Labor Panes — Our Recommended Window Cleaners

Labor Panes -- Our Recommended Window Cleaners | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Labor Panes Crew in Action!

We are asked all the time if we clean windows, but that area of cleaning is outside of our expertise. However, we can recommend Labor Panes as top-notch a window cleaners! They are one of our fellow tenants in the John O’Daniel Exchange at our Durham branch, and we know firsthand how well they make windows shine.

Labor Panes also offers pressure washing, soft touch washing, and gutter cleaning in the Triangle!  You can visit their website for a free quote or call them at 919-747-4154.

Don’t forget to contact us for a free house cleaning consultation in Raleigh and the surrounding area!  Just email info@carpediemcleaning.com!

Our Recommended Painters & Window Cleaners

Autumn is in full swing, and it’s time to think about getting our homes in tip-top shape before winter hits and the holidays take over!

We are asked all the time if we clean windows, and that is outside of our expertise, we can recommend Labor Panes as top-notch window cleaners!  They are one of our fellow tenants in the John O’Daniel Exchange at our Durham branch, and we know firsthand how well they make windows shine.  Labor Panes also offers pressure washing, soft touch washing, and gutter cleaning!  You can visit their website for a free quote or call them at 919-747-4154.

If you’re looking for painter to transform the inside of your home, then look no further than Graduate Custom Painting!  With over 15 years of experience, owner Ahmad and his team of painters can solve any paint problem you have.  Want a whiteboard or chalkboard wall?  Call Ahmad at 919-672-2927 for a free estimate or fill out this contact form.

Don’t forget to contact us for a free house cleaning consultation!  Just email info@carpediemcleaning.com!

Fall Home Maintenance Tips

Here in North Carolina we get to experience all four seasons which means that our homes and yards can take a beating!  It can be challenging to keep track of what needs to be done this time of year, so we develop routines around seasonal events to remind us to get.things.done.  Today we’ll talk about the fall home maintenance that you can do yourself or outsource to keep your yard beautiful and your home’s heating costs low.

Air FilterInside Home Maintenance

Lower your heating costs by replacing old caulk around your windows and doors.  This will prevent your house from feeling drafty, and you can do the same on your tub faucets to keep them looking fresh.

Change air filters and service your HVAC system and furnace before your service providers are busy with heating and air emergencies in the winter.  We’re all about building habits to make keeping your home in order a breeze!  We recommend changing your fans and filters with daylight savings time.

It’s that time of year again to reverse the direction that your ceiling fans turns. Reversing your ceiling fan actually pushes the hot air that rises to the ceiling back down. This will help you keep your heating bill lower with the flip of a switch!

Outside Home Maintenance

When you schedule your HVAC service call, go ahead and have your chimney cleaned and inspected while you’re at it!  An annual chimney inspection prevents ash from coming into your house and even home fires.  The chimney inspector can sweep your chimney of any debris that’s entered the chimney such as a bird’s nest or soot build-up, if needed.  That way when the cold weather hits, your home will be a cozy place for you to relax with your family instead of a potential fire hazard!

Fall is the perfect time to prepare your grass to be beautiful and weed-free next spring and summer.  Schedule a day for your grass company to aerate and seed your lawn or plan a day to do it yourself!  Make sure to pull out any weeds so they don’t choke your new seed.  Then schedule times to water your grass for best results.

Don’t forget to unhook your hose from the outdoor water source before any below-freezing nights!  You do not want your pipes to burst from getting water stuck in them.

Now is the time to cut down dead trees, especially if they could fall on your house! We never know if we’ll have a huge ice storm in the Carolinas or not, so it’s best to be prepared.

Fall is the perfect time of year to trim branches that are encroaching on your house while they are free from most of their leaves.

As fall arrives and sprinkles colorful leaves everywhere it doesn’t take long before they begin to overflow your gutters.  To prevent water damage to your roof and foundation, keep your gutters clear by installing gutter guards, and call our friends at Labor Panes for help!

Tell us what home maintenance routines make the most impact on your home.  Don’t forget, we offer house cleaning in Raleigh and will make your house sparkle!

Meal Planning 101

Meal Planning 101 | Carpe Diem CleaningDo you feel like you’re never ready to hear those three dreaded words, “What’s for dinner?” Meal planning can give you peace during dinnertime instead of feeling stressed trying to figure out what to feed your family!

Having a plan doesn’t mean that you can never deviate from it, but it does make it easier to avoid going out to eat or getting take-out when you haven’t planned on doing so.  Ready to start meal planning but don’t know what to tackle first?  We’ll give you the lowdown on how to make a meal plan that your family will love!

