Friday, February 26, 2010

March is coming!

I've been out of pocket again. My father has had some health issues, including a short stay in the hospital, and I've not been feeling tip-top myself. So, both my home keeping and my posting has suffered some.

However, I'm glad that March is nearly here. Aren't you? I just read about how one woman uses March as her "preparation" month. She does her taxes and catches up on other things.

Wherever you live, March is usually a transitional month from one season to another. There is much that can be done in March to renew our minds, our bodies, and our homes.

One chore that is urgent is to clean your mattress and wash any mattress pads. We've already discussed this, but keeping your mattress clean and sanitary goes a long way toward keeping your health and your sleep sweet. If you have any tendencies toward allergies, this chore is even more vital. You must clean your mattress at least twice a year, if not more often.

Vacuum the top of your matatress using your upholstery attachment. Also, inspect your mattress for any stains taht need to be sponed off. You can wipe down the surface with a cloth lightly dampened with col water and a small amount of upholstery shampoo or something like Woolite. Be careful not to soak the mattress. You don't want to feed any lurking mold with moisture or damage the inner materials.

You can help protect your mattress from dust mites by investing in a quality mattress pad and washing the pad every six months -- or more.

Speaking of dust mites, there is a rumor going around that the average mattress will double its weight in ten years due to dust mites and their waste. I, myself, have heard this quoted in conversation a number of times, and I believed it. Fortunately, this yucky bit of gossip is not true. See this. However, mattresses do harbor some dust mites, as well as collect some other unlovely things. So, again, be sure to keep your mattresses clean.

I also believed that you needed to flip your mattress as well as rotate it when cleaning it. Sometimes, that's hard to do with a mattress that has a pillow top built in. (Since I do have allergies, I personally prefer a mattress pad that you can take off and clean to a mattress with a built in pillow top.) The most important thing to do is to rotate your mattress head to toe every six months or even every quarter. Why? Because this ensures that your mattress will wear evenly. It's a bit like rotating your tires to make them last longer.

Cleaning your mattress is a weather neutral chore. Some deep cleaning chores can be done only when the weather allows. Others, however, can be done any time of year. So, if your area is still cold, snowy, and rainy, start with weather neutral chores to give your house that fresh springy feeling a little early.

Speaking of spring cleaning, check your front door. Nothing makes the front of your house sparkle like a freshly cleaned or freshly painted door. Also check the hardware on the door. Keeping your door properly maintained sends a welcoming message to family and guests. Also, it adds curb appeal should you need to sell your house for some reason. Even if you live in an apartment, see what you can do to make your door look fresh.

If you have a storm door over your front door, be sure to shine that, as well.