Archive for the 'Cleaning Tips' Category

What Are Some Tips to Preparing Your Home for a New Pet? 08Apr14

Congratulations! You’re thinking about welcoming a new member into your household in the form of an adorable pet. Depending on the kind of animal you are adopting, there are different levels of preparation that needed to create a safe environment. Smaller animals such as hamsters or gerbils are simply need a quality cage or holding pen. However, since dogs and cats are often free to roam across every surface of your home (whether you like it or not), it’s important that you make sure your entire house is safe and sound for your new furry friend.

Puppy or kitten proof your house

If you are bringing an animal into your home that chews on things, likes to hide, is not housebroken or has no knowledge of right or wrong, brace yourself for the occasional mess or two (or five). Make sure your give your new furry friend a place where they can feel at home. Typically, new puppy or kitten owners can enclose a small area in a room where they spend plenty of time and can keep a close eye on their new friend to make sure they are following the rules. Never allow your new puppy or kitten to wander freely around the home as nothing good can ever come out of it. The next time you walk into your kitchen, do not be surprised if you find a little accident waiting to be cleaned up by you. It’s important to have the proper pet cleanup products readily available for your pooch or kitty, and consider having multiple litter boxes or pet potty patches scattered throughout the house to determine where he or she would prefer to “go.” Cats can be picky about where they “do their business” so, if your new feline friend is not responding to its current box, experiment with multiple makes to see which ones tickle his or her fancy.

Be prepared for some messes

Bringing a new puppy or kitten into your house means that you realize some of your personal belongings may be damaged. Blinds, curtains, shoes, socks, furniture, pillows, and anything else your new friend can get their claws or teeth on could be ruined beyond fixing. To minimize the potential damage, take preemptive steps to make sure your favorite items are out of reach. Pups are especially fond of chewing on footwear, so make sure no sneakers are left lying about the floor with a shoe rack or organizer. Animals are also naturally attracted to dangling items, so it might be wise to move any suspended scarves or jewelry to either a horizontal storage unit or the interior of your closet. To protect your more precious furniture items (at least temporarily), purchase a pet parade couch pet bed that you can easily place on top to shield your couch or chair from dog hairs or accidents.

Protect your new pet’s health

Just like you wouldn’t want to leave harmful chemicals in reach of a small child, you should take the same measures with your dog. Move potentially harmful cleaning substances from beneath the sink to higher shelves or find a way of latching ones that are more easily accessible. Additionally, tape down any electrical cords they might be tempted to chew on. Take a look around your home and consider whether your determined kitty or pooch might be able scale to new heights to reach things like the deadly bowl of chocolate; what looks like a counter chair to you might look like a ladder to your resourceful four-legged pal. Similarly, what may look like a waste basket to you may look like a smelly buffet of flavors to your pet, so make sure all trashcans are tall and not easy to knock over so your dog doesn’t end up eating something he or she shouldn’t. Finally, make sure that you don’t have any poisonous plants within easy reach like lilies, mums and poinsettias. Don’t forget, this goes for your garden as well.

Make your new pet feel right at home in his or her new environment with lots of love, hugs and, of course, home pet products from Taylor Gifts.

How Do You Prepare for Spring Cleaning? 26Feb14

Although we’re still in the midst of winter, it’s never too late to begin preparing for spring. Of course, spring cleaning is an annual tradition, but that’s no reason that you can’t introduce some new elements this time around. Keep reading for some simple ideas.

First, while it’s important to plan for spring cleaning, that doesn’t mean you should let your normal cleaning regimen fall by the wayside. Stay focused on what needs to get done while you prepare for the coming season, or you’ll end up with even more to do.

While you have the time right now, start things off with a plan. Just because you’ve always had a routine for your spring cleaning doesn’t mean it was the best one. Take the time now to analyze how you’ve done things in the past and think about where you could improve. It might just mean finding more effective ways to go about it. Also, keep in mind anything that might need to be added to the list. It’s been a whole year since the last time you did your spring cleaning, and it’s possible that you’ve acquired new items that will either need attention or that can help out.

When preparing for spring cleaning, it’s ok to think about some new purchases you might need to make. Everything from shelves to containers to wall racks can go a long way in helping to organize your home.

Lastly, don’t shoulder the entire burden on your own. If you have a family, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be pitching in. By planning early, you can assign tasks and give your family members plenty of time to ask for clarification. Better to field those questions now than find out a job wasn’t done correctly later.

It’s best to start preparing for spring cleaning early so you don’t get squeezed for time when the season finally comes around. As soon as the weather gets nicer, there will be all kinds of other activities to prepare for, as well.


Lint Lizard 31Jan12

I have spring fever! Out here on the east, we have had a very mild winter. The temperature will reach nearly 60 degrees today—the last day of January—and I love it! The spring-like weather every other week or so is a little reminder that winter does not last forever, as it sometimes seems it might.

