Clean Your House in Less Than an Hour – Infographic

The thought of cleaning your house can be a daunting task. You may think to yourself that it will take you an entire day to get things right but you don’t always have to clean a house from top to bottom. This infographic from Half Price takes you through the areas you need to focus on if you have an hour and want to do a quick clean. It’s more about making the house clean-er rather than clean!

First, get yourself organised. Gather your supplies and put on some old comfy clothes and trainers. You might like to throw on a music playlist to keep you motivated with your favourite songs. Work through the rooms starting with the kitchen and be quick rather than thorough in each room. For example, a good trick for cleaning the microwave is putting a bit of vinegar and water in the cup and ‘cooking’ it in there for 90 seconds – this lifts any gunk in the microwave so it will just need a quick wipe after.

Another good idea is to take a laundry basket with you as you go from room to room for all items that don’t belong. Replace them in the final 15 minutes of your clean. Check out the full infographic now and remember that a clean home will make you feel so much better.

Cleaning-Your-Home-in-less-than-an-Hour

The Benefits Of Gardening – Infographic

From remodeling your bathroom to making your kitchen fit for a king/queen, you know that here at Bruzzese Home Improvements we are all about helping make your home the best it can be; but what about the garden? Well, we have just teamed up with the experts at WhatShed and we have this fantastic infographic for you that shows just how good gardening can be.

Now having a nice garden that has all kinds of fantastic plants and delicious food growing in it will, of course, make your home look more complete. While that is great, what we are really looking at is just how good mentally and physically gardening is for you. So while it is great for your home, gardening is even better for you.

To start with, gardening is really going to help your physical wellbeing from a reduced BMI to lessening the chance of your having a heart attack. Spending a few hours in the garden has been proven to be just as effective as spending a full hour in the gym. Gardening is a great way to keep your body active and make sure that you keep feeling young long into your golden years.

As well as being good for the body, you could argue that gardening is even better for the mind. People who spend time in the garden have been scientifically proven to have far lower stress levels. Gardening keeps you calm, takes your mind of the world and in general, it just makes you a far happier person. Gardening is also fantastic for your diet as those people who grow their own fruit and vegetables eat more fruit and vegetables.

So, yes, having a nice and full garden will make your home look nicer and even add value to your property. But you really cannot put a price on the mental and physical benefits that gardening provides you as a person.

Why-gardening-is-good-for-your-health

Home decor on a budget: 5 step guide

We all love to live in a home that is well kept and decorated according to the latest trends. The comfort and luxury a home offers is just priceless. However, the truth is that most of us can’t afford to hire interior designers for renovating our home and feel helpless in this regard. But what if I told you that renovating your home does not mean that you have to tear down your walls or become financially broke? If you are creative enough, you can décor your home all by yourself. Getting hold of the timeless stylistic layout tips would help you to add genuine excellence to your inside. This article will serve as a guide to help you in renovating your home and giving it a new life.

Home decor on a budget: 5 step guide

Step 1: Declutter

The modern décor trends are all about keeping minimum yet unique décor items and furniture pieces. In some cases, it is true that money can buy you happiness but when it comes to home décor money needs to be complimented with some creativity and décor sense. If you are short on the budget, then don’t feel down. Just increase your exploring trips to the flea markets and keep an eye for the unique pieces to add to your décor and get rid of all the items that are no longer functional or look out dated.

Step 2: Apply a theme

Playing with themes for the walls of your home can be both interesting and an adventurous task. Every theme has some restraints and some demands to be complemented with a proper set of accessories to give a true picture. If you are planning a home décor on a budget then giving a theme can be one of the budget friendly choices. Instead of giving a new paint you can invest on some quality wall paper that can add an instant wow factor to your décor. Giving the heavy theme to your walls would allow you to keep your furniture and statement pieces as minimum as you can to strike the principal of balanced décor. Investing in one domain would allow you to save on the other by making it simple.

