Targeted Cleaning Tasks Deliver Big Bang for Your Effort

These Spring Cleaning Tasks Focus on Five Zones for a Clean and Decluttered House

Since you are probably spending more time in your house during the winter months, this is a good time to start your spring cleaning tasks. As a result, you will then have more time to spend on outdoor activities when the weather gets nicer. This is the philosophy of blogger Jennifer, The Intentional Mom. As a mother of 9 children, as well as a blogger, author and writer, she had to become a master of cleaning and organizing. She must get a lot done in as little time as possible.

In her recent blog about spring cleaning, she explains how to divide your house into five main zones and then focus on 30 spring cleaning tasks. Instead of being overwhelmed by looking at all that needs to be done to clean and declutter your entire house, she believes in dividing up the cleaning effort into smaller tasks. Each of the tasks can generally be done in about 30 minutes or less. As a result you will feel less stressed and a continuing sense of accomplishment as you complete each smaller cleaning task.

Intentional Mom cleaning tasks

The Right Tools

Of course, having the right tools and supplies makes the cleaning process faster and easier while achieving better results. One of these tools is the pen-shaped non-scratch Scrigit Scraper. Jennifer describes the Scrigit Scraper as “my favorite cleaning tool of all time.” The tool is great for removing adhesive stickers, labels and tape. It is also very effective for removing dried food, dirt and grime from counter tops, floors, edges, corners, and grooves. It can get into tight spaces that your fingers can’t reach while keeping your fingers from getting cut, preventing your fingernails from getting damaged, and eliminating that awful feeling of gunk stuck under your fingernails.

Note that Jennifer discovered the benefits of using Scrigit Scrapers on her own. Then she approached me – Jay, the inventor of the tool – about sponsoring her spring cleaning blog post. All of the opinions she expresses in the article are her own.

Here is a very brief summary. A link to the entire blog post is provided below. You can also get a free printable Spring Cleaning Checklist.

Zone 1: Kitchen

Cleaning tasks include the microwave, stove top, oven, and refrigerator. Boiling some water with lemon juice added in a microwave-safe bowel or glass measuring cup really speeds up the cleaning process. Jennifer really likes using a Scrigit Scraper for cleaning refrigerators. The tool is very good at cleaning gunk off the edges of glass shelves without scratching the glass or plastic edges. Of course, then there are the cabinets and the drawers with more corners and edges.

Zone 2: Living/Family Rooms

There are a lot of places for dust, dog and cat fur, and food crumbs to accumulate in and under the furniture.

bathroom faucet cleaning tasksZone 3: Bathrooms

Bathrooms are one of the most rewarding places to clean because they seem to sparkle when you are done. A Scrigit Scraper is essential for cleaning in the bathroom because the tool can clean the edges around the faucets, sinks and floors. The tool is also effective for cleaning the groove around the drains and in or along the shower door track, depending on the style of door you have.

Zone 4: Laundry Room

As you are busy cleaning your clothes, dirt accumulates on your washer and dryer.

Zone 5: Bedrooms

You will keep your vacuum cleaner busy here. Take the time to clean under the bed and behind furniture.

General Areas

These areas around the house include dusty baseboards and ceiling lines with dangling cobwebs. On nicer days, open the windows to clean out the dirt that accumulates between the inner and outer window, if you have that window style. A Scrigit Scraper is very helpful for cleaning the tracks of sliding windows and doors.

See the whole article for information about all the cleaning tasks at Room by Room Spring Cleaning Cheat Sheet & Free Printable Checklist. Check out Jennifer’s blog for a wide range of useful information at TheIntentionalMom.com.

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Listen to Your Clutter to Conquer It

Organizing and Cleaning Expert Provides Tips on How to Conquer Your Clutter

In a recent blog post, organizing and cleaning expert Donna Smallin Kuper asks, What would your clutter say if it could talk? As most of us spend more time indoors during the winter months, the accumulation of all types of items in your house and the need to declutter becomes more obvious. Here are some of the symptoms she describes.

