ready. set. picnic!
Keep a well-stocked picnic basket handy for outdoor meals anytime.
With just a little planning—a basket packed with essentials and a fridge stocked with picnic favorites in Ziploc® brand Containers with the Smart Snap™ Seal
—you’re always ready for a relaxing outdoor meal.
"Most of my family’s meals during summer are out of doors," says member Deborah B. of Carson City, NV. Rather than cook from scratch every time, she'll "make big batches of pasta or potato salad and put them in smaller containers to use for different meals."
Deborah also believes in keeping it green. "Whether it is a local park or a national campground, I always follow the camper’s motto, 'Leave it better than you found it.'"
That means stocking your basket with a trash bag and—in place of disposables—reusable plates, flatware, bottles and cups. Just wash the items when you get home and put them right back in the basket so you’re ready for your next impromptu outing.
money-saving tips for the laundry room
Keep your budget out of hot water with these economical laundry tips.
Hurry up and wait.
Pre-treat spots and stains when they occur with the Shout® Advanced Ultra Gel Brush
and wash up to one week later. You’ll save by waiting until you have a full load rather than washing several smaller loads.
Keep it cold.
Water costs money to heat, so unless labels specify otherwise, wash your loads on the cold cycle.
A lot of hot air.
Dry your loads back to back so the dryer doesn't have to cool down between cycles. And make sure to clean your lint filter between loads to keep your dryer working as efficiently as possible.
Less is more.
Some people swear by using half to three-quarters of the recommended amount of detergent. And to save more money, you can cut dryer sheets in half, as member Lisa O. suggests.
Sort by weight.
Lightweight sheets need far less time in the dryer than heavy towels, so grouping similarly weighted items will cut down on dryer time.
5 smart storage solutionsnew!
Create smart storage solutions from things you have around the house.
From an old ladder taking up space in the garage to the used votive candle holders cluttering up your cabinets, we’ve got five clever ways to turn household trash into organizational treasures that won’t cost you a thing.
1.Make a bathroom rack.
An old wooden ladder makes a shabby-chic rack for the bathroom. Just prop it up against the wall and drape towels over the ladder rungs. If the rungs are wide enough, you can also use them as shelves for small toiletries. Spruce it up with a fresh coat of paint to match your décor or keep the ladder as is for a little rustic cottage charm.
2.Divide and conquer your drawers.
Rather than tossing old check boxes, repurpose both the lids and bottoms as drawer dividers to keep everything in its place.
3.Store small stuff.
Empty votive-candle holders are the perfect size for organizing small items such as paper clips, ribbons, bobby pins, rubber bands, rolls of stamps and more. To empty wax out of candleholders, just put them in the freezer for a few hours to shrink the wax so it pops right out. If you don’t have extra votives handy, you can also use extra Ziploc® brand Containers with One Press Seal
that you might be ready to retire from their food duty.
4.Contain plastic bags.
Keep plastic grocery bags tucked away in an old tissue box to easily pull out one at a time when needed.
5.Create custom storage boxes.
Shoe and boot boxes are great for storing everything from mittens to makeup to sewing supplies. Get creative and disguise the boxes by wrapping them in fabric remnants or leftover wrapping paper.
10-minute organizing makeovers
Tackle that clutter by spending 10 minutes a day "power organizing." Here's how.
Every day, choose one task: a paper-strewn desktop, a messy drawer, a disheveled closet. Now set your timer for 10 minutes and sort, toss and organize until the buzzer sounds.
The goal isn't to finish the job in one session but to chip away at it in short, focused bursts known as "power organizing." Once you learn that, it won't be long before you notice dramatic results.
Keep Ziploc® brand Bags and Containers
on hand while you work so you can stash clutter culprits like pens, toiletries, gloves, hats, etc.
Invite a friend to join you so you can keep each other on track and swap daily progress reports.
Avoid distractions: no phone calls, e-mails or television!
