Household Management 101 Blog

Welcome to the Household Management 101 Blog.

This blog keeps you up-to-date with all the additions and changes to the website.

Below you can explore the most recent articles.

Stress Free Holidays: 13 Week Series To Make Your Holidays Fun And Not StressfulEveryone wants stress free holidays, with fun and laughter and no last minute scrambling around to do tasks. Follow this 13 week series to reduce Holiday stress and enjoy yourself.Continue reading “Stress Free Holidays: 13 Week Series To Make Your Holidays Fun And Not Stressful”

Fall Cleaning Checklist: Get Your Home Ready For Cold WeatherGet this free printable fall cleaning checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything when cleaning your home this autumn to get ready for the change of seasons.Continue reading “Fall Cleaning Checklist: Get Your Home Ready For Cold Weather”

Kids Cleaning Toys: Good Role Playing Or Feminist Mistake?Have you seen these toy “cleaning trolleys” or similar toys like pretend vacuums? Do kids cleaning toys allow kids to role play real life adult situations, or do they cause gender stereotypes?Continue reading “Kids Cleaning Toys: Good Role Playing Or Feminist Mistake?”

How To Keep Track Of And Organize Your Child’s School PapersDoes your child bring home mountains of school papers everyday? Learn how to deal with them effectively, and never forget another date or homework assignment.Continue reading “How To Keep Track Of And Organize Your Child’s School Papers”

How To Pick Ripe Melons Using Four Of Your Five SensesLearn how to pick ripe melons using your other four senses so you can please your fifth sense, the sense of taste.Continue reading “How To Pick Ripe Melons Using Four Of Your Five Senses”

Free Comic Book Day: Awesome Annual Kids ActivityWe’ve been taking our kids to Free Comic Book Day for years now, and can’t recommend this free kid activity more highly.Continue reading “Free Comic Book Day: Awesome Annual Kids Activity”

How To Load A Dishwasher The Right Way To Make Sure Everything Gets CleanedLearn how to load a dishwasher to make sure all your dishes get cleaned, and there are no nasty surprises for you when you reach for a clean plate or bowl.Continue reading “How To Load A Dishwasher The Right Way To Make Sure Everything Gets Cleaned”

How Much Sleep Do You & Your Children Need? Guidelines & Why It MattersHere’s how much sleep you and your children really need to not only function properly, but to thrive. It includes guidelines for kids from birth to teens.Continue reading “How Much Sleep Do You & Your Children Need? Guidelines & Why It Matters”

Garbage & Trash Can Cleaning Tips For Kitchen, Bathroom & Outdoor CansHere are simple but very important garbage and trash can cleaning tips for your home, including your kitchen and bathroom, to make sure your cans don’t stink and periodically are disinfected.Continue reading “Garbage & Trash Can Cleaning Tips For Kitchen, Bathroom & Outdoor Cans”

How To Clean Hardwood Floors: Step By Step InstructionsHardwood floors are beautiful, but can be damaged easily by improper cleaning. Here’s how to clean hardwood floors the right way, with simple step by step instructions.Continue reading “How To Clean Hardwood Floors: Step By Step Instructions”

Why Weekly House Cleaning Schedules Benefit Your Home And SanityFind out why weekly house cleaning schedules can help you keep your both your sanity and your home clean, plus get examples and resources to give you ideas for creating a schedule that fits your home and family life.Continue reading “Why Weekly House Cleaning Schedules Benefit Your Home And Sanity”

Printable Weekly Checklist For House Cleaning And Other Weekly ChoresStruggling to figure out what needs to be cleaned in your house on a weekly basis? Check out this weekly checklist for house cleaning for ideas. A free printable version is included.Continue reading “Printable Weekly Checklist For House Cleaning And Other Weekly Chores”

Daily House Cleaning Schedule: 8 Essential Daily Household ChoresGetting overwhelmed by housework? Check out this daily house cleaning schedule with 8 essential daily household chores to know what needs to be done to keep everything clean and tidy, and clean most of the time.Continue reading “Daily House Cleaning Schedule: 8 Essential Daily Household Chores”

Create A Cleaning Schedule For Your Home: Top 10 ReasonsDo you have a cleaning schedule? If you don’t see the top ten reasons you should create one, and see the resources for how to make your own schedule for cleaning house.Continue reading “Create A Cleaning Schedule For Your Home: Top 10 Reasons”

Check Smoke Alarm: A Very Important Fire Safety TipCheck smoke alarm – this is a very simple safety tip that is often overlooked. Learn how often to check your smoke detector, and when to replace it here.Continue reading “Check Smoke Alarm: A Very Important Fire Safety Tip”

Printable Whole House Cleaning Checklist: How To Keep Your Home Clean Year RoundUse this whole house cleaning checklist for a big picture view of the most essential taks in your home throughout the year.Continue reading “Printable Whole House Cleaning Checklist: How To Keep Your Home Clean Year Round”

How To Clean Windows In Your Home Like An ExpertWindow cleaning may not be your favorite job, but learn how to clean windows in your home like the pros, so you can get it done and have more fun.Continue reading “How To Clean Windows In Your Home Like An Expert”

How To Clean A Toilet: The BasicsIs your toilet in need of some serious cleaning? Learn how to clean a toilet here, including both written instructions and a how-to video. It’s what you should already know, but perhaps don’t.Continue reading “How To Clean A Toilet: The Basics”

Bathroom Cleaning Checklist – List For Cleaning The Bathroom Daily, Weekly And MonthlyUse this bathroom cleaning checklist in your household notebook to get your daily, weekly, and monthly bathroom chores done.Continue reading “Bathroom Cleaning Checklist – List For Cleaning The Bathroom Daily, Weekly And Monthly”

