Essential Cleaning Checklist

Deep cleaning your house should not just be limited to spring or whenever you have a clear out. The best way to keep your home in good condition is to make sure you regularly clean tough areas. Additionally, keeping your home sanitary is the best way to keep your family healthy. We don’t usually think about it, but there are germs and bacteria living right under your nose that could be causing you untold misery. To make sure you don’t miss any spots, and to make your home summer-ready, here is an essential deep cleaning checklist for your home.

Hidden mold

Double-glazed windows are excellent for saving you money on your energy bills, but unfortunately they make it easier for moisture and mold to sneak into your home. If there are any areas that smell particularly musty, you should not hesitate in calling in a mold specialist. Watch out for symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, dry eyes, or rashes.

Cleaning

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If an area of mold is less than ten square feet, then you can attempt to clean it yourself. Just make sure you’re wearing safety goggles, non-porous gloves, and a particle mask when cleaning. Check out DIY sites for more detailed guidelines on how to get rid of mold.

Water damage

If your plumbing has ruptured recently, your focus was primarily on getting the pipes fixed. However, once that problem is solved, you need to repair the damage that the water caused to your walls and floors. Leaving it untreated could lead to more mold, and therefore more health problems. It could also lead to property damage; whether it is metal, wood, or cement, these materials will all eventually be damaged when exposed to water. Contact ServiceMaster to get the damage fixed as quickly as possible.

Windows

Wash your windows on a cloudy day, once a month, so the sun doesn’t dry the cleanser before you can wipe it off, and start on the shady side of the house. A simple way to spot streaks is to wash with horizontal strokes on one side and with vertical strokes on the other, this way you will know which side has the streaks. Wait for a sunny day to dust the windows because the sunlight will reveal where the particles have settled. You should also clean the window tracks with a Q-tip to get rid of the dirt, grime, and dead bugs that have gathered there.

Refrigerator

It takes more than just clearing out the expired and smelly food to keep the refrigerator clean and  germ-free. Liquids that spill onto the shelves and trays collects mold, therefore posing a danger to your fresh food. The biggest culprits are the vegetable drawers; they are often forgotten until a vegetable starts to rot. Take the drawers out of the fridge and clean them with warm water and baking soda. While they’re drying on the side, wipe down the rest of the fridge with antibacterial wipes. Make sure you also clean the coils at the back.

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Tips on How to Keep Your Home Clean

A clean home is a pleasure and helps to promote personal well-being. Maintaining a clean house also boosts design inspiration for interior living space. Whether you live in small apartment, or a large house – keeping your space clean is essential to maintaining an environment where you can feel happy and at peace. Below are some tips to help you clean more effectively at home.

1. Cleaning Supplies

When basic cleaning supplies are available, it becomes easier to keep your home clean. You need not go overboard with cleaning supplies. However, be sure to include dish-washing detergent, cleanser, vinegar, mops and scrub brushes. In most cases, these go a long way in achieving a spotlessly clean interior.

2. Create a Schedule

Develop a schedule that allows you to clean your home regularly. This helps to prevent a pile-up of chores. Spread out cleaning chores, with different tasks assigned to different days. It helps to make the cleaning less of a dreaded obligation compared to cramming all tasks into one or 2 days. By sticking to your cleaning schedule, you’ll find that cleaning becomes much easier and less time-consuming.

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3. Clean Regularly

Whatever the size of your home, certain parts require cleaning on a regular basis – every 2 days or at least weekly. This includes the kitchen, bathroom, living room and yard. It is best to develop a schedule for regular cleaning of these areas. This should also include cleaning the appliances and fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom. Weekly cleaning of appliances such as the fridge and oven helps to prevent the growth and spread of bacteria. Weekly bathroom cleaning is vital in preventing the development of mold and mildew. Other areas such as the study room, garage and back yard may not require to be cleaned as often. A bi-weekly or monthly cleaning may work for you.

4. Delegate Tasks

Involving household members in cleaning chores is an excellent idea. By delegating specific tasks to everyone, it becomes easier to keep the home clean. Young children can learn how to put away things to create a neater environment. They can also wipe surfaces of chairs, tables and counters. Older children can take responsibility for cleaning their own rooms, do the laundry, wash the dishes, vacuum and empty the garbage. Other tasks such as cleaning floors, washing the bathroom, mowing the lawn and cleaning the yard can be done by adults.

5. De-clutter

Most homes easily get cluttered due to items being left all over the place. It is best to make household members aware that each person has a role to play in home organization.  If you have small kids, obtain large boxes for them where they can place their toys and items. Teach kids how to store their items in boxes once they’re done with playing. Older children and adults must also be involved in keeping personal effects and household items in their respective storage places. Even after items have been stored accordingly, there’s always a chance that you could be storing more stuff than you need at home. Set aside one day every month or so to de-clutter your home. You could organize a garage sale to dispose of stuff you don’t need, donate to charitable causes, while some stuff may find its way into the garbage.

