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    this vision List what things will be in this room And think of ways to house these better Do you have furniture elsewhere that will would make this room more functional Measure your space before you buy anything Step 2 Declutter the area Throw out any trash laying around Put out of season things like gardening supplies or outdoor sports equipment elsewhere Things that the kids no longer need or use can be given away Look around the room is everything either laundry area or landing area type things like shoes backpacks coats Rooms like this can become a catch all Is anything in this area unused or really ugly What else can you declutter Step 3 Clean it Depending on your style you may want to take just about everything out to do a good cleaning Or for the extremely time limited do a quick wipe down and sweep Step 4 Coats hats gloves shoes We don t have a coat closet so our coats are hung on hooks Where will your coats go For hats and gloves each person can have their own bin Or a cute holder with clothespins can hang gloves to dry especially if the kids play in the snow often We take off our shoes when we enter the house to make things cleaner We used to just toss them but ended up with a big pile of shoes Now we have a wooden cubby system where each family member gets a couple of cubbies for their shoes The rest are in our rooms It was adjustable so we have a tall spot for a pair of work boots and flip flops can go in the smaller sections There is an extra skinny section on top that we put things like flashlights folded up umbrellas and baseball caps Since we live in Michigan a plastic rack for snowy boots is a must If you have the room a bench either over the shoes or a chair ottoman near the shoes is helpful so you don t have to do the one legged dance as you put on your shoes If you use an ottoman you can get one with storage in the middle Bonus Step 5 Backpacks and school stuff You can put backpacks on hooks as well We did that until the kid s backpacks became too heavy with books as they got older Now they take them to their rooms where they do their homework A shelf on the wall is good for lunchboxes water bottles etc Or if the kids bins are big enough like below they can put them there Do you have a spot for a briefcase or purse if you want one Step 6 Sports equipment and other activities A trash can for baseball bats balls etc will keep those in order You can hang up tennis rackets on the walls Same with skiis This suggestion is more useful for people that have a mudroom or porch not for a small entryway We have a small bookshelf on our porch for remote control cars a bucket of croquet balls and smaller outdoor toys that tend to get thrown around For sports equipment that is taken to school or training a duffel bag for each sport and each kid will make it easier than trying to use one bag per kid and changing things out each time My mother in law made a great bag with soccers on it for my son where he kept all his soccer equipment These can also be hung on hooks on the wall I have tote bags for my things as well Kid s Hope Sunday School a health group etc We also have a tote bag for the library books My tote bags are kept in hooks in my office since we don t have room in our entryway for them Step 7 Keys Have a bowl or rack to put your keys so you aren t hunting for them when you leave We put our cat leash there as well Step 8 Paper Where do you throw the mail school papers etc that you get each day If you throw them in the entryway you might as well have a place for them Have an in out slot on the wall for incoming mail and outgoing signed permission strips If you throw paper elsewhere put an in box out box there instead A heavy basket is good for magazines here in the living room or whereever you like to keep your magazines Step 9 Trash A wastebasket in every room of the home keeps garbage from getting left all over The entryway is a great place to put a trash can so people can empty their pockets or purses And let go of junk mail right away Step 10 Mirror A mirror to do a quick face check before you go out is helpful but not essential Step 11 Do not forget list On the door or next to the door tape a list of things you don t want to forget backpack lunch purse library books etc Scanning the list before you go can save you lots of time driving home Have the kids look at the list before they leave as well Step 12 Anything else Is there anything that you use the room for As you can see it is a matter of using the room for its purpose and making sure everything has a spot so it isn t a mess of things thrown around And you don t have to buy entrance organizers You probably have things around your home you can use Though our shoe cubby has been so helpful Think of the things that were in the entryway that didn t belong How did they get there Maybe they actually do belong there You want to organize according to your lifestyle not opposed to it Is this the place where the messageboard control center is going to be Will you need a place for gardening supplies come spring Is there a place for everything Now Maintain Places which have a mishmash of different purposes can be difficult to keep looking clean As the kids get home from school or you get home from work check to see that everyone has put their things in their spots instead of throwing them onto the floor If not they stop what they are doing and fix it Eventually they will get tired of that and put them away on their own Have mail time to go through that mail Do a quick sweep at dinner time And have floor mats outside the door and inside the door to keep more dirt out After shopping create the habit of putting things away before sitting down to rest Then weekly as a family do a quick pick up It probably won t take more than 5 10 minutes And then someone can mop Entryways mudrooms and laundry rooms don t always get on our weekly cleaning list But they may be the messiest parts of the home Equipped with a solid plan for organizing and decluttering the entryway you will find it easier to maintain a tidy entryway than you thought Whether your entryway is in the front or the back of your home whether your entryway is large or small maintaining a clutter free entryway will make a favorable impression on visitors and function as a comfortable transition area to the living areas in your home Tagged under Read More Monday 27 June 2011 00 00 Yard Sale Advertising Tips for a Successful Yard Sale When spring comes around and the sun is shining we all get the urge to do some spring cleaning or at least we feel that we need to do some spring cleaning Spring cleaning inevitably means that you will find things in your home that you didn t know you had and that you wish you didn t have This is when a yard sale comes into play as well as yard sale advertising Yard sales with the help of yard sale advertising allow you to get rid of all those unwanted items you found in your home after you did some serious spring cleaning But you don t want to have an unsuccessful yard sale you want your yard sale to have as much foot traffic as possible In order to attract any potential customer there needs to be advertising yard sale advertising The purpose of yard sales is to get rid of as much unwanted stuff that you can and after your spring cleaning is done you probably have a lot of unwanted things lying around There is also a purpose to yard sale advertising So what do you think the purpose of yard sale advertising is Yard sale advertising is so important because it will bring more foot traffic to your yard sale and that means more potential customers that will buy your unwanted things The following article from AllThingsThrifty com offers some fantastic yard sale advertising tips that will ensure the most successful yard sale possible Top 15 Yard Sale Advertising Tips Good afternoon peeps I hope you are all having a great day Spring time is here and with Spring comes Spring cleaning and with cleaning de junking comes YARD SALES Since yard sales can be a GREAT environment to find treasures for your home and can be a great way to de junk while earning some cash today I d like to give some yard sale tips on how to host the most successful yard sale possible You may not know this about me but I went to college and graduated with my Bachelor s degree in advertising and public relations Not only that but while getting my Masters degree I even TAUGHT advertising for a few semesters I bet you didn t know I was a school nerd did ya Over the years I have taught a lot of friends and family how to host a successful yard sale A lot of those people have told me that my strategies are great In fact it s pretty funny when we have a yard sale because the chatter always begins with Man who did your advertising no joke You may think my strategies are a bit over kill But with tried and trusted experience if you follow these tips I know your yard sale will be more successful than if you hadn t Some have a hard time taking the time to properly promote their yard sale and as a result they don t have as much foot traffic Without a lot of foot traffic then you simply don t sell as much stuff The main goal of the yard sale is to get rid of as much stuff as possible right Not only will my tips help you get the maximum amount of foot traffic as possible but they will also help you sell more stuff once customersget to your yard sale Tip 1 Make your posters BIG Ok how BIG you say From the main road or roads that will bring the most traffic you need a poster board sized sign Yep the size of the poster board which is 22 X 28 most of the time Don t cut it in half you need to get as much attention as possible on the busiest road near your home Tip 2 You need TWO big posters to catch the attention on your busiest road near your home One for the traffic going one way and one for the traffic headed the opposite way For example if that busy road heads North and South you need one to grab those vehicles