The Spring season is a burst of activity in our natural world after the winter weather thaw. New life begins to emerge in front of our eyes. Spring weather can be ever changing. One day we can experience beautiful blue skies and sunshine, the next day, can bring cooler temperatures and a blustery wind.
Spring is a beautiful reminder of how wonderful nature can be! I hope that you will enjoy my pictorial review of Spring.
Did that opening title have you think about the classic song 🎵 from MC Hammer??? This blog post isn’t intended to discuss music today BUT to get y’all thinking about those surfaces in your home that you DON’T need to touch before you disinfect.
Can you easily identify the “high-touch surfaces” in your home? Do a quick visual survey of your surroundings inside your home.
Whoever does the cleaning in your home is likely to catch several of these “high-touchsurfaces” on a day to day basis. I hope that these tips for finding “high-touch” areas will be useful.
Spring is less than 30 days away now and it may have you thinking about a good healthy dose of cleaning. So let’s begin with a few basics below.
What are “high-touch surfaces”??? These are the surfaces in your home that receive the most direct daily contact with your family. High-touch surfaces are the areas where dirt, dust, and germs if left unchecked, will thrive. High-touch surfaces should be regularly cleaned and disinfected daily.
When I use the term disinfect, here’s the gist of what happens when you do that…to disinfect is using a chemical cleaner to remove viruses and bacteria.
Now the quick breakdown of TEN high-touch surfaces, to disinfect inside your home. These TEN areas are based upon my own personal experience as a mom AND also as one who actively works in and participates in the hardware life. I’ll be curious to know if you found several of your “high-touch” surfaces in your quick surroundings survey of your own home, are you a novice or a pro??? Or maybe somewhere in between???
Top Ten Hardware Life High-Touch Surfaces
1. Think about Small and large appliances (ex. coffee pot, microwave, refrigerator) that are frequently used by each member of the family each day. Don’t forget about things like a can opener, or even the knife block!
2. Door knobs and light switches, & even your house keys!
3. The Kitchen Sink. Yes, it is definite.. a highly used kitchen item and don’t forget to clean the faucet handles.
4. The Countertop. This is where food gets cooked & consumed… often my counter gets scattered with keys, phones, and mail. Our kitchen counter is a drop zone of sorts. Yikes! Keys and cellphones are also high-touch! 😳
5. The Bathroom. Clean and disinfect fixtures, sinks, toilet seat, and toilet handle.
6. Remote control for tv, cell phones, iPads, game controllers.
7. Kitchen chairs and table. If you use it daily, then clean it often. Think about where your family meals occur everyday and clean and disinfect often.
8. Toys and play areas for your children. Kids play hard all day, and make sure to clean toys that are often used by your child everyday and disinfect often.
9. The Pantry. Think about the door knob, and other touchable areas outside/ inside (if you and have kids, or grandkids, they use it frequently throughout the day)
10. The Laundry Room. Wipe down your appliances AND clean your laundry basket! A laundry basket holds all of your dirty clothes AND clean clothes. Wipe them down often. I have separate baskets for clean and dirty clothes but, I regularly clean all of my laundry baskets.
Now that you have my top ten list, what should you use to disinfect effectively?
Here are a few tips that you can use for cleaning “high-touch” areas. A more detailed guide can be found with CDC recommendations on cleaning those frequently used areas in your home and workplace. The internet is a plethora of information on the subject.
The Hardware Life Daily Cleaning Tips
1. Begin with a clean surface. Clean area first by removing any visible dirt or dust. I keep a good multi-surface spray handy for quick cleanups.
2. Use gloves … a pair of disposable gloves might work best especially when disinfecting surfaces. Throw away once you finish cleaning.
3. Pick Easy disinfectant choices… Clorox or Lysol wipes. These will do the job quickly and easily.
5. Read the label on your disinfectant carefully. Do you need to rinse after application? Allow for drying time.
4. The Multi surface Cleaner… Keep a good multi-surface spray handy for quick cleanups. I keep one upstairs and have at least one multi surface spray available for cleaning in the downstairs areas my home.
Lastly, let’s evaluate some “germy“ cleaning utensils and those you might not think to clean.
