Spring is right around the corner — so it’s time to make a few preparations to get your house organized and sparkling clean! With a few housekeeping tips now, you’ll be ready to throw open the windows and enjoy the fresh air. Soon. PROMISE!
PREPARING FOR THE SPRING CLEAN
Get in the mood!
In order for your spring cleaning endeavors to be effective and at least a tiny bit fun, you need to prepare yourself mentally. Focus on how wonderful it will feel to transition into spring with a fresh, clean, welcoming home and set a date that you can keep with your cleaning. Mark it on the calendar, and commit to keeping that date.
Make a list of all the things you want to tackle
As you ponder how to prepare your home for spring cleaning, the priorities will dictate what gets moved where, what supplies you need purchase, and what you take on first.
Purchase necessary supplies
Fresh rubber gloves, plenty of cleaners, trash bags, and other supplies that you may need. Stock up on lightbulbs, drain clog remover, door hinge grease, and other small things you may find require fixing along the way
In the days leading up to the Big Clean, make little steps toward decluttering. Take out all of the recycling, put away all of your clothes, get rid of old food from the refrigerator, and so on – one of the simplest ways to get your home ready for spring.
Save vacuuming and mopping for last
Start with dusting all of those hard-to-reach places. Clean ceiling fans, the top of your refrigerator, the top of the TV stand, and light fixtures – whatever places you don’t typically clean on your average house cleaning day. Since you haven’t vacuumed yet you don’t have to worry about getting dust on the floor.
Clean out furniture
Similarly, clean out cabinets and the refrigerator early on. Don’t forget to clean underneath and around the coils, where dust and grime can have an impact on your appliance’s efficiency.
wipe down your walls
A winter of being closed in will likely mean your walls have accumulated more grime and dust than you think they would, being vertical surfaces. As long as your paint can handle a washing, you can use a sponge mop to do the dirtiest work and dry your walls with a soft, clean cloth. If you aren’t sure whether your paint can withstand washing, spot test it somewhere out of sight.
Wash carpets and upholstery
Especially if you have pets! Fabrics may not show the grime yet, but over time it will set in and stain. Use a carpet cleaner and you will be amazed at just how dirty the water becomes. Similarly, a small upholstery cleaner can be rented for a decent price and will do wonders for your sofa seat. You won’t regret it – just be sure you arrange your schedule to leave enough time for it to dry.
Vacuum and mop
Lastly, vacuum, mop, and vigorously sweep your entry stairway and walkway. Voila!
HAVE A WONDERFUL SPRING!
The clean laundry is stacked up a mile high, dirty dishes in the sink are spilling over, there’s a floor that needs to be vacuumed from a sweet 3 year old’s breakfast and lunch, and you can barely see the floor because toys almost completely cover it. The days I feel like I have no clue what I’m doing way outnumber the days where I feel like I have everything under control. To society, I would kind of look like a “hot mess” mom that needs to step up to the plate, set her exhaustion to the side and start doing what a “super-mom” does- everything. I should have dinner on the table and all toys cleaned up as soon as my husband gets home from work, and if I don’t, I’ve failed at being a wife today. My children should always be on their best behavior, never acting out, especially in public, or I’ve failed at mommying today. (Side note: Yes, I am an advocate for discipline, but I am also an advocate of God’s grace. Children will be children. God disciplines us because He loves us. He shows us grace because He loves us. We are His children, so shouldn’t we do the same for the children He’s gifted us?). I can’t ask my husband to help clean up the toys or to finish dinner while I go nurse a hungry infant because that would be wrong of me. I’m the mom, so I’m supposed to be successfully doing everything in the home, therefore I should nurse my infant in one arm and prepare the vegetables with the other side of my body….
