Author Topic: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain  (Read 58914 times)

totoro

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #50 on: September 25, 2016, 04:07:43 PM »
We clean our lampshades with a lint roller from the dollar store with the peel off strips  - works like a charm.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2016, 04:15:49 PM by totoro »

pbkmaine

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #51 on: September 25, 2016, 04:08:35 PM »
We clean and our lampshades with a lint roller from the dollar store with the peel off strips  - works like a charm.

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totoro

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #52 on: September 25, 2016, 04:17:10 PM »
It was my 17 year old son who came up with that one1

Pigeon

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #53 on: September 25, 2016, 05:17:40 PM »
Hard surface floors and no glass shower doors to gather soap scum.  Personally I find white appliances the easiest to keep clean.

lemonverbena

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #54 on: September 25, 2016, 10:49:13 PM »
I am shamefully bad about letting dishes pile up. I realized this might be because I let the hand-wash-only dishes sit on the counter which seems to invite ALL the dishes to sit on the counter. I recently banished all the dishes that can't go in the dishwasher (cast iron pots, the largest baking sheets and cutting boards) to the detached garage. I'm not allowing myself hand-wash-only dishes until I establish a really strong habit of loading and unloading the machine in a timely manner. So far, I'm making really big improvements. Getting my kids to manage their own dishes helps, too.

So, my tip is to own dishwasher-friendly cookware/cutlery/utensils, etc.

I wear out my wooden utensils and cutting boards faster this way but it's worth it to me.

BlueHouse

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #55 on: September 26, 2016, 02:28:44 PM »
If you have stainless steel appliances, keep a small dishtowel handy.  Open and close dishwasher with the towel to avoid drips. 

Stainless -- always polish in the direction of the grain of the steel.

Dishtowels -- All of my dishtowels and oven mitts are black because coffee, tea, stains, etc.
Towels / Washcloths / hand towels -- All towels are waffle weave, white.  I love Waffle weave towels because they are very absorbent and dry so quickly.  I don't like fluffy towels at all -- the only way they work is if you throw them on the floor and then roll around on them.  But if you rub the towel against your body, then thinner is better!   
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MBot

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #56 on: September 26, 2016, 03:46:31 PM »
The concealed trapway toilet by American Standard  is absolutely worth the extra $100 or so. On sale it was about $230 instead of $125-$150 for a regular one. Never clean those weirdneavy sides of a toilet again - it's all smooth. And it has an antibacterial something or other so I think it actually nis eds cleaning of the bowl once every several months (if I notice a ring or dirt.... of course if someone has made a mess I will clean it sooner!)

Sylly

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #57 on: September 26, 2016, 09:23:58 PM »
Posting to follow. So many great tips!

misshathaway

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #58 on: September 27, 2016, 06:16:20 AM »
- Leave enough room between any two pieces of furniture, or furniture and sidewall, to let the vacuum or hard floor machine comfortably in

- Do any dishes in the sink while you're waiting for the microwave

- Have a designated place on each floor to place stuff on its way to another floor

- For a new house, get countertops that cannot trap dirt in crevices, either in corners or edges where 2 materials meet or in the material itself. I would never get very rough stone counter tops, sealed or not.
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dcheesi

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #59 on: September 27, 2016, 08:29:53 AM »
Hard surface floors and no glass shower doors to gather soap scum.  Personally I find white appliances the easiest to keep clean.
Yes!

In my previous house, the owners had gone for all-black appliances except for the stove, which was this odd mixture of white & black. I thought it was a weird choice, and hated how certain spills (e.g. red sauces) showed up on the white stove-top.

Then I moved into an apartment with a black stove-top, and OMG is it 100x worse! Even simple water spots show up as glaring, nasty-looking splotches. Crumbs and such show much more as well.

Now I understand what those previous homeowners were thinking...

TrMama

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #60 on: September 27, 2016, 11:57:43 AM »
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.

catccc

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #61 on: September 27, 2016, 01:05:59 PM »
Ooh, I like this many rags method, except for the part about actually having to own many rags...  And also the fact that it seems like something you do all at once rather than spreading out.  I need to work on finding a block of time to do all of that at once.  TrMama, how long does it take you to do all of that, and how many rooms do you do?

My sister got me a cordless shark navigator vacuum cleaner for my birthday.  I hate to come on this thread and say "this doohickey is exactly what you need to achieve your cleaning goals!"  But that thing was a game changer for me.  It is much easier than lugging out my big canister vac (which I still love and use every other week or so).  But daily little messes can get cleaned up in no time w/ the cordless vac that is strategically placed for easy access.  The canister vac must live upstairs due to space constraints.  I've long wanted another smaller vac for daily pick ups, but couldn't bring myself to purchase one when the one I have works great and my problem with it is that it is inconvenient to get out of storage.  I would just park it out in the middle of the living room, but that gets to be annoying to look at it strewn about all the time...

TrMama

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #62 on: September 27, 2016, 02:35:40 PM »
https://www.amazon.com/Ttowels-Microfiber-Cleaning-Cloth-Pack/dp/B01FDYWF96/ref=sr_1_3?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1475007583&sr=1-3-spons&keywords=microfiber+cloth&psc=1

Get the microfiber cloths. They can be used dry for dusting or with glass cleaner for glass or with spray cleaner on hard surfaces. They also work great on the spray mop for dry or wet mopping. Plus, they're crazy cheap and last forever.

