Showing posts with label Spring Cleaning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spring Cleaning. Show all posts

Sunday, March 18, 2018

5 Ways to Brighten Up Your Home - Get Ready for Spring and Summer the Easy Way

Brighten Up Your Space - Blonde Wood Flooring Opens Up the Room- Photo Via Pixabay
Where fall and winter had us craving darker, richer tones, spring and summer reverses that and brings out our need for a cleaner, leaner, brighter, fresher environment.

Go From Drab to Fab

When a total renovation is out of the question, you can still try any one of these five simple ideas to lighten and brighten your home:

1. Update Your Light Bulbs

You can acquire light bulbs in various shades. If you haven't tried 'Daylight' bulbs you'll want to give them a go. They emulate natural outdoor lighting and come in a number of styles, such as traditional, candle, spotlight, miniature and more. They're also useful for those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

2. If Your Room is Already Lighter in Shades, Add Some Black or Charcoal Accents

Sounds weird doesn't it? However the darker accents help the lighter aspects to pop and become front and center in the room. Add them in subtle areas, not as major pieces. As example the book spines in a very white cabinet could be black (or darker colors), subtle wood trim in the room could be black or charcoal, as well as a few black picture frames. However the most effective use of this darker shade is in items that are thin or long - chair legs, long arms on lamps, or the pole of a floor lamp.

3. Wall Mount Lamps

These work well in bedrooms above the end table. Choose lamps with a light cheerful lamp shade and a dark base that attaches to the wall. The light lamp shade on a slightly contrasting wall can help encourage that blended feeling a bright room often exhibits. As an example, a coastal blue wall color and lovely large white lamp shade with a black arm and mount can look outstanding.

4. If Draperies Aren't Needed, Skip them, or Use them to Frame the Window

If you live in an private area and can leave your drapes open most of the time, then do that. If you plan on never or rarely ever closing the drapes, then you can either place a light drapery panel on each end, or go ahead and put a full set of drapes, essentially left open. Choose black or charcoal drapes to frame the window ends .... with white trim and black panels on each side, you'll add to that linear look of dark accents explained in point number two.

5. The Most Obvious: Decorate Using White

White reflects light back into the room. It doesn't absorb color. If you want to have the lightest room possible, paint the walls and ceiling white, keep the floors as light as possible and kick it up to another level of brightness by using white accents, lamps and even furnishings. In the case of a bedroom, this is a fairly easy project to tackle; white bedding, white rugs, white dressers, white end tables, and white lamps. Once you've tackled the main areas, then add light pops of color in metallic, gold or chrome.

There you have it, five simple ways to brighten up your home. Scroll to view these white items to add to a home:


If you decide these suggestions are too complicated, or too much work, just change the light bulbs, open the drapes and give the room a good clean. You could also temporarily remove dark area rugs for spring and summer. Exposed floors provide a lovely consistent flow through a space, and thus removing rugs can add to that open, crisp, bright design.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

20 Easy Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Spring

Photo via Pixabay - Flowers, Gardening - Clearing the Yard for Spring
Winter and hibernation tend to go hand in hand. However, we've 'sprung forward' and it's time for another change in our predictable routines.

For many of us, spring brings on an itch that's not allergy related; the itch for change. Even if you're nodding your head in the negative right now, think about it ..... you've more than likely made small changes at the start of spring without knowing it; cleaning closets, washing bedding ... you know, our automatic routine that's inspired by fresh air and open windows. There's something healing about spring changes.

Here are 20 Changes You Can Make (or have made) to Brighten Your Home for Spring - Most Don't Cost a Dime (See them below the photo)
Photo Via Pixabay - Minimalism for Spring

  1. Wash and freshen up the bedsheets, bedspreads and or curtains
  2. Change the bedsheets from flannel to cotton
  3. Clear out your closets
  4. Put away the winter clothes and pull out your summer wear
  5. Clear out your yard and garden - tidy it up
  6. Wash your windows
  7. Open your windows to do an air exchange
  8. Lighten up the room by removing area rugs to expose the wood floors. This simple technique will give you that fresh open feeling for the spring.
  9. Remove your usual accessories and replace them with simple fresh spring accents
  10. Think Green - add an abundance of plants - not just one - put multiple plants in multiple areas
  11. Freshen the home with new scents - replace winter cinnamon candles with lemon, citrus and laundry candles
  12. Dress up your table (kitchen, sunroom) - Bring out a bright and cheerful table cloth and feature a lovely arrangement of spring flowers, vases and candles
    Photo via Pixabay - Add Fresh Flowers
  13. Cover your existing pillows with spring themed pillow covers
  14. If changing your bedding set to a spring theme is possible, go for it
  15. Add one new spring themed fun focal point piece to a room for the spring - a light fixture, a piece of art, new pillows, an oversized floor plant
  16. If you're planning to re-do a room, go lighter in textures, wall colors and furnishings
  17. If you're a lover of color, find a small room (an entry way or a washroom) and paint it in a bright lacquered color. Be sure you know how powerful this will be before tackling the project. If you have a room with high ceilings - even better! Also, in a larger room you could paint one wall in a bright lacquered paint. However, if your wall has a lot of flaws, stay away from this kind of paint, it tends to show every flaw!
  18. Paint a small area in your kitchen with chalkboard paint to help create an outdoor café feel
  19. Add floral prints! Don't be afraid of floral - it's not just your grandmother's favorite. Floral prints can work in moderation, especially as an accent
  20. Work to make your rooms more open and inviting - move your furniture around - a tip to remember - ensure there's a clear pathway through the room, to the doorways. With that in mind, you'll consider the rooms flow without thinking about it.
We seem to go into cleaning-clearing mode as soon as the weather gifts us with fresher, warmer air.

