It’s fall, the kids are back in school and activities and sports are in full swing. Now is a great time to clean and organize before the winter cold sets in and we’re stuck inside our homes to avoid the snow piles outside. Grab a pumpkin spice latte, light an apple cider candle and let’s get to work.
As the seasons change and the kids grow, it’s easy to accumulate closets full of clothes that no one is wearing. Set aside the items that may have special meaning, like sports jerseys from previous seasons, a dress worn for a special celebration or even t-shirts from tournaments or concerts your children attended or participated in. You may want to keep these items for sentimental reasons, and just because we’re sorting and cleaning doesn’t mean we can’t save special memories. To prevent damage and to protect from other, scary, and uninvited guests, store these items in moth-proof bags, or plastic tubs.
Donations and garage sales are common next steps, but another option is to visit your local resale shop and sell the clothes on the spot for cash. Anything the resale shop doesn’t buy can be taken to your local charity. Coats, hats and gloves are great items to donate at this time as it gives charities time to clean and distribute them before the winter season. Make sure to save the tax deduction receipt. Before you leave the closet, take the time to wipe down shelves and baseboards where the dust bunnies grow and multiply.
Floors and carpets
All summer long the kids ran in and out of the house with their tribe of neighborhood friends and the dog scampering behind them. Let’s face it, the carpets are gross and the tile grout is a different shade of tan, maybe more of a dark brown. While the kids are in school all day, now is a great time to clean the floors or even hire some housecleaning help.
Vacuum your carpets thoroughly, including behind couches and large pieces. Move small furniture pieces like dining chairs and side tables so the carpet cleaner can reach as much of your carpet as possible.
Choose a carpet cleaner that uses an oxygen-based cleaning system as it doesn’t require as much water, yet removes bacteria, dust mites and dirt from your carpet while requiring only a few hours to dry. Many carpet cleaners also clean tile grout. If you can schedule a morning cleaning time, the carpets will be clean and dry before the school bus delivers the kids home in the afternoon.
Cleaning is like dominoes—you clean one item and it leads to another need. Put a towel around a broom or mop head and wipe down the baseboards and use a feather duster to clean ceiling fans so they aren’t redistributing dirt where you just cleaned.
You probably wash your bed linens frequently, but how often do you vacuum and flip or rotate the mattress? What? Never? Do it now. Vacuuming the mattress sucks up those dust mites, dirt and dead skin cells, and rotating or flipping the mattress will help it wear better and make for a more comfortable night’s sleep (or a nap since you’re going to be tired after all this housework). If you don’t routinely do this, get in the habit and make it a quarterly to-do task.
Refrigerator, freezer, cabinets and pantry
Oh my goodness. Those kids played havoc on our carpets, but did we even realize the toll taken on the pantry? I bet they grabbed a snack for themselves and their tribe multiple times a day and now nothing is organized!
Start by taking everything out of the pantry and clean the shelves. Before you put everything back in an organized fashion, look at the expiration dates and throw out anything that is old. If you’re like many of us, you picked up multiple items at the grocery store because you had a coupon and now find that no one in your house will eat them. Set them aside to take to your church or local food pantry. Move on to the freezer and refrigerator and do the same thing. Remove everything, clean, sort out the expired food and organize everything as you put it away.
Bio – This guest post was created by Maids by Trade. For over 20 years, Maids by Trade has been a trusted, reliable house cleaning service for homes all across the United States.