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The Clean-zine, Issue #09 - Beating the Back-to-School Morning Madness
September 01, 2013


1. Beating the Back-to-School Morning Madness

2. September Housecleaning Checklist

3. Cleaning Small Appliances

Beating the Back-to-School Morning Madness

School starts any day now. Is your family prepared?

No more sleeping late. No more casual breakfasts. The chaos is about to the begin. Are you ready?

Here are 10 tips for warding off morning madness:

1. Ease into the school schedule by sending the kids to bed early for at least a week before school starts.

2. Have the kids shower the night before. Assign everyone 15 minutes morning time in the bathroom to avoid gridlock.

3. Make mornings easier by having no choice breakfasts. If it's Monday, we're having cereal. If it's Tuesday, we're having yogurt. There's no time for short order cooks on school days.

4. Plan outfits in advance - especially if your kids don't wear school uniforms. On Sunday, get the kids to lay out their clothes for the week. Make sure there are no rips or tears and that everything (including gym clothes and soccer uniforms) is clean. For my little one, I package each day's outfit (underwear and all) in a big resealable plastic bag. He just needs to pull out the bag and get dressed.

5. Sundays are key to your week: Dole out lunch money, etc., on Sunday nights. Work out carpools Sunday night. To place more efficiently, make a family calendar listing everyone's activities in one spot. No one can commit to anything before they check the calendar and clear it with the chauffeur (mom).

6. Make to-go lists for every member of the family for every day of the week. Post them on the fridge or a bulletin board in the kitchen for quick reference each morning. That way, you don't get distress calls about forgotten piano books. Read more tips for beating morning madness here.

September Housecleaning Checklist

September marks marks the end of summer and the beginning of the school year and of the fall season.

There are a lot of chores associated with both transitions. Here are my Top 10:

1. Just Ducty: Clean heat ducts and registers.

2. An Outside Job: Hire someone to clean the gutters and downspouts.

3. Moving inside: Clean backyard and patio furniture for fall and store it for the winter.

4. Fire Starter: Order firewood. Stack it off the ground on pallets or concrete blocks to increase air flow so that it dries appropriately. Stack it away from the house to prevent pest infestation.

5. And just in case things get out of hand: Check your fire extinguisher.

6. Chim, Chim, Cheree: Line up a chimney sweep now before they’re all booked until April. Continue reading September Home Checklist here.

Cleaning Small Appliances

You keep a nice, clean house, Your cabinets sparkle. The laundry's always done. You could eat off your floors (well, almost).

But how long has it been since you cleaned your coffee maker? That's what I thought.

Let's face it: It's hard enough to get through your regular cleaning routine without worrying about toasters, microwaves and blenders. So small appliances are often overlooked.

Actually, most of us would clean the silly things - if we just knew how. While I can't give you more time, I can help with the small appliance cleaning know-how:

1. Coffee Maker. After each use, clean the pot and the filter in warm, soapy water. Wipe the exterior with a damp cloth. About once a month, mix a cup of water and a cup of white vinegar and run it through the coffee maker. Follow with a pot of plain water to rinse it clean. You could buy commercial cleaners that do the same thing. But why?

2. Waffle Irons. Don't wash the grids of a non-stick waffle iron. Instead, wipe them clean after each use with a paper towel. If waffles stick to the iron, it probably needs to be seasoned again with vegetable oil.

3. Electric Can Opener. Remove the cutting wheels and soak them in warm, soapy water for a few minutes. Then scrub the gunk you find with an old toothbrush. Wipe the rest of the unit clean with a sponge. Read the rest of the small appliance cleaning article here.

Enjoy the coming fall season this month!

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