Downsizing

Time for School Clean-out!

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School Is Starting Back

Once again, it’s time for the kiddos to go back to school. What better time to clean out those bedrooms than now.  You won’t have to listen to their whining and crying about what you choose to dispose of and they’ll probably never miss it anyway.

Depending on the number of kids you have, it may easier to take one room per day. If your kids are very messy little ones, then you may only want to tackle one per week. However you choose to do it, get started. Here’s a few tips on how I clean this time of year.

  • One room each day, the first full week of school.
  • Wash curtains
  • Walls and baseboards
  • Clean carpets/floors
  • Closets
  • Dressers

One Room Each Day

As mentioned before, you may want to focus on one room per day or one room per week. Whatever you decide will work best for your schedule. When my kids were still living at home, I tried to tackle one room per day. I have three children, so I was able to accomplish this task within that first full week of school. Since Monday is my busiest cleaning day on an ordinary schedule, I didn’t start this clean-out until Tuesday. After three days of going through kids clothes, toys, books, games, etc. I was able to visit the local Thrift Store on Friday to donate all the things I cleared out.

Washing Curtains and Cleaning Carpets/Floors

My goal is to wash all curtains twice per year. It’s amazing how much lint and dust that can accumulate on curtains, especially if they are the long ones that reach the floor. Cleaning the curtains twice a year helps the room look and smell fresher too. If you’re the real go-getter, you can wash them monthly. I just haven’t made it that far yet.

After taking the curtains down, it’s a good time to vacuum the window sills and screens. I use a simple mixture of vinegar and water to wipe all these surfaces down. This also includes the baseboards. With the curtains removed from the windows, I’m able to get to all these areas easily and clean much more efficiently.

Carpets and floors are vacuumed/mopped weekly, but what I mean here is that deep cleaning. I used to rent a steam cleaner and clean the carpets. Another wow moment here, when you see how much dirt gets ground in from all the summer activities. Or, in my case, it was never “WOW”. It was “EWWW, GROSS!”  I now have a steam mop that I use on my hardwood or laminate flooring. It works great and doesn’t use harsh chemicals to clean. I love walking on freshly cleaned floors, no matter if it’s carpet or not. It smells and feels great!

Closets and Dressers

Last but not least is the dreaded closets and dressers. Going through clothes is a daunting task for me. It’s almost emotional when I look at the little shirts and shorts and realize that the kids are growing so fast. I pack away summer things that are still in good shape and that they may be able to wear again, or that we can pass down to the next younger sibling. I grew up on hand-me-downs and I still believe in them today. As much as I hated that when I was a tween, I absolutely realize now what a great thing hand-me-downs can be. Especially if you have several kids to buy for.

Clothes are not the only thing to clean out. I look at each toy and game. If it’s broken, it goes. If they don’t play with it, it goes. Or, if they just have too much stuff, I down-size on the fun stuff too. You may have some pouters at first, but don’t stress. They will have another birthday soon and then there’s Christmas too. That closet will be full again before they know it.

You can set up your own group on social media sites now and sell most anything. It’s a great way to rid your house of so much stuff and even earn a little cash on the side. It’s also a way to get the kids involved. If they think they may make some cash, they’ll be excited to help clean out and get rid of more stuff.

Keeping It Real

These are just a few suggestions on how I handled cleaning out when the kids started back to school. Every person is different, so I’d love to hear your stories and how you declutter your home. Feel free to share below or send me an email.  Happy Cleaning!!

 

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