Spring Cleaning: While Home Social Distancing

Since it’s well past the first of Spring and we have all been stuck at home, there’s a good chance some of what you have been doing has been cleaning, disinfecting and going through closets and garages. If your weather has been anything like ours has (a lot of cool and rain) you probably have spent a lot of time inside as well. What are some spring cleaning ideas for the time while under stay at home orders?

1. Now is a good time to go through clothing. Watch Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and lay all your clothing out on your bed- then hold each item to see which ones excite you. If they no longer fit, aren’t worn and you feel nothing when you hold them, they will likely be worn in someone else’s closet.

Another idea for clothing is to hang everything in one direction in your closet, flip the hangers as you wear each item and in 6 months, all the originally hung clothes get donated- or 1 year if they’re seasonal.

Go through kids’ clothing as well. Make sure everything fits, is in good condition and is seasonally appropriate.

Go through shoes and accessories next- if you have a purse or shoes that are wearing out or that you haven’t used or worn in years, toss them.

2. Kid’s toys. How many games are laying out with missing pieces that are never played? How many toys are broken or outgrown? Sit toys to the side and put away to have a yard sale when things clear off.

Another recommendation is to put some toys away and switch them out. Kids typically have too many toys so not all get played with- when you rotate the toys, it’s like the toys are new again.

3. Take this time to go through your kitchen. Find all the gadgets you don’t use (or forgot about) and either find ways to use them or put them aside for a yard sale. Make sure your dishes are in good shape and get rid of and replace anything that’s chipped or broken.

Make sure you have a full set of measuring spoons and cups and make sure all your normally used supplies are in good shape. Anything you don’t need or have too many of, set aside for a yard sale.

Go through all your food- pull it out of the lazy Susan, pantry and all shelves. Anything that has expired, toss and take close inventory of everything. Make sure everything is still good and put it back with earliest dates first.

Remember, not all food goes bad by the date and best by is not expiration.

Before you put the stuff back, clean and wash all shelves or wipe them down with clorox wipes.

Clean out your fridge, it there is food growing mold, toss it out and soak the container. Wipe down the insides and shelves then organize as you put everything back.

4. Go through your bathroom. Find all of the medications that are expired  and  drop anything off that has expired, destroy and toss the prescription take labels to destroy. Find all your cosmetics, lay them out and go through dates and condition of each item. Also go through personal care, hair and skin products and get rid of all almost used or empty bottles. Before you put the stuff back, clean and wash all shelves or wipe them down with clorox wipes.

Before you leave the bathroom, clean the toilet, tub and sink. Make sure you get the edges of the toilet- not just the bowl, get the back and under the seat.

5. Get rid of all your towels that are in bad condition. Animal shelters are always willing to take old, used towels for bedding. Move all ragged wash cloths to cleaning cloths and replace anything that is needed.

6. Put your washer and dish washer on cleaning modes and have them clean themselves, self clean your oven if it has that option. Otherwise, scrub down the inside of your oven. Remember to make sure if you’re able to use oven cleaner, it’s not always safe to use.

7. Pick everything off the floor and sweep or vacuum. Move the furniture and appliances and sweep/vacuum/mop and shampoo under everything. While you’re at it, vacuum and shampoo (or steam) the couch, all upholstered chairs and other fabric furniture.

8. Go through your books. They may have an attachment but they do no good just sitting around collecting dust- if you have already read them and aren’t going to read them again, give them to a friend who would like them. Donate to the library or sell- they do good when they’re being read not sitting around and doing nothing.

9. Wash all the windows, TV and computer screens, mirrors and all glass.

10. Dust all knick knacks, ceiling fans and light covers before sweeping

11. Take a Clorox wipe and wipe down the sides of all appliances and cupboards in your kitchen and laundry room.

The states are slowly working on starting to open back up but stay at home orders are slowly changing to “safer at home” and a lot of people are still wanting to stay home as long as they can.

If you still haven’t returned to work, now is a good time to work on trying to get your home caught up, decluttered and deep cleaned. Cleaning can help take your mind off things and deep cleaning can help protect against insect invasions that happen during the spring, viruses and can make you feel fresher.

What areas in your house are you or have you cleaned out? Have you been spring cleaning your house?


	

What Type of Cleaning Do you Do Daily, Weekly and Monthly?

When you’re living on your own, owning or renting a home and especially after you have kids, you want your home to be a relaxing sanctuary. The last thing you want to worry about is waking up in the middle of the night, turning on the bathroom light and watching hundreds of roaches scattering. You definitely don’t want to wake up one day to hundreds of bite marks and realize it’s been way too long since you changed your sheets- then find a full bed bug infestation in your mattress.

You also don’t want to run your water bill sky high and spend all your time cleaning and doing laundry (not to mention wear and tear on certain fabrics)

What are the chores you should do daily? Weekly? Bi-Weekly or monthly? Here are what some sources are saying

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Chores that should be done daily

Never leave dishes in the sink or water around the sink or drain. Make sure to wipe up water around the tub, kitchen and bathroom sinks- roaches aren’t attracted to filth as much as they look for food and water. That’s also why it’s important to fix any leaky pipes- in the walls or under the sinks. Any moisture will attract not just roaches but other water and moisture loving pests (and molds love it too)

Dirty dishes are also a roach(or fly, gnat and other pests)s’ haven. Make sure to keep dishes cleaned and if you use a dish drain, try to make sure it’s wiped down and excess water is patted off.

Food on the floor and table is perfect for a colony of ants. Sweep or vacuum at least once a day, it never hurts to do it multiple times, especially if you have kids who leave behind a lot of crumbs.

If you have a large family or young kids, likely you will also find tossing in a load or two of laundry ends up being a normal daily thing.

