Going Away for the Holidays? 12 Tips for Preparing Your Home Before Vacation
Got your travel booked and your presents purchased? There’s just one thing left to do before you roll out for the holidays: Ensure that your home is prepared and protected while you’re on vacation.
The tips we’re sharing below will put money back in your bank account, save energy all year round and safeguard your possessions from wannabe robbers. With this advice, there’s no reason to leave anything up to chance this holiday season. Read on for 12 must-do tasks to button up your home anytime you travel.
Put a few lights on a timer.
The holiday season is a prime time for break-ins and robberies. When you travel, a dark, quiet house can become an easy target. There are different ways to turn your lights on when you’re away from home. The easiest is to purchase an inexpensive wall timer that you can plug a floor or table lamp into. Aim to program a variety of lighting fixtures in multiple rooms during the evening so that it really looks like you’re home, even when you’re a world away.
Have the post office hold your mail.
If your mailbox overflows after a few days of bills and catalog pile-up, imagine what it’ll look like when you’re gone for a week! Instead of frustrating your letter carrier, fill out a hold mail form online. You can tell your post office when you’ll return, and your mail will be delivered the next day. Seriously, it doesn’t get any easier than that.
Water your plants.
Indoor heating sucks the humidity out of the air. This can dry out skin—and plants, too. Tweak your watering schedule so that you top up your greenies the day you leave home. This should tide them over for about a week. If you’ll be gone longer, consider investing in self-watering systems or hire a housesitter to swing by.
Prep for the weather ahead.
Pull up the 10-day forecast for your hometown. If the temps are dropping significantly or you’re due for heavy precipitation, prepare accordingly. You might need to clear gutters, drip faucets, insulate exposed pipes or open under-sink cabinets.
If you’re away for longer or you’re expecting a big weather event, it might make more sense to turn off and drain your water, disconnect car batteries and ask a neighbor if they’re willing to pop in if necessary. And if snow is on the forecast and your town requires you to shovel the sidewalk in front of your house, you’ll have to make provisions for that, too.
Install a smart security system.
Looking for a little peace of mind? A smart home security system that you can access from anywhere is perfect for that. Since they’ve become more common over the last few years, they’re also much more affordable now than they were when they first hit the market. Some installations are even speedy DIYs. That means you can upgrade your home to the latest smart tech in a single afternoon—and check in on things while you’re away.
Unplug small electronics and put them out of sight.
Devices that are plugged into outlets continually drain small amounts of energy, and that energy adds up on your monthly bill. Before you pack your bags, take a walk from room to room and unplug what you can. While you’re at it, make sure nothing expensive or tempting to potential thieves is in sight of windows or doors.
Ask neighbors to pick up any packages.
The easiest way to lose or damage a long-awaited package is to leave it out in the elements for days on end. Most neighbors will be happy to bring boxes inside your house, or to hold onto them for you. If this isn’t possible, add delivery directions for package carriers instructing them to stow items in a more protected area, like a back porch.
Double-check your fireplace.
Fireplace chimneys are energy thieves. If you leave the damper open, the heat in your home will disappear into the great outdoors. To make your house more energy efficient (and keep your heating costs down, whether you’re in residence or not), consider investing in airtight fireplace doors.
Adjust your thermostat.
You can save money and conserve energy by lowering your thermostat 10 degrees lower than normal while you’re away during the holidays. The ideal winter setting is 68 degrees while you’re awake and seven to 10 degrees cooler at night, while you’re asleep.
Before you drop it further, consider any plants that might not flourish in the chill or any items that need to be stored within a certain temperature range. If you have pets, you need to keep their comfort and health in mind, too.
Cancel any in-home services.
Is a clean home a happy home if you’re not there to enjoy it? We’re not so sure. You’ll probably want to cancel housekeeping services along with meal plan deliveries, co-op box deliveries and personal training and wellness appointments.
If you’ll be away for longer than two weeks, consider rescheduling your usual home cleaning service for a day or two before you return home.
Change your sheets.
The best part of coming home isn’t walking through the door or unpacking your suitcase. The best part of coming home is nestling into your own bed at the end of a long travel day. A hot shower, comfy pajamas and your favorite pillow? Now that’s perfection. Make it even more luxurious with freshly laundered sheets.
Now, who says you can’t go back? Not us! We’re looking forward to hitting the road this holiday season to see family and friends. Still, there really is nothing like a home of your own. Use these vacation-friendly tips to keep it safe and sound no matter where your plans take you.
