Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring Cleaning: The Toys

I try to space out my cleaning throughout the year so that I don’t actually do a lot of Spring cleaning. I follow my weekly schedule and also have a master list of things that need to be done a couple of times throughout the year. I just add these things onto my daily list at certain times throughout the year to make sure that everything is covered.
Still…there are some things that I always do this time of year. One of those things is really deep cleaning the outside (and inside) of all of my windows and screens. I love being able to have my windows open when the weather is nice. I don’t know what it is, but open windows really get me motivated to clean! So…I usually start with the windows.
This year, however, we haven’t really had too many “open-window” weather days so I haven’t checked “clean windows” off of my to-do list. This week’s forecast is looking promising though so I am hoping to get it done this week. Yay for SPRING weather!!
One thing that I did get done was cleaning the toys. I do this a few times throughout the year actually…and not necessarily in the spring time. My husband was out of town a couple of weekends ago and I decided to put my girls to work keep my girls entertained by letting them help me clean the toys. In January, I actually went through the toys and got rid of quite a few (although most people probably wouldn’t be able to tell that I got rid of any at all…we have way too many toys!). This is what it looked like before I purged the toys:
Toys, toys, and more toys! Oh..hello cake plate that we never use…you are going into the yard sale pile! Each basket holds a designated type of toy and both of my girls know what belongs in each of the baskets. Rarely  Sometimes  Frequently, the toys end up in the wrong baskets and it results in the kind of chaos seen in the picture above!

I also went through and got rid of a lot of coloring books. Both of my girls love to color! All of these didn’t make the cut:

Don’t worry, we still had plenty left:
We also purchased an additional shelf (on the right) and some baskets and buckets to “containerize” some of the toys! The toys haven’t always stayed completely organized, but at least some of them are gone now. This is what it looked like this month:
Is anyone else worried about the baby on the stove?!?
We started off by completely emptying all of the shelves. I really believe that this is the most effective way to organize a space! I did that when I {organized our entryway closet} and when I cleaned out my bedroom closet. You will let go of so many more items if you only put back what you really want to keep rather than just take out what you don’t need. I was able to donate 4 large garbage bags of clothes and shoes when I cleaned out my bedroom closet this way!
All of the baskets were carried by my helpers over to the living room rug. They thought this was the best job ever! Ha!
When the shelves were empty, we cleaned them with Shaklee’s non-toxic Basic H2. I love that I can have my kids do the work am able to let my daughter use the cleaning spray and not have to worry about what chemicals she is being exposed to.
Lots of people make their own household cleaners to save money and keep their family safe, but using Basic H2 even costs less than making your own cleaners with vinegar (and the best part in my opinion…it doesn’t smell like vinegar)! Wow! Check out the cost-comparison chart {here}.
Now that the shelves were clean, it was time to move on to cleaning the toys. I use Basic G, Shaklee’s germicide, for all of my disinfecting!
One quart of Basic G makes up to 64 gallons of cleaner when mixed properly…that’s over 500 full size 16 ounce spray bottles of disinfectant!

It is effective against 32 types of bacteria (including antibiotic-resistant strains such as MRSA and VRE) in addition to many human viruses, animal viruses, and fungi……Lysol is only effective against 8 types of bacteria!!

Basic G has NO FUMES and it cleans, disinfects, and deodorizes in one step! There is no need to rinse unless it is a food prep area. Since, in its diluted form, it is non-toxic, it is safe to be used while one is pregnant, but I give you permission to keep this fact a secret in order to get out of “bathroom cleaning duty” while you are pregnant!

Once Basic G is mixed with water in a spray bottle, the mixture needs to be used within 30 days. When diluted with water, bleach loses its ability to disinfect after 24 hours. Many child-care facilities keep a 10:1 mixture of bleach in a spray bottle to disinfect toys, but it is not disinfecting as they think it is if it has been diluted for greater than 24 hours. Scary!!

Once Basic G is used on a surface, it remains effective in disinfecting on that surface for 3 days…..the effectiveness of bleach wears off after 1 hour!!

So…not only is it cheaper than bleach (and other disinfectants), but it is more effective too!

It does need to be rinsed when cleaning toys since kids put things in their mouths. I laid out all of the washable toys on towels and sprayed them down with my diluted Basic G.
I really wish that my beach towels were being used in the sand instead of for cleaning toys though!

I let them sit for 10 minutes and then we rinsed them off with warm water and some rags and let them dry.

While we were washing the toys, I put in a load of stuffed animals and other machine washable items (doll clothes, toy bags/purses, etc…) and washed them using {Shaklee’s Fresh Laundry Concentrate}.
I love knowing that every toy has been cleaned! I also took the liners off of the baskets (haven’t done this since we bought them almost 5 years ago…bleh!) In my defense, I didn't actually know that they were removable!
Now that everything was cleaned, it was time to put it all back! Ta-da!!
Everything in its place!
Even though my girls know what goes in each basket, I still want to label them. I’ll put some pictures up once I decide how to label the baskets.
In all reality, the toys only stayed like this for a couple of hours max (and most of that was probably naptime…ha!) At least at the end of the day, everything has its place and my girls know where everything goes!

If you have any questions about Shaklee’s Basic G (or any of their other fabulous products), just let me know!
Right now, Shaklee is offering FREE MEMBERSHIP!! You can read more about it {here}. I also have a couple of awesome unadvertised specials available…contact me for details!

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