Solutions for Pets and People with Pet Allergies

Most of our clients have pets and many of them have someone in the household who is allergic to the pet. So how do you keep the pets without suffering the allergies? This newsletter addresses what you can do to minimize or eliminate the problem – yes and keep the pet! I personally, had allergies to my pets and have tried many of the suggestions listed below.

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Home Design for Pet People with Allergies

Just because you have a pet – and pet allergies, doesn’t mean boring, drab and ugly. You can still decorate with style and panache!

Floors: Hard surface floors work the best for people with allergies. Carpeting traps hair, dander, odors and all sorts of other environmental allergens. Hardwood floors, laminate floors, ceramic tile, vinyl tile, sealed stone and stained concrete are all much easier to clean and maintain – and still come in a wide variety of colors, styles and even textures. If you really must have carpeting then opt for a cut pile, stain resistant variety with a carpet pad that has a protective spill barrier to help with the occasional pet “accident”.

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Get Rid of the Allergy

Our Last Article in this series is the final and definitive way for allergic people to live with their pets. Get desensitized and you won’t have the irritating allergy symptoms. The following article is written by Tom Hammett registered nurse and allergy specialist who did this treatment on me. I love it. I am no longer bothered by the itchy eyes, runny nose and chronic cough. Yeah!!!

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Perk up your Party with Fresh Seasonal Fruits and Veggies

Everybody has a general idea of what is the perfect party food. However in addition to the old standbys why not toss in a few fresh seasonal fruits and veggies! Here is a list of the early ones available in Indiana that can be worked in various dishes or be a dish themselves.

Fresh Springtime Veggies:
• Radishes
• Peas,
• Lettuces/Greens
• Garlic
• Green Beans
• Spring Beets
• Asparagus
• Artichokes
• Spring Onions
• Beets
• Parsley
• Rhubarb
• Turnips

Fresh Fruits
• Apricots
• Cherries
• Citrus fruit – grapefruit, oranges, lemons, limes, clementines
• Rhubarb
• Strawberries
• Avocados
• Lemons
• Mango
• Pineapple
• Navel Oranges
• Kiwis

And the unusual Spring Foraged Foods
• Fiddleheads
• Morel mushrooms
• Stinging Nettle

Partying With Your Pets!

Most of our clients have pets – and those pets are part of the family. So… when it comes time for hosting the party and guests start to arrive what do you do with your pets? Yes, some of our pets are such people pets that they are absolutely sure that everybody coming to the party is there to see them. However other pets a very young or simply timid while other pets have a tendancy to snap.

Starting first with the young or timid pet. These little guys may need a special safe secluded spot that they can feel comfortable and secure away from the noise, occasional “scarey” outbursts, trampling feet and in general rowdiness that goes with people having fun and partying. Putting them in their crate or bed a quiet bedroom or other unused room of the house will make them more comfortable. If guests insist on seeing your pet then you can bring him/her out for a short period of time where you can stay with them to monitor their fear/stress level. When they seem over stimulated – then off to the quiet room! A separate room is also a good idea for the precious pet that loves to dash out the front door every time it opens – or the party might have to adjourn to a lost pet search!

Other pets don’t always have a high tolerance for large crowds and/or small children and will growl, hiss or snap at someone they feel is “getting a little too close”. If your pet is a little short on patience perhaps removing them to a separate room will also make the pet and the guests more comfortable.

Now we consider the pet that absolutely LOVES to be in the center of EVERYTHING! This one simply needs to have any temptations removed from his/her presence. For example: If he loves cheese – do not put a cheese tray on the coffee table – He just might help himself to the cheese buffet! Of course, if he gets to be a nuisance he too can go to a quiet room to settle down and relax a bit.

A little bit of advanced planning will help make the party more enjoyable for both guests and pets.

Getting Ready for those May Graduations and Indy 500 Parties

May is traditionally the time to clean out all the “old” from winter and jump headfirst into spring! The question is where to start and how to start. We have a few ideas on how to get going with both your inside and outside preparations.

Getting the inside of your home party ready. Yes, we all know that we have to clean the house in the spring to get rid of all those hidden dust bunnies, light film of dust on the blinds, dirt on the window sills, staleness in the curtains, grease film on the cabinet fronts and dust on the artificial plants and even dust on the living plants! But what else should be done to freshen the house and let the wonderful rejuvenating essence of Spring in?

