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Cleaning

Do you sometimes feel like you are drowning in garbage? Or that you cannot simply rid your home from all the unnecessary things? I, for once, had an issue with hoarding all kinds of things that were only piling up and making a huge mess in my home. After I have decided that it is truly time to make some changes in my life, I realized that the first step towards a clean mind is a clean house. If you too have an issue with a cluttered and messy house, I recommend taking a peak at these miraculous rules for a clutter free life:

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Do Not Put Off Until Tomorrow…

…what you can do today, right? Train yourself to be a responsible adult and do not procrastinate when it comes to cleaning and putting things away. No matter how tired you are, make sure not to hold off your duties until the next day, as this can quite simply turn in a regular routine.

The Best Memories Are Kept…

…inside your head and not inside your home. I had quite a trouble with grasping this idea, until I realized I cannot hoard every little object someone has given me. As hard as it was, I decided to make a photo shoot of all my precious belongings and memories and I keep those photographs in one photo album, that takes just a small amount of space in my bedroom.

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Categorization Is The Key

If there is one rule you should follow thoroughly then it is this one. The key to a successful organization is categorizing everything. Group things according to relevance, priority, similarities or whatever suits you and do not forget to mark them. See-through containers and labellers saved my life!

Keep It Functional

This rule is based on one simple question: “Do I need this?” Sometimes it becomes quite hard to part with certain items, but in order to live a clutter free life, it is important to think in a practical and functional way. So before you decide whether you should keep it or not, ask yourself does it really serve any purpose to you.

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Use Your Storage Wisely

There should always be a specific space in your house reserved for storage. Of course, make sure to make the most of this space. There is no point of having a storage facility that will not be functional. So keep in mind that even your storage space needs to be organized and tidy.

Minimalism Is In

One thing that helped me a lot when I started organizing my life was all the modern and contemporary designs that were becoming quite popular in the world. So I decided to try this new minimalistic trend, so I asked the local rubbish removal experts for some advice of ridding my house from all the unnecessary trash. And you know what? It works like a charm!

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Go Digital

Another great thing about this internet era is that it can help you a lot when it comes to storing files, documents and all other important paperwork. Before, there were papers scattered all over the place. And now, I simply rely on the good old digital storage to keep my files organized for me.

Be Charitable

In the end, it is important to ask yourself if perhaps there is someone out there who needs those things more than you. Be charitable; do not hesitate to do a good deed and help someone who needs it.

So these are my magical rules of leading a clutter free life. They worked for me, so I surely hope they will help you organize your life as well.

In the same way pests can taint the beauty of your garden, mold can defile your home. Even though your entire home is endangered of developing this particular problem, there is no place that has more mold hazard than your own bathroom. Not only can this influence your general health (in the long run), but also influence the quality of time you spend in the bathroom.

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Mold can negatively influence the visual aspect of your bathroom so much that even the most skilled decorator won’t be able to fix it. To make all of this even worse, the smell that piled up mildew can cause in such a condensed space as bathroom can be almost unbearable. Because of all this, it is imperative that you fight mold in your bathroom as soon as it appears and here are few tips on how to do so.

Why bathroom?

Well, the answer to this question is actually quite simple. Although it is not unlikely that mold will appear in any part of your home, it is simply attracted to moisture. As we all know, when it comes to the humidness of air bathrooms are second to none. Furthermore, for privacy reasons, bathroom windows are either quite small in size or completely replaced by the exhaust vent. This makes air not only stale but also turns natural light into a rare commodity. Because of this, bathroom is by far the most probable place on which the mold will first spawn.

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Prevent mold from ever appearing

As always, regardless of how efficient your removal method is, it is always the best solution to simply prevent it from appearing in the first place. Since moisture is its breeding ground, start by trying to minimize its presence in your bathroom. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that something like this is easier said than done. However, where there is a will there is always a way and one of the methods to prevent mold would be to seal the grout lines between the tiles. Doing this just once every year with a grout sealer of your choice can make all the difference in the world, since it will make most of your bathroom waterproof and turn it into a place uninhabitable for mold.

Cleaning solutions

After you finish with your shower, try to wipe the walls and tiles clean. Although air moisture plays a huge factor in the appearance of mold, most water will still be on the bathroom surfaces. Just by doing this one simple thing you will do your bathroom a great favor. Also, either run your fans, or open your bathroom window a bit, while taking a bath. This will have a soothing effect on the air in the room and help your mold issue greatly.

Removing the mold

When it comes to the removal, after it actually spawns, there are several courses of action that you can take and the choice is all yours. First of all, you can use a whole array of chemical solutions meant for this purpose. Unfortunately, this can pose a hazard to your health so it is better to look for natural solutions which can rid you of this moldy pest. These homemade, mold repellants usually consist of a vinegar, hydrogen peroxide or even baking soda. Sometimes even bleach is added into this mix, but the safety of this too is often disputed.

