Cleaning blogs: Online help for your spring cleaning plans

Here at Goldstar, we try as much as possible to provide you with experience-based tips and tricks to make cleaning easier. But we know we’re not the only game in town – in fact, there are a staggering number of online blogs dedicated to house cleaning, organizing and decorating. Most are written by ordinary folks, just like you. So, if you’re looking for some DIY inspiration for spring cleaning, check out these four outstanding blogs: The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking: How does a mother of six find time to blog, craft and keep an immaculate house? Follow Kelly as she dispenses pearls of wisdom on everything from child-friendly art projects to simply delicious cooking. ( Check out: Free Printable Spring Cleaning Checklist,¬†A Million Great Uses For Binder Clips   iHeartOrganizing: Jennifer Jones has a place for everything. Her blog, iHeartOrganizing, was recently featured on HGTV’s Clean Freaks, but Jones wants to make clear that you don’t have to go crazy to have an organized space. In fact, her tips may bring some serenity back into your house. ( Check out: Quick tips for getting your garage summer ready, An organized cleaning caddy   Spring Cleaning 365: People encourage us to take life one day at a time; why not cleaning, too? This comprehensive blog provides daily, step-by-step instructions for every conceivable spring cleaning chore, from washing the windows to organizing the nightstands. The blog also reminds you to perform regular “habits”; little chores that make housework easier. Check out: Spring cleaning windows, Cleaning window frames   A Slob Comes Clean: Let’s face it: we all fall short of our Martha Stewart-esque dreams for keeping an immaculate house. That’s what makes Dana White, aka Nony’s blog so refreshing. A Slob Comes Clean holds nothing back while chronicling Nony’s continuing battle to de-clutter her family’s home – the good, the bad and the grungy. She also has several e-books available. Check out: Dishwashing Rhythm ‚Äď And My Lack of Cleaning Intuition, Simplifying My Bathroom Counter

Compu-clean: How to clean your PC

If you’re anything like me, your cleaning regiment is probably very structured: clean the tops of things. Clean underneath those same things. Repeat as necessary. But many homeowners neglect the most frequently-used items in their homes – their electronics, and in particular¬†their computers. These¬†ubiquitous (and expensive)¬†devices can become¬†clogged with dust and grime after years of continuous use, which can shorten¬†their lifespan and expose you and your family to harmful bacteria (just think of how many people touch your keyboard in¬†an average week.) Fortunately, cleaning your PC is as easy as 1-2-3. What you’ll need:
  • A Screwdriver
  • Can of compressed air (available from computer dealers or office-supply stores)
  • Cotton swabs (do not use a cotton ball)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Soft, lint-free cloths, paper towels, or anti-static cloths
  • Water
(Note: ALWAYS turn off electronic devices and unplug them before performing any cleaning or maintenance). Step 1: Cleaning¬†your tower Computer towers require ventilation to avoid overheating.¬†But the fan and vents also allow dust to get inside, which can make the ventilation systems less efficient. To clean inside your tower, you must first open the case. Computers vary in the kinds of fastening mechanisms that hold the tower together – some use knobs or slots that can be removed by hand, while others are held together by screws. If in doubt, consult your computer’s owner’s manual. (Note, it some cases opening your computer case will void the warranty. If in doubt, consult your computer’s owner’s manual.) Once the case is open, you’ll want to avoid touching the interior as much as possible. Remove large pieces of dust or lint¬†with a¬†cloth¬†or a pair of tweezers. Angle the computer downward, then use the compressed air to remove dust from hard-to-reach corners. Use the compressed air to clean the tower vents, fan, disk drive and CD-ROM drive. Finally, close the case, and wipe down the exterior of the tower¬†with a cotton swab and some¬†rubbing alcohol. Step 2: Cleaning¬†your monitor Take care when choosing what materials to use when cleaning your monitor. Do not use paper¬†towels, which can scratch the¬†monitor surface – use a soft, lint-free cloth instead. Also,¬†never spray cleaning materials directly onto a¬†monitor screen – spray onto the cloth. For LCD screens¬†(used in flat screen and laptop monitors),¬†wipe down the screen using a¬†small amount of water on a¬†soft, lint-free cloth.¬†For glass screens (used in “TV-style” monitors), you can use glass cleaner, again¬†with a soft, lint-free cloth. Step 3:¬†Cleaning¬†your Mouse and Keyboard Unplug the mouse and keyboard, if they’re connected to your computer, or turn them off, if they’re wireless. To clean¬†your keyboard, first turn it upside down over a sink or waste basket and shake out any loose debris. Then, use compressed air to clean between the keys. Finally, use a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol to wipe off any stains. In some cases, you may need to remove “sticky” keys¬†and clean them separately. To clean¬†your mouse, use a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol to wipe off the top of the mouse. If your mouse uses an electronic sensor, rather than the traditional roller-ball, make sure to wipe off any dust or debris from the sensor. If your mouse has a roller ball,¬†open the underside of the mouse and remove the roller ball. Soak the roller ball in water and let it air dry. Then, wipe the interior of the mouse with rubbing alcohol and a soft, lint-free cloth, then spray the interior with compressed air. Return the roller ball and to the mouse and close it.

6 Ways to Clean Up Your Act in 2013

Is 2013 the year you resolved to keep your house tidy? With planning, a bit of extra effort and these six tips to start you off, you can succeed where your 2012 diet failed. 1. Start with a clean slate. Get a leg up on your new cleaning regiment by bringing in professionals to tackle major jobs, like cleaning the stove or scrubbing floors. Once your home is spic and span, make it your resolution to keep it that way. 2. Make a cleaning plan. The best resolutions have clear, concise goals and a timeline to accomplish them. Check out the 2013 New Year’s Cleaning Grand Plan Challenge, a 14-week program by the Organized Home web blog, for a step-by-step schedule, as well as cleaning tips and tricks. 3. Invest in tools to make cleaning easier. Often, it’s the simple things that help keep a space clean: a cover for the microwave, baking soda for the fridge, automatic cleaners for toilet and shower. And let’s not forget that industrious robotic helper, the Roomba. It cleans your floors while you’re away, then recharges itself automatically. 4. Clear that clutter. The post-Christmas season is a good time to take stock of your living space. Has paperwork taken over your desk? File it away. Ages-old condiments in the fridge? Toss ’em. Invest in storage containers to put away odds and ends. 5. Tackle cleaning one chore at a time. With any New Year’s resolution, the quickest route to failure is to tackle too much at once. Resolve to set aside just fifteen minutes per day to clean your home, focusing on one room at a time. 6. Reward yourself for a job well done. Resolve to treat yourself whenever you reach a milestone on your cleaning plan. A new flat-screen TV would look great mounted of the wall of your squeaky clean living room.