Sisters, we have an enemy that prowls around like a roaring lion trying to devour us daily- our minds, our hearts, and our souls. This way of irrational thinking indeed devours our souls, depresses our minds, and slowly eats at our hearts leaving us feeling overwhelmed and inadequate as wives and mothers. Here is the simple truth- The Lord never created us women to bear this weight alone; He didn’t create us to take it all on ourselves. And when we do, what happens? For me personally, that overwhelming sense of inadequacy floods my mind, and in these moments, I fail to run to Jesus because, in my irrational thinking, I need to bear the weight of the world to be a successful mommy and wife. This is so far from the truth. In reality, playing “super-women” is killing my soul. The evil one is great at allowing this overwhelming feeling to steady our minds on ourselves and what we aren’t doing instead of steadying our minds on Jesus and what He’s doing in us as parents and inside our homes. Friends, I will admit, I fail my children and my husband daily, not based on worldly standards, but based on pointing them to Christ because of the burden I place on myself- that I have to do it all because I’m “mommy” and because of this, my mind drifts off Jesus and onto my failures.
Brothers, your wife needs your help. Whether she wants to admit it or not, she can not and was not made to do “home” all herself. Pray for wisdom. Continually study her to know her cues for rescue. God created you to be her help-mate. Give her your gift of service. Pray for her as often as you think of her, and pray with her every chance you get. Help her soul blossom in this beautifully hard season of childbearing.
Over the past 7 years of marriage, the Lord has been so kind in showing and teaching Devin, my husband clues of when I am starting to get overwhelmed. He’s graciously learned that he doesn’t have to be asked if I want him to do the dishes. If they are stacked up high, he teams up with me to “get-er-done” while I throw a load of laundry in or bathe the kids. Or vice versa the rolls! The first few years, yes I had to step off the “super-woman” stool and humbly admit I needed help. Marriage and parenthood are a team-effort, working both side by side and conversing face to face. I don’t want my children remembering me as a short-fused/discipline queen because I’m so overwhelmed at taking on every task before me, so I’m learning to ask for help; to ask for help from two sources; one being my husband and one being my Lord. Yes, women- ask your husbands for help. Devin knows he can help lighten that burden by praying for me, and he is learning that he can lighten the load by tangibly putting away the clean, piled high laundry or the mile high dishes. Sisters, throw your “super-women” cape away (this mentality is killing our souls) and wake your husband up at night to help with your infant even if he has to work the next day- this doesn’t mean you’ve failed at being a mommy because you need sleep. It means your help-mate/husband is showing you and your precious child an act of love through his service. It doesn’t matter that he just go home from work and has worked all day. Home is not work. Bathing your child is not work. Doing the dishes is not work. These are all acts of service to show love towards your children and your spouse. It’s showing your children that both mommy and daddy can successfully meet their physical need of bathing them clean and the emotional need of being there to enjoy their peaceful presence. Your husband is your help-mate; team up with him. Through the Lord’s miraculous design- it takes a male and female to create a child; it also takes both mommy and daddy in parenthood to hold up a God-centered household. A God-centered household is possible through understanding the redemptive work of Jesus, which has already been done for you. So, because of this redemptive work, through the roller-coasters of parenthood, I know that He’s with me, helping me, helping Devin, and helping our children to see His grace mirrored through us, their parents as we team up to together take on this gift called parenthood.
No mommy- you actually can’t do it alone. Why? Because you were never created to do it alone. So, leave the dishes for your husband to do tonight, go give your kids a bath and instead of looking at it as a task, consider it a gift from the Lord, a gift of your calm and peaceful presence in the lives of your children because your load has been lightened with love from your husband and care from the Lord.
Why you need Condominium insurance. (1)To protect what you own. (2)To protect yourself. (3)To ensure you have somewhere to live.
What it covers:
Protects your furniture, clothing & other items from covered losses.
LOSS OF USE
Reimbursement for additional living expenses when a covered loss prevents you from living in your home.
BUILDING ADDITIONS & ALTERATIONS
Pays for covered damages to additions, alterations, fixtures, improvements or installations that you make to your residence.
Helps pay for covered damages or bodily injury if an accident occurs in your home.
Helps cover payment for medical or funeral costs for someone who is injured on your property.
CREDIT CARD COVERAGE
Pays up to your selected limit for unauthorized transactions on your credit cards and bank debit/ATM card. Also applies to forged checks and counterfeit money.
Please contact someone at The FIG today for any additional information or quotes.
Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.
Step 1: Put together a plan by discussing these 4 questions with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan.
- How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
- What is my shelter plan?
- What is my evacuation route?
- What is my family/household communication plan?
Step 2: Consider specific needs in your household.