Sources:
  • House Cleaning London. (2011) HouseCleaning.org
  • House Cleaning Tips. Retrieved February 13, 2012. Professor’s House.
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The Seasons Are Changing – Make Sure Your Home’s Prepared

The effects of climate change mean we’ve just lived through the hottest August ever recorded. But summer’s soon coming to a close, weather will get colder, and leaves will soon crowd your yard as it transitions into fall. What’s more is winter isn’t too far off, and with such a hot summer, you can expect things to get extra cold by December.

You don’t just need to prepare yourself for the colder months. Your house and garden should also be well-maintained for the fall and winter seasons. There are a lot of home maintenance jobs that become particularly important during the second half of the year. You’ll likely have to work harder for the next couple of seasons since weather conditions are much harsher.

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The best time to start work is right now before the season changes. Preparing your home is advance is the smartest idea. Your home should be ready for when the wind gets stronger, and the leaves start to fall. Your home should be kept warm and protected from the elements. Here are some useful tips for preparing your home for fall and winter.

Keep Your Home Warm

While the weather is hot, open windows and breezy fans are a must to keep cool. But as the season changes, you’ll definitely want to protect your house from the cold drafts and increase in rainfall. Some people make use of electric heaters to warm their home up, but the most efficient way to do it is using an HVAC system.

For a lot of people, the same system that provides air conditioning around the house can also keep them warm. These systems are prone to problems, though. It’s important you get your HVAC system checked. Professional services can help you with HVAC maintenance, for example, you can learn about Academy Air.

Your heating system isn’t the only thing you should concern yourself with. You should keep your home insulated from the outside. Caulking any cracks or gaps in the construction of your house will prevent drafts. You will also want to ensure windows are double-glazed if they aren’t already. These are jobs many home maintenance companies can handle. Not only will they keep you warm, but they also go towards raising the value of your home.

There are plenty of other ways to keep your home warm when the weather gets cold. Things like halogen light bulbs and heavy curtains can give a room extra heat. We’re set for a cold fall and a freezing winter, so make sure you’re prepared!

Unclog Gutters

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While your gutter system may not be much of a concern during the summer, it becomes particularly important after. Gutters can quickly become clogged up with leaves and debris in the fall. Make sure to clean your gutter and downspout regularly. This will help to circumvent rain properly.

Although you can call a handyman to do this, it’s possible to handle yourself. You can use a ladder and a plastic scoop to remove any debris. Another method is to use a high-pressure hose to clear it out. Using a hose is also useful for cleaning out your drainpipe of any obstructions.

There are other measures which can help improve rain flow through gutters. You may want to look into tips for cleaning and repairing gutters. Make sure they’re well-prepared before the leaves start falling in October.

Roof Maintenance

Much like your gutters, your roof is another part of your house that can quickly become covered in leaves and debris. Debris from the roof can fall and contribute to clogging up gutters, so it’s best to clear them out. Algae can also accumulate on roofs. You can remove it using a scrub brush and algae cleaner.

September is also a perfect time for roof maintenance. You’ll want to check for any cracks or loose shingles and sort them out to stop the cold coming in from above your house. A lot of roof maintenance work is best left to a professional. You may want to call on the services of a roofer or handyman to make sure the top of your house is well maintained.

Prepare Your Garden

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Your garden has probably seen plenty of usage over the warmer months, but this is likely to change as the weather gets colder. Due to the harsher weather conditions, you’ll want to make sure your garden is well prepared for fall and winter.

If you have a pool or hot tub, it’ll become increasingly hard to keep them clean from autumn leaves. If you plan to keep using your pool, you’ll need to skim it daily to clean out leaves, dirt, and other falling debris. However, the best idea may be to drain them and use an efficient plastic cover to prevent them getting clogged up.

Garden furniture can also get damaged from falling leaves, rain, hail, and snow. The chances are, you’ll be using your garden tables, chairs, and loveseats less often. The best idea is to put them away in a shed or garage if they’re small enough. If not, you might want to cover them with a plastic sheet.

Changing temperatures and weather conditions can also mean your lawn needs a different approach. Lawn care services can help you with keeping your garden healthy over these months. However, it can also be the best time to do more work in your garden. Some flowers and plants are easier to grow during these months. Check out BHG’s fall lawn care secrets for getting the most out of your garden during the autumn season.