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Finally, if left undisturbed mold can cause a serious problem for your bathroom as a whole. Health hazards, unpleasant smell, disgusting moldy stains on your otherwise flawless bathroom are something that should simply not be tolerated. For these reasons, try to keep mold out of your home (especially your bathroom). If this fails, don’t be afraid to fight it with everything that you have at your disposal.

We spend joyful time with our family and friends during holidays, but that seasonal shine can disappear quickly when we face with the consequences: house cleaning after guests leave, after removing decorations and all other traces of holidays. Restoring everything to its original state and taking your home back can be a difficult task, but we have a few smart tips that will help you.

Cleaning Up After ChristmasImage credit

Christmas tree

Carefully remove the tree, if it is not a natural, place it in its packaging. Nothing says Christmas is over like an empty corner where your Christmas tree used to be; so fill that place with a lamp or a plant. Wrap New Year’s lights around the empty paper towel tube, in order to prevent them to get tangled. Wrap the cord around the tube, and put the plug inside it. If you threw away original boxes for your Christmas tree ornaments, you can put them in used cardboard boxes. Place layers of soft paper or some other material between ornaments to avoid damage.

Cleaning Up After Christmas - Christmas treeImage credit 

Carpet or furniture stains

Check your carpets and furniture, there might be stains on them. The longer they stay, the harder it will be to remove them. If you notice stains, apply a mixture of warm water and a mild dishwashing liquid on them. Cover the stain with a paper towel and continue to spray that mixture and pat with paper on the stain until it is removed. Rinse the spot with clean water, wipe it again and let it dry.

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Odors

Unpleasant odors are necessity after holidays. If you are a smoker or you had guests who smoke, you know how unpleasant odor cigarettes can leave. If your house smells like an ashtray, you need to do something about that. One way to remove the odors is to pour vinegar in a small bowl and place it in a less visible place, because vinegar has the power to absorb odors.

Sometimes odors are coming from the drain of the sink. When this happens, put the baking soda down the drain, and pour alcohol vinegar over it. This mixture will make foam. Leave it to react for ten minutes and pour boiling water into the drain to rinse any accumulated dirt.

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Fingerprints on stainless steel

Home Appliances made of stainless steel shine nicely, but this material is an excellent surface for fingertips and other visible marks. To quickly clean the stains and fingertips from your stainless steel fridge or sink, use the olive oil. Apply small amount of olive oil on the clean rug and go over the fingertips and other marks, you will be surprised. It is a Christmas miracle!

Play the music

House cleaning can be tedious. You will be surprised how much faster cleaning goes if you are in a good mood. Play your favorite music (preferably one that has an energetic fast pace) and get to work.

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Let your children help you

Kids of all ages can help with household chores. You should make a list and share all duties from picking up the toys to a garbage disposal.

When you remove all traces of holidays from your home, reward the whole family with a dinner (in a restaurant of course, cause you don’t need more cleaning) or go to the movies, it’s completely ap to you.

There are dozens of ways in which you could use baking soda around the household. It has a natural effect of regulating pH (numeric scale used to specify the acidity or alkalinity) and helps in maintaining its neutral level. Thus, it can be used for housecleaning, but also as a beauty and health remedy. So, here are some non-conventional ways in which you can use baking soda.

Stove problems 

If your stove is dirty, just sprinkle the baking soda over it, sprinkle boiling water. Why boiling? Well, you want the baking soda to dissolve. All you need to do is wait for thirty minutes. Have a cup of coffee. Then scrub the stove and chase way the dirt.

Floor and Furniture Cleaning

Add about a ½ cup of baking soda in a bucket of warm water-mop. Rinse clean to remove grime and dirt, and to make your floor sparkle. A bit of baking soda on a damp sponge will rinse off scuff marks off the floor, but also does wonders when it comes to cleaning furniture. Rub lightly with a sponge and then wipe it with a dry cloth. Baking soda is non-toxic, therefore safe to use around children and pregnant women.

Freezer and Refrigerator

Pour 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda in a quart of warm water. Remove all food particles and wash the appliance with soapy water first. After that, rinse with bicarbonate solution to freshen everything up and remove the soap residue, then wipe with a clean, dry cloth.

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Laundry
If you use liquid detergent, add a half a cup of baking soda to your laundry, in order to give the detergent a boost and regulate the water’s pH value.

Coffeemaker and Dishwasher
Clean these household appliances by adding baking soda and running an empty cycle.

