How to take care of 5 brand new home appliances

Are you moving to a new home? Packing must have been exhausting. I know!

You probably won’t be moving everything to your new house, especially if you have been renting and your previous property had furniture and white goods already in it. Or if you had a home where you donated or discarded your old stuff and wanted to get new items to your new home.

And you finally moved in! The smell of a new fresh property is so exhilarating. But still, there are lots to be done!

So you make a list of things you want to buy for your house. You need to know which product is best in the market for your needs and how to maintain and clean it to sustain it for longer.

Check out these five home appliances you would need in your new home:

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Photo by Squared.one on Unsplash

One: Refrigerator

According to Reviews.com, we can choose between four types of fridges: Top Freezer Refrigerator, Bottom Freezer Refrigerator, French Door Refrigerator and Side-by-Side Refrigerator. Check their guide on how to buy the best fridge for your home.

When you have it delivered to your kitchen, make sure that you have installed and plugged it correctly. Normally, the manufacturer will advise to plug the fridge in and only put food in it when around 24 hours have passed.

Now, I recommend cleaning your fridge every 2 weeks on average (don’t tell my mum, because she insists on cleaning it every week!)

Well, lots of factors play in deciding the time frame of cleaning a fridge. A crucial factor is the number of habitats living in the house using the fridge. A single person is not like a family of 5! Adults are different in handling stuff in the fridge than children. Anyhow, in 2 weeks time, empty the fridge completely and take a damp sponge with dish soap and give it a good clean. Shelves, trays, compartments, the whole lot. Then, take a clean cloth and wipe it dry. If you want the fridge to smell nice, put a little saucer with some baking soda and 3 drops of lemon essential oils.

That was from the inside. From the outside, use a damp cloth and give it a wipe from its top to down its sides. For underneath it, when the fridge is empty, move it a little (with help please) so you can dust the dirt away. You can use a long thin duster, like the one I use for dusting my baseboards.


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Two: Dishwasher

I know that most people don’t have the luxury to buy a dishwasher, so washing up the dishes every breakfast, lunch and dinner would be a hefty task. But if you are able to buy one, even on a budget, and have a room for it in the kitchen, check out Review.com for their guide on buying the best dishwasher for you.

One thing I would like to point out for you is the cutlery basket. Make sure that your cutlery is always facing upwards when you put them in the basket. Otherwise, knives will cut through the bottom creating holes and will no longer hold your cutlery properly.

Loading your dishwasher is key to maintaining it for longer. Cups and glasses on the top shelf and dishes on the bottom.

Keep checking what is the best powder/tablets/capsules for your dishwasher. I personally use Fairy capsules, but from time to time I might use a DIY recipe made of baking soda and citric acid. This acts as a cleaner for your dishwasher as well! Don’t forget to clean the filter every month at least.

If you noticed in the photo, I have half a lemon in the upper rack. You know why? If I have plates that had egg or meat/fish on them, the bad odours will go away with a lemon! #Dishwasherhack 😉


Three: Food processor

Review.com has chosen the best food processor in the market. Check it out here.

A food processor is a very practical tool in the kitchen and it comes very handy if you want to mix certain ingredients together or grate particular veg and fruit.

They come with different accessories and attachments, so we need to handle each part with care.

The main body of the processor needs wiping every time you use it with a damp (a little bit soapy) cloth. If the manufacturer says in the manual that the accessories are dishwasher safe, you may put them there. Otherwise, you can wash them as soon as you are done with them and air-dry them. Be careful with parts that have blades and store them away from children’s reach.


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Photo by Neha Deshmukh on Unsplash

Four: Mattress

Which mattress is better? Check out Reviews.com guide!

In my humble opinion, we should invest in a good quality mattress (if you are aiming for a brand new one) for a number of reasons:

  • Its lifespan is around 8 years. So it will serve you well
  • Bad quality mattresses may cause you back and neck problems
  • You spend 6-8 hours sleeping. More than you sit on your sofa or desk!

