Author Topic: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain  (Read 38353 times)

Dave1442397

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #200 on: December 19, 2016, 08:23:32 AM »
If you haven't seen this Popular Mechanics article on Robert A. Heinlein's house from the early '50s, it's well worth a read. He and his wife designed the house to be as low-maintenance as possible in its time.

http://www.nitrosyncretic.com/rah/pm652-art-hi.html

GuitarStv

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #201 on: December 19, 2016, 09:27:12 AM »
If you haven't seen this Popular Mechanics article on Robert A. Heinlein's house from the early '50s, it's well worth a read. He and his wife designed the house to be as low-maintenance as possible in its time.

http://www.nitrosyncretic.com/rah/pm652-art-hi.html

I didn't think it was possible to be more in awe of Heinlein.  Yet, here we are .  .  .

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #202 on: December 19, 2016, 10:48:47 AM »
If you haven't seen this Popular Mechanics article on Robert A. Heinlein's house from the early '50s, it's well worth a read. He and his wife designed the house to be as low-maintenance as possible in its time.

http://www.nitrosyncretic.com/rah/pm652-art-hi.html

Very cool article! I love the reference to the "oversize bed" that is 7'x6' (84"x72"), when a king is 76"x80", and a lot of people consider kings standard now =P I imagine at the time they had to make all their own sheets, or have them custom made!

Double pane windows... but I can't imagine them not opening! The indoor garden is cool though, although I wonder how that works with humidity. I don't know how dry Colorado is though, so maybe it wouldn't be a problem the way it would in OR.

I do find it interesting that 1150sq ft was referred to as small at the time. Obviously that is regarded as small now, but I thought it took a bit longer for perceptions to shift about that.
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CloserToFree

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #203 on: December 19, 2016, 11:27:17 AM »
This thread is life changing.  Posting to follow!

Rimu05

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #204 on: December 19, 2016, 11:58:53 AM »
My biggest cleaning tip is minimalism.

I'm a minimalist and have no clutter so cleaning has always been easy for me when I'm simply responsible for myself. Sadly, roommates are not the same way.

I weirdly don't have any other cleaning tips simply because grew up in the third world. Cleaning was beaten into you by the time you were eight. You washed dishes, mopped floors, did your own laundry by hand. The convenience of vacuums, washing machines, dish washers (I never use this one, I just weirdly can't) has made my life much easier.

ormaybemidgets

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #205 on: December 19, 2016, 02:20:12 PM »
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.

Have you seen them at Walmart (or elsewhere) recently? My good mesh bag with a drawstring developed a hole, and the only replacements I could find were dollar store zip-top ones... and the zippers have already broken.

handsnhearts

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #206 on: December 19, 2016, 03:01:14 PM »
That Heinlein article was great. So ahead of its time.
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mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #207 on: December 19, 2016, 03:18:03 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.


I think it's time I bought one of these.

After six month back in the land of floorboards, I think this would be great at keeping the floor clean between vacuuming.

I also like the idea of going low-tech.

Ebrat

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #208 on: December 20, 2016, 04:16:01 PM »
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.

Have you seen them at Walmart (or elsewhere) recently? My good mesh bag with a drawstring developed a hole, and the only replacements I could find were dollar store zip-top ones... and the zippers have already broken.

I've gotten them pretty cheap on Amazon.

BlueHouse

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #209 on: December 21, 2016, 10:07:54 AM »
Thank you to whoever said don't fold laundry in rooms that you don't want to get dusty.  It never occurred to me! 

I hope I'm not repeating myself, but I only buy (vertically) striped sheets for beds now (pinstripes, other stripes, it doesn't matter).  It cuts down on putting on 3 corners of sheets only to discover you have to remove all three corners, shift the sheet around, then re-make. 
Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #210 on: December 21, 2016, 10:38:56 AM »
I hope I'm not repeating myself, but I only buy (vertically) striped sheets for beds now (pinstripes, other stripes, it doesn't matter).  It cuts down on putting on 3 corners of sheets only to discover you have to remove all three corners, shift the sheet around, then re-make.

Oh this is brilliant! Thank you.
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totoro

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #211 on: December 21, 2016, 02:10:32 PM »
We have a big family and no-one is a natural born organizer.  No-one.

