Home Tips: Get an Early Start to Spring Cleaning

Cleaning season is right around the corner! Use these helpful tips to get a head start on your Spring Cleaning.


Tip #1: Kitchen Sink

Is your kitchen sink starting to have an icky odor? Try running a few slices of lemon rinds through your garbage disposal. Follow that up with cold water and the icky issue should be fixed!


Tip #2: Microwave

Do you still have those tomato stains in your microwave that you promised you would clean a month ago? Try filling a microwavable safe bowl with 1 Cup of water and slice up lemon, lime, or orange and stick it inside. Microwave on high for several minutes or until your solution starts boiling. Let it cool for 5 minutes before opening the door, then remove the bowl and wipe down the inside of the microwave with a sponge.


Tip #3: Shower Curtains

To clean shower curtains, simply put them in the washing machine with a few towels and run on a gentle cycle with your favorite detergent. To keep the curtain cleaner for longer, spray it a few times each month with a bleach-containing all-purpose cleaner. Let the shower rinse it off before hopping in.


Tip #4: Make-up Cabinet

Do yourself a favor and look at all of the expiration dates on your skincare, makeup, and hair products. This is a great way to get rid of the plethora of bottles and containers you have been holding on to. If the product doesn’t have an expiration date, look at how long it recommends you holding on to it after opening. A great way to stay on top of this is in the future is to use a sharpie and label when you first open it.


Tip #5: Ceiling Fixtures

Ceiling fixtures are often forgotten about during the weekly cleaning regimen. Grab an extendable duster and attack hanging & recessed lights, ceiling fans, molding, and more.

Home Tips: Earthquake Preparedness Checklist

Earthquakes strike suddenly and without warning. An earthquake can happen at any time. Beyond prepping an emergency backpack, make sure you have the below items ready to go in any emergency. The below 10 items could be the difference between being unharmed or serious injury or worse. Check them out!

Sturdy Shoes

A large earthquake causes debris which may include glass. You may need sturdy shoes to exit to safety, or to clean up.

First Aid Kit

It is not unusual to suffer cuts and bruises from debris. Emergency rooms can fill up quickly and may even be damaged in an earthquake. Make sure you have a good first aid kit on hand.

Gas in Your Car

Don’t ever allow your car to be low on gas. After a large earthquake you may not have power. Gas stations ,ay be closed for several days. Your car may be a place where you could seek shelter, charge devices, and possibly use to leave the area.


Water is the most important part of any survival kit. It’s possible that water to your home will be shut off or unsafe to drink after a major earthquake.


A major earthquake will cause everything to be shut down near you. Have food stored. You could lose power, so food that will last without refrigeration is a must. Make sure you have a can opener that does not require electricity.

Flashlight with Fresh Batteries

If a major earthquake You are sure to lose power. There could be no power for several days. Having flashlights with fresh batteries can make the difference between serious injury or worse, and escaping unharmed.

Battery Powered Radio

In an emergency being able to access news and emergency information could prove vital. Make sure you have a battery powered radio. You may not be able to access your car, especially if it’s in a garage.

Cell Phone Cords and Chargers

Being able to communicate with loved ones or call for help can be critical. Phones don’t stay charged long. With no electricity portable fully charged battery pack chargers, and having having charging cords ready if you can access your car is a must.

Cash and Credit Cards

ATM machines may not be working. Credit card processing machines may not work. Make sure you always have emergency cast for essentials, and credit cards with you just in case you need to leave the area.


Have essential medications in a spot where you can easily get to them. Don’t forget to grab them if you are forced to leave.

Home Tips: Indoor Plant Care

A huge trend during the pandemic is buying houseplants! Some of us already had numerous “plant children” while others are just discovering the beauty that is an indoor plant. Indoor plants can elevate the mood and look of any room in the interior of your home along with naturally purifying the air. Check out our basic tips on how to maintain your new indoor houseplants!


Our most crucial tip before jumping into plant parenthood would be– everything in moderation. All plants require water, light, and food, but the trick to success is to practice moderation! Additionally, let’s think about the native climate for the majority of our houseplants. Your goal is to imitate that environment as closely as possible without going overboard.