The best way to maintain it is to:

  • Buy a mattress protector because it will trap in odours and sweat that you release during sleeping. That can go easily every month in the wash.
  • Every 2-3 months, take off all sheets and sprinkle baking soda on the mattress. It will absorb all odours in it. Leave it for around 3 hours then get your vacuum cleaner and give it a good hoover (best done with a mattress attachment)
  • Always ventilate your bed before making it. Yes! Don’t make your bed immediately after you get up, because your bed will still be warm and it needs to get cool and ventilated. So after you are up from bed, take off the duvet and pillows off the bed and open the window. After an hour or so, pat on the mattress a couple of times, then you are free to make your bed!

Image of a vacuum cleaner - new home appliances
Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

Five: Vacuum Cleaner

Ooooo, this is a tough one! Let’s see Reviews.com what they have to say. Check out their recommendation here.

Whatever vacuum you choose for your home, make sure it is practical for your needs.

Keep a mental note in your mind how you assembled the vacuum so that when you want to clean it, you can remember how to dismantle it. The reason why I am saying this is because you can easily take the hose, put soapy warm water in the bath, and let it soak overnight then air dry it. Same thing with the compartment (if the vacuum is bagless). The filter could be complicated so you better read from the manual how to clean it.

The brush head can be cleaned as well. If the head has a brush that can be dismantled, do so and get rid of hairs and other stuff but cutting them with scissors. Then you can soak the parts too.

The exterior of a vacuum can be wiped with a damp cloth.

In general, if you don’t pull the cable too much, or knock over the vacuum while vacuuming, you can guarantee your vacuum to live longer.

For more about cleaning, read my other blogs:

10 Things You Forget To Clean

As a Professional Organiser, a clutter-free space is an objective I always thrive to commit to. I keep this in my mind while working with clients, talking in social events, discussing with my local community, and dealing with my home. I totally believe that helps you clear your mind and become a better person. As a result, my mission is to show how you can be in control of your belongings and your life instead of the other way round.

Decluttering a home is very similar to a weight loss programme. Normally, a fitness coach or a nutritionist is there for you for guidance. Professional Organisers’ job is to give you advice and motivation, explain the decluttering process and support your journey.

Decluttering and cleaning are different practices but link to each other eventually. Ideally, decluttering comes before (if not during) a big spring clean. If the decluttering aspect sounds daunting you can consult a professional organizer to help overcome the initial hurdles and give you an action plan for progress.

After you finished decluttering, comes the cleaning. You may perform a big spring clean, but is that enough? You have to develop habits to keep up with the results you achieved.

Since it is National Spring Cleaning Week, I am happy to share my own cleaning tips that you may forget to include in your weekly cleaning routine.

Here are my 10 “things that you forget to clean”:

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  1. Baseboards and Over Door/Switch Edges

Baseboards drive me crazy! Even though they have a thin, camouflaged surface, not dusting them on a regular basis can easily be seen by the thick layer of dust collected over it. Especially in areas where there are furniture in front of them!

Also, if you look above your doors or light switches, you can find a little edge where dust sits too.

 

Dusting baseboards and over door/switch edges is now included in my weekly dusting routine. I use this long static duster and slide its narrow pointy end on the surface.

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For hidden baseboards, I leave a gap about 2-3 fingers wide between my furniture and the wall so I can slide my duster in the gap and wipe the dust of the baseboards.

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  1. Heating Radiators

Radiators become dusty and can get really mucky eventually. Wiping them from the outside is pretty obvious, but what about inside the panels? I use my long static duster as well because it easily slides through the panels dusting away those pesky particles.

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  1. Window and Patio Door tracks

Cleaning the windows from the outside is a project by itself, especially if they are not on the ground floor of your house. But whenever you wipe your windows from the inside, window tracks must be cleaned too. Water, dust and insects are always found there! Therefore, make it part of your window cleaning routine. The easiest way I found is to use the smallest nozzle you have for your vacuum cleaner, vacuum all the dust, take an old toothbrush and scrub the tracks with a little bit of soapy water, then wipe it with a dry cleaning cloth.

  1. Telephone Cords and Electric Extensions

Ever notice that your telephone cords and electric extensions get discoloured overtime, especially if their colour is white? Well, that is because they do not get cleaned regularly. Best way to tackle them, is by disconnecting them from the sockets first, then take a soapy damp cloth and wipe them thoroughly.