Step 3: Do it yourself

Make you own décor items and furniture pieces. DIY projects are not only fun to follow but also allow you to incorporate your personal style into your home décor. Make sure you have the required tools such as a hybrid table saw to carry out these projects. For example, you can make a coffee table of your own that can be used as a statement piece to display your favorite works of art or you can create a headboard for your bed by using a metal sheet or salvaged wood pieces to give a rustic look to your bedroom décor.

Step 4: Update the flooring

Do you have wood flooring or have floors made of marble tiles? In both cases, if the floors of your home are damaged or badly scratched you can get them polished to give a new shine to your home décor. Carpeting is also an option if you don’t want to spend much on repair and polish. Carpeting gives a soft touch to your home décor and allows you to add colors of your choice that magnify the furniture and décor accessories of your space.

Step 5: Finish with accessories

The small décor accessories often cast the biggest impact and are responsible for giving a finishing touch to your décor. To give a finishing touch to your bedroom, you can add some colorful cushions that follow the color theme of your bedroom. Same goes with the side table décor of dining and living room. You can add small decoration pieces or place your travel and academic souvenirs to give a graceful touch to your décor.

About the author

This post is written by Emily who is obsessed with home machinery and gadgets. She loves home decor as well and enjoys the sunset. She regularly posts at http://www.protoolguide.com/

 

Tips For Maintaining Your Wooden Flooring

There aren’t many homes where wooden flooring would look out of place; they’re versatile, beautiful and can make even the smallest of rooms look larger. Keeping them in great condition, however, can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s where these tips come in, and if you follow them closely your wooden floors could double in life expectancy.

Pounce on spills as soon as they happen

wooden flooring

It’s impossible to just stop spillages from happening, so instead make sure you’re prepared for them and attack the spills as soon as they occur. Every second they go untreated, the wooden floor will absorb more and more of it and the finish will be dulled even further; if that spill dries up, then that will result in some long-term damage. A cloth or cotton mop is perfect for avoiding this.

Vacuum with care

Vacuuming is great to suck up deep resting dirt that brushes or cloths wouldn’t normally get, but if used incorrectly, they can do more bad than good. The beater bar (also known as a bristle bar) is the rotating brush section at the bottom of some vacuums that can rotate thousands of times per minute. This is ideal for a carpet, as it can be very effective at dragging up dirt.

However, for a wooden floor, it can rapidly dull the woods finish and take months off its life span. Instead, either use a vacuum without a beater bar or switch the mode to Hard Floor, if that is an option available to you.

Use mats at entrances

floor mat

Think about everything that could be on the pavement outside your home; glass, faeces, hard stones, so on. These can all get captured in the grooves of your shoes, and dragged into your home. Grass and mud might be a nuisance to clean up, but stones and glass could cause some serious damage to your wooden floor. To cut this down, tough mats at the entrances to your home and rooms are perfect for collecting this dirt and debris.

Better yet, you could take a page out of Asian culture and remove your shoes as you enter. While mats are effective, it doesn’t get more effective than taking your shoes off completely.

Follow the grain

To keep your wooden floors looking as good as possible for as long as possible, we also recommend following the grain of the wood when you clean. Sweeps and strokes going in the same direction of the wood means you won’t disrupt the grain too much, and the protective layer will be kept intact for longer.

Keep that mop (relatively) dry

A very common mistake when it comes to cleaning wood floors is using too much water. It might sound counter-intuitive, but your mop should be almost dry when you use it and only slightly damp at the touch. Similar to the first tip that mentioned how bad spills were for your wood, too much water means the wood will absorb some of it; which can lead to the warping of the wood or a ruined finish.

Let us know in the comments below if you have any other tips for looking after wooden floors!

Author bio: Criterion Flooring are wood flooring experts who specialize in the restoration and installation of wood floors. They also supply and install Oak, Bordeaux, Laminate and Alternative Floors.

Tips To Stay Comfortable If Your HVAC System Goes Down

With more than 80 percent of American homes having some kind of air conditioning or heating system installed, it’s easy to take that technology for granted. However, these systems don’t always function the way we expect. In those situations, we have to cope with the climate the way our ancestors did, in the days before these modern conveniences existed.

