Four Things You Should Check In Your Home Every Year

Owning a home comes with a hefty responsibility. Since your home is probably the biggest investment you’ll make in your lifetime then you want to make sure that you maintain it. Although, you would rather spend your free time relaxing here are four things you should do every year to ensure you’re running a well-oiled machine.

  1. Replace the batteries in the smoke detector

Ever heard of the old adage “better than safe than sorry”? Yes, every year you should be switching out the old batteries in your smoke detector for new ones. Modern smoke detectors feature hard-wired backup batteries that must also be replaced. However, it doesn’t stop there. After trading batteries you should ensure that all the smoke detectors throughout the house are in working order.

In addition to the smoke detectors, you should also check your carbon monoxide detectors. Every year thousands of deaths occur due to faulty carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure you change the batteries at least every six months to a year.

  1. Inspect the fire chimney

Before you fire up your fireplace during the cold winter months you must fire perform a thorough inspection of your chimney. Make sure the gas logs are positioned correctly, look for cracks in the glass door and make sure the burner holes aren’t clogged.

Even when the fireplace is not in use it should be inspected because the chimney has dangerous gases that can be carried to the stove and that shouldn’t be inhaled. Be sure to clean it periodically.

  1. Central Air Conditioner Maintenance

Of course, seasonally you’ll need to remove the leaves and clean the debris from your central air conditioning unit. Use the hose to spray the fins and remove all the dirt from the inside out. Be sure to test the unit after you’ve cleaned it to ensure that it’s working properly.

  1. Doors and windows

Before winter hits, you should perform an inspection of all the doors and windows in your home. Check for weather stripping around the front and back door. Look for cracks in the windows and tears on the screen. Checking for signs of wear around the window frame is important for safety issues.

DIY Laundry Pods

Homeowners are becoming obsessed with natural home remedies that replace harmful, chemical-filled products. Have you ever considered swapping out your traditional laundry detergent for an epic DIY project? Forget your regular, old detergent and switch to these amazing all-natural laundry pods.

Supplies:
Hand Grater
Large Mixing Bowl
Ice Cube Tray
Butter Knife
Stylish Airtight Container

Ingredients:
Castile Soap
Washing Soda
Epsom Salt
Baking Soda
White Vinegar
Lavender Essential Oil

How to Make Lavender Detergent Pods:

Step One. Grate one full bar of Castile soap with a hand grater.

Step Two. Grab your large mixing bowl and mix together your freshly grated soap, one cup of washing soda and 1/4 cup of epsom salt.

Step Three. (Optional) Make your own washing soda by pouring a thick layer of baking soda on a baking dish. Turn your oven on to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Place the baking dish on the oven’s bottom rack and bake for approximately one hour. You will need to stir the mixture once or twice while it is baking. Wait for the mixture to become grainy rather than its original state of being silky. After an hour, remove the baking dish from the oven and let it cool.

Step Four. Combine one cup of your washing soda to your large mixing bowl. Slowly pour in 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Make sure to continuously stir while added in the white vinegar until the mixture becomes “clumpy.”

Step Five. Add ten to twelve drops of your lavender essential oil to the mixing bowl for a refreshing scent. (Note: You can try out different essential oil scents with your detergent pods)

Step Six. Pour the contents of the bowl into your ice cube tray. Make sure that they are tightly packed into the tray by securing the mixture down with your fingers.

Step Seven. Wait one day before removing the pods from the ice cube tray.

Step Eight. Remove the lavender pods from the ice tray and place them into an airtight container of your choice.

Voila! These homemade pods are perfect for high-efficient washing machines, because they contain a small amount of suds.

A Quick Clean

Sometimes you do not have enough time to do a deep clean of your home or apartment. If you are looking for a quick yet efficient cleaning routine, we have you covered. You should not have to compromise quality for time. Let us focus on seven items that you can quickly clean in under an hour.

7 Items to Clean:

  1. Clear the Clutter. Before you can begin cleaning, you will need to put away all of the items around your home. Encourage your family members to partake in the cleaning and create a fun game. Assign every member a certain room then set a timer for thirty minutes. See who can pick up the clutter the fastest in their room and have a reward prepared for them.

  2. Throw away trash. Go through all the rooms with a trash bin and throw away any trash that may be lying around your home. Afterwards, empty out all trash cans.

  3. Wipe down surfaces. After you have cleared the clutter and trash from your rooms, you will want to wipe down all of the surfaces. Use a disinfectant wipe on door knobs, handles, and light switches.