 Meal Planning 101 | Carpe Diem CleaningCheck your Schedule

Meal planning is a habit that takes more time up front but will drastically save you and your family time and money in the long run.  We’re all about people living their life with intention.  If you know what you’re going to eat each night, that you’ve planned in advance where and what you’re going to eat!

First sit down with your calendar to determine what your plans are for dinnertime each night.  If you have a family get-together or a date night, then you can assign minimal food or no food to the meal plan for that night.  Once you know how many nights you would like to eat at home, you can decide which nights you need a quick and easy meal and which nights you have more time to spend in the kitchen.

Keep it Simple

On nights when you have less time to spend in the kitchen, plan to put dinner in the slow cooker in the morning or to use the grill to have dinner ready in a flash without the hassle of a ton of clean up.  On nights when you have more time to spend in the kitchen, make the most of your time by doubling or tripling recipes so that you have leftovers for the next night or for lunch the next day!

Meal Planning 101 | Carpe Diem CleaningGet Inspired

Once you know what kind of recipes you’ll need, you can look in your pantry, freezer and refrigerator for inspiration.  Is there a piece of meat in your freezer that you’ve been meaning to cook?  Is there a new grain in your pantry that you’ve been wanting to try?  AllRecipes.com is the perfect place to look for recipes with ingredients that you already have in your kitchen.  Check out a few reviews before making a recipe for the first time.  Chances are, you’ll be able to make it even better!

Not sure if your kids and/or partner will like the meals that you’ve picked out?  Get them involved!  Meal planning doesn’t have to fall on one person in the family.  Your favorite people will be more likely to eat food that they’ve asked to eat, after all. ;-)

Meal Planning 101 | Carpe Diem CleaningMake it Happen!

Once you have your meal plan for the week, make a grocery list and shop for everything you’ll need for that week.  Post your meal plan for the week somewhere that will help you to remember what you’re eating each night.  Whether you post a written note on the fridge or schedule reminders into your Google Calendar, find a system that works for you and your family!

That’s it!  Once you make a meal plan and buy groceries, you’re ready to tackle the week ahead because you’ve taken the uncertainty out of family dinners.  Want to get even farther ahead on dinners for the week?  Go ahead and make note of when you need to defrost food.  If you can chop veggies or trim meat ahead of time that will make weeknights even easier!

Need a little extra help managing your home responsibilities?  We offer cleaning services in Chapel Hill!  Contact us today for a free consultation!

Our Organizer + Home Organization Tips

Our Organizer + Home Organization Tips | Carpe Diem CleaningThe back to school season is the perfect time to organize your home! Need help from a pro to transform your house? Our organizer Cary Farrell will turn your home into your dream space in much less time than it would take you on your own!  She helps her clients to use the prime real estate in their house well.  By focusing on putting items away where they are used most, the whole house stays clutter free!

Check out Cary’s website at clutterfreenc.com for more insights into her organization style, reviews, and more.

Here are some Clutter Free-inspired home organization tips to take your home from overwhelming to organized in no time!

Home Organization Tips

Use your prime real estate to your advantage.  Any space in your home that is easy to access and is close to where you spend most of your time in that room is prime real estate.  For example, you would never put your silverware in the cabinet above your refrigerator instead of the drawer next to the dishwasher, right?  Store items that are used regularly closer to eye-level and where they can be easily reached.  Keep items that are used less often farther away from the action.

Our Organizer + Home Organization Tips | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Decide on a place for items that move in and out of your house each day.  Whether you have a closet, mudroom, bench, or side table, make sure that you have a space for things that move each day that is different from a place where things stay.  Let’s say that you have a library book to drop off, but it’s not in a space where you would think to look as you’re leaving your house.

 

If you have a designated “drop off” zone, you’ll be more likely to remember to bring it with you as you leave your house and take everything else that you will need with you.  This designated place in your home is perfect for the current season’s shoes, handbags, backpacks, keys, sporting equipment and more!

Manage paper clutter, or it will manage you.  Keep a shredder and recycling bin close to your door to eliminate unnecessary paper clutter before you can set it down and let it accumulate.  When you receive an invitation in the mail, RSVP immediately.  If you are attending the event, mark it on your calendar.  If you need to purchase a gift for the guest(s) of honor, then go ahead and order one off the registry (if applicable) or schedule a date on your calendar to buy the gift.  If you choose to keep greeting cards in your home instead of recycling them, make sure that they are either in a special box (not in a prime real estate drawer), used as a bookmark, or are displayed accordingly.

