Showing posts with label spring cleaning tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spring cleaning tips. 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.

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.