These easy list will help you get ready for fall.
The back to school is upon us and we are ¾ of the way through the year, I hope these monthly cleaning and organizing tips have helped you get your house in shape. This month we need to focus on getting things organized and ready for back to school whether you have a preschooler or a high schooler. Most of these tasks can be done in 15 minutes or less but can have a huge impact on your back to school routines. Head into fall feeling confident that you are well prepared.
Take it one small task at a time throughout the year with our series and you can tackle it all easily! We want to help you clean and organize your home the way that works best for you!
Most tasks should take 15 – 30 minutes. If it works for you, do each task on the corresponding date, if not just use it as a list of tasks, some days you may get more than one done. You may wish to take off the weekend and double up on weekdays or vice versa. I want you to be successful so do what works best for you. We only gave you 27 tasks this month so you can catch up if need be.
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- Spray backpacks and lunchboxes – If you are reusing last years you want to make sure you freshen them up with a good sanitizing spray, this will help remove odors and bacteria. Even new ones can benefit from a sanitizing spray that can help ward off germs kids may pick up (give them a spritz weekly!) You can check out our favorite backpacks for back to school here.
- Sort through lunch-making supplies- Create an area for lunch box supplies like lunchboxes, various sizes of containers, sandwich cutters, etc… Toss out what is no longer good, add items you might need to your list. We have these containers with snap-in freezer packs that are super handy.
- Prep the refrigerator for lunches- Make space in the fridge for keeping lunch items and after school snacks, one of the crisper drawers works perfectly or you can use a couple of small baskets on a lower shelf. I like these fridge bins for keeping everything organized. This makes it easy for kids to pack their own lunch too!
- Create a homework station- If you don’t already have a space designated for kids to their homework this is a great time to put one together. All you need is somewhere to keep pencils, erasers, a sharpener, and some paper. A nice basket can be moved from place to place. Include a spot for kids to hang up their backpacks. You can check out when we made a homework station from a shower caddy! It is super easy.
- Tidy up your desk and create a new file for the upcoming school year- Be ahead of the game by having a file ready to place important enrollment info, shot/physical records, and other school papers. I like to use a label maker to keep my files tidier.
- Provide a place for each family member to keep their bathroom gear- This gives everyone a spot that is theirs alone and makes cleanup much easier! Toothbrushes, hairbrushes, face wash, deodorant, and other personal care items can be kept here to keep counters decluttered.
- Go through kids summer clothes- Pull what doesn’t fit and add to your donation box, toss overworn clothes into the rag bin to use for cleaning and polishing. Put what items are still reusable but already out of season into storage bins.
- Wash beach towels- Give all your summer beach towels a final wash in a hot cycle, add baking soda to deodorize and a bit of fabric softener to the final rinse. They are not ready to be put into storage for next year.
- Get summer items ready for storage- Pull out storage containers, toss in a few mothballs or whatever you use to keep items fresh and pest free. Begin putting away seasonal items you no longer need like towels, beach toys, etc…
- Clean out the car and put together a first aid kit- With fall sports gearing up it’s a good idea to have one on hand in your car while running around. Band-aids, alcohol wipes, an ace bandage, and a tube of antibacterial gel are a good start. If you don’t want to make your own first aid kit you can buy a pre-made first aid kit.
- Sanitize the washer- Since you will be washing all those back to school clothes, pj’s and sports uniforms this is a good time to be sure your washer is sanitized well. Run an empty load through your washer on a hot cycle hot water with 1 cup vinegar to sanitize it, wipe out the inside and around the seal.
- Sort odd socks in the laundry- Repurpose all the singles as dust rags or toss them out. Add new socks to the back to school shopping list if needed.
- Head outside and begin preparing outdoor gear for fall storage- Thin out items like sand toys, kites, balls, kids gardening supplies and similar.
- Check fire extinguishers- Check and replace extinguishers that need to be, go over or create a fire evacuation plan for your family while you are at it.
- Dust the blinds in the main living areas- Grab a damp cloth or dirt-attracting duster and give them a thorough cleaning, flipping them in both directions to get as much as you can. Finally. pull them up and wipe out window sills.
- Clean out sliding glass door tracks- Summer probably saw mud, dirt, and sand being tracked through the doorways. Grab a rag, some spray cleaner, and a screwdriver to wipe out those tracks.
- Dust AC/Heat vents- Dust vents well and check filters, replace as needed. If you have noticed your air is not running as efficiently call someone to check it now before you need the heat.
- Run a test fire in your fireplace- If your home has a fireplace, give it a test run to be sure is all is operational. Hire a professional to clean and check it.
- Purge and tidy up the pantry- Spend 10 minutes going through the pantry, toss out expired packages, straighten shelves, leave a spot for back to school items and after school snacks. Be sure to check these meal planning pantry tips.
- Prep the lawnmower for fall storage- Unless you are in a place where the weather is warm year-round you will no longer need to mow weekly. Blow off your mower to remove dead grass and debris, drain gas to preserve the carburetor, toss a cover over the top of it.
- Sweep out the garage- Give the garage to a good sweep and rinse with the hose to clear out grass clippings and other debris that has accumulated over the summer.
- Put away summer decor – Gather up summer decorations from the porch and patio, begin swapping out with fall items.
- Change out the mat at your front door- If you haven’t done so yet this year you probably need a new one, especially if your front step area is exposed to the elements. Choose a pretty fall-themed doormat that will make you and guest smile every time you step up. More fall doormats here.
- Vacuum couches and chairs- Use a handheld portable vacuum or use the upholstery attachment on your larger vacuum to give upholstered surfaces a good thorough cleaning. Add a spritz of fabric refresher to finish them off.
- Give the junk drawer a thorough cleaning- Toss and rehome all items that don’t belong. Add pens, highlighters, lighters, and a fresh notepad for fall use.
- Launder and replace bed linens- By the end of the month, if your temperatures are cooling off now is a good time to replace light bedding with something a little more substantial. Wash your summer weight bed linens and store them.
- Clean off bedside tables- If you haven’t in a while give your bedside tables a purge, take books you have finished back to the shelves, return jewelry to the box, and give it a thorough cleaning with wood polish, add a fall candle. If your side tables have drawers be sure to go through them as well.
Hopefully by tackling a few things each day throughout the month. It will help make your home run more smoothly. It is amazing how just 15 minutes a day can make a HUGE impact! Don’t forget to sign up and we will email you free tasks lists for each month.
Clean & Organize 2020
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