heading North and one to grab those vehicles heading South If you only put one poster to direct traffic then you potentially lose out on half of your foot traffic right from the start A great way to do this is with a large A frame sign Tip 3 Use balloons on your large signs I m telling ya the more people that you can get to look at your signs the more people you will have to actually turn off the road and head your way A great compliment that I love to hear is I wasn t even planning on going to a yard sale today but your signs caught my eye Tip 4 Include your address the date and hours of your yard sale on your sign Some people may not want to waste their time if they are not sure the sale is still going on Let s be honest here we need to make it as easy as possible for people to want to come to your sale We need to fill in the blanks in every way Tip 5 Use one color of poster throughout your advertising campaign If you go with a pink poster then every poster needs to be pink Don t change from pink to yellow to orange to white It potentially confuses your traffic If you stay consistent with one color then your traffic knows they are headed to the correct yard sale not a different yard sale nearby Tip 6 Write BIG with Black marker Make sure that your posters can be read clearly from a long distance away Remember that if your poster cannot be read by a passenger in a vehicle driving by then you potentially missed out on that person making it to your yard sale You d be surprised how many signs I have seen that are written in pen and unless I was 12 inches away I wouldn t be able to read it Tip 7 Guide your traffic every 2 blocks with arrows Remember that using the same color of poster board is key here If your posters are pink than a bright bold pink and black arrow reassures them that they are still on the correct path to your sale Think of the arrows as little reassurances that say almost there or you are still on the right path I have given up the hunt to find yard sales a lot if I think I m lost Who knows I may have been a block away but if I don t see arrows and I ve been driving for awhile I assume I m not going to find it and give up Remember we are trying to make it as easy as possible to find your sale Tip 8 Along with marking a clear map with arrows you need to plaster your town with yard sale signs I suggest to hang up at least 10 other signs in popular areas to inform others that you are having a yard sale I suggest these signs to be half a poster board Also advertise your sale on Craigslist Spreading the word is the key here Tip 9 Advertise that the sale is HUGE NEIGHBORHOOD or MULTI FAMILY If you can convince a neighbor or two or even more to have a yard sale with you you can advertise your sale as such This will catch the attention of your traffic The more stuff you have for them to look at the better So if you can round up more people to participate go for it Warning Do not advertise your sale as multi family if your neighbor brought one or two items over to sell with your stuff Make sure that if you are advertising as multi family that there are genuinely more than one family participating in the sale Tip 10 On your half poster signs include a few of your best items on the posters For example Baby Items or Lots of Furniture or Hunting Gear or Decor Items Be specific if you have something that will be a hot item For example Trampoline or Little Tikes Slide Tip 11 At your sale mark a few of your larger items with informative signs For example if you are selling a TV include a larger sign that says works great Or if you have a dresser for sale put a larger sign that says Only 20 00 These signs are to catch the eye of those people who are driving by The first step to get a potential customer to buy something is to get them to get out of their car If you show them that your prices are reasonable and that your items are working properly they will be more likely to come check out the rest of your items Tip 12 Put a price tag on EVERYTHING Let s face it folks a yard sale can be chaotic In fact most the time it is hard to tell whose yard sale you are attending Some people are shy and some people are a tiny bit lazy So if you have your prices clear then you ll have more people buying If you don t you will have people walk away even if they are interested in one of your items We need to make their decision making process as easy as possible If the price isn t on the item you simply made their decision for them They may think I don t even know how much it costs Voila you lost a sale If you have an item that you are unsure of how much to ask put a sign on it that says make me an offer but I rarely do this Tip 13 Organize your items in categories Some people enjoy hunting for items and like I said before some are a bit lazy Don t lose all the customers that aren t the searching type The more items you have on tables the better in my opinion Put the decor items together the clothing items in a separate area and the baby items near each other Tip 14 Present your items in a way to help your customers visualize them in their home For example if you are selling a crib assemble it If you are selling a couch rug pillows and end tables set it up on your driveway like a living room If you have a bedding set lay it out on a tarp for the customers to see the entire quilt Remember we are making it as easy as possible for your customers to visualize the item in their home Tip 15 Never turn away a customer You need to have your items set up at least a half hour before your beginning time You will probably have early birds those avid yard salers that get up at the crack of dawn just to go to yard sales If customers begin to come and you are still setting up your items you may miss out on a sale It may be annoying that someone is early and that they begin rummaging through your stuff before you feel completely prepared but don t forget the point of having this sale is to get rid of your stuff Don t forget to welcome them with a friendly Good morning greeting If you aren t quite ready when customers begin coming just simply tell them that you will have all the items displayed as soon as you can Hopefully these tips have given you some great tips of how to successfully host a yard sale Happy Spring These yard sale advertising tips should help you Yard sale advertising allows you to have the most successful yard sale you can so that you can sell as much as you can Take these yard sale advertising tips and put them into action the next time you have a yard sale which is probably very soon if you ve done your spring cleaning already Yard sale advertising shouldn t cost you much money and yard sale advertising shouldn t have to that would go against the whole philosophy of a yard sale These thrifty yard sale advertising tips will ensure the success of your yard sale and your yard sale advertising without you needing to spend money Happy yard sale ing And happy yard sale advertising Tagged under Read More Monday 27 June 2011 00 00 Spring Cleaning Solutions Spring is in the air and that means that spring cleaning is knocking on your door too Spring cleaning is welcomed with open arms by some but put on the back burner by others Whatever category you fall into it s time to get your spring cleaning checklist out and seek out helpful resources to get you through your spring cleaning projects While the outside may not be quite ready to undergo any major spring cleaning the inside of your home is probably more than ready to experience a thorough spring cleaning Preparing your home with a good spring cleaning for the warmer weather doesn t have to be such a chore if you re not a spring cleaning enthusiast The important seasonal chores that are part of your spring cleaning checklist can be broken down into smaller projects so you re more willing and likely to complete them The following spring cleaning article from shelterpop com offers some great solutions to those nagging spring cleaning chores that you want to put off Spring Cleaning Tips from a Pro Ready your spring cleaning checklist it s time to clean house First tip Start with the task you re dreading most Spring may not be in the air quite yet but there s little doubt that the air around your home is ready for a solid spring cleaning right now But don t fret If you break it down into some manageable tasks says organization wizard Laura Wittmann founder of OrgJunkie com and author of the book Clutter Rehab spring cleaning can be a rewarding way to spend a weekend afternoon I always suggest that the best places to concentrate on first are the ones that annoy you the most she says These little or big annoyances can cause as much mental clutter as they do physical Take a look around your home she advises and pay attention to the inner dialogue that happens when you find yourself frustrated with specific areas Then create a detailed list of what needs to be done For example rather than simply saying clean home office break it into manageable steps that are each doable in short spurts of time Wittman says You ll be amazed at what you can get done with small bursts of attention Then Wittmann says Eat the frog Essentially another way of saying bite the bullet Wittman thinks the best place to get started is the to do item on your list that you re dreading the most You can go about your day feeling a huge sense of relief and satisfaction knowing you ve accomplished a chore you ve been putting off she says It s very freeing Another get inspired tip Some really energizing music helps to get you motivated as well she adds So throw on your favorite playlist and get to work Now let s tackle some of the biggest messes Spring Cleaning Challenge 1 Cupboards that run the risk of item avalanche when opened Allot 15 minutes per cupboard 30 minutes for a pantry The Solution Unless you re stocking up for the end of days there s no real need to have 500 cans of kidney beans More likely than not the lack of organization in your pantry or kitchen