Pennsylvania-based artist/author Barbara Lane calls this simple concept life changing. "I realized I could do anything for 10 minutes," she says. Nagging piles no longer hold her back. "I feel freer and lighter, and the creativity just flows now."
Prep Your Nest to Reduce Holiday Stress
Before the holiday season kicks off, prepare for the unexpected.
If the holidays seem stressful to you, imagine what they can do to your home. Thinking ahead and stocking up on emergency supplies can save you frustration later. Here are some suggestions:
Batteries, fuses, surge protectors and extension cords.
You'll likely use more electricity than usual, so keep extras on hand.
Check household appliances that can affect your holiday plans, and make sure they're in good working order. For most people, these include the oven, dishwasher, heating system, washer/dryer—even your blender or mixer.
Don’t let unexpected clogs ruin your holiday spirit. Use Drano® on a monthly basis leading up to the holidays to help prevent build-up from forming in your pipes and to help keep your drains running smoothly.
Have one readily available in the kitchen and in rooms that have fireplaces or lots of decorations. Then make sure everyone in your family knows where the extinguishers are stored and how to use them.
Stock up for school
You've bought pencils, backpacks and a stack of notebooks. Now add these items to your shopping list for a more organized school year.
As you're shopping for all the back-to-school basics, pick up a few unexpected additions when stores are fully stocked to make for a smoother, more organized year for everyone.
Older kids and teens can use Ziploc® Brand Slider Storage and Freezer Bags with the Smart Zip™ Seal
for everything from toting dirty gym clothes home to protecting an art project.
When your school sends home a list of required pens, pencils, paper and rulers, pick up a duplicate set to help establish consistency and familiarity.
Buy two lunchboxes instead of one. Inevitably your kids will forget theirs at school, and you’ll be prepared with an extra.
Use a travel-sized hand sanitizer to help protect your kids when colds make the rounds.
Prepare for rips, spills and the awkwardness of another child wearing the same shirt, with an extra set of clothes tucked into the backpack.
Rethink your closets to fill them with clothes that flatter you and suit your lifestyle.
Did you know most women wear only 20 percent of their clothes 80 percent of the time? That’s reason enough to see what’s hiding in your closet!
First, take everything out of the closet; then put back clothes you’ve worn in the past year, that look and feel great on you, are complete outfits (not waiting for the “right” pant, shoe or top) or mix and match well with each other, and suit your lifestyle right now
. Find new homes for the rest. Donate them to a favorite charity or maybe have friends over for a swap party.
Now organize your clothes the way a boutique does, by type and by color. You’ll quickly see if you need more jackets or if you own five identical black skirts. When organizing, put the hangers in backwards on the rod. Then, when you’ve worn an item, put it back in the closet with the hanger facing forward. At the end of a month, you’ll really be able to tell which clothes you wear frequently and which clothes—yes, there may still be more—you can give away.
Store seasonal items in Ziploc® Brand Big Bags
tucked into the back of the closet or a spare room.
Now make a shopping list for the missing pieces and get ready to shop for the items you really need—clothes you will love and wear!
Spice things up!
Keep your spices fresh, organized and handy—ready to liven up your meals.
Grabbing the wrong spice can take a basic tomato sauce from Italy to India. And shaking a spice bottle over a steaming pot can let moisture ruin your spices. So get rid of that odd assortment of jars and tins and store some of your spices in extra-small Ziploc® brand Containers with One Press Seal
. They’ll save cupboard or shelf space—and you’ll always be able to see just how much you have left. The wide opening makes it easy to get just the right amount—whether it’s a pinch, a sprinkle or a spoonful.
Print your spice names on color-coded adhesive labels (you’ll find lots of free templates online). Select a color for each basic taste—sweet, salty, sour and bitter—or for each basic category, like general spices, baking and sweet things, herbs and spice blends. Since whole spices can be kept for three years and ground spices just a year, put a “best before” date sticker on each container. Extend the life of expensive spices like saffron, cardamom and vanilla beans by refrigerating them.
