Few people enjoy living through a major home renovation, as it’s never easy coping with all the noise and dust.
Renovating a home is a stressful process. You have to deal with the chaos of noise, debris, bad weather, tradies who don’t show up, people’s moods, and the worry about protecting your belongings from damage. So you need to plan ahead to keep your living quarters clean and organised during a renovation.
The first thing to do is remove absolutely everything — furniture, rugs, curtains, artworks and any smaller items. Either store them in an isolated room in your home or an off-site facility. Your worst enemy throughout your renovation will be dust and dirt. Here’s how you can minimise them:
- Relocate everything - For smaller spaces such as the kitchen or a bedroom, it’s best to move everything to another area. If you’re living in the space while renovating then it’s essential to quarantine the renovation and work space. Use thick plastic and construction tape to contain the area and limit the amount of debris being spread. You’ll still have access to the area, but the more you go into it, the more likely you are to spread dust and dirt. Dust usually comes out of ceilings and walls and is very fine, so it’s difficult to contain. Make sure you have adequate ventilation.
- Remove fly screens - Fly screens become dirty easily, as dust and debris are blown through by breezes. You’re better off removing fly screens until the work is finished.
- Cover all items - Cover any heavy items in the space being renovated with thick plastic and seal with construction or gaffer tape. Seal cupboard doors, too, as any sanding will send fine dust particles into your cupboards.
- Create a boardwalk - You need to create a pathway for people, including workers, to walk through the area. You can use gaffer tape and cardboard, plywood or even drop sheets to create a walkway. This ensures no damage is done to the existing floors or carpet.
- Daily clean up - In order to manage and reduce the build-up of mess, it’s best to keep on top of it on a daily basis. Unless you have an old vacuum cleaner that you don’t mind risking, consider hiring a construction vacuum for the project duration, as standard cleaners won’t cope with the renovation workload.
- Happy tradie, better job - Most tradies take pride in their work and want to do a good job and clean up after themselves. Discuss your requirements with them and get agreement on the handling of rubbish removal and general site maintenance. Make it easy for them to access power and water, as well as provide an adequate work area to cut and store materials in a weatherproof space. Making them a cuppa occasionally, or sharing a cold beer at the end of the day, are simple gestures, but they help ensure a strong relationship and a better quality job.
Be kind, be creative, be clean.
It’s funny. We’re so careful with our skin care routine but tend to ignore the fact that our make-up tools are basically living bacteria farms. Brushes and applicators are caked with old make-up residue, oil and dead skin cells (which we apply to our freshly cleaned faces every morning)! It’s like taking a shower and then putting on the same dirty underwear every day. Gaaaaah!
So what to do? If you ask them, Professional Make-up Artists will tell you that you should clean them after each use. Girl, please! We barely have time to put our make-up on in the morning, let alone clean our brushes every day. Thankfully, most experts agree that a weekly deep clean is all you really need to ensure cleanliness (and avoid break-outs). But what to use?
Here’s our easy 5-minute solution and you already have everything you need in the kitchen. Ready? Here’s how to do it:
1. Gather all of your brushes and applicators, a clean bowl or mug and some paper towels.
2. Put a small amount of good quality, sulphate-free Dish Liquid onto your brush and massage gently, working to loosen the old make-up.
3. Swish it through a bowl of clean warm water being careful not to over soak or wet the handles.
4. Rinse with warm water until the water runs clear.
5. Pinch with a paper towel to squeeze off excess water and leave to air-dry.
We like to do this on a Sunday afternoon and leave them on the counter all day in a sunny spot so they’re ready for Monday morning!
Be kind, be creative, be clean.
Let’s face it: Modern air travel is challenging at the best of times. It goes without saying that any trace of the glamour formerly associated with flying has completely vanished, but, like all things: There are ways to improve even the most ordinary travel experience.
