Roadmap to a Perfect Fall Party


thanksgiving
The Perfect Fall Party…

…is just around the corner. Being a great host can become overwhelming without a few tricks up your sleeve. First of all, meet the basics. You’ll want your guests hurrying out of the Autumn chill and stepping into your warm house. Companies like https://siriuspac.com/the-colony-plumbers/ can help you keep your house nice and toasty for the perfect Fall Party. Follow the steps on this roadmap, and your fall dinner party will be the one that everyone will be talking about.

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When you’re making your party to-do list, add “Clean the house” near the top, but don’t think of it as a chore. Organize the tasks into easily achievable components. With a little planning, cleaning the house for a party is so simple, you’ll be tempted to use these hints for your regular cleaning routine.

  • Use household cleaner and a soft cleaning cloth to give bathroom surfaces a quick shine. Pay attention to water spots and residue on the faucet and liquid soap dispenser. Hide toiletries and countertop clutter in an out-of-the-way spot.
  • Clean bathroom mirrors. A sparkling mirror reflects the light and makes everything brighter.
  • Use a damp towel with water and vinegar to clean the kitchen and bathroom floor.
  • Apply toilet bowl cleaner, and give the toilets a quick brushing.
  • Hang fresh hand towels in the bathrooms. Put out fresh hand soap or fill the liquid soap dispensers.
  • Vacuum the carpets and use a dust mop on hard-surface floors in your living spaces.
  • Fluff sofa cushions and pillows. Straighten stacks of magazines or books. Fold or arrange throws. Make sure tabletops are clear of clutter and dust-free.
  • Polish kitchen counters, faucets, and sinks with household cleaner and a soft cleaning cloth.
  • Empty the trash from the containers throughout the house. Wipe off the outsides of your trash receptacles. Insert clean liners. This simple detail makes the kitchen and all your guest spaces feel fresher.
  • Set up your party area. Arrange fresh flowers. Light candles. Turn on music. Set up your food and beverage stations. Finish food preparation.

Step 2. The Theme

Developing a Visual Theme is the fun part of event planning. Use it as your guide for all decisions from invitations to party favors. Need some inspiration? Click Here for Fun Fall Party Themes.


Step 3. The Centerpiece

CC-fall-centerpiece

-beautiful-compositionYou don’t have to go over-the-top to create a stunning scene. You can enhance standard grocery store bouquets of roses or mums with a few natural elements like feathers and dried wheat. Hurricane lanterns are another great option for outdoor dinners. They add light for function, glow for ambiance, and their shape and size make them practical in windy settings. For some centerpiece inspiration Check out –> Jentatertots 19 Gorgeous Fall Centerpieces!!


 

Step 4. The Drinks

 

Pair a fun, seasonal beverage with your meal or appetizer. There’s nothing like warm, spicy apple cider to break the ice when you’re entertaining on a chilly day. It’s a timely and tasty choice! Recipe –> Hot Spiced Cider

Pumpkin-Pie-Whipped-Cream-Martini-Recipe

Spice things up with a signature cocktail. Welcome your guests with a drink that puts them in the mood for the cool, crisp days of autumn. You could try a Spiced Pear Collins, which is made with gin, pear puree, and rosemary. Find out how to make –> 7 different pumpkin martinis!


 

Step 5. The Appetizer

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via wisconsin cheese talk

Welcome guests with a snack, like a rustic cheese board. Try these three for a start: blue cheese, apricot Stilton, and pepper-crusted Brie. “I serve them with a fresh sliced baguette, dried cranberries, apricots, and cashews. I also love including an organic honey to complement the blue cheese. Look to –> The Kitchn for some new ideas for cheese platters.

fall-foodAlso Check out >>Food Networks Appetizers for Fall Parties << and start your guests off with seasonal appetizers that complement crisp weather, like cheesy small bites, crisp rosemary chips and more.

Step 6. The Perfect DIY Party Favors!

apples-popcorn-038-md109198_vertVia Martha Stewart

If you plan on giving out a party favor, we advise choosing something cheap, but useful or consumable. Martha’s go-to gift for autumn? Caramel apples. –> Recipe: Caramel Apples


Step 7. DIY Photo Booth

via Simple Booth
Create the look and fun of an old school photo booth with an iPad, fun apps and a few props. Try mounting an iPad mounted with a photo booth app fed images directly to a printer.

 

Some apps also allow you to instantly upload and share your photo strips on Facebook and other social media platforms.

Props, such as masks and mustaches, can be downloaded online and printed at home. Just attach them to dowels or other long items. You can buy packages of props that are ready to go from many online outlets including Amazon. Etsy is a nice source for printables.

Here are a few apps to choose from:

Remember to relax and have fun. Make sure you’re having a good time at your autumn fête, and your guests will, too!

Here’s to a chill in the air, falling leaves, and Autumn parties that delight the senses!

5 Amazing Cleaning Routines for Kids (That Actually Work)!


Cleaning routines for kids

Now that School is back in session, life gets back to established routines. Here are 5 Amazing Cleaning Routines for Kids that actually work! We cover routines for:

  1. Bedrooms
  2. Toy pick up
  3. Laundry
  4. Dishes
  5. Organization

We even cover the inevitable challenge points, sticking points, and what ifs. Consistent implementation will help change your family dynamic.

