cleaning http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4019/all en-US Do This One Thing a Day to Defeat Clutter Forever http://www.wisebread.com/do-this-one-thing-a-day-to-defeat-clutter-forever <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/do-this-one-thing-a-day-to-defeat-clutter-forever" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/boxes-459332827.jpg" alt="boxes" title="boxes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The problem with most advice on clearing clutter is that it runs on the assumption that people actually have enough storage space in their homes. I am 100% sure that anyone who saves closet space by rotating their winter clothes out of their closet to make room for their summer wardrobe isn't storing their Christmas sweaters under their house in the crawlspace. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too?ref=seealso">How to Declutter and Keep Your Stuff</a>)</p> <p>For a number of years I lived in a tiny house with horrible storage space. Removing anything from my closet was like playing the dangerous version of Jenga, with heavy, head-bonking cardboard boxes standing in for the little wooden rods. What did I hate more than pulling everything out of the closet to find the one-needed thing (that was always in the back)? The time it took to repack everything, Tetris-like, so I could close the closet door. My time-saving solution to this problem was to stack items that I removed from the closet on the floor outside of the closet where they'd be easier to see and grab.</p> <p>Every other month or so, I'd decide to throw a party. Part of the party prep was spending two unhappy days putting every single thing I owned back in its proper place.</p> <p>It was a most annoying method of keeping house.</p> <h2>Fewer Things Means Fewer Things to Store</h2> <p>Finally, I realized that I hated organizing my stuff more than I enjoyed owning it. My solution to clutter wasn't to have a space for everything, it was not having things that needed to be stored.</p> <p>Fewer things. Fewer things to put away.</p> <p>So, on November 1, 2001 I made a resolution: I would get rid of 10 things a day until I had downsized enough that I could fit all my belongings into one, visible layer in my closets.</p> <p>The 10 items rule was arbitrary. Ten things seemed challenging enough to turn downsizing into a game (always a bonus for me), yet achievable enough to allow me to complete my goal even on the busiest days.</p> <p>One day, at the end of March 2002, I came home to a noticeably neater house. After almost five months of downsizing by 10 things a day, I had painlessly removed almost <em>1500</em> items from my home.</p> <p>Multiplication is what makes 10 Things a successful organizational strategy. Ten is a smallish number. But 10 things a day equals 300 things a month equals 3650 things a year!</p> <h2>Some Positive Side Effects of 10 Things a Day</h2> <p>It was at this point that I realized why speed cleaning methods had never been the answer to my clutter. My house didn't get messy in a week, so it was unrealistic of me to believe that I could declutter my home in the same time frame and be happy with the results. Since I only had to remove 10 items every day, it gave me time to consider what things would go and come up with an optimal plan for their disposal. 10 Things is like yoga, something you practice rather than an end goal. While it fails to provide immediate gratification, 10 Things provides what other organizational systems do not: an easy method of maintenance that doesn't just clear clutter, but prevents clutter from building up in the first place.</p> <p>Over 13 years later, I am still getting rid of 10 things a day. My house is tidier than most, and my material goods cause me a lot less stress. My weird organizational system works!</p> <p>When I tell people who haven't found success with other organizational methods about 10 Things, the same questions always pop up. So here's exactly how I do it.</p> <h2>What Qualifies as a &quot;Thing&quot;?</h2> <p>A <em>Thing</em> can be as big as the old car I sold to my co-worker, or as small as the dried out felt-tip pen that I just threw in the garbage. Clutter is personal. My cherished object could be another person's garbage. I define clutter as any item in my house that isn't necessary for the basic function of my life that also doesn't make me deliriously happy.</p> <p>(I pay attention to the little voice in my head. If it feels like I'm cheating, then I probably am.)</p> <h2>Do You Have a Time Slot Every Day to Find Your 10 Things?</h2> <p>No. Some of my friends set timers to force themselves to make quick decisions. (Plus it's more fun to race the clock and try to pull all 10 Things in one 20-minute period.) Because some of the things in my house need a more elaborate disposal process than just getting put on the curb or in the recycling bin, I give myself all day to find and dispose of the 10 Things. Some days are easy because I will have a garage sale and divest myself of 100 items before lunch. And then there are those days when I am digging through the spice cabinet in my kitchen at 11:58 p.m. trying to find 10 little condiment packets left over from take-out meals that I can donate to the food bank.</p> <h2>What Do You Mean &quot;Get Rid Of?&quot; Are You Throwing Everything Away?</h2> <p>Oh, gosh no. If I could just throw anything I didn't want in the trash without feeling guilt, my house would have been emptied a long time ago. One of the reasons why clutter builds up in my home is that I feel compelled to keep usable things until I can find the &quot;perfect&quot; home for them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-rid-of-stuff-frugally?ref=seealso">Frugal Ways to Get Rid of Stuff</a>)</p> <p>Occasionally I will get lucky and actually wear something out. In that rare instance I will actually throw something in the garbage. But, by &quot;Get Rid Of&quot; I mean &quot;Leaves My Possession.&quot;</p> <ul> <li> <p>I can get rid of the old paint in my garage by taking it to the Poison Control Center for disposal.</p> </li> <li> <p>I can donate old furniture to my local charity.</p> </li> <li> <p>I can collect all the random blue ballpoint pens (I only write with black ink) that have found their way into my home, and give those to my favorite waitress or leave them at the bank or post office for others to use.</p> </li> <li> <p>I can freecycle an old printer.</p> </li> <li> <p>I can sell a vintage lamp on Etsy.</p> </li> <li> <p>I can ship that vintage lamp in a used cardboard box.</p> </li> <li> <p>I can drop my old magazines off at the hospital's waiting room.</p> </li> </ul> <p>The only thing I'm a stickler about with 10 Things is that the items have to physically leave my possession. It doesn't count if the item is in the trunk of my car, waiting to be dropped off at a friend's house, or on the porch, waiting for the Craigslist buyer to pick it up. It must be gone, gone, gone for good to be counted.</p> <h2>What Should I Get Rid of First?</h2> <p>I know this will sound obvious, but get rid of the things you hate first. Clutter often builds up because we keep things around that trigger memories or are valuable collectibles.</p> <p>I don't think it's a coincidence that I had my Get Rid of 10 Things a Day epiphany right after the breakup of a five-year relationship. My house was full of nice things, which had been purchased by a bad boyfriend. The television was now &quot;the television of betrayal.&quot; The coffee grinder was a daily reminder of his passive aggressiveness. I finally had to ask myself: Why am I keeping things that remind me of bad times? Isn't my personal happiness worth more than these possessions? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-happiness-habits-7-ways-to-feel-better-now?ref=seealso">7 Ways to Feel Better Now</a>)</p> <p>By starting with the things that I hated, I accidentally discovered another reason why 10 Things works &mdash; it makes downsizing less stressful, because I never have to make a Sophie's Choice about objects that I care about. I'm always removing the 10 things I like the least in my house. It's pretty hard to make a case to keep things that I am categorizing as my &quot;Bottom 10&quot; possessions. Always choosing the worst of my possessions also means that in thirteen years, I haven't regretted a single choice.</p> <p>Another bonus of 10 Things is that, over time, it trains the eye and the brain to be more discerning. Because I am always removing the least worthy items from my house, over time I've distilled and curated my possessions into a collection of things that are beloved, functional, and give me pleasure.</p> <h2>Do You Keep Track of Everything You Get Rid Of?</h2> <p>Yes. I keep a running total of everything I get rid of in a little notebook. It's weirdly rewarding to see my daily 10 Things written down. It also keeps me honest and accountable. I have a friend who takes a photograph every day of her 10 things. She likes her photo record because it means she doesn't need to keep physical souvenirs to remember things by. I'm still waiting for somebody to blog or Instagram their 10 Things campaign.</p> <h2>Do You Keep Track of Everything You Bring Into Your House?</h2> <p>Hell. No. I want to chronicle my successes, not my failures. (Also, who has the time?)</p> <p>The practice of getting rid of 10 things a day has absolutely made me a more aware consumer. Now I can't acquire something without automatically thinking about when and how that item will leave my home. Knowing that I have to have an exit strategy for each thing that comes into my house makes me think twice about bringing new items home. I have become extremely choosey. It's a wonderful and unintended side effect, which helps me keep my home clutter free. Not to mention what it's done for my spending habits.</p> <h2>You Have Been Doing This for So Long &mdash; How Do You Still Have Things in Your House?</h2> <p>Because I live in a First World country where people waste resources. Even though I am a minimalist by American standards, I am a maximalist relative to most of the rest of the world. Also, I work out of my home, so every day is a war on paper.</p> <p>Most of what leaves my house these days are vintage items that I have collected for resale on my Etsy store, and packing materials to ship those things to my buyers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-etsy-can-help-start-your-small-business?ref=seealso">Using Etsy to Start Your Small Business</a>)</p> <p>Also, I have to admit that I still tend to hoard things like envelopes and glass jars, things that other people would just recycle. While school supplies and storage containers are just temporary visitors in my home, I currently have a bigger collection of both than I'd like to have on hand for personal use. So I'm using the surplus as an incentive to get an early start on handmade holiday gifts of jam and pickles. I will always struggle with organizing my house more than the average person. But, with 10 Things, my clutter has become a starting point for creative projects, not the end point of unconsidered acquisition.