The Perfect Porch Swing

Written by Debbie Rodgers

Continued from page 1
Installation •Allow a 4 foot (1.2 m) arc forrepparttar swing to move freely. •Use galvanized or stainless steel chain or marine-grade braided nylon or polyester rope, and eye-bolts or S-hooks with 4-6 inch (10 cm-15) shafts. Using S-hooks allows easier removal ofrepparttar 100147 swing for winter storage but is not as secure as using eye-bolts. •ALWAYS hangrepparttar 100148 swing from a roof joist, notrepparttar 100149 roofing material itself. Ifrepparttar 100150 joists on your porch roof are not exposed, cut away a section of roofing to find them. Otherwise, don't hangrepparttar 100151 swing fromrepparttar 100152 ceiling -- use a frame instead. •Drill a pilot hole slightly smaller thanrepparttar 100153 shaft ofrepparttar 100154 eye-ring or S-ring. This will ensure a snug fit torepparttar 100155 shaft ofrepparttar 100156 ring. Tightenrepparttar 100157 ring securely, using pliers or a screw-driver forrepparttar 100158 last turn. •Measurerepparttar 100159 required chain. As an example, seven foot (2.1 m) chains hung from a beam 8 feet (2.4 m) aboverepparttar 100160 floor will lift a swing about 18 inches (45 cm) offrepparttar 100161 ground. If you have a measurement, your hardware dealer can cutrepparttar 100162 exact length of chain you need and you won't have to cut it with a hacksaw. •Use four chains to hang your swing -- two chains from each hook, one torepparttar 100163 front ofrepparttar 100164 swing and one torepparttar 100165 back. It's easier to hang swings with holes inrepparttar 100166 arms, but swings with chains attached torepparttar 100167 seat or torepparttar 100168 bottom supports give a more comfortable ride without as much twisting and wearing ofrepparttar 100169 chains orrepparttar 100170 ropes. •Check your swing each spring and replace any rusted chain or bolts. Also maintainrepparttar 100171 finish ofrepparttar 100172 wood because weathered wood eventually will loosen fasteners and produce splinters. No porch? Don't despair if you don't have a covered porch. •Some swings come suspended in their own frames or can be installed on decks on a wooden A-frame. •Put one in your garden, hanging from an arbor. Train vines uprepparttar 100173 sides and soon you'll have a leafy hide-away nook. •Hang a board with rope from a sturdy, level tree branch •If you need something that takes up less space, consider a glider -- a bench that gently moves forward and back on a mechanized base. There are even kits available that will turn a wooden garden bench into a glider. So don't just sit there this summer -- swing away and make some memories!

Debbie Rodgers, the haven maven, owns and operates Paradise Porch, and is dedicated to helping people create outdoor living spaces that nurture and enrich them. Her latest how-to guide “Attracting Butterflies to Your Home and Garden” is now available on her web site. Visit her at and get a free report on “Eight easy ways to create privacy in your outdoor space”. Mail to

Speed Cleaning Tips from a Pro

Written by Mary Findley

Continued from page 1

*Tip: Add a 15 to 25 foot extension cord to your vacuum cleaner so you can reach allrepparttar rooms in one section without taking time to moverepparttar 100146 cord from room to room.

Also remember you may not need to clean formal living rooms or dining rooms each time you clean. Use that time to dust cobwebs, clean cabinets, windows etc.

Fromrepparttar 100147 top down. Deciding where to begin and how to proceed baffles many people. Cleanrepparttar 100148 top floor first beginning atrepparttar 100149 back working your way either downrepparttar 100150 steps or torepparttar 100151 center if you are onrepparttar 100152 first floor. Following this pattern keeps you from dragging equipment and dirt over freshly vacuumed carpets. Once you have developed a cleaning routine stick with it. The more familiar you are withrepparttar 100153 flowrepparttar 100154 faster you clean.

Here is a common cleaning pattern to follow. Remember you will need to make adjustments based onrepparttar 100155 layout of your home. Emptyrepparttar 100156 trash as you clean. You will be amazed atrepparttar 100157 amount of clutter that heads torepparttar 100158 garbage when a trash bag is handy. Carry a second trash bag for items that can be taken to Goodwill.

