Author Topic: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain  (Read 34092 times)

Lski'stash

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #100 on: October 02, 2016, 05:47:34 PM »
This is an excellent thread.

I can't say enough about the de-cluttering. We are remodeling our house right now, and there is stuff EVERYWHERE! Even when I try to keep the remdeling supplies to one room, there is still stuff everywhere.


Goldielocks

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #101 on: October 02, 2016, 05:51:53 PM »
I just read the books recommended.   Quite good, and an fast / easy read.   Available at my library, so check out yours, too.

A recommendation not (quite) mentioned here is to have a cleaning "cart" -- not just a caddy, like hotels have.   With everything including brooms and tools loaded and ready to move.  Recommended a brand that specializes in residential mini carts...

Also,   recommended brown or earthy "tweed" textures or patterns to hide dirt, especially on floors.

Trudie

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #102 on: October 03, 2016, 09:45:51 AM »
+1 to decluttering, to which I'd add - don't keep too many duplicates of anything.  This is especially an issue in the kitchen -- saving too much stuff (most of which could be easily replaced if it breaks) for a "rainy day."

I'm also a proponent of batch cooking and using my freezer.  It results in less kitchen mess, saved time, less waste, and the convenience of pulling stuff out of the freezer.  I do this especially with soups so that I can do all my slicing and dicing at one time.  Clean up is a breeze.

Just own less of about everything.

TrMama

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #103 on: October 03, 2016, 11:01:30 AM »
I get rid of junk mail ASAP, tear off addresses and put in shredder and try to get rid of paper clutter as much as possible.

I go one step further when we get junk mail with our address on it. I call the supplier of the junk mail and ask them to take our name off their mailing list. Works like a charm to reduce the amount of junk I have to deal with and hopefully saves some trees at the same time.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #104 on: October 03, 2016, 11:04:09 AM »
I get rid of junk mail ASAP, tear off addresses and put in shredder and try to get rid of paper clutter as much as possible.

I go one step further when we get junk mail with our address on it. I call the supplier of the junk mail and ask them to take our name off their mailing list. Works like a charm to reduce the amount of junk I have to deal with and hopefully saves some trees at the same time.

Ugh, I really need to get back on this. I was a junk-mail-unsubscribing fiend for a while last year and I got us off SO many lists (both postal and email). But there is still a slow trickle and it seems less urgent when it's just the odd thing. I was at my grandmother's the other week and she gets about five to ten bits of junk mail a DAY and chucks it straight in the bin. Makes our situation seem so much better!

nottoolatetostart

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #105 on: October 03, 2016, 11:16:52 AM »
I get rid of junk mail ASAP, tear off addresses and put in shredder and try to get rid of paper clutter as much as possible.

I go one step further when we get junk mail with our address on it. I call the supplier of the junk mail and ask them to take our name off their mailing list. Works like a charm to reduce the amount of junk I have to deal with and hopefully saves some trees at the same time.

I totally do this too! It never is 0 though. I hate mail.

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #106 on: October 03, 2016, 11:21:06 AM »
Great ideas! I'll add a few.

This won't work if you have a ton of clothes (or people) but we got rid of our hamper and throw dirty clothes directly in the washing machine, then start it when it's full. Same with dishes - empty in the morning, fill all day, wash at night. No need to keep dishes in the sink.

It's often "stacked up stuff" that makes a place messy. If you can eliminate your need for piles, you'll have less clutter and it's easier to wipe down surfaces.

On a side note - I hate having countertops cluttered with appliances. We swapped out our clunky espresso machine for an aeropress that sits in the cabinet with the coffee cups. I like having clean counters that are easy to wipe down.

For Hardwood Floor Cleaning - we have a swiffer type robot (current model is called the Braava) and it's great. We set it to "sweep" when we leave the house and it keeps the floors dust-free. It's amazing how it manages to clean up plenty of dirt on a daily basis, even though there are only two of us. It works well on cat hair and litter too.

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mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #107 on: October 04, 2016, 04:37:51 AM »
Another great sheet storage idea is to use the pillowcase as a bag to hold the sheet set inside of.

So my queen sheet sets are folded up (bottom, top, and pillowcase1) and then placed inside pillowcase2.

Twin sets only have one pillowcase which is used as the bag for the bottom and top sheet.

These packets stack nicely on my shelves and when you pull out the pillowcase you know that you have the entirety of the set inside.

Each bed in the house only has two sets of sheets.  One to use and one to wash.

Here, each bed has only two sets of sheets - one summer, one winter.

That reduces sheet-folding to being something that happens seasonally.

Every weekend, I strip our bed, wash the sheets and peg them on the line. The bed airs out for a couple of hours while the sheets dry, then I re-make the bed. In winter I switch to flanelette sheets, but still just one set.

Spare bed sheets are washed as needed.