</p> <p><em>Do you have an unusual organizational hack to keep clutter at bay? Please share your genius in the comments section. </em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-this-one-thing-a-day-to-defeat-clutter-forever" class="sharethis-link" title="Do This One Thing a Day to Defeat Clutter Forever" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Organization cleaning clutter organization Thu, 17 Apr 2014 09:36:24 +0000 Max Wong 1135771 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Cleaning Tips That Can Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cleaning-tips-that-can-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-cleaning-tips-that-can-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cleaning-3568221-small.jpg" alt="cleaning" title="cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on cleaning tips that will save you money, awesome ways to give, and finding small appliances for cheap.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://livingonthecheap.com/five-money-saving-spring-cleaning-tips/">5 spring cleaning tips that can save you money</a> &mdash; Donating your old items can save you money when you spring clean. [Living on the Cheap]</p> <p><a href="http://christianpf.com/give-unsuspecting-people/">13 Awesome Ways to Give to Unsuspecting Random Poeple (Brave Enough for #11?)</a> &mdash; Paying for another patron or organizing a meal shower are a couple great ways to give to unsuspecting people. [Christian PF]</p> <p><a href="http://www.stretcher.com/stories/12/12apr02f.cfm">How to Find Small Appliances for Cheap</a> &mdash; You can find small appliances for cheap at garage sales or thrift stores. [TheDollarStretcher.com]</p> <p><a href="http://onecentatatime.com/10-lunch-menu-that-only-cost-less-than-5/">10 Lunch Menu that Only Cost Less Than $5 </a>&mdash; Fried rice and chicken lo mein are just a couple lunch items that cost less than $5. [One Cent at a Time]</p> <p><a href="http://frugalportland.com/mindful-investing-made-easy/">Mindful Investing Made Easy</a> &mdash; Maxing out your 401(k) is a great idea especially if your company matches your contributions. [Frugal Portland]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/monthly-checklists-to-stay-on-top-of-home-maintenance-tasks/">Monthly Checklists To Stay On Top Of Home Maintenance Tasks</a> &mdash; Have you adjusted your thermostat or cleaned your furnace filter this month? [Bible Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/insurance/do-you-really-need-wedding-insurance/">Do You Really Need Wedding Insurance?</a> &mdash; It may be a good idea to spend a little money on wedding insurance if you are spending a ton of money on your wedding. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Great-Gatsby-Travel-Destinations-34486637">5 Travel Destinations For Fans of The Great Gatsby</a> &mdash; If you are a fan of The Great Gatsby, consider traveling to East Hampton, NY. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-survive-a-messy-toddler">How to Survive a Messy Toddler</a> &mdash; Clean as you go and set an example when dealing with a messy toddler. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneywisdom.com/four-mistakes-realized-years-blogging/">Four Mistakes I Realized After Years of Blogging</a> &mdash; Are you making the blogging mistake of not monetizing sooner? [Free Money Wisdom]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cleaning-tips-that-can-save-you-money" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Cleaning Tips That Can Save You Money" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home best money tips cleaning money spring tips Tue, 08 Apr 2014 09:00:28 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1134583 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Robotic Vacuums http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-robotic-vacuums <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-robotic-vacuums" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/robovac-178465736.jpg" alt="robotic vacuum" title="robotic vacuum" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While robots are not quite as ubiquitous as we might have imagined them to be in the 21<sup>st</sup> century, there are still a number of different automated, robotic devices that can make our lives a bit simpler. The most iconic of these domestic robots would be the robotic vacuum, first made popular by the original Roomba. Since then, a number of different brands of robotic vacuums have cropped up in the marketplace, and while they still don't quite compare to standard vacuums for tackling tough dirt, automated vacuums can certainly make life easier by taking care of the occasional cleaning for you.</p> <h2>What Is a Robotic Vacuum?</h2> <p>A robotic vacuum is an automated vacuum cleaner that is able to suck up debris from carpets and floors without human operation. Robotic vacuums use intelligent programming in order to automatically maneuver their way around your home. As mentioned previously, you'll still need a standard vacuum in order to handle deeper cleaning jobs; however, they do work well for general purpose cleaning.</p> <h2>Best 5 Robotic Vacuums</h2> <h3>Neato XV-11 Robotic Vacuum System</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003UBPB6E/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003UBPB6E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="200" height="200" align="right" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/robovac-neato11.jpg" alt="" /></a>Along with iRobot that makes the Roomba vacuums, Neato Robotics is one of the top competitors in the U.S. that sells robotic vacuums. Users like the special design of the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003UBPB6E/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003UBPB6E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Neato XV-11 robotic vacuum</a>, which they say handles corners better than the completely round Roomba. The XV-11 is capable of cleaning up to three rooms on a single charge, and automatically returns to its charging station to finish the rest of the cleaning. It can also be scheduled to automatically clean the house up to seven times in a week.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003UBPB6E/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003UBPB6E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><em>Currently $310.99 on Amazon.</em></a></p> <h3>iRobot Roomba 760 Vacuum Cleaning Robot</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005EPMVTY/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005EPMVTY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="200" height="200" align="right" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/robovac-roomba760.jpg" alt="" /></a>The robotic vacuum that started it all, the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005EPMVTY/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005EPMVTY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Roomba 760</a> comes equipped with all the latest features. Aside from doing a great job of navigating and picking up dirt, hair, and debris, this Roomba also comes with air filters that trap dust and other particulate matter, leaving the air in your home clean and fresh. Its advanced software means that it can clean more of your house more thoroughly, and it's able to pick out the areas that have the highest concentration of debris.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005EPMVTY/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005EPMVTY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $499.99 on Amazon.</a></p> <h3>Infinuvo CleanMate QQ-2 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004MNY79Q/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004MNY79Q&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="200" height="200" align="right" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/robovac-infinuvo.jpg" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004MNY79Q/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004MNY79Q&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Infinuvo CleanMate QQ-2</a> is a great robovac for those looking for luxury without breaking the bank. Users are satisfied with the cleaning job that the Infinuvo does, claiming that it can pick up a good amount of dirt and hair from the floor. It also comes with a number of unique features, such as a UV light to disinfect floors. The primary complaints this vacuum receives are its four-hour charging time and the fact that it is less effective on high-pile carpet.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004MNY79Q/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004MNY79Q&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><em>Currently $149.99 on Amazon.</em></a></p> <h3>Neato XV-21 Automatic Vacuum Cleaner</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007JOJ9QQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007JOJ9QQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="200" height="200" align="right" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/robovac-neato21.jpg" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007JOJ9QQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007JOJ9QQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Neato XV-21</a> is the higher-end version of the XV-11 featured above. The XV-21 takes the functionality of robotic vacuums to a whole new level. Its Pet and Allergy Filter helps capture finer dust particles, and its laser-based mapping system allows it to better maneuver around the house. User reviews for the Neato XV-21 claim that it very rarely gets lost or stuck, and that it has helped clear up homes for folks with allergies.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007JOJ9QQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007JOJ9QQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><em>Currently $329.03 on Amazon.</em></a></p> <h3>iRobot Roomba 630 Vacuum Cleaning Robot</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008LX6JWG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008LX6JWG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="200" height="200" align="right" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/robovac-roomba630.jpg" alt="" /></a>On the flip side, our final entry to the top five robotic vacuum cleaners is a slightly lower-end version of our previous Roomba. While slightly less expensive, the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008LX6JWG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008LX6JWG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Roomba 630</a> still has many of the features of its 760 counterpart &mdash; most notably, iRobot's patented three-stage cleaning system. Similar to the 760, this Roomba also self-adjusts for different floor types and comes with &quot;Virtual Wall&quot; sensors to keep it from going to off-limit areas.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008LX6JWG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008LX6JWG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><em>Currently $349.99 on Amazon.</em></a></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-robotic-vacuums" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Robotic Vacuums" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeffrey-pu">Jeffrey Pu</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping buying guide cleaning robotic vacuum vacuums Thu, 27 Mar 2014 09:24:14 +0000 Jeffrey Pu 1131839 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: What Is Your Favorite Cleaning Tip? