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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Holiday Carpet

Knowing that we are going to have more guests and activity in our house with the upcoming holidays, I decided to call Greg (Henderson, Managing Partner of A Cleaner World Carpet & Rug Cleaning) to see what I could do to keep my carpet and rugs relatively clean. Greg gave me a few tips, which I listed below, but the question also led to this interesting debate:

Many times we’ve posted tips on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ explaining that keeping shoes at the door is one of the best ways to keep carpet and rugs clean. Recently I was watching an episode of The Chew, and Clinton Kelly was giving tips on hosting a great party. One of his tips was to never ask guests to remove their shoes. He went on to say something like – if you love your carpet more than your guests, then you probably shouldn’t be having a party. After much animated discussion, Greg and I agreed that it is perhaps a bad idea to ask your boss or guests of a formal dinner party to remove shoes, but family and close friends are fair game, especially if the event is informal. Removing shoes is a given in our house. In fact, I have most guests trained to do so – folks that know me well, know how neurotic I am. I love the fact that they are willing to feed my neurosis.

So we’ll use removing shoes as suggestion one, but obviously do what you are comfortable with. So below are three, more reasonable suggestions.

• “Many people like to have their carpets and rugs cleaned before the holidays so that they look nice for guests,” Greg said. “I suggest using scotch guard protection on carpets and rugs as well as fabric furniture right after items are cleaned. While it isn’t bullet proof, it can definitely help.”
• Use inexpensive rugs. Consider strategically placing them where there might be a lot of foot traffic, and temporarily replace an expensive Persian rug with an inexpensive rug during the holiday season.
• Finally, address dirt and spills quickly. Be sure to vacuum regularly and remember to blot stains, never rub or scrub your carpet.

Hopefully these tips will help you keep your carpet and rugs from becoming too scathed over this holiday season!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thank You for Donating

I find the older I get, the more I enjoy giving more than receiving. Last week, Gray and I purchased items to fill an Operation Christmas Child shoebox for Samaritan’s Purse. I found myself smiling as we wrapped the box with Christmas paper. I thought about how the child might react when he opened the box and how this small box might impact his life. I’m sure you experienced similar feelings as you dug through your closet looking for an outgrown or no longer worn coat. Then I bet you also smiled as you dropped off that coat at your nearest A Cleaner World location.

So thank you for donating. This year saw probably the greatest need since the campaign started. We shared these pictures of long lines at both the Greensboro and High Point Salvation Army Give A Kid A Coat distributions locations on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

The 2013 Give A Kid A Coat campaign collected 18,412 coats this year. Your coat will keep someone special, maybe that someone is in one of the above pictures, warm this winter, and you never know how that one small act of giving might impact that person.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ruined Pants

About a year ago, I had a bad alteration experience. Since I live in Tennessee, I no longer have access to the alteration professionals at A Cleaner World. So I asked a lady in my women’s Bible study group – who sewed and quite well as I’d seen a number of things she’d made – if she did alterations. I explained that I had several pairs of khaki pants that were too big in the waist. She said that was no problem; she did those types of things all the time.

So we scheduled a time. I took them to her house. I tried each pair on. She pinned them. I left. Two weeks later I picked them up. When I got home I was just shocked at how poorly they were done. The stitching was sloppy. She’d removed the middle belt loops and didn’t put them back. And she’d even poked a hole near the seam in one pair. I shared what happened with my mom. She made a statement that stuck with me – “Not everyone that knows how to sew can also do alterations. It takes a special person to be able to do alterations properly.”

I called Melody Yates, our alterations specialist at the A Cleaner World in Boone, to learn what to look for so this wouldn’t happen to me again. Melody absolutely agreed with my mom. She said that when you sew something from scratch, you have to do certain things in a particular order. But when you are altering an already completed garment, you need to study it and then figure out what to do and in what order. I had no idea. I just assumed if you could sew, you could do alterations. Melody was so helpful and shared lots of great information during our conversation. But if I had to give you a takeaway for the next time it would be this:

• Ask to see samples of their alterations
• Get references and call them
• And never assume anything

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Magic Movers

Whenever I see an info-mercial for a crazy gadget on TV, I think who would buy that stuff? Apparently my parents would. And if I’m going to be completely honest, this was a good purchase.

During a visit home, my mom asked my dad and me to rearrange the furniture in their bedroom. We got to work, and it didn’t take my dad long to figure out that I wasn’t going to be able to lift their massive king size bed – even after we removed the mattress and box spring. He left the room and returned with some coaster looking things. We placed one under each of the corners, and then we easily scooted the bed into position.

When I asked where he got them, he said he saw them on an info-mercial! I poked fun at him a bit but the truth is these things were really handy. I tell you this – not to endorse a product – but because I wanted to give a word of caution about moving furniture. We used these little gems because I simply wasn’t strong enough. But if you have furniture that is exceptionally heavy or that has sharp edges on the bottom, use caution when moving. It is possible that sliding it across your carpet without any protection could result in some damage to your carpet. Consider using a product similar to what we used or place a heavy duty blanket under the piece before moving. Either one will make it easier, but it will also provide a barrier of protection between the furniture and your carpet.
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