• How Often You Should Wash Everything In Your Home, According To Science

    Mar 20, 2018

    Cleaning your home is no joke -- you should do it right or what's the point? But what's right is not always clear. Timbercreek wants to help you make your home sparkle, so here's the truth about how often you should wash everything in your home, according to science.

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    Starting with Sleep

    Where do we spend 20 some-odd years over a lifetime? In bed. Science says wash your sheets and pillowcases once a week. Most bacteria on sheets comes from interior dust, but add in dirt, oils, and sweat from a human during sleep and you can promote skin irritation, dandruff, acne etc. Wash your sheets in hot water every 1-2 weeks to be safe.

    Doorknobs

    Doorknobs accumulate a lot of bacteria. Think of how often you touch them. Now think of what you do before you touch them. Now think of how often you clean them? Science says? Doorknobs actually don’t need super frequent washing. However, doorknobs in the bathroom and the kitchen gather more bacteria. Disinfect them once a week. Shoot for once a month for the rest of the house.

    Sinks

    Even if they look clean sinks are gross. Disgustingly (though not surprisingly), bathroom sinks accumulate fecal matter. Also, E.Coli, Salmonella, and other food bacteria can contaminate the kitchen sink. Especially if you’ve been handling raw meat or eggs. Science says? To be safe, aim for a daily sink wipe down.

    Rugs and Floors

    Rugs are natural accumulators of grime. Dirt, dust, food, pet hair, allergens, pollen like to get cozy in rug fibers. Between that and the nooks and crannies of the average floor, you get a massive potential for build up.  Science says? Vacuum weekly, and give hard flooring a good wash once every couple of weeks.

    Bathrooms

    Bathrooms: the ultimate bacteria host. E Coli can be found within six feet of the toilet and in the sink. It’s key to thoroughly clean your toilet and sink at least once a week.  Bathtubs aren’t far off, but can be done every two. Shower curtains should be disinfected weekly to avoid mildew and odors.

    Towels

    Bath and kitchen hand towels get loaded with bacteria. And if your towels don’t fully dry (like, pretty much always), that bacteria can grow. While a lot for the average person, science recommends swapping out bath towels every other day. Kitchen towels can be washed weekly, unless you used it after handling raw meat.

    Kitchen and cleaning sponges

    Kitchen sponges accumulate billions of bacteria on every square inch. And though most of it isn’t harmful, science recommends dropping them into boiling water or the microwave for 2 minutes every couple of days. Check out more here.

    Timbercreek hopes these tips help you manage your cleaning routine and stay healthy in the process. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • How To Bring Spring Into Your Apartment

    Mar 19, 2018

    For most Canadians, spring inspires hope. It wakes us up after months of near hibernation with bright aromas and colors, and warm breezes. Timbercreek wants to help you bring spring into your home with these tips.

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    Color

    While monochrome is very in at the moment, the winter palette gets old. Spring means color, flowers, leaves, buds, and blue skies. It's easy to bring these elements into your space. Get a floral rug, buy a colored lamp, put up a yellow shower curtain, paint a bright accent wall. The options are endless. And they’ll help speed the coming of spring.

    Flowers + Plants

    Bring a pop of colour and a delicate fragrance into your home with fresh flowers and spring plants. Grab some fresh cut flowers and/or a few potted plants to place strategically around the house for a hit of Spring. Read more.

    Clean

    Nothing says spring like freshness. It’s like nature herself cleans away the snow, dirt, and sorrow of winter with budding trees, blooming flowers, and sunny skies. Give your place a once over (it’s called Spring cleaning for a reason), and it’ll put a spring back in your step. Check it out.

    Incense + essential oils

    Incense and essential oil diffusion are two great ways to add the scent of spring to your home. While it can take some searching, there are brands that don’t smell like your Grandmother’s closet. Give it a chance. Look for pinon, cedar, pine, or other aromas that actually occur in nature. See more here.

    Accents

    From throw rugs to accent pillows, small details make a huge difference. Bring spring into your space with some new detail items around your home. Head to Winners or HomeSense and dig through the housewares section. They offer a small miracle of decoration goodness on a budget. Check our more.

    Timbercreek hopes our tips help you bring a touch of Spring into your home this season. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • In Between Seasons Décor, From Winter To Spring!

