Home & Garden Cleaning  &  Organizing

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    What horrors lurk within your refrigerator? Are there foods well past their prime crouched, ready to unleash food poisoning upon you and your family? Well it's time to drag them out and banish them forever. Most of us have at least a couple things in our fridge that should probably go -- I know I do. And it's easy to lose track of what's fresh and what's not, especially if you're busy. But it's worth the time and effort if you can pin down just 10 minutes to screen your fridge for these food safety red flags and throw them away.

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    You have a mystery box in your kitchen. A place where dirty dishes go in -- and clean dishes come out. Is it magic? Of course not. It is just your dishwasher. If it were magic, those dishes would come out perfectly clean every time. But alas, we know they do not. Sometimes they come out with soap residue, or with food crusted on. So we're looking inside a dishwashing machine at work. Literally! Watch the washing in action while we attempt to solve some of the Great Perplexing Mysteries of the Dishwasher.

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    If you cook even once or twice a week, your stove-top can be a living monument to every meal you've prepared. Even the most finicky of housekeepers can overlook a dirty stove-top. It can sneak up on you! Sure, you do a daily wipe down (most of the time), but that doesn't keep the odd pot from overflowing or the oil and gunk from building up and building up until you're left with an embarrassing mess.

    Conventional stove-tops are notoriously difficult to clean. Their shape, size, and the frequently caked-on reminders of meals long gone can make all the elbow-grease in the world seem like it's going to waste. But hope is not lost -- not even for the ultra-lazy like me! Here are 5 easy ways to make that stove-top sparkle once more. 

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    I don't own a lot of fine silver. The one or two pieces I do have don't get a lot of time in the public eye. That's because they seem to attract tarnish like flies do honey. I was recently given a silver charger plate that is so beautiful, it had me revisit this tarnish problem. It was time to conquer silver-polishing at home once and for all! Let's do this thang, shall we? 

    I'm a bit of a crunchy girl -- if there's an all-natural way of doing something, I prefer to go that route. There are enough chemicals and weird ingredients in the things we use every day. If I can keep a couple of bad-for-me-and-my-family things out of the house, I'd rather go that route. Luckily for me there are COUNTLESS modes of polishing up your silver out there. Here are 10 of them! And they are as a natural as it gets. 

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    Call me a weirdo, but I actually enjoy cleaning my bathroom. It's my sanctuary and I love the daydream-inducing sky blue penny tiles I picked out for the floor. It's just that I have a LIFE, see, and that kind of gets in the way of doing a deep cleaning of my bathroom. Most of the time we get by on a quick swipe -- and by quick I mean 10 to 15 minutes. I'm starting to get pretty good at this drive-by cleaning. Here's how the quickie bathroom cleaning goes down.

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    Oh, white water stain on my beautiful wooden kitchen table. You are EVIL! Why must you taunt me so, catching my eye every time I walk through the room?

    Last week I hosted a brunch (because I'm like a spunkier, more-champagne-drunk version of Ina Garten) and did something incredibly stupid. I placed my delicious cheesy bacon casserole on the kitchen table, sitting it on a towel and NOT on a trivet. *Slaps forehead*

    I didn't discover the mark for hours -- because brunch was long and the champagne delicious. When I did, I panicked. This was different than your average white ring left from a cup or mug plopped down sans coaster. This was a rectangle roughly the size and shape, well, of a kitchen towel. I frantically scrubbed and scrubbed with soap and water. If this has happened to you -- DON'T DO THAT.

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    Is there anything worse than not knowing how to get rid of the bugs you find when you're spring cleaning?! Be it roaches or spiders or even ladybugs, springtime is when they all seem to come out of hiding. This isn't just an annoying discovery, it's super-gross and can be dangerous in terms of keeping your home sanitary. 

    We've rounded up 8 of the most infamous households pests. Some are dangerous, others are gross, and some, you might argue, aren't pests at all! You can always enlist the help of a professional exterminator when it comes to getting rid of household pests. But that can be super-costly. Let us help you with some quick, easy, and cheap ways to banish those bugs once and for all! 

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    If I had to pick my very favorite retail shop in the world to browse through, I think it would be The Container Store. You know, the store that sells ... containers? I love looking through all the clever storage options and fantasizing my house neatly organized and color-coordinated from top to bottom.

    The problem is, when you're a parent, it really doesn't matter how many baskets and shelves and boxes and gadgets you have, because children can transform any organization solution to a Hoarders-level disaster zone in three seconds flat. Behold, 8 of the various storage options I've created for my kids -- and what these areas of my house actually look like 99.99999 percent of the time.

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    Cleaning your engagement ring is probably the furthest thing from your mind when you first slip that gorgeous sucker onto your eagerly awaiting finger. You are too mesmerized by this symbol of love. How it sparkles, how it shines! No one can blame you for looking at it as though you're a magpie, or as if it's the One True Ring, and you are as deeply smitten with it as Gollum before you.

    Wearing that sparkly jewel every day takes it toll -- though not in a way that really hurts your stone! Diamonds are made to withstand almost anything. But even diamonds get dirty. Why do you think there are so many different types of cleaners on the market? Just go to Amazon and type in 'ring cleaner' and you'll see what I mean.

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    Everyone keeps talking about this "spring cleaning" I'm supposed to be doing. And you know what? Mama ain't got no time for that. But sometimes occasions arise in which we must make our homes look presentable to guests. Easter and Passover are coming, and while we don't have time to do a thorough top-to-bottom job, maybe we can carve out an hour to dig ourselves out of the worst of it. So how about this: 8 simple steps for a quick, good-enough spring cleaning.

    Those of you with high standards may want to look the other way. 

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