Author Topic: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain  (Read 34269 times)

stashgrower

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #150 on: November 07, 2016, 01:57:45 AM »
How do you shower if there's a bucket in the way?

One or more of: it's off-centre or I shift it during the shower or I put up with the inconvenience.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #151 on: November 19, 2016, 09:26:43 AM »
I was just folding laundry and have had a genius idea to eliminate a step, so I had to come and tell all y'all about it! I don't have all identical socks (although I am slowly moving in that direction by committing to only buying blue socks, but I like having different shades and patterns!) and so my sock laundry involves washing, hanging to dry, pairing and then folding. But... who says socks have to live in a drawer?

I'm thinking that if I hang my socks to dry in pairs on a hanger like this: http://g01.a.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1O8o4NpXXXXbMXpXXq6xXFXXXF/Plastic-Storage-Clothes-Hangers-Dryer-Organization-Cabide-De-Veludo-Socks-font-b-Drying-b-font-Clips.jpg. It's basically the same effort as hanging them on the rack, but then I can just move the hanger from the drying rack straight into the wardrobe and clip off a pair of socks every day. Being a mustachian, I'm not about to run out and buy some fancy-pants hangers, but I figure I can do it with existing hangers and clothes pegs (which I somehow have hundreds of). Anyway, I'm going to try it out!

Linda_Norway

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #152 on: November 19, 2016, 11:36:06 AM »
I have 2 colleagues who are really enthusiastic about their robot vaccuum cleaner. It works when they are away from home and collects a lot of dust from under the sofa.

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #153 on: November 20, 2016, 11:49:25 AM »
Love the professional cleaning "many rags" method.  I'm going to try it. 

How long do you think it'll take to clean a 1 bed 1 bath house?

Why do you recommend a spray mop rather than a regular mop?  It seems like it wouldn't get as clean?  But maybe the ease of use means you're more likely to do it frequently compared to the bucket mop method?  Thanks!

Linda_Norway

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #154 on: November 21, 2016, 01:17:07 AM »
Why do you recommend a spray mop rather than a regular mop?  It seems like it wouldn't get as clean?  But maybe the ease of use means you're more likely to do it frequently compared to the bucket mop method?  Thanks!

I would not recommend the use of floor wipes that are soaked in cleaning material. I bought some of these last year when we we selling the house and I wanted to clean better than normally. We found out that my husband is allergic to the cleaning material and he gets serious problems breathing. The other thing is that they don't clean as well as a normal mop. After I wiped the bathroom floor with the wipes, I did it again with the normal mop with water (to get rid of the smell, after my husband reacted so strongly) and got a surprisingly lot of dirt off the floor. The microfiber mop worked much better.

When it comes to cleaning sprays in general, you could also use a homemade spray, made of vinegar and dishwashing soap. This also cleans bathrooms and kitchens well and does not contain chemicals that cause allergy.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #155 on: November 21, 2016, 01:21:52 AM »
My past 2 apartments have been all wood/tile floors, with no rugs. I loved the aesthetic, and the lack of vacuuming, but I used to be really puzzled by the large dust bunnies that would sometimes just appear. I'm pretty vigilant about cleaning, so where could those almost sentient dust balls becoming from?

These dust balls are just human hair, and skin, and parts of your clothes. You can easily collect them dry wiping with a microfiber cloth (like Swiffer).

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #156 on: November 21, 2016, 02:18:08 AM »
My past 2 apartments have been all wood/tile floors, with no rugs. I loved the aesthetic, and the lack of vacuuming, but I used to be really puzzled by the large dust bunnies that would sometimes just appear. I'm pretty vigilant about cleaning, so where could those almost sentient dust balls becoming from?

These dust balls are just human hair, and skin, and parts of your clothes. You can easily collect them dry wiping with a microfiber cloth (like Swiffer).

I've re-discovered these gremlins. (A year in an apartment with floorboards then five years in an apartment with mostly carpet.)

I vacuum weekly, and pay special attention to the rug, which has a tendency to shed.

Dust and fluff is certainly more noticeable on floorboards.

MrsDinero

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #157 on: November 21, 2016, 06:23:18 AM »
Why do you recommend a spray mop rather than a regular mop?  It seems like it wouldn't get as clean?  But maybe the ease of use means you're more likely to do it frequently compared to the bucket mop method?  Thanks!

I would not recommend the use of floor wipes that are soaked in cleaning material. I bought some of these last year when we we selling the house and I wanted to clean better than normally. We found out that my husband is allergic to the cleaning material and he gets serious problems breathing. The other thing is that they don't clean as well as a normal mop. After I wiped the bathroom floor with the wipes, I did it again with the normal mop with water (to get rid of the smell, after my husband reacted so strongly) and got a surprisingly lot of dirt off the floor. The microfiber mop worked much better.

When it comes to cleaning sprays in general, you could also use a homemade spray, made of vinegar and dishwashing soap. This also cleans bathrooms and kitchens well and does not contain chemicals that cause allergy.

I cannot speak highly enough about my bissel steam mop. We haven't used chemical cleaner in the floors since buying it in June.  My floors are cleaner than they have ever been and it is very easy to use. 

Torran

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #158 on: November 21, 2016, 07:05:33 AM »
I'm late to the party with this thread but it's brilliant!!

I think all the stuff I do has already been mentioned, but I'd just like to reiterate once more how much decluttering helps. Post-decluttering, everything seems to take less time.
I also have a very small flat so I can keep everything in obvious, logical places.
Everything is easy-to-reach and my hoover actually stays out, tucked next to the sofa in a corner. It takes about 10 mins to hoover the whole place.

The only thing I struggle with is keeping my kitchen clean all the time. Batch-cooking and using the freezer helped to minimise week-day clean up.

My goal is to spend as little time as I possibly can cleaning, while also maintaining a clean and tidy flat.

Therefore following this thread :)

Mel70

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #159 on: November 21, 2016, 11:01:47 AM »
Posting to follow. My biggest issue is mail and school paperwork. I always have bills and statements laying all over, even if the most urgent ones are in a cork board above the desk. I have most of my bills in electronic form, but some, like the credit card statement, I prefer to have in paper to keep track of different budget lines.

sakura

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #160 on: November 21, 2016, 11:27:41 AM »
Posting to follow!

With This Herring

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #161 on: November 21, 2016, 02:47:15 PM »
I was just folding laundry and have had a genius idea to eliminate a step, so I had to come and tell all y'all about it! I don't have all identical socks (although I am slowly moving in that direction by committing to only buying blue socks, but I like having different shades and patterns!) and so my sock laundry involves washing, hanging to dry, pairing and then folding. But... who says socks have to live in a drawer?

I'm thinking that if I hang my socks to dry in pairs on a hanger like this: http://g01.a.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1O8o4NpXXXXbMXpXXq6xXFXXXF/Plastic-Storage-Clothes-Hangers-Dryer-Organization-Cabide-De-Veludo-Socks-font-b-Drying-b-font-Clips.jpg. It's basically the same effort as hanging them on the rack, but then I can just move the hanger from the drying rack straight into the wardrobe and clip off a pair of socks every day. Being a mustachian, I'm not about to run out and buy some fancy-pants hangers, but I figure I can do it with existing hangers and clothes pegs (which I somehow have hundreds of). Anyway, I'm going to try it out!

Save yourself the trouble of pairing and safety pin your socks together when you remove them from your feet!  Then toss in the wash.  They get just as clean, and it will be easier to hang them on a normal hanger (with one sock on each side, pin in the middle over the hanger bar).
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mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #162 on: November 21, 2016, 06:40:16 PM »
I was just folding laundry and have had a genius idea to eliminate a step, so I had to come and tell all y'all about it! I don't have all identical socks (although I am slowly moving in that direction by committing to only buying blue socks, but I like having different shades and patterns!) and so my sock laundry involves washing, hanging to dry, pairing and then folding. But... who says socks have to live in a drawer?

I'm thinking that if I hang my socks to dry in pairs on a hanger like this: http://g01.a.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1O8o4NpXXXXbMXpXXq6xXFXXXF/Plastic-Storage-Clothes-Hangers-Dryer-Organization-Cabide-De-Veludo-Socks-font-b-Drying-b-font-Clips.jpg. It's basically the same effort as hanging them on the rack, but then I can just move the hanger from the drying rack straight into the wardrobe and clip off a pair of socks every day. Being a mustachian, I'm not about to run out and buy some fancy-pants hangers, but I figure I can do it with existing hangers and clothes pegs (which I somehow have hundreds of). Anyway, I'm going to try it out!

Save yourself the trouble of pairing and safety pin your socks together when you remove them from your feet!  Then toss in the wash.  They get just as clean, and it will be easier to hang them on a normal hanger (with one sock on each side, pin in the middle over the hanger bar).

Save myself the trouble? Safety pinning socks seems like a lot more trouble than just washing, pegging and folding.

Do you all have gremlins who live in your washing machine and steal socks? I always thought reports of lonely socks were exaggerated. They get taken off at the same time, washed at the same time, and pegged on the line at the same time - where else are they going to go?

