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General

Summer Clean-Up

By Delilah C.

How quick is summer ending?? Fall season is approaching us! Here are a few end of summer cleaning tips that I’ve gathered through the last few years.

Scrub outdoor furniture: Throughout the summer, the outdoor chairs accumulate the buildup of dirt, bugs, etc. from the rainy days. Make sure you give them a thorough cleaning so you’re able to reuse them next summer!

Clean outdoor cushions: Similar to the furniture, these cushions can accumulate a great amount of dirt—although you may not see it at the surface.  Different fabrics need different care, but spot cleaning with some dishwashing detergent and warm water can help with the cotton, polyester, and acrylic fabrics. Always make sure to allow time to air dry before storing the cushions away!

Wash beach towels: Swimming and beach season is over, unfortunately! Give your beach towels a much needed bath, using the hottest water the fabric allows. Add a small amount of fabric softener to the load and they’ll be ready for next summer!

Scrub your grill: After all the summer BBQ’s, your grill will most definitely have some cook on grime that isn’t fully gone! Make sure you clean it thoroughly before putting it away for the winter!

Clean gardening tools:  To prevent your tools from rusting, keep your gardening tools looking brand new after months of maintaining your precious gardens. Things you’ll need to get the job done include gardening gloves, a putty knife, steel wool, a 3 ½ gallon plastic bucket, 1 tbsp. dish soap, 2 cups of bleach, 1 cup of vegetable oil, 5 oz. can lighter fluid, all-purpose play sand, bleach-free disinfecting wipes, old towels and a garden hose.

During your cleanup towards this time of you year, you might have waste, or extra stuff in the garage you know you need to throw away. I would clean out the clutter and just get rid of it all to start your fall and winter months clutter free!

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DIY Tips and Advice

Rejuvenate the Home

The warm weather is here! So the Summer, oops, I mean the Spring season is upon us. It’s time for spring cleaning! Freshen up with these cool ways to give your home that facelift after winter weather.

  • Vacuum those dusty nooks and crannies. Baseboards, crown molding, under furniture, fans, and vents. Deep clean all rugs, carpeting, and window treatments. These basic bones need to be wiped down to renew them every once in awhile.
  • Take time to really scrub those light fixtures and windows. Polishing them to look brand new can do wonders for the lighting in your home. Lighting sets the atmosphere and improves your mood.
  • Don’t forget about those appliances. Sanitize you refrigerator. Scrape up those oven and microwave spills. Run the washing machine and dishwasher through self cleaning cycles. Keeping these essentials clean matters. Don’t let the dirt and grime accumulate. These chores eliminate germs, lengthen the lifespan of appliances, and ease the workload of upkeep.
  • Declutter! Use baskets, boxes, and drawers to organize life’s little things. Pack away cold weather clothing and unpack the warm. Be sure to go through all toiletries, make up, and medicine; toss anything that’s expired. Replace hairbrushes, toothbrushes and loofahs if they haven’t been replaced in the last 6 months. When decluttering, ask the essential questions: “Do I like it? Do I need it? Do I use it?”

Use this list more like guidelines rather than rules. Adapt it to fit. Don’t let it seem like you must do this all at once, dedicate a few days to a week for each chore. Accomplishing any or all of these tasks are sure to create a gleaming home and you!

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General Tips and Advice

Kitchen Organization Tips

Organizing our kitchen is an ongoing project. One day everything is back where it belongs, the next it looks like a tornado ran past. I’ve slowly come up with a few useful techniques that help keep everything in one place and in order.

