Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fall Cleaning To-Do List

Fall Cleaning List

     The kids are back in school, your needed routine is coming back, and you look at the aftermath of summer all over your home, you know you gotta clean this up. But where do you start?
I have built a great list you can use to make sure that your home is ready to be cleaned up after the busy summer, and prepared for winter that will sneak its way up on us!

Inside Your House

Wash all windows.

Use glass cleaner, or one squirt of dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle filled with water, and wipe down with a microfiber cloth. Pick a cloudy day so you can better see any streaks. To read my blog written back a few years back on how to clean windows visit here.

Vacuum dusty canvas, cotton, and treated fabric blinds.

Use a low setting with a brush attachment. Vinyl shades can be wiped down with a dampened microfiber cloth if they need a little more attention.

Moderately dirty window treatments need a two-step approach.

Start by dusting or vacuuming the valance and frame, then vacuum from top to bottom using the upholstery attachment for drapes, and the brush attachment for blinds. Or submerge blinds or shades in a few inches of cool water and two teaspoons of dishwashing liquid (check labels first to make sure this is safe). Take out the metal weights first; they can rust.

If your window coverings are very dirty, check labels for cleaning instructions.

Some cotton, polyester, rayon, and wool drapes can be machine washed on delicate. Always send lace, linen, satin, and silk drapes and shades to a professional cleaner.

Clean the walls.

Dust, wash, rinse, and dry painted or wood-paneled walls. This can easily be done by us if you don’t have the spare time. Its $30 an hour for our maid service, with a 4 hour minimum.

Clean ceiling-mounted light fixtures.
Vacuum and spot-clean upholstered furniture and cushions.

Deep-clean if necessary.

Wipe down the kitchen cupboards.

Empty them, wash them down, replace liners (if you use them), declutter, and reorganize. You also could hire us to do a Kitchen Makeover, depending on the size of the kitchen and pantry packages can start at $180.

Dust off the refrigerator condenser coil.

Use your vacuum’s brush attachment and gently vacuum it.

Do the carpets.

Have carpets professionally steam cleaned by us, if needed. Rates start at $30 a room, and we service the highest quality of eco-friendly steam cleaning, NOT shampooing which can lead to mold. We disinfect, kill dust mites, and viruses. For a FREE estimate call us at 484-903-9808.

Evaluate any wooden floors.

Have scratched or dull wood floors professionally scuff-sanded and recoated, or completely refinished. We have a great product from Bona that is a polish that should be applied every 6 months. It’s a complete recoating on your floors that make your floors look brand new!

Spruce up your computer.

Dust the CPU, clean and wipe down the keyboard, and dust off the monitor with a microfiber cloth.

Straighten the closets.

Declutter and reorganize. This can be very over whelming, if you are in need of help you can call us for some organization help at $35 an hour.

Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Or install them, if you haven’t yet.

Replace the furnace filter.

If you haven’t changed your furnace filter within the past three months, do so now.

Sweep the chimneys.

Have the wood-burning fireplace and stove flues and chimneys professionally inspected and swept.

Declutter and clean out the attic.


Outside Your House

Check weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows.

Repair or replace as needed.

Check and clean the gutters.

Do the downspouts, too.

Clean the patio furniture.

Then store away.

Drain and store garden hoses.
Check the exterior paint.

Touch up as needed.

Drain the pool, if applicable.

Close it up for the year.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

June Newsletter

June Monthly Newsletter • (484)903-9808
                Summer is here. Schools are letting out, the heat is coming in. I bet you’re realizing that your grill needs a scrub, the garage is packed full, and your outdoor furniture needs to be hosed down! Sounds like beginning of summer to me!
                I remember back to when I was a child, summers meant fun and games. It also meant running around the neighborhood till dark, late pool nights with friends and the infamous drive in! It all sounds so perfect. Then you grow up. You realize it’s actually 3 months of trying to keep track of the kids, having an off sleep schedule and spending a lot more money than normal. You start to learn quickly that you need to plan these things into an already busy schedule or you will end up crazy, tired and broke. So I hope this blog can help you avoid some of the madness!
Organization Idea of the Month