Part of what makes this technique fast is that it doesn't use many tools. However, that means the tools you do use have to be multi-purpose.

Each room takes 5-15 minutes. 5 min max for the little powder room. 15 minutes for our ensuite that is heavily used and gets gross. I usually do 2.5 baths, the master bedroom, hallway, stairs and vacuum the living/dining/kitchen in about an hour. I don't often mop the floor since we don't have pets and don't wear shoes in the house. I make the kids vacuum their own rooms. They also often clean bathrooms (the technique is easily taught to small children).

When I'm feeling more ambitious I tackle some other dirty thing that doesn't need to be done weekly. This weekend I vacuumed and wiped the dust out of the baseboard heaters so they won't smell like burning when we turn them on. Took 1 minute per heater to pop the cover off and wipe them out thoroughly. Since the house is thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis it never gets gross or overwhelming.

marble_faun

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #63 on: September 27, 2016, 04:57:45 PM »
*posting to follow*
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frooglepoodle

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #64 on: September 27, 2016, 05:05:54 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!
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Primm

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #65 on: September 27, 2016, 09:12:00 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.

<snip> how to clean </snip>

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!

I agree, that's brilliant! I kind of do this, but I rinse and reuse the cloths. I need to buy some more and just do what you do. Truly inspirational (and simple...). Thank you!

GuitarStv

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #66 on: September 28, 2016, 07:17:12 AM »
Ooh, I like this many rags method, except for the part about actually having to own many rags... 

If you own any clothing at all, you own an inexhaustible source of future rags.  Just cut 'em up with scissors when they're too shot to wear any more.  My wife doesn't let me do this with underwear though, so that gets rattier and rattier until one morning it thins out so much that a gust of wind causes every fiber to simultaneously release and the garment completely vanishes in a puff of lint.  It's the circle of underwear life.

catccc

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #67 on: September 28, 2016, 09:49:09 AM »
Ooh, I like this many rags method, except for the part about actually having to own many rags... 

If you own any clothing at all, you own an inexhaustible source of future rags.  Just cut 'em up with scissors when they're too shot to wear any more.  My wife doesn't let me do this with underwear though, so that gets rattier and rattier until one morning it thins out so much that a gust of wind causes every fiber to simultaneously release and the garment completely vanishes in a puff of lint.  It's the circle of underwear life.

It isn't obtaining them that is the problem, but merely having/keeping them.  Just another thing to have in the house, something I try not to do.  It's okay, if I use this many rags method, I'm sure I'll get over it quickly.  We use cloth napkins and cloth wipes, its just one more (dozen) thing(s).

gillstone

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #68 on: September 28, 2016, 10:04:44 AM »
Only own one type of sock.  You will never spend time looking for pairs and matching them up ever again.  (I actually cheat at this and own about eight pairs of black socks and eight pairs of white athletic socks.  Still works great.)

Brilliant! Especially if you have children. 

Evaluate your kitchen and see what you really need and what you haven't used in forever (usually the bread machine)

With This Herring

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #69 on: September 28, 2016, 11:35:02 AM »
I bought the Don Aslett book and wow, that must be one of the best 3.51 I've ever spent. Haven't even finished it yet!

One thing got me thinking, though: how is dust actually generated in a home? I understand a lot of it is dead skin, but how are the other components actually produced?

Also: lampshades! Help! I've been looking round my home and wondering what annoys me most and it's definitely lampshades. We have what I think of as 'normal' paper ones on a wire frame and they just attract dust and it works in. What's the better option (for someone who likes desk lamps and standard lamps a LOT LOT more than ceiling lights)?

Okay, I'm going to buy it now.  It can sit next to Dacyczyn's "The Complete Tightwad Gazette" on my shelf!

I'm going to guess that anything that can break down to that degree makes dust.  Dead skin, dirt from outside, flour from when you are cooking, larger particles in smoke, little bits from when you tear paper, etc.

Why not get solid lampshades?  DBF has one that is some sort of plastic or resin, and that is easy to wipe down.  I know you can get those pretty dark green glass desk lampshades, but the cone-shaped ones do come in white and other colors.

Only own one type of sock.  You will never spend time looking for pairs and matching them up ever again.  (I actually cheat at this and own about eight pairs of black socks and eight pairs of white athletic socks.  Still works great.)
*snip*

If you already have a lot of socks, buy a hundred-pack of safety pins cheaply somewhere.  Whenever you remove a pair of socks, pin them together.  If you and your family members have some similar-looking socks, each person gets a different pinning style.  Mine is through the center of the calf.  DBF's is through the top of the cuff.  I don't think I have had more than one or two pins come loose in the wash after doing this for a couple years.