Making the kitchen guest friendly
You've prepared the patio or deck for an outdoor party—but don’t forget this popular indoor space.
Guests invariably end up in the kitchen during get-togethers, so take a little time to make it a welcoming place for them, starting with these easy tips:
Have at least two comfortable chairs handy so guests feel welcome to relax and chat.
Put a colorful floral display on the windowsill or countertop. For example, a bouquet of brightly colored tulips creates a stunning focal point.
Clear the countertops.
Everyday items like the toaster or can opener probably aren’t needed for your get-together. Stow them away, clearing space for guests who want to help with food prep.
Prep for helpers.
Keep Windex® Multi-Surface Antibacterial
handy. It’s perfect for cleaning up unexpected spills during the event—a quick task to give any guest who asks if you need help!
Ditch the dust.
Before the event, take a quick pass through the room with Pledge® Multi Surface Cleaner
. Use it on multiple surfaces to dust and clean often-overlooked areas, from baseboards to fridge top.
Make it a GREEN Halloween!
Let your family’s Halloween be scary and fun but environmentally friendly, too.
Jump-start your imagination and get creative. Instead of buying ready-made costumes, raid your family closets to assemble costumes that are truly one of a kind. Make the accessories at home, too—wands, wizard hats or whatever—and go for eco-friendly, nontoxic paints and makeup.
Keep it safe, organic and fun, advises Tim Sanchez of the Center for a New American Dream, a nonprofit Washington, DC, organization designed to help Americans be responsible consumers. Throw a backyard party. Bob for organic apples. Quench your thirst with “gremlin grog” (organic fruit juices and seltzer, ghoulishly spiked with natural green food coloring).
After the party, brush away sweets with a cheery, colorful recyclable toothbrush. Preserve makes 100 percent recyclable ones in regular or kid-size versions (available at major retail outlets). Just mail them the used Preserve toothbrushes, and then sign up for their automatic replacement program ($13 for 4 brushes). For more info, click here
Get rid of grime and dirt to keep fans running efficiently.
Fans are a tried-and-true way to cool a room, and are more cost effective and efficient than running your air conditioner. But to run optimally, they must be clean.
Sabrina Fierman Cusin, vice president at New York’s Little Elves
, a high-end, full-service cleaning company, notes that all fans—whether floor, table or ceiling—“must be kept dust free” to keep dust from overtaking the room when the fan is on. Fierman Cusin suggests dusting the fan weekly with something dry, soft and nonabrasive like the Pledge® Multi Surface Duster
, whose angled handle and all-around grabbing and trapping fibers work easily to navigate between crevices, casings and blades for optimal dust pickup.
If your fans have caked-on grime, Fierman Cusin recommends wiping down their surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner.
Plan to prevent party mishaps
With just a little preparation, you can throw a summer party that’s memorable for the right reasons.
When your guests can’t stop talking about how smoothly your party went, you’ll be glad you took the time to plan ahead to prevent common problems—such as clogged drains, smelly bathrooms and even ruined party clothes from your special-event salsa.
Don’t let clogged drains become an embarrassment at your party. Keep your drains running smoothly and prevent clogs from becoming a problem by using Drano® Max Build-Up Remover
on a monthly basis.
Likewise, keep your home smelling clean and inviting for guests with Glade® Tough Odor Solutions Surface Disinfectant & Air Sanitizer
. Use it to kill germs on toilet seats, countertops, doorknobs and other hard, non-porous surfaces. It eliminates odors by killing odor-causing bacteria in the air.
And when something unpredictable happens—like salsa stains on pretty party clothes—your guests will be glad you thought ahead and considerately placed a basket of Shout® Wipes
in the bathroom. These convenient stain-absorbing cloths instantly lift and remove the types of drips and spills on clothes that are bound to happen at any party.
Create a home recycling center
Great ideas for separating and storing your recyclables.
