Fire Safety

 

DO YOU HAVE A FIRE ESCAPE PLAN FOR YOUR HOME? I hope your answer to this question is yes.  If not, please make one now.  No one ever wants a house fire to happen, but if it does, you will be glad you had an escape plan in place.

IF YOU DO HAVE A FIRE ESCAPE PLAN, WHEN WAS THE LAST DRILL? Practice makes perfect. It is important to periodically practice your fire escape plan, especially for young kids to make sure they know what to do as time is key in your escape plan.  They should be scheduled on your calendar yet be unscheduled when they happen.  Again, quick action is the key to safely escaping.

HAVE YOU CHECKED YOUR FIRE EXTINGUISHER? They should be check at least twice per year.  I usually recommend to my family and friends to schedule it with their Spring and Fall cleanings.  This way they are sure to make sure they are full and ready for use in case they are needed.  It is also essential to have the appropriate fire extinguisher. Household fire extinguishers are typically A, B, or C class

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CHECKED YOUR SMOKE/CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS? If you have a smoke detector and/or carbon monoxide detectors in your home, please check the batteries at least twice a year and if you have had them in your home for 5 or more years, please check the expiration date on the back of the detector.  Yes, they have expiration dates which most people do not know.  There should be one on every floor, in the kitchen, garage entrance to your home, in the hallways of all bedrooms.

HERE ARE A FEW PLACES/ITEMS THAT ARE TYPICAL HIDDEN CAUSES OF FIRES OR WHERE FIRES FREQUENTLY HAPPEN:

Kitchen-grease from cooking, grease-covered hood exhaust screens/covers. Keys to preventing a grease fire are to keep clean up any and all grease while cooking and after cooking.  Frequently cleaning the hood exhaust screens and covers, and all cabinets around the stove are key to lessening your chances of having a grease fire.  Small appliances like toasters and toaster ovens can be another source of common kitchen fires.  Be sure to keep them properly cleaned and free of debris.

Laundry room-dryer vent exhaust. The key to prevention is to keep the exhaust line cleaned. The more you use your dryer, the more you need to perform regular maintenance on the exhaust line.

Candles. Never leave them burning while asleep or outside of the home. Always burn them on stable/flat surfaces to prevent them from falling over.

Chimney. The key to avoiding a fire is to keep the chimney cleaned before you start using it or after it has been used for the season. Also keeping the fireplace free of flammable items and debris is a safety component that should be practiced each time you use it.

Space heaters. Never use in an enclosed space. Keep away from flammables.  Try to locate it in an area where if it did start a fire, safe escape is possible.

Bathroom exhaust fans. Keep them free of dust and/or debris.

If you would like further information on how to make your home as fireproof as possible, I would recommend going to the National Fire Protection Association website, American Red Cross, or contacting your local fire station as they do provide free help with fire safety knowledge and prevention.

TIME MANAGEMENT: The Impossible is Possible

Where do I start? How do I start? What products should I use?

What products are the best?

How often should I do this?

How do I find the time in my schedule?

And this is the #1 question I love whenever I am in the cleaning section of any store and I have my work shirt on; What products would you recommend I purchase to get the job done?

My answer is usually, “None of them”! Can you imagine the looks that I get when I say that?!

I am old school when it comes to cleaning and I believe 100% in elbow grease, one good multipurpose/antibacterial cleaner and as chemical/toxic free as possible. I make my own cleaning products to clean my home using essential oils, castile soap, and a few natural/organic products on the market.

Today we want it now, fast and with as little effort as possible. This has a direct impact on how we approach all aspects of life from scheduling activities, grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning our homes, etc.

We have become overwhelmed with products that will magically fix our problems and at the end of the day, we just have a house full of half-used products and a bunch of residue left over multiple surfaces in our home. This just adds to the stress of still not being satisfied with our home being clean.

I once had a client ask me how am I able to clean their 2500 sq ft home, run a business, take care of my child with all his needs, keep my home clean, do laundry, and grocery shop?

