2019 Bucket List: Ashland, Oregon


Americans spend more than 87% of their time indoors. As the new year begins, we want to challenge ourselves and our readers to live a more active and adventurous lifestyle. 

We are proud to be a locally owned and operated business, and we hope that you will venture out to support other small businesses in our area this year.  We live in an area that has a personality all of its own, offering something for the outdoor enthusiast as well as the artist at heart. 

We used TripAdvisor to help select some of the most unique and exciting local must-do’s:

  • Oregon Shakespeare Festival– This is a repertory theatre that has presented all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays more than 300 times. The theatrical season runs from February to November of each year and hosts more than 400,000 visitors per year.
  • Go to Science Works Hands-On Museum– Founded in 2002 through a cooperative agreement between Kirlin Charitable Foundation and Southern Oregon University, their mission is “to inspire wonder and stimulate creative exploration through fun interactive science and the arts.” They have educated and entertained more than 100,000 visitors since opening. 
  • Mount Ashland-The highest peak in the Siskiyou Mountains of southern Oregon
  • Take a Yoga or Massage Class
  • Visit the Historic Districts of Ashland-Francesca, owner of Bayberry Inn, gives a great rundown of the Ashland Railroad District in her blog post
  • Oregon Vortex-An unusual trip for the lover of all things obscure. First found by the Native Americans and named “Forbidden Ground,” this area has been open to the public since 1930. You must go yourself to experience a natural phenomenon unlike any other. Visit the House of Mystery, height change, the Eddy Current Tube, and visit the Curios Shop.
  • Have a Spa day at the Blue Giraffe-Voted Best Spa since 2005
  • Schneider Museum of Art-This museum is a part of the Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU that is open to the public. Enjoy a free visit Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm or attend a tour on Tuesdays at 12:30 pm. 

  • Emigrant Lake
  • See a show at Oregon Cabaret-Originally Ashland’s First Baptist Church, the building remained vacant for over a decade and was eventually painted pink. In 1982, Craig Hudson bought and began restoring the building. In 1986, the theatre opened with 30 performances. Now, the performers entertain 140 guests, six nights a week, year-round. While you’re there, be sure to try a piece of Dick Hay Pie. 

Did we leave anything out? Let us know about your local experiences in the Ashland, Oregon area in the comments!

Resolutions for the Homeowner


Most people have a list of New Year’s resolutions that include goals for health, wellness, and happier living. What better way to live happier than to live in a well taken care of home? Here are a few reminders of extra love and care you can put into your home this year:

Complete Unfinished Projects

In every home there are more than a few small things that we keep putting off, and 2019 is the year to get it done! Are any of these items on your “honey do” list?

  • Replace the air filters
  • Change the light bulbs
  • Replace weather stripping
  • Re-caulk windows
  • Fix drawers/cabinets that won’t close
  • Repair squeaky floors
  • Clean your washing machine, dish washer, etc.
  • Clean your rugs and curtains
  • Clean the outside of your windows
  • De-clutter
  • Repair or discard broken items
  • Cash in your loose change
  • Develop old film or cameras
  • Tighten loose screws
  • Polish or repair furniture scratches
  • Mend torn clothes
  • Clean out the dryer vent
  • Test batteries in fire detectors
  • Clean electronics
  • Replace toothbrush
  • Change your car oil. It might also be worth giving your car a clean using the Sensha Car Care Products
  • Rotate your tires
  • Grease squeaky hinges

Employ Organizational Systems

Keeping your home clutter free and organized is one of the most important aspects of having a clean and stress-free home. Developing and sticking to easy-to-use organizational systems can help your house stay clean year-round, alternatively you can look into storage San Francisco based so you’re able to keep your unwanted items you just can’t seem to let go of.

