Cleaning the kitchen can be a fun opportunity for you and your kids to really get things clean, and have ALOT of fun! Kids as young as 2 can get in on the action (just don't give them any chemicals) and it teaches them alot about teamwork and helping the family. We love to listen to books on CD, or you can play some fun music and dance your way to cleaning the room! I'll break down this room, and give you ideas on how your kids can help with each section! You'll have alot of fun!
Dust down the ceiling and corners of walls. Spot wash, remembering air vents, doorknobs, doors, switch plates. Use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, to avoid removing paint and clean the walls without harming paint. Your walls will probably need to be washed more in this room, then anywhere else. Your blender (or whatever appliance) may have thrown bits of food and you never even noticed it! Clean the grease, grime, and spilled food from your walls.
Kids can take a slightly damp microfiber cloth and help you dust the walls! Make is a game. See who can get the most dust bunnies, or make their cloth the dirtiest the fastest! It will also help you, because you won't have to get down on your knees to clean the bottoms of the walls.
Dust and clean all art and photographs along the wall. Use caution when cleaning framed pictures. Don't spray the cleaner on the art, as it could seep behind the glass and destroy your art work. Spray your cleaner on a microfiber cloth and clean.
Kids can help you dust the pictures, too. If you're worried about them breaking the glass, then have them help you squirt the solution onto your cloth. Remember, you’re not just trying to Spring clean your house, you're also trying to teach them to clean and spending time with them!
Dust and clean the ceiling fan. I find that taking a pillow case, and sliding the blade into the pillow case, and gently rubbing the pillow case against the blades is enough. You don't have to worry about the dust going everywhere; it's all trapped in the pillow case! If you need to wash the blades, pouring something like Lysol multi-purpose cleaner in a bucket, and diluting with water is perfect too. Take down any light fixtures and gently wash and dry them before replacing.
Obviously, there really isn't much that the kids can do on this one. Having your child on a ladder, trying to help clean the blades is not a good idea. But, they could help you dry the light fixtures, or hand you the towels to dry them (if you don't want them helping around the glass).
Take down draperies, curtains, and blinds to wash or have cleaned according to the manufacturer's directions. Vacuum and clean windowsills and corners. Wash the insides and outsides of the windows. Take down and rinse off screens, before replacing.
Kids love to help vacuum. If you think they can handle the attachment by themselves, then let them! If they don't have the dexterity to handle it, then help them do it. Trust me, the look of pride and accomplishment on their faces is well worth the extra time it took! Spray some glass cleaner on the windows and let them clean it off!
Apply oven cleaner to the oven and clean the refrigerator. Leave the windows in the kitchen open to avoid the overpowering smell*. Don't forget to vacuum the coils of your UNPLUGGED refrigerator. This is a great time to sweep and mop underneath it too if you can find some help to move it. Be careful of scratching your floor.
*If you don't want your kids around the smell, spray your oven before bed, and let it work overnight.
Kids can help clean up the floor space. They can help you sweep and mop the floors!
While the oven cleaner works, begin sorting through the freezer and refrigerator. Clear out anything that is expired. Take out the drawers and shelves and clean them with warm water and soap. Wipe out the inside of the fridge and freezer with vinegar to remove smells. When oven cleaner is done, wipe out the inside according to the oven cleaner directions.
My kids love to be the ones to throw out the stuff that's expired. I'll give them the stuff to throw away, and they race to see who can throw it in the trash the fastest! They can also help clean out the inside of the fridge. Just give them their own sponge or cloth!
Take the knobs, burners, burner covers, and spill catchers off of the stove. Some stovetops lift up to allow easy access to spills and crumbs. Wipe down the entire stove.
Kids can wipe the outside bottom of the stove with a moist rag.
Wipe down and clean the toaster, blender, and other small appliances. Clean the microwave. If the spills in the microwave are dried and caked on, try microwaving a cup of water (in a glass bowl) for about 5 min. . The steam helps break up the dried on food. If the microwave smells, boil lemon juice. Don't forget the turntable. Clean off other appliances; just make sure they are unplugged first.
The kids could help dry off the toaster, or other small appliances that can be easily put on the ground. Just make sure they are unplugged first!
Clean out kitchen cabinets. Reline the cupboards if needed. Remove mismatched lids and bowls and donate. Take out anything that isn't being used on a regular basis. Reorganize and wash down the insides and outsides of cabinets.
Kids can help you match up the lids, help you wash the dishes and dry them, and help get the dishes that are on the bottom shelves! There’s a lot that they can help with and it can be alot of fun!
Run the dishwasher empty. Pour some vinegar in a coffee mug and run the empty dishwasher. If your dishwasher has a food trap in the bottom, clean it out. Wash out the grooves that don't get washed by the dishwasher and down the outside of the dishwasher.
Kids can help wash down the outside of the dishwasher.
Wash down the countertops in your kitchen. Don't forget backsplashes. Please clean your countertops according to the manufacturer's recommendations. There are so many different styles out there; I don't want to even attempt to generalize!
Kids can help wipe down the countertops. My little girl just isn't tall enough to reach the countertops, so I have a step stool for her. It makes her feel so special, because she can see and help mommy!
Wipe down and clean out any drawers. Organize your flatware. If you don't have drawer organizers, it's a great time to buy some!
Kids can help reorganize the flatware.
Wash down the sink. If you have a garbage disposal it would be a great time to run a lemon peel thru the disposal to freshen the drain. Rub baby oil on your faucet to keep water spots from forming.
Kids could help polish the sink, once you're done with the chemicals!
Sweep and mop the floors. Don't forget baseboards. One of the best ways to get a floor REALLY clean is to use a rag or towel while on your hands and knees. If you have a steam mop, steam clean your floors.
Why not use the power of kid’s labor! Give the kids the rags and have them scrub along the baseboards with the rags! You can mop up their messy water, and the floor's clean! Everyone wins!
Tomorrow, I'll share the list for the bathroom!
Until Next Time,