How to tackle deep-cleaning tasks around the house
(BPT) - You know it must be done, but you just don't want to. It's been on the to-do list for far too long. You may try to ignore it, dodge it or even cover it up. It's your mess nemesis — your least-favorite cleaning task — and you dread having to tackle it.
Not all cleaning is equal
While some people enjoy cleaning more than others, everyone can agree that not all cleaning tasks are created equal. In fact, 88% of American adults have a least-favorite cleaning task, according to a new survey from the makers of home cleaning brand CLR (pronounced "clear"). When asked to liken their least-favorite cleaning task to a person, 33% of Americans said it's like a scam caller. When asked to choose between activities, almost half (43%) would rather go to the dentist than handle their least-favorite cleaning task.
Cleaning during quarantine
Considering the extra time people are spending at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, messes are more frequent and can quickly become bothersome. The frequency of cleaning has increased for most Americans over the past several months, but Americans are, understandably, split on their level of cleaning productivity during this time: 53% have tackled a cleaning task they've been avoiding for years during the pandemic and 42% have avoided at least one cleaning task during the pandemic.
Tips for conquering a mess nemesis
Whether it's soap scum, mildew, rust, stinks, stains or spills, it's time to show your mess nemesis you mean business. Follow these tips to get the job done right:
1) Set a date: It's easy to keep avoiding tasks you loathe, so set a time for when you plan to focus on cleaning and be specific. For example, at 10 a.m. Saturday you're finally giving the boot to that lime and calcium buildup on the shower door. Put on some cleaning clothes, play some motivational music and focus on getting the job done once and for all.
2) Stock ample supplies: Stock necessities, such as sponges, scrubbers and rags, before diving into any cleaning mission. Having the right supplies for the specific job makes tasks simpler. Use proper cleaning formulations for your task, such as the CLR line that has products designed to get rid of the grime in areas of the home, from the kitchen and bathroom to the patio, garage and beyond.
3) Follow directions and use safer products: Always follow the directions on any product to ensure you get the results you want without making the mess worse or damaging the items. Use products that clean effectively without unnecessary use of harsh chemicals. Look for products approved by the EPA Safer Choice Program, meaning they’re recognized as a safer alternative to traditional cleaning options that rely on the use of harsh chemicals to be effective, such as bleach.
4) Rally the troops: Whether it's a big mess that requires multiple sets of hands or a tough mess that requires a few people strategizing, help can make a big difference. Even if you need to focus on the mess nemesis while other people handle regular household chores, this can keep things moving forward thanks to teamwork. Get your partner, spouse, kids or roommates in on the action.
(BPT) - The latest trends in home decor reveal a desire for a feeling of tranquility and calmness, perhaps as a response to today’s overly busy and distracted lifestyles. From Marie Kondo’s decluttering craze to a return to natural materials in home design, everyone is looking for a way to create a peaceful, less hectic inner space. When it comes to home decor, less is definitely more.
How can you tap into this yen for a little more Zen?
1. Simplify your design strategy
When revamping your room to create a more minimalist effect, choose a limited color palette, meaning one to three colors at most. Select mostly more muted or neutral colors, though you can use one vivid color in a piece of furniture or art to grab the spotlight.
Let the textures of the materials that you use for the floors, walls, ceilings and furnishings — whether they are natural wood, stone, ceramics, glass, tile, fabrics or canvas — create the room's visual interest instead of yesterday’s too-busy colors and patterns. Choose a couple of contrasting textures, like glass and reclaimed lumber, or woven fabric and stone, to highlight in the room for the best effect.
2. Declutter your spaces
Decide what items you really want and need to be in each room and get rid of the rest — or find a way to store it neatly, preferably out of sight. One of the greatest visual clutter culprits today comes from technology. It's hard to know what to do with the mass and tangle of cords from all the latest gadgets, power strips and chargers everyone uses in their homes.
To streamline the technology you use for viewing TV, movies and more, a product from LG Electronics USA can solve your cord clutter problem and turn your living room into an amazing home viewing theater. The LG CineBeam AI ThinQ 4K Laser Projector (HU85LA) creates an impressive 90- to 120-inch cinematic screen by placing it just 2.2 to 7.2 inches away from the wall, needing no complicated installation. With its streamlined and compact design, the state-of-the-art projector incorporates LG's ThinQ AI and has the Google Assistant built-in so you can control your compatible smart home devices with just your voice.
3. Choose furnishings with clean lines
When you're selecting new furniture for your minimalist rooms, look for high-quality, standout pieces designed with clean lines, with no fussy design details or busy patterns. Don't acquire more furniture than the room really needs. Chances are you can do without all those end tables and extra chairs.
Make one exceptional, stylish piece of furniture be the focal point for each room, and don’t over-furnish or over-decorate the space around it. Then avoid the urge to smother the couch or sectional with tons of blankets and throw pillows. Let the furniture speak for itself.
4. Streamline artistic expression
Instead of filling every wall with pictures, choose just one accent wall, eliminating excessive decor elements around it. Let one work of art dominate that space, reducing any competition for attention.
The LG CineBeam Laser Projector can display a chosen photograph or work of art on your accent wall. With 8.3 million pixels, it delivers impeccable precision and detail at four times the resolution of full HD, along with incredibly vibrant color reproduction. It works without the need to darken the room around it, using gentle light that produces clear images without any harsh brightness.
5. Leave plenty of open space
Resist the urge to fill every corner and surface of the room with ornaments and knickknacks. It's the open space, unencumbered by any visual clutter, that creates the feeling of calm and tranquility you're craving.
And if you're lucky enough to have a great view out the window, install only simple, streamlined window treatments — or no window treatments at all — to highlight that view.
Minimalist decor is all about making careful choices and choosing the best quality furnishings and decor over quantity of items. You can turn any room into a beautiful showcase that you'd be happy to entertain and live in, with some thoughtful decision-making. To learn more about improving your home technology, visit LG.com.
Painting is one of the easiest and most impactful DIY projects for homeowners to quickly update their homes. Whether it’s a new look in a master bathroom, adding a pop of color to the guest room, finishing off a basement remodel or anything in-between, a fresh coat of paint provides a fresh spin that’s all your own. To make your painting project go smoothly, consider following these important steps before diving in to your DIY painting project.
4 Steps for DIY Paint Project Success
(Family Features) Painting is one of the easiest and most impactful DIY projects for homeowners to quickly update their homes. Whether it’s a new look in a master bathroom, adding a pop of color to the guest room, finishing off a basement remodel or anything in-between, a fresh coat of paint provides a fresh spin that’s all your own.
To make your painting project go smoothly, consider following these important steps. Take this task list from the experts at Purdy Professional Painting Tools into account before diving in to your DIY painting project.
Find inspiration. Having a final design in mind before starting your project can help you plan. From the obvious wall color to more intricate details like painting trim, doors, the ceiling and more, starting your project with a plan can help you avoid multiple trips to the store.
Remember, the details are important: incorporating the correct types and sheens of paint, using complementary colors, buying the proper amount of paint and more.
Collect the right tools. Part of the planning process includes ensuring you have the proper tools for the project. A paint brush, roller cover, roller frame, paint tray and extension pole are the basic essentials for your project’s success. From step ladders and putty knives to wood filler and drop cloths, it’s crucial to have everything you need.
However, keep in mind that not all tools are created equal. For example, when you use a high-quality paint brush, you’re more likely to paint straight lines when cutting in to corners and walls. You may also notice a much smoother finish, one without unsightly brush strokes, which means a more visually appealing result with less effort, too. One option is Purdy Brushes, which are specially designed and hand-crafted to ensure you get professional-quality results every time.
Prepare the area. Proper planning for your project depends on which room in the house you’re painting. The main rules of thumb include removing everything from your walls – including curtains, decor and switch plates – using drop cloths to cover floors; removing or lowering light fixtures from the ceiling; and emptying the room of tables, lamps, furniture and other movable objects. If this isn’t possible, push all the pieces to the center of the room and cover with drop cloths.