Mow the lawn and give your plants and hedges a trim before the season changes. It’s also worth investing in a leaf blower at this time. A leaf blower is one of the most useful tools you can have during fall and winter. It can be used to remove leaves from the gutter, your car, your garden, and pretty much anywhere else. There are also some lesser known uses to have more fun with your leaf blower, so it’s well worth getting one.

Clean The Chimney

If your home has a fireplace, you’ll probably be making much more use of it once summer ends. Be careful, though. Over time, chimneys can become clogged with debris and chemicals. Failing to clear these out can result in toxic emissions and even chimney fires in worse cases.

Cleaning a chimney isn’t a job you should handle yourself. It’s best to schedule a cleaning from a handyman or a dedicated chimney cleaner to get your home ready for winter and fall. If you use a wood burning fireplace, now is also the best time to stock up on firewood to make use of throughout the rest of the year.

Winter Preparation

While the autumn season can bring on some colder weather, things will get even worse in the winter. You should prepare in advance for the inevitable lower temperatures and snowfall.

If you don’t already have them, it’s worth getting a snow shovel and scraper. These will help you clean out your driveway and remove snow from your car on those snowy winter mornings. Having a cover for your car can also help. A lot of people hate having to do this every morning, which is why one person found a way to clear snow in the laziest way imaginable.

A lot of the work you carry out for the fall will benefit you all the way through winter. However, as temperatures start to get even colder, you may want to put extra work into keeping warm. An electric blanket is a good way of keeping your bed warm and cozy during the winter. A cheaper solution is to take a hot water bottle to bed. Winter is also the best time to stock up on hot chocolate, and you may also want to buy a thermos flask so you can keep your coffee warm on the way to work.

Interior Decorating

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Right now is also the best time to redecorate your house with some winter interior decorating ideas. You may want to use brighter lighting and warmer colors to counteract the winter darkness. Decorations like candles are also great to have around the house during the colder months.

Redecorating now is also a good way to start energy-proofing your house. You can look into some energy saving ideas to cut down your bills in advance.

Make sure your home is warm, comfy, and looking good for the fall and winter. There’s plenty of decoration you can do yourself. However, you may also want to consider using an interior decorating service to rehaul your home completely.

Reassess Your Home Insurance And Energy Plan

Home insurance becomes particularly important as winter approaches. The worsening weather conditions lead to a greater risk of property damage. Pipes can get frozen, and hailstorms and high winds can damage your home exterior.

Because of this, it’s best to reassess your home insurance before the winter comes. Websites like Credio can help you compare home insurance companies. You should also check your energy bill. The chances are you’ll be using much more gas and electricity as temperatures cool down. Make sure you’re getting the best cover for what you pay.

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How Clean is Your House?

Is your house really untidy? Believe it or not, more people live in total chaos than you might think. Some people are so ashamed of how messy their house is, they won’t let necessary visitors past the front door. If you have kids or lots of pets, tidying up may seem a never ending task. It’s true that many of us try and give ourselves very high expectations. If you’re trying to look after a large family, there are never enough hours in the day. And what is the point of picking up all those toys when the kids are going to empty them all out again tomorrow? It can seem like an utterly thankless, and pointless task. But we all feel better when our houses are clean and tidy.

It might be unrealistic to say right, let’s get that house cleaned from top to bottom! You haven’t done it properly for some quite some time. House cleaning gurus Flylady.net always say that you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself. Take baby steps to fixing your home. It didn’t get this way and a day, and you’re not going to have it all fixed in a day, either. These things take time. Do it properly, and form better habits.

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In the kitchen, start from the basics. Don’t start sorting out cupboards if you have a sinkful (or two) of dishes. Make sure you’ve done the fundamental tasks before you move on, or you’ll just end up in a bigger mess than you started. Start from the top and work down. There’s no point in giving yourself extra jobs to do. You’ll just be wasting time if you keep having to revisit the same areas.

If you’re a bit lazy when it comes to changing sheets, then you might want to give your mattresses a quick once over.Are the all in a good clean state? Do they have bust springs or stuffing trying to escape? Another thing you should look for is bedbugs. The bug busters at AtkinsInc.com say it’s a far more widespread problem than most people realise. These horrible beasties could be living in your mattress without you even knowing!

Deep cleaning your bathroom will give it some sparkle back. If you’ve got grotty grouting, though, it could make the whole room look past its best. Instead of laboriously removing and replacing the cement, why not use a grout pen. It’s a cinch to make your grout stand out for all the right reasons. It’s quick and easy and will fix up your smallest room in a jiffy! Check out tips on how to use them at Doityourself.com

Wipe down your walls. It’s amazing how grubby your walls can look once the bright light simply of spring comes flooding through your windows. Get a bucket of warm soapy water, dampen a cloth and give them all a good wipe. Pay attention to skirting boards and light switches too, they’re a prime breeding ground for bugs and germs.

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