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Learn How to Minimize the Dust in Your Closet

from Closets.com
January 8, 2021

 

Ever notice how closets and bathrooms seem to be the dustiest rooms in the house? There’s a reason for this. They may not be used very often each day. But the type of use these areas receive creates dust. And the relatively small size of closets with limited air circulation exacerbates the problem.

Understand what is dust made of.

According to research from Chemical and Engineering News, 80% of the dust in a home is made up of dead skin cells that have sloughed off your body. The rest is a combination of dust mites and their excrement, clothing fibers, pollen, and bacteria. Yuck! Certainly not my home, right?

Think of Pig-Pen from the old Peanuts cartoons by Charles M. Schulz.

Unfortunately, even the cleanest among us create dust. We are all kind of like Pig-Pen. That’s because particles of our skin and hair continuously shed throughout the day. In fact, that is what bloodhounds or other search and rescue dogs are following when they pick up your “scent.” We create our own unique dust as part of a healthy rejuvenation process for our bodies. It can be completely avoided, but we can still reduce this dust from piling up in our homes.

And then there are the dust mites. Dust mites are microscopic spider-like creatures that live in our homes and on our clothing. They eat dead skin cells. Thus the attraction to us. After they eat, they poop, like any other animal, adding to our “dust.” To make things worse, many people are allergic to this dust mite doo-doo. In fact, this is one of the major allergens in dust that make us sneeze.

 

Read the rest on Closets.com.

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Don’t Buy These 10 Things In Bulk

We all love a bargain, and shopping at warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club definitely cuts costs on groceries and household items. Diapers, pet food, paper products, detergent, vitamins—items such as these are certainly a way better deal at the big stores! But is everything a better deal at the warehouse stores? Not necessarily. Here are ten things you (generally) shouldn’t buy in bulk.

1.  Produce

Fruits and vegetables don’t last too long, whether it’s the kind you store in the fridge or the kitchen counter. Even if buying a large amount of produce seems like a good deal, throwing out spoiled items at the end of the week is wasteful and not cost-effective. Buy fresh produce according to how much you use within a few days. Of course, if you are making French onion soup, do buy that big bag of onions at Costco! A friend of mine makes smoothies each morning for herself and her family, so fresh bananas and berries bought in bulk definitely saves them money.

2.  Meat and Fish

Meat and fish at warehouse stores are not wrapped for freezer storage, and if kept too long can get freezer burn and tough to eat. And though the FoodSafety.gov says frozen meat kept at a temperature of 0° Fahrenheit or lower is “safe to eat indefinitely,” remember the difference between “safe to eat” and “good to eat.” While keeping some meat and fish in your freezer is handy for a quick meal, fresher is usually best.

3.  Cooking Oils

Assess how long it takes you to finish a gallon of cooking oil—do you really finish it by the expiration date? Even if you do, NutritionFacts.org‘s study shows found that many cooking oils begin to go rancid and oxidize long before that date. Unless you do a lot of frying, get your oil at the grocery store instead. This way your cooking oils will always be fresh, and you can have regular-sized bottles of a wider variety, such as extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, and coconut oil.

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How to Keep Kids Safe on YouTube in 2021

from SafetyDetectives.com
June 2, 2021

Keeping kids away from inappropriate YouTube content can feel overwhelming. There are several billion YouTube videos (500+ hours of video are uploaded every minute), and 2 billion users log into YouTube every month — so how do we filter out all of the violent, sexual, manipulative, hateful, and otherwise unsuitable content that our kids find on YouTube (frequently on accident)?

YouTube has a couple of solutions — including “Restricted Mode” on conventional YouTube and also the curated YouTube Kids app, both of which are meant to filter out adult content. But dozens of reports have been published showing the staggering amount of vulgar, violent, and disturbing content that YouTube’s automated filters fail to catch.

What’s even more worrying is that a lot of these videos are actually targeted at young children, using popular characters, misleading titles, and search-engine-optimized language to maximize views from young children who don’t know any better.

That’s why relying on YouTube’s filters isn’t good enough. But there are some pretty simple techniques that you can use to ensure your kids don’t stumble across the millions of hours of inappropriate content on YouTube in 2021.

Read the rest on SafetyDetectives.com

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Back-to-School Organization Ideas for an A+ School Year

You’ve downloaded the school supply lists and bought everything your kiddos will need (and likely more!). High-five, parents! To get this school year off to a sweet start, get their school items organized and systems set up ahead of time. The first week of school will be less chaotic and more streamlined when everyone knows where everything is located and where items are to be deposited, taken from, and found.