As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance. Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:
- Different ages of members within your household
- Responsibilities for assisting others
- Locations frequented
- Dietary needs
- Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
- Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
- Languages spoken
- Cultural and religious considerations
- Pets or service animals
- Households with school-aged children
Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan
Download and fill out a family emergency plan or use them as a guide to create your own.
Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household
The following are links to help you prepare for any type of disaster; Provided by FEMA:
- Family Emergency Communication Guide (PDF)
- Emergency Plan for Parents (PDF)
- Emergency Plan for Kids or (PDF)
- Emergency Plan for Commuters (PDF)
- Pet owners PDF
- Steps to make a plan (PDF)
- Tips on emergency alerts and warnings (PDF)
- Protect Critical Documents and Valuables (PDF)
- Document and Insure Your Property (PDF)
- Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (PDF)
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Disaster Checklist (PDF)
- Make A Plan (Video)
All information provided by ready.gov
Love is difficult to define. How do you avoid confusing it with infatuation or lust? Philosophers and psychologists both have attempted to define love, or at least its difference from infatuation and lust. If you are looking to find love the following observations may be helpful.
Love is much more than a risk, but is a risk that one can take and grasp and fall into a dark abyss or dig oneself a hole and only crawl back when you overcome your emotions.
How can one truly define what love is? Not even an experienced person can truly grasp or explain love to its truest and deepest meaning. Its concepts are just a never ending story of an open book of experiences. But love does lie in one’s heart, where memories are but shadows lingering in your soul.
Love is giving someone the power to break your heart, but trusting them not to. You are simply giving the other person the right to make their own choices without your disappointment. Loving you is a choice, and it can only be real if it is given freely, without wanting anything in return.
- Define love by thinking of what it means o you. If you want, be bold and write down the feelings and thoughts you have about love. The dictionary defines love in several ways in which we use the word. For example, love is:
- A strong positive emotion of; affection or pleasure; e.g, “His joy for her affection for him”
- Any object of warm affection or devotion or liking: “The theater was her first love”. “I love French food”.
- Beloved: a beloved person; used as a term of endearment.
- A deep feeling of sexual desire and attraction; e.g., “She was his first love” or “She loves her husband.”
- A score of zero in tennis or squash: “It was 40-love!”
- Sexual love: sexual intercourse between two people. e.g. “They made love.” “He hadn’t had any love in months”.
2. Look at how the ancient Greeks broke down love into 4 categories. Think of which category of love you feel for the people you are close to.
- Agape is unconditional love. It is love by “choice” even if you are not pleased. A good example is “God loves us with our faults”.
- Philia is charity or brotherly love, guided by our likes or our healthy or unhealthy needs and desires. This is why Philadelphia is called the “City of Brotherly Love”.
- Storge is the word for family love and the physical show of “affection”, the need for physical touch. Sometimes it’s the love between exceptional friends (the movie Grumpy Old Men for example).
- Eros is the physical “sexual” desire, intercourse. It is the root word of erotic, and eroticism.
3. Be aware of moments when you feel love towards anyone or anything.
4. Think of the reason why you love this person. Is it truly love you feel or just a connection that can easily be dissolved? If there is something to gain, you might be drawn to that, and your desire for that is confused with love.
5. Think about whether you’d feel the same way if the other persons looks were to change. Is it just attraction?
6. Capture your feelings in a metaphor, poetry or song. “Love is like…”
7. Define love like a psychologist: Break love into three components.
- Passion underlies physical desire, sexual behavior, and arousal. This is the physical side.
- Intimacy is the emotional aspect: closeness, connectedness, and warmth of friendship.
- Commitment is the conscious decision to stick together for the long haul: are you willing to take that step?
8. Ask yourself if love is forever. No matter how much time passes by, or what obstacles become present in the path of true and pure love, love will endure. This may be far from reality, but many find it a comforting fantasy.
- Although this may be a much more joyous belief to have of love, there are also those situations where love does fail. This can be easily said to have been due to false love of mistaken identity between persons (if lovers are star crossed and are meant to find each other).
- Love can cause war; in the cases of love of religion and the love of money; war can cause people to steal and murder, it can lead to suicide and shatter marriage and family life, it can spread disease and give birth to evil.
