Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Spring Cleaning Part 2.

This morning I was thinking, "why on earth am I posting on spring cleaning?" It's such a boring topic but, hopefully someone may find interest in it.
I am not, by nature, an organized person. I have to work at it. I force myself to make lists and keep track of things or else I find myself in a frenzy. Spring Cleaning is not something I look forward to but, for me is necessary to maintain some sort of sanity. Now, the question is...how do we do it with the kids? That's a good question. Usually, I do most of my cleaning during the kids naptimes but, in this case it takes a little longer so, you need a good chunk of time. Here's something we do. If you have grandparents or close friends or family around you, have one of them watch your kids for a couple of hours while you get a few things done.
There is absolutely no "right" or "wrong" to any type of cleaning you do. You can do as much or as little as you want. Here's what works for me...
I have a little schedule that I try to keep to. I try to avoid cleaning the whole house in one day because it absolutely stresses me out and there's just not time for that. After all, the kids are my top priority, even though sometimes it is tempting to work instead of taking time with the kids. So, for instance I clean the kitchen on Mondays and that's it. I don't try to clean everything else because I know that in a day or two it will all be done. Now, I will vaccuum if I need to and do a few other little things but, I try to stick to what's on the list for that day. So, as far as spring cleaning, I would follow my regular cleaning schedule but do a deeper, more "advanced" cleaning, if you will. :) In the kitchen, I would clean as usual but, add cleaning the baseboards, cleaning out the cupboards and wiping them down, cleaning the pantry, windows, etc...
You don't have to bust out cleaning your whole home in one day, it's tough for me to do it that way. I've tried and failed because that is when I find my kids saying "mommy, play with me" and that's when I realize I'm doing too much. One thing I do sometimes, is give the kids a dust rag or feather duster and let them help dust their rooms. My son has used a wet rag to help me clean baseboards. Getting them involved can be fun and productive.
In the bedrooms, you can clean out closets and drawers, wash walls, organize toys, etc...remember you can do as little or as much as you want and have time and energy for. It's just about freshening your home....NOT PERFECTION. :)
Let me just tell you that I have literally gone for weeks without mopping my floor or dusting so, just know that I in no way keep a perfect home. And In no way am I expecting you to do what I do I'm just giving help and suggestions.
Anyway, I thought it might be fun to give you some recipes for some homemade cleaners that I've actually made and tried...and they work. The plus to making homemade cleaners is that they are economical and safe for the environment and most of the ingredients are right in your cupboard. Here are a couple of my favorites

Glass Cleaner
Mix in a sprayer bottle:
1 cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol
1 cup water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Baking Soda
you can make a paste of water and baking soda
and use for tough sink stains and scrubbing.
You can also sprinkle some on a damp sponge and
scrub with it as well.
This next cleaner I have not tried but want to. It uses tea tree oil which is an antisceptic. I have used tea tree oil before but not like this. You fill a 16 oz. spray bottle with distilled water. Add a couple of Tbsp. of castile soap and 20-30 drops of tea tree oil. Apparently this can be used on hands, toys, anything that needs disinfecting. I'm gonna give it a try.
So...now, what I'd like to do, is pick your brain for some cleaning/organizing ideas. Give me your best ones and I'll post my faves tomorrow. And if only a few of you comment...I'll post them all!


Anonymous said...

I am loving your Spring Cleaning Blog and the ideas. Here's one: How to organize one's closet/cabinets and drawers.
I am a firm believer, if you don't use it or wear it within a year, then it's time to GET RID OF IT!!! you don't have to throw it away, you know what they say: "One man's trash is another man's treasure. You might be blessing someone in the process. Mom

Sarah said...

I am naturally a "weeks-between-moppings" girl too, but I've found some help in FlyLady - she has the same idea you do - break it up over the week and keep it manageable. I have been using a bottle of 1/2 white vinegar, 1/2 water as my all-purpose cleaner. It works great on kitchen surfaces and bathrooms (even the toilet!) It's a natural disinfectant and the vinegar smell goes away quickly. A few other things I've liked lately: put a whole lemon rind down the garbage disposal and it cleans and freshens everything. The baking soda thing is great - better than soft scrub! Also, I went to Target and bought 2 bins. Then I split all Juli's toys and books and stuffed animals in to 3 piles. I packed up two of them and left the other in the room. For anyone who doesn't already do this, it's a lifesaver. The room stays so much more organized, and somehow the toys I left out seem so much more interesting to Juli. And then, in a month or two, I'll bring out one of the bins and switch it with the toys that are out: Voila! New toys!