Six Steps Towards Eliminating Clutter in the Family Room

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If you find yourself struggling for space in your home, it is time to do something about it. Your house cannot reach its maximum potential if it is full of unnecessary items and clutter. The family room is at its best potential when your family is using it and spending time with one another, but sometimes life gets busy. The busier our lives get, the more clutter tends to build up in our homes. Stop what you are doing and devote thirty minutes this week towards cleaning your family room.

Six steps towards eliminating clutter:

Step One: Take a deep breath and turn on your favorite music playlist. The cleaning process will go by faster if you are jamming out to one of your favorite songs.

Step Two: Everyone is to blame for a family room getting out of hand because everyone typically uses it. To start off, you will want to divide people’s things into different piles. Each family member will have their own pile.

Step Three: Once the piles are made, you can determine what items can stay in the family room and what items need to go into that person’s bedroom.

Step Four: There will be some items that you decide to keep in the family room like toys and blankets, but it is important to organize these items before they become clutter. In order to organize, you will want to buy containers for each of your family members. The containers can be as big or as small as your desire, but try to tie the containers into the style of your family room by looking at decorative bins or baskets.

Step Five: Once you have purchased your bins/baskets, call each family member into the room. Give them the instructions that all of their items must return back into their bin before they leave the room. To keep things looking sharp, do not let things overflow the basket. Once the bin is full, all other belongings must go in that person’s bedroom. Younger kids may need some extra guidance with the cleaning process. Try to help them decide what toys to keep in the family room and what to put into their bedrooms.

Step Six: Your family room should already be looking better than before, but there is one more step. Typically, we own items that every family member uses like DVDs or CDs. Sit down as a family to go through these items. Create a rule that five things must go in the give-away box and in order to take something out, another item must go into the box. This will help reduce clutter and useless items.

As flooring experts, we understand that you cannot appreciate your beautiful flooring when clutter is running your life. We hope you enjoyed these six steps towards eliminating clutter in your family room.

Becoming A Gardening Expert

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Curb appeal can be determined from a well-kept yard and your home’s exterior. Establishing a well-kept yard can be done through garden work and the right landscaping. You may have an immense knowledge about how to garden or are a novice to gardening. Either way, we have tips that every homeowner, who wants a thriving garden, should know.

Expert Gardening Tips:

Plan out your garden. Pro-gardeners will agree that it is beneficial to go in with a plan. Decide what plants and flowers you want to include in your garden then draw a layout of where you would like them. Make sure to always consider your area’s climate and growth tendencies before planting.

Work with dry soil. There is a hidden importance to working with dry soil rather than wet soil. When you walk on wet soil, it can press down the soil and make unwanted clumps while gardening.

Transportation at its finest. Before heading to pick up new plants for your garden, lay down a mini ladder on top of a plastic tarp. The spaces in between your ladder are superb for securing your plants while you are driving. Housing the plants in the mini ladder will also help avoid spillage.

Utilize a rain gauge. Do not guess that your plants are getting enough water from rain. Be absolutely certain by using a rain gauge.

Pro Tip: Add some food coloring to your rain gauge to see where the rain lies inside on your gauge.
Always use clean garden tools. Your garden tools should always be clean before using.

Lighten the load. If you have ever tried to move a planted pot from one area to another, you understand how heavy it can be! The solution is to fill the bottom half of the pot with packing peanuts and the top half with your soil. You will need to put in a piece of a landscape fabric between the packing peanuts and the soil.

Do you have any gardening tricks that you cannot live without? We would love to hear your advice and tricks in the comment section below.

Unusual Playlists: 20 Songs to Help You Clean Your Home

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Cleaning is not exactly fun. However, a great way to the battle mundane nature of it is to do it while listening to a playlist that is befitting of the task. We thought it would be fun to offer a playlist in which all of the songs are somehow related to a word associated with cleaning. We tried words such as mop and dust and we were pleasantly surprised by the wide and varied options that surfaced. For that reason, this list is not genre specific. It includes everything from old blues to modern pop.

We recommend listening to the whole list to find songs you love. It isn’t likely that every song will move you, but if you find even a few songs that help to motivate your cleaning efforts, then we’ve done our job well. Anything that helps along the drudgery of cleaning is a good thing! Enjoy, and don’t forget to dance with your broom and mop! They’re great partners who won’t step on your feet.

  1. Taking Care of Business by Bachman Turner Overdrive
  2. So Fresh, So Clean by Outkast
  3. Clean Up Woman by Betty Wright
  4. Come Clean by Hillary Duff
  5. Love In A Vacuum by ‘Til Tuesday
  6. Moppin & Boppin by Fats Waller
  7. Rag Mop by Lionel Hampton
  8. Dust My Broom by Elmore James
  9. Jump The Broom by Mr. Sipp
  10. Sweepin’ The Clouds Away by Maurice Chevalier
  11. Scrubs by TLC
  12. Gold Dust Woman by Fleetwood Mac
  13. Another One Bites the Dust by Queen
  14. Dust In The Wind by Kansas
  15. Car Wash by Rose Royce
  16. Washing Dishes by Jack Johnson
  17. Windows by AWOLNATION
  18. Rag Doll by Aerosmith
  19. Rag and Bone by White Stripes
  20. Living Loving Maid by Led Zeppelin

Making Your Home Lovely Part 2

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Now that you’ve tackled the clutter, it’s time to start examining your cleaning patterns. Whether you’re expecting guests or you simply just want your house to be in order, good house cleaning patterns can bring out your home’s full potential. Below are some tips to help you effectively and efficiently clean your home.