Garage Oil and Grease
You can clean grease spills and light-duty oil by sprinkling baking soda on the spot and scrubbing the stains with a wet brush.

Natural Mattress and Carpet Freshener

After removing bedclothes for laundry, sprinkle baking soda on the mattress, leave it there for a few hours and then vacuum. It will freshen the mattress up and it will smell strikingly fresher.

Clogged Drains
Baking soda can be used for unclogging sinks. You need 1 cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar. Pour the powder down the drain, then pour the vinegar. The drain should be plugged with a sink stopper and left like that for about half an hour. After that, pour a kettle of hot water after you unplug the sink.

Sun is again high in the sky, days are getting warmer and we all know what that means. Yes, the seasons of vacations is upon us, but it also means that we should give our houses well-deserved and thorough cleaning and cleansing of all the unnecessary clutter. Unfortunately, this most of the time, includes tons of litter and heavy usage of harmful chemicals, but you should be smarter than the rest and try to make your house cleaning as green as possible. There are numerous ways for that and here we will present some of them.

Ditch Chemical Air-Fresheners

No matter how small contribution of chemical air-fresheners in the overall environmental impact may seem, it presents danger. So, in order to minimize toxic waste footprint, swap your regular air-fresheners for more environmentally-friendly alternatives. Try using natural solutions like baking soda, or some home-made replacements based on essential oils.

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Image source: https://pixabay.com

Tackle the Problem of Paper with Grace

We all like to stockpile endless amounts of paper and old magazines hoping that they will prove useful sometimes in the future. The truth is they never do and we end up throwing all that paper to waste. To reduce waste footprint, send all that paper to recycling instead. Also, try to go paperless whenever you can. Online bills and magazines are good place to start.

Make Your Own Cleaning Products

Most chemicals we use in cleaning are efficient but not very environmentally-friendly. All that chemicals can be responsible for eye irritation, respiratory problems, headaches and even infertility. So save some money, be green and make them by yourself. You’ll be surprised to learn that cleaning supplies made out of, say, vinegar and lemon juice can be very efficient means in fighting filth.

Deal with Laundry in More Eco-Friendly Fashion

Did you know that each laundry takes up to 150 liters of water and about 5 kilowatts of energy per hour? That’s quite heavy toll. Try washing your laundry severely soiled or on the cold cycle and dry it outdoors. Put your dryer to use only when it’s absolutely necessary. Separating loads of laundry according to their color or material will not only preserve their look but the energy as well. In addition, do check out other earth-friendly solutions for washing your clothes.

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Image source: https://pixabay.com

Minimize Electricity Leaks

Even in the sleep mode your computer, TV and various appliances will consume energy that, in the long run, can amount to some pretty high numbers. Turn them off when you are vacuuming, as there is no real reason for them to work at this time. Switch your inefficient light bulbs for fluorescent ones that will save you two thirds of energy.

Mind Your Water Consumption

Your house cleaning will obviously demand heavy usage of water but you don’t have to be irresponsible and waste it around. Buy toilet dam to save up to 20% and low-flow showerheads to save more than 50% of water wastes. And don’t forget to turn the water off whenever you are not immediately using it.

Reuse, Repurpose, Upcycle

Not everything has to go to waste and something can find new purpose in your cleaning endeavor. Use old T-shirts to clean the toilet, textile rags while dusting around and turn your old stuff into new furniture, for example. Everything that doesn’t have a place in your plan should be recycled or given to charity.

If you followed these advices your house should be clean and your conscience green. Deservedly so, you have done a great thing for Mother Nature. And now when you are done, you can enjoy your refreshed home and set your mind to that vacation we mentioned before.

If you take a look at the cleaning products shelf in your home, you will probably find something that looks like this: five to ten cleaning products which you have recently saw in a TV programme and you decided to try it out yourself, to see if it really works. Okay, these products do kill germs, but the problem with them is that they are usually not eco-friendly. That is, they have been made using different chemicals that are not so environmentally friendly. What is more, gases which go into the atmosphere during their manufacturing are probably on a good way of destroying the Ozone.

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Image source Keith Williamson

You are probably asking yourself: So, what am I supposed to use for cleaning? I cannot simply leave the dirt like that, I need them. In fact, you do not need them and you can try to make green cleaning products from the things you already have at home, and what is best – that will not cost as much as those from a store. Here is how.

Basic ingredients

Basic ingredients that you probably have at home, that can be used in most cleaning products, are the following: fantastic baking soda, water, white vinegar, olive oil or essential oils (such as tea tree oil, lavender oil, lemongrass oil and the like), hydrogen peroxide, salt.

