Ready to pump up your Spring Cleaning game? Here are 19 areas & items to tackle that will take your Spring Clean to a whole new level!
Seize a Clean Day!
Looking for ways to save on heating and cooling costs while keeping your air at home healthy? These two tips will improve your air quality, the life of your HVAC system (one of the most expensive appliances to replace) and keep your home at just the right temperature for YOU.
One of the best ways to build habits is to set triggers around those habits. This Sunday is Daylight Savings Time, and though we’re losing an hour, it’s the perfect time to change your filters and fans. Set a reminder on your calendar to turn your clocks ahead one hour on Sunday, March 12th (2:00 am will become 3:00 am).
Call your HVAC guy to come and check out your system and give it a tune up. You’ll be beating the rush of all those calls he’ll get when things start heating up in March.
Haven’t changed your air filters in a while? Make sure that you’re changing them monthly during winter and summer when your HVAC system is working the hardest. During spring and fall, you can change them every three months if you have a pet-free home and good quality air filters.
If you suffer from allergies or notice your air quality going down, changing your filters will improve your air quality and preserve the life of your HVAC system since it keeps out dust and other particles that clog up the system. Let’s take a second to breathe that in.
When you turn your clock forward, it’s time to turn your ceiling fans back! Make sure your ceiling fans are spinning counterclockwise to force cool air downwards. When your fans are spinning clockwise they will create an updraft that will force warm air down downwards. In spring, we want to prepare our house for the summer heat and use our fans efficiently.
This downward flow of air creates a windchill effect, which will make your home feel cooler than it is! Then you can raise your temperature and save your hard-earned money for something more fun–like spring break!
Pollen season in North Carolina lasts pretty much from March until September, with the worst of the yellow stuff plaguing us through March and April. Get some allergy medicine (antihistamines and/or nasal washes) now so you’ll have it when you need it!
Do you want to live more simply this year? Or, do you just need to make room in your house for what you love? This is a great time of year to declutter and get your house in order! Marie Kondo’s book will help you to re-examine your space and things in a ruthless yet refreshing way.
We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what to get rid of. – Marie Kondo
Marie Kondo is a Japanese decluttering and organizing expert who has helped hundreds of clients tidy their homes. Impressively, none of them have relapsed into how they managed their clutter before her. Her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has sold over six million copies worldwide.
Her main theme is that you should only keep items in your house that spark joy. Any items that don’t bring you joy should be released with gratitude towards what they have done for you without guilt. While some of her suggestions are quirky to our Western culture, the framework will help you to efficiently declutter your entire house. She insists that this tidying process be done quickly in no more than 6 months. This way, the dramatic change will affect you in such a way that you do not go back to your old ways of collecting clutter.
Here are the things to declutter (in order) so that your decision-making skills are honed by the time you discard photos and mementos:
Clothes – Don’t let unwanted clothes be turned into lounge wear.
Books – Arrange books on your shelves so that you can see only books that you love without stacking them on top of each other.
Documents – Recycle (and shred as necessary) all documents except for ones such as birth certificates or passports. Find documents online as needed. And do you really need that pay stub or mortgage payment from 3 years ago?
Miscellaneous – Go through all other categories of items in your house separately. These include such as skin care products, electrical equipment, household supplies, kitchen goods, etc.
Photos/Mementos– Set these items aside until the end of the tidying process, and discard what you don’t love. This will make the things that spark joy feel even more special.
Gather items by category so that the entirety of that type of item is in one place when you sort through it. This way, you only have to make the decision once regarding what things to donate or throw away. For example, you might have six different pairs of scissors throughout your house when you really need only three. Would you really remember where the best ones are? However, if you organized your house by room over the course of several weeks, as many decluttering experts recommend, you wouldn’t use the best scissors.
Deciding where every item in your house goes is an essential part of Marie Kondo’s decluttering process. Often things that belong nowhere end up everywhere. Store things where they are easily put away so that you don’t continue to clutter up your house. Marie Kondo suggests that you not stack things on top of each other since things on the bottom often are forgotten. Instead, she says to use boxes to organize your things. Shoe boxes work well for larger items such as clothes, and iPhone boxes work well for office supplies and makeup.
Her folding method for clothes is a game changer, as it allows you to see all of your clothes in each drawer and actually fits more clothing in the drawer. Fold your clothes in thirds twice, and place upright in your drawers. Never again will you look in a drawer without being able to see everything at a glance!
In North Carolina, we never know what to expect from the weather, especially in the winter! Some years we have lots of snow and ice and power outages, and during other years we barely have a snowflake. Whatever comes our way, it’s good to be prepared! Scroll to the bottom of this post for the link to a Winter Home Maintenance Checklist to get your home ready for snow and ice.
