We love our children. And we are especially charmed by the art they create. So sweet! But children can be fairly prolific artists and if you try and keep everything they make at school and at home, you will need to rent a separate storage unit just to keep it all. Have you ever asked your Mother for that box of your old art projects from school? Exactly.
So, you need a system. We’ve moved countries at least 3 times and each time, we have to edit down some of the precious artwork that the boys have done. But I hate to lose those memories and all of that special work they were once so proud of, so instead of keeping it all, I archive it.
1. Photos: After your child’s work has taken Pride of Place on the fridge, mantelpiece or bedroom dresser for a suitable amount of time, it's ready to be "archived". If it’s especially special, then, by all means, keep it in a clear Perspex display box (or better yet, give it to grandma)! But if that painted clay turtle is destined to live forever in a box in the attic, just shoot it instead! Take a great photo of it and keep a photo file with the name of the author, title of the piece and the date it was made. My boys get a real kick out of “naming” their works. They are endlessly pleased to see their long forgotten projects on my computer. So professional
2. Start a special Art Archive Box for those few pieces that you really can’t bear to part with. Try and limit it to one box per child, and once each box reaches capacity, it’s a one in, one out policy. Let them choose what to keep, but be firm and make sure you photograph and archive the outs!3. Exhibit: If all else fails and you are still overrun with various art projects, you can always hold an exhibition gallery night! They can “sell” their art to family and friends and display the rest. IKEA shelving was practically made for this purpose. After a year or so, you’ll be surprised how little they care for it once they need room for their laptops and skateboards.
When done with all of this a quick once over the house with the essential 6 set will bring your sanctuary back to beautiful from a crazy creative studio…
Obviously, you now how to use dish soap, duh. But did you know that you can use it to unclog a blocked toilet? Yes, Honey! Now that’s some news you can use. If you ever find yourself stuck without a plunger (or the will to use one) just do this instead:
1. Get yourself a bottle of dishwashing liquid. We know a great one that’s safe for septic tanks.
2. Pour a generous amount (generally half a cup should do it). The idea here is that the soap is denser than the water and will drop to the bottom of the bowl.
3. Leave it there. Go away and do something else for at least 30 minutes. The dish soap should have penetrated the clog and lubricate the trap way.
4. Put the kettle on! After 30 minutes, pour a bit of boiling hot water down the loo. Be careful not to overfill the bowl.
5. Cross your fingers and flush. It should work the first time, but if you have a Titanic type dealio down there, you may have to repeat steps 1 through 3 again.
6. If it’s still no good, you may have to resort to a plunger, but it will be a lot less trouble after the soap trick. If you don’t have a plunger, this is the time to find a stick or get a wire hanger out of recycling to push the poo through the loo.
Just FYI: a regular squeeze of Dish Soap down the bowl is a great way to make sure this Never. Happens. Again.
10 ways to prepare your home for a spring sale
Spring/Summer selling season is here and it’s certainly not too late to be giving it some thought if you’re looking to make an impact on the market.
Taking steps to prepare your home now will help you avoid the stress of a last minute rush to market.
We’ve scoured the internet and pulled together the top 10 ideas to help in preparing for those all important OFIs.
1. Clean & declutter
Make your move easier by beginning the packing process now.
• Clear out all clutter and remove items you don’t regularly use.
• Donate items that haven’t been used in the past 12 months.
• Throw away items that are broken or damaged.
• Shred and dispose of paperwork that is no longer needed.
• Consider a temporary storage facility for bulky pieces of furniture, holiday decor, out of season clothing and any other items you don’t need.
When you clean, pay attention to small details.
• Wash windows
• Dust blinds
• Launder curtains
• Dust baseboards
• Clean appliances
• Straighten contents of your closets
2. Do a thorough inspection
This step will help you avoid any unpleasant surprises during the sale process.
• Inspect your walls and floors for water damage
• Check for plumbing leaks
• Make sure your windows don’t have broken seals,
• Check for any signs of insects or rodents
… and fix any problems that you find.
