Guest Post: How to Clean and Treat Blinds and Curtains

Guest Post: How to Clean and Treat Blinds and Curtains

Our vertical blinds are almost 10 years old. The gears are wearing out, and Paul recently repaired the blinds in our living room.

With our newly repaired blinds, I appreciate this timely post from Silvia Marks sharing how to properly clean them.

You might remember Silvia from her May post on Mastering the Art of Speed Cleaning. She returns today with more cleaning advice for our curtains and blinds.

Keeping our homes clean is an on-going process. Hopefully, these tips will help you in using time wisely. ~ Tracy

How to Clean and Treat Blinds and Curtains

Guest Post: How to Clean and Treat Blinds and Curtains

Photograph Credit: Flickr (Kelly Cookson)

You can choose to clean blinds and curtains using professional cleaning services or do the cleaning on your own. To do it on your own, you can choose between chemicals, sold in stores, or do-it-yourself recipes.

Whatever cleaning method you decide to use, it’s good to know some tricks to extend the life of your blinds and curtains and improve their condition.

One fact that not many people know is that regular vacuum cleaning of the curtains and blinds prolongs the time between washing them.

The professional cleaners at DeluxeCleaners Ltd W12 use a delicate tool on the vacuum cleaner to avoid damaging the textile. Without that tool, use soapy water to clean the upholstery nozzle on your vacuum cleaner. Then gently vacuum your blinds and curtains.

Clean and Treat Blinds

To clean blinds, follow these steps. First, get rid of the dirt and dust on both sides. Use a towel or your vacuum cleaner with a tiny nozzle. Then, remove the blinds from the windows, unless they are wooden. Take them in your bathroom or in a larger place outdoors. Wash every part with a sponge or a gentle brush. After that, rinse them well and lay them out to dry. Finally, wipe them clean to prevent future gathering of dust.

You can clean your mini blinds with a small towel sprayed with a universal detergent. Mop each side. To clean wooden blinds, make a solution of one liter water and a quarter cup of white vinegar. With this solution spray a cloth and wipe the dust and dirt from the wooden blinds.

Vertical blinds can be cleaned while they are hanging on the windows. Use the vacuum cleaner with an appropriate nozzle and then a scrubber. If you have any tough stains, use a universal stain remover.

Clean and Treat Curtains

Curtains should be vacuum-cleaned at least once a month. It is not a good idea to send the curtains to the dry cleaners. The chemicals they use can cause diseases, including cancer.

Each curtain has to be washed per the written recommendations. Most are made of a couple of fabrics, and you have to consider each one. Before putting the curtains in the washing machine, take off all metal objects attached to them. The same thing applies if hand washing is recommended.

If you put them in the washing machine choose a light program which won’t harm the fabric. Use the proper detergent that is well-dissolved in water.

If you have stains that are difficult to remove, resort to the usage of aggressive chemicals – if nothing else will work. If the curtains have any holes or torn sections in the fabric, then it’s time to replace them.

Silvia is a successful blogger and writer. During the years as a professional cleaner, she learned that the most important thing for a clean home is perfection and grace.

Searching for the Hidden Safe Place

Searching for the Hidden Safe Place

Photograph Credit: Microsoft Images

Sometimes on this journey of using time wisely, I find myself frustrated at myself. Today is such a case.

This past week, I have been absorbed in curricula. Having gathered about 90% of what we think we need for this coming year, I’m at the end of the gathering stage.

However, I’m stuck.

I’m not using time wisely as I’m searching for the hidden safe place where I placed my son’s second grade Bible cards.

I remember taking the cards out of the sheet protectors at the end of the 2012-2013 school year. The cards are in my house somewhere.

I put them in a safe place, and that place is so safe that I cannot find them.

Thus far, I’ve looked in the following places:

  • School bookshelf
  • Craft bookshelf
  • Reading bookshelf
  • Totes from all school years
  • School supply cabinet
  • My bookshelves behind my desk
  • Homeschooling cubbies

Honestly, I’m out of options of where to look. Paul thinks that inspiration will come to me around 4:00 a.m. whereby I realize where I placed them. Rise from bed closing the door behind me as I click on lights and discover the hidden safe place.

Though I hope I get that inspiration, I would rather have it during waking hours. But if inspiration strikes in the middle of the night, then I will gladly find them because I’ll sleep better knowing I’ve found them.

The journey of using time wisely is not always a success. Losing things drives me crazy. I have a place for everything and work very hard to put everything in its place.

If someone has a suggestion of where the hidden safe place is for our second grade Bible cards, then please share? I’m open to all recommendations. I will keep looking, but I’ve already wasted over half a day searching.

