Tips for a Tidy Home

January 27th, 2012 by admin

Don’t you love coming home to a clean house? Whether you live in a two-room apartment or a sprawling ranch, the air just feels fresher when the place is clean and neat. Although some busy folks hire a housekeeping service to come in every week or two to make things right, most of us fend for ourselves and bravely tackle the dirtiest household chores when we can’t bear the grime any longer.

Cleaning your home doesn’t have to be a dreaded task, however. With a few arrangements ahead of time, you can be ready to go and get the work done in no time flat. All it takes is a little bit of organization and preparation, and you can whisk through those weekly duties pronto.

  1. Stock cleaning supplies. Use the most natural and non-toxic products you can find. Or consider making your own. Clean the toilet bowls with Alka Seltzer, for example, by tossing in a couple of tablets, letting them fizz for an hour so, and then scrubbing the bowl to remove lingering debris. For counter space and bathroom fixtures, use a paste made of baking soda and water and apply it like cleanser. Rinse each surface thoroughly, and you will be surprised to see how effectively this works. Try a half-cut of vinegar following by a cup of hot water to clear a clogged drain. You can find many types of homemade cleaners and fresheners that will save money and cut fumes as well as protect your household materials.
  2. Get organized. Keep all supplies and cleaning equipment in a specific area so you can find them when needed. Wash or replace cleaning rags, and don’t forget to buy paper towels. Replace your mop head and broom every three to six months, or as needed, to keep these tools working effectively. Choose a certain time slot and try to follow it each week for doing the general cleaning. For example, this could be Thursday evening, Saturday morning, or another time when you can get the housework done without interruption.
  3. Work efficiently. Start at one end of the house-the one furthest from the center-and work your way back. Put a clothesbasket or paper bag in each room to receive items that need to be moved to another area, such as discarded newspapers, shoes, or dishes. Train the kids to return items like these to their proper locations at the end of each day.
  4. Go light to heavy. Start with dusting, wiping, or surface tasks first. Then move on to the sweeping, vacuuming, or mopping, as well as windows or other heavy-duty tasks that remain to be done. Open the windows, weather permitting, to bring in fresh air and let out contaminated air. You’ll love the fresh scent unless you live in a heavily polluted area.
  5. Clean up thoroughly. Put everything away where it belongs, cleaning supplies included. Pick up magazines, toys, and other discarded items. Place fresh-cut flowers in a vase on the table, or bake muffins for supper. The delicious aroma will add to the wonderful clean feeling of your home.

Make a habit of keeping the house tidy each day. Put things where they belong. Do the dishes after each meal. Put away groceries when you return from the store. Then you won’t have as much to do when cleaning day rolls around.

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Is Your Vacuum Sweeper Safe?

January 27th, 2012 by admin

Almost every homeowner uses one or more vacuum sweepers to keep the carpets clean and tidy. Schools, churches, banks, and other commercial properties likewise make frequent use of this indispensable appliance. Although some models are larger, stronger, or heavier than others, their function is primarily the same: picking up lint, dust, pet hair, and other minute debris that has settled into the carpet fibers and may be causing allergic reactions or possible choking hazards for infants or toddlers. A reliable, hard-working sweeper plays an important role in any carpeted edifice.

If you use a vacuum sweeper, it is important to inspect the sweeper routinely to make sure it works properly and does not pose a safety risk. There are several things to check for every month or two, so you may want to keep a checklist taped to the inside of your utility closet door or wherever you store your home or office vacuum sweepers.

  1. Check the cord. Look for frayed or worn areas, and cover them with electrical tape. If you spot a significant break in the cord cover, have a vacuum cleaner appliance dealer or repair shop replace the entire cord. Don’t risk electrical shock or even a possible fire by neglecting this important inspection.
  2. Examine the roller and sweeper blades. Make sure the sweeper is unplugged and gently remove debris that could jam the roller or cause potential clogs. Hair strands, bobby pins, or pet fur could wind tightly around the roller and interfere with its smooth operation.
  3. Inspect the wheels and connective parts. Make sure everything fits snugly where it should and replace any stripped or loose screws. If there are cracked pieces, take the sweeper to the dealership for replacement items, including the handle, switches, extensions, and other sections.
  4. Use the sweeper only as directed. Never try to suction standing water from a carpeted or tile floor, which could result in electrocution. Don’t use the sweeper in the garage or on outdoor areas, like a porch, shed, patio, or deck. Use this appliance for household duty only.
  5. Watch for warning signs. These might include sparks when you plug or unplug it, a burning smell when it is turned on, or grabbing and holding carpet threads or area rugs. If something doesn’t seem right when using the vacuum sweeper, turn it off and call your appliance dealer or repair shop.

If your home has more than one level, you may want to get a sweeper for each one to avoid carrying it up and down stairs, which could pose a tripping or falling injury hazard. Pick up small toys and objects from the floor before vacuuming to keep them from getting stuck in the sweeper and possibly causing problems. Don’t let children play with the vacuum sweeper. Store it in a safe, dry area. While a sweeper may not seem like an especially important appliance, try not using one for a week or more, and you may feel differently.

Choosing Your REALTOR ?

January 27th, 2012 by admin

With so many realtors competing for your business, how do you know which one to choose? Here are a few things to consider when choosing a realtor.

The most important decision you will make in the sale of your home is the Realtor you choose.

Some points to consider:

  • Find someone you feel comfortable with. If you don’t feel you can ask questions or go to your Realtor, you have the wrong Realtor.
  • Your Realtor should show you research to back up any recommendations. This includes information about recent sales, current listings and recent expired listings in your neighborhood.
  • Choose a local Realtor. He or she will know your area better than an outsider, will be seen as a source for people looking to relocate in your neighborhood, and will get better co-operation from other agents. It is likely that any amount you might save by having a friend or relative from outside the area serve as your Realtor, will be lost in their lack of knowledge about the very specific local market. Ask for references from the Realtor. He or she should be willing to give you names of previous clients.
  • Ask your friends and acquaintances for recommendations, but make your final choice based on your needs.
  • Ask the Realtor to show you what will be done to market your home. Consider the office and company support available to him or her as well as the initiative and professionalism shown by the individual.
  • Look for a Realtor who tells you what he or she knows from experience in the market, and not what they think you want to hear. Flattery may sometimes get the listing, but it doesn’t sell the home!