Posts Tagged With: home tips

Backyard ‘Staycation’ Safety Tips


Summer brings more opportunities for outdoor activities around the house.  Why not plan a “staycation” in your own backyard; but play it safe:

  • Keep your grill on a level surface away from your house, garage and any flammable objects.
  • Don’t step away from a grill while it’s on, and keep children and pets at a safe distance from the flames.
  • When using charcoal, extinguish properly by breaking up the embers with a long stick or grilling tool, then covering the grill to cut off the oxygen.  Or, slowly sprinkle the coals with water.  Once the coals are cooled completely, dispose of them in a metal container.

 

 

  • Before mowing, clear the yard of any loose objects that could fly out from under the lawnmower.
  • When using power tools for yard work, wear protective gear and cover your eyes with goggles.
  • Wear protective clothing when using pesticides etc and don’t spray around children or pets and precisely follow directions.
  • Before you dig a hole in your yard for any reason call your local utility company to avoid underground gas or power lines.

 

  • Install four foot high fence around the pool area and include self-closing gates with latches out of reach of children.
  • Keep the pool area clear of toys and other objects that someone may trip over.
  • Never allow children to swim without adult supervision.
  • Place a sturdy pool cover over the pool when it’s not in use.

 

  • Place swing sets and other play equipment on level ground, and make sure legs are properly
    anchored.
  • Inspect play sets regularly for any sharp bolts, screws, nails or rot.
  • When celebrating with fireworks, wear safety glasses when handling fireworks, and have water handy to soak spent fireworks before disposing of them.

Be careful of becoming over-exposed to the sun.  Drink plenty of fluids, and seek air conditioning if you become overheated, and have fun!

Ideas taken from: https://www.horacemann.com/insurance/property-insurance/summer-backyard-safety-tips
Categories: family, holiday, Home Safety, Home Tips, Organize, Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Freshen Up Your Home Decor and Lift Your Spirits


Your mind can’t help but flood with images of blooming tulips and daisies, gleaming sunshine and a home bursting with spring flavor.

You’ve already got the fever, my friend, the fever for a change in décor. Weary of the dark, drabness of the winter months, you’re itching for the light, energetic mood of the spring season. But who has the bandwidth or the bucks?

I felt compelled to share these great ideas from three interior design pros – Lauri Ward, Lisa Turner and Candace C. Peters – whipped up dozens of quick, easy and dollar-conscious ways to freshen up your living space before the flowers start to bud. Here’s what you can do in no time:

Here’s what you can do in no time

Rotate art

Are your walls all cluttered with stagnant artwork? Then it’s time for a change. “Some people hang everything they own on every wall,” says Ward, the pioneer of “one-day decorating” and author of “Home Therapy: Fast, Easy, Affordable Makeovers”. “Look at it all the time, and you start taking it for granted.” Try this: Separate art into summer and winter piles. Hang the lighter, pastel colors for spring and summer, and put the deep, oil paintings in storage. Every six months, rotate your pieces. “This way, you enjoy your art with a new vigor, and it’s something you can do in minutes.” Ward also suggests art collectors leave one blank wall in each room. It gives visitors a place to rest the eyes.  or simply just move your art around or to different walls 

Soothe the senses

Spring is not only a colorful season, but a fragrant one, too. Bring the aroma indoors. “Scents have a profound effect on mood,” Peters says. “Infusing scent into your décor with diffusers, candles, fresh cut plants/flowers, or incense can change the overall feeling of a space.” Ward offers this quick, floral tip: Purchase an inexpensive bouquet of flowers. Split flowers up by color, and place each bunch in small vases around your home.

Beautify your boudoir

Bright, new bedding can do wonders for your personal space. Tuck away the heavy, winter flannel comforter and pull out crisp linens with coverlets for color, Turner says. Bring in the spring with floral-designed spreads or colorful solids. Don’t forget accent pillows for added style and comfort.

