Archive | Home Improvement Tips

RSS feed for this section

Home and Kitchen Improvement: 5 Tips to Keep the Kitchen Neat and Tidy

One reality in any home is that the kitchen is one area that’s quite difficult to keep clean, neat, and tidy. The hub of activity that takes place in the kitchen never fails to ensure that there’s always some sort of mess to clean-up. The preparation and presence of food probably has a great deal to do why the kitchen can be such a difficult place to maintain. The preparation, consumption, and aftermath of cooked meals or snacking in addition to plates, cups, and utensils are likely to leave the area in a somewhat untidy state.

So how exactly do you go about maintaining the kitchen and keep it clean, neat, and tidy?

1. Make a Cleaning Roster

If you’re sharing a household with other members of the family or even flat sharing with friends, be sure to draw-up a cleaning roster so that everyone gets involved in the cleaning and tidying up. It’s not fair to leave the kitchen cleaning to just one specific person, like your mother.

2. Have Sufficient Storage Areas

The problem for many kitchens is containing clutter. Thus, having sufficient storage spaces to keep all of your items is vital. For instance, utilize kitchen cabinets, jars, and counter/ceiling hangers to minimize the amount of unnecessary clutter that can appear on your kitchen countertops.

3. Post Inspirational Notices

To remind everyone who makes use of the kitchen of their responsibilities, small cleverly-positioned notices or mini-posters on the fridge or kitchen cupboard can act as a piece of inspiration for people to keep the kitchen tidy.

4. Have Clean-up Products Handy

Always be sure that you’re properly stocked up on cleaning products that will help you to manage and control any type of mess or spill. Cleansing wipes, kitchen towels, disinfectant sprays, a dust-pan, brush, broom, and a mop are amongst the essentials that you should always have at hand should you suddenly need them. Take special note that pets love to hang out in the kitchen because that’s where the food comes from.

5. CLAYGO (CLean As You Go)

One of the most productive and time effective ways of keeping a kitchen clean is to clean while you’re doing something in the kitchen, like cooking. Instead of leaving all of your pots, pans and other equipment in a heap to the side as you prepare a meal, use time in between cooking to clean-up your surfaces and wash the dishes.

Home Improvement Guide to Make Your Doors Burglar Proof

Fancy burglar alarms are good safety tools, however, one of the easiest ways to keep the bad guys from breaking in is to make your doors burglar proof.

Replace all hollow exterior doors or those with windows with solid ones

Though less expensive, hollow doors only belong in the interior of your house. All exterior doors that allow entry into a home, including side, back, and attached garage doors should be made of Solid wood, Wood core, Fiberglass, or Reinforced metal. Those with windows should also be replaced since the glass can be broken and the intruder can reach through and down to unlock the door.

Sliding glass patio doors

These are easily breached, but these can be easily reinforced with clear poly-carbonate panels that are secured behind the glass on the interior. The same is true of first level windows. Install locks at both the top and bottom. Placing an unbreakable metal or wooden stick or dowel in the sliding door’s track will also block entry by making it impossible to slide the door open with the stick in place.

Exterior doors should have a high-quality deadbolt lock in addition to the doorknob

All exterior doors should have deadbolt locks installed in addition to the doorknobs. Make sure the deadbolt you choose is high-quality Grade 1 or 2 level with a bolt that extends at least an inch into the door “slot” mechanism or a “throw bolt.”

Check door frames

Replace both door frame and door if the door frame is splintering or warped, because any ill-fitting doors can give intruders easy entry. If you do replace both the door and frame, consider using doors are made of fiberglass, with security hinges.

Install a deadlock

A deadlock is like a deadbolt, but it only locks from the inside and there is no keyed entry. This can provide extra security, since an intruder cannot gain entrance unless they can destroy the door frame or lock.

Use heavy-duty strike plates

The metal plate on the door frame that reinforces the hole where the locking bolt enters is called the “strike plate.” These should be heavy-duty and reinforced on exterior doors. The screws that secure the strike plate to the door should attach to the underlying studs in the door, not just the door jamb.

Always lock your doors and windows

All of these safety features are worthless unless you lock up when at home or out. Most intruders simply gain access through an unlocked door or window. Make sure your doors and windows have the reinforcements listed above, and then use them.

 

Carpet Cleaning Tips for Better Home Improvement Living

Between the kids, the pets or just a clumsy relative in keeping a perfect carpet clean. There are a number of things you can do in your household to make your investment last.

Picking the Right Carpet

You have to ask the right questions like where do you see yourself in the next five years? Is your family growing? What kind of activities do you do? These are things to factor in for your carpet purchase. A winter white or ivory spread carpet may not be a good idea for a busy home.

Prevention

Eliminating shoes on the carpet can save you trouble. First, you won’t have anyone dragging mud, dirt and other unmentionables onto the carpet. Second, you’re likely to prevent accidents, like people tripping over their heels or over shoelaces. Leaving your shoes at the door can cut lead dust levels by about 60% and it can lower your exposure to dust mites.

Maintenance

With vacuuming, once a week is good enough. Don’t forget places where people may eat or other high-traffic areas of your home. Also, consider sprinkling your carpet with baking soda before you vacuum. The powder will help absorb carpet odors and it does not cost as much as scented products.

Shampoo

Shampooing your carpets should be done in regular frequency. If you’re in a single-person home with few guests, once a year is okay. However, if you have kids or pets, consider at least once every 6 months. The best time to clean is really up to your family’s routine. A nice preference is after winter when everyone’s tracking in muddy and snowy boots.

Clean Spots and Spills Immediately

The longer a spill soaks in, the harder and less likely you’ll be able to remove it. Soak up the spill with a dry rag or towel then continue to blot. Try loosening up the spill with warm water.

Take It Easy with the Chemicals

When you spot a spill on the carpet, don’t buy every stain remover at the store. Try blotting the stain with warm water. If it doesn’t loosen up, try a mixture of mild soap and water. Be sure your soap does not have bleach in it or strong chemicals as they may end up damaging the fibers of your carpet.

Stain Treatments

There is no universal method to cleaning a beverage stain as they all react quite differently. Yet, a good starting point for treating any carpet stain is a good vinegar-water solution. Fill mixture in a spray bottle and then spray onto stain. Let it soak for 5 to 15 minutes then gently scrub the area with brush and water.

Drink Stains

Coffee and tea stains – Clean with a vinegar solution.

Beer stains – Clean with a vinegar solution. Use borax if the stain is stubborn.

Red wine – Use club soda to lift the stain right out. If that doesn’t work, blot up the stain with water then apply baking soda to the spot. It will form a paste. Let it sit for a few minutes then vacuum it up.

Grease Stains

Cornstarch does the trick. Sprinkle a bit onto the stain and let it sit for half an hour. Vacuum the cornstarch up. Repeat if necessary. If all else fails, a grease-fighting dish soap and water may just do the trick.