#1 Clean ANY Bedroom in Ten Minutes

  • bedroom cleaning routine for kidsStep #1: Clear the bed and make it. (1-2 minutes) No matter how atrocious the bed and floor seem, the first step is to throw EVERYTHING off the bed to the floor. I know, I know. This is how the mess was created in the first place. But it is also an important step in cleaning the room. With the bed clear, it is easy to make. And, a made bed makes any room look cleaner. If you are scouring the room and thinking that maybe a little change to the decor would make things easier for tidying up, you may want to check out https://collov.com/inspiration/kids_room to see how you can make the best out of what you want.
  • Step #2: Put all clothes on the bed. (2 minutes) Using the “full hands” philosophy, collect every piece of clothing, towel, fabric, etc. Place it all in a pile at the foot of the bed. At this point, do not use time sorting the laundry.
  • Step #3: Gather items that belong in the room. (2 minutes) This is where your addiction to baskets actually helps your family. Have a few baskets (boxes, buckets, containers, whatever) standing by to help with sorting. With all of the clothing off the floor, you have two new options: things that stay in the room, and things that do not. Again, using the “full hands” (or basket) principle, move through the room picking up everything you can. When they start to fill up, walk around placing the items where they go, or close to it. Items that do not belong in the room (cups, plates, racoons, welding equipment, animal husbandry supplies), get placed just outside the door in a separate basket. They can be dealt with later. Taking them to their proper home now will prevent you from getting this room clean anytime in the foreseeable EVER.bedroom cleaning routine for kids
  • Step #4: Get rid of the garbage (2 minutes) Set the can in the middle of the room and quickly toss everything that doesn’t belong into it. Of course, you will likely still need to vacuum. The result of picking up all that is left on the floor creates a magical environment.This room is now officially 99% clean.
  • Step #5: Separate the clothing (2 minutes) The clothing in the pile is clean or dirty. Separate this pile into two, making sure to inspect each garment to verify it does not have any spots, stains, or “crime scene evidence” tags. In some cases, it may be necessary to employ the sniff test, but a quick visual inspection for children is not out of the question.
  • You are done!

#2 Picking up Toys

Getting kids to pick up toys and belongings doesn’t have to be a daily struggle. These quick guidelines will help you get closer to a neater house and more harmonious play.

  • 1c48b805784a95da5ebbc82137de4926Only keep toys or things that are thought-provoking: dress-up, blocks, legos, etc. Kids love them and they are good for varying ages: blocks to a baby are totally different to blocks to a five-year old and they will keep playing with the same toys in different ways.
  • Choose containers suitable for your child to manipulate. A lot of products out there are for parents to manipulate. Look at your kid’s school if you need a model: things are on low shelves, they are easy to handle for kids, if a kid can’t lift or pick up the bin themselves they won’t clean up or play with it. It’s also easier without lids on them.
  • Don’t give too many choices. Kids are a lot more capable then you think: if you observe them at their school they are taking things out on their own and cleaning them up afterwards. You will be surprised what they can accomplish in a structured environment.
    If your toy room look cluttered and chaotic, then it looks like that for the kids.
  • Another old school rule: if you want to play with something else, you have to first put away what you are playing with.

#3 Laundry

laundry routine for kids Having your kids do their own laundry is a win-win. Do you feel like you’re in the laundry room 24/7? Yeah, we do too. Make it fun by getting your child to help you sort, wash, and fold.


  • Kids ages 5 and up are ready to give you a hand with simpler jobs, but before you turn your child loose, have a quick chat about sorting. Explain that lights go together and are usually washed in warm water. Dark clothes and colors are usually washed in cold, and only totally white things can be bleached.
  • Your child can check pockets for change or tissues and close up zippers. A younger kid can sort by color, add dryer sheets, match socks, and clean out dryer lint — which they will probably get a big kick out of.
  • Teach your child to fold by starting with easy shapes like towels and washcloths. Older kids can pour in the detergent, fold all types of clothes, and put laundry away. You’ll conquer that mountain of dirty clothes, spend time together, and teach your child a super-useful life skill.

#4 Washing Dishes With Kids


Washing dishes seems like a never ending chore. Children who are trained properly can be a big help at getting dishes clean. Whether you are teaching your children to use a dishwasher or wash dishes by hand, the best way to start is with scraping and rinsing. Even 5-6 year old’s can be taught how to scrape and rinse their plates. 7-8 year old’s can help with drying and putting away dishes. By age 9 kids are ready to learn how to wash different types of dishes or load a dishwasher. Be sure to teach safety principles. like how to set the knives aside instead of dumping them into hot soapy water where they would be impossible to see.


#5 Teaching Your Child to be Organized

organization routine for kidsIt’s best to start with good organizing habits! Limit Keepsakes. Some children let go of things easily, but for those who are stubborn about saving every little thing, offer up a “limiting container.” They can keep all of the keepsakes they want, as long as they fit in a certain box, or on a certain shelf. Teach the “One In, One Out” Rule. When you get a new toy or new jeans, the old ones can be donated. Kids need to understand that storage is finite, and that continuing to collect eventually leads to clutter and chaos. You could use something like storefreindly.com.sg to store larger items that you don’t have room for in your house, but when it comes to toys and clothes, it’s good for kids to learn that they can’t keep everything.

*** Bonus! 2 FREE Printable Chore Lists ***

Lets-Clean-House-2-Free-Kids-Cleaning-Checklists-Clean-Mama

Via Clean Mama

Want to teach your kids how to help around the house with daily tasks and chores? Make it fun and easy for them to help out! Clean Mama has the Ultimate Happy HOME Cleaning Routine Plus FREE Printable Checklist.

Love this! She has chore lists for the kids too! Included are a weekly or daily cleaning chart, depending on what works for your family and schedule.

Got some awesome cleaning routines that work for you and your family? Leave a comment below:

Cheers,

Karen & The Cleaning Crew

August Special


august special

If cleaning your house is stealing some of your peace of mind,

we’ll help you get it back!

Take advantage of our August Special now:

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This is a deep cleaning, nooks and crannies kind of clean, completed by a team of highly-trained cleaners and supervised by a manager to make sure we get it right. (This often represents 10-20 hours of cleaning!)

Ready to get started? Here’s how:

1. Call Us Today @ 541-601-6236  

Ask for the “August Special.” When you call, we’ll provide a free, no-hassle, no-obligation quote customized for YOUR home and get you on our “find some peace of mind” calendar.

