As we head into the downhill slide towards the start of HGP/HHP here are some things to ponder: Planner Prep! Are you going to use a real live paper based planner? Do you need a new one? Know where last year’s is? Need new paper, inserts, dividers, stickers, whatever? Add those things to the shopping list now. Do you have the cleaning supplies you need? All stocked up on your favorite cleaners? If you use dry mops with removeable pads wash them now! Need Magic Erasers? Swiffer duster refills? Silver polish? That special cleaner you love? Rubber gloves? Steel wool? Need more paper towels? Rags? Scrub pads? Lint Roller Refills? (use to “dust” lampshades and any cloth decorative items that collect dust but can’t be easily washed – in my case, felt ruffle wreaths and felt runners) Washing machine cleaner tablets (i.e. Affresh)? Now might be the time to give your vacuum cleaner a good clean – use scissors to cut hair/strings from around the beater bar, rinse our the canister or change the bag, etc. Sometimes there are particular cleaning items that we use for special jobs that we might not keep in stock all the time. Try to think of those now and add them to your shopping lists between now and the start of the HGP. Try browsing the cleaning pages for each room on the HGP to jog your memory on what you might need/want along these lines... If there are particular cleaning challenges you know you are up against in a certain room – whether it’s a spot on the floor or glass shower doors or whatever – take time now to research cleaning tips and tricks and add any items to purchase to your shopping list! I’ve taken to touching up caulking around windows during HGP and touching up paint in each room as needed – so I need to make sure I have all those supplies and I know where my paint cans are for each room. How do you want to handle meals on heavy cleaning days? If you work outside of the home like me, you'll be trying to get things done on the weekend and during the evenings. Weeknights are crazy enough for me, so I usually hit tasks hard on Saturday and Sunday, finishing up little bits as needed on weeknights. All of our lives are hectic, let’s face it! Getting meals taken care of on top of the extra work will end up being fast food runs or ordering pizza if you are anything like us! Give some thought to easy meal options you can plan ahead for on your heavy HGP days. Frozen pizza? Take and bake? Crockpot meals? Cold cuts from the deli, cheese slices and bakery bread for sandwiches? I’ve found the key is to make sure these plans include things we really like! Maybe even convenience foods we don’t have that often – like boxed shells and cheese with pan fried smoked sausage. And regardless of planning, we’ll all be ordering pizza at least once so just budget for that now, lol! Couldn't hurt, might help, to brainstorm about this now ! I try to inventory the freezers every year just before the HGP so I know what I’ve got to work with and what needs to be used up before I start making freezer meals and cookies that have to get put in there instead. Optional, but fun: Your HGP Soundtrack Are there songs/artists that you might enjoy listening to while cleaning? Create that playlist or locate those CDs now! Swing music can be fun to clean to - nice uptempo beat to keep you moving with a smile! Find a Pandora station or two that you think would be motivating! Prepare the family! You guys probably already do this, but I make sure I remind DS more than once as the HGP approaches. Especially in regards to certain things I will need his help with - taking screens off windows, moving in the tall ladder so I clean the high up places, etc. I schedule my HGP weeks via Google Calendar and I invite DS to the ones I need his help on with a note. Simple, but it helps us! Optional Extra: Clean your car, inside and out, really well before HGP starts! Put a canister of Clorox wipes or baby wipes or whatever in the car. When sitting at stoplights, waiting in line, etc. wipe down surfaces you can easily reach. Vacuum it out when you get a chance! The next time you get gas, do a speed grab of all trash while the gas pumps! You’ll feel organized and on top of things and ready to tackle HGP/HHP with bells on! What else can you guys think of to get prepared or just get our thoughts in gear for this year? HGP, HHP, LMNOP !!! Everybody!