  • Laundry
    • Don’t let this household chore take over your life. Develop a laundry system that works for you and your family. This may mean an assigned laundry day for each person in your household or it could be as simple as having one dedicated laundry day a week.
  • Storage
    • Everything in your home should have a place to be stored. If it doesn’t have a home, you may need to part with it. The average American home has more than 300,000 items. Reducing the amount of things in your home can be a freeing experience.
  • Reminders
    • You can set reminders on your calendar so that you remember these regular home maintenance and cleaning activities, or we can help you out by establishing a regular cleaning schedule.
    • Daily-Laundry, dishes, disinfect frequent contact surfaces, clean up clutter
    • Weekly-Change sheets, clean floors, clean out fridge, dust, wash bathroom rugs and towels
    • Monthly- clean oven, clean trash bins, clean dishwasher and washing machine, clean fans
    • With the changing of the seasons you should-wash comforters and pillows, Clean out the gutters, clean the outside of the windows, de-clutter, clean rugs and curtains, clean fireplace, clean air vents and covers

Make The Upgrade

This is the year to make the upgrades to your home that you’ve been talking about. Decide what’s been holding you back, make a plan, and attack the project! Whether it is an energy efficiency investment into your home or a large project like a kitchen remodel, commit to getting it done by December.

  • Efficiency Upgrades
    • Install a programmable thermostat
    • Replace high energy appliances with more efficient versions
    • Install new doors or windows. Not sure where to start looking? Majestic Designs Ltd have a wide range of windows to suit your individual style.
    • Install a windmill or solar panels
    • Get an energy audit by a certified inspector
    • Install a rain water system
    • Install automatic lights
    • Landscape with energy-efficient plants and features
  • Tips for Renovation Projects
    • Plan ahead
    • Find good help
    • Don’t skip the prep
    • Get all necessary permits
    • Don’t overbuild for your neighborhood
    • Decide how you are going to live during the remodel
    • Expect bumps in the road
    • Research
    • Don’t cover old mistakes with new construction

If you need help creating a personalized list of things that need to be done around your home, we would love to help. Whatever is on your agenda for 2019, don’t forget to keep your home a priority.

Happy New Year from The Cleaning Crew, LLC


Holiday Traditions: Start One or Keep It Going


12 Books of Christmas
Buy and wrap 12 short stories or children’s books. Start opening them and read them at bedtime each night leading up to Christmas.

Elf on a Shelf
If you haven’t already heard of this Christmas tradition that has taken the world by storm, you can check out some of these very creative Christmas characters in action by clicking here.

Decorate
from the tree to the stockings, someone has to do it! So, involve the whole family in transforming your home into a Winter Wonderland! Popsugar suggests having a family camp out under the tree after you get it set up.

Volunteering
Whether it is at a local homeless shelter or ringing the bell at a local store, the spirit of giving is what the holidays are all about. Encourage your family to participate in a selfless activity like serving food, collecting clothing or cans, or hanging Christmas lights for someone.

Lights
You can drive around town and check out the light displays, or make an annual visit to an awesome light show. Lights are some of the most magical parts of Christmas. Make it a moment each year that your family can look forward to.

Movie Night
Pick a Christmas classic that your family can watch every year. Extra bonus if you all have matching pj’s or fuzzy holiday themed socks!

Christmas Crafts
From ornaments to Gingerbread houses, there are plenty of Christmas crafts to choose from. Here are some awesome ideas to get you started on this family tradition.

Sing
Whether you are caroling, doing Christmas karaoke, or driving around looking at lights with some of the seasonal hits playing, traditional Christmas songs are must have part of the holiday season.

Giving
If you are in the financial place to help others, adopt a Christmas Angel, fill a shoe box to send overseas, or find a local family in need of extra help during this time. There are many opportunities to give to others.

Santa Claus
You can visit him at the mall, write him a letter, or call his phone number, there are many ways you can get in touch with the Big Guy this Christmas season. Make it a holiday tradition that everyone can look back on with joy.

Everyone celebrates the holidays a little differently, we encourage you to check out holiday traditions from all around the world at this awesome Holiday Traditions website! Let us know your favorite holiday traditions in the comments below!

Virtual Cookie Exchange



As the holidays approach, you’re probably looking for a creative party theme. If you’ve never attended a cookie exchange, it is a great twist to the traditional holiday party. Here is how it works:

  1. Each guest brings enough cookies and copies of the recipe to share with the entire group.
  2. As they come in, their cookies are displayed along with the recipe.
  3. The host supplies goodie bags so that each guest can create their own personal assortment of cookies and recipes to take home and try for themselves!

