I never know what to expect as every weekly shop is now different. I did read about Covid 19 living for extended periods of time on metal, plastic, etc So I decided to rethink my cleaning process of goods coming into the house, well, just in case. I usually take my own hessian bags but they have been put aside for plastic boxes that have handles and are easy to clean. I have four, and any style of plastic box would work. I cleaned all four before I left. Two came with me and two were left behind in the garage. Once shopping was completed, I placed the two cleaned boxes on my outside dining table and the two filled with groceries on the chairs. If you prefer you can still do this process in the kitchen, I just found it easier. I washed my hands and then with a microfiber cloth and disinfectant spray cleaned all my groceries one by one placing them into the clean baskets. All fruit and vegetables were placed in a plastic bag then taken in and put in lukewarm water with vinegar added into a cleaned sink and left to soak for 10 minutes. The plastic bag was placed in the garage to be used for garbage at a later date. Once all the groceries were put away I cleaned the boxes for the next shop.
The Front/back entryways plus the dining room, sitting rooms, offices, and dens will all need cleaning. to make it easier, have a basket to declutter, clean item first then place in the basket before putting items away. Have a garbage bag ready for any trash. Wipe everything down with an appropriate cleaner to include tables, doors, inside and out, baseboards, mirrors, lamps, switches and doorknobs, tv, stereo, remotes, lights, blinds or shutters. Launder all curtains, blankets, throws and cushion covers. Vacuum all upholstery with attachments. Finish off vacuuming and mop a hardwood floor. Remove boots, clean them and put away. Launder all winter items and put away until next winter. You can spray Lysol on upholstered furniture to sanitize. If you have leather, cleaning carefully will sanitize. Do the same with a sunroom or front porch, sweep and wipe down everything. Put away winter decor. Get out anything you need for spring. Now sanitizing on a daily will be easier because you have done it properly.
In numerous surveys done in the US, it was found that many people simply did not wash their bedding enough. Long ago it used to be weekly, now the average is approximately every 3 – 4 weeks. Now, if you are ill, once, you start feeling better, change those sheets so there is no chance of being re-infected. If you have a guest room that you normally share, try sleep distancing. If not place an extra pillow between you or sleep head to toe. Get ready to wash everything, including decorator pillows and curtains in hot water and use the dryer at the hottest setting to clean. Don’t forget your pillow, if it can’t be washed, you can still place it in the dryer to sanitize. Remove any dirty clothes to be washed too. You want everything to be really clean. Wipe all furniture, baseboards, doors, pictures, mirrors, lamps, shelving, books, magazines, light switches, doorknobs, and surfaces with a good cleaner. Declutter if needed. If you are well, you can take time to go through closets and drawers getting ready for spring. Move or pack away any winter clothing you will no longer be wearing. Vacuum the mattress and spray with a disinfectant like Lysol if you want. leave 10 minutes to air. Vacuum the bedroom including any blinds or shutters, finishing with a microfiber cloth and remake the bed. During Covid 19 bump up your washing schedule. The bonus will be cleaning out dust mites and dead skin cells making breathing easier. Sweet dreams.
Bathrooms need extra cleaning especially if anyone is ill. Keep your supplies handy by placing a plastic box or basket under the sink with rubber gloves, cleaning cloths or sponges, and the cleaners that you like to use. An old clean toothbrush comes in handy for stubborn grime around taps. I like to use a cream scourer for the sink and bath. The easiest way is to remove everything from the bath or shower, then scour or spray the area with your cleaner, leaving it to work for 10-15 minutes while you clean the sink and the toilet. once done rinse well, wiping tile clean. Clean the soap dish and wipe down any bottles before placing them back. Vinegar will take off any mineral buildup from your showerhead, simply spray and scrub with the toothbrush. Wipe down switches, doorknobs, and handlebars. Check your medicine cabinet for anything old or expired. Toss or put aside to take back to your pharmacy for safe disposal. With Covid 19, change all towels, including the bathmats and wash in hot water, daily, if you have been out and/or if someone is ill. Wash or change the shower curtain if required, Clean the mirror, wash the floor and you are done. If you have any additional bathrooms it would be a good idea for the person who is out working or who is ill to have one to themselves for this time. If you don’t make sure everyone has their own hand towels as well as bath towels.
