The slogan attached to our great city Austin, TX is to “Keep Austin Weird” We have all heard it, and most likely all seen it too! I live here and still find myself laughing daily at some Keep Austin Weird Moments. From the lady on the sidewalk in front of Black Swan Yoga with her mat doing yoga right there in front of all the 5th Street passer-bys, to the guys that ride bicycles around in a nude thong for no apparent reason other than a better sun tan, we have all seen it! However some of us may turn our noses up to those quirks in Austin and not even realize that inside most of our homes we have some odd things going on. Since our cleaning service is quite personal we don’t offer estimates over the phone. We prefer to come out and meet the potential client and their homes to get an exact idea of the level of dirt, surfaces, pets and number of occupants in the home so we know just what to bring to service properly.
What might not seem weird to you may seem weird to your house guests Let’s face it every one doesn’t like everything. So everyone that steps foot in your home may not understand the value in the items you have in your home and the reasoning behind them.
THE WEIRD OBJECT
We live in Texas so it may not seem weird but having a deer mount on your wall is quite odd. It states many things without even asking.
HOW TO CLEAN THE WEIRD OBJECT
Since this large object has now found a home on your wall and most likely in a very high place that is unreachable to most, how in the world are you going to keep this thing clean. You barely have time to clean the obvious items in your home so this thing is going to take some research. Don’t worry about researching it we’ve got you covered in 2 steps.
Whatever you do DON’T VACUUM IT! I know you are probably anxious to pull out that awesome vacuum with it’s wonderful cleaning tools for every surface but I can guarantee you your vacuum doesn’t have an attachment for “weird objects” or deer mounts. Vacuuming a deer mount will cause more damage than good. Using any kind of suction on the mount can damage the hair and create tufts of hair to stand up and then you may have a weirder object on your hands than you started with.
Do use a microfiber rag and gently wipe the hair the way it grows and not the opposite way. Use a lambswool duster to remove any cobwebs that have attached themselves. Also take the time out every 6 months or so to look inside the ears and any openings on the mounts to look for any bugs that may have found a new home. Some bugs like to start eating away at your mount if it hasn’t been preserved right. If you see bugs appearing and eating away at the hair you know your mount was not preserved right and you should take it back immediately to fix the situation.
Housekeeper alert Make sure to educate your housekeeper or cleaning company on how often and what to look for in cleaning your weird objects in your home. Because All Purpose Cleaner really isn’t All Purpose. Especially in this matter.
Now after reading this article and following the instructions you may have found some other “Keep Austin Weird” items around your home. Remember that All Purpose Cleaner doesn’t clean all and a little research goes a long way into keeping our weird items clean.
photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/150hp/8037766703/ via http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/
The Kids are out of school and most are out of work but let's not only enjoy this day off but understand and teach our children why it is a holiday. History is taught in schools but rarely at home and I do believe the more we teach our children the definition behind the holidays the more they will understand it's just not a day off. Let's keep it simple and break it down to 3 Reasons why Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is more than a day off of work and school.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of January. It is a day to celebrate the achievements and life of Martin Luther King Jr., He began many campaigns to end racial segregation on public transportation and for the overall racial equality of the United States. He was so much more than his I Have A Dream Speech. He was a man of action that wanted and strived to make his Dream a Reality. Unfortunately he didn't live long enough to see that his efforts were a part of the starting point of a major change in The United States. However his efforts were not void and the Dream became a reality! Start the day off by giving your children an overview of your opinions on how you recognize his efforts and what they have done for our society. Show them what our schools and cities could possibly be like if he didn't make a stand and then teach them to recognize how his efforts did make a difference in how we all live. No matter what race we are Martin Luther King Jr. made efforts that changed all of our lives.
Now that we have recognized his goals and achievements lets celebrate the now equal rights of all Americans. In most cities there are parades and marches which have encouraged the communities to come together and acknowledge and respect those that have marched for equality before us. Some lost their lives, dealt with humiliating behaviors, all just because they wanted to help make a change with Martin Luther King, Jr. for the better of their lives. We have to come together to make a difference in anything we want our communities to agree on in order to see a change. This is definitely a day to come together to celebrate and also address where we can today make a difference together united in our own communities
Make a Change
Martin Luther King, Jr. made a difference as one man standing firm on his beliefs. I believe we all have an "I Have a Dream" speech in us but it takes an organized approach to make those dreams a reality. One person raising their voice on an issue that we all know needs to have some change is a start. One of Martin Luther King, Jr. first organized approaches was against the bus transportation system. This Boycott was a non violent raising their voices approach called the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Teach your children and families today about the struggles that were addressed on this boycott. Our children need to understand why even today it's important to non violently speak up and make an organized approach to making a better environment within their schools and lives. Setting a goal in making small changes is a start. Where will you start today?
