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Archive | Spring Spruce Up

Seasonal home maintenance tips that save time and money

SPR-Seasonal-maintenance-web(StatePoint) If you’re not careful, basic and seasonal home maintenance can cost you a pretty penny and a lot of time. Take steps to simplify these tasks.

Clean and Organize

Even if you use a professional cleaning service, you’ll still need some in-between maintenance:

• Divide clutter into three groups: junk, charity and undecided. Toss the first, give away the second and store the third until you decide whether it’s worth keeping.

• To reduce dirt, use only one entry door into your home and use doormats inside and outside.

• Clean the house and each room from the top down. Dust first, vacuum last. Scrub, wipe and polish in straight lines instead of circles. Squeegee windows and mirrors with an initial horizontal stroke across the top, then vertical strokes, wiping the blade after each stroke.

• Store basic cleaning supplies in an apron or bucket and carry them with you from task to task.

• Change furnace filter and replace vacuum bags monthly.

Don’t miss vents when you dust.

For more cleaning tips or to book a professional cleaning service to give your home top-to-bottom treatment, visit www.MerryMaids.com.

Cooling Costs

Want to reduce cooling costs? Follow these tips:

• Have air conditioning systems professionally inspected and cleaned before the season.

• Keep the area around the exterior condensing unit clear of obstructions to ensure adequate airflow.

• Clean or replace the air conditioner filter monthly to save up to 10 percent on your bill.

• Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for unit maintenance.

• If your air conditioning system breaks down, a home warranty can help protect you from unexpected repair costs. It covers the repair or replacement of many of the most common home system component breakdowns regardless of age, and can be purchased any time, not just when a home is bought or sold. Last summer, American Home Shield responded to nearly 700,000 requests for air conditioning repairs during record-breaking heat waves. To learn more about home warranties, visit www.YouTube.com/TheAHSTeam.

Fight Pests

Termites cause more than $5 billion in annual damage across the country.  Unfortunately, termite destruction can go unnoticed for years and is rarely covered by homeowners insurance.

“If you detect a termite swarm, it could mean your house has already suffered damage,” says Paul Curtis, Terminix entomologist.

While eliminating termites requires the help of a trained professional, there are ways to make your home less inviting to these wood-destroying pests:

• Fix roof and plumbing leaks.

• Clean gutters to avoid water accumulation near the foundation.

• Don’t pile mulch, firewood or soil against your house, which can hide termite activity and allow easy access into the home.

• Prompt treatment and annual inspections can save thousands of dollars in damage repair.

For more information on this year’s termite swarm season or to schedule an inspection, visit www.Terminix.com.

For more information on companies that can save you time and money on home maintenance, visit www.ServiceMaster.com.

By working smarter, not harder, you can save money and free your weekends to better enjoy your home.

 

 

 

 

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Spring cleanups start soon

By Judy Reed

 

SPR-Spring-clean-upsAs the weather warms up and residents begin to spring clean, some municipalities are offering drop off sites to help get rid of the clutter. Check out the list below to see when it’s offered in your area.

Algoma Township: Spring cleanup days are Wednesday, April 23, through Saturday, April 26. Dumpsters will be available at the township hall at 10531 Algoma Ave. Hours will be Wednesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m to 3 p.m. No shovel offs or loose trash allowed. No liquids, no hazardous waste (no paint, oil, fuel, gasoline etc.) No brush or yard waste, no cement.

All tires must be cut in half, propane and fuel oil tanks must be cut in half. Fencing must be folded or rolled up. Barrels must have one end open or be full of holes. Will also collect E-Waste at the same location (cell phones, computers, TVs, stereos, speakers, etc.). Call the township for more info 866-1583.

City of Cedar Springs: The city will collect E-waste on Saturday, April 26, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., during the Earth Day cleanup. A dumpster will be located behind City Hall and manned by Rotarians. Bring all your electronic waste for disposal such as computers, monitors, keyboards, cell phones, radios, stereos, laptops, VCRs, TVs, modems, power cords, etc. Almost any electronic item, working or non-working, with a cord or battery, will be accepted. Computer hard drives will be wiped and destroyed.

The annual brush pickup will be Monday, April 28. Please have brush out by 6:00 a.m. and neatly stacked as close to the curb as possible. No brush larger than six inches, tree removals or stumps will be picked up. They will make one pass through town.