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  1. Toilet Brush and Holder

General rule: you must ALWAYS clean your cleaning tools whether your clean yourself with them or clean items in your home, especially in the bathroom!! So, does it apply to Toilet Brushes AND their holders? Yeeees, of course! How do you clean them you ask me? Well, after you scrub the inside of your toilet, don’t put the brush immediately into the holder. Whatever disinfectant you use (bleach or a green home-made recipe), put some of it on the brush and some of it in the holder. Wash the holder, put it aside then place the brush handle between the toilet seat and rim making the brush end positioning over the toilet bowl. The brush and holder will naturally air dry (open windows or turn on extractor for better results). After that you can safely put back the brush to the holder.

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  1. Toothbrushes, Hair Brushes, Makeup Brushes and Razor holders

I’m sure you heard about cleaning your toothbrushes, hair brushes, makeup brushes and razors before, but what about the holders?? In case I skip cleaning mine for two weeks, I end up with ugly brown circles and hair inside of them. So, cleaning them while you do your bathroom routine is a must, with a sponge, with a cloth, whatever method you choose, but make it a habit to tackle them on a weekly basis.

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  1. Electricity Box and Lamps/Shades

Does it occur to you dust your Electricity Box? Wherever it is located in your home, up the wall, on the side, it needs dusting. Use a very dry cloth or a duster to clean it. Put this item on your dusting routine, otherwise the handy man won’t even touch it!

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Lamps and shades are sometimes forgotten, because they are either hung from the ceiling or they stands upwards. Again, use a very dry cloth or a duster to clean it.

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  1. Beneath your shoes

If you and your family are used to walking in your home with the same shoes you came in when you were outdoors, you need to think again. You would be stepping on to God-knows-what out there and you don’t want them on your hard floors, carpets or wardrobe! So, the best thing probably is to take off your shoes when you enter the house. But even so, cleaning them especially from beneath is crucial. Use two cloths, one damp with soapy water and the other dry. Wipe beneath your shoes with the soapy cloth then dry it with the dry one, then place the shoes on their sides on an old towel (if they are very muddy, consider cleaning them in the garden). This way, the shoes will get air dried and any excess water with drip on the towel. Then put shoes in their designated place or you are free to wear them indoors.

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  1. Washing Machine Tray

This is not the first time I point out about this, but many people neglect their washing machine trays thinking that because it holds washing products, it is clean. WRONG! Mould eventually builds up in the tray and inside the gap where it is located. Best way to clean it: Dunk the tray in a bowl of water and leave it overnight, then scrub it the next day. Ways to prevent it: Keep the tray and the washing machine door always open!

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  1. In the kitchen …

The Kitchen by itself is a nightmare to manage especially while spring cleaning, as it is the place we prepare food 3 or more times a day and it results with crumbles, stains, leaks, greasiness, grubbiness, you name it!

Other than the normal “wiping the kitchen counters and floor” ritual, think about these things and try to fit them with your weekly kitchen routine in any order or frequency you like to save yourself lots of scrubbing and blitzing effort in Spring:

  • Inside fridge, outside and over
  • Inside oven
  • Inside microwave
  • Oven extractor
  • Over kitchen cupboards, kitchen cupboard doors
  • Gas hob knobs
  • Sink drains
  • Sponges and towels
  • Aprons and oven mitts
  • Inside bins
  • Utensil Trays and Holders
  • Spice racks
  • Toasters
  • Sandwich Makers
  • Coffee Makers
  • Salt and Pepper Shakers!

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I will be participating in National Spring Cleaning Week that will take place between 6th and 12th March 2017: http://www.springcleaningweek.com/ by using the hash tag: #springcleaningweek on social media. I will be offering lots of help online to motivate you to declutter, so follow me to keep up!

Spring Cleaning; TON’s Guide

Spring is FINALLY coming! Winter was so cold and depressing last year and I am thrilled that it will be over soon!

There are so many things I’m looking for this spring, and one of them is … Spring Cleaning!