    Feb 21, 2018

    Post-Christmas winter is a bit of a grey area for decor. You still want to be cozy and warm, but Spring is on the horizon so you don’t want to feel, well, too hot and boxed in come April. February is a fantastic time to embrace the Danish design concept of Hygge! It translates as a feeling of contentment and coziness, and it’s a great source of inspiration for between-seasons decor. Hygge style can bring warmth to your home in the darkest months of the year, without being overbearing or inappropriate for Spring. Timbercreek brings you this simple list of ways to keep your space cozy and delightful as the seasons change.


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    Bask in the Glow

    The lighting in your home can make a huge difference in the intimacy and warmth of the space. Natural light is ideal for daytime, while adding a cozy glow at night can be very comforting. Try to have multiple light sources in every room -- aim for a handful. Use a mix of table lamps, floor lamps, task lamps, and overhead lighting. Warmer light bulbs offer the coziest ambience.

    Comforting Mementos

    Increase the comfort factor in your space with your favorite photos of loved ones, antiques, or art that inspires you. Everything from special mementos to simple things that make you smile add charm.

    Textures

    One of the best ways to warm up a space is by incorporating a variety of different textures. Incorporate different touch-worthy materials like pillows, drapery, throw blankets, rugs, lamps, and furniture. Velvet, woven, knit, embroidered, grain sack, faux fur, tweed: the sky’s the limit. If you want to easily transition the look from winter to spring, stick mainly to neutrals but add a touch of bright colour here and there.

    A Cozy Nook

    Make yourself a special cozy place to relax in your space. Couches and sofa chairs can be tucked into an inviting corner, alongside some good books in a basket, a warm lamp, a footstool, side table, and a soft blanket. A space like this is great to retreat to year-round.

    Add Some Life

    A room comes to life with the addition of an organic element. Every room can benefit from a plant, bouquet of flowers, or even a sprig of greenery like eucalyptus. Read more here.

    Timbercreek hopes that this list helps you keep your home warm and cozy through the remainder of the winter months, and easy to transition to Spring. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • February Home Checklist

    Feb 12, 2018

    February is a good time to get your home in order and tackle tasks and chores that will help you keep your life and space running smoothly. To help you keep your home fresh and tidy, Timbercreek brings you this February home checklist.

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    Clean Up Your Entryway

    This time of year, the front door is a magnet for mess. Salt, snow, mud, dirt, wet, and grime all converge like the plague. Get a wet weather mat for your dirty boots, and make space in your closet for snowsuits, heavy jackets, and accessories. Then give the floor and walls in the area a decent scrub. These are the first (and last) things you see in the house, so a tidy area makes a huge difference to the feel of your space.

    Recycle E-waste

    Collect all your old devices and accessories -- phones, ipads/tablets, TVs, DVD players, cables, batteries, headphones, and adapters -- and take them to your locale e-recycling depot. While not yet a mainstream part of regular city recycling pick up, it will be soon.

    Declutter your e-self

    While not specifically a home cleaning event, everyone has a pile of digital waste. Files, emails, notes, reminders, calendars, images, documents, old receipts -- it’s endless. With no real pressure to backup aside from losing all your data, it’s a clutter-creating epidemic. Take a couple hours to delete and back stuff up.

    Clean Out Your Freezer

    Cleaning out your freezer can seem like a thankless task. While annoying to do, cleaning out and even defrosting your freezer has multiple benefits. Unused frozen food takes up tons of space. Freezer burn is real and tastes bad. Freezer frost builds up over time and can cause odors and fridge leaking, not to mention reducing freezer space. The best way to clean out this often neglected part of the fridge is to take everything out, discarding anything you won’t use, unplug, toss in a pot of boiled water, steam, defrost, wipe or scrub, and voila.

    Paint an Accent Wall

    Winter blues got you down? Inject some colour into your space and your life with an accent wall. It’s an easy way to make a big impact. It might not seem like it, but winter is the perfect time to paint. Best part is, painting such a small area allows for experimenting with wild colors. And if you don’t like what you did, it’s just as easy to repaint.

    Book Summer Activities

    From campsites to resorts, flights to hotels -- stuff books up fast. Get ahead of the curve by diving into your summer vacation plans early. You’ll save on cash too. Check out more here.

