Tag Archives: home

Clean Sweep

5 super easy tips to keep your fridge clean and tidy

There’s nothing worse than opening a messy fridge when it’s time to eat! Not only does a cluttered fridge freezer make it more difficult to see what could be on the menu, an unkempt fridge can also harbour nasty bacteria. We’ve made it really easy to spruce up this kitchen utility so it sparkles, whilst keeping everything neat and organised.

1 – THE CLEAN OUT

Although the dreaded fridge clean can be time-consuming, it is vital for safe storage and will also help you minimise food wastage. Ideally, your fridge should be cleaned before a food shop, so there is little to empty. This also provides more time for cleaning, as there is less food exposed to warmer temperatures whilst out of the fridge.

As you are emptying the fridge, ensure expired items are disposed of, to save space for leftovers and foods. Remove the drawers and place them in the sink. Scrub the drawers with a sponge, warm water, and washing-up liquid. Leave them out to air-dry.

Douse the interior with a multisurface spray. Wipe down the walls, then each shelf. Use an old toothbrush and a spritz of cleaner to dislodge grime from crevices.

2 – LINE YOUR SHELVES WITH EASY-TO-CLEAN MATS

Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned your shelves, line them with mats. When inevitable messy spills happen, the mats will prevent juices from leaking on to other shelves. They can also be easily removed and cleaned.

 3 – KEEP THINGS IN PLACE WITH SLIDING BINS

We’ve all opened a fridge where there’s food stacked beyond reach on every shelf, leaving it difficult to know where to start. An easy way to keep this under control is by using sliding plastic baskets, organising and grouping contents. Deep bins mean you can pull out sections of stuff in one quick movement. If you want to be really organised, you can even label these baskets for different food items, for example: meats, condiments, cheese, and salad.

If you’re looking for an easy and cheap hack, try using magazine/paper holders as extra shelves. Place the holders in the fridge horizontally, and they make the perfect gap for those smaller knick knacks.

4  – A TRICK FOR BOTTLES

Quite often, a shelf in your fridge may be lost to keeping drinks cool. Stacking is key to saving space, but there is a handy trick for beer bottles. Prevent these items from rolling around by placing a binder clip onto a wire shelf. This stops the bottom tier from moving, allowing you to easily stack more on top. Cheers to that!

5 – THE FINAL STEP

Once you have cleaned your fridge, lined your shelves and placed your baskets where you want them, you can then begin filling your fridge. Here’s a hygienic and orderly way to go about this final step:

Upper Shelves: Leftovers, drinks, and ready-to-eat foods (like deli meats and leftovers).

Middle Shelves: Dairy, such as milks, cheeses, yoghurt and butter.

Lower Shelves: This is the coldest part of your fridge, and where wrapped raw meat and fish should be kept. Placing raw food on the bottom shelf also minimises the risk of cross-contamination.

Doors: The refrigerator door is the warmest part of the fridge, so only condiments should go there. Although most people keep their milk in the fridge door, this can actually make your milk go bad faster. The temperature fluctuates more on the fridge doors, so try to store your milk in a safe zone on the middle shelf.

Drawers: Vegetables, salads and fruit should be stored in their original packaging in the salad drawer where they will be enclosed. This is also a good place to store herbs, as they can’t get frozen to the back of the fridge.

However, fresh vegetables can be contaminated if meat is placed on the shelf above.

A solution is that if you have two drawers, make one of them exclusively for veggies and the other exclusively for raw meat.

Here’s to a sparkly clean fridge and keeping your food fresher for longer. Now, go make that meal stress free!  

Home For Sale Real Estate Sign in Front of New House.

Preparing your house for sale

The summer season means garden parties, BBQs and visits to the beach, but it is also a time when people decide to put their house up for sale.

This week, we’ll be focusing on how you can ensure your house is prepped for viewings to increase your chance of sale!

  1. Huge clear out

This is extremely important as you want to ensure you are maximising the amount of space and storage in your house. If people can see your clutter, they won’t be able to see past it and the potential your house holds. You want to keep your home your home, but you don’t want it to be too overwhelming for the viewers!