cupboards causes you to forget what items you have on hand and double up when grocery shopping The same goes for that burgeoning Tupperware collection that topples over every time you open the cupboard Time for a fix Start with the biggest problem cupboard Pull all items onto a nearby counter and organize by category either foods or utility purpose In the pantry if you have more than your required monthly or weekly allotment do you really have plans to cook something this week with those lima beans place extras into a pile to donate to your local food bank If it s a Tupperware dilemma organize by storage sizes Do you have multiples of the same size that go unused If they re in good condition donate to your local thrift store Spring Cleaning Challenge 2 Growing piles disorganized papers and unpaid bills Allot 30 minutes to an hour for cleanup no more The Solution Piles They start with the best of intentions but oh how quickly they go from strategic placement to where in the world did I put that dilemmas Nip it in the bud Where do you most commonly drop your mail Purchase a mail organizer to place directly in that area either get a counter top option or one to attach to your wall or side of cabinetry Immediately upon walking in the door get into the habit of sorting the mail catalogs magazines to read personal mail and bills and of course have a recycle bin nearby for the immediate toss aways Label each slot chances are as long as you see an envelope in the bills or important papers sections you ll never be late on a payment or miss an appointment again For extra organization add a small calendar with attached marker nearby when a bill or appointment reminder comes in the mail mark the appointment or due date on the calendar in red then file the notification away in its designated slot It takes a few extra seconds but it ensures the days of buried bills and forgotten appointments are long gone Have a pile that needs tackling now Lay it all out on your dining table and sort according to the categories on your new organizer Be sure to have a recycling bin nearby for the inevitable junk mail Spring Cleaning Challenge 3 Drawers that don t close properly due to overstuffing Allot 20 minutes to clean a drawer The Solution Chances are good that you have a junk drawer or two that could use some attention Commonly junk drawers become what they are because we need a quick place to cram the miscellaneous leading to a space chocked full of random items that are rarely accessed So dump the junk lay it all out on your dining table and sort everything into small piles Immediately toss anything you forgot was in there and that you don t need Use an old ice cube tray to sort and store small items like paper clips rubber bands tacks etc whatever doesn t fit can be thrown out Who needs 500 paperclips anyway File away any important papers in a home office accordion file and group other items together either with a paperclip or rubber band or place them into a labeled envelope stamps and address labels for easy reference Spring Cleaning Challenge 4 Overburdened and under organized linen closet Allot one hour two if it s been awhile since you last tackled this dreaded task The Solution We all do it You buy a new sheet set and cram the old ones into the linen closet The old sets pile on top of the older and oldest until suddenly you have a collection of linens resembling a decade s highlight reel Empty it out Throw every item from the closet into a laundry basket and dump it out onto your bed you ll likely need to make a few trips First sort by item flat and fitted sheets pillow cases towels Then sort by needs and bed size kids room guest room master Using a permanent felt marker write a single letter notation on each tag for easy reference For instance write T F Q K for quick size reference saves you the hassle of unfolding and folding or write family member initials Finally go through each individual pile Any items that have stains or holes should immediately get tossed A bit too worn but still in good condition Unless you d be willing to put it to use now toss it into a donate pile chances are even your seasonal items will be replaced with new ones when the next season rolls around To stay organized place each stack into its own individual storage box or basket labeled for quick reference That way when you go to change bedding next round you can just pull out that specific basket and leave the rest of the closet in tact These are some of the common spring cleaning challenges and problems that people run into when they go to tackle their spring cleaning checklist If you follow along with the solutions to these spring cleaning challenges your spring cleaning checklist will start to dwindle with less effort and you may even find that you re enjoying your spring cleaning this year Also if you enlist the rest of your family to help out with the spring cleaning chores your work will be even easier Holding a garage yard sale will certainly help to clear the clutter from inside your home so that your spring cleaning efforts don t get wasted on items that are taking up needed space Rather than collecting dust give items or articles of clothing away at your yard sale or donate them to your local charity Read our article on donating your unwanted clothing to the right charity to find your local charities and even better find the right local charities Spring cleaning can be fun you just have to find solutions to your spring cleaning problems Tagged under Read More Monday 27 June 2011 00 00 How to Maximize the Space in a Small House Spring is certainly about to spring and this is usually the time that homeowners take a look at their house whether it s a small house or a large house and set about determined to do a To maximize space in your small house select furniture that has more than one use thorough spring cleaning If you have a small house you probably find that your limited space is a nuisance to your regular cleaning routine no matter what time of year it is A small house can mean limited space but that just means that you need to find creative solutions to maximize the space in your small house Maximizing space in a small house can be accomplished by simply removing or at least finding a way to minimize all the clutter in your small house A cluttered desktop countertop kitchen pantry hallway or closet can really have a big impact on how you feel about living comfortably in a small house Clutter in a small house makes doing the things you need to do a little harder than they really need to be If you have items even if they re pieces of furniture in your small house that you haven t used in years get rid of them Do your research on local charities where you can donate these unused items that are just eating up space in your small house The following article from The Inspired Room is definitely a creative and inspirational written piece that will give you some great ideas for maximizing the space in your small house by putting that space in your small house to use or to many uses THE SMALL HOUSE MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR SPACE I ve always loved the idea of having a smaller house and making the most of the space I have When I lived in my tiny English cottage the house prior to when I lived in my giant house it was like a game for me to find clever places for things HOW CAN YOU MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR SMALL HOUSE 1 Make finding space in a small house a game My small house was like a puzzle everything had one place that it could fit My husband s closet was actually a linen cabinet in the hall My canned goods fit in a neat and tidy corner of our basement on plastic shelving We had baking dishes on wire shelving on an enclosed back porch We put beds on risers to give us more space for things under the beds Oh how I wish I had been blogging 10 years ago was anyone blogging back then or was that before the internet was invented That would have been a fun house to talk about We did so much to that adorably small house to make work for our family I love coziness so for the most part having a small house was fun for me not a drudgery I enjoyed figuring out how clever I could be with our storage and furniture placement I was determined I had enough space for what I needed and it really was like a challenging game to find the solution 2 Find more than one purpose for your rooms I ve always wanted a library dining room Not only do I think it looks charming it is practical too You can use the room to dine in but it can also hold library shelves for books or a home office One room multiple purposes Love that I m not sure how I feel about bookshelves in the bedroom I wonder if it would feel kind of dusty I do like how it looks but I think I d rather have books in the dining room But if the bedroom was all I had for my books it would work 3 Less furniture more built ins Free standing furniture takes up a lot of space If you own a small home there are often ways you can tuck in a built in piece or a free standing piece that fits in just like a built in to give you more room for the buck For instance I adore banquettes built in benches with a table Tables and chairs take up a lot of room so if you can build a banquette into a small niche you can have an eat in kitchen even if the room is quite small Think about other ways you could eliminate pieces of furniture by having built ins Or even if you can t build something in perhaps consider other ways to eliminate excess pieces and go for more streamlined furniture 4 Get creative with the space you have A couple of years ago I saw this photo and it had a pretty cool outside the box idea a custom made dining table that opens up to reveal a pool table You can have a family meal then take the lid off the table and the space becomes a game room While the table probably costs a pretty penny imagine the cost of a whole separate pool table room Not only is this an example of a dual purpose room it is thinking creatively in a small space In our small house for the first two years of my son s life our dining room was his playroom We had to get creative with the space we had and having a playroom for his toys at that stage was more important than having a dining room By being willing to let go of something we used less frequently and setting the house up for what we really needed we made the house work for us IF YOU ARE TRYING TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF A SMALL HOUSE CONSIDER WAYS TO DOUBLE A ROOM S USEFULNESS WE DON T ALWAYS NEED MORE ROOM WE JUST NEED TO BE MORE CLEVER WITH THE SPACE WE HAVE Applying a few or all if you can of these creative strategies to your small house cleaning and organizing regimen will make living in your small house much easier and much more enjoyable There are many low cost ways to creatively maximize space in your small house

