On the Blog
Life Hacks, Tips, Tricks... Just For You.
back to school
The stack of paper bags on top of your refrigerator.
The groceries are long gone! Their day is done – put them in the recycling.
Sheet sets for sizes of mattresses you don’t even own anymore.
Make sure your linen closet is keeping up with your furniture.
Any bottle in your bathroom that contains a product that didn’t work for you.
Why are you keeping that frizz-inducing shampoo or the acne-causing moisturizer?
The bowls or cups in your cupboards with tiny chips in the rim.
They’re not “still good” if you have to strategically sip so as to not cut your lips!
Shoes you bought on sale that pinch your toes.
Ouch! You haven’t worn them yet, and you won’t wear them anytime soon. Donate them!
The attachments for a vacuum you got rid of years ago.
Seriously – ditch them. They're just sucking up space!
The glass vase that your latest flower arrangement was delivered in.
How many of those do you have around the house now? Again, donate them!
That book you couldn’t finish and that other book you loved and devoured.
Take to a used book store, or better yet pass it on to a friend and then discuss over coffee (or wine)!
Your second-string black sweater.
You just wear your favourite one anyway.
The tent camping stove you used once – three years ago.
Extend this to any aspirational sporting equipment that never sees any action.
Any of these strike a chord? What else would you add to this list? But remember – don’t feel bad about getting rid of perfectly functional items if you donate them to people would really need them! You’ll free up space from all the clutter, and someone else gets something they need. Win win! Before you haul them to your nearest donation bin or to your friends’ home, make sure they’re clean – give a scrub with the One Soap or a wipe with the All-Purpose Cleaner before loading the items up. For those old sheets, be sure to launder with Nellie’s Laundry Soda and brighten them with the Oxygen Brightener so they look as good as new! Then, sit back and relax in your clutter-free home.
Summer is slowly coming to a close, and soon your kids will be spending less time at home and more time in school. This is the perfect opportunity to get your house back to the clean and orderly state it was before school was out for the summer. Every household is different, but we have a checklist for a few things we should all be doing around this time of year, including the tools you’ll need.
Back-to-school clothes inspection
Put on the no-nonsense drill sergeant’s hat for this back-to-school wardrobe makeover. With your child’s help, throw out or donate anything that’s too grungy or small to wear to school again this year. Make a list of what you’ll need when you go back to school shopping in the days ahead (a new sweater, pair of pants, etc.) based on what’s heading out the door.
If school uniforms are part of the program, this is the time to start ordering new sweaters, sweatshirts, and the like.
Any stains, smudges, or plain ol’ dirt? Tackle them with the Nellie’s All-Natural WOW Stick for stains, the Oxygen Brightener for non-bleach brightening and whitening, and - of course - the Laundry Soda for giving everything a deep, natural clean.
Take that momentum and turn to the rest of the house: go through your home and make a list of anything you don’t need anymore (old school supplies, toys, furniture, old appliances, etc.). Either donate these items, sell them, give them away to friends and family, or throw them out. It’s much easier to clean with less clutter in the house!
Tidy the bathrooms
Clean out kids’ bathrooms of last semester’s grooming remnants and restock as needed.
Help the kids clean out their bathrooms of last semester’s hair gels and stretched-out scrunchies. Make sure your son or daughter has everything needed to streamline morning grooming. This is especially important if you’ve got teens. If you have a couple of kids with a shared family bathroom, avoid the “It’s hers!/It’s his!” fights by keeping it simple and taking care of the issues now.
Create a homework space
Create a homework centre. Choose a place where each child can work in comfort and without distraction. Stock nearby drawers or cabinets with school supplies.
If you already have a place, now's the time to go out with the old and in with the new and plan ahead for paper chaos. Set up ‘in’ and ‘out’ boxes for school papers. Kids can unload backpacks and drop off papers to be checked, signed, etc. in the ‘in’ box. You can leave signed papers, money, permission slips, etc. in the ‘out’ box.
Organize and entryway backpack zone
Create a backpack drop zone near the entry door. They’re going to drop those backpacks the second they’re inside anyway, so be prepared with a place to catch them. Whether that’s in cute storage cubbies or tucked in a closet, a designated space prevents scrambling in the mornings. Be sure to give the lunch boxes a good scrub – use the One Soap for a natural and fresh cleaning.
Time for a shop
Once you have a classroom supplies list, plan a day to go back to school shopping with the kids.
Make a back-to-school shopping checklist of everything the kids would need for school, from anything to classroom supplies to lunch boxes. When you’re home, make sure that everything is neatly labeled with names.
The sun is out, the weather is great, and the kids are at home. Believe it or not, but August is the perfect time to get ready for the end of summer and the beginning of fall. Take advantage of the weather and with the extra hands around the house, and deep clean now to welcome fall and back-to-school (even better). We’ve got an easy to-do list for you, tackling everything from inside to outside and the tools and products you’ll need. Happy cleaning!
- Focus on your home's ‘public’ rooms first: the living room, family room, entryway, guest bathroom, etc.
- Clean from the ceilings down to the floors. Begin by vacuuming the drapes and window treatments, followed by cleaning window sills and window wells. Vacuum baseboards and corners.
- Vacuum upholstered furniture. To get rid of any stains, use the Nellie’s All-Natural WOW Stick, or take to the dry cleaners if necessary.
- Wash interior windows.
- Clean the walls: dust, wash, rinse, and dry any painted or wood-paneled walls with a mix of warm water and Nellie's All-Natural One Soap in Fragrance Free.
- Turn mattresses front-to-back and end-to-end to ensure equal wear.
- Launder all bedding: mattress pads, pillows, duvets, blankets, and comforters, making sure you can tuck the family into warm and cozy beds. Don’t know how to tackle this? Don’t worry, we’ve got some how-to’s for your mattress, pillows, and duvets.
- Straighten out your closets – declutter, reorganize, and switch to your transitional summer-autumn wardrobe.
- Prepare the kitchen for more nights inside: clean and organize kitchen cabinets, paying extra attention to baking supplies, pans, and equipment. Give your cabinets a wipe down with the All Purpose Cleaner.
- Clean kitchen counters of all appliances that you have not been recently used. Clean counters look cleaner, and provide more room for cutting, chopping, and prepping.
- If you can, pull the refrigerator away from the wall and vacuum the condenser coils. For bottom-mounted coils, use a long, narrow brush to clean coils of dust and debris.
- Spruce up the computer: dust the CPU, clean and wipe down the keyboard, and dust off the monitor with a microfibre cloth.
- Check the dryer exhaust tube and vent for built-up lint, debris, or even birds’ nests! Additionally, make sure that the exterior vent door closes tightly when not in use.
- Schedule a fall inspection for your furnace – don’t wait for the first cold night!
- Drain any sediment from your hot water heaters.
- Clean the patio furniture and get ready to store it away along with umbrellas and the kids’ summer toys.
- Touch up the paint on your home’s trims, railings, and decks. Use a wire brush to remove any flaking paint (be sure the prime bare wood first).
- Check caulk around the windows and doors, re-caulk if necessary.
- Inspect external doors and garage doors. Do they close tightly? Fix them now with weather-stripping and door thresholds if needed to make sure you’re not dealing with a draft in a few months.
- Wash exterior windows with a mix of warm water and One Soap in Fragrance Free.
- Drain and store garden hoses.
- Check gutters and downspouts. Clear of debris if necessary.