There is no longer a spring trash cleanup date. Check with your waste hauler for pickup.

Also note that the city will be flushing City hydrants on April 25. To avoid staining laundry, allow water to run until clear before washing white or light colored clothing.

Courtland Township: No spring cleanup, they have a fall cleanup in September.

Nelson Township/Sand Lake: Spring cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, June 14, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 5th and Cherry Streets, near the water tower in Sand Lake. We accept appliances, sheet metal, auto parts and engines (liquid drained), aluminum and copper wire, fencing (flattened and folded), mattresses, furniture, carpeting, clothing, glass, etc. No garbage please. No hazardous or toxic waste. No yard clippings or brush. No shovel offs of shingles and drywall. Will also collect E-Waste and metal at the same location. Please call the township for more info at 636-5332.

Sand Lake: Sand Lake will have a brush only pickup April 17-25. Pile brush along side of the road. See Nelson Township (above) for regular spring cleanup.

Solon Township: Spring cleanup dates have been set for two consecutive Saturdays, May 3 and May 10, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 15185 Algoma. One 5×8 trailer with 48-inch sides or one pickup box per household. All items should be boxed or bagged, 45 pounds maximum. Tires must be cut in four pieces, car or light truck only, limit four. Appliances such as washers, dryers, etc. will be accepted, but not appliances that used Freon  or other toxic chemicals. Call township for more info at 696-1718.

Spencer Township: Call township for info at 984-0035.

 

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Call Miss Dig before digging—it’s the law

At least three business days prior to conducting excavation on your property, contact MISS DIG at 1-800-482-7171 or 8-1-1 or by using E-Locate at missdig.net.

MISS DIG will notify the public utilities in your area so that they can locate and mark the approximate location of underground lines they own and operate within your proposed work area. For the purpose of clarification, it is not MISS DIG who marks the lines.

You will be required to answer some questions when you contact the
MISS DIG System, including:

Your name and phone number.

The contractor or person doing the work.

The geographical location (county, city, village, or township) of the work area.

The address where the work will be done.

Nearest cross streets to the work site

The type of work being done; for example, installing a fence or building a deck.

Information about the project area that identifies the boundaries for the utility representatives; for example, locate underground utility lines 100 feet from the north side of the house; locate underground utility lines in the entire yard; or locate underground utility lines in the front yard.

When do you plan to dig.

Utility personnel or their contracted locators will arrive on site and mark the approximate location of the underground lines. It is likely that more than one locator will mark lines prior to the dig-start date specified on your MISS DIG ticket.

As reminder: Utility companies will not mark private utility lines that run from the property to appliances such as; gas and electric lines to yard lights, grill, pool and spa heaters, detached garages, workshops or other similar areas. In addition, customers with irrigation/sprinkler systems or low lighting should also mark their own lines

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MISS DIG at 1-800-482-7171 or by dialing 8-1-1 and refer to the ticket number you received during your initial contact.

 

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Bringing life back into your yard and garden

SPR-Bring-life-back-webReturn of the green: Get your grass and garden growing again

(BPT) – Spring season is a time of regeneration and renewal as you prepare to bring life back to your lawn and garden. Taking the proper steps after seasonal changes or severe weather conditions can prove to be the difference between creating a breathtaking landscape or an outdoor space with unsightly mishaps. By following a few simple steps, you can take pride in your backyard year after year.

Inspect and replace your tools of the trade

The first step to creating an outdoor masterpiece begins with the proper equipment. You can’t very well dig, rake or mow with broken or dull materials, so now is the time to inspect each of your tools. Check your lawnmower and other garden essentials for signs of damage or rust. Making sure that your garden tools are in good condition at the start of the season will help establish the right foundation for a successful planting and growing season. “The right tools can make all the difference in creating a lawn that leaves a lasting impression,” says Alan Luxmore, host of A&E’s hit television show Fix This Yard. “Arm yourself with tools that are not only durable, but easy to use. Complete watering systems such as LeakFree by Nelson, offer a turn-key watering experience from start to finish, allowing gardeners more time to revel in their landscaping successes.”

Bring new life into the garden

Once your soil is permeable, it should be prepped for the upcoming planting season by removing dead leaves and plants that may have been left over from the previous season. Use a rotary tiller to break up and aerate hard soil. Once the old material has been removed from the work area and your soil is ready, begin planting your new plants, flowers, vegetables and grass. You can also help your trees, bushes and even certain plants have a more robust look by trimming them back to encourage new bud growth.

