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15 Simple Cleaning Hacks Everyone Should Master

15 Simple Cleaning Hacks Everyone Should Master

The average American household spends $42 per month on household cleaning supplies. And that doesn’t include white aprons for the upstairs maid! Germs lurk everywhere inside your home, whether brought in by your pet, your own feet, or just born on the breeze that wafts through the halls of your domicile. So, do a little bit of cleaning each day to keep the miniature flora and fauna at bay.

There’s no need to spend that much money, or that much time, on keeping your home or apartment sparkly clean – so clean, in fact, that your own mother will be bowled over the next time she comes to visit, if you’ll just follow these simple, inexpensive and effective cleaning hacks:

microwave and lemons

    1. Lemonize your microwave

    When it comes to cleaning, deodorizing and sanitizing your microwave, lemon juice is your friend. Just mix water and lemon juice in a microwavable bowl, set the timer for 5 minutes, and let the citrus steam do the work. Afterward, just wipe down the inside.

    2. There’s more to grilled onions than meets the eye

    Keep your grill spic and span by rubbing half of a white onion across it when it’s heated up. It not only removes the disgusting carbon buildup, but also seasons the grill for you.

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    showerhead vinegar2

      3. Show the shower head who’s boss

      The Vinegar Institute (yes, it’s real; not a joke from Prairie Home Companion) suggests filling a baggy with white vinegar, then putting it around your shower head and tying it off tight – leave it overnight to banish soap scum and lime crust.

      gloveand pethair

        4. The pet hair scare

        Don’t worry. Just put on a rubber glove, dip it in water and rub it over upholstery to pick up dog and cat hair. Even when you can’t see it, you know it’s there.

        squeegeeandpethair

          5. And the carpet

          Use a window squeegee to collect pet hair in just minutes. Why spend hours vacuuming? Your pet allergy symptoms will dwindle significantly when you keep your carpet hairless.

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          messyroom

            6. Banish clutter!

            A cluttered room is hard to clean and is a dust magnet. Plus, all sorts of bugs and spiders love to hide in the dark nooks and crannies that clutter creates. Take advantage of spring cleaning time and box up your non-essentials and take them to a commercial self-storage unit. They’re inexpensive, accessible, and safe. If you leave stuff with your parents, they’ll eventually throw it out, and if you try to fob it off on a friend to keep in their garage, it’ll somehow mysteriously get water damaged or mice infested.

            dirtyblender

              7. Don’t bother with the blender

              Letting it soak in the sink will eventually rust the blade. Fill it with hot water and a few drops of dish detergent, and then run it for a full minute on a high speed. Empty and rinse, then go see what’s on Netflix.

              kittylitter

                8. Kitty litter to the rescue!

                Does your concrete garage floor look rather leprous lately? Clean up oil and other vehicle fluid leak stains with kitty litter. And then dump the used litter down any mole holes or other critter holes in your lawn to discourage the varmints from turning your yard into a miniature golf course.

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                silverandketchup

                  9. Catch up with your cleaning with ketchup

                  Embarrassed to get the silverware out for company? Clean it with ketchup. You can get a bottle of generic ketchup for about a dollar. It’ll last you several cleanings, although you might get a hankering for french fries.

                  bread and glass

                    10. White bread

                    Don’t let a broken bottle spread tiny shards in ever widening circles; use a piece of white bread. Just press it down on the glass shards, shake into the trash, and repeat. It’ll even pick up those microscopic needles that so love to jab the soles of your bare feet just when you think you’ve got them all cleaned up.

                    trashcan with newspaper

                      11. Avoid trashcan tragedies

                      Trash cans are chock full of disease-causing germs. To help minimize the spread of them, put some balled up newspaper in the bottom of your trash bag to soak up noxious liquids so they don’t seep out. You can also drill some holes in the bottom of your trash can to prevent suction from ripping the bag open when you pull it out. Spritz the inside and outside of your trash can with vinegar at least once a week to keep the germs and odors under control. (Thank you once again, Vinegar Institute!)

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                      bakingsodaandcarpet

                        12. Vomit cleaner

                        Baking soda is vinegar and lemon’s natural cleaning cousin. Last night’s party got a little too wild? Little Stevie brought the stomach flu home from preschool? Vomit happens, and not always in the toilet. Clean up messes from carpet by first removing as much of the solid parts as possible. You can then make a paste by mixing baking soda with water and spreading it on the stain. Let it sit overnight and then you can vacuum up the entire mess in the morning.

                        cleaning cabinets with baking soda

                          13. Cupboard De-gunker

                          Make a paste of 1 part vegetable oil and 2 parts baking soda, and using a toothbrush, scrub all of the greasy, grimey build-up from your kitchen or bathroom cupboards. Wipe clean with a damp cloth, and voila, you have grime-free cabinets.

                          dryersheets

                            14. Dryer Sheets

                            Did you know that dryer sheets can do much more than eliminate static cling from your clothes? This amazing little sheet can do everything from clean your greasy cook top, to removing soap scum rings from your bathtub. The fibers in the dryer sheet will grab almost anything, and the chemicals used to soften your clothes will also soften dirt, making it easier to clean. Wet a used dryer sheet and run it across dirty blinds, or use new dryer sheets to dust furniture – like magic, you’ll see future dust repelled.

                            pressandseal

                              15. Keeping the fridge clean

                              Everybody hates cleaning the fridge, especially when meat juice leaks all over one of the shelves. A simple way to clean up these messes quickly is to use Glad Press n’ Seal to line your fridge’s shelves. When a mess happens, just peel off the wrap and throw it away.

                              Featured photo credit: Shirley via pixabay.com

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                              Last Updated on January 17, 2019

                              8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                              8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                              In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                              Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                              Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                              Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                              Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                              The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                              There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                              How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                              According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                              Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                              Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                              The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                              Listen carefully:

                              We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                              The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                              Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                              8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                              There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                              Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                              1. Pray Daily

                              You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                              When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                              Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                              Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                              2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                              A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                              By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                              Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                              If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                              This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                              How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                              3. Smile Often

                              Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                              Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                              Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                              The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                              4. Organize Your Working Desk

                              A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                              When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                              Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                              Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                              5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                              I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                              Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                              What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                              6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                              God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                              I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                              I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                              7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                              You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                              How do you do that? This is my formula:

                              First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                              If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                              If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                              If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                              Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                              8. Go Exercise

                              Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                              The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                              You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                              12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                              The Bottom Line

                              It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                              It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                              Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                              More Resources About Mindfulness

                              Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                              Reference

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