We vacuum our floors and mow our lawn, but when is the last time you cleaned your mattress?
On average, a mattress has a lifespan of seven to ten years. Over that timespan, your mattress becomes soiled with bacteria, allergens, dust mites and bodily fluid.
Dust mites are a tiny bug that are invisible to the bare eye. These pesky creatures are known for feeding on tiny flakes of human skin and producing allergens that we inhale when we sleep. For individuals that are prone to allergies, these little pests might be the trigger. The average used mattress is home to anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million dust mites. Yikes!
Your bed should be a place you are recharged and restored, not a place that makes you sick. For a piece of furniture we spend 27 years of our life on, it’s ironic we take better care of our floors.
Want to keep your mattress safe and sanitary? Here’s how to do that in four easy steps:
Wash your sheets!
Experts recommend washing or changing your sheets every week. Yet, most Americans only change the covers once a month! That’s a lot of time for dead skin cells, sweat and love juices to get left behind.
When washing your sheets, avoid jamming too many in the washer at once. Not only does overloading the washer machine harm your appliance, but your laundry doesn’t come out as clean. That’s because when a washer is jammed packed it’s harder for the detergent to move around and get the job done. You should also avoid washing your sheets with other items to prevent tangling. As always, wash with similar colors.
As a rule of thumb, make sure to check the label for washing instructions; however, cotton sheets are normally okay on any cycle. Be sure to choose the appropriate soil level of your sheets, but beware that over-washing your sheets can cause them to wear out faster.
While any water temperature will do, it’s recommended you wash your sheets in warmer water during flu season to reduce the amount of allergens.
Air it out
One of the main reasons our mattress is a breeding ground for dust mites and bed bugs is because it is a warm, moist place where these pests thrive. Gross, but true. Not only will keeping your mattress dry help eliminate the threat of bugs, it also helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
Stripping your bed helps remove the moisture dust mites need to thrive, causing them to dehydrate and die. Airing out your mattress daily will keep your bed in tip-top shape.
To air out your mattress, you don’t have to do any heavy lifting. Simply pull off all the linens and protectors and let the mattress breathe. Take it one step further and open the blinds of a nearby window to let the sun dry out your mattress even more.
Allow your bed to breathe for at least a couple hours each day before making it.
Use a mattress protector
Another great way to prevent moisture build up is to use a mattress protector. Mattress protectors act as a shield the repels sweat, bodily fluids, and accidental spills. Think of your mattress protector as an extra shield between you and your body. Protectors are also good for preventing the build-up of bacteria which start as our own dead skin cells.
When looking for a mattress protector, you’ll want something that covers 100% of the surface. While some protectors come in the form of a fitted sheet, use an encasement that zips on for optimal protection. If you sleep hot and often wake up with a case of the night sweats, opt for a waterproof protector for an extra layer of protection.
To keep the health of your mattress top notch, find a protector that is machine washable. You won’t want your shield against the imminent bacteria getting soiled.
Other benefits of mattress protectors include helping stabilize your body temperature and prolonging the lifespan of your mattress.
Another great way to clean your mattress is to run the vacuum over the surface. Although it may sound weird, this is a great way to collect and dust or dead skin cells that might linger otherwise. Doing this every three months will keep your mattress’ hygiene in good standing.
Sleep is integral to our overall health and wellness, and our mattress is the performance tool to getting our best sleep. So we need to make sure we are taking care of it.
No matter how clean we think we are, our mattresses naturally break down and get soiled overtime. If you have noticed a sag developing towards the middle of the bed or you wake up with aches and pains, it may be time to go shopping. Even if you don’t see tangible evidence of degeneration, a mattress over a decade old is most likely not as sanitary as you think.
However, you can use these four tips to help you optimize the lifespan of your mattress.
Did you know there are 500 to 1,000 toxic chemicals lurking in your home?
That’s right. Toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, asbestos, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), flame retardants and BPA are found in a number of common household items including, paper products, paints, bathroom cleaners, water bottles and many more.
Although exposure to small doses of these chemicals may not be harmful, in combination or in large amounts, these toxins can cause a number of irritations to our body. This includes impacts to our respiratory, circulatory, reproductive, cardiovascular, nervous and immune systems.
In fact, chemical off-gassing from household products, cigarette smoke, air-borne allergens and viruses can promote “sick-building syndrome,” which causes symptoms such as headaches, Eye, nose, and throat irritations, dry cough, irritated skin, and nausea to name a few.