Spring Forward Fall Back: Routines For House Around Biannual EventThe spring forward fall back biannual event happens to change the time forward or back an hour, but you can also use the event to remember to do certain chores around your home.Continue reading “Spring Forward Fall Back: Routines For House Around Biannual Event”

Kitchen Cleaning Checklist: Daily, Weekly And Monthly Chores + PrintableUse this kitchen cleaning checklist in your household notebook to get your daily, weekly, and monthly kitchen chores done. Includes a free printable.Continue reading “Kitchen Cleaning Checklist: Daily, Weekly And Monthly Chores + Printable”

Top Ten Spring Cleaning Safety TipsDid you know that spring cleaning can be hazardous to your health if you don’t take the proper precautions? Learn spring cleaning safety tips here to keep you and your family safe this spring.Continue reading “Top Ten Spring Cleaning Safety Tips”

Printable Seasonal Food Calendar Chart: When Produce In SeasonHere’s a free printable seasonal food calendar for North America, showing when produce is in season, to help you save money and for meal planning.Continue reading “Printable Seasonal Food Calendar Chart: When Produce In Season”

Kitchen Cleaning Tips – Daily Tasks For A Clean KitchenThe kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in the home, and one where things can get messy fast. Learn these kitchen cleaning tips to keep ahead of the mess.Continue reading “Kitchen Cleaning Tips – Daily Tasks For A Clean Kitchen”

Spring Cleaning Checklist For Your Home: With Free PrintableWhat needs to be done for spring cleaning? Here’s a printable spring cleaning checklist for your home that you can use to make sure it all gets done.Continue reading “Spring Cleaning Checklist For Your Home: With Free Printable”

Printable Task List Template: Master List Of Household Chores & Odd JobsHere’s a free printable task list template you can fill out with household chores and odd jobs you realize need to get done, but you can’t get to right then, to make sure you don’t forget them.Continue reading “Printable Task List Template: Master List Of Household Chores & Odd Jobs”

Daily House Cleaning Schedule: 8 Essential Daily Household ChoresGetting overwhelmed by housework? Check out this daily house cleaning schedule with 8 essential daily household chores to know what needs to be done to keep everything clean and tidy, and clean most of the time.Continue reading “Daily House Cleaning Schedule: 8 Essential Daily Household Chores”

Kitchen Cleaning Checklist – Daily, Weekly And Monthly ChoresUse this kitchen cleaning checklist in your household notebook to get your daily, weekly, and monthly kitchen chores done.Continue reading “Kitchen Cleaning Checklist – Daily, Weekly And Monthly Chores”

Household Notebook: Use It To Organize Your Home LifeSee the typical contents of a household notebook, and how use of these tools can help you enjoy your home and family more.Continue reading “Household Notebook: Use It To Organize Your Home Life”

Making A Homemaking Notebook: A How To GuideMaking a homemaking notebook does not need to be complicated or elaborate, but it should involve some thought process. Find out how to make the most of this useful tool.Continue reading “Making A Homemaking Notebook: A How To Guide”

How To Clean Your House – What Order Should You Clean In?Ready for house cleaning but don’t know what to do first. Check out this article on how to clean your house for tips on the right order to clean in and why.Continue reading “How To Clean Your House – What Order Should You Clean In?”

New Years Resolutions – The Trick To Sticking To ThemFind out the trick to sticking to your New Years resolutions, so you can start improving your life right now.Continue reading “New Years Resolutions – The Trick To Sticking To Them”

Stress Free Holidays Series Part 13: Post Holiday Stress Relief And Getting Back Into Your Normal RoutineOnce the holidays are over you would think holiday stress would be a thing of the past, but now you have to clean up! Find out how to ease back into your normal routine without causing more stress in your life.Continue reading “Stress Free Holidays Series Part 13: Post Holiday Stress Relief And Getting Back Into Your Normal Routine”

52 Week Money Challenge: Save For A Better Year!Take the 52 Week Money Challenge and save, instead of spend, for a better year! Free printable included.Continue reading “52 Week Money Challenge: Save For A Better Year!”

Stress Free Holidays Series Part 12: Getting Ready For Christmas – It’s Almost HereSee the tasks you should do for getting ready for Christmas, so you can experience less stress now and later as the holiday approaches.Continue reading “Stress Free Holidays Series Part 12: Getting Ready For Christmas – It’s Almost Here”

Stress Free Holidays Week #11: Actions To Take To Make Your Christmas Stress FreeChristmas preparations can be a fun part of the holiday season, plus they make it possible to enjoy Christmas. Find out what you need to do here.Continue reading “Stress Free Holidays Week #11: Actions To Take To Make Your Christmas Stress Free”

Printable Christmas Menu Planner FormsHere are free printable Christmas menu planner forms that you can use to plan your Christmas meals including your Christmas Eve meal, Christmas breakfast and Christmas dinner.Continue reading “Printable Christmas Menu Planner Forms”

Grinch Kabobs: Easy Fun Christmas Treat To Make With Your KidsMaking Grinch Kabobs has quickly become one of our family’s Christmas traditions, since they’re quick, easy and so very much fun to make and eat. Here’s how to do it.Continue reading “Grinch Kabobs: Easy Fun Christmas Treat To Make With Your Kids”

Printable Christmas Grocery List For Your Holiday MealsHere’s a free printable Christmas grocery list you can use to plan all the items you need to purchase to make all of your holiday meals.Continue reading “Printable Christmas Grocery List For Your Holiday Meals”

Stress Free Holidays Week #10: Tasks For Making This One Of Your Best Christmas Seasons EverDo you want a stress free Christmas? If so, planning ahead is key, so find out what tasks you need to do this week to make a great Christmas a reality.Continue reading “Stress Free Holidays Week #10: Tasks For Making This One Of Your Best Christmas Seasons Ever”

