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What could be more gorgeous than a kitchen that’s completed with a beautiful glass stovetop? The way it shines and catches the light is a reminder to homeowners that they made the right choice when opting for glass over stainless steel! On the other hand, you can quickly come to regret this decision when grease and food spills start to mask every inch of your glass stove’s sheen. Nevertheless, when you know what a spotless glass stovetop looks like, a glimpse of a dirty one is enough to motivate homeowners to do something about it!

The best way to clean glass stovetops efficiently is to follow a step-by-step process. This ensures that there are no ‘missed spots’ by the end of the clean, and that you are getting the job done in a safe manner. Read on for Simply Maid’s simple guide to cleaning glass stovetops.

Step One: Brush Off Debris

Don’t attempt to clean your stovetop without removing food bits and other debris from the surface first. By ridding the surface of loose dirt, you will avoid spreading more grime around as you go about cleaning the glass, making your job easier. For this, use a handheld brush and pan to sweep off debris, or simply wipe the surface with a kitchen towel.

Step Two: Sprinkle Baking Soda

As you must already know, baking soda is widely used for cleaning purposes around the home, and glass stovetops are no exception! Although it is one of three or four cleaning agents to be used during the entire cleaning process, baking soda is a very important ingredient as it cuts through grease brilliantly! In this step, sprinkle baking soda generously over the surface using your fingers to spread it around evenly. Next, fill a spray bottle with warm water and dampen the powder to create a pasty layer on the glass; leave it for 3-5 minutes.

Step Three: Clean Up the Paste

With a clean, non-abrasive cloth or scrubber, remove the paste by gently wiping the surface. There’s no need to scrub since the baking soda is only meant to break down grease and grime in this step. Simply wipe up the paste thoroughly and move on to the next step.

Step Four: Spot Clean Tough Stains

Before you clean the entire glass surface of your stovetop, tackle the stubborn stains. You can use white vinegar for this (another natural effective cleaning agent). It’s advisable to heat the vinegar before pouring it (in small amounts) over the stains to soak them. Give it about 30 seconds of sitting time before using a medium-bristled brush to scrub at stains. Typically, these types of stovetops are made of highly durable glass and hence, are considered to be scratch-proof. Nonetheless, the use of non-abrasive scrubbing tools is generally advised.

Step Five: Use All-Purpose Cleaner

While your glass stovetop will be looking cleaner already, you’re likely to find some marks and stubborn grease left on the surface. For this, an eco-friendly, all-purpose cleaner is advised; however, you can also use a store-bought cleaning product, specially formulated for glass stovetops. In this step, apply the cleaner to the surface and allow it to sit for a minute; then use a clean scrubber to wipe the glass and remove stains and grease. Be sure to rinse out your cleaning tool at intervals and re-apply the cleaner if needed.

Step Six: Wipe with a Damp Cloth

To rid your stovetop glass of any dirt and residue left by the cleaner, make a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar, dampen a clean cloth in this solution, and wipe over the surface. Avoid using plain water for this as it will cause streaking. It’s also advisable to wipe in circular motions using minimal pressure for best results.

Step Seven: Buff Your Glass Stovetop

The last thing you need to do for your glass stovetop is to buff it! This is the easiest step and perhaps, the most satisfying one! All you need is a little toothpaste and a soft cloth to buff a glass stovetop. In fact, toothpaste can remove scratches on glass surfaces too! Simply apply some non-gel toothpaste to the cloth and buff the surface until the toothpaste vanishes. By the end of it, you’ll be left with a gleaming, spotless glass stovetop!

Tips to Remove Burnt-on Stains from Glass Stovetops

The longer you wait to clean up burnt-on grime from your glass stovetop, the harder it is to remove. Nevertheless, these tips will help make the process easier for you:

  • Dampen a towel with hot water and place it over the glass to soften/loosen the burnt stains
  • Use a butter knife to gently scrape off hardened debris
  • Soak stains using a solution of baking soda and white vinegar
  • Use a medium abrasive scrubber to remove black marks from the surface

To maintain a sparkling stovetop glass to match your clean and organised kitchen, we advise cleaning it after every use (just after it cools down). Alternatively, a weekly deep clean using the steps above is sure to leave your glass stovetop shining!

The post Step-by-Step Guide: How to Clean a Glass Stovetop appeared first on Simply Maid | Tips by trusted house cleaners.

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Whether big or small, a home renovation project is often viewed as a stressful and expensive affair. While it’s true that renovating a room or an entire house comes with a lot of work, it needn’t turn into a nightmare for you!

One of the biggest mistakes when remodeling a home is going into it without being completely organised. In fact, that’s how the nightmare begins! On the other hand, by taking every little detail into consideration, you can easily stay on top of your home improvement project and be prepared for any “inconveniences” that you and your family may encounter. A few examples of such situations include having enough supplies, planning your meals in advance, sorting out sleeping arrangements (if applicable), etc. In other words, you need to be prepared in order for things to go according to plan.

So, if you want a smooth sailing home renovation project, here are some tips to get organised!

  1. Start Planning at the Earliest Stage

As soon as you decide to do a home improvement project, that’s when the planning must begin! Keep a diary or organiser handy to note down exactly what you want to do, things you’ll need, a budget, etc. All the research you do with regard to supplies and price comparisons should also be noted down; this will help you figure out a feasible budget for your project.

Another great thing about planning early on is that you’re less likely to forget anything important because you have more time to think and cross check information you’ve been writing down. You will have a much clearer picture of what to expect and how to work around any problems that may arise during the home improvement project.

  1. Keep Rubbish in Your Home to a Minimum

Once the work begins, you’ll have a lot of rubbish piling up in and around your home. From debris, to empty supply boxes and packaging; in a matter of hours, a clean and tidy room can turn into one gigantic mess! What’s worse, the visual of piled up rubbish alone, is generally enough to make one feel stressed out and overwhelmed by a home renovation. Nevertheless, this needn’t be the case if a few measures are taken to curb the amount of rubbish lying around during a home improvement project.

