Top 5 Home Safety Tips

More than 3.4 million people experience an unintentional household injury every year.

A shocker, as your home should be where you and your family feel your safest.

According to A Secure Life, common problems that lead to home injuries are falls, poisonings, household fires, and more.

These are problems you can face during everyday life.

Safety is key, and we’re going to show you how to make your home as safe as a bunker!

Or…well… as safe as possible.

 

Watch Your Step!

Falls are the number one cause of injuries for seniors, according to EveryDay Health.

But it’s not just seniors who fall. It’s all of us.

Anybody here extra clumsy? Well, this section is for you. wet_floor

Here’s how to keep your feet on the floor and not flying in the air!

One, make sure your rugs have rubber backing.

Have you ever came across a corner of the rug that has accidentally flipped up?

Were you able to successfully walk over it like you knew it was there?

Most likely, not.

You tripped, and it wasn’t pretty. And yes, sorry, the whole family saw it.

This can be avoided with a simple rubber backing or a secure hold on the floor.

Simple, yet safe!

Two, lighting is key. Good lighting is the number one tip to prevent falls, according to NCOA.

There should be light switches right when you enter your home, and if there aren’t any, a tall standing lamp will do the trick.

Keep lamps and lights right next to your bed, within arms reach. Make it easy to light your path before and after you get out of bed.

Don’t have one of these? Check out our Studio Design Inc. Retro Lamp at MassGenie.

We say, go to the light! Not away from it.

Third, clutter is not fun. And it’s definitely not safe.

If you’re not tripping on a rug, you’re most likely tripping on the next best thing- clutter.

By cleaning up after yourself, you are making your home safer.

We know, this is easier said than done when you have littles running around.

An idea- make a game of it! Whoever puts their toys away gets desert.

Or dinner, whichever you choose.

It takes just the wrong pressure, joint, and bone to hit the floor to make a fall extremely dangerous.

Better to be safe than sorry!

 

Don’t Eat That!

Poison control centers across the country get more than two million calls a year about potential exposure to poisons, according to WebMD.

Almost all of these poisonings take place in homes and a very large percentage are children between one and four.

Common poisons are medicines, carbon monoxide, household products, chemicals, art supplies, food, and more.

Keep all medicines and dangerous products locked up or properly disposed of.

Child locks are key, even if you don’t have children!

Carbon monoxide detectors will help you maintain a healthy home atmosphere.

Place these near bedrooms and close to furnaces. We have one perfect for your home at MassGenie.

Did you see food was on the list?

clean_foodYes, food that has not been properly refrigerated or frozen is dangerous to consume.

Also, simple things like making sure your hands are washed and using clean utensils will stop the spread of contamination.

Be clean and avoid contamination!

And don’t eat anything you’re not supposed to.

 

Smokey Cares about Your Home, Too

This statistic you should know- Smoking inside the house is the leading cause of fire-related deaths.smokey_the_bear

Don’t smoke.

And if you do smoke, do it outside the house and in a safe area.

Besides smoking, top causes for home fires are cooking, heating, electrical malfunction, and clothes dryers.

Cooking is the number one cause of home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

No, this isn’t an excuse to order take out every night.

These fires are mostly due to unattended cooking.

A couple things to keep in mind of when you’re in the kitchen: Be alert, don’t keep anything that can catch fire near the stove, always remain by your food while cooking, and keep splattering oil down to a minimum.

A good tip- know where you fire extinguisher is and how to use it!

Between 2009-2013, 84% of home heating fire deaths and 40% of all home heating fires were caused by improper use of space heaters, according to Today.

Keep all burning products away from heating equipment, have all your heating equipment clean and inspected every year, and always use the recommended fuel.

Follow instructions when dealing with heating equipment!

Electrical fires are rare compared to other home fires, but preventing these are just as important.

The lower the quality of electrical panels, the more frequently they should be checked. It’s known that they become faulty over time.

Always hire professionals when it comes to adding new lights and fans.

We all love the handyman, but for electrical installations, wiring, and inspections, it will be safer to hire a professional.

Remember, only YOU can prevent home fires!

 

Keep the Uninvited Out

Your home is now safe- everything is properly installed, all poisons are locked up and properly disposed of, and you are not trippin’!