(As with everything else in this thread, this is me going with what works. For me, multiples make things harder, not easier, but YMMV.)

misshathaway

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #108 on: October 04, 2016, 08:48:41 AM »
I get rid of junk mail ASAP, tear off addresses and put in shredder and try to get rid of paper clutter as much as possible.

I have a mail trash can 3 feet from the mailbox. I go through it right then and the junk mail, which is almost 100% of it goes into the can. Never gets in the house.

Our recycling company does not like loose pieces of paper in the bins, so I just throw it away. When they don't like something you did, they throw the empty bin back so that it blocks your driveway.

I was able to reduce the junk mail quite a bit with an app called PaperKarma. You take a picture of the return address within the app and they contact the company on your behalf. It worked for awhile and then I got less diligent about scanning the new junk sources.
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Bracken_Joy

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #109 on: October 04, 2016, 09:05:04 AM »
I get rid of junk mail ASAP, tear off addresses and put in shredder and try to get rid of paper clutter as much as possible.

I have a mail trash can 3 feet from the mailbox. I go through it right then and the junk mail, which is almost 100% of it goes into the can. Never gets in the house.

Our recycling company does not like loose pieces of paper in the bins, so I just throw it away. When they don't like something you did, they throw the empty bin back so that it blocks your driveway.

I was able to reduce the junk mail quite a bit with an app called PaperKarma. You take a picture of the return address within the app and they contact the company on your behalf. It worked for awhile and then I got less diligent about scanning the new junk sources.

Thank you for the paper karma reminder. I did that years ago, and forgot what it was called. We are being inundated with life insurance junk because we just took out a mortgage. ~15 letters per week right now.
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Aimza

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #110 on: October 04, 2016, 03:08:49 PM »
To get rid of catalogs, I've used https://catalogchoice.org/

Great tips so far!

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #111 on: October 04, 2016, 03:56:54 PM »
Another sheet-related tip...

Family friends had an elderly relative who was nearing the end after a long battle with a terminal illness.

Most of the large extended family lived away, apart from one daughter.

She opened up her spare room, said everyone was welcome to come and stay with her and pay their respects, but she asked that they bring their own queen sheets for the guest bed.

That way she could spend time with her dying mother, rather than endlessly washing sheets.

The family was happy to comply. An elegant solution for a difficult situation.

galliver

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #112 on: October 04, 2016, 05:15:28 PM »
Others have given good advice: de-clutter, and have a place for everything.

You did say "no routines", but I think this is relevant to reducing the stress you report. I have a list of several things, like,

- sweep kitchen
- vacuum
- un/load dishwasher
- oven
- fridge
- surfaces
- toilets
- showers
- sheets
- laundry - one of do a load and hang it, bring it in, or sort it

and my thing is, I will do a minimum and maximum of two of these each day. "Dishes? Nope, already swept the kitchen and sorted the laundry, dishes will have to wait till tomorrow." So on average everything gets done 1-2 a week. The place is never spotless but it's never a filthy mess.

I really like this idea to the point I might steal it and force it on BF...thank you!

5. Instead of having 3-4 laundry baskets in everyone's room, I throw all clothes now downstairs at the bottom of the basement stairs. When I go downstairs in the basement (which happens multiple times per day anyway), I pick everything up and put in baskets next to the washer. Our basement door is centrally located in our ranch, I never have to take the laundry baskets back to everyone's room and the rooms stay decluttered of dirty clothes (I would always forget to take them back upstairs after I started running a load). Plus, I have all dirty clothes in one spot when I want to run a load.

An alternative approach to laundry baskets: depending on your family's habits/routines, it might make sense to keep a laundry basket in the bathroom(s), if lots of dirty clothes are generated there. Growing up we didn't have hampers in our bedrooms, just a pile of re-wearable clothes, and whenever we deemed them dirty we'd take them to the hamper. Mom (or eventually, whoever) would also let everyone know she was doing laundry so we could remember to throw things in, on laundry day.

ehallison

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #113 on: October 05, 2016, 10:45:04 AM »
Laundry is always washed in cold, so there is no need to sort by color.  Loads are instead done by person.
All my laundry goes straight from my hamper, into the machines, into a basket (it's only my clothes in the basket) and then I fold it or steal from it.  My husband has his own loads as do each of my children.  Glorious.

This will save time, but cost $ in the long run.  Even if you wash in cold water, whites & lights will get dingy faster.  Washing jeans with soft clothes (t-shirts, yoga pants) can damage them.  And clothes that are meant to be washed in warm or hot water won't get as clean.

Sorting only takes me about 5 minutes on laundry day; I think it's time well spent.

4alpacas

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #114 on: October 05, 2016, 10:50:58 AM »
Laundry is always washed in cold, so there is no need to sort by color.  Loads are instead done by person.
All my laundry goes straight from my hamper, into the machines, into a basket (it's only my clothes in the basket) and then I fold it or steal from it.  My husband has his own loads as do each of my children.  Glorious.

