5 Simple & Quick Spring Cleaning Tips

Posted Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

Simple & Quick spring cleaning tips

It’s springtime in Michigan, and you know what that means: most people are spending a good chunk of their free time cleaning and organizing their homes. People are proud of their homes and want the spaces where they spend most of their time to be organized, clean, and comfortable. Spring cleaning takes time, however, so here are a few Simple & Quick Spring Cleaning tips to help you clean more effectively and efficiently. Utilize these and you’ll get more out of your time spent cleaning and you’ll have more time to spend doing fun things!

Make a Cleaning Caddy!

Using a Cleaning Caddy saves you from running back and forth to the kitchen cupboard for cleaning supplies, which ends up saving time and energy so you can get more work done and move on to fun activities! All you need is your most commonly used cleaning supplies and something easy to carry to store them all in!

A Cleaning Caddy is very simple to put together: it is just an easy way to transport all your supplies at once. Some grocery stores make cloth bags designed to hold wine bottles that have 4- 6 little compartments sewn right into the bag.

These work really well because they are very light, washable, and will separate your supplies. If you can’t find a cloth-sectioned bag there are other options! Many stores make cheap plastic cleaning totes, and you can always just utilize a regular cloth tote bag if you cannot find a sectioned one.

Fill your tote with your most commonly used and favorite cleaning supplies: all-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, wood cleaner, paper towel, plastic bags (for any trash and used paper towels) and a duster. Take your caddy and have at it.

Dress for the Occasion!

Cleaning can be tough work and can wear you out quickly! One way to make the job easier is to clean in the right clothing. With all the reaching, carrying, scrubbing, and running up and down the stairs, you can heat up quick and get uncomfortable. And discomfort can really slow you down!

Pick clothes that you don’t care too much about. There’s really no reason to wear your best yoga pants while picking up the house, they are definitely going to get covered in dust and grime! Choose some loose sweat pants and a breathable t-shirt. You won’t overheat as quickly and when you are done cleaning just toss everything in the hamper.

Pro tip: If you know you’ll be working on your knees cleaning the tub or organizing cupboards wear knee pads or buy a kneeling pad from the garden section. It will save your knees and you’ll be able to spend more time working on those areas.

De-Clutter before Cleaning

To make sure your cleaning time is spent as efficiently as possible de-clutter the areas beforehand. Work room to room. Clear counters and tabletops or items and papers, then clear the floor. If you don’t have time to organize at the moment make a pile of items to organize and put away later. Removing this clutter clears the path for you to come through and clean surfaces without having to stop to move or re-arrange items.

Clean Top To Bottom

Regardless what room you are cleaning in this can help you save time and energy! Start from the top and work your way down. Dust crown molding and clear cobwebs before washing the walls below. Wipe out cupboards before cleaning the countertops below. Wipe crumbs from countertops and tables and save sweeping or vacuuming for last. If you follow this top to bottom principle in every room you will avoid dirtying areas you have already carefully cleaned. Make a little checklist for each room of what to clean, working from top to bottom.

Make Multitasking Work For You

Most cleaning lists have a lot of different tasks on them, some you may be able to complete while working on others. Before moving on to any other tasks get some items going in the laundry and dishwasher. If you do not have a dishwasher soak some hard to clean pots and pans in hot soapy water!

Now not only are you working on the task at hand but laundry and dishes are getting done at the same time! Listen for the buzzers or set a timer on your phone to check on the laundry or dishwasher, that way you can keep those machines working while you are working.

If you have an essential oil diffuser run that in the rooms you are cleaning to leave them smelling fresh and welcoming. A little bit of multitasking, if carefully done, can go a long way!

You have your Spring Cleaning tips, you have your Cleaning Cubby organized, it’s time to turn on the diffuser, get some laundry started, and get to spring cleaning!

For over 45 years, Modernistic has been making Spring Cleaning in Michigan Simple & Quick. If you want the freshest carpet, upholstery, tile, and air ducts this season, call or click today!  