Here are some suggestions:

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Common Tax Deductions That You May Have Forgotten About

Now that you have compiled all the tax related documents that you can find, take a look at the list below and see if you have omitted any of these commonly forgotten items.

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Getting Rid of Tax Related Clutter

In the previous article we explained how to amass this volume of documentation needed to file your taxes and keep Uncle Sam happy. This article addresses how to get rid of all of that clutter and paperwork. You have to have a system to organize the good stuff, know what you can throw away/shred and what needs to be saved for a while or forever.

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5 Tips on How to Keep Your Sanity During Tax Season

Tax season is once again upon us. Ever wonder how some of those incredibly organized people seem to breeze through income taxes and others struggle and agonize? We’ve got a couple quick and easy reads below that can help make tax time less painful.

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Fast and Simple Way to Keep Your Home Tidy

The best rule is to do a little each day. Here are some quick and simple ideas to keep your home tidy and inviting between cleans.

Clean while you cook. If you are waiting for toast to pop up, coffee to reheat or spaghetti to boil, use that time to load the dishwasher or put away dishes, wipe up spots in the sink, damp wipe/polish the front of the stove, microwave, or fridge. Fold the dish towels and hang them to dry. Clean up the stove top or grab a paper towel and damp wipe any little spots on the floor.

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“But Mom, Why Do I Have to Clean My Room Before the Housecleaning People Come?”

“But Mom, why do I have to clean my room before the housecleaning people come?” Ever had a child or maybe even a spouse wailing something like that? Here are the best reasons for tidying up the house before the cleaner arrives.

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Cleaning and Organizing the Linen Closet

Getting Ready for Winter

As the seasons change so do the needs for bed linens. We start looking for the warm cuddly blankets and throws that feel so comfy and cozy on those cold winter days. Many people change over to heavier blankets and flannel sheets on the beds. Since you will be in the linen closet looking for the warm weather bedding – now is the perfect time to clean and organize the linen closet.

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13 Ways to Redecorate on a Budget!

13 Inexpensive Quick and Easy Ways to Add Pizzazz and Sparkle to a Tired Room.
1. Paint – paint always brightens up and freshens up a room, even if you only paint one accent wall.

2. Pillows and throws – new bright pillows and throws create a new focal point.

3. Lamp shades – New lamp shades are inexpensive and an easy way to inject new life into a room.

4. Colored bulbs – Along with a new shade try one of the lightly colored bulbs to throw a slightly softer or different cast on everything.

5 Reorganize your book cases. Add different knick-knacks or stack books differently

6. Add a small side table from a different room.

7. Set your dining room table with new or new to you seasonal placemats, napkins and napkin rings. Add a new seasonal centerpiece or fruit bowl.

8. Add cheerful seasonal seat cushions to dining/dinette chairs.

9. Control clutter with appropriately sized baskets or decorative bowls.

10. Buy a plant – if you don’t have the green thumb – buy an artificial plant.

11. Frame your favorite poster – or display it unframed. You can even lean it against a wall if you don’t want nail holes.

12. In the bathroom – freshen up the bathroom with a new shower curtain or bath mat. Use the same color scheme so you don’t have to paint or buy new towels.

13. Get a small 3 foot tall book case to put by the most used entry door for everyone to put their shoes on. Saves dragging dirt into the house and looks much better than shoes scattered.

5 Reasons to Rearrange Your Furniture

Tired of the same old – same old living room? Traffic patterns becoming visible in carpeting? Stains showing? Sun damaging some furniture at a faster than normal rate? BUT, you really don’t want to spend the money on new furniture and decoration? Try rearranging your furniture.

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Whew! The Kids Are Back to School and the Carpets Need Cleaned!

Yes, after a wonderful summer of family picnics, evenings with friends, grilling out, pool parties and kid’s sleepovers the time has come to tidy up and get back to business.
Carpet Cleaning in Indianapolis
Traffic (adults, kids and PETS) in and out of the house drags in not only dirt and sand, but other contaminants such as airborne pollen, bacteria, cigarette smoke, car exhaust and many other outdoor environmental pollutants. They drop off as we walk around the house and eventually end up in the carpeting. These unwelcome visitors can cause health problems such as allergic reactions, asthma or other respiratory diseases. And…that’s not to discount the dust, pop, Cheetos, spilled coffee, wine, mac and cheese and puppy accidents as common sources of carpet contamination!

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Staying Cool in the Dog Days of Summer!

