Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spring cleaning: Living areas + Home Office

Hello everyone!
Today we'll finish our spring cleaning with all shared areas of our home + home-office.

{house beautiful}

As we talked last time, we should always clean from top to bottom and on this areas we'll apply the same system for dusting, washing windows and cleaning walls as we did in our bedrooms.

Walls:  As we saw before, it is very important to clean your walls as well.  Start from corners and edges with the help of a pole and microfiber cloth to remove dust, etc.
Also, clean all picture frames.

Ceiling fan:  With a microfiber cloth and a little dish soap.  With the help of a sturdy step ladder make sure you clean the top of every blade.

Windows:  Never wash windows on a sunny day.  The sun will dry the liquid before you even start wiping and that will leave streaks.

Couches:  Vacuum cushions and under cushions too!  You'll find all sorts of items such as cereal, cookie crumbs, oh and those keys you couldn't find for the last few week?  Found them!
Tip:  Check cleaning/washing instructions of slipcovers, many of them are washable.  Please note that if they are washable they might shrink if you put them in the dryer so to play safe, air dry them :)

Home Office
The same system above applies for home-office.  If you want to go beyond cleaning surfaces this is a great time to organize your files.  Make sure you keep only what you really need such as insurance policies, contracts, agreement letters, etc.

eclectic home office by Susan Hopkins at least three different shades of white
{via pinterest}

Anjie's Feng Shui tip for living areas
Make sure all your windows are really clean!  The windows represent the eyes of the inhabitants.  If they are dirty and cloudy, take special care to wash them well, the inside and outside.  Make sure the frames are in good repair so you can open and close them easily.  In Feng Shui, the windows should be clear and easy open, so you can feel seen and heard as well as nourished.

Thanks Anjie for that great tip!  Please make sure you visit Anjie's Holistic Spaces for more great tips!

And what about you, do you have a favorite spring cleaning tip?  Please share yours with us!

Thanks for reading!


Friday, April 26, 2013

Spring Cleaning: Bedrooms

Hello my friends!
We continue deep-cleaning our home this week and today we'll do the bedroom!  Again, we are having another nice tip from Architect, Interior Designer and Feng Shui Consultant, my friend Anjie Cho.  
So let's get started!
When cleaning any space of your home, always do from top to bottom and bedroom is not the exception.  

1. Windows:  Wash windows with a microfiber cloth using water and dish soap, this works much faster than window cleaner and paper towel.

2. Blinds:  Close your blinds and clean with a dry cloth (or swiffer) in the same direction the blades are.  You can also use an old clean sock and do one by one.

3. Drapes:  Make sure you read the instructions before putting them in the washer/dryer.  Some of them are strictly "Dry cleaning only".

4. Clean walls:  Yes... we should clean our walls too!  You will be amazed at how much dust walls accumulate.  Take your pictures and frames down and with the help of a swiffer and a dry cloth clean starting from the top at the edge where the walls meets with celling.

5. Bed:  Wash all sheets, duvet cover and mattress pad in hot water.
Ever wonder why sheets in hotel rooms don't get messy at the bottom?  To do it hotel style, make sure you tuck the bottom of your sheets first and then the sides.  Like the pictures below.

How to make a bedHow to make a bed
{my home ideas}

6. Mattress:  We should flip the mattress at least once a year.  If you are by yourself and can't do it, vacuum the mattress with the upholstery vacuum accessory.

7. Pillows:  It is recommended to wash your pillows once or twice a year.  Check the washing instruction and make sure if they are down or synthetic.  For down you should dry them in high temperature; for synthetic, medium is better as high temperature might burn the inside.  Make sure they are completely dry as damped insert might cause mold.
You can also skip the wash cycle and just put them in the dryer.  The heat will kill germs and bacteria.
Tip:  Put a couple of tennis balls in the dryer to make them fluffy again!

8. Headboards:  Vacuum upholstered headboard with vacuum accessories.   With a damped cloth wipe down wood headboard and bed frame.

9. Vacuum:  With the help of vacuum brush clean baseboards and window sills and finally vacuum all floors making sure you move chairs, shoes from closets, everything you might have under your bed.  Even if you have wood floor vacuum is always better than broom.
Finally mop all your floors.

