Who Goes First

This is the age-old question that can vary from person to person, place to place, and expert to expert.  Do you vacuum first then dust or do you dust first and then vacuum.

 At the end of the day it is easier to dust from top to bottom and then vacuum; if you are doing them both during a routine cleaning session. Sometimes you may dust on one day and then vacuum another day.  In the perfect world and perfect scenario, it is recommended that you dust first and then vacuum.  However, my suggestion is to do what works best for you, your home, and your schedule.

The most common issue with vacuuming first is the reappearance of dust/dirt on the items you recently dusted.  The best way to avoid this issue from happening should you vacuum before you dust is to perform PROPER MAINTENANCE on your vacuum cleaner.  YES, maintenance.  This is one of the major appliances that gets neglected the most as far as maintenance is concerned. Most vacuums are used until they no longer work which typically happens from uncleaned filters and canister which leads to loss of suction and more stress on the motor.  It is important and I always recommend to clients to clean the filters and canister of their vacuum to get the longest life out of it and to avoid the reappearance of dust/dirt onto your furniture and floors.  This can be done by following the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly maintain your vacuum or central vacuum system.

Overall, effective vacuuming can only work if maintenance is done on a regular basis.  So regardless if you dust first then vacuum or vacuum first then dust, the end result will be the same with a poorly maintained vacuum.  As stated above, do what works best for your home and schedule.  

Martin Luther King, Jr.-Service to Others

As I sit back and reflect over the last 10 years, I have realized that our country is so divided.  It is a sad moment to see such division but I do believe we can bounce back from this ugly division and become a better country.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., along with others fought to ensure we all had equal treatment under the laws of this country.

As we observe Martin Luther King, Jr. day on January 18, 2021, I present a challenge to you!  Take the time to think about and find a cause that you believe in and are passionate about, find a local organization that supports your cause, and volunteer for them.  Yes, I said volunteer while we are going through this global pandemic.  Volunteer opportunities are still possible and a lot of communities desperately needed at this time.  The organization I volunteer for is Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands (STSM).  We are able to still provide services to survivors of sexual assault and trauma via the 24-hour hotline and via the network of hospitals through their switchboard operators for those in the hospital setting.  Many organizations have made the necessary adjustments to still help those in need by switching to online support opportunities but many still need hands-on-deck in person.

By volunteering for the organizations of your choice, this small act can and will have a huge impact on the communities they serve and are needed now more than ever with our ever-changing landscape from the Coronavirus pandemic.  So again, I challenge you to take this time to consider volunteering and help those who are a part of a cause you believe in.  By making this simple gesture, you can grow and learn as a person and help bring us one step closer to becoming a less divided country again.

Fuel Saving Tips

Fuel saving tips

Now that the country has slowly opened back up after some mandatory quarantine time and our vehicles did not get driven as much, here are a few simple tips that you can use to assist you with getting the most fuel savings for your vehicle.

Whether you travel a lot for work or take the occasional road trip for pleasure or the holidays, keeping your care properly maintained will help you get the best fuel mileage for your vehicle.  

Keep tires inflated to their proper psi level. Don’t just wait for your car’s tire system to notify you that the tire needs air, try to make it a habit to walk around your vehicle and inspect your tires. Constant changes in the temperature do affect your tire pressure so be mindful of this. If it is available in your area, go to a full-service gas station to get the attendant to check your tire pressure for you. You can also go to any tire service center like Wal-Mart, Goodyear, Firestone, Discount Tires, etc. The simple process of keeping your tires properly inflated helps save on your fuel costs.

Keep your oil changed. For older model vehicles the recommended time frame was every 3,000 miles and/or 3 months. However, with today’s more technologically advanced vehicles, you simply need to follow your manufacturer’s timeframe. This simple maintenance service helps to protect your engine which helps with your overall fuel efficiency. Also, at times your air filter has to be changed along with your oil. This is a schedule that will be recommended by the manufacturer. The rule of thumb for older vehicles is every 6,000 miles or every other oil change.

Lighten the load. Many of us either have the trunk of our cars loaded with items we don’t need or use daily or we have the cargo area of the SUV/van full. This adds to the weight which means more pull by the engine which equals more fuel to be used. Take the time to keep only the bare essentials in your trunk or cargo areas.

Keep your tires rotated and balanced. This process plays a key role in your fuel efficiency usage. Again, follow the recommended mileage suggested by the manufacturer of your vehicle and by the tire manufacturer. Also keeping your vehicle in proper alignment helps with fuel usage. In general, alignments can last up to a year and it is based on the road conditions that you travel on a daily. If you feel your vehicle pulling to the left or right, that usually means your alignment has worn off and it is time to get another one done.

Overall, it is best to keep your vehicle properly maintained in order to get the best fuel economy usage from your vehicle.