Preschoolers learn that toys are picked up after playtime or that mats must be stored away after naps. At home, you can do the same: “Before I start dinner, we’ll put your books back on the shelf” or “After you get into pajamas, you put your clothes in the hamper.”
Give advance warning
Jane Lannak, Ph.D., who directs Boston University’s Early Childhood Learning Lab, gives a two-minute warning to help students make the mental transition from playtime to pickup. Or tell them what they have time to do—”Three more puzzle pieces before cleanup!”
Think small chunks
Leeds says a room full of toys is very interesting and distracting, and preschoolers are not good picker-uppers. Let children pick up for five minutes, take a break then come back to the task. Or just focus on one thing: the stuffed animals, the crayons, etc.
Work some magic
Say “I heard about a family who had some wonderful cleanup magic in their house,” advises Connie Gillies, a former preschool teacher in Nissequogue, NY. “You can walk by and say ‘I wish our house had some of that.’ Later, when a few toys are put away, say “Oh, we are so lucky. The magic is in our house!'” The classic motivator for the preschool set, she says, is reverse psychology.
Show them how it’s done
Younger toddlers can get confused with commands like “Clean up your toys.” That’s a concept that doesn’t come naturally. Hall advises parents to show young children what they mean: “Now it’s time to put the blocks in their container” or “Watch how I’m placing the cars on the shelf.Would you please help me?
An easy formula to mix together to clean your hardwood floors that contains no vinegar.
1 cup Distilled Water
1/4 cup Rubbing Alcohol (I use 70% Isopropyl)
Small Squirt of Dish Soap (I use Dawn)
1. Combine the ingredients in a small spray bottle.
2. Spray a small area of the floor and then rub with a cloth to clean and wipe the area dry. You can do this on your hands and knees, but I usually put a cloth on my Swiffer and use that to clean and dry the area. Be sure to dry the area well as any standing water left on hardwood floors is not good for them either.
3. Continue spraying and wiping dry until you have cleaned the entire floor.
Grease stains tend to go unnoticed, allowing them to build up to seemingly impossible proportions. This grime can damage the wood of your cabinets if allowed to remain for a long period of time. However, as unpleasant as these stains may seem, they are easily remedied. Try the most gentle method first and if necessary, move to more aggressive solutions until you find the best formula for your situation.
1. Try the Easiest Solution First
Mix 2 tablespoons of Dawn dish soap with 2 cups of warm water and scrub the cabinet with a clean cloth, following the grain of the wood. Rinse the area clean with a sponge and dry it with a clean towel.
2. Bring Out the Good Old Baking Soda
Sprinkle baking soda onto a clean damp cloth and scrub the cabinet. Rinse with a clean sponge and dry the area with a clean dry towel.
3. White Vinegar is an Effective All Purpose Cleaner
White vinegar is a household wonder cleaner. Add 1 cup white vinegar to the Dawn dish soap and water mixture. The solution is now 2 cups water, 2 tablespoons dish soap and 1 cup white vinegar.
4. Old Fashioned Borax Can Often Save the Day
If you need to be still more aggressive, add half a cup of borax to the dish soap, vinegar and water mix. Repeat the scrubbing action with a soft cloth and wipe with a dry cloth.
A Final Coat of Oil Will Make the Cabinets Gleam
Finish by wiping the cabinets down with a small amount of orange oil, lemon oil or even mineral oil.
1. Disinfect Countertops
Do you have sticky spots left behind on your countertop from dinner? Use a spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide or pour a few drops on your counter! The peroxide will bubble up and loosen the grime making it easy to wipe away!
2. Make Glass Shelves Sparkle
Have your refrigerator shelves seen better, less sticky, days? Instead of using toxic cleaners around foods you can use hydrogen peroxide! Spray the hydrogen peroxide on and let it sit for a few minutes. Then wipe it off. You may have to scrub or use a scraper to get off any of the tough gunk!
3. Clean Your Cutting Board
Did you know it is really important to disinfect your cutting board? Just think of how many times you may have cut chicken or meats on it and it could have germs left behind! Use hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle and spray directly onto the cutting board. Let it bubble for a few minutes to loosen leftover food or bacteria. Then just wipe clean!
4. Disinfect Kitchen Sponges
Don’t waste money by buying new kitchen sponges! Instead, disinfect them in hydrogen peroxide. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide and one part hot water and place your sponges in the mixture for 15 minutes. Then rinse thoroughly. Next, to really kill any germs, heat the sponges in the microwave for 1 minute.
5. Remove Baked On Residue from Pans
When your cookie sheet is in need of a good cleaning, hydrogen peroxide is perfect for the job! Sprinkle the pan with baking soda and then pour just enough hydrogen peroxide to make a paste. Lit it sit for an hour or two and then scrub away the gunk and grime!
6. Clean Your Glass Stovetop
Don’t want to spend hours scraping the food off your stove or let harsh chemicals fill the air? All you need is baking soda, Dawn Dishwashing Liquid & hydrogen peroxide to make your stovetop sparkle like it’s brand new! Layer the mixture on the stove, use a scrub brush to work the mixture around the stove, and then let sit for 3 minutes. Finish up by wiping it all away with a damp cloth.
7. Clean Your Toilet
Hydrogen peroxide can also be used to clean your toilet! Pour half a cup of hydrogen peroxide into the toilet and then let it sit for 20 minutes. Scrub the toilet with a toilet brush to remove any dirty spots and then flush!
8. Clean Grout Stains
When store-bought cleaners just aren’t doing the job on your grout lines, try hydrogen peroxide! Spray the hydrogen peroxide on the grout lines and then use an old toothbrush to scrub them. This method is super effective!
9. Remove Mildew
Hydrogen peroxide can also be used to remove mildew from hard surfaces. Put the hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle and spray directly onto the mildew. Let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe the mildew away.