My response was TIME MANAGEMENT! It is a very simple thing to do if you make certain things in your life a routine and as simple as possible. I am nowhere near perfect and I only have 24 hours in my day like everyone else, the only catch for me is the fact that I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and to stay focused when doing tasks, I must utilize a daily To-Do list. This is my #1 recommendation to keeping a clean home and keeping you focused on staying organized.

So if you are ready to take the “GET MY LIFE IN ORDER” journey with me, let’s get started.

Follow our blogs and learn quick, simple steps and solutions to keep your house clean which in turn helps keep your life a bit less chaotic and organized!

Kitchen Nightmare

kitchen cleaning tips

HOW TO AVOID A HUGE MESS IN THE KITCHEN WHILE COOKING TO CUT BACK ON STRESS:

1-PREP, PREP, PREP.

2-Prior to your big cooking event/prep session/routine nightly cooking; make sure the dishwasher is free of the previous clean load.

3-Wipe spills as soon as they happen, whether it be on the countertop, floor, stove top, etc.

4-Keep a large bowl for your food scraps if you compost or for the garbage disposal.

5-If a bowl is not your thing, keep your trash and/or recycle bins close by for quick disposal of items. This helps to keep your prepping and cooking areas clean, avoid unnecessary spills on the countertops, cabinets, and floor.

6-To avoid the dishes piling up in the sink or counter, load the dishwasher as you go.

7-Keep your cleaning solution handy and ready for cleaning.

8-Once dinner is over, finish loading the dishwasher and run a complete cycle. You may want to put the dishes away once the cycle is complete or you can do this the next morning or later that day. However, I do recommend that you get it emptied before your next cooking session to keep from having a huge mess of dirty dishes to deal with.

Your goal is to not have a HUGE mess to deal with at the end of your cooking session or after the eating is done.  Dealing with the mess later is the option that most people go for and end up regretting that decision in the end, especially due to stains that have had the chance to set on your countertops, cabinets or floor.

Technology Cleaned My House

IRobot, Hook cleaning, Roomba

I am sure that one day in the far, far future there will be a house built that will have a “self-cleaning” feature! So, until that day arrives, we must keep cleaning our homes the good old fashion way.

However, there are a few gadgets out there on the market that can help make the housecleaning process a little bit easier. Before you go purchase any device, having a cleaning schedule, sticking to it, getting everyone in the household involved in the process, and being vigilant is the key to keeping your home clean.

Today you can go online and purchase vacuums and floor mopping system robots to do the job for you. I always advise my clients to do their research to make sure they are buying the right system that will get the job done as efficiently as possible for their home size and needs.

These systems are not cheap, even after being on the market for several years as the technology is forever evolving with newer technology. Even with me being the owner of a housecleaning company, I have taken the leap into advanced technology, and I purchased the iRobot Roomba vacuum. It has been the BEST gift I have ever purchased for myself. After a long day of working in the field, there is nothing like coming home to clean carpets and hardwood floors!

Clean floors make the entire house seem fresh upon entry even though I may be behind with my dusting and mopping. I have my Roomba programmed to vacuum 7 days/week at 8 am, and it will clean for 30-45 minutes on a full charge. I have a reminder set on my cell phone calendar to empty the collection bin at least 3 days/week and check underneath that there isn’t much maintenance to the Roomba. It does a WONDERFUL job at keeping under the beds clean which is one of the unforgotten zones that gets neglected by us all!

Based on how the iRobot Roomba has saved me time with vacuuming, making my house appear brighter upon entry, and the money spent to purchase it; I highly recommend making the investment into this technology to anyone who has a tough time with vacuuming or who simply cannot find the time in their busy schedule to do so. I always advise that you do your research and make sure you are purchasing a system that can handle your house size or the various type of floors that you have in your home.