    Timbercreek hopes that this list helps you reinvigorate your indoor space this winter. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • How to Declutter Your Apartment this Spring

    Apr 25, 2017

    The weather is getting warmer, the birds are singing and your apartment is probably cluttered from hibernation. It’s time for spring cleaning! Timbercreek Communities has some great tips for how to declutter your apartment this spring.

    iStock-583729154A Place For Everything

    If you don’t have a place for all of your things, it’s possible that you don’t need to hang on to all those things. Life is more simple and less stressful when things are out of the way and organized. It’s also great when you know where everything is and where everything goes. If you can’t find a place for it in your home, perhaps it doesn’t need a place in your heart.

    Don’t Take on Too Much

    Most of us don’t have the time, energy or focus to spend an entire day cleaning and organizing. You need to organize your efforts. Break the job down, room by room or task by task, it’s up to you. Be efficient and plan to spend 2 or 3 hours per room or task. Be sure to take a well deserved break if you need it.

    Use it or Lose It

    How many times have you gone through your closets and cupboards and decided to hold onto something because you may need it one day? If you haven’t used that ice cream maker you got for a wedding gift years ago, you probably won’t and that’s okay. Let it go. Sell some things, donate some things, recycle some things and yes, throw away some things that are unusable.

    Routine Maintenance

    Congratulations! You’ve cleaned-out, decluttered and re-organized. The next step is to realize that you are not done. If you think it’s over, you may feel bad about yourself when you have to clean it up again in month or two. Staying organized requires routine maintenance and regular upkeep. The good news is that your new organizing system will be easier to maintain, with less clutter, than before.

    Being organized can be easy! We hope that with a little time and effort, these tips for how to declutter your apartment this spring will help you will feel lighter and less stressed!

    To learn more about Timbercreek Communities across a Canada, please visit our website.

  • How to Keep Your Stainless Steel Clean

    Apr 18, 2017

    Stainless steel is beautiful, but it smudges easily. It can even, strangely, become stained. Don’t despair! It’s easy and inexpensive to keep your steel stainless and smudge-free. Timbercreek Communities has some great tips for how to keep your stainless steel clean.

    iStock-543215990Vinegar and Oil

    Vinegar and oil is not only great for salad dressing, it also leaves your stainless steel gleaming! Don’t mix them together though, you need to apply the two ingredients separately. You can use mineral oil, olive oil or other vegetable oil. The first step is to determine to determine the direction of the grain, it will either be vertical or horizontal. Go with the grain.  Pour a small amount of oil on a microfiber cloth and polish in the direction of the grain. Next, pour a small amount of white vinegar on the other side of the cloth (or use a new cloth) and wipe off any remaining smudges, again, in the direction of the grain. You’ll be left with shiny steel!

    Dish Soap and Baby Oil

    For this 2 step process you’ll need a couple of soft, non-abrasive cloths, and a little dish soap and baby oil. Dampen your first cloth and apply a little dish soap. Clean the steel along the direction of the grains. Going against the grain will not damage the steel, but you won’t get the clean, gleaming shine that you’re looking for. When you’re done cleaning the steel, wipe up any water streaks before polishing (with the grain) with a couple of drops of baby or mineral oil on a cloth.

    Club Soda

    Is there anything club soda can’t clean? Put a little club soda in a spray bottle and spray directly onto the steel, then wipe it away with a cloth in the direction of the grain. This will remove fingerprints and residue, and give your stainless steel a nice shine.

    Glass Cleaner

    A big complaint with stainless steel is all the fingerprints. You can quickly remove them by using glass cleaner, such as Windex. It’s not recommended that you spray it directly onto the appliance, as you may end up with drip marks and residue. Spray a small amount onto a cloth and apply it in a circular motion. Rinse thoroughly with water and another cloth and dry with a clean towel.

    Your stainless steel just wants to shine! Timbercreek Communities hopes these tips help you keep your stainless steel clean and bright.

