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Getting Rid of a Stinky Kitchen

Unpleasant cooking smells getting to you? Fish stink making you want to flee? Pets getting you down? My husband likes to cook up mixtures that have the most awful smells and I can hardly stand to stay near the kitchen. Here are some quick odor-removing tips:

  • Put bowl of white or apple-cider vinegar next to stove to eat up those fried food smells.
  • Put several slices of lemon, orange or grapefruit slices in a pan filled with water and boil the water. It eats up burned food smells.
  • For smoke smells, dip a towel in vinegar and wring it out until slightly damp. Wave the towel through the air. Definitely helps if someone smoked in the room.
  • For that "dripped in the oven" smell, cover the burned stuff with table salt and clean it up whenever the oven cools. Or lay down foil to catch the drips and just throw the foil away.
  • The worst place in the kitchen for bacteria is your garbage disposal. Grind a bunch of citrus peels inside it. Use lemon, lime or oranges. Flush it out with a lot of water. To deodorize further, add several drops of peppermint or other extracts to the water.

When Was the Last Time You Childproofed Your Home?

If you're expecting a child, still have small ones or are a soon to be grandparent, then you need to make sure your home is a safe environment for small children. Here are some easy tips for the most accident prone rooms in your home:

  • Kitchen - Store plastic bags out of reach. Keep knives and sharp objects up high or behind latched cupboards. Keep electrical cords out of sight and don't let them dangle down where little children can grab and pull the appliance down on themselves. Keep plastic bags secure (or at least put multiple air holes in the bags.)
  • Baths - Set your water heater's temperature to no more than 120 degrees. Place nonslip decals or mats in the tub. Use nonskid rugs on the floor. Keep razors and shampoos out of reach. Cover any doors with turn locks with doorknob covers and consider toilet seat latches.
  • Living Room - Store furniture with sharp edges. Secure large TVs, armoires or other heavy furniture so it cannot be dislodged. Use only nontoxic houseplants or artificial ones. Tie up the drapery and blind cords. Block access to fireplace. Store medications, cosmetics and cleaning supplies in out of reach cabinets or behind safety latches.

Here are some products you might acquire:

  • Doorknob covers
  • Gates, particularly at the top and bottom of stairs.
  • Cabinet and drawer latches.
  • Furniture braces. Anchor furniture to wall.
  • Outlet covers.

Get Your Garden in Shape

If you're like me and you don't have a gardener, you probably find yourself in and out of the mood to work in your garden. But healthy growth requires maintenance. Regardless of when you feel like it or the time of the year, here are some simple tips:

  • Cut back old, dead stalks
  • Dig out or pull up weeds or spent vegetables
  • Rake debris off the lawn
  • Prune dead or diseased branches
  • Prune flowering shrubs just after they quit blooming
  • Get a soil test so you know what food to give
  • If you've neglected the soil for several years, add in some fertilizer to bring nutrients into the soil
  • Adjust soil acidity as needed
  • Plant new plants and have fun!

Make Magic with Your Twin Bed

Beds are clearly the focal point in any bedroom, so make your beds special. Here are some ideas:

  • Turn twin bed into a daybed or a swing.
  • Use contemporary bed coverings for a tailored look.
  • Cover box springs as well as mattress.
  • Attach wooden furniture legs to the bottom for a great look or attach heavy duty chains from the ceiling.
  • Furniture legs available at hardware stores.
  • Paint or stain to suit room.
  • Be sure to use 6 as you need support in the middle of the bed too.
  • Repurpose an old sheet or tablecloth and turn into a bed skirt.
  • Use a headboard or not.
  • Add decorative throw pillows and art to finish off the look.
  • You can also purchase day bed stands but note the it can be more difficult to cover the mattress and keep it looking neat.

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Barbara Jennings is author of 17 decorating books/ebooks: Decor Secrets Revealed, Rearrange It, Home Staging for Profit, Home Staging for Yourself, A Real Estate Agent's Guide to Offering Free Home Staging Consultations, Staging Portfolio Secrets, Staging Luxurious Homes, Getting Paid: Financial Strategies for Home Stagers, Home Staging in Tough Times, Arrange Your Stuff, Advanced Redesign, Pro Art Consulting, Where There's a Wall - There's a Way, The Secret Art of Hanging Art, Great Parties - Great Homes, Do's and Don'ts in Home Staging and Redesign, and Wall Groupings! The Secrets of Arranging Art and Photos

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Barbara Jennings

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