Buy new bulbs

You’re thinking flower bulbs, right? Not a bad idea, but we’re talking about light bulbs. Ward says many of us aren’t using our lights properly. “In the winter, you need more light,” Ward says. But in the spring you can get away with less. Swap your 60-watt bulb with a 3-way bulb to allow you to soften light in a room, she says. “It really makes a difference to have the flexibility.” Look into energy-efficient bulbs, which may cost more than a standard bulb, but last longer and can cut down electric bills.

Let the sunshine in

In the winter, dull, dusty windows can go unnoticed. Shorter, darker days give us an excuse. But in spring, take advantage of the sunny season by giving the windows a wash. “People tend to let the windows go, and they don’t get as much light,” Ward says. “You can have a gorgeous room, but if the windows are dirty, it won’t look as beautiful or as bright.” For an added tip, Turner suggests pulling back dark window treatments and adding a shade or valance for a touch of color. Or, you can also replace window treatments with ecru or white sheers for an elegant look.

Update accessories

Just as you’d add a scarf or necklace to enhance an outfit, do the same with your home. “Dress your home like you would yourself,” Turner says. “Look for great accent pillows in bright colors. Put away the winter throws and drape light, bright throws on your sofa. Pick out spring-hued vases or candles to boost a cocktail or dining room table.

Show off your collection

Everyone knows you love elephants. You’ve got an assortment of statues in every room! Experts say to centralize your collection in one spot so your space looks organized and your visitors can truly enjoy it. “It gives a more dramatic effect,” Ward says. “If it’s a small collection, anchor it on a tray. Then people will notice.”

Lose the magnets

In just minutes, you can tidy up a kitchen by getting rid of the scraps of paper, business cards and take-out menus stuck to the fridge. If you have odds and ends everywhere, it looks messy,” Ward says. “If you clear it, your kitchen looks neat.”

Keep out things you use on a daily basis, the expert says. Invest in a pretty bulletin board to take care of important items.

Taken from HGTV by Stacy Gillman / filed under Spring, Color  / to read this article and/or for more tips link to: http://www.hgtv.com/organizing/ten-minute-tricks-to-freshen-your-space/index.html
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Welcome Spring With Fresh Flowers


You’re excited about the arrival of Spring and you can’t wait to fill your home with flowers.  Here are some tips I found on one of my favorite sites  http://www.veranda.com/  I want to share with you.  If you like you might want to check their site sometime.

Cut flower stems at a 45-degree angle one inch from the bottom. This instantly increases the surface area for water intake, so your flowers will be well hydrated.

Use a teacup as a vase, or any smaller item you love. Don’t trash flowers with shorter stems. Keep the stems together using a clear hair tie so they don’t separate.

Open closed buds quickly by putting them in warm water first, then cold water.  After cutting flower stems as described in No. 1, put flowers in a glass filled with warm water. After a minute, move flowers to a vase filled with cold water and leave them for 20 minutes. Flowers will open up to their maximum size.
Add a vodka-sugar elixir to your water to keep flowers looking flawless longer. (I would never have thought of this one) Before putting your flowers in a vase, add several drops of vodka and a teaspoon of white sugar, which delays wilting. When your flowers eventually do start to die (sad face), add a shot of vodka into the water and the stems will stand up straight again for a day or two.

Display succulents in pretty dessert bowls. Dessert bowls make chic pots for a succulent! Simply fill to the brim with potting soil. Over time, it will begin to grow roots. Just be sure to spray them once a week with the spray bottle until the top of the soil looks wet.
Water your orchid with an ice cube. Water the orchid with one ice cube a week. For larger orchids, use two ice cubes a week. The ice cube melts slowly and gives the orchid a slow drip of hydration, so that it doesn’t drown it.

 

Create a grid with transparent tape to keep flowers in place in a shallow vase. 

  

Stack a vase within a vase in order to layer fruit slices along the inside. Find a vase that fits inside another vase with half an inch of room between them. Fill the space between the two vases up most of the way with water before slipping in sliced lemons. I personally like this one; I’m sure you can come up with some other creative ideas.

