The temperatures are rising, the pools are opening, and school’s out! Summer is finally here. With the start of this new season, your house might be due for a refresh and cleaning.
1. Clean Out Your Fridge
When was the last time you went through your fridge? There might be an expired salad dressing or old cheese stick hiding somewhere in the back, which could be contributing to that funky fridge smell. Is there a bottle of sour eggnog from this past Christmas? Yup, that needs to go. Take all of the food out, toss any expired items, and organize the rest by creating categories such as dairy, meats, fruits, vegetables, and condiments.
While the fridge is empty, wipe down the shelves. There are likely some sticky spills and crumbs stuck on the shelves. For a natural cleaner, mix white vinegar and water together and spray on the shelves. For extra tough stains, leave the solution to soak for about five minutes then scrub with a Magic Eraser. Drawers can be removed and scrubbed with dish soap and warm water.
After giving everything a quick dry with a soft cloth, the food can be returned to the fridge. One organizing tactic is to keep all sauces and condiments in the door of the fridge and put fruits and vegetables in their respective produce drawers. Meat products should go at the very bottom of the fridge, if possible, to prevent any raw meat juices from dripping into your fresh veggies. E-coli salad anyone? No thanks.
Organizing your food not only looks pretty, but it can be easier to find things as well. These acrylic bins from Amazon are a great way to organize your fridge because you can clearly see the contents while also preventing spills.
Tip: Make a “snack station” for hungry kiddos by filling up these bins with healthy, accessible foods that they can grab themselves. Some kid-approved snacks are cheese sticks, Greek yogurt, apple slices, clementines, and baby carrots. If fruits and veggies are washed, pre-cut, and put into baggies, kids are much more likely to eat them!
2. Revive Your Patio
First, remove the weather covers from your furniture (hello, sunshine!) and return them to the garage. Your porch could likely use a good sweeping or even a power washing to clear any dirt, bugs, and leaves from the cement.
Wipe down your patio furniture with a multi-surface cleaner and a cloth or a sponge. Bonus points if you use a summer-scented spray! My favorite is the Honest Grapefruit Grove Multi-Surface Cleaner because it naturally cuts through grime and grease, while still smelling fresh and fruity!
Give your front or back patio a quick (and cheap) update with colorful pillows, fragrant pots of flowers, or even some string lights. Now your patio is summer-ready! You can host a family game night outside, or have friends over for dessert and a warm evening of good conversation.
3. Give Your Wheels Some TLC
I know your car isn’t technically in your house, but with all the time spent driving around, it may as well be your second home. After all the soccer carpools, road trips, work commutes, and Chick-fil-A pick-me-ups, your car might be in need of a deep-cleaning session. You know it’s way past due when kids write “Wash Me” in the dirt on the back windshield...
First, throw away all of the trash found in between the seats and on the ground. Hey, we’re not judging you for all of those snack wrappers (We’ve got them too!).
Second, return random items to their rightful place in the house. Take out all of the toys, baseball mitts, and water bottles that you may find hidden in the back seats. Don’t freak out when you find that old book you were supposed to return to the library three months ago.
Next, take the car through a car wash and vacuum the interior. You can do both of these at home, or if cleaning out the backseat was too tiresome and stressful, a commercial car wash is just as great. Wipe down all of the handles, steering wheel, and dashboard with a multi-surface cleaner and a soft cloth (see recommended above). Do the same with a glass cleaner, and wipe down the windows to clear any streaks or sticky fingerprints.
To help prevent the car from getting dirty in the future, invest in the High Road Car Trash Can from Amazon. Any wrappers and tissues can be contained and concealed in the garbage rather than littered on the floor. It’s an added bonus that there are side pockets so you can corral smaller items like hand sanitizer, chapstick, and wet wipes.
4. Sanitize your Phone
Your cell phone is basically your third hand. You wash your hands, don’t you? You need to clean your phone, too. It tags along with you to the gym, restaurants, school, work, the grocery store, and more. That means your device is crawling with bacteria, viruses, and other germs that could potentially make you sick. The PhoneSoap Pro will kill 99.99% of germs in just five minutes so you’re not bringing any germs or sickness from public places to your home.
5. Rotate your Closet
With the promise of pool parties and outdoor BBQs underneath the warm sun, there is no need for heavy coats, ski boots, and mittens anymore. These cold-weather essentials are taking up real estate in your closet, so it’s time to move them!
Investing in large Sterilite containers (found at Target) to store all your winter gear is a great way to keep things organized and in one place. Stash them on the top shelf in your closet, storage room, or in your garage. Out of sight, out of mind! Bring out any stored warm weather clothes, it’s their time to shine!
The next step may be a little painful, but trust me, it’s necessary. Take EVERYTHING out of your closet. Yes, down to every last hanger and lone sock. Make three piles for your clothes.
Only keep clothes that you actually wear often, well, with the exception of things like your wedding dress and Christmas pajamas. Organize the “keep” items into categories like T-shirts, jeans, pajamas, socks, etc. Donate clothes that no longer fit you, aren’t comfortable to wear, or you just don’t like anymore. Toss any clothes that are too damaged to be donated, such as socks with holes or old leggings that have lost their shape.
Next, vacuum the floor and wipe down the shelves. Return all the clothes to the closet. Investing in velvet hangers is a great way to add a uniform and organized look. They are very slim so you can fit more on each rod, and they prevent clothes from becoming misshapen and falling off. Goodbye, wire dry cleaner’s hangers! If you have drawers, consider dividing them into individual categories, such as socks, underwear, swimsuits, and workout clothes. It doesn’t hurt to contain these items using drawer organizers too.
How are you preparing your home for summer? Let us know in the comments!