But what about the things we can’t control?

According the the U.S. Department of Justice, 1.03 million home invasions occur each year.

Don’t be scared, be prepared!

They’re a few things that may prevent a home invasion.

One, look like you are home.

Many home invasions occur because the criminal didn’t know someone was home.

Keep your exterior lights on and use motion detecting flood lights around your home.

Investing in security cameras is ideal, although some of us don’t have quite the budget for those.

We have both on MassGenie to fit your needs. If you can’t afford our Nest Secure Alarm System, try our dummy cameras!

Make those criminals think twice before they enter your yard!

All windows and doors should be locked at all times. Don’t make it easy for the uninvited to get in.

Consider sharp or noisy plants and hedges to be planted around your windows and access areas.

YouTube videos for getting out of restraints and picking locks. It’s amazing what you will find on YouTube!

Go back to the basics- your front door!

Make sure your front door is surveillanced and protected.

The Nest Smart Video Doorbell doesn’t only let you know who’s at the door without being anywhere near it, but it also provides you video to see who your guest is.

Hopefully, it’s just Uncle Bob and you don’t have anything to worry about!

But it could be the pizza delivery guy, when you didn’t order pizza.

Be smart. Be prepared. And always think outside the box!

Yes, we’re talking about the big box you call home!

 

You Can Rest Easy

Education is key, and we hope these tips will help you sleep longer at night.

And make you more aware during the day!

Remember to prevent falls, avoid poisons and bad food, prevent home fires and burns, and keep the unexpected company away from your household.

Sometimes, a little reminder goes a long way.

What’s your favorite home safety tip? Share it with us on social media with this blog!

7 Reasons to Start Diffusing Essential Oils ASAP

In our latest round of health tips, find out why an essential oils diffuser should be your new best friend.

1. Diffuse essential oils so you can get that beauty rest. Scents like lavender, vetiver, and ylang ylang can ensure restful sleep so you can wake up feeling refreshed. Sadly, this doesn’t guarantee you’ll get likes on your ‘woke up like this’ selfie.

2. Breathe in the scent of chamomile, rose, bergamot, or frankincense to remind yourself that you’re too #blessed to be stressed.

3. Peppermint, pine, or eucalyptus essential oils not only smell amazing but also give you all sorts of mental health benefits, like boosting your memory, improving your focus, and increasing your attention span. Total WIN!

4. Keep cool on hot, sticky days by diffusing minty oils like wintergreen, spearmint, and peppermint.

Bonus: Get a large-capacity diffuser like this 300 ml wood diffuser and humidifier, which can keep your room cool for up to 10 hours.

5. Flyswatters totally cramp your style. Use essential oils like clove, rosemary, lemongrass, and cedarwood to get rid of mosquitoes and flies without even lifting a finger.

6. Keep a humidifier or diffuser at home so cold, flu, and other illnesses won’t affect your awesomeness. Tea tree, sage, rosemary, thyme, and cinnamon can all fight off those nasty airborne pathogens.

7. With essential oils and diffusers, you can make your house smell good without any effort at all. Plus, diffusers pose no fire hazards (unlike candles) so they can be left unattended and are perfectly safe for overly curious pets and babies.

Get something like this wood humidifier with mood lighting so your friends can ooh and aah over how pretty it is while breathing in delicious scents and wondering when you got your life so together.

Stay tuned for more home improvement tips from MassGenie!

Easy Spring Cleaning Tips to Make Your Floors Gleam

Your floors are definitely some of the dirtiest surfaces around your house, so it’s important that you give them a good scrub-down during your spring cleaning routine. Follow these easy cleaning techniques and your floors will shine and gleam like new.