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #163 on: November 22, 2016, 07:12:19 AM »
I was just folding laundry and have had a genius idea to eliminate a step, so I had to come and tell all y'all about it! I don't have all identical socks (although I am slowly moving in that direction by committing to only buying blue socks, but I like having different shades and patterns!) and so my sock laundry involves washing, hanging to dry, pairing and then folding. But... who says socks have to live in a drawer?

I'm thinking that if I hang my socks to dry in pairs on a hanger like this: http://g01.a.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1O8o4NpXXXXbMXpXXq6xXFXXXF/Plastic-Storage-Clothes-Hangers-Dryer-Organization-Cabide-De-Veludo-Socks-font-b-Drying-b-font-Clips.jpg. It's basically the same effort as hanging them on the rack, but then I can just move the hanger from the drying rack straight into the wardrobe and clip off a pair of socks every day. Being a mustachian, I'm not about to run out and buy some fancy-pants hangers, but I figure I can do it with existing hangers and clothes pegs (which I somehow have hundreds of). Anyway, I'm going to try it out!

Save yourself the trouble of pairing and safety pin your socks together when you remove them from your feet!  Then toss in the wash.  They get just as clean, and it will be easier to hang them on a normal hanger (with one sock on each side, pin in the middle over the hanger bar).

Save myself the trouble? Safety pinning socks seems like a lot more trouble than just washing, pegging and folding.

Do you all have gremlins who live in your washing machine and steal socks? I always thought reports of lonely socks were exaggerated. They get taken off at the same time, washed at the same time, and pegged on the line at the same time - where else are they going to go?

I used to think this, and yet... I currently have 2 lone socks since moving in Aug. There's only me and husband, and I do all the laundry. I do it on a system, we always put laundry straight into the hamper, never on the floor. Etc. I've checked everywhere they may have fallen- I did have one sock fall down beside the washer. Only thing I can figure is they got lost when we took a trip at one point and our systems were off.

All that to say- if I can lose socks, with a very stable and highly structured life, I imagine it's incredibly easy when you have children running around, laundry is put on the floor, multiple people running laundry, and so on.
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Linda_Norway

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #164 on: November 22, 2016, 07:20:27 AM »
The missing socks-phenomenon? I recently explained this on another (mail dominated) forum. As I am the person doing the laundry most often, I have found an explanation.
We throw socks in 2 baskets in separate bathrooms, which fill up during the week. In the weekend I take another basket and pick out either the (almost) white or the coloured clothes to be washed. When the clothes are to be sorted out, there is often a sock missing. I always find it later underneath in the laundry basket. Typically a colored sock is hiding wrapped up in a white t-shirt. If I don't do white wash, I don't notice the sock.

The other cause is that socks often get holes in them after a while. I then throw away the one sock with the whole and wash the other in the hope that I have other socks in the same color. Then I also end up with a single sock. Next time, buy several pairs of the same socks or just dare to walk around in 2 different socks.

TrMama

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #165 on: November 22, 2016, 02:20:28 PM »
Love the professional cleaning "many rags" method.  I'm going to try it. 

How long do you think it'll take to clean a 1 bed 1 bath house?

Why do you recommend a spray mop rather than a regular mop?  It seems like it wouldn't get as clean?  But maybe the ease of use means you're more likely to do it frequently compared to the bucket mop method?  Thanks!

I have this mop, https://www.amazon.com/Rubbermaid-Commercial-Products-3486108-Microfiber/dp/B005LX07LI

I like that there's no bucket to fill, haul around and then dump. I keep diluted Mr. Clean type cleaner in the spray bottle at all times so it's always ready to go. The pad can be used dry to sweep, or wet to mop. I can use one of my generic microfibre clothes to sweep instead of the pad it came with. When I'm done I just pull the dirty pad off and toss it in the wash.

However, the most important thing to decrease the amount of time spent mopping is to increase the length of the mop head. Size matters. Bigger head, means fewer strokes.

Missing socks may be found in the pump of your front load washing machine. Every few years my machine refuses to drain. At that point I bail it out and take the rubber boot off the pump. I find all kinds of missing things in there clogging up the pump.

Goldielocks

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #166 on: November 22, 2016, 05:45:07 PM »

Do you all have gremlins who live in your washing machine and steal socks? I always thought reports of lonely socks were exaggerated. They get taken off at the same time, washed at the same time, and pegged on the line at the same time - where else are they going to go?