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  • The Maids
    from your personal files This is particularly important if other family members access the computer as well If that s the case and you are using Windows XP I strongly recommend setting up a separate user account just for work and password protecting it This will prevent other family members from accidentally changing or deleting your work files 8 In addition to your regular files you also want to keep your emails organized Let s be honest we have all wasted time searching for a particular email that contained some vital information we needed fast Setting up folders for different clients and projects has worked well for me but again find a system that works for you and stick with it Sort the email as soon as you read it It only takes a second or two to drop it in the appropriate folder but will save you a lot of time if you have to find it later 9 Now that you have a good filing system both physical and digital in place set aside a little time every few months or weeks if appropriate to purge your files We can quickly accumulate a lot of documents both in our file cabinet and on our hard drive that we no longer need At the very least try to purge your files twice a year 10 Now that your office is organized you may also want to take a look at organizing your time Again come up with a system that works well for you I encourage you to start with a few of these ideas to get your office and yourself more organized You will be surprised by how much time you will save not searching for files papers or the stapler Before long you won t know how you ever functioned without an organized home office Since you are working in your own space you are free to change and rearrange your methods as many times as necessary in order to achieve an organized home office If one manner of organizing doesn t seem to work for you try something else Take mental note of what systems work well for you and which ones don t Soon your organized home office will be your own personal power station As stated in the article try to clean up at the end of every workday so each morning you can return to an organized home office The absence of clutter will help reduce stress It is also important not to allow distractions in your organized home office kids non work related phone calls checking Facebook etc Try to discipline yourself the same way that you would in an office building and don t allow your personal life to interfere with your specified work time unless of course there is an emergency An organized home office not only will take some time to consolidate but you must also remember to continue the upkeep of your organized home office If you find yourself overwhelmed by the chaos or have trouble keeping a clean organized home office please contact The Maids and we would be happy to help Tagged under Read More Wednesday 22 August 2012 00 00 How to Treat Stains in Your Home Stains have many sources anyone or anything can cause a stain but the question is how do you go about getting rid of each kind of stain One thing that is important when we treat stains is timing As soon as you know a stain has been made on clothing curtains furniture or the carpet be sure to act immediately The longer you wait to treat stains the longer the stain gets to set into the fabric We can also categorize a given stain based on what it is made of and as long as we know that we will know what exactly to use to treat stains of all kinds Wine stains are thought to be some of the worst but you will be prepared to treat stains like this if you follow this guide There is no need to panic when you find a stain There are many ways to treat stains and if you follow these tips from the Editors of Consumer Guide http home howstuffworks com how to remove stains and spots htm you will be prepared to treat any stain How to Remove Stains and Spots by the Editors of Consumer Guide It seems that in every household there s at least one person who leaves behind a trail of stains and spots like a path of gingerbread crumbs the home handyman who scatters grease spots from garage to attic the toddler who expresses independence by painting with peanut butter on the wallpaper the enthusiastic cook who splatters spaghetti sauce from ceiling to carpet the new puppy that pointedly demonstrates its need for house training Grass spots on jeans wine spots on tablecloths oil stains on the driveway And what makes it worse is that each stain calls for a different treatment Ketchup on carpet is not treated in the same way as catsup on concrete and on top of having to identify both the staining agent and the stained surface you have to work fast The longer most stains set the harder they are to remove without damage to the stained surface If you haven t identified the stain correctly or if you use an improper stain removing agent or technique you may make the stain permanent and cause additional damage to the stained object THREE TYPES OF STAINS ON FABRICS Generally stains can be divided into three types Each type dictates certain general treatment procedures Greasy Stains Lubricating and cooking oils butter machine grease and similar substances produce greasy stains Grease spots are sometimes removed from washable fabrics by hand or machine laundering Pretreating by rubbing a little detergent directly into the spot often helps as does using a dry cleaning solvent on the stain If you are treating an old stain or one that has been ironed a yellow stain may remain after treatment with a solvent Bleach is often effective at eliminating this yellow residue To remove grease spots from nonwashable fabrics sponge the stain from center to edge with a stain removal product Removal may take several applications and the spot should be allowed to dry completely before each sponging Greasy stains may also be removed from nonwashable fabrics by using an absorbent substance such as cornstarch corn meal French chalk or fuller s earth Absorbents are dusted on greasy spots to pick up the grease When the absorbent material begins to look caked it should be shaken or brushed off Repeat this procedure until most of the stain is gone Absorbents are easy to use and will not harm fabrics However the other stain removal agents detergent dry cleaning solvent and bleach can damage fibers before using them you should carefully read the care label on the stained item and the label on the product container Nongreasy Stains Nongreasy stains are produced by materials such as tea coffee fruit juice food coloring and ink If you have such a stain on a washable fabric the best treatment is to sponge the stain with cool water as soon as possible If this doesn t work try soaking the fabric in cool water The stain may soak out within half an hour or you may need to leave the item in the water overnight If some stain still remains gently rub liquid detergent into it and rinse with cool water The last resort is to use bleach but read the fabric care label first If the stain is old or has been ironed it may be impossible to remove it completely A nongreasy stain on a nonwashable fabric can also be sponged with cool water Or you can place a disposable diaper or other absorbent pad beneath the stained area and slowly and carefully flush the stain by pouring water onto it using a mister or eyedropper You must control the amount of water and the rate at which it is poured to avoid spreading the stain This may be sufficient to remove some stains especially if treatment is started promptly If not work liquid detergent into the stain as described above and rinse by flushing or sponging with cool water Sponge the stain with rubbing alcohol after rinsing to remove detergent residue and to speed drying Caution If treating acetate acrylic modacrylic rayon triacetate or vinyl dilute 1 part alcohol with 2 parts water Combination Stains Coffee with cream Thousand Island salad dressing and lipstick are items that cause combination stains that is they combine greasy and nongreasy elements Such stains may require double treatment first the nongreasy elements of the stain should be treated then the greasy residue should be removed The first step in treating such stains is to sponge with cool water as described above then work liquid detergent into the stain and rinse thoroughly After the fabric has dried apply dry cleaning fluid to any remaining greasy portion of the stain with a sponge Allow the fabric to dry Repeat applications of cleaning fluid if necessary In order to properly treat stains it is important not only to know what kind of stain you are dealing with but to also follow some general rules of treating stains Try your best to identify the components of the stain and the material that was stained This is the best way to ensure that you treat stains properly and avoid damaging the stained surface further Be sure to remove as much of the stain sitting on the surface before you actually treat the stain with a given product You can pre treat stains by blotting excess liquid or scraping it off if the stain happens to be solid When you go to treat stains