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-favorite-cleaning-tip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-favorite-cleaning-tip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/chores-5294707-small.jpg" alt="cleaning" title="cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-favorite-cleaning-tip#comment-743071">Elena</a>, Christie, and Betty for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>It might not feel like it in some areas of the country, but Spring is almost here! The change of season means that many of us are gearing up for a big household to-do: Spring cleaning. Why don't we help each other make this chore less of a chore?</p> <p><strong>What is your favorite cleaning tip?</strong> What tools do you use to make Spring cleaning go faster, cheaper, or more green? How do you make it more enjoyable?</p> <p>Tell us your favorite cleaning tip and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> </ul> <p><a id="rc-79857d80" class="rafl" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857d80/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a></p> <script src="//d12vno17mo87cx.cloudfront.net/embed/rafl/cptr.js"></script></p> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, March 10th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after March 10th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-favorite-cleaning-tip" class="sharethis-link" title="Ask the Readers: What Is Your Favorite Cleaning Tip?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us your favorite cleaning tip and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Giveaways Ask the Readers cleaning Tue, 04 Mar 2014 11:36:25 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1129177 at http://www.wisebread.com Declutter Now: Simple Rules You Must Follow to Stay Clutter Free http://www.wisebread.com/declutter-now-simple-rules-you-must-follow-to-stay-clutter-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/declutter-now-simple-rules-you-must-follow-to-stay-clutter-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kitchen-78774292.jpg" alt="organizing kitchen" title="organizing kitchen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's almost time for spring cleaning! If you're at all like me, the very prospect of trying to clean the entire house is overwhelming. But this year I was determined to get the job done &mdash; and I even did it early, because we just moved and I didn't want to take our extra stuff with us <em>or</em> have it build up right after we moved in. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-one-month-guide-to-spring-cleaning?ref=seealso">A One-Month Guide to Spring Cleaning</a>)</p> <p>As I've tried to determine the best ways to think about handling clutter and then to actually declutter, these are the best tips that I have found. I hope they work for you, too (and, please, if you have any that I've missed here, let me know!).</p> <h2>1. Plan Decluttering Into Your Schedule</h2> <p>Some people prefer to declutter in small stages (anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes a day), while others prefer to set aside an entire day or a weekend. Either way, make your plan and stick to it. Put decluttering into your schedule the same way you would put in a meeting or an appointment. That way, you're more likely to get it done. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/declutter-your-home-in-10-minutes?ref=seealso">A 10 Minute Declutter</a>)</p> <h2>2. Make Rules That Work for You</h2> <p>Nearly everyone who declutters has rules. A few say that everything they haven't used in a year has to go. Others say that they can't buy anything new without getting rid of at least one old thing. Whatever rules you choose, make sure they work for you. Just because something works for a friend or for someone you read online does NOT mean that it will help you.</p> <h2>3. Find Your Unique Motivator</h2> <p>Apparently, there are people out there who get excited about decluttering simply because they don't want to have more stuff. If that's you, then your motivation is built-in to who you are. The rest of us, though, have to find some greater motivation. Plan a garage sale, if the prospect of selling stuff excites you. Or, if you like to help others out, plan a donation day. On the other hand, maybe offer yourself a reward when you finish. This can be anything from a meal at your favorite restaurant to a massage or a get-together with a friend. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-frugal-ways-to-reward-yourself-right-now?ref=seealso">21 Frugal Ways to Reward Yourself</a>)</p> <h2>4. List Areas That Need Work</h2> <p>Decluttering can feel overwhelming, and it's easy to start in one area, then get distracted when you're taking an item somewhere else to put it away, and end up never finishing the first area. Even if you aren't a list person, it can help you to have a visual reminder of all the areas in your home that need decluttering. Then, whether you work your way through them in order or just do what comes naturally, you can check them off as they get cleared.</p> <h2>5. Don't Shop Until You Know What You Need</h2> <p>It's tempting to go to Home Depot or Target and buy a bunch of colorful bins in a bunch of different sizes, but the truth is that you don't know what you need until you've gone through your stuff, gotten rid of what you no longer want or need, and figured out where and how you want to store the rest. Besides, if you buy the bins first, they will just add to the clutter until you bother to use them.</p> <h2>6. Find a Place for Everything</h2> <p>A place for everything and everything in its place&hellip; it's an old adage because it's true. Every single thing that you plan to keep needs to have a place. Try to find a balance when it comes to the level of organization you choose, though. For instance, it's good to know which cupboard the frying pans go in, and even which shelf you want them on, but you probably don't need to have a specific order in which you stack them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-organizing-changes-you-can-make-today?ref=seealso">Easy Organizing Changes</a>)</p> <h2>7. Find a Logical Place for Everything</h2> <p>It's great to have a place for everything. In fact, it's fabulous. But if you'll never be able to find your stuff, or you'll have to search and search every single time you want something, the places where you're keeping things aren't working. You may have to use some trial and error here. What initially seems like a logical place for an object may not be the first place you think of looking for it later.</p> <h2>8. Find a Usable Place for Everything</h2> <p>In addition to putting things where you expect them to be, you'll also want to put them in places where you will actually go and get them to use them. For instance, it is logical and helpful for us to put my kids' art supplies in the basement. However, our basement is cold and we have found that, in the winter, we don't do art simply because we don't want to go down and get the supplies. If we want to use them, they need to move!</p> <h2>9. If It Doesn't Have a Place, Find One or Toss It</h2> <p>An item that doesn't have a place either isn't important enough for you to set something else aside to give it one, or it somehow doesn't belong with the other things you have. Either way, it is just going to sit around and contribute to cluttering things up again if you don't put it somewhere or get rid of it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today?ref=seealso">Things to Throw Out Today</a>)</p> <h2>10. Stop at &quot;Good Enough&quot;</h2> <p>Decluttering can take forever. I don't just mean that it can take a long time, but that you could literally organize <em>forever</em>, if you let yourself. Instead of devoting the rest of your life to a task that most of us find annoying, stop when you have achieved a level of organization that works for you. That means you need to think about function. In general, if you can find things when you need them and you don't have piles everywhere, you can probably consider yourself done.</p> <h2>11. Commit to a Work in Progress</h2> <p>This may seem to go against the point I made above. However, I'm not saying that you should continue to declutter and organize the same areas to an infinite level of detail. You will, though, need to continue removing clutter and organizing new items as things get moved or more things come into your home. This means going through your mail every day, helping your kids return toys and other items to their places, and more. Plan to spend <a href="http://zenhabits.net/18-five-minute-decluttering-tips-to-start-conquering-your-mess/">5-15 minutes every day</a> on clutter, in order to remain clutter free.</p> <h2>12. Use the Penicillin Method</h2> <p>Think about already decluttered spaces as being inoculated with Penicillin. This means that, once you have cleared clutter from an area, that area is clutter-free. No matter how bad the clutter may get in other places, that one remains clear. As you move through your home and continue to declutter, you will have more and more spaces that are clear. Eventually, your whole house will be inoculated.</p> <h2>13. Have a Designated Place for New Clutter</h2> <p>Choose a place in your home where you will put everything that doesn't have a home until you can find the time to give it one. This is where the mail goes when you bring it in, where birthday and Christmas gifts get stored until you decide where they go, where items that need to be re-filed or put back in their places get set until you can do that. This way, you will limit the areas of your home that gather clutter, and you will know where to go (and, at a glance, how much work you have to do) when it is time to declutter.</p> <h2>14. Use Baskets for Problem Items</h2> <p>Every night, my husband tosses his keys, wallet, keycard, and whatever else happens to be in his pockets . . . somewhere. Not only are they hard to find after that, but I hate the cluttery way this makes our kitchen/bathroom/bedroom/wherever look. To solve the problem, I put a small basket on a shelf by our door. Now, as soon as he gets home, he puts all of his pocket stuff in there. I don't have to look at it, and he can always find it. As my kids get older, they each have baskets in our main living area, too. This is where they put toys that they brought down from upstairs, snacks they want to finish later, etc.</p> <h2>15. Use Drawer Dividers</h2> <p>You know those things they make for silverware drawers, so you can separate your knives, forks, spoons, etc? Well, they make those for all sorts of drawers. They're great for organizing everything from your socks and underwear to all of the random stuff you keep in your nightstand. It can even help in your junk drawer, so you can actually find the things that you toss in there.</p> <h2>16. Find the Decluttering Philosophy That Works for You</h2> <p>There are a million different ways to think about clutter. Some love the philosophy at <a href="http://unclutterer.com">Unclutterer</a>. Others respond to the <a href="http://www.flylady.net/">Fly Lady</a>. The point is, there are lots of different ideas and methods online for dealing with clutter and, if you can find the one that works for you, you'll have a lot more success and motivation for decluttering than you might have otherwise.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite way to declutter?