12 Places in Your Home You Forget to Clean

Cleaning might be a hassle, but it is absolutely essential to do for every household. However, hidden dirt and dust can easily build up in unexpected places in your house that even a clean freak may forget to clean. Therefore, here’s a list of 12 places in your home most forget to clean, so you can target those neglected spots and cover every inch of your home!

Pillows
Yes, you wash the cases to your pillows; however, you should also wash the actual pillow once every three to six months to remove any mold, bacteria, and odors. Most pillows are machine washable, so you should be able to throw them into the laundry to clean them. This goes for throw pillows as well. Just be sure to check the labels to see if they are machine washable before throwing them in the laundry.

Doorframes
Places up high or hard-to-reach areas are always the first spots in your home that everyone forgets to clean, especially the top of your doorframes. This hard-to-reach area collects a lot of dust. Make sure to wipe a feather duster or cloth across the top, sides, and entire surface of the doorframes to avoid dust build up.

Under Appliances
The small space under you major appliances collects a lot of dust, grime, and even food. Pull out your refrigerator, stove, and other appliances out every once in a while to clean the surface under them. When you do this, make sure you give the area a good and thorough cleaning. Clean the coils of the refrigerator with a coil cleaning brush, vacuum, and wipe down the walls and sides of the refrigerator. Complete the same cycle for your stove and other appliances as well.

Baseboards
Just like doorframes, baseboards collect a significant amount of dust as well. Baseboards collect dust all day from a multitude of things, especially rooms with a lot of foot traffic. The best way to clean your baseboards is to either vacuum them or run a damp cloth along the surface of them. However, unlike doorframes, this is a cleaning chore you should add to you weekly cleaning list, or at least clean them every other week!

Ceiling Fans
If you haven’t run your ceiling fan in awhile than there is most likely a thick build up of dust. Make sure to clean the blades of the ceiling fan every once in a while to rid your house of excess dust. The easiest way to do this is to grab a pillowcase and put it over the ceiling fan blades. Then pull the pillowcase off and wipe off all the excess dust inside the pillowcase!

Dishwasher
Even your dishwasher needs a good cleaning every now and then. Make sure to clean the dishwasher filter and run a cycle with hot water with a cup of white vinegar. This will help remove hard-water deposits, soap scum, and clogged food debris.

Small Appliances
Most areas that individuals forget to clean are the places that are out of sight, like the insides of small appliances. Every once in a while, make sure to unplug your small appliances and give them a cleaning!

Window Treatments
If you are trying to deep clean you house, don’t skip your curtains or window treatments. Curtains build up and collect a lot of dust, dirt, and pollen, so make sure you clean them every once in a while. You can vacuum them from top to bottom or wipe a damp cloth over them. However, if you’re luck and you have machine washable and dryable curtains, throw them in the wash!

Books
Dusting the shelves in you house isn’t the only thing you should clean! Don’t forget to clean the books that the shelves hold as well. When books are left untouched, the paper deteriorates faster. Make sure to remove the books from the shelves and dust along the spine and tops of the book and flip through the pages. The best thing about this cleaning task is that you only have to do it once or twice a year.

Trash Cans
Although your trash cans are just a receptacle for trash, you’ll want to give them a clean every now and again. Take your trash can outside to rinse it. Use a hose, a long-handled brush, and a mixture of white vinegar and warm water to scrub out any bacteria or mildew that could collect in your trash cans.

Shower Curtains
Bring your shower curtain back to life with this quick and easy fix! Throw the curtain in the washing machine with your towels. Add detergent and a cup of baking soda and you shower curtain should come back to life without any spots or soap scum!

Washer and Dryer
It might seem counterproductive or unnecessary, but you should clean the machines that clean your clothes every once in a while! There are a multitude of things that could cause mildew to build up in your washer and dryers. From poor ventilation to leaving damp clothes in your washer, mildew can collect and encourage growth. To prevent this, clean the rubber door seals with 1 cup of chlorine bleach and 2 cups of warm water. Once you’ve finished that, fill the bleach dispenser with bleach and run a complete cycle with hot water without any clothes. You should do this every two to four months to keep every thing clean! As for your dryer, make sure the exhaust duct is cleaned every year by a professional. Not only will it keep your clothes clean and safe, but it is also more efficient and will help you save money.

