Storage & Fall Cleaning
"A clean, well-organized home eases you into autumn routines"
Autumn means back to school, back to work and back to routine for many of us, so it’s natural to get your digs cleaned up and in shape so you’ll have everything at your fingertips when you need it.
Peggy Brenneman loves a sparkling home and has been helping people achieve a clean and organized setting since 2008.
With Peggy’s Clean Team, she works with dozens of Londoners. She finds homes that have a large, stiff mat in front of the door are generally cleaner than those without. It takes less time to clean if less of the outdoors is brought in from family members’ footwear.
At this time of year, she advises clients to clean out closets, stowing away all the summer sporting gear, beach bags, flip flops, sandals and sun hats, so they don’t have to reach around it to get to coats and boots all winter. “It’s a long season, why stumble over (summer stuff) for six months?” says Brenneman.
Morning time crunch causes a lot of family angst, and having a closet or entryway with lockers, cubbies, baskets or hooks for backpacks, coats, mitts and hats solves many problems getting out the door and off to school in the morning. Shayne Thournout, owner of Tailored Living London, is often asked to customize closets or mudrooms to maximize the space for organizing all of the family’s fall and winter clothing and boots, as well winter sports paraphernalia.
He advises a heavy clothing rod firmly screwed into a stud will “easily hold a couple dozen heavy winter coats. A regular coat rack will often pull away from the wall.”
Having a shelf to hold a cubby, box or wire basket for each child to stow his or her mitts, hats, scarves and smaller items helps keep the peace as kids scramble out the door in the morning.
Thournout also advises installing at least two hooks for each child to hang backpacks as a budget-friendly way to keep order.
A bench for pulling boots on or off is essential, as well as adjustable shelves to hold all of the family members’ footwear – taller for ladies’ dress boots and shorter for running shoes.
"Life in the fast lane"
After the entranceway and closet are fitted up for fall, Brenneman advises turning your attention to a couple of areas that are often overlooked during spring cleaning. “With spring cleaning, we’re opening everything up. But in the fall we’re closing up to live more indoors. It’s a good time to give the drapes and furniture a good vacuuming, throw the throw rugs in the laundry and wipe down the window sills,” she says.
Because you’ll spend the next few months looking through them, it is also a good time to give the windows a thorough cleaning to relieve them of dust and dirt built up over the spring and summer months.
She adds that because the lights aren’t turned on as much in the summer months, fixtures accumulate dirt, cobwebs and, sometimes, dead bugs, so taking them down and washing them is a good fall cleaning measure.
To clean safely and thoroughly, Brenneman and her Clean Team choose chemical-free supplies. They use Enjo products but there are many brands of microfibre products on the market that can lessen the need for harsh detergents and cleansers.
Brenneman says she and her six staff members “feel better since we’ve stopped using chemicals,” citing that they breathe easier. “If you’re doing fall cleaning and closing up your house, do you want to breathe in all those chemicals left behind?”
According to Lynn Grushka, who is Canada’s top salesperson for Enjo and lives in London, using Enjo negates the need for disinfectants to kill germs.
“Chemicals kill germs and partially wash them away. Enjo products (cloths) pull dirt out of the pores (of surfaces). Germs and bacteria get picked up and washed away without chemicals.”
Since barbecue season is over and it’s time to make soups, stews and casseroles, having a well-organized kitchen pantry or cupboards is a time saver.
“Many pantries are deep and it’s difficult to see everything you have in there,” says Dennis Beker, co-owner of Gliding Shelf Solutions London. Installing glides in the pantry allows his clients to see their entire collection of olive oil – for gourmands – or have all the baking supplies together – for busy moms and dads.
To make lower cupboards more accessible to children and encourage them to be more independent and helpful in the kitchen, have glides installed so the cereal is easy to see and reach.
With the aging demographic, gliding shelves are becoming a popular retrofit in kitchens to “help clients keep the Tupperware and pots and pans organized so they can see them without getting down on the floor and pulling everything out.”