7.03.2020

Ultimate Guide to Deep Cleaning Your Home

With summer upon us, and life for many of us slowly returning to normal, it can be a good time to do a deep clean of the home. With many of us having been home for the past few months, and now the summer in full swing, it can be a good time to make sure that our homes are clean and tidy, in an effort to help us all to be as healthy as possible. Whether you have had symptoms of COVID-19 or not, making sure that you are living somewhere free from germs is a good idea right about now, especially as we all start to go out and about more. But what is the difference between a deep clean of the home, and the normal maintenance that will happen through the year? 

A regular cleaning routine for maintenance is a much lighter clean, and it helps to keep surfaces clean and clear, and helps you to keep your house in order each week. A deep clean, needed every so often, is a much deeper process and it is also much more detailed, to help to set you up for the summer (or whatever time of year you are looking at). Here are some tips and tricks to make sure that you are deep cleaning your home properly and really making the chance of deep cleaning count. 


How to Deep Clean
One of the best things to do is to write yourself or set yourself a plan for how you want things to go. Then you can check off what you have done and when, and know what is next, and when you’ll be able to fit it all in. Starting off with making a list of rooms in the house is a really good idea, and then you can make a note of the tasks needed in each room. There is definitely something satisfying about ticking something off your list as you go, so get your plan and lists sorted! It might be best to give yourself plenty of time to get it all done, for instance, over a couple of weekends. Unless you have time off work and are ready to get it all done in a day or two. It will also depend how big your home is, as to how long this will all take.

If you’re not really sure where to start with all of this, then here are some ideas and prompts to help you to plan the cleaning out. It will vary, depending on your home, of course. But here are some of the things that you can do room by room in your home. 


Bathrooms and kitchen
What are some of the tasks to do in the bathroom? Of course, there will be the usual bathtub cleaning and toilet cleaning that would happen each week anyway. But what is needed for a deeper clean? 

  • Disinfect and dust door handles and light switches in the bathroom. Check any of the corners of the room for cobwebs too. Peppermint oil is a great essential oil to repel spiders, if you find that you have a recurring problem. 
  • Clean the bathtub, shower, sinks, and toilets, as you would normally. It can be a good idea to go a little deeper though, and scrub the tiles, the grout, and the whole of the toilet, not just the inside. Germs can fester on the outside of the toilet too, as well as the seat. 
  • If you have shower curtains that are looking quite moldy, then they can be taken off and washed. If not, they will need to be replaced. Shower screens will need to be cleaned with a limescale cleaner, and using a squeegee can be a good idea to make sure that you don’t get water marks on the glass when you’re rinsing it off. 
  • Wash all of your bathroom towels and bathmats. A hot wash, without fabric conditioner is best. 
  • Cleaning mirrors and disinfecting any of the surfaces in the room is a must. Some surfaces, especially corners, can get a little covered in mildew, so that is something to remember. 
  • Clean the bathroom windows, and allow plenty of ventilation, especially if the bathroom is a little moldy.

What about the kitchen? It is a place where food is stored and cooked, so it needs to be germ-free. Here are some of the top tasks for the kitchen.

  • Cleaning the tops of cabinets and the insides of the kitchen cabinets is another must. If you have time and are able to, then organizing your cabinets and pantry can be a good idea. You never know, you might have some really old food tucked away at the back, that needs to be thrown out. 
  • Vacuum the flooring, and if you have tiles, wooden flooring, or lino flooring, disinfect the flooring and then wash. Moving the fridge is a good idea too, as this is something that doesn’t get done all of the time, but will make a big difference when cleaned during a deep clean. 
  • Your refrigerator in general can do with a good deep clean. For example, you could defrost it, as ice can block the filters. You could also clean the refrigerator coils and look at the vent that is found at the bottom of a fridge. If it is blocked, then you can help by hoovering it.
  • Surfaces and sinks should be disinfected and cleaned, to make sure that any germs are cleaned away. Cleaning the stovetop and the oven is a good idea too, but can take a little time, depending on how long you have got. 
  • Clean the windows.

Common areas and outdoor areas
One of the next spaces to move onto are the common areas, like landings and living rooms. To start with, these areas are best to declutter. It can be easier to clean a space when there is much less stuff in there to clean! Wipe down the surfaces, including reaching up to dust lampshades and get rid of any cobwebs in the corners. It can be a good idea to look into carpet cleaning for areas that are carpeted, as carpets can hold a lot of dirt and grime. Many carpet cleaning machines also have upholstery attachments for couches, and rugs, so that can be a good idea too. 

For the outdoor areas, start off by sweeping patios, your porch, and any decking. Hose down and disinfect any outdoor furniture, which is a must at this time of year when it will get much more use. For anything that won’t get used right now, store it away, to prevent it from getting damaged.