Drop a penny in your vase to keep your flower water fresh longer. The copper in pennies works as an acidifier, which helps prevent fungus or bacteria from growing. Note:Marshall suggests looking for pennies minted before 1982, since they contain more copper and will keep your arrangement look amazing a couple of days longer.
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Surprising Home Fire Hazards


On average, more than 300,000 house fires occur each year in the U.S. — and most of them are preventable.  Make sure to check your smoke alarms and familiarize yourself with the fire hazards around your home — especially these surprising ones:

  • Dust bunnies: If dust collects near electrical sockets and floor heaters, just one spark can cause a fire. Sweep or download (1)vacuum your floors regularly to prevent buildup. Pay close attention to hard-to-reach areas, such as behind doors or around entertainment systems.
  • Clothes dryers: Cleaning the lint trap should be part of your regular laundry routine. Left dryer_vent_cleaninguntouched, lint can build up in your dryer duct with every load of laundry. Have a professional inspect and clean your dryer at least once a year to help eliminate a fire hazard.
  • pink-glass-vase-of-pink-tulips-in-window-jessica-holden-photographyGlassware: When sunlight passes through some kinds of glassware, the concentrated ray can ignite flammable materials such as stacks of papers. Play it safe by moving all glass accessories, including vases, away from windows.
  • Loose batteries: Nine-volt batteries, which power smoke detectors, are designed with both posts on the top.img-9-volt-battery-fire-danger Bits of metal, including other batteries and loose change, can create a bridge between the posts that causes a heat-creating charge. To prevent this, keep unused batteries in their original packaging and cover the posts of expired batteries with black electrical tape before properly disposing of them.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information.

Categories: family, Fire Safety, Home Safety, Home Tips, Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

16 Ways to Have a Safer Halloween


Happy_Halloween_28938YEARDThere’s something scarier about Halloween than the costumes: It’s the deadliest day for child pedestrian accidents. To help make Halloween activities safer, whether you’re going door-to-door, driving or passing out treats at home, keep these tips in mind.

If you’re going door-to-door:

  • Always accompany young children.
  • Exercise great caution during the “deadliest” hours: between 5 and 9 p.m. Studies show that the hour between 6 and 7 p.m. is especially dangerous for pedestrian accidents.
  • Trick 'r TreatStick to neighborhoods with sidewalks. If you must walk on the street, keep to the far left, facing traffic.
  • Practice safe crossing procedures: Use crosswalks; wait at corners; and look left, right and left again before crossing.
  • Stick reflective tape onto costumes to make your child more visible. Also have him or her carry a flashlight.
  • Make sure costumes and shoes are the correct size to prevent tripping. Use face paint and leave the masks at home: They can obstruct vision.
  • If an older child is venturing out without supervision, ask that he or she go with a group, discuss the route and agree on a curfew. Give older kids cell phones so they can stay in touch.

If you’re driving:

  • Be alert for children and eliminate in-car distractions.
  • Drive slowly.
  • Practice extra caution at intersections and corners.
  • Pull in and out of driveways carefully.
  • Discuss these and other driving pointers with your teen driver. Drivers ages 15–25 were involved in around one-third of fatal accidents involving child pedestrians on Halloween, according to studies.

halloween-trick-or-treat-bagsIf you’re passing out treats at home:

  • Keep your home brightly lit indoors and outside.
  • Clear debris and other obstacles from your lawn, sidewalks and steps.
  • Opt for battery-operated candles in jack-o’-lanterns or other areas where costumed trick-or-treaters might stand.
  • Keep pets kenneled or in another room.

In addition to protecting children from accidents, remind kids of stranger danger on Halloween. Teach children to visit only well-lit homes, to avoid dark streets and to not enter homes that aren’t their own. Kids should show all their loot to parents before eating any of it. Homemade treats from people they don’t know shouldn’t be eaten.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure.