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/declutter-now-simple-rules-you-must-follow-to-stay-clutter-free" class="sharethis-link" title="Declutter Now: Simple Rules You Must Follow to Stay Clutter Free" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Organization cleaning declutter quick cleaning Thu, 20 Feb 2014 11:36:20 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1126823 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Tricks to Keeping Your Kitchen Clean While You Cook http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-keeping-your-kitchen-clean-while-you-cook <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-tricks-to-keeping-your-kitchen-clean-while-you-cook" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cooking-5332866-small.jpg" alt="couple cooking" title="couple cooking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have a food blog and a growing family. So, I'm in my kitchen &mdash; my <em>tiny</em> kitchen &mdash; a lot. Cooking, baking, or whatever else I find myself doing, things can get out of hand if I don't stay on top of the mess. And fast! Over the years, I've developed some trusty tips and tricks to keep things under control. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-essential-tricks-for-quick-and-easy-cleaning?ref=seealso">25 Tips for Quick and Easy Cleaning</a>)</p> <h2>1. Start Fresh</h2> <p>My husband's cardinal rule to keeping order while cooking is to always start with a clean kitchen. That way, the mess you create is your only worry. In practice, we try to make sure the kitchen is clean before going to bed each night. Washed dishes are put away, dirty ones are placed in the dishwasher, leftovers are put in containers for the fridge or freezer, and no ingredients are left out.</p> <h2>2. Cook Simpler Meals</h2> <p>Another preemptive strike against dirty counters is to pare down your cooking routine. Try <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-5-ingredient-recipes-that-save-time-in-the-kitchen">five-ingredient meals</a>, for example. There are also a lot of great <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/try-these-15-one-pot-meals-for-cost-effective-convenience">one-pot cooking</a> or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-slow-cooker-recipes-for-busy-or-lazy-vegetarians">slow cooker</a> recipes that mean fewer dishes to clean or ingredients to prepare. Whenever I see a recipe with over 10 ingredients (even fewer, really), I skip it and try something else. Say it with me: Simple food equals simpler cleaning.</p> <h2>3. Prep Ahead of Time</h2> <p>Sunday afternoon is when I prepare a lot of meals or ingredients for use during the week. I get my chopping done if stir-fries are on the menu and make sure to place those veggies in air-tight containers. I make other staples (like applesauce, muffins, and even <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2013/02/homemade-freezer-waffles.html">freezer waffles</a>) from scratch and wrap for storage. Basically, I try to do a good chunk of my cooking &mdash; or at least prep work &mdash; for the week on one day. The mess is intense, I won't lie, but it's contained to a single afternoon, meaning a cleaner kitchen for the next six days. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-and-money-with-a-monthly-assembly-or-bulk-cooking-weekend?ref=seealso">Cook in Bulk to Save Time and Money</a>)</p> <h2>4. Use Fewer Dishes or Utensils</h2> <p>While cooking or baking, I try to re-use measuring cups, mixing spoons, or bowls whenever possible. It usually means a quick rinse and dry, but it saves time. Better yet, skip the utensils and use your hands. Many recipes can be mixed with hands, including breads, salads, meatballs, and veggie burgers. And I love this restaurant tip for placing a jar of<a href="http://theartofsimple.net/clean-as-you-go-managing-the-meal-prep-mess/"> warm water</a> near your cooking area to dip those dirty mixing spoons.</p> <h2>5. Keep Moving</h2> <p>A lot of these tips already are great clean-as-you-go suggestions. There's no better way to say it, though. You just have to keep moving. If the muffins need to bake for 20 minutes, you have time to clean. If there's a rise time involved, there's time to clean. If the water needs to come to a boil before the next step &mdash; <em>you've got it</em> &mdash; there's time to clean. It's funny how we overlook those five to 10 (or more!) minute spans that might otherwise make our jobs easier in the long haul. Clean first, and you'll have more time to relax and enjoy your meal later.</p> <h2>6. Collect Food Waste</h2> <p>I learned this next tip from my high school boyfriend's mother. I don't have a lot of counter space, so when I'm peeling, chopping, or slicing fruits and vegetables, the mess piles up fast. Always keep a large bowl nearby so you can swiftly collect all this organic waste and either send it down the garbage disposal or put in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/urban-composting-it-can-be-done">your compost</a> in the warmer months. Not only does this method keep my workspace clean, it also saves us (substantial) money on our garbage tags and helps to nourish our garden. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-mulch-a-beginners-guide-for-the-lazy-composter?ref=seealso">Beginner's Guide for the Lazy Composter</a>)</p> <h2>7. Make Your Own Solution</h2> <p>We gave up store bought cleaning supplies a long time ago. Why? Too many weird ingredients and chemicals, which become especially concerning when sprayed near food prep areas. For kitchen cleaning, we use a simple solution made from equal parts water and vinegar, and we occasionally add a splash or two of some rubbing alcohol or lemon juice for good measure. Having a homemade spray saves time because we know it's safe, even if it hasn't totally dried and accidentally gets on food. Plus, it's inexpensive.</p> <h2>8. Employ a Rag System</h2> <p>We've banished paper towels in our home because they pile up, making more garbage or, in other words, waste. We now have around 20 clean rags (a mix of nubby washcloths and tea towels) that we have ready in a bag at the start of each week. We use two to four each day between kitchen and general cleaning tasks. When they are dirty, we place them in another bag and collect to wash. We never run out of these towels versus when we used a paper system. When it's time to wash, use hot water to sanitize and get all the icky stuff out.</p> <h2>9. Clean Spills and Splats ASAP</h2> <p>Tomatoes are a big offender in our household because we love homemade <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2013/08/10-minute-heirloom-tomato-sauce.html">tomato sauce</a> and tomato-based soups and stews. Inevitably, we get lots of red/orange drips and drops all over our stove-top. And walls. And ceiling. A quick wipe with a rag gets it clean in no time, so long as it's a <em>fresh</em> splatter. Whatever it is in your kitchen, get those wet spills up before they harden or even bake onto the surface. You'll save yourself time and frustration later. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips?ref=seealso">14 Tips for Removing Grease and Oil Stains</a>)</p> <h2>10. Try Canned, Frozen, or Dry Ingredients</h2> <p>Bags of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-use-frozen-mixed-vegetables">frozen vegetables</a>, cans of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-delicious-healthy-and-cheap-bean-recipes">beans</a>, or scoops of rice are lifesavers for nights when I simply don't feel like cleaning. They are often budget-friendly alternatives to fresh forms, too, depending on the time of year. Bonus: There's nearly zero prep-work involved. Simply tear open the bags of veggies and pour into soups or mix into stir-fries. Crack open cans of beans, rinse, and plop onto salads or mix into veggie burgers. Or spoon rice or pasta into boiling water and let it plump up to enjoy with the rest of your meal.</p> <p><em>How do you keep your kitchen clean while you cook? We'd love to hear your tips!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-keeping-your-kitchen-clean-while-you-cook" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Tricks to Keeping Your Kitchen Clean While You Cook" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home cleaning Cooking cooking skills kitchen skills Wed, 12 Feb 2014 11:36:35 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1124286 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Mops http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-mops <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-mops" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cleaning-453101073.jpg" alt="mop" title="mop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Of all the household cleaning chores to be done, mopping is by far one of the most daunting. The prep time involved with sweeping first, then the actual mopping itself, and finally waiting for the floors to dry can suck up a large chunk of the day depending on how much surface area there is. Add to that the confusion of picking out the best mop for the job, and cleaning your floors can all seem like a great big hassle. In recent years, mops have evolved beyond just the typical cotton wet mop that our grandparents were used to using. We here at Wise Bread have taken the guesswork out of getting clean floors by picking the top five best mops out there today.</p> <h2>What Is a Mop?</h2> <p>A mop is a cleaning tool typically constructed of absorbent materials at the end of a long pole. The absorbent materials are soaked in water or some combination of water and cleaning fluid and then dragged over dirty floors to clean up any dust, dirt, or debris. Mops can also be used dry to pick up loose dirt and the like, and they are often used in place of a broom.</p> <h2>The Best 5 Mops</h2> <h3><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002YLV7Q4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002YLV7Q4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/mop-libman.jpg" style="width: 225px; height: 300px; float: right;" /></a>Libman Wonder Mop</h3> <p>This mop uses spongy, microfiber strips in place of the traditional cotton strings. The strips are less prone to mildew than cotton strings, and the mop heads are machine washable which will ultimately end up saving you time and money.</p> <p>Reviewers consistently rate the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002YLV7Q4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002YLV7Q4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Libman Wonder Mop</a> among the best for cleaning up big spills in no time, as it is extremely absorbent. It can handle large messes and provides a much deeper clean than some of the seemingly more convenient mop options on the market. The Libman is also able to get into hard to clean corners and can even be used to clean baseboards, eliminating the inconvenience of bending over to do such chores. One reviewer claims that it has an excellent, sturdy feel to it that makes it perfect for hard scrubbing.</p> <p>The one con to this mop seems to be that, when compared to sponge mops or Swiffers, the Wonder Mop requires more strength and effort to wring out. Due to this, it may be a good mop to have on hand for monthly, heavy duty cleaning or big spills, but may not be as convenient for daily or weekly mopping maintenance around the house.</p> <p>Replacement heads for the Libman Wonder Mop are easy to find and reasonably priced at around $7 each.