Can you find what you need when you look for it?

Do you have more than one junk drawer or an entire junk room?

Is your dining room table, kitchen counter, or desk piled high with paper and other items?

I would also add, Is your guest bedroom, finished basement or garage so full of boxes and various items items that the rooms can’t be used?

clutter in houseIf all these items around your house could talk, here is what they would be saying.

“You dumped me.”

If you are in the habit of setting things down instead of of putting them away, clutter happens.

“I forgive you.”

Clutter often accumulates in our homes because you think how much you paid for something that you did not end up using. As a result, you feel guilty for getting rid of the item even if you will probably never use it.

“Please let me go.”

Look at what you have sitting around the house and taking up valuable space. Is there really any value in keeping clothing that is several sizes too small? Are you likely to every use the craft supplies or materials for a hobby you gave up years ago? In addition, items that are the most difficult to part with are things you inherited. Are they really something you would buy today? Just because somebody else gave them to you doesn’t mean you have to keep them forever. Consider taking photos of the items, write up a description of their backgrounds, and then findindig a new home for them.

“You have too much stuff.”

Maybe you might not really need a bigger house, more storage space or even a storage locker. You might just need less stuff. “Clutter detracts from our lives in ways we don’t even realize,” said Donna. “It gets in our way. It steals our time, energy and attention.” Think about how good you would feel if all those excess items were gone. Keep thinking about that good feeling as you eliminate the clutter room by room.

To read the entire article, which includes more suggestions on how to deal with these four issues, go to What Your Clutter Would Say If It Could Talk.

About the Author

Donna Smallin Kuper is an organizing and cleaning expert. She is the author of a dozen best selling books. Donna has been a guest on multiple television and radio shows. She was interviewed as a subject matter expert for many magazine articles. Among these are articles are ones that appeared in Real Simple and Redbook magazines where she recommended the pen-shaped non-scratch Scrigit Scraper as one of her favorite household cleaning tools.

 

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DIY Holiday Decorations: 2 Easy Projects to Try

‘Tis the Season! Deck the Halls with these Winter Holiday Decorations that Can be Easily Made at Home

terrarium & snow globe holiday decorations

Homemade holiday decorations help personalize your holiday decor. Here are two ideas that are easy to make with a wide variety of materials. The terrarium can be kept out throughout the winter season.

Make Your Own Winter Terrarium

Step #1: Select your terrarium

These glass containers come in a variety of shapes and sizes (we love this faceted version from West Elm). You can even use a clear drinking glass.

Step #2: Set the scene

Fill the bottom of your terrarium with faux snow from your local craft store (here is an option found at JOANN Fabrics) or salt. Then layer moss and more snow to fill your terrarium ~⅓ of the way. Reach deep into corners by leveraging both the flat and round edges of your Scrigit Scraper.

Step 3: Plant your objects

Deck out your snow scene with miniature pine trees, tiny deer, or even snowmen made with cotton balls. Rearrange each object carefully with your Scrigit Scraper.

Step 4: All done!

Showcase your new terrariums on your mantel, dressers, or anywhere else that could use a bit of homemade holiday cheer.

Make Your Own Mini Snow Globe Ornament

Scenic terrariums aren’t your style? Make an ornament or snow globe instead as one of your holiday decorations! The ornament version looks just like a miniature snow globe. Both are almost as easy to make as buying one. Here’s how to make your own.

Step 1: Grab the glue gun

Insert a small amount of hot glue to the bottom of a large, clear plastic ornament or snow globe glass container.

Step 2: Set your trees or other items

Use the same miniature pine trees we mentioned above or other decorative items. Delicately insert them into your ornaments so their trunk is firmly set in glue. Hold the tree in place until the glue dries by using your Scrigit Scraper.

Step 3: Grab the glitter

Using a funnel, fill the ornament ⅓ of the way full with course white glitter.