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Space Heater and Woodstove Safety


spaceheater.jpg Even when they’re not your home’s primary source of heat, space heaters and woodstoves are great for warming up chilly rooms. But these supplemental heat sources should be operated with a measure of caution. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, portable heaters play a role in 45 percent of all fatal heating fires in residential settings. Help reduce the risk of fire with these tips:

Electric space heaters: Radiant space heaters warm whatever is directly in front of them, while convection heaters can help make an entire room feel more comfortable. To use them safely, consider the following tips:

  • Keep heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn, such as upholstery, curtains, pets or people. Approximately half of fires in residential buildings involving a portable heater occur because the unit is too close to a combustible material.
  • Keep the unit on a level surface and plug it directly into a wall outlet.
  • Never use a space heater to dry clothing.
  • Select a unit that automatically switches off if the unit tips over.
  • Do not leave a space heater unattended, especially when children or pets are in the room. Do not leave an electric heater on overnight or when you’re sleeping.

Woodstoves: Woodstoves are a more efficient heat source than traditional fireplaces, and many units can keep more than one room warm. However, more than 4,000 residential fires each year are attributed to woodstoves. To keep woodstoves operating safely, consider the following tips:

  • Before buying a stove, check with your local fire department to get local ordinances on solid fuel burning appliances.
  • Be sure the unit has been tested and is listed with a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s directions and pay close attention to clearance requirements. If there are no manufacturer’s instructions or a label on the unit, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests clearances should be 36” or 1 meter away from any combustible item, such as curtains or flooring.
  • Install a floor protector that meets the heating appliance manufacturer’s requirements, and extends at least 18 inches on all sides of the heater, unless the manufacturer states otherwise.
  • Have the chimney and stovepipe cleaned and inspected annually.
  • Burn only seasoned hardwood or wood pellets in the stove, according to the manufacturer’s directions.
  • Wait until ashes have cooled before removing them. Transfer ashes in a covered metal container to an outside location 10 feet or more away from the home, and douse them with water.
The information in this article was obtained from various sources. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. 
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Quick Fix for Damaged Wood Furniture


935333_10151417845201566_754946940_nNaturally Repair Wood With Vinegar and Canola Oil. So, for a super cheap fix–use 3/4 cup of oil, add 1/4 cup vinegar. white or apple cider vinegar, mix it in a jar, then rub it into the wood. You don’t need to wipe it off; the wood just soaks it in.

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It’s Spring! Dress Up the Front of Your Home with Flower Boxes


87615739_XSIf you are selling your house, your real estate agent will probably suggest that you put together a few flower boxes to help dress up the front of your house. Most flower boxes are a mixture of tall and short perennials and annuals. Flower boxes are a terrific way to add a beautiful visual impact to any yard or porch. You can use them to line stairs; as a border on a concrete patio; or below a window.

The degree of sun exposure required by the plants is the main determining factor when deciding which plants are the best choices. There are flowering and foliage plants for every exposure, even the hot, harsh sunlight on the south side of a building. Selecting blooming plants and plants with colorful foliage that have similar growing requirements can provide color and texture all summer long.

Planting a Window Box Container Garden:

1. Decide on a color scheme for your window box. Flowers in the same range of colors will produce a calm and harmonious look. Contrasting colors will appear more energetic and bright. Think also about the color of the plants leaves and how that contrasts with the flowers.

2.Drill drainage holes in the base of your window box. Place pieces of small-hole mesh or screening in the inside of the box over the holes to prevent soil from falling out.

3. Fill a bucket with enough commercial potting mix to fill your window box. Use a high quality, lightweight mix containing ingredients such as compost or peat moss. If the mix doesn’t contain perlite, add two or three handfuls of perlite to increase drainage.

4. Moisten the potting mix until it is evenly moist but not soggy.

5. Mix in a general-purpose, granular slow-release fertilizer. Refer to the label for specific rates of the fertilizer required for the amount of soil in your window box.

6. Fill the window box half full with the moist potting mix.

7. Experiment by arranging your nursery plants on top of the potting soil. Place tall plants in back, medium-height plants in the center and trailing plants around the outer edges of the box. Move the plants around until you like the overall appearance of the box, and then remove the plants from the window box.

