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House Cleaning To Sell Your Home

The housing market in the DFW area is HOT right now! One of the best things you can do to have your home ready to show to potential buyers, is to have it professionally cleaned.

Potential buyers may be turned off by dusty ceiling fans or dirty baseboards, so don’t be afraid to call in the professionals!

Below is a great list of additional things to do, to get your home ready to sell.

How To Prepare Your House For Sale

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Myth Busting Cleaning Remedies!

It’s time to trash some housecleaning remedies that have been passed down for generations yet produce iffy results or, worse, create more work. Consumer Reports asked some cleaning-industry experts about the effectiveness of 10 timeworn tips and here’s what they said.

Myth: Newspaper does windows well

Fact: Wet newspaper tears easily and the ink can transfer to window trim, leaving more to clean. “We use microfiber cloths to clean glass,” says Debra Johnson, home cleaning experts for Merry Maids, a national franchise. “They’re the best at cleaning without streaking.”

Myth: Coca-cola belongs in the toilet

Fact: Coke isn’t “it” when it comes to cleaning your toilet bowl. “Coke is acidic, so it could be effective at removing hard water stains,” says Johnson. “But even the Coca-Cola website recommends using other options.” Derek Christian, owner of My Maid Service, a home cleaning service in Ohio and Texas, prefers traditional cleansers as well. “The soda could actually darken stains and the sugar could encourage bacteria.”

Myth: Handwashing dishes is better than using a dishwasher

Fact: If your dishwasher is a decade old, this may be true, but today’s models beat handwashing by a mile. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star website, using a dishwasher that bears the Energy Star label can save some 5,000 gallons of water, more than $40 dollars in energy costs, and 230 hours in personal time over the course of a year, versus handwashing. And, because dishwashers heat the water to 140°F, they’ll sanitize the dishes, too.

Myth: Coffee freshens garbage disposers

Fact: “Coffee grounds may act as a mild abrasive, removing gunk from disposer blades,” says Christian. “But baking soda is a better choice: It’s also mildly abrasive, and because it’s a base it will counteract all the smelly acids that we put down the drain.”

Myth: Vinegar cleans everything

Fact: “Vinegar is an acid, so it can cut through dirt and can kill bacteria, but only if you use it at full or nearly full strength,” says Christian. “Most people put a capful in a bucket of water, and that doesn’t do much.” The acids in vinegar can damage natural stone and wood surfaces.

Myth: Hairspray removes ballpoint ink

Fact: This may have been true years ago, when hairsprays were formulated with more alcohol (which does remove ink) than they are today, but not anymore. “Today’s hairsprays are full of stiffeners and hardeners that will just make the stain worse,” says Christian. “Just use rubbing alcohol. It’s far less expensive than hairspray, and doesn’t include any extra ingredients.”

Myth: Bleach cleans everything

Fact: “Bleach actually doesn’t ‘clean’ anything—because it doesn’t remove soil,” says Christian. “It can lighten stains, making things look cleaner, and it kills bacteria, so it’s better as a sanitizer than as a cleaner.”

Myth: Feathers make great dusters

Fact: Genuine ostrich-feather dusters do attract dust, but they’re expensive and are generally not as effective as lambswool or microfiber options. “Most feather dusters just spread the dust around,” says Debrah Vanchura, cleaning pro and owner of Helping Hands in Portland, Ore. Also, they tend to drop feathers—leaving you more to pick up.

Myth: Cleaning solutions work instantly

Fact: Nope. “At Merry Maids we recommend allowing any cleaning solution to sit on the surface for two to three minutes,” says Johnson. “Always follow the directions on the product’s label. Some solutions, like disinfectants, need a full ten minutes to truly kill bacteria,” Christian adds.

Myth: String makes the best mops

Fact: Industrial-style string mops may look impressive, but studies have shown that microfiber mops are about 20 percent more effective at removing dirt and bacteria, says Christian. “String mops are very absorbent, so they’re great at cleaning up big spills,” he says, “but if you want to make sure you’re not leaving anything behind on the floor, use a microfiber mop.”

—Adapted from Consumer Reports How to Clean (Practically) Anything

Clutter Busting Secrets!

“We can easily feel paralyzed when the house is out of control, can’t we? Does a stern voice in your head ever say you couldn’t possibly do enough to keep up? When this happens, take a deep breath and tell yourself: ‘My house is clean enough.’

