82 Central St, Fitchburg, MA 01420
When spring arrives it brings everyone out to the backyard for games, cookouts, picnics, and a number of other fun, fair weather activities. It also brings yardwork.
With the busy schedules that most homeowners have, it can be difficult to find time to spend hours working in the yard each weekend. Depending on where you live and the size of your backyard, there are many options for making it a bit easier to take care of your lawn and garden.
In this article, we’ll give you some advice on how to make caring for your backyard a lot simpler so that you can spend your time outside enjoying the weather rather than working up a sweat.
In most suburban and rural neighborhoods, lawncare seems like a competition. Everyone wants their grass to look as green as their neighbor’s. But keeping a meticulous lawn can be difficult if you have kids, pets, or just don’t have the time to spend manicuring and fertilizing your lawn. What’s more, lawncare can get expensive quickly and can go wrong just as quickly in the case of droughts and pests.
There are many ways you can simplify your lawn care. If you love having a lawn, but mowing is a pain, it can be easier to remove some obstacles from your yard. Bird baths and other decorations can be a nice accept, but sometimes they make mowing more difficult than it needs to be.
If you don’t want to deal with grass at all, or want a smaller area to mow, you have a few options.
You could make your yard more of a natural meadow by planting wildflowers and encouraging long grasses. Laying a brick path down the middle creates the air of a walkthrough garden where you can view the many florae that will be ever-changing in your yard.
If you like your yard to look neat and tidy, creating a patio and placing a few choice potted plants and trees on it will save you a lot of time pushing the lawnmower.
Choose the right plants
Many people plant bushes, trees, and flowers based solely on the fact that they like them. It makes more sense in the long run, though, to choose your plants based on their hardiness, and your ability to care for them.
Some plants are marketed as being impossible to kill. However, you should still read the care requirements to make sure they’ll work with your yard’s climate, light, and water conditions.
In warmer climates, cacti and succulents are a good choice and will likely fit the scenery. For colder climates, there are a number of conifers, shrubs, and bushes that will stay green throughout the winter, adding a bit of color to the dreary season.
A good way to make sure your yard will be low maintenance year-round is to use plants and trees that are native to your area. Since they’re in their natural habitat, they’ll likely require less work on your part.
If you're an allergy sufferer, you probably have a love-hate relationship with carpeting. On one hand, you may love the way soft carpeting feels on your bare feet when you step out of bed first thing in the morning. On the other hand, you probably hate the allergy symptoms it triggers and the cleaning problems it creates.
There's no denying that wall-to-wall carpeting can be a nuisance to clean and maintain. Once you've spilled something on carpeting, it's often tough to get that stain out. For households with children, pets, or "spill-prone" adults, the problem of dealing with carpet stains is unrelenting!
Issues For House SellersThe fact that many people have both a physical and mental aversion to carpeting is an important thing to keep in mind if you're considering putting your house on the market. Although it can be relatively simple and inexpensive for new homeowners to remove carpeting, some prospective buyers can't look past it. It can be a "deal breaker." When staging a house for sale, it might be worthwhile to remove old carpet or -- at the very least -- point out to prospects that there are hardwood floors or other desirable flooring material underneath the carpet. Loosening up a corner of the carpeting so that it can be easily pulled away to show the underlying flooring material can help deflect objections about the carpeting being there.
Partial Solutions For Dirty Carpets
Newer carpets that haven't been subjected to the wear and tear of daily use can temporarily look good and complement the décor of a room. However, it doesn't take long for carpet fibers to collect and harbor a host of undesirable household allergens -- ranging from dust mites and mold spores to pet dander and bacteria.
Regular vacuuming and steam-cleaning can help reduce the problem, but it's more of a "Band-Aid" approach than a long-term solution. If you don't have the right kind of vacuum cleaner, it could even make the problem worse. Unless your vacuum cleaner has a HEPA (high-efficiency particular air) filter, it may actually redistribute dust mite proteins back into the room, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Carpet manufacturers often recommend that carpets be professionally cleaned at least once a year, but the benefits of that can wear off quickly.
There are a variety of products on the market for cleaning carpet stains, but they sometimes tend to do too good of a job. Not only do they get rid of the stain, but they also can cause the color of your carpet to fade in the treated area! Some carpet spot cleaners also contain toxic chemicals, so you have to be careful when using them.
One way to slow down the problem of dirty carpets in your home is to ask family members and visitors to take their shoes off when entering the house. Although you probably are not going to get 100% compliance -- especially with kids -- it will be step in the right direction!
Do you know where the dirtiest place in your home is? You may be quick to answer that the bathroom is one of the dirtiest places in your home, but it really isn’t. Your kitchen is the place in your home that’s breeding the most germs. There are a few different kinds of germs in your kitchen that have the potential to make you sick including listeria, E-coli, mold, yeast, salmonella, and more. If you know where the 10 most germ-ridden places in your kitchen are you can address them more closely in order to help keep you and your family healthy.
The Sponges And Dishcloths
Your sponges and dishcloths get used for a variety of purposes in the kitchen. These items can build up a variety of bacteria including harmful salmonella and E coli. To combat germs, microwave the sponge or dishcloth on high for about 30-60 seconds in order to kill bacteria. Do this on a regular basis to keep a cleaner kitchen.
The Vegetable Drawer
Even in the cold refrigerator, this dark environment tends to breed germs. From the time the groceries are in your cart, you should work to keep both meats and produce separate. You don’t want raw meat juices dripping on the produce. Once you get back to your home, the vegetables and fruits should be thoroughly washed. Your vegetable drawer should be washed on a regular basis as well. If you keep things like your kitchen tools and appliances from being cross contaminated then you’ll be ahead of any germs and bacteria that could cause you harm. As a bonus, to control odors make sure that you put some baking soda in the vegetable compartment from time to time.
The Kitchen Sink
You know that everything gets thrown in the kitchen sink. If you have a garbage disposal, you’re probably throwing old bits of food down there. Then, you’re using the sink to scrub pots and pans. Dishes are being piled up there. Always use a disinfecting kitchen cleaner to scrub down your sink each day to prevent harmful bacteria from building up.
The Meat Drawer
If you have a stinky lunch meat drawer, you’re not alone. We tend to throw our packaged lunch meats in there, forget about them, and rarely address cleaning the drawer. The same way that you clean your vegetable drawer to keep items from cross contaminating should be used when it comes to handling meats whether they are raw or just some simple lunch meat.
It can be difficult to address all of the nooks and crevices of your kitchen, but with a regular cleaning schedule you should be able to keep away the germs and live with a clean kitchen.
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