With only 50 percent of Americans recycling aluminum cans, enough aluminum is thrown away every three months to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet. Because sorting and storing recyclables seem to be two of the biggest obstacles to actually recycling, here are some easy tips to make the process more manageable.
Place your recycling bins in kitchen cabinets close to the sink, because many recyclables need to be rinsed. If you’re hesitant to give up cabinet space, then rethink your storage. Move rarely used pots and small appliances to an overhead rack or another cabinet.
You can fit a four-bin pullout into a 27-inch base cabinet. A corner cabinet with a lazy-susan-type rack may be awkward for kitchen utensils but perfect for recycling bins. For small kitchens, store bins on the lower shelf of a mobile work cart.
Between pickups, clean out your recycling bins with Antibacterial fantastik® All Purpose Cleaner Heavy Duty
to remove any residual grime and leave a fresh scent.
Coloring by the book
Refresh the look of your bookshelves when you organize your books by color.
You don’t need an artistic bone in your body to create a unique work of art for your home. All you need are your books—and a little imagination.
For example, artist Chris Cobb turned the Adobe Bookshop in San Francisco into an art installation
by arranging all 20,000+ books by the color of their jackets—instead of by author or by category. He wanted to create something amazing and beautiful for the store’s customers.
Organizing books by color is an inexpensive way to brighten up a child’s room. Or try it with your cookbooks, since they’re on display in the kitchen already. You might be surprised at how easy color makes it to find a favorite recipe!
Dust your reorganized books often with a Pledge® Multi Surface Duster
. It has a fluffy 360-degree duster that’s great for cleaning shelves and books—even in those hard-to reach corners.
Make some dates… for your house
Never forget another birthday, holiday… or termite inspection.
As you're putting the year's birthdays, anniversaries and other occasions onto your PC, phone or wall calendar, be sure to note a few other important dates—for your house. Scheduling ahead can make your life easier by reminding you to do those things to keep your house in tip-top shape. To find things that need to be done around the house, conduct an online search with the words “home maintenance checklist.” We like this one
, but you’ll easily find others.
Pick dates to change HVAC filters, apply Raid Max® Bug Barrier
, vacuum refrigerator coils and regularly treat plumbing with Drano® Pipe & Septic Care
. If a visit from a service person is required, you can even call now for an appointment later in the year, to ensure you get the date you want.
Streamline your grocery shopping
A smarter shopping list can make your trips to the grocery store less of a hassle.
No one likes a supermarket trip that takes longer than necessary. But starting with a well-organized shopping list can speed your trip, says Jeanne Besser, a food columnist and co-author of The Great American Eat-Right Cookbook
Besser keeps a shopping-list template on her computer, organized by her route through the supermarket. The template is filled in with items she buys weekly and has space to add anything additional. Family members use a kitchen notepad to jot down requests plus items they’ve run out of. These get added to the shopping-list template before the weekly shopping trip. Check out the Right@Home® My Shopping List
tool for a quick and convenient way to make your own printable shopping lists.
Besser also clips coupons for only those things she uses regularly. For easy access to your own coupons, stash them in a Ziploc® brand Snack Bag
and clip the bag to your shopping list.
Give the gift of cleaning
Older family members may still bustle about, but there may be some household tasks that aren’t as easy as they once were for them.
That’s pretty common. Every year more than 50 million people in the U.S. help care for an older, disabled or chronically ill family member or friend. Often people who need that support, especially those who take pride in the homes they’ve created, have trouble asking for it.
Help your loved ones with their cleaning tasks, and you’ll help them continue to feel comfortable and cozy in their own homes. Try lending a hand with window washing or anything that requires reaching or stretching. Clean hard-to-reach spaces that might be difficult for someone with back problems or creaky knees. Shine up the bathroom surfaces, showers and tubs. Windex® Original Glass Wipes
make it convenient to shine up glass, mirrors and other surfaces throughout the house in one easy step.
And help your loved ones even when you’re not there by presenting them with a Scrubbing Bubbles® Automatic Shower Cleaner
. A daily touch of a button is all it takes to maintain a clean shower!
