March 24th, 2014
Spring Window Cleaning
The sun's higher trajectory spills fresh rays of golden light into our homes. Don't let dust and grime impede your enjoyment of this natural spirit lifter. The body makes vitamin D when skin is directly exposed to the sun, and most people meet at least some of their vitamin D needs this way. Skin exposed to sunshine indoors through a window will not produce vitamin D. Check out this link for more info on Vitamin D. Though you will not increase your vitamin D intake with clean windows, odds are you will experience positive health benefits by keeping the windows clean. The extra sun will make you feel good. We all want to feel good.
Though it's still cold, the 10 day forecast is showing some upper 40's in the next week. While that's not a heat wave, it won't be long until we can fling the windows open and let that spring breeze wander into our homes to kick that winter stuffiness out. Skip the Windex! There are easier, less toxic ways to clean that glass. Wads of paper towel and windex is a comfort technique for some people. It's how they have always done it. 2014 is a good year to try something new. A couple of drops of dish soap and a bucket of warm water will give a great cleaning medium. We prefer Mrs. Myers products for the wide range of scents available and the eco friendly company policies, though other commercial dish soaps will work just as well. Pick up a few microfiber rags. They are the modern miracle of cleaning. There are a variety of manufacturers and grades of quality. For a cost effective rag that does the job, check out Amazon Basics. A higher quality microfiber cloth can be purchased from Yvonne's Original. Use one microfiber cloth to wash the window. Use a second, dry cloth to clean the window. Use a third dry cloth to remove all streaks and perfect that shine. A squeegee can be substituted for the second step if you have the skills. Here is a step by step window cleaning link.
If that seems like too much work, you can always call on Oso Clean to take care of your windows for you. We love the satisfaction of removing buckets of dirt and grime from our customer's windows.
Commercial Cleaning Solutions
The last few months have brought several new customers to the Oso Clean fold. We are very excited by how well our commercial services have been received. It is clear that there is a need for our services in the local business arena. Many local businesses around River Falls, WI and Hudson, WI do not know that we provide these services. Help us spread the word with a like, a share or a +1. If your workplace needs a better cleaning solution, call Oso Clean to custom tailor a solution for your workplace cleaning needs.
How do you tackle your spring cleaning chores? Let's make this weekend a great one and get a jump on spring by getting started early on the tough stuff, so when the weather turns we can all go outside and play. It can be daunting to get started, but we all know the reward of having your space deep cleaned. The key is not to try and take on everything at once. Take on one task or one space in your home at a time and you will find the reward of peeling back the dust can be quite invigorating. We found this really simple checklist at http://www.cleanmama.net/2014/03/free-spring-cleaning-checklist.html. Check this site out for other helpful lists as well as some great tips. In all ways, enjoy the day!
Late Winter Pruning
The sun is riding higher in the sky these days. It’s still cold, but after the arctic weather we have been getting, these 20 degree days feel like a heat wave here in western Wisconsin. Any excuse to get outside is good by me. Like many of my friends and neighbors, spring is highly anticipated in our home. Believe it or not, there are gardening chores that need attention sooner than later. It’s time to get ready for garden season.
Now is the best time for pruning many of your trees and shrubs. The University of Minnesota suggests: The late dormant season is best for most pruning. Pruning in late winter, just before spring growth starts, leaves fresh wounds exposed for only a short length of time before new growth begins the wound sealing process. Another advantage of dormant pruning is that it's easier to make pruning decisions without leaves obscuring plant branch structure. Pruning at the proper time can avoid certain disease and physiological problems. Check out this link to learn more about winter pruning as well as the overall benefits of good pruning practices.
Another fabulous resource on late winter pruning is the Farmer’s Almanac. They say: Pruning deciduous plants in the winter promotes fast regrowth in the spring, as most plants are dormant during the winter. It's also easier to see the shape of deciduous plants in the winter, since their foliage is gone.
Another good source on this subject is the Arbor Day Association. They say: Pruning during dormancy is the most common practice. It results in a vigorous burst of new growth in the spring and should be used if that is the desired effect. It is usually best to wait until the coldest part of winter has passed. Some species, such as maple, walnuts and birches, may “bleed”— when the sap begins to flow. This is not harmful and will cease when the tree leafs out. Check out more of what they have to say here: http://www.arborday.org/trees/tips/pruning.cfm
Now is also the right time to examine the overall structure of your trees. Structural, proactive pruning can prolong the life of your tree and prevent serious property damage. Oso Clean can help you with your shrubs and smaller pruning and hauling projects. If you feel that your trees need a structural pruning, now is a great time to contact a tree service to come in and clean up the crown of your tree. Here in the St. Croix valley, we recommend our friends at JCE Tree Service. Check out their website for contact information. http://www.jcetree.com/default.aspx
Be careful, and do your research on specific varieties before pruning to be sure that they are suited for pruning this time of year to avoid damaging certain cultivars or impeding full spring bloom. If you are not sure where to start, need help with a specific problem, or would just like help deciding what the overall landscape plan for your space is, call Oso Clean for a free, no obligation assessment of your spring landscape cleanup needs. We can help with many of your basic landscape pruning and cleanup projects. We love helping homeowners maximize and renew their outdoor spaces. Now let's get outside!
How to Loosen Winter's Icy Grip
Ah spring. How we ache for you right now. Now that March is here, spring is so close. Yet as we gaze out of our frosted panes at another sub-zero Saturday it feels so very far away. Truly this winter is one of epic proportions here in Western Wisconsin/Eastern Minnesota. Take heart dear reader, the wheel keeps on turning, spring will come. What to do about cabin fever? Clean!
March is a great time to get a jump on spring cleaning. It’s a time to dig into that closet, basement or kid’s room and evaluate. Cut the clutter. Free yourself from stuff. Has it sat in the same dark corner since last March? Let it go. Once it’s gone, you won’t miss it. Check out this interesting article on how to get started. http://organizedhome.com/cut-clutter/declutter-101-where-do-I-start
If you have already used the never ending winter lockdown to creep into every nook and cranny or if you can’t possibly bear another cleaning Saturday, consider a home space renewal. Painting a room can have a dramatic effect on your home space. A fresh paint job can truly change both the look and feel of your home. To kick these winter blues, you may consider brightening up a dark hallway or bathroom. The project does not have to be great in size to have a great effect on your home and family. The first step to any good paint job is a plan. Check out some of the great resources available from our favorite paint supplier, Sherwin Williams. http://www.sherwin-williams.com/homeowners/ask-sherwin-williams/painting/interior-painting-how-tos/interior-planning/
If the thought of a new paint job sounds appealing, but the thought of doing it sounds daunting, call Oso Clean to provide a free, no obligation estimate. Whether you just need help with a color consultation or you would like a professional paint job from start to finish, we are here to help. In the meantime, keep an eye out for spring. It will be here soon enough.