Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall – Household Hints, Tips And Then Some

Information, especially useful information is always appreciated (at least by me).

Here are some helpful household hints (and tips) for all seasons...and then some.

Enjoy!

Winter

Three Winter Energy Tips:

Set back your thermostat when you're away from home or snuggled under the covers. It really does make a difference. A 10 degree setback for an eight-hour period of time can reduce your heating expense 5% to 15%. Two eight-hour setbacks (one when you're at work and another when you're asleep) can save approximately 15% to 25%!

Keep the drapes and blinds open for your southern windows. The sun will help warm your home. Close them in the evening to help reduce heat loss.

Insulate your outlets & switches. Everyone knows that weather stripping and insulation saves money and prevents drafts in the Winter. But who thinks about electric outlets? A lot of heat is lost from homes through the outlets located on exterior walls. Purchase electric outlet and switch gaskets at your local hardware store. Remove the outlet cover, fit the gasket over the outlet or switch, and replace the cover. In less than an hour, you can outfit your entire home, saving energy, and preventing drafts.

Five Household Jobs Perfect For Winter Weather:

Test all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace the batteries.

While you are checking your smoke detectors, make sure you replace or clean the furnace filters for your heating and air conditioning system.

Replace drawer liners and shelf papers.

Walk through the house with a screwdriver, looking for simple repairs that can be made by tightening a screw (like loose door handles).

Pick one closet (one and only one) and empty it. Try to give away, donate or throw away as much of the closet's contents as possible.

Spring

Here are some tips to help you navigate through this year's spring cleaning:

Clear out cobwebs from high ceiling corners by cutting an old tennis ball and attaching it to the end of a broom handle. Tape a dryer sheet over the tennis ball. Voila! You have an extension cobweb cleaner.

This is a good time of the year to flip your mattress. Remove the old bedding and clean it. Vacuum the mattress and box spring.

Place a couple of dryer sheets into your vacuum bag to release a fresh sent while vacuuming.

Take down your draperies and curtains for cleaning. Clean the windows while the window coverings are down. Use vinegar for a streak free shine.

Vacuum all sofa and chair cushions and coverings. While the cushions are up, move the furniture and clean underneath.

Dust from the top and down.

Carry all of your cleaning tools in a bucket/pail to avoid unnecessary trips.

To get rid of musty carpet odors, leave baking soda on the carpet over night. Use baking soda on odors in plastic storage containers too.

To clean difficult wood work, wear old socks as mitts or use unmatched socks to dust windows.

Instead of dusting small knickknacks, wash them in the sink or dishwasher (as long as they're not too fragile).

Use a pencil eraser to remove heel marks.

Use shaving cream on red wine or punch spills.

Use rubbing alcohol on sticky price tags.

Handheld, cordless, and bagless vacuums can work wonders!

Consider laundry service when you're overwhelmed.

Create your own room scents by spraying perfume on light bulbs. When ever the light is turned on, the bulb will give off the fragrance.

Summer

Are these just old wives tales or could they be true facts? You let me know. Here are some unusual mosquito repellant tips:

Rub your skin with Bounce Fabric Softener Sheets

Take one Vitamin B-1 tablet (100 mg) a day - the odor emitted through your skin, which people cannot smell, is supposed to repel mosquitoes.

Avoid bananas - they are the opposite of B-1 and give off a smell that attracts mosquitoes.

Add a couple of drops of Lemon Fresh Joy detergent to a shallow white dinner plate with water in an outdoor dinner or picnic area - for some reason this attracts mosquitoes, which die a few minutes after drinking the detergent/water mixture.

Here is a natural remedy that will sooth your sunburn:

Take a washcloth, soak it in either milk or cream, seal it in a plastic bag and place it in the refrigerator or freezeedr to cool. Once cool, remove the washcloth from the plastic bag and apply to the sunburn for quick relief.

The kids are all done with school and it’s time for that summer vacation. Make sure your home is safe and secure while you're on vacation. Cut out this checklist and place it on the refrigerator as a reminder:

* Lock windows and doors.
* Stop mail & newspaper delivery or have a neighbor pick it up daily.
* Have a trusted neighbor check your home.
* Set timers on interior lights to make it appear someone's at home.
* Unplug computers, TVs, and other electronic equipment vulnerable to electrical surges.
* Put jewelry and valuables in a safety deposit box.
* Turn off water valves to your washing machine, dishwasher, and icemaker.
* Board your pets or arrange for someone to care for them.
* Let the police and/or your alarm company know if you will be gone for an extended period of time.

