Chicago’s the type of city where you have options for nearly anything you could imagine. If you feel like hanging out inside a dark and quiet lounge instead of a loud, raucous bar, the city will provide you with dozens of places you’ll love. If you’d rather enjoy a pricey plate instead of a homemade meal, you can rest assured that any chef in the Windy City would be glad to make your entree.
When it comes to apartments, there are just about as many options as anything else you could think of. One great debate seems to be more present than any other: should you choose a building with a doorman or one without?
Like most things in life, there are pros and cons to each option. The building that’s best for you may not be a great fit for your friends or family members. It’s a very personal choice—one that’s best made after evaluating all the pluses and minuses available in either case.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of living in a building in Chicago that has a doorman.
Pros of Having a Doorman in Chicago
We’ll start with the positive features of doorman-guarded buildings.
Great doormen pay attention to everything. That means they’re watching who comes into and out of the building, who might be loitering on the property, and which faces look like they don’t belong. The people who are approved to go into a doorman building have been vetted by the professional person who knows how to keep his (or her) building as safe as possible.
When you’re away at work all day, it can be hard to plan your schedule around picking up packages. If you live in a building without a doorman, you might have to rely on your neighbors to keep an eye out for your boxes when they arrive. Even then, you’re leaving a bit of your package-delivery success to luck.
Doormen eliminate this unwanted shuffling of the clock. They’re there to get your packages and secure them until you’re able to pick them up. And, what if you have someone coming over to clean your place, such as a maid service, while you’re away? Don’t worry! Doormen do that duty, too. They’ll let your housekeepers in and make sure no one’s there who’s not on your list.
It’s so nice to have someone open the door for you when you have your hands full, but doormen don’t care if you’ve got anything in your hands or not. They provide the intangible service of ensuring the people in their building feel special. Having someone open the door for you makes you feel like you’re a celebrity, no matter how un-famous you are.
Doormen greet you with a kind smile and wish you a great evening when you leave. Many of them offer concierge services that’ll enable you to make the most of your city with insider tips and special reservations.
Trudging those last few steps after you’ve already hiked a few blocks with groceries in-tow can be excruciating. Coming back from a trip where you’re juggling tons of luggage poses another awkward situation in terms of getting from here to there.
There are plenty of ways people need assistance every day, and a great doorman will do his best to mitigate stressful situations when they arrive at his building. He’ll help you lug that luggage into the building and will take it upstairs for you if he’s able. He’ll open the door when you have your hands filled with groceries, and he’ll probably suggest a good recipe, too.
Whether you simply need help navigating the lobby, or your shopping excursion has taken you past the limits of carrying bags by yourself, your doorman will save the day.
Cons of Having a Doorman in Chicago
Now, let’s look at some of the reasons people choose to live in non-doorman buildings in Chicago.
1. Lack of Privacy
Doormen don’t necessarily care what you’re doing or who you’re doing it with, but they are watching. By default, their job is to no one—and nothing— comes into the building without authorized access. That means they’re paying attention to the guests you’re bringing onto the property and the packages they’re signing in your name.
If you’re a stickler for a quiet life where nobody knows what you’re doing or who you’re hanging out with, a doorman building is probably not your best option.
Doormen aren’t volunteers. They’re professionals, and most of them take their jobs very seriously. As such, they expect to be paid the type of wage worthy of someone who looks after the safety and well-being of an entire building.
While you won’t see an invoice from your doorman directly, you will incur the expenses by way of rent that’s higher than that of no-doorman buildings in Chicago. For many people, this is the trade-off cost between saving money and maybe having some extra living space or paying a higher monthly fee in favor of a bit of luxury.
If you’d prefer to forego higher rent in favor of a bit of savings in your pocket each month, you might be better off looking for a building that doesn’t employ a doorman.
3. Expense (Continued)
If you live in a doorman building, your base costs are covered by your rent or the monthly fees you pay your property manager or HOA. The expenses don’t stop there, however. A large portion of doormen’s income is derived from tips, particularly around the holidays. Although you’re certainly not required to tip your doorman, you can be certain that he is keeping tabs on the residents who have failed to show their appreciation monetarily.
If you don’t tip your doorman, he may accidentally forget to open the door for you when it’s pouring rain outside, or perhaps he won’t be there to sign for our package. Is it professional? No. Does it happen? Absolutely. It’s best to factor in the cost of a tip every now and then to ensure you’ll be getting the service you’re ultimately paying for if you choose a doorman building.
Chitchat can be a bonus for people who like to interact with a familiar face every day, but for people who’d prefer to run through the lobby and get into their homes without interacting with another human being, doorman buildings can create uncomfortable situations. By nature, doormen tend to be pretty social people who care about their residents and want to hear about their lives. If this scenario makes you cringe, you’re probably better off looking for a place that doesn’t have an attendant.
Don’t rule out individual apartments until you see them for yourself. Be sure to write down a list of pros and cons as you go exploring. If not having a doorman is a deal-breaker, tell your Realtor upfront. However, if you’re open to exploring the possibilities that could be found in buildings that don’t employ doormen, set some time aside to explore both options. You’ll probably know which place is right for you as soon as you walk into the building.
Everyone wants an easier time in the kitchen especially if you are lazy at cooking and have little patience. Time is a crucial factor for a hungry person. You want the food there and then. A few people would part with money especially when it comes to the kitchen little do they know it would save them time and money. Here are a few kitchen gadgets that will make the kitchen your favorite place if you invest in them.
1. The Egg Slicer
This can not only be used on eggs alone but on mushrooms and strawberries. It slices the hard-boiled eggs evenly within a short time. It’s made of a plastic holder with wires with the same spacing.
2. Egg White Separator
Egg separation is a stage in cooking. This is when the egg white is separated from the Yolk. The egg white separator should be one of those must-have kitchen gadgets if you practice egg separation frequently. Those who don’t want to buy this gadget could also crack open the egg manually and separate it with a spoon. In this case, this was made easier by inventing the egg white separator. It can come in rubber, plastic or metal design. It is affordable and every household can own one.
This is a tube-like item that is wide at the top and narrow at the bottom used to guide liquid or powder into a container with small openings. It is very effective and saves you a lot of time. It also minimizes spillage and wastage.
4. Lemon Squeezer
A lemon squeezer has silicone handles to ensure it has a firm grip. It is made out of stainless steel because it is durable. It has a large space to fit the fruit in it easily. Cut the fruit. Place it in the hopper facing down. Press the lemon and see how much juice will come out it because the squeezer inverts the fruit turning it inside out and no seeds will go in. It’s super easy to hand wash and doesn’t take too much space when storing.
5. Fruit and Vegetable Keeper
Fruits and vegetables go bad easily and we try to keep them stay longer so that we can enjoy them. This gadget lets you enjoy the small part you would want to eat first then keep the rest for later without it not getting spoilt. You can also let your kid carry a small part of the fruit to school with this.
6. Mini Waffle Maker
When the waffle maker is plugged in, takes about ninety seconds to warm up. Clean up is easy. Generally, it takes 2-4 minutes to cook depending on how brown you want them. It’s fast and the kids really like it. Whenever you need to make an easier breakfast that is cheaper, waffles can always be the best option. Just dribble honey on them with a slice of your favorite fruit.
7. Pressure Cooker
This is very effective for foods that take longer to cook at the best temperature. For example cereals, tough meat and some vegetables that take too long as well. A pressure cooker can come in different sizes depending on the purpose used like 2 liters, 5 liters and 10 liters. This saves you money because it takes a shorter time to cook compared to when you used ordinary cooking pots. It will last you up to 20 years and you can hand it down to your children.
From smoothies to ice cream, soup, cake mixes, it can do all this and save you so much time. It comes in different sizes. It has different modes depending on the consistency you want. So far there is no competition for this.It polarizes the small seed to the biggest ones. It is fast, efficient and easy to use. It also has a manual in cases where the user is not familiar with its usage. It is readily available in supermarkets or utensils shop. The spare parts are now readily available if need be.
A grater was first invented to grate cheese in the 1540s. It is used to grate food to fine pieces. You can find in different colors and sizes. Its prices are very affordable. A grater is safer than a knife. It also makes you get different sizes of whatever food you are grating. It is made of metal with sharp perforations.
10. Sandwich Maker(dual)
It takes about three minutes to heat up after plugging it in. First put the bottom half of the sandwich then the meat, then the cheese. Then you can crack your egg in the top, season with salt and pepper, then put the top part of the sandwich. It has a timer, which blinks when the food is ready. Clean after use and store out of reach of children. Its mobile you can take it camping with you. You can carry the sandwiches to work or let your kids carry them to school and it will save you a lot of money
11. Sharp Knife
A blunt knife is more likely and injures you. A sharp knife saves you a lot of time and reduces stress. It is one of those kitchen gadgets that you will find a lot of use for.
12. Kitchen Scissors
A kitchen scissor is different from normal scissors because it is more versatile. It could be made from aluminum or steel. When purchasing it make the blades open wide for easy gripping on the chicken joints or any other thing that would need cutting. It can also be used to slice pizza without making the toppings fall off. It is also used for gripping that is why the handles are made out of rough plastic for easy grip.
13. Silicone Garlic Peeler
Peeling garlic looks like it take an eternity in the kitchen. Kitchen gadgets have been created to make the exercise easier. All you need to do is cut the ends of the cloves and put them in the silicone rubber peeler one after the other. Roll the silicone rubber applying pressure and if you are keen you can hear the covers coming off. It is fast and easy to use.
14. Express Whisk
The express whisk makes you mix everything effortlessly. You only need to pump the handles to make it a spin. The rods can be adjusted depending on the type of foods. It uses a non-slip base that prevents it from scratching. It is very sturdy and easy to wash.
Your cooking shouldn’t take you a lot of time. All the above kitchen gadgets and more of them should make your work easier. Do things the modern way during these times of great innovations and technology advancement. Make your home life easier while adopting more kitchen secrets with gadgets as inspiration.
How clean is the air in your home? This may seem like a simple question to answer but it’s not. Many people think that air pollution is something that only happens in the outdoors and when they are in their homes they are safe from air pollutants. Well, you are safe but also the air in your home is prone to these pollutants meaning your health and that of your family is in jeopardy. Dust, fur, dirt, and other allergens are some of the things that can make the air within your home hazardous. Air aeration in your homes has been compromised by sealing so many spaces to ensure that our houses retain much heat, especially during the cold season. Such has led to building up of dust that makes the air contaminated and unfit. Ensuring the air in your home is clean involves various steps that are easy to implement. Here are some ways that you can purify the air in your home.