I'm the one who is the most bothered by the disorder so I've spent a fair bit of time trying to come up with systems that work for us haphazard types.  Part of my trouble was always lack of time when I was working FT and cooking and cleaning and organizing a big family with a dog.  I've tried various things over the years, but here is what has helped so far and what I am working on now that I have more time due to ER:

1. Get rid of stuff.  Be ruthless.  We downsized from 2400 square feet to 1400 so there was no choice which helped.  I continue to work on it by carting off and donating things.  I never miss the stuff. I lived in Japan and they have a saying that if you have not used an item in a year you should get rid of it - I'm not quite as extreme but it is a good thought process. My next project is a Maria Kondo attempt with my clothing.
2. We read the book Speed Cleaning and did up cleaning caddies with aprons and rags and the system works pretty well.  We still have a plethora of cleaning products in the house I'd eventually like to get rid of and replace with two types of cleaners (windows and other) like the book recommends.  Using a toothbrush and other brushes was really helpful.  Cleaning from left to right also helpful.
2.  Go paperless where you can.  I redid my office and scanned all work and personal docs.  I store them on a cloud-based system.  Much easier to organize, store and retrieve.  All my bills are received and paid online.  Mail is opened and recycled with a basket at the door.  Sensitive stuff goes in the burn pile and the rest is recycled.  We have registered with Canada Post not to receive unaddressed mail so we get very little mail. I plan to digitize photos that I have sitting in boxes and albums at some point in the New Year.
3. Don't shop except for groceries and what is absolutely necessary.  I stopped buying clothes about five years ago.  I have had to buy some underwear and socks, but not much else.  Not sure how long this will last, but I guess I'll find out after the Kondo closet attack and inventory.  I try to eat down the pantry, freezer and fridge by making meals around what we have before shopping again.
4. Use drawer inserts and boxes for organizing bathrooms and kitchens.  It still gets messed up, but not as much and it is easier to put like with like.  We have an Ikea kitchen and it has helped with organization quite a bit.
5. Think about how you use things before you come up with a system.  Store things you don't use as much in the top cupboards. I have found it easier to keep the kitchen organized with more cupboard space because I can do things like store the pots with the lid on it because I don't have to stack the pots anymore.  We store the Tupperware lids separate from the containers in a box in a drawer because it became a mess to store them together.  Might not be the best system but it is working so much better.  One of the kitchen areas that was always jumbled was our spice cupboard.  I spent some time redoing it into a spice drawer and I love it and find it easy to maintain because I can see everything and everything has a place.  (See pictures)
6. There are some things we are okay to store because the joy factor is high.  For me it is seasonal decorations and for my husband it is records.  The kids can do what they want with their stuff as long as it is in their rooms.

It might seem kind of a small goal, but an organized house actually makes me happier.  I can feel it.  Now that I finally have a bit more time I'm really enjoying ordering the disorder even though I know it will be an ongoing thing.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2016, 02:12:08 PM by totoro »

GuitarStv

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #212 on: December 21, 2016, 03:23:36 PM »
I hope I'm not repeating myself, but I only buy (vertically) striped sheets for beds now (pinstripes, other stripes, it doesn't matter).  It cuts down on putting on 3 corners of sheets only to discover you have to remove all three corners, shift the sheet around, then re-make.

Oh this is brilliant! Thank you.

Why not just draw an arrow on the sheets with a magic marker?  That way you don't have to pay more for striped sheets, and who the hell ever looks under your comforter?

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #213 on: December 21, 2016, 03:52:00 PM »
I hope I'm not repeating myself, but I only buy (vertically) striped sheets for beds now (pinstripes, other stripes, it doesn't matter).  It cuts down on putting on 3 corners of sheets only to discover you have to remove all three corners, shift the sheet around, then re-make.

Oh this is brilliant! Thank you.

Why not just draw an arrow on the sheets with a magic marker?  That way you don't have to pay more for striped sheets, and who the hell ever looks under your comforter?

I do, in my own home. That would bother me a ton.
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mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #214 on: December 21, 2016, 04:29:49 PM »

Why not just draw an arrow on the sheets with a magic marker?  That way you don't have to pay more for striped sheets, and who the hell ever looks under your comforter?

I do, in my own home. That would bother me a ton.

Definitely.

Plus, the stripes on my sheets didn't cost any extra.

My sole set of summer sheets are a self-striped set my MiL gave me for my birthday (at my request) three years ago.

GuitarStv

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #215 on: December 21, 2016, 06:12:59 PM »

Why not just draw an arrow on the sheets with a magic marker?  That way you don't have to pay more for striped sheets, and who the hell ever looks under your comforter?