Fall (Autumn)

An Easy Way To Handle Those Leaves:

No one likes raking leaves. As soon as you get them into a pile, the wind picks up, scattering the leaves all over the yard. You have to start over. If raking is not bad enough, it seems like it takes forever to get all of the leaves bagged. If you have always wondered if there was a better way, there is!

Don't rake. Wash the leaves into a pile. That's right. Wash them using a power washer (you know you've always wanted to buy one-here's your excuse). Spraying is easier than raking. Wet leaves don't blow in the wind. Wet leaves pack down better, simplifying the bagging.

Pumpkin Tips:

Paint your pumpkin, rather than carve it.

Spread petroleum jelly along carved edges to preserve the pumpkin longer.

Serve pumpkin soup from a hollowed out pumpkin.

Glue bits of carpet to your jack-o-lanterns to give them hair.

Put a sponge in the bottom of a hollowed pumpkin and add artificial flowers and leaves to make a seasonal centerpiece.

Hollow out small pumpkins and use as seasonal candle holders.

Awesome Autumn Arranging Tips:

Stock up on holiday baking goods, such as holiday-shaped cookie cutters, sugar, flour, and colored sprinkles.

Store clothes by fabrics when you rotate them from summer to fall. This will speed your storage process and help you preserve them better.

Prepare for the holidays by creating a gift-wrapping center with papers, bows, scissors, tags, and tape. Store it in the center of a closet for easy access when you need it. 

 

And Then Some...

Your carbon footprint is a measure of the impact you make on the planet, based on the amount of greenhouse gases that are generated by your activities. Here are a few ways you can cut your carbon footprint:

Use rechargeable batteries to reduce waste and keep the hazardous materials found in some batteries out of our landfills.

Offset your thermostat two degrees to reduce the number of hours your comfort system operates

When your incandescent light bulbs fail, replace them with compact fluorescent light bulbs

Get your heating system professionally tuned-up every fall and your air conditioning tuned-up every spring.

Drive Wise To Reduce Air Pollution:

Drive less, especially during peak traffic periods or hot days.

Use public transportation, walk, or ride a bike.

Shop by phone, mail or Internet.

Telecommute. Even one day a week will make a big difference.

Combine your errands into one trip.

Avoid revving or idling engine over 30 seconds.

Avoid waiting in long drive-thru lines, for example, at fast-food restaurants or banks. Park your car and go in.

Use an energy-conserving (E.C.) grade of motor oil.

Get regular engine tune ups and car maintenance checks (especially for the spark
plugs).

Replace your car's air filter and oil regularly.

Keep your tires properly inflated and aligned.

Fill gas tank during cooler evening hours to cut down on evaporation. Avoid spilling gas and don't "top off" the tank. Replace gas tank cap tightly.

7 Tips For Safer Computing:

The Internet gives you access to information, entertainment, financial offers-frankly, countless products and services. At the same time, it can leave you open to online scammers, identity thieves, and more. Here are experts' top tips for computer security.

Protect your personal information. It's valuable. To minimize your risk of identity theft, don't share your personal information unless you know how it will be used and protected. Don't reply to or click on links in any email asking for your personal information.

Know who you're dealing with. When shopping online, look for a seller's physical address and a working telephone number. Before downloading free software, read the fine print -some downloads come with spyware

Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software, as well as a firewall. Update them all regularly; many update automatically. Look for anti-virus software that removes or quarantines viruses, and for antispyware software that can undo changes spyware makes to your system. Make sure your firewall is on and set up properly.

Be sure to set up your operating system and Web browser software properly, and update them regularly. Select security settings high enough to reduce your risk of being hacked. Make sure to regularly update your system with the latest patches.

Protect your passwords. Keep your passwords in a secure place, and don't share them on the Internet, over email, or on the phone.

Back up important files. If you have important files stored on your computer, copy them onto a removable disc, and store it in a safe place.

Learn who to contact if something goes wrong online. Find a local expert you can trust if your system is compromised or damaged.

