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Jan 26, 2023

Spots in Your Home That are Often Overlooked When Cleaning

Keeping a clean and tidy home can be a daunting task, especially when there are so many areas that are easy to overlook. Here are a few things that most people forget to clean in and around their home:

Baseboards 

Baseboards are often overlooked when it comes to cleaning, but they can accumulate a lot of dust and grime over time. A quick wipe down with a damp cloth or a vacuum attachment can make a big difference in the appearance of your home. This is definitely a great job to have the kids help with. 

Window tracks

The tracks of your windows are another area that are often neglected. These areas can accumulate dust, dirt, and even insects. To clean them, use a small brush or a vacuum attachment to remove debris, and then wipe them down with a damp cloth. This is something I definitely plan to do after the pollen season in early spring slows down. 

Ceiling fans 

Ceiling fans are another common source of neglect. Dust and dirt can accumulate on the blades, which can then be circulated throughout your home. It's a good idea to also dust the actual ceiling right around your fan to catch any extra dust that can easily be missed. Cleaning your ceiling fans regularly can help reduce dust and improve the air quality in your home.

Light fixtures

Light fixtures are another area that are often overlooked when cleaning. Dust and cobwebs can accumulate on the fixtures, making them less efficient and less attractive. Cleaning your light fixtures regularly can help improve the lighting in your home.

Air vents 

Air vents are often forgotten when cleaning, but they can accumulate a lot of dust and debris over time. This can reduce the efficiency of your heating and cooling system, and can also contribute to poor indoor air quality. Clean your air vents regularly to ensure that they are working properly. If this is something you do not do regularly, it might be a good idea to get a professional service provider in for a one-time clean. 

Refrigerator coils 

The coils on the back of your refrigerator can accumulate dust and debris, which can cause the fridge to work harder and use more energy. Clean the coils with a brush or a vacuum attachment to help your refrigerator run more efficiently. This is good to do at least once per year. 

Shower heads

The shower head is often forgotten when cleaning, but it can accumulate mineral buildup and bacteria over time. Cleaning the showerhead regularly with a vinegar and water solution can help improve water flow and reduce the spread of germs. 

In conclusion, keeping a clean and tidy home requires attention to detail and regular cleaning. By remembering to clean these often-overlooked areas, you can keep your home looking and feeling fresh, and improve the efficiency of your appliances and reduce the spread of germs.

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Jan 25, 2023

South Carolina Aquarium and Aflac to Give Pediatric Hospital Patients a Virtual Aquarium Experience

Roving Robot Brings Aquarium to Patient Rooms Across South Carolina, Thanks to Support From Aflac 

Thanks to a new partnership with Aflac, patients at children’s hospitals across the state will be able to sign up for self-guided virtual tours of the South Carolina Aquarium, with the help of roving robot technology. Controlled directly from the patient’s in-room tablet, the robot will allow the patient to create their own path through the exhibits and enjoy an immersive experience from afar.

This program, piloted at MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital, is expanding to work with Prisma Health Children’s Hospital in the Midlands and Upstate. Educators at the Aquarium are working with hospital staff to arrange these robot tours during patients’ free time, long stays or even during their treatments. 


"It has been truly amazing to facilitate this experience. The kids are able to take control and drive through the Aquarium on their own exploration, when in many other aspects of their lives, they may lack that sense of being the one ‘at the wheel,” said virtual programs coordinator, Alayna Robertson.

Nature has an enormous impact on well-being, and the telepresence robot offers a bridge to connect patients with water and wildlife. Patients have full control of the robot, letting curiosity guide them as they move forward to visit a sea turtle at its tank window, look up to see a shark swim by or zoom in to get a closer look at the iridescent scales on a fish. They are able to speak and engage with the Aquarium educator teaching them along their adventure. They can even talk to Aquarium guests or wave to fellow kids on a field trip.