Keep your glass doors shining
Keep them clean and working well so you can see every bloom and happy smile in the yard–and quickly join in the fun.
Clean outside glass doors with Windex™ Outdoor All-in-One Glass Cleaning Tool
—its sheeting action means you won’t need to wipe the glass dry afterward. Then use Windex® Original Glass Cleaner
on the inside glass to cut through any grimy smears and leave a brilliant streak-free shine.
Keep doors sliding smoothly by using a flat-head screwdriver to clear caked-on dirt from the bottom track and to unclog small “weep holes” near the floor. Once the track is cleaned and vacuumed, lubricate it with whatever silicone spray product the door manufacturer suggests. While you’re at it, take a close look at your locks to see if they need to be cleaned or lubricated. If doors still drag, their wheels may be uneven. Insert your screwdriver into the small hole near the bottom of the door, lift the door slightly and turn the screw to raise or lower wheels evenly.
All that’s left to do is pour yourself a glass of lemonade, sit back and enjoy the view!
Rainy day barbeque success
The grill is sizzling, but now it’s drizzling. Here’s how to move the fun indoors.
Make room for more.
For an instant picnic feel, cover the floor with a plastic shower curtain or tablecloth (to protect it from spills) and some throw pillows. If they’re still dry, bring in your picnic benches to squeeze more people around the “table.”
Transform the menu.
Grilling a party’s worth of burgers may no longer be an option, but a quick rethink could turn the ground beef, cheese and fixings into tacos or sloppy Joes. To add to the picnic vibe and make cleanup a breeze, serve toppings in Ziploc® Brand Containers with the Smart Snap™ Seal
. And create neater versions of outdoor treats, like watermelon balls instead of sticky wedges.
Bring the outdoors inside.
For ambiance, think about filling a bowl with colorful croquet balls, making an impromptu centerpiece with potted herbs or even scattering plastic ants across the table!
Tip-top cleaning tips
From ceiling fans to doorframes, don’t underlook the places where cobwebs, dust and allergens found in dust collect.
To get rid of dirt and dust that might literally be building up in your house, look up! Cleaning your ceiling fans, overhead lights and track lighting is a great place to start.
Grab and trap dust and the allergens found in dust from dust mites and pet dander with a Pledge® Multi Surface Duster
. The duster works well for cleaning fan blades, light fixtures and other overhead places. A simple way to instantly brighten your rooms is to remove cool light bulbs and dust them with Pledge® Dry Cloths
Use those same Pledge® products to clean high moldings, door frames and the tops of doors. When it comes to hard-to-reach cobwebs, a clean athletic sock sprayed with a Pledge® multi-surface cleaner and pulled over a broom handle or yardstick is great for extending your reach. When you’re finished, let everything dry before turning on lights and electricity. Then give yourself a high-five!
Cleaning the little things
Sparkling clean details can make a big impact.
These five household items make extraordinary cleaning tools for small but challenging tasks.
Use a natural bristle paintbrush to loosen dust and dirt that may have settled in tiny cracks and crevices of furniture and accessories. Then spray with Pledge® Multi Surface Cleaner
and wipe off with a cloth to clean and dust in no time at all.
After cleaning phones with Windex® Multi-Surface Antibacterial
, gently poke a toothpick inside the small holes and grooves to get out the trapped gunk.
To scrape off residue stuck in the bottom of tight-necked vessels like vases and bottles, just drop in a crushed eggshell with some dishwashing detergent and water. Swirl and rinse.
Slip a strand between cracks and crevices to loosen and remove trapped dirt.
A versatile tool for many hard-to-clean places, perfect for getting tiny accents like knobs, handles and hinges to shine. For best results, soak a soft-bristled toothbrush in warm, soapy water and use it to scrub grime away.
Sustainability – Improving Our Products
Developing a recipe for success.
When you’re preparing a recipe, you carefully select ingredients to get the best results for your family. And so do we! Here at SC Johnson, we’ve developed the Greenlist™ process
to classify ingredients in our products by their impact on the environment and human health.
