15 cleaning odd jobs that will prepare your home for back-to-school.
KITCHEN. Back-to-school means food shopping less frequently, buying more on each excursion, cooking more often and struggling to serve nutritious, healthy meals in less time. Get ready by,
- Cleaning out your cabinets, discarding all food items that have gone past their freshness dates and moving older items to the front to ensure they get used first.
- Deep cleaning your refrigerator and freezer. This is actually recommended six to 12 times per year; pre back-to-school should definitely be one of those times.
- Organizing food storage solutions – sort and neatly stack food containers and lids, discard stained and orphaned items and stock up on freezer, sandwich and snack bags.
- Giving your recipe book/box a good purge and sort. The process will inspire meal and snack diversity by reminding you of recipes you haven’t made in a while and making space for new easy and nutritious meal ideas.
BATHROOMS. Bathroom wars are a hallmark of back-to-school as everyone wants to sleep as late as possible and timeframes for morning ablutions become extremely short and inflexible. Promote efficiency by,
- Purging, organizing and stocking vanity drawers and cabinets,
- Checking expiry dates on all items in your medicine cabinet, and
- Taking an annual foray through your linens closet; inspecting and either discarding worn or rarely used items or converting for other uses such as storage padding and cleaning.
OFFICE SPACE. Back-to-school is guaranteed to bring an influx of physical and digital media – forms, notices, artwork, handbooks, emails and so forth – into your home. Get ready by,
- Clearing bulletin/note boards of dated content,
- Conducting an annual purge of filed papers,
- Organizing frequently used phone numbers, email addresses and documents such as birth certificates, physical/vaccination records and emergency contact data,
- Deleting or archiving old computer files and emails, and
- Setting up folders for keeping new content organized and easy to locate.
OTHER LIVING SPACES. Back-to-school typically means more regular use and churn of more items that can cause a daily clutter explosion in your home. Get ready by,
- Making space in storage spaces, including bureaus, under beds, closets, and junk drawers,
- Assigning specific places where frequently used items will be considered ‘put away’.
- Educating family members about where those places are, so they can be effective when asked to help tidy up.