If you forget to clean these areas, don’t worry! It’s okay if you don’t clean these areas every time. Just make sure you don’t forget about them and clean them from time to time!

Are you looking for a new home to move into? Check out all of Judd Builders many wonderful new construction communities in the Pennsylvania area! From bustling Siena Place to the quaint community of Meadow View Farms, there is bound to be a community that is the perfect fit for you! For more information, feel free to contact us! We’d love to hear from you and answer any of your questions!

How to Create the Perfect Cleaning Schedule for a Busy Household

It’s tough to keep the household clean and in order all the time. Schedules get busy and unexpected things tend to happen that take up your time. However, you can still keep your home clean even if you’re living in a busy household. All you really need to help keep things in order is a cleaning schedule that you can easily and happily follow. Here is how you can create the perfect cleaning schedule for your household and keep your amazing Judd Builders home in tip-top shape.

1. Prioritize
Every household is different. Every home has varied heavy traffic areas, different children, and a unique daily schedule. The first step to create the perfect cleaning schedule for your house is to prioritize. Highlight what is important to you and what you want clean. Do the dishes pile up constantly? Can you never catch up on laundry? These tasks that seem impossible to stay on top of are what you should prioritize cleaning. Whatever you decide are the main priorities of your household should be on top of your cleaning schedule!

2. Make a Small List
Most individuals schedule their life around their cleaning when it should be the other way around. If you schedule your household cleaning around your life, you’ll find that more gets cleaned. The next step in creating the perfect cleaning schedule for your busy household is to make a small and limited list from the priorities that you’ve decided upon. To keep things in check make three small lists of “must do’s” in these three categories: Daily, Weekly, and Monthly. Here’s a good example to follow:

Daily –

  • Make beds
  • Prep dinner
  • Complete at least 1 load of laundry
  • Do the dishes
  • Wipe down kitchen and bathrooms

Weekly –

  • Change sheets
  • Clean bathrooms fully
  • Meal plan (done every other week)
  • Vacuum household
  • Dust heavy traffic areas

Monthly –

  • Change Air Filters
  • Wash quilts and blankets
  • Clean out the car
  • Dust every room

Remember your cleaning schedule and priorities will vary from this list. So think about your household and plan accordingly!

3. Conquer the Clutter
Keeping the clutter under control is a huge aspect to keeping a tidy home. Before you start tackling your cleaning schedule, you should conquer the clutter around your house if you have any. Go through every space in the house and organize the whole room. Anything that you find that doesn’t fit in the room or doesn’t get used anymore put it in a bin to store away. Once the bin is full take it to a consignment store and donate it! Keep this up after clearing the clutter and place any new clutter in the bin to donate later.

4. Keep Up With the Routine
Once you’ve determined your daily, weekly, and monthly lists and conquered the clutter you’re ready to put your schedule to the test! Find a routine that works for you that helps you get your daily tasks done. If you prefer to put in a load of wash and clear the dishwasher in the morning, do it then or if you like to prep for dinner towards the evening that’s when you should do it. Figure out what works best for you and follow that routine!

5. Divide and Conquer
The best part of creating a cleaning schedule is that you don’t have to tackle it alone. Ask for help when it comes to your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Ask your wife or husband to help you complete a task or two. If you have kids assign them some chores that will help keep the house clean. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Dividing and conquering is always the best method.

6. Complete the Cycle
This step might seem confusing, but it’s one of the most important steps to follow. When you start a task make sure you follow through and complete it. If you start a load of laundry make sure to dry it, fold it, and put it away. Don’t leave any of your tasks unfinished. And don’t feel bad if you get interrupted and don’t complete the task fully at that moment. Just make sure the task gets done before the day ends. It will help keep the house tidier.

7. Schedule Your Tasks
For bigger and more time consuming cleaning tasks, schedule them around your everyday life. This works best for completing weekly and monthly tasks. Remember this will be different for every household so do things according to your needs.