The only thing I do not like about spring is the dreaded spring cleaning. The house has been closed up, needs to be aired out, the windows have collected a fine coating of dust (yuck!), the blades on the ceiling fans are looking a little dusty by this time, and all the nooks and crannies in your home that don’t see a vacuum during a normal cleaning could use a good scrub.

Most people don’t like cleaning windows. I don’t mind it so much. What I really dislike is cleaning out the dryer vent. There is no good way to do it with a regular vacuum. It’s a necessary safety measure to get the built up lint out of the lint trap and vent hose to prevent a fire, but the vacuum hose can only go so far. It creates such a mess and just seems like I’m making a bigger job of cleaning than I need to.

LINT LIZARDThat is where the Lint Lizard comes in. This handy tool attaches to your vacuum and the long, thin, flexible hose goes right down in the vent to reach where your regular vacuum attachments can’t. I’m also going to use this under, behind and around the washer and dryer, the refrigerator, behind the headboards in bedrooms, and any other place I can find that I can’t reach with my regular vacuum attachments.

Now I’m getting excited about spring cleaning!

Shark Steam Mop 10Nov11

Last night I needed a little therapy. Everything has been busy, people have been needing things, work has been a lot of hard work, and everything, for some reason, needs to be finished or accomplished all at the same time. Therefore, I needed to take charge of my night last night.

SHARK STEAM MOP” width=My house has been suffering. I have barely been at home except to sleep, and when I am at home for an extended period of time that last thing I’ve wanted to do is clean…but the poor place was desperate for a good scrubbing. Fortunately, last night not only was in the mood to finally get to cleaning, but my body wasn’t completely exhausted, I had plenty of time, and I was stressed out from the day. Under normal circumstances, I would have gone to the gym to work off my frustration, but cleaning was the task at hand and it worked like a charm!

I scrubbed every inch of my kitchen, cleaned every single piece of furniture and small item in the whole place. I dusted everything in sight and put every out-of-place item back where it belongs. I ran the dishwasher, took out the trash, and cleaned the floors. I hate cleaning the floors because they are all hardwood or tile. They collect dust and dirt so quickly. Luckily, for me, I use the Shark Steam Mop ( to clean my floors and it makes the task a whole lot less daunting.

Since it took me so long to get through the regular cleaning, I didn’t get to the bathroom. So, on tap for tonight; cleaning the bathroom! I hope you have something better planned. And if you’re cleaning, too…happy cleaning!

Robo Floor Sweeper 06Oct11

ROBO FLOOR SWEEPER” width=I don’t think anyone actually likes to clean. Sure, some people might get more enjoyment out of it than others, but I’m convinced that no one truly loves to clean. I fall somewhere in the middle; I don’t mind scrubbing the tub, dusting furniture, and cleaning the windows, but I do mind cleaning floors.

I don’t detest cleaning floors because it is difficult, it’s not. I just don’t like the multi-step process of sweeping and vacuuming, (mopping if necessary), moving the furniture, getting under and behind the couch, and by the time you’re done the dirt and lint has returned. Its an everyday job. I would love to hire someone to do it for me – at least that way I would not feel like I wasted my time when I could have been doing anything else, but do I really want to pay someone to do it for me? Maybe what I need to do is finally buy a Robo Floor Sweeper. How great is this idea? I can go to work and this little gadget will do the hard work for me. What do you guys think?

Always Fresh Containers 27Sep11

WINE COLD SACK” width=I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like bugs. Really, I hate them. I know most bugs are good and have a purpose, but I don’t want them in my house and especially not in my kitchen! I’m fanatical about wiping down the stove and counters after I cook to get rid of any crumbs that could be a bug’s dinner. I’m not obsessive about it, its just part of my routine; cook, eat, do the dishes, wipe everything down.

I guess my efforts are worth it. I’ve never had a bug problem….until the other night. I saw a large bug crawling across the floor! I did what any normal person would do and jumped as high and as far away as I could while screaming–this is a normal reaction, no? After taking care of the bug, I realized that where there is one, there are many. I ran to my computer to look up ways to keep the bugs at bay. I came across this article on with some good tips. Most are things I already do, but its good to have a reminder. Take the trash out, keep surfaces clean, and keep food closed up. I thought about my plastic food containers, the ones that you can give to friends with leftovers and not care that you don’t get them back. They’re in pretty terrible shape these days so I’m going to replace them with Always Fresh Containers. Not only will they keep my sealed tightly to keep the bugs away, but they help food last longer. They’re naturally antibacterial to prevent the growth of mold and fungus. This should be a good addition to my bug deterrent regiment.

Do you have any good tips for keeping the bugs out of your kitchen and home?

Car Trash Can 26Sep11

CAKE POPS MAKEREveryone has a pet peeve. One of my biggest ones is when I go to use the milk and there is just a sip left. Why can’t the last person who used it either finish it off and replace it or at least let you know that there is very little left? I feel like the solution is so simple. Another pet peeve is ketchup (or any condiment ) in a tiny little packet. The issues I have with food in a packet are many. You always need a handful of packets, they never tear easily, at some point (its happened to all of us) the ketchup will squirt directly at you and ruin your new shirt, and the list goes on.