Breathing in the spring air gives us a cleanse inside and out but most of all, is motivating. So don't miss the moment and the mood - make those changes while you still have that itch!



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Three Ways to Hide Clutter

Yep. It's that Time of the Year ... We Look at all our 'Stuff' and Think, "It's Time for a Tidy"

Of course, half the battle is admitting there's a problem! After that it's twenty five percent action and twenty five percent organizational and creative storage solutions.

Even though our clutter is organized, most of the time we're just sick of seeing the neatly stacked piles of life that take away from the overall look of our room.

The solution is equal to the mess you're dealing with: Simple mess, simple solutions, horrendous gut wrenching disaster ... major project.

If you're dealing with a relatively simple mess, here are three ways you can hide clutter:

DECORATIVE ROOM DIVIDERS

Today's room dividers are inventive and artistic. They not only give you a practical way to hide clutter, they also double as art.

When you check out the choices of room dividers available you'll notice the wide range of art scenes featured on them. They come in designs from landscapes to cartoon characters, making them ideal for any room in the home or office.

These are particularly useful in a bedroom that doesn't have a closet. As an example, if you're using a standing hanging rod to hold clothes, put it behind a room divider and it doubles as a place to privately change clothes and it hides the clutter.

A STORAGE BENCH
Storage Bench Featured on Funkthishouse


If your clutter problem is more about the miscellaneous items that never seem to find a home, use a bench as the main gathering place for them.

Whether it's shoes, school books, extra blankets and pillows, seasonal clothing, or photograph albums, a storage bench is a magnificent piece to tuck them away into.

Not only is it a place to hide the mess it's also an extra spot to sit. There are many places you can use a storage bench; the master suite, a child's bedroom, the front foyer, the family room, in your home office or even in the garage.

There are numerous storage bench designs to choose from, so be sure to check them out. You'll find additional styles when you visit the page featuring the above storage bench.


A SECRET PASSAGEWAY BOOKCASE

What? Yes, that's right, they really do exist. Of course this solution is certainly more involved and will require at least intermediate DIY skills, or you'll have to have someone put it in for you ... BUT it's worth it, they're super cool!

They really are as described, an actual bookcase that either swings inwards or outwards leading to a secret room or other space in the home.

If you have a small office in the corner of room and would like to hide important or private papers from prying eyes, then put one of these James Bond creations in .... I mean how many people do you know that have one?

There are a number of designs to choose from. They vary in style, color, features, size and type of wood. You'll see more bookshelf doors when you visit the above featured Hidden Door Bookshelf.







Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

A Unique and Easy Way to Add Art to a Room Without Painting, Art Prints or Wall Decals

Scenery Art Drapes Available on Amazon - Plus Additional Drapes Can Be Found Here
If you're looking for a quick and easy way to add art to a room without having to hire someone to paint wall murals or to go through the work of putting up vinyl wall decals, then try this; draperies that feature art on them.

When it comes to giving a room a facelift, we rarely think to use draperies ... Our minds normally gravitate to paint color and furnishings and the drapes are either omitted or an after thought; it's as though we're trying to do things the hard way.

If the window in your room is a fairly good size, you can use that full space to feature lovely scenic or artistic draperies. In fact, 3D Drapes are a stunning way to not only add art, but to add depth to a space. Because patio doors normally have to be kept clear, they're a good place to feature 3D scenery drapes.

Don't worry if the window is smaller either because you'll find artistic drapes in just about any size to fit: And hey, go ahead and use longer drapes on shorter windows, that way, when they're closed you get the benefit of a larger scenic display to look at.

The ease of interchanging draperies make them an excellent redecorating choice. With several artsy drape styles ready to go in your linen closet, you can change your room for any occasion or season. How about spring flowered drapes, then beached themed drapes, then autumn trees and leaves, and lastly, a gorgeous snow scene on drapes to end the season.

A major drapery change can absolutely alter the look and feel of the space. Since there are practically endless amounts of artistic styles to choose from, you can plan to use several season changes in just about any color combination to match your room.

Go ahead, give it a try ... When you're itching to redecorate but can't stomach the idea of all the work it entails, painlessly scratch that itch by putting up 3D scenery drapes.





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Stop Littering: How to Keep Your Community Beautiful

Let's review how we might apply spring cleaning to the great outdoors and stop littering in the process.
Photo from southpaw2305 via Creative Commons 2.0 

It's springtime, that time of year when most of us do at least a cursory "deep cleaning" of our house, maybe even our yard, and call it spring cleaning. But what about the bigger picture? Could our surroundings, our communities, use some spring cleaning? How about the litter and other trash that's accumulated along the roadways and waterways since last summer? Let's review how we might apply spring cleaning to the great outdoors and help make, and keep, our communities beautiful in the process.

Take this quiz: You're standing at a bus stop with an acquaintence when she pulls a candy bar from her purse, opens it, eats it, then drops the wrapper on the ground. What would you do:
A. I'd pretend I didn't notice.
B. I'd ask her to pick up the litter and dispose of it properly.
C. I'd pick it up myself.
D. I'd ignore the wrapper. It's just a piece of paper, after all.

I'm not going to tell you how you should have responded, but I can tell you what I did when this exact scenario happened to me. It was many years ago, when I was a very young adult and hadn't yet learned to stand up for what I knew was right. Because of that, I have to answer "A" on the quiz. Even though I had been raised during the "Don't be a litterbug" generation of the 1960s and took that philosophy seriously, I remained quiet and pretended not to notice. Shame on me.

Where Does All That Litter Come From?