</p> <p><em>Current Price: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002YLV7Q4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002YLV7Q4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">$17.49 on Amazon</a></em></p> <h3><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00008MOQA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00008MOQA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/mop-swiffer.jpg" style="width: 227px; height: 300px; float: right;" /></a>Swiffer WetJet</h3> <p>This next-generation mop uses thick, disposable cleaning pads in place of more traditional sponges or strings. The pads start out dry, and a jet spray of cleaning solution is dispensed by pushing a button on the handle. The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00008MOQA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00008MOQA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">WetJet</a> has a scrubber on the head for spot cleaning.</p> <p>The biggest selling point for this mop is that it&#39;s totally bucketless. This means you don&#39;t have to deal with the hassle of emptying buckets of dirty water after every room you clean. Once the pads get dirty, you simply throw them away and put on a new one. The absorbent cleaning pads work almost as well as traditional sponge mops do, but not as well as string mops for spills or heavy duty cleaning. This makes the WetJet a good option for daily or weekly maintenance cleanings, but you&#39;ll definitely want to keep a more traditional mop on hand for more intensive deep cleans or big spills.</p> <p>The Swiffer WetJet comes with two disposable cleaning pads and one bucket of cleaning solution. This mop also uses batteries in order to dispense the solution. Replacement heads are easy to find and cost about 36 cents per pad, or $17.17 for two 24 packs on Amazon. Replacement solution costs $9.42 for two bottles and is also easy to find.</p> <p><em>Current Price: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00008MOQA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00008MOQA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">$19.97 on Amazon</a></em></p> <h3><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009319INC/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009319INC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/mop-starfiber.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 257px; float: right;" /></a>StarMop Pro</h3> <p>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009319INC/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009319INC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">StarMop Pro</a> is a great option for the environmentally conscious among you. The detachable microfiber pads are reusable, cutting down on the waste involved with other options like the Swiffer WetJet. Simply rinse out the pad after use and toss it in the washing machine every now and then. The makers of this mop claim that it cleans just as well using only water, and reviewers back up that claim, adding that some white vinegar diluted in the water cleans their floors as well as the harsher chemical floor solutions.</p> <p>Although the StarMop Pro is certainly greener than the next generation mops, it&#39;s obviously not quite as convenient. Washing the pads takes more time than simply throwing them away, and the fact that it can only be bought online (or from TV infomercials) may be a turn-off for some people. The pluses for many reviewers, however, seem to outweigh the negatives.</p> <p>This mop can pull double duty as a duster, and the grooves in the fiber make it ideal for scrubbing. It requires no wringing out like some other mops do, and the swivel head makes it easy to clean hard to reach areas, like behind the toilet.</p> <p>The StarMop Pro comes with one pad. Replacement pads can be bought online at $24.95 for a box of four.</p> <p><em>Current Price: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009319INC/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009319INC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">$29.95 on Amazon</a></em></p> <h3><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009RXQSHA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009RXQSHA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/mop-twist.jpg" style="width: 164px; height: 300px; float: right;" /></a>Twist &amp; Shout Mop</h3> <p>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009RXQSHA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009RXQSHA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Twist &amp; Shout Mop</a> is slightly more expensive than other options, but it&#39;s also the number one rated mop on Amazon. It gets excellent customer reviews all across the board. The microfiber mop head is machine washable, and it can be used both wet or dry. When used dry, reviewers claim that everything from dust to pet hair clings to the microfiber, making it more effective than a regular broom.</p> <p>One of the biggest selling points of this mop is that it is self wringing. You simply press on the handle and it spins itself dry. This means you never have to get your hands wet, or bend down, making it ideal for people with limited mobility such as pregnant women or the elderly. The swivel head makes it easy to get into corners and along baseboards, and it cleans under furniture as well.</p> <p>Replacement mop heads for the Twist &amp; Shout Mop can be bought online at $9.95 for two.</p> <p><em>Current Price: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009RXQSHA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009RXQSHA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">$44.95 on Amazon</a></em></p> <h3><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00940DV5S/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00940DV5S&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/mop-oxo.jpg" style="width: 170px; height: 300px; float: right;" /></a>OXO Good Grips Roller Mop</h3> <p>No list of mops would be complete without a simple sponge mop. The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00940DV5S/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00940DV5S&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">OXO Good Grips</a> mop has a long handle which makes it so even tall moppers don&#39;t have to bend down, and the nonstick, padded wringing mechanism is located near the middle instead of the bottom, ensuring your hands stay clean and dry. The push wringer makes this mop extremely easy to wring out.</p> <p>The extra large, 12-inch sponge head covers more surface area than other mops on the market, successfully cutting down on cleaning time. It has built-in, textured scrubbing strips that make short work of stuck-on messes. The sponge has a built-in, antibacterial treatment which apparently helps resist bacterial growth and odors.</p> <p>The one downside to this mop seems to be that some reviewers had problems with the mop head staying on; however, other reviewers claim that if installed properly, this does not happen.</p> <p>Mop head refills are easy to find and are sold for $9.99 each.</p> <p><em>Current Price: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00940DV5S/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00940DV5S&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">$29.97 on Amazon</a></em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-mops" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Mops" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gina-ippolito">Gina Ippolito</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home Buying Guides buying guides cleaning mops Thu, 30 Jan 2014 10:36:11 +0000 Gina Ippolito 1110596 at http://www.wisebread.com Declutter Your Home in 10 Minutes http://www.wisebread.com/declutter-your-home-in-10-minutes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/declutter-your-home-in-10-minutes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cleaning-1390490-small.jpg" alt="woman cleaning" title="woman cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&#39;m sure I&#39;m not the only one around here who hates cleaning the house. Although I want to be tidy, I&#39;m naturally a &quot;cluttery&quot; person, and most of the time my home reflects that. When I tidy up, I tend to clean here or there with no real focus or method, which means that clutter gets managed but never fully cleaned up. After years of frustration at myself for being unable to be as organized as I want to be, I&#39;ve finally hit upon a method that works for me and my dislike of cleaning. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-your-house-in-one-day">How to Clean Your House in a Day</a>)</p> <p>Instead of feeling frustrated at all the cleaning and organizing I&#39;m facing, I&#39;ve resorted to short, concentrated bursts of activity that accomplish decluttering in small, manageable chunks. I call them &quot;10-minute declutters.&quot; The key is to give myself a limited, achievable goal, and to focus on completing the task at hand instead of stressing out about all the cleaning I can&#39;t get done.</p> <h2>The 10-Minute Declutter</h2> <p>If you have trouble keeping your home decluttered, and you tend to avoid organizing, you might be surprised how much you can accomplish if you just concentrate for 10 minutes. For example, in 10 minutes, I might set myself the task of sorting the pile of mail into separate piles for recycling, read later, and bills. Or I might go through my makeup drawer, throwing away all old makeup and sorting the remaining makeup by shape. I might challenge myself to pick up everything on the floor in one room, or to completely clean off the surface of the kitchen table or the kitchen counter. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-organizing-changes-you-can-make-today">Easy Organizing Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <p>It is much easier to contemplate cleaning for 10 minutes rather than to face the seemingly impossible task of completely organizing the master bedroom, for example. Here are a few tips to make this 10-minute cleaning frenzy work for you.</p> <p><strong>1. Limit the Scope</strong></p> <p>Challenge yourself, yes, but be realistic about what you can accomplish in 10 minutes. You&#39;ll only be discouraged if you constantly can&#39;t complete the task. Focus either on one small area (a drawer, your wallet, one table) or one limited action (dusting the furniture in one room, picking up all the toys). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-organize-a-messy-closet">14 Ways to Organize a Closet</a>)</p> <p><strong>2. Enlist Help</strong></p> <p>One person can accomplish a lot in 10 minutes, but two or three people can do even more. And your spouse/kids/roommates are more likely to agree to clean for 10 minutes when they see that the task is limited in time and scope. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-good-roommate-relationship">How to Have a Good Roommate Relationship</a>)</p> <p>I recently saw the efficacy of this approach one night when, frustrated at the state of our family room, I told my husband, &quot;Let&#39;s pick up everything we can in 10 minutes. Ready, set, move your butt!&quot; Ten minutes later, stray coffee cups were in the sink, toys were picked up, books were shelved, and stinky socks were dumped into the washing machine. We both looked at our relatively clean family room and said, &quot;Wow.&quot; We even got a bit of exercise from our burst of decluttering energy!</p> <p><strong>3. Do Your Regular Chores</strong></p> <p>The 10-minute declutter can&#39;t take the place of your regular chores. You probably can&#39;t, for example, do all the dishes that have piled up over the week in 10 minutes. The goal of the 10-minute declutter is to make headway on organizing a mess that seems too big to tackle, by breaking it down into manageable chunks. Do one, or a few, 10-minute declutters every day in addition to your regular chores, and you&#39;ll feel like your home is actually getting cleaner, rather than merely maintaining the status quo. The 10-minute declutter can also help you out when things are getting messier than normal and you want to &quot;reset&quot; the balance, so to speak.