When To Use Salted Or Unsalted Butter For Baking, Cooking & ServingWhen you purchase butter at the store there are two choices, salted or unsalted butter. Here’s easy tips to know when to use each of these two kinds.Continue reading “When To Use Salted Or Unsalted Butter For Baking, Cooking & Serving”

Top 10 Family Christmas Movies For Kids & AdultsHere’s my top 10 family Christmas movies for kids and adults list, with suggestions of the best films to watch each holiday season together.Continue reading “Top 10 Family Christmas Movies For Kids & Adults”

Stress Free Holidays Week #9: Christmas PlanningChristmas preparation must include Christmas planning, so that you can have a stress free holiday season. Get a list of activities to do this week to get ready for the big day.Continue reading “Stress Free Holidays Week #9: Christmas Planning”

Real Christmas Tree Care Tips From Set Up To Clean UpHere’s real Christmas tree care tips you can use to set up your tree properly, make sure it lasts as long as possible, plus tips for clean up of needles and sap messes if they occur.Continue reading “Real Christmas Tree Care Tips From Set Up To Clean Up”

Printable Cleaning Checklists To Put In Your Household NotebookA list of printable cleaning checklists created by Household Management 101, for daily, weekly and seasonal house cleaning. Each printable checklist is a resource for your household notebook.Continue reading “Printable Cleaning Checklists To Put In Your Household Notebook”

Thanksgiving Day Prayers – Ideas And Traditions For Your FamilyHere are some ideas and traditions you can start with your family as part of your Thanksgiving Day prayers, to celebrate the real meaning of the holiday.Continue reading “Thanksgiving Day Prayers – Ideas And Traditions For Your Family”

Printable Seasonal Food Calendar Chart: When Produce In SeasonHere’s a free printable seasonal food calendar for North America, showing when produce is in season, to help you save money and for meal planning.Continue reading “Printable Seasonal Food Calendar Chart: When Produce In Season”

How To Fold A Napkin – With How To VideosLearn how to fold a napkin through videos, including into a a silverware pouch, Christmas tree, and into flowers such as a lily, fleur de-lis and an orchid.Continue reading “How To Fold A Napkin – With How To Videos”

Housekeeping Checklist For A Messy House: Get Ready For Guests Without Stress Includes Free PrintableHere’s a plan you can use whenever you’re going to host guests to clean up your messy house, using this free printable housekeeping checklist.Continue reading “Housekeeping Checklist For A Messy House: Get Ready For Guests Without Stress Includes Free Printable”

Are You A Good Neighbor?

Forget about keeping up with the Joneses; just try to get along with them. Whether you like it or not, how you get along with your neighbors plays a large role in the peace you will find at home.

So getting to know your neighbors and being a good neighbor are very important. Betty Wong, the executive editor of Family Circle magazine, visits The Early Show to offer the following tips on how to deal with likeable or not-so-likeable neighbors.

Establish Good Will – You need to develop some sort of polite relationship with your neighbors. You certainly don’t need to be best friends, but it’ll be much easier to deal with any problems that might arise later, or to call on your neighbors for an occasional favor, if you’re at least on cordial terms. You should know each other’s names, greet each other in the mornings. Establishing that good will early on really goes a long way in preventing arguments and problems later.

Find Common Ground – If your neighbors haven’t come over to welcome you yet, don’t assume they’re being unfriendly. They might worry about bothering you when you’re busy unpacking and settling in. Don’t be afraid to stop by and introduce yourself. To make it easier, try to find some common ground to chat about. Maybe you both have young kids and you can ask about the schools in your area, or maybe you love what your neighbor has done with the garden, and you want to plant something similar in your front yard.

I think that if more of us took time to be nice neighbors, we’d probably find that others would be considerate in return.

Communicate – It may seem hard to believe, but often neighbors aren’t aware that their behavior could possibly bother anyone else. And once they find out, they’re happy to fix it.

Loud Music: You could use the “it’s-not-you-it’s-me” strategy, and explain how you’re a light sleeper or you suffer from migraines, so could he help out by keeping his music down?

Assuming that everyone involved is reasonable and sane, simply approaching your neighbor and coming up with a resolution that works for everyone can solve most problems like this. Maybe your neighbor can limit the loud music to certain hours of the day, like when you’re out at work, but keep it down after dinner and in the mornings. A pleasant conversation is often enough to clear up any problem.

Offensive Smells: You have every right to enjoy living in your apartment without having to deal with unpleasant smells. But your neighbors also have the right to cook whatever cuisine they like in their home. Try to keep in mind that your neighbors aren’t doing this to annoy you. If you work up the nerve to say something to your neighbor, start with something like, “I’m sure you probably don’t realize it, but…” Then offer a specific solution that you can both live with. Maybe your neighbor could open the windows or use an exhaust fan in the kitchen to vent out some of the cooking fumes. Be sure to make it a two-way conversation; ask if you’re causing any problems for her.

Another approach is to talk to management. Whether you own or rent your apartment, the super or perhaps the co-op board could step in to help. Maybe there’s a problem with the vent if smells are coming in from another apartment. Or sometimes, repairs to the baseboard molding in your apartment can patch up any holes where drafts and smells could be coming in. Take the initiative so you don’t have to suffer in silence.

Copyright 2005 CBS. All rights reserved.

Phenomena – A science salon

Nadia Drake is a science journalist who grew up thinking about cosmic questions. No Place Like Home is her space to talk about space–from other worlds to the fabric of the universe.

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Erika Engelhaupt is the online science editor at National Geographic and manages the Phenomena blog network. In Gory Details, she delves into strangely fascinating science of all kinds.

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Robert Krulwich is cohost of Radiolab, a WNYC radio program about “big ideas.” In Curiously Krulwich, Robert looks for “the little things that catch my eye–that when I lean in, get bigger, richer, and much more compelling.”

