What to Plant in Your Fall Garden

Now is the perfect time to start planning and planting your fall vegetable garden!  Most plants should be planted in late July or during August for the best yield.

What to Plant

Here are some delicious veggies you can plant in July:

  • Basil
  • Beets
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Collard Greens
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Cabbage
  • Summer Squash
  • Winter Squash
  • Lima Beans
  • Snap Beans

How to Plant Your Fall Plants

First remove any weeds or old plants that are not producing well at this point in the summer.  Then till the soil about 6 – 8 inches deep before fertilizing the soil with 1 – 2 lb. of fertilizer for about 100 square feet. Water your soil lightly, and you’re ready to plant your fall plants!

When planting seeds in the summer, remember to plant them deeper than you would in the spring (usually 1.5 – 2 times as deep). The moisture level of the soil will be lower due to summer heat and less rainfall.

If you choose to use plants from the hardware store that have already been started, then make sure to lightly water them for the first week after transplanting.

Then shade your seedlings and young transplants with newspaper or burlap cloth so that they are cool enough to germinate.  The soil shouldn’t be warmer than 85°F, which can be difficult this time of year.

Don’t forget to cover your plants during the first frost of the year!  In North Carolina, we usually have several more weeks left in the growing season after the first frost as long as plants are protected.

Click here to get more info on how to plan your Fall Vegetable Garden! 

The Importance of Removing Pet Hair Effectively

Do you have a pet who you love SO MUCH but who just won’t stop shedding?  Do you want to keep your home free from pet hair but don’t know where to start?  Pet hair from our furry friends can cause allergies, clog up air vents and just keep you from enjoying your home to its fullest potential!  Today we’ll give you solutions for removing pet hair effectively.

Air FilterImportance of Removing Pet Hair

Do you have family members who struggle with allergies?  Allergies can reveal themselves in many forms, from tiredness to itchy and runny eyes and noses to skin irritations and even anaphylactic shock.  Pet dander can cause allergies which can be less severe but still frustrating.  No one wants to be sneezing or rubbing their eyes constantly in their own home.

One way to keep allergies at bay with a pet is to change air filters regularly as pet hair can clog up air vents.  When your vents aren’t circulating air properly, you will have less efficient air flow and more pet dander floating around!

How to Prevent Pet Hair in your Home

Let’s be honest. Pet hair is annoying, gets everywhere, and sometimes you just want to sit on your couch without being covered in fur!  The best way to keep your pets from shedding all over your house is to brush their fur regularly, especially outside!  For most pets, this means brushing their fur once per week in a normal week and three to four times per week during changes in seasons when they’re shedding heavily.  Not only will this help to keep hair at a minimum in your home, it will also keep your pet healthier as brushing distributes healthy oils from their skin onto their fur and will prevent their fur from matting.

Also, make sure that your pet is eating healthy food that will keep his/her fur in better shape…and less likely to shed.  Check with your vet for more specific grooming instructions for your fur baby!

Amazing Sh-mopWays to Remove Pet Hair

Unfortunately, any animal covered in fur is still going to shed, even if it’s well groomed.  Here are a few ways to remove pet hair without clogging your vacuum cleaner! Use a squeegee to remove it from upholstery in your home or car.  Firmly press the squeegee down as you pull it toward you, and watch in amazement with how much fur it gathers!

You can also wet your hands (either bare or with rubber gloves) and rub down the spots that have the most pet hair on them.  Attach a dryer sheet to your Swiffer (or use the amazing Sh-Mop!) to pick up pet hair from the floor without having to sweep.

What are your go-to ways of keeping pet hair at bay?  Need extra help keeping your floors clean?  Call Carpe Diem 919-682-5326 t0 schedule a free consultation today!

Prepping Your Home for Your Vacation Video

Prepping Your Home for Vacation

Prepping Your Home for Your Vacation Video | Carpe Diem CleaningSummer is so close that you can almost taste it!  If you’re looking forward to an awesome family vacation, make sure to leave your home in tip top shape.

CLICK HERE to find out how to prep your home for vacation!

In this video, Wendy covers maintenance tips and safety tricks that you might not have thought of before. We want you to come back to a fresh and safe home!

Want to come home from vacation to an even cleaner home?  Get 10% off a deep clean when you schedule a carpet cleaning in June!  You can give us a call 919-682-5326, or shoot us an email info@carpediemcleaning.com!

 

 

Why We Dust Instead of Using Pledge

Hey!  This is Madeline, Carpe Diem Cleaning’s General Manager, letting you know why we dust instead of using Pledge or other wood cleaners on your furniture.

