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Improvement Home


Spring Cleaning: Getting Your Home Ready for the Season A


great clean looks as good as it feels, and with warmer weather right around the corner, there’s nothing


better than the feeling that your home is free of dirt, dust and grime. When you’re a busy mom, keeping your house clean can seem like a never-ending battle. Arm yourself with the right mindset and a few simple tips to conquer your cleaning challenges. Jessica Denay, author of “The Hot Mom


Handbook” series has partnered with Swiffer to offer these tips to help keep your home clean while also balancing work and family:


* Don’t try to do everything at once.


Divide chores into daily, weekly, monthly and even seasonal tasks. Do the dishes daily, and try to throw out old food in your fridge as part of your weekly tasks. With spring upon us, dust build-up will be your nemesis. By dedicating certain days this spring to seasonal chores like dusting ceil- ing fans or sweeping out the fireplace, you can help better manage the upkeep of your home and do deep cleans less often. Denay recommends Swiffer 360 Dusters, which use thousands of fluffy fibers that change shape to fit virtually anywhere to trap and lock dust, dirt and pet hair without spreading it around your home.


* Know when to call it a day. It’s easier to


keep your home clean and keep a positive mindset if you set aside a few minutes each day to clean. If you have an overwhelming task list, attack each task in order of impor- tance and get to the last ones on your list as time allows. Don’t let cleaning consume a whole day or weekend.


* Don’t waste time. Efficiency makes a


huge difference. “Always clean from the top and work your way down, otherwise you’ll be cleaning in circles,” says Denay. It helps to focus on one area of the house at a time. Keeping all your cleaning supplies in a caddy can also prevent extra trips to retrieve items you might have forgotten or couldn’t


carry. Find shortcuts. Use products that can work on multiple messes like the Swiffer Sweeper that allows you to sweep and mop with one simple tool.


* Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s com-


pletely possible to maintain the appearance of a clean home even if the most out-of- the-way places aren’t cleaned regularly.


Perception is reality and even if that area behind your fridge is a little dusty, nobody will notice. Concentrate on the open areas of your home that see a lot of traffic. If these areas are clean, your home will feel spotless and comfortable.


Following these tips will allow you to balance chores amongst free time. With


Keep Mosquitoes from Ruining Your Barbecue F


ew things exude the spirit of summer more than a backyard barbecue. Casual attire is expected, and the a good time is had by all.


One thing that can ruin even the best barbecue, however, is the un-


invited guest with a big appetite. And it’s not Uncle Frank. Mosquitoes might not ask for a third or fourth hamburger, but they do tend to feast whenever they get the chance. At best, mosquitoes are annoying and pesky. At worst, mosquitoes pose a serious health risk to adults and pets, as mosquitoes can carry viruses that result in illness. But mosquitoes don’t have to ruin your outdoor plans this summer.


Instead, taking a proactive approach before the summer season starts can help reduce the risk of mosquitoes dropping by your next bar- becue. The following methods can make your yard less attractive to hungry mosquitoes, ensuring Uncle Frank will be the only one filling up at the next barbecue. * Destroy or dispose of tin cans, old tires, buckets and similar wa-


ter-holding containers. * Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are left out-


side and cover trash containers to keep out rainwater. * Clean clogged roof gutters on an annual basis. * Change water every week in birdbaths and wading pools. * Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish. * Clean and chlorinate swimming pools that are not being used. * Check for trapped water in plastic or canvas tarps and arrange


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Steps


Homeowners can do several things to keep mosquitoes from ruining their next backyard barbecue


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just a little daily attention, you can make cleaning seem like less of a chore and more like a refreshing activity. “Having a sparkling clean home gives me peace of mind and the actual cleaning process makes me feel like I’m doing something good for myself and my family,” says Denay.


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