Don’t forget to prepare the surface you are going to paint. Patch and sand any holes or imperfections. Then wipe down surfaces you plan to paint with warm water, which helps remove dirt and dust that can sometimes prevent paint from adhering. If possible, open windows for better ventilation once you’re ready to start.
Clean up. When the painting process is finished and you’re appreciating the hard work, don’t forget the job isn’t done until you’ve properly cleaned up. Paint brushes and roller covers should be washed promptly after use to ensure they can be used again. Use warm water and mild detergent to clean then let air dry. If you end up with leftover paint, it can be helpful to save some for future touch-ups. One helpful tip is to write on the can what room or walls you painted, the date and color name. This information can be beneficial should you need to purchase more paint at a later date.
Find a tool selector to help you find the best brushes, roller covers and painting accessories for your project at purdy.com.SOURCE:
Warmer weather and more daylight hours bring renewed energy to truly enjoy your home with family and friends. Spring is a great time to get rid of the lingering grime and grit of winter to keep your clean home happening all season long. With a thorough home clean, you can create a vibrant living space for your day-to-day life, whether it’s playing with the kids, tackling your to-do list or simply relaxing. Here are three tips to help tackle some of the dirtiest places in and around your home.
(BPT) - Warmer weather and more daylight hours bring renewed energy to truly enjoy your home with family and friends. Spring is a great time to get rid of the lingering grime and grit of winter to keep your clean home happening all season long. With a thorough home clean, you can create a vibrant living space for your day-to-day life, whether it’s playing with the kids, tackling your to-do list or simply relaxing. Here are three tips to help tackle some of the dirtiest places in and around your home.
Wash your windows
You’ll be surprised how dirty your windows have gotten and how much brighter your home, and outlook, will feel once they are clean. First, remove the screens and use a vacuum’s extendable attachment to remove the loose gunk and dust. Then, wash with soapy water and a firm brush, rinse with a hose and let air dry. For especially dirty windows, first clean with soapy water, then move on to an even mix of water and white vinegar. While using a lint-free towel or cloth will help avoid streaks, a car windshield squeegee is the expert choice.
Tackle indoor surfaces
It’s important to make sure guests at your next get-together experience a clean and healthy home — but a full vacuum bag or clogged filter can reduce suction, leaving the dirt, dust and allergens that build up on many surfaces behind. For an ideal clean, make sure your vacuum is at its peak performance by replacing bags and filters. Arm & Hammer Premium Allergen bags and HEPA filters are designed to capture allergens, and need to be replaced every one to two months for bags and every three to six months for filters. If you have pets, use Arm & Hammer Pet Fresh Dry Carpet and Carpet and Upholstery Extractor Cleaners to neutralize pet odors and break down lingering stains.
Spruce up outdoors
Winter weather and activities can take a toll on the finishes and surfaces outside your home. Cleaning a few key areas will refresh your home’s look and feel as you spend more time enjoying your outdoor spaces for birthday parties, barbecues and more:
* Siding: No need to get complicated — first, rinse with a garden hose, then scrub the dirty areas with a brush and soapy water and rinse again. Make sure to avoid chlorine-based bleaches to keep surrounding plants healthy.
* Driveway and garage: First, soak up oil, stains and other nasty winter reminders by spreading a drying material, such as sawdust, on the stain. Leave it for one day before scrubbing with soap and water. A power washer can be used for particularly tough stains.
* Grill/barbecue: For gas grills, make sure the propane is disconnected. Then, soak the grates in hot soapy water and rinse. Scrub thoroughly under the hood and on the inside walls with a hard brush, first covering the heating elements, to get rid of grease and particles from last year. Wipe down with a damp towel.
With these tips, you are ready for a clean, healthy (and fun) season. For more tips, visit www.armhammervac.com.
(BPT) - Pull back the drapes, crack open the window and let in the warm, sun-soaked air. That’s right, spring is right around the corner and that means it’ll soon be time to chase away the grime and odors that have settled in over the long winter.
For many, spring cleaning is something of a tradition, a ritual. But things have changed. The days of dipping an old mop into a tin bucket filled with gray water belong to another era. In the age of smart cars and smartphones, cleaning has become smarter as well.
