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February 2019

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10 Simple Ways You Can Spring Clean Your Whole House

The puddles on the sidewalks are growing and snow is slowly disappearing, the calendar confirms our suspicions that spring is just around the corner. Spring cleaning is a seasonal custom that brings us more than a clean home, it helps us embrace the new season, brings in the fresh air, and helps end the long cold winter. These ten tips will help you refocus on home organization and revive your entire home.

1. Stay Safe: Change the batteries in each of your fire and carbon monoxide alarms. If they aren’t in working order replace them. Supply fresh batteries for flashlights on every floor of your home in case of emergency.

2. Time for a Change of Clothes: Home organization can begin in your closets. Don’t just pull winter clothes off the hanger or out of drawers and tuck them away in a Tupperware. As you pack up your heavy winter clothes to make room for your lighter spring outfits assess them and make some choices. Have you worn that item all winter? If not, now might be the time to add it to the donation pile. Don’t put away soiled clothes or clothes needing repair to deal with months from now. Go to the drycleaner with your winter coats, sweaters, and pants that can’t be machine washed. Sew on any loose buttons and check that all zippers are in working order.

3. Top to Bottom Dusting: Time to get your hands dirty. Cleaning top to bottom prevents you from having to re-clean areas. Use extenders arms for easier reach with your dusting tools and avoid standing on a ladder. The first things to clean are light fixtures and fan blades. Wipe down the top of door casings and window sills. There is a lot of dirt accumulating places that are out of your eye line.

4. Wash Down Walls and Baseboards: It might not be readily visible, but your walls and baseboards have been collecting dirt since last spring also. Dilute all purpose cleaner in a mop bucket and use a sponge to wipe them clean with. The effect of this cleaning product will leave your whole room smelling and feeling cleaner. Open the windows and let in the fresh spring air to finish the job!

5. Dust Table Tops: Clear everything off the tops of your tables and give them a good dusting. Vacuum your lamp shades and make sure that you dust underneath them as well. Is it time to refresh your table tops? Don’t put down winter holiday decorations that never got put away, swap out pictures for new photos.

6. Wash and Vacuum Carpets and Upholstery: For months of the year we’ve been indoors and bringing dirt, salt, and sand back inside when we did find reasons to leave. Floors and furniture have seen the most of dirty boots and salt covered pants. If you don’t own a cleaner of your own they can be rented at a number of different locations. Make certain you know how to use the machine before you begin, and if you don’t feel confident, consider having someone come and do this for you. Leave carpeting or furniture soaking wet for a long time can invite mold and other issues.

7. Sleep Better! Vacuum and Flip Your Mattress: Break out your light crisp linen sheets and fold up your heavy flannel winter bedding. Clean your winter sheets and blankets before you put them away. For the sake of your home organization and don’t continue to store bedding that is too worn or is damaged and won’t be used again next fall or winter.

8. Put out the Welcome Mat, Literally: Give your entry mats a good shake, or replace them entirely for new spring designs. Wash or shake out your entry way rugs too, winter grime has left its’ mark on them. Gone are the dirty boots, prepare for the days of sandals.

9. Time for Patio Parties: Soon you will be enjoying your grill and patio again. It’s time to break out the outdoor furniture and soap them down. Wash the dirt and cobweb from storage away and air out any cushions you have in storage. Give everything a good look over is anything damaged? You don’t want summer guests falling through broken chairs!

10. Bring on the Sunshine: The heart of every spring cleaning checklist is cleaning windows. Don’t forget about window treatments they need to be cleaned just as much as the glass and screens. Wipe down your blinds with a rag and diluted all purpose cleaner. It’s not as difficult to clean curtains or drapes as you may think, many window treatments are machine washable, look at yours!

Feel refreshed after a long winter keep home organization in mind while you do your spring cleaning. Projects in the year to come will be easier to accomplish with a clean and organized home.

Heidi DeCoux is a productivity, organization & profitability consultant and creator of The Fast-Filing Method
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4 Reasons You Should Hire a Housecleaning Service

Do you love housecleaning? Most folks don’t, but admittedly, there are those few people out there who enjoy cleaning. But the majority of people cringe at the thought of housecleaning, even if it has become a daily routine. More and more people are discovering freedom from housecleaning by hiring a housecleaning service one or more times per week. There are some good reasons for hiring a professional to do your chores, including:

· You don’t have time to clean. Housecleaning takes an average of eight hours of time each week. That’s eight hours you could be spending with your kids, your dog, shopping, exercising or some other productive activity.

