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Tag Archives: spring cleaning

The Art of the Tweak: Small Change but Big Home Improvement

Chris enlisted her 10-year-old neighbor, Alice Doyle Taylor, to help her make new bathroom curtains. Photo: Chris Bjorklund, 2016

Chris enlisted her 10-year-old neighbor, Alice Doyle Taylor, to help her make new bathroom curtains. Photo: Chris Bjorklund, 2016

As I mentioned in last month’s newsletter, I’ve been busy having three bedrooms and a bathroom painted, which forced me to clean out my closets. The project was time-consuming, but I’m happy to say I didn’t spend a lot of money. It made our home more aesthetically pleasing and I’m looking forward to having houseguests again.

That got me thinking about other little things my husband and I could do to spruce things up that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. Continue reading “The Art of the Tweak: Small Change but Big Home Improvement” »

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Posted in Consumer News, Home improvement, Home Tips, Savvy Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Time to Tidy Up!

Decluttering your home can make you realize how much extra stuff you’ve accumulated, like these bobbleheads Chris found.

Decluttering your home can make you realize how much extra stuff you’ve accumulated, like these bobbleheads Chris found.

I’ve been tidying up my house since mid-January. To be truthful, I didn’t intentionally set out to declutter and reorganize my home. Instead, it was a byproduct of my latest home improvement project. After nine years, it was time to re-paint a bathroom, three bedrooms and all the closets in my house. Every organizer will tell you to completely empty your closets and then edit the things you’re going to put back into them. So, that’s how my tidying got started. Now, I’m continuing to tackle other rooms and even our garage. I’m on a roll!

Popular organizing books suggest only keeping things that you truly love and giving or throwing away everything else. This is easier said than done, but it’s a good starting point. Continue reading “Time to Tidy Up!” »

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Spring Cleaning: Simple Ways to Brighten, Freshen and Rejuvenate Your Home

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Spring cleaning provides an opportunity for you to make the most of your home’s aesthetic qualities. Photo: Sara Hunt Malone Design (2015)

April is here, which means it’s once again time to engage in the longstanding domestic ritual known as spring cleaning. In addition to tackling annual maintenance tasks like cleaning your carpets and flushing your water heater, spring cleaning offers a chance to optimize your home for enjoying the temperate weather and extended daylight. Here are some simple things you can do to brighten, freshen and rejuvenate your home.

Brighten
During the sunny season, you’ll want to bring as much light as possible into your home. Start by washing your windows. Regardless of the tools or methodology you employ (most professionals recommend using a squeegee and a 100 percent cotton cloth), there are a couple of important rules to follow. First, don’t clean your windows in direct sunlight—they’ll dry too fast. Also, when it comes to hard-to-reach windows, your safest bet is to hire a professional. Continue reading “Spring Cleaning: Simple Ways to Brighten, Freshen and Rejuvenate Your Home” »

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Spring Garden Maintenance

Everyone knows about “spring cleaning,” but not many people know that the term applies to gardens as well as houses. By taking a few preparatory measures, you can ensure your garden and its systems will be healthy and functioning properly all season long.

Take simple steps to prepare your garden for the spring. Photo: Masterpiece Gardens & Design, Inc. (2014)

Take simple steps to prepare your garden for the spring. Photo: Masterpiece Gardens & Design, Inc. (2014)

The first thing to do is inspect your irrigation systems. By the end of winter, your sprinkler and drip systems will have been inactive for several months, during which time debris may have accumulated in the apertures. Continue reading “Spring Garden Maintenance” »

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Happy Spring and Happy Scrubbing

When was the last time you vacuumed under and behind your refrigerator? It’s amazing how much crud builds up back there, as I discovered while getting a start on my spring cleaning. As I scrubbed away, I began thinking about the origin of this annual ritual.

To find out more, I called Ernie Andrade, owner of Allbright Maintenance Services, a Diamond Certified company. He told me that the idea originated in China. The Chinese clean homes in anticipation of the New Year. A thorough cleaning eliminates bad luck and misfortune from the previous year. In Jewish custom, Passover, which comes around April, is a time of house cleaning as well. And when homes were heated with coal, wood and oils in the winter, families waited until spring to remove soot, ash, and the smell of smoke from walls, ceilings, fabric and furniture.

Nowadays we spring clean to celebrate bright days, fresh air, and blooming flowers and trees. Cleaning protects our investment and saves us money by preserving floors, carpets, and furniture. Removing dust and allergens is better for our health. Living in a clean and organized home eliminates stress, and we can feel proud when we welcome others into our homes.

Happy scrubbing!

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Take Simple Steps to Maintain Your Upholstery

Preventative measures and regular maintenance go a long way toward preserving the beauty of your upholstery. To increase your upholstery’s longevity and keep it looking like new, consider the following tips:

Photo: JC Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, 2016

Photo: JC Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, 2016

Dust and clean upholstery on a weekly basis. Use the brush attachment on your vacuum to remove dirt from all the corners and folds of your upholstery. Remember to clean the back and legs to maintain a consistent finish.

Only use manufacturer-recommended cleaners. Every piece of upholstered furniture has a care label that indicates the cleaning materials that are safe to use on it. Make sure you follow these instructions. If the recommended clean
er doesn’t take care of a stain, have it professionally cleaned.

Test any cleaning material before you use it. Incompatible cleaners can discolor or permanently damage your upholstery, so it’s important to always test a small amount of cleaner in a hidden area such as underneath the upholstery or the back of the legs.

Tend to spills immediately. It’s important to quickly take care of accidents before the upholstery and its underlying padding absorb the spilled matter. Blot the affected area with a clean paper towel—never rub; it’ll spread the stain. If that doesn’t work, follow up with a dry cleaning solvent or mild detergent (apply the suds on the stain, not the liquid).

Rotate cushions. To prevent your cushions from assuming an uneven, pressed look, remove and rotate them every few weeks. If the cushion covers are removable and the weather is favorable, leave them out in the sun for a few hours to remove dust and bacteria. Continue reading “Take Simple Steps to Maintain Your Upholstery” »

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Happy Spring and Happy Scrubbing

 
When was the last time you vacuumed under and behind your refrigerator? It’s amazing how much crud builds up back there, as I discovered while getting a start on my spring cleaning.  As I scrubbed away, I began thinking about the origin of this annual ritual.
 
The idea originated in China. The Chinese clean homes in anticipation of the New Year. A thorough cleaning eliminates bad luck and misfortune from the previous year. In Jewish custom, Passover, which comes around April, is a time of house cleaning as well. And when homes were heated with coal, wood and oils in the winter, families waited until spring to remove soot, ash, and the smell of smoke from walls, ceilings, fabric and furniture.
 
Nowadays, we spring clean to celebrate bright days, fresh air, and blooming flowers and trees. Cleaning protects our investment and saves us money by preserving floors, carpets, and furniture. Removing dust and allergens is better for our health. Living in a clean and organized home eliminates stress, and we can feel proud when we welcome others into our homes.

 Leave a comment

Posted in Landscaping Tips | Tags: