Spring Breaks and Spring Cleaning….for the family!

Yup it’s that time of year again….we are around the corner from the season of SPRING CLEANING and SPRING TRAVEL – both daunting tasks for any parent. Mom, Lifestyle and Travel Expert, Francesca Page, breaks down how to make both of these a little less stressful, and why they go hand in hand!
Spring Travel Hacks 

– Make a packing list for each person. Have a separate list for everyone in your family. Cross off the items that I you have packed and high-light or put a star next to the items that will need to be packed last minute (the kid’s favorite blanket or lovey, monitor, snacks.)

– Pack your kids clothes by day in plastic zip-lock bags.Take a zip-lock bag for each outfit. Put everything that you need for that outfit into that zip-lock bag. Example: Shorts, top, socks, underwear, headband, bracelet. You are all set.

 – Traveling does’t need to be messy or a reason to lose the little things – post earrings on a square of shelf liner to keep them organized and cushioned in your travel bag, prevent necklaces from getting into a knotted jumble by feeding them through a straw and clasping it, or keep earbuds safe by putting them into a glasses case.

–   Let the kids have their own bag of clothes, instead of sharing. This can be tempting, but try to avoid sharing bags if possible- it just makes things a little more confusing if you decide to share.  When you have 3 sets of hands in one bag, it makes things disorganized YET do share a toiletries bag (when you can)  – since everyone will be getting ready in the bathroom, it does make sense to have all “bathroom things” in one bag.

– Buy and toss or buy when you get there. Go disposable (think a big 6 pack of toothbrushes for the family) or pack just a few of something eg) diapers to get you through a few days, if you know there are trusted supermarkets where you are going.

– And finally, clean your house before you leave. Coming home to a messy house is not a good way to end a vacation! Which brings us onto spring cleaning!

Spring Cleaning and Organizing Hacks

– Have a cleaning command party once a week. Set an alarm for 1 hour and have everyone do as much as they can during that time. You could also pop on a home improvement show and use the commercial breaks to clean – when it’s over go out and do something fun

– Paint inside a cabinet door with dry erase paint and keep a running shopping list there..if someone uses the last of something in the house, they can go make a note of it. You can also give older kids dry erase markers to write their own daily schedules on bathroom mirrors so as a parent you know who needs what uniform/permission slip and more and when!

– Keep a large basket by the door for giveaways which can be taken to the local thrift weekly.

– Use technology to get the family involved –  an App like Cozi can help you with everything from calendars to shopping lists.

– Get EVERYONE involved in a big clean. Bring three sturdy trash bags into each room (one for trash, one for donations and one for items that could be better stored elsewhere) and designate room accordingly. 

–  Break it up. It’s easy to get overwhelmed so schedule hour blocks or a two hour stretch on the weekend. Then pop them in the family calendar – and be sure to make sure everyone else does too!