How To Clean With Vinegar

Posted Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

how to clean with vinegar

Do you know how to clean with vinegar? You have probably heard that vinegar and baking soda can be safe and effective household cleaners. And they can be. But not when you mix them together! Vinegar is a strong acid that can break down soap residue, oils, hard water stains, and glue from stickers. Baking Soda is an alkaline, and can loosen baked-on grease, absorb odors, and brighten teeth. Adding one to the other will neutralize their effectiveness and knock out all of their power.

The Science Behind It

Distilled white vinegar is made from acetic acid and water. When combined with the sodium bicarbonate in baking soda you get a fizzy chemical reaction. This may be fun and exciting, but it isn’t actually helping you clean!

After the foaming action, you are left with water and a small amount of sodium acetate salt; the bubbles are carbon dioxide escaping into the air. If you don’t have the exact perfect ratio of vinegar and baking soda, the water will have some acid or alkaline left in.

That mild acid or alkaline solution, the physical blotting that is usually recommended, along with the placebo effect from the foaming action, and people think it works.

Vinegar, Straight Up

When using vinegar as a cleanser, it is best to use white distilled vinegar. This is partly because you don’t want any color from the vinegar to stain what you are trying to clean. Also, because white distilled vinegar is made in a lab, instead of by natural fermentation like other culinary vinegars, the strength will be more consistent.

A 50/50 solution of white distilled vinegar and water can be used to clean many surfaces in your home. Spray on windows and wipe off with newspaper for a streak free shine. This cleanser will work great on most hard surfaces in your kitchen and bathroom.

However, do not use vinegar on hardwood floors, wax floors, granite/marble countertops, or egg spills (it will scramble the egg).

It is a great rinse for fruits and veggies because it is a mild disinfectant. You can also soak a well used loofah sponge in the cleaning solution to dissolve soap residue.

Vinegar On Your Carpet

It is usually not a good idea to use vinegar to clean your carpet. If you have a natural fiber carpet the vinegar could cause serious and permanent damage. Most soiling in your carpet is acidic, and so a commercial alkaline cleaning will be the best choice.

Pet urine has both uric acid and alkaline crystals, so it is especially best left to professionals. Adding too much liquid to a pet stain can cause it to soak in deeper to your carpet, pad, and even into your subfloor.

If you have a hard water stain, like salty winter brine from snowy boots, you might want to try the vinegar solution to break down the calcium and other minerals. If your carpet has a build-up of soap in it from improper cleaning technique, you may want to try the vinegar solution. In both of these special cases, only if you know your carpet is NOT a natural material.

Often times, simply removing surface dirt with a vacuum or brush, spraying a little water, and blotting from the outside in is the best way to treat common carpet spots. The technique is more important than the product, but you don’t want to use products that will damage your carpet.

How Often Should I Get My Carpet Cleaned in 2018?

Posted Monday, February 5th, 2018

How do you get the most out of your carpet?

Chances are, you vacuum weekly and blot up the occasional stain on a regular basis. For a lucky few, that’s good enough for them; maybe they don’t need their carpet to last very long, or they just plain don’t walk on it. But for the rest of us, we need to ensure our carpet’s longevity and protect the investment we made in our homes. If you find yourself asking How often should I get my carpet cleaned this year? – keep reading!

Manufacturer’s Recommendations  

Most carpet manufacturers recommend having a professional steam clean the carpets every 12-18 months to maintain the warranty. That’s the absolute minimum, according to the people who make carpet! Aside from cleaning to maintain a warranty, there are a few other factors to consider when deciding how often to get your carpets cleaned.

Here’s What You Need To Know

Carpet cleaning frequency depends on your family’s needs. Every home is different and every family’s needs vary. Smaller households with no pets may only need to get their carpets steam cleaned once a year. On the other hand a larger household with multiple pets would benefit from more frequent cleanings, 2-4 times a year. If you or a family member suffer from allergies consider having your carpet steam cleaned every 2-3 months. Professional steam cleaning will drastically reduce allergens in your home, and sometimes, depending on the home, there are even more allergens indoors than outdoors! For many people the holidays are a culmination of special events and special guests and having a clean home to host it all in is very important. Cleaning to prepare for special occasions is always a big deal, but the carpets are often overlooked! Nothing can freshen up a room quite like a steam cleaning. A lot of people either plan a cleaning before the holidays to prepare, or after the holidays to remedy any spills or spots that may have occurred during the festivities.  Some people plan on both!

