The other night I moved a load of laundry from the washing machine into the dryer, started the dryer, and got into bed to go to sleep. Just as I was about to doze off, I heard a loud bang and then what sounded like some sparks. My dryer! I don’t know the technical term for what happened (because it still hasn’t been fixed). All I know is that my laundry room was filled with smoke and that whatever blew, didn’t stop the dryer from running. Luckily, I was able to turn everything off and avoid a much worse situation. But, it got me thinking. I start the dryer before heading out of the house all the time. I’ll start it before heading out to walk to dog, going for a run, or running to the grocery store. What if I hadn’t been home when it turned on me? There could have been a fire! I know I’m not the only person who does this so, today, I wanted to talk about some of the things we do, often without thinking, that are actually dangerous. Because, even though we love moving, we certainly don’t want you moving for the wrong reasons.
1. Run Major Appliances: Unfortunately, my dryer example isn’t my only personal experience with washer/dryer issues. Years ago, on a family vacation in the Dominican Republic, I started a load of laundry before relaxing on the beach. Little did I know that this particular washing machine wasn’t automatic and you had to manually switch it from fill, to spin, to rinse, and finally to drain. To make a long story short, I flooded the house in about two inches of water. Aside from my obvious issue with laundry, it really isn’t a good idea to run any major appliance (okay, your refrigerator is fine) if you aren’t going to be in the house. No technology is perfect and there is always the possibility for a malfunction.
This is especially important if you just recently moved into a new home. Sure, you had a home inspection, and that should have included a test of all included appliances, but sometimes details slip through the cracks. The last thing you want during your settling-in process is to find that the dishwasher leaks and has now stained those hardwood floors you loved so much.
2. Over Cleaning: This one caught your attention didn’t it? How can your home be TOO clean? That’s not what I mean. Many cleaning products have ethylene-based glycol ethers and terpenes. The ethers are toxic on their own and while the terpenes are not, they can be when they react with certain particles in the air. If these chemical cleaners are used in high volume or in a small confined space, the levels of toxins reach a harmful state. I’m not saying to stop cleaning your bathroom. Please don’t do that. Just make sure air can circulate in and out to help avoid a toxic environment.
3. Playing Handy-Man/Woman: I am a big fan of DIY projects. I literally have a ten page list of things I want to make to improve my home. But sometimes people take this too far. Unless you are a licensed plumber/electrician/builder, leave the major projects to the professionals. One wrong move with a wire or a pipe can leave your injured and your home a wreck. This is a tough one for new homeowners to follow. I get it too, you just bought a fixer-upper because you saw the amazing potential and in an effort to save money, you want to do as much as you can yourself. That’s great! But be smart about it. You saved money buying the fixer upper in the first place, use those savings to get things done safely and correctly.
If you really take the time to think about it, there are a ton of things we do every day without even thinking about it. But sometimes, little actions can have big consequences!