Archive for February, 2015

5 Housekeeping Goals and Super Easy Ways to Achieve Them

February 28, 2015

If every year you start out January with good intentions of cleaning, sorting and donating all your old and unwanted items, but then find yourself losing momentum in March, you’re not alone! Many people adhere to resolutions only for a short time. It’s often a better strategy to set realistic and firm goals in order to keep your resolutions. Here are five common housekeeping goals and ways to keep them this year:

 

1.) Trimming Your Cleaning Budget-There are many ways to stretch your dollars and cents, the best thing to do is to find ways to not spend a lot on products and tools. There are countless recipes for creating homemade cleaning solutions available for free online. Another smart strategy? Look for giveaways, coupons and freebies online. Check here for information on current contests and promotions that are available for entering. Prizes include money, grocery cash and vacations.

 

2.) Speedier Cleaning-Crank up your favorite Beyoncé song or rock out to Maroon 5. Cleaning can be made more speedy and enjoyable if you add music to the mix. Other top tips? Clean your least favorite room first, keep cleaning supplies grouped together and don’t let messes pile up. Daily dishes are a lot easier to manage than a week’s worth of plates and utensils.

 

3.) Clutter Cutbacks-Hoarding is the enemy of a clean home. If you are a clutter bug and love your papers, collectibles and books, you’re more likely to live in a messy dwelling. If you can reduce your mountains of miscellaneous, you’ll have more cleaning energy and space for new things. Remember that stuff begets stuff.

 

4.) Managing Fledgling Motivation-If you can’t seem to get motivated to keep your house clean, have a standing dinner party-hosting gig. No one wants guests to see a messy and mismanaged home. If you’ve got a regular social date with friends at your house, you’ll be forced to keep things neat and tidy.

5.) Enlist Everyone

A clean house involves contributions from all members. Whether you have a weekly family meeting or chore charts, it’s important to make each member of the house feel valuable and accountable. Teaching everyone responsibility will ensure that a home stays clean. When all the family members are pitching in, a home will be effortless to keep clean.

Get the Dish: 8 Quick Tips on How to Load Your Dishwasher

February 24, 2015

If you’ve ever lived without a dishwasher, you know the praise and adoration you should have for this mighty home appliance. Not only does it save considerable time, it can even be used to sterilize makeup brushes and toothbrushes, clean baseball caps and wash the skin on dirty potatoes.

 

And if you’re not looking to scrub that Yankees cap clean or degunk your blush brush, here are some other tips for maximizing your dishwasher’s potential:

 

1.) Dishes and plates should face toward the center sprayer.

 

2.) Glasses should go between the dishwasher prongs and not over them.

 

3.) Always scrape plates thoroughly rather than soak or rinse.

 

4.) Load forks, spoons and knives with some handles facing up and others down so they don’t block one another.

 

5.) Place larger dishes and oversized pans towards the back of the washer so they don’t crowd the detergent chamber.

 

6.) Place fragile glassware on the top rack to keep them free from the intensity of the bottom sprayer.

 

7.) Try threading larger and longer utensils like baking spoons and spatulas through coffee mugs handles to keep them secure during the wash cycle.

 

8.) Stack bowls on a downward incline so they can be properly cleaned and keep items like Tupperware or plastics on the top rack (this will prevent warping).

 

Interested in creating your own dishwasher soap? Follow this quick and easy DIY Recipe

 

5 Reasons to Free Your Wife from Housework

February 20, 2015

Arguments about cleaning and the division of household chores can cause tension and strife in an otherwise happy relationship. Women are still the ones doing the majority of housework and are often relegated to a ‘second shift’ of cleaning and errands even after they’ve gotten off work. While there are many families with men and women both actively participating in running the household, studies have found that men have more leisure and ‘me time’ than their wife/mom counterparts. If you’d like the woman in your life to enjoy more time to herself, here are 5 concrete reasons to let her spend more time free of housework:

 

1.) Less Stress

When your wife is able to enjoy a glass of wine and a good book or a spa day or even have time for a special girls day out, she’ll feel more energized and excited about life. A wife that is less stressed and burdened will radiate more calm and her household will be more blissful. Don’t let overwhelming housework tasks cause strain and stress on your relationship.

