Winter Cleaning Checklist

Kick off the new year with an organized home.

As temps cool down and hectic new year schedules fill up for families across the country, ample time to clean around the home and get organized is scarce. With kids in particular, winter cleaning is key to get rid of allergy-causing dirt buildup from the summer and fall months.

Maid Right franchisee Jim Branyon helps tons of families get their homes prepped for winter, and with his expertise ESTATENVY has put together a cleaning checklist that tackles trouble spots and a few simple steps for even the busiest parent.

1. Keeping up with the Kitchen:

From breakfast before the school bus to dinner after practice, the day starts and ends in one common place: the kitchen. But after a fun-filled holiday season, cleaning for germs inside the kitchen can become an oversight.

Branyon recommends targeting the most frequently used items, as they become sites of germ buildup that are not necessarily clear to the naked eye.

“There are a couple key areas we look at. The microwave plate is a place for a lot of buildup, so we recommend having them soak it in a cleaner for about an hour to fully de-grease,” Branyon said. “The stove knobs and the oven grates are also items we advise you soak in cleaning product.”

2. Attack Allergy Causers

Kids young and old are victims of itchy eyes and stuffy noses as allergy-causing material builds up in the air and around the home. These are often associated with the start of spring and summer, but by no means do they stop in the fall or winter. In fact, they often get worse.

Branyon says that with the right tools, buildup of these allergens can be reduced.

“The key is to use double HEPA filtered vacuums because they actually make the air cleaner while sucking in materials,” Branyon said. “The other is dust control. Thorough dusting helps to reduce the pollens that come in during the summer and from leaf mold in the fall.”

3. Check Behind the Big Guys

Large appliances in rooms like the kitchen often become trouble spots where we are unable to see the dirt buildup. Branyon recommends moving them away from their normal location, and cleaning the space underneath and behind them.

“When looking at winter cleaning, we want people to remember that dirt is not only building up in areas they touch every day. It is so important to pull the fridge out from against the wall, as well as the stove and any other larger appliances. These are spots that are vital to vacuum behind and check for mounting dust.” Branyon advised.

4. Clean the Kids’ Quarters

From crowded classrooms and school busses to after school sports teams, it is no secret that kids are sponges for dirt and germs during the school year, and have the tendency to track it all into the home on a daily basis. A thorough cleaning of their space helps to reduce the mess.

“Toy boxes are sites of huge dirt and germ buildup, as toys are often dragged back and forth inside and outside. Whether it is a baseball bat or a doll, taking the time to go through and disinfect their favorite toys is key,” Branyon said. “Moving into flu season, it is also often beneficial to partner with someone like Maid Right to reducegerms and keep kids healthy. We actually have a process called EnviroShield® that kills 99% of bacteria in the house with a hospital grade disinfectant that is great for cleaning.”

5. Clean the Common Areas:

As temperatures drop, there is nothing better than curling up on the couch in your living room, den or baseent and watching a good flick. Cleaning these high traffic areas is vital to reducing germs.

“Ceiling fans and mounted light fixtures are places that dirt and cobwebs tend to arrive, so before frequent use we recommend cleaning away build up,” Branyon said. “We advise people to take large living room furniture, such as a couch or lazy chair, and move it away from the wall to clean the area behind where materials may have drifted into.”

One final important closing note from Branyon was to make sure all of this is done in a safe way to avoid exposing the family to toxic materials.

He said, “We recommend using cleaning products that are green seal certified - these are the ones that are safe to use indoors and do not cause toxic fume buildup.”