Category: Cleaning

Spring Cleaning Projects You Don’t Want to Forget

Spring cleaning is an annual tradition in many households. After a winter spent cooped up indoors, spring cleaning can rejuvenate a household and provide a great chance to rid a home of a season’s worth of clutter.

Donating old clothes and cleaning out the garage are popular spring cleaning projects, but there are a host of additional tasks homeowners can tackle to freshen up their homes this spring.

Floors

Simply vacuuming or sweeping the floors might not be enough to banish some of winter’s most uninvited guests. Dust has a way of settling into a home over the course of a typical winter, and it’s easy for a home’s inhabitants to track dirt and debris inside as well. After vacuuming or sweeping floors, go over them with a mop. Doing so can remove any lingering dust, dirt, debris, and allergens the vacuum or broom failed to pick up. Apply wood cleaner and polish to wood floors to make them look even cleaner.

Baseboards

Though baseboards might not seem all that dirty, upon closer inspection homeowners might notice substantial accumulations of dirt and dust. Such dirt and dust many not be removed so easily, so homeowners might need to use hot water and a sponge to remove any debris that is clinging.

Curtains

Curtains also may have absorbed substantial amounts of dust, dirt and debris over the winter. This might be more visible near the end of winter when more sunlight begins to shine through. Clean the curtains in adherence to the manufacturer instructions before you open windows for the season so any wind that blows in does not spread debris onto nearby furniture. Once the curtains have been washed, opening windows may help them dry more quickly.

Bathrooms

Bathrooms also tend to bear the brunt of winter weather, as mold and grime can accumulate throughout a season in which it’s too cold to open bathroom windows to let fresh air in after bathing. Inspect ceilings, tubs, shower stalls, and floors for any signs of mold growth or grime. Mold growth in a home can lead to respiratory problems and exacerbate existing conditions such as asthma, so it’s best to inspect bathrooms for any signs of mold growth throughout winter. If you have let that slip, prioritize such inspections come spring cleaning time.

Furniture

It’s easy to overlook furniture when tackling spring cleaning, but dust and dirt can quickly accumulate on couches and chairs over the course of winter. When possible, vacuum furniture to remove any debris that might have accumulated while windows and doors were kept shut, and shampoo any cushions or seat covers that don’t pass the smell test.

Spring cleaning encompasses a host of tasks, and homeowners who want a truly clean house should not overlook smaller tasks that can produce big results. SH162853

3 Ways to Improve Air Quality All Year Long

As winter wears on, it’s not uncommon for people living in cold weather climates to experience some cabin fever. Winter weather confines many people to their homes, making many antsy to get out once the first signs of spring begin to appear.

In addition to contributing to cabin fever, winter weather can have a negative impact on indoor air quality. While air pollution is something most often associated with densely populated cities, the air inside homes is not immune to pollution, especially during long winters when windows are often closed for months at a time. Though open windows in spring and summer can vastly improve indoor air quality, there are ways to ensure that air stays fresh and healthy regardless of which season it happens to be.

1. Clean the floors.

Dirty floors are one of the chief contributors to poor indoor air quality. Dust, dirt, pollen, and pet dander can accumulate on floors, leading to poor air quality and potentially aggravating respiratory conditions such as asthma. When vacuuming, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, which is a uniquely designed mechanical air filter that traps harmful particles such as pollen, pet dander and dust mites. When you finish vacuuming, mop floors to gather any dust or allergens that escaped the vacuum.

2. Control indoor air moisture.

Moist air is great for dust mites and mold, both of which are very bad for humans, so do everything you can to maintain healthy levels of indoor air moisture. Dehumidifiers can reduce indoor air moisture and control allergens, but it’s important to take additional steps as well. When bathing, try to keep a bathroom window open on a slight crack to prevent mold growth. When preparing meals in the kitchen, make use of your exhaust fan. In addition, don’t overwater houseplants, as they can become breeding grounds for mold.

3. Resist synthetic fragrances.

A home that smells good tends to feel more pleasant, especially during winter months when windows are closed. But synthetic fragrances, such as those found in detergents and air fresheners, may be providing that welcoming scent at a heavy cost to a home’s inhabitants. Such fragrances may be emitting various chemicals, including volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, into the air, affecting indoor air quality and possibly even human health. When buying laundry products, look for those that are fragrance-free, also choosing home cleaning products that do not include any artificial fragrances.

Indoor air quality tends to suffer in colder months, when windows are closed and doors are open only briefly. But homeowners can take a handful of simple yet effective steps to ensure the air in their homes is healthy all year long. SH162846

Make Garage Organization Go Smoothly

Garages tend to fall victim to disorganization during the winter, when homeowners want to hurry inside and get some respite from the cold. As a result, many homeowners resolve to clean their garages come springtime.