The Dog Days of Summer are the days between July 3 and August 11. They are considered to be the hottest and muggiest days of the entire year in the northern hemisphere. With these days approaching we need to pay special attention to keeping cool and watching ourselves and others for signs of heat illnesses.

Heat related illnesses strike when the body is unable to regulate its temperature and cannot properly cool itself by sweating.

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Entertaining the Kiddies at Summer’s Events

Summer vacation is here, and so are weddings, graduations, family reunions and picnics. Ever wondered, “How am I going to occupy the kids on the drive or what will we do to keep all the little cousins entertained at the family reunion or what games can we play at the family or neighborhood picnic?” We have some ideas for you!

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Go Green – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Many people are under the impression that it has to cost a lot to go green at home. While some things like solar panels, skylights and LED lights may be quite expensive, there are other ways to go green by simply changing the way you do things around the house.

Here are some ideas, on how you can help our environment:

  • Turn off lights when you leave the room.
  • Don’t turn on lights at all for as long as you can – open your curtains and enjoy natural light.
  • Switch your light bulbs to CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs).
  • Do an energy audit of your home (go to for ideas and advice).
  • Click here to see if you can sign up for green power from your utility companies.
  • Switch one appliance to an energy efficient model (look for the “energy star” label).
  • Turn off your computer completely at night.
  • Unplug unused chargers and appliances.
  • Lower the temperature on your hot water heater.
  • Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot.
  • Line dry your laundry.
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Cleaning Hard Surface Floors

Are you confused about how you should be cleaning your hard surface floors? Some cleaning solutions will work wonders on your floors, others could ruin them. Here are some cleaning tips for different types of flooring. With all types, you will need to sweep the entire area with a dust mop, prior to mopping.

Laminate Floors: Laminate floors are often difficult to maintain because after you’ve cleaned them, you’re left with ugly streaks. Vinegar can tackle almost all dirt and grime that ends up on the floor. Mix 1/4 cup vinegar into a 30 to 32oz spray bottle with warm water. Glass Cleaner, yes, glass cleaner, undiluted, out of the bottle can indeed help you clean your laminate floors too. Lightly mist a section of floor to be cleaned with either solution and then use a a mop with a microfiber pad to get up the solution. To remove scuffs, you can try a Magic Eraser, or rubbing alcohol.

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Nobody Likes A Dirty Duck!

Clean Up Tips to Keep the Bathtub Sparkling

After every shower or bath, take a minute and wipe down the shower walls with a soft towel. If you have a squeegee handy use that first and then quickly wipe up any extra water. This will not only help prevent hard water and soap scum build up – but it will help prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

On that note – remember to use your bathroom fan when bathing and let it run for a few minutes after you are done. This plus the air conditioner running will help pull the humidity out of the room and thereby reduce the possibility of mold and mildew growth.

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Tis the Season…To Be Clean!

The seasons are changing and as we transition from Summer to Fall and head towards Winter, we need to take advantage of the nice weather and lead time and get a few projects done that will make life easier as the busy holiday time approaches. This newsletter is addressing topics to make this transition as smooth and easy as possible.

Bring the Sparkle Inside with Squeaky Clean Light Fixtures

As the days shorten and old man winter starts creeping in, it is time to start thinking about ways to keep the inside of your home light, bright and sparking. One good and easy way is to make sure that all your light fixtures are squeaky clean and shining.

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4 – 3 – 2 – 1…CLEAN!

Four quick and easy steps to mainaining a clean house

Now that the kids are going back to school and we are headed into Fall, it is time to start getting a simple system of keeping the house clean on a daily basis. Something that will help you maintain your sanity between formal cleanings.

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Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

Stainless steel appliances look great in a kitchen, but they are probably the most difficult surfaces to keep looking good if used very much. They show finger prints unlike any other surface and also easily show stains. Here are some quick tips for keeping these appliances looking beautiful.

At the first sign of dirt or prints clean the surface with hot soapy water or Windex and a soft cloth. Do not ever use a cleanser containing bleach or any kind of abrasive like Soft Scrub or Comet.

Also do not use steel wool or steel bristled brushes. Always go with the grain of the metal and don’t scrub across the grain, any sand or dirt could possibly scratch the surface of the appliance even if you’re just using a soft cloth and Windex.

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How To Clean Your Coffee Maker

A lot of people enjoy a good cup of coffee in the morning, but most people don’t get the best they can out of the coffee they buy because their coffee maker isn’t clean enough to get the optimal taste from the beans.

