What are your cleaning tips for the home? Click the link to find out how to quickly clean and easily maintain your home, how to spice up your front door before an open house, organization in the kitchen and more.

It can be a challenge to keep the house clean, especially for busy families. When the kids are home from school, it means more dirt, mud and sand get tracked in, whether it's from sports practice or backyard fun. Keep your sanity with these tips for minimizing messes.


* Clean one room a day to keeps messes away. Develop a cleaning schedule where each day is devoted to one room in your home. For example, clean the kitchen on Tuesday and your bedroom on Wednesday. Save the rooms that are considered high-traffic areas for later in the week in case of unexpected company.


*Start at the top. When you are cleaning a room, start at the ceiling with the corners and light fixtures, and then work your way to the floor. Finish by vacuuming to pick up all the dust and dirt from your efforts.


* Leave the mess outside. Make sure the dirt from the outdoors stays where it came from. Avoid tracking in grass, mud and sand by establishing a mudroom, a place for the kids to store toys, shoes, towels and sports equipment.


-- Family Features


Tip of the Week: Organization is key for crisp looks


The key to making any kitchen look like it’s fresh out of a magazine cover is organization; clutter is the ultimate enemy. To accomplish a clean, crisp look, divide your kitchen into three areas: prepping, cooking and cleaning. Store only the items you need in each area.


-- HGTV.com


Home-Selling Tip: Spice up the front door


The front door to the house should gleam, since it is the entryway to the inside. Polish the door fixtures, surrounding light fixtures and the door frame. Refinish or repaint the front door if necessary. Finally, remove any custom plaques or signs with the family name on it, and buy a plush doormat.


-- RealEstateABC.com


Going Green: How recycling helps the economy         


U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) recently introduced a non-binding resolution focused on the importance of recycling for both the environment and our economy. The resolution says that recycling processors directly or indirectly employ over 450,000 Americans, and recycling accounts for roughly .6 percent of our GDP, which is more than the fishing and forestry industries combined.


-- Earth911.org


Did You Know …


In June, 4.4 percent of prime mortgages were at least 30 days late, which is down from a peak of 5.9 percent in 2010. – HUD.gov


New Product: Child ID safety app


The FBI recently released the Child ID app for iPhones, which has safety tips for parents to help prevent the loss of a child. In the event a child does go missing, the app has instructions for what to do in those “first crucial hours,” as well as dedicated links to 911. Parents can also store information about the child like a recent photo, age, height, hair color and distinguishing marks, and then send the information to the proper authorities as needed.


-- ConsumerReports.org


Garden Guide: Controlling the weeds


Some weeds in the lawn seem almost impossible to control. To manage these weeds, try a combination of chemical and non-chemical management options. First, find out why the weeds are there. Some weeds are indicators of soil problems. For example, ground ivy prefers shady, wet areas, so one management option is to alter the problem area by reducing shade and soil moisture.


Another non-chemical technique is to make sure your lawn is healthy and competitive. Healthy, full grass will out compete most types of weeds. Pulling the weeds by hand is one option, but be sure to get as much of the plant and root system as possible. Pull up every stem you see and destroy them; do not put them into the compost. Continue routing out the difficult weeds once a month all summer and again the following year.


-- University of Illinois Extension


GateHouse News Service