I think these days most people have a pretty healthy respect for the environment and probably would either pick up and dispose of the litter themselves or ask the person to pick it up. But if that's the case, where does all the litter that accumulates along our nation's highways and byways come from? Well, it starts out as just one piece of paper (like the candy wrapper mentioned above) or one water bottle, soft drink can, plastic bag, or fast food bag-full-of trash, and it accumulates.

Here's a video that I found quite interesting. These garbage trucks weren't just hauling trash to a landfill, they were losing litter along the way to the tune of an average 15 plastic bags a trip. Watch the video to see how quickly that adds up. (Happily, that problem in the Raleigh area has been resolved.)



Littering Is Illegal 


Cleaning up litter is an expensive proposition. Most states have laws against littering, but someone still has to clean up the mess. Chasing down drivers who throw trash out their car windows isn't the best way for a law enforcement officer to spend his or her time, but have you ever seen someone throw out trash and wish you had a badge? In some states, citizens are encouraged by road signs to report littering from cars. In Arkansas, where I live, the state uses the program as a positive approach, educating those driving through our state about fines for littering and the importance the state places on the subject. Hopefully the signs alone help people think twice before they throw that candy bar wrapper out the window.

Three Ways to Stop Littering (Litter Prevention)


1. Teach children to respect their surroundings by not dropping litter anywhere except in a designated litter bag or trash can. Pick up other people's litter if they miss (or ignore) the container. Participate in community or neighborhood clean-up events. Can't find one? Contact your local city or county. Many have websites and participate on social media to keep their citizens informed.

2. Keep litter bins and bags handy in your car, truck, and even your boat, at your campground, and at public parks and gathering places. Be sure to use a lid to keep the trash contained. Container getting over-filled? Close and dispose of the old trash bag liner and replace it with a new one.

3. If there's an accepted method of doing so, report littering. Some states have "report littering" phone numbers on signs along highways and byways. Some people honestly don't realize how quickly trash accumulates and the damage that it causes to wildlife, not to mention the tax money that it costs to clean up the mess. Education and prevention combine to create a better, cheaper choice. 

Resources To Help Stop Littering


Here are just a few links that I found when reading up on the topic of how to stop litter and littering. To find more that are relevant to you and your state, simply search "keep [insert your state's name] beautiful."


New River Gorge in the Author's Birth State of West Virginia - Photo in the Public Domain
A pristine New River Gorge in the author's birth state of West Virginia.
Can we each do our part to keep it that way?


~ Susan




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Add 'Greenery' to Your Decor This Year - Pantone's Color of the Year for 2017

Mug Here - Featuring Greenery
Each Year Pantone Assigns a Color for the Year - Happy Renewal to You, Because it's Greenery!

You may be wondering how Pantone selects the color and you're correct if you've concluded that it's a reflection of the current mood and expression of the time.

On Pantone's website you'll read words like 'rejuvinate' and 'revitalize' appropriately used to describe why Greenery was selected.

It's safe to say, the need for reconnection during these stressful times makes almost ridiculous sense! The calming rebirth of nature and our need to make our way back to it, is offered up through Greenery's yellow/green soothing reassuring combination.

Redecorating and Choosing Colors

If we're planning a redecorating project or are starting from scratch, choosing colors can be challenging. However, the color palette is the first best place to start, with the exception being when we're using colors from an existing piece of furniture or accessory as the base.

When we're decorating a room from the beginning and need guidance choosing a color palate to work with 2017's color Greenery, Pantone's 2017 page is a time saver; check out their suggested pairings. When there, scroll down and you'll see the ten palates by name with color suggestions for each.

Each palate shows colors along with color numbers, making them easy to find when shopping for matching paint, furniture and accessories.

For 2017 the named Pantones Palates Are:

Transitions
Ethereal Material
Grand Canyon
Forest Floor
Rev It Up
Fathomless
Analogous
Moody Blooms
Deep Rooted
Calm it Down

Be sure to check out these palates; why struggle trying to choose colors ... Pantone is a very helpful resource.

Greenery is nature's neutral, so take a deep breath and enjoy your spring decorating projects as you create a space that reflects vitality, beauty and renewal.












Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

13+ Best House Cleaning Tips to Make Spring Cleaning Easier Than Ever

Best House Cleaning Tips Reviewed


Turn dreaded chore time into not-so-bad time with satisfying, built-in rewards when you use these 13+ best house cleaning tips ever.
Do the words "spring cleaning" make you cringe? Does the mention of "Saturday chores" send your kids into hiding?

Never fear! With the house cleaning tips you'll find below, you'll learn how to turn dreaded chore time into not-so-bad time with satisfying, built-in rewards.

So get comfy as you peruse these 13+ tried and true, best house cleaning tips ever, provided by yours truly and some of my fellow Review This! reviewers.

How to Make Housework Less of a Chore


1. Set the Mood With Music. Listening to upbeat music keeps me groovin' while I'm movin', getting those kitchen chores done! The Temptations didn't sit still and neither do I when I play my favorite Temptations music while I'm cleaning the house or washing the dishes. It's amazing how much housework I get done during the 2 minutes and 45 seconds of "My Girl," cleanin' to the smooth rhythm, singin' along in my private kitchen karaoke.

Music is a great motivator. Why not make a game of it? Can you (or the kids) finish folding the laundry before the last note? See how many pots and pans get washed while "you do the things you do" (don't forget to sing along!). Before you know it, your work will be done and you'll still be smiling and boppin' to the beat. Try it. I think you'll like it!

2. Set a Timer. Imagine this scenario:

Mom: "Come on, kids, it's time to do chores."
Kids: "Oh, boy! We get to use the timer!"

