When the spring season hits, many of us get that spring-fever and begin super cleaning and organizing our homes and lives. As a working mother, sometimes we end up dong things not quite on schedule. Yet, it does not mean they should be ignored. There are a few things that you can do, and include the children to help, that will get you focused on a little after-spring cleaning.
First you can start with photos. Many have printed pictures laying in drawers, on top of the cabinets, in shoe boxes under the bed, and mainly in those albums in your phone. First collect all those loose photos. The local dollar stores or craft stores carry inexpensive albums that will hold these photos. Be even more creative and allow the kids to put together themes and scrapbook some of the pictures. The set of pictures from the last family vacation can be organized in a scrapbook with fun stickers, glitter, and some markers. Or even purchase a few poster boards and allow your teenager to make a photo collage of those pictures of friends and those fun times. Do not forget your cell phone. Many local photo shops allow you to download those pictures from your phone to your computer and print at the store, or even insert your phone’s memory card to the free standing kiosk and print on the spot. Not only will you have those important pictures available to add to the newly created albums but you will also now free up memory space in your phone.
A lot of time in the household is spent on the computer. You, your significant other, the teenagers, and even the younger kids enjoy the many activities that technology has to offer online. After-spring cleaning your computer is also important. Without regularly clearing your cache and browser history, can often cause computer viruses as well as the computer to run slow. One task that will help is a disk cleanup. It will help determine if you have duplicate files, in which one can be deleted, or old files in which are no longer being needed or used. As well go to the programs that are downloaded on the computer and decide which ones are also no longer being used. Maybe one of the children clicked on a game a few times and caused multiple files to be downloaded, yet this game no longer gets played. Delete it. Or possibly the family used to have Apple software and downloaded iTunes and other media but now has switched to a different carrier. Delete it. You will be surprised at how much space will become available while cleaning up the computer.
One thing many people neglect to do is to clean up the medicine cabinet. Go through all prescriptions and over-the-counter medicine. Check for expiration dates. It may seem like it is okay to continue to use the medicine, yet even though it may not hurt you in that sense, it will not help you. The expiration dates are there for a reason, after that date the medicine will not be as strong or sufficient and will not work as well.
While your in the medicine cabinet, check your makeup collection. Many women spend plenty on beauty and cosmetic items because we enjoy the way we look and how it makes us feel. However, if there are some items in your collection that are over a year old, it may be time to toss it. Some may have become contaminated with everyday bacteria and some will not look the same when applied. Maybe if there are some products which are still good but you do not use as you thought you would, give them to your teenager or younger daughter to play dress up with.
Lastly, do not forget your closets. Especially your kids closets. When the season changes, many clothing items are no longer needed. The days are becoming hotter and that winter coat will not get any use in the next few months. Those knee-high boots are also no longer in season. As an adult, we will keep many of our clothing items as we may not be changing much in size over the years, or are not able to shop for ourselves as much as we used to. When cleaning out the kids’ closets, allow them to help you. Pull out clothes that no longer fit, plus those out of season. Let them see which ones you are removing so they do not go back looking for them later. As well inform them why you are removing them. The main thing many kids have that do not fit are shoes. Be sure to have them try on the shoes, ask them how it feels, and remove those that are too tight. Let them know that the out of season clothes are not any good anymore because by the time winter rolls back around, they will need a bigger size. Once you have removed all unneeded items, put them in a large trash bag. A good way to show your children a lesson in being unselfish is to take the bags to the local Goodwill, thrift shop, or second-hand store. You can separate the items in piles for ones that could possibly be re-sold and your kids could earn a few extra dollars for more clothes, and another pile that have gone through normal wear and tear and could be donated to the less-fortunate. You can also do this with toys, games, and books. This is also a good excuse to get to go and do a little more shopping.