When househunting, keep in mind:
  • Don't buy a house with a two-story entry.  Every time I walk into one, I think "Who is stuck dusting that?"
  • In the kitchen, make sure there is a range hood with a working fan that vents outside!  Our current apartment has empty ceiling over the stove, so any time I fry something, make a curry, or need to lightly scorch something for a recipe, we are running to open all the windows and turn on fans, even in the dead of winter.
  • In each bathroom, be sure there is some reliable ventilation.  We have no bathroom fan, so the window remains cracked year-round to prevent mold developing on the ceiling.
  • My mother always said she would have loved a house with a central vacuum.  I'm not sure how common these are.
  • My mother also wishes that she had a mudroom.  Even taking off shoes doesn't always help, when you have six people trying to get in the house at once and nowhere to sit when taking shoes off.

Know why your things are getting dirty, and choose your cleaning method appropriately. 
  • We have terribly hard water, which makes gross rings in the toilet, which collect all sorts of nastiness, so the toilet must be scrubbed frequently.  DBF got one of those blue gunk things that makes your toilet water blue for a month as it releases its bleach solution.  Unfortunately, this did nothing against the hard water rings, so then we had a blue-water toilet that still developed rings AND I couldn't use vinegar to clean the surfaces for fear of mixing some with bleach and killing us both.
  • If kitchen cabinets near the stove look grimy, it isn't just dust.  The dust is adhering to old grease.  Using a dry dust rag as you would in the living room is just going to smear it.  You need vinegar or soap to cut the grease.

If you have white porcelain sinks, once you have them all scrubbed out and nice, you can apply pure carnauba wax to keep scuffs and stains away for a while longer.  This wax is the same food-safe stuff that is used on fruits, so it is okay to use in your kitchen sink.

Keep a dishrag by the sink and another under the counter (for floors).  Use them to wipe up spills as they happen, of course, but also to clean up surprise sticky spots in the fridge.

You can clean most things with some combination of hot water, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar (DON'T MIX VINEGAR WITH THE PEROXIDE), baking soda, dish soap, and salt applied with newspaper, a scrubby brush, old toothbrush, or rag.  This tends to be cheaper, still effective, and far less stinky than the packaged cleaning supplies.  And every toilet needs its own plunger.  That is not something you want to sprint to get...
PRODUCTS NEVER TO MIX (Warning, Buzzfeed link)

Paint chosen for walls and cabinets should be appropriate for its intended use, and the surface to be painted should be prepped appropriately.  The landlord painted the kitchen cabinets nicely, but there are so many layers of paint that the doors don't close.  The bathroom has pretty paint, but it has no humidity resistance and started flaking quickly.

If you are going to sweep the kitchen, vacuum the living room at the same time.  Otherwise, little bits get tracked back and forth between the two rooms.

When I buy dishes one of these years, I am going to find a restaurant supplier so that I can replace broken ones easily and cheaply.
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halftimer

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #70 on: September 28, 2016, 10:46:39 PM »
Lots of good and familiar tips here. I originally came to say 'leave furniture vacuum distance apart' but a few early posters beat me to it.  Also good is to have under sink items in a shallow tray - like if you have a few spray bottles of cleaning supplies have them in a wipeable tray so you can remove them all at once if you develop a leak and need to plumbing repairs or have to clean under there. Try not to overfill your under sink area, just 2-3 trays worth of items is more than enough.

Another one less related to maintenance is to keep paper work, card board boxes and supplies like toilet paper away from water sources and a few inches off the floors.  If you have even one small flood you will thank me. Bottom shelves are for rubbermaid bins and replaceable items - not photo albums.

totoro

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #71 on: September 28, 2016, 10:55:52 PM »
Re. professional cleaning - we follow the speed cleaning tips and have home-made cleaning aprons and sh-mop with covers.  I think the poster above's technique is pretty similar except they use a bucket instead of an apron.

http://speedcleaning.com/speed-cleaning-rules/

newelljack

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #72 on: September 28, 2016, 11:11:41 PM »
I have an 1800sqft house and three little mustaches, so things can get bad quick. One lesson I learned from unf**kyourhabitat is going through one level/theme at a time, mixed with some pomodoro timing. For example, I will go around the whole house with a trash can and throw away garbage (napkins and clothing tags are popular items at my house) then move on to toys, clothes, etc. working for 20 minutes before taking a 10 minute break. Then I will go back and tackle the kitchen. That's for the bad days.

The good days are easier, especially if I can convince the little ones to go find all of the shoes and put them away. I even have the 7 y/o emptying the dishwasher and putting her own laundry away for $0.50. And now that I have decided to ditch the bi-weekly cleaning service, I will be following this thread a little more closely!

shelivesthedream

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #73 on: September 29, 2016, 08:07:25 AM »
I finished the Don Aslett book this morning and feel a really intense need to evangelise it to all my friends. To anyone who hasn't read it, DO. He does have a very mid-90s modern aesthetic preference which is almost anti-what-I-like-in-interiors, but as with anything you can take what's useful and leave the rest. I can still buy high-legged or floor-flush late Victorian or Art Deco furniture without too many twiddly carved bits, and reupholster my chaise longue with a slightly more ruggedly-textured neutral-toned damask. And it's so nice having all the finishing or texturing options laid out before you so if you do choose something a bit more high-maintenance at least you can really think about it beforehand and commit to the desire to maintain it.

