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Wednesday, November 19 2008

The weather has changed quickly where I live in the northeastern part of the country.  I thought this would be a good time to help you get ready for the cold months ahead by giving you Quick Tips For A Better Space - your home.

There are many things to consider this time of year.  You not only need to dress yourself in warmer clothes, but you need to dress your home as well.  If not, you are not taking care of your biggest investment and throwing your hard-earned money down the drain.

Here are some suggestions to winterize your home:

Clean and check the heating filters and system for efficiency.  Change your filter and check for leaks in the system to ensure your system is working at it's best.  Call in a contractor if necessary. 

Check all water faucets to ensure there are no leaks or rusting.

Have your fireplace/chimney inspected, serviced and cleaned.  It can be a fire hazard.  This small investment in your safety is so important.

If you did not already do so when we changed the clocks in October, replace the batteries in your smoke detectors.  Most fires are started in the winter by candles and faulty wiring.  If something should happen, you need to make sure you can get yourself and your family out of the house as quickly as possible.  Remember to practice your escape plan!

Install a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home - they are not expensive but can prevent carbon monixide poisoning from car exhaust from the car stored in the garage, the heater, the oven, etc.  With the home closed up for the winter months, this is especially important for the health and safety of your family.

Check the weather stripping and check for drafts around windows and doors to ensure functionality.  You can lose a lot of heat through your windows and doors if this is not done which can cost you greatly when you receive that utility bill.

Replace and check your fire extinguishers.  Make sure the meter is where it's supposed to be.  If not, get it recharged.  Remember to keep one on each floor, especially in the kitchen.  A small one under the sink in the cabinet is a great place to store it.

Prepare An Emergency Kit

In the cold winter months, have a plan and an emergency kit.  Your electricity can go out. A large snow fall or other condition could cause your family to be confined to the home.  Here are things a good emergency kit should contain:

Indoor candles and flashlights for light - just don't leave those candles unattended!

A supply of drinking water and non-perishable food.

A manual can opener to open those cans in case the electricity goes out for an extended period of time.

An emergency weather radio to keep you informed on the latest conditions in your area.  (battery operated, of course.)

A supply of extra batteries and perhaps a generator for back-up supply.

Lots of warm blankets to keep you warm in case you lose your heat.

To occupy your time, have books and board games accessible since the television and other electronics might not be working.


Lastly, when it comes to energy efficiency during these long winter months, you might want to consider wrapping the hot water heater with a blanket.  This helps improve efficiency and can cut down on your utility bill.  That heater can really drive up your bill so any extra savings can really help your budget!  Insullation for the water heater can be purchased at your local home improvement store or online and has do-it-yourself instructions.

Enjoy the coming winter months and take good care of yourself and your home.

In the meantime, if you have any organizing questions or problems you would like me to address, please feel free to contact me at A BETTER SPACE.  I'll be glad to help.






Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 10:06 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, November 14 2008

The holidays are quickly approaching and so are those social events.  You want to look your best and you want to make sure that the products you are applying have not expired.  The last thing you want during this busy season is a reaction to a bad/expired product.

Do a quick check in your bathroom and I am sure you will find face cream you never use, the remnants of your favorite powder blush and that tube of lip stick you need to dig out with a lip brush to get anything out of.

Products that are unused or down to the last drop are just taking up shelf space and cluttering your make-up bag which you could be using for the fresh products you want to keep and have readily available.

Unopened products can remain stable for a couple of years at room temperature.  But once you bring home a product and open it, the clock starts running.  Every time you touch the product, you are transferring germs to them and to your face.  Heat and humidity play a roll in promoting the growth of mold and yeast as well. 

Believe it or not, bathrooms are not the ideal spot to store cosmetics, although it tends to be the most convenient.  A cool, dry linen closet is best.

Since labeling regulations in the United States do not require an expiration date on most cosmetics, here are some Quick Tips in deciding what to keep and what to toss: 

Face Makeup - six months for liquids; two years for powders.

Mascara - three months.

Eyeliner and Eye Shadow - three months for liquid eyeliners; six months for cream eye shadows; two years for pencil eyeliners and powder eye shadows.

Lipstick and Lipliner - two years for lipstick and gloss; two years or more for lipliner.

Nail Polish - one to two years depending on when the consistency turns gooey or stringy.  Avoid storing them in the bathroom as they are especially sensitive to temperature extremes.

Skin Care Products include moisterizers, eye creams, cleansers, serums, peels, etc.  Acne creams and other over-the-counter products that contain drugs are FDA regulated and usually carry expiration dates.  However, cosmeceuticals (products claiming to have anti-aging and skin-changing benefits) are not regulated.  Once they are opened, they should not be kept longer than 6 months.  If in a pump bottle, they can last a year.

Sun Screen - six months.

Hair Products - one year.

Fragrance - two years or more.  You will know because it tends to turn dark and has a stronger smell than when it's fresh.

In summary, you should toss your mascara and liquid liner every season, toss your skin-care regimen, sunscreens and liquid foundations every six months, toss your hair products (except hair spray) once a year and toss your powder-based cosmetic (pressed powder and shadows), lipsticks and nail polishes every two years.

Best bet is to date your products with a small sticker when you purchase and open them so you will not have to guess as to when they were purchased, guaranteeing they will always be safe to use. 

If you have any organizing questions or problems you would like me to address, please feel free to contact me at A BETTER SPACE.  I will be glad to help.

Enjoy this wonderful holiday season!







Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 10:17 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Tuesday, November 04 2008

Whew!  You've gotten this far and only have one more week to go.  There are still some details that must be attended to.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Write out the final checks for your officient, photographer, videographer, disc jockey, musicians, etc.
  • Pick up your wedding gown.  Try it on to make sure everything is exactly the way it should be.  Make sure you (or your maid of honor) knows how to bustle your gown following the wedding if applicable.
  • Confirm your limo or other transportation reservations for all members of the wedding party.
  • Treat yourself to a spa day - you deserve it!  My maid of honor surprised me with a massage at the spa.  What a great way to relax before the wedding day!  You might not realize how stressed you feel until you get that wonderful massage.  The results will get you through the rest of the week.

The day before the wedding should be spent relaxing and getting plenty of rest.  All the details should be in place by this point.  And remember, you did your very best to make it a perfect day.  From this point on, whatever happens, go with the flow.  Don't stress over any minor details that were missed.  No one will notice but you.

On the day of your wedding, wake up early to provide plenty of time to relax and get ready.  Eat a healthy breakfast to provide you with plenty of energy for your big, long day.

Most importantly, ENJOY!  You have worked hard to get to this day.  The whole point of planning this event in such detail was to be able to just walk down that aisle, see the person you love most in life at the other end of the aisle, knowing you will be spending the rest of your life with this special person and have a good time. 

The day is finally here.  Don't worry.  Everything will be wonderful.  Congratulations and best wishes for a long and happy life together!

If, after you settle into your new home with your spouse, you find that you need to get organized, contact A BETTER SPACE.  I will be glad to help you make your place a better space!

Have a great week!


Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 05:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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