The result? The ability to select the best earth-responsible raw materials that maintain high performance and are cost effective for consumers. In short, better raw materials for better products. For example, we've cut 1.8 million pounds of volatile organic compounds from our reformulated Windex® Original Glass Cleaner
while boosting its cleaning power by 30 percent.
As with the best recipes, the process of choosing better materials for our products takes time and energy—but the results are well worth the effort. When you choose SC Johnson, expect effective, hard-working products that are better for your home, your family—and our world.
Ready in 10
When the clock is ticking, these hints will get you out the door in no time at all.
Keep “must-haves” handy.
Put a pretty bowl on your entry table for keys and cell phones. Plug in your charger nearby so you’re always ready to go. And hang a hook by the door to hold your dog-walking essentials.
Make a date.
Keep your family calendar prominently displayed. Each night, use it to get organized for a quick departure the next morning.
Get a handle on organization.
Hang a canvas bag over the doorknob to stash outgoing mail, a spare sweater and other “don’t-forgets.”
Create a place for everything.
Over-the-door shoe organizers are great for keeping hats, mittens and rolled scarves handy. In warmer weather, try stashing flip-flops, sunscreen and sunglasses there.
Take out some fast food.
Place travel-friendly apples, oranges and Ziploc® brand Snack Bags
filled with dried fruit and nuts by the door for healthy snacks on the go.
Resolve to Simplify Your Life
Start off 2010 right with a few easy changes that can save time and money.
Organizing your time is easier than you think!
Put your calendar to work.
Dedicate a morning to booking a year’s worth of appointments. Not just for the doctor and dentist, but for haircuts, the tax accountant, and even that yoga class you keep forgetting. And so you won’t miss another birthday, stock up on cards—and paper clip them to the appropriate calendar page.
Make O-H-I-O your motto.
"Only hold it once"—whether it’s mail, laundry or groceries. Take action before you get distracted.
Select products that make daily or weekly tasks easier. Like Scrubbing Bubbles® Toilet Cleaning Gel
, which does the dirty work so you don't have to by cleaning and freshening with every flush.
Try some food for thought.
Clean out your refrigerator and pantry before heading to the market. You may be surprised to see what you already have and what you keep forgetting to pick up. And hang onto your grocery receipt. It’s great for starting next week’s shopping list.
Ready-to-Use Task Kits
A quick way to keep your projects—and almost anything else—neat, tidy and ready to go.
Here’s a great timesaving suggestion from member Kriss M
. of Idaho Falls, ID. She uses Ziploc® Brand Storage Bags
to individually store and organize all her sewing and crafts projects. When you keep all the pieces together with the instructions, you can quickly find the project you want to work on.
But don’t stop there! Take advantage of sturdy, clear Ziploc® Brand Big Bags
to make gift-wrap kits with wrapping paper, tissue and greeting cards for each occasion. Store the extra buttons and yarn that come with new clothes along with needles and thread for convenient repairs. Make a kit for your luggage with stamps, stationery and a pen for quick notes home. Even pre-pack paper plates, napkins and plastic utensils for on-the-go lunch kits.
For bulkier items like game pieces, manicure supplies or small baking tools, use Ziploc® Brand Containers with the Smart Snap® Seal,
, available in a variety of sizes.
Summer Sweeps for Easy Cleaning
Avoid the heat of the day with quick early-morning and evening cleanups.
First thing in the morning, spend 15 minutes tackling a specific task—gathering the laundry, wiping down the bathroom or vacuuming the house. Then take 15 minutes before bed to check another task off your list. Iron a few shirts or clean out the refrigerator in the cool of the evening.
member Cathi C. of Marietta, GA, takes this one step further in order to enjoy more free time during the summer. “Twice a day, in the morning and again at night, I do a quick sweep of the house to clear away clutter and spruce up the most used rooms.”