Here are a few smart innovations that will make your spring cleaning routine much more efficient and thorough.
1. Freshen up your style. A change in seasons is the perfect time to change up your wardrobe. Take advantage of this transitional period to purge items you haven’t worn in 12 months or more — be honest with yourself! When you’re free of unnecessary items, indulge in a trip to a specialty store offering storage and organization products to uncover new space-saving solutions. Unsure of what to get rid of? If a beloved item just needs a little love, run it through a steam-powered clothing care system like the LG Styler or delicates cycle in the LG TWINWash system — both certified by AAFA as asthma and allergy friendly(R) — to see if it’s salvageable.
2. Breathe easy. It’s easy to spend the lion's share of your time trying to tackle the stains, dust and smudges in your home. However, one of the most important parts of your home to clean is the part you can’t see. We’re talking about air quality, of course. Opening windows and placing plants around your home is a good way to start, but if you really want to get serious, put an LG PuriCare Air Purifier to work. With sensors to monitor the air quality, this cutting-edge purifier is certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, and is perfect for anyone who suffers from allergies.
3. Multitask like never before. By now, most of us are familiar with robot vacuums. Having one of these zoom around your home on cleaning days frees you up to do other things, saving you time and making manual vacuuming a thing of the past. Over the years, the technology has advanced so that nowadays these nifty cleaning assistants are quieter than ever before — some even come equipped with a camera to monitor your home while you're away!
4. Use the power of light. The battle against germs is a year-round endeavor. This spring, instead of repeating the old routine of a rag and some harsh cleaner, which often can spread more germs than it kills, try a UV sanitizing wand. These simple devices use a powerful ultraviolet light to kill odor-causing bacteria and germs on hard surfaces. It’s the same technology used in many hospitals and is perfect for bathrooms, kitchens, even cleaning your kids’ toys.
5. Let your appliances do more work. Have you ever wondered whether your oven, dishwasher and refrigerator could be doing a little more to reach their full potential? If so, you probably have yet to use the new generation of smart appliances. LG’s line of SmartThinQ appliances are Wi-Fi enabled, allowing you to monitor dishwashing and laundry cycles, remotely clean the oven or even check the air quality at home from your phone or computer while you are out of the house.
Far from being a chore, spring cleaning is a celebration, a chance to chase away the stuffiness of winter and bring a fresh, revitalizing feeling into your house. With the help of new technology, it’s even easier to get a start on this season of growth and regeneration.
The bathroom is a functional space where you can bathe, get ready for the day and take care of business. However, the bathroom can be so much more than that: it can offer a place to destress, relax and recharge before taking on the morning or after conquering a long day. These tips and tricks help you transform your bathroom into a spa-like oasis without undergoing a major renovation.
Transform Your Bathroom into the Ultimate Paradise
(Family Features) Many people spend a lot of time in the bathroom. It’s a functional space where you can bathe, get ready for the day and take care of business. However, the bathroom can be so much more than that: it can offer a place to destress, relax and recharge before taking on the morning or after conquering a long day.
Now you can escape to your own paradise without leaving home. These simple tips and tricks from lifestyle and parenting expert Jordan Reid of Ramshackle Glam can help you transform your bathroom into a spa-like oasis without undergoing a major renovation.
Photo courtesy of Sue HudelsonSOURCE:
(BPT) - Log onto almost any news website and in just a few clicks you’ll probably come across some story about the environment. Whether it involves international agreements, alternative energy sources or fuel-efficient cars, the discussion is often abstract and far removed from our everyday lives.
Consumers want to know what they can do and how they can contribute to making a cleaner, greener planet.
Minor changes can make a significant difference, particularly with cleaning your home. You can trade in harsh chemicals and wasteful cleaning products for sustainable methods that are just as clean, if not cleaner. Here are five ways you can clean your home the eco-friendly way.
1. Your own all-purpose cleaner. One of the easiest solutions is to make your own all-purpose cleaner. This effective solution only requires three ingredients: Two cups of distilled water, half a cup of white vinegar and 10 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. Mix all the ingredients into a spray bottle and voila! The vinegar is a natural antifungal that effectively kills germs and bacteria, and an essential oil like lavender will leave your house smelling great.