  1. Maintenance checks

If you’ve got any maintenance issues that you’ve been meaning to see to for months, now is the time to do it! Maybe you have a bit of damp in the spare bedroom, or maybe you’ve got some creaky floorboards that need pinning down – get these issues seen to as you don’t want these flagged up by your viewers.

  1. Cosmetic work

As much as you probably find it a headache, giving your walls a new lick of paint and some sprucing up with new furniture and accessories, can really make a huge impact. It’s all about staging and catering for the many, not the few.

If you struggle to put yourself in the shoes of your potential viewers, get inspiration from platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram – these sites spark the imagination and can inspire you to create something completely new and different to what you may usually go for!

  1. Focus on features

Your home may have interesting features such as high ceilings or intricate architecture. Make sure you focus on these and draw attention to them. Buyers love features that set the house apart from other houses they’ve seen!

  1. Exterior

First impressions count! As you pull up to your house, really assess its exterior – are the walls crack free? Are the fascia boards clear? Are your windows and doors clean? Could the walls do with a fresh coat of paint? If you’ve got a front garden, pot some plants and cut the grass to give the best first impression!

Keep it clean, fresh, maximise space and storage and dot some scented candles around to make your house smell as beautiful as it looks! Good luck!

All in all, it’s important to make sure you leave a lasting impression and minimise any risk of off-putting your viewers with anything that is too niche or personal in your homes. You need to ensure your home appeals to the masses, not the few and isn’t offensive to anyone. But make sure it is still a reflection of you and your family!

 

nursery

Hello spring: Children’s play room

As the first month of spring is coming to an end, our spring clean-themed blog posts are also drawing to a close. This week’s blog will tie up the spring clean with a focus on the children’s playroom.

We all know how messy and cluttered the playroom can get, and that’s ok – it’s what it is supposed to be. But there is a line we mustn’t cross, and that’s where the room gets so messy and cluttered, that it becomes hazardous and unhygienic for our children.

As we recommended with our previous spring clean-themed blogs, it’s always best to assess what is clutter and what is there for a purpose. There’s no need to completely pack away each and every toy your child has out, so start by packing away toys they play with less often.

It’s wise to pack these toys into an easy to access storage container, in case your child decides they want to play with them – the last thing you want is not being able to easily get your hands on the toys and have an unhappy child on your hands! We’ve all been there!

A transparent container is a good option, as you can easily identify what toy is in which container. Another idea is to label the containers with pictures, as this will help your children identify the toys – if they are too young to read.

Now that we’ve decided what should go where and what can be packed away, banish those pesky germs and bacteria build up with some anti-bacterial surface cleaner. Make sure products used are not left lying around in the playroom – even if you do store them on high shelves.

It’s also wise to wipe down all toys with anti-bacterial wipes on a regular basis to maintain a high hygiene standard and prevent germs from spreading.

Why not introduce a weekly or bi-weekly cleaning routine which involved the children? This doesn’t have to be the in-depth clean we’re talking about in this blog post, but could just be a general clean-up. Encourage your children to help clean up the playroom by putting on their favourite music while doing so. This will help to make the process enjoyable and fun – it’s also great bonding time!

Office cleaning service concept with supplies

Hello, spring!

This week has seen us wave goodbye to the dark winter mornings and say hello to the start of spring. We don’t know about you, but this puts us in the mood for a traditional spring clean!

Sometimes, hearing the words “spring clean” can bring dread to those who just don’t have the time to dedicate a full day or weekend to fulfill the “out with the old and in with the new” motto. Fear not, because Clean Sweep is here to help make the process quick and enjoyable.

We advise breaking it up room by room. Don’t think about your house as a whole – by dissecting it into smaller, mini-projects, you will be able to stay motivated and not feel overwhelmed by the volume of work.

This week, we’ll be concentrating on the heart of the home, the kitchen.

Start by getting a large box and empty your cupboards of any food items you aren’t going to use. If they are non-perishable, why not take them to your local food bank and donate? This is a great way to combine helping and supporting your local community while tidying up your cupboards!

Give your cupboards a good clean with anti-bacterial products and restock with the food items you aren’t donating to the local food bank.

