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The Suburbanite
  • Home Help: Streamline your spring cleaning

  • Spring cleaning can be a drawn-out chore, but that can change this year. The key to a quick and painless deep clean involves staying organized, having the right tools on hand and keeping track of time to ensure a quick and efficient job done right the first time.

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  • Spring cleaning can be a drawn-out chore, but that can change this year. The key to a quick and painless deep clean involves staying organized, having the right tools on hand and keeping track of time to ensure a quick and efficient job done right the first time.
    5 SPRING CLEANING TIPS:
    1. Assign and attack
    Everyone contributes to dirtying a home over the year, so having everyone also contribute to tidying it up is important. Assign a leader and have each member of your family say what area of the house they feel they can tackle best, ensuring everyone is comfortable and able to quickly and effectively clean their section.
    2. Assess the problem areas
    Take your family cleaning crew on a quick walk-through of the home and identify areas that need the most attention. This will allow you to supply your crew with the right set of supplies and allot them the proper amount of time to get the job done. Add an extra hour to normal cleaning times for each area, since this is a deep spring clean.
    3. Arm yourself with the right tools
    Nothing is worse than starting your spring cleaning and realizing you do not have the right cleaning supplies to get the job done in one take. For discarding old, unnecessary clutter, try using durable trash bags and solid cardboard boxes to ensure nothing falls apart and it makes it out the door. For cleaning, pick up a powerful multi-purpose cleaner that cleans away built-up grime, white residue and hard water spots that have collected on neglected surfaces like ceramic tiles, shower doors, toilet bowls and kitchen counter tops.
    4. And one final walk-through
    Once you have tackled your spring cleaning list, take a final walk-through to make sure you covered every nook and cranny. Hidden dust and tarnish can be hard to spot the first time around so make sure to take a cleaner with you for a quick and efficient last-minute cleanup. Taking the family with you on the final walk-through will show everyone all the work that goes into keeping a house tidy all year.
    5. Relax
    Take a big, deep breath of relief because you just finished this year's spring cleaning – and in record time. Throughout the year, your home won't keep itself clean; make sure to keep the right cleaning supplies on hand for quick cleaning jobs and touch-ups. Now go outside and enjoy some springtime activities – you deserve it.
     
    Give your garden a make-over
    Pergolas and arches have long been used successfully in garden design to provide strong vertical elements. Their purpose has usually been twofold: to frame views and openings, and to provide welcome shade over areas set aside for entertaining and relaxation. Covered by climbing plants, pergolas can form cool retreats in shaded walkways and arbors.
    Page 2 of 2 - Three ways to add character to your green space:
    Framing entrances.  Since before the Middle Ages, archways in many styles have been constructed to form grand entrances. At the time of the Renaissance, archways came to be positioned to frame a view or other focal point of interest. Then, as now, the impact of the distant, or partially hidden, view was far stronger. It was not until the last century that the arch itself was framed with shrubs and climbing plants.
    Structures for shade.  The original pergola constructions can be traced back to ancient Egyptian times, when overhead structures were used as a support for grapes, which in turn provided much-needed areas of shade. From here, their use spread to more temperate climates, where their function became more ornamental. They still had, in part, the role of providing shade, but, in these cooler regions where total shade was not required, care needed to be taken in the design of pergolas, since sturdy structures with close-set beams could appear oppressive and gloomy. Thus, in time, the horizontal beams were spaced farther apart to let in more light.
    Covered walkways. Today, arbors may be viewed primarily as a focal point. Often enclosed on three sides, they tend to be smaller than pergolas and are usually set in a cool corner of the garden. Originally, however, arbors were shady tunnels formed by training trees, such as linden and sycamore, to grow over a framework of metal arches. Arbors were also developed as secluded outdoor rooms, shaded places often enclosed by intricate trellis work. This is more in line with their function today, where trees, climbers, and shrubs are trained over wooden archways and trellises to form a secluded haven.
     HGTV.com