Contrary to popular belief, there is not a one size fits all soil for plants. Most plants do thrive in an organic soil, while orchids are incredibly picky when it comes to soil. Make sure you do research on the most ideal soil specific to your houseplant breed.


Most of the time, people are concerned they aren’t watering enough, when in fact they are watering far too much! Unless noted otherwise, most houseplants would prefer being slightly dry than soaking wet. That means a watering schedule of once or twice a week is suitable for most plants, where you water the plant thoroughly but infrequently. It is best to pour water onto the soil at a slow, deliberate pace, until the water starts escaping from the drainage holes of the container. That’s your signal to stop watering!


Light is just as important as water. All plants need light to carry out their necessary biological processes. It is a process called– photosynthesis. Although all plants need some light to grow, some plants require a lot less than others. Think again of their native habitat and imagine the dark undergrowth where these plants thrive. They receive heavily filtered light but still keep on kicking.


Although plants carry out photosynthesis to process the sugars they need to survive, they also need a more direct form of food to carry out growing processes. Providing fertilizers to your houseplants helps ensure they will remain happy and healthy. The food can be delivered via a granule that breaks down over time, or it can be added more directly via a water soluble fertilizer. Granules generally need to be applied once every few months, while water soluble fertilizers should be applied every two weeks or so. Read the directions on a specific fertilizer to see what is recommended.


Aim to keep the plant in a warm environment with some air circulation, and rotate its face. Almost all houseplants need a minimum temperature of 55ºF to survive. Keep plants away from areas of cold drafts in the winter. The warmer it gets for houseplants, the happier they are! Rotate your plant every few days to keep everything in balance.



Home Tips: Enhancing Curb Appeal 

Enhance your homes curb appeal! You don’t get a second chance at a first impression.  

Enhancing your home’s curb appeal will not only increase the value, but it will also add to your enjoyment, and increase the appearance of the neighborhood. Below are some simple tips that will go a long way. 



Add some flowers, greenery, and water regularly to maintain a beautiful lawn. There are also some great artificial turf options. Trim back and sculpt anything overgrown. Nothing adds to curb appeal like a well-manicured yard!



Whether the whole house needs sprucing up or just some touch-up, paint is an easy way to make your house pop! It also protects your home from rot and termites. 


Reimagine Your Front Door 

There are so many ways to make your front door pop. Start with paint. Take a chance in a bold color that enhances the other colors of your home, you will be glad you did. Change your door hardware, and add a door knocker. 



Upgrade your exterior lighting. This is something that often goes overlooked, and for a low cost will make a big difference. Landscape lighting is also a must if you want to show off the landscape improvements you made as described above. 


Consider Upgrading Your Mailbox

It sounds so simple, but your mailbox can make a big difference. When was the last time it was changed? There are some decorative alternatives that can really add to the first impression of your home. 


Your House Numbers

New house numbers are a simple inexpensive upgrade. New house numbers will make a surprisingly nice upgrade, especially with the right style for your home. 


Your Garage Door 

Painting your garage door is also a must. There are lots of hardware options available that can transform the look of that large plain garage door. 


Outdoor Furniture 

If your home will accommodate some outdoor seating or even an outdoor swing, this will make your home look more inviting. The right outdoor furniture can add a lot of character. 


Home Tips: Brighten Up Your Home Through Florals

Brighten up your summer with these beautiful flowers that will thrive in the summer heat!

Now more than ever we are spending time at home. With vacations on hold, we will be enjoying our homes more than ever. Let’s not let the dry summer heat spoil our enjoyment of our garden and yards, just when we use them the most!  These flowers will add beauty and color to your yard.

Lily of the Nile

Also called blue lily or African lily, Agapanthus praecox is full sun or partial shade flower that thrives in warmer areas, especially in pots. “When it comes to containers and hanging baskets that are showing signs of stress, the best thing you can do is to move them into the shade and check often for dryness,” advises Kate Karam, editorial director at Monrovia. “They may need a deep drink at least once or even twice a day.”


A symbol of love and distinction, carnations are known for their bold hues and impressive range of varieties. Certain carnations can grow up to 24 inches, while others range between 9 to 12 inches.

