With cold and flu season in full swing, learn how a little organizing and disinfecting can keep germs out of your home. These steps can help your family feel less cramped and more comfortable while also preventing viruses and illnesses from spreading.
• Create a checklist. Getting rid of unwanted toys, books and clothes will give children more space and make cleaning easier by eliminating places for germs to hide. Establish guidelines to help your kids declutter their possessions. Is a toy broken or missing parts? Has it not been played with in over a month? Formulating a checklist of specific questions and going over it with your children can help them decide what they want to keep.
• Donate to those in need. Teach your children at an early age the importance of donating to those less fortunate. Thrift shops, resale charities and local shelters accept used clothes and belongings. Even smaller, unwanted items, such as kids’ meal toys and keychains, could be donated to physicians’ offices or churches that would find a use for them.
• Provide easy-to-reach storage options. Children are happy to take toys out to play with, but putting them back up is more difficult. Make cleanup simple for your children by having easily accessible storage for them. Bins and baskets are great for organizing similar items together, and labels make it easy for older kids to remember what toys go where.
• Clear counter spaces. Clutter on countertops makes a room look and feel untidy, and the surfaces can be a challenge to clean. Pegboard storage, hanging baskets, shelving and desk trays for paper help you get items off your counters and put away in an organized fashion.
• Go room by room. Deep cleaning targets dirty areas of the house that can be missed during daily chores. Create a schedule to deep clean specific areas of your home each month, so you won’t feel like you need to catch up all at once. Cleaning tasks could include wiping down baseboards and blinds, dusting hard to reach areas, and scrubbing floors and grout. A deep clean gives your house a clean slate to be sanitized and disinfected to fight against bacteria.
• Disinfect. Disinfecting kills germs, stops them from spreading and provides extra protection against colds and the flu. Look for disinfectants registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use on household surfaces. EPA-registered disinfectants contain ingredients that are capable of destroying bacteria.