I have a teenage son who can wear up to three pairs of socks on a given Saturday.  Socks in the sofa, socks under the coffee table, socks tucked into pockets, socks next to the TV, socks used for makeshift balls to throw, socks in the gym bag, socks under the bed, socks IN the bed, socks stuck in the pant legs and socks mixed up into the next family member's load (where they just throw them as they find them into the single sock bin,  but never match them up until I do it) etc.

Then there are people in my home (DH) who buy 6-pack socks, all identical, and throw out the single sock with a hole in it as they appear.  Repeat the purchase pattern maybe 1-2x per year but with different looking socks and after 5 years you have a lot of single socks.!!

I think the sock monster lives at my house and is greatly fed.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2016, 05:47:42 PM by goldielocks »

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #167 on: November 22, 2016, 09:28:18 PM »
Save yourself the trouble of pairing and safety pin your socks together when you remove them from your feet!  Then toss in the wash.  They get just as clean, and it will be easier to hang them on a normal hanger (with one sock on each side, pin in the middle over the hanger bar).
Save myself the trouble? Safety pinning socks seems like a lot more trouble than just washing, pegging and folding.

Do you all have gremlins who live in your washing machine and steal socks? I always thought reports of lonely socks were exaggerated. They get taken off at the same time, washed at the same time, and pegged on the line at the same time - where else are they going to go?

Add in safety pinning and you can skip clothes pegging.  The safety pin's primary function for me is to keep each sock matched to its mate.  DBF has lots and lots of pairs of black dress socks, and no two pairs are alike.  Pinning them when they are removed saves a lot of sorting time when the socks come out of the wash.  On wash day, there are 14-ish pairs of black dress socks for him, plus my 7 or so pairs of black cotton and/or dress socks.

I have to admit it; I don't fold socks.  The dry, pinned pairs just get dumped in a drawer willy-nilly.

I don't really have sock loss issues, which is a surprise.  We use a public laundromat, so if a sock gets lost in the machine it will never be seen again.
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GreenSheep

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #168 on: December 15, 2016, 11:24:38 AM »
I had to come back and find this thread because it occurred to me just now, while washing dishes, how helpful it is to have a drying rack over the sink. When I first bought my (former) house almost a decade ago my (former) boyfriend mentioned that it was common in Italy to have a rack over the sink to save counter space and allow the wet dishes to drip directly into the sink. So he screwed an old painted metal shelf/rack into the underside of the cabinet on each side and voila, in 5 minutes I had a drying rack.

I've implemented the same idea in my new house, and I've seen others do the same, even getting fancier with it by adding cabinet doors to cover up the drying dishes, etc. I guess the only down side would be if you have an over-the-sink window with a gorgeous view you don't want to block.

Poundwise

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #169 on: December 15, 2016, 11:57:35 AM »
Posting to follow. I can't think of anything to add, except that I recently discovered why an otherwise tidy bedroom gets dusty so fast: it's because I sort and fold the laundry in that room.  So if you want to dust a room less often, keep it isolated from laundry folding.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #170 on: December 15, 2016, 12:04:31 PM »
Posting to follow. I can't think of anything to add, except that I recently discovered why an otherwise tidy bedroom gets dusty so fast: it's because I sort and fold the laundry in that room.  So if you want to dust a room less often, keep it isolated from laundry folding.

I usually fold my laundry at my breakfast nook table, partially for this reason. I have to sweep the kitchen/nook constantly, so it doesn't add anything there. And since we use the table constantly, there is zero chance I will leave things unfolded or forget them and let them get wrinkly. So I kind of "force" myself to take care of it all right away, otherwise it's super annoying and in the way. Easier to just follow through =)
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Poundwise

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #171 on: December 15, 2016, 12:33:32 PM »
Oh, I remembered: I do have a tip for cleaning soap scum off glass shower doors. Use shampoo. I put it on an old shower scrubbie pouf (don't know what those things are called) and give the doors a quick scrub before I get into the shower.  Works a treat. I was also able to use up a bunch of shampoo samples I didn't want to use on my hair.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #172 on: December 15, 2016, 02:13:49 PM »
You guys!

Seriously!  I just tried out a dust mop and it is the best thing ever.  If you have hard floors, get yourself a dust mop.  I sweep in 1/15th of the time I used to.  Because it's not a pain in the @$$, I do it more often and my floors are much cleaner as a result. 

In case you don't know, a dust mop is those wide flat things with a fluffy bottom that you see janitors use.  There's also a pic to one in the blog post I wrote today (see sig).

