Shopping for a vacuum cleaner can be a mind-numbing experience because there are so many makes and models to choose from and with price tags from $25 to $1,500 or more. But don’t worry.  Even the most neat-freaky of neat freaks need not spend four-figures on a vacuum to ensure a clean house.

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To identify the best inexpensive vacuum cleaner out there, I came up with this criteria: A great vacuum has to be lightweight, bagless, easily cleanable and most importantly—have consistent suction power.

Lightweight. The test for me is if I can pick it up with one hand and carry it up a flight of stairs. If it takes two people to lift, you know that’s a machine that will knock the paint off door jambs and slam into legs of furniture because it is just too heavy. Read more

 

I have this thing for clean windows. I love them, which means I have an equal but opposite disdain for dirty windows. And when I say clean, I mean the kind of clean that makes windows sparkle like diamonds in the morning sun.

If I could, I’d have a professional window-washing service come to my home every week to clean every single window—inside and out. But I have a two-story house so right there you can understand why I can’t and I don’t.

On a lark and only because I wanted my flower garden to look better through the window in beautiful new kitchen …

KitchenWindows

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Take a look under the sink where you keep your cleaning products. See a bottle of Original blue Dawn Dishwashing Liquid? Say “Hello” to a very versatile and surprisingly multi-purpose household product.

ICE PACK.  Partially fill a strong zip-type sandwich bag with Dawn dishwashing liquid, close and freeze. Just to be safe, double bag it. Freeze. The liquid soap stays cold much longer and it can be re-frozen many times. It will conform to the place you need an ice pack. Read more