There’s no other better way to drive out bad air from your home and drive in the fresh air other than opening windows. Windows act as a pathway through which air is let in. It’s very advisable to open your windows for about 10 minutes each day preferably in the morning. This also adds light to your house making your house appear bright and appealing. However, it’s paramount to note that dirt and dust can find its way into your house when you have opened your house. Avoid opening the windows when its windy as this will drive in dust and other pollutants straight into your house.
Avoid the Fireplace
Lighting the fireplace during the night can get charming and romantic but it’s very dangerous. Burning wood releases toxins into the air that are very detrimental to the health of any occupant in that house. These toxins invade the lungs and interfere with the functionality of the lungs leading to various breathing difficulties complications. Wood smoke is far worse air pollutants compared to car pollution thus lighting the fireplace is very dangerous. There are other better ways of creating warmth.
Proper Disposal of Garbage
The garbage doesn’t hold clean things but it needs to be clean lest you will have a bad odor to deal with within your home. Rotten food tends to produce a foul smell that will contaminate the air in your home. The pollutants released from decaying food poses a great threat to your health and that of your family. For this reason, it’s of the essence that you empty your garbage bin daily especially if you keep your bin in the kitchen. After emptying it, make sure you wash it thoroughly with clean water and detergent.
Vacuum Your House The Right Way
The main reason for vacuuming a house is to get rid of the dust found on the floor. Dust happens to be one of the leading causes of indoor air pollution, thus how you vacuum your house matters a lot. Professionals urge that one should move the vacuum slowly when cleaning the floor. When you vacuum your house vigorously and faster, you will end up raising more dust and dirt into the air. When this happens, you have failed to achieve the purpose as to why you wanted to vacuum your house. Additionally, you should vacuum your house at least twice in a week. Remember to empty the bag of your vacuum cleaner while you are outside lest you will have to vacuum your house again.
Get an Air Purifier
You need to eat clean food so as to steer clear of diseases and thus you also need to breathe in clean air so as to ensure we remain healthy. Air gets polluted all the time and it’s a fact that even indoor air gets polluted. If you are worried about the indoor air you breathe, then you need to get an air purifier. These devices have been engineered to collect any contaminant that is lingering in the air making your indoor air fresh and fit for inhaling. Air purifiers have filters that trap the dust particles in the air. There are mobile purifiers that you can move from one room to the other to make the air fresh and clean.
Avoid Toxic Chemicals
Toxic chemicals happen to be in almost every spray cans people buy. From perfumes to pesticides, chemicals are present in all these substances. So, when you take that pesticide can and spray in your house you need to know that you are doing more harm than good to yourself. These chemicals cause devastating diseases such as lung cancer. There are better ways to control pests in your house and spraying pesticides isn’t one of them. Also, you should opt for perfumes that have a natural scent but not perfumes that are full of hazardous chemicals.
Test for Radon Gas
Radon gas is odorless making it very dangerous. Actually, after cigarette smoking, this gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer. This gas is found in the soil and it can easily find its way to your house through cracks on the floor or through poorly fitted pipes. The fact that radon gas is odorless, it makes it a silent killer. You need to test for the presence of this hazardous gas in your house. Thanks to the advancement of technology, there are cheap and simple ways of testing for this gas. Get the test kit today and improve the odds of you living in a house that has fresh and clean air.
Nothing beats the sensational feeling you get when breathing in the fresh air. Noses are very sensitive and they can detect any foul smell with ease. With this ability, you can eliminate any unwanted foul smell in your house within a matter of seconds. Air pollution is real and if you want to breathe in the clean air don’t pollute the environment even when you are not within your home.
Dogs are not only a source of security but also a great source of friendship and association. Some people hold a negative perception of these creatures. Others don’t believe that dogs should live under the same roof together with humans. Such people believe that dogs should loiter in the streets going from one garbage bin to another looking for meals.
Despite the outdated notions, there are people who have embraced the idea of having dogs as pets and they look after them as if they were little kids. That aside, when it comes to choosing a dog for your house you may want to consider the space you have. Some dogs thrive indoors while others thrive outdoors, so essentially, not all dogs can be pets. Some dogs thrive well in big spaces so if your living room is small your dog will lack space to play in. At the same time, there are dogs that require small spaces. Here is a list of dogs that can do extraordinarily in small living spaces.
1. Bichon Frise
This has to be one of the breeds that will survive excellently in a very small environment. They are naturally small in size and they don’t grow any longer than a foot taller. This breed of dog is very well known for having energy in abundance. This means that they are very playful. You will need to play your Bichon Frise regularly to put that energy to better use otherwise your dog may develop dog zombies. Since they are small, they require a very small space to play.
2. Boston Terrier
This is yet another breed that is very popular among people with small living spaces. This breed doesn’t grow taller past one foot making it very ideal for someone who wants a pet but is restricted by space availability. Boston Terriers are always psyched up thus they need to be exercised daily. Evening walks will just do the trick as this will help burn the excess energy your pet has. To enjoy the best out of this pet, make sure you give him proper exercises.
This type of dog has rightfully earned the title of being the laziest dog among all the dog breeds. Bulldogs are very beautiful despite them being termed as lazy dogs. They are small-sized pets that barely grow taller than 18 inches. Since they are lazy they aren’t hyped thus a short evening walk will keep them happy always.
4. French Bulldog
Not all bulldogs are lazy after all. This type of bulldog has made for itself a reputation as one of the best dogs to be a night watch. This dog only barks for a reason and when it barks know something is not right. If you want a dog that will remain calm and not bark unnecessarily, French Bulldog is your best bet. They are very gentle and only require a short walk outside the house to keep the smiling every time.