Just as we detox our bodies from sugar or caffeine every once in a while, it is beneficial to detox your home on occasion.
Here are four quick ways to minimize the amount of toxic chemicals in your home:
Add Plants to Improve Indoor Quality
Not only are plants the perfect touch to any interior, they can actually improve indoor air quality.
Plants improve air quality by removing toxins from the atmosphere. A study by NASA found that indoor plants absorb harmful toxins lingering in the air through their leaves and roots and act as a sort of air filter removing carbon and increasing oxygen levels.
Some of the best plants to add to your living space are ferns, golden pothos and aloe vera.
Consider the products you bring into your home
Although “going organic” is a hot trend these days, it’s not a bad idea.
Be picky about the brands you use. Check what is used to make the product and where they are made. You should only purchase from brands that clearly disclose what materials are in the products.
Many brands are catching wind of how important ethically sourced, organic materials are to customers. One example of an environmentally sound and transparent brand is Leesa Sleep.
Leesa Sleep is a Certified-B corporation which means they meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. Their product is made in the U.S. (which holds the highest standards for product development) and built with Certi-PUR foams. This is just one example of many brands joining the fight to become green.
As a rule of thumb, here are a few tips when it comes to shopping for non-toxic household items:
Shop for biodegradable household cleaning products that disclose all ingredients used and don’t use fragrance
Avoid aerosol spray cans
Avoid spraying pesticides - address the root of the problem instead, (i.e., not leaving food out)
Buy non-PVC paint
Shop for BPA-free plastics
Cut back on cans
Vacuum the house regularly
One of the most common places for toxins and allergens to lurk is in dust. This makes it important that you dust and vacuum the house regularly.
One study conducted by the NRDC, found that 90% of dust samples collected contained toxic chemicals. In fact, the study found roughly 45 different types of chemicals across five main chemical classes. Some of these chemicals include phthalates, flame retardants, fragrances and environmental phenols.
All this to say, when detoxing your home, one crucial step is to clean.
Install the proper protection
There is no way to 100% detox your home. In order to stay safe from potential pollutants in your home, take these precautionary measures.
Install CO detectors to notify you when this harmful gas is present in your home
Have your water tested for lead
Always ventilate while painting or refurbishing to let toxic gases escape
Get a shower filter. This will filter out any impurities in your tap water that could turn to gas at room temperature.
The average American spends 90% of their time in their home. It’s time we take care of it and the things we bring into it.
As technology marches forward, we find ourselves with more and more new ways to clean our home. Take robot vacuum cleaners, for instance, They are one of the latest high-tech devices that are designed to make our lives easier. And while they aren't perfect, and won't replace your upright completely, if used properly, they can keep your home cleaner and ease your workload.
Use this technology to your advantage and up your cleaning game like a pro. Here are a few tips to use your robot vacuum cleaner and get the most out of it.
Know your home before buying
Before you buy a little robot friend, take a good look at your home. Check out all of the nooks and crannies. Think about your home from the robot's point of view. If your sofa has a low clearance on the bottom, you'll need a thinner robot to get under there? Does dust collect in the corner of your room? If so, you may want a model that is designed to get into corners and clean them. These models usually have one right-angled edge. Can it fit between chair legs?
Is your home very large? Then you'll want a robot vacuum cleaner with a larger battery capacity so it doesn't run out of steam in the middle of the job. Smaller homes will be compatible with a smaller battery capacity. Are your floors mostly hardwood or carpet? You'll want a robot that specializes in your floor type. Some are good for both, while others excel at one or the other. There are even models that can clean and mop like these from Gadgetreview. As you can see, it pays to know your home before you buy.
Do a brief cleanup ahead of your robot
As I said, these robots haven't completely eliminated cleaning for us entirely. Not yet. So they work best with a floor that is cleared of the obstacles that our family tends to throw around. Clothes, bags, and other obstacles should be cleaned up so that your little worker bee can roam freely and do its job.
Keep your robot clean
Keep your robot in tip-top shape by giving it a thorough cleaning every so often to make sure that dust sensors and other electronics are clear and everything is working properly. This will make sure that it serves you in your home for a long time.
Empty it often
Empty your robot's dust bin often so that it can always pick up more. Because as you know there is always more to suck up. If you let it run with a full container of dirt, it is just moving around and doing nothing.
Give it a good place to charge
You'll want to place the charging dock in a flat and easily accessible area, preferably somewhere in the area that requires the most cleaning so that it can always get to it and charge up. And keep the charging dock clean and free of dust.