  • Start by sweeping and vacuuming. The first step to efficiently cleaning your floors is removing as much loose dirt and dust as possible. Sweep everything – from the living room to the kitchen – so you can remove the top layer of grime and dirt. You can also do a round of vacuuming, which is especially important for carpeted floors. Sweeping and vacuuming can get rid of the dust, debris, mold spores, and other nasty things lodged in carpet fiber and between tiles.
  • Scrub out stains. Diluted mild detergent or floor cleaner can help get rid of most stains on ceramic tile and hardwood floors. Carpets are a little trickier to clean. You can apply white vinegar to your carpet and use lots of elbow grease to get rid of the more deep-seated stains. A solution of lemon juice and salt can also prove to be effective for light-colored carpets. Carpet smelling a little funky? Sprinkle a mixture of baking soda, borax, and cornmeal on the carpet and vacuum everything up after an hour.
  • Move your furniture around to clean every inch of floor. Move your furniture around so you can get to all those hidden spots, which may be stained from spills. Rearranging your furniture also prevents fading from exposure to sunlight and helps even out wear and tear, which is easier on your floors.
  • Run your steam cleaner everywhere. A steam cleaner can be a godsend for your spring cleaning routine. Run a steam cleaner over all your floors so you can remove bacteria that traditional mopping can’t get. Most steam cleaners also don’t require the use of harmful detergents, which makes the house safer for your kids and pets. Plus, with a steam cleaner, you won’t need to scrub stains out; the steam cleaner does the work for you.
  • Finish off your floors with sealer or polish. A coat of sealer ensures that your floors get an added layer of protection from wear and tear. This is especially useful for kitchen floors. Hardwood floors benefit from a healthy coat of polish. This will keep your floors looking shiny and new.

Make sure the last leg of your spring cleaning routine is easy with a high-quality steam cleaner like the Shark S3550 Deluxe Steam Pocket Mop. Join a Power Deal for this steam cleaner and enjoy awesome discounts and savings!

How to Make the Perfect Mug of K-Cup Coffee

Believe it or not, coffee made from K-cups doesn’t automatically have to suck. If you find that your K-cup coffee is seriously lacking that kick you need on early mornings and sleepy afternoons, here are some quick hacks you’ll want to try out.

  • Add some salt to your coffee. A pinch of salt (literally just a pinch) can be just the thing to balance the excessive bitterness that sometimes comes with a cup of Keurig joe. The salt creates a chemical reaction that softens the acidity of the coffee. You’ll notice the smoother taste when you take a sip of your salt-seasoned coffee.
  • Use two K-cups for one cup of coffee. Double up on your K-cups to get that mug of perfectly strong, invigorating coffee. Use two K-cups and the lowest water setting for your cup. This may turn out to be a little expensive in the long run, but, hey, excellent coffee’s worth it, right?
  • Brew your own beans. Take your K-cup coffee to the next level by brewing your own beans in your Keurig. There are many K-cup reusable filters available online; just take your pick and fill it up with the freshly ground beans of your choice. Press the button and you’ll have a cup of strong, delicious coffee in a matter of minutes.
  • Fill your machine with filtered or distilled water. By using filtered water, you can make sure that chlorine, sulfur, and iron don’t get anywhere near the insides of your machine and affect the taste of your coffee. The same goes for distilled water, which contains only trace amount of minerals. Filtered or distilled water can also help your Keurig machine last longer.
  • Clean your machine. Sometimes, your K-cup coffee comes out tasting funky because of the nasty bacteria buildup in your Keurig machine. Make it a habit to regularly clean your machine. Fill its chamber entirely with white vinegar and let the vinegar run through the machine until it runs out. Then, let some distilled or filtered water run through your Keurig machine to get rid of the sour flavor.

If all these tips fail to improve your K-cup coffee, it may be time to retire your Keurig machine and get a new one. Check out MassGenie and join a Power Deal on the Mixpresso K Cup Coffee Maker, and you just might get a 35% discount!

Keeping Your Kitchen Sink Sparkling Clean

A spotless kitchen isn’t really all that impressive when an unpleasant odor is wafting from your grimy, stained kitchen sink. There’s no need to be intimidated by that sink, though. Just follow these easy tips and your kitchen sink will be sparkling clean in no time.