5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
This breed of dog has to be one of the loyal dogs on this earth, no wonder they say as faithful as a dog. These dogs love nothing but spending time with their owners and getting cuddles and belly rubs all the time. These dogs will do so well in small spaces as most of their time they want to spend near their owners. Though housetraining them proves difficult a task, with time they get to learn. Since they love attention from their owners, these dogs are less likely to cause you any sort of a headache.
Also known as the Velcro dog, these dogs are also well known for being fond of their owners. They would prefer to spend time next to their owners rather than rooming outside the house. Despite having such a personality, they are full of energy making them very playful especially when their favorite company, the owner, is around them. Since they don’t grow tall you will want to consider this breed for your apartment or house.
Despite their beautiful appearance, these dogs are known to have a furry energy a lot of time. They don’t really crave the attention of the owner so you can leave them at home and probably they won’t even notice your absence after all. Since they are very fluffy, they
Living standards in cities are skyrocketing by the day. Saving water as you clean is a great idea to cut costs. Additionally, conserving water is a noble act since it’s a precious resource that none of us can do without. Surprisingly, with the much water, we have on the planet, it is not limitless, especially the freshwater needed for human survival.
The earth is made up of 70% percent water. In spite of that, only 1% is fresh. The rest is salty and 2% is in the form of ice and glacier. Therefore, some areas experience drought now more than before because of climate change. As little and unnecessary as it may seem, little adjustments to cut back on the water goes a long way to help maintain balance the ecology.
With the next generation in mind, here is our list of ways of saving water as you clean:
The moment you notice water leakage in your home as you clean, you should repair it. The first instinct that kicks in is to take a bucket and tap the water. Well, that is thoughtful and you will save water; however, you will still need to fix the leakage as a long-term solution. If you can’t do it yourself, then call for a professional plumber. It’s for your safety. For instance, when you need to go out, the water might overflow. Definitely, that will not be cutting backwater or cost and worse still, you may expose yourself and family to health issues. Water leakage can do more damage than it’s necessary to your exposed structure too.
Turn Off The Tap As You Clean
Turning off the tap when not necessarily using it is the simplest and effective way to save water. Most people have underestimated how much of a difference they can make by turning off the tap on certain occasions. You can maintain white teeth and a beautiful smile and conserve water at the same time. Turn off the tap as you are brushing your teeth. As you are washing your hands, also turn off the tap as you do the scrubbing. Save water by washing vegetables in a basin instead of a running faucet.
Showers bucket is useful when you are trying to balance the temperature of your water. Mostly, we let the water run until the water heats up, wasting gallons of water in the process. The water you have trapped can be used to water your plants or flush the toilet. As you are cleaning your bathtub too, it is good you trap the water in the bucket, instead of letting the faucet run.
Take The Car to a Car Wash
As we are doing our general cleaning or tidying up the garage, it is tempting for you to clean your car. In fact, most do, and there’s no harm to it. Yet, taking your car to a car wash saves so much water than you could have. The water is usually recycled. Next time you feel your car needs a wash, take it to the car wash. Chances stand that it will be cleaner than if you could have done it.
Water Outdoor Plants in The Morning
As you are cleaning, you may want to skip watering the plants for the afternoon or evening when you are relaxing. But watering them in the morning might prove more effective in many ways. For example, in the morning the soil will allow the water to pass through to the roots without losing too much of it to evaporation. The presence of dew also helps in conserving water. When you water in the morning, you also give the plant time to dry off before nightfall. Otherwise, too much of water overnight might cause molding.
Install a Water Meter
When you clean, it is not easy to notice when you are misusing water. In fact, that might be the last thing on your mind. The water meter though will show how much water you have used and the bill you are to pay. This, in a big way, creates an incentive to use less water. This device also helps to detect leakages in pipes. You get a win-win situation.
Use a Dishwasher When Full
Dishwashers do a good job of saving water, and more importantly, when loaded fully. For instance, an energy-efficient dishwasher will use only 4 gallons of water. While handwashing uses up to 20 gallons of water, or even more if the faucet is left running as you are it. If you lack a dishwasher, just fill up the sink and wash your dishes all at once.
Use Your Cleaning Water For Your Plants
Household wash water, also called ‘gray water’ can totally be used to water your plants without causing any harm. It is important for you to know that gray water from dishwashing might contain food remains which may attract rodents and is also visually unpleasant. Therefore, your rinse water from laundry and dishwashing is perfect for irrigation. Whereas, soapy water from dishes is better left to flush the toilet.
Use Water From Water Butts
A water butt is a gadget that can be instilled in your gutter downpipe. After you collect rainwater from the room, you can now use it effectively for cleaning your car, windows, watering plants or topping up fish pods. It greatly helps in conserving water that could otherwise be used from the tap.
Install a ‘Cistern Displacement Device’ in Your Toilet
This helps in cutting down the amount of water flushed down the toilet pan. As you clean your toilet, you will probably flush it more than once. Normally, water-efficient dual-flush toilets will use six liters of water for a full flush. This is an improvement from the old single flush toilets that used 13 liters of water. You can save even much more water by instilling a cistern displacement device. Just place it in the cistern of your toilet and save a whopping 7,300 liters a year.