8. Fill your window box by planting one plant at a time, beginning in the middle of the box. Slide each plant from its container. Place the plant on the potting soil and add a small amount of potting soil to hold the roots in place. Continue adding plants and potting soil until all the plants are in place and the potting mixture is up to within 1 inch of the top of the box.

9. Water the window box lightly to settle the potting mix. If necessary, add more potting mix to bring the level to within 1 inch of the top of the box. Thereafter, water according to the needs of the particular plants. Check the window box often during warm weather.

10. Pinch 1 inch from the growing tips of the stems to promote full, compact growth. Pinch again anytime the plants begin to look long and leggy

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What Should I Plant?

Choose plants that are suited to the planter box’s environment. Determine how much sun per day the window box will receive, and whether it is in a windy or shaded place. Select plants for all parts of your window box: trailing plants that will grow over the front of the box and hang down, taller plants or foliage for the back of the box, and small or medium-size plants for the middle section.  When in doubt you can rely on suggestions from an expert at your local nursery.  Here’s a few ideas:

Annuals

  • Sweet alyssum: Stalwart, reliable, fragrant trailer in white, cream, pink, and purple. Alyssum is exceptionally easy to grow and fills in beautifully, often reseeding itself.
  • Lobelia: Sound familiar? Yes, we often call on this little annual with clouds of cascading color in white, sky blue, dark blue, rose, lavender, and cobalt. Simply great in window boxes.
  • Pansies: Perfect in any box, pansies offer prolific color in many hues and quickly fill gaps between permanent plants or other annuals, offering long-lasting color.
  • Petunias: Choose these when you want a stunning summer box that shines in the sun. Try cascading varieties, as well as multifloras, for an abundance of blooms in a wide range of colors.
  • Impatiens: The plant for shade, and awesome in window boxes — especially valuable for continuous color in a range of hues. Use low-growing, dwarf varieties. New Guinea hybrids also offer excellent foliage.
  • Dianthus: You get the bonus of fragrance with the gift of color. Plants are well behaved. If all goes well, a breeze blows, sending sweet scents through your open windows.

Permanent plants

  • Ivy geranium: Yep. The selfsame winner in hanging baskets, this one also works really well in window boxes, gracing us with wonderful trailing stems covered with bright flowers. In cold climates, grow it as an annual.
  • Geraniums: Bedding geraniums are the classic window box plant — grown for clusters of brilliant flowers in colors ranging from white to crimson to apple blossom pink. Plants are easy to grow. Consider geraniums an annual in cold climates.
  • Dwarf bulbs: Forgive us for lumping so many bulbs together, but the miniature nature of many flowering bulbs — daffodils, crocus, grape hyacinth, cyclamen — makes them ideal players in the window box.
  • Ground ivy: Impressive long stems spill from your window box in shimmering green or variegated tones. Ground ivy can survive through winter in milder climates.
  • English ivy: Hardy, versatile, attractive, and useful for any box where you want trailing plants, ivy handles in sun or shade. For extra color, choose varieties with cream or yellow accents on the leaves.
  • Miniature roses: You have dozens to choose from, and each one can be trusted to perform elegantly and effectively in combinations with annuals or other permanent plants. Some varieties also offer fragrance.
Categories: family, Home Tips, Landscape, Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

10 Tricks to Freshen Your Space for Spring


Your mind can’t help but flood with images of blooming tulips and daisies, gleaming sunshine and a home bursting with spring flavor.

You’ve already got the fever, my friend, the fever for a change in décor. Weary of the dark, drabness of the winter months, you’re itching for the light, energetic mood of the spring season. But who has the bandwidth or the bucks?