Here are our 5 best tips to travel in style:
1. Map out your trip: Look at your itinerary. Really look. And not just at the departure and arrival times. Clock your layover and scope out the airport terminal ahead of time. Even if you are a member, airline lounges are almost always the same: Dreary waiting rooms with bad upholstery, stale sandwiches and terrible coffee. On the other hand, there are some really first rate restaurant kiosks in most major airport hubs these days. Take the opportunity to check one out. You may discover a new favorite!
2. Request a special meal: Even if you aren’t a child; a vegetarian, trying to keep Kosher or are gluten intolerant, try requesting a special meal. They are almost always better than the usual fare. And don’t forget to take a healthy snack, especially if you are flying domestically. Nobody wants a $4 pulpy apple. Or Chex mix.
3. Dress the Part: It is an unwritten but common practice of ticket agents to allot the better seats to well dressed (and well mannered) passengers. You don’t have to wear a suit, but an ironed shirt and tailored jacket will go a long way toward helping you to snag that aisle seat. You can always change once you’re on board. Score!
4. Carpe Diem: Sometimes, a long layover or a delayed flight can be a plus if you are prepared to seize the day! Flight cancelled out of Austin? Time to sample some world-famous Tex-Mex or Bar-B-Que while listening to some great music! Endless delays out of Dallas? This is the perfect opportunity to indulge in a guilty pleasure: An airport massage and a Danielle Steel novel. Why not? Attitude is everything.
5. Be Prepared: This is the part that really counts. We are against dragging overstuffed carry-ons onto planes, but always have a satellite bag or large handbag, packed with everything we need for the flight (and an overnight stay, just in case)
- Healthy, portable snacks (of course).
- A TSA compliant “emergency” kit. We know a good one.
- A dopp kit with our overnight basics: travel toothbrush, mini toothpaste, face washer and face cream, lip balm, face mister and face oil.
- An extra jumper. We use an old, holey cashmere one to wrap around the airline pillow.
- Secretly Comfy Pants.
- Slip on shoes or pool slides for trips to that airplane loo. The floor is unthinkable in bare feet or socks.
- A practical wrap. Turkish-T towel. The perfect multi-tasker. A blanket, beach towel, pillow, sarong or scarf. It’s whatever you need it to be.
- Our own headphones and an eye mask to escape a bad movie or an overly chatty fellow passenger.
- A good book and diary with a good pen (for those analog moments.
- Mobile device chargers and extra battery pack.
- A lightweight, fold able tote to hold all above and tuck behind your legs. With a plastic liner for trash.
Be kind, be creative, be clean.
We’re going to make the wild assumption that if you’re reading this, you have been potty-trained for a little while now. But there is a vast difference between the mechanics of simply “going to the bathroom” and perfecting the art of Poop Etiquette (stay with us).
1. Shut The Door (and open a window): You’d be frankly shocked by how many people feel comfortable sharing their most private moments with others. While you may be unburdened by a sense of bathroom bashfulness (aka decorum) we might not be. Just shut the door and flick on the fan or open a window. You know why.
2. A Courtesy Spritz: We are aware of products on the market, designed solely to mask bathroom odor. We say hiding the smell is only half the story. Killing the germs that cause the odor is a much better idea. A quick spritz down the loo and in the air will sort it out beautifully and keep your bathroom clean. If you are very civil-minded, you might also spray and wipe the seat down for the next visitor. After all, it might just be you.
3. Close The Lid: Did you know that the act of flushing the toilet actively “aerosolizes” water droplets from the bowl all over the room (and quite possibly onto your toothbrush)? The lid is there for a reason.
4. Do a Double Take: In life (and in the loo) things don’t always do down the way we’d expected. Even if you live alone, it’s a good idea to make sure that you haven’t left any overt evidence of your progress behind.
5. Ninja-Level Poop Etiquette: If you have left traces of your activity behind, here’s how to elegantly handle the situation:
- Above the Water: Turn the trigger on your bathroom cleaner from stun (spray) to kill (jet) then simply spray and wipe. Another flush is required.
- Below the Water: A few sheets of toilet paper strategically placed and then hit with the jet trigger and then flushed will act as a magic, underwater eraser.
Be kind, be creative, be clean.