{window treatment wednesday: clean your window treatments}

Get down to spring cleaning this season with your window treatments.

It’s time to tackle spring cleaning tasks, and depending on your routine and available time, you may clean your home from top to bottom, hit a few “must dos” or simply be too busy to even think about it!

If you do have spring cleaning plans, don’t forget about your window coverings. They can really collect dust and need a thorough cleaning periodically. To give us tips on methods and recommendations for cleaning window treatments is Hirshfield’s expert Shannon Scarrella.

  • Blinds, Plantation Shutters and Other Horizontal Products: “On the many horizontal products that are out there, the Swiffer works great,” says Scarrella. “I’m also a fan of the dust clothes that are available. For faux woods, I take a slightly damp rag and wipe it across the slats.”

Read the rest of this entry »

{prepping your home’s interior and exterior}

March 20 marked the first official day of spring, and that means it’s time to start your spring cleaning! Now that the days are longer and the sun is shining abundantly, you’ll want your home’s exterior in great shape to show off your house. When the inevitable April showers arrive, focus on improving your home’s interior. These tips can help!

Old Man Winter spent a lot of time visiting this past season, and exterior finishes were ravaged by the harsh conditions. A fresh coat of paint can go a long way in rejuvenating a home battered by ice, wind, and snow time and again this winter.

Outside, use lush landscape to highlight your home’s best features, whether it’s a large lawn or bay windows. Greenery and bright blooms will add color and vibrancy to your lot, which will continue to flourish as spring turns into summer.

This Old House

Another way to boost curb appeal is through simple changes. Give your windows a good cleaning. Power wash decks and patios. Paint or replace your front door to give your home a whole new look.

 

Design Buzz

Inside, give each room in your house a thorough cleaning. Get rid of clutter and place items you no longer use in storage. Create shelving units or find furniture, baskets, or containers that can keep books, magazines, and remotes out of sight and free of dust.

Architects for Life

For a new, refreshed look in your home, rearrange the layout of your furniture or add slipcovers to give your space a makeover with new patterns, designs, and styles. You can also restore floors by waxing linoleum and steaming carpets.

Update your kitchen and bathroom by replacing hardware. Change knobs, handles, and fixtures with different sizes, shapes, or colors for a whole new look.

 

Kitchen Improved

Make your house the most beautiful on the block! What plans do you have to invigorate your home this season?

{how to tackle spring cleaning!}

There’s new energy in the air.  It’s time to open the windows, let in some fresh air, get out in the garden, and get cranking on that spring cleaning.  I’ll admit I’m not particularly excited about spring cleaning—on a sunny day, I’d much rather kick back on the deck with a good book and a glass of lemonade.  But since I appreciate a clean house, I’d best get started.  Where do I even begin?

When I think of all the “to dos” on my spring cleaning list, it’s overwhelming.  In addition to the deep cleaning, I still have to take care of the kids, go to work, run errands, and get dinner on the table.  However, by breaking down the list into smaller, more realistic tasks, I think I can get it done, bit by bit.

I searched spring cleaning on line and came up with a “to do” list for myself.  Following are some of the things I need to do.

  • Clean and Organize Kitchen Cupboards.  When I look at my kitchen, I groan thinking of this task.  There are a lot of cupboards!  My plan of attack is to pick just one or two to tackle a day and set a time limit.  When the time is up, I’ll finish up that cupboard or drawer and then start again the next day.
  • Flip/Rotate Mattresses.  This one is pretty simple.  When I’m next changing the bedding, it’s a perfect time to flip the mattresses.  I just have to remember to do it.  Ergo, this list!
  • Clean Window Treatments.  I threw some of my curtains in the wash yesterday, the rest need to be dry cleaned.  This is something I’ll set as my goal on a day when my family is having a relatively quiet day.
  • Clean out the Oven, Fridge and Freezer.  I’ll probably break this up into two days.  The day before I’m set to get groceries I’ll clean out the fridge (this way the fridge will be emptier and easier to clean), and the next day while the kids are resting I’ll tackle the freezer and set the oven to self clean.
  • Clean the Carpets.  This’ll be a late-night job that my husband and I can do together after the kids are in bed.  We’ll have to sit down and write it on the calendar or it won’t get done—again I just need to be intentional and carve out the time for it.
  • Wash Windows.  This will need to be done on a weekend afternoon so my husband can play with the kids in the yard while I’m working on the windows.

For your spring cleaning strategy, create a list of what you want to do and break it down into smaller tasks.  To make the time pass by more enjoyably, download some podcasts (if you have an iPod) to listen to or create a “cleaning” play list with upbeat, energetic music.  You can also invest in a headset for your phone and call a friend to chat with while you’re cleaning.  If your kids are old enough to help, recruit them in the projects as well.

Then, before you know it, your house will be sparkling clean.  When I’m done, I think I’ll celebrate with a glass of lemonade and a good book.

{exterior winter cleanup}

With melting snow and a warming sun, I feel like I’ve received a new lease on life! This was a tough and long winter, and I’m itching to be done with the cold, the snow and the dark evenings. But as I’m inspecting the perimeters of my house, I’m finding that winter left behind some wounds that are tough to hide with only a few ceramic flower containers.

So, as I do every spring, I bring out my basic checklist to help me stay on track as I tackle a few maintenance projects in the yard. I start with windows and screens (doesn’t it feel good to have the windows open again?). I remove all screens and lay them on the driveway and spray them with water from the hose and use an all-purpose cleaner to get rid of whatever is left. I let them dry while I clean the windows (inside and outside) and windowsills. Read the rest of this entry »

{put some “spring” into your home!}

Spring is definitely around the corner. As you gear up, here are three simple ways to put some “spring” into your house:

A new arrangement: Go ahead and do your spring cleaning, and while you’re at it rearrange your furniture. Not only will this help you save money by eliminating the need to purchase new décor, but you will also get a fresh take on the season and your style. Make sure you plan out a functional and practical traffic pattern when rearranging furniture - you want your furniture arrangement to accommodate you and your family!

A new outlook: Spring is the perfect time to get started on the redecorating you’ve wanted to do. Think about adding a focal point to your most often used rooms. This can be done with a piece of interesting furniture or art, or by painting one wall with an accent color.

A new view: After you’ve washed those windows from a long winter’s mess, be sure to clean your blinds too. Or better yet, update your window coverings for an easy change that gives the whole room a bright new look. New window treatment options include organic textures and some options can even help increase the energy efficiency of your home!

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