  4. Vacuum, sweep, and mop. Next you will want to focus on floors by doing a quick sweep then mopping the floors. If you do not have time to mix a solution, try using a portable spray mop.

  5. Swap out towels. Run around to all of your bathrooms and place clean hand towels out for drying. Make sure to throw the dirty towels in the washing machine.

  6. Clean the toilet bowls. Squirt some toilet bowl cleaner inside of your toilet and scrub them out with a toilet bowl brush.

  7. Light candles. Finish your cleaning off with some candles. They create a pleasant smell and they will set the tone for a relaxing evening.

Whether you are having company over or want to tidy up your house, this quick clean can come in handy. We hope you enjoyed these tips and tricks for a quick home cleaning. Let us know what you think in the comment section.

DIY Wooden Cutting Board

If you are in the kitchen a lot, you understand the importance of owning a quality cutting board. You can never have too many cutting boards when you are trying to prepare a giant meal. Buying wooden cutting boards can quickly become expensive. This summer, make your own wooden cutting board:

Supply List:
A Piece of Poplar Wood (Preferably: 1×10 x 3’)
Hand Saw
Drill and 5/8” Drill Bit
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Pencil
Butcher Block Oil
220-Grit Sanding Block
Cloth/Rag
Mild Dish Soap
Clean Dish Rag

Step One. Take your poplar wood and measure 16 inches. Mark a spot at the 16 inch mark and use a speed square to help you draw a straight line from the bottom of the wood to the top of the wood.

Step Two. Grab your hand saw and cut through the line you just drew.

Step Three. Now you are going to make a hole in the wood by taking your measuring tape and marking 1-1/2” from the perpendicular sides on the top left corner. Ultimately, you will have drawn a plus sign.

Step Four. Take your 5/8” drill bit and drill a hole through the plus sign.

Step Five. Using your sanding block, begin to sand off the any uneven corners of the wooden board. All sanding should be done gently and be aware off the edges.

Step Six. Pour your butcher block oil onto a cloth or rag. Then you will take the rag and begin to rub the butcher block oil onto the wood.

Step Seven. Let your wooden board dry overnight before using.

Step Eight. Clean off your board with mild, no dye dish soap and warm water. Make sure to completely dry off the wooden board with a clean dish rag.

Note: Try to not let any food sit on the cutting board for an extended period of time. Always clean your wooden cutting board as soon as possible to keep it in great condition.

Cutting boards are not only great gifts for yourself, but they are great gifts for families and friends. People will love this unique gift idea and cherish the craftsmanship.

Cleaning Hacks

Cleaning can be difficult and time-consuming. You want to make sure you clean your home effectively yet efficiently. You do not have endless time that you can devote to cleaning home, we get it. Let us help you navigate through cleaning your home in a time worthy manner.

Cleaning Hacks:

Dirty Microwave. Place one cup of water inside your microwave. Press two minutes on the keypad and let the water heat. After the two minutes, take a microfiber cloth and wipe down the inside of the microwave. The steam produced by the cup of water will help clean off leftover food and residue.

Smelly Fridge. Clean out your refrigerator and wipe down all the shelves. To reduce odor produced by food, place a small bowl of coffee grounds in the back of your fridge. This is a natural remedy to reduce odor in smelly refrigerators.

Grimy Mirror. Sometimes, our beauty products or toothpaste leave an noticeable residue on bathroom mirrors. To remove the residue, dip a cotton ball in some rubbing alcohol and wipe off the dirty marks.

Filthy Shower Head. Fill a sandwich bag with white vinegar. Attach the bag by tying a rubber band to the shower head. Have the bag sit overnight. In the morning, turn on your shower water and let it run for five minutes.

Allergy-Causing Sheets. The dirty sheets in your bedroom can increase any symptoms from your allergies. Make sure to wash your linens once a week to prevent these allergies.

Dusty Decorations. Decorations can collect a lot of dust in homes. Run a duster overtop of all decorations and framed photos. Spend extra time on wiping off your framed photos, because they tend to be a big dust collector.

Crumby Couch. Couches are home to food crumbs and dirt. Make sure to vacuum your sofa often to prevent unwanted pests.

Fabric Softener Build-up. Have you ever notice that your clothing iron is dirty? Make sure to clean your iron often to reduce the build up of fabric softener. You can combine baking soda with water to clean off the residue. Take the mixture and gently rub in circular motions. Lastly, you will need to take a damp cloth and rub away all leftover product.
Note: Try not to get the baking soda mixture inside the iron’s steam holes.

Now that is cleaning done fast and easy! What cleaning hacks do you use in your own home? Share your cleaning hacks with us in the comment section below.

