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The Clean-zine, Issue #14 - Care and Cleaning of the Family Jewels
February 01, 2014


1. Care and Cleaning of the Family Jewels

2. Making Living Areas Livable

3. February Housecleaning Checklist

Care and Cleaning of the Family Jewels

A diamond is forever - if you take good care of it. Good gems warrant good care.

Here's how to keep your precious pieces sparkling.

1. Take It Off Nightly. No baubles - not even a wedding ring - should be worn all the time. All stones (including diamonds and sapphires) can chip.

Gold, silver and platinum are easily scratched. And harsh chemicals can damage both stones and metals.

Take it off when you do hard work or work out hard. (If you lose a stone, you'll never find it.) Or, when you clean the house or garden.

Household cleaners can damage stones and settings, and you run the risk of catching it on something.

You'll also want to shed the family jewels when you bathe, swim, or soak in the hot tub (chlorine can damage stones and metals) and when you go to the beach. (Salt is also hard on jewelry.)

People usually don't take off jewelry for fear of losing it. Consider where you normally would take off your rings and place a container there for that purpose.

Then the rings don't go down the drain, and you always know where you put them.

2. Cleaning Routine. All your pieces need an occasional cleaning to remove grunge around settings and to remove oily buildup that dulls the sheen.

Most pieces can be cleaned by soaking for a few minutes in a bowl of lukewarm water with a little dish-washing detergent and scrubbing gently with a toothbrush. (Never use toothpaste - it's too abrasive.)

Ultrasonic cleaners should only be used for all-metal stones or diamonds. It can damage other stones. Ditto for ammonia.

Read the full jewelry cleaning article here.

Making Living Areas Livable

The goal of any room is to make it a warm, welcoming place.

It's ironic, but usually living rooms are the deadest rooms in the house.

The kids are afraid to go in there because mom will constantly remind them to be careful of that rug or not to bang up against that table.

Dad doesn't go in there because there's no TV and mom won't let him prop his feet up on the coffee table.

Mom doesn't go in there because she wants to be with the rest of the family, and they are all cowering in the den.

But if keeping that room nice means scrunching six people into a matchbox-size family room, it's time to rethink priorities.

There are ways to actually use the room and not destroy it. Really.

It's okay to want to keep one room nice for company, if you've got one extra room. The key is to create places to do things.

1. Create a Room Within a Room. Create little "rooms" within the larger one. Make small intimate areas with furniture placement.

Pull the couches and chairs off the wall, anchor them with an area rug, add a table or two, and you've got a little room within the big room.

Put a couple of chairs over by the fireplace, connect them with another rug, and add a table with a lamp. Room number two.

You can also visually divide a room with activity areas.

Set up a small table and a couple of chairs in one corner for games, crafts, and puzzles. Put a skirt on the table and you can tuck the games out of sight underneath.

Create a reading corner with a cozy chair, soft throw blanket, table, light and a shelf or drawer for books, papers, and glasses.

Create a play area in another corner with a stain-resistant rug under a chest of toys.

Read the full article on Making Living Areas Livable here.

February Home Checklist

February Checklist: 9 things to include in your home cleaning and preventative maintenance program this month to keep your home well-maintained.

1. Nesting Instinct. Clean all bed linens, including comforters, duvets, bed skirts, pillows, etc. Launder what you can; dry-clean the rest.

2. The Spin Cycle. Fluff up down pillows with a short spin in the dryer (no heat, please).

3. On the Flip Side. Turn the mattresses.

4. Linens and Things. This is an especially good time to clean out your linen closet. Rotate little used linens and towels to the front lines. Launder everything.

Read the full February Home Checklist article here.

Have a great month!

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