Organizing in 2014

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Floors, Hints, Tips and Advice, Holiday, Tips and Advice

21329088_SIs your New Years resolution to have a more organized house this year? You’ve taken down the tree, put away the ornaments and dealt with all the gift-wrapping supplies. Dealing with the holiday clutter is a great start. Now you can concentrate on keeping the rest of the house clean and organized for the entire year. Here is a simple way to start the process.

When you leave a room look for items that do not belong. Don’t be lazy. Pick those items up and put them away. This is a good habit for everyone in the family to get used to.

Sort and read the mail everyday. Recycle the junk and then deal with bills and other correspondence appropriately. Note – this does not mean leave them in a pile. There are fun organizational tools that you can use to separate these items.

Clean the kitchen and the bathroom. Do not leave a sink of dirty dishes to be dealt with every morning. Instead make sure the pots and pans are scrubbed and the dishwasher is turned on before you go to bed. Likewise, don’t leave makeup all over the bathroom counter. Put it away. Do a daily wipe down of the countertops and sinks in both your kitchen and your bathroom.

Sweep the floors. If you have wood floors you should probably be doing that anyway. This will really help and there are many tools out there that make sweeping a breeze.

Finally, when you do the laundry don’t let your clothes hang out in the basket.  Hang them up!

At the end of a long day we are tired, but if you get in the habit of doing these few simple things your house will be more organized and you will feel better.

A Peppermint Holiday

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Holiday, Uncategorized

5917105_SWhen you think of winter or the holiday season, does peppermint pop into your mind? It’s an instant winter holiday reminder and will definitely get you in the spirit of this year’s festivities.

Here are few, simple ways you can incorporate it into your holiday celebrations:

  • If you add the flavoring to your drinks or desserts, they’ll be sure to be a winter holiday classic.
  • Use syrup flavor to infuse in your holiday cookies.
  • Try to crush up peppermint candy canes and add them in cookies, brownies, or cakes.
  • Sprinkling crushed up peppermint will help dress up your special treat.
  • Add peppermint flavoring in your morning coffee or a cup of hot chocolate.   Putting a candy cane can be a great source for stirring and drink decoration, too.
  • Create a candy cane wreath

Can you think of creative ways to use peppermint this year?  Feel free to comment and share with us!

Making Merry in Modern Style

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Family, Holiday

Ready or not, the holidays are upon us.   Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it’s time to get ready for the rest of the upcoming holiday celebrations!  Whether you love decorating for the holidays or are more humbug than happy about holiday décor, keeping to your style will make your decorations fit in better with your home’s décor.

If you are a modern design lover or just like the crisp, clean lines of contemporary style, traditional holiday decorating may not work with your style.  Red and green everything, snowmen, and elves are traditional holiday designs that added to a modern, minimalist room just don’t fit.  This doesn’t mean you have to forgo holiday decorations all together. You just need to think outside the box a bit. Luckily, today’s designers of holiday decorations take into account all the different styles and tastes.  As well as traditional decorations, retailers offer everything from vintage and retro to woodland forest and handcrafted.

This living room is a beautiful example of a festive holiday décor that works with the room’s style and furniture.  Keeping color to a simple winter palette of white with pops of red works with the clean white color on the walls, wood floors and winter white area rug.  A white tree works much better than a traditional pine to keep the palette simple.  Instead of using red accents, you could go with silver accents for a more monochrome palette.

In a modern or contemporary space a few styles of holiday decorating would work. Rustic or forest would be a nice contrast to the clean lines of a contemporary style.  Vintage and retro are good choices for a modern home.

Be true to your decorating style and you’ll be sure to have a festive home that reflects your personality!

While Your Away – Summer Vacation Tips

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Family, Hints, Tips and Advice, Holiday

It’s summer time and that means that many of our clients will be leaving their homes and traveling to relaxing destinations for a summer vacation. Before you leave here is a list of “to dos” to keep your home safe while you are gone and to give you piece of mind.

Make a list. Keep priorities in sight when planning your next trip by tying a to-do list onto your luggage.

If you are leaving the country notify your credit card companies and your bank of your destination. They will be less likely to deny charges if they know where you are.

Visit the currency exchange. It’s helpful to have some cash on hand to pay for taxis and tips when you first arrive. It’s also likely that you will receive a better exchange rate.

Water your plants. If you are going to be gone for more than a few days, arrange for a neighbor to help you keep your living things alive.

Board your animals. Make reservations ahead of time. Check shot records to be sure they are up to date.

Stop your mail. Have your mail held at the post office especially if your mail box is not secure. Identity thieves are clever. Stop your newspaper as well.

Put name and destination phone number or destination address on your luggage. Don’t put the address of your vacant home.

Pack extra prescription medication, contacts, lens cases and solution. It’s a big pain to have to replace contact lenses away from home.