Step 4: Close it up!

Secure your ornament by adding a few dabs of hot glue gun to the lids, then hold securely until dry. Finish off by trying a small piece of twine on each lid!

Happy crafting! Light a fire, grab the kiddos, and make a cup of warm hot cocoa while you make these beautiful holiday decorations.

Contributed by guest blogger Cyndi G.

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Scrigit Scrapers for Holiday Crafts & Stocking Stuffers

Use Scrigit Scrapers for Holiday Crafts and Stocking Stuffers People will Love

Are you making your own holiday crafts for your own house or to give as gifts? Are you looking for clever stocking stuffers that people will find really useful?Scrigit as Stocking Stuffer

Craft Projects

If you enjoy creating your own holiday crafts, such as gingerbread houses, tree ornaments, candle holders and many more, the pen-shaped non-scratch Scrigit Scraper is a really handy tool. Actually, it is two tools in one.

One end has a unique rounded tip similar in shape to a fingernail. This can be used instead of your fingernail as a scratch-free scraper to remove adhesive stickers, labels and tape. It can also be used to scrape off small spots of dried food, latex paint, glue and other crafting materials without damaging your fingernails. This shape also makes nice U-shaped impressions in clay and other substances to simulate roof shingles, leaves on trees, fish scales, and many more.Clay Christmas tree with Scrigit

The other tip of the tool has a flat edge that can be used for such things as removing excess wet glue or paint. It is also very good for cleaning along edges, grooves, and corners. Both tips are great for shaping clay and Play-Doh.

 

Stocking Stuffers

If you are looking for ideas for stocking stuffers, consider packages of Scrigit Scrapers. This handy tool would be a welcome gift by both men and women because Scrigits have hundreds of uses. The pen-shaped tool provides a quick, safe and convenient way to clean up around the house and your vehicles. Cooks can use the tool to clean up dried food on stove tops, counter tops and bakeware. People who like to tackle DIY projects around the house will find a wide range of uses for Scrigits. As described above, the pen-shaped Scrigit is also a versatile tool for arts and crafts projects.Gingerbread house with Scrigit

Scrigit Scrapers come in 2-packs and 5-packs that are just the right size to use for stocking stuffers and in gift baskets. Your friends and relatives will thank you for giving them something so useful.

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3 Ideas for Creating the Perfect Thanksgiving Tablescape

Helpful Hints for Creating the Perfect Tablescape

An autumn tablescape is a favorite decorating opportunity for a lot of people. The design can be chock-full of deeply vibrant colors, textures, and natural elements, It’s the perfect stage for the coziness that comes with entertaining friends and family during Thanksgiving. (Not to mention all of the buttery comfort foods…)gourds in tablescape

The best part of these tablescapes? The majority of the elements required can be found in your craft drawer or right outside your home, making these DIY projects ultra easy and ultra affordable.

Set the table in autumn style with these stunning fall table decorations

The Rustic Table

Get ready to channel some elegant barn vibes. First, use a yard or so of your favorite unhemmed flannel fabric as your table runner (check at a local fabric store for deals). Iron it to remove the wrinkles, but don’t stress about imperfections. Then, layer small gourds and tiny pumpkins down the runner, interspersing candle tumblers and even a few small pumpkins as you see fit.

tablescape with place settings

Tablescape idea from lovelyclustersblog.com

Next, head out to your backyard with sheers in-hand. Cut a few branches from a nearby fruit tree (such as a plum with small dried fruit still attached). If any dead flowers or leaves remain on the branches, keep them there! Their colors will add a beautifully imperfect touch. Lay the branches between the pumpkins and more candles. Finish the look with the necessities: layering rattan chargers, plates, silverware, and napkins.