The Bottom Line
With the above ways of saving water, you should be making a great difference and avoiding a lot of water wastage at home.
Molds can be very sneaky, and because they hide in cracks, as well as other invisible places, most of us are unaware of their existence. If they were harmless little creatures, probably none of us would really put their time into them. I mean, there’s a lot more to think about than mold. But apparently, mold in the house is not only a problem for people with asthma and allergies. Irrespective of who you are, or where you live, you need to reduce the amount of mold you are breathing in. Mold exposure can irritate your eyes, skin, throat, and lungs. A report from 2007 also stated that scientists have found a direct correlation between a high presence of mold in the household and depression. The state of your home greatly influences your mood. Think of when you have clutter lying all over, how does it feel? Additionally, molds are just a nuisance because they can live off any organic matter; this includes your leather jacket.
They can be found both indoors and outdoors. Mold can get into your home through open windows, doors, and even heat and air conditioning systems. Mostly they flourish in humid places. If you smell a musty odor in your home, it’s probably time for a cleanup. Since they are almost imperceptible for you to be searching for them clueless, we have come up with a list of places that mold could be hiding in your home.
The environment in the chimney equals an ideal place for the growth of mold. By now we know molds can grow anywhere as long as there are moisture and food. If moisture gets in your chimney (which can happen easily) maybe through damaged masonry or any other damaged component, it can make a perfect home for mold. Since chimneys are dormant most time of the year, the humidity causes a healthy amount of moisture that encourages the molds to multiply. If you are unable to see discoloration on your chimney’s wall, more often if mold is growing inside, the first indication will be a musty odor (that smell most of us relate to old-basement smell). To remove the mold, try calling in for service because it is easier that way without risking your health. Then check if there are moisture intrusion problems and get them fixed to take care of the dampness.
Washing Machine and Dishwasher
As surprising as it may be, mold can be found in the same place as both a washing machine and dishwasher. Mostly, they are found in the gasket around the door of the dishwasher and a front-loading washing machine. It often stays wet because the door is usually closed when not in use. This gives the molds the right environment to munch and multiply. To prevent this, wipe the gasket and the glass dry after any wash. If you notice molds are already there, simply run a hot water wash with some mild bleach-like chlorine. It will definitely kill any mold. Make sure both the machines are empty when you are at it.
Mold On Dishes
It might not come as a surprise if you see some molds grow on your dishes, especially if you are in the habit of leaving them dirty in the sink. You are creating an ideal environment for them with both moisture and food. Nevertheless, you will be shocked that you can also find mold in clean dishes if you give them enough time. Mostly for some, life just gets in the way and you find you ordered takeout for the whole week. In such situations, if you didn’t dry your dishes and placed them in the cabinet, you will be sure to get molds. If you do, use vinegar and warm water to clean the utensils. Thereafter wipe the cabinets with the same and completely dry the dishes as you arrange them back. A moldy dishwasher can also be a cause of quick mold growth on your utensils. Therefore clean it too.
Window Sashes and Sills
Discovering molds in your window can be a regular problem if your windows have leakage or condensation is an issue to your home. On most homes, molds begin to grow from the bottom of the window at the joint between the glass and window sash frame. As soon as you spot one, you need to get rid of it because mold seen is hardly compared to the amount that is really there. Before you begin cleaning away the mold, you want to make sure you don’t ingest dangerous spores. Therefore, find a dust mask and gloves to wear. Also, ensure there is proper ventilation by opening doors and windows where spores can go instead of being trapped inside the house. On the other hand, you don’t have to treat mold from your windows when you can prevent them. You can achieve this by reducing the amount of condensation on your windows. It can be done by setting the air conditioner thermostat above 70 degrees. It is also helpful to allow proper airflow by ensuring ceiling vents are open at all times.
The air conditioner mold should be removed as soon as possible. This is because they can be easily spread throughout the house every time you turn it on. While some homeowners prefer to deal with a household problem on their own (all you need is bleach, clean sponge or towel, and hot water), It’s probably better to call in a professional. It can be pretty difficult to access all parts of the air conditioner, but the professionals have the necessary equipment without exposing you to health risks. Definitely, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and if you can prevent the growth of mold in the first place that would be better. Keeping the air conditioner duct-free from dust by regular cleaning will go a long way in preventing mold development.
The Bottom Line
In every problem, prevention is better than cure, therefore try keeping those moist places in your home as dry as possible and allowing the free flow of air. We are hoping you will now have an easier time finding and getting rid of those molds.
Things made out of plastic are very attractive and you find yourself buying them every time you head out for shopping. However, plastics take years and years to degrade hence being an environmental hazard. Not all plastics are recycled as well so it is better to avoid using these products not only for our environment but for our own personal well-being. It is possible to have a plastic-free home. You can get some of the products to replace the plastic or ways in which you can avoid plastic around your home.
1. Kid’s Toys
Most babies and toddlers love chewing or stuffing their mouths with toys. Plastic toys could have a harmful chemical which once consumed would cause harm to the body. Look for eco-friendly toys such as wooden toys that have more natural elements. They last longer too.
2. Food Containers
Replace your plastic containers with foods that are packed in cardboard or foil paper. Avoid microwaving food in plastic as the heat will only speed up the reaction of phthalates which can transfer into your food. Go for more reusable options like tins or food bags.