Tasty Pinecones

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #173 on: December 16, 2016, 01:01:06 PM »
There is a dust mop that can be purchased at many stores which has a 18"-24" wide head on a broomstick handle. It has a elastic edged terry cloth cover that can be removed and washed. I wet or dry mop our kitchen with this.

Also - a steam mop. Mine was $25 at Aldi on sale. I see the exact same mop all over the web sold under different brands. Fill with water, plug in and in about 15 seconds it starts making steam. Has an internal pump to pushes the water through the mop. Has a terry cloth covered head that like the wet/dry mop is removable and washable. I spent just a few dollars to buy three extra terry cloth covers to go with the 2 that came with the steam mop.

The steam mop is for the "big" weekly cleans. The wet/dry mop is for in between cleans.

With the steam mop I don't even really need spray detergent when I mop our linoleum. All the dirt just comes up. Works on wood floors but I worry that in time it would strip the poly off of the wood.

I have used the swiffer spray type mops and had mixed results on muddy foot prints on a tile floor. Seemed to spread the dirt around so there were these cloudy streaks on the floor. Took a few new pads to get the job done.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #174 on: December 16, 2016, 06:49:43 PM »
I bought a jute rug about five months ago, and I've have learnt that I need to vacuum twice as often or jute fibres end up in/on everything.

Still love the natural, rustic look though, and the rug itself doesn't show dust or dirt.

m8547

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #175 on: December 16, 2016, 09:16:42 PM »
I've recently put caulk around the kitchen sink, around a shower valve, and on some gaps in trim to keep those places clean. Bad caulk seems to get dust stuck to/ embedded in it. Good silicone caulk doesn't do that as much.

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #176 on: December 17, 2016, 02:03:27 AM »
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!

Wow, I thought I was the only one with a sock orphanage. I pin the similar-but-not-identical black socks to the sides so that I can see the difference at a glance.

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #177 on: December 17, 2016, 02:08:32 AM »
Do you all have gremlins who live in your washing machine and steal socks? I always thought reports of lonely socks were exaggerated. They get taken off at the same time, washed at the same time, and pegged on the line at the same time - where else are they going to go?

Of course there are sock gremlins in the washing machine. They never steal a pair, only one, because they wear them as hats and only have one head and favour individuality in headwear.

Some machines are notorious for getting single socks trapped in them, either in the rubber seal or in the bit before the filter. The sock washing cycle is not a closed system in practice.

I'm sort of curious to know if MPGH actually does the sock washing or is making a theoretical observation.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #178 on: December 17, 2016, 01:52:02 PM »
Do you all have gremlins who live in your washing machine and steal socks? I always thought reports of lonely socks were exaggerated. They get taken off at the same time, washed at the same time, and pegged on the line at the same time - where else are they going to go?

Of course there are sock gremlins in the washing machine. They never steal a pair, only one, because they wear them as hats and only have one head and favour individuality in headwear.

Some machines are notorious for getting single socks trapped in them, either in the rubber seal or in the bit before the filter. The sock washing cycle is not a closed system in practice.

I'm sort of curious to know if MPGH actually does the sock washing or is making a theoretical observation.

Individual gremlin headwear... love it!

I absolutely do the sock washing ... and all the other washing. (My husband could probably identify a washing machine out of a line-up, but certainly not ours specifically.)

Maybe Australian washing machines are different? I've never had my machine eat a sock. Then again, I have a top-loader - there's nowhere for them to go.

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #179 on: December 17, 2016, 02:14:31 PM »
Do you all have gremlins who live in your washing machine and steal socks? I always thought reports of lonely socks were exaggerated. They get taken off at the same time, washed at the same time, and pegged on the line at the same time - where else are they going to go?
Of course there are sock gremlins in the washing machine. They never steal a pair, only one, because they wear them as hats and only have one head and favour individuality in headwear.
Some machines are notorious for getting single socks trapped in them, either in the rubber seal or in the bit before the filter. The sock washing cycle is not a closed system in practice.
I'm sort of curious to know if MPGH actually does the sock washing or is making a theoretical observation.

Individual gremlin headwear... love it!

I absolutely do the sock washing ... and all the other washing. (My husband could probably identify a washing machine out of a line-up, but certainly not ours specifically.)

Maybe Australian washing machines are different? I've never had my machine eat a sock. Then again, I have a top-loader - there's nowhere for them to go.

Hmmm Australian washing machines. Clearly this is the way forward. Next thing is to work out is it the machine or the southern hemisphere Coriolis effect that is working this magic? And how much is the excess baggage going to be on a washing machine.

And what will my poor little gremlins wear on their heads?