    To learn more about Timbercreek Rental Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe

    Mar 20, 2017

    An effective way to simplify your life is to start with your closet by building a capsule wardrobe. It’s not a physical structure -- you won’t need any tools, other than some organizational skills and the ability to let go. Building a capsule wardrobe is a way of living and dressing with less. Getting rid of everything that you don’t need can help you see what you actually do need. Timbercreek Communities is here to guide you as you build a capsule wardrobe.

    iStock-531071598Take Inventory

    Before you can simplify and reorganize your wardrobe into a streamlined capsule, you’ll have to take stock of what you have. This means everything -- clothing, shoes, jewellery and accessories.  It may get a little messy, or a lot messy, but don’t worry, this is only step one. Place all of it on your bed, pile it up, if it’s all on your bed you will be motivated to get through it and when it’s all over, it's over. Really look at all of it, all that you have spent and acquired.

    Sorting

    The next step is to sort everything you have into categories. It may feel overwhelming but you’ll feel better once it’s done. Go through everything, piece by piece, and place it into one of four categories: love; maybe; donate and trash. The love pile is for items that fit you well and you wear frequently, because you love them! Maybe is for items you want to hold onto, even if you don’t know why. Donate is for items that you don’t wear -- they don’t fit you or your life. Trash is for items that are in poor condition and have simply run their course.

    Second glance

    After you have bagged up the ‘donate’ and ‘trash’ piles, it’s time to take a second pass. Go through the ‘love’ and ‘maybe’ piles again, and try on some of the remaining items. Have you worn any of these items in the last six months? Can you see yourself wearing any of them in the next 6 months? Would you buy this item today? If the answer is “no”, add these items to your ‘donate’ bag.

    Choose your capsule

    It’s time to choose the 30 items or so that will make it into your capsule (33 if you want to follow the Project 333 protocol). You can make a capsule for each season, and some of your favourite items may overlap across several of your seasonal capsules. Use this collection of your favourite go-to items to mix and match all season long and seriously declutter your closet. Box up the remaining items that you have decided to keep until it’s time to create the capsule for next season.

    For information on Timbercreek Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • 4 Household Uses for Lemons You Never Had Before

    Feb 27, 2017

    When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade – make natural products to use around your Timbercreek Apartment! These natural lemon creations can replace store bought items that contain harmful chemicals and additives. Best of all, these natural products work just as well as their commercial alternatives.
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    Fridge Deodorizer

    Using chemical-laden products close to your food feels like a bad idea. Thankfully, all you need for a natural fridge deodorizer is some lemon juice and cotton balls! Remove and discard all spoiled food from your fridge, transfer smelly foods (like cheese, onions and fish) to airtight containers, and then soak a few cotton balls in lemon juice and leave them in your fridge for 4 to 6 hours. That’s it! Repeat this process every few weeks, or whenever you detect unpleasant odours.

    All Purpose Cleaner/Natural Bleach Alternative

    Clean your Timbercreek apartment and leave a pleasant lemony scent in the air with this simple Three Ingredient All Purpose Cleaner. The ingredients for this non-toxic, natural cleaner are lemon juice, water and 3% hydrogen peroxide solution which is available from any drugstore. Hydrogen peroxide (3%) is the only germicidal agent that contains only water and oxygen. It kills microorganisms through oxidation. The lemon juice breaks down grease and grime. This homemade solution can even be used as a natural bleach alternative.

    Homemade Mouthwash

    It's easy to make your own homemade mouthwash. All you need is lemon juice, water and cinnamon. This mixture will freshen your breath and clean your mouth without chemicals like benzoic acid, sodium benzoate and poloxamer 407 (sounds pretty harmful).

    Natural Insect Repellant

    Lemons can be used as a natural insect repellent to deter uninvited guests that may have found their way into your home. Apply some fresh squeezed lemon juice along floors, windowsills, or anywhere an ant has appeared. You can also place dried lemon peels in your closets to deter moths and leave a fresh scent.

    We hope this helps you find new uses for your leftover lemons and helps you replace harmful chemicals in your home.

    For more information on Timbercreek Rental Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • Petiquette 101: How to puppy proof your apartment

    Jan 30, 2017

    Welcoming a puppy to your apartment can be a wonderful and exciting experience...until an unexpected injury or accident happens. Puppy proof your space to protect your little buddy. Find out how in today’s Petiquette 101 guide from Timbercreek Communities.