To maximize your time, choose versatile products like Windex® Original Glass Wipes
and Pledge® Multi Surface Cleaner
, which you can use from surface to surface and room to room.
Find Out What’s Inside
Get a closer look at the ingredients inside SC Johnson products.
With so many options in the shopping aisle these days, consumer confidence is waning and it’s hard to know which products are right for your family and home. The options can be overwhelming, especially when keeping a family healthy may be as simple as knowing what is inside the products you use every day. Wouldn’t it be easier to know what you’re getting by simply reading it and not finding out the hard way? We agree and believe in your right to know what’s in the products you use to freshen and clean your home.
We’re happy to introduce the new What’s Inside SC Johnson
website at www.WhatsInsideSCJohnson.com
. Get a closer look at the ingredients inside SC Johnson products and what that means for you and your family. Search by brand or by product use and learn more about the ingredients. New products will be added to the site over the coming months, so be sure to check back regularly. You may learn something new— or you may just leave What’s Inside SC Johnson
knowing that when you reach for an SC Johnson product, you can feel good about it.
Sleep on It
If you see only dust bunnies under your bed, you may not be using your space effectively.
"Under the bed is an ideal storage space," says Lisa Zaslow, a New York professional organizer who owns Gotham Organizers. "It can free up closet and floor space."
The trick is to use a mapping strategy, instead of just throwing things under there haphazardly. Zaslow recommends the middle for "occasionally used items like gift wrap, tools, guest linens or outfits and accessories for special occasions." Keepsakes and memorabilia can go there, too.
Put seasonal or frequently used items, like sweaters and footwear, on the perimeter of the bed so they’re easily accessible. Shoes in particular are "perfect for underbed storage," says Zaslow
Lastly, help protect items from dust by storing them in Ziploc® Brand Flexible Totes
. They’re soft-sided so they don’t take up extra space. Plus, an easy-close zipper keeps dust away, and built-in handles mean you can pull out the totes easily when you need them.
Take a Yearly Household Inventory
Keeping track of your possessions can give you peace of mind.
Start by videotaping or taking photos of each room in your home and making a list of your possessions. Describe each item — where you bought it, the make, model and serial number. For clothes, make a list of what you own by category—jackets, pants, shoes—and make special note of valuable items. If you don’t have a receipt, you may be able to find the purchase in your old credit card statements — even if you don’t have the hard copies, you can check online.
Use Ziploc® Brand Storage Bags
to store the receipts, printed photos, videos, appraisals and warranties for each item. Be sure to back up digital files (still photos or video) to a CD or hard drive and store them with your other information.
Once your inventory is complete, keep it in a safe deposit box or other secure location that’s away from your home—but easy to access when needed.
Fast Pet-Hair Fixes
A few simple steps will reduce the amount of pet hair on your upholstered furniture.
Pet hair can build up in areas where your pet spends a lot of time, like that comfy couch in your living room. And if the color of your furniture is close to your pet’s hair color, you may not even see it. But when guests sit on your couch, they run the risk of getting all that hair on their clothes.
Skip lint rollers–they’re too small for big surfaces like sofas, and you’ll use them up fast. A better solution is the Pledge™ Fabric Sweeper for Pet Hair
. Simply slide the sweeper side to side in short strokes to pick up pet hair from soft surfaces like upholstered furniture, blankets, pillows, bedspreads—even the soft surfaces in your car.
And to help keep pet hair at bay, groom your pets at least once every two weeks. Brushing removes loose hair and produces a smoother coat, free of snags, which will make grooming a more pleasant experience for your pet.
Cleaner Desks for Busy Kids
Clean, organize and stock your kids' desks so they'll be ready to tackle anything. Even Godzilla!
When school's in session, your kids can log many hours at their desks. Give them a clean slate by helping them get organized. "Keep it simple," advises professional organizer Monica Friel of Chaos to Order™
. "The desk is a work surface, not a storage area."