For starters, you can go around and collect rubbish in garbage bags at least twice a day. This, of course, would exclude large debris. Additionally, it may seem pointless to vacuum up dust and fine debris from your floors before the work is complete, however, it actually aids in making the final clean-up a lot easier. Hence, vacuuming or sweeping at the end of each day is something you should definitely consider.

  1. Keep Your Budget in Mind as Expenses Pop up

Typically, the budget for a home renovation project is determined at the beginning; however, as the works gets on, expenses start to pop up and you end up exceeding it. The whole point of making a budget is to stick to it so that your finances aren’t strained. Unfortunately, many homeowners make hasty decisions during a home improvement project, simply because they are eager for it to be completed. In this manner, you end up spending way more than you wished you would.

The key to staying within your budget is to stop and think before you decide to spend an extra cent. As soon as new expenses pop up, sit down and figure out how you can do away with them, lessen the amounts, or substitute one expense for another. Yes, there may be some sacrifices involved, but at least you will be comfortable with the amount of money spent on the entire project by the end of it!

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Make Changes During the Project

Many home improvement projects start out with a fixed plan until homeowners think of other (perhaps, better) ideas. Provided that the changes to be made won’t overshoot your budget, it’s absolutely fine to change your mind about certain aspects of the project. After all, you need to be happy and satisfied with the outcome.

Apart from intended changes, sometimes, a home renovation project encounters some problems which call for changes to be made. Again, it’s best not to be hasty with any decisions; instead, take a couple of hours to come up with a solution that best suits your home renovation goals.

  1. Plan Your Daily Routine in Advance

Depending on which rooms of the house are being renovated, your day-to-day routine may be slightly affected, or majorly affected! Hence, you need to plan how you will prepare meals; where you and your family will eat, sleep and work/study; etc.

Of course, a house renovation project can also interfere with affairs outside of the home; therefore, it’s important to check your schedule and free up time which can be devoted to the project. Dedicated supervision is necessary to ensure that things are running smoothly, and problems are tackled in a satisfactory manner.

  1. Make a Deal with Suppliers to Return Excess Material

While it’s always better to have extra material just in case you need it, at the end of a project, it’s nice to know that you can reclaim some money for supplies that haven’t been used. For this, you need to have a written agreement from the supplier stating that they will accept any material purchased that has not been opened/used.

Similarly, it’s a good idea to enquire about ordering more supplies should you fall short during the home improvement project. Find out how much time it would take to get the extra supplies and if there will be added costs for the same.

Yes, a home renovation project is a big deal, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare if you go about it the right way!

The post Don’t Let Your Home Renovation Project Turn Into a Nightmare! appeared first on Simply Maid | Tips by trusted house cleaners.

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Making up your bedroom is one of the most fun parts of home decorating! On the other hand, it can also present the biggest challenges because of the sheer amount of possibilities. After all, you want to make all the right decisions so that bedroom is perfect! Moreover, the fact that bedrooms are like personal sanctuaries for people, means a lot more thought goes into decorating and planning one.

For starters, you want your room to be functional and include whatever it takes to make it as comfortable as possible. On the other hand, everything must come together in good taste to make it appealing. Now, although there are endless ideas for decorating a bedroom, at the end of the day, you can only choose about a handful of them to create the perfect one for you.

So, without further ado, here are 10 tips to make your bedroom more appealing than ever before!

  1. Stick to Limited Colours

The appearance of too much going on is never visually pleasing. That’s exactly what happens when you enter a bedroom where too many colours are screaming at you. Instead, keep the colours in your bedroom limited and contrasting. While there’s nothing wrong with bold colours for your walls, upholstery or décor, remember that each shade or colour tone should not clash with the other.

  1. Add a Soft Rug

Not only does a plush rug in your bedroom make it more appealing, but it also feels amazing on your bare feet! Best of all, rugs come in so many different shapes, sizes and textures, making it rather easy to find options that will match your bedroom décor. Yes, the most important thing to consider when selecting a rug for your bedroom is to match it to existing colours, textures and decorative components.

  1. Mix and Match Textures and Textiles

Sticking to one texture for all the textiles present in your bedroom can make the whole room look rather boring. By mixing and matching, your bedroom décor will appear more versatile, while also allowing the individual textures to shine on their own. That’s exactly what the goal should be when you choose to add textures to a bedroom – make them stand out!

  1. Add a Mural

If you want to keep your bedroom décor simple and classy, consider a beautiful wall mural that will serve as the room’s focal point. For this, you can be as creative as you’d like, however, bear in mind that it is a rather big step to take as far as interior decoration is concerned; therefore, you need to be absolutely certain about the colours and pattern/design you choose. It’s always best to stick to a theme when adding a mural to your bedroom.

  1. Maintain a Clutter-Free Work Space

Bedrooms seem incomplete without a work desk or table. Unfortunately, these spaces end up getting pretty cluttered up when we sit down to get some work done (or even when we don’t). For this reason, it’s convenient to have a table/desk with attached storage space to help keep things organised. Of course, even a regular work space with lack of storage can be kept in a neat and organised manner; you just need to make the effort! Try it out and you’ll see that a clutter-free work space make your bedroom much more appealing!

  1. Add a Large, Decorative Mirror

Every bedroom needs a mirror, so why not make it a big, beautiful one? On the one hand, these mirrors create the illusion of more space, and on the other, their decorative borders enhance the room’s aesthetic appeal. It’s win-win! A large mirror can also be the focal point of your bedroom if placed in such a way that it is the first thing you notice when you walk into your room.

  1. Extra Layers for Your Bed

Even if you don’t require the extra sheets, adding layers to your bed will take it from 0 to 60 on the aesthetic metre — pretty fast! While there are various ways to make your bed up using layers, it’s important that your choice of textures and colours/patterns complement each other. The key is to keep it simple so that your bed looks classy and cozy, not chaotic and gaudy!