The Updated Table

If you’re looking to brighten up your Thanksgiving table, opt for a tablescape with a fresher look. Dress bowls or baskets with any combination of apples, lemons, limes, oranges and acorn squash. Using a white table runner, disperse silver dollar eucalyptus and potted baby’s breath. Next, place preserved boxwood bowls over the eucalyptus. If you have more citrus and acorn squash on hand, use them to fill in the areas that look sparse. Once again, finish the look with the necessities: layering glassware, plates, silverware, and napkins.

The Traditional Table

Nothing beats a classic fall table. Start yours by placing a solid table runner of your choosing (fall or cream colors only) across your table. Follow with a bed of magnolia tips directly on the table runner fabric. Then arrange acorn squash around the magnolia tips. Grab your favorite mercury glasses (silvered glass candle holders that do not actually contain mercury or silver) and disperse them down the table, placing an individual soy wax candle/melt in each one. Scatter remaining acorns and mini gourds as you see fit to fill the holes on your tablescape. Then complete the look with tall, white unscented candles. Let their wax drip directly onto the runner for a vintage touch on a classic table.

For an even more interesting combination of shapes and textures, fill the runner with silver dollar eucalyptus leaves, star pods and squash. Insert extra touches of green, incorporate geodes, leaf skeletons or air plants. Complete the table by filling glass jars with hazelnuts supporting long, thin unscented candles.

Additional Hint: Use a Scrigit Scraper cleaning tool to remove candle wax from candle holders and other surfaces. It is safe to use on most surfaces, but test in an inconspicuous spot on wood and other softer surfaces.

Contributed by guest blogger Cyndi G.

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Clean Up Caked-on Messes in Your Kitchen: Here’s How

Handy Hints for Cleaning Up Food Spatters and Caked-on Messes

Your kitchen will get dusty, grimy and in need of a deep cleaning because you spend more time there than in any other room. Since it’s full of hard to reach places, clean-up can get tricky! We’ve narrowed in on two of the toughest areas to clean areas in your kitchen so you don’t have to… Here’s how you knock out your kitchen’s caked-on messes.

stovetop - caked-on messesA Caked-On, Greasy Stove Top

Busy cooks know the struggle of cleaning a stove top, especially after your hard labored dishes boil over into the coils and trays. Grease cooked onto the stove is one of the most challenging messes to clean up in your kitchen.

The ideal time to act? When the mess has just occurred and the stove top has gently cooled. Grab your Scrigit Scraper cleaning tool, a non-scratch scrubber sponge, a microfiber cloth and warm soapy water. Absorb any grease with the paper towels. Make sure to frequently switch to new paper towels to avoid spreading the grease to new locations. Once most of the grease is cleaned, circle back with your sponge and soapy water to tackle the mess cooked onto the stove. Squeeze the sudsy water over the stain, then let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Start by scrubbing with the scrubbing side of the sponge. Then follow up by scraping off hard to remove dried food and grease spots with the flat end of your Scrigit Scraper. Also use the tool to clean around the edges.

Shine with a fresh microfiber cloth once all of the caked-on food stains have been removed.

A Sauce-Splattered Microwave

It’s happened to all of us. Food goes flying in the microwave when we decide to rewarm a bowl of saucy food and forget to cover the plate with wax paper or plastic wrap. For the moments when you forget to use a splatter guard or the splatter guard fails, don’t stress!

Place a cup of water with lemon slices in a microwave safe bowl or glass measuring cup. Microwave the concoction for two minutes then let it sit (without opening the door) for another two minutes. The lemon will deodorize naturally, and the water will steam soften the cooked on food particles. When you open the door, quickly wipe away any softened sauce and food inside your appliance. Once you’ve done so, follow up with your Scrigit Scraper to easily scrape away any remaining mess. You’ll have a fresh microwave in minutes!

Don’t forget, as with any surface in your home, frequent cleaning is always best to avoid caked-on messes. Wherever you face a buildup challenge, keep your Scrigit Scraper easily accessible! Our packs come in multiples of two or five so you can keep one wherever you need it for quick and easy cleanups.