</p> <p>If, like me, you have trouble disciplining yourself to tidy up around your home, the 10-minute declutter can be a useful tool in your cleaning arsenal. Make it a habit, and you&#39;ll be a little further on your way to the clean, organized, and peaceful home we all dream of.</p> <p><em>Do you use the 10-minute declutter, or a variation, to keep your place in order? What do you do?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/declutter-your-home-in-10-minutes" class="sharethis-link" title="Declutter Your Home in 10 Minutes" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Organization cleaning declutter organization Thu, 24 Oct 2013 14:21:07 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1041945 at http://www.wisebread.com Deep-Clean Your Mattress for a Better Night's Sleep http://www.wisebread.com/deep-clean-your-mattress-for-a-better-nights-sleep <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/deep-clean-your-mattress-for-a-better-nights-sleep" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sleep-4428842-small.jpg" alt="sleep" title="sleep" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Spring-cleaning wouldn't be complete without giving your mattress some serious attention. Along with refreshing your bed, this easy cleaning <a target="_blank" href="http://www.casasugar.com/DIY" title="Latest photos and news for DIY">DIY</a> ensures a better night's sleep. No need for harsh chemicals or expensive concoctions &mdash; all you need is a box of baking soda for this cleaner. The addition of essential oil gently scents your bed, helping to soothe and lull you to sleep.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Clean-Microwave-Vinegar-29094077">RELATED:&nbsp;The Easiest Way to Clean Your Microwave</a></p> <p>Read on for the basic directions.</p> <h2>What You'll Need</h2> <ul> <li>16-ounce box baking soda</li> <li>Essential oil</li> <li>Vacuum cleaner</li> </ul> <h2>Directions</h2> <p>1. Before beginning, flip or rotate the bed, which is smart to do every six months to extend mattress life and prevent sagging. While you're working on your mattress, toss your bedding in the wash, and fluff duvets or feather beds in the dryer.</p> <p>2. Open the box of baking soda and add 10 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. Close the box and give it a good shake to distribute the essential oil and break up any large clumps. Lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, and ylang ylang are all soothing scents that would be wonderfully calming. And essential oils are naturally antibacterial.</p> <p><img width="350" height="350" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u921/d045e1c57aee8a45_P1140695.preview.jpg" /></p> <p>3. Sprinkle the baking soda over the bed, using the entire box. Now it's time for a mattress massage! Rub the baking soda mixture into the bed, which really gives your mattress a deep cleaning. Let the baking soda and essential oil work its magic for at least an hour.</p> <p><img width="350" height="350" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u921/9bc8839f5be57975_P1140698.preview.jpg" /></p> <p>4. While you're waiting, wipe down the walls around your bed and the bed frame, creating a nice and clean sleeping area. After an hour, vacuum the mattress, working slowly to ensure all the baking soda has been removed.</p> <p><img width="350" height="350" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u921/3445b00e24fd5f86_P1140703.preview.jpg" /></p> <p>5. Along with freshening your bed, the mixture helps lift dirt and residue while wicking away moisture. And giving your mattress a good vacuuming sucks away any lurking dust mites, which makes everyone sleep easier. Make the bed, and you're ready for some serious slumber.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> You might wash your sheets frequently...but how often do you clean your actual mattress? Make it happen with these easy how-to guide. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img width="300" height="95" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/DIY-Cleaning-Products-28901279">Make These 14 Natural Cleaners for Pennies</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Uses-Hydrogen-Peroxide-28495761">11 Brilliant Uses for Hydrogen Peroxide</a><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Make-Clove-Oil-Kill-Mold-29730039"><br /> </a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Make-Clove-Oil-Kill-Mold-29730039">Make Your Own&nbsp;Eco-Friendly Mold&nbsp;Killer</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips bedroom cleaning mattress Thu, 09 May 2013 10:24:32 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 973978 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Make Money Through Spring Cleaning http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-make-money-through-spring-cleaning <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-make-money-through-spring-cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/chores-2144579-small.jpg" alt="spring cleaning" title="spring cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on making money through spring cleaning, who pays for what in a wedding, and things happy people do differently.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.narrowbridge.net/make-money-spring-cleaning/">4 Simple Ways to Make Money Through Spring Cleaning</a> &mdash; To make money through spring cleaning, participate in consignment sales. [Narrow Bridge]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Who-Pays-What-Wedding-29470895">Who Pays For What in a Wedding</a> &mdash; The wedding party is responsible for paying for their own attire. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/2013/04/13-things-happy-people-do-differently.html">13 Things Happy People Do Differently</a> &mdash; Happy people tend to stay away from drama and eliminate expectations. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/kids-and-money/what-are-you-teaching-your-children-make-money-visible-in-your-home/">What Are You Teaching Your Children? Make Money Visible in Your Home</a> &mdash; It is important to let your children see what you do with money to give them a more accurate perspective on where money comes from and how to spend it. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://freefrombroke.com/wheres-my-tax-refund-how-to-check-the-status-of-your-tax-refund/">Where's My Tax Refund? How to Check the Status of Your Tax Refund</a> &mdash; If you want to check the status of your tax refund, use the IRS's &quot;Where's My Refund?&quot; feature. [Free From Broke]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://onecentatatime.com/19-pretty-things-to-make-debt-snowball-a-motivating-factor/">19 Pretty Things to Make Debt Snowball a Motivating Factor</a> &mdash; Debt snowball may be a good way to tackle your debt because it teaches you to develop patience and allows you to be more independent. [One Cent at a Time]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2013/04/16/three-big-tips-for-inexpensive-spring-allergy-relief/">Three Big Tips for Inexpensive Spring Allergy Relief</a> &mdash; Save money on spring allergy relief by purchasing loratadine instead of Claratin. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.20sfinances.com/2013/04/17/is-gen-y-really-that-bad-off/">Is Gen Y Really That Bad Off?</a> &mdash; The unemployment rate for college graduates is around 4% and most grads graduate with somewhere around $20,000 in debt. [20's Finances]</p> <p><a href="http://www.marcandangel.com/2013/04/15/9-things-your-relationships-need-from-you/">9 Things Your Relationships Need From You</a> &mdash; Make sure you are giving your relationships loyalty and trust. [Marc and Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/is-it-okay-hiding-medications-in-your-child-s-food">Is It OK to Hide Medications in Your Child's Food?</a> &mdash; It is not advisable to hide your child's medication in his or her food. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-make-money-through-spring-cleaning" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Make Money Through Spring Cleaning" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Extra Income best money tips cleaning money spring cleaning Thu, 18 Apr 2013 10:00:32 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 973544 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Save Money Spring Cleaning http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-save-money-spring-cleaning <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-save-money-spring-cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/spring-cleaning-4234838-small.jpg" alt="spring cleaning" title="spring cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on saving money spring cleaning, making your wedding venue more affordable, and tax mistakes to avoid.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://bargainbabe.com/2013/04/02/save-money-spring-cleaning/">Save Money Spring Cleaning</a> &mdash; When cleaning this spring, remember to vacuum your fridge coils to make your fridge more efficient and save money! [Bargain Babe]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Save-Your-Wedding-Venue-24257605">6 Ideas to Make Your Wedding Venue More Affordable</a> &mdash; If you want to make your wedding venue more affordable, consider getting married in a rural area. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.joetaxpayer.com/the-dumbest-tax-mistakes-to-avoid-this-april/">The Dumbest Tax Mistakes to Avoid This April</a> &mdash; Don't make the tax mistake of under-reporting your income this tax season. [Joe Taxpayer]</p> <p><a href="http://genxfinance.com/cheap-healthy-foods/">Cheap Healthy Food</a> &mdash; Eggs and sweet potato are budget friendly, healthy foods. [Generation X Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2013/04/are-you-confident-you-can-retire.html">Are You Confident You Can Retire?</a> &mdash; Did you know 49% of Americans do not feel confident they will be able to retire? [Free Money Finance]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://sweatingthebigstuff.com/how-beat-big-banks/">How To Beat The Big Banks</a> &mdash; To avoid letting banks profit from you, use in-network ATMs. [Sweating The Big Stuff]</p> <p><a href="http://www.consumerismcommentary.com/psychological-barriers-admitting-theres-a-problem/">Psychological Barriers: Admitting There's a Problem</a> &mdash; Denial can be a huge issue when addressing money problems. [Consumerism Commentary]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/7-reasons-to-eat-meals-at-home-and-7-ways-to-get-it-done">7 Reasons to Eat Meals at Home and 7 Ways to Get it Done</a> &mdash; Eating meals at home helps you save money and slow down. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2013/04/09/how-your-commute-affects-your-bottom-line/">How Your Commute Affects Your Bottom Line</a> &mdash; When looking for a job, it is vital to take a look at your commute costs before accepting a position. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://yesiamcheap.com/2013/04/popular-landlord-tenant-rental-scams/">Popular Landlord and Tenant Rental Scams</a> &mdash; If the price on a rental property you are looking at seems too good to be true, it's probably a scam. [Yes, I Am Cheap]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-save-money-spring-cleaning" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Save Money Spring Cleaning" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home best money tips cleaning spring Wed, 10 Apr 2013 10:00:32 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 973372 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: What Are Your Spring Cleaning Tips? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-are-your-spring-cleaning-tips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-what-are-your-spring-cleaning-tips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4623304833_f5f19fbdcf_z.jpg" alt="boy with a brush" title="boy with a brush" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-are-your-spring-cleaning-tips#comment-615904">Betty</a>, Christie, and Linda for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Spring cleaning is often a dreaded, exhausting project &mdash; but it doesn't have to be! This week, let's share tips to help each other organize and clean house from top to bottom, closets to yard.</p> <p><b>What are your spring cleaning tips?</b> Do you make your own cleaners, or repurpose household items to help you clean? Do you have a strategy to organize each room? How do you make heavy duty cleaning more fun?</p> <p>Tell us about your spring cleaning tips and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> <a id="rc-79857d25" class="rafl" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857d25/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><script src="//d12vno17mo87cx.cloudfront.net/embed/rafl/cptr.js"></script> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, April 1st at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after April 1st on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-are-your-spring-cleaning-tips" class="sharethis-link" title="Ask the Readers: What Are Your Spring Cleaning Tips?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us about your spring cleaning tips and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Giveaways Ask the Readers cleaning Tue, 26 Mar 2013 10:36:31 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 971437 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Have a Clean Place Without Cleaning http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-have-a-clean-place-without-cleaning <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-have-a-clean-place-without-cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3184304498_8553af6021_z.jpg" alt="bedroom" title="bedroom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on having a clean place without cleaning, giving memorable gifts without going into debt, and spending your tax refund wisely.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Shorten-Cleaning-Time-22498197">11 Ways to Have a Clean Place Without Cleaning</a> &mdash; To have a clean place without cleaning, reduce the amount of stuff you have. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://ptmoney.com/memorable-gifts/">6 Ways to Give Memorable Gifts Without Going Into Debt</a> &mdash; Give a memorable gift without going into debt by spending time instead of money. [PT Money]</p> <p><a href="http://genxfinance.com/how-to-spend-your-tax-refund-wisely/">How to Spend Your Tax Refund Wisely</a> &mdash; Consider using your tax refund to pay down debt or fix up your home. [Generation X Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.carefulcents.com/increase-your-financial-savvy/">3 Ways to Increase Your Financial Savvy as a Female Entrepreneur</a> &mdash; If you want to increase your financial savvy as a female entrepreneur, surround yourself with like-minded entrepreneurs. [Careful Cents]</p> <p><a href="http://www.joetaxpayer.com/5-essential-steps-to-prepare-for-tax-season/">5 Essential Steps to Prepare for Tax Season</a> &mdash; Asking the right questions and getting organized will help you prepare for tax season. [Joe Taxpayer]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.20sfinances.com/2013/02/25/traditional-ira-vs-roth-ira-which-one-is-better-for-young-adults/">Traditional IRA vs Roth IRA: Which One is Better for Young Adults</a> &mdash; Did you know traditional IRAs are tax deferred while Roth IRAs are tax exempt? [20's Finances]</p> <p><a href="http://livingonthecheap.com/fine-arts-on-the-cheap/">4 ways to experience fine arts on the cheap</a> &mdash; To experience fine arts on the cheap, check out community and college art organizations. [Living on the Cheap]</p> <p><a href="http://www.stretcher.com/stories/12/12feb27b.cfm?slider#.USuznoXxJl8">Garage Sales 101</a> &mdash; The best time to have a garage sale is on a weekend in May or June. [The Dollar Stretcher]</p> <p><a href="http://youngandthrifty.ca/who-should-pay-on-dates/">Who Should Pay on Dates?</a> &mdash; Do you think going dutch on a date is a bad idea? [Young and Thrifty]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/8-tips-for-preparing-a-birth-plan-0">8 Tips for Preparing a Birth Plan</a> &mdash; When preparing a birth plan, use clear and assertive language. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-have-a-clean-place-without-cleaning" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Have a Clean Place Without Cleaning" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home best money tips cleaning home house Tue, 26 Feb 2013 10:48:34 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 968096 at http://www.wisebread.com The 4 Types of Clutterers: Which One Are You? http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-types-of-clutterers-which-one-are-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-4-types-of-clutterers-which-one-are-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3940190148_1ba7f69a1c_z.jpg" alt="clutter" title="clutter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The first step to fixing your problem is identifying it. And if your problem is being disorganized, you need to know what type of clutterer you are to figure out the right solution. Expert organizer Peter Walsh, a speaker at the recent <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/latest/o%20you%21">O You! Conference in Los Angeles</a>, shared with the audience the main types of problem clutterers and what each should do to get organized.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/List-Things-Dispose-24575006">RELATED: One a Day: Throw These 116 Things Away</a></p> <h2>Behind-Closed-Doors Clutterer</h2> <p>Do you go to great lengths to hide your mess from visitors? For example, you stuff all your clutter in your spare bedroom and don't let anyone see it, so they are none the wiser? There are two types of people who do this: perfectionists and people who just don't think it's worth it to be organized. For the perfectionists, they think if they can't do it perfectly, they're not going to do it. The people who don't think it's worth the effort simply don't think it's a priority and it doesn't impact their life in a big way.</p> <p><strong>Solution</strong>: First, &quot;get over yourself!&quot; said the organization expert. Second, get a friend (wine optional) and make decluttering a fun activity. But don't ask someone in the family or who lives in the same house as you to help because that can cause tension, warns Walsh. Make sure you offer to go over to your friend's place the following week to declutter. Third, start small so that it's not overwhelming. Perhaps you can start by clearing out your bedside table or your bag.</p> <h2>Knowledge Clutterer</h2> <p>You have endless piles of magazines, books, and more. Don't beat yourself up over missing out on special tips, because Walsh jokes that there are only three original ideas in the world and magazines print them over and over again. Sooner or later, you'll come across the same information again.</p> <p><strong>Solution</strong>: Walsh only keeps two back issues of a magazine, and if he decides to keep a new issue, he will throw away an old one so he will only have two copies of the magazine. As for books, if your shelf is full, make sure every time you buy a book, you give one book away. Decide which ones are important to you and keep those.</p> <h2>Sentimental Clutterer</h2> <p>You are the memory clutterer, and you love to hoard items that remind you of important people, events, or achievements in your past.</p> <p><strong>Solution</strong>: Shift your mind-set. Pick three or four treasures &quot;that make your heart sing.&quot; Walsh only kept one thing from his father, his old war medals. Figure out what you want to keep and how to display it in your home. Then take photographs of all the rest and let them go.</p> <h2>Bargain Shopper Clutterer</h2> <p>A steal means something worth buying...right? You're probably a bargain clutterer if you think that way or when your life becomes about the &quot;quantity of stuff versus quality of life.&quot;</p> <p><strong>Solution</strong>: The organizer recommends to look at the reasons behind your shopping frenzy &mdash; because there is one. Spend your time in a different and meaningful way such as involving yourself in a charity or taking up a hobby. And live by Walsh's rule: &quot;If price is the best thing about something, you should not buy it.&quot;</p> <p>Living a cluttered life can weigh you down emotionally and cause strife between you and others. Take steps to do away with the mess in your life for good, and not only will your physical surroundings be cleaner, but you will also feel cleaner mentally and emotionally.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Cutting clutter can be easier if you understand why you have so much stuff. Check out this expert advice about the types of clutterers — and cleaning tips for each. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u4/savvysugar-300-small.jpg" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>SavvySugar</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Organized-When-Grocery-Shopping-21843868">How to Stay Organized When&nbsp;Grocery Shopping</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Useful-Cleaning-Products-24479766">9 Cleaning Products Under $35 That Will&nbsp;Change Your Life</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Clothes-Throw-Away-24751582">5 Types of Clothes to Clear From&nbsp;Your Closet</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Organization cleaning declutter simplicity Thu, 22 Nov 2012 11:24:04 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 957656 at http://www.wisebread.com Fall Cleaning 101: The Spic-and-Span Basics of Making Your Home Sparkle http://www.wisebread.com/fall-cleaning-101-the-spic-and-span-basics-of-making-your-home-sparkle <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/fall-cleaning-101-the-spic-and-span-basics-of-making-your-home-sparkle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6227089544_4186837114_z.jpg" alt="cleaning sink" title="cleaning sink" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Chances are you engage in a comprehensive spring cleaning, but what about a deep clean in the fall? Surely your home could use a thorough once over more than once a year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-your-house-in-one-day">How to&nbsp;Clean&nbsp;Your House in&nbsp;One Day</a>)</p> <p>The steps for fall cleaning aren&rsquo;t much different than what you do in the spring, but there are a few areas that require extra attention as the colder months draw near.