To get you started, let’s have a virtual cookie exchange! We’re going to share some of our favorite cookie recipes below. Then, you share your favorite cookie recipes in the comments.

Delish.com has a list of 50+ Easy Christmas Cookies. Some of our favorites include…
…Santa’s Trash…They take less than 30 minutes total!
…The 15 Days of Christmas Cookie Countdown…Such a cute idea!
…3 Ingredient Sugar Cookies…I mean, who doesn’t like simple?
…Best Sugar Cookie Icing…Only 5 minutes to create an icing that will wow your guests!

I AM BAKER’s list includes cute recipe cards and general baking tips like…
…sifting dry ingredients because it helps add air which makes your cookies fluffier.
…creaming the butter and the sugar instead of mixing. Again, this creates air pockets which help make your cookies soft and fluffy.
…adding eggs at room temperature so that your cookies are more moist.
We love their Sugar Cookie Wreaths and Christmas Tree Cookie Stacks! Don’t they look adorable?

And of course, Food Network’s collection of Christmas cookies is to die for. Here is our absolute favorite recipe:

Quick & Easy Peppermint Fudge

You’ll need: cooking spray, 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, red peppermint candies (crushed)

Prep. Melt. Pour. Cool. Cut. That’s pretty quick and easy if you ask me!

We hope you’ll try some of the recipes we’ve shared, and we’d love to try some of yours! Share them in the comments below.

Q & A: Winterizing Your Home


Why is it important to winterize my home?

You invest money and time into making your home the perfect place for you and your family. If you don’t take the time to properly winterize your home, you are risking damage to one of your most valuable assets.

How does winterizing my home help me?

Winterizing your home can help you in several ways. It can help keep your plumbing from bursting or your fireplace from creating a disaster. Winterizing your home can also save you money by increasing the energy efficiency when cold air comes blowing through.

What are the most important things to winterize?

Inside your home, it is important to winterize your fireplace, plumbing, heating unit, windows, and doors. If you notice anything wrong then get a professional to look at it as you won’t want to be without that appliance during the winter. For example, getting someone who specializes in heating Montclair nj or whoever is local to you when your heater is making a funny noise can be the difference between going with or without heat when it’s snowing! Outside, you should take a careful look at your plumbing, valuable outdoor equipment, pools, plants, and animals.

What are easy, simple winterizing solutions I can implement right now?

Inside, you can start by putting a draft guard on your door and weatherstripping on the windows to keep cool air from sneaking in through cracks. In addition, make it a habit of changing your air filter and switching the direction of your ceiling fans every season change.

When it comes to the outdoors, we suggest that you cover your outdoor spigots and other important outdoor equipment like grills and lawnmowers. Cover your plants or bring them in, and provide a warm place for your outdoor pets to seek shelter during the cold winter nights.

What are helpful investments I can make to make winterizing easier?

Getting a programmable thermostat can help keep your house energy efficient all year long. In addition, extra insulation and re-caulking all of your doors and windows can really help minimize draftiness.

When should I call in the professionals?

Your fireplace should always be cleaned and inspected by a professional to ensure it is safe to use. If you haven’t used yours recently, we suggest you find someone to help get it in working order. Also, calling in the professionals to winterize your pool will save you a lot of hard work in the spring. Finally, cleaning out gutters so that they drain properly is also another job you might could use some help with. You can call our specialists today at 541-601-6236 for a quote.

Fall Cleaning Checklist Revisited


Several years ago, we presented a Fall Cleaning Checklist. Now that the leaves are falling and cooler weather is blowing in, it is time to bring our checklist back out so you can make sure to have your home ready for the change in seasons. The Holidays will be here before you know it, and what are the holidays without a clean and organized home to celebrate in?