Furniture cleaners such as Pledge just polish your wood furniture without actually cleaning it.  Unfortunately, this process is similar to using foundation to clean your face.  We would never do that, now would we, ladies?  Because Pledge builds up on wood furniture, eventually you have to strip the wood and start over, which is expensive and no fun.

With antiques and real wood, you want the true grain of the wood to shine through and last for years to come.  To maintain your wood furniture, go through your house twice a year and rub lemon oil on the wood to to moisturize it.  This simple step will feed your furniture’s “thirst” and will give it an authentic shine!

Mattress Cleaning Guide

Mattress Cleaning Guide | Carpe Diem CleaningIt’s spring cleaning time, which means that now is the time to give your mattress some TLC!  This often-neglected piece of furniture supports us for about a third of our lives while we sleep and deserves extra care.

Here are 5 easy steps to cleaning and caring for your mattress so that it can continue to give you amazing support!

 

washing machine

1.Wash all sheets and mattress covers.  Make sure that you have a waterproof mattress cover to keep out any dust and dust mites that can get into your mattress.

2. Sprinkle with baking soda and your favorite essential oil.  Cover your mattress with 1/4 cup of baking soda, and let it sit for 30 minutes.  You can also mix 2 to 3 drops of your favorite essential oil into the baking soda to keep your mattress smelling extra fresh!

 

Mattress

3. Vacuum up the baking soda with a clean vacuum attachment.  Make sure that you vacuum slowly to pick up all of the baking soda.  This step will also ensure that you clean out any dust or dust mites that may be in your mattress.

4. Flip your mattress over if you have a two-sided mattress.  Want to really extend the life of your mattress?  Ideally, try to flip and rotate your mattress 180° every 3 months (or when the seasons change).  This step is crucial to making sure that your mattress will continue to support you for years to come.

 

Calm Bedroom5. Re-dress and admire your fresh mattress.  Finally, put your clean mattress cover and sheets back on your mattress with your pillows.  Take in the fact that your whole bed is neat and clean!

 

 

pillows, bedBonus tip – Wash your pillows!  Dirt and dust from your body causes pillows to get denser over time if they’re not cleaned regularly.  However, if you have foam pillows, do not wash them in the washing machine; simply spot clean them instead.

To wash your pillows, first remove all pillow covers and protectors.  Place 2 to 3 pillows vertically in the washing machine using gentle laundry detergent on a gentle cycle with warm water.  Make sure to add an extra rinse cycle and wring the pillows out.

Next, put them in the dryer on the low- to no-heat setting and put wool balls in to fluff up the pillows.  Replace their covers, and you have clean pillows to lay your head on again!  Want more tips for cleaning a different type of pillow?  Check out eHow’s tutorial!

If you’re interested in more tips for keeping your home neat and clean, be sure to check out our Facebook page!  Need help with cleaning the rest of your house?  Reach out to us today at 919-68-CLEAN or info@carpediemcleaning.com to schedule your free consultation!

19 Essential Spring Cleaning Tips

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!

19 Essential Spring Cleaning Tips | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Living Room
Air Filter
1.     Move large furniture to clean behind and underneath it.

2.     Clean the windows and the inner seals of the windows.

3.     Change your air filters and clean your air vents.

clean ovenKitchen

4.     Defrost your freezer and wipe it out.

5.     Clean out your cabinets. Throw away expired food.

6.     Clean the oven, including the exhaust vents.

tileBathroom

7.     Dust those light fixtures!

8.     Go through your cabinets, throw away any expired makeup or beauty products.

9.     Check the grout in your shower. (The grout in tile can wear out.) Re-grout areas that are weak or damaged. (You can DIY or hire a professional.)

pillowsBedroom

10.  Flip your mattress and check your pillows! Pillows can house bacteria and mold. If they are machine washable, wash them, if not either hand wash or just replace.

11.  Clean out your drawers and closets.

12.  Clean off your blinds and ceiling fans.

washing machineLaundry Room

13.  Check the dryer’s lint trap and clean the vents and exhaust.

14.  Clean out your washing machine. See instructions for top loading and front loading.

General Living Areas

15.  Check your porches for cobwebs and debris

16.  Clean your blinds and wash your curtains.

17.  Look for those hard to reach baseboards and areas that are hard to dust.

Ceiling Fan18.  Free up space by putting coats and heavy blankets into storage.

19.  Change the direction that your ceiling fans turn. In the summer, ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down to the floor. Check out this detailed explanation from the professionals.

Need some help with the regular Spring Cleaning To Dos? Why not schedule a Deep Cleaning? Download our Deep Cleaning checklist to get started!  