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3 Forgotten Chores to Include in Your Fall Cleaning

Helpful Fall Cleaning & Safety Tips for Your Transition Indoors

There’s no denying it; fall is HERE. Leaves are changing, nights are cooler, and seasonal chores are upon us. Soon enough, you’ll be snuggling under blankets and spending a LOT more time indoors… So grab your fall cleaning list: We’ve got a few seasonal “must-dos” to get your home primed and prepped for winter.fall cleaning tasks

Clean Your Kitchen & Bathroom Grout

By now, that bright white grout of yours is showing every single summertime stain and blemish, such as black mildew stains. It’s super hard to keep clean on a regular basis, so add this task to your fall cleaning list.

To clean, use your Scrigit Scraper cleaning tool to scrape off any soap scum and other substances stuck to the grout. Also use the tool to clean corners, edges and the shower door track. Then use a spray bottle containing equal parts vinegar and water. Spray the solution on your kitchen and bathroom tiles and grout. Let it sit for at least five minutes. Scrub your grout with a narrow grout scrub brush or a toothbrush and the tile with a scrubber pad. Then rinse.

For remaining stains, create a mixture of equal parts chlorine or oxygen bleach and hot tap water in a plastic container. While wearing rubber or plastic gloves and old clothes, dip strips of paper towels or toilet paper in the solution and carefully place on the stained grout. Make sure you have plenty of ventilation when using chlorine bleach. Let sit for about 15 to 20 minutes. Lift some of the wet paper off to see if the stains are gone. If not leave on another 5 to 10 minutes. Then rinse off.

Clean Your Keyboards & Remote Controls

Once winter comes, you’ll probably be spending a lot more time curled up in front of your computer and TV. So prep the surfaces you’ll touch most. Use a dry cloth to wipe away all visible articles from your remotes and keyboards. Then follow up with a pre-moistened disinfecting wipe. Wipe down the entire surface of each item, but don’t forget the details! Use your Scrigit Scraper with the wipe around the flat tip to reach into each and every crevice. There’s likely to be food particles and dried, sticky residue left from snacking (and any other “messy” activities we get into on a daily basis.

Check & Replace Smoke Alarm Batteries

It’s one of the most important chores on our TO DO list, but it’s also the most easily forgotten. Your smoke alarm will chirp when it’s time to change the battery, which almost always happens to be in the middle of the night or when we’re rushing out the door. Avoid the stress altogether by replacing the batteries every six months. Remove the cover, then unclip the old battery from its holder. Most detectors utilize a 9-volt battery. If you struggle to remove the battery connector, grab the flat end of your Scrigit Scraper to pop loose the battery. Then immediately replace it with a fresh one. If your smoke alarm is more than 10-years old, then replace it with a new one, preferably with a sealed-in 10-year battery.

Don’t leave the deep-cleaning to springtime! Enjoy your time indoors this upcoming winter by taking a few steps during your fall cleaning to ensure it’s a clean, safe space. Keep your Scrigit Scrapers nearby to ensure you’re always able to tackle the job – – – and enjoy the season!

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Cleaning Tips for Home Sellers

The Intentional Mom Provides Helpful Cleaning Steps for Home Sellers and Finds a Very Useful Cleaning Tool

Tips for home sellersHome sellers can learn a lot from blogger Jennifer, The Intentional Mom. She is a mom of nine children, a blogger, an author and much more.  Jennifer knows how to get a lot of work done in the least amount of time. She has to be efficient.

When she got ready to put her house up for sale, she knew that she had to get the house ready to sell with a limited amount of time that she could spend on the process. “Having a home that is fresh, clean, and inviting for potential buyers can make all the difference,” stated Jennifer. “The goal is to sell your house for the most money in the least amount of time.”

Her blog focuses on 10 things that home sellers should be sure to clean before putting their house on the market. All the cleaning tips are based on her years writing about home cleaning and organizing and actually getting her house ready to sell.

