ATLANTA—According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 40 million people worldwide move every year with one-third of all moves in the United States taking place between the months of June and August. That’s more than 13 million people who will be moving this summer – not counting seasonal moves to summer cottages and weekend retreats!
With summertime here and your family most likely on the go, Maid Brigade – the nation’s leading green cleaning company – offers you these five tips to get you on your way to a new, green-clean start wherever you hang your hat.
1. Purge and recycle before packing
Make it a family event to get rid of clutter as you prepare for a permanent or seasonal move. Let the kids help you go through their rooms and the entire house to identify clothes, toys, excess furniture, and unused electronics that can be recycled by donating them to a worthy cause in the community. If you are really brave, hold a yard sale and let your kids use the money they get for their things to pay for summer fun or something new for their rooms.
2. Make a list
Whether you do it on your smart phone, computer, or in a good old-fashioned notebook—before you fill up one box make sure to create a list of everything that you need to pack. This includes what you’re moving and where it’s going to go once you get there. Consider keeping a hand written list in case your computer runs out of battery power (and you packed the charging cord).
3. Use recycled boxes and supplies
You will need a lot of supplies if you are moving! Recycled boxes are readily available on the Internet and many moving companies offer this option including U-Haul, which provides a box buyback and exchange program. When the move is done, make sure that all of the cardboard and packing paper is properly recycled again. If you are using a moving company, ask them about this prior to contracting for their service. Most provide recycling as a routine option. If you’re moving yourself, arrange for the pickup of used boxes by a local recycling company or take them to the nearest recycling center. You can also ask around. There is almost always someone who is also on the move and needs boxes. You can help them out by selling yours at a modest price or donating them.
4. Label everything.
Mark all boxes clearly with your end destination including the particular room if you’re moving. For any seasonal or weekend moves, label all clothes and duffels as things tend to get lost easily outside of the normal home environment.
5. Clean before you unpack.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in six people in the United States suffers from food poisoning every year including a large percentage that contract it from their own kitchen. Before you unpack, ensure that the critical areas of a new home including the kitchen, bathrooms, and appliances are thoroughly cleaned to avoid unnecessary illness at a time when everyone wants to be at their best. Take the time to clean properly by spraying surfaces with a natural cleaning solution, allowing “dwell time” for the solution to remain on the surface before wiping. Use micro-fiber cloths instead of sponges to reduce the chance of spreading germs from one area to another. You can find recipes for many non-toxic green cleaning solutions and processes in the Maid Brigade Go To Cleaning Guide. For example, baking soda and water is great for cleaning sinks, tubs, and appliances, tackling grease stains on cabinets, and scrubbing grimy backsplashes.