Move onto your work surfaces. Again, with anti-bacterial products, give your worktops and surfaces a good clean, ensuring you are getting rid of any stubborn stains and marks.

Next, take any kitchen utensils you use on a regular basis and make sure these are scrubbed clean (until they are sparkling!). A handy and inexpensive tip to clean utensils such as stainless steel pots and pans, coffee stained mugs and even the cooker, is to combine four tablespoons of baking soda with one quarter warm water and watch the dirt vanish before your eyes.

Additionally, from one of our previous blog posts on cleaning kitchen appliances, simply rub half a lemon on the surface to remove build up. If you want that extra sparkle, sprinkle a little salt on the object before rubbing the lemon on it.

There we have it, a fresh, spring-ready kitchen!

How do you feel about the dreaded spring clean? Do you have any tips?

Life Hacking in Multicolor. Doodle Design.

10 home and lifestyle hacks to kick off your new year

Welcome to 2017! We hope you had a sparkling Christmas and New Year!

What better way to kick things off than to let you know about 10 home and lifestyle hacks which will save you so much time in 2017?

Why not try a DIY surface cleaner? These do the job for nearly every surface, so why not give it a go? Combine four tablespoons of baking soda with one quarter warm water and watch the dirt vanish. Simple!

  1. Banish the pesky pet odours – sprinkle some baking soda on your pet’s bedding and leave it for 15 minutes before vacuuming.
  2. If your drain is slowly clogging, pour ½ cup of baking soda down it and follow it down with ½ cup of vinegar. Don’t forget to cover it with a wet cloth for five minutes and then wash away with hot water.
  3. Windows need an extra sheen? Mix two tablespoons of white vinegar with a gallon of water (approx.) and pour into a spray bottle. Spray on the desired windows and wipe away with a microfiber cloth. It’s important that you use a microfiber cloth to prevent streaking.
  4. These frosty mornings often lead to a layer of ice forming on your car windscreen and windows in the mornings. Mix three parts vinegar with one-part water and pour into a spray bottle. Spray on the car windows as needed when ice forms!
  5. Iron not working as well as it used to? Before you consider replacing, clean the bottom of the iron by sprinkling salt on the ironing board and iron back and forth.
  6. If your stainless steel appliances need a little freshen up, simply rub half a lemon of the surface to remove build up. If you want that extra sparkle, sprinkle a little salt on the object before rubbing the lemon on it. This trick works great on bathroom taps, where there is a build-up of soap! You could also try this on your cutlery – your dinner guests will be impressed!
  7. Buff your marble table top with car polish – this will leave a thin, invisible film which helps reduce the risk of stains!
  8. Toothpaste isn’t just for your teeth! Pop a bit of toothpaste on an old toothbrush and lightly apply to your trainers to remove any stains and keep them looking sparkling!
  9. Baking soda seems to be the answer to all domestic cleaning worries! Simply pour a cup in with your washing and your clothes will look so much cleaner and brighter.
  10. Mix vinegar and baking soda together for a great oven cleaner!

Have you tried any of these life hacks? Let us know your favourites!

Sorting out your make up bag

Sorting out your make up bag

If you’re anything like me, you might hoard makeup like there’s a foundation shortage. My make-up drawers are filled with palettes, bronzers and lipsticks. I also tend to approach my make-up collection as if everything is limited edition, and buy two of most things. My room is a bit like Noah’s Ark.

It’s pretty heartbreaking to part with some of your favourite make-up, especially if you’ve barely used it. Yet, if you adopt the “out with the old, in with the new” mantra, you could see this as an exciting opportunity to find your new Holy Grail products.

The first thing you need to do is declutter. This means combing through your make up and sorting into piles – keep newer or unopened products in a separate pile.

If you notice you have some relatively new products that you are unlikely to use (maybe that purple lipstick was a bit of an impulse buy), then start thinking about rehoming these products to friends and family. The worst thing you can do is waste your make-up, when someone else could be enjoying it.

Then, sort your products into sections – face, eyes and lips, and spend time going through them all. You might have forgotten some hidden products, and rediscover old favourites. This will help you decide what you need to repurchase, and when.

Now that you have everything in front of you, you need to decide whether to keep, throw away, or rehome to a friend. A good place to start is to know the expiry dates of products.