Regardless of how often you have a professional out to steam clean your home there are ways to help maintain its cleanliness. Most professional carpet cleaners offer to apply Carpet Protection once the cleaning has been completed. Carpet Protection (like 3M Scotchgard) creates a protective barrier between your carpet and any dirt, dust, or spills that may touch your carpeting.  Liquid will not saturate the fibers as quickly and keeps spills and stains up on the surface, giving you more time to clean up. Applying Carpet Protection is the best way to maintain the clean look and feel of your carpet between professional cleanings.  Although there is no scientific method to determine the best possible carpet cleaning schedule a good rule of thumb is this: if it looks dirty or dingy, schedule a cleaning!

Families across Michigan have depended on Modernistic to get the most out of their carpets for over 40 years. Contact us today to see how you can prolong the life of your carpet – the Simple & Quick way!

How to Remove Salt Stains from your Business’s Carpet

Posted Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

Yes, it snowed again over the weekend. Sigh. It’s always about this time that people across Michigan start to get a little tired of winter. The cold, the snow, the road salt stains on their carpet and shoes; The holidays are over, winter can end anytime! Bring on summer!

Before we can get there, though, we have to deal with this snow. Obviously, you can’t let it pile up right outside your business, so you pay someone to remove it. And, of course, salt the sidewalk and steps so your customers don’t slip and slide all over the place. That’s where the trouble starts.

Necessary, but not Necessarily Good for your Carpet

If you’ve noticed unsightly white spots accumulating in the carpet near the entryway, you have a salt problem. Salt crystals stick to customers’ feet, and when they walk in from the wintery outdoors, these crystals get transferred to your carpet. A simple process, to be sure, but the consequences can be complicated and frustrating! Have you ever tried to remove salt stains from your business’s carpet by yourself? Did the spot look good at first, but then the exact same stain kept reappearing and reappearing and reappearing? We know. We’ve been there, it’s not fun!

To keep your business looking its best, Modernistic has put together a few ways to prevent and remove salt stains from your business’s carpet.

Prevention (Worth a Pound of Cure)

Floor Mats – Ok, to get the obvious out of the way, use floor mats. Use them! More than 1, preferably. If the space outside your business’s front door allows it, place a good outdoor mat right outside your door in addition to the mat just inside your door. Double floor mats = half the amount of salt making its way inside to your carpet.

Vacuum – Every. Day. Is it tedious? Sure, but removing the salt crystals before they get ground into your carpet fibers will help tremendously. Make vacuuming part of your closing checklist, and if you can manage it, vacuum at least once during the day when foot traffic is light. If you’re lucky enough to have associates working for you, they need something to do when it’s not busy, right?

Put Up A Sign – Right inside your entryway that says “Please Wipe Your Feet”. Sure, not every customer will read it, but more people being mindful about what they’re tracking in to your business can’t hurt!


Vacuum – That’s right, vacuum is on the list twice! For very light salt spots not ground into the fibers, a concentrated vacuuming can lighten the spot considerably or remove it entirely.

DIY (Do It Yourself) – Since salt crystals love to stick to carpet fibers, you might need a little “chemical persuasion” to loosen them up. Mix up a 50/50 solution of vinegar and warm water, then apply to the affected area using a sponge or towel. Agitate the solution into the carpet by gently scrubbing the spot with your towel or fingers. Wait 5 minutes, then blot up the liquid with a dry towel. Repeat as necessary, since salt stains can be extremely stubborn.

**NOTE** If you like your carpet at all, please don’t use soap of any kind. Soap will leave a residue that will actually attract more dirt and salt, making your problem much worse in the long run.