  1. Light Up the Right Spaces

Whether it’s natural light or artificial light, make sure that it falls in the right places. For natural light coming through your windows, highlight a group of low-maintenance indoor plants to add some raw, natural beauty to your bedroom. Either way, many types of plants need sunlight to grow healthily! Artificial lights, on the other hand, need to be placed strategically where every part of the bedroom can be lit up. In order to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your bedroom when the lights are switched on, certain aspects of the room should be highlighted; for example, the bed, a piece of artwork, a wall mural, etc.  

  1. Be Selective and Limited with Wall Hangings

As we mentioned earlier, having too much going on in terms of bedroom décor is never appealing. This is a common mistake made by many homeowners when using wall hangings to decorate their bedroom. Therefore, it’s advisable to be more selective with your choice of wall hangings and ensure that there aren’t too many pieces cramping up your wall space. Consider one or two large pieces or simply dedicate one bedroom wall to artwork or photographs.

  1. Match Your Drapes to Your Bed Covers

One of the best ways to make your bedroom interiors ‘pop’ is by matching your window drapes to your bed covers. The way colours or patterns harmonise is easily one of the most appealing aspects of a bedroom (this is particularly true when it comes to your curtains and bed layers). Choosing textures/colours/patterns that match, can bring the entire bedroom together and make for a stunning visual!

So, if you’ve ever wondered how to make your bedroom more appealing, now you know just what to do!

The post 10 Tips to Make Your Bedroom 10x More Appealing! appeared first on Simply Maid | Tips by trusted house cleaners.

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When it comes to the things we don’t particularly enjoy doing, we all look for an easy way out. This could not be truer than when the tasks in question involve cleaning your bathroom! Of course, taking the easy route isn’t really an option if the results are unsatisfactory by the end of your efforts (however minimal they may be). On top of this, having to spend extra money on different types of cleaners is used as yet another “excuse” to avoid bathroom cleaning altogether.

So, how can you save time and money when cleaning up your bathroom? Well, these bathroom cleaning hacks will help you with that! Read on.

  1. Bathroom Wall Tiles

We often overlook wall tiles when cleaning our bathrooms and hence, end up with some pretty stubborn stains. While these can be removed with (typically expensive) store-bought cleaners, alternatively, you can make a low-cost, homemade stain remover for your wall tiles. Simply mix 1 part liquid dish soap and 2 parts water; measure this amount and add an equal part of heated vinegar to the mixture. Pour this solution into a spray bottle and shake it well before spritzing stubborn stains on your bathroom wall tiles. Allow the cleaner to break down the grime for a few minutes before scrubbing them away with a tile brush.

  1. Bathtub

A scummy bathtub is highly unsanitary and very unpleasant to look at! Unfortunately, tubs get rather grimy after every use; therefore, regular cleaning is a must when it comes to keeping a bathtub sanitary and ready to use. For this, plug the drain of your bathtub and fill it up with a little hot-lukewarm water (just about quarter of the tub will do). Add in 1 cup of vinegar and 1/2 cup of baking soda; swirl the water around so that the ingredients mix (make sure that the water isn’t too hot to touch). Next, soak a clean scrubber in the solution and start scrubbing grime away. If the water becomes too soiled, drain it out and make a fresh solution.

  1. Toilet Bowl

Cleaning your toilet bowl is definitely not a fun activity; however, it can be a really simple task with this awesome cleaning hack! All you need is some Coca Cola and a toilet brush. Pour a can or two of the cola into your toilet and allow it to sit for as long as possible (2-3 hours is good enough). By the end of the sitting time, use a toilet brush to clean the interiors and finish off by pulling the flush. So simple!

  1. Sink

Although your sink is one of the easier bathroom components to clean, it can be done quicker and more effectively than usual with this cleaning hack. Make a solution of 2 cups water, 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1 tablespoon baking soda; stir it up and transfer the mixture into a spray bottle. This can be used to simply dampen your sink before giving it a wipe down with a clean sponge/scrubber. Remember to shake the bottle before every use so that the contents mix well which, in turn, make the cleaner more effective.

  1. Counters

From toothpaste splatters, to soap scum; bathroom counters can get pretty dirty if not cleaned on a daily basis. To remove this grime effectively, mix equal parts of water and vinegar; dip a soft-bristled brush into the solution and scrub the counter using circular motions. For stubborn stains, heat the mixture up and then apply it to the counter. If you’d like to buff your bathroom countertop, simply dry the surface and sprinkle some lemon oil onto it; crush an old sheet of newspaper into a ball and use it to buff the counter.

  1. Faucets/Fittings

It doesn’t take long for stainless steel bathroom components to encounter stains and dullness. Fortunately, cleaning and buffing them is pretty easy! First, you need to clean the steel using a scrubber and minimal amount of dish soap. After you’ve rinsed off your bathroom faucet/fittings, take a dry washcloth and dab on some petroleum jelly; use this to buff and shine stainless steel components in your bathroom. Be sure to use a minimal amount of petroleum jelly as that is all it takes to get steel surfaces shining!

  1. Grout Lines

Like stainless steel, grout lines are also quick to accumulate dirt. They get discoloured rather easily when grime and soap scum have had even a little time to rest on them. Hence, it’s important not to overlook grout lines when cleaning your bathroom floor. For this, mix juice and cream of tartar; use an old toothbrush to cover the grout with the paste and leave it for 20 minutes. Next, use the same toothbrush to gently scrub the grout lines for a few seconds before washing the paste off.  

  1. Mirrors

Yet another victim of soap scum and toothpaste splatters, the mirror in your bathroom needs to be cleaned at least once a week. Thankfully, it’s really quick, simple and inexpensive to do this! Simply take a clean, soft cloth and apply a little shaving cream to it; use this to clean your mirror by buffing it in circular motions. Do this until all the cream has vanished and you’ll be left with a sparkling bathroom mirror!

With these bathroom cleaning hacks, you’ll be spending a lot less time and money on each and every task!

The post 8 Bathroom Cleaning Hacks that Will Save You Time and Money! appeared first on Simply Maid | Tips by trusted house cleaners.