I do, in my own home. That would bother me a ton.

Definitely.

My wife caught me with a permanent marker out standing over our bedsheets this afternoon.  It is safe to say that we will not be using an arrow to mark the correct direction of the bedsheets . . . no matter how much time it may save.

totoro

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #216 on: December 21, 2016, 06:18:47 PM »
Ha! Who would have thought she'd be so "sensitive" to such grand practicality. Although there probably is a business idea there with a discreet and elegant label of some type. 

MrsPete

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #217 on: December 21, 2016, 06:29:37 PM »
Why not just draw an arrow on the sheets with a magic marker?  That way you don't have to pay more for striped sheets, and who the hell ever looks under your comforter?
Better quality sheets cost more, but stripes and patterns do not cost any more than solids.

rpr

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #218 on: December 21, 2016, 06:31:26 PM »
Posting to follow. Some wonderful suggestions on the first page. Haven't read the rest yet.

justchristine

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #219 on: December 21, 2016, 06:55:05 PM »
Ha! Who would have thought she'd be so "sensitive" to such grand practicality. Although there probably is a business idea there with a discreet and elegant label of some type.

My Threshold sheets from Target have little labels for the sides and top/bottom. It saves a lot of frustration.

Zoot

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #220 on: December 21, 2016, 07:21:21 PM »
Just read the whole thread--love it!  Such great ideas.

On the "many rags" method:  I first learned of this years ago as the "Speed Cleaning" method in a book by Jeff Campbell.  You can get this for a penny on Amazon these days (see https://www.amazon.com/Speed-Cleaning-Jeff-Campbell/dp/0440503744/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1482372798&sr=8-1&keywords=speed+cleaning), and I often see it at used book stores.  Definitely worth it to seek out the book.

The guy has his own cleaning business and sells products that support the method (https://www.thecleanteam.com); I think he built the company from scratch, and then sold it to another couple a few years ago.  I bought a bottle of Red Juice concentrate cleaner (dilute to full strength and use in a spray bottle) nearly a decade ago, and just bought a new one this year.  I LOVE the stuff--odorless, grease cutting, and so, so economical.  I still haven't replaced my bottle of Blue Juice.

No, I don't get a commission--I just love their stuff.  :)

TomTX

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #221 on: December 21, 2016, 08:18:22 PM »
Why not just draw an arrow on the sheets with a magic marker?  That way you don't have to pay more for striped sheets, and who the hell ever looks under your comforter?
Better quality sheets cost more, but stripes and patterns do not cost any more than solids.

Shit, I would have to buy new sheets. We have way too many sheets already!

Linda_Norway

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #222 on: December 22, 2016, 01:07:25 AM »

I hope I'm not repeating myself, but I only buy (vertically) striped sheets for beds now (pinstripes, other stripes, it doesn't matter).  It cuts down on putting on 3 corners of sheets only to discover you have to remove all three corners, shift the sheet around, then re-make.

Why not just draw an arrow on the sheets with a magic marker?  That way you don't have to pay more for striped sheets, and who the hell ever looks under your comforter?

I just measure the length of the mattrass sheet between my arms, before putting it on the bed. If it is  approximately as long as my arms stretched out, it is the short side of the bed. If it is way more, it is the long side of the bed. Our bed is 160-210 cm. Our sheets that go around the down have either an obvious pattern, or I look for the big opening in the other end.

former player

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #223 on: December 22, 2016, 02:13:13 AM »

Why not just draw an arrow on the sheets with a magic marker?  That way you don't have to pay more for striped sheets, and who the hell ever looks under your comforter?

I do, in my own home. That would bother me a ton.

Definitely.

My wife caught me with a permanent marker out standing over our bedsheets this afternoon.  It is safe to say that we will not be using an arrow to mark the correct direction of the bedsheets . . . no matter how much time it may save.
I have a lifetime's supply of cotton and linen sheets inherited from my aunt and grandparents, nearly all of which have laundry marks in permanent marker, including 3 different family names.  I love them, and they are such good quality they will see me out.  The tops and bottoms are obvious from the different hems.
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Poundwise

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #224 on: December 22, 2016, 08:52:26 AM »
If using a permanent marker is not cool, how about a couple of stitches /\ to indicate which way the sheets go? Crafty people can use embroidery thread.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #225 on: December 22, 2016, 09:01:45 AM »
If using a permanent marker is not cool, how about a couple of stitches /\ to indicate which way the sheets go? Crafty people can use embroidery thread.