Here’s a rough guideline:

Face
Foundation – Up to one year
Concealer – 12-18 months
Powders – 18 months
Bronzer, blushers and highlighters – 18 months
Cream products such as cream blushers – 12-18 months

Eyes
Mascara – You’ll get an average of four months from your mascara, and it usually starts to dry up before it expires. Keep an eye on this one, you won’t want to be getting nasty eye infections from old mascara.
Eye shadow – 18 months
Eyeliner – 18 months
Liquid eyeliner – Six months

Lips
Lipstick/lip gloss – 18 months
Lip liner – One year

Other
Nail polish – One year
Makeup sponges – Wash regularly, and throw away every few months
Most products display a little icon of an open pot and a number, this will mark the number of months until expiry.

As for your daily make-up bag, make sure you empty it regularly, wipe down the packaging of the products and wash out any dust or bits of product. We all know what it’s like when your eyeliner sharpener opens in the bag, and suddenly everything is black and dusty. Try to empty your bag at least once a month, you’ll feel like everything is much more put together.

How to clear up your garden ready for the summer

How to clear up your garden ready for the summer

Hoorah, its summer…the sun has finally started to shine and we’re all ready to sit out the garden and soak up the rays while the BBQ cooks up a storm. However, your garden has been neglected all year. Worry no more, because if you follow these tips you’ll be able to invite your loved ones round for a BBQ and a Pimms in no time.
Get watering

This time of year will be quite dry so you should ensure that your plants have a constant supply of water which is vital. A top tip is to set yourself a routine of watering the plants regularly so that you fall into the habit. It’s important to stress how important it is to water your plants regularly to ensure that the soil is deeply watered and doesn’t dry out.

Say goodbye to weeds
At this time of year weeds spring to life and just seem to keep on growing and growing! It’s important now its summer that you pull them out; this can be done by using hand tools to pull out the roots. By pulling out the roots, this will maximise the impact of your weeding and minimise the damage to the rest of your garden. A top tip is to only use weed killers if you absolutely have to, as you still want plants to grow and you could make your soil toxic.

Time to mow!
We’ve all been there- you step outside and nearly lose your foot as the grass has gotten so long! It’s time to be reunited with your lawn mower. After you’ve made sure that your plants are all growing healthily you should then prioritise mowing your lawn. A top tip is to never cut more than half the length of the grass off in one go as if you remove too much grass this results in the removal of a lot of water and nutrition from the grass.

Get a water butt
A water butt is a money saving and environmentally friendly device that every UK household should invest in. Water is expensive and our aim is not to waste this valuable resource. The way the water butt works is that you install the water butt under a drainpipe and it then collects rain water which provides a resource for every keen gardener. A tip to consider once you’ve got your water butt is to pick out all the dead leaves and mouldy bits as this is perfect for compost. Another tip is that you can disguise your water butt with reeds or willow panelling which provides a stylish yet low-maintenance look.

Have a general tidy up
Each garden is different but there are general things that will appear in most gardens across the UK and these things should be tidied up to make your garden look its best. If you have children then chances are last summer toys will still be spread across the garden; you should dispose of any outdoor toys or garden furniture that has withered. You should keep on top of the maintenance of your garden by raking up dead twigs and leaves. Other maintenance tips would be to fix any loose fence panels and to oil ant gate hinges. You will be surprised at how much difference a general tidy up will make!

Get your greenhouse looking spotless
If you have a greenhouse then summer is the best time to present it in all its glory. Your greenhouse will be nurturing delicate little bulbs and seeds so it’s important that it’s kept immaculate. You should remove any shades and thoroughly clean the glass; it’s time to get rid of those cobwebs. This will allow as much sun light as possible to get in and ensure your plants flourish.

Avoid the mess

Avoid the mess!

No one wants to be labelled as the messy co-worker so make sure you keep your desk clean and tidy with these fuss free, easy tips which will leave your work area squeaky clean while also maximising your productivity!
Disinfect Regularly
No matter how neat you keep your work area, you shouldn’t forget to disinfect thoroughly! You should ensure that this is done regularly to prevent the build-up of dust, dirt, food stains and any bacteria. A top tip is to keep disinfecting wipes at your desk so that you can quickly give your desk a wipe down; this is inexpensive and fuss free so there’s no excuses! Area’s to focus on would be phones, keyboards, computer mouse and monitor because these are the pieces of equipment you are touching daily.