This will save time, but cost $ in the long run.  Even if you wash in cold water, whites & lights will get dingy faster.  Washing jeans with soft clothes (t-shirts, yoga pants) can damage them.  And clothes that are meant to be washed in warm or hot water won't get as clean.

Sorting only takes me about 5 minutes on laundry day; I think it's time well spent.
I wash almost all of our clothes together--jeans, sheets, towels separately.  If I'm worried about something bleeding, I'll use a color catcher.  We don't have enough clothes to separate and wait for a full load. 

casserole_dish

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #115 on: October 07, 2016, 08:00:44 PM »
I don't know if someone already posted this but....hooks, hooks everywhere!

I live on my own in a one bedroom studio and I have 7 hooks. It keeps my clothes, towels, bags etc off my floor, bed and couch.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #116 on: October 08, 2016, 09:11:16 AM »
I don't know if someone already posted this but....hooks, hooks everywhere!

I live on my own in a one bedroom studio and I have 7 hooks. It keeps my clothes, towels, bags etc off my floor, bed and couch.

Yeah, putting up an over the door hook for my purse and making a "go station" were major achievements for me. Right by the door we always come in, so stuff never even makes it in the house. I also have a trash can right there for receipts and the like that need to get thrown out right away.
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Bracken_Joy

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #117 on: October 10, 2016, 02:46:46 PM »
I saw this article today, and it made me think of this thread! http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/renovation-tips-for-people-who-hate-to-clean-211458

7 Smart Choices to Save Yourself Time Cleaning Later
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newelljack

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #118 on: October 10, 2016, 03:00:24 PM »

I've found that for me, the Roomba is actually a great forcing function.  I hate cleaning, but I'm very happy picking my crap off the floor so that the robot can do it for me.  I'm not sure why I have this particular brokenness, but - it works. :)

-----

My trick for getting a Roomba:  The batteries, particularly on > 3y/o models, tended to die pretty easily.  You can pick up a third-party replacement on Amazon for about $25.  Combine that with finding someone on craigslist who's dumping theirs because it's stopped working (or because it only runs for a minute or two before dying) and doesn't know that you can replace the battery trivially -- whoom, robot vacuum for under $100.  There's some risk of truly getting a lemon, but of the four or so I've purchased over the last ~12 years, I think I was able to get 3 working again with some amount of work.  Ranged from new battery to 50% disassemble, clean, and reassemble.

As with all craigslist things, of course, patience is a virtue.  People seem to sell a lot of unwanted roombas in the post-xmas era -- didn't work with their carpet, dog, child, whatever.

(I don't know how the craigslist market is for used robot vacuums any more;  ours has just kept working for a while.)

I just bought two Roombas for $50 on eBay. It looks like the previous owner ran it until the brushes became too full and sold them to me. I spent about 30 minutes cleaning them and bought a new battery for one of them ($20). Now they both run great!

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #119 on: October 10, 2016, 04:28:36 PM »
Thought of another one while pottering around home this morning.

I use a rectangular mop bucket as a garbage bin. It fits perfectly under my kitchen sink, and I use plastic shopping bags for bin bags.

Because it is small, it gets emptied frequently (once or twice a week), so odours aren't a problem, and it's not a big, intimidating job that we're likely to put off*.

Once a week I wipe the bin out with cleaning spray and a cloth.

If I'm cooking, I will sit the bucket on the bench so I can toss in peels, etc, as I go. If I'm cleaning up at home, I sit it on the pass where it can be accessed from the kitchen, dining room, lounge room or hallway, and just throw things in as a I walk past.

*I catch public transport to work, which means I walk past our building's garbage bins on my way out, so I take out the garbage 95 per cent of the time. It is astonishing the number of people (friends and neighbours) who make like comments like, "Your husband should do that for you!"

Goldielocks

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #120 on: October 10, 2016, 04:37:55 PM »


*. It is astonishing the number of people (friends and neighbours) who make like comments like, "Your husband should do that for you!"

Instead, I tend to get to hear the husbands telling their wife....  "See Goldielocks mows the lawn, you can too"...

TomTX

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #121 on: October 15, 2016, 07:58:25 PM »
Rubber broom has been ordered. I am so indulgent!

shelivesthedream

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #122 on: October 16, 2016, 01:43:16 PM »
Thanks to this thread and the Don Aslett book, I just spent 20 on a suspended bin. SO WORTH IT. I also finally swapped rubbish and recycling over so recycling gets the bigger bin.

