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5 Overlooked Messes You Don’t Want to Ignore at Home

Our lives are filled with the everyday challenges of balancing family and work life. With the attention we pay to our loved ones, we often find less time for those overlooked, messy areas of the home.  Clearing up these accumulated collages of a life being fully-lived brings a new enthusiasm to the very interests that have caused the messy hotspots of most homes.  There is also a boost both to our spirits and health that comes with a thorough cleaning. The effort in focusing on common messes encountered in a home will be rewarded by making room for new endeavors by keeping our present ones in clean and in good order, too. Here are five overlooked messes you don’t want to ignore at home: Toy and Recreation Clutter Whether children or adults, we all love our toys. Whether it is an avalanche of Lego blocks scattered amongst our dog’s chew toys or the pile of workout gear left in the hallway, finding a place for our toys and gear enhances our enjoyment of them. Cleaning also makes them appear newer and more inviting as an activity, giving new life to old favorites. Using greener cleaning options gives us the assurance that our children and pets won’t be touching harsh chemicals. Closet Chaos Do you turn your closet to a black hole? Weeding through your closet and organizing your clothes is a sure way to rediscover some of your favorite missing shirts. Making room for the clothes that fit and the ones that we probably should have left at the store also helps show you potential gaps in your wardrobe... read more

5 Spring Cleaning Tasks to Prevent Allergies

Spring is upon us, and with the much anticipated change of weather comes another element of the season: allergies.  You may feel like allergies are an inevitable fact of life for you, but you can take preventative steps around your household to mitigate allergic reactions to pollen and other allergens. Remember that allergens can impact not only those with allergies, but allergens can also cause allergic symptoms in people with no history of allergies. Also remember that dust mites are only part of the problem, where many harmful toxins and bacteria are absorbed and housed by the dust that most easily collects on your floor, carpet, upholstery and bedding. Dust mite excretion, pollen, and pet dander are three common forms of allergens also found within dust. See these five active measures you can take to reduce and rid yourself and your family of allergens in your household. 1) Start Cleaning Your Pet’s Paws  If you do not already do so, it is very important to wipe your pet’s paws every time they enter your house from outside, especially from the backyard. Allergens like pollen are notorious for sticking to fur and paws. Consider paw wipes to keep handy next to your back door and front door. It is also suggested that you keep pets out of the bedroom. This can be really tough if you and your dog have a special bond, where part of it is that they sleep on your bed with you, but keeping them off the bed protects you from dander and other allergens, particularly if you are already allergy prone. 2) Flip and Air... read more

A Place for Everything: Where to Store Your Cleaning Products

Many cleaning products contain dangerous substances. If not stored properly, they can end up in the hands—or mouths—of children or even a beloved pet. They can also degrade, leak, and mix over time creating other exposure hazards. Here are some critical tips for safely storing and maintaining your household cleaning products and ensuring a safe environment in your home. Laundry detergent The recent incident of the “Tide Pod Challenge” involving children eating Tide Pods (colorful laundry detergent packets) reopened the national conversation on the safety of cleaning products. Good Housekeeping notes that despite a general level of awareness about the risks associated with laundry detergent packets, a recent survey found that 61% of parents who continue to purchase and use the product are storing them where their children can reach them. Additionally, 81% of parents believe that their children cannot reach them when they actually can. Calls to poison control centers have risen 17% since 2013 due to accidental exposure of young children to laundry detergent packets. While the laundry detergent industry has made efforts to package the products safely, parents still have to make sure that children and pets cannot easily access the products. The products must be stored in a closed cabinet that is not visible to children and they must be completely out of reach. Consider locking the cabinet. Additionally, keep the pods in their original packaging. Finally, do not leave the packets out during or after completing your laundry cycle. Put them away immediately. Vacuum maintenance and storage A standard vacuum cleaner is a valuable asset in any home, and any appliance price comparison will... read more