 

Develop and Follow A Cleaning Schedule

Cleaning the house can seem overwhelming, especially when coupled with the other housework and responsibilities that we have. That’s why a plan is essential. Write up a schedule that determines what and when things need to be cleaned. The cleaning schedule should also show what everyone’s chore is in the family.  A clean schedule can be designed around what works for you.

 

Your cleaning schedule should identify what needs to be cleaned in each room and how often the area needs to be cleaned. Grouping each task by the frequency it needs to be cleaned can be  helpful in gaining a sense of what chores you’ll need to do each day.

 

Buy Cleaning Supplies

While having clean supplies seems like the most obvious step often people forget to purchase appropriate tools. Begin by purchasing plastic containers, each container can be assigned to specific cleaning areas. For instance, there should be a separate container for the bathroom, one can be designated to the  kitchen and an additional to the rest of the house. Each cleaning container should be equipped with its own cleaning brush or cloth.

 

Consider investing in packaged shop towels. Shop towels are inexpensive and available at most hardware stores. These types of towels are bigger than your average wash cloth and made from a terry fabric. Shop towels are great to clean with because they are durable and can be easily cleaned in the washing machine. 

Small Rooms Can Appear Larger!

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Working with small living spaces can be difficult. However, any room can appear to be larger than life by simply implementing design schemes that trick the eye. Often, interior designers utilize optical illusions to make a small space seem larger than it really is. What are some easy ways you can open a small room in your house?

 

Color Schemes: Color is a powerful aspect of decorating that can easily create a believable illusion.  The right color combination can make a small room look and feel spacious. Lighter colors, especially white, light green and blue hues brighten a room instantly making it appear bigger. However, be careful of using shades of color that are too bright. Dark colors have  the tendency of giving off a closed off feeling. Using stripes in your decorating scheme can also add to appearance of spacious.

 

Mirrors: Mirrors aren’t only great for viewing, but by using them in your designs you can add some depth to a room. Yes, mirrors give the illusion of increasing a room’s size. Consider, creating a mural effect with one entire wall.  Leave massive or busy frames out because this can create the opposite effect. Mirrors reflect light and color.

 

Windows: Avoid hampering windows and sliding glass doors with large or distracting coverings such as solid colored curtains. You may opt for sheer coverings instead or pull back the curtains.  Leaving your windows uncovered, you can easily create a sense of depth to a small space. Allowing your windows to be free can bring in extra light which instantly creates a feeling of spaciousness.

 

Furnishing:  A small room can feel and look even smaller when it’s filled  with too much stuff. Limit the number of decorative accessories in your design scheme. If you have a lot of items, be sure to keep things organized and utilize storage space that is out of sight. Select furniture that fits the size of the room and larger pieces of furniture should be placed against walls so as to maximize the available space.

 

Pictures: One large painting such as a mural instead of small groups of pictures can help to open up a small space. Murals can draw a room out and make it seem much longer than it really is. 

Easy to Make Window Cleaning Solution

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The recipe for this window cleaner is so easy to make, it only requires three ingredients and it works wonders. It contains items that you probably already have and only cost a few cents to make. Find out how to make a cleaning solution that works just as well, if not better than any store bought solution, without the harsh chemicals!

What You Will Need:

2-3 Tablespoons of liquid laundry detergent, or liquid dish washing soap

1 Tablespoon of a liquid rinsing agent for dishwashers

½ Gallon of warm water

Directions:

Mix the three ingredients together in a cleaning bucket or spray bottle.

Rinse windows with a hose or wipe them down with water and a clean cloth.

Apply the solution by spraying it on the windows or simply wiping it on with a clean cloth.

Immediately rinse the solution off by spraying the windows with the hose. This is the easiest and most effective way to rinse the windows.

There is no need to dry the windows, the rinsing agent will take care of that for you! That’s it, windows are done and now you can move on to another task! The sunshine can now illuminate your beautiful floors!

What to Do Before Putting Your Home on the Market

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You’ve loved your home for years and taken care of the house as much as it has taken care of your family.  Sometimes we find ourselves needing to relocate or find a larger or smaller home.  If you’ve taken care of the larger details getting ready to sell your home, such as replacing worn floors and applying fresh paint, what are the best things to do first to make it look more presentable? Find out what those things are and find a buyer quickly!

Have a yard sale. This will help you get rid of the clutter that can bring a house down. Buyers do not like to see clutter. They more or less like to see a blank slate. Having a yard sale is a great way to get rid of things you no longer need, as well as bring in some extra cash!

Hire a professional to maintain the yard. Curb appeal is very important to buyers. Having a professional maintain the lawn and shrubbery will help your home’s exterior look it’s very best!