regardless of materials avoid the use of heat and handle the stained item carefully being sure not to fold rub or wrinkle it It is important that before you treat stains that you test the product on a part of the stained material that can be hidden Even water can stain some materials When you treat stains no matter the material make sure that you work from the center of the stain outward Lastly follow the directions on any product you use to treat stains perfectly you would not want a misread to ruin the effectiveness of a stain remover Follow these simple stain removal tips and you will be able to treat stains of all kinds Just remember even though it is easy to freak out when you see your white carpet stained with coffee or your silk pillow speckled with wine remain calm cool and collected and use your new found knowledge to treat stains Tagged under Read More Tuesday 07 August 2012 00 00 HOW TO CREATE A HOUSEHOLD TOOL KIT Appliance problems are inevitable when owning a home or leasing apartment While some occurrences may require you to call the maintenance person many fix it projects can be done without outside help The key to preparing yourself for when repairs are necessary is to have a tool kit readied before any issues occur A household tool kit is simple to create and only requires a few tools that you can easily find at your local hardware store The tool kit does not need to be very big and you can store the tool kit in a closet or drawer The following article from About com http interiordec about com od careandrepair a org toolkits htm outlines the most important items for your household tool kit This is a great reference especially for those new to living on their own Pretty soon your tool kit will have you prepared for just about any malfunction in your home Put Together a Basic Household Tool Kit Homeowners and apartment dwellers alike need a basic household tool kit You may have lots of tools for particular projects that you use infrequently and they can be kept in a garage or workroom But having basic tools handy in your living area makes it much more convenient to do simple home repairs You might keep these basic tools in a hall closet a kitchen drawer or in a handy tool box or plastic box on a shelf in the entry or mudroom It doesn t really matter where you keep them as long as they re easy to get at for quick home repairs You ll save lots of inconvenient trips out to the garage or down to the basement Your in home basic tool kit should include these basic do it yourself items Tape Measure You may not think you need one but a 25 foot measuring tape will work for most jobs Whether you measure for a tablecloth or window treatment or a whole room for new flooring choose one large enough to easily measure your home s spaces A second smaller tape of 6 to 12 feet can be put in a pocket or purse for shopping trips or for hanging pictures Screwdrivers Two basic screwdrivers are a necessity Choose both a good quality flat head screwdriver and a Phillips head screwdriver in a medium size A set of tiny screwdrivers will come in handy when you need to tighten a pair of eyeglasses or fix audio or computer equipment Pliers One pliers will not do Get a small assortment in various sizes and shapes You ll use a needle nose pliars most frequently but have a heavy grooved pliers for removing nails or large staples Wire cutting pliers are good for wiring and craft jobs Level You get what you pay for here It s important to get an accurate level for accurate positioning A good sturdy level will last a lifetime These are also called torpedo levels due to shapes of the tapered ends A level is a must for straightening up pictures drilling holes in a level line checking tabletop alignment or mounting towel bars perfectly Hammer Whether you re hanging pictures or putting shelf supports up a medium weight hammer will cover most household jobs Consider other sizes if you ll be doing either delicate projects or construction Vice Grip This tool resembles a pliers but has a locking mechanism that grips and holds things tightly Use it to grip a screw you want to remove or use two to twist sticky things apart They provide a slip free hold when you need it Assortment of Nails and Screws You might find prepackaged sets of basic sizes at a home center or get a small divided box and put together a custom assortment that will come in handy when you hang pictures or make minor repairs Wire Cutters Save your scissors with this essential tool A wire cutter makes it easy to snip wire for crafts electrical repairs and other household projects Pencils You ll probably need to mark a drill hole or record a measurement Have pencils handy and write on post it notes or bits of blue painter s tape if you don t want to write on the wall Blue Painter s Tape Even professional painters use this tape to mask off areas they don t want to paint It s available in several widths and looks like plain masking tape But this special tape is blue and can be removed from most surfaces without damage You can use it for other household jobs besides painting Mark stud locations with a small square when hanging a picture or installing molding Tape off the edges of a door frame when painting a wall or tape down runners of heavy kraft paper to protect floors from dirt and scratches when moving Here are more basic items to put in a household tool kit Cordless Drill You may feel this is a luxury but there are nearly endless uses for this handy tool The obvious use is drilling pilot holes for nails and screws but you can also insert screwdriver bits to help insert or remove screws Utility Blades and Holder There are several varities to choose from in knives A fast easy one has breakaway blades which is especially useful when doing a wallpaper or a delicate craft project They are also handy when opening sealed boxes Metal Straightedge Choose a heavy ruler long level or angle It can be used to measure or mark and serves as a cutting guide for heavy materials when using a utility knife Felt Plastic and Carpet Dots Keep an assortment of these sticky backed furniture protectors on hand Felt dots can be applied to the bottoms of vases candleholders boxes or any accessory that might scratch a table surface Plastic or rubber dots applied to the bottom back corners of a picture can help keep framed pictures level Carpet dots are heavier and thicker and used under chair and table legs to avoid scrape marks on hardwood floors Spackle You ll need spackle for filling nail holes in sheetrock before painting or to repair small scratches holes or dents in walls Unless you do lots of repair jobs we d recommend buying a small tub Spackle dries out even if you seal the container well and then it will not go on smoothly Putty Knife To apply spackle you ll need a putty knife Other uses include scraping up a bit of paint or smoothing down a corner of repaired wallpaper Putty knives come in either metal or plastic and are very inexpensive Paint Can Key This simple tool will come in handy when you need to open a can or paint varnish or stain Package Sealing Tape Though it looks like wide Scotch tape sealing tape is actually stickier and heavier weight Use it to re seal cardboard boxes to tape together a number of slippery items such as sticks of molding etc or just to prepare boxed gifts for mailing Get a large tape dispenser which will let you apply tape with one hand if you re moving and need to seal a lot of boxes Glues A supply of super glue carpenter s glue and white glue should cover most household needs Follow manufacturer s directions for best results Solvents To remove scratches or sticky substances paint smudges or tape residue a small tube of Goof Off or Goo Gone are good addition to a tool kit Follow directions on the lables for proper use Now that you have learned the key elements of creating a tool kit it is time to build your tool kit The easiest way to keep your tool kit compact and organized is to purchase a box from a craft store or a hardware store to contain your tool kit A tool kit is useful in a variety of instances including if you are planning to do any renovations in your home A tool kit can also come in handy in everyday living For example a paint can key may come in handy for opening a can in the kitchen and super glue may rescue your new purse s broken clasp Keeping a household tool kit around can assuredly become important during emergencies Another essential item that you should consider keeping in your tool kit is a flashlight both for power outages or doing work on a poorly lit part of your home We at The Maids are as dedicated to the upkeep of your home as you are We hope that this article has helped you ready an emergency tool kit for your home If you need help with keeping your home in its best shape call us for all of your cleaning needs Tagged under Read More Tuesday 07 August 2012 00 00 How to Clean and Organize Your Garage It is easy to allow your garage to gather all of the clutter that you don t want in your house Sometimes garages can get so filled that there is no longer any room for your car If you are beginning to reach that point or already have cleaning the garage may seem like too daunting a task to tackle But with these nine tips from HGTV http www hgtv com homekeeping to do list organizing the garage index html your cluttered garage can turn into a clean space in no time If you begin with a plan for organizing your garage before you begin chances are that you can successfully rid your garage of chaos To Do List Organizing the Garage The garage is where we toss everything that doesn t have a place in the house If you find yourself using your garage as a receptacle it s likely that you haven t resolved all your organizing challenges within the home and that your garage needs a serious overhaul Reclaim your garage and restore order with this organizational to do list 1 Set aside enough time to work on the project Back to back days are recommended like an entire weekend so that items