Establish a regular watering regimen

One of the most important steps to maintaining a healthy lawn and garden is providing it with the proper nutrients. Using a hose for daily irrigation seems simple but without the proper watering set up, your efforts could be futile. A proper watering guide and the following tips from the watering experts at Nelson can increase efficiency and bring you one step closer to creating a yard with envious curb appeal.

* Give your greens a thorough soaking once in a while to produce extended and robust roots.

* The best time to water is in the morning, when the air is cool and moist. The warmth of the sun and the rising temperature gently dries the grass and the leaves on the plants. And since morning air is damp, you don’t waste water through evaporation.

* Follow a regular watering schedule to discourage bugs by providing them with an inhospitable environment. Insects, with the possible exception of the water bug, aren’t terribly fond of water.

* To be certain your lawn is hydrated adequately when it has failed to rain, the standard rule of thumb is to sprinkle one inch of water per week.

* Use a complete guaranteed leak-free system such as LeakFree by Nelson in order to conserve water in drought conditions, save money and stay dry.

For additional watering and gardening tips, and to learn more about LeakFree technology, visit www.facebook.com/NelsonWateringAndGardening.

 

 

 

 

 

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Get your outdoor spaces ready for summer living

(StatePoint) There’s no better place than your own backyard for relaxing, entertaining and enjoying the outdoors. And there’s no better time than summer to spruce up your space.

If you’re looking to upgrade a humdrum yard into something special, here are some things to consider:

Comfort

Trees and awnings aren’t just great adornments for your yard; they provide much needed shade for you to sit outdoors comfortably and safely.

Avoid summer mosquito bites by placing birdbaths and other standing water structures far from lounging and eating areas. Install LED yard lighting for night, which is less likely to attract mosquitoes than incandescent lights.

Safety

When planning your space, make safety a top priority. Since evenings are prime time for summer entertaining, lighting is an essential safety measure.

Start by considering where you need to increase visibility. Choose post-mounted lanterns near driveways and wall-mounted lanterns next to doors for ease of access and to welcome guests. If underground wiring is required, consult an electrician or experienced landscape lighting contractor.

For deck stairs or terraced paths, don’t forget step lights to aid in navigation.

And thoroughly check outdoor railings, steps, decks and porches to make sure they are steady and that no nails or boards have come loose.

Beauty

Your yard is an extension of your home, so don’t let design and style fall by the wayside when planning its look.

For a touch of natural beauty, consider planting a flower garden to attract butterflies and humming birds.

“Illuminate paths and define edges where the garden or grass meet walkways,” says Jeff Dross, corporate director of education and industry trends for Kichler Lighting, a leading supplier of outdoor and landscape lighting for consumers and contractors.

The interplay of light and shadow adds magic to the night. By carefully placing accent lights at upward or downward angles and using wall wash lighting, you can silhouette trees and direct shadows. Capture the nighttime loveliness of water features like ponds with LED lights specially built for underwater illumination. For best results, consult a landscape lighting expert.

More information on landscape lighting can be found at www.kichler.com or www.landscapelighting.com. You can also receive referrals to Kichler-certified landscape lighting contractors by clicking “Need a Contractor?”

Energy-Savings

Don’t let your exterior spaces drive up your home’s energy bills. New LED deck and landscape lights are low-maintenance, cost effective options. Lasting up to 40,000 hours—about 15 years—these fixtures use 75 percent less energy than incandescent lights.

“Since outdoor lighting is often left on all night or for many hours at a time, savings from LED lighting can really add up,” Dross says.

Remember to avoid cheaper LED lights with a bluish cast that many find unattractive. Opt instead for a warm white light, such as Kichler’s Design Pro LED landscape lights.

Don’t just dream about the perfect outdoor space. For a great season, transform your yard into a beautiful, fun place.

 

 

 

 

 

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Spring cleanups start soon

By Judy Reed

 

As the weather warms up and residents begin to spring clean, some municipalities are offering drop off sites to help get rid of the clutter. Check out the list below to see when it’s offered in your area.

Algoma Township: Spring cleanup days are Wednesday, April 25, through Saturday, April 28. Dumpsters will be available at the township hall at 10531 Algoma Ave. Hours will be Wednesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m to 3 p.m. No shovel offs or loose trash allowed. No liquids, no hazardous waste (no paint, oil, fuel, gasoline etc.) No brush or yard waste, no cement.