Being a single mom since I was young, I have learned that Yard Sales are yearly savings havens. Not only are you putting your hard earned cash into your local community, but you are always getting a sweet deal!
Yes you could stop by every yard sale and feel obligated to buy at least one thing at each, but then you always end up with way too much stuff that leads to built up clutter!
Or you could use this season of garage sales to enhance your home and pocketbook instead. Just read through this blog and actually use the information that you have been given! It works! Every time!
4 Ways to Prepare for Yard Sale Season:
1. Gather supplies for your shopping
Each year I assemble a small bag filled with supplies that come in handy while out yard sale shopping.
Inside the bag I keep:
A:   A small notebook filled with needs, wants, and measurements.
B:   A pen to write down locations of sales that had items such as clothes the right size for my children.  That way I can keep an eye open for more yard sales from them in future years.
C:   A measuring tape to measure small furniture finds so I know for sure that my finds will fit where I want them too.
D:   A few double and triple A batteries to test toys and electronics.
2. Go through your home room by room and write down your needs and wants
I take one afternoon to go through the whole house room by room and make notes in my yard sale shopping notebook. For instance I might be in the family room and decide I would really like to upgrade our end tables to larger ones, so I will write down “new end tables” with the measurements of the space beside it. When I reach the children’s bedrooms I go through their closest and mark down clothing needs and sizes.
3. Decide what you have to spend
Every April and June I set the budget for the upcoming yard sale season. I base it on what needs are on our list and what we can afford for wants. Some years I have been able to pad the yard sale envelope with enough for a few splurges, other years it has been essentials only.
4. Network with Other Yard Sale Shoppers
Once you have yard sale shopped in one community a while, chances are you will begin to make yard sale shopping neighborhoods and buddies. These buddies are great sources of information. During the season they can tell you what sales are worth stopping at and which ones to skip.
You also can check out craigslist, so you can see what they are selling and what kinds of items are where. And you can also check out some apps on your phone to be able to find them!
·         Garage Sale Rover
·         Garage Sales by Map – Free
·         Garage Sale Wizards
·         Private Garage Sale
These 4 tips will put in you in excellent shape for yard sale season.

Cleaning Idea of the Month

                So a friend of mine posted this blog on Facebook about how to clean in between the 2 panes of glass on the oven door. And I was so eager to read it, and clean this massive drip that happened last year and so I ran checked to see if I had a torx screwdriver of my own. And I ran and found a torx screwdriver, and immediately ran like a giddy child to go pull my oven door apart to clean between the glasses. Then to my surprise I needed a different kind of screwdriver then what I had. So I ran to Home Depot and just bought this Swiss Army Knife, look alike, with 24 different kinds of screw drivers. It was $6 and totally worth it. So go enjoy a clean oven!
                First you need to scrub out your oven, sorry, but this is the perfect excuse to finally clean it after the holidays. And find the correct screwdriver and unscrew the 2 screws at the corners of the inside of the door. Have a chair or be ready to grab the glass face of the door if it falls. And start to pull them a part.
                The inside of the door was relatively clean. It had a big tomato sauce drip mark, and some burnt remains at the bottom. But I just took some vinegar water and wiped everything out with a paper towel or microfiber rag.  Then I gently fused the door faces together and screwed them together. Now it is sparkling clean!
*Make sure the door is closing correctly to make sure it is done well before baking next time.*

Craft of the Month
                This is the time of year is when the birds come out, start to nest, and greet us every morning. To reward them for their song, you can make them a bird feeder. I’m sure it would be appreciated!
                To make a good bird feeder, you want one that can be blown in the wind without emptying, and one that doesn’t need to be refilled every week. So here is a fun, easy bird feeder that can be free of charge.
A great simple bird feeder is to take a soda bottle and some old wooden spoons. (or you can get a pack at the dollar store)
Grab a pair of scissors and cut into one side of the 2 liter soda bottle a 2x2 inch square and on the other side where the spoon would exit make an “X” cut into the plastic and push the spoon through the “X”. Do this 2 more times.
Grab some twine or string and knot around the bottle neck, make its secure so that you can pull on it and it will not slip off.
Grab a funnel and fill the bottle with your bird seed and hang in a tree nearby!
Enjoy the beautiful birds that will soon call your backyard home!

Healthy Idea of the Month

Now is the time of year weight loss is on everyone’s mind. Summer is right around the corner, you are trying to fit into last year’s jeans, and it is almost as if everything shrunk. I’m not saying gaining weight isn’t healthy, I’m not saying that at all. It’s only unhealthy if you are not exercising and not eating correctly.
So making sure that you are being physically active is so important, and with this great weather it is wonderful to go on a long walk, a run or just go play ball with the kids in the park for a few hours! Or you could try what is my personal favorite way to stay healthy is, going to my gym.
My gym is not like your gym. That I can promise. It’s called Sweat like A Girl. It’s a female only gym that is designed to empower, strengthen, and motivate you. It isn’t a gym where you check in and check out. It is a team effort supported by everyone in the room with online workouts, monthly events, and even challenges always coming and going. They have all kinds of workouts, from group classes and personal training, all the way to pole fitness!
I encourage you to try them out for free! And check out their website or Facebook page.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Car Organization

Car Organization

Even though it’s officially spring, many more moments of fresh air, flowers, and mud are about to come. You and I (and every other person on the road) may be getting that feeling of “Ukk!” when we get in our cars. We all need a winter blues over haul on our vehicles. Maybe you’ve found things under your seats you didn’t even know existed; yet somehow your family got a hold of it and decided to stash it. Cleaning is the first step to get your car ready for those park excursions, road trips, sports, and vacations. Let’s make some lists of needs in your car to accomplish the overhaul. We will break your car down into 4 sections.

