I travel quite a bit for work. Not too much, but just enough that returning to my own apartment can sometimes be the sweetest feeling in the world. Or, depending on its cleanliness, make me yearn to be back on the road, in the comforts of a generic hotel room, orderly and sterile-ish.
Last week I spent several days in Las Vegas for a convention at the Venetian. I left on a Sunday and spent the entire morning packing and picking up around my apartment. My place looked presentable…but for some reason that wasn’t good enough. I think deep down I knew I couldn’t spend a week in Vegas – of all places – and come home to an apartment that was unclean.
I decided to finally get to all the hard-to-reach places and pain-in-the-neck tasks that are so often neglected. I broke out the Cooktop cleaner. Scrubbed the bathroom. Even cleaned out the refrigerator. It was possibly the most productive few hours I’ve ever spent during a weekend.
So when I left the apartment and headed to the airport, I felt good. A little grossed out by the scrubbing and some things I found in my fridge, but overall pretty good.
But the big payoff was yet to come…
When I arrived home after several days in Sin City and a full day of traveling back from Pacific Time, I was so relieved to have an apartment worth coming home to. It was clean, it smelled halfway decent, and I was proud of the work I’d put in before my trip. It made it all worthwhile.
Since 1993, March 22nd has been designated World Water Day and each year the event highlights a specific aspect of freshwater. With 2013 being the International Year of Water Cooperation, World Water Day is also dedicated to the theme of cooperation around water.
Water is a shared resource and its management needs to take into account a wide variety of conflicting interests. Water cooperation is very important as 783 million people do not have access to clean water and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation, according to UNICEF.
Since we are lucky enough to have access to clean water, drinking filtered water is a way we can give back. Currently, American households could save over $600 a year just by switching to filtered water from bottled water. And all of those empty plastic bottles have to go somewhere – usually straight to landfills or other hazardous means of disposal. By switching to a refrigerator water filter, you’ll not only be saving money but the environment as well!
To learn more about World Water Day, or to see what you can do to get involved, visit their website. But you can participate immediately by utilizing filtered water in your own home. It’s cost effective, easy and will make a big difference!
Recently Graham Hill, founder of TreeHugger.com and LifeEdited.com wrote a column for the New York Times called, “Living With Less. A Lot Less.”
In it, Hill discusses his transition from a life of lots of stuff – luxuries like cars, the latest gadgets and electronics to the simple life. We’re talking really simple. Hill, who admits his life is not the standard, having made a lot of money at a young age after selling a successful internet startup, now lives in a 420 square foot space. His bed folds into the wall. Television or movies are watched via a projector against a white wall. Necessities and a computer/desk area are also hidden in compartments built right into the wall.
He can even pull out a partition and make room via a fold out bunk bed for two guests.
It might be extreme for some – present author included. But I was intrigued of the idea of living with less. I too have a lot of stuff – though none of it is probably as awesome as what Hill’s stuff was.
But still, there’s a lot of stuff in my apartment. Sure, sometimes the size of your apartment is enough to make you feel like you have too much stuff but a good look around and I can see I could do without some of the clutter.
Here at affresh, we talk a lot about the way our products can help you when it comes to cleaning the kitchen, your home appliances and even the washer and dryer in your laundry room. Cleaning these rooms and appliances is just one way to enjoy the spaces we’re in.
What do I mean by that? Well, for some of us the kitchen is our favorite room in the house. For others, redecorating their laundry room into a multipurpose space has redefined how many of us view the room itself and it’s even made laundry more enjoyable.
When I look at my kitchen I see a lot of stuff I love. Cans of tea that get me through winter nights and bouts of cold and sinus trouble, my collection of coffee brewers – a press, a percolator, an espresso machine, a pour over set up (I really love coffee, okay?) and bags of fresh beans. But there’s a lot of other stuff taking up space and sometimes I wonder – without it would I find a more airy and enjoyable kitchen?
It’s worth thinking about. The next time you’re cleaning up your kitchen or pulling loads from the dryer, take a look around. What could you do to free up some space? The answer just might surprise you.
This upcoming weekend, I will be doing the unspeakable. Well, seemingly unspeakable…at least for me.
On Sunday I will be competing in the New York City Half-Marathon. While hundreds of thousands of people participate in marathons and half-marathons each year, this will be my first foray into the world of distance running. And I’m really excited (and a little scared).
As many of you know, affresh® has been supporting runners and sponsoring marathons for several years now and I’ve had the privilege of attending many of these races through my work with the brand. As part of our efforts, we’ve hosted contests for entries to the Chicago Marathon, attended IRONMAN events all over the country, and even created a Facebook page that combines our love of cleaning with our support for athletes.
Through this interaction and engagement with so many enthusiastic runners, I decided to give it a try myself. I’ve always been a decent athlete but I’ve never – NEVER – been good at distance running. I was a football, basketball, baseball guy growing up, running just never appealed to me. Until now.
What makes this event even more fun is that it’s being held on St. Patrick’s Day! Being Irish, this is pretty important to me. Although prior to this year, I had never done anything on St. Patty’s that didn’t require a costume and an abundance of green beer, so this will be a different sort of celebration.
I know St. Patty’s is a popular date for races throughout the country and I think it’s awesome that there will be so many runners – and some other first-timers – competing this weekend. The affresh® team will be in Atlanta for the Publix Georgia Marathon so if you’re there, be sure to find them to win some great affresh® swag.
Or if you happen to be in New York, be sure to cheer on the runners as they pass by on the street. At least one of us will need all the support he can get.
Of the 115 Groundhog Days on record since it began in 1887, Punxsutawney Phil has only predicted an early spring 16 times. Fortunately, this year we’re lucky the groundhog did not see his shadow, so 2013 is off to a great start!
Based on my calculations, what with the vernal equinox falling on March 20 and Phil’s gift of six weeks less of winter, that means Spring should be happening….now?
This is actually fantastic news. Not only because flip flops are my favorite and I will wear them as soon as my toes can tolerate the weather, but because my apartment needs a spring clean like it’s nobody’s business.
More often as of late, when I have people over, I feel like I’m showcasing the “fake apartment.” You know, the one that is beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, but heaven forbid someone opens the wrong door and ski equipment tumbles out of it (but you don’t even ski). This needs to end! And I know exactly how to put a stop to it.
One thing that I really need to procure is a dresser for my clothes. I don’t know how it happened, but my bedroom floor is now an extension of my closet. It’s relatively organized, but there are piles everywhere. I’ve been putting it off, but I know I need to buckle down, pick one that I like and get organized!
Dusting is also a major issue. I’m allergic to dust, so you’d think I’d have this under control, but apparently I’m a glutton for punishment. It just isn’t something that crosses my mind, coupled with the fact that I have yet to find a duster/product that I like. But I know dusting really does make a huge difference in the appearance of all surfaces so this is definitely another thing I need to tackle.
Lastly, the kitchen is always a big one. Getting grime out of those harder to reach corners and concentrating on spots that are often overlooked (I completely ignore that area underneath my dish drying rack) will definitely be a focus. I also need to actually clean the sink, not just the dirty plates in it, and give my stove a good scrub as well.
There’s definitely a lot to be done, but it’s totally manageable! And thanks to this year’s early spring, I’m going to get a head start on turning my “fake apartment” into a clean one.