Have you ever pondered how many times a day you touch your face with your hands? Let's take that question deeper and wonder how many items our hands touch a day, and then we use those same hands and touch our faces. Below are a list of 5 Items that get the most use but the least cleaning. With the Flu season in full swing in Texas use this as a warning notice to your body to stay alert so that you can stay healthy during the Flu Season.
#1 The Telephone
If you are reading this blog and can't remember the last time you disinfected your telephone STOP what you are doing and clean it now. I can guarantee you that you will get too busy to remember to do so later on.
If you work in an office most likely you spend your time working there and not cleaning there. You can't rely on guessing the measures the janitorial staff takes at disinfecting office spaces. Most office cleaning consists of emptying trash cans, light dusting, and vacuuming floors. However we spend quite a lot of time in the office on a work phone that receives not only calls but saliva and germs. After taking a call you may clear your throat, cough, rub your nose and who knows what else. We then hang up that phone with our hands and proceed with the day. After hanging up that call follow the T Zone approach and be mindful not to touch your eyes nose and mouth.
Seventh Generation has great disinfecting wipes because let's all agree we can't run the phone through the dishwasher on sanitize. Just pull a wipe, wipe and throw away rather than call cough, speak and carry germs away!
Keyboard germs kind of run hand in hand with The Telephone. Most of us spend more time touching our keyboards than we do touching our spouses. That was the joke of the day to lighten up the mood of knowing you are touching germs right now. They do sell keyboards that are washable but I don't guarantee them and prefer keeping the disinfecting process simple. There are brushes that you can buy at your local Hardware stores that are meant for brushing in between the keys on a keyboard. You can also use a vacuum brush tool. I've even seen someone recommend using silly putty to get the crumbs out. We first must rid the keyboard of crumbs and debris so that the disinfecting can be thorough. Never Spray anything directly on the keys of the keyboard. Use an Eco Friendly wipe and with the keyboard not on wipe over the keys carefully. Make sure the disinfecting wipe is not saturated and is more damp than wet.
#3 Hand Towels
If you are using the bathroom at your home or someone Else's home I do hope you are washing your hands and drying them. I have noticed that most homeowners rarely use their own guest bathrooms so I don't know how often those hand towels are washed and replaced. So while gathering your laundry around the house don't forget the towels in guest rooms which have hopefully been used a hundred or so times in a month by the entire family. An even better method of keeping the germ count down in this area is to totally eliminate the hand towels in the guest bathrooms and just use recyclable paper towels. There are small hand drying paper products that are made specifically for the bathrooms and even can be personalized with your initials if you want to get fancy with it
#4 Door Knobs
Most of us don't realize that the doorknob is on the top 5 list of the household items holding onto the most germs. From the front door to the bathroom and then to the kitchen knobs on the cabinets to the garage door the germs are holding on tight! Those disinfecting wipes come handy here again. Don't use the same one on each door thought. Use quite a few to really take your time and wipe each door knob or handle on the front and back side of doors. While disinfecting the doorknobs I can assure you that you may find that some of those doorknobs could use a good polishing as well. Front door knobs get neglected and used the most. Take a moment to appreciate the item that helps you get into your homes and disinfect and polish them ASAP!
#5 Remote Controls
Remotes are a tricky item to disinfect just like keyboards so the same rules apply. However since remotes are smaller we can clean them with not only a disinfecting wipe but also a Q-Tip dipped lightly in a vinegar and tea tree solution is the best. Think of children eating, coughing and pets slobbering unintentionally on them since they most likely are laying on the couch where you left them. I prefer the Q_Tip method to get into the crevices of the device and also to help not push any of the buttons out of place during the process
Although I am quite sure there are many more items in our homes that are getting used and abused and not disinfected I do hope this blog at least sent an alarm of warning to you to stay aware of regular used items and the germs they carry. You may end up using your disinfecting wipes in many other places while starting with these 5 however at least you are starting somewhere.