I can't promise you that using timers and other fun tools will make your family excited about doing their chores, but it couldn't hurt. In fact, using minutes as motivation is something that is appealing to me as an adult having to do housework on my own, without the company of my now-grown children. Even adults like to play games, and games make chore time go by a lot faster. While the reward is getting to look around and see floors and tables shiny and clean instead of dusty or dingy and kitchen counters clear instead of cluttered with dirty dishes, the fun can be in the getting it done.

Dustmop slippers make quick work of dog hair and dust bunnies on hard surface floors.
The author's feet in her dustmop slippers.

3.  Use Fun Cleaning Accessories. Wish I would have invented dust mop slippers! They're great for hardwood, laminate, or tile floors and come in various styles with sizes to fit everyone in your family. I've tried them (those are my feet in the picture) and they work great for picking up dog hair and dust bunnies. My fellow reviewer, Barbara Tremblay Cipak, explains more in her review, How To Sweep Your Floor Without Lifting a Finger.




Clean Green! How to Make Housework Environmentally Friendly


4. Make Your Own Cleaning Products. Okay, so housework can't be all fun and games. If you're seriously concerned about cleaning with chemicals, make it a point to learn how to use "green" methods to clean all of the surfaces in your home, from floors to countertops and even clothing. Learning what's in the products that you use will really help push you along the road to getting those toxic cleaners out of the house for good!

When it comes to using chemicals and household cleansers, it's important to know what you're handling and to keep your family safe. One way to do that is with homemade cleaning products. For my favorite solution, read Best Homemade Tub and Shower Cleaner Recipe (http://www.lifeinout.com/2017/02/best-homemade-tub-and-shower-cleaner.html).

5. Use White Vinegar For Cleaning. In addition to my two-ingredient homemade bathtub cleaner, don't miss Bev Owens' White Vinegar for Cleaning Review for more ways to use this old-fashioned but very effective one-ingredient product that you probably already have in your kitchen.


Use the Right Tool For the Cleaning Job


6. "Honey, Where Did You Put The Extension Cord?" One of the best (though fairly obvious) pieces of advice I've ever heard about cleaning is to make sure the vacuum cleaner has a long cord, even if you have to use an extension cord, and plug it into an outlet in a central location. I used to have to stop and unplug and re-plug the sweeper halfway up the stairs. Is that silly, or what? When I discovered that I could just use the plug at the foot of the stairs and it would get me through three rooms and all the way up the stairs, well I wish I had a dollar for every time I didn't have to unplug and re-plug from then on!

My bObi Pet robotic vacuum cleaner speeds off to clean under the bed.
"Bobi" speeds off to clean under the bed.
That's part of what I mean by using the proper tool. Of course if you have a robotic vacuum cleaner (I love my new bObi Pet robotic vacuum cleaner), the cord might not be the issue. Another tool that I finally bought was a handheld vacuum cleaner for the furniture. I have lots of attachments for my upright, but to use them I'd have to get the long hose and add it to the short hose and find the furniture attachment. . . Forget all that. Now I have a wonderful handheld vacuum that I can use for all the furniture without lugging accessories around. This very affordable investment was a no-brainer.

7. Toilet Tools. Another excellent tip that I've learned is to have a set of cleaning tools and cleaner in every bathroom and on every floor of the house. There's no reason to run downstairs for the toilet bowl cleaner when you have a second bottle in the upstairs bathroom. A variation on the theme is to use a handy-dandy tote for your cleaning products and carry them from room to room as you clean. That works well, too. The cleaning tote is an excellent tool, just as important as what's inside.

I also keep a roll of paper towels in every bathroom, handy for quick wipe-ups when I just want to throw away the towel and not wash and reuse it. I actually like that better than keeping the roll in the tote since they're always right there when I need them (or when the cat throws up on the bathroom floor).

8. Cleaning Furniture. In recent years, microfiber fabrics have become popular for everything from clothing to furniture. Furniture upholstered in microfiber is comfy,  attractive and, actually, fairly easy to keep clean. Don't put off what you might think is a major chore. Read my article on Cleaning Microfiber to learn how to clean yours.

9. What's Better Than Microfiber? It's easy to find cleaning cloths made from microfiber, but my preference is a cloth with an even finer weave, something called Mirafiber. I use it for everything from cleaning mirrors and dusting the television and computer screens, to cleaning the kitchen appliances and the bathroom sink. Read my Review This! article, Best Cleaning Cloth? The Ultimate Cloth, to learn why I recommend it.

10. Cleaning Hard-to-Reach Places. Once again, reviewer Bev Owens comes to our rescue with a helpful review of one of her favorite cleaning tools in Review of a Telescoping Corner Broom.

11. Cleaning Grout. Some cleaning jobs are more challenging than others and when it comes to cleaning grout, sometimes you need to go the extra mile. If your grout situation has you stymied and you want a solution that will really work, Barbara provides information on the products and methods that her family used to successfully tackle their grout in her article, How to Successfully Clean Grout.


More of the Best House Cleaning Tips Reviewed


12. Got Kids? Review This! contributor Wednesday Elf has put together a compilation of house cleaning tips and tricks that are especially useful for people with kids. But don't take my word for it. Click through to read her A Review of Spring Cleaning Tips to learn more.

13. One Last Best Tip.  If you need help with housework, especially the big jobs, hiring a local pro or handy-person can be a very worthwhile splurge. To find help with house cleaning, yard and outdoor chores, window or carpet cleaning, floor refinishing and more, check out the new Home Services department from Amazon. While many services are only available in select cities, one of those locations might be near you and pros are being added to the service providers every day. Services are described in detail and price is determined up front based on your needs. It's easy to request a no-obligation estimate. Just use the link above or click on the graphic below.