Johnez

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #180 on: December 18, 2016, 02:06:03 PM »
Just scoured this thread for hints to help clean the mess of our apartment, I gotta say this is one the most useful threads here since I used up all of the hints in IP Daily's thread.

My hints:

Have a giveaway box.
I put mine near the front door. Anytime I am going through my closet for something, I'll invariably find clothes that don't fit or I don't like-boom, gone! Don't have to start rounding up stuff for Goodwill when cleaning, the box fills itself. Other random things make it in there too when cleaning out cupboards or tidying up.

Paper shredder by your front door.
Mine is by the keys, I go through the mail, keep the bills, toss the adds and shred credit card offers. Get one that can shred at least 15 sheets. Mine shreds 5 and it annoys me every time I have to open an envelope to shred some dumb offer. Each offer comes with 2 envelopes and usually 2  or more trifolded sheets of paper, that's TEN layers of paper!
« Last Edit: December 18, 2016, 02:13:26 PM by Johnez »

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #181 on: December 18, 2016, 03:14:37 PM »
Paper shredder by your front door.
Mine is by the keys, I go through the mail, keep the bills, toss the adds and shred credit card offers.

I like this. I currently have a paper recycling bin which does a lot of the general junk but not the stuff addressed to me.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #182 on: December 18, 2016, 04:06:16 PM »
I'm fortunate that I have to walk past our building's bin enclave on the way to and from the mailbox.

Junk mail goes straight in the recycling bin, and I'm not above standing there and opening envelopes so I can triage the rest of the mail.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #183 on: December 19, 2016, 02:03:08 AM »
Do you all have gremlins who live in your washing machine and steal socks? I always thought reports of lonely socks were exaggerated. They get taken off at the same time, washed at the same time, and pegged on the line at the same time - where else are they going to go?
Of course there are sock gremlins in the washing machine. They never steal a pair, only one, because they wear them as hats and only have one head and favour individuality in headwear.
Some machines are notorious for getting single socks trapped in them, either in the rubber seal or in the bit before the filter. The sock washing cycle is not a closed system in practice.
I'm sort of curious to know if MPGH actually does the sock washing or is making a theoretical observation.

Individual gremlin headwear... love it!

I absolutely do the sock washing ... and all the other washing. (My husband could probably identify a washing machine out of a line-up, but certainly not ours specifically.)

Maybe Australian washing machines are different? I've never had my machine eat a sock. Then again, I have a top-loader - there's nowhere for them to go.

Hmmm Australian washing machines. Clearly this is the way forward. Next thing is to work out is it the machine or the southern hemisphere Coriolis effect that is working this magic? And how much is the excess baggage going to be on a washing machine.

And what will my poor little gremlins wear on their heads?

Gremlin update! They've clearly been monitoring my messages and have broken my machine. Fried the circuit board (according to Youtube). Any further advice on a sock retaining (or generally efficient and easy to use/maintain) machine? Thanks.

MMMaybe

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #184 on: December 19, 2016, 04:31:32 AM »
Any thoughts on the best fittings to have in a hard water area? The place I am currently renting has stainless steel sinks and taps and it is impossible to keep clean. Limescale makes everything look dirty.

I am thinking ahead for when I buy. It just seems like much more work than it needs to be!

Linda_Norway

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #185 on: December 19, 2016, 05:16:54 AM »
<...>
  • My mother always said she would have loved a house with a central vacuum.  I'm not sure how common these are.
<...>

I can confirm that a central vac is great, especially for people with allergy for pollen or dust. If you build a new house, you should definitively install it, supposing you have surfaces that need it. We after-installed it into a 20 year old house. We found a place near the central heating/warm water tank. From that room we could make an output to that floor, and through the roof to the room above. It worked very well.

But then we moved and had to leave the great system behind. In the new house, we don't have any carpet. We mostly dry mop with microfiber on a stick. We have bought a normal vacuum, but one that vacuums more softly and has a lot of extra filters against allergies. I use it mostly in the hall that collects dirt from the shoes. The rest of the house is not so dirty.

Here in Scandinavia we always take of our shoes when entering a house. In offices this is not the case and in the winter with snow on the roads, people enter the office with very dirty shoes. This melts on the floor all over the place and becomes a mess.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #186 on: December 19, 2016, 06:12:01 AM »
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.

I have one of these stand-up whisks stored beside the front door. And a carpet beater. There is always stuff walked in from outside. I beat the doormat approx twice a week and whisk the tile floor when necessary. It is easy to do when the tool are close at the place you need them.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #187 on: December 19, 2016, 06:20:42 AM »

 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.