7 Common Water Wasters

Every household is capable of wasting water that doesn’t need to be wasted. However, if you are conscious about common water wasters around the house, you’ll be able to cut down on your water usage, which will also help you save on your water bill! Here are seven common water wasters and how to cut down on your water usage!

Showering
When it comes to showering you should consider cutting your time in half to save on your water bill. Showering is one of the biggest water wasters on this list! Most showers pump out gallons of water per minute, which can easily add up when you take a 30-minute shower.

Hand Washing Dishes
If you’re going to wash your dishes, consider using a dishwasher instead. Dishwashers use less gallons of water per wash compared to the amount of water used from hand washing. Also, if you opt to use a dishwasher make sure to wash the dishes only when the machine is completely full.

Watering Your Lawn
Considered one of the biggest water wasters on this list, watering your lawn can use up to 265 gallons per hour. As lovely as green, healthy grass looks you should cut down on water usage by watering the lawn in the morning so that it doesn’t evaporate. Also, consider watering two or three days out of the week instead of everyday. This change will definitely cut down on water usage and save you money on your water bill!

Washing Your Car
Believe it or not, going to the car wash uses less water than washing your car at home. When you wash your car at home, you use around 80-140 gallons compared to the 30-45 gallons of water used at a car wash. So if you want to save on your bill you could always forget about the manual labor of washing your car and go to the car wash instead! However, if you prefer to wash your own car or don’t want to pay the money to wash your car consider washing your car in sections to save water.

Shaving
When most people shave they tend to leave the water running, which is extremely wasteful. If your a guy, consider turning off the water until you need to use it again. If you are a woman, consider doing the same thing. Or fill up the tub slightly and shave your legs there!

Brushing Teeth
Just like shaving many individuals forget to turn off their faucets while they are brushing their teeth. This can waste up to 5 gallons, and that’s only for the first half of the day. If the water doesn’t get turned off while brushing one person can use up to 10 gallons per day per person. That’s right, if you have a family 10 gallons per person can really add up. So make the change and remember to turn off the water while brushing your teeth!

Washing Clothes
Washing clothes is essential to every household, but did you know that top loading washers waste more money that front loading washers? That’s right; front loading washers are more energy and water efficient. They use about 20 gallons of water per cycle while top loading washers use twice that. So consider getting a front loading washer and watch your water bill decline.

6 Lawn Care Tips for Greener Grass

It’s almost that time of the year again where lawn care becomes a weekly task unless you live in one of Judd Builders wonderful communities that have a Homeowner’s Association (HOA)! If you do live in a community with a HOA, you won’t have to worry too much about lawn care. However, you could still make your lawn the talk of the town by keeping it green and plush all season long with a little work and these six lawn care tips!

1. Sharpen your Mowers Blades
Before you begin mowing your lawn, you’ll want to check the blades of your mower. Make sure the blade are sharp and not dull. If your blades are dull, you’ll want to get them sharpened or else they’ll tear off grass rather than cut it clean. Also, you want to keep inspecting your mower throughout the season to keep it in tiptop shape for the best cut and performance!

2. Don’t feed the Grass When it Turns Brown
Some people tend to worry when they see their grass turn brown. When this happens the best thing to do is to not do anything. Don’t feed the grass with fertilizer or weed control. These products might actually do more harm than good. Brown grass doesn’t mean the grass is dead, it just means the grass has gone dormant. Instead, begin to water it to bring it out of its dormant state.

3. Rake Up Downed Leaves From the Fall
If there are any downed leaves left over from the fall make sure to rake them up as soon as you can. These dead soggy leaves will suffocate any new sprouts from sprouting in the spring, leaving you with dead spots all over your lawn.

4. Mow Smarter
Believe it or not, you’ll want to let your grass grow out to about 3-3.5 inches for the plushiest, greenest grass. Taller grass blades offer more shade, which kills weeds naturally, while also shading the soil, which reduces evaporation and keeps the soil moist. Maintain the height of about 3-3.5 inches all season until the fall, which you can begin cutting it short again! Also, inspect the grass after you cut it to see if it’s time to tune up your lawn mower.

5. Kill Crab Grass Before it Spreads
The only thing to do to prevent crab grass from growing is to apply crabgrass preventer. Apply the preventer around the second or third time you’ve mowed the lawn to stop crabgrass or any other seed from sprouting. Crabgrass generally starts sprouting a few weeks after the grass greens, which is also another indicator for when you should apply the preventer.

