Leisure, Local, North Carolina, Tips, Travel

Save Your Saturdays: Weekend Travel


A client recently told me that, while they loved the country and always longed for long swaths of land, he couldn’t imagine spending every Saturday maintaining it. Instead, they chose a home with a modest plot (and hired us for their interior!) so they could maximize their family time.

Only 48 of the 168 hours each week are on the weekend, when most of us are able to enjoy our family time, and 14-16 of those hours are spent sleeping. If you have children, the Saturday opportunities are limited. Make the most of your and save your Saturdays.

One of our favorite ways to spend our reclaimed time is travel. New experiences and memories promote family bonding. Also, travel is a scientifically-proven stress-buster and mood-buster, and it promotes creativity and wellness. We are huge promoters of shopping and living locally, and there are some incredible local destinations to explore when you take back your time and save your Saturdays.

Planning a weekend getaway? Here are some great resources for travel in North Carolina:

The Official Travel and Tourism Website for North Carolina
Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Top-Rated Places in North Carolina
Travel & Leisure’s North Carolina Travel Guide
Fodor’s Travel North Carolina Travel Guide
North Carolina Travel – lonely planet

Whether you have a cleaning question or want to discuss services, we are happy to help! Contact us or complete our quote request form for more information.

Bathrooms, Cleaning, Home maintenance, Kitchen, Laundry, Recommended Products, Tips

How to Care for Your Home After Illness

allergy-cold-disease-flu-41284The 2017-2018 flu season has been challenging, and many clients have been asking what they can do to around their home to keep illness at bay. Preventative methods such as periodic disinfection and hand-washing can be helpful defenses against the spread of illness.

To help prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses, make periodic disinfection part of your cleaning routine. Be certain to follow the directions for your chosen disinfectant. Focus on shared spaces and objects, particularly areas that are frequently used.

Some household items are shared by many family members, such as cell phones, remote controls, and computers.  Light switches, door knobs, handles are touched frequently. The kitchen sink, cutting boards, and sponges harbor bacteria and should be disinfected frequently. In bathrooms, focus on your toilet and the surrounding area, the tubs/showers, and sink basins. Bed linens, blankets, towels, and stuffed animals should be washed in the hottest water the material allows after illness.

Most importantly, to prevent the spread of illness, wash your hands often with soap and warm water. Many hand-sanitizers have also proven effective against the flu.


What disinfectants do we recommend? Our preference is Lysol or Seventh Generation Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner, but there are many on the market that can accomplish similar results.

Click here to check out disinfectants recommended by the Environmental Working Group. Interested in more recommendations? Bestseekers has several recommended products here.

Whether you have a cleaning question or want to discuss services, we are happy to help! Contact us or complete our quote request form for more information.


Chodosh, Sara. “How bad this flu season really is-and what you should do about it.” Popular Science, 30 Jan. 2018, www.popsci.com/how-bad-flu-season-2018#page-4.

“De-Germing Your House: Words to the Wise.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 21 Jan. 2011, www.cbsnews.com/news/de-germing-your-house-words-to-the-wise/.

Fields, Lisa. “Your Home Cleaning Hit List: What to Disinfect.” WebMD, symptoms.webmd.com/cold-flu-map/cleaning-hit-list.

“Is your house hit with the flu? 7 cleaning tips to keep it from spreading.” TODAY.com, www.today.com/home/how-protect-flu-cleaning-tips-your-house-t121435.

Bathrooms, Cleaning, Home maintenance, Laundry, Tips

Q&A: How Dirty is Your Bath Towel?

how dirtyQuestion: How often should I wash my bath towel? I mean, how dirty is it if it only dries a clean person?

Answer: After three uses, if dried completely.

A microbiologist from the New York University School of Medicine found that our bath towels are a breeding ground for bacteria, the moment we first use them to dry ourselves. If the towel stays wet, the bacteria continue to breed rapidly because bacteria loves warm, wet environments. Allowing the towel to dry between uses does extend time between washes, but should be washed every three uses.

And if it smells? Definitely overdue for a wash. Read about disinfecting smelly laundry or laundry post-illness here.

Whether you have a cleaning question or want to discuss services, we are happy to help! Contact us or complete our quote request form for more information.

Bathrooms, Cleaning, DIY, Hacks, Home maintenance, Tips

Q&A: Shower Door Build-Up

Question: How do I remove hard water deposits and build-up from my glass shower doors?

Answer: There are many techniques, but our favorite is a mild abrasive, a sponge, glass cleaner (optional), and a microfiber rag.

28124702_1412956412165760_256370012_o (1)While our favorite powdered abrasive is natural Bon Ami, other great options include Barkeepers Friend, Comet, Ajax, and baking soda. Wet your sponge and apply a quarter-sized amount of cleanser to the scrubber side of the sponge. Scrub the affected area in a circular motion. Use a dry microfiber cloth to buff off excess cleanser. Shine with glass cleaner and a clean microfiber (optional).


While this technique works for many examples of soap scum and hard water deposits, there are some that will need additional attention, and more extreme examples of hard water deposits may etch the glass.

Having trouble? We love a challenge. Contact us for a complimentary virtual consultation or to schedule your appointment.

Whether you have a cleaning question or want to discuss services, we are happy to help! Contact us or complete our quote request form for more information.

Disclaimer: all opinions and product suggestions are our own. We were not paid to promote any content.

