Back to school what to clean and prioritise.


Some of us will be excited to see the kids go back to school when the holidays are over; they may enjoy the calmness that follows after the morning bustle. For others it’s quite the opposite as they are always flustered by all the activities that come with this season. Regardless of which category you fall in to, ‘back to school time’ is still something you want to be ready for. Yes, the house may seem less chaotic, but that can quickly change if you don’t get things organised and clean to improve efficiency.

Cleaning and organising when the kids go back to school is not an easy task. It is preparation for a new school year or term. Most times you might be a busy, working parent with so little time to spare for organising. Does this mean you have no choice but to face the chaos head on? Absolutely not!

We have put together some tips and ideas to help you clean and organise during this time.

1. Start with the kitchen. The kitchen is naturally one of the high traffic areas in the home. When the kids go back to school, it gets worse and can be frustrating. From quick breakfasts in the morning to homework in the evening, it gets harder each day to keep track of the mess. Depending on your family’s lifestyle, routine cleaning and organising the kitchen can be useful. The first thing to do is re-organise everything. Establish new positions for lunch boxes and snacks that the children pick up on their way out. Declutter the refrigerator. Create a suitable section for homework in the evenings or keep it out of the kitchen altogether. Some homes have study areas for this. After organising the kitchen to make it easier to find things on a busy school morning, be sure to deep clean the kitchen. Clean regularly used appliances like the coffee maker, toaster, stove top and so on. Wipe down all cupboards and surfaces in the kitchen and seal granite surfaces.

2. Tackle the Cupboards. You might already know this, but cupboards suffer the most at times like these. With all the rush, clothes and other items get strewn everywhere. A disorder like this makes it even harder to find anything in the mornings. Tackle the kid’s cupboards as well as your own before the start of school. Organise everything into sections. Purge the cupboards of dirty clothes or items that are no longer needed. Wash all dirty clothes, toys and other things before replacing them. Involve your kids by showing them where everything can be found. Encourage them to keep the closet organised, and hopefully, this won’t have to be a weekly chore.

3. Bathrooms. The bathrooms in your home are another high traffic area, right next to the kitchen. They have to be cleaned and re-organised to suit busy mornings and reduce clutter. Start by deep cleaning all bathrooms especially the kids’ bathroom. Replace toiletries and other materials required in the bathroom. Place them in easy to reach areas for your children. Help your teenager find their personal items faster by establishing a new location for them. The bathroom will always need routine cleaning and possibly a different arrangement each time.

4. Pantry and Refrigerator Declutter. The pantry and refrigerator would need to be decluttered for this new season. Everything must be clean and re-organised to increase your efficiency in the kitchen and prevent the loss of time looking for items.

Remove everything in the fridge and clean with a suitable cleaner. Replace only useful items and discard expired ones. Remember to maximise fridge space by placing most can items in the pantry and chilling them only when you need them. Be sure to give your pantry a thorough clean too and re-organise everything.

5. Create a Family Calendar. During the holidays, routines are quite flexible. Each day could be spent indoors resting and bonding. But going back to school everything changes. Activities come up, and they could be school activities like ‘bring your parent to school day’ or a friend’s party for the whole family to attend and so on. A family calendar helps everyone know what activities are coming up and how to prepare for them. Your family calendar can also be significantly specific for each child or family member. Use a colour code to represent each person so everyone can identify who’s up for what with a glance. You can schedule piano lessons, field trips, bake sale day and so on. Keep the calendar updated for each month and free of clutter.

6. Inventory. There’s no doubt that you would need some supplies to stay ahead of most difficult situations. Take note of what you have and make a list of what you don’t have. This includes cleaning supplies, school supplies, clothes and other items. This is also the time to get some strong cleaners to tackle the stubborn stains and dirt you would encounter. Stocking up ensures that you don’t have to worry when an unexpected need comes up or when your children need some materials for school. If you can’t purchase everything at once, you can schedule your shopping a few times a week to catch up. To finish up on preparing for the busy school year, do a routine home cleaning. Approach each section of the home with an organising pattern to make ‘back to school time’ hassle free. Entry points in the house should also be kept clean and organised so everyone can easily find their coats, shoes, or keys.

It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Just have a go at these 6 steps and we are sure that in no time you will have your house clean, chaos free, organised and child friendly! Happy Cleaning!


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