6. Fertilize
You should always fertilize your lawn for the springtime in order to achieve green grass. The best kind of fertilizer to use is a slow-release, organic fertilizer, but some fertilizers don’t work for all lawns. If you really want green grass, figure out what type of soil and grass you have and do a soil test to see what should be added to your fertilizer. Once you’ve figured out what you need, start spreading the fertilizer on the outer edges and then cover the middle. Don’t be afraid to overlap a few inches on each pass!

Are you looking for a fantastic community with a Homeowner’s Association that will take care of lawn care and snow removal? Look no further than some of Judd Builders communities like, The Reserve at Creekside, Renaissance at Morgan Creek, Meadow View Farms, and Siena Place! For more information feel free to contact us! We’d love to hear from you and answer any of your questions!

Ideas for Home Efficiency

Many homeowners want to save on their energy bills. There are plenty of easy ways to save that won’t cause any huge changes in lifestyle. The easiest way is to make your home more efficient. So here are some ideas for home efficiency that will help you save energy!

Landscape to Save Energy
Believe it or not, landscaping can help you save on your energy bills. Be smart with landscaping and make sure to plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. When fully grown, the trees will provide much needed shade in the summer but also provide sun in the winter through the bare branches. However, don’t forget to maintain landscaping so your trees don’t become a liability in winter. Also, when planting use low-maintenance plants that are native to the area. This will cut down on water usage, making your home more efficient.

Add or Use Ceiling Fans
If you have ceiling fans great! Use them to your advantage to save energy and make your home more efficient. Ceiling fans use about the same amount of energy as a light bulb, making them less expensive than running your cooling or heating system. You’ll want to change the rotation of your fans depending on the seasons. During winter switch your fan blades to spin clockwise to help push the hot air down from the ceiling. During the summer switch the blades to counterclockwise to push cool air down. By doing this you can save up to 10% on your heating bill in the winter and possibly 40% in the summer!

Modify Your Most Used Lighting
Think about the five most used lights and rooms in your house. Change out any light bulbs that aren’t energy efficient and you could save up to 60 dollars a year. Most of the time the most used rooms and light fixtures tend to be outdoor lamps, kitchen fixtures, bathroom vanities, and the living room. So you can start in these rooms and convert older incandescent or compact fluorescent light bulbs to energy efficient LED bulbs. Once they’re replaced, start thinking about replacing the other lighting used in your house.

Wash with Cold Water
You can ignore the myth that you need to use hot water for whites. Instead use cold water and cold-water detergent to start saving. Also, when you go to dry your clothes use your dryers full load capacity.

Air Dry Dishes
Many dishwashers have a heat drying settings that dry your dishes without the maintenance of hand drying. Even though that’s extremely helpful, it isn’t efficient. Instead empty out your dishwasher and let your dishes air-dry. It might not be maintenance free, but it definitely is low-maintenance and efficient!

Match Your Pans to Your Burner
Most people don’t think about this, but when your pan doesn’t match the size of your burner you can lose a huge amount of the burners heat. So if you have an eight-inch burner, make sure to use an eight-inch pan.

Use Window Treatments
You might have installed them for decor purposes only, but you can use your window treatments to make your home more energy efficient! During the summer they can help keep unwanted heat out when you shut them. During the winter they can help keep the heat in. So stop looking at your window treatments as decor and utilize them to their full potential to help you save energy!

Getting Organized for the Move: How to Prepare for Before & After the Move

Moving is a huge milestone for every homebuyer. It’s an exciting time for everyone; however, the moving process itself has a lot of steps that can feel unmanageable at times. Keep your move manageable with these helpful before and after tips!

 

Packing for the Move:

1. Determine Essentials
Organizing before you pack will pay dividends when you make the move to your new home. Decluttering while packing and determining what is essential will leave you with less stuff to unpack. We all tend to hang onto items longer than we should, so go through everything and determine what is essential to you and your family. Once you’ve figured out your essentials, make a list of how many helping hands are available and decide what size moving truck you’ll need.