Creating Privacy at Home

Currently, we are in an age where social media has made our lives somewhat well-known to others. Just by the click of a button, others can know things about your family, the coffee shop you always go to, or the name of the first pet you owned. We tend to put a lot out there but, there are some things that should be left private. Your home should be a place of comfort and privacy, a place where you are at ease. Let us consider the layout of your home and some things you can potentially update to add privacy.

Outdoors.

Your backyard can be an oasis from the busyness going on inside your home. Backyards are an escape to tranquility without dropping the big bucks for a glamorous beach getaway.

Fences are a great solution towards adding privacy in your backyard. Fences are fantastic if you have small children or pets that will be playing in your yard.

Line your yard with bushes, trees, shrubs, etc. Plants will bring life to your yard while incorporating a sense of privacy from any unwanted eyes.

Outdoor deck curtains allow homeowners to choose when they desire their privacy. These curtains will also provide an aesthetic appeal to your deck. They can provide an opportunity to add color where you did not think was possible.

Indoors.

If you are fighting for privacy in a space, a room divider can be a method for creating privacy. Whether you are blocking off an office from a bedroom or two siblings who share a room together, adding a room divider can be an inexpensive way to add privacy.

Curtains are an easy solution for privacy. You can actually use curtains throughout your home and not just on your windows.

Sometimes the arch design of a doorway makes it difficult to put on an actual door. Barn Doors are great for oddly shaped arches that need a touch of privacy.

Privacy may be an extremely important factor for you in your home. If so, how do you provide privacy in your home? Share your thoughts with us below.

Create a Romantic Breakfast in Bed

A Special Treat for the One Who Has It All

We live in a world where items can be purchased online or in person and be enjoyed immediately, so this doesn’t leave a lot of room when it comes to gift giving. What do you do for a special person in your life, whether it’s your parents, spouse or a friend coming to visit? Consider a kind gesture instead. The act of giving of one’s self without the need for something in return is something the person you do it for will not soon forget. One of the ways you can do something kind for someone, especially if they are in your home with you permanently or temporarily is to make them breakfast in bed. This shows you care for them and their needs while they are with you, and you want them to be as comfortable and welcomed as possible. You can make it a surprise or you can tell them in advance that they need not leave their room for breakfast time since it will be coming to them. That way you can inquire about their preferences for their meal. It can be as simple as a black coffee, orange juice and bowl of oatmeal or as fancy as a cappuccino, chocolate crepes and fresh fruit assortment-this is all about making the recipient feel valued.

Once they have placed their order, ask them what time would be best for them to receive their at-home room service and start gathering your supplies. To really make it special, use a large wooden serving tray with placemat covering and fabric napkin. Include a morning newspaper if they so desire and plate their food on a washable plate with silverware-no plastic forks or paper plates! For the final touch, add a handwritten note mentioning how much you appreciate them and the role they play in your life. At the end of their morning meal, they will hopefully be energized, ready for the day and grateful to have a wonderful person like you in their life. Never underestimate the impact of a kind gesture.

Guest Bedroom Must Haves

When getting a guest room ready for house guest, there are some things to consider. The guests should be comfortable and have some necessities. Read along to get a better understanding of stocking this room for comfort.

The bedding should be comfortable and versatile. Make sure the bedding is soft and layered. Always use the top sheet covered by a duvet or comforter. It is also nice to have a throw or quit folded up at the end of the bed. Do so just in case it gets cold at night. Guest can always take blankets away, but they can’t add warm bedding if it is not available to them.

Make sure there is storage space for their clothing, belongings and their suitcase. Storage for clothing should be a dresser with some free drawers available. It is a good idea to have room in a closet with empty hangers. It is nice to have the option to hang clothes when traveling. Also make sure there is enough room in the closet for guest to store their suitcase. If no closet is available add a luggage rack or two at the end of the bed. This is convenient for packing and unpacking, using the bed as a place to fold and get organized. Having the suitcases at the end of the bed on luggage racks, makes it easier to pack. Plus, the bedding will not get stains from dirty suitcase wheels.

Place at least one night stand next to the bed. Add a bedside lamp to the night stand as well. A bedside lamp will add extra lighting for guest to use at night.

Place clean towels on the bed before visitors arrive. Whenever possible have a place for people to hang their damp towels. It is nice to have racks on the back of the door. This allows for someone to get ready in their bedroom without having to go back to the bathroom and find a place to hang a damp towel.

Details make for an inviting space. To make the room extra welcoming add a vase of fresh flowers to the night stand or a dresser. Visitors will be very appreciative of your hospitality if you take the details into account.