Coping without heating or air conditioning is an inconvenience no one wants to deal with, but it’s something everyone needs to be able to do. Fortunately, staying comfortable, even without your HVAC system, is a matter of following some relatively simple guidelines. With these tricks in mind, you can keep from feeling too hot or too cold, even if your HVAC system is on the blink for more than a day.

For example, keeping cool in the summer without air conditioning means dressing for the weather, drinking plenty of cold water, and avoiding the use of heat-generating appliances — unless necessary. For additional cooling, you can take a lukewarm bath or shower before bed, or stay in your basement during the hottest hours of the day.

Staying warm without your furnace is possible if you stick to only a few rooms and block the doors to the unused rooms with heavy curtains or blankets. Dressing in layers of warm wool clothing and blocking drafts under doors with rolled-up towels and blankets also helps you stay comfortable even when it’s cold inside your house.

Modern conveniences such as HVAC systems have certainly made life easier. However, knowing how to live without them will make life easier for those brief periods when they aren’t working. Or, you might want to live without them voluntarily to save a little money on your energy bills. Either way, these tips can help you stay comfortable without your HVAC system.

Tips to stay comfortable if your HVAC system goes down from Randazzo Heating & Cooling

How To Clean Your Retractable Shade Awnings

Many people forget to care for their retractable awning once it’s installed and keep using it every day and for months and years till one day they realize that multiple problems have developed with the uncared for awning. The awning may stop rolling in or out smoothly, or may develop mildew and fungi, or may have too coarse and thick covering of dust on it to make it frizzy, etc. Most of these problems can be avoided easily with a little maintenance and periodic cleaning. A clean and well-maintained outdoor retractable awning would last for many years. Here are some expert tips and steps to clean your outdoor awnings.

awning
Retractable Shade Awnings

  • Steps for general cleaning

A general cleaning is advised every month to keep the awning in good health. This just needs a broom and a water hose.

  1. Clean the awning fabric outside and inside with a broom
  2. Now clean the awning with a jet of water and use only cold water
  3. Allow the fabric to air dry completely before you retract it

This cleaning is required once a month, and without any serious steps, the awning will keep looking nice and shining with this much care. However, you need to clean the retractable shade awning once in 2 to 3 years with soap water.

  • Soap water cleaning steps

To clean the awning with soap water, use only mild soaps, and avoid the use of harsh chemical and detergents. Also, use only cold water for this.

  1. Use a broom to clean the fabric outside and inside very well.
  2. Now with a hose of cold water, wet the fabric.
  3. Make soap water solution, and then sprinkle the solution on fabric and gentle rinse in patches with a soft brush. Start from the bottom and move upwards.
  4. Now leave the soap water and give some time for the soap to work, as it loosens the dirt.
  5. Now rinse off the soap with cold water.
  6. Allow the fabric to air dry completely
  7. Retract it

All types of dirt and stains can be removed from outdoor awnings when you use the right cleaner for the problem. Oil stains, paint stains, bird droppings, mold and mildew, rust stains, and everything will be gone with the right cleaner.

  • Facts you must know to keep the awning good

Besides cleaning the awning periodically, there are some words of caution, which you must know and follow. They are:

  1. Shrubs and vines, which twine around the awning or touch it, may contain chemicals and acids, which will slowly corrode the fabric and the metal bar. Hence, you should try to keep such elements away from the awning and prune shrubs and vines nearby.
  2. Never retract an awning while the fabric is still wet. This way the fabric will develop molds and mildew on it, and eventually smell awfully bad, and freeze while rolling on or out.
  3. The awning frame is made of aluminum like metal, which does not demand much cleaning etc. Hence, you may loosely broom it in a month and forget.
  4. Never wet the motor part of the awning. Wetting the framework or the motor will bring trouble.
  • Outdoor retractable awnings need little and general care mostly

Generally, retractable shade awnings are made of stain and mold resistant fabrics, which are treated accordingly to show such characteristic. However, when too much of dirt builds up, then molds may grow not directly on the fabric, but on the dirt clumps. Hence, a periodic cleaning ensues that you won’t face challenge while retracting the awning or rolling it out. It will look fresh and stay as it is for longer period of time.

