Thursday, January 28, 2016

Three tips for caring for wooden furniture

You have invested in furniture made of solid wood, now you want to care for your investment properly. Besides dusting regularly, there are a few other tasks you can do occasionally that will reduce your dusting needs and also magnify the beautiful wood grains. To ensure wooden furniture looks great and is protected long-term, these three items will help protect against water spills and minor scratches while enabling dust to virtually slip off.

1.Oil your furniture. Oil nourishes, cleans, and protects the wood. Furniture that is stained, but unvarnished or unsealed should be oiled every 6 months. A light coat of oil protects it from changes in moisture in the environment, and removes oil and dirt that accumulate. The natural beauty of the wood will glow after being oiled. As you use A/C and heat in your home, humidity levels change and this causes the moisture level in the wood in the furniture to also change. Over time, you may notice warping or cracks in the wood if not protected. What to use? Lemon oil, mineral oil, linseed oil, and orange oil all will preserve your wooden furniture.

2.Polish or wax your furniture. Polish (wax) cleans and protects wooden furniture by filling in cracks and crevices making them easier to keep clean. It also brings a renewed shine and protects against light scratches. You’ll notice that over time, even if you dust regularly, there will be a build-up of dust in the little nooks and crannies of grooves in the furniture. Wax or polish will fill those gaps and make it easier to keep clean. What to use? Any of the major furniture polishes work well, but you can easily use beeswax or homemade furniture polish.

3.Wash your furniture. Yes, occasionally you should use furniture soap in warm water and lightly wash off dirt, oil, and wax build-up. There are many home-made recipes available, or you can purchase furniture soap made especially for this purpose. Afterwards, reapply oil or wax to moisturize and seal the grain.
Solid wooden furniture is a beautiful asset to your home – by taking a few extra steps a few times a year, you will be able to enjoy the natural glow of the wood for many years to come.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

3 Organizing Tips when Working with Children

Make time to tell your child one specific thing you really like about them as a person.  An example might be, the way they share with others or how they stay focused on a task.  Make sure you are sincere and they will beam!
3 Organizing tips to get you started:

You want to help your child organize their room, but feel so overwhelmed you don’t know where to start.  I have been there many times.  Allow me to hand down a few guidelines.

1.       Keep it short
              Avoid the mistake of trying to fix it in one fell swoop.    Children (and parents) have short attention spans when organizing.  Try breaking it down into small sections and tackling one at a time.  Clothes one week, art/craft supplies next week, etc.  If you have a weekly cleaning schedule, add 15 minutes to the routine to work on a different section each week.  Be sure to tell the children the time and specific goal so they know there is an end in sight.  Maintain areas you have organized with a 5 minute daily pickup and weekly cleaning routines.

2.       Plan a reward
              Cleaning to upbeat music played quietly in the background works wonders for us.  Having something fun to look forward to when finished is also important.  Video game time, playdate with a friend, or ice cream are all great rewards for hard work at the end.  I always try to remind them of the coming reward as we work.

3.       Remember your goals
What is YOUR reason for getting organized?  To make cleaning easier?  To find what you’re looking for?  If your child has allergies to dust mites, then learning to keep the environment allergy-free is an important habit to teach.  Everyone’s personal standards are different from everyone else’s.  Don’t hold yourself (or your child) to your neighbor or your best friend’s standards.  Also, keep in mind that your child’s standards are not yours.  Help him (or her) find their own way of organizing, especially as they get older. 

What would you add?  I’d love to hear your organizing tips!