If you can, get a model that is AAFA certified or otherwise helps remove allergens. This will life life very nice if you are an allergy sufferer.
Be patient & Relax
Sometimes it might seem like it is not hitting the area that you want it to clean the most, but just relax, it will get there. There is a method to the way it roams about your home. It really does know what it is doing.
Sure, your robot vacuum cleaner doesn't do all of the work in your home but take advantage of the job that it does do and make sure that you find some time to kick back and chill as you watch it do it's duty nearby. You’ll love it and may even find that it has a personality.
When it comes to keeping your home clean fresh, it can definitely be a challenge. How do you know if you’re cleaning things correctly? Is the time you’re putting into the clean worthwhile? What about all that money? These are common questions and are good to ask. Many often end up wasting time and effort into making sure their home is clean when, in fact, it’s surprisingly not.
If you’re looking for some ways to ensure your home stays clean and fresh, you’ll want to check out this article. You’ll find some of the top cleaning tools you can invest in to help you. To find out what they are and how they can keep your home clean, keeping reading.
Best Cleaning Tools to Keep Your Home Clean and Fresh
Vacuum cleaners are one of the most important cleaning tools to have in your home. They aren’t only versatile, but can be hypoallergenic as well. This means if someone in your household has severe allergies, you can help prevent them from happening with these helpful tools. Vacuums also tend to come with accessories, like furniture dusters and stair cleaners, which you can use to clean off difficult surfaces. If you’re looking for cheap vacuum cleaners you can check out shark vacuum models.
Microfiber cloths are the perfect way to help clean up messes. They can absorb many particles so you don’t have to worry about anything being left behind. This is unlike popular paper towels which often leave behind some things so you need to use a lot of them. You can also reuse microfiber cloths without problems. When you’re done cleaning, simply throw them into the washer.
A broom is always handy to have. It can sweep up many messes and prevent them from spreading around in your home. This tool also doesn’t require electricity to run which means you can use it anytime and anywhere without issues. Brooms also tend to come with dustpans. You can use these pans to help clean up any messes you sweep up quickly.
You’ll also find that brooms are very affordable, so you can easily invest in a few for your home without fear of breaking the bank.
You might be surprised to learn that a toothbrush is not only a great way to clean your teeth, but your home as well. Toothbrushes can get into small crevices which can help to clean sections in your home better. This means they can scrub off hard-to-remove mold, dirt, and other grime that could end up collecting in certain areas.
Steam cleaners are helpful as they can sanitize areas, like hardwood floors and carpets, well. This way, you can be sure that harmful germs and other particles aren’t lingering around in your home. To learn more about these home-cleaning tools you can check this guide.
Keeping your home tidy and fresh can be a challenge. Dust can easily collect and messes can occur, even after you just cleaned up an area. Because of this, it can end up being overwhelming and daunting to clean your home up. However, there’s no need to feel this way anymore thanks to the cleaning tools mentioned above. These tools are versatile, affordable, and come in many different options. This way, you have a variety of choices to select from so you find something that matches your preferences perfectly.
If you’re looking for cleaning tools to help keep your home clean and fresh, be sure to keep the ones mentioned above in mind. They are not only helpful to have on hand, but get the job done right.
If the thought of a perfectly uniform, well-organized pantry or a completely bare countertop gets you excited, then you might be a part of the minimalist revolution. According to Dr. Andrea Umbach, author of the book The Decline of Stuff: Millennials are Going Minimalist, younger people have found great value in less, and we’ve tossed out (or never even considered) the second car, the holiday decorations and the general clutter in favor of experiences, travel and entertainment. For minimalist millennials or anyone else who values total order, it’s best to have as little stuff as possible. But you still have to live, right? Here are the bare essentials for living in a minimalistic, clutter-free space without sacrificing style or convenience.
1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up—The No. 1 New York Timesbest-selleris all about learning how to use the Japanese KonMari method to simplify, organize and store. Author Marie Kondo (inventor of the KonMari method) explains how categorizing your belongings and keeping only the things that “spark joy” can help revolutionize the way you shop for and keep your things. The step-by-step guide promises to help you organize your home once and then keep it organized forever so you never have to do it again. If you’re getting anxious just thinking about adding another book to the pile—we feel your pain—borrow a copy from the library or a friend so it’s out of your hair as soon as you’re done.
