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Me Time: Just for Women



Home and Hearth Tips

me time, just for women, cleaning hacks, spring cleaning, composting

One mom’s trash is another’s treasure
It's finally warm enough to pack up your chunky sweaters and knits and pull your spring clothes down from the attic. Before you say "see you next year" to your winter wardrobe, take the time to go through it and see if there are things that you can get rid of.

Instead of filling your closet with clothes you don't wear, donate your gently used items to someone who will use them.

Goodwill has locations all over the Hudson Valley that make it super easy to donate the clothes you haven't worn all season. All Goodwill stores accept donations of clothing, shoes, accessories and household goods.

Start this new season with a different outlook. Create a plan to declutter your closet and rid yourself of clothes you don't need anymore. Begin with all of the hangers in your closet facing in. As you wear, wash and re-hang clothes, turn their hangers outward. When you are ready to bring out your winter clothes again, take the clothes that are still on hangers facing in to the local Goodwill.

Having an organized closet will make you feel good and giving back will make you feel even better.

READ MORE: Consignment shops in your area!

Turn your kitchen scraps into a valuable resource
Don't throw your kitchen scraps in the garbage! Create a compost pile with them and make your garden glow this spring.

Erik Schellenberg, natural resources educator with the Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County, insists that composting is a simple way to turn your scraps into the good
stuff that your garden needs.

To start, he says, "You need a good mixture of what we call 'browns and greens.' Greens are the things like vegetable scraps and lawn clippings and things that add moisture. Browns are things like dead leaves that will add carbon to your compost pile."

You can start your compost pile in your kitchen, but Schellenberg says that this method won't last long. He warns, "Many people start with a container in their home and then get turned off to the whole process when it starts to smell. You shouldn't leave your scraps indoors for more than a day."

Compost piles need ventilation. Schellenberg suggests taking your compost outdoors and creating a well ventilated area using wooden pallets or even woven or welded fences.

Patience is key with composting. "If you want to speed up the process, you can mix your pile and water it, but that isn't necessary. By just adding layers of browns and greens you will have a beautiful pile of the most beautiful top soil in a year," explains Schellenberg. "People pay good money for stuff like this!"

Worried about attracting wildlife to your compost pile? Schellenberg assures there is a way to avoid unwelcome guests. "Don't add meat scraps, fats or bones to your pile and you will be good."

Interested in getting started? Join the Cornell Cooperative Extension for a backyard composting event on April 14.

Baking soda isn’t just useful in your cookie recipes
It's that time of year again! Out with the old and in with the freshly cleaned. A deep spring cleaning is just what your house needs after months of closed windows and winter clutter.

Why fill your house with chemicals and toxins, when natural cleaners work great and cost a whole lot less?

Baking soda is a miracle ingredient when it comes to cleaning house-hold products. From foul smells in the fridge to caked on grease in last night's dinner pans, baking soda is a cheap and effective alternative to harsh cleansers.

Tackle odors with a little help from this inexpensive kitchen staple. Do your teenager's cleats leave his bedroom smelling like a locker room? Dump a little bit of baking soda in the smelly pair of shoes and leave overnight for a fresh step in the morning.

Smells in the kitchen can be fixed in a pinch. Leave an open box of baking soda in your fridge to absorb any strong smells that may linger from yesterday's leftovers. Try a little in the bottom of your trash can too.

Did your child get creative on your living room walls? While you find your little Picasso a coloring book to play with, get the crayon marks off of the wall with baking soda. A damp sponge sprinkled with baking soda will do the trick.

READ MORE: Green cleaning solutions!

Protect your family from carbon monoxide
Keeping your family safe and healthy is one of your most important goals as a mom. One important way to keep your kids safe is to install carbon monoxide alarms around your home.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that can cause extreme illness and even death. Problems can occur from carbon monoxide inhalation before parents even realize the poisonous gas is present in the home. You would only know it is there if your alarm goes off!

Child safety and health expert and author Debra Holtzman suggests installing a carbon monoxide alarm in every bedroom and one at least 15 feet from any fuel-burning appliance.

READ MORE: Make your home a safe haven

"Carbon monoxide poisoning associated with using fuel-burning appliances kills more than 200 people each year and sends about 10,000 people to hospital emergency rooms for treatment," she writes.

Having the detectors in the home is not precaution enough. Batteries in detectors should be changed twice a year. Use Daylight Savings Time as a time marker each year to let you know it's time to check the detectors.