If you are also searching for the hidden safe place of an item, then you are not alone. Those who know me well, are usually surprised when I have lost something. However, it happens. I’m not beating myself up, but it is constantly on my brain.

When I find them or replace them (last resort), then I’ll let you know. In the meantime, be careful about where you place things. You might find yourself searching for the hidden safe place without using time wisely. Happy searching!

Question: Where do you usually find things that you have secured to a safe place?

Guest Post: Keeping a Hold on an Efficient Domestic Cleaning Process

Guest Post: Keeping a Hold on an Efficient Domestic Cleaning ProcessFinding an approach to cleaning that works for you takes time. What worked when your children were young may not work the same way as your children grow.

I know my cleaning routine has change multiple times, and I’m still trying out new ideas.

Today, I’m honored to have Emma Macmillan back with us.

After sharing in May how to clean our dust pans and brushes, Emma returns to Using Time Wisely focusing on helping us think through our cleaning process.

Like Emma, I like to engage my brain. Usually, I put on a favorite movie, but I like these other options she shares, especially the language as we will be studying Latin and Greek with our upcoming education changes.

As you read this post, I hope you will find encouragement as we successfully clean our homes while using time wisely. ~ Tracy 

Keeping a Hold on an Efficient Domestic Cleaning Process

Guest Post: Keeping a Hold on an Efficient Domestic Cleaning Process

Photograph Credit: Microsoft Images

If cleaning is something that strikes fear and loathing into your heart, then you may want to think about it in a different way.

In fact, the way in which you approach things can often be the key to making them less of an issue in your domestic life, which essentially means that you can trick yourself into being less bothered by the cleaning!

There are many ways in which to do this. Combining them will be the best way to keep your head above water when the cleaning feels like it is getting a bit much for you.

For a start, you need to be aware of the issues that are making you feel quite so loathsome of the cleaning in the first place.

Overcoming Boredom

The main factor is usually boredom, and this can be divided up into the aspects of cleaning that create boredom, like the time it takes, how repetitive it is, as well as how dull the tasks are. If you can tackle these issues, then you are well on your way to having a successful cleaning head space.

Working within Time Constraints

To prevent the cleaning taking too long, you can start by doing it more often. Cleaning more often will ensure that the tasks that make up the cleaning process take less time, as there will be less dirt and dust to get rid of. If you divide these tasks up, then each one should take about five to ten minutes.

Vacuuming or dusting a room should take no longer than ten minutes, unless it is absolutely massive. If you do these things regularly, then you will find that the amount of time will fall sharply. It is simply a case of running a cloth over things, as they are already pretty clean from having done so a few days beforehand.

Cleaning itself is a process combining series of short tasks. But who is to say that they need to be done at the same time? You can get these things done at any time that you find yourself with a couple of minutes to do so. In effect, you will end up with a series of little jobs that can be fitted in around your working day rather than a five-hour clean that you do every two weeks on a Saturday.

Focusing your Mind

If you do have to spend a little time cleaning, then one of the best ways to ensure that the repetition and dull actions don’t get you bored and distracted from the task is to take your mind off things with something audible. The brain is perfectly capable of enjoying music, the radio or an audio book whilst also getting on with cleaning the bathroom.

Why not try to lift the spirits of the job by putting on a favorite album or getting lost in an audio book that you have always wanted to read? You could even get some language tapes and learn a language that you’ve wanted to get to grips with whenever you clean!

This could result in you bettering your life and becoming more knowledgeable and well read, simply through the time that you spend cleaning. It may sound a little over the top, but there is no reason as to why you cannot make this time that used to be boring and restless into a positive time for bettering yourself.

Emma is part of a team of professional writers, who, with enthusiasm and flair to detail, create content on home, renovating, cleaning, etc. related topics. For further information check: moving vans Fulham.

Down on the Farm

Down on the FarmEarlier this week, my children and I went down on the farm with a group from our church. A family in our church purchased property and has begun raising chickens, pigs, and turkeys along with their cats and dog.

During our time at the farm, the day was beautiful with a gentle breeze. The children participated in wheelbarrow races, gunny sack hops, bobbing for apples, getting a hay ride, playing tug of war, and watching a group of older kids chase the pigs.

Delivering our lunch, the Chick-fil-A cow visited with the children. We enjoyed our lunch, the sweet watermelon, and the pie tasting contest. Though I chose the blueberry pie, the chocolate ended up winning.

Our time down on the farm was eventful. Miss 4 enjoyed seeing the bee hive, feeding the chickens her remaining watermelon, and watching the turkey. We hung out while Mr. 9 and Miss 6 were playing the games with their friends.

