Winter Cleaning: Fun Ways to Get Your Kids Involved

child sweeping It’s fast approaching Christmas and it’s also time for that dreaded big winter clean-up. There’s no getting
away from it; every season seems to bring about a quarterly review of the household, and that could also mean that you have a big clean to do, every three months. The question is: are you resigned to this job to undertake yourself? Maybe it’s time to put your cunning to the test and rope the whole
family in on this winter’s clean. And here some basic tips on how to do it without creating more chaos.

The best way to do things is to try your best to make them fun. This is no easy task – brain surgery might actually be easier in most cases (we all know that tidying is rarely fun), so you’ll have to think outside of the box, and tailor the fun and potential rewards to you would-be team of cleaners.

You need to do a quick inventory of what the job will actually involve. Here’s a quick checklist to aid your initial task:

Are you utilizing storage and cupboard space well?
Is the house full of clutter?
As a household, are we guilty of hoarding?
What are our plans over the winter period?

You might be able to guess what I’m about to say, but here goes: clutter is the route of all messy households. There’s a distinct possibility that Christmas will create allot more need for extra storage space. That means out with the unused to make space for the new. Your old clothes and items would make someone very happy so give as much as you can to your local charity shop.

Now it’s time to lure them in.  It’s important to appeal to your children’s – and spouse’s – sensibilities. Bribery might work but ensure that this doesn’t involve anything that will cost you money. Make sure that everyone is free and get your plan underway. Like most things in life, tasks are much easier if you make the people involved feel like they have some ownership of the task. Give your little one’s elaborate titles, and put them in charge of their own rooms. Entertain the idea that they need to make space for potential new toys, and that giving older, unused toys would help other children out this Christmas.

A sweet and treat allowance could be suggested, but ultimately approved by them. A larger treat for the end of the task might be an idea as it gives them a goal to work towards. Put their favourite music on to keep their spirits high and a few breaks to keep the energy levels up; remember – you’ll also need a rest-bite here and there.

Most of all – try to enjoy the process. A chore is only a chore if it is done in a negative way. After the big tidy comes the best part: decorating the tree. Hopefully you won’t have started this until you’ve had the big clean-up!

Getting everyone involved will help to speed up the process, and in a strange way, have fun with the whole family. I wish you luck in your task ahead.

Biography Paragraph:  Whatever way you clean you can utilize some professional help with your local man and van service. They offer a range of services as well as their man and van service, like storage for items you want to keep but don’t have enough space, maintenance and repairs, and many more. Some jobs are better left to the professionals to ensure they are done safely and efficiently.







Green Cleaning

woman doing housekeeping When I was a young house keeper, I cleaned with whatever worked. I knew some of the products were harsh, but hey, they worked.

I even did something really stupid once that caused me life long health problems. I cleaned a bathroom with a combination of bleach and a product that had ammonia as one of it’s ingredients. That can be lethal and it has caused me  problems ever since. I was young. I was stupid.

The older I get, the more I notice that some cleaners sold at stores  effect my health in a negative way. It makes me worry for my little granddaughter who is here with me most of the time. It also makes me worry for the environment.

I now try to find green cleaners to use in place of the harsh cleaners I have used in the past. And for the most part, the ones I use work as well or better as their harsher counterparts.

We are exposed to so many toxins every day, it’s no wonder so many of us are developing sensitivities to them. Many of the toxins are things we can’t control. Fortunately what we use to clean with is something we can control.

There are cleaners you can make yourself but fortunately there are non toxic earth friendly cleaners you can buy too. Just be sure to read the labels and avoid anything with strange sounding words or chlorine, ammonia, and dyes.

There are a lot of new cleaners on the market but a good old fashioned cleaner you can by is Bon Ami.

Some of my favorite cleaners that I make are:

  • Lemon juice mixed with a little Borax to clean toilet bowls.
  • White vinegar is great for cleaning and deodorizing a lot of things, including deodorizing your laundry.
  • Add one part  water to one part white vinegar to clean counter tops, and appliances.
  • Rubbing alcohol does a great job on glass surfaces, mirrors, and faucets.
  • For a great hardwood floor cleaner, mix 1 tablespoon Castile Soap, 3 cups water and 3 cups of white vinegar together.
  • Baking soda is great for neutralizing smells so you can use it in diaper pails, on your carpets instead of commercial carpet deodorizers, and cat boxes.
  • For soap scum in your bathroom, spray first with your white vinegar/water solution and then use baking soda as a mild abrasive to scrub the scum away.
  • Mayonnaise will get rid of water marks on wood furniture. Just rub some into the stain and leave on over night. The next morning, wipe it away.
  • 1 part of lemon juice to 2 parts of olive oil makes a great furniture polish.