Betsy McMillan, child life manager at MUSC Children’s Health shared, “We were thrilled when the Aquarium team approached us about this program. The Lowcountry views from our hospital rooms offer the perfect background to this unique and educational escape for our inpatients. We are grateful for this amazing opportunity. What child doesn’t want to steer a robot and tour the wonderful South Carolina Aquarium at the same time!”

A generous gift from Aflac has made this program possible for patients at these hospitals.

“We’re pleased to help children in hospitals across the state experience the wonder of the South Carolina Aquarium without ever leaving their rooms,” said Bob Ruff, senior vice president, Group Voluntary Benefits. “Whether it is through our award-winning My Special Aflac Duck® program for children with cancer and sickle cell disease or initiatives like this, providing comfort and joy to kids who are going through medical challenges represents our commitment to be there for families in their times of need.”

Check out this video of the robot program in action. 

About the South Carolina Aquarium: 

The South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston's No.1 family attraction, is home to more than 5,000 animals, from river otters and sharks to sea turtles and shorebirds, and represents the rich biodiversity of our state — from the mountains to the sea. Visitors can also get an inside look at the Sea Turtle Care Center™, a working hospital dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of sick and injured sea turtles. While fulfilling its mission to promote education, conservation, and an exceptional visitor experience, the Aquarium also presents sweeping views of the Charleston Harbor along with interactive exhibits and programs for visitors of all ages.

The South Carolina Aquarium is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The Aquarium is open daily from 9 a.m.–5 p.m., with the last entry at 3:30 p.m. The Aquarium is open seven days a week with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, December 25 and a half day on December 24 (open 9 a.m.–noon). Tickets must be purchased online for a selected date and entry time. General admission prices are $34.95 for adults (age 13+) and $27.95 for children (age 3–12). Toddlers (age 0–2) receive free admission. Annual Aquarium membership with unlimited visits starts at $99. For more information, call (843) 577-FISH (3474) or visit scaquarium.org.

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Jan 23, 2023

Ultimate Home Cleaning Guide to Starting the New Year Fresh

With 2023 underway, it can leave you feeling like you want a fresh start. New year, new you, right? Maybe you are creating new personal goals you want to achieve, or maybe you are just wanting to do a deep clean to give your home a fresh start in the new year. Look no further for our ultimate home cleaning guide to starting the new year fresh.

Is a real estate transaction part of your new year resolutions? Get some more information on current mortgage rates and how they compare to past years, plus learn more about if now is the right to list your property for sale.

Categorize

Our first step in our cleaning guide is to categorize your cleaning tasks. Having a clear game plan for what needs to be cleaned when will make keeping your home spotless much more attainable. You should decide if a task is to be completed:


  • • Daily
  • • Weekly
  • • Monthly
  • • Quarterly
  • • Annually

At first, your home will feel like it’s not perfectly clean, but after a full year of following these tips and steps, you will have a sparkling clean home that you will easily be able to maintain!

Daily tasks include tidying clutter, wiping countertops, washing dishes, emptying trash cans, making beds, and hanging up towels. Think of these tasks as just a daily reset to start your day on the right foot.

Weekly tasks include cleaning floors, scrubbing bathrooms, cleaning mirrors, completing laundry, dusting surfaces, changing bedding, and wiping down appliances.

Monthly tasks include dusting walls and baseboards, dusting blinds, cleaning your laundry appliances, cleaning your dishwasher, and your vacuum cleaner.

Quarterly tasks include cleaning the inside of your refrigerator, cleaning under furniture, cleaning your oven, descale your coffee maker, and washing mattress protectors.

Annual tasks include cleaning your fireplace, shampoo carpets and upholstery, clean windows, and cleaning drapes and curtains. 



Stay on top of it

Now that you have your categories of when each task should be completed, it’s time to stay on top of it! Focus on each task and the frequency it should be completed. If creating a physical list you can check off helps you, do it! If you need reminders in your phone, create them! Anything you can do to help keep yourself on track with cleaning will keep your home fresh for the new year.