3. Food Storage
Always encourage your family to store food in the fridge using mason jars, glass bowls or even steel bowls. This will help in avoiding the trouble of having to wonder where to take your plastics for recycling and will ensure a clean environment in your home. Food stored in plastic tends to go bad faster than when stored in other containers. Many homes have plastic bottles or containers stuffed in one plastic bag around the kitchen which doesn’t quite bring a pleasing picture.
4. Shopping Bags
For a longer-lasting, washable and reusable bag, get one that is not plastic. You can also do your own DIY shopping bag out of canvas or a piece of cloth that you no longer use to make sizeable bags for the whole of your family to use on grocery shopping. Plastic bags are very dangerous especially when you have kids around. They could easily harm the child in terms of suffocation as the kids are playing around with it. If you really need to have a bag or two in the house, make sure you keep it as far away from your kids as possible.
5. Home Décor
Before deciding what interior décor to use in your home, ensure that you check its material with caution as not to get anything with plastic content in it. Be keen on things like flower pots, vases, and garden gnome among others. The chemicals contained in those plastics could easily harm your dog as he chews on them. Get ceramic products instead and if you like glass, be sure to keep them in a safe place out of reach of children or pets.
6. Door Stoppers
Get rubber made door stoppers for your baby’s room as plastic could easily crack when the door is banged and leave sharp pieces on the ground which could cut your baby. Go for stainless steel door handles as well as replacement of the plastic ones. Also, ensure the baby’s entire room is plastic-free. You could replace plastic drawers with wooden ones.
7. Water Bottles
Stainless steel water bottles are much better in terms of durability and safety. If you prefer a glass made water bottle, just use a silicone sleeve to help prevent breakage. Dispose of the glass bottle once you notice some cracks to avoid cuts. It is not advisable to store hot water in even the hardest plastics.
8. Phone Cases
This is one of the most important to avoid. Sometimes our phones overheat when we are charging it or when we overuse it. The heat on the phone will gradually transfer to the plastic case which, in a severe scenario might cause burns when in contact with your skin.
9. Disposable Cups
There are these cups that we love using especially when you have events like birthday parties. They are disposable yes, but how do you make sure you dispose of all of them well and are they recyclable? Instead of having such questions, it is better getting melamine cups and plates that can be washed and used again. This is the best idea for going green and it is also cost-effective since you won’t keep going back to the store every time you have an event.
10. Buy Beauty Products Stored in Plastic-Free Containers
Things like lotions, perfumes, lip balms and foundation mostly come in plastic packages. Try getting the ones that come in metal containers or cardboard jars. If you are good at DIY, you can make a homemade lotion out of organic ingredients.
11. Carry Your Own Tin for Take-out
If you love take-out or just carrying your leftovers, consider requesting your food joint to allow you to carry your own container instead of taking with you their disposable ones. This option is also best if you need to buy prepared food or meat at a store.
12. Return Containers for Re-Use
Having to put tomatoes or fruits in a reusable bag is not the best idea as they can get crushed. Instead, get your own container and empty your stuff inside them or just have a habit of returning the plastic containers once in a while to your local organic market or store to avoid piling them in your house
13. Get Live Plants
Want to have green around your house? Go for live plants instead of the plastic ones as they also bring in the fresh air in the house. If you can’t be able to take care of a live plant because you are too busy, go for trees made out of natural materials like recycled cardboard.
The Bottom Line
Those are just a few of the alternatives to the daily things we use around the house that need to be plastic-free. Other items are like combs, blow dryers, CDs, and DVDs. All these can be very dangerous especially when in contact with heat. It is better to get rid of all of them and decide to go green with eco-friendly products that will save our environment. Eventually, your home will be fully green with everything plastic-free.
Of all the rooms that you will always want to avoid in your house is the garage because often most times than not it is always a pile of junk with clutter everywhere, such an eyesore to even your neighbors and friends. If you don’t take care of this sooner than later you will have to deal with more problems as soon you will have to call in the pest control unit to come take a look at your garage due to the prevalent noises you get in the night and the feeling of someone else in the house is inevitable. So here are a few tips on how to spruce up your garage and keep it spick and span.
First Things First
Well in any garage, the whole pile of junk is always an eyesore, so before doing anything that, first clear the garage of everything and take it outside. This is important as it will give you a better working space and you will be able to clean the walls, floor, and ceiling thoroughly.
Sort Out The Pile
Well now that you have taken the whole pile of junk outside, you can then decide to sort out the “haves and the have-nots.” The junk you have not used for at least a year qualifies to be worthless, and the best way of getting rid of this is by selling. If they are of no use then you can do away with them, thus dump them. To sort out this pile in an orderly manner, place them into three categories; the throwaways, the ones to sell and the ones to keep. Firstly get rid of the throw away pile and make sure you dump it appropriately. The remaining two piles you can push them aside and sort them after the cleaning up is done.
Water is essential here, and the whole process could be a neck breaker but if you are up to it, it will be close to a walk in the park and even to some point enjoyable. You could get a helping hand, could be your son or wife so that you don’t get bored doing it. The things required in this are; the broom, brushes, a bucket, sponges (car sponge), and also wire brushes, floor paint, and some oil stain remover just in case.
The garage at this point is a mess and disorderly therefore as a way of obeying the law of gravity, work your way from the top going downwards. This is important to avoid redoing the same job twice. The ceiling will come first; you can start by removing all the cobwebs using a broom or a cobweb brush which does the magic well. In case of any bugs or spiders be ready with a bug spray too.
