We’re all waiting for that first truly warm week of weather, when we can open our windows, turn off the furnace, and start to welcome spring! Spring brings the feeling of a fresh new start. Spring also brings the satisfying sweep of dusting, organizing, and scrubbing that is spring cleaning!
Our kiddos can always pitch in, but they aren’t as thorough as we are when it comes to a good cleaning! So here are some parenting tips for getting your children’s domain as clean as the rest of the house this spring.
How To Clean & Disinfect Children’s Toys
Toys can carry everyday dirt and crayon smears. They can also carry germs that spread colds, the flu, or other viruses, especially after being laid on grimy surfaces (like the floor of a public restroom!).
To clean non-absorbent toys that don’t have electrical or fabric components, use soapy water to clean, then rinse and wipe dry with disposable paper towels. To disinfect them, make a diluted bleach solution (one tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of water). Then submerge them for about 15 seconds. Then, lay them out to dry.
If you want a more natural approach to disinfecting toys, you can use your dishwasher (but first check toy manufacturer guidelines to make sure it’s dishwasher safe). If you can, use the sanitizing cycle. If that’s not an option, use Lysol hydrogen peroxide wipes, which are bleach free!
Wooden toys can be cleaned with a lint-free cloth and a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar. For stains or stubborn spots, dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol, then wipe with a water-dampened cloth. This 50/50 solution can also be used on books, rubber toys, bath toys (do this every week for bath toys), and other items that can be soaked or washed.
For stuffed animals, spot clean with a baby wipe. For those favorite stuffed friends that need a deeper clean, place them in pillow case with a damp cloth, and maybe even add a few drops of essential oil to the cloth. Then put in the dryer on medium heat for about 15 minutes.
Bring a Garbage Bag
When spring cleaning your child’s room, there’s bound to be broken toys, random pieces of paper, or toys that should be considered simple clutter.
Here’s a very helpful tip: DO NOT let your kids help with this part. They will not want to toss or donate ANYTHING. You know best which toys they play with and the ones that mean the most to them.
Any toys they’ve outgrown can be donated (find donation tips from Toy Parents here). For the remaining items, toss in the trash or recycle. That’s 50 percent of the battle in spring cleaning their room!
Cleaning Fixtures and Furniture
Make sure that you have the right cleaners. Then, wipe down shelves, knick-knacks, lampshades and lamps, dressers and nightstands, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures, windows and sills, etc.
To clean crayon marks off of walls, used a damp towel lightly dipped into baking soda. To clean walls and baseboards, dust first, then use a solution of 1 cup of distilled vinegar per gallon of water.
Strip the bed and wash all of the bedding. It’s often easier — especially if you’re cleaning the whole house — to pop bedding into one of the super-sized washers and dryers at the Laundromat.
Vacuum the floors and spot clean the carpet with a carpet cleaner. You might also consider purchasing or renting a steam-cleaning machine.
Organize the Closet
Kids grow out of their clothes — it’s unavoidable (believe me, I’ve tried to stop it!).
Pull all of their clothes from the closet and make piles. Hang up or put away the clothes that still fit them. Toss or use as cleaning rags the clothes that are damaged or stained. Then, donate the rest.
You might also consider making some cash on the side by selling their old clothes that are still in good condition. Sign up for a free account on sites like Poshmark (use dpendleton as a referral code) or ThredUp.
That’s it! Your child’s room is done and you’re ready to tackle the rest of the house while they destroy your hard work.