DITEW (Do It The Easy Way) – If you’re a busy person (or not keen on your business smelling like vinegar), have a professional take care of those pesky spots. To get the best results, make sure the professional you hire uses a truck-mounted hot water extraction method, AKA steam cleaning. Also, make sure they use an emulsifier and specialized products that specifically treat salt stains – someone using regular “shampoo” will only attract dirt and salt, making the problem worse!  

There are a few different ways to prevent and remove salt stains from your business’s carpet, but these are the most effective. We put up with a lot to live in Michigan during the winter, but you don’t have to put up with pesky salt stains!

For over 40 years, Modernistic has been dedicated to restoring the health of homes and businesses across Michigan with our award-winning service, start to finish! To learn more about how we can help keep the salt out of your business’s carpet, contact your local Modernistic for a free cleaning quote!

8 New Year’s Cleaning Resolutions for Your Home

Posted Monday, January 2nd, 2017

Cleaning Resolutions to Starting the New Year right in 2017.

When the ball finally drops, whether you are asleep on the couch or singing Auld Lang Sayne, champagne flute in hand, most of us have made some resolutions. In the past you’ve resolved to eat well, love well, dress well, work well, and play well. Our homes, though, tend to be neglected until spring cleaning rolls around. If your house hasn’t ever benefited from your New Year’s stamina, here are eight resolutions that will make your home a happier and healthier place to live.

1. Treat your trash bins like you’re the janitor.

Cleaning professionals slip extra bags at the bottom of each trash bin, so that you can pull the old trash and put in the new liner without a time-wasting extra trip to the supply closet. Not only will this save you time at home, but it will also eliminate those frustrating moments when you realize there’s no liner in the trash can.

2. Create a cleaning caddy.

While you are stealing tricks from people who know how to clean, why not create a cleaning caddy? Like the cleaning cart housecleaners and janitors use, it will keep all the essentials handy. You’ll be ready to clean right away. No more digging through cupboards or closets for your favorite squeegee – cleaning starts right when you’re ready.

3. Wash dishes as you cook.

Cooking is filled with small moments of unused time – five minutes to preheat the oven, ten for water to boil, eight while you wait for the soup to simmer. Use the minutes wisely by washing some of the dishes that were dirtied during dinner prep. That way after dinner your task is much less daunting.

4. Choose one small thing that’s been really bothering you and fix it.

Maybe you have one window that won’t close properly, a leaky faucet, or a light that’s hard to reach with a burned out bulb. Whatever it is that’s been bothering you, take an hour of time and fix the problem. You’ll feel like a champion. Even better, it won’t take an entire Saturday.

5. Clean out one cupboard or drawer a week.

Instead of resolving to tackle a huge project, take small steps every day to make your home a little more organized. Slow and steady progress on decluttering and organizing improves the entire function of your home. You can also sort the stuff in one drawer in the time that it takes to listen to a single podcast.

6. Do one load of laundry from start to finish every day.

The problem with laundry is how quickly it piles up. The more there is to do, the greater the psychological barrier to beginning. Instead of pledging to get all the laundry done immediately, start small by doing one load every day. Wash dry and put away one load, and it will keep the larger project much more manageable. Once you’ve begun you may even find you’re inspired to keep going.

7. Make your bed every morning.

Some of us struggle to get a good night’s sleep. This year, give your bed a mini-makeover. Invest in new sheets, a quality mattress topper, and fresh pillows. Then, when you get up in the morning make your bed. Each night you’ll come back to bed that is inviting as possible, and a bedroom that is clean and relaxing.

8. Improve your indoor air quality.

It’s still only January, which means we have several long winter months left to spend indoors. Make sure that the air you’re breathing is free of dust-mites, mold, bacteria and viruses. Purchasing an indoor air filter to remove pollutants or some easy-care houseplants is a great start. You can also schedule an HVAC cleaning with Modernistic to take comprehensive measures to improve indoor air quality. Use our easy online scheduling tool to contact us today.

Serving Haslett, MI for 40 years.

How to clean up after the holidays

Posted Monday, December 26th, 2016

The Christmas magic might be gone but the mess isn’t.