2. Let Us Know Where to Send Your Coupon  

Enter your email address below and we’ll get your coupon on its way to your inbox. The coupon must be presented at time of payment. And don’t worry, we hate spam too, so we’ll never share your email address with anyone. Ever.

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Wanna know more about us?

We’ve been helping the fine folks of Southern Oregon find peace of mind for more than 27 years. Click here to see what our ecstatic customers are saying.

Questions? Call us at 541-601-6236  |  email us: info@thecleaningcrewonline.com

[ * Cleaning must be for newly scheduled first-time / one-time house cleaning  |  Coupon must be presented at time of payment  |  Value up to $70 max  |  Work must be scheduled by Aug. 31, 2015 ]

 

Essential Housecleaning Guide for Dog Owners


If you are a dog OWNER, odds are you are a dog LOVER! Long gone are the days when dogs were simply working companions whose place was only at the hearth or out in the barn. They’re now an integral part of the FAMILY! They cuddle with us on the sofa to watch TV, go on long holiday trips in the car (or plane), go out to dinner at out favorite café, and for some, they even have a place as a snuggle-bug in our beds!

What this means is dog hair – EVERYWHERE! The only time when this won’t be a thing is when your dog gets alopecia. But even then, that’s something else that you are going to have to deal with. (You can Visit this website here though for more information on what you can do to solve this). It’s not a common thing for your dog to get alopecia though, so you’ll probably have to deal with dog hair everywhere! What to do? What to do? Just deal with it? Live with our furball’s fur infiltrating every nook and cranny? The mess can be overwhelming, but thankfully there are many ways to help you overcome this! If you own a Siberian Husky, hair is going to be a massive problem! Some Siberian Husky dog food brands contain formulas that aim to minimise hair loss, perhaps this is a good solution for your household! Recently I checked out all sorts of pet stain removers, to find the best one to deal with the mischief my dog gets up to!

I know how hard dealing with a messy dog can be, but don’t give up! We’re here to help you keep loving and enjoying your furry cuddle bug, but also keep things sane surrounding the cleanliness of your home. Here is your ESSENTIAL HOUSECLEANING GUIDE FOR DOG OWNERS!

Read, share, AND contribute your own tips in the comments below!

Tips For Dealing with Dreaded Dog Hair

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We all know upholstery is a magnet for dog hair, so if you allow your pooch to hang out on your furniture or bed it is definitely helpful to invest in a few covers, like throws, blankets or even special dog covers. In the absence of a cover, we’ve found the following two tips the quickest and most effective methods to remove dog hair off your furniture.



enhanced-7577-1391467556-5A) Use a damp sponge or a damp rubber glove. Simply rub these lightly over your furniture and the hair should cling easily to the glove or sponge. Pull the clumps of hair off as you go so you don’t end up depositing it back to to your freshly cleaned surface!

B) Use a pet-specific lint roller. A store-bought lint roller comes in washable and disposable versions. Here’s washable version that features a large head and is designed to do both furniture, as well as carpets and hard floors.

If you’re into DIY, this version is also effective for lifting dog hair from fabrics and upholstery.

how-remove-pet-hair* To make a DIY roller simply wrap sticky tape (masking tape is cheaper than Duct tape, fyi) around any handy cylindrical shape (like an old hairspray can) and get rolling! You can store it after you’re finished and pop fresh tape on top next time time it’s needed. If you want to be really cool you could even wrap making tape around a paint roller!

Time Saving Tips To Reduce Shedding


Via Martha Stewart Living

Is It Actually Possible to Stop a Dog From Shedding? The short answer here is no, virtually all dogs shed to some extent and there is no way to completely stop your dog from shedding. The best you can hope to do is reduce their shedding. How? CLICK HERE for a few time-honored tips from none other than Martha Stewart.

Laundry Tips for Dog Owners

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While there are detergents touted as “just for pets,” they seem to be a product of marketing! As long as you use a mild detergent without dyes or fragrance you can safely wash your pet’s bedding and toys in your washer.

How To Clean Your Dog’s Laundry!

toysA) To help neutralize the odor on your dog’s bedding or toys, add one cup of baking soda to the wash water. Avoid liquid fabric softener or dryer sheets as these may irritate a pet’s skin due to the added perfume.

B) Line drying bedding and toys will help to freshen and dissipate odors. If you must use a dryer, be certain to check the lint filter frequently during the cycle – especially if you have large dogs or long coated canines. Dog hair can quickly overwhelm a lint filter!

C) After washing your pet’s laundry, you may choose to cleanse your washing machine by running a cycle of hot water with 1/2 cup of chlorine bleach. Now you’re ready for the next load for the rest of your family.

Do you have any tips for making the laundry more dog friendly?

Share them with us in the comments below!

Floor Cleaning Tips for Dog Owners

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A)
If you have hardwood flooring, vinyl floors, or tile floors the best course of action is to first vacuum or use a Swiffer-type mop rather than a traditional broom. Brooms can just rearrange the dust bunnies! With both methods make sure to clean beneath and behind furniture and in corners where the big fur balls accumulate.

FJIF874I7N60772.LARGE_B) The best way to get all the hair off your carpet is to take this three pronged plan of attack 1. First, lightly dampen your carpet with a spray bottle. Then use a rubber brush to roll all the hair into a ball. 2. Next, vacuum, going over the carpet a few times in alternating directions. 3. Finally, for an even deeper clean, a window squeegee will pull out the last stray hairs.

Dog Afraid of the Vacuum?

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Many dogs develop a fear of vacuum cleaners because of their shape, size and the fact that they are quite noisy. They must seem like Zombie Apocalypse Invaders!