Oriental Lilies

There’s no denying the beauty of Oriental Lilies, which are known for their alluring fragrance and large flowers. They’re also low maintenance, requiring ample sunlight and moist soil.


Leave it to these dainty flowers to add a touch of elegance to your garden. While they can thrive under a bit of shade, they do best with loads of sunlight and well-drained soil.


If you’re looking for a statement flower to add to your garden, consider foxgloves, which can easily reach up to six feet. They bloom early on in the summer and come in a slew of colors, ranging from pink to white.


You can find these vibrant, trumpet-shaped blooms in a range of color combinations. Known to attract hummingbirds and butterflies, these flowers need tons of water and fertilizer during their blooming phase.


This popular summer flower needs well-drained soil, a moderate amount of moisture, and an abundance of sunlight to flourish. Keep in mind that wind can harm certain tall varieties.


Some Rudbeckia varieties bloom during the summer months. These cheerful flowers are considered to be low maintenance, needing lots of sunlight along with well-drained soil.


Also known as amaranth, this flower can grow from 18 inches to 6 feet tall in a variety of colors including red, orange, gold, green, and purple. This direct-sow annual does not tolerate wet soil, shade, or transplanting well.

Spider Flowers

Cleome hassleriana grows to be about 3 to 5 feet in rose, pink, purple, and white. It’s easy to grow from seed and self-sows for future summers.


When it comes to begonias, you can find more than 1,000 different types in an array of colors, shapes, and sizes. They like soil that’s moist (rather than soaking wet), humidity, and partial shade.

Home Tips: Low-tech Ways to Green Your Home

Our robot overlords can power down for now. Along with the energy monitoring sensors. And maybe even the in-house recycling machines. As tempting as it is to rely on new technologies to help make our homes more energy-efficient, as well as environmentally responsible, let’s consider the decidedly low-tech and comparatively inexpensive tactics we can take now to turn our humble abodes greener. Here then are five simple ways to tackle energy usage (and the subsequent power bills) without making room for a single geothermal heat pump.

Throw some shade

Whether it’s baking your face on the beach or streaming in through your windows, manage your sunlight exposure. When it’s summer, draw the drapes and snap shut the blinds, especially when nobody is home. (The same logic applies in the winter when adding curtains can ensure heat doesn’t escape.) When you have the sunlight situation under control, caulk the windows and survey for drafts. If you feel one, it’s likely that cracks around the frame are to blame.

Pull the plug

All appliances generate heat, so keep them off until needed. For example, don’t run the dryer or dishwasher until after dark, preferably overnight. And if you want to cook, the grill on your patio or in your yard is preferable to the kitchen stove. (Cooling and heating are responsible for about half of a home’s energy use, followed by the water heater, the washer and dryer, and the lights.) Also, consider pulling the plugs on the notorious, so-called “vampire electronics,” which continue to gobble power even when seemingly switched off. These include everything from laptops and routers to gaming consoles and microwaves too, of course, televisions.

Hang them out to dry

No one is suggesting you break out your great-great-grandma’s washboard and start scrubbing away, but how you clean your clothes contributes greatly to how much power and water your home uses. (The washer and dryer combined account for about 13% of a home’s energy consumption.) Whenever possible, wash your clothes in cold water and hang them to dry, avoiding the dryer altogether. That simple choice can both reduce your bills and bolster the environment. Similarly, try to only wash full loads to maximize water usage.

Plant south-facing tree

This is an obvious one: planting trees can help make your property more environmentally friendly. Just make sure to plant them on the south side. The leafy barrier will keep your home cool during the summer by providing a barrier to direct sunlight. And during the winter, it will let your home’s interior retain warmth. Plus, your landscaping will look better for it.

Repair leaky faucets

It’s the little things that get you. So before you dismiss that drip-drip-drip, consider that the average leaky faucet (about 10 drips per minute) ends up wasting roughly 350 gallons per year. That’s about $20 every month extra on your bill. But multiple cracks in the plumbing can wind up costing several times that. Similarly, a leaking toilet can add about $150 to your monthly water bill. Given this, calling the plumber starts to sound like the cheaper, more appealing option.