Put extra furniture that is not needed in storage. This helps to achieve the “blank canvas” look that buyers are drawn to. This doesn’t mean place the dining room table in storage; we mean extra end tables and cumbersome pieces can be relocated. This will make the house feel more spacious. The more items in a room, actually makes it look smaller.

Clean out closets. Buyers love storage and actually want to see what storage options your house has to offer. If closets are jam packed, it is hard to take note of shelving and other storage organization the space has. A tidy closet is a benefit to any buyer.

Before showing your home, leave the doors open, lights on and have the place smelling nice. If the doors are closed the home will feel closed off. Having the doors open from room to room, makes the flow feel more open and natural. People want to be able to easily see that they are looking on; so keep the lights on and drapery pulled back. Make sure to have a subtle fresh scent throughout the home. You can use air fresheners or room spray. Just make sure the scent you choose is not a strong, overpowering scent. 

Bad Eating Habits to Kick

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It is no secret that eating better provides you with a healthier body and life. There are many mistakes that most people tend to make. Kicking these bad habits is easy if you remain aware of what you are putting into your body.

We as Americans tend to consume more salt than is necessary. Start by cutting back how much you season your food a little at a time. This will satisfy your flavor need and if done consistently, will continue to cut more salt out of your diet each day. The key to this tool is cutting back slowly. Gradually cut back on the amount of salt you put into meals and cut back the amount of salt you sprinkle on your plate. Other ways to flavor savory food is to use lemon juice. Lemon juice is especially good for flavoring veggies like squash and spinach as well as flavoring fish and seafood.

Cut back on meals containing red meat. Limit your red meat intake to two meals a week. Instead eat more white meat like chicken and fish. Be careful not to eat too much fish, however. Try and limit your fish meals to two a week and the rest can be chicken and vegetable based. Instead of making lasagna with red meat, use ground turkey or veggies that can replace the meat, such as eggplant.

Cut back on your sugar intake as well. Sugar is not needed in your body. However, there is sugar in most of the processed foods you consume. Cut back on sugar that is used to flavor drinks and food, the same way as previously stated for cutting back on salt, slowly and gradually. When you feel your sweet tooth taking over, keep a piece of fruit on hand. The sugar in natural fruit is much better for your body than cane sugar or sweeteners.

Read the labels on food you are considering purchasing at the grocery store. Especially look at how many grams of sugar are in one serving size and how many milligrams of salt are in a serving size.

Starting with small changes in your diet, you can make a big change in your overall health!

Burn More Calories During the Day

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There are some easy things you can do to burn more calories throughout the day. No matter if you are a stay at home mom, work from home or in an office, there are ways to increase your calorie burn throughout day to day life.

Dance while getting chores done. Play music in the back ground instead of TV. Listening to music will help you be more productive. It is easy to have the TV on in the background, but it usually means getting distracted. Listening to music also makes you want to move your body. Go with it and dance while you clean the kitchen or do laundry.

Do squats while you cook or stand at your desk. You can do this at the office and at home. Standing has been proven to increase productivity. Add doing squats and you will really get energized.

Lunge as you walk around. This is another exercise you can do daily at home, or in the work place (depending how easily you embarrass). Lunges burn calories and tone your lower body.

Take a brisk walk every day. After lunchtime is ideal. Generally this is the time of day where we feel sluggish. A five to ten minute brisk walk will burn calories, keep your metabolism going and make you more alert. If the weather doesn’t permit a walk, do jumping jacks instead.

Drink eight glasses of water a day. Water keeps your body running smoothly and helps maintain metabolism. The more water you drink, the less calorie packed drinks are consumed. Once you get used to drinking water, nothing else will be able to quench your thirst in the same way.

Drink green tea during the afternoon. It is thought that drinking three cups of green tea a day will help increase loss of belly fat. 

Introducing a New Pet to Existing Pets

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Introducing a new pet to existing pets should be done with great care. It is a bad idea to simply throw an animal into the mix. Animals need time to adjust to new smells of a new place and animals surrounding them. This information is based on introducing cats to your home, but dogs should be introduced with caution as well. Animals get to know one another through scent. This how to is based on keeping the new pet confined to a room for a couple of days.

Put the new pet into a room that is secluded where it can feel safe for the first couple of days. While in this space the pet can gather confidence and smell new smells of other animals in the home from under the door.

Cats need several days confined into their own room. A dog may only take a day or so to get acclimated. Make sure you’re visiting the pet in the other room several times a day and make sure the other animals in the house can hear you having a fun, positive time with the new pet.

After the first day or so confine existing pets into a kennel or secluded room. This way the new pet can have some time roaming the house throughout the day, leaving their scent around for existing animals to smell.

Make sure there’s an adequate amount of toys for each pet to play with. Once you feel the new pet is ready to have free reign of the house, make sure you monitor all pets to ensure all animal’s safety. It is important to introduce new pets with care to ensure a safety for all. Pay attention once all pets are intermingled and look for red flag behaviors from pets to know when to intervene.  

At Dolphin Carpet, we know how much your pets mean to you.  We have many options when you are looking for pet-friendly floor options, so feel free to ask any questions you may have!