1.Master bathroom 2.Hall bathroom 3.Dust all bedrooms, stairway railings and wall hangings 4.Vacuumrepparttar 100159 master bedroom, bedrooms, hallways then stairs 5.Clean kitchen 6.Dust family room and dining area 7.Vacuum or dustrepparttar 100160 floors in kitchen and family room and moprepparttar 100161 kitchen floor 8.Half bathroom 9.Dust formal living room and dining room 10.Vacuum these areas and damp moprepparttar 100162 entry way if it has hard flooring. 11.Laundry rooms and any remote rooms like guest rooms or offices

The order of business: People often follow a different procedure each time they clean a room and each room they clean. The secret to speed cleaning lies in repetition. Begin either atrepparttar 100163 left orrepparttar 100164 right ofrepparttar 100165 room depending on which feels more comfortable to you. Then circlerepparttar 100166 room.


1.Sprayrepparttar 100167 inside ofrepparttar 100168 toilet withrepparttar 100169 bowl cleaner. 2.Sprayrepparttar 100170 rim, toilet seat, counter top and sink with your all-purpose cleaner. Remember each time you put a bottle down and pick it up, you waste time. 3.Use your diluted orange cleaner and squirt downrepparttar 100171 shower or tub enclosure. 4.Next cleanrepparttar 100172 toilet and toilet rim by sprinkling baking soda or Bar Keepers Friend on your toilet bowl brush. 5.Spray onlyrepparttar 100173 part ofrepparttar 100174 mirror that is dirty wiping it down with a clean rag. That puts enough cleaner onrepparttar 100175 towel to cleanrepparttar 100176 rest ofrepparttar 100177 mirror. 6.Wiperepparttar 100178 counter, sink andrepparttar 100179 exterior ofrepparttar 100180 toilet andrepparttar 100181 floor behind. 7.Next cleanrepparttar 100182 shower walls. prayrepparttar 100183 shower floor and clean it. Finish by moppingrepparttar 100184 floor.


1.Lift objects with one hand then dust withrepparttar 100185 other. Place an old clean cotton tube sock over your dusting hand and lightly dampen it with your cleaner. People with arthritis or hand dexterity problems find it helpful to wear a rubber glove on one hand giving them a better grasp on objects. 2.Spray a lint free towel withrepparttar 100186 window cleaning solution and toss that over one shoulder to clean any glass inlaid tables or cabinets. 3.Begin dusting from eitherrepparttar 100187 right orrepparttar 100188 left and work your way aroundrepparttar 100189 room dusting window sills and wall hangings as you come to them. 4.For homes with pets, tuck a clean pair of rubber gloves into your back pocket. When you come to couches or chairs with pet hair, userepparttar 100190 gloves and work you hands in a circular motion moving overrepparttar 100191 furniture. Tossrepparttar 100192 rolled up lint ontorepparttar 100193 floor forrepparttar 100194 vacuum to pick up. Some people cover furniture with a body size bath towel to keep them clean from pet hair. Easy to launder, towels also save on furniture wear and tear. 5.As you dust move furniture towardsrepparttar 100195 center ofrepparttar 100196 room to vacuum behind it. Kitchens 1.Place a coffee cup half full of water inrepparttar 100197 microwave. Cook on high for two minutes. The resulting steam loosens any baked on food for easy cleaning. Allowrepparttar 100198 cup to cool for a minute before moving it so you don't scald yourself. 2.Sprayrepparttar 100199 stove or any counter area that contains dried food withrepparttar 100200 orange cleaner. 3.Start atrepparttar 100201 left and work your way clockwise aroundrepparttar 100202 kitchen leavingrepparttar 100203 sink for last after you moprepparttar 100204 floor. 4.Move appliances to one side then sprayrepparttar 100205 counter, dishwasher, refrigerator or microwave if it is in that immediate area. 5.Clean one section of cabinets each time you cleanrepparttar 100206 kitchen, paying special attention to door pulls. 6.Moprepparttar 100207 floor using a 100% terry cloth towel. Rinsing mops and filling buckets of water consumes time. A towel rinses quickly under a faucet then can be laundered for easy care. 7.Sprinklerepparttar 100208 sink with Bar Keepers Friend or baking soda using a brush to thoroughly scrubrepparttar 100209 sink.

Vacuum Vacuum aroundrepparttar 100210 room inrepparttar 100211 same order you dust. Vacuum behind furniture first, replacerepparttar 100212 furniture then back out ofrepparttar 100213 room. Ifrepparttar 100214 floors are hard wood or laminated wood, dust them then damp mop using terry towel dampened with a small amount of white vinegar and water. For all other hard surface floors, vacuum them then damp mop using hot water only. Marble floors must be dried.

Mary Findley spent twelve years professionally cleaning home. She developed a floor mop using ordinary terry towels to clean. She also conducts informative and humorous cleaning seminars and writes cleaning articles for magazines. Her website is or call 800-345-3934 for a product brochure.

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