Sunday, January 31, 2010

Broom for Improvement

When you're sweeping a room, work from the outside edges in toward the center, this way you'll be sure to get all of the cracks and crevices around the perimeter. Before you use your dustpan, wipe it down with a used fabric softener sheet. Eliminating the static from the dustpan will help the dirt slide off easily into the garbage and not end up back on the floor or in the broom closet! When you're finished clean your broom. Sound strange? Well, think about it, you would never not rinse a mop or a cloth so spend a minute on the broom. I keep an old comb in the broom closet for quick removal of dust bunnies and dirt. Once a week of so, rinse the bristles under cool water in a utility sink. This will keep the broom in better condition and help it to last. Finally, never store your broom on its bristles, it will bend them and then they won't work as well. Hang the broom in storage to keep it in tip-top shape.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Floss Facts!

Sure dental floss does a great job at cleaning you teeth, but did you know there are lots of uses for it around the house too. If you don't have a cheese slicer, wrap a length of dental floss around your fingers and slice right through that cheese! (This same concept works well for cheesecakes too!) Cookies that are stuck to the cookie sheet will pop right off when you slide some dental floss under them! An easy favorite is to use that floss to tie back the legs on your next turkey dinner! If your child's back pack gets a tear in it, thread some floss onto a needle with a large eye. Use that to sew up the hole. It's sturdier than regular thread and will hold up to the use. Remember that the next time you need to repair your tent or winter jacket too! Try some dental floss and a soft cloth to clean the crevices in the turned legs on your wood furniture. The floss will get the cloth right where it needs to be! Floss facts to help you around the house!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lint be gone!!

Lint! I hate it, it gets on your clothes and clogs your drains. It seems to be everywhere! Here are some easy ways to fight it. If your washing machine discharges into a sink, lint from the washer will clog your drain. Prevent clogs by putting the toe end of a pair of old stockings or a knee-high loosely over the end of the hose, and secure it with a rubberband. This way the lint will get caught in the stockings and not in your drain. Change the stockings when the lint starts to build-up. A lot of lint in the washer means you aren't measuring your detergent. Stick to the product's suggested amount for the best results. You should clean your dryer's lint screen after each use. Check the vent at the back of the dryer a couple of times each year. Unplug the dryer and disconnect the vent. Look at the end and make sure that lint isn't building up inside. A big build-up of lint here could cause a fire. If it's clogged, clean it out. Then return the vent to the dryer. I hope these ideas help you combat the lint around your house!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mouse in the House???

Mice are cute when they're on TV or in a book, but not when they're in your house. Well, I have some tips to keep those pesky little critters at bay. There are lots of different traps on the market that can help you. I don't recommend using the most poisonous, especially if you have pets. The poison doesn't kill mice immediately and if your pets catch a poisoned mouse, they'll get poisoned too. The first line of defense is to eliminate food sources. Store pet foods, cereal and other grain products in airtight plastic or glass containers. Mice hate peppermint so lay a few peppermint tea bags in cabinet shelves to keep those critters gone. You can also try peppermint candy, gum or cotton balls saturated in peppermint oil. Plain old dryer sheets are another great mouse deterrent. They hate the smell so stash them around where you might suspect the mouse would like to set up house. Finally walk around your house and fill any gaps that are bigger than a one-quarter inch. That's all the space a mouse needs to slip into your house.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Baby Powder fixes Floors and More!

Baby powder keeps diaper rash in check - sure but even if you don't have kids, you should have some. It has so many alternative uses! (Be sure to choose a talc-free, cornstarch based powder). Squeaky floorboards don't have to drive you crazy. Sprinkle some baby powder over your wood floors and sweep it back and forth working it into the cracks. Sweep away any excess and the squeaks will be silenced! Another use, if you have a knot in a necklace put it on a plate and sprinkles some baby powder over the chain. Then use two needles to work the knot apart. The powder works as a lubricant. Musty books? Sprinkle baby powder between the pages and let it sit for a few hours to a few days depending upon how musty they are. Then simply sweep out the powder with a soft paintbrush. If you get a grease stain on your clothes sprinkle it with baby powder, let it absorb for a few minutes and then brush it off. The baby powder will keep the stain from setting into the fabric. Powder with purpose!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Organizing Instructions