  • Clean your sink daily. Yes, you really do need to clean out your sink daily, not only to keep nasty germs out but also to get rid of the unpleasant smell. All you have to do is wipe down the sink’s basin, faucet, and handles with a nylon sponge and some mild soap. Don’t have mild soap handy? You can also use glass cleaner or all-purpose cleaner. If you have a stainless steel sink, remember to avoid abrasive sponges, ammonia, and bleach, as these can affect your sink’s finish.
  • Use lemons or oranges to remove stains and deodorize. Lemon juice can help you remove the stains on your kitchen sink, whether it’s made of stainless steel or porcelain enamel. Just mix the juice of half a lemon with a half-cup of powdered borax until a paste is formed. Dip a small part of a sponge in the mixture, rub the mixture onto the stained spot, and rinse with running water. You can also rub the peel of a lemon or an orange on the sink basin; the citrus fruits’ skin helps remove odor from a kitchen sink.
  • Don’t just clean; sanitize. It’s best to sanitize your sink to make sure it’s free from odor and harmful bacteria. After washing your sink with mild soap, plug the drain and pour a gallon of warm water into the basin. Stir in a tablespoon of bleach and dip a sponge in the mixture so you can clean the faucet and handles. Let everything sit for at least 10 minutes before rinsing your sink and allowing it to air-dry.
  • Clean out the drain, too. Twice or thrice a week, pour some hot tap water into your sink’s drain. This softens and dislodges any materials that may be clinging to the drain; these materials can cause clogs and other types of damage. If an unpleasant odor continues to waft from the drain after a healthy dose of hot tap water, you can boil a pot of water and dump that down the drain instead. The boiling water will take care of built-up gunk in the drain.
  • Got a stained ceramic sink? Try some club soda. Stubborn stains on ceramic sinks can often be rubbed out with a clean cloth soaked in club soda. For milder stains, you can clean your ceramic sink using a gel cleanser or other forms of non-abrasive sink cleaners. Non-abrasive cleaners help you avoid scratching the surface of your sink even when you scrub your sink a little harder.

With these home improvement tips, you can make sure your kitchen sink always sparkles and smells great. Browse through our Home and Garden collection at MassGenie to view cleaning products you might find useful.

Quick Tips for Hassle-free Cinco de Mayo Party Clean-up

Have the tacos, nachos, and agua fresca ready? That’s not all you need for an awesome Cinco de Mayo party. Do a little extra preparation so you can have an easier time with the inevitable after-party event: clean-up. Keep these quick tips in mind as you prep your house for this year’s Cinco de Mayo party.

  • Serve only grab-as-you-go foods. While you might be tempted to go all out and offer a create-your-own nachos station or a taco bar, these might make cleanup more difficult. You’re better off sticking to bite-sized finger food, like mini tacos, sliced quesadillas, and chicken fajita skewers. Avoid serving dishes with a lot of sauces and dips to minimize spills.
  • Disposable plates, cups, and flatware are your best friends. There’s no need to spend more time than necessary loading and unloading your dishwasher; chuck everything disposable into a trash bag at the end of the party. Just make sure you’re using biodegradable plates and flatware. You can also find many options for recyclable plastic glassware at your local supermarket.
  • Have an outdoor bar. If you’ve got some room in the backyard, why not put the bar outside and let your guests enjoy a beautiful spring night? By putting your bar outside, you can also minimize hard-to-clean spills and stains on your floors, carpets, and rugs. Place a trash bin somewhere near the bar so your guests can easily dispose of their cups and napkins.
  • Place trash bins and recycling bins near the buffet and the bar. Minimize clean-up by placing trash bins or pails in areas where disposables will be used, like the bar or the buffet. If you’re going to be using china, you can also place an empty tray that guests can use for their dirty dishes. This way, your guests can neatly dispose of their trash and you can avoid going around your house hunting for dirty plates, cups, and cutlery.
  • Get a head start on clean-up by cleaning the house before the party. Tidy up the kitchen before the party actually starts, so you’ll get half the cleaning done. Gather and take out the trash, fill your trash cans with fresh liners and newspaper for soaking up grease and liquids, and wash the pots and pans you used for cooking. This helps reduce the cleaning up you have to do after the party.

Post-party clean-up doesn’t have to be a headache. Check out our selection of household paper products at MassGenie and our other home improvement tips and kitchen ideas!

How to Host the Ultimate May the Fourth Party

(image from insidethemagic.net)

Happy May the Fourth! What better time to embrace your inner Princess Leia (or Luke Skywalker or Han Solo) than on Star Wars Day? The good news is you have just enough time to put together an awesome May the Fourth party. Here are some easy pointers on throwing a May the Fourth party that everyone will enjoy.

