Yes, You Should Be Cleaning Your Air Conditioner—Here’s How

The first heatwave of the year hit New England this week, bringing several days of 90-degree temperatures and leaving my boyfriend and I scrambling to install window air conditioners throughout our house. Of course, our ACs were stashed in the basement…

The first heatwave of the year hit New England this week, bringing several days of 90-degree temperatures and leaving my boyfriend and I scrambling to install window air conditioners throughout our house. Of course, our ACs were stashed in the basement over the winter, which meant they were covered in dust, cobwebs, and the occasional spider, and we had to clean them thoroughly before popping them in the windows.

If you’re in a similar situation, there are several steps you’ll want to take to clean your air conditioners before installation. Luckily, the whole process should only take an hour or so, meaning you’ll be able to enjoy cool, refreshing breezes before the day is over.

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How to Get Rid of Gnats, Once and For All

Gnats are the bane of my existence, truly. I swear they invade my home at least once a year, whether it’s because I forgot an old banana at the bottom of the fruit bowl, didn’t clean out the garbage disposal well enough, or even just brought home a new…

Gnats are the bane of my existence, truly. I swear they invade my home at least once a year, whether it’s because I forgot an old banana at the bottom of the fruit bowl, didn’t clean out the garbage disposal well enough, or even just brought home a new plant that had them hiding in the soil. I then, reluctantly, spend the next few weeks trying to banish them from every nook and cranny of my home.

In the grand scheme of things, gnats are pretty harmless—fruit flies and fungus gnats don’t bite (though some other varieties do), but they always seem to be hovering in your face or flying around your food. If you’re sick of seeing these little bugs all around your home, here are some tried-and-true methods to get rid of them, as well as ways you can prevent them from coming back.

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12 Best Grilling Tools to Stock Up for the Summer

If there was a noise that marked the start of summer, what would it be? Kids splashing in a pool, or maybe the crack of a bat at a baseball stadium? Personally, I think it would be the sizzle of meat on a grill—I can’t help but associate warm weather w…

If there was a noise that marked the start of summer, what would it be? Kids splashing in a pool, or maybe the crack of a bat at a baseball stadium? Personally, I think it would be the sizzle of meat on a grill—I can’t help but associate warm weather with endless evening cookouts, surrounded by my friends and family (aka my happy place).

To prepare for the beginning of grilling season and ensure you have all the necessary supplies to pull off an amazing backyard barbecue, you’ll want to stock up on the essentials: tools, accessories, and ingredients that’ll help you step up your grilling game. Here are some of my hands-down favorite grilling items that you’ll want to snag before the season gets into full swing (they start to sell out quickly once summer is here).

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10 Chicken Coop Ideas for Your Feathered Friends

For the past few years, I’ve been telling anyone who would listen that, when I bought a house, the first thing I’d do would be to get chickens. True to my word, I closed on my house in February of this year, and come March, I was the proud owner of 12 …

For the past few years, I've been telling anyone who would listen that, when I bought a house, the first thing I'd do would be to get chickens. True to my word, I closed on my house in February of this year, and come March, I was the proud owner of 12 adorable baby chicks. However, buying chickens is the easy part—building them a coop proved to be much more of a challenge, taking way more time (and money) than I ever anticipated.

On one hand, building a home for your chickens really isn’t that hard—they don’t need a ton of space, and there are lots of DIY tutorials on how you can build one from scratch or upcycle a shed and other existing structure into a coop. That said, there are a lot of little things to think about as you go, including where your coop will be placed, how big it needs to be, how you’ll keep predators out, and so on. I learned a lot of this on the fly, so I’m passing on my top tips in hope that you’ll be a little more informed as you jump into chicken ownership.

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The Ultimate Laundry Stripping Recipe

I remember the first time “laundry stripping” went viral. I was just out of college, and all of a sudden, my Facebook timeline was filled with videos of people swirling towels around in their bathtubs, leaving behind murky brown water. That was a few y…

I remember the first time “laundry stripping” went viral. I was just out of college, and all of a sudden, my Facebook timeline was filled with videos of people swirling towels around in their bathtubs, leaving behind murky brown water. That was a few years ago, and once again, laundry stripping is all the rage—this time thanks to TikTok!

It’s no secret that #CleaningTikTok loves a good laundry hack, so it was only a matter of time before they got everyone interested in laundry stripping. After all, it’s sooo satisfying to watch all the dirt and grime come out of (seemingly) clean clothes or, in the case of TikTok user @emmast_john’s viral video, used couch covers. Ick! If you’re ready to try the trend out for yourself and see what gunk is hiding in your linens, here’s the best laundry stripping recipe and some insights into the process.