See, this I could get behind!

But, more likely, my sheets will wear out again in the next couple years anyway, and I will replace then.

Although honestly, we use a full, and it's way easier for me to tell the right direction for the sheets than on a queen. More contrast. So I actually really never have this problem on our bed.
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Zoot

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #226 on: December 22, 2016, 09:44:22 AM »
DH and I use the tag method--we figured out which way the sheets go and where the tag is when they're on the right way, and put the tag in the same place every time.  No marker required!  :)

Cranky

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #227 on: December 23, 2016, 05:48:36 AM »
This is actually a stroke a genius - just when I think I've heard every household tip there is! I have now made a tiny X with my marker on the corner of the fitted sheet that goes on the side where I always start. You can't even see it when the sheet is in place.

TacheTastic

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #228 on: December 23, 2016, 08:07:21 AM »
I haven't read the whole thread, but I used to clean houses for a living, and some points I would add:
Never have wooden kitchen counters. They go mouldy and need regular oil/varnish treatments. I would also avoid stone, as it can watermark easily. Get Formica or similar, preferably smooth.
Don't buy an old fashioned enamel bath, as then you need enamel friendly bath cleaner.
Have laminate instead of real wooden floor. Same reason.
Have lots of food prep boards, so you can throw them in the dishwasher or washing up rather than wiping counters constantly.
No open fires. They are dust factories, plus logs are great homes for bugs.
Don't keep loads of bathroom toiletries in open storage, especially if they are rarely used. They get filthy and dusty.
Leather sofas, especially if you eat on them and are messy with crumbs.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #229 on: December 23, 2016, 09:59:06 AM »

Don't keep loads of bathroom toiletries in open storage, especially if they are rarely used. They get filthy and dusty.

Where does the dust come from in a bathroom? I know towels would produce some dust. Is the answer really gross?

TomTX

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #230 on: December 23, 2016, 02:30:17 PM »

Don't keep loads of bathroom toiletries in open storage, especially if they are rarely used. They get filthy and dusty.

Where does the dust come from in a bathroom? I know towels would produce some dust. Is the answer really gross?

Are skin particles and the mist generated by toilet flushes "really gross"?

GuitarStv

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #231 on: December 23, 2016, 03:02:00 PM »

Don't keep loads of bathroom toiletries in open storage, especially if they are rarely used. They get filthy and dusty.

Where does the dust come from in a bathroom? I know towels would produce some dust. Is the answer really gross?

Are skin particles and the mist generated by toilet flushes "really gross"?

I dunno about you guys, but my toilet mist smells like roses.

handsnhearts

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #232 on: December 24, 2016, 01:59:33 AM »
I haven't read the whole thread, but I used to clean houses for a living, and some points I would add:
Never have wooden kitchen counters. They go mouldy and need regular oil/varnish treatments. I would also avoid stone, as it can watermark easily. Get Formica or similar, preferably smooth.
Don't buy an old fashioned enamel bath, as then you need enamel friendly bath cleaner.
Have laminate instead of real wooden floor. Same reason.
Have lots of food prep boards, so you can throw them in the dishwasher or washing up rather than wiping counters constantly.
No open fires. They are dust factories, plus logs are great homes for bugs.
Don't keep loads of bathroom toiletries in open storage, especially if they are rarely used. They get filthy and dusty.
Leather sofas, especially if you eat on them and are messy with crumbs.

I love my enamel tub, but it does get rings and stains sometimes.  How do I get them out?  But it is so deep and big... Ahhhh!!

And I hate my leather couch (it was an hand-me-down and quite fancy and expensive, but cold to the touch), but in never get dirty.  A quick wipe and food, junk, dog hair, all slide right off. 
« Last Edit: December 24, 2016, 02:01:25 AM by handsnhearts »

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #233 on: December 24, 2016, 02:40:26 AM »
Don't keep loads of bathroom toiletries in open storage, especially if they are rarely used. They get filthy and dusty.

This.

My bathroom vanity is a single drawer with more than a foot of clearance to the floor.

On moving day a family member pushed and pushed and pushed for me to buy storage baskets to sit under the drawer. It was almost embarrassing how insistent she was, and I had to keep saying no.

Most of the content of my bathroom were just multiples of the same things bought on sale and stockpiled, so I slowly used up the stash and I'm not keeping as much on hand. Easy.