Really, doing chores isn't so bad when you incorporate tried and true house cleaning tips such as these in your daily, weekly, or seasonal cleaning routine. So tell me, did you learn anything new here? Which tip is your favorite?

Happy Spring cleaning!


~Susan
Read more of my reviews.





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Spring Cleaning of the Soul or Soles or Both

Creative Shoe Bench! See This & More Here
When spring is springing we get the urge to neatly place, organize and tuck

Things around the home that didn't bother us over the winter months, like piles of shoes and boots in the closet and the front door, start to get under our skin.

So we spring into action.

Typical Scenes Across the Country...

With hands on our hips, crookedly we stand in the foyer evaluating our winter clutter, thinking ... 'how did I stand this for so long' !

And before we know it, the itch to organize turns into a full blown rash and we're looking around the house trying to reshuffle pieces of furniture, repurpose dressers, and re-do closets.

Freeing ourselves of the unnecessary, we start with the basics ... we bag'em and tag'em.

We only mean to clean the house, but our soul gets spit and polished too.

What?

We don't plan for this to happen, in fact we never do. But year after year, without fail, we feel lighter.

Closets Come First...

We've jammed our closets with extra sweaters, bulky coats, mitts, hats, boots, and too many pairs of shoes. It's not right.

We know it's not right. Guilty.

But, during the holiday season we really did have bigger fish to fry ... Like cozying up to a warm fire. Overflowing closets somehow made the fire feel better. It's winter ... we're not all there. There's a name for our condition: Cabin Feveritis.

But the frequent appearance of the sun along with the disappearing biting cold begins to wake us from our tolerant coma and we're ready to make tough choices ... But where do we start? ....

We figure it out.

To clean our soul, we start with soles.

The stinky invaders come first.

Ahhhh, we've lightened up just thinking about it ....

Sorted shoes; who'da'thunk that all it took was 'sorted shoes'?

All this time we thought life was complicated. Sole ... Soul? Well my gawd, life's greatest mystery has been solved.

Moral of the story - clean your closets, organize your soles, and the future is yours! ... Not really, but at least your closets will look great while your soul floats.

Don't Stop with Shoes, Here are additional Ways You Can Organize Your Life:


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Best Cleaning Cloth? The Ultimate Cloth

Use the Ultimate Cloth to dust and clean the TV and other electronics
Use an Ultimate Cloth to safely dust and clean
the TV and other electronic devices.
Time for housework? Weekend chores? Spring cleaning? If you dread cleaning house, perhaps you're not using the right tools. Because I believe no one should hate housework, I decided to share this review and personal testimonial about one of my very favorite cleaning tools, the best cleaning cloth I've ever used, the Ultimate Cloth.

You've heard of microfiber, I'm sure. As great as a microfiber cloth may be, the Ultimate Cloth is better. Why? Because it does a better job of cleaning, capturing and holding onto dirt. The Ultimate Cloth is made from MiraFiber which consists of fine, synthetic fibers, smaller than microfiber, that are so tiny they work amazingly well to grab and trap dust, dirt, and grease rather than just pushing it around.

Another great thing about the Ultimate Cloth is that it's machine washable and reusable. In fact, the cloth comes with a 5-year guarantee. Use it, wash it, and use it again, over and over for years. I've had my Ultimate Cloths for nearly four years and continue to use, wash, and re-use the same ones.




Streaky Glass and Mirrors? You Need the Ultimate Cloth!


I like the Ultimate Cloth better than regular microfiber cloths and prefer them especially for cleaning glass and mirrors, the TV screen, and even the screen on my Fire tablet and my phone. These cloths work beautifully in the kitchen on our stainless steel refrigerator, stove, and microwave, too. I also have one dedicated to the bathroom where I use it regularly to wipe down the shower walls and glass shower door.
The Ultimate Cloth makes quick work of fingerprints on stainless steel refrigerators and other appliances.
Dampen an Ultimate Cloth to easily clean smudges
and fingerprints from your stainless steel appliances.

Wet an Ultimate Cloth then wring it out well to clean fingerprints off painted surfaces such as walls, cabinets, or doors (inside or out). Our dog, Daisy, has a tendency to rub against the edge of the kitchen cabinet as she turns one particular corner so when I notice that the oil from her hair has accumulated there, it takes just seconds to dampen an Ultimate Cloth and easily wipe that greasy surface grime from the painted cabinet.

To use an Ultimate Cloth, always start by washing it out well (or run it through the washer) to remove any lint that might be left behind in the manufacturing process. Use a clean cloth dry for electronics, but otherwise dampen it slightly and wring it out well for most other surfaces.

Note that the cloth itself won't scratch, but never rub any surface with a cloth that has gotten especially dirty or has been used to clean greasy surfaces or if the cloth might have picked up any solid particles which could scratch the surface you want to use it on.

When you order, buy an extra pack of Ultimate Cloths to use on the car. Dedicate one to cleaning the windows, dusting the dashboard, or cleaning leather or vinyl surfaces inside. Use another when you wash the outside of the car. They work really well to clean hub caps, too, but don't re-use the same cloth on the paint until you've washed the cloth well to remove any grime or grease.

While the Ultimate Cloth can be used dry for some surfaces (like electronics screens) and cleans well with just water for most other surfaces, if you prefer to use a spray or other chemical cleaner on some surfaces, that's fine. Just remember to throw the cloth in the wash when you're finished so you don't accidentally use the chemical on a surface where you shouldn't.

The following under 3-minute video provides lots of information and will probably answer most of your questions about MiraFiber, so I'd suggest you watch it to learn more.



Machine Washable. Bleachable. Comes With a 5-Year Warranty.


