Spring Cleaning the Green Way

Spring is officially here, and we all know what that means: spring cleaning. And while there’s nothing wrong with really digging into that storage closet and getting ready for summer, many people avoid spring cleaning for one very good reason: allergies. All those dust, fumes and other particles can make for some difficult breathing environments. However, if you go about your spring cleaning in a green kind of way, you’d be surprised how much easier-to-live your environment can become.

1.) Forget the chemical air fresheners. We all want our place smelling its freshest, and that often means going out and purchasing whatever “fresh cotton” or “clean linen” air freshener you can get your hands on. Not a good idea. These chemical air fresheners are used in about 75% of homes and have been linked to sex-hormone and other developmental abnormalities, as well as cancer (of course). Your best bet is really to either open the windows and let some actual fresh air come wafting in, or to use natural fresheners, like baking soda or essential oils.

2.) Reuse what you can. You know what else people don’t like about spring cleaning: the expenses. Purchasing all these cleaning supplies costs money, and the costs tend to add up fairly quickly. So instead, use what you already have laying around. Use old socks or old T-shirts instead of disposable wipes. You can also use newspapers as paper towels and replace all furnace and air conditioning filters with washable ones.

3.) Make your own cleaning products. Cleaning products contain a vast array of chemicals linked to just about every health problem you could think of. Respiratory problems, birth defects, headaches, eye irritation and even cancer and infertility are just a few of the problems that can arise. So instead of using your traditional cleaning products, make your own. A mixture of salt, vinegar and water can be used on a variety of surfaces (especially kitchen counters), and plain soap, baking soda and lemon juice have also been found to be just as effective, and much safer, when used on other surfaces.

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Of course if you don’t have the time or energy to make your own cleaning products, you could always switch to the green versions when you go to the store. You’d probably surprise yourself to see just how effective eco-friendly products really are. Plus you’ll no doubt sleep better at night after you’ve used them.

4.) De-clutter your home. Dust and allergens tend to settle where they won’t be found, and that means in all the little nooks and crannies that you can’t see. Of course on one wants to clear off all their picture frames and replace them all every time they need to clean the mantle, so make life easier on yourself and keep it less cluttered in the first place. It’s much easier to move and clean under four photos than it is to move and clean under 26 little knick-knacks.

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

3 Ways to Protect Your Home from Theft

Did you know roughly 1.6 million residential burglaries occur in the US every year? Of course we’re not saying that to scare you, we’re telling you that so you’ll be aware of the risks. Home theft does happen, and even if you always hope it doesn’t happen to you, the truth it is at some point in time someone will most likely look at your home as a potential target. In those cases, here the top three ways of protecting yourself and your belongings from outside intruders:

1.) Give a “lived in” feel. A “lived in” feel means it looks like someone is home at all times. Things like keeping the mail from building up on the front porch or having your neighbor park their car in your driveway when you’re gone for the weekend give the impression that someone is home. And for longer periods of time, making sure your yard is maintained and is also a simple tip to make it look like your home isn’t completely abandoned.

Another great tactic is to use light to your advantage. Motion lights outside your home are an easy way to spook anyone that might be scoping your place out. Even if you aren’t home, it still shines some light on them for other people in the area to see. In addition, set your lights and television to times that come on and off at various times. A potential burglar is much more likely to go for the dark and quite home at 9:00 at night rather than the one with lights and an active television.

 2.) Protect your valuables. Leaving your laptop on the dining room table right next the front window can often be just asking for trouble. Instead, make your home appear less tempting. Purchase an entertainment cabinet with doors that close over your television when you’re done watching it and have your valuables in a well-hidden area that isn’t the cookie jar, under your mattress or the freezer. A great trick is to have an empty safe in plain view while you keep your valuables in a much more hidden safe. Thieves tend to take the safe and run, thinking they’ve already hit the jackpot, when really they’ve only gotten away with a free safe.

3.) Get to know your neighbors. By having a good relationship with the people around you, they will better be able to tell when someone isn’t right at your home. The better they know you, the better they know the people around you. They know what your friends and family all drive and they know when a strange car is lurking around your place. It can be very comforting knowing someone is looking out for your home when you have to leave town for a few days.