7 Simple and Affordable Additions for Your Home

7 Simple and Affordable Additions for Your Home

Whether you’re trying to sell your home or simply upgrade it for your own enjoyment, additions do not have to be that pricey. OK, OK, so as you haven’t been born yesterday you do know that any high-quality improvements to your house – the only type worth doing – won’t be as cheap as your daily shop. But the following additions have been selected for their relative low cost and high impact.

The seven recommended additions are applicable to you especially if you feel like modernizing your house, have guests to stay with specific needs, are buying or selling your home and are aware of updates needed.

Garden

It’s always easy to forget the outside area and palm it off as a “dad-job” for a Sunday in the far far distance! Sometimes those days arrive sooner than you think and a good job too because taking care of your outside area is as important as your house.

Built-in seating can be a great alternative to expensive garden furniture and one way to make your outside space guest-friendly and welcoming in a matter of days. Recycling concrete blocks and stacking to make a rectangular bench can be transformative. Top with an upholstered foam mattress and pillows and you’re good to go!

Patio

Patios are pretty self-maintaining year round aside from the odd weeding but if you want them to be extra special you could consider putting in a little more care. More and more folks have opted for patio walls over the last few years to create a homelier space. Adding in a custom-built fireplace to the area will make your regular patio every home-owner’s hosting dream. If you need to start from scratch you certainly can build your own patio yourself and save on the tiresome labor costs!

Railings

Injuries do unfortunately happen regardless of your capabilities and a railing to help you get around the bathroom and in and out of the bath itself is a must. These guys are quite literally a life-saver. Whether in or outside the house – preferably both depending on the terrain – railings give much needed support as well as detail. Protect you, your family and your guests with railings where you need them the most – they can be beautifully designed to match your preferences, too!

Smart Appliances

Smart appliances are the quickest way to add value to your kitchen, your house and to your life! We all know a good real estate agent will make the most out of these centerpieces of our kitchen – dishwasher, fridge-freezer, oven and microwave. If yours could do with some updating it may be time to take the plunge. They can instantly modernize your kitchen into a chic and sleek operating room – stainless steel appliances are still a la mode – and raise your house-cred immeasurably.

Connectivity, intelligent communication and full-on integration is what people want in their new appliances to the point where your fridge will text you when you run out of an ingredient! If you don’t have that much to spend on a major appliance, try revolutionizing your kitchen routines with some of these portable options, however you might want to check second hand options before giving up!

7 Simple and Affordable Additions for Your Home

Lighting

Much like your smart appliances, improving your lighting game is a quick and easy addition to your household that will bring admirers wide and far! Looking at spotlights for example bring a welcome minimalist feel to a home whilst not massively interfering with your interior décor. Lighting is also an easy way to bring balance to a room through adding or taking away warmth depending on the style of fitting and the glow emitted.

Lighting should be uniform throughout your house to some degree to give continuity, therefore if you aren’t careful this can rack up a bill. However, simply moving to energy efficient lights in the meantime will be a fantastic addition to your household.

Upholstery

The DIY and home improvement community has talked about up-cycling a lot for good reason – you have unpolished treasures in your room as you read this and you’re considering buying replacements?! A perfect and easy-going initiation into the up-cycling club is re-upholstering a chair, sofa or headboard. It is guaranteed to be far cheaper than buying new furniture, allows you to pick out exactly the material you want and adds to the atmosphere of your room in a relatively low-effort way!

windows

Windows

I won’t start with a quote about windows and eyes and souls, but windows are very important. Seasonal Affective Disorder sufferers are particularly sensitive to amount of light in their living areas and frankly the majority of us are too. So let’s get as much light as possible into your houses! The easiest way to do this without complete overhaul of your existing windows is adding in a sky light where possible.

So, this may be in the same cost ballpark as smart appliances, however adding in a skylight will entirely transform your space and your mood, and add major value if done properly to your property.

Additions do not need to be time consuming, complicated or massively expensive, however they do need to be well thought out. Positioning, overall design and feel and appropriateness all come into play when making changes to your house regardless of how small they might be. But one thing is for sure, simple home additions can bring major positives to your life whether practical and adding convenience or aesthetic and adding comfort!

