5 Major Cleaning Tasks for the New Year!

With the New Year and new year’s resolutions abounding, why not resolve to have a cleaner office in 2011? Although these tasks may seem daunting, you will be greatly impressed with the results… And, so will everyone entering your facility!

1. Carpet Cleaning

Regular carpet cleaning should be performed just like routine maintenance on your car. What happens when you don’t change your oil filter on a regular basis? It wears out and requires additional maintenance and often times requires replacement before it is necessary. Carpets are the same way! Quality yarn systems require regular maintenance just like anything else. Think of your carpets just like a giant air filter which harbors all sorts of dust, soils and allergens. Carpet cleaning can greatly improve indoor air quality which in turn improves the health of the occupants. In addition, it also removes soils that cause damage to carpet fibers and greatly increases the life of the carpet.

2. Windows

Thorough window cleaning includes:

  • Washing glass inside/out
  • Cleaning screens with a soft brush
  • Washing and drying tracks and frames

3. VCT Flooring – Strip and Wax

Vinyl Composition Tile (VCT) floors are beautiful when properly stripped and waxed. When you strip and wax VCT floor tiles, you are basically removing the existing layer of finish and adding a new one. This is important to VCT floor care because the appearance of the tiles in your building will be noticeably cleaner and brighter in color.

4. Kitchen cabinets and refrigerator

Gather your tools: a large lined garbage can, a sink of soapy water, spray bottles of degreaser and window cleaner, and a lot of cleaning cloths. Clear the kitchen counters so you can sort and spread out food and containers.

Most important, before you begin, turn your refrigerator off–and unplug it, too.

Start at the top. Remove everything from the top refrigerator shelf. Leftovers go directly into the garbage can. Open everything, and when it doubt, toss it out!

Plastic food storage containers are consigned to the dishwasher after a brief rinse. The shelf goes directly to the sink’s soapy water. While it soaks off the grime, use your degreaser spray to clean the refrigerator’s ceiling and walls down to the next shelf. Wash the shelf, dry and replace it.

Work your way from top to bottom, and you’ll build up enough steam to tackle the vegetable crisper and meat drawers.

Once the refrigerator is clean, then go through cabinets and drawers, wiping out dust and crumbs. Insides and outsides of doors should be cleaned too.

5. Clean IT equipment

Fax machines, copiers, monitors, computers, phones and scanners are touched every day; in a busy office, this office equipment can quickly look dingy. Clean your equipment to keep it looking fresh & more user-friendly. Spray compressed air into your keyboard to blow out dust that has settled between the keys. Spray a lint-free cloth with anti-static cleaner and use that to wipe down all plastic casings. Dampen another lint-free cloth with distilled water to wipe off glass monitors and screens. Distilled water does not contain particles that can scratch the glass. NOTE: Do not spray liquid cleaner onto keyboards. Do not vacuum electronic equipment.

Choosing the Right Bathroom Vanity Furniture Can Make All the Difference

When you walk into the bathroom, the first thing that you generally notice is the vanity. It really doesn’t matter what else is in there, your opinion is immediately formed by the appearance of what you see as the focal point of the room. By choosing the right bathroom vanity furniture, you can create a look that will have your bathroom looking second to none.

For those that have a larger area that they can dedicate to a sink, you may want to give a double sink vanity some serious consideration. Not only do they look great, but there are several advantages to consider. The first of course is that you will no longer have to wait for your significant other to finish so you can use it. The other is that they offer significantly more storage space than a standard unit.

People are now taking a look into the past with their bathroom vanity furniture. This is not necessarily speaking of antiques, but vessel sinks. A lot of the high end hotels now use this. These are the sinks that actually use mounted bowls instead of an internal basin and they can definitely add a very distinguished look to a bathroom.

Antoria is well known for their more modern bathroom furnishings. They have a line that actually has a bit of an Asian flair to it. This type of furniture is popular because of the very modern look that it can add to any room. This is another look that has become quite popular in recent history.

If a more traditional look is what you are interested in, there are a lot of beautiful antique vanities. The ones that are made by Chelsea are particularly nice as they have a style that is all their own. They have antique furniture with a slight edge that gives it a modern touch at the same time.

People get a little hesitant at times because they have a smaller bathroom or a fixed budget. You can be assured that regardless of the size of your bathroom or the amount of money you can spend, you will be able to find something to meet your budget and that will improve the overall look of your bathroom. It is time to rip out that old boring baby blue sink and put something in there that will finally give your bathroom a more unique look . . .

