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Cleaning & Organizing Tips » 2011 » December

Are You Poisoning Your Household With this Chore? – Food Consumer

Are You Poisoning Your Household With this Chore? – Food Consumer
News from Are You Poisoning Your Household With this Chore? – Food Consumer:

By Dr. Mercola

When most people think of pollution, they think of the outdoors—garbage-choked streams or industrial waste.

But you probably spend a large portion of your time indoors—as much as 80 to 90 percent of your life.

You work, study, eat, drink and sleep in enclosed environments where air circulation may be restricted.

The typical American home contains 3-10 GALLONS of toxic materials—everything from glass and bathroom cleaners to garden pesticides and fertilizers.

Health effects of ingredients in common household products include:

  • Respiratory problems
  • Eye irritation
  • Cancer
  • Disruption of the endocrine system

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Nontoxic, inexpensive alternatives to traditional cleaning products available
News from MLive.com:

For many home-cleaning chores, you can make your own cleaning products with inexpensive, nontoxic, common household items.

Today’s modern home is loaded with toxic and polluting substances designed to make domestic life easier. But the cost of these commercial, chemical-based products can be high — long term health concerns for the family, and environmental pollution caused by their manufacture and disposal.

For many home-cleaning chores, you can make your own cleaning products with inexpensive, nontoxic, common household items.

Ingredients

Baking soda: Mildly abrasive; cleans, deodorizes, scours and softens water.

Lemon: One of the strongest food-acids, effective against most household bacteria.</…………… continues on MLive.com

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Ear Cleaning Q&A with Dr. Hampson

Ear Cleaning Q&A with Dr. Hampson
News from Patch:

Is it safe to clean your ears with a cotton swab?

It’s perhaps the most common question asked of Dr. Christopher Hampson—an ear, nose and throat physician at Midwest ENT Consultants. The answer is one that everyone should pay attention to: Dr. Hampson says you should never use cotton swabs (such as Q-tips) to clean your ears, because cotton swabs can be very damaging to the ears, particularly if pushed too far into the ear canal.

Here are some more frequently asked questions Dr. Hampson receives:

Q. Why is it important to clean your ears, and how often should it be done?

A. It’s important to clean your ears so that you have just the right amount of earwax. If you don’t clean them, earwax can become impacted, resulting in ear aches, hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing, or the sensation of sound in the ear). The frequency of ear cleaning varies by individual,…………… continues on Patch

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Survey: We Tip The People That Clean Our Houses, But Not The Ones Who Collect Our Garbage
News from Consumerist.com:

For a lot of people in various facets of the service industry, this time of year means that some customers will brighten up your holidays with a gift or a tip to show their appreciation. But new numbers from our surveying siblings at Consumer Reports break down which particular people get the most end-of-year love.

By far the most-tipped group on the Consumer Reports survey are the folks that clean your house. Nearly half the respondents say they tipped with cash, check or gift card, while an additional 12% provided some sort of gift, meaning that only 39% of respondents gave nothing.

Cleaning persons also had the highest median value of the gift or tip given at $ 50.

A not-very-close second place was the Teachers group, where only 48% of respondents said they gave some sort of gift. This is a significant drop from last year, when 60% of people gifted their educators.

On the hairy side of things, hairdressers edged out barbers, with 44% of re…………… continues on Consumerist.com

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Clean the House Faster

Clean the House Faster
News from Examiner:

 During the holiday season, you might get a few more visitors than you normally would, and you will probably have less time to clean house. Follow this article to get a few tips on how to manage the housework and have more time to enjoy with friends, family and Holiday festivities.          

Let’s start with the kitchen:
1) Pare down counter top clutter to what you use every single day and either store or get rid of the rest. 
2) Save elbow grease by letting cleaners do their jobs. “Disinfectant cleaners need to sit on wet counter tops for at least five minutes to sufficiently get rid of food borne germs and bacteria,” according to Linda Cobb, author of Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean. Use this time to empty the dishwasher or sweep the floor. 
3) Keep all purpose disposable wipes in a handy spot. Use them to wipe refrigerator handles, cabinet faces and small appliances.

Family Rooms and Bedrooms: 

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Save money without leaving the house
News from Click2Houston.com:

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Less is more when it comes to household products

HOUSTON -

Less is more when it comes to household products

The trend of more fees, rising grocery and gas bills is forcing families to explore more penny pinching lifestyles but that doesn’t have to mean gra…………… continues on Click2Houston.com

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Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook: The Essential Guide to Caring for Everything in Your Home
Whether your home is small or large, an apartment in the city or a country cottage, it is a space that should be at once beautiful…
The Cleaning Encyclopedia
The ultimate guide to the art of cleaning, this reference is packed with professional secrets for getting maximum results through …
Household Cleaning: Self-Sufficiency (The Self-Sufficiency Series)
A handsome, practical green cleaning handbook for every eco-savvy consumer.Most conventional store-bought cleaning products are pa…

How To Be Organized: Car Cleaning Tips

How To Be Organized: Car Cleaning Tips
News from StyleList:

A clutter-free car makes every trip more pleasant. Some strategies:

- Take out what you bring in. Cars can become littered with coffee mugs, magazines, used tissues, jackets, and toys. Train family members — and yourself — to collect their things as they leave the car.