Anjie's Feng Shui tip is for bedrooms:
Our bedrooms are tied closely to our personal energy because we spend a lot of passive time in the bedroom sleeping.  So, while you're spring cleaning, don't forget to clean underneath the bed!  Clutter under the bed symbolizes subconscious blocks in your personal life and relationships.  This is an ideal time to re-organize and clear out any clutter and anything you haven't used in the last three years.  Also make sure that if you must have storage under the bed, everything should be soft and bed related.

Thank you for that great tip Anjie!
How about you ladies, Do you keep storage under your bed?

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spring cleaning: Kitchen

Hello everyone!
Today we'll take care of our kitchen.  I recently reorganized my pantry and let me tell you it feel so nice to know exactly what you have and find it when you need it!  You can find the whole process here and here.
And today my friend Anjie Cho is visiting again for another cool Feng Sui tip!

The kitchen is the place with most traffic in the house and therefore the one that gets dirty more easily.  You will want to make sure your countertops are disinfected as well as floors. 

1. Oven:  You can make a paste of baking soda and vinegar, apply to oven and let it do its work while you work on the rest of the kitchen.  Want to try something stronger in the oven?  Then you will love this paste, the only natural product I've found that actually works.  It is truly amazing!

2.  Refrigerator:  Make sure you throw away everything that's expired or you can't recall when you bought it (it's probably expired). Take all items out and wash trays and drawers with dish soap and warm water. 

3. Microwave: Put a microwave safe bowl with water and lemon and boil it for about 2-3 minutes, leave it for a few min after.  The steam will loose dirt and dry food. Then wash inside (sides and top) with sponge or microfiber cloth and little dish soap.  Wash the plate with dish soap and warm water.

4. Dishwasher:  Never wonder why the dishwasher smells weird?  Washing the dishwasher is probably something we never thought of doing.  It is very important that you keep your dishwasher clean because rest of food get trap in crevices making that weird smell and even worse, sometimes mildew.  Wipe the bottom with a soft sponge or microfiber cloth, you can even scrub it a little with baking soda.  Then pour a cup of vinegar at the bottom and run it on regular cycle.

5. Cabinets: Clean outside of your cabinets with a damped microfiber cloth and dish soap.  Wipe down or wash silverware tray as this tends to get a little dirty.

6. Small appliances:  Run the coffee maker with clean water only as if you were making coffee.  Clean the tray of your toaster, usually this is removable so it's easier to wash it with dish soap and warm water.  Also clean the tray of the toaster oven and rack the same way you would clean the regular oven.

7. Counter Tops:  Use a microfiber cloth or sponge with dish soap or degreaser to clean counters, don't forget to wipe under and behind appliances.  Make sure you don't use any abrasive or acid cleaner on marble as this will ruin it.  I posted about cleaning countertops here if you would like to get a detailed info on different surfaces.  

8. Vacuum and mop and you're all done!  Once in a while I like to wash my floors with vinegar to disinfect them.  Once it's dry the smell of vinegar is gone :)
Classic Subway Tile

Anjie's Feng Shui tip for kitchen:
What's your favorite burner on your stove?  Mine is located in front, on the right.  In Feng Shui, the stove is very important in your home.  It represents wealth and how we nourish ourselves in the world.  so next time you use a burner, try using a different one.  Don't automatically go for your favorite one.  Instead, open up your opportunities and try something different.  Also, be sure to keep your stove clean, and use it at least once every day.

Recycled Shells

How did you like Anjie's tip?!  I love it!  I keep using the same burner over and over,  I'll make sure I use the others as well :)  You can get more tips from Anjie over at Holistic Spaces.

Do you keep your stove clean all the time?  What's the hardest part of keeping up with your kitchen? Let us know!!

Thanks for reading!


Monday, April 22, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Happy Earth Day everyone!!
This week we'll be focusing on doing some deep-Spring cleaning.  And what a great way to start a Spring cleaning on Earth Day using only non-toxic cleaning products, right?  I've been using Shaklee products for a while now and I'm in love with them!

  I know all of us love the idea of having a deep clean home, but not everybody likes to do it. 
This week I'll share some tips with you so you can do this like a pro.  You will love the results and the feeling of a clean home.
As a bonus, this week I have a special guest.  My friend Anjie Cho, an Architect, Interior Designer and Feng Shui Consultant.  Pretty impressive if you ask me!  She'll give us a few feng shui tips on each room we clean this week!