A Place for Backpacks

Use wall hooks in the entryway or mudroom to store these items—make sure they are secure enough to hold heavy backpacks. Best location is the kids’ first point of entry and last point of exit! Don’t let them get in the habit of just leaving their backpacks all over the house. One, it cuts down on floor clutter; two, it lessens the chances of school stuff getting lost or misplaced. Once they get home, encourage them to empty their backpacks of lunch and homework items. When leaving for school, it will be the reverse order.

Lunch Bags

These should also not be strewn all over the house. Nobody wants to find a half-filled silicone sandwich bag two weeks later in the back of the closet! Once they empty their backpacks, have a spot in the kitchen for them to deposit their lunch bags so everything can be emptied, washed, and readied for the next day.

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Pandemic Habits to Keep

Last month we went over some pandemic habits to say goodbye to, like too much takeout and screen time. However, there are even more habits and routines we’ve changed or added that actually bring healthy, positive, and uplifting vibes to our lives. We may have turned the corner on the pandemic (and fingers crossed that it stays that way!), but some things are too good to let go of. Let’s focus on pandemic habits we should definitely keep!

Walking, walking, and more walking!

Remember in early lockdown when there was nowhere to go and everyone started walking outside? It was actually quite wonderful! Our neighborhood streets, normally quiet, became busy with people walking, saying “Hello” from a distance, and talking to others from their porches. I’d have meet-ups with friends to walk, and with the streets empty we could walk six feet apart in the middle of the road. My husband liked to pop in his AirPods, find his latest favorite podcast, and walk for miles. If COVID got you taking a walk regularly, there’s absolutely no reason to stop this awesome practice. No wonder The Guardian calls 2020 “The Year of the Walker”!

Supporting local businesses

My local community groups were big on supporting local mom-and-pop shops instead of the big retail giants—we sure didn’t want them to disappear during the pandemic. While many places unfortunately still had to shutter, many more stayed afloat and are now feeling a resurgence. Yay! Restaurants, book stores, boutiques, pet shops, food trucks, clothing and gift shops, cafés, etc.—it’s so terrific to see these businesses return to almost-normal and begin to thrive again. Let’s keep up this local support!

Hygiene

One of the things I found so odd (and alarming, honestly) at the beginning of the pandemic was all the imploring for people to wash hands regularly; why was this a new thing?! In any case, in the past year colds and the flu almost disappeared. With social distancing, mask-wearing, and tons of sanitizing, the basic illnesses truly diminished; this may change as the world is opening up and the COVID-safety measures start to go away. I, for one, plan to keep up the hygiene practices—lots of hand-washing and sanitizers—even post-pandemic. I love not getting sick! And as they have been doing in Asia, I will start wearing a mask when I’m feeling under the weather, to keep others from catching whatever bug I’ve got.

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Top Five Lists To Make Before A Big Trip

A weekend or a few days away is pretty easy to pack and prepare for, especially if you do it fairly often. If you are going to be away from home for a week or more (lucky you!) then you’ll want to make sure your situation at home is thoroughly set up and taken care of, especially if you are leaving kiddos or pets behind. Here are five major lists to make before you set off:

1. Packing

Write it on a notepad or use an app, but make a list of everything you (and your family) are bringing. Create categories such as clothing, toiletries, swimming stuff, devices, baby stuff, etc. It’s helpful before you go; then when you’re repacking to come home it’s a great way to make sure you don’t forget anything. It also keeps you from bringing multiples of the same thing.

2. Arrangements

From the dog-sitter to the yard company to the U.S. Mail to the Waste Management pick-up, list all the things you need to have done (or not done) while you are away, and confirm the arrangements you make.

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10 Must-Haves for Your Carry-On Bag

There was a time when all one needed for their carry-on bag was an airline ticket, a few toiletries, a good book, and maybe a snack and a drink. How things have changed! With extensive security measures in place, digitized ticketing and check-ins, and a need for multiple devices, air travel has definitely become more complicated. Your carry-on bag basically holds your existence for the next 2 to 20 hours, depending on where you are traveling! Here’s our list of 10 must-haves to make your flight less stressful and more efficient:

1.  Trip Documents

For quick and easy access, items like your wallet, boarding pass, and passport should definitely be kept in the front or top pockets of your carry-on. Other documents to keep in a separate folder: physical tickets, invitations, itineraries, and any other documents with no digital version. Extra: When traveling abroad I always make double-sided photocopies of my family’s passports, TSA-Pre cards, IDs, and credit cards. I take one copy and store it deep inside my carry-on in a zippered pocket, and leave one with my parents.

