7 Effective Tips on How to Keep Bugs and Pests Out of Your Garage

Infestation is a common problem. No matter what kind of property you own, you will face this kind of issue sooner or later. This can lead to even bigger problems when left unattended. However, pest infestation is a preventable kind of problem. Take initial steps now in order to prevent this from happening.

Here are seven tips to help you in keeping pests and bugs out of your garage:

• Clean your garage completely. The garage is a warm and dark place that makes it an attractive area for pests. All those little leftover crumbs left on tires or whatnot can bring in pests like roaches and rats that will never leave. The first step in ridding and preventing bugs and pests is to clean your garage completely. Start cleaning your garage from bottom to top. Ensure every corner is covered. You may need to take out everything inside to take a fresh look at your garage. Use a fan to dry up wet areas as this may also attract bugs.

• Fill the cracks. Inspect your entire garage. Check the walls, roof interior or windows for cracks and holes. This can be pathways used by bugs or pests in getting into your garage. You can also look out for droppings, chew marks and other signs of current infestations. Find all the cracks and holes and fill these up. Consider replacing the threshold and the weather stripping in your garage as old and worn out ones might let pests easily. You may want to reinforce it with some new frame material.

• Be organized. This is the time to take a serious look at your garage and rethink how you’re using it. Are you using it a storage space aside from keeping your vehicles? Do you have sports equipment and trash inside? A cluttered garage is usually the main culprit of infestation. Keep your garage organized with some smart shelving. Store your items off the ground to keep it clear at all times. Invest in plastic containers if you’re keeping animal feed in your garage. Make sure that it is properly sealed to prevent insects from feeding off these items. Keep your trash well-contained and sealed tightly to prevent rodents from chewing them.

• Keep your garage door closed. This is a simple task that most people forget doing. This simple advice almost always keeps pests out, especially for larger ones like rodents, raccoons, or squirrels. Don’t keep your door open for too long.

• Use pesticide sprays or powders. Remove current infestation in your garage by applying organic pesticide inside and outside of your garage. This can also help in keeping out pests. Prioritize those areas that can be used as entryway for pests and bugs. Make sure that you follow instructions for whatever repellent you use. If you have problems with bigger pests, then it might be best to call a pest control company to help you.

• Put traps. Although using pesticides work, this might not be enough. This is why traps can be a good reinforcement in catching pests that break through your garage. Lay out these traps where you can easily check them so you know when these need to be replaced. Check your traps often as you do not want decomposed pests in your garage.

• Regular cleanup and inspection. Cleaning up your garage regularly is key to maintaining it. This is effective in keeping pests out, as well. Regularly revisiting if your garage is organized is essential. You may do it once or twice a year to ensure that your garage is in good condition and that there are no new infestations. This keep your garage organized as well.

Written by Kristy Jones of A Click Away Remotes.

Spring Cleaning With Essential Oils

I am always looking for ways to eliminate all toxic chemicals from my home by replacing with more natural cleaners like essential oils, vinegar, baking soda and even fruits like lemons and oranges. Not only is it better for your families health but it is better for our environment. Check out these awesome Spring Cleaning With Essential Oils ideas from Shannon Wallis with HireHouseCleaner! Shannon has got some great ideas that I am excited to try!

 

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Cleaning Your Kitchen

Oven. To magically do away with burned-on food and carbon deposits, make sure to heat up your oven first and spray it with white vinegar second. Add a tablespoon of tea tree essential oil. Once you do this, add some salt to the treatment. Unplug the oven and let it sit until it’s cool. Next, scrub the affected areas using a wet towel. If that doesn’t work, go for baking soda. Repeat all the steps from above, just be sure to replace the salt with some good old baking soda.

Cutting boards. No matter if your cutting board is made of plastic or wood, there is one wondrous cleaning solution for it: it’s called a lemon. All you want to do is cut a lemon in half, rub it on the surface and leave it for a few minutes. To double the power of lemon, consider sprinkling the board with coarse salt. Let sit, rub again and rinse off. This will not only do away with germs and grime, but also with bad smells. Needless to say, you can also add lemon essential oil to both disinfect and deodorize your cutting board. Add 15-30 drops of lemon essential oil to a spray bottle filled with water and spray the board. Leave it to work for a few minutes, scrub off and rinse.

Garbage bin. Empty your garbage bin and sprinkle baking soda all over the inside of the item. Let it sit for half an hour. Scrub any marks or stains. Rinse off and let dry. Sprinkle a few drops of essential oil to keep germs at bay and to deodorize it.