Cleaning a disorganized garage overcome with clutter can be an all-day job, so homeowners would be wise to reserve a springtime Saturday or Sunday to get their garages back in order. Upon designating ample time to clean their garages, homeowners can then utilize a few additional tips to make the project go as smoothly as possible.

· Empty the garage. The first step when organizing a garage is to empty it completely. Old machinery and rusted lawn and garden tools have a way of disappearing in garages, and those items may remain there for years if the garage is never emptied. Once you have emptied the garage, you might be surprised to learn just how much or even how little space you have to work with.

· Clean the garage top to bottom. After you have emptied the garage, give it a thorough cleaning. Cleaning the garage serves multiple purposes. A clean garage is less likely to be overcome with dirt and/or critters, both of which can contribute to the deterioration of tools and machinery stored in the garage. In addition, you may be less likely to let a clean garage fall back into disorganization, saving you the trouble of reorganizing the garage next spring.

· Look up. Many homeowners fail to make adequate use of the vertical space in their garages. But keeping items off the floor can make it easier to clean the garage and will provide more room for your car or other machinery you don’t want to leave in the driveway or a backyard shed. Install shelves so you can more safely store automotive fluids and cleaners, and hang some hooks or hammer a few nails into the garage walls so you can hang tools like rakes and garden shears.

· Group tools by season. Grouping tools by season can make for a more organized garage and one less likely to be overcome with clutter. Designate one corner of the garage for lawn and gardening tools and another for winter tools like snow shovels or snowblowers. This makes it easier to find tools when you need them. When grouping tools, you can also group items by who uses them. For example, parents can designate one area of the garage for their tools, while kids can get their own area for their toys and bicycles.

· Resolve to park in the garage. One of the best ways to keep a garage organized is to park your vehicle or vehicles inside the garage each night. Parking in a garage protects your vehicle(s) from the elements, and you also won’t be tempted to leave items lying around on the garage floor if you know you will eventually be pulling your vehicle in.

A few simple strategies can make springtime garage organization more effective and efficient.

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Top Organizing Tips

Tired of clutter? Can’t find what you need? Time to get organized! Getting organized can be simpler than it seems. Here is some top advice we found when it comes to getting back on track!

*Vacuum seal bulky items like winter sweaters and blankets during the summer to save space!

*Declutter your countertop by adding hanging utensil containers from the kitchen wall & magnet spice holders on the fridge!

*Consider re-selling or donating gently used items to a local charity

*Tackle the junk drawer! Use a silverware holder to organize miscellaneous items.

Ways to Save Money In the New Year

The Potentially Harmful Effects of Mold in your Home

The presence of mold in a home is a sight few homeowners want to see. In addition to being unsightly, mold found in a home can be unhealthy.

While certain cleaners may prove effective at removing mold, homeowners who want to remove existing mold growths and prevent future growths may benefit from gaining a greater understanding of mold and why it grows inside homes.


What is mold?

Mold is a blanket term used to describe fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. Many species of mold exist, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that some estimates suggest there may be more than three hundred thousand different species of mold. Common indoor molds include cladosporium, penicillium, alternaria, and aspergillus.

Which conditions promote mold growth?

Homeowners may notice that mold tends to grow in specific areas of their homes but not in others, and that’s because molds grow best in certain conditions. Warm, damp and humid conditions, such as those found in poorly ventilated bathrooms and basements, make ideal breeding grounds for mold.

What are the effects of mold exposure?

Molds are a natural and resilient part of the environment, but mold growth indoors should be addressed and avoided. Mold spores are tiny and invisible to the naked eye, and when these spores attach to wet surfaces, they begin to grow. Once these spores begin to grow, they can then affect people in various ways. Roughly a decade ago, the Institute of Medicine found sufficient evidence to support a link between exposure to indoor mold and respiratory tract issues, such as coughing and wheezing in people who were otherwise healthy. The same report found that mold may trigger asthma symptoms among people with asthma and hypersensitivity pneumonitis, a disease in which the lungs are inflamed when a person breathes in certain dusts he or she is allergic to, in people susceptible to that condition.

Some people who do not have a preexisting condition can still be sensitive to molds. When exposed to mold, such people may experience symptoms like nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation.

How can exposure to mold be decreased at home?

Adequate ventilation is arguably homeowners’ best friend with regard to reducing mold exposure at home. Control humidity levels in areas of the home that tend to be warm and humid, such as the kitchen and bathroom. Install an exhaust fan in the kitchen and bathroom and a window in the bathroom if yours does not already have one.

The CDC recommends that humidity levels be no higher than 50 percent throughout the day, and an air conditioner and dehumidifier can help you keep indoor humidity levels in check, especially during the summer when humidity levels tend to be their highest of any time during the year.