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Have you noticed how your house maintenance needs change as the seasons rotate? That’s because the weather has a major influence on the way we are required to maintain our home, inside and outside. For anyone that chooses to stick to the same house maintenance routine for every season, the results are bound to be less than satisfactory. Moreover, they are likely to overlook some very crucial tasks which aid in maintaining a home during a particular season. While it may take a bit of time and effort, seasonal home maintenance is a must if you want to keep your house in tiptop condition.

The quality of one’s home should be a top priority because it ensures that you and your family are living in a safe and sanitary environment. For this reason, it is extremely important to have a handy, seasonal home maintenance guide that you can follow throughout the year! Luckily, we’ve got one right here to help you keep your home in check!

SUMMER

  1. Remove Mould and Mildew. It’s a known fact that mould thrives in humid conditions. During the summer, rooms like the basement, attic, garage and bathrooms become increasingly humid, leading to mould or mildew buildup. Inspect these rooms and other areas that are prone to mould growth; remove the fungus immediately.
  2. Clean and Service Air Conditioners. Your ACs will require regular cleaning and maintenance in the summer owing to excessive use of these units during the hot weather. Make sure that you have a professionally trained HVAC technician come in and do this to ensure that your cooling systems will run smoothly throughout the summer.
  3. Clean Air Vents. With more dust and dried up debris in the air, your vents are sure to get clogged quickly, if not cleaned regularly. Moreover, air vents are great hiding places for vermin and insects when it’s hot outside so be sure to clean them out when warmer days come around.
  4. Service Your Refrigerator. A thorough servicing of your refrigerator is necessary to maintain the appliance’s overall condition. Along with this, a regular deep clean is advised. If you find that your refrigerator is underperforming even after it is serviced, adjust the settings as needed.
  5. Inspect Your Smoke Detectors. Assuming that your smoke detectors haven’t been triggered recently (or at all), it’s wise to check that they are in working condition. The batteries may require replacing, especially if they have been in there over a long period of time.
  6. Deep Clean Your Washing Machine. Summer typically means twice the amount of dirty laundry! With your washing machine running several cycles every week, it is bound to collect more dirt and bacteria than usual.  Deep cleaning your washer is definitely advised, along with servicing of the unit.
  7. Clean Your Home Exteriors. Because there is more dust and debris in the air, your home exteriors will accumulate dirt rather quickly. A wash or wipe down, at the very least, is much needed to clean the outside of your home and reduce the amount of dust and debris coming in.
AUTUMN

  1. Yard Maintenance. From raking up leaves, to trimming the hedges; autumn yard maintenance is a must. One of the reasons why it’s important to keep your yard in check is because apart from the aesthetic appeal, an unkept garden/yard will attract insects, vermin and the likes. So, if you don’t want any creepy crawlies around your yard, carry out maintenance as and when needed.
  2. Clean out Rain Gutters. It’s common to find rain gutters clogged with leaves and other debris during autumn; again, this can attract unwanted little critters which is why you need to clean them out every now and then. More importantly, cleaning is a must as your rain gutters should always be unclogged and ready for a sudden downpour.
  3. Deep Clean Your Garbage Disposal. We often forget to clean anything that is used to dispose of garbage because, after all, it’s rubbish! However, it’s absolutely imperative to deep clean your garbage disposal as the buildup of bacteria makes for a very unsanitary environment. The use of baking soda and white vinegar is advised for a natural, deep clean of your garbage disposal.
  4. Service Your Gas Range/Stove. In order to avoid leaks and blockages in your gas pipes, regular servicing is a must. While carrying out the necessary servicing, the professional will inspect each component of your gas range/stove to ensure that everything is working in a safe and effective manner. Remember, it is critically important to take care of appliances that run on gas as it can be hazardous if unmaintained.
  5. Service Your Water Heater. There are many benefits of having a hot shower; therefore, it’s good to have your water heater in proper running order. Moreover, we often use hot water for other purposes such as cleaning, which is why a water heater tends to be used frequently. Owing to this, servicing of the unit must be carried out so that it doesn’t burn out or encounter any problems.
  6. Clean Your Fireplace. It’s wise to clean and cap your fireplace to avoid bird nests or little critters coming down your chimney. This also ensures that it is ready to be used when colder months come around. Cleaning your fireplace is relatively easy; however, you can enlist the help of a professional for this.
WINTER

  1. Look for Dampness in or Around Your Home. During the winter, your walls and ceiling may encounter dampness due to potential cracks in the foundation, broken pipes or clogged gutters. It’s important to do a thorough inspection of your home’s interiors and exteriors to ensure that there isn’t, in fact, any dampness weakening your home’s foundation. You can also call in a professional to do the inspection just to be on the safe side.
  2. Clean Your Rain Gutters. We’ve already mentioned some of the risks that come with clogged rain gutters; to add to this, during winter, snow or rain can lodge large debris into your downspout, making it harder to clean. Therefore, regular cleaning of your gutters, as well as the downspout, is necessary during the winter months.
  3. Keep a Check on Your Water Pipes. Harsh winters can damage your water pipes and lead to costly repairs. If there are any cracks or leaks in the pipes, immediate action is highly advised to avoid pipes bursting (due to the water pressure). If your home is going to be locked up for a couple of days while you vacation, it’s a good idea to have your neighbours (or someone trustworthy) come in and make sure that your water pipes are alright.
  4. Increase Your Home’s Ventilation. Owing to the damp, stale air trapped in your house, ventilation is very important. Not just to ensure that bad, moist air is removed, but also to keep your home fresh and smelling better. Be sure to do this for your bathrooms, attic, basement, and garage.
  5. Maintain Your Property. When it’s cold outside, most of us prefer to stay indoors, leaving our yards and surrounding property rather messy. Remember, it’s always better to tackle small, outdoor maintenance tasks as opposed to allowing them to accumulate to the extent where you need to call in a professional!
SPRING