Worried about possibly being without power for a few days if a snow or ice storm hits? Buy gas heater or generator and have everything on hand and set up in advance. Make sure that you have a thorough knowledge of safety hazards around a gas heater as it can be a serious fire hazard if used incorrectly. Never leave a gas heater unattended, and keep it clear of any fire hazards, such as curtains and blankets. Wouldn’t it be awful to think that you’ll have power in an emergency and spend time and money setting up a generator, only to not have it work? If you have never had a generator set up before, have an electrician come to your home ahead of time to set it up so that you know that it is functioning correctly.
If your car is parked outside, do yourself a favor and put your windshield wipers up and cover with old tube socks. This prevents your wipers from sticking to your windshield and saves them from the ice and snow. If temperatures drop below 25 degrees F, turn your faucets to just a drip so that your pipes don’t freeze. If your pipes freeze in the winter, wrap your pipes in newspaper, towels or rags as needed. Then warm them with a hair dryer if they freeze.
Make sure that you have charged electronics as needed if there is a threat of snow or ice before there is a power outage. If you lose power, unplug important electrical equipment to avoid ruining it in a power surge when power is restored.
Hopefully, we’ll have safe and happy snow days this year, and with these tips, you’re sure to have a peaceful rather than stressed snow day!
Many thanks to all our amazing clients, friends, fans, and family for an incredible 2016! We couldn’t do this without you! We are so excited for all that 2017 holds!
Congratulations – you’ve survived the holidays! …But did your carpets? The holidays are a major source of activity in your home, often bringing extra foot traffic and brightly colored food and beverages.
The parties are over and the guests are gone – now is the perfect time to have your carpets steam cleaned! We’ll take care of any unfortunate party-induced stains your carpet may have suffered over the holidays, leaving it clean and fresh for the New Year. We even clean upholstery! Go ahead and download our Carpet Cleaning Checklist to get things started.
You can give us a call 919-682-5326, or shoot us an email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your carpet cleaning today!
So far our winter has been pretty mild, but in North Carolina, that can change at any moment! Whatever comes, it’s good to be prepared.
Here’s a quick summary of our Inclement Weather Policy:
In the event of inclement weather, our Main Office and Southpoint Office will follow the Durham county schools for closings and delays, and our Cary-Apex office will follow the Wake County school system. School system closures are determined by the safety of bus routes. This provides a good indicator to us for both the safety of our crews coming to work from their own homes, as well as the safety of the routes to our clients’ homes.
Our route schedules will also follow the local schools for whatever county they are in. For example, if Durham schools are open but Orange County schools are closed, the Carpe Diem office in Durham will be open, but we will not be servicing homes in Orange County.
For a complete explanation of our Inclement Weather Policy, you can refer to our blog post.
You can also “Like” our Facebook page where we’ll be posting information about delays and closings.
QUICK LINKS TO CHECK OUT
Start your morning off right with a breakfast that’s both delicious and fun! Watch Nathan Shield’s hilarious pancake tutorial (or any of his incredible videos) for some inspiration. From Disney Princesses to dinosaurs to David Bowie, all you need is a squeeze bottle and a little creativity.
Ready to see something super cool? Bubbles will actually freeze if the temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit! Whip up some homemade bubble solution — 3 cups water, 1 cup liquid dish soap, 1/2 cup white corn syrup (sugar makes your bubbles extra strong) — grab your coat and mittens, and head outside. Blow your bubbles into the air, then watch them freeze when they touch the ground.
While you’re outside braving the cold, scoop up some clean snow to make a delectable treat. All you’ll need is a little milk, sugar, and vanilla to make your own Snow Ice Cream – click here for the recipe.
Ready to come inside and warm up? Make your own snowflakes with paper and scissors! Download PDFs of Frozen themed snowflakes from Anthony Herrera Designs (or check out his amazing Star Wars designs!). For littler folks who can’t use an exacto knife yet, try these simpler designs from Disney.
So you want to build a snowman, but one that’s not so cold and wet? With homemade playdough you can build just about anything. You’ll need flour, water, salt, oil, cream of tarter, and food coloring – follow this super easy recipe for play-ready playdough in less than 10 minutes.
Looking for a practical project? A snow day can be a great opportunity to do a little de-cluttering! Pick a spot in your home that needs some help, maybe it’s a closet, a desk, that corner of the bedroom, or the shelf in the garage. Start sorting! Have bags handy for trash, recycling, and items to donate. Put away any items you’re keeping that have a home somewhere else in the house. Focusing on one spot at a time can be more productive than trying to tackle the whole house at once. You’re taking on a manageable, bite-sized project that can easily be accomplished in a short amount of time.
What an action-packed day you’ve had! Time to put up your feet and relax with an adult beverage. Check out these extra-simple cocktails that use ingredients you’re likely to have in your cupboards.
Check out Bertha’s anniversary interview with Carpe Diem! We’re so glad that you’re a part of our team, Bertha!
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