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  • Wednesday, March 7, 2007 9:00pm
  • Life

Get a handle on spring cleaning: Spring arrives on March 20. It’s a time for rejuvenation and rebirth. A time for starting anew. A time for spring cleaning.

Don’t cringe.

To make the task a bit less of a chore, Kimberly Cockerham of Molly Maid offers these helpful tips:

  • Take inventory of the cleaning products you’ll need for each chore and buy them.
  • Play your favorite music while cleaning.
  • Make small, energy-packed snacks for nibbling throughout the process.
  • Make a list of all the tasks you plan to tackle. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment with each crossed-out item.

    For a spring-cleaning checklist, visit

    Planning an accessible home: With the nation’s baby boomers approaching retirement, universal home design takes on new importance.

    Universal home design means being mindful of everyone, rather than just the “average” person, and designing with common sense. It doesn’t mean modifications only for the elderly or disabled; it’s considerate planning that enhances a home’s livability – and value – by making it comfortable and accessible to everyone.

    In most cases, changes can be made that some people won’t even notice, but that will be greatly appreciated by those who need them. For example:

  • Provide clear and even walkways for those with walkers or in wheelchairs.
  • Make doors 36 inches wide.
  • Lower light switches and raise outlets.
  • Make some closet rods easier to reach.
  • Kitchens and baths require special attention: A lower counter, pullout shelves, lever-type faucets and door handles, roll-in showers and tubs with sturdy grab bars can make life easier for many people.

    Guy stuff: Whether looking to claim a space for play or for work, men can get tips on how to create and tastefully decorate an orderly and often charming sanctuary within the home in “Manspace: A Primal Guide to Marking Your Territory” ($24.95).

    Spaces found in rooms, garages, sheds or other places hold everything from motorcycle and fishing tackle collections to wine cellars and sports bars.

    One of the featured places belongs to an unidentified East Hampton, N.Y., man who turned the second floor of his garage into a Japanese tearoom. The idea grew out of his interest in Samurai culture.

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