being sorted don t have to sit out in piles for long Tip Try to plan for a dry weekend because you ll have to pull many items out of the shelter of the garage 2 Don t tackle it by yourself Hire an expert or round up a team of helpers Otherwise it may turn into an overwhelming task that will be abandoned halfway through Tip Be sure you have a plan for directing your helpers through the process from start to finish 3 Categorize the items in your garage Typical categories include recycling sports and recreational equipment camping gear automotive seasonal decor garden gear and tools Evaluate things like luggage and paint and see whether you can store them elsewhere Tip It s much easier to tackle a garage after you ve organized the rest of the house Once you determine the purpose of your interior storage many garage items can be relocated 4 Group the garage s contents Once you know the categories of the items that will live in your garage begin grouping them into the categories in the driveway or the center of the garage A few cardboard boxes will help you to group because everything from huge paint cans to nuts and bolts will eventually need to be contained Be sure to label the boxes Tip Don t buy containers bins baskets and boxes to organize your items just yet A big mistake is buying containers now and later discovering you don t have the correct sizes or sturdiness 5 Trash or donate items that don t fit the categories Sometimes random parts or items are discovered in the garage and you don t know what to do with them If you want to keep them assign them to the most similar category or put them in a visible place so you remember that you have them Otherwise start your donation and trash piles now 6 Determine the best garage layout Decide where you want each type of item to live considering its frequency of use and the available space For instance recycling should live near the entrance to the home and tools should live near the workbench Tip Think about valuable real estate when considering available space Parking space and shelves at eye level or within reach are valuable real estate Less valuable real estate would be very high or low shelves and should be reserved for less frequently used items 7 Install built in cabinets or modular storage if needed Now that you know what you re keeping and how much space you have determine what containers to use Make the most of vertical space with wall mounted pegboards and wire grids that hold everything from sports equipment to garden tools Also take advantage of overhead space with sturdy shelves that mount to the ceiling 8 Relocate items to their new homes within the garage 9 Set an organizing schedule Get your quarterly or biannual garage maintenance on your calendar If it doesn t make it onto your calendar it s less likely to happen And remember to put things away promptly after using them Remember that when cleaning a room or garage must get dirtier before it is clean This is why setting aside a couple of days in a row to work on your garage project will prevent large piles of items from sitting around in your garage too long Also keep in mind that if you doubt the value of something in your garage chances are it should be thrown away This will stop you from keeping too many things that you don t need that will only use up precious space in your garage If you are still feeling overwhelmed by the mess in your garage contact The Maids We would be happy to help de clutter your life Tagged under Read More Tuesday 07 August 2012 00 00 HOW TO REMOVE CAT URINE FROM YOUR CARPET Anyone who has owned a cat knows that cat urine is an especially strong odor that is difficult to remove from carpets Even well trained cats have been known to leave cat urine on the carpet sometimes out of anger due to a health problem or disgust at a dirty litter box After you have identified the reason for your cat s naughty behavior and done what you can to prevent a reoccurrence it is important to learn about the best methods of removing cat urine from your carpet The following article from caturineodor com http caturineodor com removing cat urine odor carpets Removing Cat Urine Odor From Carpets Our cats bring us great joy but sometimes they do things we don t understand When they urinate on our carpets it s a frustrating and smelly issue Cat urine is possibly one of the most potent unpleasant smells you ll ever experience When it has dried into your home s carpeting it can be a source of embarrassment and annoyance Complicating things further the urine is likely to be in the carpet for some time before it s discovered which makes the odor even harder to eradicate Although standard carpet cleaners provide little help it s usually possible to remove cat urine odor There are several different approaches to try and it may take more than one remedy to get rid of the smell completely Cat Urine s Powerful Odor Cat urine has a very distinct odor that is caused by proteins and high levels of uric acid By nature healthy cats don t drink large amounts of water This makes their urine more concentrated At the time of urination the fluid is acidic As the urine dries the uric acid forms crystals or urine salts and becomes alkaline This gives our furry friends the most pungent smelling urine that a poor carpet can suffer How to Find Invisible Cat Urine Stains The first challenge of eliminating odors is finding them Cats tend to urinate in corners hidden areas and against borders A helpful strategy is to check the perimeter of the carpet first On some carpets stains may be visible but in many cases they re not There are several ways to locate the source of the smell The first is to purchase a hand held black light The ultra violet rays used by black lights use the same wavelength as biological waste such as urine When using a backlight to find cat urine spots turn out the lights and shine the black light over all areas of the carpet Most urine stains will produce a noticeable glow Use small objects to mark stained areas you ll need to find them again with the lights on Unfortunately black lights don t work 100 percent of the time Sometimes you may have to find stains the more difficult and distasteful way by crawling on your hands and knees and using your nose to sniff out smelly spots Getting Rid of the Odor Why It s Difficult to Get Cat Urine Out of Carpets Aside from removing urine odors from concrete carpet is generally the most difficult surface to remove odors from Let s take a look at a this diagram to understand why When a cat pees on the carpet it s actually peeing on 4 different surfaces the carpet its self the carpet backing the carpet pad and the sub floor The longer the pee saturates in the carpet the more layers it will effect and the more layers it effects the harder it will be to remove Regardless of what approach you re using to get rid of the smell it s important to remember that to be effective the solution needs to reach any part of the carpet that that the urine may have touched One of the biggest mistakes people often make is only focusing on the upper layers of the carpet This is partly a result of the packaging that is common with cat urine odor removal products i e the spray gun bottling Nine times out of ten you ll need to take the top off of the solution and pour it on the spot This type of saturation allows the cleanser to reach all instances of urine and or uric crystals greatly increasing the likelihood of success First Response Wet and Dry Stains While it s sometimes impossible to find stains soon after they occur if you do happen to find a wet stain treating it immediately will give the best results Absorb as much of the liquid as possible by blotting with an old towel If you have a wet dry vacuum or spot cleaning machine use this to remove as much fluid as you can Dry stains can be treated with full strength product as soon as they re discovered There are a variety of home made and commercial products that are designed to remove urine stains and odor Before using any of these test them for safety Some chemicals and home remedies can stain bleach or damage carpeting To prevent ruining your carpet try the product in a closet or hidden area first Natural Treatment Methods Vinegar and Water Dilute white vinegar with equal parts water and saturate the carpet stain with this solution After 30 minutes remove as much of the liquid as possible Several treatments may be required The strong vinegar smell will dissipate once it s dry Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda This may be used alone or after vinegar treatment Sprinkle dry baking soda over the stain and work it into the fibers Mix one quarter cup peroxide with a teaspoon of dish detergent Use only three percent hydrogen peroxide Pour or spray this over the baking soda and work into the carpet with a toothbrush Once it s dry vacuum away the residue using an upholstery brush attachment Club Soda Pour club soda directly onto the stain When it stops effervescing blot the liquid away with a towel Repeat if needed This remedy is more likely to work on recent stains that aren t very strong It s a good alternative for when you don t want to smell vinegar or have a powdery mess on your carpet Commercial Products Enzyme Treatments Enzymatic cleaners such as Nature s Miracle neutralize odors without producing a strong smell like vinegar Multiple treatments may be needed but enzyme cleaners are generally very effective and safe for most carpets Combination Products Anti Icky Poo a product that uses both enzymes and genetically altered bacteria is a favorite product of many cat owners Oxygen Cleaners Oxi Clean and similar products are slightly less effective but may work well on recent stains Test in an inconspicuous area before use Total Cleansing If you can t locate the stains or repeated search and destroy missions have not proven effective you may want to consider using a steam cleaner or carpet shampooer to treat the entire room If you don t own one you can rent