· You don’t have the stamina for deep cleaning. Deep cleaning takes even more time than traditional every day cleaning. Even if you don’t need a professional housecleaning service to come in weekly or bi-weekly, you can still use some help with deep cleaning, right? Whether it is cleaning carpets or cleaning windows, or getting your home holiday ready, hiring some help to ease the burden off your shoulders is usually money well-spent.

· You’re too tired or sick to clean. Perhaps you have gotten to the point that your physical health doesn’t allow you to clean like you wish you could. Or maybe you are experiencing an illness that has kept you from tidying up like you usually do. A professional housecleaning service can be a godsend for those times when you are unable to do your own housekeeping and don’t want to fall behind.

· Hiring help has never been more affordable. Contrary to what many people think, hiring housecleaning services is affordable for most budgets. You don’t have to have a huge bank roll or be wealthy to hire someone to help out.

Maid services or professional housecleaning services are more affordable than ever before, and hiring a vetted and seasoned helper is as usually a simple process.

For that reason, more and more folks are turning to help with housecleaning needs, whether it is a once-a-week deep cleaning or every-other-day service.

No time to clean? Hire the job out! Housecleaning services are not as costly as one might think and most maid service duties have rates that nearly anyone can afford!

These are just a few of the reasons that hiring housecleaning chores out is a good idea. Each person who is in need of services will have their own personal reasons for hiring competent, dependable and trustworthy housecleaning help.

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123’s of Roof Cleaning

Do’s and don’ts of pressure washing

Is pressure washing reserved for professionals or can anyone just buy a machine and start washing their roof? This is a quick guide on pressure washing while being safe and removing the destruction element form the equation. First you need to understand that there are varying types of power washers. Like the gentle pressure washers at the local car wash or Industrial machines that will cut a two by four in half. Home depot or Lowes carry the more common retail machines that are great for home use. The uncommon Industrial machines are reserved for commercial use and can cost any ware from three to five thousand dollars, and really are not meant for the average homeowner. These commercial machines are meant for High Rise and dome cleaning and have the propensity for destruction. The more economical choice for the do it yourselfers are the retail machines that are easy to use.

The 123s of cleaning

When pressure washing you need to pick the correct tip from the machine usually they will be color coded and will have the pressure scribed into the metal at the base of the tip. You should use a wide fan for most situations and surfaces. When cleaning wood or decking stay at least 12 inches away from the surface, and keep the fan wide and swath long. Using vinegar or bleach can help loosen any debris from the material and is usually a more cost effective choice than commercial grade cleaners. Keep in mind that bleach will turn your wood into a bright blonde so make sure this Is the desired effect your looking for. Gloves and a mask must be used especially if you have asthma or are in poor health. Alternatively you could scrub the mildew and mold from surfaces however not usually necessary if you are using the correct volume of water and pressure associated with the job. Roof cleaning is similar to the deck cleaning. Use correct pressure keep a safe distance and presoak if needed. Some other things you will need to worry about when cleaning roofs are the hazardous conditions. First tie off your ladder and make sure the tie is not obstructing your ability to get on and off the ladder with ease. Go to the top of the roof and set your anchor using duplex nails so they are easily removed or set a permanent roof anchors then cover them with ridge shingles to divert any and all water away from the nails you just put in the roof. You will need a lanyard and climbing equipment or an OSHA approved harness with clasps in the front as well as the back for ease of access. When ascending and descending the roofing area pay special attention to your climbing gear and make sure all carbineers are secured. Once you are all geared up, then get out your hoses and zinc sulfate, and bring it to the top of the roof along with any additional nozzles for gutter cleaning. Once you have the bulk of the roof cleaned wash the gutters, house, windows, and driveways. Remember that The cleanup is 90 percent of the job. Wear rain gear, gloves, and boots and most of all be safe out there at all costs.