How to Combat Dust Mites in Your Home

With spring right around the corner, you might be getting ready to start a deep cleaning of your home. This is an important step to get your year off on the right foot and ensure that your home is clean and healthy for the coming months. One of the most issues in homes is the dust mite, and they can be particularly sneaky about finding their way into your home and staying there despite your cleaning attempts. Let’s look at these pests and you can best combat them! What are dust mites? You might hear the phrase “dust mites” and just envision the creatures in question as nothing more than dust particles. Unfortunately, that is not the case. In fact, dust mites are actually related to spiders! They’re microscopic arthropods, which means that you won’t see them with the naked eye, but they do have eight legs and a rounded body just like larger arachnids. Because they’re so tiny, however, it can be especially difficult to locate them and ensure that you ride your home of them for good. How do dust mites get inside? How can you stop dust mites from entering your home? Well, you might not like the answer. The truth is that dust mites thrive inside your house. That means that they’re born there and have entire colonies set up. Unlike something that might crawl underneath your door every now and then, in other words, dust mites are pretty much always present in homes. They’re quick to multiply and difficult to kill, too, so your efforts are best spent keeping their presence to an absolute minimum.... read more

Clean Up Your Cleaning Products With These Greener Options

  Keeping a clean house is a priority for most people. Uncluttered homes improve our mood, lower risk of injury, and give us an overall feeling of greater productivity. We are more likely to invite friends and family into our homes, and maintaining a clean house also keeps us on our toes, providing a bit of at-home exercise on a daily or weekly basis. Then, there are the more pertinent reasons to maintain a clean house. By eliminating dust and other irritants in the air, we reduce allergies. Regularly cleaning surfaces kill germs that can cause a host of illnesses. Mold growth is prevented by keeping our bathrooms and appliances clean. Plus, cleanliness keeps the pests away. Spring will be here before you know it. In preparing to usher in a sunnier, warmer season, many people find themselves energized and ready to get their houses in order. Previously, we shared some tips you can employ as you prepare to undertake the seemingly monumental task of spring cleaning. One area to pay special attention to when cleaning your home is your carpet. Dirt, dander and other particles collect quickly, so vacuuming frequently is important. It also helps to spot clean spills and accidents that wind up on the floor as they happen. Steam cleaning the carpet is also a good way to get your carpets in healthy shape, assuming you have checked to make sure the cleaner being sprayed by the machine is eco-friendly. Not to mention, a good shampoo can really refresh the look of the whole room. One definite solution to really get the grit out is to... read more

5 Steps to Removing Toxic Chemicals from Your Home

Toxic Chemicals in Your Home?! No one wants to live in a toxic cesspool. News flash: Your house is a toxic cesspool. Well, at least more than you realize. We bring harmful chemicals—like formaldehyde, asbestos, flame retardants and BPA—into our homes every day in the form of paper products, cleaning products, paint and stuff on the bottom of our shoes. Allergens and dust can also infiltrate our personal air space through our vents or grow in warm places like couches or mattresses. It is impossible to eliminate every bad chemical, but we can do a lot if we try. Here are five ways to eliminate toxins from your home: Take Off Your Shoes We track in so much toxic stuff from outside on the bottom of our shoes—pesticides, herbicides, lead, dust and bacteria like E.Coli. When Mom yells at you to get your shoes off the couch, she’s not overreacting. It’s gross! The low-tech solution? Take off your shoes before you come into the house. Leaving shoes outside is a way of life in places like Japan, China, South Korea and the Muslim world. Buy some house slippers for everyone and cordially asked everyone to remove their shoes before they breach your threshold. Replace the carpet Carpets are decorative pollutant traps. Everything gets stuck up in there—dust mites, pet dander, allergens left behind by cockroaches, lead, mold spores, pesticides, dirt and dust. Replacing the carpet can give you a fresh start. I more affordable option would be to have the carpets professionally cleaned by a reputabled carpet cleaning company.  If you opt to have them replaced you’ll want them... read more

How a Clean and Welcoming Home Office Sets You Up for Success

  With traditional small businesses, one of the biggest costs is your office or retail location. Thankfully, online tools make starting a home-based business a great alternative these days. Even when your clientele needs to visit, having a home office keeps your costs down and allows you to show off what makes you unique. Being home-based requires careful planning to make sure your office creates the right impression and is the productive space you need to succeed. Getting Started  The reality of running a home-based business is that you can’t simply wait for clients to find you, which means that developing a solid marketing strategy is key early on. If you already have an idea of the business you want to start, do a little market research next to see how similar businesses fare in your area. Market research will also help you become familiar with your customer base and the best way to reach them. Every business sector has its own unique requirements, and some ideas will require a more thorough business plan than others. In general, though, Money Crashers recommends skipping the traditional business plan template and instead, after you conduct market research, focus most of your planning energy on developing a marketing strategy. Old-fashioned word-of-mouth is often the best place to start. Get in touch with people who are already on your contact list and get out in your community to meet new people. To truly branch out, you want to think about creating a solid web presence. It’s important to start marketing in spaces where your clientele spends a lot of time, such as Instagram.... read more

