Sunday, September 27, 2009

1st Time Homeowners: Cleaning House

First time homeowners: Clean house naturally with inexpensive improvements

(ARA) – You narrowed the long house-hunting search down to your favorite option, made an offer the homeowners couldn’t refuse, and are well-positioned to take advantage of that $8,000 first-time home buyer federal housing tax credit. All that’s left to do is move in.

But the excitement of making a home your own can dim the first time you open a cabinet door or look in the oven to realize not everyone shares the same commitment to good housekeeping.

Whether cleaning your new home before moving in, or looking for a way to juggle the increase in housework that comes when you move from an apartment to a larger condo or single-family home, tidying up your environment doesn’t have to be a tough or expensive task. Moving into a new place is a great time to start fresh, breaking out of old routines and trying different things, including living a more natural lifestyle at home.

“Moving into a new home can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time, but a few simple steps can ease the transition,” says Jen Singer, family lifestyle expert. “Think of it as a clean slate for your family, regardless of whether someone previously lived there.”

Start off fresh

It’s the dirty little secret of home buying – sometimes the previous owners leave a mess behind when they move out. “Even if they don’t leave a mess, you’ll still want to give your new home a good cleaning so it truly feels like you’re making a fresh start,” Singer says.

Before you settle into your new home, dust, mop and scrub everything from the ceiling to the floor. It’ll save you from feeling like you’re living in someone else’s dirt, and give you a brand new start in your new home.

Divvy the chores

You may love the fact that your new home affords you more living space, but with more space comes more chores. Start out by fairly distributing chores among family members.

“It might be fun to play with your new washing machine now, but doing all the laundry all the time will get old fast,” Singer says. “So task your spouse with grabbing a natural laundry stain remover that cleans powerfully to tackle tough stains, such as Nature’s Source Laundry Stain Remover by Shout. The line also has other natural cleaners I like to use for other chores around the home by trusted brands including Windex and Scrubbing Bubbles. They contain 99 percent or more natural ingredients; and they are affordable and available in many grocery and mass merchandise stores.”

Conquer clutter ... before it starts

It’s an unwritten law of physics – when you move into a bigger place, your furniture, clothes and other things multiply to take up all the new space. More space and more stuff can add up to clutter and ultimately, more waste.

“Resist the urge to fill your closets and counters with new things,” Singer warns. “Instead, look at new ways of using pieces you already own.”

Another clutter-cutting tactic – if you just moved boxes that you packed two moves ago and haven’t unpacked since, get rid of them. “You may not even want to open them before donating or recycling them,” Singer suggests. “After all, whatever is in them is something you’ve done just fine without for quite a while.”

Personalize with paint

Even if the sellers of your new home put a fresh coat of paint throughout the house before they left, repainting is an easy, inexpensive way to personalize your environment. “Don’t be afraid to pick colors that are a shade darker than you’d normally go for. You’ll be surprised to find how it can show off your personal style,” Singer says.

In keeping with your commitment to live naturally, look for low VOC paints, especially if you’re repainting in the winter when ventilation will be limited.

To learn more about natural living tips, visit

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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