</p> <p>To help you cover all the bases as you prepare your home for a cozy, clean hibernation, I&rsquo;ve created a room-by-room list to ensure that every nook and cranny is cleaned. These actionable items are what I do during my own spring and fall cleans based on the space and things I have. It goes without saying that your home may be different than mine, so add steps &mdash; like washing drapes, for instance &mdash; as you see fit. Also, feel free to print out this post to use it as a checklist as you clean. You&rsquo;ll feel much more accomplished when you can see on paper how much you did.</p> <p>Time to get started. Good luck!</p> <h2>Living Room</h2> <ul> <li>Dust furniture using a soft cloth or feather duster. Move TV, cable box, TiVo, and other electronic devices to do an all-around dusting of each.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Remove and wash pillow cases and seat covers if they&rsquo;re removable.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Take off the couch cushions and vacuum up all the crud that has deposited underneath them. Put the loose change in your pocket.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Move furniture to vacuum under and behind it. There&rsquo;s more dust, dirt, and long-lost items that you can&rsquo;t see.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Reorganize cabinets. If you have an entertainment center, organize your media, wrap up cords, and neatly align other items.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Toss out any unwanted media by donating it to charity or listing it on eBay or Amazon to earn a little extra cash. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Wash knickknacks. Those small decorative items collect dust, too. If they&rsquo;re sturdy and can handle water, place them in the dishwasher. Otherwise, wash and dry by hand. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Dust shelves with a soft cloth or feather duster followed by a wipe with a glass or wood cleaner, depending on what kind of shelves you have.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Organize cords by wrapping and binding with ties or rubber bands.</li> </ul> <h2>Kitchen</h2> <ul> <li>Clean and sanitize dishwasher. First, remove any large pieces of debris that may be clogging the drain, then <a href="http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/02/how-to-clean-your-dishwasher.html">clean and sanitize the dishwasher</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Wash cabinets inside and out using warm water and soap. Dust and grease can build up without you noticing, so you may need to put a little extra effort into it.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Organize drawers and cabinets. Go through your &ldquo;junk drawer&rdquo; and discard anything you don&rsquo;t need. Throw out dishes and silverware you don&rsquo;t want. Toss broken utensils.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Clean oven inside and out by giving it a thorough clean on the inside (much easier if it&rsquo;s a self-cleaning oven) and removing each component of the range top so you can wash them individually.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Clean the microwave. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Defrost the fridge and freezer by removing all the food (toss anything that&rsquo;s expired or about to expire if you don&rsquo;t plan to eat it soon) and using a hair dryer to melt the ice. Lay down a few towels and chip away at the ice to speed up the process.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Clean the fridge and freezer by taking out all removable components of the appliance and washing them either in the dishwasher or sink and washing the inside of the appliance with a disinfectant.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Refill/replace cooking essentials. If you notice you&rsquo;re low on herbs and spices, oils, sugar, or flour, now is the time to replace and refill these items.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Wash appliances. Like your cabinets, your appliances will likely have a dusting greasy film on them if they haven&rsquo;t been washed in a while. Carefully wash each one according to the instructions or the laws of common sense.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Restock cleaning supplies. Replace or refill cleansers, detergents, and sponges if you notice your stock is low.</li> </ul> <h2>Pantry</h2> <ul> <li>Remove all food items and toss anything expired or that&rsquo;s about to expire if you don&rsquo;t plan to eat it soon.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Clean the shelves to remove any residue from spills or loose food.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-organize-your-pantry-and-save-cash">Reorganize the pantry</a> by categorizing the foods. For instance, put all the pastas in one section and sauces in another nearby section. Put the foods with the closest expiration date up front so you can consume those items first.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Sweep the pantry floor to remove any food particles in order to keep away pests.<b>&nbsp;</b></li> </ul> <h2>Bathrooms</h2> <ul> <li>Clean the medicine cabinet by removing all items in the cabinet and cleaning the shelves with a glass or wood cleaner.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Toss out any expired meds or health/beauty products.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Scrub the tub and/or shower with a hard-bristled brush to remove built-up dirt, grime, and soap scum. Be sure to attack the tub base and the walls.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Clean toilet inside and out. Don&rsquo;t forget to clean the under-area of the toilet, which includes the front, sides, and back. Even though nobody can see those areas, they still need to be cleaned.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Reorganize drawers by tossing out anything you don&rsquo;t need or want and putting the things you do want in an accessible order.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Replenish supplies. Restock your bathroom with toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, etc.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Toss rugs and hand towels in the washing machine.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Clean-the-Showerhead-with-Vinegar">Clean the showerhead with vinegar</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Wash or replace your shower curtain and liner. Both of mine are cloth and washable, so it&rsquo;s easy to stick them in the washing machine instead of having to buy new ones when they get grimy.</li> </ul> <h2>Bedrooms</h2> <ul> <li>Move furniture to clean underneath and behind. Dust and other random items like to hide where you can't see them.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Wash bed linens. Remove the sheets and pillowcases and toss them in the washing machine.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Flip mattress. This step will increase the life of your mattress by not wearing out one side before the other.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Bag any unwanted clothing. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/guide-to-better-style-the-curated-closet">Go through your closet</a> and get rid of anything you don&rsquo;t want to wear anymore or anything that doesn&rsquo;t fit, which includes shoes and accessories, too. Offer these hand-me-downs to a friend or donate them to charity.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Organize closets. When you&rsquo;ve successfully bagged all unwanted apparel and cleaned the closet, reorganize the space so it&rsquo;s more efficient and aesthetically pleasing.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h2>Office</h2> <ul> <li>Organize files. Go through your filing cabinet and toss out old, unneeded files while reorganizing the files that you do need.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Toss out any unneeded paperwork that has accumulated, including bills and other mail.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Refill supplies. Take note of what you need and restock those items.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Clean your computer using a cleanser made especially for computer screens and soft cloth.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Clean your desk by removing all items, dusting and/or washing those items, and cleaning the surface and underneath the desk.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Organize cords neatly by binding them with ties or rubber bands.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h2>Whole House</h2> <ul> <li>Change burnt-out light bulbs. Go through your entire home to see which lights work and which don&rsquo;t. Replace the non-working lights with energy-efficient lights that will last longer and save you more money.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Dust fans. If your fans are spinning most of the time, you won&rsquo;t notice the dust that has built up on the blades, but it&rsquo;s there. Turn off the fan and wipe the blade and motor clean.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Wash walls. You don&rsquo;t have to do this from top to bottom, but rather take a sponge around the house, inspect the walls, and spot clean any areas that have attracted dirt.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Mop floors.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Scrub tiles using a hard-bristled brush and a powerful cleaning agent. Make sure you get down into the grout to remove the grime.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Steam clean carpets and wash area rugs. For the former, you may need to rent a device if your carpet need a deep clean.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Clean window treatments, including hand-washing blinds and laundering curtains.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Wash windows on both sides with a glass cleaner.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Clean windowsills to remove dust, dirt, and small bugs that may have accumulated.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Dust/clean artwork using a feather duster or soft cloth. Clean the front and side of artwork, and use a gentle glass cleaner to clean any framed pieces.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Clean and wrap air conditioners. First, clean the filters then wrap the portion of the unit that hangs out the window with an insulating wrap so <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-ways-to-keep-your-home-warm-this-winter"> the cold air can&rsquo;t creep in when the temps take a dive</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Take out the trash. You should have plenty by now. Toss out the bags and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.</li> </ul> <p class="MsoListParagraph" style="text-indent:-.25in;mso-list:l2 level1 lfo6">&nbsp;</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fall-cleaning-101-the-spic-and-span-basics-of-making-your-home-sparkle" class="sharethis-link" title="Fall Cleaning 101: The Spic-and-Span Basics of Making Your Home Sparkle" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> DIY General Tips Home Lifestyle cleaning fall Tue, 02 Oct 2012 10:24:45 +0000 Mikey Rox 954829 at http://www.wisebread.com