An Uncluttered Children's Work Area

When kids do their schoolwork in open living areas, where do you stash the books and supplies? Make it easier for your little humans to do their studies at home and keep their work area tidy and organized.

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Working from Home: How to Create an Inspiring Workspace

Now, more than ever before, our homes are a space for both work and leisure—these home office tips can help to ensure that your home office workspace is efficient, productive, and pleasant.

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COVID-19 and Tips for Workding from Home

Our up-front initial statement is that working from home keeps you and others safe and this is a top priority. To stay at home will protect (save) others and this is important for our society.

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Cleaning Window Treatments

The windows in our home are important and this means that the window treatments are important too. Clean window treatments are necessary to achieve a clean look and feel to a room.

Window treatments are well known to collect dust. This can make them look dull. We all want our window treatments to brighten a room. We want them to look clean and fresh.

Here are some cleaning tips to help keep your window treatments looking great. This translates into a room that looks clean and fresh.

Curtains and Window Treatments

These items can be dust magnets. A valence can have significant amounts of dust on the top and the fabrics of curtains can trap dust. Blinds are also notorious for collecting dust.

Curtains

It May Be Best to Dry Clean

Even if your window coverings are made of a washable fabric, the linings and seams could shrink in the wash. If you have any doubts use a dry-cleaning service. Dry clean if your curtains have stitched-in pleats, swags, or other elaborate ornamentation that may not withstand washing.

Special Fabrics

You can freshen up velvet draperies without washing or dry-cleaning them; just brush them from time to time with a chamois cloth dipped in hot water and wrung out thoroughly.

If silk curtains allow for handwashing, do so in lukewarm or cool water and use mild liquid dish detergent. Swish gently and never twist or wring. Do not use a dryer it is best to dry them by hanging them up.

Cleaning window treatments made with cotton can usually be done by hand or machine-washing, provided they are unlined.

Cleaning window treatments that are made of wool and cashmere should always be dry-cleaned.

Sun Damage

Constant exposure to sunlight can render even sturdy fabrics fragile. So, when machine-washing curtains and draperies, use the gentle cycle, cool or lukewarm water, and mild detergent.

If possible, hang on a clothesline to dry, or put them in a clothes dryer on a no-heat or delicate setting.

Sheer Curtains

Cleaning Shear Curtains

Wash sheer curtains on a regular basis even if they don’t look dirty, because by the time dirt appears, they can be permanently discolored.

Always be gentle with these fragile fabrics. Make sure they fill no more than half the machine and let them soak for 5 minutes in cold water. Use a mild detergent, and if you wish, a whitening agent. Turn the dial to rinse to drain the water, then run the machine on a gentle wash setting for just 2 to 3 minutes.

To dry, put the sheer curtains and a couple of terry-cloth towels in a dryer set to no heat for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Rehang while still slightly damp and pull into shape. If necessary, move an ironing board next to the window and iron the hems while the curtains or draperies are hanging. You could also use a handheld steamer or the vertical steam setting of a regular steam iron to smooth them.

Cleaning Maintenance

After a washing, dust curtains and drapes regularly with your vacuum cleaner’s soft-brush attachment or with a soft, long-handled broom with synthetic fibers as these broom fibers are smoother.

If you use a vacuum cleaner, set it for reduced suction if you have this control so that the fabric is not drawn into the nozzle. When you cannot control the suction force place a plastic mesh screen between the nozzle and the fabric to prevent the fabric from being sucked into the vacuum.

To help keep them fresh without having to clean them air them outdoors if you can take down your curtains and drapes with relative ease. You could hang them on your clothesline.

Also, you could freshen them up by putting them in a clothes dryer set to the no-heat or delicate cycle.

Curtain Care Cleaning Tips

Measure curtains before washing in case you need to stretch them back into shape. Be sure to remove hooks and any weights and loosen the tapes so they lie flat.

Before doing the curtain cleaning, dust them by running them through a dryer set to the no-heat cycle. Or shake them out, lay them on a bed, and dust with the vacuum brush attachment.

