Now that we’re all spending so much time at home, there’s all the more opportunity to think about spring cleaning. Not the work you do regularly, the dusting and mopping and vacuuming, but those little extras that will make your home a nicer place to live long after current conditions have passed.
It doesn’t have to be a drag. Enlist the whole family and, as much as possible, make it a game. Fill the hours constructively during these days of forced togetherness. We at Bend Relocation Services are doing the same at home with our families.
1. Make a list.
Sure, the grown-ups have an idea on what ought the come first, but what about the kids? Is there something about the home they don’t like? They don’t get the final say, but if an idea or two comes from them they’re more likely to buy in.
Any major effort is easier if you tackle it a little at a time. Here’s where a kitchen whiteboard or bulletin board comes in handy. List all the tasks, about when they’ll be done, then mark them off when they’re complete, with balloons, gold stars or any other cheerful symbol. A hint: Don’t put all of your children’s choices at the bottom, even if you know your priorities are more important.
Everybody knows about a drawer, shelf or closet section that has gathered too much stuff for its size. Make a list of these and include them in your priorities. Attack them individually or go at each with several family members. Have a six-month or one-year rule: If it’s been that long since someone’s used it, then out it goes.
4. Create a giveaway section.
It could be a corner of a room or a special section of closet. Everything doesn’t have to go to the thrift store. Some of these items would be useful to Cousin Angie or Neighbor Robert. Create sections with the potential donee’s name. Soon you’ll be thinking of them when you sort through your belongings.
5. Have an “expired” hunt.
Go through medicine cabinets, cupboards, spice racks and toiletries. Award a prize to whoever finds the oldest date. Dispose responsibly: if it can’t go out with the garbage, save it until you can get out to the proper disposal site.
6. Wash kid toys.
You can’t do much with electronic toys, but there are plenty of plastic and cloth items that can go in the dishwasher or washing machine. A “treasure hunt” with rewards is likely to bring forth maximum booty.
7. Refresh drains.
Pour in a mixture of ½ cup baking soda and ¼ cup salt and follow it with a cup of heated vinegar. After 15 minutes, flush with hot water. Prevent clogs before they happen.
8. Reward yourselves.
Let the young folks choose a TV movie or pick up carry-out from their favorite restaurant. Mark these highlights on your priority board for everyone to look forward to.