1. The Sponge.. if you use a sponge to clean, let your nose to guide in your decision to keep or throw out. Your nose knows! If the sponge smells, then it is time to stop by our hardware store and pick up a new one.
2. The kitchen brush- if you have one of these brushes to scrub surfaces in your kitchen, sanitizing it is a must! Put it in the dishwasher after each use.
3. The toilet brush. It should be disinfected weekly or after each use. Rinse well after cleaning toilet, apply a disinfectant spray and allow to dry before replacing into toilet brush cover. Some experts say to replace your toilet brush every 6 months.
4. The plunger. Clean and disinfect after each use and allow to dry.
5. The bucket. If you carry your cleaning essentials inside your bucket as you clean at home, don’t forget to regularly disinfect your bucket.
6. The Mop. Let your nose be the guide again! If it smells, it is time for a new one. Regardless of the type of mop you use, the mop should be clean and disinfected. Your floors will be as clean as your mop. Some recommendations are to replace your mop every 3 months depending on the style of your mop.
I found this quote as I was working on this blog post, “our house is clean enough to be healthy, but dirty enough to be happy”. This reigns true in our house. Things are never perfect … shoes are often in the floor, keys are on the kitchen counter, blankets are thrown about on the couch, and two sweet pups roam absolutely everywhere. But it is HOME! I clean intentionally now that I’m more aware of surfaces that require an bit of extra “love and work”. Deep cleaning occurs when I can get to it. Whether you are a novice or a pro at finding all the frequently used areas of your home, home should always be a place a of comfort and joy. Happy Spring Cleaning Y’all!
This topic is seemingly double talk to most of you today… Blogging about Blogging. I think it is worth the time to explore the methods to my blogging journey.
Since I began my blog in the summer of 2018, I have gotten these questions more than once:
1. How do you put together a blog post?
2. What inspired you to write about this topic?
3. Do you have a list of topics that you write about?
My blogging experience is not vast. I blog simply because I enjoy the creative aspects of blogging. I don’t think my blog will ever become a viral sensation. My blog started out as a way to chronicle our new journey into hardware store ownership. After my retirement from the education world of work, it became a way to continue my creative interests.
My first blog post was extremely short and I used the picture that was generated from the blog builder website, meaning my skill set knowledge of the new blogging techniques was limited. I just recently changed that first photo from that first blog post.
Looking back, at the first several blog posts that I created, I don’t think I included any pictures at all . I simply hadn’t thought about including those! If you look back at my first blog posts, they still don’t have photos and I think I’ll leave them that way so I can visualize my own personal growth.
Over the last few years, pictures have become a greater feature in my blog posts and I have grown to love them as part of the story behind the blog and a nice way to break up large pieces of content within the blog to give the reader a visual break.
When it comes to blogging, I’m a novice. I have completed and published approximately 109 blog posts… and I blog when I have time and the inspiration. I don’t have a huge following but I do have a few, sweet, loyal fans.
A well known blogger once said in an interview, that her biggest fans were not her friends or extended family. I’m not really sure why that is the case. Sometimes folks may not fully understand or appreciate the purpose of a blog’s intent, how to navigate the technical side of a blog, or take the time… well the list is there.
But, in my own personal experience of blog creation/writing, I have found that to be somewhat true, with the definite exception of my Mom and sister-in-law. They are both consistent readers of my blog and are always there to support me and give me a boost when I need it the most. Thank you so much for always taking time to read my blog and sending me feedback Mom & Kimberly!!! It is much appreciated! Love you both dearly! 💕
I am also very lucky that I have dear friends who read and comment on my blog regularly. Thanks for your support! Y’all make my efforts worth the work.
But when it come right down to the nitty gritty of writing, and getting a blog post together, my process of writing has definitely evolved over the last few years. When I first started blogging, I would finish my blog post in one sitting.
Typically now, that is rarely the case. I will write for a brief period of time and then return to that same blog piece later on… it could be weeks between writing sessions or a matter of a few hours. Most of my blog posts are written over a period of a few weeks due to the time consuming nature process of writing and editing. Sometimes it takes a few months to finalize a blog post.
The writing is only step ONE! Once that is done, I add in the photos. The photos are selected carefully from my vast collection of photographs on my phone matching the content to the images. I do use stock photos occasionally in order to make the images and content of blog interconnect.