Don’t overload the washing machine and remember that curtains will become much heavier when wet.

If handwashing, don’t rub or wring the fabric; just agitate gently.

Try to dry curtains over two parallel lines so wet surfaces don’t touch. Don’t let the curtains rest on wood, which could stain them.

Iron while damp along the vertical length on the side that doesn’t show. If parts of the fabric have already dried, dampen the entire curtain again to avoid watermarks.

Stretch seams gently while ironing to avoid puckering, then spread the curtains out on a clean surface, such as a bed, and pull them to the correct size.

When curtains are dry, insert hooks and weights, and pull to correct width.

You might be able to save a step by hanging your curtains, then using either a handheld steamer or the vertical steaming of a regular steam iron to smooth them.

Before rehanging the curtains, clean valances fixed to the wall. Vacuum an upholstered valance with the upholstery attachment and a wooden valance with the crevice tool; clean a plastic valance with a sponge dipped in a solution of liquid detergent and water.

Rehanging is easiest when one person stands on a ladder to insert the hooks and another stands below to make sure the curtains don’t drag on the floor.

Cleaning Blinds

Cleaning blinds are one of those chores that most people tend to forget about.

There are three good ways to remove dust and light grime from window blinds.

First, dust using a vacuum. Use a vacuum with a brush head. If your blinds have been well maintained from a cleaning perspective, then this may be all you need to do. Vacuum both sides. Easy!

Second, if there is a bit more dust or the dust may be coating the blind because of some grime, then you need to do a bit more. This is particularly true for kitchen blinds. First, close the blind. Then spray the blind with a water and white vinegar spray. A 1:1 water-vinegar mixture is fine. You may also want to add 5 drops of essential oil of your choice. The oil will help to freshen the scent and help to provide a polishing aspect to your cleaning. With an old sock over your hand wipe the blind and always go from top to bottom. Clean both sides of the blind.

Let the blind dry by keeping it fully down and closed. When dry, pull up the blind and be sure to clean the entire window area and sill so that all that dust that fell off the blind is also cleaned up.

Then lower the blind fully and with the blinds closed again wipe the blinds with a dryer sheet to slow down the accumulation of dust.

Finally, if you need to do more of a clean because of some extra stubborn grime it is fine to take down the blinds completely. You can then clean the blind in a bathtub with cool-warm water and some dish soap. Do not use the bathtub for wooden blinds unless the manufacturer states it is OK to do so.

Cleaning Window Blinds

Also, just to emphasize the water temperature, do not use hot water as there is a risk that the blinds can warp.

Keep in mind that a regular blind cleaning prevents the need to take down the blinds and clean them in the bathtub. A Clean Vision can help you by doing a regular clean on your blinds helping to keep your blinds clean so that there is no need to take them down and place them in the bathtub.

Perform regular maintenance cleaning very easily with a microfiber antistatic duster. An antistatic dusting tool attracts and holds onto negatively charged dust particles. An antistatic duster results in attracting dust rather than just pushing dust around.

Cleaning Fabric Blinds

Again, your vacuum will be your best tool for cleaning fabric blinds.

Cleaning Fabric Window Treatments

You can also consider using your hairdryer to help clean your fabric shades. A hairdryer can help, especially with cellular shades. Set your hairdryer on cold. Blow away the dirt that is trapped in the creases or inside the honeycomb opening. This air agitation will also help to remove bugs that are caught inside the honeycombs.

You need to regularly clean your fabric blinds. If you do not regularly clean them they can get so dirty that you then are forced to do a more vigorous cleaning. Maintenance cleaning is very helpful. Use a solution of liquid dish soap (one tablespoon) to 4 cups of water. Use a clean sponge and this solution to gently scrub the blinds. Do not rub too hard or use too much of the solution to avoid damaging the fabric.

After cleaning with the sponge and soap solution use a soft cloth to pat-dry the blind and wipe off any excess soap. Let them air dry.

Cleaning window treatments are a very important part of having a home that looks and feels clean. Windows are important and this makes the window treatments important too.

