Happy Monday! I don’t know about you, but I am typically the most productive on Monday than any other day of the week. Probably because of a little down time over the weekend and some renewed purpose to get stuff done. It usually fizzles out again by Wednesday, but Monday and Tuesday are big days. I am going to try to not let this post feel like a to do list for you, but it’s possible it will turn into that. Just warning you. But it’s Monday so you’re ready, right? I want to talk about what I learned in two years of being a home owner.
What I Learned in Two Years of Being a Home Owner
You know what should come with the purchase of your first home? A manual on how to take care of it. I’m not sure at what point people are absorbing this information, but I seemed to have missed a lot of it. Of course my parents modeled taking care of a home, but as a kid I didn’t keep a log of how often a lot of home maintenance needed done. So I’m going to share just a few of the things I’ve stumbled upon over the last 2 years.
Use the Appropriate Products
I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts a while ago, and they started talking about countertop polish and sealers. Hmm, could this be the missing link in my suddenly not shiny countertops? Why yes, yes it is. I discovered after 2 years of living with granite countertops that you shouldn’t use just any cleaner on natural stone. To keep the stone protected, use a cleaner that is formulated for stone. I ended up purchasing Method Daily Granite, which is a cleaner and polish in one.
I also learned that in particular acidic cleaners are very hard on the finish of stone. Which makes the vinegar and lemon oil mixture I used for many months during my super crunchy phase a very poor choice. Granite should also be resealed regularly to prevent any stains from occurring where the sealer has worn down. I read about a little test you can do to see if you need to reseal.
-Let a few drops of water pool on your countertop and wait for a minute or so. If the water has sunk into the stone, definitely time to reseal. If it has beaded on top of the stone, you are ok for a while. I still think it’s time to reseal ours (what I read said once a year!), but I think I can safely wait for a bit longer.
I mentioned my super crunchy phase. For about 7 months, I personally made as many home and beauty/skin products as I could. I was part curious and part terrified of all the chemicals we are exposed to hundreds of times a day. I was also post partum and having some major anxiety problems accompanied by mood swings. Once I calmed down, I started using a lot of store bought products again, but I still try to be careful what I buy.
All that to say, for a long time I was mopping my wood floors with water, vinegar, and some essential oils. I was smart enough to research purposely putting water on my wood floors, but apparently I stumbled upon a lot of websites that were too concerned with the chemicals to care about the floor, or had a lot more layers of polyurethane than mine did.
My beautiful wood floors developed this weird, milky white finish every time I mopped. I would spend so much time and effort trying to get them clean, only to see this white mess that drove me crazy. I switched to oil cleaners instead and my floors are shining again. A friend also told me you’re also supposed to polish your wood floors once a month. Switching to oil cleaners definitely helped my floors, but the polish makes all the difference. They look almost new after a monthly polishing. I use Murphy Oil Soap and Orange Glo 4-in-1 to care for my wood floors and have been very happy with the results!
Get Your Carpets Cleaned
Last year I rented a Rug Doctor and cleaned the carpets in our house. We have pretty light colored carpet, 2 small kids, and we are shoe people. We had a lot of stains. I was telling a friend later about how much work it was, but worth it for it to look so much better. She just casually mentioned that you really should have your carpet cleaned every 6 months to a year for both cleaning of stains, dirt and allergens, but also to prolong the life of your carpet. This advice definitely makes sense, especially for the wear and tear we inflict on our carpet. I don’t know if I can manage the exertion of doing it myself every 6 months, or the cost of hiring it done. But once a year seems doable and necessary!
On a different episode of the same podcast, I heard about this handheld steamer. That they were using to clean the mattress. And once it was dry, they flipped it. Of course, it makes perfect sense that a mattress could stand to be cleaned every once in a while, but I had no idea it could be as simple as giving it a good steaming. My husband complains regularly about the divots developing in our mattress, and if we had only known that you are supposed to flip it, we could have avoided this for a while longer. I haven’t done either of these things yet, but they are on my list!
So tell me, what else am I missing? I know the obvious “change the smoke alarm batteries” and “put in a new furnace filter”, but what are your best maintenance tips for me that I didn’t know I was supposed to be doing? Tell me in the comments!
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