2. Color-coordinate and Label
Nobody realizes how much stuff they have until they move. After you’ve determined your essentials, it’s time to start putting things into boxes and packing. Labeling things will definitely make your life easier when you go to unpack in your new home. However, you should also color-coordinate, as well as label your boxes. Designate a specific color for each room and mark or label as needed. When you go to unload everything, you’ll know where each box needs to go due to the bold color and specific labeling, making the process much more efficient and manageable.

3. Call Movers
No matter how hard you try, there will be some items that you cannot move yourself. Call professional movers to help assist with large and heavy items that you can’t move yourself. However, make sure to do your research on moving companies before you make your final decision on which company to trust with your belongings.

 

Unpacking after the Move:

1. Unload Boxes and Place in Appropriate Room
Before you unpack all your belongings you or the movers will have to unload all your belongings from the truck. If you color-coordinated and labeled your boxes this step will be easy! Make sure every box is placed in the appropriate room so that when you go to unpack everything that belongs in that room will be there!

2. Go Room by Room
The easiest way to unpack is to go room by room. Start with rooms that are essential to everyday living, like the kitchen, bathroom, or family room and branch out from there. This seems rather obvious, however, when you have a lot of helping hands things can get rather busy. If you color-coordinated and labeled everything before the move, unpacking will be easier too. Most likely, the boxes and furniture for each room will have made it to their respective locations due to prior organization. So, if you have a lot of friends and family helping, you’ll be able to unpack each room fairly quickly! Just make sure to focus on unpacking the bigger, more important items first and save the smaller items like clothes, trinkets, and décor for later!

3. Organize and Store
Once things start falling into place and you have most of your stuff unpacked, you can start organizing and storing the rest of your things accordingly. Have fun unpacking all the décor that makes your new house your home and feel at ease as you settle into your new home!

6 Simple Steps to Painting a Room

Do you want to add color and paint to a room in your home but don’t know where to start? Or do you need to revamp a room with a fresh coat of paint? Painting doesn’t have to be difficult. Paint your room with ease with these six simple steps!

1. Prep the Room
Before you even set your brush in the paint, you’ll have to prepare your room for the painting process. First, remove all furniture from the room and place it somewhere safe so you don’t get any paint on your furniture throughout the process. If you can’t remove all of the furniture from the room, you can cover it with an old sheet or tarp you don’t care about. Next, clean the walls with a cellulose sponge, water, and minimal dish soap to remove dust and dirt from the walls. By doing this, you will remove any residue that could ruin a smooth finish. Once you’re done washing the walls tape all the trim work, doorframes, and windows so that your trim stays paint-free.

2. Prime Walls
Depending on the current color of your walls, you might have to prime your walls before you paint with the new color. Darker and bolder colors are harder to paint over. Also, if you think that you don’t have to prime the walls, think again! Primer helps the coverage and sheen of paint. Therefore, your finish coat of paint has a more uniform appearance. So if you want a high-quality paint job, don’t skip this step!

3. Cut In
You’ll want to cut in detailed areas first before painting the whole room. Usually the best brushes to cut in with are sash brushes. They are usually about 1-1/2 inches wide and cut at an angle making them ideal for cutting in around detailed areas like trim, outlets, tricky corners, or around the ceiling. Extend two or three inches out from the areas you are cutting in and keep a steady hand. This step might be the most time consuming step, but it’s the most important.

4. Use the W technique
You would think rolling paint onto a wall with a roller would be easy, but there are a lot of things that have to be taken into consideration. Depending on the type of paint you’ve chosen, you’ll want to match the nap length of the roller to the paint type to ensure a uniform paint job. When you start painting, use the “W technique.” Start in the corner of a wall and roll and W pattern on a three-by-three foot space. Continue the pattern without lifting the roller and paint three-by-three sections at a time. Also, don’t forget to keep refilling your roller with paint. You’ll want a uniform paint job so don’t spread the paint too thin, but don’t overload the roller with too much paint either.

5. Paint Trim
Once the new color is on your walls its time to paint the trim work. When the walls are finally dry, take tape and tape where the trim meets the wall. Then, paint the trim with a two-inch angled brush to make the process easier!