Exactly. We have a chair in the bedroom for the clothes that are in use, or the ones I don't want to do anything with yet.

About paper: We have one of those stickers on the mailbox, that you can get in Norway to prevent getting unaddressed mail. I get most of my bill as an electronic invoice, automatically paid as well. We don't get newspapers. There is really very little paper left that used our house. I have a pin-up board for papers that we need to do something with later. And I use a to-do program  (i.doit.im) on my electronic devices that I put a reminder on for later.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #188 on: December 19, 2016, 06:24:07 AM »
Here in Scandinavia we always take of our shoes when entering a house. In offices this is not the case and in the winter with snow on the roads, people enter the office with very dirty shoes. This melts on the floor all over the place and becomes a mess.

We are also a 'shoes off' household. Our old place had a very defined shoe threshold with a rack. Our current place doesn't have a threshold in the same way (when we go upstairs we walk on top of the area where we take off our shoes). It has made a noticeable difference to how much we need to vacuum. I'd look for something like the first one in a new house. We also rearranged our front garden so that it is only slate and concrete with no mud or grass, much better than the old grass/mud with stepping stones.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #189 on: December 19, 2016, 06:46:39 AM »
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....

There is something to say about small tiles in a shower. Grout lines do not get as slippery as wet and soapy tiles do. Slipping in the shower can get your shoulder dislocated and other bad stuff. When we made a new bathroom in our previous house, we made a path of smaller tiles (10x10cm) out of the bathtub/shower and had 30x30cm tiles in the rest of the floor. I have not shrubbed on the grout lines with a toothbrush.

In our current house (not built by us), we have a pebble floor in the shower corner. I put an indoor broom in the bathroom, behind a cupboard and every other cleaning I shrub the pebble floor with the broom. Works fine and isn't a terrible lot of work. The rest of the floor is done with a wet microfiber mop.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #190 on: December 19, 2016, 06:58:13 AM »
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....

There is something to say about small tiles in a shower. Grout lines do not get as slippery as wet and soapy tiles do. Slipping in the shower can get your shoulder dislocated and other bad stuff. When we made a new bathroom in our previous house, we made a path of smaller tiles (10x10cm) out of the bathtub/shower and had 30x30cm tiles in the rest of the floor. I have not shrubbed on the grout lines with a toothbrush.

In our current house (not built by us), we have a pebble floor in the shower corner. I put an indoor broom in the bathroom, behind a cupboard and every other cleaning I shrub the pebble floor with the broom. Works fine and isn't a terrible lot of work. The rest of the floor is done with a wet microfiber mop.

The one who suggests mosaic tiles is in charge of cleaning the grout!

BlueHouse

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #191 on: December 19, 2016, 07:10:12 AM »

Do you all have gremlins who live in your washing machine and steal socks? I always thought reports of lonely socks were exaggerated. They get taken off at the same time, washed at the same time, and pegged on the line at the same time - where else are they going to go?

My gremlins don't live in my washing machine.  They live in my dryer, create static electricity, and attach my socks to the inside arms of sweatshirts, or inside a robe, or even in the rounded elasticized edges of fitted sheets.  Sometimes I find them when I have a bulge under my sheet when I'm sleeping, and sometimes I don't find them until the next wash when they dislodge themselves from wherever they were hiding and come back into circulation.
Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

MrsPete

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #192 on: December 19, 2016, 07:22:51 AM »
I cannot speak highly enough about my bissel steam mop. We haven't used chemical cleaner in the floors since buying it in June.  My floors are cleaner than they have ever been and it is very easy to use.
On what type of floors does one use a steam mop?  Specifically, can it be used on engineered wooden flooring or luxury vinyl tile? 
And which model is it that you like so much?  I see 6-8 types on Amazon.  If you don't know the model number (and I'd be surprised if you could spout that information), please tell me the color.  They all seem to be white ... but with different colors on the front. 
« Last Edit: December 19, 2016, 07:26:01 AM by MrsPete »

MrsDinero

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #193 on: December 19, 2016, 07:34:22 AM »
I cannot speak highly enough about my bissel steam mop. We haven't used chemical cleaner in the floors since buying it in June.  My floors are cleaner than they have ever been and it is very easy to use.
On what type of floors does one use a steam mop?  Specifically, can it be used on engineered wooden flooring or luxury vinyl tile? 
And which model is it that you like so much?  I see 6-8 types on Amazon.  If you don't know the model number (and I'd be surprised if you could spout that information), please tell me the color.  They all seem to be white ... but with different colors on the front.

We use it on all out tile flooring almost daily (kitchen, sunroom, bathrooms, mudroom).  I also use it on our hardwood floor once  week (on the lowest setting).