- Keep plastic garbage bags in the car for trash. Keep a stash of recycled plastic garbage bags in the trunk or in a backseat organizer.

- Accessorize the interior. New cars come with built-in accessories like backseat center consoles and storage drawers under the seats. But if you drive an older model, accessorize it yourself. Automotive accessory shops and organization stores sell a wide variety of containers and organizers.

  • Backseat organizers hang over the back of the front seats and can contain kids’ stuff — coloring books, crayons, games, and small toys — as well as adult essentials — maps, umbrellas, pl…………… continues on StyleList

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Award Winning Atlanta House Cleaning Expert Offers Kitchen Cleaning Tips for this Holiday Season
News from PR-USA.net:

Once you have had your home cleaned by an expert maid service to prepare for holiday guests, the last thing you want to do is spend all of your time maintaining the sparkle.

One of the most troublesome areas is the kitchen. You need to use the kitchen to prepare the holiday feast, but you want it to be clean and orderly when your guests arrive.

Raina Raflo, Atlanta house cleaning authority and founder of award-winning cleaning service Sponge & Sparkle Inc. shares six easy kitchen cleaning tips to help you quickly clean up so that you can spend more time with your guests.

Tip # 1 – Keep your counters pristine

Cover the counter with butcher or wax paper before making a mess; and just fold up the paper with the scraps and toss it away when you’re done.

Tip # 2 – Prep your dirty dishes on the go

Fill your sink with hot soapy water – as you work, toss in the tools and dishes you’ve used and let them soak. When it is time to load the dishwasher,…………… continues on PR-USA.net

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The Cleaning Encyclopedia
The ultimate guide to the art of cleaning, this reference is packed with professional secrets for getting maximum results through …
Household Cleaning: Self-Sufficiency (The Self-Sufficiency Series)
A handsome, practical green cleaning handbook for every eco-savvy consumer.Most conventional store-bought cleaning products are pa…

Tips for undecking the halls and kicking tree to the curb

Tips for undecking the halls and kicking tree to the curb
News from Austin 360:

By Nancy Flores

AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

After the presents have been unwrapped and the food eaten, a less-festive routine awaits. There’s nothing merry about tackling the post-holiday cleanup. But dragging out the process for an embarrassingly long time only deprives you of the fresh start the new year promises.

From reusing holiday cards to recycling your Christmas tree, here are some places to turn to so that the cleaning and organizing process doesn’t have to overwhelm you into 2012.

• Recycle your Christmas tree. Take off all decorations, set it out on the curb and forget about it. Starting Monday , the Austin…………… continues on Austin 360

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The 12 Days of Christmas Countdown: Day 10

The 12 Days of Christmas Countdown: Day 10
News from Patch.com:

On the 10th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, silver to be shining, chances for romancing, stockings for stuffing, greens for the trimming, cookies a-baking … five golden rules … “You’re Invited!” cards, gifts for my friends, ways to spread the love continues on Patch.com

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It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad dash
News from Orlando Weekly:

Just when you thought you had traversed every last garland-lined escalator, hummed along to every meaningless holiday tune, avoided every strategically placed bit of mistletoe and not made out with your boss at the office holiday party, the realization sets in: Christmas shopping, like that awful Christmas sweater, has another wiry thread just waiting to be pulled. A secret Santa sucker punch or a late-night Facebook realization reminds you that the list that you thought you checked twice should probably have been checked thrice. Oh no!

First: Calm down, we got you. In the following pages you’ll find our very own crib sheet on how to handle the (quite possibly rude) outliers in your sometimes unpredictable Christmas tree diorama. You know the ones: those parts and parcels of the Christmas tree puzzle for whom you wouldn’t naturally buy a gift, but, given the fact that they are in your face right now and they have a present for you and you…………… continues on Orlando Weekly

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Food Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

Food Safety Tips for the Holiday Season
News from Gant Daily:

December 21, 2011 at 4:29 PM by Gant Team ·  

(Penn State Live)

UNIVERSITY PARK – In light of all of the recent reports of foodborne illness, it is important to remember the fundamentals of food safety when you are preparing food during the holidays, according to an expert in Penn State’s College Agricul…………… continues on Gant Daily

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3 tips for cutting your mortgage costs in 2012
News from Fox Business:

If one of your financial goals is to save more money in 2012, you can’t go wrong by slashing your mortgage costs.

