Children of all ages treasure their bedrooms – it’s their refuge, their castle, their playroom, their private spot, whatever they want it to be. And they spend as much time there as they can. But is this space actually healthy for them? Kids’ rooms seem innocuous – a floor, four walls, a bed, desk, bookshelves and a closet. What’s unhealthy about any of that? You’d be surprised at the number of toxins and allergens that may be present and to which your child may unwittingly be exposed. We have some ideas how to make your kids’ bedroom healthier.
When company comes over I am a total cheater. Room spray, vinegar swished in the sinks, and a carpet rake. Seriously. It makes it look freshly vacuumed (provided there aren’t a bunch of crunchy bits everywhere). Why do I do this? To impress. To make it look as if I’m put together. Perhaps I haven’t had enough mom therapy over the years. But also pride. I have a beautiful home, and appearing to take care of it makes me feel like I deserve what I am blessed enough to live in. I won’t change. But my faker-cheater rake just got a serious upgrade.
Having a big house, plush draperies and various flooring materials is great until you go to need to clean them all. When we moved in I was ecstatic – central vac!! It was like a 1980’s dream without the waterbeds. But in reality? It’s heavy, clogs all the time and the suction leaves crunchy bits. You drag the cord between floors, but get lazy and the plug end chips paint all the way down the stairs.
The story I’m about to tell may sound vaguely familiar…. and you’re not alone. I looked around my house this morning as the sunlight poured in and felt a bit of self-loathing and disgust. I pride myself on Martha-Stewart-like cleaning prowess, and my house looks like I’ve been hosting two football teams and a petting zoo since last fall. Time for a run to the store. Not only do I grab inspirational magazines, clothes and food, but I stock up on my favourite cleaning products so I can get to work on the spring cleaning. The best part of doing a deep clean is getting the kids involved, so the products I choose need to be easy for them. Nobody should have to do a huge clean by themselves.
Keeping a clean house when you have pets can be a challenge. Having a cat or dog is such an amazing part of childhood for our kids, but cleaning up after them can be a pain, especially if you entertain regularly like we do. We try to keep the house ready for unexpected guests and that means being proactive to stop messes before they start. Here are our best tips:
Everyone cleans differently, and it can be super annoying when people develop complicated checklists specifying how you have to dust lampshades on Tuesday when you hardly have time to take a shower. (BTW cleaning the shower when you’re in it is a great time-saver. Then use the wet towel to wipe the bathroom floor before tossing it in the laundry you don’t have time to do.) You didn’t know I was THAT smart, did you?
Laundry can feel like an Olympic event. In my house, laundry is like my inbox – it’s never quite at zero. While we can teach kids to re-use towels and make sure clothes are ‘actually’ dirty before tossing them in the hamper, there will always be stains that need a bit of extra time to deal with. With the right tools, stain removal tips and Bill Nye the Science guy techniques, though, stains shouldn’t slow you down too much. If you deal with stains right away, you save a ton of time. Another trick is to mark stains with a clothes peg so that you don’t accidentally miss them and (worst possible outcome) put them in the dryer to really set the stain. We have a great LAUNDRY LABELS for common laundry room stain removers so you can make gorgeous jars. If you have to do laundry anyway you should be surrounded by beauty!
The onset of a new calendar year is always a perfect time to rejuvenate and recalibrate my goals. This year, we’re also blessed with a world event that makes me want to raise the bar even higher. From February 9-25, I will hunker down with excitement to view the inspiring and dedicated athletes who will compete in the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
There are a few reminiscences I have from when I was small that always give me comfort. I remember watching soap operas while sitting in a laundry basket when my Mom ironed clothes. I remember the yellow plastic mugs that always held hot chocolate on chilly days. And I remember the smell of JOHNSON’S® baby lotion after my nightly bath.
I spent time growing up in the Okanagan, so I was fortunate to enjoy many summer days at the beach. My happiest memories are sun-drenched and sandy! Stretching out on a beach towel to enjoy the sunshine, or sitting on one while building sandcastles, is such a great sensory memory.The softness of the towel fibres on my skin contrasted against the roughness of the sand at my feet is ingrained in my mind with its textures and sensation. As a mom, I want my son to have those kinds of warm, happy memories of carefree time spent at the beach as well.
As I age, I realize that quantity is really not preferable to quality. It’s taken me a while. My sunglass drawer is stuffed with dozens of cheap sunglasses that don’t block UVB rays. The closet contains too many pairs of inexpensive stilettos that I can’t wear because they are so uncomfortable. And I have owned so many vacuums that can’t deep clean and then break often. Throwing away a big item like a vacuum every year or two really can’t be good for the planet. It also takes so much time to shop, learn, and then dispose of big items that you either end up returning of tossing. I am thrilled to say that I have aged wisely. I now have one good pair of stunning sunglasses, a couple of comfortable designer stiletto options, and a vacuum that truly sucks. In the most epic way possible. All of these items, by the way, will last me a very long time. Cheaper isn’t necessarily wiser.