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Garage Organization Ideas for Clearing Clutter

February 27, 2015

Studies have shown that clutter affects one’s ability to focus and concentrate. According to Unclutter.com:

The clutter competes for your attention in the same way a toddler might stand next to you annoyingly repeating, “candy, candy, candy, candy, I want candy, candy, candy, candy, candy, candy, candy, candy, candy, candy …” Even though you might be able to focus a little, you’re still aware that a screaming toddler is also vying for your attention. The annoyance also wears down your mental resources and you’re more likely to become frustrated.

If you open your garage door and can’t fit your car in there, or your garage just really needs to get organized, keep reading for Molly Maid’s tips on garage organization ideas for clearing clutter.

2262015 garage organization 1 e1425055094374 Garage Organization Ideas for Clearing Clutter

Photo Credit: Rubbermaid Products on Flickr

Part 1: Keep. Donate. Trash. Molly Maid recommends a three-step process for Part 1 of the initial garage organization project. When you’re standing in your garage overwhelmed with the feeling of “I don’t even know where to start” – start with making three piles of all the items in your garage: items to keep, items to donate, and items to throw in the trash. This will help rid the items you no longer use and free up additional space.

Part 2: Sort and Place. For Part 2 of the project, we recommend sorting “like items” and placing them near the area of the garage where you would ultimately like them stored. For example, if you would like your sporting equipment like bikes, golf clubs, helmets, etc. to be closer to the garage door because they’re frequently used, simply put those items near that area.

Part 3: Hang. Hook. Shelve. Bucket. Now we’re ready to actually organize and store these items. We highly recommend having different types of garage organization systems like a shelving unit for smaller container items like paint cans, lawn care products, bug repellent, etc. A rail or rack system with hooks is handy to hang various types of items like bikes, lawn equipment, sporting equipment, which leverages vertical space and frees up for floor space within the garage. Sturdy plastic buckets or baskets are handy for sports equipment like basketballs, footballs, roller blades, baseball gloves, etc.

After completing this three-step process, your garage should be looking organized, tidy and free of clutter for better focus and concentration! Have a garage organization tip of your own? Tell us in the comments section below.

DIY Shoe Rack & Dream Shoe Closet Ideas

February 26, 2015

Marilyn Monroe famously said, “give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world!” We won’t argue with that and it seems those searching Google agree, as more than 3 million results come up for the search term, “DIY shoe storage.”

We discovered several easy ways to stylishly stash your footwear using inexpensive materials such as crown molding, pvc pipe and magazine storage boxes. Molly Maid also couldn’t resist showing off a few dream shoe closet ideas, which have us dreaming of coordinating fabulous shoes by color, heel height and occasion! A few DIY shoe rack great ideas have been assembled in our new Pinterest board: Shoes, Shoes, Shoes.

2262015 shoe organization DIY Shoe Rack & Dream Shoe Closet Ideas

Photo Credit: Erwan F on Flickr

To quickly conquer your closet clutter and get your shoes off the floor, consider visiting your local home improvement store!

Several pinners showed how easy purchasing an 8’ piece of molding can be cut into 3’ pieces. Check out how GENIABEME decorates the wood with spray paint and nails the pieces to a wall. Hang the heel of the shoe along the crown molding ledge and you’ll see an instant improvement!

Home Stories A to Z has the coolest idea to turn plain ‘ol 6” x 10’ pvc pipe into birch log lookalikes! She shares her inventive steps for kindly requesting cuts to the pipe, prepping, painting and covering the surface in birch bark wallpaper. The example provides storage for 10 pairs of shoes, making your entry way look rustic chic!

Don’t know what to do with those magazine storage boxes? Follow Hative’s plans for keeping flip flops and sandals contained! Using two alternating colors, line the boxes on a shelf and stash two pairs in each and celebrate your closet floor being footwear free!

If your tastes and budget allow for a more luxurious solution and you want to showcase your shoe collection, consider inspiration from the stunning closet featured in Traditional Home magazine!

Leading character of Sex & The City and lover of all fashion and things New York, Carrie Bradshaw said, “I’m not afraid of heights – have you seen my shoes?”