All tires must be cut in half, propane and fuel oil tanks must be cut in half. Fencing must be folded or rolled up. Barrels must have one end open or be full of holes. Will also collect E-Waste at the same location (cell phones, computers, TVs, stereos, speakers, etc.). Call the township for more info 866-1583.

City of Cedar Springs: The city will collect E-waste on Saturday, April 28, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., during the Earth Day cleanup. A dumpster will be located behind City Hall. Bring all your electronic waste for disposal such as computers, monitors, keyboards, cell phones, radios, stereos, laptops, VCRs, modems, power cords, etc. The trailer will be there until 3 p.m. No TVs or big box appliances will be accepted. TVs may be brought to Comprenew at 629 Ionia SW in Grand Rapids for recycling. A fee will be charged per TV.

The annual brush pickup will be Monday April 30 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please have brush out by 6:00 a.m. and neatly stacked as close to the curb as possible. No brush larger than six inches, tree removals or stumps will be picked up. They will make one pass through town. Final fall pickup is September 24. There is no longer a spring trash cleanup date, since Duncan Disposal, the city’s preferred waste hauler, does that for residents.

The Department of Public Works will be flushing the City’s hydrants on Friday, April 27, 2012 and September 21, 2012. In most cases, hydrants are flushed during the night-time when water demand is at its lowest

Please remember to let your faucet run clear before doing any white or light colored laundry to avoid staining your laundry. Please contact DPW Director Roger Belknap at 616.696.1330 X 108 should you have any questions.

Courtland Township: No spring cleanup, they have a fall cleanup.

Nelson Township/Sand Lake: Spring cleanup days are Friday, June 22, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, June 23, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Residents should bring trash to the water tower in Sand Lake. New this year is a charge of $15 for mattresses and $15 for box springs. Proof of residency required with a tax bill or voter registration AND a driver’s license. Will also collect E-Waste at the same location. Please call the township for more info at 636-5332.

Oakfield Township: No cleanup scheduled.

Sand Lake: See Nelson Township.

Solon Township: Spring cleanup dates have been set for two consecutive Saturdays, May 5 and May 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the old horse farm, 15185 Algoma. Proof of residency required. Must be residents—not just landowners. One 5×8 trailer with 48-inch sides or one pickup box per household. All items should be boxed or bagged, 45 pounds maximum. Tires must be cut in four pieces, car or light truck only, limit four. Appliances such as washers, dryers, etc. will be accepted, but not appliances that used Freon. Call township for more info  at 696-1718.

Spencer Township: Call township for info at 984-0035.

 

 

 

 

 

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Simple tricks to refresh your home

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

(Family Features) Staying indoors so much during the winter months can create clutter and mess around the house. But you don’t have to wait until spring to give your house a good spring cleaning, and you don’t have to do an extreme makeover. You can wake up and spruce up a tired-looking home with a few simple cleaning and organizing routines.

Here are some tips and tricks for making your home spring-clean right now, one room at a time.

 

Living Room

• Window blinds collect dust and dust mites all winter. To clean plastic blinds, add Greased Lightning to tub water. Remove blinds and let them soak in the tub. Clean them with a well-bristled brush, then let them dry and rehang them.

• Remove fabric window coverings and clean as needed. Use a feather duster around window frames to remove cobwebs and dust.

• Freshen up carpets by sprinkling baking soda on them, letting it sit for 30 minutes, then vacuuming.

• Carefully wipe the tops and bottoms of ceiling fan blades, which provide a perfect, level surface for dust to collect.

 

Kitchen

• Clean out the refrigerator and freezer, making sure to get rid of all expired products and old leftovers. Remove shelving and drawers and wipe them down using mild soapy water.

• Tackle your oven, inside and out. If your oven is self-cleaning, set it in the self-cleaning mode. Consult your manual for an estimated cleaning time. Also, make your stovetop and hood shine like new with a quick wipe from a sponge sprayed with Greased Lightning. If your oven is not a self-cleaning appliance, use the cleaning solution to wipe away baked on grease and grime. Remember to make sure the oven is cool before applying the solution.

• Don’t forget to clean your dishwasher, too. Remove trapped food particles from the bottom and around any moving parts. Pour a cup of vinegar into the empty dishwasher and run it to clean the inside.