Growing a Fall Vegetable Garden

Growing a fall vegetable garden can produce a bountiful harvest of vegetables. The season for fall vegetable gardens begins when temperatures have reached their peak and have begun to fall, which could be as early as August 5th for cities in northern Michigan or as late as September 17th for Miami, FL. In most cities, however, there is ample time for many cool weather vegetables to grow, including broccoli, cauliflower, gourmet greens, spinach, lettuce, carrots, shallots, and turnips. Growers in cities with temperate climates can even grow a late harvest of cucumbers, parsnips, peas, and rutabagas.

There is a trick to successful fall gardens, however:

  • Select varieties with a shorter growth cycle – given two varieties, it’s generally best to choose the variety with the shorter days to maturity. This increases your chances the plant will mature and produce a harvest before extreme temperatures set in.
  • Be willing to plant seeds indoors – the season for fall gardens begins when peak temperatures have been reached and the thermostat begins the trek downward. Temperatures may still be too warm at this stage to support the germination temperatures requirements of the plant. Planting seeds indoors and then transplanting to the garden may increase the number of varieties available for your fall garden.
  • Know whether the plant is sensitive to frost. Plants with a low tolerance to frost generally should be avoided if your region is prone to frost.
  • Consider the growth period temperature requirements of the plant – ensure sufficient days remain with suitable temperatures. Otherwise, the plant will not thrive.
  • Check the expected temperatures at the time of harvest. Are they still within the range that the plant will tolerate? If not, it may not be worth planting the variety due to the risk of unsuccessful harvest.
  • Don’t forget about succession plantings! Calculate the last date you can plant seeds for each variety, and plant a few each week to ensure you harvest as long as possible into the fall.

Calculating temperature requirements and date ranges can be tedious and time-consuming. For those who do not enjoy this kind of work, consider using a garden planner application which performs the calculations and identifies suitable varieties for your garden plan.

When building your garden, consider dedicating a garden bed or two for fall gardens. This way, your fall vegetable garden won’t compete for space in your summer garden beds, which are likely to remain full well into fall due to succession plantings of your summer vegetable crop. During the period your fall garden bed is unplanted in the spring and early summer, plant legume cover crops such as Bell Beans to build biomass and add nitrogen to your soil. Your fall garden will reward you for this, producing robust, healthy, and nutrient-rich vegetables.

Garden Furniture: Discover Top Selection Tips For Them

Garden furniture, often known as outdoor furniture, patio furniture, casual furniture, or lawn furniture, is that can turn your backyard living space livable. A deck can be crafted out of the finest redwood; but, what is the point of having it without a place to relax or dine? Discover different styles and materials of such furniture, along with maintenance tips and budget-friendly ideas.

Casual furniture, popularly known as patio furniture in the industry, is used for relaxation, adding some shade in the backyard, lounging by the pool, for having fun with friends and family, besides dining outdoors, or simply hanging out in the open air. They come in vast and vibrant array of designs and can also be custom-designed as per needs. All the same, not yet any drastic change in their design can be noticeable. Some great furniture makers, however, are trying their best to incorporate innovative ideas into such outdoor furniture.

Arched pergolas are one of those innovative products created by the great furniture designers. When they are handcrafted, wooden and produced out of lifetime-lasting and the finest wood types, such as the California redwood, they can be the cynosure of your neighborhood. The outstanding feature of this product is that they can be your extended living room in the backyard. This furniture structure can stand out in some areas of your yard as per your preference. Even attaching such structure to your home or building could be a good idea and improve the looks of your home too.

Outdoor wood tables are also included in this garden furniture category. In fact, they are quintessential piece of patio furniture as they can help facelift its ambiance. That is why when you are in need of a facelift and buying top-notch quality furniture, look no further than the outdoor wood tables. They also come in vast array of designer shapes and sizes, namely rectangular wood patio table, round patio table, etc. Choose the design that fits the space and look.

While browsing across the furniture gallery of any furniture makers, note what wood varieties they are using for manufacturing furniture. Wood varieties abound in the market, and among them California redwood, cedar, and teak top the list of choice. Again, the California redwood is reputed for its longer durability, sturdiness and natural vibrant look. Compared to other wood types, redwood is capable of withstanding whims of any climatic conditions, even having been left exposed to the open air for years after years. Moreover, the chances of attracting rot and mildew over a redwood furniture body are almost zero. They can last a lifetime without needing their owners to maintain them regularly.

However, a bit higher budget could be required to buy redwood outdoor furniture. Investing in good wooden furniture, nonetheless, would be an intelligent decision because they can last longer, look better and give finer feeling of use. So, choose the wood type that can give higher return on investment. Along with the wood selection, the selection of furniture maker is also important. Jump at the offers of any of them only after doing a thorough research of their credibility and craftsmanship.