I know there are plenty other homemade green cleaners and store bought green cleaners available too.  I haven’t actually bought very many commercial green cleaners so if anyone has any good recommendations for some, I’d love to know what you use and like.


Get Rid of Musty Smelling Laundry

quick tip

A few weeks ago, I noticed a really musty smelling odor in my house. I figured out what it was . It was coming from my washing machine, Of course it was right before I went on vacation and I had already washed all my clothes I was taking and even had my bag packed. I threw a few fabric softener cloths into my bag and that helped some.

But what to do about the musty smelling washer. I pulled out my trusty gallon jug of white vinegar. I started the washer on the largest load and hot setting. I poured a few cups of the vinegar into the washer and poured some in the place where you pour fabric softener and where you pour bleach. I let the washer fill up with water and then stopped it for about and hour. Then I finished running it through all the cycles.

No more musty smell!

You may be worried that the vinegar will make everything smell like vinegar but it doesn’t. The vinegar smell disappears.


Household Cleaners Don’t Have to Be Expensive – 5 Ways to Clean Cheap

woman doing housekeeping

Walk down the aisle at a local grocery store and you are sure to see the price of cleaners on the rise. For many people, the thought of pouring money down the drain—almost literally—is not a good one. Many times, you are paying a high cost for the company brand or the mixing of household ingredients you could do yourself. Before you spend any more money on cleaning products, check out these inexpensive solutions that can change the way you clean forever.

Make Your Own Household Cleaners

One of the ways to reduce the costs of household cleaners is to make your own from items you already own or cost less. The following are a few simple recipes that cost money to make but do a job as good as anything on the store shelves—and you’ll end up saving money in the long run.

• Need a disinfectant? In a mixing container, dissolve one cup of borax (found in most laundry aisles for just a few dollars) with a gallon of warm water.
• For a scouring powder that can help you to scrub even the toughest stains, use a greener solution. You can use borax, dry table salt or baking powder on the stain. Then, scrub with a soft brush or sponge and rinse off.
• To clean out your sink drains, avoid those costly drain cleaners that damage the pipes. Instead, use one cup of baking soda poured into the drain. Then, pour one cup of vinegar down the drain after it. The chemical reaction cleans the drain quickly. Flush with running hot water after the fizzing stops.
• One of the most expensive cleaning products in your home is the dishwashing detergent you put into a dishwasher. You don’t have to buy it, though. Instead, use one part washing soda (also found in the laundry aisle for a few dollars) with one part borax. This green solution works very effectively and creates a spot-free shine.
• To wash clothes, avoid expensive laundry soaps. Rather, use the same solution for your dishwasher of one part borax and one part washing soda. Then, add two drops of vinegar into the laundry water to keep colors from fading.

These cleaning products are perfect for getting rid of dirt and debris. Most of the ingredients are very inexpensive, too. With lemon juice, borax, baking soda, vinegar, and washing soda on hand, you can clean virtually any surface or appliance inexpensively, but completely effectively.

Making Better Use of What You Have

Another way to save money on household cleaners is to use products more effectively. For example, you may need a disinfectant spray to clean countertops and bathrooms. Instead of buying premade cleaners, make your own. Use one tablespoon of bleach in a gallon of water to make a disinfectant spray.

If you already have powdered laundry soap on hand with bleach in it, use a few tablespoons of it, along with two tablespoons of vinegar in your dishwasher. Run it on empty. It will clean out the dishwasher for you, removing odors from it, too.

Another trick is to put a handful of ice cubes into the garbage disposal and run it. Not only does the ice sharpen the blades, but it also helps to get rid of grease and stuck on debris.

Often, you can clean your home without spending a lot of money to do so. The only thing you have to do is to think outside of the box and learn new ways to use the products you already have. Try these methods out. You’ll see just how effective they can be for you.

Author Bio: Diane Johnson graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in political science. When she’s not traveling she enjoys writing articles about Colorado Technical University, reading books and shopping.