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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Down Side of a HE Washer

Almost a year ago I got a HE washer and dryer. I immediately noticed some benefits – lower water bills, reduced drying times, using a lot less detergent. But as time moved on, I noticed some negatives too. For instance, it spins so hard and fast that I worry we’re causing structural damage to our house. You can’t use powder detergent. Then there’s the weird musty smell when I walk into the laundry room.

I mentioned the smell to my mom, and she said the same thing happened with her washer. She recommended I leave the door open. I started doing that but still experienced the smell so I got online to investigate. Turns out that it’s a common problem with HE washers. Here’s the site where I got all my information:

http://housewares.about.com/od/laundryappliances/qt/preventingmold.htm

I was already doing most of what they suggested, so I purchased some Tide Washing Machine Cleaner. I’m not sure how well it worked as the majority of the powder was still in the dispenser after the cycle was finished. Here’s what worked for me – while still doing what they suggest – leave the door and dispenser open, never leave clothes overnight, etc. – is now washing my whites on hot and adding vinegar. I realize using hot water goes against my tip of washing in cooler water to save money and your clothes, but I think it’s better than having a smelly laundry room.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dress Up To Stay Home?

A little less than two years ago, I went from going to an office 4 – 5 days a week to working part time from home. It was late May, and I was excited by the thought of tank tops and shorts daily. I will admit that the first couple of months were fun. Gray and I played outside a lot, hit the pool almost daily, and learned our way around Nashville.

At the beginning of August Gray started pre-school a few days a week. After dropping him off a few times, I noticed the mom’s that ‘dressed’ and the one’s that didn’t. I took a look at myself (as one of those that didn’t) and quickly felt like a slug-o. The next day I put on makeup, did more to my hair than just blow it dry, and put on a summer dress and sandals. I felt amazing! I came home and sat down at the computer to work, and I actually felt like I was working.

It’s unbelievable how appearance and emotions go hand in hand. I will admit there are days (sometimes when Gray doesn’t have school) that I still put on yoga pants and a t-shirt, but I have settled into a casual but put together look. And I no longer feel like a slug-o.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Libby Has Fleas?

For thirteen years, I had an adorably sweet dog named Libby. Libby was a mix between a silky terrier and poodle, but my mom always said Libby was half human. I took great care of Libby – weekly baths, regular vet visits, daily walks. So when Libby got fleas, I was horrified. I used Frontline most of the time, but didn’t use it in what I considered to be the off season for fleas. Big mistake.

I am thankful that we caught it early. Our vet dipped her. We went to using Frontline year around. Fortunately we had no issues in our house.

It’s April so fleas are on the increase in our area with the peak season being in the hottest months. There are two main ways to prevent flea infestations. First, get rid of susceptible places inside the house. Second, use some sort of outdoor treatment or insecticide to make sure they don’t make your yard their home. It takes several weeks to get rid of them so I’m here to share a few tips so that they don’t invade your home to begin with.

1. Keep your grass trimmed and regularly apply a flea treatment to your lawn.
2. Clean weekly the areas, both inside and out, where your dog hangs out. That includes regularly washing their bedding.
3. Kill the fleas on your pet by bathing him regularly with a flea prevention shampoo and by using a monthly topical medication.
4. Vacuum everything that’s fabric related and do it regularly.

One final thing - start now! The life cycle of a flea is three to four weeks, so it will take that long to get rid of them if they’ve already arrived. Hopefully they’ve not, and you can begin your proactive prevention plan today.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Clutter Drives Me Crazy

I found this statement in the “I’m an Organizing Junkie” blog and have been using it regularly with my husband.

‘Clutter = anything you don’t love or use OR have the space to store’

Meet my husband Matt – a man that parts with nothing.

Just a little less than two years ago, we relocated to Tennessee. Matt moved here several months before I did, leaving me to sell the house and such. I hear myself sounding like he did nothing – and that’s not the case. He traveled back and forth between Tennessee and North Carolina regularly and each time he packed up stuff and transported it. But one thing he didn’t do is pack up his office. He asked that I do it and promised he would go through and purge before unpacking in our new house.

Initially those boxes were stacked in the office of our new house. That lasted a number of months until I could no longer stand it. The office – once his domain only – is a shared space because I now work from home. I went through many of the boxes and came up with a number of things I thought he could part with. Many of those items he put back in boxes. Then came the next step – I moved all those boxes into the upstairs storage room. That solution worked until this past Christmas.

Having first grown weary of not being able to walk in that room and second not being able to use it as it was designed; I pulled boxes out and created a big mess in our bonus room. I came up with three trash bags full of clothes that I donated to our local Salvation Army. Seeing my enthusiasm, Matt got involved and widdled his 25 boxes down to 8. I call that progress.

I am pleased by our steps to de-clutter but we are nowhere close to where we need to be – at least in my opinion. I am going to continue my crusade to de-clutter my home, and I will continue to donate items to The Salvation Army. I’d like to encourage you to do the same. Get rid of that stuff you don’t love or use and donate it to a worthwhile cause.
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