  1. Deep Clean Your Dishwasher. Many homeowners believe that a dishwasher cleans itself; however, some food bits and bacteria will not magically disappear unless manually removed. Considering the fact that we place our food in dishes and plates, it’s important that they be washed thoroughly, in a sanitary environment.
  2. Clean and Service Air Conditioners. It’s time to get your cooling systems cleaned and serviced again. Spring time can get a bit warm (depending on where you live); hence, you’re likely to be using your air conditioners more often.
  3. Maintain Your Yard. Spring brings about a new set of tasks to maintain your yard or garden; therefore, it’s best to get ahead of them. A gardener can help you with this; however, if you’re up for it, some of the tasks will include mowing your lawn, trimming hedges, and raking leaves.
  4. Deep Clean Your Garbage Disposal. As we mentioned earlier, regular cleaning of your garbage disposal is important for sanitary reasons. Use this season (when spring cleaning is in full motion) to give the appliance another deep clean.
  5. Check for Mould/Mildew. Do a thorough house inspection to ensure that your home is mould-free from the last time you checked. Be sure to move furniture around to make sure that the fungus isn’t growing in any hidden areas in or around your house.
  6. Service Your Dehumidifiers. When these units are used for long periods of time, the filters require cleaning or replacing regularly. Moreover, dust and debris accumulates inside the unit which can be cleaned when serviced.

Remember, keeping your house in check throughout the year means having to maintain it as per the season’s requirements. So, use this seasonal home maintenance guide from here on out to keep your house in the best possible condition!

The post A Seasonal Home Maintenance Guide to Keep Your House in Check appeared first on Simply Maid | Tips by trusted house cleaners.

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Let’s be realistic, for the average, middle class family, a new house can cost an arm and a leg without the expense of home furnishings. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t transform your new house into a beautiful home when on a tight budget.

Typically, shopping for furniture and decorative household items is known to be an expensive affair; however, nowadays, there are a couple of loopholes that allow you to dress up your house for a much lower cost. To help you create the interiors you’ve been dreaming of (without compromising on quality), we’ve come up with some useful low-budget ideas to decorate and furnish your home. Read on!

  1. Approach Furniture Makers Directly; Avoid Retail

The cost of purchasing furniture from a retail store can be pretty pricey, especially if you’re looking for quality. While the old saying “you get what you pay for” holds true, there are several craftsmen that make and sell high-quality furniture for a living – at much lower rates. Not only are these pieces incredibly durable, but you can also have your furniture custom-made (for a slightly higher price, of course). The bottom line is that you can find some awesome, functional pieces of furniture that will stand the test of time, look great in your home, and not cost you a fortune!

  1. Reupholster Old Sofas and Chairs

The cost of reupholstering old furniture is significantly cheaper than buying new pieces of furniture. Often times, homeowners look to purchase new sofas and chairs when a good re-upholstery job is enough to make old ones look brand new again! What’s more, you can customise the upholstery to suit your taste and match your home interiors better than a readymade upholstered couch. You can also find many secondhand sofas and chairs that are in good condition and ready to use. Of course, it’s always advisable to replace the cushions or upholstery when using a secondhand couch. Nonetheless, it will save you a ton of money!

  1. Look out for Discounts and Sales

Spend a little extra time to search for furniture stores or large online retailers that are having sales and offering good discounts. It may take some time to find something ideal, but it will surely be worth it if it means getting a quality piece of furniture for a bargain deal. In fact, most people refrain from paying retail for furniture because there is always something on sale elsewhere. Remember, purchasing furniture for a new home requires patience in order to fit everything on your list into a budget. Special offers, clearance sales and bargain deals will help you do just that if you spare some time to find them!

  1. Buy Double-Duty Furniture

It’s simple; the use of multi-purpose furniture means having a minimal amount of furniture in your home which not only saves space, but money as well! When you buy furniture that serves more than one purpose, it eliminates the need to buy extra pieces – it’s win-win! On top of this, there are various types of multi-purpose furniture, many of which are guaranteed to serve your home requirements. Again, you can find good deals online or simply look for sales to save some bucks.

  1. Join Facebook Groups for Local Deals

Sometimes, finding a good deal can be right around the corner. Join a couple of local Facebook groups to enquire about secondhand furniture or any upcoming garage sales and the likes. For people that are planning to move away or get rid of some stuff, the first place they advertise (for the same) is online. Facebook groups are always a good place to start because, more often than not, sellers will look for buyers nearby to save on transportation costs. On the other hand, if the buyer must incur these costs, it won’t be much since it’s close by. An additional plus point is that you don’t have to go far to take a look at the piece before you decide whether or not it’s worth it.

  1. Do-it-Yourself Home Decor!

If you scroll through your social media feed long enough, you’ll find a number of shared videos/tutorials that show you how to make various types of household decorations in the simplest of ways. From using scrap items, to transforming a plainly designed item into something beautiful and functional; DIY home decorations can be a really fun weekend project for you and your family. Moreover, it gives you time to bond with your kids, as well as the satisfaction of creating your own little masterpieces!

Remember, the key to staying within a tight budget when looking for furniture and home decor for a new house is to take your time, do your research, and go the extra mile to create your dream home interiors!

The post Low-Budget Furnishing Ideas for a New Home appeared first on Simply Maid | Tips by trusted house cleaners.

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It’s often said that being a parent is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. Right from holding your baby in your arms, to watching them grow up before your eyes; the pride and joy of having kids, nurturing them, guiding them through their individual hardships and seeing them succeed, is unparalleled. Of course, parenting has its challenges with every step of the way. On top of this, being a stay-at-home parent presents a whole other set of challenges to overcome!

Yes, there are many perks of being a stay-at-home mum or dad; one of the biggest ones includes the amount of time you get to spend with your kids, something that is very important in today’s fast-paced lifestyles. The difficulties, on the other hand, can become overwhelming for those who are new to the experience or simply don’t know how to even begin overcoming them. It’s often a tricky, and sometimes, delicate, situation to deal with. Nevertheless, we are here to share six of the biggest challenges faced by stay-at-home parents, and how to conquer them. Read on!