And this thread has been so great! There are some things that seem really obvious once someone's pointed them out but which I'd never come up with by myself.

I was wondering if anyone here has wire shelving. Don Aslett is very enthusiastic about its cleaning-lowering potential (allegedly all the dust just falls right through to the floor and you can just sweep/hoover it up) but I wonder if it's quite as good as he says. Do you never end up cleaning the little wire bits? Because that seems like a fiddly job! It's not an aesthetic I particularly like but I'd be willing to put it inside cupboards if it was worth it. Also, does anyone store clothing on wire shelving? All the falling dust and air circulation stuff sounds great but I'd be worried about getting little wire imprints on my folded clothes! I fold things vertically these days (yes, KonMari) and I do like clothes. Maybe a fine crossed wire mesh would be best?

MandyM

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #74 on: September 29, 2016, 08:20:41 AM »
I was wondering if anyone here has wire shelving. Don Aslett is very enthusiastic about its cleaning-lowering potential (allegedly all the dust just falls right through to the floor and you can just sweep/hoover it up) but I wonder if it's quite as good as he says. Do you never end up cleaning the little wire bits? Because that seems like a fiddly job! It's not an aesthetic I particularly like but I'd be willing to put it inside cupboards if it was worth it. Also, does anyone store clothing on wire shelving? All the falling dust and air circulation stuff sounds great but I'd be worried about getting little wire imprints on my folded clothes! I fold things vertically these days (yes, KonMari) and I do like clothes. Maybe a fine crossed wire mesh would be best?

Honestly, I dislike wire shelving in a lot of locations. If you want to put smaller items on there, you generally have to use a bin or mat or something, which just adds to the "things" that I have. And yes, dust does get on the wires, and they can be annoying to clean.

I have also really enjoyed this thread! I have started to wipe my kitchen down every day when I get home. It only takes a minute (very small kitchen), but if I don't do it things get out of hand quickly.

I'm getting (back) into the rag system that Trmama described. I also really like the note about doing the small things you see immediately. Its so easy to put it off, but if its just a minute DO IT.
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letthelightin

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #75 on: September 29, 2016, 09:16:24 AM »
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.

........

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.

Thank you so much for posting this! This may sound stupid, but I was never taught how to clean, so I'm not very good at it. And to be honest, "researching how to clean" is not at the top of my to-do list. :) I'm starting to see the effects of the lack of thorough cleaning, though, and it's to a point now where I am self-conscious about it any time someone is at our house.

This specific, simple how-to is perfect for me, and is just what I think I need to get started. Thank you so much!

Also, for you entrepreneurial types, how about offering a "How to Clean Your House" course? I'm too cheap to pay someone else to clean my house, but I would pay big bucks for a few sessions for someone to teach me how to simply and effectively keep my own house clean!

shelivesthedream

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #76 on: September 29, 2016, 09:59:49 AM »
Thank you so much for posting this! This may sound stupid, but I was never taught how to clean, so I'm not very good at it. And to be honest, "researching how to clean" is not at the top of my to-do list. :) I'm starting to see the effects of the lack of thorough cleaning, though, and it's to a point now where I am self-conscious about it any time someone is at our house.

This specific, simple how-to is perfect for me, and is just what I think I need to get started. Thank you so much!

For "literally everybody in the world knows how to do this chore except me and therefore there are no totally idiot-proof guides to it", search the RBNLifeSkills Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/RBNLifeSkills/

TrMama

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #77 on: September 29, 2016, 11:36:12 AM »
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.

........

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.

Thank you so much for posting this! This may sound stupid, but I was never taught how to clean, so I'm not very good at it. And to be honest, "researching how to clean" is not at the top of my to-do list. :) I'm starting to see the effects of the lack of thorough cleaning, though, and it's to a point now where I am self-conscious about it any time someone is at our house.

This specific, simple how-to is perfect for me, and is just what I think I need to get started. Thank you so much!

Also, for you entrepreneurial types, how about offering a "How to Clean Your House" course? I'm too cheap to pay someone else to clean my house, but I would pay big bucks for a few sessions for someone to teach me how to simply and effectively keep my own house clean!

Oh! I like your business idea! I've thought about starting a mother-child cleaning company as a FIRE side gig to employ my kids (and other college kids) when they're in college. I like the idea of teaching other people how to clean too. I didn't think people would pay for that though.

Another tip is to store the sheets for each bed in the closet in the same room. Most people store them in a central linen closet, which by definition is far away from the bed they need to go on. Figured this out when my kids were little and needed middle of the night sheet changes.

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #78 on: September 29, 2016, 12:01:10 PM »
Posting to follow - this thread has been super helpful already!

MountainFlower

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #79 on: September 29, 2016, 12:21:17 PM »
My 2 cents:

I like the book Organic Housekeeping by Ellen Sandbeck.  Some great tips in there. 

1.  Never set something down temporarily.  I often find myself about to set something down because I'm in a hurry when I can put the thing away in less than 15 seconds.  It's a mantra I repeat often and it has made a HUGE difference.

2.   I also have many microfiber rags.  Costco has huge packs of them and walmart has good prices too.  Tip:  Look in the automotive section for the best deals. 