Prepping your Home for Snow + Free Checklist!

prepping for snow checklist

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.

Serious Snow Prepping
snow-shovel

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.


During the Snow Storm
winter-boots

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.

Click here to download the FREE Winter Home Maintenance Checklist!

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! 

7 Tips For A Vacation-Ready Home

7 Tips for a Vacation-Ready Home

Have you ever come home from a lovely vacation to find a rotting smell in your house or a nasty layer of dust and grime? Vacation time is approaching and while you’re putting so much focus on creating that special get-away experience, a few steps of preparation will make “coming home” equally inviting. Here are our 7 Tips for a making your home vacation-ready!

 

Garbage-CanTrash the Trash!

Rotting food waste in particular makes for a stinky homecoming. Before you run out the door, remember to empty out all of your trash and recycling bins. This is probably the simplest (and most effective) thing you can do to ensure your home will be fresh and welcoming when you return from your trip.

sheetsChange the Sheets

After making it through a day of long flights or slow traffic, putting fresh sheets on your bed is probably the last thing on your exhausted mind once you get home. Changing the sheets before you leave ensures that climbing into bed will be that much sweeter after a long day of travel.

carpediemcarSchedule Your Cleaning

Cleaning up before you leave can be overwhelming when you’re trying to pack and tie up other loose ends, but who wants to come home to sticky counters, a grimy bathroom, and dusty furniture? Call ahead and schedule your cleaning service to come a few days before your vacation ends, so your house will be a fresh haven that you’re happy to return to. Carpe Diem will even change your sheets for you (so you can cross that one off your list)!

Air-FilterChange Your Filters

Take a moment and install a new air filter in your HVAC system before you leave. This will cut down on dust build-up while you’re gone, which is especially helpful if you’ll be gone for more than two weeks.

lampLeave the Lights On

Okay, don’t actually leave your lights on 24/7 while you’re gone! Instead put one or two of your lamps (which can be seen from outside) on timers. This will save energy and create the illusion that all is as usual at your home, which will deter break-ins.  You can find affordable timers at any hardware store.

newspaperStop the Presses

If you receive a newspaper, go ahead and put a hold on that (newspapers piled in a driveway signal that no one is at home). Also, put a hold on your mail (this can easily be done online), or arrange to have a neighbor or friend pick it up regularly.

KeyGet Creative with Your Key

We’ve cleaned thousands of houses over the years, and it turns out that most people hide their house keys in the exact same places. Chances are we’re not the only folks who know where to look. If you have someone coming by to check on your home, the safest thing is to just give them a spare key to keep. If this isn’t an option for some reason, consider getting super creative with where you hide your key, or storing your key in a lock box secured in a discreet location.

Get Ahead of Spring!

Spring is just a few weeks away, and we sure are ready for some warmer weather! As we’re gearing up for Spring Cleaning season, we thought we’d put together a list of some simple spring TO DOs that tend to get overlooked.

Click here to watch our Spring Cleaning segment as seen on NBC-17’s My Carolina Today, and check out the full list below!

HVAC1. HVAC
Call your HVAC guy to come check out your system and go ahead and change those filters. You’ll be beating the rush of all those calls he’ll get when things start heating up in March.

2. Daylight Savings Time
Set a reminder on your calendar to turn your clocks ahead one hour on Sunday, March 9th (2:00 am will become 3:00 am).

3. Ceiling Fans
When you turn your clock forward, it’s time to turn your ceiling fans back! Make sure your ceiling fans are spinning counterclockwise which will force cool air downwards. When your fans are spinning clockwise they will create an updraft that will force warm air down downwards. Check out this detailed explanation from the professionals at ceilingfan.org.

4. Mattresses
The mattresses in your house should be flipped every spring and every fall. An easy way to remember this is to flip your mattresses at the same time that you change your clocks. Turn the mattress so that the end which was at the foot is now by the headboard, then flip the mattress over so that the side which was the top is now the bottom. Follow these simple steps on WikiHow to rotate your mattress.

PatioFurniture5. Patio Furniture
Warm weather is on the way, and you’ll want to be able to enjoy the outdoors when it comes. Go ahead and get your patio furniture out of the garage, or if it’s been outdoors, go ahead and clean off any dirt that’s accumulated over the winter. Check out the Real Simple site for tips on how to clean all types of outdoor furniture.

Pollen6. Prepare for Pollen
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!

7. Cleaning Goals
Figure out the Spring Cleaning goals which are particular to your home, and get them on the calendar. Maybe you need the carpets or upholstery cleaned, your curtains washed, or your baseboards wiped. This may be something that you can tackle by yourself, or you might want to call in the professionals to handle the dirty work.