I felt compelled to share these great ideas from three interior design pros – Lauri Ward, Lisa Turner and Candace C. Peters – whipped up dozens of quick, easy and dollar-conscious ways to freshen up your living space before the flowers start to bud. Here’s what you can do in no time:

Rotate art

Are your walls all cluttered with stagnant artwork? Then it’s time for a change. “Some people hang everything they own on every wall,” says Ward, the pioneer of “one-day decorating” and author of “Home Therapy: Fast, Easy, Affordable Makeovers”. “Look at it all the time, and you start taking it for granted.” Try this: Separate art into summer and winter piles. Hang the lighter, pastel colors for spring and summer, and put the deep, oil paintings in storage. Every six months, rotate your pieces. “This way, you enjoy your art with a new vigor, and it’s something you can do in minutes.” Ward also suggests art collectors leave one blank wall in each room. It gives visitors a place to rest the eyes.  or simply just move your art around or to different walls 

Soothe the senses

Spring is not only a colorful season, but a fragrant one, too. Bring the aroma indoors. “Scents have a profound effect on mood,” Peters says. “Infusing scent into your décor with diffusers, candles, fresh cut plants/flowers, or incense can change the overall feeling of a space.” Ward offers this quick, floral tip: Purchase an inexpensive bouquet of flowers. Split flowers up by color, and place each bunch in small vases around your home.

Beautify your boudoir

Bright, new bedding can do wonders for your personal space. Tuck away the heavy, winter flannel comforter and pull out crisp linens with coverlets for color, Turner says. Bring in the spring with floral-designed spreads or colorful solids. Don’t forget accent pillows for added style and comfort.

Buy new bulbs

You’re thinking flower bulbs, right? Not a bad idea, but we’re talking about light bulbs. Ward says many of us aren’t using our lights properly. “In the winter, you need more light,” Ward says. But in the spring you can get away with less. Swap your 60-watt bulb with a 3-way bulb to allow you to soften light in a room, she says. “It really makes a difference to have the flexibility.” Look into energy-efficient bulbs, which may cost more than a standard bulb, but last longer and can cut down electric bills.

Let the sunshine in

In the winter, dull, dusty windows can go unnoticed. Shorter, darker days give us an excuse. But in spring, take advantage of the sunny season by giving the windows a wash. “People tend to let the windows go, and they don’t get as much light,” Ward says. “You can have a gorgeous room, but if the windows are dirty, it won’t look as beautiful or as bright.” For an added tip, Turner suggests pulling back dark window treatments and adding a shade or valance for a touch of color. Or, you can also replace window treatments with ecru or white sheers for an elegant look.

Update accessories

Just as you’d add a scarf or necklace to enhance an outfit, do the same with your home. “Dress your home like you would yourself,” Turner says. “Look for great accent pillows in bright colors. Put away the winter throws and drape light, bright throws on your sofa. Pick out spring-hued vases or candles to boost a cocktail or dining room table.

Show off your collection

Everyone knows you love elephants. You’ve got an assortment of statues in every room! Experts say to centralize your collection in one spot so your space looks organized and your visitors can truly enjoy it. “It gives a more dramatic effect,” Ward says. “If it’s a small collection, anchor it on a tray. Then people will notice.”

Lose the magnets

In just minutes, you can tidy up a kitchen by getting rid of the scraps of paper, business cards and take-out menus stuck to the fridge. If you have odds and ends everywhere, it looks messy,” Ward says. “If you clear it, your kitchen looks neat.”

Keep out things you use on a daily basis, the expert says. Invest in a pretty bulletin board to take care of important items.

Taken from HGTV by Stacy Gillman / filed under Spring, Color  / to read this article and/or for more tips link to: http://www.hgtv.com/organizing/ten-minute-tricks-to-freshen-your-space/index.html
Categories: family, Home Tips, Organization, Organize, Real Estate | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s the First Day of Spring … Really?


For many of us March 20th sure doesn’t feel like the first day of Spring, but that is no reason not to act on our Spring fever!

Spring Cleaning Tips

photo_spring-cleaning1Whether you’re planning to move or just want to organize your household, now is a good time to “weed out” unwanted items.

As a rule of thumb, discard anything you haven’t used in 12 months, especially clothing you don’t wear or items your children have outgrown.

Throw away broken-down, worn-out items. Get rid of old magazines by offering them to a hospital, school, nursing home or daycare center. Recycle newspapers or use them for lighting fires or covering things while painting or cleaning. Dispose of all expired medications by pouring them down the toilet.