  • Get your house in the Star Wars spirit. Nothing sets the mood for May the Fourth like Star Wars-inspired décor. There are a lot of Star Wars DIY party decorations floating around online – like paper lightsabers, C3PO and R2D2 cut-out banners, and BB-8-inspired paper lanterns– so get busy crafting!
  • Set up an awesome snack table. It’s pretty easy to set up a Star Wars-themed snack table. Grab some pretzel sticks and coat them in melted candy wafers, and, voilà – you’ve got lightsaber pretzel sticks. Wookie cookies, Stormtrooper marshmallow pops, even a nice Death Star cake – the possibilities are endless. Make a big batch of Yoda soda and Aunt Beru’s blue milk so your guests can wash it all down.
  • Dress up for the occasion. A May the Fourth party wouldn’t be complete without costumes. Bring out that old Star Wars Halloween costume or even your favorite Star Wars-inspired shirt. Make Princess Leia’s iconic hair buns with sock buns or lengths of brown yarn. You can also show some love for your favorite Jedi master by dressing in a green shirt and sporting some pointy felt ears.
  • Plan some fun games. While watching your favorite trilogy (original, prequel, or sequel) might seem like the obvious choice, why not add a little life to your May the Fourth party with some games? A trivia game will get everyone’s competitive spirit up and finally decide who the biggest Star Wars geek is among your friends. Lightsaber limbo is also a great way to keep everyone in the party spirit. Have lots of fun, you will.
  • Pass on the Star Wars love. Yoda knew what he was talking about when he said, “Always pass on what you have learned.” A May the Fourth party is the perfect way to make padawans out of kids or even friends who aren’t exactly feeling The Force.

With these tips, you’re sure to have a May the Fourth party just as lively as Mos Eisley’s cantina. Need some help for your party? Check out our Home and Garden collection on MassGenie.com for some items you might need.

7 Easy Hacks for Your Best Spring Garden Yet

gardening

Spring is here! Now that the ground is finally warm and frost-free, it’s the perfect time to flex your green thumb and get to work on sprucing up your spring garden. As our first round of home improvement tips, here are 7 gardening hacks to up your gardening game with minimum effort.

gardening

  1. Make your own compost. Help your plants grow faster and stronger by mixing coffee grounds and egg shells into the soil as compost. Kitchen scraps, leaves, and shredded paper also make for great compost. By making your own compost, you’ll get the added benefit of saving money.
  2. Reuse your cooking water. Boil some veggies or pasta earlier today? Reuse the cooking water by using it to water your plants. This is a great way to add a little more nutrition to your soil. Just make sure to let the water cool down before you use it on your plants.
  3. Use milk jugs to water indoor plants. Punch small holes in the lid of an empty milk jug, and voilà – you’ve got a watering jug that won’t leave puddles behind each time you water your plants. The jug’s handle makes it easier for you to pour, while the holes in the lid ensure even water distribution.
  4. Soak seeds before planting them. This is one of the more common gardening tips out there. Soaking seeds allow them to germinate faster, which ultimately means faster-growing plants. Soak seeds in hot water for up to 24 hours before planting them in your garden.
  5. Space seeds evenly with toilet paper. Tired of losing track of tiny seeds (like carrot seeds)? Place the seeds along the center of a strip of moist toilet paper. Fold the toilet paper strip up so the seeds are completely covered and place the strips in the soil. Soon your garden will be filled with plants in neat, evenly spaced rows.
  6. Make your own plant markers. Why spend on plant markers from the store when you can make your own? Grab those wine corks you have laying around, write your plant names on them, and then insert a bamboo skewer into the end of each cork. Now your plants are evenly spaced and properly labeled.
  7. Make an indoor herb garden. No space for a backyard garden? No worries. You can grow herbs and greens in containers right in your kitchen. You can use egg cartons or even mason jars to grow herbs such as basil, parsley, rosemary, and thyme indoors.

With these gardening hacks, your spring garden will be worthy of being featured on any home and garden show. Need extra help in making your garden flourish? Check out our selection of Home and Garden items at MassGenie.com.