BlueHouse

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #123 on: October 17, 2016, 09:14:53 AM »
Thanks to this thread and the Don Aslett book, I just spent 20 on a suspended bin. SO WORTH IT. I also finally swapped rubbish and recycling over so recycling gets the bigger bin.
What is a suspended bin?  Can you please post pictures?  I feel like I NEED one now and I don't even know what it is!  :)  I am addicted to cleaning and organizing! 
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shelivesthedream

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #124 on: October 18, 2016, 03:37:12 AM »
Thanks to this thread and the Don Aslett book, I just spent 20 on a suspended bin. SO WORTH IT. I also finally swapped rubbish and recycling over so recycling gets the bigger bin.
What is a suspended bin?  Can you please post pictures?  I feel like I NEED one now and I don't even know what it is!  :)  I am addicted to cleaning and organizing!

Only if you promise not to laugh at me! Spending less effort cleaning is definitely a financial priority for me, and I'm trying to get better at actually buying things when they will improve my life. What I used to have was a bin like this (http://homebase.scene7.com/is/image/homebase/679024_R_Z001?$TMB$&wid=420&hei=420) for rubbish and then a bucket for recycling. I also stored my string mop and bucket next to them. So the rubbish bin gets stinky (even though we have food waste collection, because if you empty your bin every two weeks then even a smear is going to start growing things), the recycling spills out onto the floor, and moving the three bins/buckets to clean under them is way too much effort.

So now I bought this bin (http://www.simplehuman.com/uk/in-cabinet-can) because it can hook onto a ridge that's there already (no suitable cabinet and rental so not allowed to drill into walls). That's now the rubbish bin and the big grey one is the recycling bin and I also splashed out on an e-cloth washable mop which hangs on a hook so got rid of the mop and bucket. It's great! So easy to move the recycling bin out the way to clean and the bin sizes are much more appropriate for how much rubbish we create in each category so they're emptied at more appropriate intervals.

It sounds silly, but I never thought it could make that much difference!

BlueHouse

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #125 on: October 18, 2016, 01:25:58 PM »
Thanks to this thread and the Don Aslett book, I just spent 20 on a suspended bin. SO WORTH IT. I also finally swapped rubbish and recycling over so recycling gets the bigger bin.
What is a suspended bin?  Can you please post pictures?  I feel like I NEED one now and I don't even know what it is!  :)  I am addicted to cleaning and organizing!

Only if you promise not to laugh at me! Spending less effort cleaning is definitely a financial priority for me, and I'm trying to get better at actually buying things when they will improve my life. What I used to have was a bin like this (http://homebase.scene7.com/is/image/homebase/679024_R_Z001?$TMB$&wid=420&hei=420) for rubbish and then a bucket for recycling. I also stored my string mop and bucket next to them. So the rubbish bin gets stinky (even though we have food waste collection, because if you empty your bin every two weeks then even a smear is going to start growing things), the recycling spills out onto the floor, and moving the three bins/buckets to clean under them is way too much effort.

So now I bought this bin (http://www.simplehuman.com/uk/in-cabinet-can) because it can hook onto a ridge that's there already (no suitable cabinet and rental so not allowed to drill into walls). That's now the rubbish bin and the big grey one is the recycling bin and I also splashed out on an e-cloth washable mop which hangs on a hook so got rid of the mop and bucket. It's great! So easy to move the recycling bin out the way to clean and the bin sizes are much more appropriate for how much rubbish we create in each category so they're emptied at more appropriate intervals.

It sounds silly, but I never thought it could make that much difference!
I promise never to laugh at home organization products!  I promise, I am an addict.  I love finding the perfect thing for function while still looking great.  I don't think that will be the right solution for me, because you still need to touch the bin to open it.  I do have a goal to consolidate my trash into a smaller bin though.  Right now I have this for garbage:  http://www.simplehuman.com/30-litre-butterfly-step-can-fingerprint-proof-brushed-stainless-steel and I use this: http://www.cabinetparts.com/p/revashelf-organizers-kitchen-organizers-RV8785302SS?utm_source=google&utm_medium=paid_search&utm_campaign=paid_search_google_pla&scid=scplp11755691&sc_intid=RV8785302SS&gclid=CjwKEAjwkJfABRDnhbPlx6WI4ncSJADMQqxdjF7ZGRrlXsbA2ece18h3Va7e2Alb79oA1Uo5pB4aNhoCqzHw_wcB#prettyPhoto.  Big bin for recycling and small bin for dirty dish towels.
I'm just one person, I should be able to just use a small bin for garbage so I can get rid of the giant trash bin. 
I don't have the 2-bin inside a cabinet yet.  It's currently on the floor of my pantry, but I would like to move it to under my sink. 


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KiwiSonya

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #126 on: October 19, 2016, 03:03:07 AM »
This is the best thread.  I bought the Ergonomics book recommended earlier in the thread and it has already changed my life.  My kids (4 & 6) are terrible eaters at the table - up, down, up, down, food on floor etc.  Instantly fixed by putting a stool under their feet.  Also bought a stick vacuum so we (incl them) can clean up the messes we make during the day.  I also bought them a step stool and their own cutlery and crockery in separate colours and they are taking full responsibility for serving themselves, washing their dishes, drying and putting them away.  And they love that they are able to be helpful.  Feel a bit silly that I didn't notice earlier that our house didn't really allow them to be independent.  And I'm still waiting for the arrival of Don Aslett's book - takes ages for mail to come from US to NZ! Thanks for the great tips everyone.