Use this link to order a set of two Ultimate Cloths from Vat19. Since that company charges a flat shipping rate, you might want to order a couple of packs or more (they actually make a thoughtful gift) to have on hand. 

The price might seem high for a cleaning cloth, but I can honestly say that I've gotten more than my money's worth and I have no problem at all justifying the cost. And when I think how many paper towels I might have used in their place over these past few years, there's just no doubt at all that I've gotten my money's worth, and I believe that you will, too. 

Thanks for reading my Ultimate Cloth review. I can honestly say these are the best cleaning cloths I have ever used and I recommend them highly.

~Susan
Meet the Reviewer

Photos belong to the author




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

How to Sweep Your Floors Without Lifting a Finger

Floor Cleaning Slippers
They Come in Other Colors & Styles
Whether it's Spring or Any Other Season, the Floors Always Need Sweeping ... Ugh!

Did you know you can sweep your floors all day long without thinking about it or using a broom?

Yes that's right .... all you have to do is walk around your home with slippers that sweep for you.

Do You Have Pets that Shed?

Are you buried in animal fur? Do you need a rescue team to come in and find you and the kids buried in a fog of dog hair? Ok, sure it's not that bad (it could be?).

Well, if you need a rescue, then get the entire family their own pair of dusting slippers. They come in sizes that fit men, women and kids.

Are You Sick of Seeing the Dust on Your Hardwood Floors?

You're not alone. Did you know that darker shiny hardwood flooring shows almost every speck of dust, especially when the sun beams down on them through windows (yah, you know that already) ... and did you know that's one of the reasons people now choose a flatter finish for their hardwood.

In fact my brother and his wife just finished building their home and they specifically choose hardwood that wasn't shiny to avoid seeing every bit of dust and dog hair they used to see in their
Another Style
An affordable choice for your cleaning party!
previous home.

Well, these slippers are also a great house warming gift for people moving into a new house.

In fact, a creative basket of cleaning goodies to make life easier, is an ideal gift!

Add these slippers to your cleaning gift basket and they'll love it! Hopefully my brother and his wife don't read this article, because guess what they're getting from me?

So How Do You Clean the Slippers that Do the Cleaning?

It's easy. Just detach the bottom velcroed micro-fiber cleaning piece and toss them in the washing machine. Depending upon the style you choose, some come as an entire piece as featured in the photo here labelled 'another style'.

Get a pair for everyone in the family and have them wear their cleaning slippers throughout the day and at least you'll stay ahead of the dust!

How About A Slipper Party?

Yah, that's weird.

But if you're into wacky-party themes, you can hold a 'Help Me Clean My House Party' and everyone gets a free gift! A pair of cleaning slippers that you provide for each person as they enter and that they have to wear at the party.

Sure, your house will be a mess of glasses, food and other party goodies, but at least your floors will look good! Best of all, no shoes on in your home, no bare-feet, and no smelly socks. All your guests will be wearing a new pair of cleaning slippers.

Would it be expensive - well, if you compare these to other items you have to acquire for a party, this is in the range .... 10 Slippers would be about $70 to $150 bucks, depending upon the style you choose.

Have Fun Cleaning!
by Barbara


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

How to Change the Look and Feel of a Room Without Spending a Fortune

A Simple Facelift to our Washroom: A paint job,
new accessories, de-cluttering and cleaning
Total Cost: $150
If you live in a place where changing seasons are a part of life, you know exactly what it means to 'feel the coming change in the air'.

You probably find it hard to explain to someone who's never experienced this artful conversion, what it does to the senses, and how it unwittingly triggers a multitude of emotions within us.

How Changing Seasons Get Us Thinking About Changing our Homes or at the Very Least, Changing Our Decor

Since, at the time of writing this, Spring is on it's way, typically many urges hit us. Some of them include renewal, freshness, cleanliness, and in the case of selling and buying a home, the urge for a new beginning. However, before you jump into the often exhausting process of selling a home, read this article to test your resolve.

So How Can You Make Changes in Your Decor Without Dropping Big Bucks?

Here are Four simple, inexpensive decor ideas:

  1. Add an Area Rug to a Room: If you have a room with tile or hardwood flooring, changing your existing rug, or adding one where one never existed, can dramatically change the look and feel of the space. You may be thinking that Area Rugs are just too expensive, however, be sure to check out these very popular and affordable rugs, you'll be surprised by the big bang you get for your buck!
  2. Clean and De-Clutter Your Space: This one change costs nothing but time and effort. Stand back from your room and take stock at what's in your room, and make a decision to remove any pieces of furniture and knick-knacks that seem to overwhelm the space.
  3. Re-Arrange Your Space: This makes the biggest change. Take a look at your space; look at the position of the window, the door(s),  and how the traffic in the space flows, then change the space by keeping 'traffic flow' in mind. In other words, don't block any area where people would naturally walk as they enter, with furniture. This small technique will visually increase the size of your space and also give your room a greater sense of openness. 
  4. Add Accessories to Warm Up the Room: Point number two talks about de-cluttering, but that doesn't mean you have to remove every single decorative accessory. The items that generally add to the 'feel' of a space are Throw Blankets and Pillows. Without over doing it, sparingly include these items and you'll absolutely soften the space. 
There are many other ways to change the look and feel of a room without spending money, as well as an endless supply of DIY projects you can tackle, however, before you jump into these more complex tasks, start by using what you have - look around your house, re-use pieces from another room - creatively use the pieces you already own! 

Change doesn't have to involve spending a fortune!

by Barbara Tremblay Cipak



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Creative Storage Solutions for the Bathroom

Creative Toilet Paper Storage Idea
With the newer, more modern designs of Bathrooms, storage space for toiletries can be at a premium.