For more organization and cleaning ideas from the house cleaning experts at Molly Maid, visit the Cleaning Institute.

How to Organize Your Makeup Like a Pro

February 19, 2015

It’s estimated that women in America spend an average of over $1,000 a year in cosmetics. That’s a lot of moolah, ladies, to just toss casually in your bathroom drawer! Plus, who’s been on the hunt for that one lipstick you bought months ago that you suddenly realize would match your new top exactly?

Learn how to organize your makeup like a pro. It’s a pretty simple and fun project, really! Here’s how to get started.

How to Organize Makeup Like a Pro 300x300 How to Organize Your Makeup Like a ProMake a pile.

First, collect and assess how much makeup you actually have from those various drawers, makeup bags and old purses. Hmm, that’s a lot of eyeliners. Curse those coupons from Ulta and Sephora!

Toss the expired.

Yes, it’s hard to part with some of our fav beauty-makers, but cosmetics do have a shelf life. Bacteria can grow, especially in a humid bathroom environment. They also tend to lose their luster, literally, after time. You can check for expiration dates and use this when-to-toss guide to determine what stays and what goes:

  • Mascaras: 3-4 months
  • Eyeliners: 3-4 months (liquid), 2 years (pencil and powders)
  • Eye shadows: 6 months (cream), 2 years (powder)
  • Foundations: 6 months (liquid), 2 years (powder)
  • Blushes: 6 months (cream), 2 years (powder)
  • Lipsticks and lip liners: 2 years

Pick a spot.

Organization like a pro means choosing the right place so it doesn’t go back to clutter a week later. Ideal locations are obviously in your bathroom or bedroom where you get that beautiful face ready for the day.

  1. A drawer is a great option because you can buy or make your own dividers for low cost.
  2. Another choice is open countertop or shelf space. This works great if you plan to purchase a pretty organizer and like your collection on display.
  3. Inside a cabinet works well when you have a carry organizer and need the portability.
  4. If you’re limited on space with mirror frontage, you can even use the back of a door where you can hang a hook and try one of those hanging jewelry organizers with clear pockets!

Shop or DIY.

Determine if it’s time for a shopping trip for drawer trays, a new cosmetic caddy or if you prefer the creativity and low budget of a DIY makeup drawer organizer. To do-it-yourself, you just need some cardboard or small boxes and old hair ties or rubber bands to sort and separate. Then, decorate as desired. A magazine rack also works well if you have a lot of those box collections.

Group friends.

Now it’s time to match up the eye stuff, lipsticks and liners, face products, etc. Don’t forget to separate the tools and brushes as well. Speaking of bacteria, when is the last time you cleaned those makeup brushes?! All you need is a little bit of shampoo and warm water to get them looking like new. Rinse until the brush is clear and lay flat on a towel to dry.

Now it’s time to enjoy the beauty of your beauty supplies and finding that perfect peach lipstick just when you need it!

Stop Stepping on Toys with Creative Toy Storage Ideas

February 17, 2015

Raising children can be one of the most fulfilling jobs in the world. But with kids, comes toys–and often times, a great multitude of toys. Although toys and books can be great educational resources for little ones, finding a creative toy storage solution that works for you and your children can be a difficult and frustrating task. To overcome this major organizational obstacle, we have put together a few of our favorite DIY toy storage solutions so you can stop stepping on toys.

mlcassid Stop Stepping on Toys with Creative Toy Storage Ideas

Photo cred: Mlcassid on Flickr.

As soon as you think you have one mess cleaned up, another seems to appear. Keep in mind that maintaining a perfectly picked-up house full of toys may be unrealistic, but managing the mess is completely reasonable.

Sort and store toys up high. Packing away the majority of your kid’s toys and storing them up high will reduce the amount of toys available to them. Rotate boxes, so the kids feel like they are getting a new set of toys each day. They will be excited and interested to play with toys they haven’t seen in a while. Also, if your kids ask for a specific box of toys, make sure they pack up and trade one box before they receive the next set. This will give your little ones the chance to practice cleaning and organizational skills.

