Back to School: 5 Time Savers You Can’t Live Without


In the past, we shared 6 Expert Tips to help get ready for the new school year. This year, we’d like to add a few time-saving tips to help you and your family make the best of back to school!

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1. Plan Ahead

Last year, we recommended pre-sorting snacks and food items to make packing lunches more efficient. There are other ways to get ahead of the game, too. Spend some time on Sunday evening in a family meeting. Mark the calendar, plan meals, and make to-do lists to prepare everyone for the week ahead.

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Kelly at Here Comes the Sun, takes this opportunity to check the forecast and plan outfits for the week. Here is her back to school clothes organizational system for kids.

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2. Stock up on Supplies

While you’re school supply shopping, be sure to pick up some extras for homework and at-home projects. You can keep these supplies organized in the homework station we helped you create last fall. All you need is a small caddy. Becky at Clean Mama™, shares her practical and trendy example using canning jars.

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If you have a heart for charity, classrooms are always accepting donations. Pick up extra supplies to donate to local schools. Here is a list of  21 Classroom Essentials for Back to School (as Chosen by Teachers).

3. Set Up Systems

School and paper go hand-in-hand. Prepare yourself by setting up organizational systems ahead of time to make sure you don’t lose keepsakes or forget to sign and return important documents. A Bowl Full of Lemons’ blog post details a great organizational system for school projects and keepsakes.

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Erin at Sunny Side Up shares a great system for organizing incoming and outgoing paper. Check out #6 on her list of 10 Things to Do Now to Get Organized for Back to School.

4. Routine

Many people focus on perfecting a morning routine, but establishing a consistent afternoon routine is just as important. We love these awesome tips for creating a stress-free afternoon routine that we found over at Simple as That. While some may have homework on the top of to-do list, others may need a snack or require rest. Find what works for your family, and put it into practice.

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When you are already implementing new routines, it’s a great time to create or adjust a chore system. Last year we recommended this fun chore jar & reward chart, but here are an additional 17 Ways Chores can Actually Be Fun for Your Kids.

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5. Eliminate Clutter

We all know about spring cleaning, but the best way to start a new season is with a clean slate. Purge unnecessary items from your house to save time and stress during the school year. Tipsaholic explains How to Purge Your Home: 10 Easy Tips here.

After you get through purging, you will definitely want to top it off with a deep clean! Since you’ll probably be busy enjoying those back to school experiences with the special kids in your life, let us take care of it for you. All you need to do is call us at 541-601-6236.

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Six Clever Ways to Clean with Vinegar


Six Clever Ways to Clean with Vinegar

 

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Move over salad dressing – vinegar has other uses, too. A lot of other uses. For less than one dollar per bottle, this eco-friendly, non-toxic product has dozens of household applications, including cooking, beauty, pet protection and cleaning. Did you know vinegar can clean everything from paintbrushes to coffee makers just as well as brand-name cleaning agents? Here are a handful of clever ways to clean with vinegar:

 

Remove Mineral Deposits

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Mineral deposits and hard water stains can leave streaks, residue and spots on your dishes. Adding white vinegar to a regular cycle can clear up your dishware plus deodorize and disinfect the machine. Simply place a dishwasher-safe cup of distilled white vinegar in the top rack and run through a cycle on the highest temperature. To learn more about caring for your dishwasher, check out our step by step to do.

Clean Your Coffee Maker

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For the best tasting cup of coffee every morning, your coffee machine needs the occasional purge. Every few months, pour a mixture of one part vinegar to two parts water into the coffee maker’s reservoir and let it run through a full cycle. Follow up with two cycles of water only to get rid of the vinegar taste. Be sure to turn off the coffee maker and let it cool for 15 minutes between each step.

Remove Wallpaper

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Mix equal parts vinegar and water, then saturate the wall with a sponge or spray bottle. Open a window (to combat the smell) and let the mixture soak in for several minutes. When you start scraping, the paper should come right off!

Clean Paintbrushes

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If your paintbrushes are caked with rock-hard paint from old projects, clean them and soften the bristles with vinegar. First, fill an old saucepan with enough vinegar to cover the bristles of the brush and pre-soak the brushes for 30 – 60 minutes. Then, heat the vinegar on the stove until it’s boiling, and remove from the heat. Let the brushes soak for up to 30 minutes before removing to hand-wash them in cool water. Let them dry fully before using again.

 

Remove Decals and Stickers

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Price tags and unwanted decals can be hard to remove. Use a sponge to dab undiluted vinegar on glass or plastic. Let it soak for a few minutes, then scrape the surface clean. If there is any sticky residue, rub the area with more vinegar.

Dissolve Rust

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Soak old tools and corroded nuts and bolts in undiluted vinegar for a few days. Rinse them with water. If the rust is still there, repeat the process.
NOTE: There are dozens of types of vinegars, from balsamic to beer vinegar. Distilled white vinegar is the most common type in American households, and the best type of vinegar for cleaning (and pickling).