6. Clean Up and Enjoy!
The last step to painting a room is clean up! That’s right all you have to do after your room is painted is to clean your paint brushes. Forget about cleaning the rollers, they are relatively cheap and can be thrown out, but paint brushes can be pretty expensive, so its important clean them properly so you can use it multiple times.

Looking for a new home to move into and pick all the paint colors? Contact us today to learn about all of our wonderful communities and what Judd Builders has to offer! We’d love to hear from you and answer all of your questions!

Settling Into A New Home: What to Do

Settling into a new home can be a daunting task. There are so many things to take care of that it seems like you can’t keep track of everything. However, this is supposed to be a fun time for you and your family. So here is a list of things you need to do when settling into you new home to make the move less stressful.

Fill Out A Change of Address Form
Once you move in it’s important to fill out a change of address form. This can easily be done at the local post office or online. However, don’t forget to notify your bank and any financial companies about the change. Contact them directly to let them know that you have moved.

Transfer Utilities and Services
Just like filling out a change of address form, you’ll want to transfer all of your utilities and services to your new address. Most utility services will either let you change your existing services or sign up. Check with our sales consultants about specific utility companies required at your new community.

Get To Know Your New Home
Let’s face it, you already know the layout of your new home, but do you know where the circuit breaker and water shutoffs are? Make sure to locate your homes main circuit breaker and make sure it’s clearly labeled. When something goes awry later down the road you’ll be happy you know exactly what to do.

Map Out The Area
Just like your new home, you’ll want to map out the surrounding community as well. Find out where the closest gas station, hospital, and grocery store is. This is for your convenience and it will help you adjust to the new community quickly and comfortably.

Help Children and Pets Adjust to Your New Home
If you have any children or pets, adjusting to the new environment can be hard for them. Help children settle into your new home by setting up their room first. Also, take them to the closest park to meet the neighborhood kids. If you have any pets, let them explore the new area on their own.

Meet Your Neighbors
Meeting your neighbors is key when you move into your new home. Don’t spend all your time settling into your new home. Get out and walk around the neighborhood and introduce yourselves to your neighbors. Establish a good relationship with them and they’ll be sure to keep a lookout on your home while you’re on vacation.

Relax and Enjoy
Don’t forget to relax and enjoy your new space! The hardest part of the home-buying process is over. Relax and take your time while settling into your new home, but don’t forget to enjoy being a new homeowner either!

10 Baby-proofing Tips to Keep Your Home Baby-Friendly

Whether your family has a new arrival on the way or you’re babysitting a small visitor for the day here are 10 easy baby-proofing tips to make your home baby-friendly!

1. Plug Electrical Outlets
Keep little ones from sticking their fingers near electrical outlets by plugging up them with plastic outlet covers. Or if you prefer a safer option, you can replace your current electrical plates with spring-loaded outlet covers. You can even arrange furniture in front of outlets to diminish the little one’s temptation to stick his or her finger in those dangerous holes in the wall.

2. Barricade the Stairs
Stairs can be very dangerous for babies that can crawl or walk. Install baby gates at the top of staircases to prevent your mobile baby from tumbling down them. If you want to be extra pre-cautious, you can even put baby gates at the bottom of a staircase to prevent babies from climbing up stairs as well.

3. Relocate Plants and Planters
Move any houseplants up high or in an off-limits room to keep little ones from nibbling on those tasty looking plants. Even though most houseplants are harmless, some are poisonous when eaten. Just relocate plants for the time being until your baby is old enough to understand they shouldn’t eat plants.

4. Stabilize Your Furniture
Babies use furniture for support when they are learning to walk. To keep your little one safe, stabilize heavy pieces of furniture from toppling over with furniture straps or brackets.

5. Lock Up Your Cabinets
Keep you baby out of places they shouldn’t be with cabinet locks. Once babies are mobile they will show their amazing ability to open drawers and cabinets. To keep them from emptying your cabinets use cabinet locks to your advantage.

6. Lock Up Hazardous Products
Along with keeping your little one out of the cabinets you’ll want to keep them away from hazardous products as well. Relocate all these items to out of reach areas to keep your baby safe. Or if you can’t move these items secure them in a locked cabinet.