Create storage solutions that are simple enough for your youngest one to contribute. This way you’ll feel comfortable assigning them “pick-up” duty and holding them accountable for their own toys. Try attaching a shoe organizer to the back of your kids’ bedroom door and using it as an organizer for small toys like barbies, action figures or matchbox cars. Keeping books where kids can see them will encourage them to read, which is why we love this creative DIY book holder made out of wooden crates.

Hide toy storage from guests: toy storage doesn’t have to make every room look like a playroom. Try building or purchasing storage options that blend in with your home’s style, like this awesome DIY bench with built-in storage. This will keep toys out of sight and out of mind when you have guests over. For something simpler, check out this DIY basket storage solution made out of bookshelves!

The sheer amount of toys that seem to accompany kids may be overwhelming, but with our DIY toy storage suggestions, you’ll stop stepping on toys and start enjoying playtime with the kids.

Are you looking for other way to get kids involved in cleaning? We have lots of tips that will have kids help clean around the house!

For your home cleaning needs, call the professionals at Molly Maid. Call 1-888-583-6490 now to connect directly with your local Molly Maid. Each maid services team comprises bonded, insured, licensed and uniformed housekeepers who are regularly supervised. Click here to request service in your area.

How to Organize Your Pantry Like a Super Mom

February 13, 2015

We all have one of those “super moms” in our lives — the one who seems to do it all. Her children are well behaved, her house is impeccable every time you visit, and she somehow manages to get a home cooked meal on the table every night. Although this seems like an unattainable dream to most of us, picking up a few “super mom” habits will have you well on your way to being the mom that everyone is envying soon enough. First secret to being super mom? Having an organized pantry. As a mom, the pantry is one of the most visited places in the house. This is why having an organized pantry is an absolute must. Follow a few of our DIY storage solutions for how to organize your pantry like a pro, and you’ll be “super mom” in no time!

02132015 pantry How to Organize Your Pantry Like a Super Mom

Photo Credit: Chalon Handmade on Flickr

Keep the layout of your pantry like a grocery store would: Keep produce like potatoes and onions in one section, and canned goods in another. This will minimize looking time when you know exactly what you need.

Frequently purge on expired goods: Check expiration dates on your inventory every six months. This will ensure you aren’t storing goods that you don’t need or have gone bad. When reorganizing, make sure the oldest goods are in the front and newest in the back. This way nothing will go to waste.

Use clear, airtight containers: Keep dry foods like pasta and breakfast cereal in clear, air tight containers. This will keep foods fresher longer and give you easy access to your inventory. Your pantry will have a streamlined look when all your containers are uniform.

Make the most out of your space: Make note of the height of your pantry and take advantage of it! Adding adjustable shelves up high is an easy DIY project that will give you extra space. Store foods and canned goods up high that you access less often, like bulk rice and large canned goods. Remember to keep a step stool handy!

Take the time to put food away correctly: If you don’t have time to correctly arrange and organize your groceries when you get home, set non-perishables aside until you do. Also remember to check your inventory before going grocery shopping as to not overstock.

Use your pantry door: Try using a clear shoe organizer to store packaged goods. This will free up even more space and give you a transparent view of all your goods.

Once you’re pantry is organized, you’ll be one step closer to being the super mom of your dreams.

Are you thinking of organizing other areas of your home? Read our post on how to organize your linen closet next.

For your home cleaning needs, call the professionals at Molly Maid. Call 1-888-583-6490 now to connect directly with your local Molly Maid. Each maid services team comprises bonded, insured, licensed and uniformed housekeepers who are regularly supervised. Click here to request service in your area.

We Cleaned Up the Molly Maid Website

February 10, 2015

You’re invited to check out the new Mollymaid.com featuring our new shade of pink and tagline, We’re Maid for This. Our new website has been redesigned for a better user experience and now automatically adjusts for desktop, mobile and tablet devices with pages loading faster than ever before.

phone tablet 150x150 We Cleaned Up the Molly Maid Website

Molly Maid’s new website automatically formats for mobile devices.

In addition to a more modern design with new photos, our expert tips are easier to find in the re-organized Cleaning Institute. Visit often to gather time-saving ideas, seasonal cleaning tips, solutions for every room and download kids chore charts and cleaning schedules to get everyone involved in keeping your house clean.