4 Ways to Save Your Children from Dangerous In-Home Air Quality

While we like to think of home as a place of coziness and warmth, the air in your house could harbor allergens, pollutants and tiny organisms such as mold or mites.  Those pesky little critters can lead to a number of health issues in your kids.  Here is how to identify areas of potential trouble, and what you can do about them. Why does air quality matter?  While you may picture your home as a refuge from pollens, pollutants and other airborne debris, your house actually can be a danger zone when it comes to air quality.  As Washington Post explains, the air in your home can be a haven for dander, mites, pollens, bacteria, molds, and “volatile organic compounds, creating a hostile environment for the sensitive.”  Even if nobody in your family appears to suffer with allergies, subjecting everyone’s immune systems to those tiny irritants can leave bodies at higher risk for trouble. According to Merck Manual, hygiene is the first defense against common pulmonary illnesses in children, such as colds and influenza.  Hygiene is more than just washing hands.  Poor air quality can contribute to trouble, even causing symptoms of asthma in children.  Watch for signs of a sore throat, runny nose or wheezing, and see a physician if your child is experiencing any symptoms.  In the meantime, take the following steps to prevent illnesses by improving your home’s air quality. Remove sources.  Eliminating tiny contaminants in your home can be a boon to air quality.  Those mites, bacteria, pollens and all their ugly little friends can be hiding in your carpeting, window coverings, stuffed toys and upholstery. ... read more

What’s Hiding In Your Carpet?

So What’s Hiding In Your Carpet? Dirt and Soil The average U.S. home can accumulate up to 40 pounds of dust per year. Dirt and soil are easily tracked in from outside and make their way into your carpet. Vacuuming regularly can eliminate as much as 85% of dirt and soil found in carpet. Pet Hair, Dander and Skin Flakes The average person sheds 1.5 million skin flakes per day. Microscopic insects (such as fleas, ticks or mites) feed on skin flakes or dander. Regular vacuuming can help reduce the amount of dead skin cells and pet hair that have fallen into your carpet. Bugs Your carpet also harbors a number of species of bed bugs, fleas and dust mites. Mites can cause allergies through their molted skin, waste and through the mites themselves. Mildew, Mold and Other Bacteria Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there! Pathogens such as salmonella, E. coli, and staphylococcus can hide in carpet fibers and cause illness. Mold or mildew can also thrive in a warm, wet environment. Keeping carpet dry will help prevent the formation of mold or mildew. Odors Toxic substances from cigarette smoke can make their way into carpet fibers. Pet urine and spilled food or drink can also cause odors to form in your carpet if not cleaned immediately and properly. Food and Drinks Spilled food or drink may not only leave stains but also may serve as a food source for bacteria and organisms. To prevent permanent stains or odors from forming, the key is to act quickly! Absorb any spilled liquids by blotting. Then... read more

Do You Have a “No Shoes in the House” rule?

Top 3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Wear Shoes in the House Bacteria – How does the bacteria get there? “We walk through things like bird droppings, dog waste and germs on public restroom floors, all of which are sources of E coli, ” says Kelly Reynolds, Ph.D., a microbiologist and professor at University of Arizona. Bacteria can in fact survive on your shoes for days, even weeks and that bacteria can be tracked into your home. This is something you really have to be cautious of especially with children that might not be walking yet and spend a lot of their time crawling on the floor. Damage – Let’s face it, hard shoes or heels will be much more prone to damage your wood floors and even carpet as they are more abrasive than bare feet or socks/slippers. When you wear shoes inside chances are there are small dirt particles on the bottom of your soles that will cause damage to your floors over time by causing scratches to your wood floors and premature wear to your carpet in the areas that receive the most traffic. Dirt – Bacteria aside, wearing shoes inside brings in a ton of dirt and grime. This means more cleaning for you! We touched on damage above and the dirt you bring in is what causes a lot of the wear and tear your flooring receives. What can you do to take action right now? After reading this you decide to implement the “No Shoes in the House Rule”, give us a call and we will will remove all the dirt, grime and bacteria that has been tracked... read more