After all, if you’re a homeowner, your mortgage likely represents your single-biggest expense, eating a large chunk of your paycheck every month.

Fortunately, there are several ways to cut your mortgage costs and put more cash back into your bank account.

Try these three strategies to lower your mortgage expenses in 2012:

1. Shop around to refinance your home loan

If you have a mortgage and are paying more than 5 percent on your home loan, consider refinancing. A mortgage refinance could save you thousands of dollars a year, especially if you have decent credit.

A 2011 survey from CreditSesame.com found that there were 12 million credit-worthy Americans who were overpaying their mortgages by an average of $ 436 a month. By refinancing, those homeowners coul…………… continues on Fox Business

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Little Girl with a Toy House Cleaning Kit


Walter Sanders Little Girl with a Toy House Cleaning Kit – Photographic Print
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Round from mile-plus away killed girl Man cleaning muzzleloader fires shot …

Round from mile-plus away killed girl Man cleaning muzzleloader fires shot …
News from Wooster Daily Record:

By CHRISTINE L. PRATT

Staff Writer

MILLERSBURG — A man cleaning his muzzleloader apparently discharged the fateful shot that, about a mile away, ended the life of 15-year-old Rachel Yoder as she drove her buggy home from a work Christmas party.

“It looks accidental,” Holmes County Sheriff Timothy W. Zimmerly said Tuesday morning of the Thursday night shooting.

Investigators canvassing the area started getting reports of a shot fired to the southwest of the area on Friday. A day later, before they could act on those tips, the man’s father called the office, Zimmerly said.

The suspected shooter was interviewed Monday evening, and, although unfortunate, Zimmerly said, the story he tells fills in the blanks of what happened the night Yoder was shot.

The man, who has yet to be named because of the pending investigation and possible criminal charges, was preparing to clean his muzzleloader when he fired the weapon into the air…………… continues on Wooster Daily Record

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Tipping guidelines vary wildly among restaurants and diners
News from Vancouver Sun:

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Cleaning Nabokov’s House


After she loses her marriage, custody of her children and her house, Barb Barrett moves into the former house of literary genius Vladimir Nabokov, discovering what could be his last unpublished manuscript and subsequently embarking on a journey toward her
List Price: 29.95
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Holiday tipping

Holiday tipping
News from CBS News:

(CBS News) 

Consumers have cut back on holiday tipping. Last year, for example, 39% didn’t tip their cleaning person compared to 34% in 2009, according to the Consumer Reports National Research Center. But giving less is better than giving nothing at all. Kelli Grant, Senior Consumer Reporter for SmartMoney.com, gives advice on how to tip appropriately.

It’s always appropriate to include a thank you note with any holiday tips, but it’s especially important if you can’t afford to give as much as you’d like. Say thanks and that you hope next year you’re in a position to give a little more. That lets service providers know that they’re not being purposely snubbed.

The appropriate tip amount varies by location. Be sure to review what’s usually done in your area with friends and neighbors before you give. A good rule of thumb: give the cost of one session for a provider you see regularly. Consumers who have cut back over the year — say, visiting a hairstyli…………… continues on CBS News

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Top 10 Tips To Avoid Catching The Flu
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Season For Giving: Helping Out In Montclair Over The Holidays

Season For Giving: Helping Out In Montclair Over The Holidays
News from Patch.com:

During my seventh grade year at Montclair Kimberley Academy, my class held a fundraiser for Toni’s Kitchen. We organized a talent show, featuring students and faculty. I sang a duet from Annie Get Your Gun with my former classmate. That was more than 20 years ago.

Today Toni’s Kitchen, which operates out of at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, continues to feed and comfort hungry souls.The kitchen expects to serve 90 people on Christmas Day. Earlier this week I checked in with Toni’s, to assess their current needs. In lieu of kitchen volunteers (they rely on regulars), they’re looking for someone or a group to provide music during the holiday meal.

They’re especially interested in Christmas carolers. Outreach Director Anne Mernin says she’s also looking for donations of “festive” foods. Mernin says local folks are welcome to stop by with candy canes and cookies to bring cheer to the guests. If yo…………… continues on Patch.com

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Household Cleaning: Self-Sufficiency (The Self-Sufficiency Series)

A handsome, practical green cleaning handbook for every eco-savvy consumer.Most conventional store-bought cleaning products are packed full of chemicals, many of which are harmful to the environment and your health, let alone your wallet. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that your kitchen cupboard already stocks the alternative supplies you’ll need to transform your home into a clean, safe, and fresh-smelling haven! Lemons, salt, vinegar, baking soda, and club soda are just some of

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