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3 Reasons to Choose Non-Toxic Household Cleaners

1. Health Risks from Exposure

Most household cleaners in use today are made from petroleum-based solvents. As these solvents decompose they emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause headaches, dizziness, irritability, confusion, and irritation to the eyes, nose, throat and skin in even the smallest doses. Research has proven a correlation in cancer and prolonged exposure to these volatile organic compounds. Additionally, these cleaners and some plastics contain phalates. Phalates are chemicals are known hormone disruptors that can even be found in our drinking water.

When you are exposed to these chemicals it is incredibly taxing on your body’s immune system. By switching to non-toxic household cleaners you reduce the stress to your body’s immune system and free it to detoxify the body and use energy more efficiently for healing. For example, when you use toxic laundry detergents and fabric softeners to wash your clothes and sheets, you are exposing your body to noxious chemicals even when you are asleep and the body should be at rest. Additionally many of these chemicals place stress on neurological development in children and can even cause severe damage in adults. This can be prevented by switching to non-toxic household cleaners.

2. Accidental Poisoning

In addition to latent exposure to harmful chemicals, using petroleum-based cleaners also puts your children at risk of accidental poisoning if ingested. The EPA claims that hazardous cleaning products are the second most common source of poisonings in children. Over 80,000 children are hospitalized each year for ingesting household cleaners and an average of 39 children under the age of 5 lose their lives to chemical poisoning. Even adults have been treated for accidentally inhaling fumes from cleaners such as dishwasher detergent. It is not enough to switch to biodegradable and environmentally safe cleaners, they need to be human-safe as well. This means that if they are accidentally ingested they will not cause bodily harm.

3. Environmental Pollution

When you clean your sink with a toxic chemical it is usually rinsed down the drain and into our water system. Many people don’t realize the water that goes through our drainage systems is recycled and pumped back to us to be re-used in our showers and drinking water. The water does pass through purification plants, but no plant is able to completely remove unsafe toxins. By switching to non-toxic cleaners and persuading your friends to do the same, you are doing your part to reduce your community’s chemical exposure and improve our environmental health.

Learn more about the importance of using non-toxic cleaners [http://www.threebrancheshealth.com/articles/reducing-toxic-exposures-where-do-i-start/] in your home.

10 Reasons Why Should Hire A Professional Carpet Cleaning Service to Clean Your Carpets

Carpets add a lot of visual beauty to your space. Besides making your space look stylish, carpets also keep your home warm and reduce your heating bills. While attractive carpets can enhance the look of your room, an untidy carpet can single-handedly ruin the ambiance and appearance of the entire space. In order to ensure that the carpets influence your space positively, you need to get them cleaned by a professional cleaning service at least once in six months. Here are 10 reasons why.

Thorough job

Being professionals, the personnel from the cleaning service do a much thorough job of cleaning your carpets inside out. No inch of the carpet suffers from lack of cleaning.

Protection

The delicateness of carpets varies depending on their material and make. For instance, olefin carpets, tufted carpets and nylon carpets are tough. Natural wool or silk carpets are delicate. So, the process of cleaning them varies. Wrong methods can damage fibers in the carpet and reduce its longevity. Professionals are aware of these nuances and can clean your carpets without damaging them.

Precise cleaning methods

Carpet cleaning is a precise science. The proportions in which cleaning detergents are mixed, the pressure and power while steaming, and several other such requisites need to be followed while cleaning carpets. Professionals keep enhancing their knowledge and are equipped to use precise cleaning methods. Moreover, they own the right machinery for the job.

Apt treatment for different kinds of stains

Different stains need to be treated differently depending on their penetration and stubbornness. If you try and get rid of stubborn stains by using excessively concentrated solutions, your carpet can be seriously damaged. Professionals tackle stains individually and get them off the surface.

Steam wash

Steam wash, if not done right, can ruin the carpet and make it moldy. However, steaming is necessary in order to flush out dirt hidden deep in the fibers. It is best to leave the job to professionals.

Furniture safety

Thorough cleaning of carpets requires moving the furniture and other articles in the space. Professionals are trained to move these objects safely. They also dismantle and reassemble things if needed.

Complete sanitization

Cleaning a carpet is not all about getting rid of the dirt. You need to get rid of small mites, bugs and pests that could be stuck to the carpet fibers. If you have pets, you are sure to have such problems. Complete sanitization is crucial for the wellbeing of residents. Professionals do a thorough sanitization job.