When a desk gets messy, declutter, clean and organize it. Remove everything, vacuum the drawers and dust surfaces off with Pledge® Multi Surface Duster
. Before you replace anything, throw out what you can and decide what you should store for safekeeping (such as report cards).
Get your kids involved. Let them test pens and throw out dried-up markers. Arrange supplies using drawer dividers or Ziploc® Brand Containers with the Smart Snap® Seal
. Sort paperwork into file folders. Says Friel, "Kids, like adults, can be more creative and do better work if they make better use of their space."
Show Bugs the Unwelcome Mat
Here’s how you can control unwanted insect guests so they don't get the chance to ruin your summer parties.
If your insect control program isn't the right one for the job, you may end up feeling frustrated—or even embarrassed. That's why the more you know about unwanted insects, the better prepared you’ll be to send them packing.
For example, did you know that yellow jackets, a type of wasp, can be controlled by setting a trap for the queen in early spring? That mosquitoes can breed in as little as a tablespoon of standing water, making repair of leaky faucets a summer must? Or that warm summer temps can bring about increased insect activity—including critters you may have never even seen before!
Get this kind of information, and much more, with the Raid® Solution Finder
. This helpful tool shows a complete lineup of household pests so you can easily identify them and learn their habits and weaknesses. You'll also find helpful solutions for managing the insect pests that show up in your home and yard—and the events you host in them.
Getting Greener with SC Johnson
It seems everyone these days is rethinking cleaning and organizing tasks to make them friendlier for the environment.
Judging from the creative green tips
you’ve shared with us, you’re already a big part of this exciting change. It’s also clear you’re interested in using effective household products that are better for the environment.
To help out, SC Johnson created Greenlist™
, a patented process in place since 2001. The Greenlist™ process helps the scientists at SC Johnson make choices that protect the planet and its people while maintaining the high performance of familiar products like Windex®
The Greenlist™ process rates the raw materials that go into SC Johnson products and packaging for their health, safety and environmental impacts. As new products are developed, or improvements are made to existing ones, each raw material is evaluated and SC Johnson’s scientists aim to make the best possible choices. And those are the kinds of choices we all can appreciate.
Choosing the right vacuum cleaner
If you’re gearing up for spring cleaning, make sure you’ve got the right machine for the job.
Before you shop, consider your needs. Hard-surface flooring? Choose a versatile canister vacuum with attachments that use brushes or metal bottom plates. The plates should lift high enough so they don’t scratch your floors.
Powerful uprights are great for carpets because carpeting requires more suction to get the dirt out. Make sure the height can adjust to handle a variety of carpet piles. If your home is on more than one floor, weight may be a factor. And look for a cord that’s long enough to use in your largest room without having to unplug the vacuum.
To help fight the dust that can cause allergies, get a vacuum with a filtration system. HEPA filters claim to capture 99.97 percent of all particles.
A good vacuum cleaner can be expensive, so consider buying a refurbished model. You can find a bargain—just be sure to ask for a warranty. And don’t forget to keep your bargain running in tip-top shape by referring to the owner’s manual for information on regular maintenance.
Write the Book on Home Décor
Whether you’re repainting a wall, covering a chair or choosing a mirror for over the mantel, your home notebook will be indispensable.
Walking past a store, you spot the perfect chair for your bedroom—and it’s on sale! But will it complement or clash with your bedspread and curtains? If you have a home notebook, you won’t have to guess. You’ll know!
What’s a home notebook? It’s simply a place where you organize the home
essentials: things like floor plans, room, door and window measurements, ceiling heights and architectural details. It’s also a good place to keep samples from each room: fabric and carpet swatches, paint chips, wallpaper scraps and the finish on your hardwood floors. For times when you need inspiration, you can create pockets in which to stash photos from catalogues and magazines or favorite articles you’ve printed from Right@Home®.
And with this information close at hand, you’re almost guaranteed having everything you need to confidently grab that bargain chair, repair a wall or just give a room a fresh, new look. Once you start using a home notebook, you’ll wonder how you lived without it!