Countertops. Countertops are a very specific issue to deal with. According to Professional Hire Cleaners Battersea  the cleaning product you need to use largely depends on the type of material they are. But if you want to skimp over expensive store-bought versions for your deep cleaning routine, here is what you can use. The simplest recipe combines 50% white vinegar and 50% water in a small spray bottle. Add lavender and lemon essential oil for super, duper cleaning powers. This cleaning solution is great for a variety of countertop materials. However, do not use it on stone, granite and marble as it may have the opposite effect. For these surfaces you want to use cheap vodka or rubbing alcohol. Again, mix with water and add an essential oil of your choosing. Apply on the surface and wipe off. Be sure to dry well.

 

Cleaning Your Bathroom

Tub and shower cleaner. Combine a few dabs of liquid castile soap, 10-15 drops of rosemary, thyme or tea tree essential oil and some baking soda. Apply the paste onto the tub and rub with a sponge. You might want to scrub the toughest grime using a toothbrush. If there is mold and mildew, try pouring white vinegar directly onto the surface and let sit.

Toilet. Start by sprinkling baking soda into the bowl. You need a generous amount of the white powder. Follow up with a few drops of tea tea essential oil. It has antibacterial powers and it will deal with germs and bacteria that your toilet bowl harbors. Last but not least, pour about ¼ cup of white vinegar into the bowl. It will make a reaction with the baking soda. Scrub and flush.

Sink. Apply a paste of baking soda and plain water to the sink. Let it work for about half an hour and scrub away the grime. If that doesn’t do the trick, leave the paste to work overnight.

 

Cleaning Everything Else

Glass. Fill a spray bottle with 4 parts water and 1 part vinegar or lemon juice. Add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and shake well. Lastly, add lemon essential oil. A few drops will make do. Spray on mirrors and windows. Wipe down with a cloth working from the top to the bottom.

Floors. Again, go with white vinegar. Add a few cups of white vinegar to a bucket filled with water. To make your solution smell better and for those wondrous antibacterial properties, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Option 2 is to use a few dabs of regular dish soap in place of vinegar. Stir well.

And this is how you can spring clean your home using essential oils. Not only will your items be germ-free, but they will smell great.

Check out these related posts: Easy Microwave Cleaning, Cleaning Sippy CupsFrom Skeptic to Believer and Getting Started with Essential Oils

Clean Safely and Effectively!

Thieves Household Cleaner is one of my favorite Young Living products! It’s all natural, non toxic and safe for pets and children. We use Thieves cleaner for everything from our toilets to our kitchen sink and everything in between. 

Check out this awesome graphic for ideas on cleaning your home!!

Thieves Cleaner is a staple in our home

It wasn’t until I started really educating myself and using Young Living products that I realized just how many chemicals I was exposing my family to. I have been able to eliminate 90% of my toxic chemicals with just Thieves Household Cleaner! So not only am I saving money because Thieves Cleaner should be diluted with distilled water but I no longer buy any of the old toxic cleaners I was using!

I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it now! Let me know if you need some.

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For more information on getting started with using Young Living click here and additional information on how we chose Young Living can be found here! 
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Disclaimer: This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Revamping Chore List for Summertime

 I admit that summer time is usual pretty casual around our house. I try not to overbook our days with extracurricular activities so that my kids can stay up a bit later, sleep in (haha, never happens) and spend our days finding new ways to enjoy time together. To avoid getting too laid back with our daily routine and chores over the summer I decided to revamp the kids chore list.

To start I searched for online programs that would help me generate a chore list I could either print or keep track of online. I came across Handipoints! It was exactly what I was looking for!

I signed up. Then inputted daily and weekly chores for each of my children. I sorted them so the daily chores are on the top of the list in order of what I’d like them to complete in the morning followed by the chores that should be completed in the evening. Last I put the chores that the kids will only do once, twice or three times a week. Some of the weekly chores will be rotated through the month so each child will take a turn doing each task on their week.

I printed them, put up a poster board with clothes pins to hold each child’s list, then strung a string to a marker on the wall in our play room.IMG_3882IMG_3885

At the end of the week I can pull their lists down, input their completed tasks on the Handipoints website. To keep track of how many points they earned.

Then lastly the kids will be able to earn things like “a new book”, “icecream treat”, “putt putt golf”, and more. We don’t normally reward our kids for things they should already be doing but our children really do a good job of making sure they keep our house in good working order so we’ve decided that a little extra something here and there this summer well deserved.

There are also many worksheets available on Hanipoints. They will be great to print and use for summer bridge schooling at home and while we travel!

Do you have a chore chart for your kids? Are chores harder or easier to keep up with in the summer time at your house?