• Wipe down the outside of your cabinets, especially around the stove area.

• Vacuum and mop the floors, and launder any area rugs.

 

Bedrooms

• Launder bed linens — including dust ruffles, bedspreads and pillow shams.

• Move furniture around so you can vacuum underneath and get rid of any dust bunnies that might have accumulated. While you’re at it, try a new furniture arrangement to freshen up the look of the room.

• Now’s a great time to clean out clothes closets. Empty closets to vacuum and dust inside. Then, before putting clothes back, sort through them and get rid of those items that no longer fit or that you don’t wear anymore. You can donate them to a local charity.

• Clean blinds, light fixtures and ceiling fans. Wipe smudges off of light switch covers and door frames, too.

 

Bathroom

• Wipe down and disinfect all fixtures. Remember lighting fixtures, too. Carefully remove glass fixtures and clean with warm, soapy water. Let them dry thoroughly before reattaching.

• Sort through products and discard or recycle old bottles and containers. Get rid of excess clutter in your bathroom cabinets. Remove items from the medicine cabinet and wipe down all surfaces.

• You can use Greased Lightning to remove grease, grime, mildew stains and soap scum from your bathroom surfaces, including tubs, sinks, toilets, counters and baseboards.

 

To get additional tips to spruce up your home, as well as coupons from Greased Lightning, Like them on Facebook, or visit www.glcleans.com.

 

 

Fresh Ideas for Cleaning

 

Furniture Moving Trick

When you need to move heavy pieces of furniture across uncarpeted floors, fold two clean towels, put one under each end of the furniture piece, then slide it across the floor.

 

Clean Lampshades

Use an adhesive lint roller to get the dust off of fabric lampshades.

 

Use Smart Cleaners

You don’t need a separate cleaning product for every room in the house. The pros use a few good, general cleaners to tackle multiple types of messes. Learn more about the Greased Lightning family of products at www.glcleans.com.

 

Keep Your Tools Handy

Get a plastic tote tray to carry with you from room to room. Load it with your cleaners, rags, rubber gloves, dusters and a couple of extra trash bags. You’ll be surprised at how much faster the cleaning goes when everything is right where you need it.

 

 

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Cost-effective home decorating tips

(ARA) – You’re ready to throw winter out to the curb. It’s time to rid yourself of the dreary cold weather and freshen your house for spring by opening the windows, rolling up your sleeves to give all your furnishings a good cleaning, and shopping to brighten everything with a new spring look.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on your new home improvements. Here are some tips to help you welcome spring into your home:
* Try a new paint color: It may have been years since you painted or the walls may all still be factory white from when the house was built. A fresh coat in a warm spring tone can help waken any room from the winter doldrums. Soft pastel colors or vibrant warm hues can really change the look of your house. A gallon or two of paint is a very inexpensive way to give new life to your rooms.
* Fabrics help give rooms pop: If you are living in an apartment and can’t change the color of your walls, go with new fabrics. Visit Ebates.com to shop for pillows at Sears, or make your own blankets, slip covers and pillows with fabrics from Joann.com. You can find discounts and coupon codes for your favorite home decorating stores through this website and also receive a check back in the mail for a percentage of your purchases.
* Spruce up the yard: The weight of winter’s snow probably has your grass and bushes looking flat, brown and there may be a good chance that some of your landscaping didn’t survive the harsh temperatures. As soon as the frost has left your area, give your front and backyards some bright color with beautiful flowers and new shrubs. Visit Ebates.com for discounts through Gardeners Supply Company to help you save money and earn cash back. If you don’t have a backyard, consider planting a container garden on your deck or adding a couple of house plants to the windows of your house to bring a spring-like feeling into your house. You can plant beautiful and scented flowers or delicious fresh vegetables and herbs to add to your summery menus.
* Let the breezes blow through: Those heavy drapes that helped you keep the house warm during winter won’t do you any good now that the temperatures are comfortable and balmy. Find new blinds or sheer curtains for your windows to help keep the penetrating sun rays out, but yet allow the light and airy breezes to filter in through your open windows.
Freshening your house for spring doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Do a bit of shopping online, push up your sleeves with a paintbrush or a cleaning rag in hand and spread the color around to make your house look bright and airy and ready for spring.

