July Monthly Newsletter
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How are you surviving summer so far? Hopefully you are enjoying the warm sun, the laughing children, and the sticky popsicle messes. Being home with the children can take a toll on your home however; so if you feel overwhelmed, you can call us in for some closet organization, some in-depth cleaning or some special attention on your patio, windows, cabinets, or refrigerator. Taking the extra step with us will not only help you, it can change your life.
Charity of the Month
This July we will be donating our 5% to a non-profit organization called Practical Family Living. They are all about helping YOU with life skills. PFL.org provides "fully loaded" information and guidance for personal and family issues. This up to date information is provided by well-seasoned, licensed, professional therapists from the Center For Family Healing. For more information you can go to http://pfl.org.
Organization Idea of the Month
Have you opened up your medicine cabinet, thrown something in, and slammed the door? Let’s fix that.
Step 1: Categorize all of your medications. Categorize them into groups: Pain Meds, Cold & Sinus, Ice Packs & Wraps, etc.
Step 2: Make sure to check the expiration date on each item in the medicine box. You don’t want to use anything that has expired. Also get rid of all of the bulky boxes that are in your medicine cabinet before. All boxes do is take up unnecessary space. Take things out of the boxes and you’ll be surprised how much easier they fit!
Step 3: Properly label each box. Bust out the label maker, or if you don’t have one, use a permanent marker. Also purchase a small set of plastic drawers for all of the little things. When you buy a box of band aids, dump it in the band aid drawer and it makes them much easier to access when you need one. Also have a drawer for neosporin, poison oak cream, etc. Ointments are too small for a whole box so you can give them their own drawer instead. The only things that may not fit in the boxes are the alcohol and hydrogen peroxide bottles. Now you have plenty of room – so enjoy!
Cleaning Idea of the Month
Oh, laundry, laundry, laundry…Is it just me or is the fact that the kids are back from school I feel as if my laundry machine is constantly running. I discover new clothing every day and the kids are finding new ways to get them dirty. Let’s deal with this head-on or we will lose our heads!
Are your washer and dryer clean? When was the last time you have cleaned it? If not, every 3 months you should be running a load of just vinegar or lemon juice 3 cups per load. It’s cheap, it disinfects, and gets out the mold.
Next – you must understand this – you need to get to stains ASAP. First, blot the stain, do not rub, to absorb excess liquid before it soaks in deeper. Rubbing will just rub the stain in deeper; it will not remove it. For solid stains, such as mud, you should scrape it off with a butter knife before you attempt to clean the stain. Sometimes simple household products are perfect for removing stains without having to purchase a stain removal product. For example, hydrogen peroxide removes organic stains such as blood. Be sure to test this in a hidden spot before using on your clothes, however. Peroxide can bleach dark fabrics. Another example of a simple stain remover is white vinegar. It can be used full-strength on underarm stains or diluted with water and sprayed on tomato-based stains or mustard. Vinegar also removes grass stains. The type of stain you have will dictate how it is removed. Protein-based stains such as mud, milk or urine should be dissolved in cold water before laundering. Agitate the garment in cold water until the stain is gone. Then wash as usual in warm water. Hot water will set the stain in the fabric. Tannins such as coffee, tea or berries can be removed with liquid laundry detergent and warm water. Oily stains can be removed with a dishwashing liquid (not dishwasher detergent) and then washed as usual. Home remedies such as vinegar, peroxide or lemon may bleach fabric so they should be tested on an inside seam first before using it on the stain. Salt can help restore vivid colors to your aging fabrics. To stop color bleeding, add 1/2 cup of salt to the wash cycle. To remove yellowing, boil yellowed cotton or linen fabrics in a mixture of water, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1/4 cup baking soda. Soak the fabric for 1 hour. So go now and fight a good fight!
Craft of the Month
I found a recipe called the “World’s Best Bubbles”, so I gave it a try. I usually buy the massive jug at the store for a $1, but I thought it would be fun to see if this recipe was really any better. We went to a store and bought a bubble wand for $1.00, then went home and made our bubble mix.
The World’s Best Bubbles
1 1/2 quarts of water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup liquid dish soap
Mix water and corn syrup until completely blended. Slowly stir in soap. Will last several weeks in an airtight container.
Healthy Idea of the Month
To keep the kids busy this summer shouldn’t be a chore for you, it should be a chore for them! It is needed to help them learn to do things on their own, things they will need to know in the future and how they are to contribute in their own home. Here are some topics that help them do chores around the house.
Think: Clean is better than dirty.
When they say: Why bother cleaning? For one thing, it makes a space look nicer. Doesn't the living room look prettier when the glass-top coffee table gleams? And then there are the practical concerns: How much easier is it to find your favorite shirt when all of your clothing is in the closet instead of in a pile? And of course, an unclean home just isn't healthy. Keep it simple: Germs can cause sickness, and mold and dust can trigger allergies. This approach may get a positive reaction.
Think: Keep it appealing!
Make a chart: Most kids, especially under the age of 12, love charts. Especially colorful ones that move in some way, like a job wheel, or require the use of crayons or markers, like a bar graph that must be filled in with the completion of a job. Together, sit down and create a job wheel that your child spins each cleaning day, or a graph your child fills in with the completion of each task or time period (10 minutes of cleaning, for instance, fills in a box). You may find it adds a sense of control (for your child) and excitement to the task at hand.
Make it Fun: If there are any guarantees in childhood, one has got to be the love of all things game-like. Turn cleaning into a game or a competition, and chances are your kid will be pretty into it. This might mean timing a task and setting a challenge to break the record, or maybe seeing who can fill a bucket with weeds the fastest.
Make it Their Own: Being told what to do and how to do it is simply part of being a child; but that doesn't mean children like it. One way to make cleaning more palatable is to let your child set the schedule, deciding the order in which jobs will be done, and picking out his or her own tools.
Provide Incentives: For 16-year-olds, and 8-year-olds for that matter, you'll want to give them a totally selfish motivation to mop: rewards.
Keep it Short: A 10 or 20 minute cleaning session is going to be so much easier on everyone than a one or two hour cleaning marathon. Keep it short.