So let's get started!

First thing is to gather all your products together.  Nothing worse that going back and forth to the kitchen or broom closet to get that one spray you forgot.  I like to keep everything in a caddy or bucket or even a shopping bag so you have it handy.
Handy Cleaning Kit

You'll need:
Microfiber cloths
Microfiber duster (or Swiffer extender)
Lint roller
Magic Eraser
Non toxic cleaning products:  Bathroom cleaner, all purpose cleaner, window cleaner, dish soap, (this are my favorite).  Also some powder cleaner for easier scrub, I like BonAmi.

Now that you've got all your tools, let's do the bathroom!  I'm not really going to tell you how to clean a bathroom, we all know how to do it, right?  But let me tell you a few tips so you can save time.
1. Run the shower for a few minutes with hot water, the steam will loose dirt and soap scum.  Then spray bathroom cleaner and add powder scrubber, like Bon Ami or baking soda and let it sit while you clean the medicine cabinet or other areas, that way the cleaners will do their own work and scrubbing will be much easier.

2. When cleaning the toilet don't forget to clean the water tank as well as sides and behind the toilet.  We always seem to forget this areas.

3. With the help of a small brush, scrub all corners, edges and shower shower head.
Tip: If shower head is getting mildew you can attach a thick bag with white vinegar and tight it around the shower and let it work for awhile.

4.  Clean inside medicine cabinets and cabinet under the sink.  Make sure you throw away everything that has expired or you no longer use as they are taking precious space. Use a small cup or container to gather small items such as nail clipper, twister, bobby pins, etc.

5. Vacuum and mop the floors and you're done!

Anjie's  Feng Shui tip for bathroom:
The bathroom is a place where water is always coming in and out of the home.  In Feng Shui, water represents wealth and money flow.  Make sure you keep the toilet seat closed, as well as the bathroom door.  This will keep the wealth from flowing away from you!
For more info visit: www.holisticspaces.com

That was a great tip, thank you Anjie!

Please make sure you visit Anjie's Holistic Spaces for more tips :)

And you my friends, how do you keep up your bath?  Please share your tips and ideas with us!

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Earth Day

Earth Day Quote by irma

Probably one of my favorite quotes.  It really hit me when I saw this for the first time many years ago.

Have a beautiful Earth Day weekend and come back on Monday for some cool Spring cleaning tips (plus a surprise :)

Thanks for reading!


Monday, April 1, 2013

Let's talk clean

Oh, is this time of the year again.  Weather getting nicer, putting our winter coats away and taking our fresh skirts out of the storage.

With Spring already here, it is also time to make our home fresher, by opening windows and doing a nice-deep cleaning.
Let me start saying that small changes can make a big difference.  And switching your cleaning product is a great start!  You really don't have to go crazy and change every single item in your home (who could do that!?), but taking small steps will be a huge help for our planet and our health.

This is probably the first (and easiest) step you should take.  And since it's time for "Spring Cleaning" I thought it would be appropriate to share this with you!

I know many of you might be thinking that natural products won't work as good as traditional ones.  But as you may know I own and run a cleaning company in NYC and efficiency is just as important for us!

Also, it really doesn't have to cost more, actually if you choose the right ones they might even be much cheaper and the impact in our health is amazing.  Once you switch them you will notice your skin looks better, no more allergies, no fake perfumes, just plain clean smelling.

My favorite cleaning products are Get Clean from Shaklee.
Tip:  If you really like scented products add a few drops of organic essential oil and voila!

{MB Green Cleaning - Shaklee}

Get some microfiber cloths.  This is a win-win, works better than paper towels, since they are washable and re-usable you will save money and less trash to landfills  :)
Tip: You can throw them in the washer machine, just don't put them in the dryer.  They will loose the efficiency overtime.

Get natural rubber cleaning gloves and natural sponges.  They are biodegradable and, again, they are not more expensive than the regular ones :)
Tip: Hang them like in the picture below so they can air dry and prevent mildew inside.

How about you, did you switch to natural, organic cleaning products yet?  Which are your favorite?
Share your thoughts with us!

Thanks for reading!