People also recommend making the bed daily. It helps make the bedroom look nicer and can start your day making you feel more relaxed and productive. The Spruce lists 5 good reasons to start your day by making your bed.

At the end of each day, pick up items in the living room and kitchen, especially after kids have gone to bed and straighten your pillows on the couch.

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Chores that should be done Weekly

Some chores should be done weekly or twice a week.

Changing your sheets and washing the pillow cases should be done weekly.
Many people wait longer between changing sheets, but the oils from your skin can build up on the pillow case- and it can cause build up on your skin which will lead to acne.
On top of skin oils, not everyone showers before bed so the grime, dirt and dust can get on the sheets, even when you change into pajamas so depending on lifestyle, changing sheets sometimes should be done sooner

If you don’t have a top sheet or a comforter cover, it’s also best to wash your comforter weekly to monthly. Of course, wash every time you spill something on it, but you really don’t need to wash the comforter as much as you wash sheets.

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Chores that should be done Monthly

Dusting should be done at least once a month. Dusting electronics, table tops and shelves should be done more, but ceiling fans, tops of door frames and air vents/ducts should be done monthly.

Cleaning light fixtures, inside light covers and this includes dusting inside lamps and wiping down lampshades.

Walls should be wiped down(including baseboards) and clean window sills, dust blinds and wash curtains.

 

What are some of your must do chores? What are some things I missed?

This is a basic run down, there are more chores to do around the house, especially every 2-6 months and annual.

Book Review: The Year of Simple Living

The Year of Simple Living is written by Steph Parrell

She is the creator of ScaleitSimple.com. She wrote this book as a guide to living a more simple life over the course of one year.

The book starts off with the author listing the benefits beyond financial to living a more simple, back to nature lifestyle. She also goes into how her grandparents lived and how she started exploring their way of life a little more.

The concept of the book are working through 12 different areas in the span of 12 months. The challenge is to take the full month and do every part with an open mind, so I cannot tell you how much of an impact it has had already, I’m just getting started with month one but I will update over the course of the 12 months.

If you’re feeling stressed, frazzled and you’re wanting to live a less stressful, simpler and more natural life, this book is definitely worth the read. Remember, nothing happens literally overnight- so how this book is broken down month by month and all the aspects of your life are laid out, this makes it easier for beginners to the lifestyle to ease into the change.

Anyone else doing Blogtober?

I totally forgot this was a thing, but decided to do this with 4 websites.

Since I’m letting my “primary” site expire (it was an experiment and it filled it’s need, so the special extras are expiring), I’m going to use this challenge this month to up my content on all four niche sites.

I’m going to try to keep with the fall/Halloween theme but also thinking winter/Christmas/Thanksgiving- crafts and of course, allergy friendly recipes.

 

This will coinside with a major holiday promotion I’m starting today as well as prep for Campnano next month, so I’ll be leaving one challenge to enter another.

If anyone is doing Blogtober, I’d love to see some links in the comments

 

I Watched Marie Kondo’s Show

All January, people have been talking about professional cleaner/organizer Marie Kondo’s new Netflix reality show. Like most of the people in her target market, I decided to check out the show myself, so my kids and I have spent the last week watching it. I have gone through my kitchen, book closet, bed room and both of my kids’ bedrooms and have cleared out over ten bags of items to donate or sell. On top of that, we threw away at least 10 bags of broken or unusable items we hadn’t got around to getting rid of. Watching the show gave me a lot to think about, some of the things she said didn’t really apply but some of it resonated with us quite a bit.

Here are the top five ways watching the show helped me in declutter my home

1.Piling all my clothes on the bed together. Making my pile helped me sort and see exactly how much for each season I still had. I didn’t have as big a pile as some of the people on her show, but I go through my clothing on a regular basis. I only had one bag by the end and it wasn’t even completely filled because my last purge was less than a year ago (my first purge gave me three full bags of donations). I like her way because it helps you see how many and gives you a chance to really go through

2.Only keep items that really “spark joy.” Although, my toaster doesn’t spark joy, it is needed. It’s a good piece of advice to follow with items that serve no actual need and are only there for sentimental reasons. Most of the time, if you have something shoved in the back of a closet “just in case you need it,” you won’t need it so if it serves no purpose and doesn’t make you feel good, you don’t need it.

3.Take the time to “thank” items you’re going to get rid of. It seems a bit cheesy, if you’re not familiar with her religion, but when you stop and thank an item you no longer need, it can help you respect the item itself, even the process. It gives you a few moments to really think about the service that item gave you. You don’t even have to be a practitioner of her religion to get the benefit of taking the time to express gratitude toward the item.

4.Her folding method may not be new to everyone, but it really helps with saving space and storage for clothing. Putting underwear and bras in containers makes the underwear drawer look a lot better.

5.The biggest thing that influenced me was simple “peer pressure.” Not peer pressure from people I know in person, but a kind of feeling of peer pressure from watching the show. Watching other people go through everything was motivating me to go through our stuff, even if their homes still seemed cluttered, the show is most definitely not a minimalist show, but it can help start down the path to minimalism.

The show has received a fair amount of criticism, but it has also mixed with New Year’s resolutions and caused many viewers to go through their homes, donating larger than usual amounts of stuff to thrift shops everywhere. Getting rid of everything that doesn’t “spark joy” may not be possible to a lot of us (really, certain foods may not spark joy, but we need to eat, same with certain appliances) but the show seems to have done more good than bad and there are some valuable takeaways.

We still are far from done, but it has made a world of difference in my kids’ rooms, our bedroom and kitchen. We can now see our living room floor and the kids can play in their rooms. I also have a new appreciation for my clothing. Now that I have the ground work, I’m positive I will be able to help us get our home organized within the year.