Think Green when you Clean

We all want to do our part in ensuring our environment stays as safe and healthy as possible for our children and future generations to come. Many people don’t stop to think how their household cleaners can affect the environment, and how toxic they can make the immediate environment of your home. With some careful forethought, planning and effort, your home can be cleaned safely and effectively, sparing the environment, your home, family and pets from toxic chemicals and fumes.

Most people firmly believe that surfaces in their homes must be disinfected on a continual basis to prevent illness and the spread of disease. But the truth is most areas of your home don’t need to be disinfected to prevent the spread of germs. This includes your bathroom. Mild detergents, hot water, and some elbow grease can generally do the trick.

The exception to this rule is the kitchen. Anything involved in food preparation should be completely scrubbed down and disinfected with each use. This includes food preparation surfaces, utensils, cleaning clothes, and sponges.

When shopping for cleaning products, pay special attention to those with the words poison or danger on the label. These words indicate the highest level of hazard, under federal law. Products labeled with the words caution or warning can present a moderate hazard and should be regarded with care. Always read labels and follow the directions.
Never mix cleaning products, such as those containing chlorine with those containing ammonia.

Consider using products such as vinegar, baking soda, and mild detergent when cleaning your home. If you have questions about how to properly dispose of toxic household cleaning chemicals, contact your local health department or county sanitation office for advice and assistance. Most areas provide a household hazardous waste collection site for residents to properly dispose of such items.

To Keep or not to Keep, that is the Question

There are many great reasons for having a yard sale. Some people have yard sales before they move so they don’t have to pack and ship belongings they aren’t using. Sometimes they are updating the look of their home and sell their old belongings to make money and room for the new ones. Sometimes your children just grow like weeds and rapidly outgrow both their clothes and their toys. It could also simply be the desire to purge all those items you’ve held onto for so long, thinking you’d find a use for them but never did. No matter what your reason, having a yard sale is a relatively easy goal to achieve and requires just a few hours of preparation and a few more hours actually selling your wares. You’ll reap both financial and emotional rewards from it.

Decide on a date for your yard sale, then get to work surveying the items you have. When you’re going through your house deciding what to sell, you’ll have to be brutally honest with yourself. If you haven’t used it, don’t like it, don’t see yourself using it or don’t know of anyone personally who could benefit from it, then it’s a yard sale item. Sort through every dresser and kitchen drawer, every clothes and linen closet, every cupboard and toy box you have in your house. Don’t forget your basement, attic, pantry, entertainment center, buffet and outdoor tool shed as well. If an item belongs to a family member, don’t make the decision for them. Get their input before placing an item in your yard sale box. Regardless of the time it takes to sort through all your items, make the commitment to stick with it and remind yourself on a continual basis the monetary profit and emotional relief you’ll feel once your clutter has been cleared from your home.

Once the sale is over, make another commitment to yourself not to bring the unsold items back into your home. Make arrangements with your local rescue mission or charity thrift store to donate the items. Most will be happy to make arrangements to pick up large donations as well as provide you with a tax receipt reflecting your generous donation.

Once it’s all said and done, you’ll have some extra pocket change, and can breathe an emotional sigh of relief that the clutter that’s been weighing you down for so long has been purged from your home. Renew your commitment to remain organized and to combat the clutter demon on a continual basis.

Tips on What You Should Do During Earthquake Emergencies

Scientists have not yet really determined a way to predict an earthquake. That is why, when a strong earthquake strikes, a lot of people gets injured, or even killed, and properties gets damaged. The only thing we can do, if we live in an area near fault lines, is to be prepared everyday for such eventualities.

Here are the things you should do to prepare for an earthquake:

Prepare an emergency kit

You will never know what will happen after a quake, thus, you should always have an emergency kit for everyone in your household. Each kit must contain at least one gallon of water, food supply for at least three days (you should select non-perishable food), and first aid kit.

You should ensure that you regularly change the food and water in your emergency kit. The food and water in your kit will be of little use if they are already not fit to eat or drink. Instead of saving your life, such might even exacerbate your situation.

Know the mains of your utilities

Earthquake might cause fire from gas leaks and electricity. Thus, it is important that you know where the main switches of your utilities are so that you can turn them off when needed.

Inspect your house for cracks and fissures

You must regularly check the condition of your house to ensure that it can withstand even a strong earthquake. Be sure to have the cracks on your walls, chimney and even door frames fixed. If you live in an apartment, report cracks and fissures to your landlord immediately, so that he or she can do something about the situation.

Have an evacuation plan

You and your family must make an emergency plan for disasters, such as fire, floods, and earthquakes. Each member of the family should know what to do in case of such incidents. You will be able to protect your family more if you prepare them earlier. Panic and confusion can often lead to injuries accidents.

Here are the things you should do during an earthquake:

The first thing you and your family should do is to stay away from objects that might fall off. Stay away from book cases, cabinets, and hanging objects, such as chandeliers, or ceiling fan.

During an earthquake, it is wiser that you stay put, particularly under sturdy tables or door frames. Do not run around or even attempt to get out of the house. There are more dangerous things outside your house that could injure you, such as lampposts and cars.

Make sure that the emergency kit that you prepared is easily accessible. If possible, place it in a location where you and your family will run into during a quake.

Stay away from the kitchen. One of the most dangerous places in the house during an earthquake is the kitchen because there are many pots and pans hanging around and drawers full of knives and cutlery. Furthermore, there is a danger of a gas leak in the kitchen that might cause fire.

What to do after the earthquake
Do not attempt to light a match or a candle immediately after the quake; you are not sure if there are gas leaks. Lighting up a match might ignite a fire, so be very careful. If you can, shut off the main gas valve if you smell gas.

If you suspect a gas leak, open the windows and evacuate your house immediately. You should also call the gas company once you are away from the gas leak. Do not try to call, especially using your mobile phone, near gas leaks.

There will sure be aftershocks after an earthquake, so do not let your guard down even if your house is intact and all the members of your family are well. Be sure to check the news for information about the quake and other important updates.