 

2.) Happier Union

Marriages are stronger when a family has time to spend together. Whether it’s going to the zoo or having a dinner outside the home, marriages blossom and flourish when there is time for activities. If your wife is always busy and preoccupied with dishes, vacuuming, washing windows and dusting, there will be less time for family bonding.

 

3.) Healthier Partners

If your wife has more time to go to the rec center for her favorite fitness class or prepare healthier meals, she’ll have a fitter physical self and more longevity. With less cleaning to be accomplished, she’ll feel free to take a long walk outside or go to that new yoga studio down the street and her mind and body will benefit.

 

4.) Attitude Adjustment

When your wife is beleaguered and bogged down with household chores in addition to being the momager of the household, she feels constant stress and pressure and loses her optimism. No one wants to spend all their free time cleaning and organizing. When your wife or partner is free from household obligations, she’ll feel lighter and cheerier.

 

5.) Passion Party

When your wife is absolved from the myriad of cleaning responsibilities of every day life, she’ll have more time for rest, relaxation and be more inclined to being amorous. If your ladylove is liberated from daily chores, she’ll have more free time to spend in the bedroom. 😉

5 Reasons Why You Should Say “Yes” More Often

February 16, 2015

Saying, “No” is so easy because it keeps you in your comfort zone.  If you never take any risks, you will never experience the rewards.

 

Here are 5 reasons why you should nix the “Nos” and just say, “Yes”!

 

  1. It enhances your personal relationships. Whether that means meeting new and interesting people, or enhancing existing friendships, this one little word can have a huge impact on the way you live your life.  Saying, “Yes” can even enhance your romantic relationship.  Having your own hobbies is great, but you learn new things about each other when you try new things together.

 

  1.  It opens doors.  (Saying “Yes” gets you out of the house!)  Plus, every time you say “Yes” to something that you would normally say “No” to, you give yourself an opportunity to enrich your life.  You can gain a skill, find a new hobby, or just experience something new and different.

 

  1. 3. It boosts your confidence and self-worth.  Saying, “Yes” when someone asks you to try something new gives you an opportunity to find something new that you’re good at.  When you do something outside of your comfort zone, it lets you see another side of yourself.  The fun, adventurous side that you never even knew existed!

 

  1.  It provides momentum for your life to move forward.  “If we always do what we’ve always done, we will always get what we’ve always gotten.”  Let’s face it.  Life is moving and changing all the time.  If you’re standing still, the world is going to move on without you.  We all know you’ve changed at least a little over the years, unless you’re still rocking the blue eye shadow and crimped hair.  (Which is a case when it’s actually okay to say, “No.”)

 

  1. Saying, “Yes” pummels regret.  We’ve all heard the saying “When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did.”  This is so true.  While saying, “Yes” isn’t always going to lead to a wonderful outcome; it does prevent you from wondering what might have happened.

 

Pay attention to the way your mouth naturally forms a smile when you say the word, “Yes.”  Coincidence?  I think not!

 

Oops! 5 Things You’re Forgetting but Need to Clean

February 15, 2015

Cleaning the kitchen is a given. Scrubbing toilets is a frequent pastime. Wiping floors and countertops is a foregone conclusion. But how often do you remember to clean those other items in your life that you use daily? Here are 5 items that need your cleaning attention stat!

 

1.) Winter Wardrobe Staples

Gloves, scarves and winter jackets all need to be cleaned just like other clothing items. Using these items on a regular basis allows them to accumulate dirt, dead skin and all sorts of bad bacteria. Also, pets can harbor pathogens, which can find their way onto clothing outerwear. It’s important to launder winter garments and wipe leather gloves and jackets with cleansing cloths.

 

2.) Grimy Gym Bags

Frequently toted to a place where floors are covered in sweat, workout bags are the perfect place for nasty microbes to find a home. Sweat covered clothing and dirty socks are transported along with sweaty headsets and tennis shoes. If your go-to gym tote is machine washable, throw that sucker in the washing machine for a mean clean. If the bag is not laundry-friendly, wipe it down with disinfecting cloths and sprinkle in some baking soda to absorb odors.

