Saturday, August 14, 2010

Say Good Bye to Fruit Flies

We've all experience those annoying little fruit flies roaming through our house. They enjoy trying to fly up your nose, into your mouth and just out of reach so you can't kill them. Getting rid of these pests is remarkable easy. By removing their food source, doing some cleaning and laying out some fruit fly traps, your home can become fruit fly free.

Prevention and Clean-up

Fruit flies love ripe veggies, sweets and ripe/overripe fruit. The fermentation of the fruit is what attracts them. If you are finding fruit flies in your house that means they have a food source and are laying eggs. In order to remove the fruit flies you need to locate their food source and remove it.

-Wash kitchen surfaces and counters daily with hot soap and water.
-Wipe up spills immediately.
-Wash your dishes or put them in the dishwasher immediately after eating.
-Keep the area beneath countertop and heavy appliances clean.
-Dirty residue inside drains & sinks attract fruit flies. If you suspect that is where they are camping out keep those drains clean by pouring boiling water down them daily.
-Don't throw away those fruit rinds, pits and peels in garbage cans located in the home. Dispose of them in an outdoor garbage or compost.
-Don't leave beverage cans, glasses or containers laying around the house. Rinse them out immediately when they are empty and put them in the recycling in the garage or shed. Fruit flies are attracted to beer, wine, soda, fruit juice and sweet liquors.
-Don't store crushed aluminum cans in your basement or attached garage.
-Make sure your kitchen garbage can has a lid that fits tightly.
-During the warm summer months remove your kitchen garbage each day.
-Keep food that is wrapped in plastic stored in the refrigerator.
-Keep your pantry clean. Check for spills, leaks or bags that aren't properly sealed.
-Check your onions and potatoes often to make sure they aren't rotten.

It will appear you have rid your home of fruit flies and then you'll discover another batch flying around a few days later. This is because eggs hatch every 7-10 days. You need to keep repeating the process of cleaning, removing food sources and laying traps until all the eggs have been hatched.

Fruit Fly Traps

Coca-Cola Trap

Put 1-2 inches of Coca Cola Classic in an empty pop bottle. With a hammer and nail, make a small hole in the cap and then screw back on the bottle. Place the bottle in the room where fruit flies seem to be concentrated. They will crawl into the bottle but won't be able to escape.

Cider Vinegar Trap

1 cup water
1 cup cider vinegar
2 tsp. dishwashing liquid

Into a jar pour all the ingredients and set out in area where you are seeing fruit flies. The odor will attract the fruit flies and they will be covered with the soap and drown.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Used Clothes

To continue with my earlier declutter blog, I thought I’d post a few places where you can get rid of your excess clothes. With so many people being out of work, school starting soon it’s a good idea to find ways to help others or to make yourself some much needed cash.

These are places located in Wisconsin. If you are looking for places in your area go to Google and do a search for used clothes, recycle clothes or clothes for the needy etc.

re-threads -They currently have two locations in Milwaukee & Madison on State Street. This is not a consignment shop. They buy your clothes ranging from modern to vintage.

New To You Kids- Located in at two locations in the Milwaukee area since 1994. They have been helping families save money by offering high quality and gently used clothes for kids. They also pay by cash or check for quality children’s merchandise you no longer need.

Community Clothes Closet - Located in Oshkosh since 1980 and is run by a volunteer staff. They collect and distribute clothing, blankets, towels, sheets and household items to people in need. They accept from the community gently used clothes for men, women and children. They also accept shoes, purses, costume jewelry, stuffed animals and books (no encyclopedias). They provide FREE clothing to financially challenged individuals and families.

Plato’s Closet - Has 4 locations in Wisconsin: Appleton, Greenfield and 2 in Madison. Bring in gently used name brand clothing and accessories and they will offer to buy your used clothes. Offer is based on style, condition, brand and store’s current stock levels.

Dress for Success - Located at the YWCA of Racine’s Empowering Women Center (by appointment only). This program promotes economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire for job interviews. Each client receives 1 suit when she has a job interview and can return for a second suit or separates when she finds work.

Naked Lady Party - Eat, drink and swap clothes with friends. Women get together to trade clothes they no longer need or like. Now there are two versions of NLP. East Coast is where you throw all the clothes in the middle of the room and have at it. West Coast version involves the removal of clothing, hence the term Naked Lady Party.

PAVE (People Against a Violent Environment) - Started in 1978, PAVE is located in Beaver Dam and provides services for victims of domestic violence. They accept clothes donations for women, men and children. Victims of domestic violence usually escape their abusers leaving all their belongings behind. During tough economic times domestic abuse usually sky rockets.

Declutter your life

Right now we are in the middle of a decluttering at our house. We plan on moving in 2-5 years and I have decided that a lot of crap isn’t coming with us. I started in the kitchen yesterday by cleaning out three junk drawers and will continue until every room (including garage & basement) have been throughly searched.

I think clutter is a huge problem in our country. How often do you drive around and see cars parked in the driveway because the garage is storage space? My neighbors across the street have been living there for 8 years and they still haven’t finished unpacking. Their cars sit outside through rain, snow, sleet and hail because their garage is filled with boxes. If you haven’t touched those boxes or used the items contained in them in 8 years obviously you can live without them. Would you like to use your garage or basement for their intended purpose again? Is your attic overflowing with clutter? Does your house and life need to be decluttered? Here are some great tips.

1. Throw away clutter every day. While you are waiting for dinner to finish cooking, waiting for the cable man to show up or bored out of your mind. These are all fantastic times to declutter a room or closet.

2. Don’t bring clutter into the house in the first place. Before you buy another pair of shoes I really need another pair?

3. When you are making a pot of tea, clean up your kitchen. A lot of stuff you can clean and throw away in the few minutes it takes to boil a kettle of water.

4. Rule with clothing. If you have clothes you haven’t worn in 6 months....get rid of it. Have a rummage sale, give it to a friend or donate it to a charity. We women also tend to hang onto clothes thinking well, I’ll lose a few pounds and it will fit me again. No...that is just an excuse....get rid of it!

5. Make storage space smaller. If you have less room for storage you have less room for clutter.

6. Get rid of paper. Some people really love holding onto their paperwork. Certain items only need to be kept for 7 years and others maybe a month. Look through your file cabinet and shred paperwork you no longer need. The shredded paper also makes great mulch.

7. Recycle. While you are working on decluttering your life please remember to recycle.

What tips do you have on how to declutter?