 

Have any of your own favorite uses for vinegar? Leave a comment below!

 

And don’t forget to share this with your friends!

5 Tips for Pre-Party Cleaning


When you’re planning a party, you have a lot to worry about. Let us take one thing off your list. You know you’ll have to clean after the get together, so there is no need to deep clean beforehand. Here are some easy tips to help get your house party-ready in 2-4 hours or less, depending on how clean your house is to begin with!

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1. Conquer the Kitchen

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The kitchen is the heart of the home. So, even though it may not be the main entertainment area, it will be used for food prep and a secondary gathering area! Dishes drying on the counter can clutter an otherwise clean kitchen. If you’re unable to do much else, make sure the dishes are cleaned and put away (even just put in the dishwasher…that counts). Wipe the counters down with a wet cloth and empty the trash.

2. Bathroom Duty

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The guest bathroom may take the longest if it needs a deep clean. Wipe down the counters, mirrors and glass surfaces, scrub in and around the toilet, mop the floors, and empty the trash last. You might consider surface cleaning the other bathrooms just in case more than one guest has an emergency at the same time.

3.Watch Where You Walk

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Clean floors make a big impact. Vacuum and mop in the areas which will be used by guests. Depending on how the weather has been, you may also consider sweeping the front porch or sidewalk for a more welcoming arrival. This will also help to keep the guests from accidentally tracking in a mess.

4. Clean Guest Bedroom

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One area we often forget about cleaning are guest bedrooms. Since most guests aren’t likely to see these areas, they don’t seem like a major pre-cleaning concern. However, a guest room is a popular place for guests to leave their coats or purses, and it is highly likely that a guest will pass by a room or two on their way to the restroom.

5. Freshen the Air

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A house that smells pleasant makes your guests feel welcomed. Here is a natural DIY recipe to make your house smell wonderful. #2 Vanilla and Orange Simmering Potpourri Recipe from Tipnut

Ingredients (2):

Vanilla (a few drops)

Orange peels

Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the vanilla drops and orange peels, boil for a few minutes, then turn the heat down to simmer all day. Set a timer for 30 minutes so that you remember to top up water as needed.

Pro Tip: Vinegar and baking soda absorb bad smells. Leave a bowl of either hidden to keep your house smelling fresh all the time. Replace weekly.

With these 5 easy tips to quickly make your house presentable for an awesome get together, there is no need to stress over the mess. If you find yourself too busy or overwhelmed preparing for the party, give us a call. We can help you with your pre-party cleaning so you can focus on having a great time with your guests. Call us today: 541-601-6236. Or, shoot us an email: info@thecleaningcrewonline.com

6 Tips for Your Summer Parties


What better way to celebrate the arrival of summer than to throw a party? If you use these 6 easy tips to plan your get together, you can be sure that your friends will be talking about it all summer long!

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1. Give a Memorable Gift

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Via Colin Cowie Weddings

Forget the party favors that get thrown away if they are lucky enough to even make it home. Give your guests something they will use and enjoy. Whether it’s a classic summer scent like lavender, a neatly packaged dry ingredient like sea salt, or a practical gift like a folding fan, your guests will be delighted and surprised. Click Here!

2. Give Your Guests Space

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Via First Home Love Life

Although we typically think of a summer party as an outdoor one, that doesn’t have to be the case. Particularly if the heat is a factor, make it an indoor/outdoor event by using spaces like living rooms that open onto patios. If you don’t have room indoors, a nice alternative is using a large courtyard or other covered area where guests can find shade. Click Here!

3. Light up the Night

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Via Hometalk

Create your own five-minute fire pit for evening parties. Get the social feel of a bonfire without the prep and cleanup. These mini campfires make great centerpieces and can keep the party going long after the sun goes down. This is an extremely easy DIY project anyone can do! Click here!

4. Know How Much to Serve

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Via Chickabug

One of the most common concerns of a party host is knowing how much food to serve. No one wants to run out of drinks or have too many leftovers. Check out this guide to serving amounts from our friends at Chickabug! Click Here!

5. Cover Your Tables With Craft Paper

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Via Miss Tweedle

Available in white or brown, craft paper is not only better for the environment than cheap plastic table cloths, it is much more sturdy and right on trend with the burlap and lace vintage decor craze. Write the names of each guest at their seat, or break out the markers and turn the blank canvas into a game board or art gallery. Plus, when the party’s over, cleanup is super easy. Click Here!

6. Use a Muffin Tin

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Via One Crazy House

If you plan on throwing a party with younger guests, using a muffin tin as a tray for pre-scooped ice cream or condiments is a creative and less messy serving option. To continue on with the theme, you can use cupcake liners to stop the sticky drops from a popsicle or as a lid to cover your drink! Click Here!

Partied so hard you don’t want to clean up? That’s what we’re here for! Contact us today to get a quote.

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