We’ve opened the last present and eaten the last cookie. We haven’t stepped on the scale yet (we’re leaving that for New Year’s), but it’s time to start putting the house in order. Since holiday clean-up can be overwhelming, having a simple plan of attack will make the process much faster and more effective.

Take down the tree.

It’s time to get the tree out of your living room before there are more needles in your carpet than on the branches. Taking a little time here will reap dividends next Christmas. Pack away ornaments into clear, stackable boxes. Next Christmas it will be easy to find the pieces you are looking for. Wrap lights around stiff squares of cardboard so that they won’t tangle, and check each line for dead bulbs before you put it away. There’s nothing more frustrating than unwinding string after string of dead lights that you’ve stored for a year.

Don’t hold on to gifts you don’t want or need.

When it’s the thought that counted, don’t store the stuff. Some gifts just won’t be to your taste. If it doesn’t come with a gift receipt, donate it right away. Someone else will benefit from your generosity, and your home will be cleaner and more peaceful without items you are never going to use taking up space in your closet. If you got something new to replace an older but still serviceable item, donate your clean and gently-used possession. And remember, even if you donate the gift, don’t forget to send a thank-you note to the giver.

Clean the guest bedroom.

If you were lucky enough to have family stay over the holidays now it’s time to get your guest room back in order. Once you’ve washed the sheets, emptied the trash, and vacuumed the carpets, this is a good time to do a few extra things to deep clean the room. Using the upholstery attachment vacuum the drapes and the mattress. When you finish, use the crevice tool to deep clean around the baseboards. By the time you have the sheets back on the bed, the room will be even cleaner than it was before Christmas.

Deep-clean your kitchen appliances.

Making a holiday meal will take a toll on your kitchen. Now is a good time to clean your oven inside and out, as well as your microwave and refrigerator. Start by using a wet rag and gentle multi-surface cleaner on the inside of the microwave, for a quick feeling of accomplishment. Next discard any noxious Christmas dinner leftovers and clean the inside of the refrigerator. Finally shine the outside of the appliances and run the cleaning cycle on your oven. Everything will be ready for a fresh start in the New Year.

Recycle or save holiday cards.

Your mailbox filled up with warm wishes from friends and loved ones, but now it’s time to clear the mantle of those smiling holiday photos. Consider pasting the cards and photos from close friends into a quality scrapbook, so that you can look back on them in later years. If you don’t feel the need to keep the card, you can still get some use out of the colorful cardboard. Children will enjoy cutting pictures from old cards to use in future holiday crafts, like homemade gift tags or wrapping paper.

Check your furniture and carpets for stains.

Your friends and family have been drinking wine, snacking on Brie cheese, and wandering in muddy shoes all through your living space. Once you’ve packed away the holiday decorations walk through and look for damage. The sooner you treat stains on your furniture and carpets the better chance you have of restoring your upholstery and rugs. If you see a stain you can try treating it yourself using some of our home carpet cleaning tips.

Of course, once you’ve finished the rest of your holiday clean-up, you might be ready to treat yourself to a break. Why not call the professionals? Modernistic is available immediately after the holidays to get your carpets and furniture looking pristine again. Use our easy online scheduling tool to book your appointment before you’ve even finished dragging the tree down to the road.

Serving Oakland, MI for 40 years.

Plan ahead for easy holiday clean-up

Posted Friday, December 23rd, 2016

Make your holiday clean up a breeze

There are few things as overwhelming as cleaning up all your holiday decorations. It’s almost like planning a small move inside your own house. You carry endless heavy boxes, lose the one that you need, and then spend the afternoon wondering why you have so much stuff in the first place. However, you can make the holiday clean-up much easier by planning a few things in advance.

Check your city trash and recycling schedule.

You know you will have bags of paper, empty boxes, and of course a dead tree to lug down to the curb. Cities often post a curbside pick-up schedule for Christmas trees, and you’ll need to make sure yours it at the road on time. Also, sometimes over the holidays normal city recycling and trash removal schedules are altered. Be sure you are aware of the day to put your bins out on the curb. Particularly because you have extra trash from holiday hosting, you won’t want to miss a week.

