Ah, summer in Australia. Perfect long, hot days to spend at home with the family while the cricket plays in the background. With school out for the holidays and the kids running around the house all day, it doesn’t take long for it to quickly become bedlam.
Sticky fingerprints. Crumbs on the floor. Toys all over the lawn. Help!
Take the stress out of keeping the house tidy this summer by implementing these cleaning and organising tips.
1. LIMIT TOYS TO ONE ROOM
Every parent knows the indescribable pain of stepping on a piece of LEGO. Chaos is bound to ensue if the kids scatter their toys across every inch of the home, so make a rule at the beginning of the holidays that toys can only be used in either the bedroom or playroom.
Relieve yourself from doing all the housework and get the kids to help you out. Allocate them age-appropriate house cleaning jobs and use a chore chart to help them stay on top of their responsibilities.
2. USE FURNITURE POLISH TO THWART STICKY PRINTS
Why do children always seem to have sticky hands? And then proceed to touch everything with them? Keep their fingerprints off the microwave and fridge by applying a citrus-based furniture polish to the handles. Not only does it clean the appliances, but it leaves behind a slight oily residue that repels marks.
3. CLEAN THE POOL TOYS
Scrubbing the grimy pool toys should certainly be part of the summer clean-up – especially when they haven’t been used in nearly a year. There’s no need to use harsh chemicals that may harm your children. Simply clean them using a paper towel dipped in vinegar.
4. PUT OUT A STRATEGIC WELCOME MAT
Stop dirt, mud and sand from entering by placing door mats at the front and back door, as well as the entranceways. This helps to protect the floors and gives everyone the chance to wipe down their shoes so dirt doesn’t track into each room.
5. USE A BROOM FOR ALL SORTS OF CLEANING
Purchase inexpensive brooms and leave them outside on the decks, patios and balconies. Not only can they be used to do a quick daily sweep, but they’re also perfect for knocking out spider webs from ceilings, fences and screens, and doing a garden clean-up.
6. REMOVE GRASS STAINS WITH EASE
Grass stains require laundering right away to ensure they come out. Treat the stained clothing in a solution of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water (alternatively you can spray the solution on if it’s just a small mark). Leave the solution to soak for at least 5 minutes and then wash on hot.
7. GET OUT MORE OFTEN
The best trick for simple summer cleaning? Get out of the house! Take the kids with you to eat lunch, go to the park or watch a movie at the cinemas. By the time you get home, they’ll hopefully be too exhausted to cause much mess.
If going out isn’t an option, try using the backyard as much as possible – they can have a picnic, build a fort, and play endless outdoor games such as tag or hide and seek.
Help your kids keep their rooms organised these holidays with the help of these clever ideas and strategies.