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Betsy Mason Betsy Mason is a freelance science journalist and former geologist. In All Over the Map, she and Greg Miller pursue their lifelong fascination with maps and the stories they tell.

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Maryn McKenna is an award-winning journalist and the author of Superbug and Beating Back the Devil. In Germination, she explores public health, global health, and food production and policy.

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Greg Miller is a freelance science and technology journalist and former neuroscientist. He and Betsy Mason explore the world of mapping in All Over the Map.

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Ed Yong is an award-winning British science writer. Not Exactly Rocket Science is his hub for talking about the awe-inspiring, beautiful and quirky world of science to as many people as possible.

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GE Money Home Improvement Financing Backs Homeowners’ Green Remodeling Options

KETTERING, Ohio–()–GE Money’s Sales Finance unit today announced

ecomagination certification for its home improvement financing program

when used in conjunction with public benefit-funded energy efficiency

programs or by contractors that provide energy efficient remodeling


“Homeowners are seeking ways to make energy

efficient improvements that reduce maintenance and operating costs and

add value,” said Bruce Christensen, vice

president and general manager, Home Improvement Industry, GE Money –

Sales Finance. “Our financing program makes

green remodeling more affordable and streamlines the process to maximize

and implement savings.”

GE Money’s Home Improvement division works

with contractors, manufacturers, and the non-profit Electric & Gas

Industries Association (EGIA), an organization committed to advancing

energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions, to support the

installation of eco-friendly home improvement products including: high

efficiency windows, HVAC, siding, insulation, water heaters and solar

products. Specifically, EGIA and GE Money have teamed together to

deliver the GEOSmart branded financing program to utilities,

state energy efficiency program sponsors and contractors nationwide.

EGIA administers energy efficiency programs on behalf of its utility

partners and provides the turn-key GEOSmart financing solution to

utilities and contractors that want to leverage available public benefit

incentives in a convenient and efficient loan solution.

The GEOSmart energy efficient home improvement loan can save

homeowners an average of $800 over the lifetime of a $10,000 home

improvement loan, as well as provide a simplified process for homeowners

to obtain these loans. By leveraging GEOSmart financing, utility

companies are able to maximize the productivity of their home energy

efficiency programs, attract broad customer participation and increase

overall energy savings and environmental benefits.

Compared to competitors’ standard unsecured

loans, a homeowner can save nearly $25 per month or $4,500 over the

lifetime of a $10,000 loan. This means that if a large utility used the

GE Money solution while reducing a percentage of its customers’

energy consumption by 20 percent — for example, if only 0.6 percent of

a four million customer utility — those customers would save over 540

million kWh over the lifetime of the 10-year loan — reducing CO2

emissions by over 360,000 tons. That’s

equivalent to the CO2 absorbed by nearly 10,000 acres of a Southeastern

U.S. forest over those 10 years.

To receive ecomagination certification, a GE product must improve the

customer’s operating performance and

significantly and measurably improve environmental performance. The

rigorous certification process includes detailed data analysis and

performance audits conducted by GE ecomagination officers and

GreenOrder, a sustainability strategy and marketing firm. GE Money’s

financing program supports homeowners in reducing their energy usage in

the home through energy efficient products and home improvements.

GE’s ecomagination puts into practice the

company’s belief that financial and

environmental performance can work together to drive company growth,

while taking on some of the world’s biggest challenges. GE has made a

commitment to products and services that are as economically

advantageous as they are ecologically sound.

“GEOSmart energy efficient home

improvement loan products give homeowners one of the most affordable and

accessible ways to finance upgrades for the environmental performance of

their homes,” said Christensen. “Simply

put, the program translates into greater energy efficiency purchasing

power for the consumer.”

About GE Money

With more than $190 billion in assets, GE Money, a unit of General

Electric Company (NYSE:GE), is a leading provider of credit services to

consumers, retailers and auto dealers in more than 55 countries around

the world. GE Money, based in Stamford, Conn., offers a range of

financial products, including private label credit cards, personal

loans, bank cards, auto loans and leases, mortgages, corporate travel

and purchasing cards, debt consolidation and home equity loans, and

credit insurance. More information can be found at

GE Money’s Sales Finance unit, based in

Kettering, Ohio, provides private label credit card programs, marketing,

installment lending and financial services for national and regional

retailers, dealers, manufacturers and service providers in more than 20

industries including: home improvement, outdoor power equipment,

sporting goods, powersports, automotive, recreational vehicles, consumer

electronics and appliances, furniture, floor covering, marine, music,

jewelry, and health care.

GE is Imagination at Work — a diversified technology, media and

financial services company focused on solving some of the world’s

toughest problems. With products and services ranging from aircraft

engines, power generation, water processing and security technology to

medical imaging, business and consumer financing, media content and

advanced materials, GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and

employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit

©2008 General Electric Company, All rights


Obamas to rent 9-bedroom house in quiet neighborhood in northwest DC

The Obamas have selected a nine-bedroom mansion to move into after they leave the White House next January.

Situated in the quiet Kalorama neighborhood in the northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C., the house has nine bedrooms, with eight and a half bathrooms including an “au pair suite.” It’s about 8,200 square feet, with a large backyard and patio, a two-car garage and a gated courtyard for eight to ten vehicles.

Here’s a look inside the house:

The decision to rent the house on Belmont Road was first reported by Politico. It’s about two miles from the White House and isn’t far from Hillary Clinton’s D.C. house near Embassy Row.

It’s valued around $6 million, according to several real estate website and an estimated monthly rent of $22,000 on Zillow.

Joe Lockhart, a former press secretary and senior adviser to President Bill Clinton, owns the house, which was built in 1928. He moved to Manhattan, however, to become the executive vice president for communications for the National Football League.