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8 Ideas to Squeeze More Storage Out of Your Small Apartment

I spent a decade of my life living in apartments all over New England, and the older I got, the more stuff I inevitably accumulated. All of a sudden, I needed bigger moving trucks to relocate from one apartment to the next and the single storage closet…

I spent a decade of my life living in apartments all over New England, and the older I got, the more stuff I inevitably accumulated. All of a sudden, I needed bigger moving trucks to relocate from one apartment to the next and the single storage closet most rentals afforded was nowhere near sufficient to hold my holiday decorations, unitasker appliances, and extra pet supplies. (Don’t even get me started about what happened when my boyfriend moved in.)

While a minimalist might take this as a sign to purge their possessions, I took a different route, getting crafty to find ways to fit all my belongings into my limited apartment storage. I have to say that after ten years and eight apartments, I got pretty good at it, too! Here, my best tried-and-true tips for creating more storage space in a small home:

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The Very Best Camping Gear, According to Soooo Many Reviews

In our oh-so busy digital world, I’ve found that one of the most relaxing things you can do on vacation is truly disconnect. And what better way to get off the grid than heading out into the woods for a summer camping excursion?

If you’ve always wante…

In our oh-so busy digital world, I’ve found that one of the most relaxing things you can do on vacation is truly disconnect. And what better way to get off the grid than heading out into the woods for a summer camping excursion?

If you’ve always wanted to try camping, why not plan your first trip this year? Full-on vacations might not be on your horizon, but safely camping outside is definitely something we can look forward to. You can start out small, spending a weekend at a local campground (many of which offer electricity, bathrooms, and even showers!), and once you feel comfortable roughing it, you can venture out to more secluded spots in the wilderness to really get away from it all.

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9 Ways to Make Grocery Store Bouquets Look Like a Million Bucks

If you’re lucky, you might end up with a life luxurious enough to have weekly seasonal floral arrangements, brought into your home by a dedicated florist who snips blooms at their peak… But if you’re in the other 99 percent (like us), it’s more likely …

If you’re lucky, you might end up with a life luxurious enough to have weekly seasonal floral arrangements, brought into your home by a dedicated florist who snips blooms at their peak… But if you’re in the other 99 percent (like us), it’s more likely that you pick up flowers from the grocery store every once in a while to treat yourself. Because, if we’re being honest, floral arrangements are really expensive.

While you’d probably rather pore through the online options for expertly-arranged flowers, sometimes it’s not within the time frame or the budget. Your dreams of a home freshly-scented from fluffy peonies notwithstanding, grocery-store bouquets are a great quick fix for a dinner-party host, a friend who’s had a bad day, or a surprise mother-in-law visit. What’s even better? There are plenty of ways to spruce ‘em up.

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Thinking About Composting? This Is Your Ultimate Guide

It’s always gross when you go to take out the trash, only to find the bag smells like rotting food—and maybe is even dripping from the bottom. Bleck. But what if I told you there was a way to prevent your trash from smelling, all while being more eco-f…

It’s always gross when you go to take out the trash, only to find the bag smells like rotting food—and maybe is even dripping from the bottom. Bleck. But what if I told you there was a way to prevent your trash from smelling, all while being more eco-friendly in the process? Sign me up!

Composting offers both these noteworthy benefits, not to mention that it creates rich fertilizer that your gardens or houseplants will love. (Seriously, people call it “black gold”!) However, I didn’t know the first thing about composting—not to mention how I could do it in my apartment—so I called in an expert: Erin Rhoads, an eco-lifestyle blogger and the author of Waste Not, a guide on how to make a big difference by throwing away less.

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Is This Raised Bed Method the *Key* to Gardening Success?

I’m always looking for ways to make gardening more streamlined, so when I stumbled across the concept of a keyhole garden, my interest was officially piqued. These garden beds look like raised beds—and it’s no secret we love a raised bed—but they have …

I’m always looking for ways to make gardening more streamlined, so when I stumbled across the concept of a keyhole garden, my interest was officially piqued. These garden beds look like raised beds—and it’s no secret we love a raised bed—but they have an ingenious added feature that makes them even more efficient and easy to care for.

Naturally, I needed to know more about keyhole gardening and whether it’s as game-changing as it seems, so I reached out to a few master gardeners to pick their brains. Here’s what I learned.

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