Well, how are you and your family coping? We just moved our clocks to Daylight Savings Time = the day we welcome a much needed extra hour of sunlight after a long, dark and dreary winter! For many, this extra hour of sun, along with the warming temperatures, means that more time is spent outdoors, making it sometimes challenging for parents to stay ahead of those not-so-top-of-mind household tasks. It can mean a readjustment to your family’s routines as we get used to new sleep schedules. But when we spring forward, beyond just changing the clock, it’s a good time to deal with some of those other quarterly or semi-annual tasks around the house too.
To help you stay on track as you spring forward and to build better habits all year long, consider placing a calendar in a high traffic area of your home such as the kitchen or foyer – we have ours on the fridge! – and place monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly reminders for the following seasonal tasks so they never fall through the cracks again:
The Canadian Dental Association recommends you change your toothbrush every three months. We often include new ones in our Christmas stockings and Easter baskets. Place a smiley face sticker at the start of every third month of the year to remind you to buy new brushes for your family.
Check medicine expiry dates:
Remember that all medicines expire, including vitamins and supplements. To ensure your medicine cabinet is up to date, schedule a simple calendar reminder for twice a year. This will remind you to check the expiry date and re-stock, if necessary. What to do with the expired meds? Return them to your local pharmacy. They will dispose of them safely. If you have any medical devices that include sharp objects – needles, glucometers, and so on – you can also pick up a “Sharps” container at the pharmacy. Keep it on hand to protect your family and when it’s full, take it back to the pharmacy for disposal.
Change the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors:
It’s so important to do this twice a year! You want to be sure your family and your home are protected so changing the batteries on a regular schedule is vital. While you’re at it, give the detector covers a good wiping and vacuum out the insides of them. Dust particles can interfere with the efficient operation of these devices.
Clean your appliances:
Gently vacuum the dust and debris away from your refrigerator coils. Make sure you unplug the fridge first and get some guidance on locating the coils by consulting your owner’s manual. This is a good time to clean the rubber seal around the fridge door and dishwasher door with some hot soapy water and a toothbrush. If you need a bit of scrubbing action, I find some Arm & Hammer™ Baking Soda on a damp sponge works well and is gentle. My dishwasher also has a filter in the bottom of it that gets filled with soap scum and food particles. Pull that out and give it a good rinsing to remove all the debris. Put a cup of white vinegar in the top rack of the dishwasher and run a full cycle to get rid of any soap scum. While you’re dealing with your home appliances, consider cleaning your washing machine and checking your dryer vent hose to make sure it is free of all lint and dust.
Change the baking soda in your fridge:
Placing a box of Arm & Hammer™ Fridge-n-Freezer™ or Fridge Fresh™ Baking Soda in your fridge or freezer helps to eliminate odours and keeps your fridge smelling fresh. While many use this simple tip, it can be easy to forget when it’s time to replace the open box. When you purchase a new box, jot down a replacement reminder on the box for a month’s time to maintain maximum odour elimination, ensuring your food stays fresher, longer.
Update your car emergency kit:
Make sure it’s fully stocked for the upcoming season. Not sure what to put in it? Check out this handy guide for putting together a car emergency kit. Do you have summer windshield washer fluid (the kind that works best to get rid of all those summer bugs!) on hand? Now is a good time to stock up on some of that so you are ready as soon as the warmer weather hits. I also like to take this opportunity to add in some sunscreen, insect repellent, cornstarch (to get rid of the sand on our spontaneous walks on the beach), a picnic blanket,
Do some post-winter fireplace maintenance:
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, now is the time to clean it out and book a chimney sweep appointment. It’s too easy to forget and then try to book last minute in the fall when they tend to be much busier. While you’re at it, change the filter on your furnace to keep it running smoothly and efficiently.
Simple healthy habits, such as getting all of the required amount of fruits and veggies or taking vitamins, can slip our minds during hectic days. It’s so much easier in the spring and summer to get plenty of fresh produce and Vitamin D but now is a good time to add reminders to your calendar! Vitafusion™ Vitamin D is a great addition to your routine, especially during the fall and winter months, when heavy clothes and cloudy weather can inhibit the production of Vitamin D in the body. To ensure your body gets all the Vitamin D it needs, try placing a reminder in your calendar at the start of the fall season to start taking a supplement. Very few foods naturally contain this vitamin, meaning a supplement may be the best way to get your necessary intake. Known as the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D supports bone and teeth health – Vitafusion™ Vitamin D also comes in a delicious gummy and is the perfect alternative to a traditional hard-to-swallow pill.