If your recipes and project instructions are all messy and disorganized, I have some easy ways to organize and protect those directions. Put your recipe or project ideas into a magnetic photo album. It's easy to organize them because the pages can be taken out and moved as you add more ideas under a certain topic. Plus, if you splatter something, you can wipe it off of the plastic pages. If you don't have your instructions in a photo album, try putting a piece of plastic wrap over the top. This will protect the pages too. If you're working from an instruction booklet and can't seem to keep it open, grab a bag clip. This will hold the pages open to where you need them, and you can clip your plastic wrap in there too. Plus, if you need those directions at eye level, just hang the clip from a hook on the wall. I hope these ideas help you keep things right where you need them! It's just that simple!

These tips for wine (racks) are just divine!

Decorative wine racks have become a favorite home accessory. So if you have a few, or if you see something you like grab them. Because they can do so much more than hold a bottle of wine Place a wine rack near your stove and it can hold oils, vinegars and other cooking essentials. They'll be right where you need them, but not cluttering up the counters or cupboards. A standing wine rack is great for a tabletop to carry silverware and condiments from the kitchen to the table or on a buffet. Keep a rack in living room or bathroom to hold your favorite magazines. Just roll them up and stash them in the compartments. A wine rack also works in the bathroom to hold hand towels or corral curling irons, hair dryers and bath products. Put a wine rack in your home office to sort mail, envelopes and other office essentials Just some easy ways to use decorative wine racks around your home!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Trash worth holding on to!

We all want to get organized and toss things out, but before you do think because these things you might be able to use somewhere else in your house. Don't throw away the remnants from your carpet pads. A piece of padding is perfect for protecting your floors from tools when you're working on a plumbing or home repair project. No workshop in your home, all you need is a silverware organizer to turn an unused drawer into a toolbox. Slip your tools into the various compartments to keep them on hand and easy to find. Plus you could take the whole organizer out of the drawer if you need to take the tools with you. Throwing away a rotating toothbrush? Wait a minute. It's a great little power tool for scrubbing away dirt and grime in tight spots. Just apply some cleanser and spin away in those dirty areas. A cookie tray is a great painting tool. Line it with foil and put your paint tray on top. Not only will it keep the paint tray steady, it catches drips and gives you a spot to set your trim brushes! So make sure you take a second look at your cast offs before you toss them out~!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Cleaning Tools that will Make you Smile

If cleaning gets you down - check out this Happy Dustpan and Mini Sweeper - A set to make you smile, whether you choose the red enamel or the aluminum finish these happy face dustpans and sweeper will make you feel better about cleaning up!

Hands Down these are some Handy Hints!

From smells, to splatters to stains, household tasks can wreak havoc on your hands; I have some tips to clean them up! Don't get caught red handed; berry and fruit stains are easy to fix. Grab some sugar and a fresh lemon in place of soap. Cut the lemon; dip it in some sugar and scrub! The citric acid and the gritty sugar will work together to wash those stains. If you don't have any lemons on hand try plain lemonade mix, it will do the same thing! If your hands smell like garlic or onions, rub a stainless steel spoon over your skin under hot water. The steel reacts with the odors to leave your skin smelling sweet, or at least not garlicky. Latex paint and grease splatters are easily cleaned off of your skin with some white shaving cream. Rub it into your skin and watch the mess disappear, you don't even need any water. Say you want to prevent all of these hand dilemmas but you're not a fan of gloves, rub a thin layer of petroleum jelly over your skin before you start a task. Dirt, grime and stains will wash away easily when you're done.Just some "handy" tips to help you out at home!

Clean & Efficient Kitchens Run a lot Smoother - How do you get there?

Clean and efficient kitchens make things run a lot smoother - well I have some ideas to help! The dishwasher - modern marvel, right. Well, there are some things that help it clean better and save some money! Fill your soap cup halfway with detergent and halfway with baking soda. The baking soda will help the machine clean your dishes better and it will keep your machine cleaned! Plus you'll use less soap, which saves cash! If your dishwasher is looking a little grungy, fill the soap cup with some powdered laundry bleach, and run it through a cycle empty. This will clean and disinfect the racks, jets and interior in one quick step! Speaking of laundry, did you know that a little laundry pre-wash spray cleans scuffs and stains off of porcelain sinks? To prevent sticky messes in your cabinets, store oils, vinegars and honey in old cake pans. This does two things. It keeps the shelf clean and you can take out the whole pan to get what you're looking for rather than rummage through the cabinets! If items tend to freeze to your freezer, line the shelves with wax paper. It'll keep these items from freezing in place. Clean and Efficient kitchens within your grasp!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Candle with Care