Molly Maid has provided professional house cleaning service for more than 30 years and we have enjoyed the opportunity to perform millions of cleanings. You can show some serious love this Valentine’s Day by taking house cleaning off your beloved’s To Do list and purchase and instantly download a Molly Maid gift certificate!

Guy’s Guide to Cleaning for Valentine’s Day

February 5, 2015

Hey guys… did you invite someone special to your place for Valentine’s Day? If your space looks like you rented it out to a mothers day breakfast 150x150 Guys Guide to Cleaning for Valentines Dayfraternity, you’d better learn to clean up the mess for a chance to impress. Molly Maid, the nation’s leading residential cleaning company, would like to offer cleaning tips that yield results sure to win her heart.

  • Cover Up that Foul Odor – The first thing she is going to notice when she walks through the door is how your place smells. If it smells like a gym bag, try combating odors by sprinkling coffee beans in a plate or bowl and top it off with a vanilla candle.
  • Remove Beer From Carpet – Moving on to the living room, where she’ll be waiting while you put the finishing touches on the night’s main course. You don’t want that beer stain from Super Bowl parties past to catch her eye. To remove, mix a half cup hydrogen peroxide with one teaspoon household ammonia and apply to stain. Place several white towels on the stain with weight on top and let stand for two or three hours. Repeat the process until clean. Blot dry with white paper towels.
  • Clean a Dirty Stove Top – In the kitchen, don’t let her see the gunk caked on the stove from all those times the pot boiled over. Just mix some baking soda in a small bowl with enough hydrogen peroxide to make a paste. Scrub with the rough side of a sponge and the gunk will come right off. Also, the top of most stoves lifts up for easy cleaning. Since you’re already there, why not use this time to clean up all the pieces of food that have been there since before you moved in?
  • Prevent Beard Hair from Going Everywhere – Avoid a hairy situation and clean the bathroom prior to your lady friend’s arrival. If you just trimmed that sweet Manuary beard, don’t wash it down the sink because it’ll clog. Clean it up with a damp rag and cleaning solution made with a quarter cup of water and vinegar and two tablespoons of olive oil. Not only will it pick up the little bits of hair, but you will have sparkling sink too.

Like us on Facebook to stay connected, find out about upcoming sweepstakes and takeaway tips to keep your place looking great!

Top House Cleaning Tips for 2015

December 29, 2014

As Molly Maid experts, we share cleaning tips with anyone we can, from clients to friends and family. We also post many of our tips here, allowing us to reach those we’ve never even met! Let’s look back at our most popular blog posts of 2014…

The Complete List of House Cleaning Supplies and Equipment

cleaning supplies kit 150x150 Top House Cleaning Tips for 2015In this post, we helped readers stock up on the essential products that make all the difference in cleaning, in terms of both efficiency and efficacy. Among the products you need to have on hand are a good all-purpose cleaner, a glass cleaner, and a separate cleaner made specifically for tile and grout. A wood cleaner, if you have wood floors, also helps you remove the most dust and dirt without leaving behind scratches. Check out the post itself to learn what the best cleaning tools are to work with these products.

Cleaning Tips

break room sink 150x150 Top House Cleaning Tips for 2015We round up many of our favorite back-to-basic cleaning tips in this post but also offer professional advice. For example, to tackle a dirty stainless steel sink, sprinkle a little baking soda on a sponge, rub the sink gently and rinse. Also, did you know you can erase furniture footprints in your carpet by placing an ice cube or two, depending on the size of the impression, in the footprint. They will melt on the carpet fibers and cause them to loosen and stand. Just let it air-dry overnight before vacuuming. We also tell you how to remove stubborn stickers in the post.

10 Steps on How To Clean a Bathroom Fast and Efficiently

detailed bathroom cleaning2 150x150 Top House Cleaning Tips for 2015Few folks enjoy cleaning their bathroom, so we talked in this post about how to get in and out quickly, leaving behind a sparkling powder room. Our 10-step process starts with removing all items that will need to be dusted, emptied or otherwise cleaned from their usual spots, and then cleaning the surfaces underneath—as opposed to cleaning around them. The final step, of course, involves cleaning the bathroom floor. You’ll also find tips such as to keep a hand-held vacuum in the bathroom for quick spot cleaning that will allow you to put off your next full run-through for a few days.