I combine the many rags technique, two buckets, and a dutch rubber broom to clean floors and dusty surfaces.  I have this one

http://www.simplygoodstuff.com/rubber_brooms.htm?gclid=CjwKEAjw97K_BRCwmNTK26iM-hMSJABrkNtbNLhQl1xcHIVXZRV62Noc4KPe7eSDl--t6Pz6axtTeBoCJaDw_wcB

 which I highly recommend because the handle is adjustable for kids and for reaching high places.  I get out two buckets:  one bucket with super hot water and a bunch of rags, and one empty bucket for the dirty bunch. 

So basically, you just use the rubber broom to hold or push the rags around until they are dirty.  Then throw into the dirty bucket and grab a clean, wet one from the other bucket. 

I live in a log home with soaring ceilings and lots of spiders, unfortunately.  It's also very dusty.  I can reach all of my logs with the dutch rubber broom to clean them off.  The microfiber cloths work wonders at grabbing spider webs and bringing them down.  MUCH better than a vacuum. 

For the really high parts of our ceiling, we use a LONG 16 ft telescoping pole with a hook.  ON the hook we put a fuzzy car mitt (see link) which just grabs those webs like crazy. 

https://smile.amazon.com/Chemical-Guys-MIC_493-Microfiber-Scratch-Free/dp/B003TTL0TE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475172939&sr=8-1&keywords=car+mit

My greatest cleaning tool are my bluetooth headphones because I can clean and listen to music (amazon prime stations), which really motivates me in the evenings after my family has all gone to bed. 
« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 09:49:30 PM by MountainFlower »

4alpacas

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #80 on: September 29, 2016, 12:55:26 PM »
My 2 cents:

I like the book Organic Housekeeping by Ellen Sandbeck.  Some great tips in there. 

1.  Never set something down temporarily.  I often find myself about to set something down because I'm in a hurry when I can put the thing away in less than 15 seconds.  It's a mantra I repeat often and it has made a HUGE difference.

2.   I also have many microfiber rags.  Costco has huge packs of them and walmart has good prices too.  Tip:  Look in the automotive section for the best deals. 

I combine the many rags technique, two buckets, and a dutch rubber broom to clean floors and dusty surfaces.  I have this one

http://www.simplygoodstuff.com/rubber_brooms.htm?gclid=CjwKEAjw97K_BRCwmNTK26iM-hMSJABrkNtbNLhQl1xcHIVXZRV62Noc4KPe7eSDl--t6Pz6axtTeBoCJaDw_wcB

 which I highly recommend because the handle is adjustable for kids and for reaching high places.  I get out two buckets:  one bucket with super hot water and a bunch of rags, and one empty bucket for the dirty bunch. 

So basically, you just use the rubber broom to hold or push the rags around until they are dirty.  Then throw into the dirty bucket and grab a clean, wet one from the other bucket. 

I live in a log home with soaring ceilings and lots of spiders, unfortunately.  It's also very dusty.  I can reach all of my logs with the dutch rubber broom to clean them off.  The microfiber cloths work wonders at grabbing spider webs and bringing them down.  MUCH better than a vacuum. 

For the really high parts of our ceiling, we use a LONG 16 ft telescoping pole with a hook.  ON the hook we put a fuzzy car mitt (see link) which just grabs those webs like crazy. 

https://smile.amazon.com/Chemical-Guys-MIC_493-Microfiber-Scratch-Free/dp/B003TTL0TE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475172939&sr=8-1&keywords=car+mit

My greatest cleaning tool is my bluetooth headphones because I can clean and listen to music (amazon prime stations), which really motivates me in the evenings after my family has all gone to bed.
I've never heard of a rubber broom.  Do you use it like a regular broom? 

Monkey stache

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #81 on: September 29, 2016, 01:03:24 PM »
When it comes to organizing, take the path of least resistance. If there's an area that keeps getting cluttered then the setup isn't working for you/your family. For example, if people are dumping their stuff (coats, bags, etc) in the entryway instead of bothering with the coat closet then you should add wall hooks or a coat rack in that area. Houses aren't always laid out logically and with some adjustments you can fix pain points that cause messes in the first place.

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jeninco

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #82 on: September 29, 2016, 01:48:02 PM »
<snip>

I was wondering if anyone here has wire shelving. Don Aslett is very enthusiastic about its cleaning-lowering potential (allegedly all the dust just falls right through to the floor and you can just sweep/hoover it up) but I wonder if it's quite as good as he says. Do you never end up cleaning the little wire bits? Because that seems like a fiddly job! It's not an aesthetic I particularly like but I'd be willing to put it inside cupboards if it was worth it. Also, does anyone store clothing on wire shelving? All the falling dust and air circulation stuff sounds great but I'd be worried about getting little wire imprints on my folded clothes! I fold things vertically these days (yes, KonMari) and I do like clothes. Maybe a fine crossed wire mesh would be best?

I read the book a few (cough decade cough) years ago, and we've done quite a bit to simplify the cleaning of our house since. Wire shelves are fantastic -- as long as you occasionally move around the things on the shelves (and keep them dry) the shelves themselves seem to remain clean infinitely long. My 15-year-old's closet, for instance, which has no doors on it and thus needs to look not-too sloppy, has wire shelves and they do lower the cleaning load.