Shop for extra storage essentials while you are shopping for gifts.

Do something for yourself while you’re playing Santa for everyone else. Stop by a home goods store and pick up ornament and wreath boxes, holiday light reels, and extra tape and boxes. A nice way to upgrade your holiday storage this year is by picking up a new Christmas tree bag to replace the broken down box your artificial tree came in. Stock up on some tape and clear totes and you’ll be all set for a speedy Christmas take-down.

Think about the order you want to unpack decorations in next year.

There’s nothing more irritating that finding that the piece you need to beginning setting up your holiday decorations is at the very bottom of the last box. As you decorate, think about what you wanted immediately and make a list. Put the list in a box labeled “Unpack First,” and set it aside. Later use the list for reference and fill the box with all the items you noticed that you wanted or needed right away. That way you’ll start your decorating off on the right foot next year.

Declutter while you decorate.

While we are focused on hanging lights and trimming the tree, it’s easy to allow stuff we don’t love to take over our space just because it was already there in the basement. As you unpack your decorations, think about whether it’s something you actually want to keep. Maybe you liked a traditional look a few years ago, but this Christmas you want a minimal, modern style. If you find something broken or that you just don’t enjoy, recycle, trash, or donate it. It will be one less thing to deal with later.

 Schedule cleaning appointments.

Instead of waiting until you’re tired and burned out after the holidays, schedule some professional cleaning now. Set day with your house-cleaner so that you’re guaranteed she’s available. Also, set a day for a full-carpet cleaning. Holidays can be hard on your carpets, but Modernistic can get the last pine needles out of your living room carpet, and tackle those wine stains left from your New Year’s party. Use our easy online scheduling tool to book your appointment before the festivities even begin.

Serving Holt, MI for 40 years.

Five Ways to Reduce Stress Before the Holiday

Posted Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Enjoy some heavenly peace this holiday season.

Poor, maligned Ebenezer Scrooge voiced what most of us feel on occasion – that the holidays are a lot of humbug. Underneath the joyful trappings, many of us dread the responsibilities and family pressures associated with pivotal holidays, when we seem to be expected to manufacture family feeling and seasonal magic like we’re the ones flying around the world on a big red sleigh. If the pressures of the season are getting you down, reduce stress by following these five simple wellness techniques.

1. Focus on being present in the moment.

When we are looking forward to the holiday, the combination of stress and anticipation quickly cause us to lose sight of the present. Take time each day to center yourself. Some people find meditation helpful, but if that doesn’t appeal to you try sitting quietly with a book or a cup of coffee instead. As you prepare for the holiday, focus on what you are experiencing now, like the simple act of wrapping presents. When you fully experience the moment you are in, you can also momentarily forget your to-do list.

2. Don’t try to do everything perfectly.

Holidays are a bad time for perfectionists. They may set their normally high standards even higher, in part because of idealized memories of past holidays, but also because they try to meet the expectations of children and other loved ones. It’s hard to think about disappointing ourselves or the people with whom we’re close. Still, you will do better if you repeat this mantra: there is no such thing as the perfect Christmas. As nearly every Christmas movie will tell you, Christmas is perfect because of its imperfections. Enjoy what happens and let go of the ideal. It’s better for everyone.

3. Spend time taking care of your body.

Santa by night, employee by day, and hostess every weekend, we are all getting a little less sleep. On top of that, sugary sweets and alcoholic drinks surround us at every turn. Make a few healthy choices, like having more crudités than cookies and increasing your water intake to compensate for the extra cocktails. If you can, go for a run or book a massage, and reconnect with your healthy body. It’s tempting to put off good choices for the New Year. Don’t. A few changes now will make a big difference in your stress levels.

4. Avoid holiday arguments with family.

Emotions run high around the holidays. You may not be able to avoid every tense conversation, but it’s possible to handle difficult people with courtesy. When Aunt Jean asks when you’re planning to start a family, smile and tell her you are more comfortable keeping such personal information private. Don’t fume silently over unfairly-distributed responsibilities. Kindly but clearly tell your brother that it would be a big help if he took over washing the dishes so you can finish mashing the potatoes. And when crazy Uncle Ed starts talking politics, leave the room as fast as you can.