Vinyl floor I'm not too sure.  Vinyl is just plastic so you might be able to use it on the lowest setting.

This is the one we have:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0091YYUAM/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

MrsPete

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #194 on: December 19, 2016, 07:34:52 AM »
Save myself the trouble? Safety pinning socks seems like a lot more trouble than just washing, pegging and folding.
No, it's not trouble at all.  I have those little plastic circles that hold socks together, and they're great: 

- Buy a different color circle for each family member so that people other than Mom know at a glance which socks belong to whom.
- Keep a little bowl in your bathroom /bedroom to hold the sock locks.  Train family members that when they take off their socks, they clip them together before throwing them into the hamper.  My husband and I share a bowl in which red and black circles cohabitate, but my kids each have their own containers of rings in their bathroom drawers. 
- The sock locks keep the pair together ... no more finding that one sock made it to the wash while the other was dropped in the hallway or mixed in with another load.  They stick together in the washer and dryer. 
- Drop them right into the dresser drawer with their sock locks still intact.  Now the socks can't separate as people rifle through the drawer.  When the owner wears those socks again, he returns the plastic circle to the little bowl so it's available later. 

I can't imagine an easier system.  My family is totally on board with it because it takes very little effort, and they hated not being able to find socks. 

Problems:

- You have to buy the sock locks up front, but this is probably a $5-6 per family member investment, and you should never have to do it again.  You'll save more than this in a year by NOT replacing socks. 
- Some of my husband's big, thick winter socks are too thick to fit into the sock lock.  I haven't figured out how to solve this problem yet. 

MrsPete

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #195 on: December 19, 2016, 07:42:30 AM »
There is something to say about small tiles in a shower. Grout lines do not get as slippery as wet and soapy tiles do. Slipping in the shower can get your shoulder dislocated and other bad stuff. When we made a new bathroom in our previous house, we made a path of smaller tiles (10x10cm) out of the bathtub/shower and had 30x30cm tiles in the rest of the floor. I have not shrubbed on the grout lines with a toothbrush.
If you're re-doing your shower, your choice of tile can make a huge difference in the amount of labor you'll put in over the years:  My own shower is white tiles.  I could have said never-clean white tiles.  I am constantly scrubbing those things.  However, I re-did my kids' shower a few years ago, and -- by accident -- I did it right:  I chose a multi-brown 2" mosaic tile for the floor and 12" tan tiles for the walls.  They don't show dirt.  They weren't expensive:  just standard stuff from Lowes' Home Improvement. 

When we build our retirement house, I'm definitely going with the same thing not because I think they're so lovely, but because average /boring tile that looks clean trumps lovely /trendy tile that looks dirty. 

MrsPete

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #196 on: December 19, 2016, 07:46:28 AM »
Here, each bed has only two sets of sheets - one summer, one winter.
My daughter just did her wedding registry, and they're still saying the same thing they did back when I was first married:  You need six sets of sheets for each bed:  Three sets of percale, three sets of flannel for the winter.  One set to be on the bed at any given time, one set to be in the dirty clothes hamper, and one set waiting clean on the shelves. 

I've never in my life owned so many sheets, and somehow I've happily survived.  I totally agree with you about washing the sheets and putting them straight back on the bed -- no folding involved.  One less chore.

MrsDinero

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #197 on: December 19, 2016, 07:47:57 AM »
On the sock thing, one thing we did when I was in military basic training, was use mesh laundry bags.  everyone put their socks in their own mesh bags, tossed them in the laundry (with 20+ other peoples) and everyone got their own bag back.  You could even have 2 per person, one mash bag that can immediately be put in the sock drawer (cuts down on folding) and one for dirty socks.  I've seen mesh bags for as little as 2 for $5 at Walmart. 

MrsPete

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #198 on: December 19, 2016, 07:50:31 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.
That's actually one of the principles in the Make You House Clean Itself book that's been discussed on this thread!  The idea is that you assign one spot in every room to be "the messy spot".  You put your trash can, your Kleenexes, and your "this doesn't belong here" box in that area ... which means that the rest of the room stays clean, and when you come in to spot-clean, most of your attention goes to this one area. 

MrsPete

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #199 on: December 19, 2016, 07:53:11 AM »
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.
Ugh.  I have the prettiest sinks in my bathroom:  They're shaped like shells, but -- just as you describe -- they're so shallow.  If you turn the water on past a trickle, they splash back at you.  I didn't appreciate my plain-but-deep sinks in my old house.  Guess what the house we're building is going to have!