one and buy special carpet shampoos that are designed to remove pet odors If you want to let the professionals handle it consult your local carpet cleaning services to see what pet odor removal suggestions and systems they have to offer Preventing Repeat Performances Once you ve rid your carpet of cat urine odors you ll want to ensure that they don t return Be sure that all odors are completely neutralized and undetectable If your cat can still smell them it may entice him to urinate in the same area again Most importantly find out why your cat is peeing outside of his litter box Have your vet check for health problems and urinary infections and invest some time in a little detective work so that you don t have to face that horrible smell again Thanks to this article you now have the option of creating your own home recipes of cat urine cleaner or purchasing the most effective commercial cleaners If you have tried all of these cat urine removal methods and you can still smell the odor of cat urine it may be time to call in a professional to revive your carpets The Maids will be happy to help you get rid of pet odors Tagged under Read More Tuesday 07 August 2012 00 00 How to Clean a Toilet with Eco Friendly Homemade Products Do you need to clean a toilet before guests arrive but don t have any cleaner on hand Do not fret we have just the recipe to clean a toilet in a safe eco friendly and quick manner Families with younger kids are especially wary about using popular household cleaning products around their children due to the toxic chemicals in the cleaners Many companies are pushing for more green products but often these eco friendly cleaners cost more We have found a solution to this problem homemade cleaner Homemade cleaner utilizes ingredients that you probably already have on hand and are safe to use around children pets and you Plus if you are in a pinch and need to clean a toilet no running out to the store is necessary eHow com http www ehow com how 5302835 use soda clean toilet naturally html shares how you can clean a toilet with just two common ingredients vinegar and baking soda The chemical reaction that you probably used to make volcanoes as a kid proves useful when you need to clean a toilet You won t even have to scrub just allow the mixture to work its magic What a way to clean a toilet How to Use Vinegar and Baking Soda to Clean a Toilet Naturally Commercial cleaners do not always sufficiently clean a toilet Sometimes a natural method of cleaning is easier and produces cleaner results It s easy to use vinegar and baking soda to clean a toilet naturally Instructions 1 Add about a half cup of vinegar to the toilet bowl to begin to use vinegar and baking soda to clean a toilet naturally Let the vinegar sit for a few minutes before adding baking soda Do not flush the toilet 2 Add about a half cup of baking soda to the toilet bowl The vinegar and baking soda will fizz because the reaction of vinegar and baking soda results in oxygen being released from the baking soda and vinegar combination Let the mixture fizz for about ten minutes This will alleviate the work you need to do later on to clean a toilet naturally 3 Add another quarter cup baking soda and another half cup vinegar to the toilet bowl in order to produce more fizzing in the toilet bowl 4 Use the toilet brush to swish the water in the toilet bowl along with the vinegar and baking soda mixture Rub the toilet brush along the sides and bottom of the toilet bowl to clean the toilet

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  • Natural Ant Control: How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Home
    best or try red chili pepper Chalk lines Vaseline great for doors and windows Baby powder Powdered cleanser Desiccating dusts such as diatomaceous earth or silica aerogel 5 Sprinkle around deterring odors Ants dislike various scents such as peppermint and camphor These can be used fresh or in oil form to disturb the ambiance of any area that ants have been making their way to The great thing about these fragrant deterrents is that your own preferences for scent can be used to improve the household odorsin general all the while making your kitchen pantry and other areas very ant unfriendly Here are some ideas Crushed mint leaves and grow mint near the entrance areas Dried peppermint is also effective Lavender oil and grow lavender near the entrance areas Oil of clove or crush cloves and sprinkle as a barrier Camphor Use laurel bay leaves to keep the ants away from a specific food Ants are especially attracted to sugar paprika and flour Put laurel bay leaves in your sugar can flour canister and paprika jar You will be amazed 6 Create your own ant baits You can buy ant baits but they re chemical preparations that don t fit well with natural attempts to control ants in the home It s straightforward to make your own ant baits and a particularly successful one is made using boric acid A natural derivative of the mineral boron boric acidis used in borax and some saline solutions Boric acid is a stomach poison when ants walk in it and then clean their feet or antennae they ingest it Bearing in mind that removing too many ants from your local environment can harm the good they re doing in keeping down pests for you here is how to make a boric acid bait Buy boric acid at the local drug store it s about USD 2 a bottle Pour about a tablespoon of real maple syrup or anything you know ants love on a flat plate or saucer Sprinkle the boric acid around the syrup so that the ants must walk through it to get to the syrup you may even use a q tip to ensure a good distribution of the powder around the the syrup Place wherever the ants are frequenting Keep out of the reach of children or pets Be patient as this method can take a week to take effect 7 Use food against ants There are several techniques that can get rid of ants through their inability to digest the food or through expansion and death It s not very pretty to think about but these methods do work As with all methods put the bait food where the ants are appearing Use corn meal This method is especially great around pets or children as corn meal by itself is not poisonous The ants will carry it home and try to eat it but they can t digest it properly Be sure to put corn meal wherever you

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  • How to Keep Your Kitchen Clean Between Maid Visits
    warp when wet it can harbor bacteria which gets on knives and can invade your food prep area Pop plastic boards into the dishwasher after every use to kill germs To make cleanup faster when you cook cover countertops with sheets of wax paper parchment paper or butcher paper before preparing food Juices from meats chicken and fish never hit the counters so there s no need to disinfect When finished crumple up the paper and toss Freezer and Refrigerator Place a box of baking soda in the freezer and another in the refrigerator to absorb and neutralize smells replace them every three months Alternatives a mound of charcoal coffee beans in a bowl or a cotton ball soaked in vanilla extract and kept in the refrigerator until dry Every month or so dump ice cubes from the trays and make a new batch Stale ice traps odors like those from frozen fish or meat Sink Grind the skins of oranges lemons and limes in the garbage disposal with a handful of ice cubes The rock hard texture of the ice cubes sharpens the blades the citrus scent of the grated peels clears the air Or make ice cubes of vinegar instead of water The vinegar will deodorize the disposal Stovetop Reduce grease splatters on the stovetop and the hood by putting a mesh splatter screen over pans when cooking Following these simple and effective kitchen cleaning tips should help you keep the kitchen safe and clean for a longer period of time If you re looking for some more tips on how to keep the kitchen clean read this post from theKitchn com that offers valuable advice on how to clean the kitchen in just 20 minutes a day The Maids are dedicated to providing you with the healthiest

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  • New Year’s Resolution: Sticking to Your Home Cleaning in 2012
    plastic boxes and store on floor underneath workbench June Storage Projects Kids Rooms Hooks for All Heights Mount two strips of hooks or pegs to the back of a child s door one about 3 feet from the floor the other between 5 and 6 feet Two levels of hooks allow kids to grow and provide more spots for shorter items such as jackets towels and bags See Through Toy Storage Skip the toy box and stash playthings in large clear containers Line up against the wall under windows Top with a cushion for bench seating Keep Books Handy Fill open boxes with children s books based on size and shape Kids books always slide around on bookshelves anyway Keep a box near a child s bed for favorite bedtime reading Kid Friendly Closet Replace the low hanging bar section of a child s closet with stackable ready to assemble drawers or cubbies or slide in a small chest or bookcase Fill with folded clothes and other gear July Storage Projects Hobby Area Clean Out Clutter Test all the craft supplies you own including paints markers and glues Do the same with tools such as scissors staplers and punches Toss everything that doesn t work Put similar items in clear plastic containers with handles Storage for Small Gear Hang a clear vinyl shoe bag inside a closet or behind a door Slip small parts supplies and tools into the pouches Hang Fabric Drape fabric scraps and swatches over rubber coated hangers intended for multiple pairs of pants Hang from hooks on the back of a door Organize Ideas Purchase eight to 10 sturdy letter boxes and fill with inspirational materials from books magazines photographs and online searching Organize and label boxes by topic source or project Stack near a chair or desk and use an extra counter end table or resting spot August Storage Projects Bathroom Store Only What You Need Evaluate all bath linens and keep only a two week s supply for every family member If you have guest linens keep them separate from everyday linens Give away unused linens or mark as rags with a permanent marker and store appropriately Non skid Baskets Add rubber feet to the bottom of a plastic basket and fill with bath supplies Rest basket on tub ledge or in corner to ensure bottles stay in place Make Good Use of Cabinet Space Arrange medicines beauty and hair products on lazy Susans to avoid forgetting about items pushed toward the back of the cabinet Look for two and three tiered versions to pack in more function Hide away Makeup Caddy Fill a metal or plastic desktop organizer with makeup brushes pencils and other beauty essentials Store the entire organizer under the sink when not in use September Storage Projects Master Closet Spot Unused Items Arrange all clothes hangers with hooks facing out Whenever you put away newly laundered items arrange so the hangers point in At the end of the season give