Contact Cary Farrell from Clutter Free today to schedule your home organization adventure today! Don’t forget that we offer cleaning services for Cary-Apex area, too! 

 

 

What to Plant in Your Fall Garden

Now is the perfect time to start planning and planting your fall vegetable garden!  Most plants should be planted in late July or during August for the best yield.

What to Plant

Here are some delicious veggies you can plant in July:

  • Basil
  • Beets
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Collard Greens
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Cabbage
  • Summer Squash
  • Winter Squash
  • Lima Beans
  • Snap Beans

How to Plant Your Fall Plants

First remove any weeds or old plants that are not producing well at this point in the summer.  Then till the soil about 6 – 8 inches deep before fertilizing the soil with 1 – 2 lb. of fertilizer for about 100 square feet. Water your soil lightly, and you’re ready to plant your fall plants!

When planting seeds in the summer, remember to plant them deeper than you would in the spring (usually 1.5 – 2 times as deep). The moisture level of the soil will be lower due to summer heat and less rainfall.

If you choose to use plants from the hardware store that have already been started, then make sure to lightly water them for the first week after transplanting.

Then shade your seedlings and young transplants with newspaper or burlap cloth so that they are cool enough to germinate.  The soil shouldn’t be warmer than 85°F, which can be difficult this time of year.

Don’t forget to cover your plants during the first frost of the year!  In North Carolina, we usually have several more weeks left in the growing season after the first frost as long as plants are protected.

Click here to get more info on how to plan your Fall Vegetable Garden! 

The Importance of Removing Pet Hair Effectively

Do you have a pet who you love SO MUCH but who just won’t stop shedding?  Do you want to keep your home free from pet hair but don’t know where to start?  Pet hair from our furry friends can cause allergies, clog up air vents and just keep you from enjoying your home to its fullest potential!  Today we’ll give you solutions for removing pet hair effectively.

Air FilterImportance of Removing Pet Hair

Do you have family members who struggle with allergies?  Allergies can reveal themselves in many forms, from tiredness to itchy and runny eyes and noses to skin irritations and even anaphylactic shock.  Pet dander can cause allergies which can be less severe but still frustrating.  No one wants to be sneezing or rubbing their eyes constantly in their own home.

One way to keep allergies at bay with a pet is to change air filters regularly as pet hair can clog up air vents.  When your vents aren’t circulating air properly, you will have less efficient air flow and more pet dander floating around!

How to Prevent Pet Hair in your Home

Let’s be honest. Pet hair is annoying, gets everywhere, and sometimes you just want to sit on your couch without being covered in fur!  The best way to keep your pets from shedding all over your house is to brush their fur regularly, especially outside!  For most pets, this means brushing their fur once per week in a normal week and three to four times per week during changes in seasons when they’re shedding heavily.  Not only will this help to keep hair at a minimum in your home, it will also keep your pet healthier as brushing distributes healthy oils from their skin onto their fur and will prevent their fur from matting.

Also, make sure that your pet is eating healthy food that will keep his/her fur in better shape…and less likely to shed.  Check with your vet for more specific grooming instructions for your fur baby!

Amazing Sh-mopWays to Remove Pet Hair

Unfortunately, any animal covered in fur is still going to shed, even if it’s well groomed.  Here are a few ways to remove pet hair without clogging your vacuum cleaner! Use a squeegee to remove it from upholstery in your home or car.  Firmly press the squeegee down as you pull it toward you, and watch in amazement with how much fur it gathers!

You can also wet your hands (either bare or with rubber gloves) and rub down the spots that have the most pet hair on them.  Attach a dryer sheet to your Swiffer (or use the amazing Sh-Mop!) to pick up pet hair from the floor without having to sweep.

What are your go-to ways of keeping pet hair at bay?  Need extra help keeping your floors clean?  Call Carpe Diem 919-682-5326 t0 schedule a free consultation today!

Why We Dust Instead of Using Pledge

Hey!  This is Madeline, Carpe Diem Cleaning’s General Manager, letting you know why we dust instead of using Pledge or other wood cleaners on your furniture.

Furniture cleaners such as Pledge just polish your wood furniture without actually cleaning it.  Unfortunately, this process is similar to using foundation to clean your face.  We would never do that, now would we, ladies?  Because Pledge builds up on wood furniture, eventually you have to strip the wood and start over, which is expensive and no fun.