Even when, at first glance, there seems to be quite a bit of storage in the washroom, once we start filling the cupboards, there never seems to be enough.

Creative storage solutions for the bathroom means thinking outside of the box.

Toilet Paper Storage for a Small 2 Piece Washroom

In a small 2 piece washroom, there may be a little bit of cupboard space, or if there's a pedestal sink, no cupboard space. Hmmmm...What to do????

When storage is limited, I've come up with a creative
Inside View - Neat & Tidy
solution:
I had an old standing vase from way-back-when, that I decided to use in my main washroom to store toilet paper. 
We do have a cupboard in the washroom under the sink, but that's being used for other items. By having the toilet paper in the vase, the cupboard has room for many other items instead.
If you don't have an old vase to use, you can always pick one up at a flea-market or via online or local shopping. 
However, don't limit yourself to just a vase, any type of decorative storage container about 2 feet tall, that's quite narrow, will work.

Additional Storage Ideas for the Washroom

You can also acquire a bathroom floor storage cupboard system. As you'll see here, there are numerous designs, colors and styles to choose from. Be sure to check them out.

Some come in extremely narrow designs (approximately 6" wide) so they're able to fit in that small space beside the toilet. 

Other style options are slightly larger, as well as being designed for corners. If your washroom has unused corner space, consider a corner storage cabinet. Most offer small counter surface enabling you to put something decorative (or practical) on top of it.

When you're doing this year's spring cleaning, remember to think creatively when it comes to storage. In fact, if you're getting the itch to sell your home, try re-organizing a room before you jump through that very large hoop! It may even scratch that itch for change.

by Barbara Tremblay Cipak



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Do I Really Want to Sell My Home? That is the Question in the Spring Air?

Do You Really Want to Sell Your Home? Or Do You Just
Need a Change? Heart Rug Featured Here
Don't Let Spring Push You Into Selling Your Home Just Because You're Getting that 'Fresh-Air Fresh-Start Itch'

Twenty-five plus years in Real-Estate allowed me to see first hand the many reasons people decide to sell their home. Believe it or not, boredom of environment or needing a change was one of those reasons; especially during spring time when that 'new beginning' feeling hits!

If you've ever sold a home, you've probably received the standard good advice to 'neutralize' your color schemes. The suggestions may have also included, to create a consistent flow between spaces, to repaint with neutral colors, to de-clutter, to remove large furniture in small spaces, and most of all, to limit patterns and prints where possible. Having your home professionally staged may have also been talked about ... good advice.

However, if the only reason you're selling your home is because you're feeling the need for change, then the first thing you should do to Fully Test that urge is to re-arrange a room, and if
Use Scenery Drapes to Create a New Focal Point
They allow you to add color and interest
 without painting - Available at BeddingInn
affordable, change it up by adding MORE color and interest

Pick colors and patterns that you and your family like. Throw out 'the house selling rule book' (to a point!), and decorate in a way that reflects your own personal likes. 

If you've never attempted to work with color and pattern, here you'll see an example of  how to choose a patterned couch with a patterned rug. It also features a handy short video on mixing color with pattern.

When spending a lot of money isn't an option, keep the room changes simple, try these five things first:
  1. Repaint the room
  2. Rearrange the furniture
  3. Create a new focal point
  4. Add accessories
  5. and sorry, clean and de-clutter
Focus on the things you like, but start first with 'the mood' you want to create; airy, fun, electric, cozy, serious ... you get the picture. Even if your existing pieces don't fit into your mood choice, use the things you add to do that task; paint, pillows, blankets, rugs, window coverings, or if you're going all out, furniture.

If you're thinking this is too much work, then think about all the time, expense, and energy it will take to sell your home. When you're just not sure what to do .. to stay or to go .. redo at least one room in the home before you make that larger choice to sell. 

Oh, and if you re-decorate that one room with neutral tones only because you think that's practical for resale, well, you're subconsciously out the door already! So resist that, and decorate that room in your own true funky fashion. Give it your touch.

When you're finally ready to sell, then go neutral-mad. But remember to test yourself with this re-do challenge, and ask yourself, do I really want to sell my home?

By Barbara Tremblay Cipak
Funkthishouse.com



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

An Easy Way to Organize Your Linen Closet

Photo by Funkthishouse.com
If Opening Your Linen Closet Causes Heart Palpitations, It's Time for a Spring Sort!

If you have a big family, and many different sizes of beds, as we do, then this practical linen-sorting tip can help.

Here's How I Solved the Problem of Mixing Up the Various Sizes of Linens for each Room in the Home:

In our washroom we have a closet we're currently using as a Linen Closet. It doesn't matter where your linen closet is located, so long as it's large enough to use sorting bins.

We have five bedrooms and four sons. Each bedroom has a different sized bed; double, queen, single, king ... so my linen closet was ALWAYS a disaster! Plus I also found myself unfolding and re-folding sheets after grabbing the wrong sized sheets for a bed!

One Day, I HAD Enough and decided to find a way to organize the closet so that finding the right sheets for the right bed wouldn't be such a hassle!

NOW Each room has it's own storage bucket with the respective sized Bedding in it. You could also put their bedding in their bin in their bedroom closet, but that doesn't work for us.
By Funkthishouse.com
First of all, I know the sheets would end up in a heap, and second there wasn't any more space to do it that way.

You can see by the photo that each child has it's own storage container with their linens in it, with the second shelf reserved for towels.

The extra containers have pillow cases in them, divided up by size - One container has 'double/queen sized pillow cases' and one of container has 'king sized pillow cases'.

Our master bedroom actually has two containers - one container holds the 'flannel sheets' and the other holds the summer 'cotton sheets'. Also, on the very bottom of the closet I keep a laundry basket for the boys to put their dirty clothes in.