Happy New Year to You, your family, pets and homes!
Our homes have some items that get used more than others 365 days a year so let's break down the most forgotten about items that need to be replaced and make a To Do List now to replace them this week!
The week after the Holidays is one of the slowest retail weeks of the year. That's why during your Holiday shopping most stores give you your receipt and a coupon to use the first week of the year.
Take a moment out and look online for some Bed Bath and Beyond and Home Depot Coupons today because with my list those are the stores to shop at for the best sales for the items needed this first week of January.
We take care of hundreds of homes yearly and notice many overused and overlooked items. So we have made a list of 7 Overlooked and Overused Items To Replace in Our Homes The First Week of 2014.
New Toilet Seats
When you have guests coming over most of us spruce our guest bathrooms up for the arrival of company however you can't spruce a toilet seat up! You most likely need to simply replace it. Replacing it not only makes your toilet area look cleaner it makes it smell cleaner. Have you ever cleaned your bathroom extremely well but seemed to still smell that urine bathroom smell? I can guarantee you that your toilet seat holds the appearance of it being used more than your everyday walking shoes. Toilet seats average around $20-$40 and are quite easy to replace without tools.
New Air Filter’s
Air Filters are usually replaced monthly or every few months in most homes. However most of us get so busy we forget which month we changed them last time. Why not go out and buy them in bulk at the beginning of the year so that monthly you won't have to put it on the grocery store list. You can even assign this easy task to a teenager or other member of the family to do monthly. Assigning tasks to everyone in the house helps spread out the To Do List tasks and eases the pressure off of just one family member. Team Work Makes The Dream Work!
New Light Bulbs
Before a bulb goes out in 2014 and you realize you don't have that exact size why not buy them in bulk. Eco Friendly, long lasting bulbs are best at lasting and not causing too much damage to your electric bill yearly. It's just such a hassle when a bulb goes out and you have to search the house to see if you even have the right size! Most homes use an average of 5 different size bulbs. I can guarantee that they all will go out at different times and needing different sizes. Run to the closest Hardware store with a list of bulb sizes and buy at least 2 each to prepare for a lights out moment.
New Bed Pillows
Pillows help us get a good nights rest and are used 365 days of the year in most households. They hold onto facial and hair oils and some of that simply doesn’t wash out! I know we all get so used to that one pillow that we don't want other people to even use our pillow but replacing it often is ideal. If you suffer from facial acne breakouts and have tried every product on the market I recommend replacing the one thing you lay your face on most... Your pillow. Check the brand of pillow you use and search online for the best coupon to replace it. Don't forget about the kids pillows too!
Sheets see the naked truth more than some of our family members! They hold on to oils, body fluids, pet slobber and crumbs of things we shouldn't be eating in bed. They too are meant to be washed on a very high powered heat to disinfect and get rid of dust skin mites so a yearly replacement is best to keep them comfortable. Try to search for an Egyptian high thread count at a discount store first for a great price and excellent quality.
New Bath Towels and Face Towels
Another item we use more than twice a day 365 days a year on our face and bodies is our daily towels. Everyone in the house uses and shares these items and we all believe that a hot wash and some soap will disinfect them which in most cases is true. However the more washes and uses they get the less fluffy they become. From our face towels to our bodies we use them more than twice a day so why not grab a sale and replace them. This is one of those unspoken personal happy moments of getting out of the shower and using a nice fluffy towel to dry off. It can exist in your home too and not only be a hotel luxury!
Entry and Exit Rugs
If you don't have rugs to catch the everyday dirt you've walked on throughout the day now is the time to buy them. If you do have entry and exit rugs now may be the time to spruce them up. Outside ones get ruined by the outside element. Elements such as the Neighbors cat that most likely sleeps on it at night that you don't know about, and the mud from the last storm. They take on a lot of dirt and save our carpets and floors from extra build. Replace them yearly so they can continue to do an effective job of catching about 80% of dirt on our shoes before our shoes enter our homes.
We all get so busy throughout the year that a lot of household items get overlooked. Try to keep a list on a family calendar or the fridge of items to replace. Most likely throughout the year the list will grow with additions from all family members.
Remember it’s a New Year for our homes too so let’s appreciate those most used items and replace them today.
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