Bedrooms
The bedrooms can be one of the biggest rooms to deep clean, as they are likely to have less of a clean each week. Kitchens and bathrooms get cleaned much more than bedrooms really, so they may take you a little more time. Here are some of the tasks to consider for your bedrooms:

  • Start off by dusting! So many things can gather dust in the bathroom, from your trinkets, photo frames, bed frame, ceiling fans, and so on. Remember to clean your headboard too, as that can be full of dust and dirt. 
  • Cleaning your mattress can be done using baking soda and your hoover. Sprinkle some baking soda on there, and then leave for a little while. Then simply hoover it off, and it will help to leave the mattress looking like new, as well as smelling like new. 
  • Wash your bed linens. This is something that should be done more often than in a deep clean, but it is a good of a time as any. 
  • Move furniture around so that you can clean underneath. Move your bed a little to reach those hard to clean areas, for example, as well as wardrobes (if moveable), and other furniture. 
  • Taking some time to declutter and to organize your closet can be a good thing to add into the deep clean. It can be something that is so satisfying to do!
  • As with any room, clean the windows that are in that room.

Tips for Deep Cleaning Your Home
When you are choosing to deep clean your house, it is a good idea to make sure that you start working from the top of each room, down to the bottom of the room. Don’t start by cleaning the floors in the kitchen, for instance, when the countertops still need to be wiped. Make it easier for yourself by knocking any of the dust and dirt to the floor, to clean the floors the very last of all.

If you have some more time, or want to get seriously stuck into a deep clean, then here are some other things that you could do:

  • Dust and clean any light fixtures or light fittings
  • Clean the baseboards in the rooms, which may require moving furniture
  • Clean all of your internal doors, and disinfect your door handles
  • Check that your fire alarms and security alarms are all still working
  • Clean all of the windows, and wipe down the window frames
  • Dust curtains or blinds, and dry clean if required
  • Disinfect your trash cans

These are the tasks that don’t need to be done all of the time, but can make a big difference. Good luck with your deep clean!

Make Your Garden Shine This Summer

Summer has well and truly landed and the time is now to makeover the garden and get it looking lush. There are evenings in which you need to enjoy it and you should consider how you want your garden to look until autumn dawns once more. You need upgrades that are quick and simple if you want to spend time outside during these warmer months!

Well, with that in mind, start with looking to visit here. You need to think about your landscaping and your trees for safety as much as aesthetics! This is the summer, which means that you need to take a look at the tips below to get your garden looking exactly how you want it to be. Let’s take a look!
Selective Focus Photography of Pink Petaled Flowers
  1. Start with laying some fake grass. There is nothing wrong with the fake stuff, especially if you’re short on time. Be aware that it can get extremely hot in the sun, though, so get the gorgeous lawn you want but wear sandals. It doesn't take long to install, and it means you’re not using water to keep it looking lush when you shouldn't be!
  2. You can install some storage into your garden and create some extra space for being tidy. It can be bike and toy storage and even a potting shed if you need one, but you should choose to get your garden as tidy as possible and garden storage is going to get you there.
  3. You need your garden to be organized if you want to feel proud of your space. You can do it with pots in the garden to keep the flowers organized, and you can even upcycle the existing plant pots with spray paint and stencils.
  4. Get the strimmer out and edge the lawn. You need to tidy the edges if you want the garden to look good, and you can give your lawn some structure this way. You can even add some wavy lines and some bright gravel to make the whole space feel welcoming.
  5. Upcycle where you can. If you have old garden furniture, give it a lick of paint. You can get the gutters cleared out, too, as those will need to have sufficient drainage from those summer showers you know you can expect.
  6. If you don't want to upcycle - or you have the budget to do it - go and get some new furniture pieces for the space. You can replace it with some stylish rattan pieces and go for something more on trend. You wont regret it!
  7. Set up a sprinkler system and make it automatic. Of course, if you’ve installed some fake grass you won’t need to do this, but if you have real grass you can make this healthy and beautiful all summer long.
  8. String some fairy lights through the garden and really light it up. It can look beautiful and sparkly all at once and you get the benefit of evening twinkles! 

Make your garden beautiful this summer with these tips: it’s a great place to start.

7.02.2020

5 Simple Financial Tricks to Manage Your Money Better


Managing money may seem like a challenge to most people, but it doesn’t have to be as difficult as many of us think. In fact, improving your financial habits can be as easy as making some financial tweaks and learning a few simple tricks that will help you save more money each month. Let’s get started!

Track your spending


We all have our spending habits, but not all of us are aware of how much money they are spending each month. The first step towards better money management would be to start tracking your spending. Get a spending journal and make it a habit to enter all data related to your purchases, whether it is gas, coffee, groceries, or any other purchases that would otherwise feel ‘insignificant’.
For easier tracking, you want to save all the receipts. You should also rely on credit card and bank statements to come up with an accurate amount of your monthly spending. Doing so will allow you to see where you are overspending so you can adjust your actions accordingly.