5. Don’t try to do everything yourself.

Some things you need to do, some things you want to do, and some things you just end up doing because nobody else offered. Be an advocate for yourself this year. Take a look at everything that you’ve committed to do over the holidays, and think about whether you could ask somebody else to help with one of the tasks on your list. Oftentimes people are glad to help, particularly if you are hosting or organizing the family holiday this year. And if you aren’t able to take on that task and no one else is willing to help out, it’s probably not all that important.

Remember there are often professionals who are available to help too. Modernistic’s team of highly rated carpet, hardwood, and tile cleaners can make your house sparkle while you spend a few moments sitting by the Christmas tree. You deserve to enjoy the season while someone else works for a while. Use our easy online scheduling tool to book your appointment today.

Serving Grand Ledge, Michigan for 40 years.

How to Get Your Home Holiday Ready

Posted Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

You can live your life and still be ready for the holiday this year

Christmas is less than two weeks away, and the reality of hosting is finally starting to hit us. In a few days, the tree needs to be trimmed, the presents wrapped, the party prepped, and the house ready for our in-laws. It’s the kind of pressure that affects even people with a household staff, and for those of us who aren’t Kate Middleton, it can seem downright impossible. Take a deep breath, put some more brandy in your eggnog, and read on. You’ll have your home holiday ready in no time at all.

Make a Good First Impression.

Maybe you’ve realized that decking the halls, or at least all of them, is just not going to happen this year. However, it doesn’t take a lot to make an impact. Focus on decorating your entryway and foyer. Wrap a garland around the bannister, lay out a welcome mat, and be sure to hang a wreath on the door. It won’t take much time at all, but what guests see immediately when they arrive will set the tone for the party.

Declutter, don’t deep clean.

Save going through your closets for spring cleaning. Right now, focus on cutting visual clutter. Take a laundry basket and walk through your main living areas. Look for things that are out of place, unsightly, or just taking up space. Those art projects that have been clipped to the refrigerator since September, that pile of magazines on the coffee table, and the mismatched coasters all go in your basket. Don’t worry about sorting it out now. Put it somewhere your guests won’t see it, and return to it after the holiday.

Think ahead about what your guests want and need.

Whether you are throwing a party or having people for a week, a good host anticipates what his or her guests will need. Stock each bathroom with extra hand towels and soap, rolls of toilet paper, and a new plunger. Create a coffee station, where your guests can easily find sugar, coffee, creamer, and tea bags. If you have guests staying in your home, consider adding a small card with instructions for using the coffeemaker.

Take simple safety precautions.

You may be hosting guests with different needs than your own family. Keep everyone safe in your home by taking a few simple steps. Put child gates in front of stairways, and either install safety latches on cupboards containing cleaning chemicals, alcohol or medications, or move these things where little hands can’t reach them. Add nightlights in the bathroom and hallways, and make sure your porch light is working and your walkways are free of ice. Nobody wants to spend the holiday in the emergency room.

Add a few holiday accents.

You don’t need to spend a lot of time or money adding decorative elements, but a few well-chosen pieces throughout the house will really make your style shine. Put out some holiday  throw pillows, add some seasonal candles, and a vase or two of greens mixed with bittersweet berries. Once you’ve placed festive tray of snacks on the sideboard, you’ve achieved a holiday look with minimal effort.

Cook as much as possible ahead of time.

People always like to gather in the kitchen, which can be stressful if you are whipping up half a dozen side dishes and appetizers. Plan your party meal so that at least half the dishes can be prepped in advance, cutting down on what you need to do before your guests arrive. You’ll cut down on your last-minute kitchen stress, and you’ll be better able to enjoy the party yourself.

Clean your home strategically.

You don’t need to clean your oven, your bedroom, or that home office. You do want to spruce up your main living spaces. After you’ve decluttered, make a big impact by cleaning your carpets and upholstery. Modernistic can be at your house before the 25th, and our online scheduling process makes getting in touch with us easier than sledding down a hill. Your guests will be impressed by your sparkling interior, and they’ll never have to know that you piled two weeks of laundry next to your dresser.