7. Cover Up Cords
Cords are a serious danger to babies. Babies can get tangled up in them and choke or even chew on them and get hurt. It’s best to remove or cover up any electrical cords that are in your baby’s reach. The same goes for hanging mobiles above their cribs. If you little one can sit up it’s time to remove the mobile.

8. Ban Small Toys
If you have an older child you might want to teach them to keep their small toys away from the baby. These toys can become choking hazards, so ban them to one off-limit space.

9. Soften Sharp Edges
If a little one is beginning to walk or use furniture to pull themselves up, you’ll want to go around the house and soften any sharp edges on furniture. Apply stick-on, removable corner cushions to prevent any bumps or bruises.

10. Baby-proof Yourself
Don’t forget to baby-proof yourself while taking care of a little one. Babies go through a grabby phase, so anything in his or her reach is fair game. You’ll have to change your habits for a little while, but it will keep your baby safe while they outgrow the grabby phase. Set glasses, dinner plates, silverware, and cell phones far back on counters and tables. Don’t wear dangly earrings or necklaces. Just make sure to keep things out of their reach so they don’t end up hurting themselves or you!

For more tips and tricks on how to baby-proof your home, click here. Or if you want a more in depth checklist on things to baby-proof around the house click here.

10 Ways to Declutter Your House

1. Make a Date With Your Space
Decluttering any space, let alone your house, takes a good amount time. So, block off a morning or afternoon and begin organizing. However, don’t expect to get the whole house done in a day. It’ll take time to clean and organize every room!

2. Make a Plan of Attack
Before you start organizing make a plan of attack. What room are you going to start with? How much do you want to achieve in the time you set aside? It’s usually a good idea to start with the area in your house that is the most frustrating. Get this space out of the way and you’ll feel unstoppable.

3. Arm Yourself
It’s smart to get your supplies ready before you start organizing. You’ll need trash bags, for trash and for recyclables, a box for charitable items, and a box for items that don’t belong in that space. Also, it’s a good idea to clean the space while your organizing it. Have cleaning supplies around to wipe down the area once everything is cleared out of the space. Not only will the space be organized, but it will also be clean as well.

4. Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
The best way to declutter your house is to focus on one space at a time. It’s nearly impossible to clean the whole house in an entire day. Go room by room and don’t start another room if you’re feeling unfocused. You’ll most likely organize less because you’ll be frustrated and less efficient.

5. Organize First; Buy Second
It’s tempting to buy a bunch of containers to help you organize, but you should always organize before you buy any containers. You never know what containers will function best in your space. So organize first and then assess what you need container-wise.

6. Group Like Items Together
When organizing, a good way to get through a bunch of clutter is to group like items together. Do you have a bunch of black pants that you hardly wear? Keep two or three pairs and donate the rest. The same goes for any other like items as well!

7. Be Honest With Yourself
The hardest part of organizing is being honest with yourself. It’s always hard to let things go, but if you haven’t worn or used an item in a year its best to get rid of it. Don’t try to convince yourself that you’ll use it later down the road. If you haven’t used it already, you won’t use it later.

8. Elevate Items Off The Floor
The easiest and quickest way to make any room look more organized is to elevate items off the floor. Don’t let toys, tools, or clothes sit around on the floor, use shelving to your advantage and get those items off the floor.

9. Complete Each Task Completely
Your house will never be decluttered if you don’t follow through with each task. Never stop in the middle of organizing and leave a room unfinished. You’re more likely to never go back to finish decluttering the room. Instead, go room by room and make sure to complete each task completely before moving on!

10. Your Space Will Get Messy Again — Don’t Worry
Just because you’ve decluttered your house doesn’t mean that it will stay that way. Expect regular upkeep. There are always ingoing and outgoing items that will eventually clutter your home. However, because you’ve organized the house before, it will be easier tidying up when things get a little messy.

Bonus: Get Through Organizing By Having Fun!
How can organizing be fun you ask? Well, there plenty of ways! Make organizing a design challenge. Integrate your personal style into the storage bins you choose and make it a part of the overall room design. Or make it a game! Make a set of rules and goals for yourself and you’ll find that your organize a room quicker!