Before we break down the sections, here are some general tips for keeping your car clean:

·         Keep a garbage bag or bin in the front and back seats

·         Empty your car of all trash and clean-up the back seat every time you pump gas

·         Make sure that your kids bring in all of their items every time you arrive at home

Section 1: This area needs to be in perfect order at all times. Safety is first while driving. Let’s be honest, if your child hands you a sticky juice box to throw out, you probably don’t pull over to safely place it in the garbage can. Let’s say you do what most moms do - accept the juice box and the gross stickiness that comes with it. Now you need hand sanitizer without having to take your eyes off the road. That is where I come in. Here’s a list to help you out.

Things needed in arms reach of a mother:

  • Grocery Bags (put in side pocket on door)
  • Garbage
  • Pen and Pencils
  • Scissors
  • Notepad
  • Nail file
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Healthy Snack
  • Lotion
  • Tampons
  • Tissues, napkins (or a roll of toilet paper)
  • Baby wipes
  • Mints
  • Hair ties and clips
  • Chapstick

First, clean your console and leave only the items you’ll need when driving. Then, a great way to keep the items of this list organized and in-reach is to use a pen holder in your console. Make sure its small enough that the top of the console can shut (same thing applies to the height of your antibacterial pump – you don’t want it squirting every time you close your console!). How you arrange the items in your console is SO important to keeping everything where it should be without everything caving in when you pull one thing out. Arrange small items in one section next to larger items that will not be pulled out (e.g. the pencil holder and antibacterial would not be moved). Also, if you have dash board holders, use them for smaller items and leave the console for larger items.

Section 2:

The glove compartment should not have gloves in it - a man named that one! The glove compartment should have items you need while you are in the front seat of your car, yet you should not need to grab while driving. You should have some of these items in your glove compartment:

  • Pain reliever, adult and kids
  • Backup Medications
  • Small First Aid kit
  • Phone charger (normal and card outlet)
  • Flash light
  • Lint roller
  • Emergency info in a Coupon Holder:-

·         Contact information with phone number

·         Registration

·         Insurance details

·         Copies of driver license of you and significant other Remember, this does NOT replace the actual driver license card. This is an emergency measure in case you have to leave without your wallet. For identity security reasons you may choose not to include this information..

·         4 or 5 small notes with insurance details and contact information that you might need to exchange in case of an accident

·         Emergency contact numbers

·         A few dollars in smaller bills in a small envelope.

·         Pen and note pad

Section 3:

     There are many clever ways to organize the items in your seats, but always remember that the main point of seats is to let people sit in them!

     An underutilized area that I really like to use for storage and organization is the back of the front seats. This is especially important, not only for storing personal items you need to drive, but also for storing items that will keep your kids occupied in the backseat. Happy kids don’t pose safety issues and distractions like screaming and kicking the back of the seat! Back of the seat organizers can be a life saver. They can hold a snack, drink (something non-staining, like water), some toys, wet wipes, and diapers. Even if you don't have kids, these back of the seat organizers can be wonderful. They can hold the stuff you often use, like tissues, umbrellas, maps, etc.

     When organizing your car, please take into account the chance of a car accident. Make sure these items are securely fastened to the seat and that they won’t fly out easily. Also, don’t put items on the seat itself that can be moved in an accident. If you have bucket seats, you can always use a side pocket holder. There is a company here in the Lehigh Valley called Super Car Seat Geek. They will inspect your children’s car seats to make sure they are installed correctly – free of charge. Visit them at

While I haven't discussed them much, make sure you don't forget to organize and declutter these additional areas in your car's interior:

  • Side door pockets

  • Built- in ash trays or small holders for stuff throughout the vehicle (These are a magnet for kid trash. Vigilantly declutter them!)
  • Cup holders

Section 4:
      The trunk. What a marvelous place to have! When I was shopping for my car I told my daughter to climb in them and roll around (which made the experience so much more fun for her),  and tell me if she thought she could sleep in it. If she could sleep in it, it was an option, because the trunk is so important to hold all you need for an emergency, convenience situations, and for your daily haul.

      If you have small ones, you should find an appropriate sized box and keep it stocked with paper towels, Lysol wipes, gallon size trash bags, extra diapers, the Fisher Price Potty-on-the-Go (worth its weight in gold…actually it’s very light), and a backpack with back-up clothes and socks for everyone. This is needed for a little one’s accident, which happens so often.

      Carrying around those particular things is not as necessary now that my child is a bit older. If your circumstances have changed like mine, you may have graduated to kids' sporting events and may need folding chairs instead of some of the other items. Bottom line – be prepared for any outing!

Items you may want to keep for emergencies and first aid:

  • Basic first aid supplies  
  • Some water bottles, snacks hand warmers, a deck of cards.
  • Weather related supplies: blanket, umbrella, ice scraper, sand for traction, spray deicer, etc.
  • Auto supplies: fuses, jumper cables, tire jack, properly inflated spare tire (most likely your car already has a place to hold one of these)
  • Safety supplies:  map, flares or reflector triangles, flashlight, extra batteries

All of these items can be stored nicely in milk crates that are zip tied together, so you can have open space in your trunk. Enjoy your car. Enjoy this spring. And above all, enjoy your sanity!