One-Day Deep-Cleaning Projects: Bedroom, Bathroom & Kitchen

kitchen cleaning oven 150x150 Top House Cleaning Tips for 2015Whether you only deep-clean in the spring—or when company has said they’re coming to town—or at least once a month, our advice will help you get the most thorough clean in these rooms. For example, did you know that the upholstery tool on your vacuum and a sprinkle of baking soda are the keys to a clean-smelling mattress? Get more tips for deep cleaning in the post.

How to Clean Wood Floors | Best Dust Mops for Wood Floors

floor mop 150x150 Top House Cleaning Tips for 2015Many of our clients have hardwood floors, and it takes special care to keep them scratch free and shining like new. We stress dust-mopping on a frequent basis. Doing so keeps dust and dirt particles from scratching the finish on the floors. We recommend a dust mop with a swivel head to reach all areas easily, and to use a mop with a removable cover that can be washed. In terms of material for the mop, synthetic material will attract more particles than cotton. It also gets cleaner in the wash, and it lasts longer than natural fibers. We also offer step-by-step instructions for cleaning hardwood floors in the post.

Thank you for reading our blog in 2014. We look forward to offering you more advice in 2015 and beyond. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

For your home cleaning needs, call the professionals at Molly Maid. Call 1-888-583-6490 now to connect directly with your local Molly Maid. Each maid services team comprises bonded, insured, licensed and uniformed housekeepers who are regularly supervised. Click here to request service in your area.

5 Fun Alternatives to Eggnog

December 24, 2014
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For a lot of people, the holidays consist of quality time spent with family and friends. It’s also a time to indulge with good food and drinks. One of the most popular holiday drinks is eggnog. However, if you’re anything like us, you think that plain ol’ eggnog is a tad boring. We don’t want you to be a Plain Jane, which is why we put together five fun alternatives to eggnog…

1. Smari Spiked Eggnog

This can add some spunk to your party. Also, you could say that it’s healthier because this recipe swaps cream for…yogurt!

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2 1/4 cups milk (set 1/4 cup aside for later)
  • 3/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 2 oz. white rum
  • 9 oz. Smari Pure yogurt
  • vanilla bean
  • pinch of salt
  • grated nutmeg

Instructions:

Heat 2 cups milk, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla bean, and salt on low. Whisk the egg yolks until pale in color. Slowly heat up the yolks with hot milk and add to the pot, but be careful that they don’t scramble! Cook over low heat until it thickens. Add bourbon and rum. Mix gently and refrigerate until chilled. Whip yogurt with remaining milk until you see soft peaks. Whip egg whites and remaining sugar until you see soft peaks. Fold yogurt mixture and egg-white mixture together. Combine with cold milk/liquor mixture. Serve chilled, and enjoy!

2. Almondy Umami Eggnog

This eggnog uses almond milk and almonds instead of milk and cream!

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 oz. honey syrup (recipe follows)
  • 2 oz. unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 oz. vanilla-infused amaretto liqueur
  • sliced almonds, toasted
  • ground nutmeg, optional

Instructions:

One week before your party, infuse the liqueur yourself by splitting 2 whole vanilla beans lengthwise and placing into a bottle of amaretto—or buy a bottle at the store! The day of your party, prepare the honey syrup. In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup honey until thoroughly combined. Let it cool and pour into a decorative bottle. To prepare cocktail, place all ingredients into a shaker without ice and shake vigorously for one minute until very frothy; a hand blender would also be acceptable. Add ice to the shaker and shake again to chill. Strain into a tall glass and sprinkle with nutmeg, add toasted almonds.

3. 100 calorie Eggnog Latte

A medium eggnog latte is delicious, but typically has about 450 calories. This version is still tasty but only has about 100 calories. Perfect for your coffee drinkers!