Scrigit Scraper to the Rescue

One of the things she learned from her recent intensive home cleaning, and even before that, is how a Scrigit Scraper should be an essential part of your cleaning supplies. “This amazing tool has been a lifesaver,” said Jennifer in an email. “The Scrigit Scraper helped me get paint drips off my wood floor, remove stickers from the inside of my cupboards, and even scrape of dried gum from the inside of the clothes dryer.”  She went on to say, “My husband used the scraper tool to help re-screen some windows, and I used it to remove some old caulk out of my shower.”

Most people, such as Jennifer, keep finding new uses for Scrigit Scrapers. “I cannot tell you the number of times over the past year that my kids have come to me with some kind of problem and my response is, ‘Just go get the Scrigit Scraper.'”

Check Out Her Blog

Scrigit cleaning slider tracksIn her blog, 10 Things You Must Clean to Get Your Home Ready to Sell, Jennifer starts out in the kitchen cleaning appliances and then cupboards, cabinets and drawers in the kitchen and bathrooms. She provides tips about what to use for cleaning each item or area and includes links to other articles that provide more details.

Each of her 10 steps covers different parts of the house. Jennifer includes major items that need to be cleaned, such as the carpets. She also covers areas that are often overlooked by home sellers, such as sliding door and window tracks and ceiling lines. Take a look at the blog for Jennifer’s top 10 list and use it or modify it for your particular situation. For example, if you just replaced the kitchen appliances, you can happily skip the first step.

As Jennifer concludes, “When all of the little known things are nice and clean, your home will stand out above the rest.”

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Get Creative with Picture Frames!

Turn Old Picture Frames into Wall Art and Craft Pieces

Looking for new ways to decorate your home? Or maybe you need a gift for the person who has everything? Well, look no further than your local yard sale, flea market, basement, or attic for inspiration! Old picture frames can be used to create new wall art, frame new or old photos and paintings, make unique serving trays, add wainscoting to a wall, and can even be used by themselves. When used creatively, open picture frames can add a whimsical or contemporary touch to your home. So when the glass breaks in your favorite frame, don’t throw it away—add a little paint and give it new life!stacks of picture frames

Note that some prep work may be involved. For example, you may have to remove varnish or existing paint. If that’s the case, be sure to have light-grade sandpaper (120 grit), tack cloth, and a Scrigit Scraper™ on hand to thoroughly clean the corners, edges and grooves.  Once you have your frames ready, here’s three ways to put them to new use.

Group Open Frames for Instant Art

Take your mix of picture frames and group them on a wall. It helps if the frames are different sizes and widths, to add interest.  For a classic or contemporary look, paint the frames the same color. For more whimsy, mix colors as above. You can use spray paint or latex, but be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions for ventilation and drying time. If you’re not quite sure how to arrange your frames, you can find tons of ideas online. The key is to hang the frames close together, as it provides a unified look. Here is an example of open frames. You can also use open frames to frame other objects hung on the wall.

Make a Serving Tray

This requires a little more skill and some tools. Large frames (11” x 14” or larger) work best, although you can complete this project with any size. First, you’ll need to cut a piece of ¼” plywood the same size as the outside dimensions of the back of the frame. Next, affix the wood to the back of the frame with ½” brad nails, spaced approximately 2” apart. Paint the entire piece and allow to dry. Finally, affix a drawer pull on each of the shorter sides of the frame (you may have to drill pilot holes). You can gather more inspiration here.wall with picture frames for wainscoting

Update your Dining Room (or Any Room!)

This project requires multiples of the same frames, at least 16” x 20”. To create a shadowbox wainscot, you will need to measure the space and mark where you want the frames to go. Some people like spacing, as shown in the photo, while others like the design more pronounced by buttressing the frames. Have fun with it! You can paint the frames a different color than your wall, or paint them all the same color for more subtlety. The chair rail is optional.

Not feeling so creative or adventurous? This site may get your artistic juices flowing with tons of ideas for your old frames!

Contributed by guest blogger Cyndi G.

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