Mr. Obama will be the first president to stay in D.C. since Woodrow Wilson left the White House in 1921.

According to The Washington Post, a number of other presidents lived in the Kalorama neighborhood either before, during or after their time in the White House, including Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, William Taft, Warren Harding, Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

While the White House has not commented on the report, Mr. Obama has said he and first lady Michelle Obama plan to stay in D.C. for a few more years until Sasha graduates from Sidwell Friends School.

© 2016 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

10 Consumer Trends and Implications for Marketing Practice in 2015

As a marketing professor and therefore an active researcher, I pay close attention to changes in consumption and how these changes might impact marketing strategy. Below, I outline ten observations related to consumer trends and offer questions for you to contemplate as you fine-tune your marketing strategies for 2015.

1. Rent vs. Buy: “I use not own… and I share and experience.”

We have seen a number of interesting iterations with respect to ownership and consumption. First, Zipcar, Kindle and iTunes moved consumers away from the need to physically own cars, books and music while still satisfying the same underlying needs. Then organizations such as Airbnb and Uber appeared and encouraged people to share excess capacity with other consumers. Some Airbnb members took this a step further and added an experience element by hosting dinner parties with guests.

How does the sharing economy impact your organization and its brands?

2. The Blurring of Gender Roles: “We are partners, paid employees and parents.”

Women are starting to out learn and out earn men; more men want to spend more time with their children (and it often makes economic sense for them to stay home or take on primary responsibility for childcare). This has led to a blurring of traditional gender roles (see my recent post for a fuller discussion on this)..

Does your organization stereotype based on gender? Does your organization understand the role of women and men as influencers, buyers and users of your products or services?

3. The Rise of Swirlers: “I don’t move through traditional life stages anymore.”

Traditional life stages no longer apply nor do consumers necessarily move through life stages in a linear fashion. For example: students graduate from college with a lot of debt and can’t afford to buy homes; people delay getting married and having children; people remarry and new households form that blend families and add more children; people 65+ are still active and are not ready to retire; many people 65+ still have mortgages and can’t afford to retire; etc.

Does your organization still assume that life stages are a strong predictor of consumption patterns? Does your organization truly understand the demographics of your customer base and how this drives consumption?

4. Who Am I? “You should know me by now.”

Consumers know that a lot of data is collected on them, and many consumers have experienced, or are aware of, recent data breaches (e.g., Target and Home Depot). Good or bad, consumers now expect organizations to have abundant data on them, to “know them” and to recognize and acknowledge the value of their relationship with the organization.

How well do you know your customers? Do you acknowledge and value customer loyalty?

5. The Jekyll and Hyde Phenomenon: “I can take on different personalities.”

Many consumers post comments online and, if they adopt pseudonyms, organizations might not be able to identify them (e.g., by gender, age, ethnicity, etc.). In addition, consumers might assume an alter ego and, for example, consumers might appear quite aggressive toward your brand when in fact they are not.

What consumer data does your organization collect? What decisions do you make with this data? How accurate does this data need to be?

6. Take a Look at This: “I share a lot about myself.”

Consumers like to share stories about themselves and now they also share a lot of images as well. For example:

o 46% of adult Internet users post photos or videos online that they have created. 41% take photos or videos online and share them.

o 17% of online users use Instagram. 21% of online users use Pinterest.

o Snapchat has 100 million active users, of which 70% are women and 71% are under 25. Snapchat users send 400 million Snapchats a day,

Do you give your customers stories to share… and stories that contain photos and videos?

7. The Human Polygraph: “I’m good at detecting lies and sifting through information.”

Consumers are adept at doing research online, sifting through and filtering the information they find, and figuring out what information to trust, and from whom.

When you provide information do you tell consumers where the information is coming from – e.g., from your organization vs. an outside source and if an outside source, which source?

8. Connectivity: “I’m mobile and connected… anywhere, anytime.”

o 90% of adults have a cell phone; 58% have a smartphone; 42% own a tablet computer.

o 67% of cell owners check their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.

o 44% of cell owners sleep with their phone next to their bed because they want to make sure they don’t miss any calls, text messages or other updates during the night.

o 29% of cell owners describe their cell phone as “something they can’t imagine living without.”

Consumers use mobile technology when out shopping. Consumers also expect to be able to communicate with a person within an organization directly, and to have a response straight away.

How responsive is your organization to customer feedback? Does your organization have a mobile strategy?

9. The Suspicious Skeptic: “I don’t trust you or respect you.”

There were once boundaries between organizations and consumers – each had clear expectations as to the others’ role. Furthermore, organizations controlled messages to consumers and told consumers what they needed to buy. Now consumers do not mind competing with organizations (e.g., Airbnb competing with hotels) and consumers’ trust of organizations and brands has eroded. Many factors contribute to this – for example: the recession, organizations relocating headquarters to minimize taxes, the sharing economy and consumer-generated media.

Do your customers trust your brand? Are you open with your customers? Do you take care of problems they have with your organization? Do they trust you?

10. The Uneven Partnership: “I will co-create my own value with you.”

Organizations used to do more for consumers. Now organizations push consumers away. For example, consumers put their own gas in cars, do their own banking online or with remote data capture, book their own travel, check themselves in on planes, bring their own food onto planes, etc. As a consequence, consumers are getting used to co-creating their own experience.

How can your customers co-create value with you so that you both benefit?

What can you do to help customers personalize their experiences — e.g., Amazon and Netflix personalize recommendations for consumers.

Concluding Thoughts: The ten insights above are simply my observations and reflections based on what I see; others might offer different insights. I do however recommend you identify the three insights from the list above that will likely have the most impact on your organization and then determine what your organization’s strategic responses should be.

Household Acids? | Yahoo Answers

Strongest? I’m not sure what you want to do with it.