Down on the Farm  Down on the Farm

Spending time down on the farm ended with favorite memories of the pigs, the kitten, and stories of falling out of the wheelbarrows.

In following up with our visit, the printable packs from Katie at Gift of Curiosity reinforce our time down on the farm. Both her watermelon pack and farm themed package offer hours of fun while reviewing the memories made during our summer.

Down on the Farm    Down on the Farm

Photograph Credit: Gift of Curiosity

Usually our family limits visiting a farm to the fall season, but after this visit, we might need to return each season.

In using time wisely, we are enjoying different outings this summer which has kept my children on their toes. It’s fun trying to get them to figure out where we are going next. Happy summer fun!

Question: What new experience have you tried this summer?

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

027 with blurWith all the events we attend, sometimes the event promotion is better than the event itself. But other times, the event far exceeds are expectations. One such outstanding event occurred when our family went to a baseball game.

We are privileged to live near a minor league baseball franchise. Though we don’t go often, we do get to a couple of games each season.

When a package deal of 4 baseball tickets, 4 zoo tickets, 4 children’s museum passes, and 4 waterpark passes was sold for $40, we snagged the deal.

With friends purchasing the same deal and unable to attend the game, they graciously gave us their 4 unused tickets, so we did not need to purchase a 5th ticket. Woo hoo!

As I received the 4 tickets from my friend, I discovered that the tickets were only for lawn seats, which means one brings a blanket to sit in the grassy area. In preparing for the game, we decided to take two blankets.

Finding Parking

On the day of the game, we headed out to the ballpark early. This choice landed us a fantastic parking space at the front entrance with FREE parking. I was ecstatic that we did not have to pay $5 for parking, nor did we need to walk a great distance to the game.

Picking up our Tickets

Our night continued as I walked up to the will call desk to retrieve my $40 package. I was wearing a team shirt that we received for FREE at a game last year. As I gave my name to the attendant, I was asked if I wanted to upgrade from the lawn to seats.

I could not get “of course” out of my mouth fast enough. On top of exchanging my tickets, the attendant also exchanged my other 4 tickets for seats in the same section.

We had not even entered the ballpark, and I was excited. We had found FREE parking and received FREE upgraded seats. I thought the night was perfect before we even got started.

Finding our Seats

As we entered the ballpark with our tickets, we found that our upgraded seats were behind home plate. We were out of the sun, had the row to ourselves, and a great view of the game. We settled in and saw many friends who also had purchased the $40 deal.

Seeing a couple we knew who were standing in the upper levels, I approached them and offered them our other tickets which they readily accepted. They were thrilled with finding a FREE parking spot and then getting these upgraded tickets.

Watching with Professionals

Getting ready for the game, we visited with friends and then watched as a few gentlemen camped out behind us. They had a radar gun, stat sheets, and clipboards. Thinking they were scouts, we listened to them. Mr. 9 came down to sit next me as we tried to figure out who they were.

Finding a break in their conversation, I asked and found out that two of the gentlemen were pitchers for the home team just charting the game. Another gentleman further down the row was a Braves’ scout. Well, my husband and son were wearing their Braves’ hats.

The scout kindly gave Mr. 9 a baseball. Not knowing who the scout was, we asked the pitchers to sign it which they did between innings. They were so nice.

Later, when I made it down the row, I spoke with the Braves’ scout and learned he was Lloyd Merritt. Not knowing who he was, I just thanked him for his gift to my son.

During the game, we were able to purchase drinks and cotton candy with a gift card. By the end of the night, we had spent less than $10 for a great family outing.

After watching a high-scoring game where the away team beat the home team, we headed home. It had been a great night at the ballpark, but we were ready for some rest.

Researching at Home

Once the kids were settled down, I hopped on the Internet to look up Mr. Merritt. From a Swag Bucks search, I discovered that Mr. Merritt is a retired St. Louis pitcher and current Braves’ scout. (This article is a bit out of date since Mr. Merritt is currently a Braves’ scout. It’s nice to know a bit more than the experts. :-) ) Grateful for his gift, Paul and I both messaged Mr. Merritt on his Facebook page to express in writing our appreciation.

When we purchased the $40 deal, I thought we were getting a great deal. After only using the first 4 tickets, we might have purchased the amazing experience.

I’m not sure we can match that game, but we are definitely up for the challenge.  With my children meeting their summer reading goals, I know we will be headed back this summer and ready for more action along with hearing the invitation to take me out to the ballgame. Happy summer!

Question: Have you had a highlight this summer?