If you have a dog frightened of your vacuum, watch how Cesar Milan helps gain this dogs trust and ultimately removes the fear of the vacuum:

How To Clean Pet Stains (urine / feces)

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Yep, we love their dogs, but HATE dealing with the nasty messes they can leave behind. Removing pet stains from carpeting and floors is a two fold task. 1. Remove the actual mess and stain, 2. Remove with the odor problem associated with it. These tips are also really useful for the car as well, All Car Leasing found that 21% of people never let their dog in the car – well maybe these tips might help change their minds!


Carpet Pet Stain Removal

A) Urine

Of all pet stains, pet urine is one of the most difficult to remove completely.

  1. Start by soaking up as much of the moisture as possible using paper towels or an old but clean rag.
  2. Then, mix one cup of vinegar with one cup of warm water.
  3. Blot the urine stain with the solution and repeat until the stain has completely transferred to the towel.
  4. When finished, use clean warm water to rinse and blot until almost dry.

B) Feces

While urine is difficult to remove, feces is probably the nastiest to deal with. However, using the appropriate products and methods, it can be completely removed. First, grab a couple of plastic grocery bags (be careful as sometimes there are tiny holes) and use the bags to scoop the pile off the floor surface. Tie it up nice and tight with the handles. Then,

  1. Mix of one-cup vinegar and two cups of warm water.
  2. Soak the pet stain, allowing it to stand for about five minutes.
  3. Using a clean, white rag or paper towels, blot up the moisture.

Repeat this process until the stain is completely gone. To remove any remaining odor, sprinkle baking soda on the spot, allow it to dry overnight, and then vacuum in the morning.

If the stain is bad (like really really bad – like not not coming out bad), then you might consider using Nature’s Miracle or Ecos, both enzyme-based products available at many retail stores.

Removing Dog Hair from Clothes

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For washable clothes or bedding that is covered with pet hair, run the items through the dryer on air/no heat first before washing them. The tumbling action of the dryer will loosen much of the hair and it will be sucked into the dryer lint trap. Be sure to clean out the lint trap immediately after taking this step to prevent odors and to increase air flow.

  • Add 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to the rinse cycle when washing loads with lots of lint or hair. The vinegar will help the fabric fibers relax and “release” the hair.
  • Tossing the clothes in the dryer – even for a short time – will help remove hair more than air drying clothes. Keep all dryer vents clean and clear of lint so that there is enough strong air flow to pull the hair away from the fabrics.

Removing Dog Odor from Furniture

Golden retriever puppy

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First, gather the following deodorizing supplies: a big box or two of baking soda and a bottle of apple cider vinegar.

Laundry: Wash all of your linens, blankets and cushion covers in a mix of oxy powered laundry detergent and a ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar.

On the carpets, bed, and furniture, sprinkle baking soda liberally, using a cleaning brush to spread it around and into the fabric. Let it all sit overnight so that the baking soda has a chance to absorb the odors.

imagesAir Quality: Use a HEPA filter and change the furnace and A/C filters frequently. Airborne pet odor can get trapped in your air filters and recirculate the odor on a continuous basis.

We all love our dogs, but dealing with the messes they leave behind can certainly be a challenge.

If this Guide was helpful, please SHARE with your friends by using the social share buttons here at the left side of your screen!

Have some Pro Tips of your own not mentioned here? SHARE them in the comment section below. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Here’s to Happy Dogs and Happy Dog Owners!

PS. HERE’S A BONUS TIP: DEALING WITH STATIC CLING

hair on clothes

Whether it’s doggie laundry or human laundry, static cling is annoying! For those wishing to avoid dryer sheets, here’s a handy tip. Attach a safety pin (or two for large or extra static-prone loads) to one of the articles in the load and it will act like a mini lightning rod, discharging the static build up. (Courtesy Lifehacker)

6 Refreshing Summer Drink Recipes (Plus How to Remove Popular Drink Stains)


Find Your Summer Chill

With summer’s heat, we’re constantly on the lookout for hydration that not only satisfies, but inspires! Besides, our bodies need to stay hydrated! Don’t forget to make sure your air conditioning is in working order before the heatwaves hit! For over 30 years Rowland Air has provided heating and air conditioning repair and installation services to Lancaster and Palmdale California. So bust summer heat in the chops by trying theses

6 Refreshing Summer Drink Recipes.

In addition, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about how to remove those inevitable, unfortunate popular drink stains.

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1. Summer Iced Tea Drink Recipe
Refreshing Summer drink Iced Tea Recipe

via Cherished Bliss

When the mercury starts to rise, Iced Tea is the way to go! Level up your Iced Tea skills with lemonade ice cubes! Now we’re talkin’ Refreshing Summer Drink Recipes!
For recipe, Click Here!

How To Remove Iced Tea Stains

Since these beverages are acidic, you’ll want to pre-treat them with an acidic remedy, like lemon juice or white vinegar.The good news is that iced tea won’t set into the fabric as quickly as hot tea. Take an ice cube and rub it over the stain. Then pat the area with dry paper napkins. When you get home, treat the stain with a laundry pre-treater or some liquid laundry detergent and wash as usual, adding a little bleach if appropriate for the fabric.
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2. Tantalizing Summer Iced Coffee Drink Recipewakethewolves-ice-coffee-recipe-10

via wake the wolves

Have you tried cold brew yet? Instead of the bitterness you get when you chill hot brewed coffee, you get a smooth, dark and rich iced coffee that you’ll be craving all afternoon! If you unfortunately don’t have the time to make your own cold brew coffee, don’t worry. You can always do a quick search into something like Where to buy JoeFroyo, so you can find the nearest shop who sells this cold brew. This way, you are able to enjoy a refreshing drink this summer, even if you didn’t make it yourself. As long as you enjoy it, that’s all that matters.

This Refreshing Summer Drink Recipe: Here!