2.  Technology

Definitely your smartphone and charger! But do think through your other tech—these items are heavy. Do you really need your laptop, iPad, and Kindle? If you plan to work during the flight, then bring your laptop. You can leave your Kindle or e-reader at home and use it’s app on your iPad instead. If you want to bring several devices but know you’ll really only use your smartphone and iPad on the flight, pack the rest safely in your checked luggage. Don’t forget the chargers—keep them tidy and organized.

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Pandemic Habits to Say Goodbye To

As of June 16, 2021, 70% of King County residents 16 years and older have been fully vaccinated—what an achievement! A year ago as we were struggling to cope with prolonged Stay At Home orders, this seemed like a far-off dream, and now here we are. The state will fully reopen by June 30, and although there will still be some health restrictions remaining, it will be the most “normal” life will be in over a year. I still can’t believe it sometimes! It was a challenging year on so many levels, and most of us had to change how we did everything—how we schooled, worked, and exercised, how we cooked and ate, how we kept ourselves entertained, how we kept in touch with the outside world. Now that things are moving forward, it’s time to make some positive changes in our lives. Some of the practices we’ve picked up during the pandemic definitely aren’t sustainable for a healthy, productive life. Let’s go over pandemic habits we can now work on saying Goodbye to!

Screen time overload.

We are all guilty of this. Every human in the world aged 3-103 spent countless hours on screens: smartphones, e-readers, tablets, computers, and TVs. Many parents relaxed (or chucked out completely) any screen limits for their kids. We worked, schooled, went to the movies, saw our friends and family, had happy hours, and played games via screens—it was a link to life outside your household. If only we’d bought stock in Zoom 18 months ago! It’s time to wean ourselves and our families off too much screen time: we like Calendar.com’s strategies on doing so.

Unstructured days.

For some, working and schooling from home created an upside-down world of malleable scheduling and do-it-when-you-can options. Mealtimes were all over the place, weekdays bled right into the weekends and before you knew it, it was already Tuesday again. Get that calendar up and running, whether it’s a cute calendar hung up in your kitchen, or an online shared family calendar like Cozi. Set up a regular waking, working, and bedtime schedule that is reasonable as well as realistic. Then schedule fun stuff: Hike to Mt. Si, dinner with friends (in a restaurant, even!), a local event like Kirkland Summerfest, game night with the grandparents. Sky’s the limit!

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It’s Dad’s Turn: Our Garage Power Day Promotion Is For You!

It’s been a challenging year, and that special dad in your life deserves something more than new grilling tongs or a gift card for Father’s Day. What dad wouldn’t love to have his garage or shed pared down and superbly organized? Imagine having your home and garden tools, sports equipment, camping gear, storage bins, miscellaneous boxes, and car supplies ergonomically and efficiently organized, categorized, and labeled—he can find anything in a snap! Could he actually start parking the car in the garage again? We can help make this a possibility.

We want to honor Dads with our Garage Power Day promotion: Two organizers for 4 hours—8 hours of total organizing—at a 20% discount. We’ve never done a promo like this before…and it won’t last long…so don’t delay!

When you buy 8 hours of Hands-On Professional Organizing
We will gift you 20% off

The value of this package is $720
Purchase today for only $575

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The Ultimate Guide for First Time Renovators

From YourCalvert.com
by Clif Bridegum

Finally buying your own property is one of the most exciting life milestones. But renovating it to make it entirely your own is even more special.

Your Instagram feed might be filled with before and after pictures that appear to have been taken only a week apart. But renovating even a small room can be a big project. And you’re going to need to do a lot of preparation beforehand.

So, to make sure you turn your home into your own perfect paradise, here is the ultimate guide for first time renovators.

Making a Schedule for Renovation Work

Making a schedule is one of the most important things to do before you start on a project. Finding pictures you love on Pinterest and Instagram are fun. But it’s important to know what is realistically achievable.

One of the best ways to make your plans a reality is to make a schedule. It’s so important to do as much research as possible. And know exactly how long certain projects will take.

Renovating a whole house can be overwhelming. But so can renovating just one room. Breaking the project down into small steps can make it much more manageable.

Making a schedule will also help you with creating a budget. Making a budget isn’t always the most exciting aspect of renovating a house. Especially if you’re trying to keep costs down. But it is the most important.

Read the rest on Your Calvert.
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