone feels the impact of the quick close of summer and the abrupt thrust back into the school routine, Mom and Dad included. And whether you’re a stay-at-home-mom or balancing work and family on your own, there is no doubt that the new school year will impact your normal routines, especially cleaning.
We’ve developed some tips for a great back-to-school (BTS) cleanup crash plan that will help make your lives easier once the hustle and bustle of BTS is in full effect.
1. Get the kids involved!
More than likely, you’ve been a lil’ lax on the kids cleaning chores, and who can blame you? Trips to the beach, baseball games, and summer BBQ’s often take precedence over your normal chores. Create a checklist for your kids. Start with their room and extend their list of responsibilities to common areas. Think about creating a reward system to help incentivize your little workers. You’re reward is a clean house!
2. Reduce and De-clutter
Take some time out to inventory the items around your house. Do you need that VHS player that’s been gathering dust for 5 years? Still hoping that acid wash comes back in style? Giving up on those items will clear tons of space and help to renew entire rooms in your home. Encourage your kids to do the same! It might be time to let go of that teddy bear you won at that carnival when you were 5.
3. Nature’s dirty impact
A fresh summer breeze is so nice, but it’s also so dirty. Natural elements like pollen and other asthma inducing villains, like dust mites, are important to remove from the inside of your home. Use a steam cleaner to sanitize and refresh the soft areas of your home that is too big to throw in the washer and dryer. A thorough vacuuming of rugs and upholstery are important after steaming so that any bacteria and germs killed by your steamer can be removed.
4. Keep the outdoors out
Chances are there’s been a time or two when you’ve had to encourage the summer fun to move away from the TV or video games and into the great outdoors. To reduce the number of grass clippings and dirt balls you have tracked back into your house, we suggest a shoe basket or mat right inside the door (preferably the back door). If the idea doesn’t catch on right away, keep a steam mop in the corner of the room plugged in so you’re ready to go at a moments notice.
5. Don’t forget the exterior of your home
Let’s face it; even if you do have time on the weekends to clean the deck, wash the siding or trim some bushes you’re not going to feel like doing it now that the free time of summer is gone. Take these final days to tackle these laborious tasks, you’ll thank yourself later.
6. Start switching over your wardrobe early
We don’t recommend putting all those shorts and tanks away, but you’re not going to need all of those cute summer outfits with their corresponding accessories. This will make the big switch chore less dramatic down the road.
7. Clean your cleaning appliances
This one is kind of a no-brainer. The appliances we use to clean dishes, clothes and floors should be pretty clean themselves. But, truth be told, this is a chore that a lot of us neglect. While you are on a roll with all of your other BTS chores, squeeze this one in. You may be surprised with what you find. White vinegar is a great natural deodorizer for both dishwashers and clothes washer. Steam can put the finishing touches on sanitizing these “clean” areas, but make sure to wipe away any residue and film that is loosened.