  1. You Feel Obligated to do EVERYTHING

Sometimes it’s just your mind that leaves you feeling helpless about a situation. For example, you may ‘feel’ like you have to do everything – take care of the kids, do household chores, cook, run errands and more – when in reality, you can get your partner to pitch in, or even your kids (if they are old enough). Being a stay-at-home parent is challenging enough without pressuring yourself into believing that you, and you alone, are required to take care of every little (or big) thing.

  1. You Tire Out Quickly

Picking up on point number one, it’s only natural to feel exhausted IF you are, in fact, taking care of “everything”. Therefore, the logical solution would be to enlist the help of others to relieve yourself of some of the burden you are carrying on your shoulders. For example, many stay-at-home parents hire a maid service to help maintain a clean home and stay on top of their list of chores for the day. This is a great help to parents that have several other responsibilities that require their time and attention. Another way to keep your energy levels up so that you can cope with the challenges of being a stay-at-home parent is to eat healthy. Binging on fast food or eating unhealthy foods can cause fatigue, leaving you tired and demotivated to get on with your day.

  1. Cooking Feels Like a Burden

Preparing healthy, home-cooked meals for your kids is important for their immunity and growth. However, it’s not always easy to get children to eat ‘healthy’ food when they’d rather survive on junk food and candy! Therefore, you need to find ways to incorporate greens and other vegetables into a meal that is both, yummy and nourishing. This, along with lack of time and energy, can make cooking feel like a burden on many occasions. The solution? Well, the internet, of course! You can find a large variety of simple recipes that are healthy, quick to prepare, and very popular among young children!

  1. Time to Rest Seems like a Thing of the Past

With so much to do, including the kids keeping you on your toes, finding time to kick back and relax can be difficult. What’s worse, this can lead to extreme exhaustion and, subsequently, serious health problems. If you allow yourself to burn-out, you won’t be able to take care of your kids the way you want or require to. Remember, nothing is more important than yours and your family’s health. Therefore, it’s critically important that you get enough time to rest and recuperate by having a daily schedule which allows you to fit in 1-2 hour breaks between your day-to-day responsibilities. As mentioned earlier, you can enlist the help of others to free up more time in your day for relaxation.

  1. Frustration Can Get the Better of You

The challenges faced by a stay-at-home parent can lead to a lot of frustration which is why we classify it as a challenge itself. Whether you’re short-tempered or a cool-headed person, eventually, frustration is bound to get the better of you. While many individual have their own ways of handling frustration, many struggle with it. Frustration can impact your entire day (or days) in a very negative way. You will be less productive, have trouble thinking clearly, and always be on edge. This, in turn, interferes with the way you communicate with your family and causes tension within your household. A few tried and true ways of dealing with frustration include:

  • Meditating every morning and/or taking deep breaths
  • Dealing with the root cause of the frustration
  • Converting frustration to motivation (to resolve the issue that’s causing it)
  • Talking about it (to your partner or a close friend)
  • Reminding yourself that it will pass
  • Taking a break from whatever it is that you’re doing to calm down
  1. Not Having Any ‘You’ Time

Taking a breather from your everyday routine while your kids are keeping themselves busy isn’t exactly ‘you’ time. Having real down time means spending a good deal of time by yourself, doing something you enjoy, or even treating yourself to a massage or something else that’s relaxing. Anything that will keep you away from your regular routine and take your mind off it can be classified as ‘you’ time because you are simply focusing on yourself for once.

The next time you feel overwhelmed with your duties as a stay-at-home parent, remember that every challenge you face can be overcome!

The post 6 Challenges You Can Overcome as a Stay-at-Home Parent appeared first on Simply Maid | Tips by trusted house cleaners.

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Travelling to see new parts of the world is one of the most satisfying experiences you can have. Trying the local cuisine is always a must as you will get to enjoy flavour sensations you might never have an opportunity to experience.

We tend to give ourselves a lot more leeway with our food while travelling, choosing to treat ourselves as part of the holiday experience. However, if you’re worried about sticking to a healthy diet and avoiding eating overpriced local dishes all the time, then you might want to continue cooking healthy meals while you’re away.

There’s no shortage of simple recipes out there for you to study and bring along with you. This will allow you to have a bunch of easy meals memorised and ready to go wherever you are. For example, some healthy and delicious Mexican bean nachos are perfect for busy travellers short on time.

Constantly eating out while on holidays can really impact your budget and potentially limit the amount of other activities you can partake in. This is why there’s a growing trend among travellers to cook for themselves while overseas.

Let’s take a look at a few tips you can use to continue cooking healthy meals while travelling.

Book accommodation that has its own kitchen

The first and most obvious step you need to take to ensure that you have an easy time cooking while travelling is to book lodging that actually has a functional kitchen. A fancy hotel room is unlikely to have any cooking appliances as most places will expect you to either eat out or order room service.

If you can forgo the luxury of a hotel, there are plenty of other options that are much cheaper than a hotel both in their original asking price and the fact they enable you to cook your own meals. While going out to one of the many incredible local restaurants is always a great holiday experience, it saves you a lot of money when you don’t need to rely on buying expensive food for every meal.

Find out where the local grocery stores are

You can make cooking while travelling much more convenient when you already have a good idea of where to source your ingredients. Naturally, there are grocery stores pretty much everywhere so it’s easy to make sure that you always have fresh produce to prepare healthy meals with.

Be sure to do some research prior to stepping on the plane. Then again, you can always ask around the local area, and you should find a place to get fresh produce very easily. Exploring the local markets in some cultures is an amazing holiday experience unto itself.

Learn the local cuisine

It’s incredibly easy to cook while travelling overseas when you’re already familiar with some staple dishes that are commonly made in your host country. This enables you to save travel money and use only the freshest seasonal produce.

The benefit of this is that the local diet in many overseas countries will be much healthier than the heavily processed stuff you eat at home. Don’t hesitate to ask the locals about their favourite dishes.

It’s one thing to eat the local grub at a restaurant; it’s another to cook it yourself!

