7 Places You Must Clean Before School Starts (Or It'll Never Get Done)

7 Places You Must Clean Before School Starts (Or It'll Never Get Done)

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You're soaking up the sun in a lawn chair watching your kids frolic in the sprinkler, when suddenly it occurs to you. Something very, very serious is coming soon: The First Day of School. Gah! While quietly panicking, you start to make a mental list of all the things you need to do before your family’s crazy schedule kicks off again.

First on that list, of course, is getting your house organized and clean. And we don't mean obvious spots like the bathroom sink or kitchen floor (although of course those will need some attention, too). Here's your list of places the spots you need to spray, scrub, and organize now…or who knows when it will get done!

What parts of your house do you plan to clean and organize before school starts?


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  • The Playroom


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    It’s what kids are supposed to do on summer vacation: play. Yet as you pass by the playroom, you get a whiff of something less than pleasant emanating from the doorway. There are seven used ice-pop sticks stuck the bins and shelves, and over in plastic-pony corner, the castle has a green mound of unknown origin growing on its spire (is that old string cheese??). There are also tiny drifts of beach sand and backyard dirt collected in every corner. Grab some spray cleaner and paper towels and give the whole room a thorough wipe-down.

  • The Trunk of Your Car


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    There's so much sand in your trunk, you practically have your own private beach back there. A messy mini beach, since it's also strewn with empty water bottles, dirty beach towels, a few rogue socks, and odd-shaped stones your kids just had to take home from all those family hikes. Now's the time to ditch all the beach gear (and mess!) and vacuum and wipe down every surface for a clean slate - just in time to load up your trunk with all their fall sports gear, natch.

  • Disinfect & Protect


    Put cold and flu viruses in time out by regularly disinfecting all hard non-porous surfaces in your home - kitchen counters, the bathroom sink, every doorknob, and even your kids' toys - with just the right Clorox cleaner for the job.

  • The Car Seats


    Image ©iStock.com/sestovic

    After the three-day road trip to your in-laws, a plethora of journeys to the amusement park and beach, and those days spent in the car to-and-froing all over town, the kiddos’ car seats have seen drips and spills of every imaginable kind. Combine that with the hot temps the inside of your car reaches during these summer months and, well, let’s just say cleaning the car seats (and the area underneath said seats) may involve donning a hazmat suit. Grab a trash bag, a portable vacuum, and some disinfecting wipes to bravely tackle what lurks in the back seat. (And don’t forget about the Bottomless Pit of Trash, aka the seat-back pockets!)

  • The Pantry


    Image ©iStock.com/JulNichols

    You need to make room for all of those bulk snacks you will need to bring to the soccer field and provide for the class party (and brownie-making ingredients for that bake sale you will inevitably forget about until 11:53 p.m. the night before). Bonus points if you get the kids work on their math skills while weeding out anything that’s expired (hello, canned pinto beans from 2005!). Use disinfecting wipes to clean the shelves before you put everything back.

  • That Place Where Everyone Dumps Their Stuff


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    The mud room. The entryway. The back porch. No matter where it is or what you call it, every home has one: that area with an invisible magnetic field, attracting backpacks, shoes, rogue socks, and more. Before the school year kicks off, put everything in its place and clean the floors, shoe racks, bannisters, and shelves.

  • Donate Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes


    Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes kill 99.9% of germs, including the viruses that can cause the common cold and flu, but more than half of teachers have to buy their own. Do yours a favor, and donate wipes to help keep your child's classroom cleaner and healthier, especially at the start of the school year, and during cold and flu season.

    Confirm with school if use and donation of product is acceptable. Parental delivery only.

  • The Hall Closet


    Image ©iStock.com/AnthonyRosenberg

    It was a day back in March. You were so thrilled for the warmer weather to finally hit, you crammed all the family's winter gear in the closet, promising yourself you would sort through it later. Well, friends, it’s later. Those hats and gloves are in a teetering pile, and crumpled used tissues have calcified in jacket pockets (grossss). Before that first random chilly day, which always takes us by surprise, clean off those galoshes, scrub off the snow boots, and wash or dry-clean all the coats STAT.

  • The Fridge


    Image ©iStock.com/kuriputosu

    You're going to need space for packed-lunch staples and ingredients for quick, easy dinners. But right now, a science experiment is growing in the crisper drawer, and you have a collection of antiquated condiments putting down roots in the shelf inside the door. Toss what's old and scrub every shelf and drawer to have a clean slate for healthy meals and snacks. Don't forget to make room in the freezer for lunch-bag ice packs, too!

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