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The Clean-zine, Issue #15 - Spring Cleaning with Kids
March 01, 2014

With Spring just around the corner, we're all looking forward to extended daylights hours and the season's warmer weather.

We're planting flowers, airing out the patio cushions and checking the umbrella for mildew. In many part of the country, though, it's not quite warm enough to move outside yet.

In the meantime, use cooler days to brighten up the indoors with a Spring cleaning plan that gets the kids excited about this annual rite of home purification, and begin testing your backyard garden soil before you begin planting.


1. Spring Cleaning With Kids

2. Testing Garden Soils

3. March Housecleaning Checklist

Spring Cleaning With Kids

Here are the seasonal chores you can reasonably expect your child to help you with, given his or her age.

Within each category, I've listed appropriate chores for each age group. These age recommendations are just that - recommendations.

Your tidy 11-year-old who has been cleaning his room since age 2 can probably tackle some of the chores listed for teenagers if safety isn't an issue.

If you've been the maid for your 13-year-old since she was born, however, you may want to start her off with the simpler chores recommended for younger children.

Once a child reaches a certain skill or age level, he can generally do the chores for his age group and those for the age group below.

Ages 2 and Under:

* Pick up outside toys

Ages 3 to 5:

* Previous chore, plus:

* Water plants

* Put away outside toys and games and all their pieces in the proper boxes or bins.

Read the full spring cleaning with kids article here.

Testing Garden Soil

Not all dirt is created equal.

You want soil that drains well, yet retains enough moisture to keep plant roots from drying out. You want soil that has a lot or organic matter for nutrients. You want soil that does not compact. You want soil that will allow roots to spread easily.

Garden soil is made up of three types of soil particles: sand (large), clay (small), and silt (medium).

The optimum mix is 40 percent sand (for drainage), 40 percent silt (for nutrients and drainage), and 20 percent clay (for nutrients and to conserve water.

When a soil has that precise mixture, it is called "loam". Unfortunately, loam soils are few and far between.

The good new is that you can improve on the soil you have. But how do you know what you have?

Try one of these 2 simple tests.

1. The Squeeze Tests. It's an easy test: Squeeze a fistful of wet dirt and release.

Read the full article on testing garden soil here.

March Home Checklist

March Checklist: 10 things to include in your home cleaning and preventative maintenance program this month to keep your home well-maintained.

1. A Clean, Well-Lighted Place: Begins with clean light fixtures. Clean ceiling fixtures, lamps, sconces, anything that has a bulb.

2. And While You're Up There: Clean the fan blades.

3. Floor Show: Clean hardwood, tile, linoleum and other floor surfaces and seal. (Hire a professional for this.)

4. And While You're At It: Call the pros in to clean the carpets, too.

5. Think Small. Think small appliance. Think "clean small appliance." Tackle the toaster, the toaster oven, the microwave, and show them who’s boss.

Read the full March Home Checklist article here.

Have a great month!

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