The Cleaning Crew Fall Cleaning Chore Checklist will help you prepare your home for the coming winter season:

Kitchen

  • Re-Organize and Clean Out Pantry – Throw away expired goods. Re-arrange as needed. Write out a pantry inventory and make a grocery list of the things you will need to stock up on. Keep in mind the fact that community food pantries are in dire need of donations during this time of year.
  • Clean Oven – Prep your oven for holiday cooking and baking. If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven, The Cleaning Crew can offer some quick and easy oven-cleaning solutions.
  • Wipe Down Kitchen Cupboards – Wipe down your kitchen cupboards. Wipe the insides and the tops, if you feel ambitious!
  • Deep Clean the Refrigerator & Freezer — Throw away all expired foods. Removed and scrub shelves, drawers, and other small pieces in order to deep clean. Replace filter on ice-maker or water dispenser.

Windows

  • Wash Windows, Inside and Out – This may be your last chance to clean the exterior windows before bad weather sets in.
  • Wash Curtains – Pull down any curtains that can be washed and clean them. If you can’t wash them, take them outside to shake the dust off.
  • Wipe Blinds – Wipe down the blinds of the interior windows. This is best done with a dusting glove.

Bedrooms

  • Bring Out Winter Things for Closets – Take this opportunity to reorganize. Clean out the closets and make several organized piles. One for donating, one for keeping, one for trash, and one for seasonal clothes.
  • Prepare For Holiday Guests – Guest rooms should be not only clean, but also inviting. Try setting out flowers or other special touches to make guests feel especially welcome.
  • Clean all Bedding and Bring Out Winter Comforters – Bring out heavier bedding and winter comforters for the cold days ahead.

Other General Cleaning

  • Dust or Wash Light Fixtures – Most light fixtures are removable and unscrew so you can dust or wash them. Make sure to turn the switch off and allow bulbs to cool before you do this!
  • Vacuum Furniture – Vacuum your upholstered furniture and/or dust & wipe down any wooden furniture.
  • Vacuum and Shampoo Carpets – Be sure your carpets are clean before all the winter mud and snow!  Schedule a carpet cleaning in early autumn.
  • Dust the House from Top to Bottom – This means everything from the cobwebs in the corners of the ceiling to the baseboards. Go from room to room and dust everything! Dusting top to bottom is the most efficient way to clean.
  • Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors – Don’t skip this step, especially if you have any kind of wood fired heat. Just a simple push of a button is all it takes.

Brisk and breezy days are best for overcoming the deep-cleaning chores necessary for a clean, comfortable winter home and a wonderful autumn season. Happy Fall!

Fall Back In Love With Your Home


If you’ve fallen out of love with your home, let our team of talented house cleaners help rekindle the flame this fall season. Having a professionally cleaned home might be just the fresh start you need before the hectic holidays hit. Sometimes investing in your home is the best way to fall back in love with it.

4 Ways to Fall Back In Love With Your Home

  • Organizing your home will help you as the busy holiday season approaches. Whether you more space in your craft room to store and wrap gifts or an organized kitchen to cook gourmet meals for the family, The Cleaning Crew can help clean and organize to save you time. So, whether you’re into one-of-a-kind gift-wrapping or trying those recipes you found online, you’ll have more time for the things you love.

  • Decorating for fall means rich colors, warm throws and a welcoming feeling of coziness that is hard to match in other seasons. One of the simplest ways to add a touch of fall is to use lots of texture and vibrant warm colors. Clean up summer and pull out fall curtains, pillows & throws. Check out Pantone’s color report for the on trend colors for Fall 2018.

  • Fall Food is a treat for the eyes, not just the stomach. Start with a clean home, organize and put away the past season’s decor, and decorate your home inside and outside with gourds, leaves, pumpkins and nuts, place bowls of apples ready for a bite or for dipping in caramel. These fall aromas add enticing flavors to your autumn table.



  • Spices and smells are at the heart of fall. Wafts of freshly ground cinnamon, dried orange slices, sappy pine cones, and vanilla bean evoke a sense of coziness. Now that the weather is cooling down, bring some of those seasonal scents indoors. Just imagine the pure happiness you’ll experience when you’re cuddled up on the couch catching a fall flick with the fire going, inhaling those fragrant hints of pumpkin drifting through the air and clutching a mug of your favorite fall beverage.