Author Bio:

Kacey MyaKacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.

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How to Maintain Metal Surfaces in Your Yard

Since the early times, people have praised metal for properties they couldn’t get from natural materials. But actually, metal is much closer to nature than many people think. The iron ore comes from the depths of the earth, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that metal feels in our gardens like at home. Still, as a man-made material, metal is more susceptible to elements than other materials used in landscaping. Its arch-nemesis is rust – so homeowners need to intervene from time to time to keep metal features like fences, furniture, posts, taps, gates, rails, and grates in a mint condition.

How to Maintain Metal Surfaces in Your Yard

Coating vs. painting

Rainfall and unsteady temperature always conspire to chip away the metal coating. Once the protective layer is damaged, rust is never far behind. One way to avoid it is to choose the most suitable metal for the intended use. Products with baked-on enamel or powder-coated surfaces will last long, without any special maintenance. On the other hand, varnished metal or surfaces protected with regular paint are prone to peeling, flaking, and chipping. Metals with superior coatings are expensive, but their longevity definitely justifies the initial cost.

Debris attracts moisture

With its intricate details, metal patio furniture is particularly exposed to a risk of decay. However, a few simple routines can make it last many years. The first defence against rust is cleanliness. At least twice a year, let’s say in spring and autumn, give your patio set a good scrub. Stir some liquid detergent in a bucket of warm water and use a sponge to remove dust and debris that attract moisture. Use an old toothbrush to reach hidden areas. When you are done, rinse away the detergent with a garden hose and leave the pieces to air-dry in the sun.

Physical protection

As mentioned above, it is the coating that safeguards metal from rusting. Careless handling can make two metal surfaces clink and cause chipping on one or both pieces. Whenever you need to move metal furniture, lift the pieces from the ground instead of dragging them. When the time comes to pack your outdoor furniture inside, make sure you protect the pieces with old towels or bed sheets to prevent them from scraping against each other.

How to Maintain Metal Surfaces in Your Yard

Quick and effective solution

Still, even if you take all precautions, no one can guarantee that rust won’t develop over time. Although seemingly a small problem at first, it can get more serious if left unattended. Once you spot a small patch of rust, clean the area as described above and stop the corrosion in its tracks by using a quality rust converter. These products interact with iron oxide, converting it into an adherent black layer that is moisture-resistant and provides an excellent surface for latex and enamel paints.

Highly damaged surfaces

In cases of more extensive damage and negligence, you may need to refinish the metal – a task that demands more time and effort. Before you can start refinishing, you need to get to the bare metal surface. Using a wire brush or a special wire wheel drill attachment, scrape away the old coating. Take care not to damage crevices and folds that may be a part of the design. After you have removed the coating, wipe down the dust with a damp cloth and let everything dry before you apply the primer and metal paint.

The majority of homeowners regularly tend to their lawns and shrubs, trimming and clipping to add appeal to their gardens, but only a few pay the same attention to metal elements in their yards. With rust, prevention is the best protection, but when the surface layer is already damaged, quality anti-corrosion products can save the day.

 

 

 

Tips for a More Organized Bathroom

Tips for a More Organized Bathroom

Your bathroom is the place where you and your family clean and groom. It’s also usually the first room you head to in the morning and the last room you hit before bed.  It contains a lot of products: everything from your laundry to your make up, your hair products, shower products, and sometimes even your cleaning supplies.  Some of us store interesting reading material, and those that like a touch of luxury will make their bathroom the backdrop for gorgeous towels and candles, along with wonderful bath salts or bubbles. Unless you have a huge bathroom with tons of storage, this can become a bit overwhelming, and it pays to stay organized so your bathroom doesn’t become a haven for clutter.