Unlike plain iced tea or coffee, iced coffee with milk contains a protein, which requires special handling. For the first line of defense, sponge the stain with a dry-cleaning solvent and then air dry. In the second stage of treatment, apply liquid detergent to the stain and rub it into the cloth. Then launder with the warmest water safe for the fabric.
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3. Tart Summer Rhubarb Soda Drink Recipe

via PopSugar

Want to try an absolute taste bomb? Try Pink Rhubarb Soda.Pucker up for this sweet-yet-tart beverage, and revel in the unique flavor of this stalk fruit as it mingles with seltzer. For this Refreshing Summer Drink Recipe: Click Here! Oh.My.Wow!

Sponge soft-drink stains with cool water or soak the garment in cool water for about 30 minutes (make note of where clear soda stains were, in case they are hard to find after soaking). Next, wring out excess water and rub a pre-wash stain remover into the stain. Launder the garment according to its care label and if it’s safe for the fabric, add chlorine bleach to the wash — otherwise use a color-safe bleach product.
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4. Super Yum Summer Sangria Drink Recipe

Sangria-Festival-Vilamoura

via Smitten Kitchen

What’s one of the best ways to celebrate summer? If you ask us, it’s with a glass of Pata Negra’s Sangria in hand. This is a classic Refreshing Summer Drink Recipe made with dry red wine, an orange liqueur, and garnished with apples and oranges. Holy Sangria, Batman: Click Here!

How to Remove Sangria Stains

Sponge the stain with cool water or soak it in cool water for about 30 minutes. Pre-treat the spot with a pre-wash stain remover. Launder the piece and if it’s safe for the fabric, add chlorine bleach to the wash. If your household is prone to red wine spills, there’s even a product formulated to tackle vino marks, Gonzo Wine Out.
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5. Basil Julep Summer Beer RecipeRefreshing summer Honey Basil Beer Julep recipe

Sure, there’s a time and place for sipping on your favorite Summer Ale here in the Beer capital of the nation (that would be Oregon, aka, Beervana). But sometimes you might just want a little more creative control. We’ve got your Honey Basil Beer Julep Recipe Right Here!
If in the excitement of a grand slam, you wind up with beer on your shirt, just grab an ice cube from the cooler and wrap it in a napkin. Then press the “ice pack” onto the stain to sponge it with cool water. Once you get home, apply a laundry stain remover to the stain and, if safe for the fabric, wash with chlorine bleach.
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6. Berry Punch Summer RecipeRefreshing summer beverage Fruity Party Punch recipe

This is a fun & refreshing drink! And since it’s non alcoholic, it’s perfect for any age.
For this quick recipe Click Here!
The not-so-sweet truth: juicy berries can leave hard-to-remove stains on fabric. To treat, immediately sponge the spot with cool water. Later, stretch the stained cloth over a bowl or pot in the sink. Hold a kettle of boiling water at least 12 inches above the fabric and pour the water through the stain. The mark should disappear. If not, sponge it with rubbing alcohol before tossing the item in the machine to wash.
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7. * Bonus Summer Mojito Drink Recipe*  Raspberry Mint Mojito refreshing summer beverage recipe

Raspberry Mint Mojito: Your go-to summer cocktail just got even better with the addition of sweet, antioxidant-rich raspberries. Whether you’re sipping your drink poolside, seaside or even couch-side, there’s something about that minty lime flavor that cools you off after a long day. For this Refreshing Summer Drink Recipe Click Here!
Did you catch our post detailing some amazing Summer Food recipes last week?
What are some of your favorite summer drink recipes? Feel free to share your favorite summer concoctions in the comments below!
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7 Delightful Summer Recipes Plus Their Stain Removal Tips


summer food recipes, how to remove stains from clothes, Stain Removal TipsSummer is prime time for trying great new food and drink recipes. The days are longer, gatherings more numerous, and the need for refreshment is high! However, with the multiplication of summer activities and food and drink experimentation comes the dreaded flip side: dreaded stains! BBQ sauce on that white linen skirt? Strawberry daiquiri on that summery cotton blouse? The horror!    Here at The Cleaning Crew we’re all about those exciting new summer recipes – as well as helping you with Stain Removal Tips to keep things tidy, clean, and as stain free as possible!  
We’ve collected 7 amazing new takes on refreshing summer classics. Believe us, your taste buds are going to explode in the Hallelujah Chorus! Plus, we’ve included what to do if and when the unthinkable spill happens.
Two rules:
1) Enjoy! and
2) Don’t Panic!

1. SHRIMP COCKTAIL

Grilled shrimp, shrimp cocktail recipe, ketchup stain removal, how to remove stains from clothes, Stain Removal Tips
The most succulent Shrimp Cocktail on planet earth? Try this: grill first, then add this mouth-watering new take on the cocktail sauce. Add cayenne and chili powder for extra kick. Click Here!

Ketchup Stain Removal Tips

To remove these stains from clothes, rinse under cold running water. Treat with liquid detergent; let stand for a few minutes before rinsing. Blot with vinegar; repeat as needed. Launder as usual.

 

 

2. HONEY DIJON PRETZEL CHICKEN

Mustard chicken recipe, mustard stain removal, how to remove stains from clothes, Stain Removal Tips
This Honey Dijon Pretzel Chicken recipe won’t yield a pretzel, but it’ll definitely yield a sweet and tangy pretzel chicken dish. Click Here!

Mustard Stain Removal Tips

To remove these stains from clothes, scrape off excess, then run under cold running water. Treat with liquid detergent; let stand for a few minutes before rinsing. Treat with a stain stick, then launder as usual.

3. MEXICAN STREET CORNMexican Street Corn , oil and butter stain removal, how to remove stains from clothes, Stain Removal Tips

via  Seeded At The Table

Hand over this Mexican Street Corn and no one gets hurt! This street-food-style corn  is grilled and slathered in a creamy sauce. Oh, and it is completely irresistible. Click Here!