2. A cleaner way to mop. Unfortunately, many of the most effective ways to sweep and mop are also incredibly wasteful, requiring you to use a new disposable pad with each cleaning. The new O-Cedar ProMist MAX Microfiber Spray Mop features a reusable microfiber mop head that can be machine washed up to 100 times. Plus, the reusable bottle allows you to clean with any solution you choose — whether you DIY or buy your favorite brand. Its double-sided mop head flips and covers a surface area that is over twice the size of the previous version.
3. A sparkling toilet. Many of the harshest products under your counter are probably there to get your toilet sparkling clean. But you don’t need chlorine or bleach to disinfect your toilet and leave it looking like new. Instead, once or twice a week, pour a few tablespoons of baking soda into the bowl and scrub it with a toilet brush. In addition, make a toilet cleaner out of one ounce of eucalyptus oil — a natural disinfectant — and a quart of water.
4. Want clean air? Think green, literally. Especially in the winter, smells around your house can become stagnant and it can be a real challenge to chase them away. One of the most effective and visually pleasing ways to freshen up your air quality is with selective house plants, such as:
* Rubber plants thrive in rooms that don’t get much sunlight.
* Boston ferns are some of the best indoor plants for removing pollutants such as formaldehyde.
* Peace lilies are one of the few flowering indoor plants. As such, they bring a little spring to your room and naturally remove VOCs and more from the air.
5. Castile soap. In certain sectors, castile soap enjoys a virtual cult following. This olive oil-based soap is incredibly versatile and can be used as a furniture polish, window cleaner, dish soap and more. Best of all, most varieties you find in stores are all natural and free of toxins.
Though many of the environmental issues we read about may seem like insurmountable obstacles, it is possible to make a difference just by changing how you clean your house.
Spring is a sensible time to refresh and restore your home after heavy indoor use during winter. It’s also an opportunity to conduct overdue home maintenance and achieve a sense of accomplishment.
Tackle Spring Cleaning Room-by-Room Like a Pro
(Family Features) Spring is a sensible time to refresh and restore your home after heavy indoor use during winter. It’s also an opportunity to conduct overdue home maintenance and achieve a sense of accomplishment.
Tackle the project room by room with these tips from the experts at Office Depot to make the work feel more manageable and ensure you complete a thoroughly satisfying job.
Because consumables are such an integral part of this space, it’s a good idea to use green cleaning products that won’t leave harmful residues on your cooking surfaces or distribute contaminants into the air.
Sorting is the best first step, so you know exactly what you’re up against. Create piles for all the different types of paper you’re likely to encounter, from bills and to-do lists to the kids’ school work. Separate other items by category, such medical records and financial documents or art supplies and books, into piles of their own. An option such as the 3M Weighted Desktop Dispenser and Organizer can help keep supplies like pens, tape, paper clips and sticky notes neat and tidy.
There are dozens of options when it comes to home filing systems. For archival materials, such as tax returns and insurance policies that you’re likely to consult infrequently, a secure but separate storage solution makes more sense. Drawer labels and colored hanging file pockets paired with a categorical or alphabetical organization system can make it easy to dispose of unwanted clutter without tossing important papers.
Once you’ve dealt with all the paperwork, don’t overlook important details like dusting the computer desk and screen to make your freshly cleaned office extra inviting. Adding a stylish, functional centerpiece like the See Jane Work Kate Writing Desk can also help you stay organized now and in the future.
In the closet, you can repurpose common office supplies and organizers to make the most of limited space. For example, adhesive hooks are perfect for handbags, necklaces and scarves. Lightweight shelving or cubbies make it easy to confine shoes, and for an assortment of accessories and knick-knacks, try stacking plastic bins. Another idea to maximize drawer space in your dresser: move undergarments and socks into a portable storage cart with trays or drawers that fits neatly in the closet.
Find more storage and organization solutions at Office Depot and OfficeMax stores or online at OfficeDepot.com.SOURCE:
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