For me, with the iRobot Roomba vacuum, this piece of technology has been the best thing I have discovered in my 20+ years of cleaning, as an actual device that is well worth its cost and gets the job done.  It does take some time to make sure all the components are clear of debris and in good working condition. Other than that, there’s really nothing negative I can say about the IRobot Roomba. And this is NOT a sponsored post, just my own personal opinion being a user of this cleaning gadget.

Laundry Demon

Laundry

The never-ending demon that lurks!  Is this the way you feel when it comes time to get the laundry done?  Most of you will say yes but it does not have to be this way. Here are a few tips that can help you with making laundry day a little less stressful!

1-Sort. Sort. Sort. Sort. Sort. To make loads easier and to ensure that like items are washed together, it is best to have the laundry pre-sorted.  The best way to get the laundry pre-sorted is to have everyone in the household involved in this process.  You will be amazed at how smoothly things go when the laundry is already sorted.  This can be accomplished by having laundry bins in each person’s room/bathroom/closet with the appropriate labels to help them sort their clothes.

2-Check those pockets.  Nothing like doing a load of laundry only to discover that tube of lipstick you have been looking for was left in an unchecked pocket and now your shirts are ruined! Best way to avoid this is to make sure once the laundry is sort, everyone checks their pockets first before sorting the clothes or check before the laundry is loaded into the washing machine.  Keep a jar or small box handy so that you have a place to put the pocket items.

3-Stains. The best practice is to treat the stains when they happen.  In order for this to work, you have to make sure you have the right ingredients for the stains you are treating.  There are hosts of sites online you can go to for information on how to treat just about any stain that may occur. Another good practice is to have a cheat sheet placed in your laundry room that tells you how to treat stains to make sure you are treating the stain correctly.

4-Load size.  Even with the new line of High Efficiency (HE) washers and dryers, sometimes the best approach is an old school approach.  The smaller the load, the more efficient the appliances can be and the best way to ensure your clothes are thoroughly cleaned and every piece is dry.  And yes, this will at times causes you to have more to wash but that leads to the next tip.

5-Socks.  You start off washing with an even number and then once they come out of the dryer, you have an odd number. How can you avoid the lost sock scenario? Start placing all of your socks into a mesh bag before placing them into the washing machine. This will help eliminate the lost sock scenario.

6-Pile-up.  Do not let the laundry pile up on you.  Get ahead of the work before it becomes too enormous.  This will lead at times to more laundry sessions but an extra hour for that extra smaller load is better than an entire weekend.

7-Schedule.  This is the best way to manage your time when it comes to getting the laundry done.  This also aides with getting everyone in the household involved with getting the laundry done.  I personally have a schedule in everyone’s room that has each persons laundry day.  This way we have no confusion  on laundry day and no issues with their other responsibilities.

8-Dryer time.  The best way to get the most of out of your dryer is to a)use smaller loads. b)keep the lint trap cleaned out which is best to check before each load. c)use a dry towel inside loads that may take longer to dry in order to help with absorbing some of the moisture which helps cut back on the cycle time.  YES, it really works!

9-Supplies.  Before any of the above items can be accomplished, you must have your supplies.  It is best to always check the items in the laundry room and keep a list of items that need to be replenished. I keep a magnetic notepad attached to the front of our washing machine and make notes of any items that are low and will need replacing soon.  This way, when I do my grocery shopping, I simply add the items on the note to my grocery list and cross them off once I purchase them and restock.

Side note:  Sometimes we cannot figure out why our clothes are not getting cleaned or there seems to be a lot of residue leftover after they are washed.  You change the detergent and fabric softeners and still you have the same problem. The one thing no one ever looks at is the water!

Yes, the type of water you have in your home plays a key role in how efficient your detergent works. You can call your local water company and request that they test your water if you have any concerns about it or find an independent lab in your area that tests the water.

It may be as simple as changing your detergent or using less since most detergents today are concentrated due to the “HE” washing machines using less water.  Another may be to clean your washing machine and with this, I would recommend you follow the manufactures instructions for this.

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