- Also in some philosophical terms nothing lasts forever, not love either. Nothing has ever lasted forever since the dawn of time, nor shall anyone ever know if anything will. This is a paradox since we pledge love for eternity, although eternity cannot by definition have a conclusion. Also if the human mind were somehow able to last eons, human nature dictates that anger, boredom, and/or irritation will end any relationship given enough time.
Information and definitions provided by: wikiHOW, 144 contributors to this article.
Life can be complicated. We know it can be hard to ask for help. Talk to our trained advisors at The FIG, we are always here to help.
Every year, fuel price rises make the headlines – and this year has been no exception. Many charities are concerned that people who don’t have a lot of money may struggle to heat their homes this winter, and in some cases it could be a choice between eating and heating.
But there’s good news. There are lots of ways to keep your home as warm as possible without turning up your heating. Here are 9 things you can do right now:
- Close and line all your curtains If you live in a house that doesn’t have double-glazed windows you can still keep the heat inside by closing your curtains, blinds or shutters when the sun goes down.If you have curtains, the thicker they are, the better. If you can manage a needle and thread you could even line your curtains with a cheap, thick material during the winter to make them more effective. But keep your curtains, blinds or shutters open during the day, as the sun shining through your windows will help keep the room warm.
- Turn off the heating and shut the doors in rooms you don’t use. Don’t waste energy heating rooms you’re not using. Where possible, turn off the radiators in rooms that aren’t in use. But make sure you keep the doors shut too, so that the heat from the rooms you’re using doesn’t escape.
- Stop draughts under doors. Deal with draughts under your doors by using draught excluders. You can use a rolled-up blanket or make your own ‘sausage dog’ draught excluder from a leg of an old pair of tights or a rolled up towel.
- Seal gaps around doors frames and windows. Cracks and gaps around doors and windows can also leak heat, so seal these up too using inexpensive insulating strips or even pieces of blanket. Look out for uncovered keyholes, letterboxes and cat flaps, which can also let in cold draughts, and keep these covered too. If you have any unused fireplaces, make sure the flue is closed.But don’t cover air vents, as you may be at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if they become blocked (stay safe by getting a carbon monoxide alarm for each room that has a gas appliance).
- Seal gaps in the floor and skirting boards.According to the National Energy Foundation, floors are responsible for up to 10 percent of the heat loss in homes where there’s no flooring insulation. So check your floors for gaps and cracks – including gaps between the floor and skirting boards – and seal them up with a silicone-based filler (there are several available that are designed for draught proofing floorboards). If you’re on a budget, use rolled up newspaper for larger gaps, and shredded newspaper for the smaller ones. It may not look pretty, but the newspaper can be removed when the weather gets warmer.If you have wooden floorboards without carpets, consider covering them up, at least when it’s very cold, to save more heat. Use rugs or even blankets to keep in the warmth.
- Reflect radiator heat (especially in external walls) If you have radiators on external walls, line them with aluminium foil to reflect the heat back into the room instead of letting it escape through the wall. You can use ordinary kitchen foil, but heat reflector aluminium foil sheets (also called radiator reflector panels) are far more effective.Other ways to make your radiators more efficient include bleeding them regularly; putting a shelf above them to channel heat into the room instead of up towards the ceiling; and making sure there isn’t any furniture in front of them that might be absorbing their heat.
- Insulate hot water tanks and pipes. Keep your water hot by insulating your hot water tank and pipes. According to the Energy Saving Trust, a British Standard hot water tank jacket costs around $20 but could save you up to $50 a year in energy costs by keeping your water hot for longer.Primary pipe insulation – which consists of foam tubes covering the pipes between your hot water cylinder and boiler.
- Regulate your heating with a thermostat. Use a thermostat on a timer to control the temperature of your home. According to Age UK your main living room should be heated to around 21ºC (70ºF). When it’s very cold, set your timer to switch the heating on earlier, rather than turning the thermostat up to warm your house quickly. And if you have individual thermostats on your radiators, they can help keep the rooms you’re using at the right temperature.
- Insulate your walls and loft. Experts believe around half of the heat in the typical home is lost through the walls and loft. If you don’t have loft or cavity wall insulation, you can find out more about insulating your home and saving energy by contacting someone at THE FiIG to refer you to a qualified insulator.
Information provided by the CABA.