    Start with your electronics

    Make your apartment safe by taking note of any household items you have that feature cords -- this can include everything from your laptop to your bedroom lamp. Remove loose or hanging cords or wires that your pet might trip over or yank accidentally. Whatever wiring remains, cover with a standard cord protector to prevent your puppy from chewing them.

    Keep toxic cleaners out of reach

    Having a puppy in the house is similar to having a toddler. You have to hide your cleaning products! Equally life threatening for baby and pup alike, make sure that wherever you store your cleaning supplies, they are completely out of paw’s reach. Seeking an even safer storage solution? These Baby Proof Storage tips might be just what you need. Don’t stop with your cleaning products, the same rule applies to any medication in your apartment. Trust us, childproof lid or not, your puppy’s teeth will find a way to open that bottle.

    Snag your houseplants before your pup does

    Dogs love to sniff and chew on household plants. This may seem fine, but you may be shocked to learn that some household plants are extremely dangerous for animals to eat. If your favourite plant makes the caution list, make sure to move it well out of your little friend’s way. But let’s be real -- even if it wasn’t toxic, you’d want to keep that prized plant away from your curious puppy’s eager mouth.

    iStock-584209746Invest in chew toys

    Your apartment isn’t officially puppy proof until you have at least half-a-dozen dog toys scattered about. As puppies teeth, high-quality chew toys are absolutely essential.

    The team at Timbercreek Communities can’t wait to welcome your furry friend to one of our pet-friendly apartments. For more info about Timbercreek Communities apartments, located in five provinces and dozens of cities across Canada, please visit our website

  • Holiday Cat - Proofing For Your Home

    Dec 14, 2016

    The holidays are a busy and exciting time. What’s fun for some can be overwhelming for others. The abundant decorations and lights can be very distracting and enticing for your cat. From tipping over the tree in an attempt to climb to the summit, to sniffing and scratching toxic plants and decorations, there is much that you need to deter you curious cat from exploring this holiday season. Timbercreek Communities has some great tips to help you cat-proof your home for the holidays.

    Hang your mistletoe and holly high (it can be poisonous)

    Hanging mistletoe and holly can be a happy holiday tradition (and a great way to get some free kisses) but did you know that the mistletoe berries contain polysaccharides and alkaloids that can be poisonous to your pets? To keep this tradition a happy one, make sure that these plants are kept well out of your cat’s reach.

    iStock-530405527Use cat-safe tree decorations and avoid tinsel

    You may have noticed that your cat loves your Christmas tree, maybe even more than you do. What cat wouldn’t be happy to have a tree arrive, indoors, and then to have that tree adorned with all sorts of hanging ornaments to bat around?  Knowing this, it’s important to cat-proof your tree. You may want to choose ornaments that are less shiny, less dangly and therefore, less attractive to your kitty. You can also make your own cat-friendly decorations for your tree. There are some decorations out there that simply are not conducive to keeping your cat safe that should be avoided. Tinsel can be a choking hazard and even cause intestinal blockages, as can dangly ribbons. Fake snow can be toxic, and of course, real candles should not go anywhere near your tree.

    Keep orange peels under your tree to repel your cat

    The smell of orange peels and citrus can be delightful during the holidays, but it’s not something cats enjoy. If you are having trouble keeping kitty from climbing the tree, placing some chopped orange peels under there may be enough to keep your cat at bay. Replace the peels about once a week to keep the citrus oil scent strong.

    Mist citronella on plastic trees

    A citronella solution may be just the solution you need to keep your cat away from your artificial tree. Since there is no pine smell from a plastic tree, the citronella scent will be a strong deterrent for your cat. It’s important to make your solution strong enough, so be sure to use a ratio of 1 part citronella oil to 4 parts water.

    Avoid poinsettias

    Poinsettias, with their festive red and green colour, are a popular plant to buy and give during the holidays. Many people mistakenly believe they are poisonous for pets. The truth is they are only mildly toxic, so if someone shows up with one as a gift, there is no need to panic, but you should keep them well out of reach of your cat. Even a mildly toxic effect can cause discomfort and distress for your pet for which there is no effective treatment. Keep the plant high up and away from things your cat can climb easily.

    Timbercreek wishes you a happy holiday season! We hope these tips help you cat-proof your holiday decorations this year. For information on Timbercreek Communities near you, please visit our website.

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