Most of us are now home for the foreseeable future and staying safe and healthy is so important. As we move into a new season. Spring cleaning comes to mind. I have had a few emails as to the way to do it now in the time of Covid 19 and I thought I would just post what I am doing now. Please note this is just a guideline.
Daily, and it does not take long if you do it room by room, I scour my kitchen sink with scouring powder and rinse off with hot water. I am disinfecting and cleaning all taps, bathroom and kitchen surfaces. I also clean the landline telephone handset, cellphone, doorknobs, light switches, banisters, all drawer handles and knobs, fridge, dishwasher, microwave, oven handles, buttons, and knobs using a cleaner and cloth or you could use disinfectant wipes. I clean as I cook and sanitize damp kitchen cloths and sponges by microwaving for a minute at a time. I have always washed clothes daily in the machine as we are a family and I have found it easier to do a small load daily then leaving it all for the weekend. I was washing items in cold water to be environmentally friendly but have now switched back to hot for sheets and towels etc.
If you go to work, and one of my daughters does as she works for a grocery store. As soon as she gets home, she strips and puts her clothes in the washing machine and has a shower including washing her hair. She always put on clean clothes or nightwear.
I only go to the grocery store now. I try to limit myself to a weekly shop, although with a lot of shelves stripped bare and items now being limited, it actually looks as if I may be forced out more often. Until we are not. Take an inventory of what you have now in your fridge, freezer, cupboards, and drawers. Include cleaning products but use what you have as we often have too many items. Remove and throw out anything that is old and expired including any sauces and condiments. Next, before placing items back, wipeout and clean any dirty shelves as you go, if you don’t want to do everything all at once break it down into manageable chunks. Now make a list of what you want with options in case they are out of stock for your next shop.
For your spring clean, start in the kitchen. Clean the oven, exhaust hood, and filters, as well as small appliances with appropriate cleaners preferably non-scratch. Check the dishwasher for any food build-up around the door, in the filter and drain. Finish off by cleaning cupboard doors with hot soapy water or a good kitchen spray. Don’t forget the backsplash.
There are 10 provinces and 3 territories in Canada and I felt after a recent visit to Cayo Santa Maria that Cuba could be at least be an honorary destination in recognition of the fact that Canadians love the country so much! At least 99% of tourists were Canadian in Cayo Santa Maria. One couple we met has just completed their 43rd trip to the same resort going monthly. When you switch on the television you get CTV Ottawa! That said, we have just returned from a first-time visit and enjoyed a beautiful week there. I had been told that the Cubans really appreciate any items left behind so when packing I made sure to take things that I would give and leave for them to use. Some said just tip them but this is a country where everything is very expensive and nowhere near the choices we have, we heard many stories, one woman told me she had to pay 14 pesos for a plastic laundry basket and it cost her two weeks’ pay! It does not matter that things have been used although if you are giving something away make sure it is something you would be prepared to accept yourself. Any sort of tote bag is popular as the Cubans work very hard and long hours often traveling long distances to get to work. A day after I arrived my beach bag was admired and I said if she wanted it I was leaving it behind, she did. I also gave out jewelry, bags, fragrance, and clothes. I was fortunate that I had a checked bag as well as a carry-on so I was able to take quite a lot. I was thrilled that my downsizing proved popular, even more than the tips. So if you are traveling to Cuba or perhaps a country that is underprivileged, declutter or if you prefer, purchase some items. Don’t worry if it does not fit as items are traded and passed on. The most popular items that Cubans want are babies and children’s clothes, fragrance and toothpaste.
The easiest way to sew tiny seeds like lettuce is to use a recycled spice or seasoning jar with a shaker top. Choose the size that works best and just shake along rows in the garden or pots for a balcony or patio.