Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Holiday Clean Up!


   How many of you find yourselves scrambling when you realize the Holidays are coming and that means the Family is too? I realized this year that I don't Spring Clean, I Holiday Clean! The floors, beds, pillows, towels, windows, machines, corners, even painting sometimes...and that is on top of the normal holiday decorating and shopping and wrapping and cooking. I'm tired just thinking about it! So here's the deal, I cheat. That's right...I said it, I cheat. Frankly, you should too! The Holidays are crazy for Moms so why should we add more chaos to our already chaotic schedule? I'm all about my Shortcuts and at the Holidays I go into full gear and now you can too!
Our little Monkey hanging out in the wash :)

   Let's start with the Washer. Twice a year you should clean this simply because of the build-up that can happen. That build-up is what causes that mildew smell to get into some of your clothes and towels. Cleaning it is pretty easy. I found a few links via Pinterest that I combined for my favorite cleaning.
  1. Take the middle column of your top loader washer apart. It literally pops off. Put your thumbs on the inside of the top of the column and squeeze the outside with your fingers and pull up.
  2. Pull those those two pieces apart and soak in hot sudsy water and then wipe down with a sponge and rinse with water.
  3. On the Bulk setting with the hottest water, fill your washer and add one cup of Bleach. Let it agitate for one minute and then turn it off for one hour. After that turn your washer on again and let it run through the whole cycle.
  4. Repeat again with one cup of Apple Cider Vinegar. While it is sitting and soaking take a cloth and wipe down the washer on the inside. Get up at the top and around the rim of the washer barrel.
  5. Wipe down the outside with your choice of wipes (clorox, lysol, seventh generation, etc.).
  6. Run the washer through a normal cycle on the hot setting again with no pause.
Your washer is now nice and sparkly clean. Just don't forget to put your middle column back in again before washing your clothes :)

Here are the links I used to get the best clean for my washer!

Because in beach towns, towels happen a LOT!!!!
   The second thing I dove into cleaning is my towels. When visitors come and stay over, they end up using your towels (big and little). You want them to smell fresh and new without having to buy brand new ones. I personally like things that are nice and fluffy too and cleaning them like this can make your towels fluffy again! After awhile towels absorb a build-up of detergent and become less absorbent. It can cause them to smell mildewed and stale. When you get out of the shower and dry off that smell can transfer to you and make you feel like you showered for nothing. As a mom who gets very few relaxing showers I want to make sure my shower smell sticks. I want to smell like my awesome body wash for days not minutes! So I went on a hunt and yet again Pinterest came to the rescue.(http://www.pinterest.com/pin/277604764502995668/)
  1. Wash your towels on the hottest setting you can with one cup Apple Cider Vinegar in place of your detergent. Do not use any softener or bleach either.
  2. Once this wash cycle ends restart it with 1/2 cup of baking soda. Try not to let too much time lapse in between  these two washes. This time around I also put in about half a lid of Downy Unstoppables.
  3. I threw the whole load into the dryer as soon as the cycle stopped the second time around. Make sure your dryer vent is thoroughly cleaned off so the towels dry as fast as possible. If you need to run them through the dryer again put the dryer on the air fluff setting. This will not only dry your towels but help restore them to their former fluffy glory!
I spent a good five minutes after pulling all the towels out just smelling the deliciousness of them. I even folded them right away so the cat couldn't get a sniff and try to make my laundry pile her new favorite fluffy spot. :)
Some sheets and blankets are more important than others,
and take more of a beating.
   The beautiful thing is that your bed sheets can be washed the same way as your towels. When they are done pull them out and fold the bottom sheet, top sheet, and all but one of your pillow cases. Tuck your bottom sheet into the middle of your top sheet, lay your pillow cases on top of the bottom sheet, and put the whole sheet "sandwich" into your final pillowcase. Easy storage, less room, and you know what sheet set it is!
Our travel pillows that I made! Straight neck savers :)

   The pillows were next for me. You can do between 2 and 4 at a time in your wash depending on the size of your washing machine. I found that this particular link was beyond helpful! When they were done drying My toddler, hubby, and I pounded on the pillows to straighten them back out and put them back on the beds!
when men help with laundry...all laughter erupts :)
   The best part of all of these is that you can walk away. There are a few active moments in the process and you have to keep an ear out for the change over but all in all you can spend your day doing other things that you want to do like decorating or baking. However, these simple things will make all your visitors this holiday season feel just a little more luxurious and you will feel like you conquered that hosting thing finally! Fluffier pillows, matching sheets, the best smelling towels in town...and that is just the beginning.

   We all know Family is first but at the Holidays everyone seems to jump on this idea even more so. Unfortunately it also comes with judgement and snarky comments at times. Try and remember that not all moms are created equal this year. Some moms may not have more on their plate but different things on their plate. While you and I believe in taking shortcuts to have time with our families someone else may not. Bear in mind that Thanksgiving and Christmas isn't about the best house or decorations or even the best behaved kids. It's about family and the time spent with them. Take your family as they come and love them where they are at. 

Best Wishes,
Jules and Monkey

No comments:

Post a Comment