A Clean Vision has been helping people of the Upper Valley to have a wonderfully clean home. If you would like us to help with some maintenance cleaning of your window treatments then give us a call at (802) 295-6065.

A Clutter-Free Home

What is clutter?

One of the best ways to enjoy your home is to maintain it as a clutter-free home.

Clutter is anything you’re keeping around your house that doesn’t add value to your life. Decluttering is about making room in your home for the things that do matter.

Why work to create a clutter-free home?

  • It relieves stress.
  • It makes you more efficient.
  • It provides a sense of accomplishment – boosting your spirit and mood!
  • It creates more space.
  • You may find a lost treasure (or two)!

Here is an article from Psychology Today on their take on the benefits of decluttering your home.

The Benefits of an Uncluttered Space

Now, let’s review some ideas for decluttering your home.

Let’s get it done! Let move to a clutter-free home.

Tip Number 1 – Keep Like Things Together

Sometimes it is better to declutter and organize by category rather than by room.

Often a disorganized home has similar items spread out all over the house. For example, if you observe that you have books or magazines in multiple places, it may make sense to gather up these items, review what you have, decide what to keep, and then find a good and logical place for books and magazines.

Tip Number 2 – Be Strict About Clutter Magnets

Countertops, shelves, and other flat horizontal surfaces are clutter magnets. Make it a goal to keep your flat surfaces free (or mostly free) of clutter.

Doing this one thing will reduce most of the clutter that bothers you.

Tip Number 3 – Take Great Care of Your Master Bedroom

The master bedroom is, in my opinion, the most important room in the house to keep decluttered and organized. After all, we need to have this room, in particular, clean and organized for our own quality of life. We deserve this special room to be a sanctuary where we can renew ourselves and where we always feel relaxed. We start our day in this room and we end our day in this room.

This room also plays a role as an example. Your message to your little humans to “go and clean your room” when your room is a mess demonstrates an inconsistency that will work against you. Treat this special room with respect and declutter it.

Ask two basic questions.

  • Does any particular item belong in the bedroom?
  • Do you consistently use the particular item in the bedroom?

if you answer “no” to either question then either get rid of it or move it to where it belongs.

Simple. Easy!

Tip Number 4 – Declutter Bedroom Closets

Again, let’s apply a few questions that will help us with this task.

Ask:

  • Does any particular item of clothing fit?
  • Is it in good shape? (Or rather is it damaged such as stained, torn or faded.
  • Has it been worn in the past year?

If you have answered “no” to any of these three questions then get rid of it or repair it. If it is a seasonal item, then consider how to best store it in the “off-season”.

Bonus Tip

You can use your hangers to keep track of what you wear and what you don’t wear. Organize your closet hangers so that the hanger hook has the open end facing out. As you use an item, place it back in the closet with the hanger hook facing in. After a sufficient amount of time review which items have been used and those not used.

Make some decisions on what to keep and what needs to go.

Tip Number 5 – Declutter Your Home Office

For most people clutter in the office takes the form of bills, important documents, semi-important documents, receipts, and other paper items.

Review items and place them into these three broad categories:

  • File
  • 2nd Review
  • Trash

Next, throw away or shred the trash pile. if you are like many of us this will eliminate more than 50% of your paper clutter.

Then, file what needs to be filed. This will make you feel significantly better as you will have attended to the important items.

Finally, your success with the first two categories will inspire you to tackle once-and-for-all the third category (2nd Review) as you will be so close to finishing you will be motivated to complete this task.

Your Desk

A Clutter-Free Desk

Look critically at your desk. Keep only the essentials on your desktop. This means your computer, a lamp, and a few other essentials.

Use a minimalist mindset.

Decluttering your desk will go a long way towards helping you feel organized.

Your home is there for you to enjoy. A clutter-free home will increase the enjoyment you get from it.

Here are some other posts on keeping your home clutter-free.

Declutter and Destress

Home Cleaning and Decluttering

If you need some help with keeping your home clean and tidy then give A Clean Vision a call. We have been providing cleaning services to homes of the Upper Valley since 1993.


A Family Owned and Operated Upper Valley Cleaning Service since 1993