Going back to school is a big transition for everyone in the household; higher stress, a more regimented schedule, increased hustle and bustle, which can all lead to disrupted sleep patterns. And disrupted sleep can lead to compromised immunity. Some would also say going back to school means going back to germs. Germs plus compromised immunity can be a sickly combination. Throw in seasonal allergies and I for one can be taken down for the count. I don’t have time for that! (I’m pretty sure it’s actually forbidden in the Mommy Bi-Laws.) That’s why I make time for cleaning certain things in my house to help improve the air we breathe. The goal? A grade A night’s sleep.
1. DUST YOUR CEILING FAN
Now this, this I do regularly, but I have to be sure to take an allergy pill before I start because it can get pretty thick up there. Up where you ask? Why up on the ladder. Because that is what I have to climb to dust the eaves of my various ceiling fans. You know how wonderful ceiling fans are. They can really help you distribute the air in your house. But if you don’t keep them clean they can also help you distribute dust. That’s why I scamper up the ladder with my dust cloth in hand. Not just any cloth. I learned the hard way that attacking the dust with a paper towel, even one that has been sprayed with cleaner is a war of dirt that I am not likely to win. So my rag of choose is a Melaleuca Tough and Tender wipe. Pre-moistened through and through. Another trick to dusting the fan is to stay on the surface. Don’t run the rag all the way to the end of the eave because wet or not you are very likely to end up with a face full of dust bunnies. Do a couple of center wipes and hand grabs before you run a rag along the outer edge. That way you are less likely to eat what you are trying to get rid of.
2. WIPE DOWN THE WALLS
One thing I discovered last week when I was painting my children’s rooms was how dusty their walls were. I was used to cobwebs appearing every now and then. When I would see those I would immediately sweep them off. But upon closer inspection while spackling holes before painting I couldn’t believe the layer of dust clinging to the paint. I really shouldn’t have been surprised after dusting the ceiling fan. I mean, dust has to land somewhere right? Thankfully there are these great wall sponges out there that not only handle dust, but grime and fingerprints too. I am a big fan of Mr Clean Magic Erasers. They stand up to the hard scrubbing I tend to do, especially in corners and crevices. Yup, Mr Clean and I make a powerful dust fight team! Show me your muscles!
3. VACUUM YOUR MATTRESS
Did you know you can vacuum your mattress? Better yet did you know that you SHOULD? I don’t remember when I learned to do this. I think it was from some late night infomercial many moons ago. Where I saw it it stuck with me. Dirt, dust, flecks of skin all end up on and in your mattress. I know, YUCK! But that’s just reality. If you make a habit of vacuuming your mattress your allergies will thank you. It’s also important to regularly flip and rotate your mattress too. But if you really want to do right by yourself and your mattress you should consider protecting your bed with a mattress protector. Guard against allergens and bed bugs. Then you can sleep more confidently and healthy.
4. VACUUM YOUR VENTS
Another good thing to vacuum is your air vent. You know the ones up on your wall and your ceiling. The ones we tend to take for granted or just inadvertantly ignore. Sometimes it’s a logistical issue. Those vents can be very hard to reach. I get it. The celings in most of my house are 9 feet tall. It wasn’t until I got a Kenmore Canister Vacuum that I was finally able to clean my ceiling vent successfully. It was an experience worth filming.
5. CHANGE YOUR AIR FILTER
It’s easy to take things that we use every day for granted. Often times we don’t even think about things like our garage doors, or our appliances until something goes wrong. But none of us can really afford that. That’s why we need to take in our surroundings before they draw our attention negatively. Like the furnace for example. By giving it a little TLC once a month it can help us stay comfortable and even healthier all days of the year. That means cleaning the surrounding area of the furnace making it free of dust bunnies and grime, and once a month changing out the internal filter. Sound familiar? Yeah the filter. The one that traps all of the allergens in the air in your house. Well, it can only do that if it is clean. Here’s a great article on eHow that takes you step by step through the process of cleaning and changing your furnace filter. Remember turn the furnace off before you take the filter out.
6. CLEAN YOUR SCREEN
Cleaning your window screens is another one of those adult tasks that we never really think about doing. Well, at least I hadn’t. It’s not that I didn’t know it needed to be done, it’s that I didn’t know how to do it. Thank goodness for google. It’s like adult living video courses on demand. Everything your parents never got around to teaching you. Turns out cleaning the window screens isn’t so hard at all, but it does take some time and preparation. There are some great instructions on “Do-it-yourself-window-cleaning-tips.com”. Keep in mind, if your house is like mine, (with many, many different windows, in many, many different sizes), it’s a good idea to mark your screens, (with something that won’t wash off), so you know which screen belongs to which window when you are done hosing them down.
7. WHERE THE BASEBOARD AND CARPET MEET
When I was a kid my number one cleaning job was to take a Pledge soaked rag, wrap it around my index finger, and then run my finger deep along the baseboards digging the dirt out that is trapped in the groove where the baseboard and the carpet meet. I was good at it too. I can’t tell you why I always volunteered for this particular job, but I did. Every week. Dismantling my children’s rooms these last two weeks I went back to childhood, wrapping a Pledge soaked rag around my finger once again. (Only this time it was a spray I used instead of an aerosol of my youth.) Given that this was such a monumental experience for me means that I haven’t been doing it regularly. But we aren’t going to mention that are we? (What’s said in the blog stays in the blog.) It’s amazing how much dirt gets trapped in that canal even with regular vacuuming. So what are you waiting for? Dig it out.
Miss Lori can be found Musing from her Minivan at MissLori.TV , Wearetherealdeal.com , YoungChicagonista ,ChicagoMomsBlog , and ChicagoMoms.com. You can also see her Activating to Be Great at Miss Lori’s CAMPUS on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter , TOUT and LinkedIn.