If you love candles as much as I do, you probably have them all over your house, but keeping those decorative candles looking great can be tricky. Here are some ideas. If you have a candle holder with a spike, you've probably cracked a candle or two. An easy way to prevent that is to heat up a pointed nail. Hold it with some pliers over a flame for a minute or so. Then use the hot nail to push a pilot hole into the bottom of the candle. This way when you put the candle on the spike it is less likely to crack! If you drop a candle and it breaks, try submerging it in hot water just long enough to soften up the wax. Push the pieces back together and use your finger to smooth out the seam. This will also help you straighten out candles that have become warped in the sun or the heat. If your decorative candles are dusty, try wiping them off with a cloth dipped in some rubbing alcohol. It takes off dust and dirt so your candles look like new. Easy ways to candle with care. It's just that simple!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Desperate Housewives

Did anyone see Desperate Housewives on ABC this week - after Carl died he left half ownership of a strip club to Susan - she then found out that Mike was the resident plumber for the club and forbid him to go there - he told her she was ridiculous and she couldn't tell him what to do. She decided to take the stage - her name - Miss FIXIT - What does Mike say when he pulls her off the stage? "Let's go MRS. FIXIT!"

Made me smile! :)

Watch the episode here:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Paint Prowess!!!

Loving my buddies @ Sherwin Williams in Dewitt, NY. Great paint - friendly & knowledgable staff - If you have a paint project in your future you should definately check out Sherwin Williams! Sometimes it's the little things that can make the project go a whole lot smoother, I have some tips to help you out. When taping off your room, run a putty knife along the tape to ensure a tight seal and crisp edges. When painting a large space it is sometimes easier to work with a bucket and a painting grid like this rather than a paint tray so you don't have to stop and refill so often. I've said it before, but it warrants repeating, I love a wheeled paint pad for cutting in around a room. Professionals may disagree and opt for a brush, but for the amateur painter it gives nice control, coverage, and crisp clean edges! A gallon milk jug with the side opposite the handle cut out makes a great "cutting in tote." Dip the small paint pad inside and scrape the excess off on your cut edge so it drips back into the jug! When rolling walls, work in a "w" pattern in small three foot sections evening out the paint as you go. If you need to stop in the middle of a job finish a whole wall and stop at a corner, otherwise you'll end up with lap marks that will be difficult to mask. If you need to stop in the middle of a job finish a whole wall and stop at a corner, otherwise you'll end up with lap marks that will be difficult to mask. It's just that simple!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Beautiful Stains

Beauty products are a part of life, but they can also cause spills and stains, I have some tips to get rid of these "beautiful" stains. If you think hair dye stains are permanent, think again. If you act quickly you can get rid of them. Spritz liberally with hairspray and allow it to dry for a couple of minutes. Then rub the area with some shampoo and wash it in cold water. For make-up stains from foundation to mascara grab a bar of soap. Put the stain face down on an absorbent white cloth, an old diaper works great for this. Dampen the soap and rub it into the back side of the stain. This will push the make-up out of the fabric rather than sending deeper into the fibers. Move the stain to different parts of the diaper so it doesn't re-absorb them. Wash it in cool water. For greasy stains like lotions and baby oil, blot as much as you can with a cloth and sprinkle with some cornstarch. Let it sit for ten minutes, shake it out and dab with white vinegar to break up the grease. Then launder. For hairspray build-up on walls, floors and mirrors dip an old washcloth into some rubbing alcohol and wipe it away. Remember the two primary rules of stain removal: Always test for colorfastness in a hidden area first, and never put your item in the dryer until you're sure the stain is gone. It's just that simple!

Baby Baby!