Ingredients:

  • 2 shots espresso or 1/2 cup of strong coffee
  • 1/4 cup eggnog
  • 1/4 cup nonfat milk
  • Sprinkle of nutmeg
  • Sugar or sweetener to taste
  • Whipped topping

Instructions:

This one is quite simple. Brew espresso or coffee and put into a mug. Heat eggnog and add milk. You can put the whole mix into the blender for extra froth. Add sweetener, pour in eggnog/milk mixture, top with whipped topping if you choose, and sprinkle with nutmeg. Now, enjoy your caffeinated holiday treat!

4. Vegan Eggnog

Everyone has at least one vegan in their family. Didn’t think vegan eggnog was possible? Think again. A bit of an oxymoron, we know. Here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups soy milk
  • 1 tbsp instant vanilla pudding powder (make sure it’s vegan)
  • 1 cup nondairy whipping cream or heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

Whisk together half of the soy milk and instant pudding until it thickens. Add the remaining soy milk and the cream and mix well. Add the remaining ingredients, except cinnamon. Allow to chill overnight before serving, and sprinkle with cinnamon (or nutmeg) just before serving!

5. Coffee Smoothie with Brandy & Spices (for those who don’t like eggnog)

You either love eggnog, or you despise eggnog. There really isn’t too much in between. For that reason, we decided to throw in another recipe for all of the “haters.” This fun drink will give you both a boost of caffeine and alcohol, all while tasting great!

Ingredients:

  • 5 cl brandy
  • 5 cl espresso
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 60 g cream
  • 1 or 2 spoonfuls sugar

Instructions:

Whip the cream lightly with the sugar and spices. Stir in the brandy and espresso and pour into two glasses. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and nutmeg and serve chilled!

For your home cleaning needs, call the professionals at Molly Maid. Call 1-888-583-6490 now to connect directly with your local Molly Maid. Each maid services team comprises bonded, insured, license and uniformed housekeepers who are regularly supervised. Click  here to request service in your area.

Gift Ideas for Mom and Dad

December 20, 2014

According to think with Google’s Advent-ageous calendar, online searches for gift ideas for dad and gift ideas for mom peak a few days before Christmas. That got Molly Maid thinking about holiday gifts and we created a “hits and misses survey” to find out what people said were their best and worst gifts over the years.

Over 1,500 people responded and popular responses for best gifts included engagement rings, children born on or near Christmas, new pets and Keurig coffee makers! Some heartfelt comments shared members of the military who returned in time to celebrate safely with friends and family. One thankful spouse said, “My husband returning from the Vietnam War in December of 1967 safely to his family!”

A mother told the tale of her daughter’s gift and said she received a hat of invisibility with a note that said, “Mom, whenever you want to be invisible so you can have some peace and quiet, wear this hat!” She went on to say the hat was a homemade cone modeled after the sorting hat from Harry Potter.

Another woman said her mom and dad provided the best gift when she was a child, and she loved her gold, stingray bicycle with monkey bar handles and a banana seat!

We loved this response about a lady’s gift from her husband, “He got me a stand-up paddle board.  I am 62 years old and so appreciated not getting an old woman’s gift!”

Over 20 people responded that they received Molly Maid gift certificates as holiday gifts and it was their favorite of all time! That correlates with the question we mm giftcards Gift Ideas for Mom and Dadasked about the top item respondents would love to have removed from their To Do lists, and 68% of people said no more house cleaning! The second most dreaded task was laundry at 14%!

Almost 60% of responses said they do not give their loved ones ideas for gifts and 46% said their spouse or significant other needs the most help when it comes to selecting presents.

Here’s an example of last-minute shopping gone wrong, “I received a door mat! My husband did not get around to shopping until late one Christmas Eve, and he thought a door mat would keep my kitchen floor clean! He has since redeemed himself! He now gives very thoughtful gifts!”

Another epic miss was described as, “matching hats for my dog and me made by my mother in law. It wasn’t a joke; it was completely serious.”

The worst may have been, “An egg separator where the egg whites come out a man’s nostrils!”

Don’t make our list of worst gifts next year. The best gifts are considerate of the person and may be as simple as a handwritten card, a keepsake ornament or a sweet photograph. Good luck with your shopping and may your holidays be filled with love and laughter – hopefully not at the gifts you receive! Share any impressive or entertaining items you receive in the comments section below!

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