So, don’t waste any more time in a stale relationship with your home. Let us revive your relationship and help get you excited about making memories in the upcoming months. Call us today for no hassle cleaning or organization quote.

 

Cleaning Tips For Furry Friends


No one wants to choose between their pet and a clean home, but no one wants the smell of urine or animal hair all over the place either. We’re here to share a few cleaning tips so that you can have the best of both worlds.

Urine Cleaner Recipes

Hopefully potty training your pet was easier than your toddler, but if not, we’ve got you covered. We know that accidents are the rule, not the exception when it comes to animals in the house. Here are a few DIY cleaner recipes you can try next time you find an unwanted wet spot.

  • Homestead Survival recommends 1/4 cup Hydrogen Peroxide, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and a tiny squirt of Castile liquid soap.
  • Hills Pets has a similar solution, but suggests applying the cleaning agents on one-by-one rather than mixing them all together in a spray.
  • While these cleaners can help alleviate the smells, Catcentric.org claims that these cleaners can’t actually get rid of the enzymes that cause the odor and that spraying is not enough. They suggest an enzyme cleaner and “dousing, pouring, and soaking” any area that is effected by animal urine.

Managing Pet Hair

  • Diet–>Did you know that what your pet eats can dramatically effect the amount he or she sheds? Experts at PetMD advise to make sure your pet is getting all the necessary nutrients to grow a healthy coat of fur.
  • Grooming–>Use appropriate tools to brush daily, and schedule regular professional grooming to keep your pet’s hair under control.
  • Cleaning–> You can do what you can to minimize shedding, but ultimately, having a pet means you will have pet hair in your home. Dogtime.com did a survey of pet owners and respondents helped to compose a list of various cleaning methods. Using rubber clubs or a slightly damp sponge to help ball up fur topped the list.

Eliminating Pet Odor

  • Erin at Clean and Scentsible shares a great Carpet and Upholstery Refresher as well as several tips for eliminating odor:
    • Clean the litter box regularly
    • Add a few drops of lavender essential oils when bathing animals
    • Dry bathe animals with a baking soda
  • Wash animal bedding and toys on a regular basis (weekly). To make this task a little easier, make sure to buy beds that have removable covers and can be tossed in the washing machine.
  • Wikihow has several great suggestions on eliminating odor. You can use an air purifier or you can use deodorizers like baking soda or vinegar to help reduce odor.

We know you love your pet, but you also love a clean home. Don’t choose between the two. Use some of these helpful tips to keep your home clean and your pets happy.

20 Cleaning Quotes


  1. You don’t get anything clean without getting something else dirty. -Cecil Baxter

  2. A perfectly kept house is the sign of a misspent life. -Mary Randolph Carter
  3. Housework can’t kill you, but why take a chance. -Phyllis Diller
  4. Cleaning up with children around is like shoveling during a blizzard.  – Margaret Culkin Banning

  5. Your home is living space, not storage space. -Francine Jay
  6. In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. -Mary Poppins
  7. A new broom sweeps clean, but the old broom knows the corners.-Irish saying

  8. Everybody wants to save the earth; no one wants to help mom do the dishes. -P.J. O’Rourke
  9. Why can’t the house clean itself? It seems to get itself dirty. -unknown
  10. There’s something about a clean house, a clean room. It does wonders for the psyche.- Brian Sansoni
  11. Cleaning and organizing is a practice, not a project. -Meagan Francis

  12. A clean place makes a happy space. -unknown
  13. Excuse the mess, but we live here. -Roseanne Barr
  14. Housework is something you do that nobody notices until you don’t do it.-unknown
  15. Housework is like cleaning fish. No matter how often you do it, it still stinks.-Thelma Harper

  16. Cleaning is just putting stuff in less obvious places. -unknown
  17. My house was clean last week…Sorry you missed it. -unknown
  18. At worst, a house unkept cannot be so distressing as a life unlived. -Rose Macaulay

  19. This is a self-cleaning kitchen. Clean up after yourself. -unknown
  20. Nothing inspires cleaning more than an unexpected guest. -Radhika Mundra
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