3. Eliminate odours
Don’t mask household odours with air fresheners, which can be overwhelming and cause allergies in many people. Rather, include freshly cut flowers, the scent of fresh cinnamon boiled on the stove (but remove the pot before the showing), or fresh apples and cookies placed in plain sight in the kitchen.
While you might love your aubergine walls, there’s a good chance that most buyers won’t. Many buyers want to see a blank canvas where they can inject their own personality. In order to make your home appeal to the largest possible audience, paint your walls in neutral colours in a matt finish.
Don’t forget to repair any nail holes or other damage before painting, and be sure to touch up ceilings and trim as needed.
5. Finish projects & repairs
Now is the time to complete any home improvement projects you have under way and make any and all necessary repairs to your home.
You’ll most likely find a buyer more quickly and the sale process will be much smoother if everything that needs to be done is taken care of before you lost your property.
If you have additional home improvement projects planned, make sure they can be finished in a short amount of time.
6. Clean or replace flooring
Carpets should be shampooed and treated for stains. Tile and hardwoods should be thoroughly swept and mopped to a shine. Any flooring that is stained, damaged or worn beyond repair should be removed and replaced. Hardwood floors that are scratched or have lost their sheen should be refinished.
7. Freshen up fixtures & hardware
Light fixtures, bathroom mirrors, taps, shower heads and cabinet hardware can all be replaced for very little money and make a huge difference in terms of visual appeal.
8. Create a welcoming entrance
Your front door is the first thing potential buyers will see when they visit your home, so remember to make it inviting. Paint the door if needed, replace any damaged hardware, keep decorations minimal and declutter the entrance area.
An important part of showing your home, staging can be done yourself or by professionals. Place furniture to maximise the feelings of space and light in your home, with an eye to how rooms flow into each other. If your decor isn’t cutting it, you can move your belongings into storage and rent furniture and artwork from a home staging service on a monthly basis.
10. Get your real price
Find out how much you should list your home for by looking at similar properties on realestate.com.au and asking for your agent’s advice. Take a look at comparable sales and market conditions which will help you determine how much you can expect to sell for in today’s market.
We’ve all been there. You suddenly have people coming over and you need to snap your house into shape, pronto! It happens. So before it happens again, we have some tidying tips that will help you get your clean on with a quickness (and keep it there). As in all things, it takes some preparation and planning. First things first: you need a reliable cleaning kit with the basic stuff you’ll need to clean house.
Here’s what you need:
• Dish Soap
• Glass Cleaner
• Bathroom Cleaner
• All-Purpose Cleaner
If you’re like us, you don’t have time to DIY, so we’ve short-handed it for you and made one that's ready to go right here: Murchison-Hume's Clean Starter Kit. Once you’ve got one of these under your arm, you’re ready to tackle just about any household cleaning job. We also made it light and added a handle to tote from room to room.
Also good to have:
• A large basket (a laundry basket with handles is ideal)
• Paper towels + Lint free cleaning cloth
• Dust pan and brush
We’ve broken it down into easy-to-do tasks, depending upon how much time you have. These are in order of importance (and impact). Ready? Let’s do this!
If you have 5 minutes or less: Your Mother-in-Law is coming up the driveway, this is what to do:
• Grab your basket and throw everything that needs putting away in there: Toys, slippers, mail and random papers, shoes, and your handbag. Whatever’s out of place. Work from the entry to as far as you can before the doorbell rings. Throw the basket in your bedroom and pray she doesn’t go in there.
• On your way to the door, grab your All-Purpose Cleaner and spritz a little into the air, so it will at least smell clean (even if it’s not).
If you have 15 minutes or less: Your new friend just rang and wants to stop by?
• Do the 5-minute plan and then clear all the dirty dishes form the counter.
• Spray your kitchen surfaces with All-Purpose Cleaner and wipe down with paper towels.