However, I agree they're not the greatest-looking. We have solid shelves where appearances count -- but as you mentioned, at least we understand what we're signing up for when we install those!

I'd add a few Aslett-Derived observations, such as "keep stuff in the kitchen behind closed doors" (because it's a lot easier to wipe off the fronts of the doors then figuring out how to get the grime off all your cookbooks, for instance), "use big doormats" (and take off shoes in the house), and "don't switch floor coverings" (much -- we have a couple of area rugs, but we can clean most of the floors in the house in 10 minutes by pushing around a 3-foot wide push broom). Oh, and "get the efficient tools for the job", whatever that means to you -- in our case, the 3-foot-side push broom makes very fast work of getting the crud off the floors of most of the house, but other people prefer other tools. Whatever makes things fast-n-easy for you!

SomedayStache

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #83 on: September 29, 2016, 02:33:14 PM »
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. 

BlueHouse

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #84 on: September 29, 2016, 03:00:50 PM »
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.

I do something similar, but putting everything in a pillowcase would not work for me.  (too OCD.  I want all pillowcases to have the same crease marks)
I fold the fitted sheet, and on its last fold, I put the folded pillowcases inside. 
Then I fold the flat sheet, and on its last fold, I put the fitted sheet with the pillowcases inside that.  Alternate the folds so nothing falls out, but same idea. 
It's like a turducken, only with sheets.
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galliver

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #85 on: September 29, 2016, 03:09:08 PM »
My three least favorite (cleaning-related) things about our apartment:
-Our bedroom closet has "nooks". Let's guess that it's a 10 ft long closet, but the opening is maybe 6-7 ft in the middle. So each side has 1.5-2ft of hard to reach space (1ft = 30cm for the Europeans :) ). This might be fine for rarely-used things if one person was using it, but with 2 of us sharing, that makes our closet seem much smaller than it really is.
-On a similar note, deep cabinets with shelves are hard to keep clean. Things get pushed to the back and stay there forever. We had so many that I got some plastic totes and now use them as drawers; but if we owned instead of renting I'd install drawers/baskets on actual slide rails. And if I was designing a kitchen, I'd go for some/all large/deep drawers from the get-go instead of cabinets.
-We get really bad black dust on all the windowsills, etc, and I'm pretty sure it's because we're a few blocks from the highway. Location matters. Being as it's California, though, it seems a shame to live with full-time closed windows!

My sister got me a cordless shark navigator vacuum cleaner for my birthday.  I hate to come on this thread and say "this doohickey is exactly what you need to achieve your cleaning goals!"  But that thing was a game changer for me.  It is much easier than lugging out my big canister vac (which I still love and use every other week or so).  But daily little messes can get cleaned up in no time w/ the cordless vac that is strategically placed for easy access.  The canister vac must live upstairs due to space constraints.  I've long wanted another smaller vac for daily pick ups, but couldn't bring myself to purchase one when the one I have works great and my problem with it is that it is inconvenient to get out of storage.  I would just park it out in the middle of the living room, but that gets to be annoying to look at it strewn about all the time...

I second this so much. My roomies always had the vacuum cleaners before bf and I moved in 2 years ago. With a 1BR apartment with laminate and a little tile floors, we didn't see a need for a big vacuum, but we needed something for rugs, so we got a cordless stick vac. We probably use it close to every day (and not just on rugs) because the threshold of using it is so low...just grab and go. Which means dust and mess don't build up. Which means we get more clean-floor-hours. It's possible that eventually (in a bigger place) a powerful vac for deep cleaning will be needed, but I will absolutely always have a stick vac around! So I'll say it if you won't: "this doohickey is exactly what you need to achieve your cleaning goals!" ;)

I was wondering if anyone here has wire shelving.

My family had them in the pantry in a former apartment. Hated it. Maybe grease settling on them or something but those got rather gross (at least to the point of being unattractive, if not "biohazard" level). The same place had wire for the tall shelf in the closet and I didn't like that either. Possibly in part because it didn't have a normal curtain rod, and the wire was less sturdy than the usual plywood shelf.

However, I like these: http://www.target.com/p/adjustable-3-tier-wide-wire-shelving-black-room-essentials/-/A-14484256 ; I currently have two in the kitchen under a window. The bottom 2 shelves house pyrex bakeware (I can put it back still damp and the shelf acts as a drying rack!), as well as InstantPot and dehydrator. On top, I put some cork squares (not the best material, but they were handy) and our houseplants. I've also had some number of wire cube shelves in my closet/room for much of my life (http://www.target.com/p/wire-cube-shelving-system/-/A-10882811) and they're nice because of how many ways you can arrange them (esp with multiple sets!) Tall tower, square/rectangle, "steps", etc. You can even make a "bin" on top instead of a shelf, e.g. for toys! They are less sturdy, though, and can come out of the plastic connectors which gets annoying. Also, while thinking about all this I realized I'm partial to black or metallic wire over white. Anyhow. Two cents :)

MountainFlower

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #86 on: September 29, 2016, 03:15:03 PM »

I've never heard of a rubber broom.  Do you use it like a regular broom?
'

I don't.  I just use it to hold or push the microfiber cloths.  I know that these work well to remove pet hair from upholstery/carpet/rugs, but I don't have pets. 

dcheesi

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #87 on: September 29, 2016, 04:36:20 PM »
I have wire shelving in all the closets/pantry in my new apartment. It does ok for clothing, etc., but then I've never had built-in shelving in closets before so I can't really compare it to solid shelves. I don't care for it in the pantry because some smaller bottles and cans don't sit stably on the wire base.