Vinegar is a solution of acetic acid

Lemon juice is acidic, as would be most fruit juices, including apple, grapfruit, orange juice, etc.

Some types of drain cleaners may actually be strong acids. You need to read the ingredients on the label. Most drain cleaners are strong bases.

If you have fish in an aquarium, you can get solutions of sulfuric acid at a pet store, which is used to control the pH of the water.

If you go to a home improvement store (like Lowe’s or Home Depot) you should be able to find a solution of muriatic acid (hydrochloric acid). This solution will likely be the strongest acid that is available as a “household acid.”

101 Home Improvement Blogs | Totally Home Improvement

Here is my presentation for 101 of the best Home Improvement & DIY Blogs updated for 2014.

I first published this list over a year ago, and a lot has changed during that time. Unfortunately a few of my favorite blogs are no longer being updated, but on the bright side there are a few good ones that have captured my attention since then and are now included below.

Charles & Hudson – These guys have been recognized by a large number of bloggers and journalists as having one of the best home improvement blogs. They were at Number 1 on this list when I first published it, and I’ve kept them at Number 1 again this year!

Bob Vila – he’s the self proclaimed “Dean of Home Renovation & Repair Advice” and once you visit his blog you’ll probably agree. He gets an “A” from me and remains at Number 2 here for the second year in a row.

Ask The Builder – Tim’s blog is a fantastic resource which is home to of the best advice for home improvement projects on the web, and it’s so good that this year I’ve bumped it up to number 3 from 14 last year. Why don’t I let Tim tell you about his blog himself:

The Ugly Duckling House – Sarah takes you on a humor infused journey as she remodels a house she bought at the end of 2009. It’s an entertaining read and I thoroughly recommend you click on over!

Remodelaholic – Justin and Cassity are a couple who say their ideal date is “ripping out a wall!” It’s a great blog, but they’re taking this way too seriously and I feel they need to step back and smell the coffee, after-all there are more important things in life – like Powertools!

Young House Love – Sherry and John are a young couple from Richmond, Virginia who write this blog as a DIY diary and the provide excellent photographs of their remodeling work around their home.

Pretty Handy Girl – Brittany demonstrates to anyone who still has old ideas about women and power tools not going together that they’re simply wrong, and she does a great job of explaining “How to”… do pretty much every DIY home project worth doing.

DIY Diva – Kit describes herself as an experienced DIYer, power tool junkie, and novice farmer. Her blog is all about bridging the gap between woman and powertool wielding badass!

Building Moxie – a really good source of home improvement and maintenance information. Some of their articles have original videos as well as photographs to help you understand how to do the projects begin discussed.

Living Vintage – Kim does a wonderful job of writing about the projects her company works on to “save old houses” using reclaimed materials – the blog is also wonderfully illustrated with photographs showing detailed steps of how an old piece of building material becomes a terrific new feature in a home.

Sawdust Girl – Sandra is seriously passionate about design, remodeling and carpentry. She provides some great posts detailing varies home improvement projects she’s done.

You Grow Girl – for over 14 years Gayla Trail has been providing some brilliant information on urban gardening in limited spaces – she has updated the design of her blog since I first published this list and her blog posts just keep getting better – she deserved to move up a few places this year.

Shelterrific – Angela Matusik started her blog dedicated to ‘home loving’ way back in March 2006 and it’s been getting stronger ever since.

Dans le Townhouse – a self confessed addict of renovating, decorating, crafting, and thrifting, Tanya is now blogging about all the home improvement and DIY projects she and her husband doing on their new lakefront bungalow they moved into in January 2014 – you can still see all their posts about projects from their old townhouse too.

The Kitchen Designer – Susan Serra is an accomplished kitchen designer who approaches her work with the philosophy that all 5 senses are at work in your kitchen. She blogs about much more than just kitchens, with inspirational design ideas about all areas of the home, and I’m really happy to have discovered this one so I could include it for the first time this year.

inhabitat – a great place to keep up to date with innovations in technology that allow for green design in furniture, energy, landscaping, architecture, and much more.

The Tiny Professional – Felicia documents her renovation adventures along with fashion posts and her experiences of competing in Pageants.

Vintage Revivals – Mandi writes up each project with a complete tutorial so you can recreate it yourself. I particularly like her “Room Reveals” section where she shows off before and after pics of some of her projects.

It’s Great To Be Home – Liz is a serial home improver with a long history of buying, improving, and flipping homes with her husband Jason.

Green Living Ideas – director Andrea Devon Bertoli does a fantastic job of writing and sourcing great articles that provide you with actionable ideas to help make your home and lifestyle more sustainable.

If you’re looking for information about Smart Homes then check out my list of

Smart Home Blogs.

The Happy Home Blog – Belinda confesses to being obsessed with interiors, renovating, decorating and also craft. Her blog details the never ending process of improving her home and making it a happy one for herself and her family.

Funky Junk Interiors – Donna’s blog is a wonderful story of how she started over and furnished her home with nothing – and now she shares her outlandish, unique, ultra affordable creations on her blog.

The Art of Doing Stuff – Karen is a serious DIYer who has been featured in Style at Home magazine and has a range of interesting posts about home improvements & DIY projects.

Handyguys Podcast – you don’t have to be a guy to visit their blog – but you do have to be interested in rational, factual ideas and product comparisons you can use around the home.

Casa Decrepit – the story of a couple who bought an 1876 built house which they have been restoring. They go into quite a lot of detail including posts about suppliers who don’t do what they promised. I say this is required reading for anyone who is planing a restoration project.

Remodelista – This is probably one of the most famous blogs in Home Improvement – do yourself a favor and visit now.

The World According to Jessica Claire – a great Canadian home decor blog with detailed posts about the decorating work Jessica has been doing around her own home.

