cleaning

cleaning

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!

Continue Reading
General Inspiration Interior Designers Tips and Advice

Spring is Here!

Spring is here, and hopefully where you live that means the gray snowy weather is in the rear-view mirror. If you happen to live in New England, you may need a little more patience this year! But, like any year, spring is the time for new beginnings, which in the world of home décor, means fresh starts, freshening up, and brightening up.

In terms of colors, bright and bold. Think along the lines of pastels, but with a little more punch to them. A bright lilac, a strong coral, even a bold peach. These colors should be used as the basis of your decorating – from any walls that need to be repainted, to accent pieces that need to be added into your space. They are great because they have warmth to them but are bright enough to make your space look bigger and more spacious. Geometric patterns are also popular in 2018 which are great to add in with any soft treatments. Gold accents are also continuing to carry over from winter 2018 as a mix with the new spring colors.

It’s time to put away all the heavy blankets and take off the heavy window treatments. Trade out the heavy blankets with some bright colorful throws, this year introducing bold colors, and floral patterns. Replace the heavy drapes with airy light curtains. This year stick with bright neutrals – sands, beiges, and whites, in light fabrics like linens.

While doing your spring cleaning, keep in mind, the less clutter the more relaxing the space. Maybe that means taking the extra step to add some organization. Some magazine holders in your living room. A filing cabinet in your office. More clothing storage/organization in your bedroom. Some additional shelving in your bathroom. Taking these steps will help to lighten up the feel of your room but adding the additional organization will make it something you can maintain moving forward as well. (Added bonus: you can use these as the pieces that bring in the new colors of the season).

And of course, the style that never gets old in the Spring, bring in some greens! Adding foliage to any room, whether it be green plants that you can keep for a long time or bringing colorful flowers in from your gardens will instantly warm the room, and make it feel like spring. Happy decorating!!

Continue Reading
General Tips and Advice

Spring Check List

Spring Check List

With spring here it’s finally time to get outside!!! But that’s not all; its time to get to all those projects you have had in your mind all winter long. When I start to think about these task I start to get overwhelmed, because I had so many fun and impactful projects on my mind all winter, so what I do every spring is sit down and start jotting them all down. When starting I always just list everything on one big list then I start to prioritize as well as break them out into different categories. Below is an example of how I tend to keep myself organized and busy now that I can get outside and really enjoy the weather.

  1. You want to make sure when you are planning your projects they aren’t just all things that you need to be outside to do. As much as we would for every day to be beautiful and sunny, what I like to save for these days are things that I can either do in the garage like re painting or staining a piece of furniture or re thinking storage space in a closet. (Specially one with all the big winter coats, gloves and hats).
  2. I like to break out yard projects, things like mulching the beds, weeding which unfortunately needs to be done more than once a year… and planting new annuals and other plants/trees. One thing I do each year is I pick a specific flower bed in my yard or spot I want to make into an herb garden and really focus and setting it up so that when next year comes I will still need to mulch and weed but it should already be good to go and start blooming as soon as spring comes back!
  3. Lastly are over all events and projects can do with the kids. I like to set up a scavenger hunts, or find other little DIY/Gardening projects that they can do with me.

You want to prioritize the projects in the categories each to fit what’s most important to get done before the summer as well as what you think will be the most fun! One of my favorite times of the years is spring and because you finally get to get back out side and just attack all those projects that you haven’t gotten to do this winter. If you have any questions let us know!

Continue Reading
General Inspiration Tips and Advice

Winter Decor

The Christmas tree is down, and the stockings are put away, but winter is here to stay for a few months. Figuring out how to decorate your house (which is suddenly looking bare) tends to be a challenge. We’ve put together a few ideas to keep your house looking warm and cozy for the next few months.

  • Keep around the greens. Use any evergreens you have around the house for decorations. Adding them to the mantle or using them as a centerpiece creates a feeling of warmth. Even better is – you get to use something you already had bought for Christmas!
  • Sort through your holiday decorations. Keep out any pieces that feature just snow, snowmen, or white and red designs. Although they make look festive with the rest of the Christmas decorations around, you’ll be surprised that they just make the statement of “winter” by themselves.
  • Use a lot of white. Throw pillows, blankets, even candles. Even though it may seem silly – because you are looking outside at a lot of white snow – bringing white in the house during these months brightens up your décor and gives a feeling of warmth to a room.
  • If you had a real tree, cut some pieces from the bottom of the stump. Use these pieces around the house for decoration. Create centerpieces or just decorate coffee tables. If you are feeling inspired, look up ideas for creating decorations out of the wood from your tree! (they require some work and creativity, but it allows you to cherish memories you made during the holidays).
  • Get the kids involved. The excitement of new toys is probably wearing out, so get them involved in helping you decorate. Help them to cut out and decorate snowflakes, and then let them choose where you want them to hang them around the house.

Even though it seems simple at first, you’ll quickly realize that cleaning and organizing is definitely a bit easier without all the clutter around. And hey, that’s the look of nature out our winter right now, so let’s take advice from Mother Nature!

Continue Reading
Care Tips Tips and Advice

Fall Organization

“Spring Cleaning”

Since you should probably organize more than once a year when “spring cleaning” comes along, in my house I also have “fall organizing.” I basically use fall as a time to go through the house, and get rid of anything I don’t need, while forcing myself to do a more thorough cleaning as I go.