The oils in coffee beans spoil and go rancid when exposed to oxygen and are affected when the coffee is roasted by the manufacturers. This transfers to the internal workings of the coffee maker and even the filter if it is a reusable type. You can get a tastier cup of coffee by following these directions.

First run a sink full of hot soapy water and thoroughly wash the pot, lid and filter along with any other parts that can be removed. Make sure to scrub every surface with a green scrub pad because the oils won’t all wash off with soap and water, you need to agitate the surfaces to remove them. Unplug the coffee maker and go over the inside of the fill tank with the same pad and soapy water making sure to rinse it out thoroughly. Wipe off all the external surfaces as well. Dry all surfaces completely.

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Why Clean the Pantry in the Winter?

Because it is too cold and icy to go outside and do anything else! – Yes, the pantry needs to be cleaned occasionally and the grocery items need to be sorted and checked for expiration dates. What better time to do it than on a cold winter day when you can’t get outside anyway? The ideal way to clean a pantry is to remove all items, dust for cobwebs, wipe down all the shelves, clean the baseboards, and scrub the floor.

As that is drying start sorting through the canned and packaged goods. Check for expiration dates and for packaged items that have been opened and not used for a long time. Start putting things back in the pantry in what you feel is a logical system. We realize that everybody has a different logic to how they want their pantry stocked.

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Preventing Bed Bug Infestations

As you might have heard, bedbugs are making a comeback in the United States in a big way. So far the infestations are mainly found in big cities where there is a large densely packed population, but due to the hearty nature of the insect, they travel exceedingly well. Once they have established a foothold in the home it is very difficult to eradicate them, so we have a few tips on how to keep them from setting up shop.

Keep the floor area free from trash and clutter. Most people don’t just leave trash laying around but bedbugs don’t live in open areas so the fewer things sitting on the floor or around baseboards the better.

Vacuum regularly and thoroughly. Frequently even if the area doesn’t look particularly dirty it will not hurt to go over it with the vacuum.

Make sure to get underneath the bed and to pick up items that sit on the floor such as lamps, waste baskets, laundry or anything else that they can get under that they may use for shelter. Also vacuum your upholstery making sure to get all sides of the cushions and paying special attention to the seams as this is the main place bedbugs hide.

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Keeping Allergies at Bay

People often experience their worst round of allergies for the season over the winter. While flowers are not in bloom, other things that people are allergic to such as household dust and cleaning products are magnified by being indoors all of the time and not getting any fresh air over the winters coldest months.

The number one fighter of these allergies is going to be a good vacuum with a HEPA filtration system. These are a little more expensive than your average off the rack vacuum, but to allergy sufferers, should be well worth the value.

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Freshen Your Home Naturally!

There are many air fresheners on the market, but most have chemical components to them that may increase the risk of cancer and affect fertility.

Additionally, many people are sensitive to these chemicals and find being in a room with them uncomfortable. So why not use a natural alternative? Here are a few fast and easy ideas of how to freshen you home quickly without any artificial scents or chemicals.

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Window Washing Tips

Have you ever seen those professional window cleaners that go up and down buildings with a bucket and a squeegee getting all of those windows to look perfect? It is truly an amazing feat. Have you ever wondered how they do it?

First thing they do is to get a good squeegee, you can’t do this by going to the dollar store and getting one there. You need to go to a Home Depot or Menard’s and get a quality one with replaceable blades. You should be able to get this for under $20 and it is a good investment if you have a lot of windows to clean. Wait for a cool cloudy day.

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Homemade Laundry Aids

Some people are affected by the odors of the cleaning products that are commonly used and some people just do not want all of the potentially toxic ingredients around their loved ones and small children or pets. These are a couple of quick tips for those of you who want to clean with as natural as possible ingredients.

White Vinegar – You can use this as an all around cleaner, but it excels as an additive in the laundry. Add 1 cup to the final rinse water and it will dissolve all of the alkalis in soaps and detergents.

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Getting Ready For the Holidays

The Holidays are here – and so is the craziness involved with decorating, shopping for presents, getting the house ready for parties and cooking for family and friends. To make the process a little easier try to think about the cleaning process before you start.

Your guests will not be checking out the back recesses of your closets, they probably will not even go near certain parts of your house. Therefore, don’t spend a lot of time tidying up or cleaning areas that will not be seen.

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