Cut all the non-essentials 


Speaking of overspending, it is important that you also look for ways to cut back and save more money each month. A good place to start would be to list all your essential and non-essential monthly expenses and see what you can cut back on.
Things like unused subscriptions and memberships can really add up, so make sure to cancel those. Going out and eating at a restaurant can also be expensive habits that add up in the long run, so be sure to put a limit on those as well. Also, to prevent yourself from making unnecessary splurges, give yourself a couple of days to figure out if you really want that non-essential item. You’ll be either glad you didn’t purchase it or you will realize that you really want it, in which case you can start saving up for that item.

Spend wisely when grocery shopping


Heading to the grocery store without a clear plan can easily lead to impulse purchases you might regret later. Shopping lists are a godsend in these situations as they can help you stay on top of your spending and shop smartly. Going grocery shopping when your stomach is growling is not a good idea either, so make sure you don’t head to the store when you’re hungry.
Another way to be wise when grocery shopping is to buy in bulk as it’s often cheaper, and opt for generic brands as they usually have the same ingredients list as their more expensive versions with a flashy package. However, don’t go overboard either! Purchase only those items that you’ll need for the next couple of days so that the food doesn’t go bad and you don’t waste money.

Look for complimentary extras when traveling



We all like freebies, and they can be a great way for smart spending while traveling. For instance, there are a lot of credit card luggage promotions that offer complimentary extras if you sign up for a certain credit card. These welcome bonuses can be anything from brand new luggage to free checked bags on the airline you use the most.
There are websites that allow you to compare different credit cards with free luggage so you can find the one that best suits your needs, your spending habits, and that rewards you for purchasing things you already spend on. After getting notified that you are eligible for the welcome offer, you can claim your free luggage and start jet-setting in style.

Set clear savings goals


Smart spending can be difficult when you don’t have a clear vision. When you’re unsure about what you’re saving up for, you’re actually discouraging yourself from saving, and the whole process starts to seem pointless. Short-term and long-term goals are there to help you stay on track and motivate you towards saving up for more important things in life.
Vacations, weddings, down payments on cars, and emergency funds are all good examples of short-term savings goals (1-3 years) while setting aside some money every month for early retirement, down payment on a house, or your kids’ education are long-term goals and may take four years or longer to complete. After setting clear goals, figure out how much money you’ll need to save to meet those goals and how long it will take you to get there.

Conclusion

Whether you’re on a tight budget or have deeper pockets, good financial skills are essential if you want to live more easily and stress-free. By learning how to save and manage your money better, you’ll be one step closer to achieving financial freedom – and that is something that is truly priceless.

Protect Yourself When Caring For Others

If you are someone who cares for others, or there is a member of your family who now needs caring for, it’s important that you protect yourself. It’s a difficult task, and certainly not one that we are trying to put you off, but it is important that you go into this with your eyes open. In this article, we’re going to be looking at some of the ways that you can do this, so keep reading if you want to find out more.


Know What You Are Facing

The first thing that we are going to suggest you do is to know what you are facing. Find out what the condition is, and then do your research. You want to know everything there is to know, or at least, everything that you can find out without being a qualified medical professional. It’s always going to be hard, but the better prepared you are, the easier it will be for you. For example, in some dementia patients, they experience something called sundowning, and it’s important that you know what to look for in the way of sundowning symptoms so that you can recognize this.

Of course, there is plenty more for you to know, and it’s a case of taking the time to learn. It’s not possible to know everything there is to know about every condition, which is why you want to start with one and then work your way through if needed. 

Be Prepared For The Worst

The next thing that you should do is make sure that you are prepared for the worse. Some of the conditions that people can get are not pleasant, and you need to be prepared for if the worst happens, especially if the person you are caring for is a member of your family. It’s never easy to accept that bad things can happen to those that we love, but you need to be prepared for the worst case of symptoms, and the possibility that it could end with them passing on. It might not get to this point, but it is always going to be better to be prepared and for there to be a happy ending than the other way around.

Do What You Can, Without Getting In Too Deep

Finally, and this is only going to be relevant if you are not caring for someone you love because this will be impossible with them, you should try to do what you can without getting in too deep. Remember that there is a reason you are caring for them and think about what we just talked about regarding the worst-case scenario. It’s never easy to detach yourself from the person you are looking after, but in some cases, it’s the only thing you can do to give them the proper care and protect yourself.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now have a better understanding of some of the ways you can protect yourself when caring for others. Put this advice into practice, and make sure you have someone you can lean on if things get too tough. We wish you the very best of luck.

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