Cranky

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #127 on: October 19, 2016, 05:03:50 AM »
Those little whisk brooms and dust pans (sold at the dollar stores) are great for kids to use to clean up their own messes! I teach at a Montessori, and even the teenagers still use them.

BlueHouse

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #128 on: October 19, 2016, 01:30:59 PM »
I have small plastic bins in my closet and keep one bin for work socks (identical sets), peds, and one labelled "orphans".  All of the socks that come out of the dryer without a mate go in my orphan bin until the other one reappears.   It's amazing how many socks get reunited this way!
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Primm

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #129 on: October 21, 2016, 12:11:52 AM »
Those little whisk brooms and dust pans (sold at the dollar stores) are great for kids to use to clean up their own messes! I teach at a Montessori, and even the teenagers still use them.

I work in a hospital and we have one of these (with a long handle) sitting in the medication room for the nurses to use. It's a hell of a lot easier than emu-bobbing up all the little scraps of paper and tape that fall to the floor during a procedure.

Lmoot

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #130 on: October 22, 2016, 08:21:45 AM »
Implementing a junkbox in most rooms saved my life.  At the end of the day if I don't feel like cleaning up I can just throw everything in the junk box, or if I haven't created a place for something it goes in the junk box. Then every week or two I take the box and put everything away.

 I also use trays on counters, on dressers, on shelves etc. to keep things together and be able to find things and put things away quicker. I have a tray in the kitchen that holds the hand soap the dish soap the dishwashing soap a towel and sponge/Cloth. You can also use caddies for this especially for holding cleaning equipment. I have a caddy for all my bathroom cleaners, I have a caddy for my kitchen cleaners. And I have a caddy for dusting and cleaning windows.

 The two main things I struggle with and which contribute the most to a cluttered look in my house, is paper and clothing. I always have too much of both. So, I have a tray for paper and any paper, notices, mail I don't have time to look through in the moment all Goes there until I have time to sort through it. If I don't feel like hanging up clothes or don't have time to hang up clothes after washing I have a chair in my room that I neatly drape the clothes over so it doesn't wrinkle and then I go back later and fold and hang it while watching Netflix.

I am a procrastinator so everything has to be done later, but at least this way I can do them on my own terms and it doesn't have to look messy in the meantime.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #131 on: October 30, 2016, 09:26:08 AM »
This is the best thread.  I bought the Ergonomics book recommended earlier in the thread and it has already changed my life.  My kids (4 & 6) are terrible eaters at the table - up, down, up, down, food on floor etc.  Instantly fixed by putting a stool under their feet.  Also bought a stick vacuum so we (incl them) can clean up the messes we make during the day.  I also bought them a step stool and their own cutlery and crockery in separate colours and they are taking full responsibility for serving themselves, washing their dishes, drying and putting them away.  And they love that they are able to be helpful.  Feel a bit silly that I didn't notice earlier that our house didn't really allow them to be independent.  And I'm still waiting for the arrival of Don Aslett's book - takes ages for mail to come from US to NZ! Thanks for the great tips everyone.

Which ergonomics book? Missed it!

So a stool under their feet while sitting makes them sit better??!

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #132 on: October 30, 2016, 10:14:25 AM »
This is the best thread.  I bought the Ergonomics book recommended earlier in the thread and it has already changed my life. 

Which ergonomics book? Missed it!

So a stool under their feet while sitting makes them sit better??!

I gotta get my hands on this book!  So, I did a search of this thread for ergonomics and can't seem to find the original suggestion.  Can you share the title and author, ladystache?

margarita

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #133 on: October 30, 2016, 12:34:17 PM »
Totally agree that less clutter means less cleaning.  In the bathrooms there is nothing on the counter except electric toothbrush, 1 cup and hand soap pump.  Everything else is kept in the drawers and put away.  Same for bedroom - as little as possible on the surface.  I got so tired of picking up the same photo frames and dusting them every week so I got rid of them.  Instead of taking 5 minutes to dust everything it now takes seconds to dust the top of the dresser.

One set of sheets for every bed in the house - wash and put back on the bed.

One set of towels for every bathroom - wash and hang back in the bathroom.

In the shower areas one shampoo and one conditioner.   It drives me crazy to have half used bottles of shampoo and conditioner in the shower area (my daughter is the worst for this!). 

I had a set of dishes that came with coffee cups and little plates.  Never used them as we use the big mugs for coffee so after years of them sitting in the cupboard and packed them up and donated them. 