I've lightly written the boys names on each of their respective containers so that I can quickly find the sheets for the bedroom I need.

It's working out very well. Although, sometimes I do put the wrong sheets in a bucket and have to correct it.

It is a bit of a pain to take the buckets out that are on the very top, but they're the ones I use less frequently. Plus I prefer it this way over the mess that it once was.

This was easy to do; just measure the width and depth of the shelves, decide how many containers you need and then be sure you pick containers that will fit nicely on the shelves.

PS: Keep the containers OPEN to easily reach in and grab bedding without having to open and close them each time

by Barbara Tremblay Cipak
Owner - Funkthishouse.com

Added Bonus: Check out creative laundry room sorting tips for a small space here !


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

How to Remove Scratches from Auto Paint

                           Mequiar's Car Care Kit

The Preferred Scratch Removal Compound and Polisher to Remove Scratches from Auto Paint - A Personal Review

There is no doubt that in our house, my husband is the 'car cleaning go-to-guy'. If there's a car to be cleaned, he's probably outside doing just that! It's no exaggeration to say that he's an expert. He's spent years mastering his craft and is very proficient at auto detailing to the point that the car looks like showroom condition when he's done with it!
One of the areas he's learned a lot about is how to remove scratches from auto-paint. Personally, I had no idea that this was doable right from home, until I actually watched him do it.
Here you'll read about my husbands favorite products for scratch removal and how to properly apply them. These products are not chosen on a whim either, he's extensively researched them and
Ultimate Compound
personally loves the results he gets. Of course, it's certainly up to you what you ultimately decide to use, these are just suggestion based on personal choice and experience.
Meguiar's G17216 Ultimate Compound - 15.2 oz.
He loves working with this compound because he says it gives him great results. It has a diminishing abrasive, so he doesn't have to worry about damaging the paint finish. He'll give the bottle a good shake before he uses it as well.
The video below gives you a good explanation of the product - it's one he's watched a few times.


The Car Polisher That Gives Excellent Results
The Porter Cable 7434XP is his favorite. Tips on how to use it:
First thing is to choose the proper cutting pad; it's usually identified by the manufacturer. If you happen to use the wrong pad, you'll probably notice that it's very porous and that the compound will deeply embed itself and will not remain on the surface to do it's job. The cutting pads are more dense and the cutting compound should stay on the surface to do it's work.
PORTER-CABLE 7424XP 6-Inch Variable-Speed Polisher
Porter-Cable Polisher
This is his first choice for a polisher. It turns out to also be a best seller on Amazon. He says it's a terrific tool that's given him great results.
He's used it all day long to remove swirl marks and scratches and the machine showed no signs of slowing down or heating up. He feels it's good value for the money too.

Additional Tips Regarding the Porter Polisher

Be sure to prime the pad with a lubricant so it's not dry when you are about to use it. In regards to the polishing pattern to use; first use a small diameter pad for small areas - he says he uses an up and down pattern with a 50% overlap and a side to side motion with a 50% overlap. He only does an 18inch by 18inch section at a time.
As mentioned above, the product has a diminishing abrasive that will break down within minutes of use and you will see the product turn to a shiny finish. After a minute or two you can wipe it off with a micro fiber cloth. Continue to prime the pad before adding more product. Also, clean your pads after each use.

A Helpful Video on Polishing Your Car






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Review of Spring Cleaning Tips

 

Especially Useful Tips for People with Kids

 

Funny Spring Cleaning Saying

Whether you need a way to help de-clutter or clean kids toys, or tips for getting your kids involved in Spring Cleaning, the Review This blog has a few suggestions.

One of the best ways to be successful with big cleaning chores such as Spring Cleaning is to get the whole family involved.  Kids can clean, whether they believe it or not!  One good hint, for major cleaning or just daily cleaning, is to get a small kitchen timer and have the kids 'clean their room' until the buzzer goes off.  They (and you) will be amazed at how much they can accomplish working against the clock. It becomes a game for them.


Toy Clutter Control



Organizing Toys
Kids Activities Blog


On the Kids Activities Blog, Holly has a wonderful article of 15 kid tested ideas for toy clutter control.


Toy Hammocks Save Space

Toy hammocks are wonderful space-saving ways to store toys off the floor, and a quick way to 'pick-up' and 'put-away' those toys.


Handmade Crochet Hammock for Stuffed Animals



Crochet Toy Hammock on Etsy

A crochet crafter in Virginia Beach, VA crochets toy hammocks for all those cute stuffed animals your children collect and keep forever.  Hang it next to their bed, so their special stuffed animals are still close but don't take up the space in their bed any more.  

Two sizes are available  (40 by 28 by 28 inches for regular and 50 by 34 by 34 inches for large).  A wide variety of color choices are available in her Etsy Shop called Just Yarning.



Green Cleaning Ideas


For those of you who prefer cleaning with environmentally-safe products, HubPages author Chen has an article on Green Spring Cleaning Tips using handy products such as baking soda and white vinegar. Products such as these are safe for even children to use while helping mom clean.



More Simple Cleaning Tips from the Contributors here on Review This!






  • And Bev has also found a telescoping corner broom which is terrific for cleaning those hard to reach those high ceilings and corners. 

 

House Cleaning Tips all in one Place


Available on Amazon

For all of us who live a busy life, house cleaning at any time is a chore.  This book of House Cleaning Tips and Tricks from Amazon has helpful hints and time-saving tips all in one place.  

Getting organized has never been easier.











Spring has arrived!



Putting off Spring Cleaning

Hopefully, this collection of tips and hints will give you a head start with your Spring Cleaning.  Or... you can enjoy putting it off until next year!






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.