Be positive

If the current state of your home is less than spick-and-span, don’t let it discourage you! Instead, shift your mindset to be more positive. If you missed out on one day of daily cleaning tasks, it’s important not to beat yourself up about it. Instead, give yourself grace and get back to it the next day. Cleaning is (unfortunately) a constant. No one is constantly perfect all the time!

We hope you’ve found this ultimate home cleaning guide to starting 2023 fresh helpful, inspiring, and motivating! You will have a sparkling clean home in no time.

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Jan 22, 2023

6 Tips for Starting a Backyard Garden

Starting a backyard garden can be a great way to save money on groceries and enjoy fresh, homegrown produce. However, it can also be costly to get started, especially if you plan to purchase expensive equipment and plants. Fortunately, there are several economical ways to start a backyard garden and maximize your yield. 

  1. Plan your garden before you start. Before you begin buying plants or seeds, take some time to plan your garden. Consider the size of your backyard and the amount of sunlight it receives. Think about the types of plants you want to grow and the best way to arrange them. This will help you avoid buying unnecessary plants or seeds and ensure that your garden is productive from the start.
  2. Use seeds instead of seedlings. Buying seedlings can be expensive, and they may not be as hardy as plants that you grow from seed. By starting your own plants from seed, you can save money and also have a greater variety of plants to choose from. You can purchase seeds for a fraction of the cost of seedlings, and you can also save money by reusing seed packets from year to year. 

  3. Create a compost pile. Composting is an excellent way to turn kitchen scraps and yard waste into rich, nutrient-dense soil that is perfect for your garden. By creating a compost pile, you'll be able to save money on expensive fertilizers and soil conditioners. Plus, the compost will help your plants grow strong and healthy, which will lead to a higher yield.
  4. Use natural pest control methods. Chemical pesticides can be expensive and can also be harmful to the environment. Instead, use natural pest control methods such as companion planting, row covers, and hand-picking pests. This can save you money and also help your garden to be organic.
  5. Take advantage of vertical space. By using vertical space, you can grow more plants in a smaller area. This is a great way to maximize your yield and save space in your backyard. Examples of vertical gardening are trellises, hanging planters, or stacking planters.
  6. Grow in containers. If you have limited space in your backyard, growing plants in containers can be a great way to maximize your yield. Container gardening is also a great option if you have poor soil or if you want to move your plants around to different locations.

By following these tips, you can start a backyard garden that is both economical and productive. With a little planning and effort, you'll be able to enjoy fresh, homegrown produce all season long.

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Jan 19, 2023

Tips to Cut Back on Laundry Product Expenses

Laundry products can be a significant expense for households, but there are ways to save money while still keeping your clothes clean and fresh. Here are a few tips for cutting down on the cost of laundry products:

  • Use less detergent: Many people use more detergent than necessary, which not only wastes money, but can also leave a residue on clothes. To save money, use the recommended amount of detergent or slightly less.
  • Make your own laundry detergent: You can save a lot of money by making your own laundry detergent at home. There are many recipes available online that use simple ingredients such as baking soda, washing soda, and bar soap.
  • Look for sales and coupons: Many stores offer sales and coupons on laundry products, so be sure to check for deals before making your purchase. Buying laundry detergent in bulk can help offset cost, too. 
  • Invest in a water softener: Hard water can cause buildup on clothes and in your washing machine, which can make your detergent less effective. A water softener can help remove this buildup, making your detergent last longer.
  • Use a laundry ball: Laundry balls are an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to traditional laundry detergent. They work by releasing natural minerals that help lift dirt and stains from clothes.
  • Air dry clothes: Drying clothes in a machine can be expensive, so try air drying your clothes instead. This can save money on electricity and also help clothes last longer.

In summary, there are several ways to save money on laundry products without sacrificing cleanliness. By using less detergent, making your own detergent, looking for sales and coupons, investing in a water softener, using a laundry ball, and air drying clothes, you can cut down on the cost of laundry products and keep your clothes looking their best.

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