Next, you check for any defects on the light fixtures, window, and the door hardware and if none give them a good wipe with a wet piece of cloth. With the floor still unattended, use a wet car garage sponge to thoroughly wipe the walls and windows then finish up with an old towel to dry them up. You will be amazed at the transformation that is taking shape, this should be a motivation to go on. After you are done with the up, come to the floor.
Sweep all the debris and the clutter that had accumulated from the back of the garage to the front and out through the door. In case of any allergy be ready with a nose cover to avoid the sneezing. After sweeping, get a bucket with water and do a thorough mopping of the floor. Scrubbing is also needed at some point to remove the gunk that has accumulated for years; use a wire brush to do this. In case of any oil spills that will always be stubborn to remove, a natural oil stain remover does the magic. It will pull out the stain and make it easy for you to scrub it off.
Painting The Floor
After the clean-up, you can always take this opportunity to paint the garage floor if it does not have one or simply paint it afresh. This is essential as it will be able to seal the cracks on the floor and also prevent moisture from reaching the concrete. If you want to make life hard for any future bugs and pests then this is it. This process is not that demanding and may require 2 to 4 cans of paint only. The look after this will be so sparkling and will make the garage feel like another normal room in your home, and may give you second thoughts on crushing there during the hot summer months.
Put Things in Order
Here you can always try and be innovative or creative in the way you place your things keeping in mind that the main idea is to save up as much space as possible. So how do you save up space? First, install shelves all over in the room. This will help save a lot of space and make the room look more organized and easy to arrange.
Another is to mount hooks on the ceiling to hang on sports gear, bicycles, and even your camping gear. Lastly is to work on your vertical space thus from ceiling to floor, here use stacking up containers to store your oldies. The order of the store is as follows: The long-term storage items go first to the back of the room, this could range from your old documents to even the keepsakes.
Next are the seasonal items that are usually used occasionally in different seasons. This could be your skiing boots, or holiday decorations or even Halloween costumes. Lastly, organize the things you use more frequently and keep them within reach, this could be the washing machine, the lawnmower or the gym gear. The idea is to keep things you don’t use often at the back and the ones you use at the front, this will help maintain order.
The Bottom Line
By the time you are done, you will be amazed by how much space you have saved up and you could even convert the space to be a gym work out area. Conclusively. Sprucing up your garage can be a daunting task but the results will always pay off as it will help you reach those places you find hard to reach and will free up space in your home.
So it’s another time of the year to celebrate not because the fall has arrived; although it could be a good reason too, basically because Easter is just around the corner. You can almost feel that Easter mood in the air and everyone is up and down sprucing up their space in readiness for the Easter decorations. One of the most creative and coolest ways to decorate is to do it yourself. It is so awesome and it allows you to explore new ideas. So here are a few ideas on how to decorate using the Easter egg.
Easter Egg at the Door
Decorating for Easter is not as easy as Christmas so for this kind of decoration, you could start at the door. Make it known that you are also celebrating Easter and what a better way to do that than the door décor. So how do you do this? Well, you could start with taking something with a handle such as an old rusty watering can or even a woven pouch to act as a flower vase. Then add some eggshells made of pastels sprinkled with seasoned flowers like lilies. That is a perfect reception gesture and everyone that comes to your door will always feel welcome.
Easter Table for the Kids
Easter is another time for you to bond with your kids and what a better way to splash them with goodies than arranging an Easter table for them. A creative way is to take pieces of paper, A3 in size and draw egg shapes on them then let your kids do the decoration on them. Later you can use the pieces of paper as a mat on the table. This is a good gesture of bringing the Easter mood to the table and allows kids to take part.
Copper Coated Eggs at the Center
It’s interesting yet a bit precarious that metal can be used as décor. When it comes to Easter, the ceramic eggs coated with copper make up a very shiny and cool centerpiece. Your living room will look ten times luxurious with such decorations, especially if you put all the eggs in a clear glass trifle dish with a splash of green around it, could be mint leaves or even mosses, just perfect.
Eggshells as Vessels
This may come as a surprise but it might be one of the most genius and creative ideas of decoration. Taking the eggshells and filling them with some soil and plants is simply brilliant. How do you do this? Simple, just take an egg (extra-large or jumbo size) then using a sharp knife tap one end of the egg then tip it over to spill its contents. After emptying the shell rinse it with water carefully. Then remove some soil around the planted roots, take the roots with the left soil and place in the shell, then add some soil on top and voila, you have an egg planter. You could try out different planters just for decorative purposes and put them on one tray to get the perfect look.
The Perfect Egg Nest
The perfect way to play around with paper and to put it to good use. Play around with paper crepe and a disposable paper plate to create the perfect nest to put your eggs in. You can also use paper cut-outs or stripped ribbons (although ribbon is more preferred) of different patterns by wrapping them around boiled eggs using an adhesive to create a good décor. This is more simple and easy to make the centerpiece.
Easter Pails Centerpiece
Surprisingly these Easter pails can do the job perhaps even better than baskets. Well yes in case you were string trying to wrap your mind around this, pails can also function as baskets when it comes to Easter. It is quite simple actually; just paint, draw or even stamp a perfect shape on the pail with a good design and perfect color and add some dust-wood or Easter grass to the pail. Make sure you fill the pail almost to the brim to be able to hold the eggs, then put the eggs on top. The eggs could have some decorations too, just have some nice pattern design on paper then cut them out and wrap them around the eggs with something to adhere to a decoupage medium. The Easter pails could act as perfect Easter give away and serve as a perfect centerpiece as well.
