Good to Know

How Long Should A Major Appliance Last?

Consumer Reports surveyed “tens of thousands” of subscribers regarding more than 20 brands of major appliances in 2019. Almost consistently across the board, the answer was 10 years’ life expectancy for a major household appliance. Expect a microwave oven to last for 9 years.  A Family Handyman 2022 survey was less optimistic, showing that microwaves last 6 years, washers, dishwashers and refrigerators hold on for approximately 7 years, a dryer can withstand 7-12 years, and a range (stove) will do well for 10-15 years.  Go for that extended warranty, Consumer Reports recommends. Forty percent of refrigerators can start having problems …

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It’s Pumpkin Spice and Fall Lawn Prep Time

With the change of seasons comes a change in care if you want to get the best out of your lawn.  During the summer, your maintenance has been based on suppressing weeds and watering to keep it from burning. As the seasons shift, it’s time to prepare your lawn for winter this month. A rule of thumb has been to winterize four to six weeks before the first frost. For Atlanta, that’s usually the first of November, so September is the perfect time to get started. Aerate: Do that now and perhaps twice more throughout the winter to keep the …

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Freshen Your Home Naturally

If visitors drop by and their first comment is, “Oh, you have cats,” it’s time for a room freshener.  During the holidays, we scent our homes with spices and evergreen to add another layer of enjoyment to the festivities. But what about the rest of the year?  There are ways to enliven your home and combat odors with natural ingredients year-round. Make your own flower, powder or spice sachets using ingenious suggestions that range from something as simple as an envelope, to cute little forget-me-not gifts, to be used in small rooms, closets or drawers to make the air smell …

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Make a Special Homework Space

When it comes to kids doing their homework, two conflicting issues need to be addressed. They need a place to be quiet so they can concentrate, yet they need to be close enough to you in case they need assistance.  The child’s bedroom is not the best choice because it’s better to associate the bedroom with relaxation only. The kitchen table isn’t the ideal spot, either, because the area is too distracting with afternoon activity.  The best place for concentrating on homework would be a corner area specifically dedicated to it, perhaps nearby in a den or family room, or …

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Ways to Beat Atlanta’s Heat 

If you’re the type who loves pumpkin-spice season, you might want it in ice cream form this year. Weather forecasts say we can expect temperatures to remain high throughout the fall, along with tropical storms. It’s time to take a lesson from places like Charleston and Savannah on how to beat muggy heat. Foremost, drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Sip throughout the day. Add mint or fruit infusions for a more summery treat. Wear loose-fitting clothing. Long sleeves, pants and dresses in breathable fabrics protect skin from direct sun to keep you cooler. Light colors reflect the sun’s …

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Reusable Storage Replacements for Your Kitchen

Many of us can remember a time when there was no such thing as plastic. Now our lives seem inundated with it, especially in the kitchen, with plastic wraps and a multitude of various-sized containers. Aluminum foil was hailed as a big improvement over tin foil, but now we recognize that it leaches into foods through heat or contact with anything salty or acidic. Maybe it’s time to return to some earlier methods of kitchen storage, and take a more earth-friendly look at new ones. Replacing plastic wrap and foil: Plain cotton or linen kitchen towels or aprons are quick …

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Why Own A Label Maker?

Are you one of those super-organized people who loves to label things?  Just to inform the rest of us, things have come a long way since the little hand-held devices that made molded plastic sticky tape that was often used to identify lockers and cabinets at school.  Now you can get desktop machines that print in several fonts, sizes and languages, with icons and borders, and can print in more than a single line. They come in thermal paper, clear, flowered and waterproof versions, too. The end result is professional-looking quality right at your fingertips.  Probably these machines are used …

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Finding Your Drain Cleanout

Do you know where your sewer drain cleanout is?  You may have thought being on a sewer system is ‘no worries’ compared to a septic tank. Well, almost. The sewer drain cleanout still needs to be located and the area maintained to ensure easy access for a plumber in the event of a sewer blockage. The drain cleanout is a pipe about three or four inches across that stands upright, through the surface soil, with a big cap on it. It’s the emergency access point for your plumber if the underground pipes get clogged, so this pipe end needs to …

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Freshen Your Home Naturally

For the highly allergic, a trip down the cleaner-freshener aisle at the grocery store can be  toxic. There are hundreds of specific chemical fresheners and cleaners for what seems like every inch of the house, and your pets. The natural way to make your home smell clean and pleasant involves only a few basic items: Acids like lemons and vinegar, neutralizers like baking soda, fragrances like essential oils and flowers, and good old fresh air and food. Here are some suggestions. Open the windows and use room fans to circulate fresh air. Bring in some pine boughs and cinnamon year-round. …

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Organizing 10 Minutes at a Time

If you’ve got just a few minutes to spare each day, you still have some time to organize your home. You will be surprised when you see how much your accomplishments will add up.  Timesaving BasicsFirst, remember that anything you can do to make things easier to find, or to simplify processes will help you to organize your life. Here are some basic rules used by professionals: Store basic cleaning supplies (window cleaner, antibacterial wipes, paper towels, air freshener, etc.) in a bucket that can be carried from room to room for quick clean-ups.  Keep stored items in containers that …

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