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

Forgotten Questions for Screening Potential Roommates

So it looks like you need a roommate. Maybe you like the idea of paying less in rent and utilities every month or maybe you’re just sick of making funny jokes every night and having no one around to laugh at them. Either way, you’ve started searching for a roommate. Luckily, you’ve probably found a few potentials.

However, even though you’ll probably ask them the basic questions (do you have pets, are you a smoker, etc.), there are a few additional questions you need to ask before you truly decide to live with this person.

1.) Do you use any drugs? Asking “Are you a smoker?” covers the basics, but it’s leaving out quite a bit of other things. Marijuana is technically a drug, and even if you’re cool with it, if your roommate admits to using it that means they’re going to be keeping some of it in your house. Marijuana is still very illegal in many states, which means if it’s in your house you are also at risk.

2.) Are you okay with my pet? You might be okay with their pet hamster, but will they be okay with your 16 pound cat that has a tendency for ripping lids off of cages? Just as they have to be forthcoming, you have to be forthcoming as well. Otherwise you could have some serious issues on move-in day.

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3.) Why did you leave your last residence? This question is essential. Of course you are going to do a background check with every applicant (you are, right?), so this question will not only let the explain themselves if something unsavory were to come up, but it will also prove whether they are honest or not in the first place. And don’t let them get away with a vague, “Oh I don’t know, I just had to leave.” You have every right to know the details. Plus, you need to be aware of badmouthing; this is just like a job interview, and badmouthing previous employers is never a good sign.

4.) What are your other expenses? This might sound nosy, but the question is absolutely necessary. Your rent may be quite low for the area, but if they’re paying thousands of dollars off in student loans and credit card debt, your measly $300 a month might be the one thing they plan on skimping on every month.

5.) How do you like to spend your free time? This should give you an idea of what kind of noise/activity level you’re going to be dealing with. If they say they love to cuddle up with a good book and a cup of tea on their days off, that’s much different than the roommate that says they like to “have a good time” on the weekends.

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

Improving the Air Quality in Your Home

For some reason, people tend to completely underestimate the air quality in their home, but believe it or not, allergens and irritants can stay in your home for years, creating not only a stuffy and uncomfortable environment, but a downright unsafe one as well. Think about it; if you suffer from asthma or allergies, the air quality inside your home can ultimately determine your happiness in life! So how do you keep things cleared up?

1.) Suck it up. Just sweeping isn’t going to help. If anything, it tends to kick up anything that has settled on the floor back into the air again. Instead, vacuum your home as often as possible, even if you have hardwood floors. Dust, danger and other things tend to settle in the cracks and corners, so go around the edges of your floors with a vacuum before breaking out the broom. And don’t forget about drapes, furniture, and even ledges around your walls.

2.) Invest in a purifier. An air purifier can be your saving grace during the allergy months. All that coughing can be alleviated by keeping your air circulated and purified on a regular basis. Just make sure to purchase an air purifier that is relatively quiet; otherwise, you’ll be trading itchy eyes for a serious lack of sleep.

3.) Keep it out in the first place. One of the easiest ways to keep your place free of chemicals is to put down a floormat and take your shoes off at the door. We can’t even describe the cocktail of pesticides, dirt and other pollutants that are sticking to the bottom of your shoes, so why would you even bring them into your house in the first place? Putting a welcome mat outside your door will help you eliminate some of the damaging pollutants; avoiding wearing your shoes inside the house will go even further.

4.) Use common sense. That means no smoking in your home, putting away food as soon as possible and avoiding spraying things like hairspray in such closed spaces. Not everything that hurts your air quality comes from outside; a lot of it comes from inside your home. Be one step ahead of the game by making sure you aren’t polluting your home from the inside.

5.) Invest in a dehumidifier. Especially if you live in a high humidity area (we’re looking at you, anyone in the southern part of the country) high humidity can be a major contributing factor to decreased air quality. To avoid mold and that musty smell, you’ll want to keep your humidity below 50%.

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!