When renovating your home, remove any existing carpeting from bathrooms and basements and toss out soaked carpets or upholstery as well. If painting will be part of your home renovation projects, add mold inhibitors to paints prior to application.


Mold that grows inside a home is unsightly and potentially unhealthy. But concerned homeowners can take several reactive and proactive steps to reduce existing mold growths and prevent them from returning in the future.


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The Many Uses For Vinegar

Check your kitchen pantry and you will probably find a bottle of vinegar. While this substance can add much-needed tang to favorite recipes and even improve the leavening function of some baking ingredients, its power extends far beyond the kitchen.

Many are surprised upon learning how much vinegar can do. A sour-tasting liquid that contains acetic acid, vinegar can be used as a cleaning product and an influential ingredient in many recipes. Vinegar also is relatively inexpensive, making it a cost-effective home staple.

If you are ready to get more from that versatile vinegar in your kitchen pantry, explore the following ways to put it to use.nhhxjwub

Cleaning

Vinegar is an effective cleaning fluid, perhaps best known for producing streak-free windows. Vinegar also can dissolve dirt from painted walls and remove grime from woodwork.

By boiling 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar in the microwave with a cup of water, you can loosen splattered-on food and deodorize the appliance. Vinegar also can be used to deodorize garbage disposals, coffee makers and kitchen drains. It’s an effective means to removing pet odors from carpeting as well.

Around the bathroom, use vinegar to remove soap scum film from shower doors and tile surfaces. Remove stubborn toilet bowl stains as well. Corrosion and hard water can clog showerheads, and by soaking the shower nozzle in vinegar overnight, you can dislodge any material.

You can rely on vinegar when cleaning up around your home office as well. Vinegar can help clean sticky scissor blades or remove ballpoint-pen marks from surfaces. A vinegar-and-water solution can be used to clean keyboards and other electronic equipment. Apply with a damp cloth rather than spraying the solution directly onto the electronics.

Lawn and garden

Vinegar makes an effective weed deterrent and can kill grass that grows between the cracks on sidewalks and driveways.

Acid-loving plants, such as rhododendrons or azaleas, can benefit from a little vinegar mixed in when watering.

If you want to keep ants at bay, use vinegar when cleaning outdoor patio furniture or spray it around areas that are susceptible to ant infestations. You may find the ants steer clear of the smell.

Health and beautynb6iszv0

Some people say that vinegar can be used as an appetite suppressant. Using it on prepared foods may help you to eat less.

Vinegar is handy for relieving the pains associated with sunburns and jellyfish stings. Dot irritated areas with vinegar to relieve pain and itching.

Because vinegar can act as an antibacterial, gargling it can alleviate some throat ailments. Even if it can’t prevent illness, a vinegar gargle can soothe throat soreness. Apple cider vinegar also may help soothe an upset stomach. Use two teaspoons of the vinegar to one cup of water.

Some people have used vinegar to soften skin and remove corns from feet. It also may dissolve warts. Be sure to check with a doctor before using vinegar to verify its safety with regard to your particular situation.

In addition to each of these uses, vinegar is handy in the laundry room, helping to remove stains and rinse detergents from fabrics more easily.


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Get Started on Spring Cleaning

Warmer temperatures and longer hours of sunlight can recharge energy levels. Upon the arrival of spring, homeowners dust off their to-do lists and charge ahead with renewed vigor.

But before homeowners can get started on renovation projects, many must tame the existing mess that may have built up over the winter. Spring is a great time to dive into spring cleaning projects and ready a home for a season of renovation and remodeling.

Getting started on spring cleaning can be a tad overwhelming. In 2012, OnePoll asked 1,000 adults living in the United Kingdom how they felt about spring cleaning, and 41 percent of those surveyed found spring cleaning a daunting process while 68 percent had negative feelings about spring cleaning. But in spite of that initial lack of enthusiasm, respondents said they felt happy and more organized once they finished their spring cleaning. Establishing a plan and setting reachable goals can make spring cleaning a lot less daunting.

towels· Set aside several days for spring cleaning. A long weekend is a great time to do some spring cleaning, as having consecutive days to clean will reduce the chances you grow distracted.

· Make a list and purchase all of the supplies you will need. Again, this will help you stay on course, rather than going out to the store to pick up cleaners or organizational systems.

· Try to set reasonable goals. Even if you hope to clean the entire house, stick to the one or two rooms that are most desperate for your attention. Divide each task into a series of steps so when you complete each step you will feel proud that you’re making progress.