 

3.) Brooms and Mops

Cleaning tools need to be scrub a dub dubbed just as much as any other item. Dust, dirt and even spider webs can find a happy home inside the broom bristles. It’s important to regularly vacuum a broom and run it under warm water or better yet, soak in a bath of bleach, soap and water. A mop can be soaked in warm, soapy water, while a string mop can be thrown in the washing machine on delicate.

 

4.) Electronic Devices

A TV remote can be one of the most dirt-laden items in a house. And cellphones are oftentimes the most crud crusted in all the land. Cleaning electronics is easy with alcohol wipes or microfiber cleansing pads. For remotes, try a regular swipe and wipe with disinfecting cleansing cloths.

 

5.) Makeup Brushes

Almost every woman owns some cosmetic product or beautifying foundation, mascara or blush. Moreover, women apply their cosmetics with makeup brushes that are bountiful bacteria keepers. For cleaning these tools, wash them with shampoo until the water runs clear or try special makeup brush cleaners that are often comprised of alcohol or other bacteria busting ingredients.

Awesome Apps to Revamp your Resolution

February 5, 2015

Alright, guys.  It’s officially February.  Remember that promise you made to yourself at midnight as we rolled into 2015?  Some of us have powered through the first 30-day hurdle, but all too many of us have fallen off the proverbial wagon.

No matter the resolution, it’s not too late to get back on track with the help of a little technology!  Here are 5 resolutions and the perfect apps to keep them!

 

Resolution: Get Healthy

My Fitness Pal – MFP tracks both your diet and exercise.  By answering a few questions about your age, activity level, and overall goal, the app calculates attainable healthy short-term goals which are much more efficient.

Lose It – This app customizes a weight loss plan to your needs.  It also has the benefit of peer support.  Achieving our healthy living goals are always easier when you have someone in your corner who is going through it with you.

 

Water Logged – Drinking an adequate amount of water is so important when it comes to getting healthy.  Waterlogged is an app where you can log the amount of water that you drink, and show you how much more you need to reach your daily goal.

 

Resolution 2: Quit Smoking

LIVESTRONG MyQuit Coach – This app gives you support whether you choose to quit cold-turkey, or are looking for more of a step-down approach that decreases your nicotine intake slowly over time.

Get Rich or Die Smoking –This app calculates the amount you save daily by not smoking, and shows you what you can now afford since you haven’t spent your money on cigarettes.  It also unlocks short term as well as long-term health benefits of quitting.  It really is a fun way to look at the perks of kicking the habit!

 

Resolution 3: Finance and Budget Improvement

Mint.com – This financial tracking app syncs with your bank account automatically and allows you to easily track your budget and spending.  Seeing it all laid out for you, you may be surprised to see exactly where your money goes.

 

Credit Karma – These days our identity is directly tied to a 3 digit number.  This number decides how much we pay in interest on a home or auto loan, and can even affect whether or not we get that new job we’ve been wanting.  Credit Karma is a free way for you to keep track of your credit score, as well as keeping an eye out for identity thieves.

 

Resolution 4: Increase Productivity

Any.DO – Whether it’s a task you need completed today or tomorrow, or it’s simply a life goal that you would like completed one day in the future, Any.DO is going to help you keep track of what needs to be done using task management and list making.

 

Cozi – The great thing about Cozi is its ability to keep an entire family on track.  Everyone sets up their own username and you can assign tasks, make notes, and add items to a family calendar that you can keep track of via computer, tablet, or mobile phone.

 

Resolution 5: Time Management

RescueTime – How much time do you actually spend on Facebook every day?  Let’s find out!  This app is monitors browser productivity and sends you a weekly email report to show you how you spent most of your time.  Great way to stay accountable for where your time is really spent.

 

Focus Booster – This app is based on the Pomodoro method, which theorizes that mental agility can be improved by breaking tasks up into intervals.  Once you press start on the app, it sets a timer for 25 minutes of “focus time.”  After this, it gives you 5 minutes of “break time” so that your brain has a second to rest, and then it’s back to the grind for another 25 minutes.  The app even has an optional second tick that will help you use your time wisely by staying on track.

Know another app that might help someone get out of a Resolution Rut?  Leave us a comment below!