Oil & Butter Stain Removal Tips

In order to remove these stains from clothes, sprinkle flour, talcum powder, cornstarch or artificial sweetener on both sides of the stain and let sit for 30 minutes. Shake off the powder and the stain should be faded or gone. Rub in some dish-washing soap and rinse under hot water; repeat as needed.

4. Coffee BBQ Saucebbq, bar-be-que recipe, stain removal, how to remove stains from clothes, Stain Removal Tips

Via Tasty Kitchen
Coffee and BBQ sauce, two of the world’s finest pleasures, join forces to make the tangiest slathering for anything that touches the grill. Click Here!

BBQ Stain Removal Tips

Place a layer of paper towels over the stain. Then, To remove these stains from clothes, working from the inside of the fabric, flush with cold water to transfer some of the barbecue sauce to the towel. Later, pre-treat with liquid laundry detergent to break up the stain. Let sit for several minutes, then rinse well. Sponge the stain with white vinegar and rinse again. Pre-treat again and wash.

 

 

 

Summer Party Clean Up Tips


summer party clean up tips

We’re all familiar with that sinking feeling. You know the one, where all the good vibes from throwing that epic summer party begin to disintegrate into the realization that you’re going to have to start cleaning up.

Been there, right?

That moment is the very definition of “dread,” unless, of course you’re in the minority that absolutely loves cleaning. To you we say, “Rock on, you lovers of cleaning, Rock on!”

To the rest who have a distaste for cleaning ranging somewhere on the scale from slight frustration (“I really, really don’t like cleaning up other people’s messes”) to white-hot boiling rage (“I think I may just hurt someone here!”), we understand, and we love each and everyone one of you – and don’t want you to go to jail after throwing that epic summer party.

That would suck.

So, here at The Cleaning Crew, we’ve got your back! Follow these Summer Party Clean Up Tips to take that not so awesome task of party clean up and make it feel just a little more like a party and a lot less like a wake.

Summer Party Clean Up Tips

Summer Party Clean Up Tips

The Basics:

1. Start Your Party with a Clean Slate

“Hey, you guys! The bathroom’s over there…the trash cans are right here…and the drinks, well, you already know where the drinks are!”

Summer Party Clean Up Tips

Advanced:

Make Your Bathroom a Clutter-Free Zone


Have a really tiny bathroom space? Or, a tiny budget? Our friend Kathryn at Do It On a Dime, has these suggestions:

Expand Storage Capacity of under-sink CabinetsBathroom-Pull-out-Shelves

Take advantage of all the room under your sink (and save yourself some stooping and reaching) with sliding drawers. Check out Living Locurto‘s super-smart ways to organize under the sink.

hanging basketConsider the Ceiling

If your quarters are tight and space is already limited, look up. Take advantage of vertical real estate by hanging a multilevel fruit basket for additional storage. When placed in the shower, the open rungs of the three-tier hanging basket allow loofahs and bath toys to dry over the tub. Or suspend the basket in an unused corner and stock it with lotions, treatments, and scented sachets. An idea that might keep your bathroom better stocked is to make sure you have the best home energy quote to save money. I hear Money Expert provide a fantastic range of quotes that should save you money.

Don’t Hide the T.P.tp

Two conundrums you’ve probably experienced: 1. You’re in your bathroom and you realize you are out of toilet paper. 2. You’re in someone else’s bathroom and you realize they are out of toilet paper. (Do you uncomfortably search your host’s cupboards or sheepishly go ask for help? Skip scenario one at least and always keep ample rolls in a nearby urn, bin, or basket.

There’s no end to Bathroom Organizing Ideas! These are meant to give us a kick start.

Do you have more bathroom organization ideas to add? Leave a comment below!

* BONUS RECIPE: SUPER DUPER TUB SCRUB *

bath

Along with a little scrubbing power from a sponge, we love this simple and effective Tub Scrub. It leaves tubs and sinks sparkling clean and does a great job removing soap scum.

  1. 1 cup baking soda
  2. 4 tablespoons water
  3. 2 tablespoons liquid castile soap (We like Dr. Bronner’s Fair Trade & Organic Castile Liquid Soap)
  4. Add baking soda to a glass container with a lid.
  5. Add castile soap and water, stirring until it’s toothpaste consistency.
  6. Using a wet sponge, work this cleanser into tubs surfaces, letting it sit for a few minutes
  7. Rinse with hot water.

If you don’t use all the cleaner in one use, you can save it in a covered container. If it dries out, just add water until it forms a paste again. You might even free up enough space to add some extra furniture to your bathroom. I hear that a friend decided to Buy Oak Bathroom Furniture Here and was not disappointed.

Have Bathroom Organization Tips of Your Own to Share?

Add a tip or two in the Comments section below!

Tips To Refresh and Organize Your Bedroom


bedroom #1
Research continues to pour in supporting the need for consistently good sleep and rest (7-8 hours per night, according to most research). And your bedroom is the epicenter of that endeavor. And, since it’s where you start and finish your day, you need it to be a space free of stress, anxiety and tension. Ideally, it should be a refreshing oasis that helps focus our minds and bodies toward restfulness.

This week The Cleaning Crew is looking at simple and effective ways for refreshing and organizing your bedroom. Don’t think of it as needless pampering – you probably NEED it more than you know!

OK, let’s start with a couple of housekeeping items, i.e. chores. Here are a couple that may actually make more of a difference in your mood and attitude than you expect!

Surprise! Making Your Bed EVERYDAY Makes Your Day Better!

Maybe our moms were more on point with this one than we (or they) knew! People study all kinds of things these days, and making one’s bed is now one of them. In these studies they found that making one’s bed as a daily ritual is associated with:

  • better productivity
  • sticking with a budget
  • and greater HAPPINESS (what?!)

