Creating a Life Free From Chaos

Cleaning Kids’ Spaces: 8 Weeks at Home Series

Welcome back to week 5 of the 8 Weeks at Home Series! We’re spending eight weeks decluttering, simplifying and cleaning up room by room in preparation for summer. So far, we’ve decluttered and cleaned the bathroom, the living room, the kitchen and the master bedroom. This week, we’re working on probably the most chaotic spaces of all — kids’ rooms and playrooms. In our house at least, two boys = utter chaos when it comes to their rooms and shared playroom. It’s a never-ending battle trying to keep up with the toys, books, clothes and trinkets. Last time, we decluttered, now we’re cleaning!

In this series, I’ll do two posts per week for each room. In the first post, we’ll talk about decluttering and simplifying. In the second post, we’ll clean it all up and get it looking nice and shiny. While you’re working in each space, keep some paper and a pen handy and make note of any repairs that need to be made, any supplies that need to be restocked, or any decorating changes you’d like to make. As you decide to get rid of stuff, remove it from the space right away and get it out of the house ASAP so that it doesn’t worm its way back into the space. Take out bags of trash and recycling daily so they don’t pile up in your workspace.

11 Tips for Spring Cleaning Kids’ Spaces

  1. Use only all-natural cleaning products that don’t contain chemicals or additives to clean kids’ spaces. These are much healthier, as well as more eco-friendly. You can buy natural cleaners at the store, but it’s so easy to make your own cleaners for a fraction of the cost.
  2. Wash bedding weekly in hot water with a mild detergent. Dust mites, skin cells you shed overnight and perspiration can quickly make bed linens less than fresh. Don’t forget to wash comforters or bedspreads regularly too. My kids like to sleep with A LOT of blankets — little fleece throws, an old baby blanket, the quilt from the living room — so I have to grab all those each week too.
  3. Spot clean stuffed animals, bag them in pillowcases, and run them through a hot dryer for at least 20 minutes to kill dust mites and other yuckies.
  4. Once a season or so, take down bedroom curtains and wash or dry clean them as needed. Dust and mites can build up on them too. Also wipe down any blinds you have on the windows and wipe off window sills.
  5. Keep the air healthy by dusting and vacuuming regularly. Dust mites, skin cells from bedding and dust can build up quickly in bedrooms, and that’s not what you want your kiddos breathing in each night as they sleep. Dust weekly with a microfiber cloth, starting at the top and working your way down. Hit all the horizontal surfaces like dressers and nightstands, but don’t forget lamp shades, the bed’s headboard, chairs and artwork. Vacuum regularly if you have carpet, or use a dust mop for floors.
  6. If you have ceiling fans in the kids’ bedrooms, wipe the dust from the fan blades at least once a season. While you’re up there, wipe off the light fixture too.
  7. Take a moment to wipe down baseboards with a damp cloth or use the handheld hose on your vacuum.
  8. Organize toys and stuffed animals in baskets or bins to make it easy for kids to clean up — you’re more likely to run that vacuum around their rooms if you don’t have to worry about running over a beloved toy (not to mention stubbing your toes during those late-night sleeping child checks!)
  9. Keep a few favorite books in a basket that can be moved by the bedside or a favorite rocking chair, and keep the rest in a bookshelf. I’ve taught my boys to put books back on the bookshelf “like a library” so the books are upright and facing the same direction.
  10. Provide a large, easy-to-use laundry basket or hamper and train your kids to toss their dirty clothes in the basket as soon as they take them off. Keep an extra bin in the closet to toss outgrown clothes as you notice them so they don’t clutter up drawers or wind up in puddles on the floor.
  11. Use containers liberally — baskets and boxes for toys with small parts, socks, books, anything that can be contained should. Opt for clear boxes with lids as much as possible.

Next week: Guest spaces!

Looking for the rest of the 8 Weeks at Home series? Post links will be added here as they’re published!

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