Monthly Archives: August 2016

5 Tips that Keep Your Carpet Clean (& Looking Great)

Young happy smiling woman lying with laptop on clean carpetSome days it seems like your family, pets, and dirty work boots are conspiring against you and your carpets.  Between the dirty foot prints and carpet stains, your carpets take a real beating from the daily traffic—and it can seem almost impossible to keep your carpets clean.  We’ve seen a lot of carpets installed in high traffic areas, and we’re here to tell you it is possible. Don’t lose hope—especially if you use these tips to keep your carpets clean and looking great.

Choose the right carpet for your space.

The most beautiful carpet you see at the flooring store may not be made to handle the kind of traffic you need. Use these tips to select the right carpet for high traffic areas (main home rooms, frequented areas, rooms where you keep your pets, kid spaces, etc.).  When you buy carpet, consider how much traffic the carpet gets, what kind of traffic (pets, kids, etc.), the chance for spills, and maintenance needed. Don’t hesitate to ask the experts—the staff members at the flooring store who help homeowners, families, and even business owners choose the right flooring. They’ve seen what carpet works at other homes in the same kind of spaces.

Choose your vacuum carefully—and use it regularly.

You’ve seen all the commercials about the super powerful vacuums.  Believe it or not, some vacuums are so powerful they can damage the fibers in your carpet. Determine what vacuum cleaner is right for you (here are tips for choosing the right vacuum), and for your carpet. Use your new vacuum at least once a week to keep your carpet clean.

Place rugs in all the right places, especially the door.

Stop carpet stains and residue at the door.  Use mats in your mudroom and at your exterior doors to keep dirt, water, and grime off your carpet.  In high traffic areas, such as a hallway, put down area rugs to protect your new flooring.

Clean carpet stains ASAP.

When you find a carpet stain, don’t wait.  Clean the stain promptly, and be careful not to scrub the stain too hard.  Too much elbow grease can damage carpet fibers, so it’s best to blot at your carpet with a moist cloth to remove the spill AND keep your carpet looking new.

Schedule an annual carpet cleaning.

Give your carpets a deep clean.  Not only does it help members of your family with allergies, a good professional carpet cleaning keeps your carpet looking new—a professional carpet cleaning.  Rented carpet cleaners may look like they do the job, but in reality those carpet cleaners can’t deliver the same kind of deep, thorough clean. Want to keep your carpet clean and looking great? Trust the carpet cleaning pros (and enjoy the results!).

5 Tips to Get Your Mudroom Organized for Back to School

Teenage girl with backpack and back to school gear that needs to be organized in mudroomBrace yourselves, it’s coming: back-to-school and the inevitable load of back-to-school gear that blocks your door and overwhelms your entryway.  Ironically, the room that takes the biggest beating is your mudroom or entryway—the room where all the books, backpacks, shoes…and boots end up.  Here’s how to get all that “stuff” organized for a great school year, even if your mudroom or entryway isn’t the biggest space.

Have a place for everything, and everything in its place.

Hooks for back packs.  Cubbies for athletic gear.  A place for all your shoes and—eventually—winter boots.  Design your mudroom for all the gear you need and might need from the ground up.  Start designing with a durable floor that looks great and can take all the grime that gets tracked in, such as a tile or vinyl (other beautiful and functional ideas for your mudroom flooring here).  Sketch out your organization to make sure you are using every inch efficiently, such as corners and vertical spaces (after all, you need to maximize every inch of storage).  From there, plan shelves, baskets, hooks, and cubbies that are functional and beautiful (ideas for creative and attractive mudroom storage here).

Be prepared for bad weather—with rugs.

While the weather on the first day of school may be beautiful, the cold and wet fall and winter weather is inevitable in the Midwest so you might as well be ready for it.  Use practical flooring (this doesn’t mean dull) and rugs in your mudroom to keep all the mud, ice, and snow out of your home and off your floors.  This small step saves you valuable cleaning time and keeps ALL your floors looking great.

Create a command center.

Get a firm grasp on your athletic practices, school play rehearsals, games, and all the schedules that comes with school by making your mudroom your command center.  Use chalkboard paint, a whiteboard, magnets, and containers so you can post and manage your calendar, newsletters, and notes—and so your family members always know where everyone is and where they need to be.

Clear the clutter.

If you can’t even get through your mudroom or entry way, clear it now—BEFORE all the backpacks, shoes, and back-to-school gear clog it up.  Purge the excess gear (possibly from last school year?), clean the floors, and wipe down all surfaces to prepare for all the “stuff” (and grime) that comes with back-to-school.  If you’re not sure how to clean your floors (such as wood floors), don’t guess; you can damage your floors more or void your warranty if you don’t ask the experts.

Ready your kids (and yourself).

Start transitioning your family to your school routine now so your kids are ready by the start of school.  Do the same for your mudroom; do as much of the work designing and prepping for the school year now before the backpacks move in.  When the first day of school comes, you, your kids, and your entryway is going to be glad you did—especially when the real fall and winter gear starts to come out.

5 Tips So You & Your Home Survive the Heat (Without AC)

sweating woman from summer heatWe’re going to state the obvious: it’s hot.  And humid.  Our Midwestern summer is in full swing, and the heat and humidity can feel suffocating and even damage you and your home.  That’s right, the heat can even take a toll on your home, especially your floors—unless you use these tips to get you and your home through another heat wave.

Use fans.

Get your fans out and keep them going.  Set your ceiling fans to operate in a counter clockwise direction, which directs cool air down on to you.

Keep the moisture in your air low.

Drier air is cooler air—for you and your home.  The proof is in your air conditioner which cools the air by dehumidifying.  Another motivation for dehumidifying: it’s better for your wood floors so they don’t get damage from the humid air (more information on wood floors and humidity here).

Take a dip in the pool (but don’t bring it inside).

There is no doubt that a quick dip in the pool—even a kiddie pool—does wonders to cool a hot body.  However, just like you want to keep the moisture out of your air (or low anyways), you also need to keep the water off your floors—especially off laminate and wood floors.  Try to dry off outside as much as possible, keep rugs by all your doors, and put floors that can handle water inside your entry doors (including sliding doors).

Take advantage of natural ventilation.

If you don’t have air conditioning—or simply don’t want to turn it on—use natural breezes to your advantage.  Open windows on sides of your house where the breeze comes in, cooling you and your home.  (Make sure you watch the weather and have them closed when there is rain so you don’t have frantically clean up your windows and floors full of water!)

Use curtains and blinds.

Try to avoid the greenhouse effect in your home. Keep your curtains and blinds closed during the day when the sun shines in and bakes your home.  Don’t worry, you can have functional curtains and blinds that cool and look beautiful at the same time; use these tips to select the best curtains and blinds for your space or visit the professionals and let them assist you.  They’ll help you and your home look beautiful and stay cool during our summer heat.