Bathroom cleaners

If you want to clean your tub and tiles, you can make one using a cup of baking soda with ½ cup of vegetable-oil-based liquid soap, two tablespoons of vinegar and ½ cup of water. Mix them all up in a bottle, shake before applying with a cloth or sponge. After the cleaning, rinse the tiles with water.

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Image source Pixabay.com

If you want to make toilet bowl cleaner, you can use baking soda and vinegar in it. Let it work for fifteen minutes, then scrub and flush.

In order to clean glass, you can combine ¼ cup of vinegar with four cups of warm water. Mix it in a spray bottle, use dry cloth or newspapers on glass or mirror and there you have it.

You can also clean bathroom drains with ½ cup of baking soda and with a cup of vinegar. After having waited for it to sit and fizz for fifteen minutes, you should rinse it with preferably hot water.

Kitchen cleaners

Kitchen is, naturally, a place which needs to be cleaned on a daily basis. You can make all-purpose cleaner using a teaspoon of baking soda, ½ teaspoon of dish soap, and two tablespoons of vinegar. Pour them into a spray bottle, shake it good and let it sit for a minute or two before you fill the bottle with warm water. Shake it up a bit, wait for it to calm down and add a few drops of your favourite essential oil for a fresh scent.

If you want to clean your sink or stovetop, put a 1/3 cup of baking soda into a bowl, mix it with some water (not much!), in order to make moist paste. Put the paste on a sponge or scrubbing brush and scrub the sink. And every time you need it, you can make it again, because it can quickly dry off.
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Image source Hintons Home

Other

If you need cleaning in, say, your living room couch, the cleaner will depend on the type of the stain. For example, red wine spills will simply go away with hydrogen peroxide. Mix a teaspoon of dish soap with a cup of hydrogen peroxide, apply it on the stain, use a dry towel to soak it up and there you have it.

Coffee stains will go away using a mixture of egg yolk and luke-warm water, whereas other stains will go away easily with whipped detergent and some water.

The bathroom can be one of the dirtiest rooms in the house. Regardless of the fact that you clean the bathroom on a daily basis it is mandatory that every few months you clean it thoroughly. Biggest issues of the bathroom cleanliness are mould, bathroom scale, rust and bacteria.

Mould

The bathroom is a hotbed for mould, because it is humid and usually ventilation in the bathrooms can be poor. In order to prevent the formation of the mould, you have to change those conditions. Leave the window open at least while in the shower.

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Image source: https://www.bathroomedit.com

Keep the surfaces in your bathroom clean, especially from the shampoo, oil and cream remains. Dry your wet towels outside of the bathroom and buy shower curtains made of synthetic materials that not absorb so much liquid.

The way to fight against mould depends on how much mould there is and how long it has been present. If there were a big job ahead of you, you’d better choose the cleaner that contains less hazardous chemicals to avoid inhaling them. Experts point out that the most effective weapon against the mould is water and a microfiber cleaning cloth that has great absorbency. To reach all angles in your bathroom, use an old toothbrush.

If this does not help then the best solution is bleaching. Mix the water and the liquid bleach in scale 3 to 1 and try with that. If this method is not effective, make a stronger concentrate.

If you have cracked all the aces, and hardened mould is still coming back, maybe it is time to change the silicone on the edges of the tub (replace it with sanitary silicon containing fungicide). If you find that the fungus ducked under tiles or that mould breaks all over the walls, maybe then the best solution is a complete adaptation of the bathroom. Use the materials that are resistant to mould.

Scale and rust

Not only do scale and rust look ugly, but they can cause big problems and failures. For thorough cleaning, you do not have to buy expensive set of cleaning agents. All you need is white alcohol vinegar, lemon, water, some eucalyptus oil, sponge, and microfiber cloth. Mix the vinegar, water and 20 – 30 drops of eucalyptus oil to remove the scale from the sink, toilet and the tub, and to give them a new glow.

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Image source: http://www.popsugar.com/

Remove scale and rust from the taps with the pure vinegar. Soak the cloth in vinegar and leave it on the faucets for an hour. This will make the scale and rust easy to remove with the sponge and cloth.

Bacteria

The biggest source of the bacteria in the bathroom are clogged drains and scaled faucets. Unclog the drains and clean them regularly with the water and vinegar mixture.

Next in line of the risky bacteria sources are towels and sponges. Towels stay damp for a long time and we know that humidity is a heaven for bacteria. You should change the towels, at least, every three days and wash them. Cloths and sponges you use to wash the bathroom too often must be washed and disinfected. In addition, another thing: it is best to use them only in the bathroom.

Cleaning the bathroom for many represents the most hated job in the house. Regularly cleaning of the bathroom is mandatory. If you organize well, you will realize that this obligation will not take much time. Hopefully some of these advices will help you. Put your gloves on and let your bathroom shine.