I buy the disposable square plastic ziplock containers (which I use over and over).  Multiples of two sizes - medium and large.  They stack and the lids sit underneath in the cupboard.  Instead of random sizes of "Tupperware" taking up a lot of space this covers almost everything that needs to go in a container and takes up very little space as they stack.  I know they are plastic and maybe not great but I never reheat in them only use for storage in fridge.

I got so sick of the amount of junk mail in our mailbox so I googled "stop junk mail Canada Post" and all it takes is to put a note in the mailbox (taped to the inside saying "NO neighbourhood mail please".  Voila no more junk mail.  Also called up the free newspaper company and told them I do not want it.  The paper wasn't the problem it was the million flyers.  Downloads the app "Flipp" and all the flyers are on it.

Hardwood and ceramic floors are so much easier to clean than carpet - no carpet in house. 

Think before buying cuts down on clutter.  It seems obvious but for years I kept buying things I didn't need; i.e. another pair of black pants, another pair of jeans, another pair of running shoes.  I stop and think before buying.  The other day I was in Old Navy and picked up a long sleeve tshirt for $8 regular $24 (what a bargain) walked around the store with it and then smacked myself when I thought I have a couple almost the same and do I really need another one even at the bargain price?  Nope.  Set it down and walked out of the store. 

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #134 on: October 30, 2016, 01:19:54 PM »
If you live with someone else (or multiple someones), you may be able to use that to your advantage.

SO and I have slightly different levels of ideal cleanliness, and different dislike of certain tasks. This started out as a conflict, but became a benefit when we learned how to leverage it. For instance, I *HATE* taking out the trash. SO doesn't mind taking it out but he'll end up playing the garbage-bin-jenga game for a while before deciding it's full. If I tie up the garbage bags before that point and put them by the door, it signals that it's time to take the garbage out.

Another thing we do, since our work schedules tend to be staggered, is that he'll load the dishwasher in the morning before work, and I'll unload it once I get home. The work is evenly divided, and it happens to be something that we can both sustain. (If we tried to flip it so I did it in the morning and him in the evening, I don't think it'd work!)

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #135 on: October 30, 2016, 02:13:59 PM »
I buy the disposable square plastic ziplock containers (which I use over and over).  Multiples of two sizes - medium and large.  They stack and the lids sit underneath in the cupboard.  Instead of random sizes of "Tupperware" taking up a lot of space this covers almost everything that needs to go in a container and takes up very little space as they stack.  I know they are plastic and maybe not great but I never reheat in them only use for storage in fridge.


+1

Food Basics carries these store-brand rectangular ones that hold about 3 cups.  I think it's their soup/salad one. We bought 12 and tossed out or repurposed all  other containers. Added aa couple tiny ones for salad dressing/sauce, and that's it.

Easy to stack, you always have a lid, it's still cheaper than buying the mismatched multipack with one of each size and it NEVER overfills the drawer. Plus the rectangular size fits a good meals worth of food and fits better in a bag than a square one.

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #136 on: October 30, 2016, 06:05:18 PM »
About a year ago I got tired of cleaning the house inefficiently and put some effort into researching how professional cleaners get done so quickly. I came across the  "many rags" method.

Supplies:

1. 1 bottle of spray cleaner. I use diluted Mr Clean in an old spray bottle
2. 1 spray bottle of glass cleaner
3. 1 magic eraser
4. 1 bottle of toilet cleaner (aka bleach)
5. 1 bale of microfiber cloths from the car wash isle. I have 15-20.
6. 1 bucket or tote that holds everything
7. vacuum
8. spray mop with the widest head you can find and a microfiber pad. A wider head makes mopping go much faster
9. Another tote, or laundry basket to put the dirty rags, towels and sheets in.

Basic Technique: Start in the furthest corner of each room and work your way out the door. Clean everything in 1 room before moving to the next. This prevents running all over the house. Do not stop to rinse out the rags. Use each rag until it's dirty and then toss it in the basket. Then grab another clean rag.

Method:
Bathrooms (aka wet rooms)

1. clean the toilet bowl with bleach and a toilet brush.  Using a dry rag, dust the top and sides of the outside all the way down to the floor, including all the funny crevices around the trap. Using the same rag, spray the inside of the lid, the seat and the top of the rim with spray cleaner. Wipe with the rag. Toss the rag in the dirty tote.

2. Using a dry rag, wipe the light fixtures.

3. Use glass cleaner and a fresh rag to clean the mirror and windows. Use the same rag and some spray cleaner to wipe the counter, faucets and sinks. Toss the rag.

4. Use the magic eraser and some spray cleaner to clean the shower/tub.

5. Replace dirty towels/mats with clean ones.

6. Vacuum yourself out of the room.

7. Spray mop yourself out of the room


Dry rooms (bedrooms, living rooms, etc)

1. Strip bed linens

2. Using a dry rag, dust light fixtures, lamps, shelves, and decorative things (including pictures on the wall)

3. Clean windows with glass cleaner and a clean rag

4. Remake the bed with clean sheets

5. Vacuum yourself out of the room

6. Spray mop yourself out of the room (if there are hard surface floors)

When you're done with all the rooms (or the rooms you've chosen to clean that day) put all the dirty rags and linens in the washing machine. Refill your spray mop and cleaning bottles with fresh cleaner. If necessary, put in a new vacuum bag or empty the dirt reservoir.

