Indoor Winter House Cleaning & Organizing

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  • Kitchen Cabinets: While you’re stuck indoors in winter weather, take the opportunity to give your kitchen cabinets a good cleaning to remove any grease and grime. To make the job easy, spray on a little orange oil cleaner to cut the grease, then wipe the cabinets clean with a wet sponge that’s been microwaved about 40 seconds. Be sure to wear gloves so you don’t burn your hands! The combination of citrus oil and hot water will make short work of grease on cabinets. To see how it’s done, check out our video on Removing Grease from Kitchen Cabinets.
  • Stovetop and Oven: Citrus-based cleaner also works great for cleaning your stove. Start by removing the burners and pans, then give the stovetop a good cleaning using the same hot sponge method. Be sure to remove and clean the knobs and the surface behind them as well. For stubborn stains, sprinkle a little baking soda and scrub. While you’re at it, be sure to clean your oven with a commercial oven cleaner, following the instructions. For a greener option, sprinkle the bottom of the oven with baking soda, spritz with water, let it sit overnight, then scrub it clean.

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Must-do Winter Home Maintenance To-dos

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  1. Roof and gutters. When snow on the roof melts because your attic is too warm, it freezes and forms ice dams. Pooling water from the melting ice can cause leaks and mold in your home. Clean gutters of debris that can cause water to back up and freeze. Sweep snow from the roof and eaves as soon as possible after a significant snowfall. If you get a lot of snow each winter, install an Ice and Water Shield barrier 32″ wide along the gutter edges of the roof — between the decking and shingles — to prevent leaks.
  2. Attic. Inspect for properly installed insulation, which should be keeping heat in your house but not in your attic. Proper attic ventilation can let cold outside air into the attic to help the roof stay cold enough for snow to evaporate rather than melting and refreezing. Otherwise, the continual cycle of melting, freezing and forming ice dams can cause damage from water dripping not only through the roof but around windows and through your exterior walls. If your furnace is in the attic, you may need more insulation between the attic and the roof to keep the roof colder.

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Christmas Tips

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This Christmas, take your dog outside for some playtime before your gathering. A tired pooch is a lot less likely to jump up on guests or bark incessantly every time the doorbell rings. For extra insurance, keep him occupied with a toy that dispenses treats.

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During your Christmas party remember: guests prefer to take on some small tasks, instead of standing around while you attempt to do everything yourself. Ask an older relative if he’d mind greeting guests at the door. Recruit teens to take coats or offer fruit juice. Kids may direct guests to the buffet table or offer hors d’oeuvres.

This Christmas…

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…spend quality time with your kids before your extended family arrives. Christmas is a good time to teach your family, especially children about values like love, compassion, giving and sharing. Try to include the whole family in different Christmas activities like festival related cooking, decorating the house and the tree and wrapping up gifts…