  • Make the most out of the spaces you have. Being that a lot of storage in the kitchen is tucked away in cabinets, it is easier than not to “shove” stuff away. What I’ve found, is making a designated “home” for things makes it far more likely to maintain organization. One example is using the inside of a cabinet to hang our measuring spoons and cups – by simply making hooks and labeling where each belongs. I also hung a tension rod underneath the kitchen sink – and all cleaning supplies are hooked on top to keep them off the ground. I have also attached metal paper holders to the inside of a few lower cabinets – store cutting boards in one and aluminum foil/cling wrap in another.
  • Labeling! While it may sound unnecessary, labeling containers in your pantry helps everything stay organized and in order – and helps when making the grocery list too. In my pantry we use the containers with pop lids and I just use simple tape and write the contents on the outside.
  • Create more shelving inside of your cabinets. Pots and pans are a huge offender in my house – we simply added a couple of more shelves, and suddenly everything had a place. The large pots had to fit on the bottom, the smaller sauce pans on the middle shelf, and the frying pans up top – because that was the only place they fit. Spices tend to take up a lot of space as well, so dividing a standard cabinet into smaller shelves allows you more space to stack them and makes them a lot easier to access!
  • Fruits/Veggies Storage. Fresh fruits/veggies that do not go in the refrigerator used to take up space and look like clutter on my counters. We purchased a metal wall hanger (designed for mail) and hung it on a wall that was out of the way. We now have one spot for fruits, one for veggies, and the third we use for extra storage.
  • Hooks. Purchase inexpensive stick on hooks for the back of appliances. When not in use, the hooks can serve as a place to hang the cords. There is nothing messier on a counter than cords hanging down all over the place!

Hopefully these tips will give you some order and organization in your kitchen as well!

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General Tips and Advice

The Fall Purge

We all know spring cleaning gets all the hype because of its association to the promise of summer and warmer weather; but doesn’t getting rid of all your junk before the cold of winter make more sense? No one wants to be stuck inside their home with tons of clutter. Let us introduce the Fall Purge. Sure, it has its challenges: harsh realities, long hours hauling things to the dump, separation anxiety,  and decision fatigue; but let’s think positive! A cleared out house will make for a more inviting, warm and relaxing winter hibernation. Here’s some tips to help overcome the Fall Purge blues:

1. If you can’t put it away, it needs to go away. If there is no space left in your designated storage areas, you need to create room. Prioritize what you want to stay and accept that some things simply don’t fit and need to go.

2. Be honest about whether you will actually use something again. If you haven’t used it for months or years, it’s unlikely you’ll want it in the future.

3. Let go of guilt. Not everything is a lost cause meant for the garbage. Consider what can be donated, recycled, repurposed or even re-gifted.

4. Be fearless and ruthless. Remember you’re doing this for yourself and holding on to too much clutter bogs you down.

5. Change your mindset. Assume that everything is going and you need a good reason to keep something.

6. Don’t let gifts become a burden. No one who cares for you wants you to hold onto something that you don’t like/use.

7. Rember that the money has already been spent and your possessions don’t pay you rent. You will not recoup their cost by keeping useless items.

8. Purge broken items. They are not serving you any benefit. If you haven’t made the effort to fix it yet then it probably isn’t important enough to hold onto.

9. Create a challenge for yourself. Decide on a specific number of items to purge and stick to it. This could be a total, or monthly, or weekly or daily; you decide!

When all is said and done, reward yourself! It’s good motivation to get things done when you know at the end you can celebrate with a nice dinner, spa visit, or fun outing. Anything that won’t bring a new object into your home. If these tips aren’t enough, why not invite a friend to help? We find a bottle of wine, or two, laughter and company should do the trick. 🙂

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Inspiration Tips and Advice

Plants and Garden Cleaning

Plants and Garden Cleaning

 

April showers, bring May flowers is a popular saying, and Springtime is the best time to bring your garden and plants to life! Follow these simple steps to freshen up your lawn and flowers, and truly make a statement.

 

You can start off with cleaning up your lawn and garden.  Get rid of the unwanted weeds, wild flowers, mow the lawn, and use a good fertilizer to keep the grass healthy and beautiful .  Then plant some new flowers to add some of those beautiful colours to your garden.  These days, garden centres are available everywhere, and it is easy to get what you want, and some good advice from those centres about how to maintain your plants properly.  If you do not have a deck, and want to put patio furniture outside, consider laying out some patio stones to put the furniture on.  These bring a classy elegance to the backyard for you and your guests to enjoy.

 

As for inside your home, start off by trimming the plants and flowers. Then you can start fresh by replacing old clay pots with pretty pastel coloured ones for a bright and playful Spring look.  Also consider going to your local florist and picking out some nice cherry blossom branches, and putting them in clear glass vases.  A few flowers by your windows, or on your coffee table, will liven up the space and bring a fresh feel to any room.  If you prefer having guests over at night, you can purchase a remote control underwater LCD light, to put in your vases, and turn them on to create a very unique look.

 

There are so many things to take advantage of during this beautiful season, and the sooner you get your garden and plants in shape, the sooner you can enjoy Springtime!
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