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  • Christmas Decorating Ideas for 2011
    the table looks warm and unified Get Step By Step Instructions How to Make Gold Leafed Holiday Candlesticks Supersize Your Garland Intertwine fruits feathers pine cones and mini glass ornaments throughout garland for a designer look For the holidays Britt Scripps Inn in San Diego Calif runs an intricate garland up the grand staircase which is original to the house built in 1887 Photo courtesy of Britt Scripps Inn Bright Lights Green Solution As part of the Virginia Green Lodging program The Holladay House in Orange Va is dedicated to proactively reducing their carbon footprint One of the ways they do this during the holidays is by using Forever Lights which are made from LED bulbs They last for thousands of hours longer than traditional lights and use almost 80 percent less electricity Photo courtesy of The Holladay House Stunning Mantel Display To create the perfect mantel Barnhardt says to take down everyday mantel decorations including any framed prints Hang a fresh evergreen wreath and then gather items from around your home that coordinate with each other For example she collects any porcelain and pottery with a green glaze displayed throughout her home and creates a vignette on the mantel by filling the pieces with fresh holly and white pine Add favorite ornaments or safely place candles for a warm glow to complete the display Photo courtesy of RMSer Lisa Campbell Vintage Votives Vintage items feel traditional and Christmas is definitely a time to celebrate tradition But you don t have to spend a fortune scouring flea markets or estate sales for goodies with old fashioned holiday charm Try your hand at these DIY faux mercury glass votives for the mantel Get Step By Step Instructions How to Make Mercury Glass Votives Festive Illuminations Light fixtures are a great place to add extra holiday cheer Wrap glittering leaves around a chandelier s base or hang favorite glass ornaments Design by RMSer Silvers Let It Snow Even if it isn t a white Christmas outside you can still enjoy a few falling flakes indoors This snowflake curtain is so easy to make but it turns even the smallest windows into a winter wonderland Get Step By Step Instructions How to Make a Snowflake Curtain Do you want to focus on your outdoor Christmas decorating now A few festive holiday decorations for your entryway can really spruce up a home s exterior Here are a few festive holiday decorating ideas from BuildingMoxie com that will welcome all visitors to your home before they even step inside Hanging Seasonal Decorations Consider a twig wreath adorned with greens gourds or berries Design a heart shaped wreath with miniature pine cones and dye them a brilliant shade of red Mount an evergreen wreath or swag with glass ornaments or silver bells Create a wreath with magnolia leaves and fresh fruit such as pears apples and pomegranates If you have a rustic style home consider adding antlers a cowboy hat or rope to your wreath For

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  • Make Your Own Homemade Cleaning Products
    Combine all ingredients into a spray bottle and shake well If you need a little extra cleaning action replace the baking soda with washing soda Washing soda is twice as strong as baking soda It s recommended that you wear gloves and a mask when cleaning with washing soda but don t worry it still passes the natural ingredient test and will cut through your toughest dirt and grime SINK CLEANER This sink cleaner is so simple you can whip up a paste for each use 3 tsp Lemon juice 3 tbs Cream of Tartar you ll find it in the spice isle Combine the lemon juice and cream or tartar to make a paste The proportions don t need to be exact but the paste should be smooth and thick Simply scrub it in gently and thoroughly then rinse it off to uncover your clean sink OVEN CLEANER Chemical oven cleaner is one if the harshest household solutions one many of us would happily avoid This organic solution is a great alternative but it still requires that you practice some precaution see the oven cleaner instructions for some other important tips 1 2 cup of salt 1 2 cup of baking soda 1 2 cup of water 1 4 cup of vinegar Mix the ingredients together forming a thick paste Cover any holes or openings with tin foil Apply the mixture to the bottom and side walls of the oven Leave overnigh Combine 1 4 cup water and 1 4 cup vinegar in a spray bottle Use this solution to wash off the paste TOILET BOWL CLEANER Chemical based bathroom cleaners are the hardest to part with Somehow we feel like cleaning the bathroom needs to induce a toxic headache or it s not really working Trying out recipes like this one for natural toilet bowl cleaner is a great way to see just how well homemade solutions really clean 2 tbs baking soda 1 tbs olive oil 3 4 drops essential oil optional Pour the baking soda and olive oil into your toilet bowl and scrub it with a toilet brush Add in a few drops of scented oil as a deodorizer WINDOW CLEANER With six homemade window cleaners Tip Nut has you covered Their cleaners range from your standard vinegar solution to some more creative black tea concoctions and I ve had the most luck with this simple recipe 1 gallon water 1 4 cup vinegar 2 tbs lemon juice Approx 1 tbs dish detergent liquid Mix all ingredients together and store in a container ready to refill your spray bottle The lemon juice and dish detergent will cut through those greasy hand prints Spray the cleaner on your window and wipe it with a microfiber cloth newspaper or squeegee HAND SANITIZER A pump in the bathroom one in the kitchen one in the playroom three or four floating around the car and one in my purse while it s true that nothing beats a good scrub

    Original URL path: http://www.themaidsmedway.com/make-your-own-homemade-cleaning-products-1 (2016-04-25)
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  • How to Treat Stains In Your Home
    remove grease spots from nonwashable fabrics sponge the stain from center to edge with a stain removal product Removal may take several applications and the spot should be allowed to dry completely before each sponging Greasy stains may also be removed from nonwashable fabrics by using an absorbent substance such as cornstarch corn meal French chalk or fuller s earth Absorbents are dusted on greasy spots to pick up the grease When the absorbent material begins to look caked it should be shaken or brushed off Repeat this procedure until most of the stain is gone Absorbents are easy to use and will not harm fabrics However the other stain removal agents detergent dry cleaning solvent and bleach can damage fibers before using them you should carefully read the care label on the stained item and the label on the product container Nongreasy Stains Nongreasy stains are produced by materials such as tea coffee fruit juice food coloring and ink If you have such a stain on a washable fabric the best treatment is to sponge the stain with cool water as soon as possible If this doesn t work try soaking the fabric in cool water The stain may soak out within half an hour or you may need to leave the item in the water overnight If some stain still remains gently rub liquid detergent into it and rinse with cool water The last resort is to use bleach but read the fabric care label first If the stain is old or has been ironed it may be impossible to remove it completely A nongreasy stain on a nonwashable fabric can also be sponged with cool water Or you can place a disposable diaper or other absorbent pad beneath the stained area and slowly and carefully flush the stain by pouring water onto it using a mister or eyedropper You must control the amount of water and the rate at which it is poured to avoid spreading the stain This may be sufficient to remove some stains especially if treatment is started promptly If not work liquid detergent into the stain as described above and rinse by flushing or sponging with cool water Sponge the stain with rubbing alcohol after rinsing to remove detergent residue and to speed drying Caution If treating acetate acrylic modacrylic rayon triacetate or vinyl dilute 1 part alcohol with 2 parts water Combination Stains Coffee with cream Thousand Island salad dressing and lipstick are items that cause combination stains that is they combine greasy and nongreasy elements Such stains may require double treatment first the nongreasy elements of the stain should be treated then the greasy residue should be removed The first step in treating such stains is to sponge with cool water as described above then work liquid detergent into the stain and rinse thoroughly After the fabric has dried apply dry cleaning fluid to any remaining greasy portion of the stain with a sponge Allow the fabric to dry Repeat applications

    Original URL path: http://www.themaidsmedway.com/how-to-treat-stains-in-your-home (2016-04-25)
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