One way in which to get great storage out of your bathroom is to keep like products together.  This helps to eliminate a frustrating treasure hunt every time you want something specific, and it might help eliminate excess shopping since you can easily identify exactly what you’ve got already.  Your vanity cabinets are a great way to hide products from view, and generally contain enough space for tubs or containers to keep things neat and tidy.  If you’ve got open shelving, it’s nice to get a set of matching or complimenting boxes or baskets to keep things tucked out of sight.  As a bonus you can often get containers like this in a variety of styles, patterns and colours to match your existing bathroom decor.  In fact the organizers can become a cute feature in your bathroom, drawing the admiration of guests.  If you’ve got cupboard doors on your vanity, you can try adding standing shelves to tuck even more supplies away, or use the same baskets or bins as you would with open shelves.  You can also try to increase more space by adding baskets or hangers to the backs of your vanity doors.  Hair dryers and flat irons can handily tuck into these, ready when you need them.

bathroom

If you’ve got available wall space, it’s a great idea to add some shelves.  Once again, the shelves can hold decorative organization bins and create a great look in the room.  Some baskets even come with tiny chalkboard panels so that you can list exactly what each of them holds.  One could be for makeup, while another holds shaving essentials or your favourite supply of soaps or lotions.  Shelves can also hold your baths reading material, or dishes of bath salts or candles if you’re a fan of adding romantic flair to the space.

Your drawers offer an opportunity for being wonderfully organized, or they can hold a mess of products that you have to scramble through on a daily basis.  There are some super options out there for keeping everything in order!  Drawer dividers are extremely flexible and come in all shapes and sizes so that you get a customized look for your space.  Divide each of your drawers so that your dental hygiene products, feminine products, grooming tools, makeup and hairbrushes all have their own individual areas.  Everything will be tidy, organized and easily accessible when you need it, cutting down on grooming time in the morning and maybe even allowing you a few more minutes in bed.

If you’re a parent you know how kid’s stuff can quickly clutter a bathroom.  There are so many fun bath toys and products for our kids from the time they arrive right through to the teenage years.  A very simple and cost efficient way to handle their mess of supplies is with a hanging net.  These can be very handy especially with regards to tub toys – which seem to multiply over night!  You can also get tub toy holders in cute animal faces that hold a lot of things at once and attach to your tub or shower wall with suction cups.  You can even tuck the kids shower gel or soap into the same bin to keep all of their supplies together.

bathroom

One really cute idea is to make your mason jars do double duty.  If you’re an enthusiastic canner, you probably have a bunch of these things sitting around collecting dust, and with a little time you can turn them into unique and beautiful holders for your Q-tips, tweezers, make up brushes, and a variety of other little easily lost bathroom products.  Simply take a nice piece of wood, and either paint or stain to match your decor or rough it up to add a rustic touch.  Use clamps to attach the jar neck to the wood, and mount into the studs in your wall, ideally over your bathroom sink for easy access.

If you’ve got the floor space, a cute cabinet or a cart is ideal for holding bathroom products, cleaning products, or even rolled up towels and face cloths.  The nice part about the cart is that you can quickly roll it around depending on where you most need it at the time.  It can be tucked into one corner with toilet paper rolls, or moved over to the tub where it can serve to hold all of the bath products you need for a luxurious soak.  This is great for renters too, where putting up shelves or making other alterations to the bathroom isn’t an option.

Home improvement doesn’t need to be extravagant. Starting with simple things such as this can ease your mind in the long run and help you remain motivated for bigger projects in the future.

This article was written by Martin from Poshh. He has over 10 years’ experience in writing health related topics and specializes in the health benefits of saunas and hydrotherapy.

 

The Ultimate Houseplant Cheat Sheet

The quality of the air we breathe every day is so important to our overall health. This infographic from Capital Garden Services takes you through the health implications of indoor air pollution and takes you through the best plants for each room. Research has shown that indoor air pollution can increase our risk of stroke by 34% so it really is worth taking the time to read through the infographic and finding the perfect plants for your home.

Sometimes, people buy plants and are a bit unsure of how to take care of them. They might put them in the wrong room or water them too much or too little. For example, many plants, such as the Chinese evergreen and the English ivy, require much less water in winter so it’s important to keep things like this in mind.

Also, some plants need less sun than others. For example, the Snake Plant is a great addition to the bedroom and it needs minimal direct sunlight. Find out more in the infographic.

The-Ultimate-Houseplant-Cheat-Sheet-Infographic

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