Avoid eating at your desk
Not only does eating at your desk mean that you’re not getting a sufficient break away from your working environment, but it also has a negative impact of the cleanliness of your work space. Eating at your desk will increase the likelihood of rubbish like paper bags, cups and utensils taking over your desk which creates a messy and unhygienic environment.

Sort out your drawer
Most of us are guilty of just throwing things into drawers where we often forget about them. Some of us even dread going into our drawers as we know the amount of junk we are about to be faced with. A tip to keep your drawer in order would be to invest in dividers. This is a simple way to give everything a place and organise all your things which maximises our productivity; for example compartments for stationary or letters.

Limit Personal Items
Having pictures of our nearest and dearest on our desk gives us motivation to get through the working day, but having several on your desk can be a major distraction and clutters the working area. Instead of multiple photo frames cluttering your desk and causing distraction, a top tip would be creating a desktop background collage of your favourite photos. As the majority of us spend our working days looking at a computer screen, the personalised background is an easy, great way to give you a burst of motivation while keeping your desk clean and tidy.

Put an end to post it notes
Having post it notes stuck all around your desk to remind you of important information makes your desk look unpresentable and messy. Post it notes are also easy to lose and therefore put you in danger of losing the important information you originally used them for. Instead, use your computer or phone to store any reminders or important information.

Tidy your desk before you leave for the day
A top tip to getting into the habit of keeping your desk tidy is to ensure your desk is left in a presentable manner before you go home after the working day. Another bonus of doing so means that the next day your working area is clean and clutter free which gives you a boost to begin the working day.

If in doubt, chuck it out!
Realistically you will never need most of the papers that you are saving on/in your desk, so when in doubt, just chuck it out to reduce cluttering. However, you should double check the importance of the document before chucking it out; if you’re in two minds then make a hard copy so that you have a copy just in case it turns out to be important!

What to look for in a cleaning company

What to look for in a cleaning company

If you are looking for a cleaning company to come and clean at your establishment, there are some key things to look for if you want to pick the right company for the job.

What are their specialities?
If you are looking for an office cleaner then you need a cleaning company that can fit your busy schedule, and that they have the capability to clean however small or large your establishment is. If you are looking for a cleaning company to clean a nightclub then you need to make sure they have experience in doing this and that they have no problem doing the ‘hard jobs’ such as cleaning up sick off the toilet floor.

How many staff do they have?
If you need someone to be there every week at the same time on the same day, then you need them to have a few staff on their books. You don’t want a week of cleaning missed because someone is holiday and there is not enough staff to cover!

Employees
If you work in an office, or even if you are looking for a domestic cleaner, you need to be able to trust the cleaners when they are in the office, so you are going to want to pick a cleaning company that carry out a background check on any potential hires. This way you know that whoever is coming into your building, they have passed a check and they have no history of crime.

How to get the little ones cleaning

How to get the little ones cleaning
Parents – there is nothing worse than going up to the kid’s room and being greeted with a carpet made out of toys and the once clean walls being decorated with crayon marks, so what can you do to encourage the children to get involved with cleaning?

Start with the basics

Teach them the importance of cleaning, why it is important to keep things clean and get them involved when you are cleaning. Make sure they see you cleaning up in the house and tell them why you are doing it. Likelihood is they will try and copy you!

Introduce a reward system
When children are of the age to understand what cleaning means and how they can put their toys away you need to introduce a reward system Start small – if they put their toys away after playing with them, they get to pick a film to watch or a book to read before bed. If they try to make their bed in the morning, give them a treat such as a mini chocolate bar or their favourite snack.

Make it fun

No one likes to spend hours cleaning, but with children you can turn it into a game to make it more fun for them. Tell them that if they don’t put all the toys away by a certain time, then the floor will turn into water and the fish will get them (similar to the floor mats and the floor is lava game). Get them to see cleaning as a game and soon they will be putting away their toys without you even having to ask!