The trick is to figure out what ‘enough’ means for you. Complete this sentence: ‘I want my house to be clean enough to…’

To read more Clutter Busting Secrets, click here

7 Easy Spring Cleaning Tips from Top Lifestyle Experts

 

1. Don’t Get Overwhelmed — Do Get Strategic

“Take a step back and look at the big picture,” Abby Larson, founder and editor of Style Me Pretty Living, told ABC News. “Assess the areas of your house that are constantly messy to see if you can find a way to solve each area. If you never put the Tupperware away because it lives on a shelf that’s too high, maybe you can rearrange your cabinets and make room for it somewhere you can reach. If it’s not easy to put it away, it’s almost a guarantee you’ll never do it. Fix those roadblocks and then you can get to scrubbing!

2. Don’t Procrastinate Hated Chores — Do Let Robots Take Over

“There are so many jobs that people don’t want to do,” said smart home and digital lifestyle expert Carley Knobloch. “It’s annoying to have to clean gutters and behind the toilet. So for those tasks, I recommend outsourcing to machines. There are robots you can buy or rent now that will clean your windows, mop your floors, fling debris out from your gutters and other ones that are literally small enough to fit behind your toilet.” Two to consider: an iRobot Scooba or Braava for hands-free scrubbing.

3. Don’t Hold On To Items You No Longer Use — Do Feel Free to Purge

In New York Times bestselling self-help tome, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,” author and organization expert Marie Kondo encourages readers to only surround themselves with things that “spark joy.” But in order to determine whether a blouse or book passes muster, one must truly examine it before deciding to throw it in a garbage bag or return to a shelf. “Don’t just open up your closet and decide after a cursory glance that everything in it gives you a thrill,” she writes. “You must take each outfit in your hand.”

4. Don’t Oversuds Your Linens — Do Launder Like a Pro

“A recent study showed people would rather do their taxes than their laundry,” said Knobloch. “For me, when I got my front-loading high-efficiency (HE) washer, I just find it makes life so much easier. The HE machines have 40 percent larger drums versus traditional machines and can wash up to 32 pounds of laundry. That means you don’t need to waste all day doing one chore. If you already have an HE washer, it’s important to make sure you’re using a low-sudsing laundry detergent specially designed for your HE Machine like Tide HE Turbo Clean. Otherwise, you will end up having to spend more hours rinsing clothes multiple times.”

5. Don’t Get in a Decorating Rut — Do Refresh Old Furniture and Walls

Larson told ABC News that it’s possible and practical to give old items new life by refreshing them with simple accessories or colors. Is your dresser bringing you down? “A fresh coat of paint does wonders,” she said, adding, “A new color palette of pillows and throws added to a neutral sofa or sitting area” can make a lived-in room feel new again. Likewise, “Try clearing out your shelves and re-accessorizing” from room to room, she said. “Shopping your home for items you can move to a new spot will give it a breath of fresh air without spending a dime.”

6. Don’t Go It Alone — Do Get the Family on Board

“Make it a game!” recommends Larson. “Kids love being timed, so set a timer for 10 minutes of cleaning. Challenge them to beat their previous record of how much they were able to pick up. Another great thing about a timer is that they know they won’t be stuck cleaning all day, so they’ll be much more interested in pitching in.”

7. Don’t Get Overrun By Receipts — Do Keep Records Online

“Life doesn’t allow you to be completely paperless. In fact, I’m convinced it procreates when you’re not looking,” joked Knobloch. “So I try to keep the paper count in house to a minimum by scanning as much as possible into online storage files like Evernote or Dropbox to make sure that as much as possible is off the counter and out of my physical life.”

 

For more information you can find this article here

Romantic Valentine’s Day At Home, With Love From Bit a Bliss

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Every year, we celebrate our love of one another with gifts, gestures, and…crowds. While it is a nice sentiment to want to take your loved one to a night out, it can be frustrating to deal with the scores of others wanting to do the same. You also may not have the option of going out if you have kids at home. Enjoy a romantic evening in together with movies, a unique meal, and a special Valentine’s Day cocktail!

Most everyone’s specific tastes in romantic movies are different, but try for something that will really catch the spirit of the holiday. We recommend Stardust, Amelie, or 2012’s Much Ado About Nothing. All of these are available on Netflix right now.

For Valentine’s Day dinner, try something savory and satisfying like one of these options:
Filet Mignon With Rich Balsamic Glaze
Lamb Chops With Mint Gremolata
Basil Cream Chicken
Swiss Chard Lemon Pasta (gluten free and vegan)

For the evening’s signature cocktail, we recommend either the Amarula and Eve, or the English Rose.