That’s right. Making your bed on a consistent basis helps make you a happier person. Who knew? Most just associate it with doing a chore! You can read some of the research here.

Depending on the theme of your room, or perhaps the size of your bed, the bedding you have on your bed will vary but it’s important to remember to keep all bedding clean, especially when we spend roughly 8 hours in bed every night. If you’ve had your bedding for quite some time, it might be time to indulge in some new bedding to help you get a better nights sleep. After reading some information produced by my friend Kieran, it’s clear that we need to change our pillows and duvet every so often. New bedding might also encourage you to make your bed in the mornings too!

Cleaning & Refreshing Your Bed: How to Deep-Clean Your Mattress

Maybe you don’t like the way your bed looks though, this might be a contributing factor to you not wanting to make your bed. If this is the case then it might be a good idea to get a new bed. Why not check out something like this high gloss bed to give you a better idea of what you could get. Another thing you could do is just make sure you wash your bedding. Of course everyone knows to wash their bedding on a regular basis, but how about the actual mattress? When was the last time you cleaned your mattress? Or has reading this made you realised that you are long overdue a new Leesa king size mattress? If you aren’t sure how to go about cleaning your mattress, here’s an oft-overlooked cleaning task that should be part of our regular cleaning routine.

sheets What You’ll Need:

  • 16-ounce box baking soda
  • Essential oil
  • Vacuum cleaner

This simple combination of baking soda and essential oils will deodorize, eliminate moisture and kill dust mites in your mattress. Essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender or wintergreen essential oils have the added benefit of safely and effectively remove dust mites as well as being naturally antibacterial. If you’ve just bought a new mattress, it’s important for you to care for it, if you’re not sure how, read this mattress care guide.

Here’s the step-by-step:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. While you’re waiting, toss your bedding in the wash, and fluff duvets or feather beds in the dryer. Wipe down the walls around your bed and the bed frame, creating a nice and clean sleeping area.
  4. After an hour, vacuum the mattress, working slowly to ensure all the baking soda has been removed.
  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.

Furniture Refresher – Restore Shine to Your Wood Furniture

dresser

In addition to tending to your mattress, how about your bedroom set? If your bedroom furniture is constructed of wood, it may be due for some freshening up. Here’s why and how.

Wood loses its shine for two reasons: it gets dirty and it gets worn. Oil, dirt and any number of other things can build up on the surface of wood. If it’s not removed regularly, it can create a build up over the surface of the wood and make the wood dull.

  1. The first step is to clean your wooden furniture. Vinegar is very effective at cutting grease and removing grime. Plus, it’s all natural and non-toxic. Start by using undiluted white vinegar on a sponge or cloth to wipe down your furniture.
  2. Next, in a small mason jar mix one cup of mineral oil and three drops of pure lemon essential oil.
  3. Dab a bit of the mineral oil mixture on a soft cloth or sponge and rub it into the entire surface of the furniture. If your wood is very dry, you may need to do this twice. Let the oil sit on the furniture for at least five minutes.
  4. Using a clean rag, gently buff the furniture, wiping away any excess mineral oil. The wood should be smooth to touch – not tacky or sticky.

Ideally, you should repeat this process about once a month to keep your furniture looking its best.

Next, let’s turn our attention to some organizational tasks. How our bedrooms are set up and organized contributes significantly to how we feel when we’re in them.

Consider Your Paint Choices – What are the Best Colors for the Bedroom?blue

Many bedrooms never move beyond “off-white” on the color wheel. Or, maybe you bought a home recently and inherited a bedroom color that’s not sitting quite right with you. Changing your bedroom paint is one of the bigger bang for your buck changes you can make?

But, what color is best? Glad you asked!

Again, research indicates that color of our surroundings has a significant effect on the psyche. Soothing and softer hues are generally recommended, but bright colors don’t have to be banished. On the contrary! Our friends at HGTV.com have a few simple guidelines to follow when looking at new colors for your bedroom. Read through them here.

Nightstand Organization

Nightstands tend to collect lots of clutter: books, charging cables, magazines, pens, water bottles, etc. However, the rule of thumb for your nightstand is: the fewer the items the better. If you like to read before you go to sleep, pick one or two books that you most want to read. Make sure not to layer or stack things. We feel more peaceful when things are unobstructed and there is space between things. Stay diligent in de-cluttering your nightstand by sticking with just a few essentials. Add to this list of essentials very deliberately and carefully:

  1. A tray for smaller items like glasses, watches, rings etc.
  2. A box of tissues
  3. A small lamp

computer in bedroomTechnology in the Bedroom

Surveys indicate that a massive number of people sleep with their smartphone (or laptop or tablet) either next to the bed or actually IN the bed. However, research suggests this is a really bad idea. Huffingtonpost.com cites 7 really good reasons to eliminate the smartphone from the bedroom. Read the article here.

Follow These Tips for Getting Technology Out of the Bedroom

  • Set up a charging station somewhere other than your bedroom, like the kitchen or a home office. Plug in the cords in a way that makes it inconvenient to move them around, so that you really need to make an effort to charge your devices somewhere else.
  • Designate a time each night to retire phones and tablets to the charging station. Start with doing it right before bed, but consider doing it an hour or more before bedtime. Having time to unwind with your spouse is beneficial outside the bedroom as well.
  • Buy or dig out an actual alarm clock so you don’t have to rely on your phone’s alarm to wake up in the mornings. Browse Amazon’s selection of alarm clocks here.
  • If you or your spouse like to read before bed, start bringing physical books into the bedroom instead of a tablet or e-reader. If you’re dying to read your latest Kindle find, discuss guidelines before carrying the device to bed. Consider turning off Wi-Fi so you’re not tempted to check email or Facebook “just for a minute.”