**I am in no way affiliated with Handipoints. I’m just a mom sharing a cook site I found to help other moms streamline their life!**

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Beating Summer-Break Boredom (Part 2)

In this house when my kids start to get bored they often times find themselves getting into trouble or picking fights with their siblings. A couple years ago a friend of mine told me about a neat thing she does with her boys when they start fighting she gives them a chore to do around the house. While they completed this chore their mood perked up and they stopped bickering. I decided to put this idea to the test last summer and I’ll tell you what IT WORKED LIKE A CHARM!! My house stayed cleaned for a good part of the summer with out me lifting a finger!

I have added my own little spin to this to fit our family, made a list of chores, and put them on Popsicle sticks in a jar for the children to choose when they have broken a rule. I give them one verbal warning, if they continue the bad behavior then they choose a stick with a chore.

For the RULES:

Hitting = Chore

Kicking = Chore

Disobeying = Chore

Bad Language = Chore

Bickering/Arguing = Chore

Tattling = Chore

Whining = Chore

Complaining of Boredom = Chore

Talking back to adults = Chore

Now for the CHORE LIST:

Run 5 laps around the yard
Jumping jacks 25
Sit ups 25
Plank 30 seconds
Push ups 25
Squat jumps 25
Dead man drop 25
Lunges 25
Squats 25
Dusting
Vacuum couches
Vacuum car carpets
Clean trash out of car
Clean under couches
Clean a bathroom
Organize your dresser
Organize toy room
Clean pantry
Clean fridge
Wash bedding & make it
Wipe all house door handles & switches
Clean dog poop
Rake grass
Vacuum a room corners & baseboards
Clean microwave
Wash windows
Wash mirrors

I took large popsicle sticks.
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Wrote a chore on each one.
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Put them in a tin can that I bought from the Target dollar isle. And wrote “Bad Behavior Can” on the side.
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We implemented this right away. So far each of my children have had to complete one chore each day. Amazing how after they completed that chore they stopped fighting and followed the rules of the house.

How does your family keep the bickering down? Is fighting and bickering worse during the summer?

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Laundry Times Six

After giving birth to our fourth baby I was woken with the reality that I now had laundry to do times SIX! I spent the entire first year after having my son drowning in laundry. It probably didn’t help that we had an old dryer that took 3 hours to dry one load of laundry BUT even once we purchased a new-to-us washer/dryer set I was still ALWAYS doing laundry.

In a typical week I do 7-8 loads of laundry (clothes x6 plus towels and bedding). I used to wash one-two loads of laundry a day Monday thru Friday, which wasn’t working because I’d end up with baskets of clean clothes sitting around all week and always folding laundry on the weekends!

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Then just before we moved I went to an activity with my MOMS Club chapter in Midland that featured a local organizer. The BIGGEST tip I walked away with was about laundry. She has a family of five which she assigns a day of the week for each person in her family she did their laundry. This gave her one day to wash, dry and put away that family members clothes so no clean laundry sat in a basket EVER! I figured I’d give the idea a try in my life. It defiantly helped cut down on the time I did laundry. However I was wasting water by not having a full load of laundry every time. I also wanted to get away from doing laundry every single day of the week. So I did a little adjusting and found what works best for us!

Here is how I do our laundry now… I wash my younger two children’s clothes together in a load on Monday. I also wash my older two boys clothes in a load on Monday. (Only taking out the white shirts or bottoms to put in a separate load for later in the week.) On Tuesday I wash/dry/fold my husband and I’s laundry which is three loads (whites, darks, and jeans). Then on Wednesday I wash towels and bedding. I typically pick one to two beds anweek to wash so that everyone’s bedding is getting washed once a month.

It breaks down to 2 loads of laundry on Monday, 3 loads on Tuesday and 2-3 loads on Wednesday.

My children (all four of them, ages 1-7) help fold their own laundry. Then they put their laundry away. I help them put their clothes on hangers and hang them. They also help fold towels (their favorite job) and make their beds.
I LOVE that I’m not doing laundry all week, unless someone gets sick or has an accident in which case my new laundry schedule is open to add more laundry on Thursday and Friday. I also LOVE that clean laundry isn’t sitting around in baskets in my room anymore! Each week I tell my hubby how much I LOVE this new system. He thinks I’m nuts, which I am! HAHA!

I washed both my older boys bedding this Wednesday. Thursday morning I went into their rooms to find that my second son had removed his pillow cases, as usual. It’s the weirdest thing but that boy just doesn’t like pillow cases, never has. Anyone else have a kid that doesn’t like pillow cases on their pillows?

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So tell me, what is your laundry schedule? How many loads of laundry do you wash each week?

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**Up next is making my own laundry soap…I know I’m WAY behind on that trend but it’s been on my to do list for some time now!