With antiques and real wood, you want the true grain of the wood to shine through and last for years to come.  To maintain your wood furniture, go through your house twice a year and rub lemon oil on the wood to to moisturize it.  This simple step will feed your furniture’s “thirst” and will give it an authentic shine!

How to Get Your Home Move Ready

If you’re selling your home, these tips will help you to feel move ready in no time!  Taking time to declutter and organize your home inside and out will ensure your peace of mind while you gear up for a move.  First impressions are important, especially when showing your house!  Follow these tips (along with your realtor’s advice) to help your home sell even faster.

How to Get Your Home Move Ready | Carpe Diem CleaningDeclutter

If you’re preparing to move, this is the perfect time to declutter your home!  Before you put your house on the market, clear out any items that you don’t love or aren’t using regularly.  By selling, donating or throwing away anything that you will not be taking with you, you will make the rest of the moving process easier.  Remember, the more things that you get rid of now, the more space you’ll have for your favorite things in your new place.

 

How to Get Your Home Move Ready | Carpe Diem CleaningOrganize

One upside to decluttering is that it makes your space feel bigger, which is always a win with potential buyers!  After decluttering, the next step is to organize what you have decided to keep in your home.  Store off-season clothes in the attic or under your bed so that your closet feels bigger.  Then remove extraneous family photos so that potential buyers can picture themselves living in your house.

You’ll want to make sure that any of the items that you have displayed are done so attractively and without too much clutter so that the buyer can envision their things in your home.  When you’re organizing your home, expect people to snoop in your closets and cabinets so that you can be okay with what they find there. :-)  Finally, keep a plastic bin near your door so that you can throw anything extraneous into it when a realtor shows your home unexpectedly.

How to Get Your Home Move Ready | Carpe Diem CleaningInside

Once your house is decluttered and organized, it’s time to tackle some of the bigger projects.  Touch up the paint on your walls and make sure that all holes are patched and painted over.  Also, strip any out-dated wallpaper or paint over any paint colors that might put off potential buyers.

Do you have a door that won’t close all the way or a broken ice maker in your freezer?  Go ahead and repair any appliances that aren’t working and fix other issues with your house before putting it on the market.

 

How to Get Your Home Move Ready | Carpe Diem CleaningOutside

Your house’s curb appeal is the first in-person impression that potential buyers will have of your home–so you’ll want to make it a great one!  Make sure that the outside of your house has been pressure washed and that your windows have been cleaned.

Clear out any cobwebs from corners of your house or porch.  Mulching and planting flowers will help your home to be more visually appealing and welcoming to visitors.  Make sure to trim any bushes that are getting out of control, too!

 

Finally, have your home professionally cleaned before pictures are taken for the realtor and when you move out. You can give us a call 919-682-5326, or shoot us an email info@carpediemcleaning.com!

When to Plant Your Plants

Are you ready to plant your vegetable garden?!  It’s felt like spring for a while now, but we’ve still had some frosty nights that have made knowing when to plant those plants challenging.  We’ll tell you exactly when to plant your vegetables to ensure that you get the maximum growing season from your labors!

 

 

What to Plant NOW

Some spring and summer vegetables to plant in early April include: kale, broccoli, radishes, eggplant, lettuce, corn, and artichokes.  These vegetables are cold-weather crops that should be planted immediately. Planting them immediately will ensure that their growing season lasts longer. These crops actually taste better if they’ve been exposed to cold and are less bitter than they would be otherwise.

 

What to Plant Later

Summer Vegetables to plant in mid-April and early May include: sweet potatoes, summer squash, winter squash, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers.  These vegetables are warm-weather crops that should be planted after the last frost.  Otherwise, they could die in the freezing temperatures if not cared for properly.

Plants whose seeds need to be planted directly into the ground can be planted then, too.  These include melons, carrots, parsnips, beets, beans, and squash that will be harvested in winter and summer.

 

Frost Tips!

This year’s official last frost date is April 27th, but there really shouldn’t be frost after April 10th.  What does this mean for you?  You should go ahead and plant any cold-weather crops now!  For all other crops, wait until April 10th to plant them and make sure that you keep an eye on the weather until the end of April.

If there are any particularly frigid nights, cover warm-weather crops with a sheet or blanket so they don’t freeze.  Cold weather plants should be fine down to 25° without cover.  If you want tips on when to plant other vegetables, check out this chart from NC State!

Want to plant flowers in your garden for spring that will be hardy enough to stand some of the summer heat?  Check out this article from Southern Living to find out the best spring flowers to plant!