Yes, Spring Cleaning! Why have you raised your eyebrows? For many, it sounds like a daunting task and reminds you of your parents when they made you help them with this yearly event! Cleaning may not be an exciting project and does not bring joy to you at first, but there is an event coming soon that will change your mind:

I will be participating in National Spring Cleaning Week: http://www.springcleaningweek.com/ by using the hash tag: #springcleaningweek on social media. I will be offering lots of help online to motivate you to spring clean, so follow me to keep up!

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Basically, I define Spring Cleaning as performing a cleaning ritual (deep or light) to items that are normally unreachable, unseen, or covered on a seasonal basis. The reason why it occurs in Spring (or sometimes Summer) is mainly because of the change of weather. You are free to wash more and air dry things quicker, Ventilating rooms is easier as warm fresh breezes rushes through, your mood is better because of longer days and you can see your cleaning process better because it is brighter!

Now, before taking out your mops, cloths and cleaning products, you need to describe the current status of your home. I have three names for homes and each one of these homes has a different approach for a spring clean (with all due respect to all householders):

  1. A Cluttered Home
  2. A “Need for Deep Cleaning” Home
  3. A “Well Maintained” Home

ONE: A Cluttered Home:

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I don’t mean here the messiness you leave behind during the week and you eventually clean and tidy up in the weekend. No. I mean that your home possesses too many items that blocks you from cleaning from the first place.

Approach: You can’t spring clean if you have clutter in your home because cleaning always become after decluttering. Therefore, have a thought of how you are going to declutter and plan it out. Read my blog about how to Spring Declutter.

TWO: A “Need for Deep Cleaning” Home:

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You may have finished a long decluttering process or your home is clutter free but cleaning your home was not something you do on a regular basis. Here, Spring Cleaning is a must and it will take longer and more hard work to get rid of months (or years) of accumulated dust and dirt.

Approach: One room may take two days to finish as you need to “remove the scum off the surfaces” first, and then tackle the rest afterwards.

THREE: A “Well Maintained” Home:

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Your home is clutter free, all your items are in their proper places and you have a cleaning routine. Your spring cleaning will be a piece of cake. Since you maintain your home regularly, the only tasks you will do this Spring are cleaning items you don’t clean on a weekly or monthly basis but on a seasonally basis, like pillows, curtains, walls, etc.

Approach:  Spring cleaning in this case will take one day for each room.

If you noticed, I have numbered these home names on purpose as these are as well stages of reviving any home from a chaotic house to a livable space. So eventually, if your home is number one, you have to go to number two before three and so on.

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I by coincidence found my spring cleaning list I wrote when I did my Spring Cleaning last year. I have written things I don’t clean on a frequent basis to make them my main focus. I will share on my social media channels the way I cleaned them during National Spring Cleaning Week, but in general, the points I considered while spring cleaning are:

  • If your home is a 2 or 3 story house, start from the upper rooms to bottom, starting with lofts or storage rooms, then bedrooms, lounges, bathrooms and leaving the kitchen to the very end.
  • Specify one room each day (you can do a room once a week, or 5 rooms 5 days a week, depends on your timetable and energy limits).
  • You can do it alone, but if you will use ladders, lift or move heavy things or try to clean outside windows, ask for support. Don’t put yourself under any dangerous risks.
  • Make sure children and pets are preoccupied away from you during Spring Cleaning a room.
  • Consider swapping your summer clothes with your winter clothes in your current wardrobe before spring cleaning your bedroom.
  • If you plan on decorating, bear in mind these rules: Before spring cleaning you can paint walls, take out old furniture/appliances, mending anything that needs repair, install tiles, and fit in fitted furniture. After spring cleaning you can fit in new carpets and bring in new furniture/appliances.
  • Unplug any electrics/lighting while cleaning and disconnect electricity while cleaning chandeliers/lights/vents.
  • Keep your washing machine empty and handy as lots of wash will generate from spring cleaning.
  • You can use commercial cleaning products or home-made recipes, it’s your call. Just make sure they don’t cause you any allergies.
  • Make sure your cleaning tools are clean before cleaning!

When you are done Spring Cleaning this year, my biggest advice for you is to develop habits and routines to always keep your house clean. Therefore, you will not spend too much time and effort in Spring Cleaning the year after.