2. A Cordless Vacuum Cleaner—Clutter and cleanliness go hand-in-hand, and there are few scenarios where you can outright eliminate the vacuum cleaner from the rotation. With that being said, you can certainly minimize its effects on your space and stress levels by selling or donating your old sweeper and upgrading to a cordless vacuum cleaner. These products eliminate the dreaded cord knot that seems to inevitably form in the closet in between uses. They’re also amazingly sleek, good-looking and minimalist in their own way, and prevent trips and falls while sweeping.
3. A Cable Management System—Cables…they’re unruly, ugly and sometimes impossible to manage. Not to mention, with minimalism comes a wide variety of cordless products, but all of those products have to charge. So, the one place in your home—probably next to the bed—is often teeming with messy, tangled cords that never seem to stay neat, no matter how much you untwist, untangle and uncoil. A bedside cable organizer is the perfect way to get rid of that nightstand cable clutter that nags at you and keeps you up at night! We’re crazy about the Glow Lighted Cord Organizer from Cord Buddy.
4. Magnetic Drawer Strips—Did you know that you can buy handy little magnetic strips that you can use to line the sides of your drawers? Stick them in the junk drawer to catch rogue nails, razor blades, screws and pins or place them in the drawer of your vanity to neatly house your nail clippers, tweezers, small scissors and safety pins. We love this approach to drawer organization because it takes clutter out of the main drawer compartment up onto the sides, allowing you to take full advantage of the primary space and keep it permanently organized. Strip magnets are also great for the office, craft room and bathroom.
5. Bins, Canisters and Tubs Galore—Some of the most important things to have on hand when you’re trying to get a particularly messy or cluttered space under control are a wide variety of containers. Try baskets for the kids’ toys, designated canisters for all your dried foods in the pantry, extra fridge bins that help you segment and organize food and drinks and small bins to hold all of your extra odds and ends in the office or craft room. What’s so great about having a never-ending supply of containers is that they can store each other and they can help you sort through things for your keep, donate and sell piles. Perfect for when you’re going through your home using the KonMari method.
6. Shelf Dividers—Have you ever noticed that your dresser drawers or the linen closet tend to transform into one big pile of stuff over a couple of weeks if you’re not constantly tending to them? Shelf dividers are specifically designed to help maintain your perfectly folded piles of towels, sheets, tablecloths, clothes and whatever else you want to keep in a neatly stacked pile. If you love the look of beautifully stacked clothing and linens and are a sucker for a neat, tidy drawer situation, then you’ll definitely want to pick up some of these essentials.
7. Closet Organizers—Even the most diehard organizers know that the closet is one of the places in the home that tends to get out of control, partially because it’s just so easy to slack, let messes accumulate and then (quite literally) close the door on the problem. You can use an over-the-door organizer to make great use of the often-ignored space on the back of your closet door. Choose one that works for whatever things you need to organize, like your shoes, sweaters, jewelry or handbags. There are styles available for just about any storage need and design motif. For a versatile option that can handle a range of different jobs, check out this one from The Container Store.
Don’t Let Organization Add to Clutter
When you’re looking for products to eliminate clutter and help organize your things, it can be stressful if you aren’t sure if you’re going to use the things you buy. The last thing you want is to purchase something with the intention of it helping you clear away junk, only for it to add to the ever-accumulating unused pile. Remember that minimalism is an effort of trial and error, so give yourself patience in understanding what you need and what you don’t. If possible, buy from stores with flexible return policies so that you can take something back if you don’t think it will get used.
When you have kids and pets, keeping your furniture clean and damage-free can be a full-time job. From spots and spills to scratches, scuffs and tears, there are a lot of ways to ruin a sofa, loveseat, recliner or even your dining room furniture.
You can do your best to train your pets and teach your kids to be careful, but let’s face it: Accidents happen. The good news? There are several ways to protect your household furniture from accidental damage. Whether you need to save your sofa from an over-active pup or you want to protect your favorite chair from a precocious toddler, here are a few tips on how to keep your children and pets from damaging household furniture.
Pet and Child-Proof Your Furniture With Covers
Using furniture covers is the best way to stop spots, spills and stains in their tracks. While this idea may bring back memories of those sticky plastic covers your grandmother used to protect her furniture, there are several modern options that are more stylish, convenient and comfortable. Slipcovers work well for busy families, as they are easy to put on and stay in place. And when they get dirty, you can just take them off and throw them in the washing machine.
Blankets and throws work well, too, especially if you just need to cover certain spots. If your cat’s favorite place to nap is on the back of your recliner, for example, putting a throw there will prevent scratches and help your chair stay fur-free.
