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With springtime fast approaching, it's time to start thinking about making your home as bright as the upcoming days. Getting the whole family involved means that spring cleaning doesn't have to be a chore. As they say, many hands make light work.
Here's some top tips for spring cleaning and getting the family involved.
Do a room a day
Breaking cleaning down room by room can help to lessen the mental and physical load.
Write down each room on a piece of paper and put it in a jar. Let the kids pull out a room and then tackle it together.
Let the child who pulled out the room get first pick of the jobs, whether it be dusting, vacuuming or sorting.
Sort out the pantry
Remove everything from the pantry and give it a good clean using gentle products. Place some insect deterrents and baits in there while it's empty
Get the kids to sort out pantry items into relevant groupings (we all know how mixed up things get) and allocate them a couple of shelves each to organise the grouped items on.
Ask the kids to check use by dates and make note of any multiples of products. If you have spices, get the kids to alphabetise them.
Steam cleaning is a versatile and chemical free way to clean things such as floors, kitchen appliances and bathrooms.
Set the kids a challenge of researching and listing all the things that can be steam cleaned in the home. As and when the items are done get them to tick them off their list.
Dusting is a great way to get rid of allergens and keep you and your family breathing easy. A moist microfibre cloth is ideal as it picks up dust effectively and can be used repeatedly after washing.
To make sure all those hard to reach places and corners are cleaned by the kids, hide some 'treasures' accordingly. Those lollies will get that dusting done quicker than ever before.
Deep clean allergen collecting furnishings
To remove allergens from your home, deep clean bedding, mattresses and pillows and get your carpets or rugs steam cleaned.
Ask the kids to part with any stuffed toys that they no longer need to reduce the allergens in their room.
In each room try to fill at least one big bag with clutter. Be ruthless and practical in assessing what you do and don't need. If you're really unsure about something, pack it up and store it in a garage or shed. If you haven't looked, used or needed it in two months, throw or donate it.
In the kids' rooms, empty out all toys and books and help them remove those they no longer play with, have outgrown or don't need. Suggest these items could be donated to charity or sold at a garage sale.
To take the agony out of any decisions, try setting a timer and challenge them to pick out a certain number of items to declutter before the alarm goes off.
Use a HEPA filter vacuum
Vaccuming may not be everyone's favourite job but turning up the tunes can help.
When it's your child's turn to vacuum, let them pick a song to play while they get the job done.
To get rid of all those lingering nasties, use a vacuum with a high quality HEPA filter. Not only will it remove dirt and dust but will also remove allergens and impurities from the air.
Suitably sized storage solutions keep a home looking neat and uncluttered and are particularly useful for kids' rooms.
Get the kids involved by asking them to sort and store similar toys together. Get them to throw out broken or missing parts and, for older kids, create their own inventive labelling system. The best labelling and sorting system could win a prize.
You could also limit the toys that are kept to the size of the containers brought. Storage cubes, under the bed roll-away containers are practical solutions.
Invest in a smart air purifier
As the seasons change potentially harmful airborne particles enter the home and all the dusting and vacuuming and decluttering you do, will still benefit from a smart air purifier. The best investment you can make for the family is installing an intelligent air purifier that contains a HEPA filter.
They not only remove impurities such as pollen, pet dander, dust, viruses, gases, mold spores, bacteria and chemicals, an air purifier can also track and control the air quality and tell you which nasties are infiltrating your breathing space.
Giving kids incentives means that things will get done quicker and more obligingly - whether the incentive is a dinner of their choice, a trip out for ice-cream or a play at the beach
Set cleaning challenges in line with these incentives. For example, the cleanest room, the best storage set up, the least dust and the biggest donations to charity.
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