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12 Dec 2017 at 5:18pm

(BPT) - Having a pet may seem like the beginning of a never-ending mess, but the key to living with furry friends is preparation. Whether combating odor, keeping surfaces free of dirt and fur or removing pesky stains, taking preventative measures and using the right products can turn any mess into a simple task.

Stop dirt at the door

The weather can't be controlled, but it is possible to keep dirt and debris outside. Keep pet wipes at the door to clean paws and stop mud in its tracks. Look for an all-natural product that will not only capture dirt, but moisturize paw pads and fur at the same time. Thinking ahead and stopping pets from bringing in dirt creates fewer cleanups.

Capture fur from furniture

Pets love sitting on the sofa - and leaving hair behind. To keep furniture fur-free, use the Electrolux Ergorapido PetCare cordless 2-in-1 stick and handheld vacuum. This new tool has an innovative upholstery nozzle, making it easy to keep furniture looking fashionable, not furry.

Fight odors easily

Beyond furniture, fur finds its way to floors and every other surface of the home. Every pet owner knows that frequent vacuuming is a must. To optimize vacuum performance, vacuum bags should be replaced every month or two, and filters should be replaced every three to six months. Arm & Hammer Pet Fresh bags and filters help capture pet dander and allergens, while safely and naturally neutralizing offensive smells.

Keep clothes clean

Clearing furniture and floors of pet hair is a start, but clothes also attract fur that can stick with pet owners long after leaving the house. Homeowners should keep lint rollers by the door to quickly remove pet fur from clothing on their way out the door. Guests also will appreciate the opportunity to remove pet fur that may have accumulated during their visit.

Save woodwork

Protect valuable home items and woodwork from tooth and claw marks by taking preventative measures to deter animals. Furniture-safe products like bitter-tasting sprays will not only stop pets in the act, but also keep them away from areas where they aren't allowed. If pets do leave marks on woodwork, look for nontoxic wood fillers to mend scratches and gashes.

Stop stains

Say goodbye to unsightly carpet stains and lingering odors by opting for strong, pet-friendly products that will leave homes looking like new. Arm & Hammer Pet Fresh Dry Carpet Cleaner neutralizes pet odors and breaks down stains. Arm & Hammer Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner has baking soda and powerful stain fighters and is safe for use in all deep-cleaning machines.

By taking preventative measures and using pet-safe products, humans and their four-legged companions can be perfect cohabitants.

Arm & Hammer Pet Fresh products are available at Walmart and Walmart.com.



8 Dec 2017 at 5:01pm

(BPT) - Are you one of those dedicated people who snap great photos at every meaningful moment of your life? And do most of those shots end up in virtual memory, filed away in a sea of unsorted images?

If so, you're far from alone. Analysts say a whopping 1.2 trillion photos will be taken across the world this year, with many adding to the 4.7 trillion photo stockpile accumulating in digital storage.

In a way we're victims of our own success when it comes to enjoying the key images that define our lives. While smartphone technology has made capturing and preserving our best memories easier than ever, we end up taking so many images we can't curate them all; after that they often wind up forgotten or just plain lost somewhere in the digital realm.

There's light at the end of the lens, however. The photography industry has offered up several solutions for helping you sort and curate the photos that remind you of your most treasured memories. Consider how the following ideas may help.

1. For easier organization and retrieval, there is software available to help you categorize, store and search for your most valuable shots, using technology such as face recognition and your camera's GPS to make the process more efficient. Mac users can source the free Photos app while Windows users can invest in helpful tools such as Adobe Photoshop Elements.

2. Immediately print those meaningful photos, especially if they'd make great gifts. After an exceptional photo session, take your smartphone or memory card directly to a Kodak Picture Kiosk (found at most CVS and Target locations) that can create the prints in minutes. You can even order ahead through the Kodak Moments App or place an order through kodakmoments.com to have it home-delivered.

3. Before downloading your photos for storage, get in the habit of quickly reviewing them and sorting definite keepers from duds. Delete the bad ones or simply rank them via your camera's rating system so your photo library software categorizes them accordingly. Be sure to clearly name and date your folders and subfolders using multiple descriptive keywords pointing to themes, subjects, locations, occasions, seasons, etc.

4. Check out other time-saving tools. For example, the easy-to-use Kodak Moments App offers a 'Made for You' feature that automatically searches your rolls to identify standout photos and show you how they'd look as prints, cards, photo books, canvases, mugs or magnets. Such personalized items can make meaningful gifts for the loved one who has everything.

5. For added security, some experts advise maintaining files for your digital photos on at least three different media, with one set stored outside of your home. That ensures you'll always have options for retrieval if something goes awry.

When they're brought out of storage and enjoyed, your most stellar photos can remind you of the best parts of your life. Make sure you're curating and celebrating your most treasured memories.