Is There a TV in Your Bedroom? Ditch It Now

Removing the television from your bedroom will result in better / more sleep. Not only does television in the bedroom keep us up later at night, but there are also studies that indicate watching television before bed actually disrupts sleep cycles.

Illumination Inspiration
bedroom-lighting

Choosing the right lighting in bedrooms is important for relaxing and rejuvenating the human spirit. Use these tips to bring your bedroom some much needed illumination inspiration. Check out Remodeling 101: Bedroom Lighting Secrets by Janet Hall

Well, there you have it! Clearly there’s more to consider, like freshening up your bedding, pillows, and art work. This surely this will get you started! Then branch out as you can.

Remember, if the need for a professional arises, The Cleaning Crew has home organization specialists that can transform your bedroom in a flash. Give us a shout:

541-601-6236 or email us: info@thecleaningcrewonline.com

Next week we’ll be looking at some bathroom organization ideas!

Til then, Shine On!

~The Cleaning Crew

PS. What steps have you taken to make your bedroom a more restful space? Leave a comment below!

Your Garage: Clutter Collector or Storage Sweet Spot


#1 Organizatin Garage
The weather is getting warmer (at the very least it’s thinking about it here in Southern Oregon) and summer plans are in the works. For many families, gardening, home improvement projects, family bike rides, and plans for vacation, camping and other summer activities are taking shape.
With summer calling, who doesn’t want to make sure their garage isn’t cramping their style? In this week’s blog, The Cleaning Crew will help you declutter and organize your garage for bikes, lawn equipment, sport gear, boxes laying around since Christmas, and anything else that may be cluttering your garage or prefab garage.

Follow these simple steps to help you purge and rearrange your garage, turning a frustrating space into a functional space so you can lay out garage floor mats and make your garage feel welcoming!

Empty The Entire Garage

It may sound painful, but trust us, it’s the only way to go! Check the weather first, but clear that garage out! It’ll be much simpler to assess your storage needs if you can get a good look at what you’re working with.

Organize your belongings into designated areas in your driveway or lawn: 1.things to keep, 2. things to donate or sell and 3. things to throw out or recycle. With everything cleared out of your workspace, you’ll now be able to scrub down all the flat surfaces and install/rearrange shelving, hooks and other organizational materials without your stuff in the way.

Clean The Garage Floors

Remove the dirt and grime in your now-empty garage. You need to do this with portable garages too. Use a shop-vac or an indoor/outdoor vacuum cleaner to suck up any loose dust, dirt and cobwebs. Next, depending on your desired level of clean, pressure wash your floors for a deep clean, or hose down your garage floor, or you may also choose to sweep then mop by hand.

EpoxyGarageFloorPaint

If you’ve been considering painting your garage floor so it looks like this, now’s a great time to tackle that project.

Tackle Your Garage Organization

If you don’t already have shelving, hooks, racks and other organizational aids in place, now is the time to do it. Think about where you want things to be stored in the long run. This means considering how often you use certain items, who uses them, and during which seasons.

7 Tips to Clean & Organize Your GarageBall+Storage1

1. Store sports balls using bungee cords. This genius storage solution allows you to easily access your ball collection, and it’s a cinch to put together.

2. Separate your garage into zones. Keep sports equipment, gardening accessories, power tools and kids’ toys each in their own area of the garage to keep things organized.

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3. Install slatwall panels. This allows you to easily hang and rearrange hooks and baskets.

4. Get things off the ground. Use a storage system or build shelves to clear floor space. Becareful with how you configure this though, we have had reports of people damaging their garage door because of the way they have organized their garage. Requiring the services similar to Garage Doors Denver to get their garage door back in working order.

tools5. Keep your garden and yard work tools organized. Use wall hooks and bins, Build a tool rack. These DIY hooks are cheap and simple to build on your own. All you need are nails and a board to keep your garden tools beautifully orbolts and nutsorganized.

6. Screw organization. Literally – keep your screws organized with this clever storage idea that uses dead space underneath a cabinet or shelf.

7. Bike rack. Bikes can be a storage nightmare, especially when they go in and out of the garage every day. Here are 5 simple solutions.

1 wire shelvingHelpful Storage Products We Use & Recommend

Wire shelving is the perfect place to start when it comes to garage organization. It’s clean and modern looking, can sit on the floor, be mounted to the wall, or sit on casters for mobility. They can be customized to virtually any shelf configuration for your specific needs. If you’ve got stuff to store, this shelving will keep it neat and tidy. These are available at most big box stores.

  • Wall-Mount Rack With Bins For garages 622623_tswith lots of small items like nuts and bolts, a great solution are these amazing wall-mounted storage bins.! You can label each bin and they are even easy to install! Woot!
  • 41nThI69rBL._SX300_ Plastic Storage Box Plastic storage bins like these can be used for just about anything: boating gear, fishing gear, car wash supplies, bike helmets, or tools. We like bins with the attached interlocking lid rather than a separate lid as they don’t ever get lost! They’re stackable the contents are viewable!
  • Tool Caddy Paint brushes, spray paint, electrical cords, cadygardening tools, cleaning supplies… this Tote Caddy holds it all! It’s rugged, sturdy and the easy handle makes it portable, so you can move quickly and efficiently from project-to-project.
  • 9caebd205615615fb81060686af690d0Utility Cart This is a mobile workstation that can hold a lot of weight, It has multiple bin configurations for even more organization, and has a space to place your morning cup of coffee! Boom. We’re sold! This 1-drawer utility cart is a garage necessity!

Detailed garage organization depends mostly on what items are in it, but these general principles should definitely get you started.

What garage organization ideas have worked for you? Leave your suggestions and comments below!.

~ The Cleaning Crew

P.S. If you need help organizing your garage, we have organization specialists on staff who can whip your garage into shape in no time, turning that clutter collector into a storage sweet spot. Call the office for more information!
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