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5 Cleaning Hacks For Your Home

5 Cleaning Hacks For Your Home

There’s nothing better than coming home to a clean house. The problem is that someone has to clean it and usually, that person is you. If you’re currently between maids, never fear. Cleaning is not as hard as it looks if you take the right approach.

Use these five cleaning hacks for sprucing up your place in no time, no frilly apron required.

Wax Your Stovetop

Your stove top is one of those areas that gets dirty quickly. If you leave stains on it too long, they tend to set. Before you know it, you’re spending your Saturday attacking the kitchen with a scrubber.

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One of the best kitchen hacks out there actually uses an ingredient you’d normally find in the garage. Start by cleaning your stove. Remove the stains and any debris. Remove any excess water. Then, apply a thin layer of car wax to your stove top. Use a soft rag to wipe off the excess.

The car wax won’t stop you from spilling your soup. But it will make any spills you do have lift off easily. No scrubbing required.

Buff Leather Furniture with Shoe Polish

People buy leather furniture for practical reasons because it is durable, comfortable and stylish. Yet, there’s something about a leather sofa that reminds you that you are home. If that good old leather couch is starting to look a bit… old, then the obvious thing to do is throw a blanket it on it and pretend it doesn’t exist. But you can actually remove the scratches from your beloved sofa with little effort. There’s no need to send it out to a furniture repair specialist. All you need to fix cosmetic surface marks is some shoe polish.

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To get started, find shoe polish in the appropriate shade and grab a clean cloth. Apply the shoe polish to the affected area using the applicator. Buff the polish in a circular motion. Keep everyone off the furniture for an hour while the polish sets in. Then, buff off any leftover product.

After you’ve done this, you’ll want to follow a few steps to make the results last. Apply some leather cleaner on a clean rag and apply it to the scratched area. Wipe off any extra cleaner before adding the leather protectant. Let the protectant dry overnight. Blast it with heat from a blow dryer for 30 seconds the next morning so that it seals.

Clean Your Mattress with Vodka

Your mattress is one of those things that really needs to be cleaned. But the logistics of doing so sounds complicated. You might live in a small apartment complex, without much room to work. Sure, you can remove the mattress cover and send it through the wash. But that only gets the mattress cover clean. It does not even scratch the surface of what lies beneath.

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It turns out that cleaning your mattress is relatively easy. There’s no hoisting or shouting “pivot” required.

Grab a spray bottle and pour some vodka into it. If you have essential oils, add a few drops of your favorite one to the bottle and blend. Then, spray your mattress with the vodka. Give it plenty of time to air dry. The vodka will kill the bacteria living in your mattress which will prevent odors and disinfect the mattress all at once.

Remove Water Rings with Your Hair Dryer

It does not matter how many coasters you lay down. There is always that one person who disregards the house rules and puts their glass down on your beautiful wood table. But there’s no need to cry out in despair. Removing the water ring does not require you to shine, sand or even strip the wood. All you need to remove that stain is a hair dryer.

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Plug your hair dryer in and turn the setting to a medium heat. Then, hold the dryer about two inches away from the water stain. When you turn the dryer on, use a soft cloth to help you buff the mark off the table. It might take a while, up to 20 minutes, but keep buffing until the stain is gone.

Eliminate Soap Scum with a Dryer Sheet

Cleaning the bathroom is relatively straight forward until you encounter all those weird stains. Black mold and hard water stains are a pain and require serious chemicals. But soap scum? You can use something lavender scented to remove that stain.

If you can’t find the right bathroom cleaner or you want to avoid chemicals, you can use a dryer sheet to remove soap scum buildup. Sprinkle a few drops of water onto dryer sheet, preferably one that’s fresh from the dryer, and get to scrubbing.

Living without a maid isn’t as hard as it sounds. Use these five clever cleaning hacks and take back your Saturdays!

Featured photo credit: eyeliam via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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