Save time and effort

Hire a professional service and use your time for better things. Spend a great weekend with your family instead of slogging with cleaning detergents and tools. Moreover, professionals finish the job sooner and you have a good chunk of weekend available to have fun.

Results that lasts longer

Since professional cleaners do a thorough job, results of the cleaning last longer. Thorough cleaning once in six months is sufficient to keep the carpet looking good.

Green cleaning methods

In the recent times, several companies have adapted to green cleaning methods. These methods are not only good for the environment, but also great for your health. However, the process requires special skills and professionals are best at it.

Hiring a professional carpet cleaning service is definitely worth it.

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Raw dog food diet

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4 Tips to Making Bathroom Grout and Tile Cleaning Easier and A Lot More Fun

Although grout and tile cleaning should be done a regular basis, the truth is that off times grout cleaning can become meticulously dull. I spent two years professionally cleaning bathroom tile. Although it is not the best job I’ve ever had in my life, I did enjoy it most of the time. And now with these few tips, you can enjoy it too.

  1. Make sure you have a strong enough cleaner. This will allow you to get the job done a lot faster. I recently read a blog about how a guy took 8 hours to clean a shower. Of course he was using diluted vinegar. The truth is I would rather spend a couple of bucks on a decent cleaner, than waste my entire day cleaning grout. (Tilex and Soft scrub are good to start with, but you should always have a stronger commercial tile grout cleaner on hand just in case you get stuck cleaning a really bad stain.)
  2. Allow the grout cleaner 10-12 minutes to sink in, loosen the dirt, and kill the dirt and mildew that might be present in the tile. After that use a medium firm grout brush to take the remainder of the dirt out of the grout. Brush bristles work a lot better at getting out the dirt then do sponges and mops. An added benefit is that they also the dirt out rather then soak it in. Rinse and dry it off completely and your done!
  3. To have more fun when you
    http://groutcleaningdiy.com/how-to-clean-bathroom-grout-and-tile/”>clean bathroom grout, you should also try to listen to music. An MP3 or an i-pod work great, or you could just be old- fashioned like me and listen to talk radio. This really can make the time fly for you.
  4. Had the right equipment for your body. This includes gloves and eye protection. If you are planning on being on a hard tiled floor for a few hour buy a kneeling pad in the gardening department or some knee pads. Best Luck!

Learn more about
http://groutcleaningdiy.com/”>How to clean grout.

10 Tips to Zip Through Cleaning Your Bathroom

Mr. Clean never shows up with his “magic” to clean my bathroom for me, how about you? If the Scrubbing Bubbles don’t sweep through the scum in your bathroom by themselves, it’s time to get out the cleaning products and get that core done yourself!

I don’t know anyone that enjoys cleaning, let alone cleaning bathrooms. However, it is a necessity if you want to live in a clean environment. But it doesn’t have to be a laborious chore!

Here are some of my favorite tips to help make the job easier & faster:

  1. Paper Towels— Keep a roll of paper towels in your bathroom. You can even put up a paper towel rack on the back of a cupboard or linen closet door (if your linen closet is in the bathroom).
  2. Pop-Up Wipes— Keep a container of pop-up disinfecting wipes under the sink. Wipe down the sink and countertop after each use. Makes general cleaning easier.
  3. Under Sink Plastic Trays— These plastic trays make it easier to reach items (pull the trays forward to reach items at the back of the cupboard). They also protect the base of the cabinets from spills and leaks.
  4. Shower Saver Spray— Spray this on your shower area. It helps keep soap scum build up to a minimum between cleanings.
  5. Squeegee— A good squeegee will help keep shower doors clean and eliminate soap scum, mildew and water spots. Use after spraying with Shower Saver Spray. Hot steam is a good cleaner — make use of it and clean while you’re in the shower!
  6. Glass Cleaner— Keep an extra bottle of glass cleaner under the sink. You won’t have to lug cleaning supplies all over the house.
  7. Scrubber Sponge— Keep an all-purpose scrubber sponge in each bathroom under the sink. It’s easy to clean up as you go. Store the wet sponge in an old plastic drink cup to let it dry out between uses.
  8. Don’t Use— Disinfectant or soap scum/mildew removers on mirrors.
  9. Don’t Forget— To wipe down door knobs, switch plates, cabinet knobs, and toilet handle.
  10. Bleach Pen— Keep a bleach pen and old toothbrush handy for stains and spills on caulking.

