Back to school doesn’t have to mean back to chaos. For those times when everyone’s schedules have gone completely haywire, follow these tips to keep your home shipshape.
- The weeks leading up to the start of the school year are a great time to get kids’ clothes organized so you won’t hear “I don’t have anything to wear” in the mornings. Start by purging anything that’s too small or worn out (unless you’re sure you’ll repair it). Depending on your children’s ages, sort clothing by items (pants in one drawer, shirts in another) or, for younger kids, consider folding items already paired—pants with shirts and sweaters—so kids can easily dress themselves in the morning. Do the same with socks and shoes. Get older kids involved and let them decide how they want their clothes organized (by type, style, or colour).
- The warm weather is going to be here for a while yet and that means we can still enjoy quick, easy meals on the barbecue! After you’ve had your steaks or burgers, you’ll find the durability of the Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge makes scouring the grill a breeze (just make sure the grill is cool). Use the green scouring side to loosen hard food deposits and the soft spongy side to wipe everything smooth and clean.
- Make healthy foods the easier option over chips or something even less ideal. Create a snack station stocked with grab-and-go portions of cheese sticks, grapes, hummus and pita or whatever your kids like that’s nutritious. Bonus: When things are easier to grab, less mess is made!
- Unless you have a non-shedding pet, the battle against pet hair is never over. This might help for long pet hair: After handwashing dishes and before drying and taking off your rubber gloves, take a moment to run your gloved hands over the upholstered furniture where pet hair collects. You’ll be surprised how much you get! Also, keep a Scotch-Brite™ Lint Roller on hand so you can do a quick cleanup of pet hair from just about any surface!
- Hurried mealtimes mean plenty of spills. Want to keep things clean and dry without the eco-guilt of consuming endless paper towels? Once again, the Scotch-Brite® Scrubbing Dish Cloth is your sustainable little dish-cloth bestie. It has non-scratch scrubbing dots on one side and absorbent microfibre on the other. It mops up even the largest spills quickly and gently. And its durability means you’ll be using it over and over again.
- With the whole family being part of the morning rush again, plates and glasses are sure to get dropped! Broken glass and bare little feet don’t go together very well. Without hauling out the vacuum, a Scotch-Brite™ 50% Stickier Lint Roller can help you get the finer glass pieces. In fact, once you start thinking about lint rollers this way, it will rock your world! The Scotch-Brite™ 50% Stickier Lint Roller can remove things like dog hair from cushions, leaves and dirt on the entrance rug and even messy crumbs from cupboard shelves.
- One of the best ways to fight chaos is to make it easier and faster to find things and tidy up. If your pantry is stuffed with cumbersome packaging, organize food into categories and put items into jars or other containers that are uniform in shape so they can be arranged neatly and easily found (for example, place healthy snacks like nuts and seeds in clear mason jars). You can even make labels for the containers—a great rainy-day project to do with the kids.
- While you’re busy labelling those pantry containers, here’s another idea you can try: Label some extra-large binder clips to organize your kids’ school papers. They’ll help you keep track of permission slips, school information memos, payment forms and upcoming school projects while eliminating those running-out-the-door, you-have-to-sign-this moments.
- If after-school snacking turns your microwave into a baked-on “grime” scene, you can save on elbow grease by combining one cup of water, several tablespoons of vinegar and some lemon in a microwaveable bowl and microwave on high until you see steam. The mess should then come off more easily, especially if you use a quality cleaning tool like the Scotch-Brite® Scrubbing Dish Cloth. This cloth rinses clean, so it’s perfect for the messiest jobs! You can also toss it into the washing machine on laundry day.
- Without regular cleaning, lunch containers can start to seem like science projects! If your kids are old enough, give them the responsibility of cleaning out these containers every day after school. A Scotch-Brite® Dishwand can remove any potential ick factor from dealing with, say, a squished sandwich. The handle keeps little hands well away from the gross stuff—and also takes away excuses!
Putting into action these and any other tricks you might have up your sleeve will go a long way toward getting you through the school year free of chaos, or at least less chaotic than it needs to be.
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Watch: Seven tips on regaining control of your kids