Pack you own food

One of the best ways to save while travelling is to pack your own snacks so that you don’t get tempted to spend additional money on food while you’re out exploring. This can be really helpful on long tours or hikes where your body needs a lot of fuel to do all of the walking that’s required.

You want to be packing snacks that are easy to carry, aren’t messy to eat and have a good nutritional value. We’re talking about packing a trail mix of nuts and dried fruits rather than a bag of chips or chocolate biscuits.

Make simple meals

Cooking while travelling can seem inconvenient at times if you’re trying to make elaborate sit-down dishes all the time. Instead of spending a lot of time and energy on complex dishes, try to simplify your food choices with some quick and satisfying meals.

Meals that make use of easily prepared staples like rice and pasta are always a great go-to. Salads and sandwiches are a great way to get a mix of the healthiest vegetables without much preparation effort.

Come prepared

You can make cooking while travelling much easier if you come prepared with reusable Tupperware and Ziploc bags that will allow you to store leftovers. This means you could cook a big portion of food at the start of your trip and keep enjoying it for lunch throughout the week.

While it won’t be as easy as constantly ordering food, cooking your own healthy meals while travelling can be a great way to help you stick to your holiday budget as well as your diet.

The post How to Cook Healthy Meals While Travelling to Save Money appeared first on Simply Maid | Tips by trusted house cleaners.

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It’s a valid question to ask even if you’ve been using a washing machine for many years now. Perhaps, you’ve noticed that your clothes don’t always come out as fresh and soft as you wish they would, or, even worse, sometimes the washer damages your clothing and vice versa. This is when you know you’re doing something wrong.

The truth is, there is a ‘right’ way of washing your clothes in a washing machine which not only ensures that no damage is caused to your fabrics or the machine, but also leads to the cleanest and most satisfactory load of laundry you could ever do! From some pretty obvious dos and don’ts, to many overlooked ones; we are here to guide you through all of them! Read on to find out if you’ve been doing a couple of things wrong when washing laundry in your washing machine.

Separate Colours

One of the most obvious ones, but definitely worth mentioning because some individuals forget that separating colours does not mean merely sorting lights from darks. Brightly coloured clothes, such as reds and orange shades, should also be separated as they are likely to lose a little bit of colour during a wash. While it’s not necessary to wash every colour in the rainbow separately, it’s advisable to club similar shades together and wash them in one cycle. Apart from this, it’s also ideal to hang your laundry out to dry as soon as the load is complete to eliminate the risk of one colour running onto another.

Sort Dirty from ‘Very’ Dirty

Colours aren’t the only thing you need to separate when washing. Your dirty laundry typically consists of lightly soiled and heavily soiled items which need to be separated before a wash. The latter may include muddy clothes, gym clothes, and dirty socks while the former generally includes pajamas, house wear, etc. Doing a mixed bag of laundry (i.e. lightly soiled and very dirty clothing items) can lead to ineffective results. In these cases, you end up spreading dirt to the lot of lightly soiled items which then requires a second wash for a thorough cleanse. Therefore, it’s best to sort out your laundry beforehand and wash the really dirty ones separately.

Don’t Mix Abrasive Fabrics with Delicates

While we’re still talking about separating your dirty laundry for a safe and effective wash, it must be mentioned that abrasive fabrics and delicates are not suitable to be washed together either. Being tossed around in a washer can potentially damage weaker fabrics; hence, when you mix in abrasive materials such as denim, you can only imagine the effect it can have on your delicates. In fact, it is advisable to use laundry bags specifically designed for washing underwear and other delicate items in a washing machine. These mesh bags protect the contents from wear and tear while also allowing for an effective wash (owing to their porous material).

Wash Sheets One at a Time

Do you find your sheets all twisted and entangled in other items in your washing machine? Well, it’s not an uncommon occurrence. The worst part about this is that it’s not only annoying to untangle the sheets when they’re wet, but it also affects the effectiveness of the wash. When sheets start to twist in your washing machine, the cleaning of each item becomes uneven. This is because the items cannot move around freely for an all-round clean. While you may not want to wash a single sheet per cycle, consider washing these large items along with small clothing items or delicates that are placed in a laundry bag. This way, you can avoid twisting and entangling altogether!

Don’t Overuse/Underuse Laundry Detergent

While you may not see the harm in doing either of these things, i.e. underusing or overusing laundry detergent, we’re here to tell you otherwise! Excess laundry detergent does not necessarily means cleaner clothes. In fact, it can be rather harsh on some delicate fabrics. Apart from this, the use of too much detergent leaves fabrics feeling stiff because of the soap residue left on them. This means that the washed items will require another rinse which only wastes water, and your time. Similarly, underusing detergent for a load of laundry will also require a second wash because there wasn’t enough soap to clean the clothes properly the first time around. If you’re wondering how to figure out what the right amount of detergent to use per load is, check the label of the bottle. Having said this, sometimes all it takes is some trial and error until you learn the perfect amount to use for every load!

Turn Denims Inside-Out Before Washing

Do you hear noises that almost sound like coins banging against the interiors of your washing machine when it’s running a cycle? That’s usually caused by the buttons on one’s jeans or denim jackets. Obviously, this is not only self-damaging for the clothing item, but it can also cause scratches and minor damage to your washing machine. The best way to avoid this is to zip up and button up your jeans and turn them inside-out before throwing them in the washer. Similarly, denim jackets (as well as shirts) should also be buttoned up and turned inside-out to protect the clothing item and your washing machine at the same time.

Double-Check Pockets

Keys, coins and other random things; we tend to put stuff in our pockets and forget to take them out. When these (sometimes) hard and abrasive items get thrown into your washing machine, the effects they have on fabrics and the washer itself can be pretty bad. From nicking fabric to scratching your washer interiors; there are certain things that simply do not belong in a washing machine! Therefore, it’s important to double check all pockets before you throw a clothing item in the washing machine. This includes the pockets of shirts, shorts and jackets,

Do a Colour Fastness Test on New Fabrics

For clothes and other fabrics that you’ve been washing for a long time, you already know that their colours do not ‘bleed’. New clothing items and fabrics, on the other hand, can lose colour the first few times they are washed. This is particularly the case with bright/vibrant colours; therefore, performing a colour fastness test on new items before you wash them is a good idea. This can be done by simply dampening a white towel and dabbing it on the material. If the dye comes off, it’s best to wash the item solo for 1 or 2 cycles. If you’d like, you can throw in an old, white cloth to check if the colour is still running.