· Create your musical playlist. A playlist full of your favorite songs can provide some inspiration and energy to push you through the spring cleaning when your enthusiasm starts to wane. The music also may take your mind off of the work ahead and help to pass the time.vacuumm

· Start from the top and work downward. Follow a logical cleaning order. Begin by dusting away cobwebs and lighting fixtures. Clean light switches and walls. Empty closets and then restock them in a more organized fashion. Leave the furniture and flooring for last, as dirt and dust may accumulate on furniture and flooring as you clean other areas of the home.

· Be prepared to bid adieu to some of your stuff. Have a few trash bags at the ready. Reorganize items you won’t be keeping into separate piles, with one pile for items you plan to donate and another for those items you will discard. Donate what you can and promptly put the remainder of the items at the curb for pickup.

· Stay fed and hydratedCleaning can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Take breaks to fuel up on food and always have a refreshing beverage close by. SH152933

Top 5 Home Improvements for Fall

It’s not just springtime when we think about clearing out clutter and getting the house and yard back in order. Fall is often a great time for an overhaul or at-home refresh. With winter on the way, it’s important to be prepped for the elements, both indoors and out.Top 5 Fall Home Improvements

    Roof & Gutter

– Clear debris from your roof & gutter now before the leaves really start to fall! Leaves can clog gutters, leading to later issues and downed branches and debris on rooftops can also be hazardous during the upcoming winter months.

    Windows & Doors

– Check doors and windows for drafts. Cool breezes coming through unwanted cracks between doors and windows can lead to higher heating costs and more $ out of your pocket.

    Outdoor Furniture

– Clean patio furniture and store for the winter. Put away furniture now before it gets frost or rain damage from stormy Fall and Winter weather.

    Prep Lawn & Garden for Winter

– Rake leaves, pull weeds and add a rich bedding of compost and mulch to summer gardens. This allows nutrients to restore naturally and get ready for next year’s growing season.

    Prep Fireplace / Wood Stove

– Tackle it yourself or call a professional but maintaining your winter heat source is a must! Clean old soot and debris to prep for wintertime use.

Not only can you gain peace of mind, knowing you’re prepped for winter, you can also make some extra $ listing your extra gear in the local classifieds!

Fresh Finds – Organize & Clean

Our Fresh Finds today features local businesses and Franklin Shopper classifieds to help you organize, de-clutter and clean!

Getting rid of large items?  Call Nathan’s Dependable Service! *Local junk removal and coupon offer for Franklin Shopper readers!

Wanting to re-sell some of your old furniture, antiques, yard and home goods – just about anything goes! List your classified ad in the Franklin Shopper – special 3 wk. guaranteed listing, only $10!

Once the clutter is clear, call Good Life Cleaning Services for a full home or office refresh! *Franklin Shopper readers get 15% off first service + Free estimate!

Local Ads:

HOOSIER STYLE CABINET ; PAINTED, FLOUR/SUGAR BINS, SPICE RACK, ENAMEL PULLOUT COUNTER $395 CALL 717-300-3871

WALL UNIT, 4 -piece Broyhill sectional, 100-inches, oak with lots of space and shelving. Showpiece in good condition. $165 717-352-4551.

WOODEN COMPUTER DESK , fits nicely into small spaces,75-1/4″Hx30″Wx22″D, has upper & lower cabinets, $120 717-401-0330.

USED WOODEN MAGAZINE rack. $25.00 717-372-1840

Get Organized – How to De-Clutter

Spring cleaning is not just for spring! Summer, fall & winter – no matter what time of year, an organizational over-haul can have a huge uplifting advantage on your life! A quick refresh of your home, office or outdoor space can not only be a stress-reliever, but you can also $ave by shopping smart or even consider re-selling unused items for a fun bonus!

Start simple – Dedicate 5-10 mins. a day to cleaning / de-cluttering & you’ll soon notice what a difference it makes! choose one item to donate / re-sell everyday, and in no time you’ll be back to an organized space with only items you actually use & love!

Let go of sentiment – While you may love reminiscing about your old high-school days, do you really need to keep all 15 fundraiser t-shirts?  Or maybe stuffed animals have been piling up to an uncontrollable mountain of fluff? That must-have gadget from Christmas already collecting dust? Consider re-selling or donating unused items.

Feel good about clearing out your space when you re-sell or donate your used items. Pick your price to re-sell, or list as free, and you’ll be sure to find a new home for your “clutter” in no time!

Spring / summer cleaning does not mean you have to get rid of everything, rather, try creative tips & tricks that can help organize your items so they will be more useful & easier to find than ever!

Use velcro tape to stick tv remotes to the side of your tv! You’ll never be searching the living room again!

Mason jars can be helpful holders for pantry staples, craft supplies or even screws & nails! Try this tutorial to make your own Mason Jar Organizer (featured on the DIY Playbook).

Use a wall-mounted coat rack to display necklaces & scarves! Instant organization & wall decor as well!

Do you have an organizing tip to share? Leave your advice in the Comment section below!