Photocopy your passport, credit cards and record the phone numbers for reporting lost or stolen credit or debit cards. Put this information in a location other than your purse or wallet.

Close and lock all windows.

Unplug all appliances. Decide if you would like your heating or AC on or off.

Turn off water to all external faucets. If a neighbor is watching your home, make sure they know how to turn off the water main to your home in case of a sprinkler leak.

Put timers on your lights. No need to advertise that you are gone.

Be sure to pack your phone, camera and computer chargers. If you are leaving the country make sure that you have the necessary adapters.

And finally, be careful what you post on Facebook or FourSquare. You might be having the time of your life, but no one needs to be reminded that your home is unattended.

Cooking for the Holidays

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints, Tips and Advice, Holiday

When you plan for Thanksgiving, think beyond the menu. This year make it a real family event by involving everyone in the preparation.

From grocery shopping to bringing a side dish, including all of the guests in the planning and cooking helps to make everyone feel like part of the celebration even before Thanksgiving Day.

Start by developing a list of menu items and tasks. Good cooks may like to be asked to bring a side dish – have a chat with them to see if they’re more inclined to baking pies or making cranberries. Non-cooks may provide extra chairs if needed or bring drinks and ice.

At your home, include as many guests and family members as possible. Thishusband, for example, was more than willing to step away from sports on TV for a few minutes to give his wife a hand with the basting.

Children love to be part of the preparations for a holiday. Pre-plan some jobs they could do that are age-appropriate. Responsibilities such as setting the table or stirring stuffing are a way to help. Older children could read a recipe aloud or chop vegetables.

Then, when it’s time to sit down and eat, everyone at the table had a hand in the dinner, and you can be thankful that you’re not running like crazy and too tired to enjoy the meal!

How To Remove Easter Egg Dye From Carpet

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Holiday

Happy almost Easter everyone! We thought we’d share a few cleaning tips with you regarding Easter egg dye and carpet. Hopefully you do not have to use this advice, but here it is just in case.

Detergent Solution – Mix one fourth (1/4) teaspoon of a liquid dishwashing detergent per one (1) cup of lukewarm water. NEVER USE A STRONGER CONCENTRATION! Thorough rinsing is necessary to remove detergent residues that may cause rapid soiling. It may be necessary to rinse with warm water several times to completely remove residues. (See Residue Precautions.) Care should be used in selecting a detergent. Never use a laundry detergent of any type, because laundry detergents may contain optical brighteners (fluorescent dyes) that dye the fiber. Do not select an automatic dishwashing detergent because many contain bleaching agents that destroy dyes and some fibers.

Warm Water – Lukewarm tap water should be used in most cases to rinse the cleaning solutions from the fiber. Failure to completely rinse the solutions from the fiber may cause accelerated soiling.

Ammonia Solution – Mix one (1) tablespoon of household ammonia per cup of water. Please note: Be aware that ammonia, if used improperly, can cause a color change. Be sure to test a hidden area.

Call a Professional – Professional cleaners have the ability and the equipment to use more aggressive cleaning solutions to remove stubborn spills. Always consider consulting a professional cleaner regarding any spot removal question. CRI – 1-800-882-8846.

New Year’s Resolutions – Make Your Home Safer

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Holiday

What are your New Year’s resolutions this year? Do you want to lose 20 pounds or commit to walking several miles three times a week? Well, when you’re making your personal resolutions, how about throwing in a couple of resolves to make your home safer for you and your family?

Here are a few areas to get you started.

Lighting: Are your stairs and hallways well lit? Whether you’re talking about inside or outside the house, good lighting can help your family and guests avoid falls. This becomes particularly critical with winter weather. Check all of your home’s entrances after dark, as well as any risk areas inside your home.

Flooring: Are your floor transitions smooth? If your homes moves from tile to carpet or wood, are the thresholds easy to traverse without tripping? Do you have any slippery rugs in the bathrooms or kitchens? Non-slip pads will keep those rugs in place.

Bathroom safety: Choose flooring for bathrooms that will not get slippery when wet. Put bathmats with suction cups in baths or showers to keep them secure. You may want to add safety bars at the entrance to each bath or shower to keep children and older adults secure. Today’s bars can be quite attractive. Just make sure you attach them to a stud to keep them in place safely.

HDTV installation: Wall-mounted televisions must be installed properly or they create a safety hazard. If you select a wall-mounting system that is designed to handle the size and weight of your television, and have that system professionally-installed, along with proper electrical installation, you have what you need to enjoy your system for years.

Read the instructions: Every new product you brought into your home this holiday season has detailed installation, use and safety instructions. Read them and pay attention. Products are constantly changing, and the rules that applied to your last curling iron or laptop may not be right for your new one. Pay attention and help ensure that you have a safe and happy 2011.