Learn What Items Can and Cannot be Machine-Washed

One of the biggest laundry mistakes you can make is to wash items in your machine that strictly need to be dry cleaned. An article of clothing or a particular type of fabric that shouldn’t be machine-washed is very likely to get damaged (beyond repair) while also affecting the way your washer functions. While most clothing items will mention a suitable method of cleaning on the tag/label, it’s good to have a general idea of what articles must be dry cleaned. This list includes blazers, suits and tuxedos, as well as fabrics such as suede and leather. So, be sure to get these items dry cleaned in order to avoid damaging of the material and your washer.

Clean the Lint Trap, Filter and Hose

The buildup of lint and debris in the lint trap means you have to clean it out every now and then. Most people know this; however, the filter and hose (that attaches to the back of the machine) are often overlooked. These components are also prone to dirt and bacteria buildup and hence, require a thorough cleaning at least once a year. For the filter, a clean toothbrush and some detergent can be used to scrub it clean while the hose will require a long brush (such as a bottle brush) to clean the inside. Alternatively, you can soak the pipe in a cleaning solution for an hour or so and rinse it out (inside and outside) under running water. Apart from this, it’s important to deep clean your washing machine from time to time to keep the interiors clean and sanitary.

Whether or not you’ve been doing something wrong when washing clothes and other fabrics in your washing machine, this guide will help you do the perfect load of laundry henceforth!

The post Have You Been Doing Laundry in Your Washing Machine Properly? appeared first on Simply Maid | Tips by trusted house cleaners.

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In households across the world, water is often taken for granted. Very few people understand the value of every drop they have access to until they are without it. Of course, just knowing the countless number of people that are deprived of this resource is enough to teach one the importance of conserving water.

So, let’s turn our attention to the way we use water in our own home. While there are several homeowners who are mindful of the way water is used in their household, there are many more that could use a couple of tips to help them manage their water usage more efficiently. Wastage of water is something that needs to stop around the world and quickly, might we add. With that said, here’s how you can do your bit to save more water in your home.

Shower Sensibly

It’s easy to forget that you should be conserving water even when you shower. Many individuals leave the shower running for long periods of time just to enjoy the feel of a hot/cold shower. What’s worse, sometimes the water is left running even when not in use. Apart from this, bathing in a bathtub also uses up a lot more water than you would typically need to have a proper shower. While the occasional soaking in a tub after a long day is alright, cutting down on this activity is advised.

Shut off Faucets When Not in Use

Whether you’re brushing your teeth, washing your face or doing the dishes, it seems more convenient to leave the water running for the few seconds that you aren’t using it. However, this wastage of water adds up to so much more in the long run (which can easily be avoided). It’s just a matter of getting into the habit of shutting off the faucet when you turn away to do something else. For example, when brushing your teeth, turn the tap off until you need to use the water again.

Fix Leakages

Even the smallest of leakages account for major water wastage over a long period of time. Therefore, if you have any leaks in your home, it’s advisable to get them fixed as soon as possible. Apart from obvious and easily visible leakages such as those from faucets and showerheads, check for leaks that are out of sight. This would include behind your washing machine, underneath sinks, around the toilet bowl, outdoor pipes, etc. If needed, call in a professional plumber to get pipes and other water sources around your house checked for leakages.

Measure Kettle Water Correctly

Whether you’re making a cup of coffee, soup, or instant noodles, the use of a kettle certainly comes in handy. Unfortunately, there are many people that ignore the markings given on the kettle when using it. More often than not, the amount of water that is heated up in a kettle turns out to be more than what is needed. What happens to this excess water? In most cases, it is poured down the kitchen sink. Even if you do overshoot the markings on your kettle, there are better ways to make use of the extra water. Next time around, consider using excess water in your kettle (after it cools down) to water your plants.

Water Your Garden Efficiently

Using more water than you should to water your garden is a very common issue among homeowners. Not only does this waste water, but it can also damage your plants and/or lawn. There are many types of plant species that require less frequent watering in order to grow properly. Similarly, a lawn requires to be watered deeply as opposed to daily. Hence, it’s advisable to learn more about the plant life you have in your garden to ensure that you are caring for it properly and eliminating any water wastage.

Turn off the Main Water Supply Before Vacationing

To be on the safe side, it’s advisable to shut off your main water supply if you’re house is going to be locked up while you vacation. You never know when you might encounter some leaking pipes or other plumbing issues and hence, closing the valves of your main water supply can be of great help!

Use Less Water When Cleaning

Home cleaning is a necessity and, more often than not, requires water! From washing your bathroom, to cleaning your floors; certain cleaning tasks require you to dilute cleaning products with water before using them. Often times, the amount of cleaner made for a particular cleaning task is too much, leaving you with no option but to dispose of the remainder. One way to solve this problem is by pouring a freshly made cleaning solution in a spray bottle so that you don’t end up using more than you need to.

  1. Harvest Rainwater

It’s quite surprising how few homeowners take advantage of rainwater. While it may seem like a troublesome task (i.e. rainwater harvesting), it’s actually pretty simple. Bear in mind that rainwater is free, so harvesting can also help you cut down on your water bill! More importantly, it reduces the strain on our water reservoirs; therefore, it’s a win-win situation! If you wish to create a do-it-yourself rainwater harvesting system, there are many ideas available on the internet. Alternatively, you can purchase a reliable harvesting system today and save it for those rainy days!

When it comes to conserving water in your home, don’t think twice! Use the tips above to make sure that you are doing your bit to stop wastage and save more water.

The post Stop Wastage, Save More: Tips to Conserve Water in Your Home appeared first on Simply Maid | Tips by trusted house cleaners.

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