Discourage Those Auto Thieves:

In 2006 in the U.S., a car was stolen every 26.4 seconds. You can reduce your chances of becoming a victim by taking some practical measures to deter thieves. Here some suggestions to help you avoid the cost, inconvenience and aggravation of having your car or truck stolen:

Lock Your Doors. While locking your doors won't keep out a determined thief, it will create one more layer of defense that will make it a little more difficult for a bad guy to steal your car.

Turn Off Your Engine and Take Your Keys. A high percentage of crimes occur when people simply leave the car running while they jump out to do some quick task. No matter how quick you think you will be, a thief will probably be quicker.

Beware of Day Care Facilities. One of the most common places for thieves to lurk is near a day care, where leaving a car running is very common. Mom leaves the car running while she takes the kids inside and when she gets back, the car is gone.

Etch Your VIN. Your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is the only thing that identifies your car as yours. Have your VIN etched into your windshield (many local police departments will do it for free and you might get an insurance discount). It creates one more hassle for a would-be thief to deal with if he steals your car.

Install a Kill Switch. One of the best methods to prevent theft is to install a hidden switch in line with your ignition. Unless it's switched on, normal hot-wiring by a would-be thief won't work. Have an auto shop install it in a secret location.

Install a Fake Alarm. If you can't afford a real alarm system or a kill switch, try installing a flashing LED light on your dash. It gives the appearance of an alarm without the high cost. Sort of like putting a "Beware of Dog" sign on your fence, even though you have no dog.

Reprogram Your GPS. This won't stop thieves, but it will limit the damage they could cause. Nowadays, thieves are stealing a car then driving to the home of the car's owner and breaking into it as well. They get the address from the GPS or insurance forms in the glove box. The prime targets for this kind of crime? Women parking expensive cars at the mall. Thieves reason the victim will be busy shopping for a long time!

HOTLINES:

While I hope you never need these numbers, I want you to have access to them. Crisis hotlines are just as the name implies, ready for a crisis. Product recall hotlines usually provide additional information for recalls reported through the media and serve as a place to report problems.

Boat Safety Hotline: 800-368-5647
Consumer Product Safety Commission: 800-638-2772
Auto Safety Hotline: 800-424-9393 and 888-327-4236
Poison Hotline: 800-222-1222 or 800-362-9922
Animal Poison Hotline: 888-426-4435
National Suicide Hotline: 800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433)
Covenant House Hotline For Youth Under 21 & Families: 800-999-9999
Grief Recovery Helpline: 800-445-4808 (6 a.m. to 9 p.m. PST)
Missing Children Hotline: 800-843-5678
National Alcohol & Drug Abuse Hotline: 800-252-6465
USDA Food Hotline: 800.SAFEFOOD (800-723-3663)
Cancer Information Service: 800-422-6237
Elder Abuse Hotline: 800-252-8966

Comments 8 comments

elisabethkcmo profile image

elisabethkcmo 7 years ago from Just East of Oz

Lots of great tips and info..

I'm going to put a dryer sheet in my vacuum cleaner bag from now on!


pddm67 profile image

pddm67 7 years ago from Queens, New York Author

Thanks for stopping by elisabethkcmo! Glad you came across a tip you found useful. Much appreciated :-)


Godslittlechild profile image

Godslittlechild 7 years ago

Oodles and oodles of really good tips and ideas! Thanks!


pddm67 profile image

pddm67 7 years ago from Queens, New York Author

Much thanks Godslittlechild. Happy that you liked what you saw and especially that you thought they were good :-)


floating mind profile image

floating mind 6 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

An amazing array of tips. I passed these on to my family. Thanks.


pddm67 profile image

pddm67 6 years ago from Queens, New York Author

Thanks again floating mind. Much appreciated and glad to be of assistance :-)


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

Hi Pattie, I agree with you about autumn "spraying is better than raking", actually all your tips are good, thanks pattie, good work and very informative hub, Maita


pddm67 profile image

pddm67 6 years ago from Queens, New York Author

Hello Maita! Always a pleasure to have you stop by for a visit :-)

Spraying is definitely better than raking. I try not to do it too often though, don't want to waste water and I could always use the extra workout. Thanks for the thumbs up - Pattie

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