It’s that time of the year again in Calgary when the warm weather is begging you to head outside to do some yard work, some exterior work on your home and to clean out your garage. It's been a long winter and the dust has finally settled from it. With all of the beautiful weather that has arrived you'll feel great pulling the stuff out of your garage, giving it a good cleaning and organizing, and perhaps finding some items that can be used for an upcoming summer garage sale.
Pull everything out and take a total inventory of what you have stored in your garage. When you actually confront pulling everything out, you can actually see for yourself what you have been hiding back in the corners of your garage that you haven't used for years. You may find a gold mine of useless items that can be turned into cash by conducting your own private garage sale or contributing to a neighborhood one.
The garage is quite often an area that we use to store toxic items that we don't want in the house. Put aside a pile of things that need to be disposed of responsibly such as outdated oil for your vehicle or a car battery. Make sure that you find out how to get rid of these items so that they don't end up causing any damage to the environment.
How to Break Down the Cleaning Process
You’ll be amazed how much better you’ll feel once you have pulled everything out of the garage so that you can give it a full cleaning. Work on it from top to bottom and get the kids to help you if you can. Your garage will look and feel like a million dollars and you'll be less inclined to get it cluttered up again when it is clean and shining!
Handle The Biggest Tasks First
When you take a look at all of your spring cleaning projects they can seem overwhelming. Tackle the biggest ones first to get them out of the way. When you're left with only the smaller tasks to handle, things go a lot faster and it makes the rest of the cleanup a breeze!
Work From The Top To The Bottom
Don’t create more work for yourself! If you need to clean the ceiling fixtures, do them first! If you scrub the floors first and then tackle the lighting fixtures, you'll have dust and dirt particles falling on the floor that you've just cleaned.
Put A Strategic Plan In Place
It’s always fun to make a plan and then scratch things off the list as they are completed. Write out your complete project and make sure that it gets done. The final item at the bottom of the list should be some type of reward for yourself for getting everything completed.
Get Your Tools In Place First
Once you have made a list of all of the spring cleaning projects that you need to do, figure out all the tools you'll need to have in place. You may have to run out and get a few cleaning products, for example. When you have it all planned ahead of time, including the tools that you'll need, you won't get caught in the middle of a task without the right products or cleaning equipment. You certainly won't want to have to drive to the supermarket to pick up a bottle of window cleaner when you're part way through the spring cleanup.
When You're Done You're Done
Once you have scratched off everything on the list, call it a day. It's inevitable that you'll find extra cleaning projects to do as you are working your way through the list. There needs to be an end to this spring cleaning cycle though. If you see anything else that needs doing, create a separate list for it. You'll have the rest of the spring and summer months to finish up the little cleaning tasks that you’ve found.
Commonly Overlooked Areas of the House That Need Cleaning
The inside of your home can become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. It's hard to stay on top of all of the cleaning chores that are necessary so we are offering a few quick tips to help keep your home healthy.
Clean Your Faucets
When is the last time you took a look at your faucet closely? While you're probably keeping your sink squeaky clean, the faucet should also be cleaned out regularly. Most faucets have a filter that keeps dirt and debris from reaching your cup when you're pouring a glass of water. If you unscrew the end of the faucet, you'll see the filter. You may be surprised to see what has been deposited on this filter and will want to rinse it out.
The Edge Of The Dishwasher
Once every week or two you should wipe around the edge of the dishwasher to remove stains or any leftover food. Use a damp sponge and baking soda. You should also run a cycle through the washer without dishes and use a dishwasher cleaner that has been designed specifically to kill bacteria such as E. Coli.
Keep A Bar Of Antibacterial Soap On A Sponge
Put a bar of antibacterial soap on a sponge in the bathroom. When it's time to clean the sink, you can just grab the sponge and wet it. If you have kids, you probably have to clean your sinks a lot and when you have a sponge handy that has some soap on it already, it makes things fast and simple.
Keep The Shower Doors Clean
Things can get pretty steamy in the bathroom and if you're having a problem keeping your shower doors clean, here is a handy trick you can use. If you apply a small amount of lemon oil to the doors twice monthly, the water will bead and roll right off them. You can also try Rain-X Glass Treatment. This product is used on a windshield to bead up rain particles.
Surprising Household Cleaning Agents to Use in a Pinch
Most of us are aware that baking soda and vinegar make exceptional cleaning products and can be substituted for many of the toxic chemicals that are currently on the market. Here are some other surprising cleaners that you may have around the house that can also be used as an alternative to the regular cleaners available for purchase in a grocery store.
If you have a bottle of cola on your counter or in your fridge and have pots with burn stains on them, soak the pots overnight and in the morning you'll be able to wipe the stains right off without a problem.