Cleaning, Home maintenance, Kitchen, Organization, Services, Tips

Tips for Maintaining a Happy Home

Creating positive household habits can help keep your home clean and flowing smoothly between cleanings. Straightening key areas and tackling messes as you go are great ways to keep up your space. Here are some additional suggestions for maintaining a happy home:


Keep the kitchen clean. If you’re like our family, the kitchen is the center of your home. Not only is ours front-and-center, but we are constantly moving in-and-out, entertaining, and cooking. By cleaning up right after meals, keeping the dishes flowing and the counters clear, we create a sense of calm at our home’s hub. If our hub feels clean, our home feels cleaner overall.

pexels-photo-277253.jpegMinimize weekday meal preparation mess. Save yourself from chaotic evenings and minimize mess by preparing or planning quick and easy meals for weeknight dinners. Planning and preparing ahead of time helps streamline your family meals and makes keeping the kitchen clean an easier feat for busy families.

No time to plan? Invest in a time- and dish-saving device like an Instant Pot. Try a meal service such as Hello Fresh. Looking for something local? Try Dining Wisely for pick-up or delivery, or Foster’s Market for pick-up.

Tip: each weekend, we make a large batch of something we can use all week, such as shredded chicken for salads, sandwiches, soups, chili or pasta sauce we can stretch for multiple meals. Less cooking means fewer dishes to do!


Do a little every day. We keep a busy, active lifestyle. Each of us reserves fifteen minutes twice a day to knock out some household chores as necessary. In the morning, we empty the dishwasher, start and switch loads of laundry, do a quick dust to keep allergies under control. Tip: open a window or two while completing your morning routine to refresh your home!

In the evening, we pick up from dinner and take out the trash. We load and start the dishwasher and switch the laundry. Finally, we quickly pick up any belongings from the common areas. By working together and doing a little each day, we keep the housework from accumulating.

Each household and family are different, so what works for us, may not work for you. We’re always happy to help troubleshoot your home maintenance needs.

Whether you have a cleaning question or want to discuss services, we are happy to help! Contact us or complete our quote request form for more information.

Cleaning, Floor Care, Recommended Products, Tips

Q&A: Hardwood Floor Maintenance

floorsQuestion: How do you maintain hardwood floors?

Answer: With a flat mop, a lightly dampened microfiber mop head, and an appropriate cleaner.

The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) recommends dusting as needed with a dust mop or broom, vacuuming weekly, and traffic-based cleaning with the floor cleaner recommended by the manufacturer monthly. Spot clean as-needed, and wipe up spills immediately.

For traffic cleaning, rather than a traditional mop and bucket, manufacturers recommend a flat mop with a clean, microfiber pad. Wet the pad and wring it out so it is lightly dampened. Spray and mop a small section of the flooring at a time with a hardwood-safe cleaner and rinse your pad between rooms.

Hardwood-safe floor cleaners we love? Bruce and Pledge Floor Care (*). Want to be extra safe, and prolong the beauty of your floors? Use plain water, or water with a drop of wood-safe all purpose for scent. Avoid anything with the words “finish”, “polish”, or “oil”, as those products will build up on your floors.

Using a steam mop or wet mop can damage your hardwoods, especially when used routinely. While there are newer models on the market that are safer for hardwoods, the NWFA advises avoiding steamers altogether to prolong the life and beauty of your floors.

Have questions? Let us know! We’re happy to help. Want more information on floor cleaners? Check out Good Housekeeping’s wood floor cleaner reviews or the EWG’s guide to healthy cleaning.

Whether you have a cleaning question or want to discuss services, we are happy to help! Contact us or complete our quote request form for more information.

*We have not been paid for any product reviews for this post. All product suggestions are our professional preference.

Cleaning, Kitchen, Tips

Q&A: Kitchen Sponges


Question: How often should I replace my kitchen sponge?

Answer: Your sponge should be replaced weekly.

One of my major ‘household pet peeves’ is leaving the sponge in the kitchen sink. I put it through the dishwasher the first time it is found and the second offense is an immediate tossing. Kitchen sinks are absolutely loaded with bacteria — more than your toilet — and that sponge is used to clean your dishes.

Think about the last time you opened a package of raw meat over the drain. Did you run the water to rinse the juices? Did you clean the sink; sanitize it? Probably not, and that bacteria has made its way onto everything left sitting in the sink. Like your sponge. Goosebumps, folks. Goosebumps.

In our home, we strive for an empty sink. Lofty goal, I know, but hey, shoot for the stars. After we load our dishes into the dishwasher each evening, we take a clean sponge with a small squirt of dish soap and quickly wipe out both sink basins. Every few days, we toss the sponge into the dishwasher to rinse it out well.

Once a week or so, we use an antibacterial cleaning solution, making certain to follow the instructions. Many disinfectants and antibacterial cleaning agents need to sit on the surface to effectively kill germs. We also take care to disinfect the handles and faucet, as well as the counters surrounding the sink. After wiping out the sink, we throw away the sponge and replace it with a fresh one.

Here are some tips for maintaining a clean sink and preventing the spread of bacteria:

  • Wipe your sink out nightly.
  • Wash dishcloths weekly.
  • Replace your kitchen sponge weekly.
  • Change used dish towels daily.

Whether you have a cleaning question or want to discuss services, we are happy to help! Contact us or complete our quote request form for more information.