Reconsider Bare Wood
While you may love the look of bare wood, it may not be the best furniture option if you have pets or small kids. Teaching your dog not to chew sounds great in theory, but sometimes, even well-trained dogs mess up. And no matter how many scratching posts you have in your home, your cats may still decide that the legs of your chairs are way better.
Bare wood furniture can easily be damaged by kids, too. Whether they decide to color on it or manage to scratch it when playing with their toy cars, there is a lot that can go wrong. If you do choose wood furniture for your home, make sure it is finished, as to make it a bit easier to clean. You may also want to look for hardwoods that are less susceptible to damage than lower-quality wood.
Choose the Right Upholstery Fabric for Your Furniture
Color and style may be your primary concerns when shopping for new furniture, but if you have kids or pets, you also need to consider how well the upholstery will stand up to abuse. For many families, microfiber works well.
It comes in a wide range of colors and styles, and it is made from 100 percent polyester. This makes it extremely durable and resistant to damage. It’s easy to keep clean and doesn’t hold odors like some other fabrics. If you are a cat owner, your favorite feline may be less inclined to scratch microfiber than other fabrics, because it doesn’t make that satisfying ripping sound.
If you are in the market for something a bit more luxurious, leather furniture is a good choice as well. A top grain leather sofa is exceptionally soft and breathes well, making it suitable for all climates. It’s also durable and, when a protective layer is applied during the tanning process, resistant to stains. Most spills can just be wiped away with a damp cloth, and you can maintain your leather furniture simply by applying conditioner twice per year. The one downside to leather is that it can be scratched by pet claws. Keeping their claws neatly trimmed helps, though, and many minor scratches can be buffed away.
Invest in Furniture for Your Two- and Four-Legged Kids
There isn’t much you can do to keep your kids and pets off your nice furniture all the time, but you can buy pieces just for them to help minimize the amount of time they spend on yours. Pick up a high-quality dog bed for Fido, and buy kid-sized furniture for the little ones. When you give your dog a nice orthopedic bed, he will be less likely to spend all of his time curled up on your couch. And what kid wouldn’t love having their very own recliner or kid-sized sofa?
When choosing furniture pieces for your kids and pets, buy products that offer good quality to ensure that they will actually be used and stand up to some abuse. You may also want to look for features like stain-resistant coatings and removable, machine-washable covers.
If you have an heirloom piece that has been passed down for generations or another prized piece of furniture, there is nothing wrong with making it a kid-free and pet-free zone. If you don’t want your kids and pets messing up the bed in the guest room, keep the door closed and make it clear that the area is off limits.
Teach your kids to behave appropriately on furniture. Don’t allow food or drinks on the sofa. Designate one specific chair that the dog is allowed on, and keep the others pet-free. Establish rules and boundaries that work for your family. It may be hard at first, but with firmness and consistency, it is possible to create rules to protect your furniture.
Kids and pets can take a serious toll on household furniture. From spills and stains to scratches, holes and more, they can cause several types of damage. Fortunately, there are several ways to protect your household furniture and help extend its life. By following the tips listed above, you can keep your furniture a bit safer no matter how crazy your household may be.
Cleaning and organizing your house can be a dreaded task sometimes, especially if you have a full-time job. However, coming home to a clean place can do wonders to your mood. That Is why you should take a bit of your time each day to put things away or dust off certain areas. It is true that a clean house equals clear mindset, so you’ll be able to relax and peacefully enjoy your free time at home.Here are some great tips that’ll help you start off on the right foot.
· Start by making the bed
· Daily dusting is easy
· Keep the kitchen counters clean
· Put items in boxes to control clutter
· Tidy up bedrooms in the morning and in the evening
· Clean up the living room before going to bed each night
· No shoe rule in the home
Start By Making The Bed
Try to make your bed as soon as you wake up in the morning. This small task will make you feel productive and you’ll be coming home to a tidy room after a long day at work. Even if you don’t have a lot of plans for the day, by making the bed you’ll be left with a clean-looking and organized space. With this habit, you’ll make every day a fresh start.
Daily Dusting Is Easy
Try to pick a room or a certain area in your house to quickly dust off every day. This won’t take you more than 10 minutes, and by doing it every day, you are maintaining the cleanliness in your house. It is better to do this every day then wait for all the dirt and dust to accumulate. In the contrary, it can become frustrating to deal with all at once.
Keep The Kitchen Counters Clean
Clean your kitchen as you go, or wipe the counters quickly after you finish dinner so that you are left with a nice-looking kitchen in the morning. Keep it clean and free of unnecessary clutter so you won’t have to deal with it when you are hungry and in a hurry to make a meal.