But she just could not accept that someone wouldn't need maximum bathroom storage. I've seen her bathroom: 25 bottles and tubes in the shower, and dusty baskets full of products and appliances everywhere. >.<

Side note: I was unsure about the drawer at first but I love it. Everything is at my fingertips, and it's easy to clean underneath. Would recommend.

Johnez

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #234 on: December 24, 2016, 04:53:30 AM »
^Oh I wish this was possible for the bathroom I share haha. 25 bottles, and that's just counting the lotions, ahhhhh!

I have recently implemented a two for one deal to get rid of excess bottles of lotion-I will buy a brand new bottle of whatever if we can get rid of 2. We'll see how it goes haha!

TacheTastic

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #235 on: December 24, 2016, 08:54:57 AM »
Don't buy an old fashioned enamel bath, as then you need enamel friendly bath cleaner.


I love my enamel tub, but it does get rings and stains sometimes.  How do I get them out?  But it is so deep and big... Ahhhh!!

My go-to was always jif cream cleaner. Not sure if you can get it where you are. Pretty old-school, and a bugger to rinse, but I knew it was safe. Otherwise, if it is really bad get it re-enamelled and it should be easier to keep clean.

Dave1442397

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #236 on: December 24, 2016, 11:09:47 AM »
DH and I use the tag method--we figured out which way the sheets go and where the tag is when they're on the right way, and put the tag in the same place every time.  No marker required!  :)

I've noticed that the tags on all our sheets are on the lower right corner, so that's all I look for when putting them back on the bed. I don't know if that's an industry standard or just coincidence.

RelaxedGal

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #237 on: December 29, 2016, 11:16:41 AM »
My bathroom vanity is a single drawer with more than a foot of clearance to the floor.

On moving day a family member pushed and pushed and pushed for me to buy storage baskets to sit under the drawer. It was almost embarrassing how insistent she was, and I had to keep saying no.
<snip>
Side note: I was unsure about the drawer at first but I love it. Everything is at my fingertips, and it's easy to clean underneath. Would recommend.
Same here.  Embarrassingly I was storing things under the cabinet until reading this thread.  The sander, sandpaper, and draino which had been tucked there after use are now in the basement where they belong and only the scale is there now.  Should be much easier to clean actually get cleaned moving forward.

Rimu05

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #238 on: December 29, 2016, 12:49:43 PM »
I am against floor tiles. I find dirt settles in the grout and it is such a pain to clean. Plus it looks absolutely terrible when you have the white tiles and like black grout.

Poundwise

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #239 on: December 29, 2016, 01:26:36 PM »
Does anybody have gray or black grout (I mean grout that is meant to be that color not just dirty)?  I'm thinking about using it for tiled kitchen backsplash.

Life in Balance

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #240 on: December 29, 2016, 01:54:37 PM »
I have multiple shades/colors of grout in my house in different areas. I just choose a shade of grout that is found in the tile and use it.  It makes it much easier to keep clean. 

totoro

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #241 on: December 29, 2016, 05:01:57 PM »
Does anybody have gray or black grout (I mean grout that is meant to be that color not just dirty)?  I'm thinking about using it for tiled kitchen backsplash.

Yes.  We have gray grout in the bathrooms and kitchen.  Our tiler advised us it is easier to keep looking clean and I'd agree.

Poundwise

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #242 on: December 29, 2016, 07:42:58 PM »
Thanks!!  That's a relief.  I already have several sheets of tile and gray grout ready to install, but was wondering if I was making a mistake.

csprof

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #243 on: December 29, 2016, 09:49:31 PM »
Never have wooden kitchen counters. They go mouldy and need regular oil/varnish treatments. I would also avoid stone, as it can watermark easily. Get Formica or similar, preferably smooth.

If you do, though, they just take mineral oil.  Nothing fancy - you don't need something that says "butcher block oil", any food-grade mineral oil is fine.  You can get 16oz at a hardware store for $6.  Clean & oil now and then (someone will try to sell you on doing it monthly, but every 6 months isn't going to kill them) and they'll last a long time.  My mom's have been going strong for 40 years now, though they could really use a sander at this point in their lives -- mostly from all of the knife nicks.

(Also, on wood countertops, use those little plastic chopping mats to reduce the amount of food that actually comes into contact with the wood.  Makes cleanup a breeze, and the mats are great - you can curl them up and use them to transfer food into a pan/etc.)