Serving Okemos, MI for 40 years.

Which Holiday Decorations to Buy Rather Than DIY

Posted Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Making a Merry Holiday at Home

It’s that glorious time of year. People who normally don’t bake or craft suddenly transform into Martha Stewart. Or the version of Martha Stewart who sets off all the fire alarms and glues her fingers together. Before you get a little overzealous with your Pinterest boards, remember that sometimes it pays to have the professionals take over. Put down the scissors and consider a few simple questions.

How valuable is my time?

We all know what our time is worth, and not just monetarily. The holiday season is filled with small commitments that pile up faster than snow on a driveway. Sometimes the hours spent cooking or making special gifts and decorations become our best memories. Other times we feel anxious and overwhelmed. The key is to only tackle projects that you are sure you can balance with your normal schedule. That way you aren’t spending hours you can’t afford to lose.

Am I doing this because I want to, or to impress other people?

Sometimes we all go out of our comfort zone and try something new. Still, with the pressure of hosting and attending holiday events, we might succumb to the unrealistic idea that we’re all meant to be holiday mavens. Every failed craft and cake begins to feel like a personal failure. If you’re doing something because you enjoy it, and not to score points at school drop-off, then you’ll manage to smile even when your homemade bath bombs turn to goop.

What’s the impact of my consumer choices this holiday?

Mindful purchasing and creative thinking make Christmas better around the globe. Make a paper garland out of recycled magazines instead of stocking up on ecologically harmful tinsel, or bake edible Christmas ornaments instead of buying new glass baubles. Many organizations sell fair trade wares, holiday decorations and gifts, that support artisans around the world. You can also make a point to get your holiday decorations or eat special meals at a local business rather than corporate chains. Spend where you can to support good businesses, and make what you can to reduce your ecological footprint.

Is making this together something that will be positive family time?

There are a lot of ways to make memories as a family during the holiday season. Think about whether Christmas baking or crafting is a good choice for your family. Younger children won’t have the patience for a complicated craft, but might enjoy making something simple and seeing it displayed over the holidays. Older children are more excited when they can be more independent in creating art. Be willing to listen to their ideas even if they don’t match your idea of the ideal décor. Finally, if you know that your family won’t enjoy this sort of activity, pick up the decorations from a store and try something like tobogganing instead!

Do I have a place to store newly purchased holiday decorations?

One of the advantages to making decorations rather than investing in a set from the store is that so much of what we make can be recycled or returned to nature. For instance, a collection of fallen branches put in a vase and trimmed with lights can be kindling for a New Year’s bonfire. Popcorn chains can be hung outside to feed birds and squirrels. Paper snowflakes can be recycled. When it’s all over there’s little to store, and you can look forward to creating it all again next year. On the other hand, when you purchase decorations, you then have to be sure to pack them away carefully and store them somewhere away from moisture and extreme temperatures. It can be a lot of trouble for a few weeks of Christmas cheer.

Is it really a job for a professional?

With an abundance of Youtube videos and online craft supply stores, it can be easy to feel like we can make anything we want. However, sometimes it’s better to let a professional take over. You might spend a great deal of money and time trying to do something yourself, and not end up satisfied with the results. Paying a qualified person to get what you want might be the better option.

Here at Modernistic, we’re familiar with the DIY gone wrong. After all, Pinterest is full of carpet cleaning solutions as well as Christmas crafts. However, even the best DIY methods leave your carpets only partially cleaned, and often damp as well, a breeding ground for mold and odor. At worst, “failproof” home cleaning solutions, harsh chemical cleaners, and rented machines can damage your carpet badly, fading colors and pulling out fibers.

Once you decide which holiday decorations to buy and which to DIY, contact Modernistic to schedule your regular carpet cleaning. Our professional equipment and expert cleaners will take one more item off your to-do list, leave your carpets looking fabulous for the holiday season, and deliver the kind of results you just can’t do yourself.