Friends have a new baby, and It's so great having a newborn in the house, but it can be stressful. Not to mention expensive. I have some easy solutions to help you out! Use a plastic shoe bag over the back of the bathroom door to organize baby's things. The pockets are the perfect size for little socks, washcloths, lotions and pacifiers, and it hangs neatly out of the way! A serious diaper rash may require medicated cream, but for daily protection buy petroleum jelly. It's gentle on baby's skin and it costs a fraction of what diaper creams and ointments cost. How about baby wipes? Cut a paper towel roll in half so you end up with two halves that look like toilet paper rolls. Put them in an airtight container, a coffee can or formula can is a great fit. Mix one and a half cups of water, and a tablespoon each of baby shampoo and baby oil. Pour it over the towels and let them soak. When they're good and wet, pull out the center core and pull your homemade wipes easily one by one out of the center. If it's a hassle to run to the changing table every time your little one needs a change, stock a basket with a changing pad, wipes, diapers, a change of clothes and some toys. This totable treasure will have you ready for a change anytime, anywhere. Enjoy the little ones in your life!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

To The Letter

Flip through any catalog and you'll find out how hot letters really are. It's elementary and they can make a big statement. So forget Picasso and think playground. Use wood letter cut outs to spell your child's name in the room. Not only does it look great, but they get a little spelling lesson too. You can find wood letters in many stores these days and check antique stores for vintage signs and letters. Use your computer to paint words or phrases on to plain old paper and frame them to create a bigger statement in a room. You can also use just an initial and make it yourself. Use an inexpensive stretch canvass. Paint the canvass with a base coat and once it's dry, use painters tape to mask out the letter you want in any border. Paint over the piece with a contrasting color and allow it to dry. Then peel the tape off to reveal your letter art. Inexpensive ways to dress up your d├ęcor.

Bed Head!

From sliding mattresses to barren box springs, I have some ideas to help with dilemmas surrounding your bed and bedding! If your mattress slips and slides over the box spring, look to your carpet for the solution. A non-skid rug pad is the perfect fix to keep your mattress in place. If your bed has slats or a center support cross bar a bed skirt might not be an option but you don't want an exposed box spring. What can you do? Try putting a fitted sheet over the box spring; it will clean up the look without interfering with those slats. If you want the look and not just the function of a skirt, attach a window valance to the underside of the bed framing with staples, tacks or even hot glue. Neat and tidy! If your having problems with squeaks, wrap your bed slats with rubber bands, this will keep the wood from rubbing up against the frame and making those noises. Sleep well friends!

Clutter Busters!

If clutter just seems to appear around your home and you can't get a handle on it, I have some handy clutter busters to help you out! When the mail comes, force yourself to sort it right away. Toss the junk mail and file mail that you need to tend to in a napkin holder. It will still be visible so you don't forget about it, but it looks nice and neat. Piles of placemats? Clip them together with a large binder clip and hang them on a cup hook inside a cabinet or pantry. Cup hooks can also help with the keys all over the counter. Hang a couple of hooks on the inside of your closet door. This way you can hang up your keys when you hang a jacket or handbag. They'll be out of the way and you'll always know where to find them. Don't want to make ten trips up and down the stairs everyday? Get a stair basket, stash things inside that need to go upstairs and bring it with you once a day! If you're plain short on storage space think creatively. Store items in plastic shoeboxes. Then stash them under a bed or a skirted couch or chair. This is also a perfect spot for extra leaves from your dining table. Make sure you have carpeting or use a pad under the leaves so you don't end up scratching them. Clutter Busters to the rescue!!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Check out my Article on Associated Content

Carpet Care Tips and Tricks!

If you like cushy, comfy carpets and you want to keep them that way for years to come, I have some easy ways to do just that! One of the easiest ways to keep your carpets looking great is to vacuum often. Use slow overlapping strokes to ensure you're getting the deep down dirt. Be sure that your vacuum is equipped with a beater bar, which will move the carpet pile and loosen dirt. If your carpet isn't smelling as fresh as it should and you don't have any fancy deodorizers, sprinkle some baking soda over it. Allow it to sit for an hour or so and then vacuum it up! This will also brighten your carpet! Spots and spills are inevitable with any carpet; the key is to clean them up quickly. A great all-purpose carpet cleaner is white shaving cream. Here are a few things to keep in mind, always use white cloths so you don't transfer dyes to the carpet, use cool water so you don't set the stain with heat and always blot, never scrub a carpet stain, it will just get more imbedded in the carpeting! Another common carpet problem is static. To combat it, run a vaporizer at night; you know the one you use when the kids are sick. You could also invest in a humidifier that runs all of the time. It's just that simple!