  • Summer Clothes/Shoes – One thing that we seem to hold on to for longer than necessary are worn out swimsuits and flip flops. Make sure to sort through any of these items before you store them away for the winter – if chances are you won’t wear them again next year – just throw them out now. At the same time, when you pull out the warm weather clothes, if there is anything you or your kids grew out of – donate them now – someone who needs these items will be very grateful.
  • Outdoors – Similar theory as with the clothes, but sort through both swimming/toy related items as well as gardening items. Anything that looks like you will need to replace next year, toss now, and make a list of things to replace during the year – chances are you’ll get better deals on these items over the winter when they go on clearance too!
  • Bathroom – In my house, the counter under the bathroom is a catch all for products – whether first aid or beauty related. Take an hour, and sort through. Anything expired, toss, any beauty item you’ve had for a more than a year, toss. Just using this criteria the space will double!
  • Kitchen – Fall and winter are when I do the most cooking, and definitely when I do the most baking. I always try to do a thorough cleaning of the pantry so I know what I have and what I don’t. There is nothing worse than going to make a pie and realizing the spices are three years old – after you’ve already started baking. At least if you’ve already tossed the old items, you’ll know what to add to your shopping list.
  • Windows – As much as I hate cleaning windows, they are always on my list during spring and fall cleaning – if for no other good reason than not forgetting to do it every six months! But in reality it is also the time you generally change your window treatments, so why put clean curtains on dirty windows.

Don’t forget to clean as you go – it goes by a lot faster when I focus more on the organizing, less on the cleaning!

 

Continue Reading
Care Tips DIY Inspiration Interior Designers Tips and Advice

Bedroom Cleaning

Bedroom cleaning
Who doesn’t feel overwhelmed when their bedroom is super messy. The first thing I usually do is put a cap on and gloves, so I can start my organization process. The second thing I do is to turn on the radio and tune on to my favorite station and have a blast. If you’re like me you’ll have two left feet, so make sure you lock the door so no one walks in on you. In terms of cleaning, the first thing I usually tackle is my bed. Most of us spend half of our life on a mattress, so to disinfect it,  mix vinegar with  a little rubbing alcohol, and some tea tree oil in a spray bottle. Lightly spritz on your mattress.  This will help combat dust mites, mildew, and general odors. Replacing old pillows cases with new ones will make you feel like you already halfway done.
Now if you are lucky enough  to have a closet with clothes and shoes spilling out of them, I would go through them and  and either have a yard sale or go to your local goodwill to donate some (my rule is to get rid of anything you haven’t worn in a year). If you do not have  a large closet like me, purchase some  book shelf online and organize any folded shirts and pants. Leaving my clothes in the open shelves prevents me from making a mess, because it is right where I can see it.
I don’t know about you but having top notch window dressing is as important as having a great mattress. Because I live in New England during the winter I always have cold drafts in my room. That is why I have invested on some Prestige Cellular shades from Blinds To Go that add an added layer of insulation to my windows. With the lifetime warranty on the way my shades,  I know I have one less thing I have to worry about.
Pierre
BTG 152

 

Continue Reading
Care Tips DIY Inspiration Tips and Advice

Cleaning Tips-Spring

Cleaning Tips

Delilah
BTG Store 151
1. Shoe organizers for cleaning supplies

Does your cleaning supplies cupboard look a lot like mine– bottles and bags all jumbled up together? I can never find what I’m looking for. Using a hanging shoe organizer to store cleaning supplies is brilliant!!

2. Alphabetical Spices

The spice cupboard is another troubled area in my house. The solution? Cut off bottoms of empty cereal boxes, then label them using washi tape and organize your spices in alphabetical order. They’ll be a breeze to find and you’re going green as well.

3. Give the old sock dust

This one has been a game changer for me. I rarely dust, and I just don’t have time to. But I do have time to swipe a dirty sock (not too dirty) along my dresser and night stand before I toss it in the clothes hamper. Sock dusting is amazing–try it!

Continue Reading
Blinds Care Tips DIY Tips and Advice

DIY Cleaning Tips

DIY Cleaning Tips

Karen
BTG Store 151

The great thing about the internet, is there are so many great ideas. The bad thing is, who has enough time to sort through all of the ideas. Luckily, I have a few of the best spring cleaning ideas – that I have tried out myself!

– Cleaning the mattress – Remove all of the sheets/blankets and vacuum the top. When you have finished, cover the entire mattress with baking soda – it removes any moisture, and minimizes any smells that have settled in – and leave it there for two hours. After two hours, vacuum off the layer, and it will be refreshed! If you like the scent of lavender, mix in a few drops of lavender essential oil with the baking soda before spreading it and you will be left with a fresh scent!

– Microwave – Of course, we all wipe down our microwave after using, but for a deep clean, fill a bowl with equal parts water and vinegar and microwave it for two minutes. When you open it, wipe down the insides and everything will easily come off. For a fresh smell, microwave a bowl of water with lemon juice for another few minutes, and get it smelly lemony fresh.

– Blinds – Instead of using a duster – grab a sock – and create a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water – it will help the dust come off quickly and easily, without creating a mess.

– Stainless Steel Appliances & Pans – Mix together some cream of tartar, and water, and grab a sponge. For really built in grime, let the mixture sit for awhile, and when you go back to wipe it down, it will clean right off!

– George Foreman – Something else we always wipe down, and might need a spring clean. But a simple way to clean it is to turn it on, wet a paper towel, and close it for a couple of moments (do not leave it alone!). When you remove the paper towel, wipe it down, and it will be as good as new!

– Kitchen Cabinets – One of my favorites! Create a paste with vegetable oil and baking soda, and a sponge. Wipe down the cabinets – use a toothbrush for hard to reach areas – and it will restore the shine in your dingy cabinets!

All in all, most of these are ideas you can do with simple household products you already have. It’s amazing all of the things baking soda can do! Happy Cleaning!!

Continue Reading
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!
Continue Reading