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Spring cleanups start soon

By Judy Reed

As the weather warms up and residents begin to spring clean, some municipalities are offering drop off sites to help get rid of the clutter. Check out the list below to see when it’s offered in your area.
Algoma Township: Spring cleanup days held last week, April 13-16. Call the township for more info 866-1583.
City of Cedar Springs: The annual brush pickup will be Monday April 25 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please have brush out by 6:00 a.m. and neatly stacked as close to the curb as possible. No brush larger than six inches, tree removals or stumps will be picked up. Please note that this is the ONLY pickup date for this spring. They will not pick up every Monday throughout the summer as they did last year. There is no longer a spring trash cleanup date, since Duncan Disposal, the city’s preferred waste hauler, does that for residents.
The Department of Public Works will be flushing the City’s hydrants on the following Fridays: May 6, July 1, August 5 and September 2. Please remember to let your faucet run clear before doing any white or light colored laundry to avoid staining your laundry. Please contact DPW Director Roger Belknap at 616.696.1330 X 108 should you have any questions.
Courtland Township: No spring cleanup, they have a fall cleanup.
Nelson Township/Sand Lake: Spring cleanup days are Friday, June 24, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, June 25, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Residents should bring trash to the water tower in Sand Lake. Proof of residency required with a tax bill or voter registration AND a driver’s license. Will also collect E-Waste at the same location. Please call the township for more info at 636-5332.
Oakfield Township: No cleanup scheduled.
Sand Lake: See Nelson Township.
Solon Township: Spring cleanup dates have been set for two consecutive Saturdays, April 30 and May 7, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the old horse farm, 15185 Algoma. Proof of residency required. Must be residents—not just landowners. One 5×8 trailer with 48-inch sides or one pickup box per household. All items should be boxed or bagged, 45 pounds maximum. Tires must be cut in four pieces, car or light truck only, limit four. Appliances such as washers, dryers, etc. will be accepted, but not appliances that used Freon. See public notice on page 16 or call township for more specifics at 696-1718.
Spencer Township: Spring cleanup days are Friday, June 17, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, June 18, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bring trash to Spencer Township Fire barn, 12131 18 Mile, Gowen. No roof tear-offs or big appliances, Tires must be cut in four pieces. Disposal of batteries is $1, units with Freon $15.00, units without Freon $3.00. Call township at 984-0035 for more info.

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Spring cleaning:

Getting your home ready for the season

(ARA) – A great clean looks as good as it feels, and with warmer weather right around the corner, there’s nothing better than the feeling that your home is free of dirt, dust and grime. When you’re a busy mom, keeping your house clean can seem like a never-ending battle. Arm yourself with the right mindset and a few simple tips to conquer your cleaning challenges.
Jessica Denay, author of “The Hot Mom Handbook” series has partnered with Swiffer to offer these tips to help keep your home clean while also balancing work and family:
* Don’t try to do everything at once. Divide chores into daily, weekly, monthly and even seasonal tasks. Do the dishes daily, and try to throw out old food in your fridge as part of your weekly tasks. With spring upon us, dust build-up will be your nemesis. By dedicating certain days this spring to seasonal chores like dusting ceiling fans or sweeping out the fireplace, you can help better manage the upkeep of your home and do deep cleans less often.
* Know when to call it a day. It’s easier to keep your home clean and keep a positive mindset if you set aside a few minutes each day to clean. If you have an overwhelming task list, attack each task in order of importance and get to the last ones on your list as time allows. Don’t let cleaning consume a whole day or weekend.
* Don’t waste time. Efficiency makes a huge difference. “Always clean from the top and work your way down, otherwise you’ll be cleaning in circles,” says Denay. It helps to focus on one area of the house at a time. Keeping all your cleaning supplies in a caddy can also prevent extra trips to retrieve items you might have forgotten or couldn’t carry. Find shortcuts. Use products that can work on multiple messes.
* Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s completely possible to maintain the appearance of a clean home even if the most out-of-the-way places aren’t cleaned regularly. Perception is reality and even if that area behind your fridge is a little dusty, nobody will notice. Concentrate on the open areas of your home that see a lot of traffic. If these areas are clean, your home will feel spotless and comfortable.
Following these tips will allow you to balance chores amongst free time. With just a little daily attention, you can make cleaning seem like less of a chore and more like a refreshing activity. “Having a sparkling clean home gives me peace of mind and the actual cleaning process makes me feel like I’m doing something good for myself and my family,” says Denay.

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