Put Items In Boxes To Control Clutter
Whenever you catch a glimpse of random items scattered around your home, pick them up and put them where they actually belong. If you see a dirty coffee cup from the morning, put it in the sink. If your dirty clothes are laying on the floor or thrown over the chair, put them in a hamper. Small things like this can make a drastic change to the overall look of your house.
Tidy Up Bedrooms In The Morning And In The Evening
Try to free the nightstand from anything you put there the night before, and fold and place your pajamas where they belong. Before you go to sleep, don’t throw the clothes on the floor or In some random place. Put them on a hanger or throw the dirty ones in the hamper. You won’t wake up grumpy when you have a clean and organized space around you.
Clean Up The Living Room Before Going To Bed Each Night
Living rooms can get pretty messy, especially with big families or when guests come. You are left with cups, bowls with snacks and pillows everywhere. Try to start by arranging the pillows, picking up things from the floor and then putting the dishes in the sink. After that, quickly wipe your coffee table and you’re done!
No Shoe Rule In The Home
You have probably noticed how much dust can be accumulated on the floor or even on the couch by walking around the house in dirty shoes. Try to avoid this by enforcing a no shoe policy inside. This will prevent different kinds of germs and dirt from spreading around your home and you’ll do less sweeping and wiping on daily bases.
Enjoy The Daily Routine Of Cleaning And Organizing
If you try to keep all of these tips in mind, your house is surely going to look clean and organized every day. It is easy once you get a hang of it and make it a daily routine. You’ll be able to enjoy your home much more without having to worry about the mess. You can save these tips and incorporate them in your home once you buy your own place.
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Keeping your home and garage tidy can be challenging and the number one reason for this comes down to one simple thing. Stuff. We live our lives and we accumulate stuff. So it's no wonder we are always running out of space. Some of this "stuff" is important, some of it just makes us happy so we keep it around. We accumulate things and they add up. Especially in our garage, it seems.
In one journal called “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century: 32 Families Open Their Doors,” researchers from UCLA studied 32 middle-class, dual-income families from Los Angeles over a four-year period. Their findings showed that the more cluttered a home, the more likely people are to be depressed. So garage or home, many of us have some de-cluttering to do.
No matter how much garage space you have it is never enough. But we can help you maximize your space and reclaim some square footage with a few simple tips. Get ready to say goodbye to the clutter and hello to some organization.
1- Look Up.
There's usually one place that is overlooked when it comes to garage storage. Look up. That's right, your ceiling can be used for storage to free up some much needed space. In fact, ceiling storage systems are very popular right now. There are many DIY tutorials online to help you do it yourself or you can buy a system and have it installed. If it's on the ceiling, it is out of your way and that is an amazing space-saver.
2- Use the walls to your advantage.
If you aren't using your garage walls to store things like shovels, garden rakes, lawn chairs, bicycles and the like, you are really missing out. With just a few wood boards you can make simple tool racks that will hold all of your large yard tools and accessories. Believe it or not, you can even hang really large items like wheelbarrows. Some people also use peg boards to hang up many other tools on their walls. Take a look around your garage. If you have these sorts of things strewn about the floor, you NEED this.
3- The more shelves the better.
This goes with using your walls smartly, but it can't be overstated. The more shelf space you have on your walls, the more space you free up in your garage. Better still, make them deep cabinets so that they can hold more. Corner shelves are a great addition as well. That way you can use the reclaimed space for cool things like workbenches and more.
4- Get that big ladder out of your way
Yes, you can even hang your ladder from either the ceiling or on the wall. Ladders take up valuable real estate in your garage when they aren't in use. Then when you do need it, it is always at arm's length.
5- Buy the right tools.
Half of the battle with keeping your space organized is buying the right kinds of tools and hardware. Look for a lawn mower that folds down for more compact storage or a telescoping ladder that collapses down to nothing. Buying smartly designed items helps stop a storage problem before it begins.
6- Keep those tools in one place.
The larger the toolbox, the more tools you can keep in one place, rather than having them take up room all around your garage. You will want to get one with wheels so that you can move it easily.
7- Label Bins
If you are using bins to store your various odds and ends, make a clear and easy to read label that you can read from the outside so that you know which one contains the "Christmas Decorations", "Winter Clothes" etc. This will save you a lot of time sorting through bins.
These are just a few examples of how you can maximize your space and we all need to because let's face it, the stuff just keeps on coming. A more organized and clean home just makes us feel better.