Apply some beer to a soft cloth and then gently rub any wooden furniture you have that may have lost its luster. In many cases you are just dealing with a build-up of residue that has been left behind by commercial cleaners. Beer will get rid of these left over residues and make your wood sparkle again.
If you have children then you probably have some smudges on your walls from handprints. Try using a slice of white bread to remove the marks or better yet give each of your children a piece of bread to do the work for you. They'll love the novelty of the idea and you'll end up with clean walls in the process!
If you have grease spots on your carpet, try using some shaving cream to get it off. You should first test a part of your carpet that isn't showing to make sure that there is no reaction between the shaving cream and the carpet fiber before doing an application in a more conspicuous area. Once you have tested the carpet you can use shaving cream to get out grease spots that just don't seem to lift using any other method. Make sure that you're using shaving cream and not shaving gel though in order to see amazing results.
When you're trying to remove gum from your carpet it's a real tug-of-war that is almost impossible to win. In order to get the gum out of a rug easily you should first get it to harden up by applying ice to it for about a minute. Once it’s hard it's a lot easier to scrape out of the carpet.
Time To Get Organized
Now’s the time to look at the space you have to work with. Set aside an area for specific items like yard tools, winter tools, and other things that can be put into certain categories. If you need to purchase storage materials, just get started by piling things up neatly and then making a list of the storage items you'll need to buy the next time you are in a hardware, department or home improvement store.
Anything in boxes should be clearly labeled with a black marker so that you don't have to end up rummaging through boxes and making a mess every time you need something that's stored away.
How To Stay On Top Of Home Organization
Has the clutter in your home taken over your valuable living space? If so, you're definitely not alone. Thousands of people across the country are dealing with a home that has too many things kept inside it that hinders the home’s livability. When the clutter has started to take over it's time for you to take charge and get it handled before things start to get out of control.
Here are some tips you can use to get that clutter organized and put away properly.
You've just finished moving into your new home in Calgary. The next step? Time to get your life together by getting things organized! Fortunately, there are lots of quick and easy ways you can organize your home. The best part? They don't have to cost you an arm and a leg either!
Add a Rail to the Cabinet Under Your Sink
Not sure what to do with all that cleaning supplies? Add a rail to the cabinet underneath your sinks in the kitchen and bathroom. You can hang a lot of your lighter bottles of cleaners from the rail! Just be careful not to hang more weight than the rail can handle!
Add Magnets to the Walls
There's nothing worse than a small kitchen. Put some magnetic strips up high on your walls and then you can let your kitchen knives hang from the strip! Just make sure you have the strip up high enough, so small children cannot reach the knives.
Get Some Magazine Racks
Do you have boxes of plastic wrap, baggies, foil, and wax paper? Not sure where to put all of those boxes? After all, they could easily take up an entire shelf in your kitchen! A magazine rack is the perfect compact storage space for all of these boxes of much needed kitchen supplies!
You can also get the magazine wall racks to store the lids for your pots and pans!
Utilise Your Ceiling
Not sure where to put all of your pots and pans? Try hanging them from the ceiling! You need them, but that doesn't mean they should use all your cupboard space.
These are just a few organizational tips that will make things a little less chaotic around your Calgary home. Regardless of how little or how much space you are working with, there are lots of neat things you can try.
Do You Have Too Much Stuff?
This is the first thing to look at. If you have too many things it's time to start getting rid of some of them. When you're looking through your belongings a good rule of thumb is to consider whether you've used an item within the last six months. If not, do you really think you need to have it lying around? If it's something seasonal that's completely different but if it's not you really need to take a good look at the item and decide whether it can go.
Everything Needs A Home
All of your belongings need to have a home. This would be a selected space inside the house where the item belongs. For example, a space should be allocated specifically for pet supplies, home movies, tools, light bulbs and other necessary household items, telephone books, cleaning supplies etc. A lot of clutter can build up when there really isn't an allocated space for these things and they all end up getting put together in drawers or closets that start to overfill. When everything is compartmentalized it's easier to keep track of things and discard items that are no longer of use or have expired.
Put Everything Away In Its Proper Place
It's easy to establish a type of "dumping zone" in the home where things are set down to be handled later. This dumping zone can quickly become a cluttered area as members of the house forget about items that have been left there or avoid them altogether.
If you find that you have this type of zone in your home you'll need to establish some firm rules and get them agreed upon by all family members. Things need to be put away in the right place once they have been used in order to keep the clutter under control.
Do you have a messy house? Start by establishing a home for various items and go from there. Everyone needs a starting point with a house full of clutter and this beginning will give you the structure you need to work with to get things back in control.
Once you have your garage clean and tidy you'll really appreciate the effort you took to get it that way. It can also turn out to be a bonding moment between you and your children especially if you have old treasures hidden away in the back of the garage that bring up past memories of days gone by.