My most productive time for writing and editing tends to be in the mornings. I’m more of a morning person and my brain shuts off as the day progresses.
The longest span of time that has elapsed for writing /editing a blog post was ONE year! I began writing Women in Entrepreneurship and I didn’t actually publish it until a year later.
My topics for a blog post are chosen. They maybe seem random but often it is just things I’m thinking about, discussion topics from things happening inside our hardware store, or I may write about items that I think my readers might enjoy. And yes, I now have topics in queue for a future time.
Ultimately, I write and create because I simply enjoy it. It is a great way to convey a small piece of our lives to a greater community often sharing a bit of insider knowledge with my readership.
I just read today that the shift is starting in the blogging community to a more focused content approach. I very thankful that my blog is still going strong with a mix of personal insights, thoughts, and a lot of our hardware life. Thanks for sharing and supporting me in this blogging space.
We lost a dear friend late last week. It has been extremely difficult for me, Richard, and our entire staff to digest this loss. Monty was truly an amazing person. Those of you who also know him, will absolutely agree with me on that. His joyful laugh was infectious and he brought a lively nature into every conversation.
Monty has been a significant part of our team for the last few years. Monty’s work ethic, and life experiences was a model that other staff members noticed and worked to exemplify his success. Monty had the heart of a true entrepreneur. He was willing to take risks, try anything new, and discuss the potential and possibilities of “the what ifs”.
I’ve tried to wrap in my mind the impact he has left upon all of us… mentor, friend, and most definitely “hardware store dad” and dear friend to all of our staff. As a good dad model, Monty always had a kind heart, offering food those who were hungry, and even advice when you needed it. I’m not sure that I can fully grasp, and vocalize everything Monty has done for us. His daily life impact will be long lasting. Monty’s actions demonstrated that he truly cared for all of us and wanted only the BEST for every single staff member at Wilkes County Hardware and everyone he encountered in the surrounding community.
Grief is hard. I ask that y’all send prayers to Monty’s family, as the journey of grief is beginning. Monty loved his family. We also covet your prayers as we grieve and try to transition to life without him inside our store. Monty will remain a key part of our heart inside Wilkes County Hardware and we will carry his love with us forever.
Work… the mechanical manifestation of energy, according to science. Work it could be said, is the “nuts and bolts “ of what we do each and every day. After all, nuts and bolts are not the whole of a project, they are only a portion of a project.
The successful concept of work today creates within the soul a feeling of pride, satisfaction of a job well done, and contribution back into your greater community in some type of capacity. Today I’m offering y’all an inside look at our hardware work… the “nuts and bolts” view of what we do each day.
Walking inside Wilkes County Hardware may take you back into a time of nostalgia… viewing our old building, wood stove, historic elevator, or even remembering a time when hardware stores used to be full service for the customer. We still do that each and every day. Our customers always come first! Customers are the essential element in our business, and that is why we are customer service oriented in what we do! Wilkes County Hardware is definitely more than a place to go pick up a few nuts and bolts.
Yes, we have several folks who stop by to shop our extensive selection of nuts 🔩 and bolts… whether you are looking to purchase one or two or even multiple boxes. But did you know that we do the following things as well??
1. Key duplication
2. Kerosene wick replacement
3. Threading and pipe cutting
4. Glass cutting up to 36 inches
5. Chain cut to exact length
6. Basic lamp repair
7. Tool handle replacement
8. Pool water testing for free!
9. Roll pipe cut to length (most hardware retailers sell the entire roll) and copper pipe
10. Gas and plumbing fittings … including a good selection of Pex and Shark Bite
11. Vast selection of furnace filters
12. Window screen repair
13. Knife and scissor sharpening
As y’all can see we work hard to be a full service hardware store for our customers. Our goal is to keep our customers coming back to us for all of the things that they need for any project. Thank you for being a great part of what we do each and every day whether it is a purchase of nuts and bolts, a key or even a bag of bird seed. We couldn’t be here without you!
So there it is… the “nuts and bolts” of the hardware life daily work. Stop by and see us soon. We appreciate your support of our small business. YOU are the part that holds all of our work together in our nuts and bolts analogy. Thank you for joining us in our journey of the hardware life for the last seven years.
Living the "hardwarelife", join us in our journey of hardware store ownership