Fix It Chick – Allison Kohmann presents a wide range of simple and easy techniques for home improvement, DIY projects and design ideas that you can do yourself.

House Tweaking – follow Dana and her family as they renovate a dilapidated 1950’s ranch that they bought and moved into. Dana has a great eye for photography which makes her posts that much more interesting.

Houzz – Definitely at the corporate end of things rather than your typical ‘home-grown’ blog, but thy really do have everything you need to improve your home from start to finish including over 3 Million photographs to help inspire your next redecorating or remodeling project.

Spaceio – There are many great interior design ideas here along with reviews of designers, architects, and contractors. I particularly like the way they showcase up-and-coming interior designers.

Brooklyn Limestone – this blog began life as a way for Stefanie to chronicle the process of renovating their 100+ year old limestone home in Brooklyn, NY. It has since grown and now has many posts about DIY projects and renovating.

Chezerbey – this blog was originally created in 2006 for this couple to share with family and friends their adventures as they remodeled their home which they named Chezerbey. The blog has grown into much more as their family has grown, and it has some great blog posts with pictures showing you all the wonderful upgrades they make to their home.

Rambling Renovators – Jennifer Flores does a great job of blogging aboot the projects she and her husband do to renovate their semi-detached Toronto home. Her philosophy is “The difference is in the details, and the details make all the difference.”

Our Adventures in Home Improvement – Pam does an entertaining job of describing the projects she and her husband work on around their house.

DIY On The Cheap – frugal decorating ideas, crafts and creative projects for the home. Erin believes that a beautiful home doesn’t have to break the bank, and her wonderfully illustrated projects will show you how to do the same.

Hewn and Hammered – these guys have been doing an amazing job since 2004, and as you’d expect by the name, it covers a lot of wood based projects.

Hannah Kate Flora – Hannah says she is a “Modern Traditionalist” who blogs about DIY and Interior Design.

Red Door Home – no hint of painting it black here, but rather full of creative inspiration for your home. Stacy even has her own Etsy store featuring her own craft work.

The Designer Pad – Eduardo is a former fashion designer turned interior designer. He believes everything has its place in the home. Decor – Inspiration – Interiors and a whole lot more in fine style.

DIY Show Off – Roeshel loves to blog about DIY and re-purposing projects with step-by-step photographs to help you understand the process for your own projects.

Fun & VJs – a professional writer blogs about all things design and house related. It began as a chronicle of their 1928 Queenslander home renovations and is now all about restoring a modernist home..

The Inspired Room – a decor focused blog all about simple and doable ideas for your home without breaking your budget and includes a great series of blog posts about how to decorate.

Bower Power – a lot more than 24 hours worth of great home improvement ideas, Katie does a fantastic job of cataloging all her home improvement and DIY projects.

Modern Country – about living the dream of living in the Norwegian countryside in a nostalgic old house decorated with a mixture of the Nordic light and rural rustic French styles.

Build Blog – a lot of great posts and photographs about architecture and design which are worth looking through for both inspiration and learning more about the build process.

Centsational Girl – Kate is a bargain hunter, design lover, incurable DIYer who will help you transform drab into fab for less.

Pure Style Home – Lauren Liess shares her thoughts on design, running a design business, clients’ projects, how-tos, and the projects she and her family do in their own home.

Honey & Fitz – Dina chronicles her DIY projects, flea market finds, love of organization and general obsession with designing spaces for children and busy families..

Making This Home – Katie’s blogging philosophy is “DIY inspiration that’s rooted in the heart.”

decor8 – Holly Becker is an award winning and best selling author and journalist, and this is her own blog where she writes about a range of topics including providing some great decor ideas.

AM Colce Vita – Michelle loves to design and decorate – her blog focuses on decor.

Today’s Homeowner – Danny Lipford’s blog with heaps of good posts as well as content from the TV and Radio shows he presents.

Simply The Nest – Alice blogs about life in South Manchester, England, and the process of restoring their semi-detached Victorian villa to its former glory when it was originally built in 1875.

Curbly – a community blog with a lot a great contributions on home improvement ideas and projects with some really good contributors like JoAnn Moser, Matt Allison, and Brittni Mehlhoff.

The Happy Homebodies – Jordan and her husband Scott love their blogging hobby and it really shows through in this wonderful collection of posts about their home projects as well as their DIY tutorials.

Seventh House On The Left – Greg & Ashley Brown blog about their own home improvement experiences.

DIY Home Staging Tips – all about the things you can to to improve your home in preparation for selling it.

Manhattan Nest – Daniel Kanter is a freelance interior decorator and his skills really show through in his posts about his Brooklyn apparment and the Kinston, NY fixer-upper that Daniel and his fiancé are renovating.

Hammer & Moxie – Peter and Leslie are a newly married couple who have started a blog cataloging their DIY (mis)adventures and the many moments in between.

Retro Renovation – it’s all about renovating in 1940’s through 1960s styles, or as they prefer to call it, “Mid Century”.

Marley & Lockyer – a blog from Tasmania (you know – that island down under down under) about styling, gorgeous homes, and the renovation of the author Ness’s own 1883 built home.

Everything LEB – Lindsay loves all things interior design, DIY and Martha Stewart, although she doesn’t provide stock tips on her blog 🙂

Elise Blaha – Elise loves writing and making stuff.

Apartment Therapy – their motto is “We’re saving the world, one room at a time”.

Love & Renovations – Amanda and Corey blog about life and the process of turning their 1980’s builder-grade home into the house of their dreams.

Do It Yourself – an amazingly large and useful collection of DIY How Tos.

Ikea Hackers – all about modifications on and re-purposing of Ikea products.

Decorology – Ashley is a web derringer by profession who blogs about interior design and decorating by night.

Dream Book Design – I like pretty much everything they’ve done (except for featuring a dead cow skin rug in one of their posts).