For more information on great bathroom cleaning tips, visit
http://www.straighten-up-now.com/bathroom-cleaning-tips.html”>http://www.straighten-up-now.com/bathroom-cleaning-tips.html

If you have great bathroom cleaning tips (or other tips) of your own, pay it forward! You can always submit tips yourself for the benefit of others.

These organizing tips are provided by Shelly Morton, professional organizer and owner of Straighten-Up-Now.com and Messy Makeover Yahoo Group. Get other tips on Twitter and visit us on Facebook (become a fan)!

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/messymakeovers/

4 Tips To Choosing The Right Air Mover For Your Business

Air movers are extremely important pieces of restoration equipment that are used for dealing with water damage. This type of equipment is used to dry carpet, hardwood floors, dry wall and other surfaces damaged by flood. They often work in tandem with dehumidifiers to increase air-flow thereby causing more rapid evaporation. They can be used in all sized rooms including crawl spaces in need of increased ventilation. The features of an air mover vary by model but are basically the same.

Air movers are ideal for carpet cleaning and restoration projects. The challenge, however, is choosing the right unit for your business. The following are tips to aid in the decision process:

1. Motor size and speed – Models with a 1HP mover will ensure maximum airflow. It is also ideal to have one with multiple fan speed settings. Lower speeds are ideal when noise needs to be kept to a minimum and if the room is small. Higher speeds are ideal for those rooms that are larger and when noise is not a concern.

2. Quality construction and manoeuvrability- Air movers need to be built to last, with the use of durable material and an antimicrobial protective layer against mould and mildew. The need for transportation between areas calls for manoeuvrability, which is achieved through the attachment of wheels, especially on larger models.

3. Airflow – Airflow is very important because the rate of airflow will determine the rate of drying. The direction in which the air goes is also an aspect to consider. It is ideal to select a model that has the ability to set different drying positions. This feature allows the user to set the machine to the correct drying angle. Many units are stackable and can be placed in daisy chains for more air moving power.

4. Electrical safety – Units need to be grounded for electrical safety. Cords should be completely intact and not damaged. Damage to the machine can result in electrical danger.

If you own a carpet cleaning and restoration business,
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3 Self Realization Tips to Declutter Your House

Your house getting cluttered is nothing but result of your habits. These habits are developed from your child hood days or you would have inherited it from your parents or your surroundings. Friends and relatives and their habits also influence the habit and character which is very much related with this habit of cluttering the house.

You can follow the tips listed below which can help you to come out of this problem.

  1. Realize you are Procrastinating: Realize that you have a bad habit of procrastinating. A task or a thing which need to be done now has to be done now; it cannot be postponed to a later date of next week. You need to self realize that you are having this habit of procrastinating. Now every moment you realize and any task which you need to do just do it then and there. Practice this religiously for next 21 days. Why 21 days is because if you can do for the next 21 days, it will naturally become a habit and you shall start enjoying it.
  2. Realize you have Hoarding Habit: You have to look around your house and see how many things are really useful for you. You have just brought it and kept it without even using it for the value you have purchased. Do not further entertain this habit. Next time when you are tempted to buy or accumulate something, pause for a moment and think if it is really necessary. Think twice before you buy anything and then decide if you really require it. Whatever you have already accumulated, you need to go through each and every item and categorize it if you really require it or it is just a collection which you have kept. If it is of second category dispose it off either by gifting to someone or donating it or trashing it.
  3. Realize you are fighting against yourself: These clutter are nothing but your own habit. You need to realize that you are fighting against yourself. After you have decluttered your house as mentioned in the first two points, try to reach at an optimum level of your house. Once this is done never allow any new item to enter your house till you have disposed off something existing. By developing this habit you will have minimum inventory of things in your house. Avoid distraction and focus continuously, keep telling the word you are decluttering the house again and again.

By doing this, you not only clear your house but also develop a habit of not accumulating clutter further. This is very good and work in long-term.

Madhan is a Clutter Management expert. To subscribe for FREE Newsletter and to have great information on
http://www.clearyourclutters.com/organizing-a-home-checklist/”>declutter house, Please do visit us at
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