• Fill a sink full of water with dish soap. Put all of the dirty dishes in there and let them soak.
• Go do the same in the bathroom: Spray bathroom cleaner all around the toilet bowl and rim and let it sit while you spray wipe the seat, handle and tank. Now wipe it down with toilet paper. Flush it and you’re good to go!
You forgot about Hosting Book Club this week and it starts in 45 minutes? Don’t panic, Mama, we got you! Do the 5 and 15 minute plan. Plus this:
*Immediately order 3 large cheese pizzas to be delivered. Grab any leftover greens or anything remotely interesting from the pantry. Wash and chop them to scatter on the pizza when it arrives. If you have wine, chill it or open it. Then…
• Put the dishes that were soaking into the dishwasher and run it (even if it’s not full…this is an emergency)!
• Grab your glass cleaner, go back to the bathroom and spray the mirror, faucets and any reflective surfaces. Polish dry with your lint-free cloth (or with the towels if you have time to change them for fresh ones).
• Make your bed and put away your clothes. Move that basket of stuff into the closet. Don’t forget about it though, your wallet is probably in there!
• Use the dustpan and brush to give the entry, kitchen and bathroom floors a quick sweep.
• If you have extra time, go outside and snip a few branches off a leafy tree and pop them into a vase with some water for the table. Extra points for doing the same in the bathroom. It looks super fresh and will also signal that you were prepared (even if you weren’t).
Now pull your hair back, slick on a little lip-gloss, put music on and relax. Nobody will mind that you’re still in yoga pants and haven’t vacuumed if there’s pizza and wine on the go. #fact
When you are shopping for your favorite Murchison-Hume cleaning product, you may notice a few ingredients we stay away from, and you may wonder why we choose the ingredients we do and why we stay away from the ones we do. We thought we’d cover a few of these whys and why nots in this week’s article. We believe that it’s important to choose ingredients that are not only effective for the job they do but are healthy to use and healthy to make. Murchison-Hume cleaning products are healthy to use in your home, and the ingredients are chosen with the health of the planet, and it’s many special creatures in mind as well. In this week’s article, we’ll cover a few of the products we avoid when making our plant-based cleaning products.
Say No To Palm Oil
You will see that we do not use palm oil or palm oil derived products in any of our plant-based products. For those of you who do not know, palm oil is an oil that comes from the palm fruit of the African oil palm tree. While this crop is grown in many countries, 85% of it that is used in products in America comes from Malaysia and Indonesia. The problem comes in the practices used to clear land to make room for this crop. Clear cutting of rainforests is something that environmentalists have fought against for decades, and every time one section of the forest is saved, it seems that another one is endangered, and all the diverse animals that depend on the forest. Two remarkable and now endangered animals that are being driven to extinction by this type of clear cutting are the orangutan and the Sumatran tiger. This, plus the fact that children are often used as labor on these plantations, are reason enough to say no to palm oil.
At least for the past few decades, there has been increasing awareness of ingredients that are used in common everyday products. While no one can argue that parabens are a highly effective preservative, the mechanisms by which they preserve products is under scrutiny. They are thought to act by penetrating the cellular membrane of bacteria and inhibiting DNA and RNA. Scientists are looking to make sure that parabens are safe, and for ways to make them safer, but for now what has been discovered is that, for instance, when applied to the skin in sunscreen, the UV chemical reaction, in combination with the paraben, can create a DNA change in human skin. There is also a concern with their level of estrogenic activity. Many people are also concerned that parabens may have endocrine interrupting properties and prefer to avoid them until scientists can give firm answers to these questions.
Murchison-Hume works hard to make sure that there is a balance in our products. We products highly effective products that smell great, but that are plant-based and contain no harsh chemicals. If you have not already tried them, do so, and we know you’ll be convinced of how great they are. If you have tried them, then you know how great they are, and we encourage you to give them as gifts for housewarming parties to share the clean green power of Murchison-Hume.
Be kind, be creative, be clean.