Tuesday, July 26, 2011

summer cleaning

Summer house cleaning is a challenge!

It is so much easier to stay on top of  the household chores when the kids are in school. If they don't help me in the summer I'd go nuts. So I do take advantage of my little helpers.  I have started giving Layla 'to do' lists.  She loves reading the lists and checking them off when the chores are done.  AND she is very bossy, so Hayden will help her.

Who does that sound like??  Loves lists?  Is bossy?  I dunno??

I have compiled a list of a few things I do to make my cleaning schedule easier during the summer.

I usually wash 2 -3 loads of laundry a day. It is easier for me to stay on top of laundry by doing a few loads a day.  This way I don't have a laundry day.  The thought of one "laundry day" where all I do is wash dry and fold overwhelms me. I do however  chose one day a week to throw in the sheets from our beds.

Layla sorts laundry after it is clean and helps me put it up.  Hayden helps too, but I have to re-fold the things he folds. I'm ok with it...he is learning.  The kids are also really good about bringing their dirty laundry baskets into the laundry room.  They know if they want their clothes done they have to help out :)

Pj days are always helpful in summer or winter.  If I know we are going to stay home all day long, we just stay in our pj's all day.  Then I don't have to wash extra clothes for that day.

When I use the potty/wash my hands in the guest/kids bathroom I clean the water drops and mess the kids have made.  Usually the bathroom stays clean since I wash my hands all the stinkin' time. It I let it go the mess is insane.  Hayden doesn't follow the one soap pump rule.  He uses tons of soap.  Most of it gets left behind on the counter top.  Wiping down spots and spills saves me tons of time!  I didn't realize how much my kids wash their hands until I have to clean up their messes.  I won't complain about the hand washing though.  Clean hands = healthy kids.

I ask the kids to clean up toys before getting other toys out.  I have made it a rule in our house.  It is easier to keep the house clean when everyone cleans up after themselves. Sometimes they get side tracked and play game after game leaving a gigantic mess. And sometimes they don't want to clean up.  BUT we try to clean after each game.  I try so hard to keep the playroom dresser organized, but I can't. I like to have play dishes in one drawer, balls in another, and trains and cars in another drawer, but that is just ridiculous. When they clean they just toss and run.  I'll let it go as long as I can, and then I break down and organize and purge toys.  My kids have too many toys!!!

Each night before the kids go to bed we pick up their rooms and the playroom.  If they have projects going or toys not picked up we pick those up.  I love having the house all cleaned up so that I can be guilt free watching TV sitting on the couch at night.  I feel bad when I wake up the next morning to a dirty kitchen or messy playroom.  If we stay on top of messes daily it makes weekly chores much easier.  I also feel like teaching the kids to pick up after themselves at a young age is the best bet.  They don't complain when they know what is expected of them.

I use a small sweeper every single day to clean up crumbs and dog hair.  The kids always spill crumbs on the floor under the kitchen table.  I vacuum once a week if not more, but it helps to spot vacuum to stay on top of the messes.

The kids are old enough now to take their plates from the table to the counter top by the sink.  This helps Gary and I when were are cleaning up after meals. Layla also loves to set the table.  She picks out napkins and plates and sets the table all cute like.

I despise a dirty microwave.  It is one of my pet peeves.  If I spill something I try to scrub it as soon as possible.  Have you heard of the lemon water trick?  I fill a glass bowl with water and lemon juice.  I microwave the juice for over 6 minutes or until it boils.  The boiling water creates steam that dampens the whole entire microwave and then I can just wipe it out messes!  It is so easy :)

We recycle.  We have a recycle bin and a trash bin under our kitchen sink.  We fill those and then empty them into the large bins out in the garage.  Our city picks up both on Monday morning.  Recycling makes me feel like I am doing my part to save the world. It also allows us to have room in our trash bin.  Our trash bin gets equally as full as the recycle bin, so if we didn't recycle we wouldn't have room for all the garbage.  Clear a mud?  haha!

The kids help me clean door knobs.  I give them each a Lysol wipe and they rub down all our door knobs.  Door knobs are just so germy.  I don't like touching sticky door knobs, so the kids clean them for me!

And lastly...we love baby wipes.   Even though we are a diaper free household I still purchase baby wipes for random spills.  Baby wipes will clean stains off carpet in a flash.  They will also clean crayons from tile.  Layla knows this because the kids drew on the tile and I made them scrub it off.  Boy ... was that ever a cry fest.  That is the one time she got herself and her brother both in BIG trouble.  Baby wipes saved the day :)

I hope that when school starts in the fall the kids will still help with the chores.  They are usually so tired from learning all day, but since Hayden is only in preschool two days a week he will become my major helper!


LeAnna said...

Oooh, awesome idea about lemon juice microwave cleaning tip! I'll have to remember that one!
I'm a fan of making kids clean up their "no no" messes, too. Q colored on the walls a few months ago (thankfully with washable crayon!) and I made him scrub it off. Hasn't colored on walls since. :P
Totally agree with you about cleaning up the main living areas before bed. We do that, and I try to make sure there are no dirty dishes anywhere. Makes waking up a little brighter. ;)

Traci said...

It sounds like you have a great system in place! I didn't know that about the lemon juice in the micro.

Kelli said...

I really need to start doing laundry daily so we can stay on top of it. We are always behind and that's annoying. I have had the kids start to help me put the laundry away and it's been helpful. I adore baby wipes...we use them as well. Great list...I need to take note :)

Laura@The Oily Cupboard said...

(rushes to look inside my microwave)

my first floor always stays clean...it's the upstairs that i dread

im gonna txt you something that i dare not type here! hee hee

Melissa said...

Loved your ideas!! Can't believe school is so close...have a wonderful last month of summer with your sweet family!!!