Simply Grove – Kirsten Grove does a great job of providing a design and decor blog for those of you with a love of interiors and an appetite for design eye-candy. It features room makeovers, Kirsten’s own home projects and furniture projects, beautiful room images, an much more!

Home Portfolio – a virtual showroom of home design ideas, pictures, and products.

Nesting Place – Myquillyn says that her secret to unlocking creativity and hope for your home is “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful”.

Jetson Green – a great place to learn more about creating sustainable homes.

Moonworks’ Home Improvement Blog – Moonworks are a home improvement company in the north-east who provide a lot of useful and practical down-to-earth information despite the lofty blog name.

Little House Blog – Aubrey from Toronto blogs about her obsession with interiors and design.

Home Stories A to Z – Beth aims to create beauty out of chaos, and she does exactly that.

The DIY Dreamer – lots of tutorials, crafts, DIY fun.

Infarrantly Creative – this is the place to go if you are wondering how to turn crutches into a floor lamp or an old television into a console table.

Thanks I Made It – Erin is a DIYer who believes something you made yourself is twice as enjoyable as something you bought, who could disagree with that?

Decor Happy – Vanessa Francis and her ideas and inspirations about living well in your own home.

Habitually Chic – actually it’s more about making you jealous of glamorous homes rather than helping you improve your own, and it has a lot of great photographs which work to that effect.

The Peak of Chic – Jennifer Boles shares her musings on high-end interiors and lving.

The Lovely Side – Jessica Hansen is a 20 something who writes a young lady’s guide to living on the lovely side with many posts about decorating and home decor.

Unclutterer – all about uncluttering your home, and life in general.

Full House – by the mother of twin girls and triplet boys – fortunately the boys have a soundproofed bedroom!

Freshome – has been providing inspiration to make your home more beautiful, organized and healthy since 2007.

katiedid – Katie Denham’s motto is .”Go Decorate your Life!”.

Homespot HQ – this is the blog from the company that helps you manage information about your home by using there online home management recording keeping database.

The House of Smiths – has a lot of handy DIY and craft tutorials.

Rebecca Orlov – Formely known as “Loving. Living. Small.” Rebecca now focuses her blogging efforts on home design, baby style, design inspirations, dining goodness and wanderlust.

Treehugger – what I really like about this is they bring rational thinking to the design and technological side of creating buildings and spaces without losing creative insight.

My Old Country House – some really good practical advice on everything from fixing a hole in a wall to the art of dealing with contractors.

The Gold Jellybean – a great DIY site for parents who are looking for projects to do with their children.

DIY Home Improvement Help – a lot of great advice with detailed information from a retired builder in Australia. Sadly it doesn’t look like Bill updates the blog anymore, but it still has a wealth of great DIY information.

Normal Room – interior design and home furniture from all around the globe.

Life The Green Way – as you can probably guess by the title, this blog focuses on the environmental aspects of home living.

Cottage Magpie – a 1950s ranch with an empty pocketbook and cottage dreams.

Simply Sweet Home – Jerri blogs about crafts as well as cooking.

The Stylish Nest – creating home, garden, and life, one DIY adventure at a time..

One Project Closer – to your dream home. Ethan presents some great home projects here, and although he seems to have stopped updating the blog last year it still has some great project descriptions and ‘how to’ information.

It’s quite possible that I’ve missed some excellent blogs, but don’t despair – feel free to tell me about any great home improvement blogs you know of via the contact page.

The home improvement business is booming

The home improvement business is booming – Nov. 12, 2014

Shares of Home Depot (HD)and Lowe’s (LOW) are trading near all-time highs as Wall Street bets that an improving economy will lead to a boom in home repairs and remodeling. Both stocks have soared almost 20% this year.


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Homes also have been selling at a somewhat brisk pace which usually pushes homeowners to spend on improvements before moving in.

The stellar performance of these stocks comes at a time when many retail companies are struggling to find their footing. Macy’s, (M) for example, just lowered its earnings outlook for the fourth quarter. And the S&P Retail Select Industry Index is up a paltry 2% in 2014.

“When you compare it to other areas in retail right now, they pop up among the safer places to invest,” said Joe Feldman, an analyst at the Telsey Advisory Group, of Home Depot and Lowe’s.

Related: Japanese stocks hit 7-year high. Can it last?

What hack attack: Just take a look at the starkly different reactions from investors and consumers when dealing with the massive data breaches of Home Depot and Target. (TGT)

While Target has been dogged by weak sales, management upheaval, and poor stock performance in the past year, Home Depot has mostly shrugged off its hack attack.

Not sweating the holidays: While a lot of companies stress and pray to the retail gods for a strong holiday season, home improvement stores just get ready for spring, when homeowners typically do most of their major house work.

They do benefit from the typical “tough guy” gift giving of items such as power tools and tool kits, said Feldman.

As other retailers attempt to compete online with the likes of Amazon (AMZN, Tech30), Home Depot and Lowe’s aren’t losing that much sleep over digital.

“They have have a bit of a moat, or defensive system, against online,” said Feldman. “This is the kind of product where you just run into the store and pick up what you need for your project.”

Related: Chinese spend billions in world’s biggest online shopping day

Not cheap: The home improvement stocks aren’t running any discount promotions, however. They both trade at almost 19 times next year’s earnings. That’s compared to around 16 times 2015 earnings for the S&P 500.

But they’re big on cash back. Home Depot plans to have bought back $7 billion in stock by the end 2014, and Lowe’s repurchased $2 billion in the first half of the year.

They also sport healthy dividends — $1.41 per share so far this year for Home Depot shareholders and 64 cents for Lowe’s.

“Valuations are high, yet we still think there’s a little room for these guys to grow,” maintained Feldman.

CNNMoney (New York) First published November 12, 2014: 1:54 PM ET

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