Never fear, Heinz has come up with a new ketchup packet! You can read all about it here. In a nutshell, Heinz has spent years coming up with a new way to get your ketchup on your fries. The Dip and Squeeze packets have to options; tear off the top (like your classic ketchup packets but easeir) or peel off the lid and reveal a small container (like dipping sauce for nuggets) that holds three times the amount of ketchup as an old-fashioned ketchup packet! So now, while the kids are in the back eating their favorite kids meal, the most you have to worry about is whether or not the trash is getting in the car trash can car trash can or going on the floor…another pet peeve! I guess Heinz can’t solve all of my problems.

What do you think about the new ketchup packet?

Clean Step Mat 31Aug11

We love our cats and dogs. We love playing outside with our kids and our friends. Because of all of this, we have to do the best we can to clean up our shoes and our pets’ paws before we go back into the house. The new Clean Step Mat can help in resolving this problem.

The Clean Step Mat is super absorbent. The microfibers of the Clean Step Floor Mat pull dirt and water right from your shoes keeping your floors in your house nice and clean. You can be worry-free when your pet goes outside and runs to the house first knowing the Clean Step Mat will protect your floors from the mud on your pets’ paws.

With the Clean Step Mat you do not need to worry about stained floors again. Just let the Clean Step Mat take care of the dirt and grime, and you can continue to play outside.

Pet Seat Protector 15Jul11

PET SEAT PROTECTOR” width=What are you up to this weekend? I hope you’re doing something fun. Maybe you’re staying in because it is ridiculously hot, or maybe you’re taking a weekend trip because it is summer and you might as well. If you do decide to take that trip, don’t forget to take your favorite furry friend with you on the road! Dogs love road trips too! Just be sure to protect your car from your pet with the pet seat protector.

While your pet enjoys being chauffeured and feeling the wind in its ears, you may not enjoy the hair, dirt, and claw marks that are sure to get all over your back seat. The pet seat protector covers the entire back seat, the floor and the backs of the front seats from the mess that comes with your pet. It attaches to the headrests in seconds and has quick release buckles so you can quickly remove it and zip it up in its own carrying case when you have human passengers.

Don’t leave the animal members of the family out of the fun this weekend! Bring them along and keep the mess to a minimum.

Some Spring Cleaning 13Apr11

I read a blog post recently titled “What have you gotten rid of lately?”. These kinds of blog posts always catch my interest, mostly because I never know how much to get rid of, or if I am doing it too much.

I recommend checking out the original post itself. The post starts off because a mom told her sons they needed to clean up their toys and get rid of some of them. To her surprise, they were happy to do it, and were even more pleased to find all the extra space in their toy bins. Piggy-backing on her children’s motivation, the author of the post also decided to do a little “spring cleaning” herself. She found getting rid of specific items was liberating.

Cluttered ClosetPersonally, I have a purging issue. I am not really much of a collector of things. I generally do not like having extra stuff around to clutter my space (except for clothes and shoes taking up my closet…but that’s for another time). While I am not the person who really keeps things around, I do frequently go through my things to either throw away or donate. I probably do this 3-4 times a year, and I mostly do it with my clothes. I so easily get in the zone of donating my clothes, that I get rid of too much. I definitely get rid of the things I have not worn in over 2 years (except for my overalls…I am having a hard time separating from them) and I get rid of things that simply do not fit anymore and never will again (I do not believe in keeping jeans that are 2-3 sizes too small in hopes that I will one day fit into them again…NOT going to happen). I also find that I get in “moods” when I do not like just about everything in my closet and I literally start throwing almost everything in the donation bags. My mom has tried to teach me to stop giving things away just because I do not like it that day, because I might like it tomorrow. I learned my purging lesson when one winter I went to put on my favorite sweater and it was missing. I have no proof, but the conclusion my mom and I came to was I accidentally gave it away along with other articles of clothing I would miss later because I was not liking them the day of cleaning.

Woven Storage ToteSo how do I stop myself from this? I have a storage box – just one that I keep throughout the year. As I put on clothes during the year and decided I do not like them and/or they do not fit, I will put them in the tote. This way, I am not getting rid of those items immediately. I am putting them aside. This way, they are out of sight. And if I decide one day that I really wish I had that tank top, I can go and get it, put it on, and hopefully recognize why I put it in the tote in the first place, or if I decide I like it again, I still have it and no loss. This way, when I do my regular cleaning, I can look at that shirt and say “You almost gave that away and have already worn it three times since…it’s a keeper.”

Do you do “spring cleaning” often? Are you a person who keeps everything and hates to part with anything? Are you like me, and once you start to throw away you cannot stop? How do you feel about getting rid of your things?