For stone, modern sealants are really quite awesome.  The pre-sealed countertops you can buy now are virtually impermeable to everything, and a post-installation penetrating sealant can be very effective as well.

Engineered stone is, in general, very resistant.  It has some of the best of both worlds - it's strong, you can put a hot pot down on it, and it won't stain and is acid-resistant.

(If you guess that I maybe just had to choose countertops, you'd be right. :-)
« Last Edit: December 29, 2016, 09:51:17 PM by csprof »
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Freshwater

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #244 on: December 30, 2016, 03:24:53 AM »
This thread is great. I second the amazing abilities of Jif cleaner for baths. I'm also going to move all the furniture to exactly the width of the vacuum head apart.

Couple of questions:

Anyone have a Roomba style vacuum and pets? When I've googled it seems none can cope with the hair, and that would be the main reason I'd get one. We need to vacuum about 3 times a week when the dog's hair is long.

Anyone got any tips for cleaning dust on the bookshelves behind the books? The shelves are open at the back (Ikea Expedit) but almost against a wall so I can't reach behind. I just took all the books out today and it was so thick it was gross, plus there was mould. Maybe I should just get a different bookcase?? I thought the airflow would reduce the mould, but then on another thread MPGH told me that mould feeds on dust so...

gaja

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #245 on: December 30, 2016, 01:09:26 PM »
Standardization has been the trick for us.

A) All food storage containers use the same lids, but there are three different depths (0.9L, 1.2L, 1.6 L). These are used for everything from lunch boxes for both adults and children, storing leftovers, to christmas cookies. They are stackable, and fit perfectly in one kitchen drawer. And of course they can go directly from the freezer to the microwave, and are dishwaster proof.
B) There are two types of storage solutions in our house; IKEA kallax/expedit as open shelves or with different types of boxes, or wire baskets. If the need changes in one room, we can take shelves, baskets or boxes from a different room. The dirty clothes are kept in wire baskets; one for each category. Everyone is responsible for sorting as they drop their clothes to be washed. One wire basket equals one load, so when it is full it gets dumped into the machine by whoever is in the bathroom. No extra brainpower required, just set the machine to what it says on the basket. Now we usually sort, but when we had two full jobs and two handicapped toddlers, we usually just dumped the clean clothes in a new wire basket, and put into a free shelf. No sorting of folding required, if you need clean clothes you can find them in a wire basket in the closet.
C) No double of triple sets of dinner plates and cutlery; the everyday stuff is good enough for Christmas. The plates are undecorated but a variety of solid colors; some Höganäs, and some Ikea Dinera. These can always be supplemented by similar stuff, even if they stop selling them, and it looks like we intended them to be different instead of running out of the right ones. The cutlery is relatively high quality, because unsharp knives are annoying.
D) The kids still have paper books, I have gone 90 % digital. All the paperbacks are now in my kindle. (I used to have several hundreds stacked on top of each other in shelves all around the house).
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1967mama

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #246 on: December 31, 2016, 12:49:12 AM »
AH-MAZING ideas here! We are moving in the Spring and I so badly want a fresh start! Decluttering seems to be my first logical step, pre-moving day.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #247 on: December 31, 2016, 02:35:13 AM »
Anyone have a Roomba style vacuum and pets? When I've googled it seems none can cope with the hair, and that would be the main reason I'd get one. We need to vacuum about 3 times a week when the dog's hair is long.

How long is long? My roomba-style vacuum can do short (2-5 cm / 1-2 inch) hair but struggles with my long (30 cm / 1ft) hair. I tend to shed in one place, so I use a slightly damp rubber glove (I've heard good things about rubber brooms also) to pick that up before I set the robot vacuum going.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #248 on: December 31, 2016, 02:39:14 AM »
AH-MAZING ideas here! We are moving in the Spring and I so badly want a fresh start! Decluttering seems to be my first logical step, pre-moving day.

If you have time, there is a decluttering system somewhere that has you basically cover everything you own in a sheet, and then you take out every item that you use and mark it somehow (sticker?). Anything that remains under the sheet you aren't using that often and the default is to get rid of it. Anyone remember the website?

TomTX

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #249 on: December 31, 2016, 05:59:10 AM »
Does anybody have gray or black grout (I mean grout that is meant to be that color not just dirty)?  I'm thinking about using it for tiled kitchen backsplash.

We used gray grout when we had the living room tiled in 2009 during the Great Recession (super cheap. Total was like $2.10/square foot installed) - we sealed it at the time and it still looks great.