Since I started cleaning this way, my house has never been cleaner and it takes way less time. Plus, this method doesn't rely on having cleaners and tools cluttering up every room in the house.

This is quite possibly the most helpful thing I have ever read, thank you so much! We have a clutter problem in our home that I'm attempting to address, but as that improves and I get the hang of this method, I hope I can keep it clean most of the time!

Yes yes yes! This is how professionals clean effectively and quickly. Love it.

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #137 on: October 30, 2016, 10:19:49 PM »
Very good system but I add an old toothbrush - pet peeve is dirt around faucets, drains, toilet bases and shower doors.  Toothbrush works great for crevices/grout lines.

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #138 on: October 31, 2016, 10:09:37 AM »
I buy the disposable square plastic ziplock containers (which I use over and over).  Multiples of two sizes - medium and large.  They stack and the lids sit underneath in the cupboard.  Instead of random sizes of "Tupperware" taking up a lot of space this covers almost everything that needs to go in a container and takes up very little space as they stack.  I know they are plastic and maybe not great but I never reheat in them only use for storage in fridge.


+1

Food Basics carries these store-brand rectangular ones that hold about 3 cups.  I think it's their soup/salad one. We bought 12 and tossed out or repurposed all  other containers. Added aa couple tiny ones for salad dressing/sauce, and that's it.

Easy to stack, you always have a lid, it's still cheaper than buying the mismatched multipack with one of each size and it NEVER overfills the drawer. Plus the rectangular size fits a good meals worth of food and fits better in a bag than a square one.
+2.  One thing I changed that changed my kitchen routine enormously -- I moved my tupperware/rubbermaid reusable storage containers form the bottom hidden cabinets to star billing -- they now have their own BIG drawer and it's the primary drawer in the kitchen.  For years, I thought tupperware had to be hidden in the bottom cabinet, making it so hard to find the right pieces.  Now I have nice, nesting rubbermaid set that is stacked neatly.  My mom still gets shivers when she realizes that plastic containers are in my most-accessible places instead of relegated to the under-sink cabinet! 

Along those same lines, rearranging the things in your cabinets & pantry for how you actually use them does wonders.  I changed the heights of all the shelves in my kitchen cabinets, and it gives me the use of an entire additional shelf because now I can reach it.  Put your shortest items on the bottom two shelves, then a tall shelf because you can reach the bottom of the items to pull them down.  I can't reach the top shelf without a stool no matter how low I can put it, and it's not really needed that much anymore anyway because I now have easy access to three shelves! 
Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #139 on: November 01, 2016, 10:12:46 PM »
Pondering this thread this morning...

Don't buy a shallow bathroom sink. We moved earlier this year and everyone who washes their hands in the bathroom gets water everywhere as the sink isn't deep enough to stop the spray.

Lots of power points. It's easier to keep a room looking tidy if you don't have to use extension leads and adaptors.

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #140 on: November 01, 2016, 10:40:10 PM »
Lots of power points. It's easier to keep a room looking tidy if you don't have to use extension leads and adaptors.

Yeah, it amazes me how  much more difficult vacuuming, sweeping, tidying in general are with cords and curtain pulls and so forth that trail along the floor. Bedskirts, quilts, and curtains that touch the floor get in the way too for me.
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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #141 on: November 02, 2016, 01:19:59 AM »
Wow, great thread.

+1 declutter, store away, clean-as-you-go.

I hadn't heard of the "many rags" tip before, will give it a try. I'm sold on the lampshade lint roller tip!

I keep a bucket in the bathroom to catch shower water. I use this to mop floors or for other cleaning where re-used water is fine. One less step of getting the bucket, filling it in the sink etc, and saves water.

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #142 on: November 02, 2016, 04:34:52 AM »
Wow, great thread.

+1 declutter, store away, clean-as-you-go.

I hadn't heard of the "many rags" tip before, will give it a try. I'm sold on the lampshade lint roller tip!

I keep a bucket in the bathroom to catch shower water. I use this to mop floors or for other cleaning where re-used water is fine. One less step of getting the bucket, filling it in the sink etc, and saves water.

How do you shower if there's a bucket in the way?

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #143 on: November 02, 2016, 12:00:31 PM »
I have been busy making changes on the domestic front after reading this thread and the recommended books. Ergonomic living encourages me to rearrange my house so my 4 & 6 year olds can be more independent. Bringing their things lower and providing step stools has lead to a transformation in their helpfulness. They get their own breakfasts and snacks now, can (and do!) clean up their messes since I bought a stick vacuum with dust buster that they can use. Decluttering has meant less stuff to pick up and clean behind. We all love our much tidier and cleaner home - thanks everyone. Next step is trying the many rags cleaning method. I have also passed Don Aslett's book to my sister who is about to build a house and had left her husband in charge of choosing fixtures when he's never cleaned a thing in his life! Life changing stuff!

