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Housekeeping Hacks for a Clean and Organized Home
It's that time of year again - a time to make and break promises to ourselves. In addition to the popular New Year's resolutions to lose weight, eat healthily, and spend more time with the family, here are some easy ways to keep a clean and organized home for 2017 and the years to come.
Use William Morris's advice for decluttering your home:
- Keep a box under the bed or in your closet to collect items that you no longer have any use for. You can collect clothes, toys, and other items. When it is full, it's time to take a trip to your local Salvation Army or Goodwill store. Use another box for items you intend to sell or repair.
- Convert old pillowcases (extra large) into garment bags for your clothes by cutting a little hole at the top for the hanger. This will protect your off-season clothes. And looks more stylish than a large garbage bag, although that works too!
- Never lose your keys or other important items again by keeping a large decorative bowl near your door. Place your keys, wallet, and other items in this bowl when you arrive at home so you never have to look for them.
- Do as the Japanese do and designate an area near the front or back door to keep your shoes. Dust, dirt, and hundreds of thousands of other contaminants are brought into the home every day via your shoes. You can reduce sickness, keep a clean home, and improve indoor air quality by implementing a "genkan"-Japanese word for the area near a door to 'house' your shoes. Make this a policy in your home and you'll find that you won't have to clean your home and floors as often.
Source: Home Stories A to Z
- PVC pipes can be used to organize items all over your home and garage. Use short lengths of PVC pipe to organize office supplies, tooth brushes, hair dryers, utensils, shoes, rakes, brooms, and many other items. Click here for organizing hacks using PVC pipes.
Source: Ashbee Design
Source: The Family Handyman
- Use an old pillowcase to clean your ceiling fans. This traps the dust gets trapped inside so it doesn't fill the room.
- Remove scuff marks from the floor with a tennis ball and/or WD-40.
- Clean out your dryer vent to prevent a fire hazard and keep your machine and clothes cleaner. Use a gloved hand and pipe cleaners to do this.
- Keep a spotless bathroom by wiping surfaces down with every use. Keep a dish wand in the shower to wipe down walls while you're in there. Use a towel or toilet paper to wipe down faucets, handles, and other surfaces.
- Keep your blinds clean with an old sock and some vinegar. Use a little bit of water and vinegar to dust your blinds. The vinegar slows down the rate of buildup. You can also use some vinegar and cotton balls to get inside window tracks and other small crevices.
- For crystal clear windows, wipe them down with coffee filters or newspaper.
- Use a mixture of 4 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 quart of warm water to clean your bathroom and kitchen surfaces.
- Use a mixture of cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide to clean stained porcelain surfaces.
- Wipe down your bathroom surfaces after every use to maintain a spotless bathroom. Cut up an old rag into small squares and keep them in a jar with pine-scented cleaner for in-between cleanings. You can also keep a dish wand in the shower for daily wipe-downs.
- It may sound weird, but a few pieces of coal in your bathroom can help absorb moisture and odor.
- Instead of toxic aerosols and air fresheners with lots of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) to deodorize your bathroom, simply light a match instead.
- You can clean fiberglass showers and tubs with a little baking soda and a damp sponge.
- If there is a stain on your toilet that simply won't budge, use very fine sandpaper to remove the stain. It won't scratch the porcelain but should remove the stain.
- Remove mildew from your bathroom with a spray bottle mixture of vinegar and 1 cup of salt. Spray the mildew surfaces and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour before rinsing and wiping clean. You can remove mildew from caulking by dampening a paper towel with undiluted chlorine bleach and allowing it to sit for 30 minutes.
- Say goodbye to musty smells by putting cedar chips and dryer sheets in your winter storage closet.
- Clean your washing machine by running a hot water cycle with 4 cups of white vinegar and 1 cup of baking soda.
- Shine your silver with a banana peel.
- Clean scuff marks on your floor with a fresh tennis ball, regular pencil eraser, WD-40, or Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser.
- Clean a microwave oven with a handful of wet paper towels inside and run it on High for 3-5 minutes. Once the paper towels cool down, use them to wipe the oven's interior.
- If you have a clogged drain, don't use harmful chemical cleaners. Instead, pour boiling water down the drain with a few teaspoons of ammonia. Wait a couple of minutes and then plunge. You can also use ½ cup of washing soda (not baking soda), followed by half a gallon of boiling water. This will help prevent drain clogs in the future.
- If your drain clog is severe, we recommend using Bio-Clean, which is an environmentally friendly drain cleaner with instant results. Contact Gold Medal Service for professional drain cleaning solutions.
- Brass can be cleaned with a lemon wedge and some salt. Rinse and wipe dry.
- Brass, copper, and bronze can be cleaned and gleamed with some toothpaste. Just make sure you rinse and wipe it clean as toothpaste can be difficult to remove once hardened.
- If you have a protective coating on your copper and brass items, dissolve a teaspoon of salt into ½ cup of white vinegar and add some flour to create a paste. Let this past sit on the stain for around 30 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Use a dry towel to polish dry.
Air Filter Resolutions
Remember to check your air filter every 30 days. Set calendar reminders so you never forget and write the date of replacement on the filter itself so you know how long it's been since the last replacement. Dirty filters not only compromise indoor air quality; they can also wreak havoc on your HVAC system, causing premature breakdowns.
If you have a reusable air filter, you can clean it by soaking it in a 50:50 solution of vinegar and warm water. After an hour of soaking, rinse it clean and let it completely dry before putting it back into your HVAC unit. Remember, the arrows on the filter should point in the direction of the airflow.
If you haven't had an HVAC tune-up in the last 6 months, then it is not operating at optimum efficiency. Most system breakdowns are actually directly related to little or no maintenance - often resulting in premature breakdown of your central air components. Our technicians will inspect, clean, oil and tune your heating and air conditioning unit, which will ensure a comfortable home for you and your family.
Sign up for a home maintenance plan to make sure your plumbing and HVAC systems remain clean and functional all year long.
Happy New Year from Gold Medal Service!
If you have any questions, contact Gold Medal Service at (732) 365-3199 We have a team of technicians and a live call center standing by 24/7 to help you with any question or problem you may have.
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