GuitarStv

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #88 on: September 29, 2016, 05:50:31 PM »
My greatest cleaning tool is my bluetooth headphones because I can clean and listen to music (amazon prime stations), which really motivates me in the evenings after my family has all gone to bed.

Huge +1 to this.  Cleaning is annoying and kinda painful to force yourself to do.  Cleaning while listening to some tunes you love is fun!

csprof

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #89 on: September 29, 2016, 08:04:03 PM »
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?

I finally figured out they were accumulating under furniture, and drifting out on the breeze. Not cool.

Now, all my furniture comes in three varieties: either light enough to move easily; or flush to the floor; or arched high enough to get a swiffer stick under. When I sweep up, I start by swiffering under the fixed pieces. The pad either picks the the debris up, or pushes it into the open for the broom to pick up. Next I dust anything that needs dusting. Then I sweep, shifting the moveable furniture as I go. Final step is to swiffer the rest of the room.

My apartment is 350sf, so it's easy to complete the process all at once. Larger places might need to be staggered into zones, to avoid annoyance.

This issue is why I have a roomba.  (* don't buy them new;  see below).  They're great at getting under furniture that you miss with normal vacuuming or sweeping.

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.)
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TrMama

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #90 on: September 30, 2016, 11:52:30 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?

I finally figured out they were accumulating under furniture, and drifting out on the breeze. Not cool.

Now, all my furniture comes in three varieties: either light enough to move easily; or flush to the floor; or arched high enough to get a swiffer stick under. When I sweep up, I start by swiffering under the fixed pieces. The pad either picks the the debris up, or pushes it into the open for the broom to pick up. Next I dust anything that needs dusting. Then I sweep, shifting the moveable furniture as I go. Final step is to swiffer the rest of the room.

My apartment is 350sf, so it's easy to complete the process all at once. Larger places might need to be staggered into zones, to avoid annoyance.

This issue is why I have a roomba.  (* don't buy them new;  see below).  They're great at getting under furniture that you miss with normal vacuuming or sweeping.

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 used to have a Roomba, and I loved it.  I bought it for ~$100 on Woot and did some refurbishments myself (replaced IR sensor, new batteries).  Now we live in a house with mostly hardwood, laminate, and tile flooring.  Anyone have a recommendation of a robot option?

Roomba

dcheesi

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #91 on: September 30, 2016, 01:27:23 PM »
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?

I finally figured out they were accumulating under furniture, and drifting out on the breeze. Not cool.

Now, all my furniture comes in three varieties: either light enough to move easily; or flush to the floor; or arched high enough to get a swiffer stick under. When I sweep up, I start by swiffering under the fixed pieces. The pad either picks the the debris up, or pushes it into the open for the broom to pick up. Next I dust anything that needs dusting. Then I sweep, shifting the moveable furniture as I go. Final step is to swiffer the rest of the room.

My apartment is 350sf, so it's easy to complete the process all at once. Larger places might need to be staggered into zones, to avoid annoyance.

This issue is why I have a roomba.  (* don't buy them new;  see below).  They're great at getting under furniture that you miss with normal vacuuming or sweeping.

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.)
Yep, love the Roomba. Sometimes it's not even really less work than a vacuum, but somehow tending to a complaining robot every few minutes is still preferable to pushing a vacuum around myself?

I bought all of mine in my pre-mustache days, but I at least had the sense to buy refurbs off of Woot! rather than paying full price. I replace the battery every so often, and tear down the whole bot for cleaning maybe once a year. These days the new models have gotten pretty pricey, so I can definitely see going used if I was buying today.

partgypsy

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #92 on: September 30, 2016, 01:39:41 PM »
My #1 tip is pretty obvious - get rid of every single thing you don't truly need. It is so freeing, and it makes cleaning, organizing and finding things SO much easier. Owning less = cleaning less.

For your new place, I highly recommend selecting furniture and flooring in light or natural colors. I learned the hard way that dark floors show every speck of dust and require constant attention. Same with dark kitchen table, coffee tables, even fabric items like couches.

More storage (closets, dressers, wardrobes, cabinets, etc) means less stuff laying around on tables/counters, less crowded shelves, etc. You basically can't have too much storage that's hidden. Not that every cupboard should be hiding a giant mess, but for me personally it's easier to maintain tidiness when most things have a place to "live" behind a door or in a drawer.

Good luck!