Garland of Eggs
Give your staircase, table or mantel that Easter looks by draping it with an egg-threaded garland. How do you do this? Simple, just make holes on both ends of an egg and thread through the holes using a flexible jewelry cord or a thin ribbon with a needle attached to either of them. You could do this for approximately 20 eggs to connect them and create an adorable garland. The eggs could be dyed with your preferred color shade to make it brighter. Well, in case you wondering how to create holes in an egg without damaging it then here is how. Just create small holes on both ends of an egg using a push pin, then using a wooden skewer push through the hole to expand it and break the egg yolk. Then blow out the yolk from the larger hole to push it through the other hole. If this seems impossible to you, just purchase a plastic egg from those craft stores and make reusable garlands.
In conclusion, Easter is not Easter without Easter bunnies and Easter eggs. Getting off a cold season and into the fall cannot be done any better than this. You could start by using Easter eggs to give your home that Easter look is just one of the best ways to celebrate. The eggs could be plastic or real, as long as they are well dyed and decorated. In any household, the Easter egg will always mark as the centerpiece, make good use of that by creating yours, do it better on your own.
In as much as we would want to be healthy and eat right for prolonged life, there are some unnoticeable items that are always around us that are very toxic to our bodies and are probably the cause of our health problems no matter how much we check our diet. In order for us to be cautious of them, we need to be aware of each and everything we bring in our homes. A few of them are listed below.
1. Deodorants and Perfumes
Some of these fragrances that we use are not as friendly as the odor they have. Most of them are made up of chemicals like acetone and methylene that may cause nausea and irritation to the eyes and throat. You would think that you are just sick but the cause of your illness lies in that perfume that you love so dearly. Seek advice from your beauty consultant on more natural alternatives to toxic perfumes and deodorants.
2. Toilet Disinfectants and Bleaching Agents
Most of these products contain very harmful chemicals for them to work effectively. For instance like the smell of the bleach is very irritating to the nose and you have to wear gloves while handling it since it can cause burns when in contact with your skin. The best alternative here is to have your DIY cleaning agents. You could mix baking soda with a little vinegar to scrub your toilet bowls and sink with it.
3. Air Fresheners
In as much as we want our home smelling fresh, air fresheners can be really toxic to our environment especially if not well ventilated. You could get some really fresh flowers or plants around your home as an alternative. Another idea is to get a fabric softener and add a little baking soda in it then spray your house with it. It is less polluting to your environment. Ensure your house is well ventilated after spraying.
4. Bug Spray
It is best to try and avoid those insecticides in your house. Try cleaning your house and tidying up your kitchen to avoid bugs. In a severe case where you need to fumigate your house, it is best that you check into a hotel for a few days for the air to clear before coming back to clean your entire house just to make sure that there are no traces of the chemicals left.
5. Switches and Extension Cables
Always be checking out for loose wires or switches that have lost a screw or two. Ignoring such things can cause a major harm to your home like fires and shocks. Before you go to bed, counter check that all lights are off and that the water taps are tightly closed else you wake up in the morning to find water everywhere and when you step on the water you instantly get electrocuted because of the switches that were left on or unattended to.
6. Open Hair in The Kitchen
We all know that leaving your hair open around the kitchen is disgusting and unhygienic but it is also very dangerous. The products we use on our hair and the hair itself is highly flammable. Always have a hair net when in the kitchen just avoid harm to yourself.
7. Gas Cylinder
Be sure to check your gas knob when going out or as you go to bed. Ensure the knob is tight and check if the cylinder has any kind of crack that might cause leakage. Before you do anything in the morning, open all windows to let clean air in just as a health measure.
Burning candles in our homes especially when you want to have that inviting feeling can be harmful to your health. Most of these scented candles are made of paraffin which when lit emits some dangerous chemicals such as benzene. You can use those artificial flames from the store just to avoid any emergencies at home.
You could think of warming up your home during the winter by lighting up your fireplace. That could be a very bad idea especially if you are using charcoal. This is because charcoal emits carbon monoxide which has very slight symptoms but the effects are fatal. In some instances, inhaling too much carbon monoxide causes death.
10. Plastic Items
Avoid plastic containers, toys or water bottles around the house. They contain some elements like phthalate or are made out of PVC. Get an alternative to plastic or you could choose toys and plastic items that are labeled PVC free. Avoid plastic completely in the kitchen because they can cause quite a mess when in contact with fire and the smell of burnt plastic can also cause irritation of the nose.
11. Broken Glass
Always take a broken glass as a priority. Leave everything else and pick up the larger pieces carefully then seep the smaller pieces into a dustpan. You can then vacuum the area just to be sure that all the pieces are collected. Also, keep checking your glass utensils for any chip that could cut you as you are taking tea or water.
12. Loose Nails
On your free day, take your time to walk around the house and check carefully on your wall for any loose nails that might prick you or tear away your clothes. You could also think of replacing the nails with other safer alternatives from the store that are plastic-free.
The Bottom Line
The list is endless when it comes to anything that might cause harm to you and your family. Always be careful of anything around you and inquire about the contents of what you want to buy at the store just to make sure it doesn’t bring a long-term effect. Remember, staying healthy is one thing but living an accident-free life from the least expected things around your home is another. Have time to check around your house once in a while even for pests or tiny insects that come around your home which might be a danger to you.