Call a local recycling center if you have paints, chemicals or other toxic materials to dispose. Items that are in good, clean condition – clothing, furniture, accessories, and appliances – can be sold at a garage sale or donated to a charity. Some agencies will even pick up donated materials.

Cleaning Blinds and Shades

CleaningBlindsAndShadesPurchasing window treatments can be a major investment. You can protect this investment by engaging in proper maintenance for your blinds and shades. Blinds and shades will stay in shape if you dust them monthly with a soft cloth or vacuum’s brush attachment. For heavier dust on mini-blinds, use a finger-like brush designed to clean five slats at a time.

Clean stained-wood blinds with furniture polish.

When metal or plastic mini-blinds need a more thorough cleaning, take them outside and wash the slats with a sponge and soapy water. Then, hang the slats from a clothesline and rinse with a hose. Shake off excess water, drain rails and towel dry to avoid water marks and rusting.

If you can’t take your blinds down, fill one bucket with a solution of grease-cutting household detergent and another bucket with water. Working from the top down, wash both sides of each slat, then rinse using a second sponge dipped in plain water. Dry slats with a towel.

Fabric roller shades should also be taken down for a good cleaning. Place the unrolled shade on a flat surface and sponge with lukewarm water and mild soap, trying not to soak the fabric. Work in sections, removing excess moisture with a dry cloth.

Hang the shade at the window, pull it down to full length and let it dry. Then, roll the shade to the top and leave it for a few hours to give a crisp, ironed look. Some non-washable shades can be cleaned with wallpaper cleaner, others need dry cleaning.

Conquer Closet Clutter

When you’re trying to sell a home it’s not the skeletons in the closet that will hurt you – it’s all the other stuff you have jammed into them.

closetclutter   organize-closet-clutter-mdn

Adequate storage space is one of the first things prospective buyers look for when they inspect a home. You can be sure they’ll open all of your doors and drawers – checking to see if your home has room for their belongings. There are many tricks to making your storage space seem more adequate:

  • The easiest one is to simply move some of your possessions out.
  • Remove out-of-season clothing, sports equipment and other miscellaneous items from your front entry closet. Try    to take out half the items in your bedroom closets to make them appear roomier. Prospective buyers want to see how much space is in your closets, not how much you’ve been able to cram into them.
  • Keep in mind that the more things you give away, throw out, sell or store now, the easier your move will be later.
  • To increase the storage capacity of your closets, add an extra pole, shoe racks, wire baskets or shelves.

You can also make closets appear bigger by applying a fresh coat of white paint and putting in the highest-wattage bulbs allowed. Other important storage areas to reorganize include kitchen cabinets, garage and attic. The use of dividers and hanging racks in these areas will make things easier for you to find, and make your home more appealing to buyers.

Housecleaning in Record Time

imagesCleaning – really cleaning – your entire house was once a springtime ritual. Now laborsaving equipment and products make it easier to clean year-round.

Regular “as needed” cleaning is the best method because it’s the most efficient. Saving jobs for one big binge in the spring or fall takes more time in the long run. Following these daily and weekly clean-up guides will help keep your home in tip-top shape year round.

Daily

Clean up clutter as you go and wipe up spills as they happen. Encourage family members to pick up, hang up, put away and clean up after themselves. Wipe sinks after every use and clean the shower or tub.

Load the dishwasher as soon as possible, or put dishes in the sink to soak until you can wash them.

Get rid of rubbish. Place a trash compactor in the kitchen near recycling bins or in the garage to save on trips to the curb and reduce the volume in landfills.

Weekly

Clean your own way, but do it regularly. Your schedule should include dusting and vacuuming of walls and woodwork. Wipe door jambs with a detergent solution, dust windowsills and remove fingerprints with a spray cleaner.

While vacuuming, clean up any spots and stains you may see on the carpet. Use a disinfectant in the kitchen and bathroom.

Try to clean one large appliance and one out-of-sight storage area once a month.

 

Categories: family, Home Tips, Organization, Organize, Real Estate | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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