I totally agree about, declutter as much as possible! Then you can selectively add. That even means for each drawer such as in kitchen, see what actually use. I would disagree with light colors for kitchen floor. I would get medium or patterned floors that don't show a bunch of dirt. Get furniture that makes it easy to clean under, either goes completely to ground, or way designed can either get vacumn or mop underneath it. I fantasize about getting a modern pedestal table for the kitchen, less legs to clean around when cleaning the floor. Get rugs, furniture that matches the fur of your pets (only partly kidding!)
« Last Edit: September 30, 2016, 01:43:36 PM by partgypsy »

csprof

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #93 on: September 30, 2016, 05:53:02 PM »
I used to have a Roomba, and I loved it.  I bought it for ~$100 on Woot and did some refurbishments myself (replaced IR sensor, new batteries).  Now we live in a house with mostly hardwood, laminate, and tile flooring.  Anyone have a recommendation of a robot option?

If I were going to buy a new one and didn't care about money, I'd probably go for the high-end Neato.

But I find the idea of paying ~$650 for a robot vacuum cleaner .. well, I'm posting on MMM for a reason. :)

The used market for the Roombas is much better.  I'd go there.
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Kyle Schuant

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #94 on: October 01, 2016, 01:45:47 AM »
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.
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BlueHouse

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #95 on: October 01, 2016, 11:23:50 AM »
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.

Reminds me of the Sesame street version of the old poem Solomon Grundy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJ8UOsUTd0Q
Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

nnls

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #96 on: October 02, 2016, 01:31:27 AM »
posting to follow.

nottoolatetostart

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #97 on: October 02, 2016, 06:01:47 AM »
My cents are:

1. Restructure your space if needed to accommodate your family's activities. We had a front door issue and a closet that never had enough space. I found some bins and baskets and sorted everyone's stuff to create some designated spots for dog leashes, shoes, coats, bags. Then I begged my husband to please shut the closet door when he comes & goes so it looks organized up there. He actually does it most of the time now.

In another closet, I realized that I if I bought a 1x12 board (Lowes will cut for free - cost me $13 for the board), I could double my shelf space in one of my few closets. Just look at your spaces differently.


2. Take care of things right away if it takes less than 1 minute. 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 try to do dishes right away too and then put them away (doesn't always happen but things go nuts if I don't try). I actually hate my dishwasher because I always dread emptying it. My dishwasher is amazing, but I just feel like I am pushing my work downstream and feels like it is a lot to do all at once vs. putting away a few dishes at a time
3. Take pictures of invites or coupons that I might use (and non-sentimental value) and then tag appropriately in gmail with every imagineable keyword that I might use in the future so I can quickly locate its spot (I also do this with important papers of where I place in a "safe" spot). Then I can throw out the paper. So if I had my husband's American Airlines travel voucher that I put in a safe spot, I take a picture, send it to myself in gmail and then write in the body of the email or subject line....."AA, American Airlines, travel voucher, vacation, travel, (location of where I placed it), expiration date, flight".   This process has saved me so much time. Or, if I get coupons, I enter in the promo code into my email so I have it handy in my gmail.
4. Make bed right away. It prompts the rest of your bedroom to also be a little clean/picked up too.
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.
6. Organize all items in 1 spot. I am still working on this and it seems obvious. Batteries in 1 spot, light bulbs, etc....being organized saves you money. I use plastic baggies and labels if I have little parts of things too
7. I try to do 1 household thing a day (or a couple in a row if I am in the mood) like changing a light bulb, cleaning fridge, decluttering something, etc.
8. Putting stuff behind closed doors works miracles always!
9. Designated spot for things. I have 2 toddlers. We have 2 cute baskets throughout living room and dining room so toys can all be picked up in about 2 minutes. We try to keep other toys in bedrooms. Then it makes it easier for me to vacuum should I feel the desire. I also put lots of toys in closets that they can't open it.
10. Love my cordless stick vac. I bring it in my car (kids and their Goldfish!) and it gets in tight places that my vacuum can't.
11. I have a stack of microfiber towels and old clothes that I wash all together every so often. I kept the dirty used 1 in a plastic bin in a pantry cabinets that I empty so often (my only exception to #5 because many of them are wet-ish and I don't want them laying on the wood basement stairs or concrete floor for a period of time). This keeps them off the kitchen counter too
12. I second the only buying 1 sock, especially for kids. I keep all clean kids socks in 1 spot, so I never need to sort and can always find a matching pair in a few seconds.
13. DH and I keep our daily toiletries in little plastic bins, so when we are done with grooming activities, the whole bin goes back into a closet. Easier for me to wipe down bathroom sink when I don't have 40 bottles on the counter. We share shampoo/conditioner too, so fewer bottles in shower
14. Put LED's long lasting bulbs in mot of our lights so we don't need to change them all the time

Hope that helps!

TomTX

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #98 on: October 02, 2016, 11:50:24 AM »
Wow, all y'all, this is amazing! Please keep it coming!

We've done pretty well at a first wave of decluttering, but it's taking my husband a while to come round to wanting to get rid of any of his stuff (like his bajillion books or every single pair of shoes ever)

Must be related to my wife. She has more shoes in the bedroom closet than I do. And a big cardboard box full of shoes in there. Plus another cardboard box in the garage. And a big plastic tote in the garage. Plus some hidden in the hall closet.
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Lski'stash

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #99 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.