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #144 on: November 02, 2016, 11:08:35 PM »
I have also passed Don Aslett's book to my sister who is about to build a house and had left her husband in charge of choosing fixtures when he's never cleaned a thing in his life! Life changing stuff!

Ug, yes.  I had a terrible fight with DH about saying no to little mosaic tiles (and lots of grout lines) in the master shower.   He just did not understand my displeasure at using a toothbrush to scrub the shower groat after 5 years....


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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #146 on: November 03, 2016, 08:57:20 AM »
I have also passed Don Aslett's book to my sister who is about to build a house and had left her husband in charge of choosing fixtures when he's never cleaned a thing in his life! Life changing stuff!

Ug, yes.  I had a terrible fight with DH about saying no to little mosaic tiles (and lots of grout lines) in the master shower.   He just did not understand my displeasure at using a toothbrush to scrub the shower groat after 5 years....

Becoming an adult and cleaning my own dwelling space has ruined my appreciation for those home improvement shows.  All those tiny tiles with miles of grout!  All those open kitchen shelves!  And now I just look at them and think "Who is stuck cleaning all of that?  Will they get a maid?"  The only way I would use those tiny tiles is if they were behind a large sheet of glass.

Find a friend with those mosaic tiles and ask if DH can clean his/her bathroom.  :)
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KiwiSonya

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #147 on: November 03, 2016, 06:59:12 PM »
Yes, that's the one. They are both quite different. The ergonomics one deals more with whether your home and office is designed for the physical comfort (and lack of pain) of its inhabitants, while Arnett is about ease of cleaning. I have gotten heaps out of both books and I paid double because they had to be shipped long distance.
I sympathise Goldielocks. I've never been especially tidy or clean but being a mother has bought this all in to sharp focus. I spend literally hours cleaning & tidying and I hate it. Every change that can give me back this time to do what I enjoy is worth it. My sister is reconsidering tile splashbacks. I thought having to clean tiles on the floor of her bathroom that always seemed to smell of urine would have made that an instant no go material - but sometimes it takes an expert's opinion to change your mind! I'm regretting painting my kitchen in cream eggshell finish paint- it takes a lot of scrubbing to get marks off. Could I just paint a high gloss over the top to make it now maintenance?


quote author=shelivesthedream link=topic=61688.msg1289466#msg1289466 date=1478159917]
Is this the book on Ergonomic Living? Is it worth buying this one as well as Don Aslett?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/002093081X/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478159814&sr=8-1&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=ergonomic+living&dpPl=1&dpID=51Qwtj-D5EL&ref=plSrch
[/quote]

TrMama

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #148 on: November 04, 2016, 05:25:29 PM »
I got so sick of the amount of junk mail in our mailbox so I googled "stop junk mail Canada Post" and all it takes is to put a note in the mailbox (taped to the inside saying "NO neighbourhood mail please".  Voila no more junk mail.  Also called up the free newspaper company and told them I do not want it.  The paper wasn't the problem it was the million flyers.  Downloads the app "Flipp" and all the flyers are on it.

This is genius. I've just written my own note and will paste in in the box tonight. In fact, judging from the number of my neighbours who just toss their junk mail on the ground around the community mailboxes I may even write a stack of these and leave them at the box with a roll of tape. Maybe it would make the entire area less messy.

Another Canadian mail tip is to fill this out, https://cornerstonewebmedia.com/cma/submit.asp. Hopefully it will cut down on the number of addressed pieces of junk mail we get. MIL lives in our basement and is on every. single. mailing. list in existence. I think there's a similar opt out for Americans.

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #149 on: November 04, 2016, 05:37:05 PM »
I have also passed Don Aslett's book to my sister who is about to build a house and had left her husband in charge of choosing fixtures when he's never cleaned a thing in his life! Life changing stuff!

Ug, yes.  I had a terrible fight with DH about saying no to little mosaic tiles (and lots of grout lines) in the master shower.   He just did not understand my displeasure at using a toothbrush to scrub the shower groat after 5 years....

Becoming an adult and cleaning my own dwelling space has ruined my appreciation for those home improvement shows.  All those tiny tiles with miles of grout!  All those open kitchen shelves!  And now I just look at them and think "Who is stuck cleaning all of that?  Will they get a maid?"  The only way I would use those tiny tiles is if they were behind a large sheet of glass.

Find a friend with those mosaic tiles and ask if DH can clean his/her bathroom.  :)
I still really like my home decor magazines and shows, but I've noticed this too. As well as "why do they have so much STUFF in that room?!"