As any pet parent knows, accidents happen. And all too often, those accidents result in nasty odors and unpleasant stains. Whether your favorite pup didn’t make it outside in time or your cat brought home a “present” and left it on the couch for you to find, it is important to know how to deal with disgusting messes to keep your home looking and smelling great.
While there isn’t a whole lot you can do to prevent your fur babies from making messes, there is a lot you can do to keep your home from looking and smelling like a zoo. Check out these helpful tips for removing household pet odors and stains.
Find the Source
Stains are usually easy to detect, but sometimes, determining the source of an unpleasant odor is a bit trickier. Follow your nose or use a blacklight to detect urine stains. When using a blacklight, turn off the rest of the lights in your home and shine it in all areas of the room. Because urine contains fluorescent molecules that glow under blacklight, you’ll be able to detect even old, dried stains. Once you have identified all of the stains and messes, outline them using chalk. This will help you remember where everything is — even those invisible dried urine stains.
Cleaning Washable Items
Start with washable items — like throw pillows, blankets and sofa cushion covers. Soak soiled items in an enzymatic cleaner. There are several types of enzymatic cleaners on the market, and they are formulated to eliminate unpleasant odors at the source rather than covering them up. If you have never used the product before, do a spot test in a conspicuous area first. Carefully read the instructions on the bottle and follow them closely to avoid damaging the item.
After soaking, wash the item in your washing machine as usual. For best results, air dry. If the stain is still visible or there is still an odor after the item is dry, repeat the process. Once the item has been washed, keep it away from your pet, if possible.
Tackle Your Carpets and Upholstery
If you are dealing with a fresh, wet mess, soak up as much as you can using paper towels and newspaper. Don’t scrub, as this could push the stain further into the fiber. Instead, use a blotting motion or put down a thick layer of paper towels and newspaper and stand on it. Repeat until the spot is barely damp.
Use clean, cool distilled water to rinse the area, then remove as much of the water as possible either by blotting or with a wet-dry vacuum. Next, apply an enzymatic cleaner. Read and follow the instructions to ensure the best possible results and to prevent damage to your carpet or upholstery. Once dry, use a blacklight to verify that the area has been thoroughly cleaned. If it still glows, repeat the process. If it doesn’t glow but there is still a visible stain, try a high-quality carpet or upholstery cleaner.
Eliminate Messes on Walls and Bare Floors
When you are dealing with a urine or another type of pet mess on your bare floor or a wall, start by soaking up fresh stains right away, then clean using an enzymatic cleaner. If the wood on your floor, baseboard, wall or furniture is discolored, the paint or varnish has been damaged. In this situation, you may need to remove and replace the damaged layer of paint or varnish. Talk to someone at your local hardware store to find the right products and learn how to tackle the project.
What Not to Do
When it comes to dealing with pet odors and stains, knowing what not to do can be just as important as knowing what to do. For starters, avoid using steam cleaners to treat urine odors on upholstery or carpet. The heat can set in the stain and odor by bonding the proteins to the man-made fibers. It’s also best to avoid strong cleaning chemicals, like ammonia. In addition to potentially causing damage, these products typically fail to eliminate or mask odors, and they can actually make your pet more likely to return to the scene of the crime.
If you are dealing with a stain or an accident on your tufted leather sofa, you need to be especially careful during the cleanup process. In most cases, it’s best to not use anything more than distilled water and a soft cloth to clean leather furniture. If you do need to use something a bit stronger, use a cleaner that is designed specifically for use on leather. Be sure to test it in an inconspicuous area first to ensure that it won’t cause any damage. Don’t ignore messes and accidents. No one ever wants to clean up a hairball or puddle that their pet left behind, but the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to eliminate the odor. Dealing with messes right away also helps prevent stains.
Making Pet Stains and Odors a Thing of the Past
With a little know-how and the right products, getting rid of pet stains and odors is a breeze. Whether your pet has had an accident on your favorite chair or has decided that a corner in your bedroom is the perfect spot to urinate, the tips and tricks listed above will help you get rid of the stains and smells.
Once you’ve cleaned up, train your pets to stay away from certain areas. If your pet is soiling indoors or is getting sick more frequently than usual, it could be a sign of an underlying medical issue. Cats commonly urinate outside of the litter box, for example, when suffering from things like urinary tract infections. If your pet seems to be having more accidents or getting sick more often than usual, you may need to consult with your veterinarian to get to root of the problem.