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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: shelivesthedream on September 20, 2016, 12:07:28 PM

Title: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on September 20, 2016, 12:07:28 PM
I find cleaning and home maintenance quite burdensome - not necessarily that the tasks are so impossible, but they weigh on my mind and I find it hard to get round to doing them. I was wondering if my fellow Mustachians had any tips for arranging your interior space to make it easier to clean and maintain - I'm not looking for routines or psychological tips so much as ways to physically change the space you live in. We live in a part-furnished rental flat at the moment so can't change a lot of things but will move into a house next Spring so will have the opportunity to hopefully make a few intelligent purchasing/refurbishing decisions!

I'm looking for tips about anything from arranging furniture and storing items to materials and surfaces which are super-easy to keep clean. For example, we just relocated our laundry basket to be physically more convenient because clearly dropping something on the floor and intending to pick it up the next day but never getting round to it is SO much better than walking an extra four feet to put it into a slightly suboptimally placed laundry basket.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: swick on September 20, 2016, 12:17:43 PM
I think the biggest thing for us (only applies if you live with someone) is to have a place for everything YOU BOTH KNOW ABOUT. We have discovered what is perfectly logical for one of us, totally doesn't make sense to the other. So you waste time and get angsty because you can't find something. We have gotten into the habit of cleaning up together, so besides being more fun, we have many "where should we be putting this?" conversations so we are on the same page.

I think the easiest thing is to make sure any "flat surface" has a reason for being and other storage systems are around. It seems like our biggest issue is the house looking messy because if there is a flat surface, it will inevitably become a "temporary" home for those things that don't have proper, agreed upon homes.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Miss Piggy on September 20, 2016, 12:20:56 PM
The more I de-clutter, the easier it is for me to get energized to clean/maintain the house.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: GuitarStv on September 20, 2016, 12:21:11 PM
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.)

Pay attention to what you use when you cook.  Cut your vegetables first, then your meat so you don't need to use a second knife or cutting board.  If you need to fry something the add it to sauce, fry it in the pot and then add stuff on top.  That sort of thing.

EDIT - (swick beat me to this one)  Have a designated place for every single thing that you own.  Personally, I get into the habit of loosely throwing stuff into a drawer, a heap in the corner, a pile on a counter when there isn't a specific place for something.  When designating the OFFICIAL place for each item, you will find a lot of stuff that you don't really need to be hanging on to .  .  . and throwing out that crap also makes your life easier.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: swick on September 20, 2016, 12:31:10 PM

Pay attention to what you use when you cook.  Cut your vegetables first, then your meat so you don't need to use a second knife or cutting board.  If you need to fry something the add it to sauce, fry it in the pot and then add stuff on top.  That sort of thing.


TRUTH. When my parents were teaching us how to cook, this lesson came up again and again. We had a small kitchen. We hated doing dishes. Along with "Clean up as you go" This makes kitchen tasks and keeping it clean so, so much easier. Of course, over the years it means you get rid of your fancy serving dishes and serve everything family style from a pot, which may or may not be acceptable in your circle.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: GuitarStv on September 20, 2016, 12:43:13 PM

Pay attention to what you use when you cook.  Cut your vegetables first, then your meat so you don't need to use a second knife or cutting board.  If you need to fry something the add it to sauce, fry it in the pot and then add stuff on top.  That sort of thing.


TRUTH. When my parents were teaching us how to cook, this lesson came up again and again. We had a small kitchen. We hated doing dishes. Along with "Clean up as you go" This makes kitchen tasks and keeping it clean so, so much easier. Of course, over the years it means you get rid of your fancy serving dishes and serve everything family style from a pot, which may or may not be acceptable in your circle.

Serving platters, plates, and dishes look great.  They're fine if you're eating at a fancy restaurant with many servants to deal with them, or maybe once a year for that special Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.  They're completely ludicrous to deal with at home on a regular basis.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: ariapluscat on September 20, 2016, 01:05:31 PM
i find swiffering w fabic wipe not the disposable ones much easier than vacuuming so i'd want to live in a place w floor over carpet. i guess buying a robot vacuum could be worth it if you like carpet, but really having rugs is still better than carpet as far as ability to beat them and wash them.

fewer knick knacks means easier surfaces to clear. or knick knacks in glass cases so you only dust a solid surface.

solid colored surfaces are easier to clean but also to see scuffs on. transparent glass shows the most dust, oil, and scratches followed closely by mirrored furniture.

putting down tin foil under stove tops; drawer liners that you can clean easily. basically anything to make a surface you can pull out and wash down/throw away.

i'm a big fan of ceramics and metals over plastics. easier to clean and last longer. there's also a big -plastics are evil and will kill you- health concern recently.

weird thing: i always make sure that things are spaced far enough apart that i can get the vac between them. i hate having to use the handheld tiny one.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: yodella on September 20, 2016, 01:15:16 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!

Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Jack on September 20, 2016, 01:23:05 PM
Favor architecture, cabinetry and furniture with flat surfaces instead of lots of complicated moldings.

Favor hard surfaces rather than rugs and upholstery. Minimize texture (including on walls and ceilings -- popcorn ceilings suck).

Use solid-surface or sheet materials instead of tile, or at least choose large tile to minimize the amount of grout you have to clean.

Use solid-surface countertops with integrated sinks instead of separate drop-in sinks.

Have faucet taps coming out from the wall instead of up through the countertop.

Wall-mount everything (including things like toilets) so that floors are easier to clean. Failing that, make anything that touches the floor permanently built-in and have base molding so that there's no gap between it and the floor. Failing that, get furniture with a minimum number of tall, widely-spaced legs so you can easily get a vacuum or mop under it.

The same goes for the opposite direction: kitchen cabinets should go all the way to the ceiling.

Cabinets with doors to keep out dust are better than open shelves.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: iris lily on September 20, 2016, 01:23:31 PM
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.)

Pay attention to what you use when you cook.  Cut your vegetables first, then your meat so you don't need to use a second knife or cutting board.  If you need to fry something the add it to sauce, fry it in the pot and then add stuff on top.  That sort of thing.

EDIT - (swick beat me to this one)  Have a designated place for every single thing that you own.  Personally, I get into the habit of loosely throwing stuff into a drawer, a heap in the corner, a pile on a counter when there isn't a specific place for something.  When designating the OFFICIAL place for each item, you will find a lot of stuff that you don't really need to be hanging on to .  .  . and throwing out that crap also makes your life easier.
Yes, i have done the unmustashian thing of tossing out socks so that
I could bring n 8 pairs of perfectly matched ones. Loved the simplicity that gave me.

I too have white and black socks.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on September 20, 2016, 01:45:29 PM
For me, it's partially picking my more and less preferred cleaning tasks. Ex- I hate my hands being wet and smelly (weird, whatever, that's me). But I don't mind laundry. So it's way easier for me to keep a table cloth on and dump it in the wash regularly than it is to wipe down the table with a sponge regularly.

Make compliance easier than not. I figure, I will always default to laziness. So setting up my cupboards so that I can unload without walking away for the dishwasher works for me. Having cleaning supplies at each sink, rather than a single set I have to cart around, makes me far more likely to clean.

I use candles for decor. No dusting- you just burn the top layer off and you're good to go. For what decor I *do* have, I choose smooth material that are easy to wipe down- no metal pokey bits or little leaves I can't brush. Also, any decor in my kitchen can go in the dishwasher- the grease means dust accumulates much quicker in there than elsewhere. Likewise, I don't keep anything on top of my cupboards.

Knowing when to do my tasks helps as well. If I try to sweep *after* I've done dishes, little water splatters with smear and catch dirt and annoy me. Once I noticed this, I switched the order of these tasks. Ta da, life is just that much easier.

I replaced our lighting that had a pateena and crystals and metal leaves and stuff with new lighting with very simple lines- it's a cinch to dust.

Not something I *did*, but something I benefit from: we have nice big wood slat blinds. There are WAY easier to dust than those dinky clinky little metal mini blinds.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: SomedayStache on September 20, 2016, 02:55:00 PM
Laundry is always washed in cold, so there is no need to sort by color.  Loads are instead done by person.
All my laundry goes straight from my hamper, into the machines, into a basket (it's only my clothes in the basket) and then I fold it or steal from it.  My husband has his own loads as do each of my children.  Glorious. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: marty998 on September 20, 2016, 03:19:53 PM
Knowing when to do my tasks helps as well. If I try to sweep *after* I've done dishes, little water splatters with smear and catch dirt and annoy me. Once I noticed this, I switched the order of these tasks. Ta da, life is just that much easier.
.
.
Not something I *did*, but something I benefit from: we have nice big wood slat blinds. There are WAY easier to dust than those dinky clinky little metal mini blinds.

Hmmm... interesting on that first one... I will wash the dishes first, then wipe everything down... otherwise you have to wipe down benches twice?

Got rid of my dinky, clinky little metal blinds last year. Bigger is much better for cleaning. With the little ones, it was impossible to wipe the dust down, you basically had to take the whole structure down and soak it in water, and then still scrub them all individually.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: tonysemail on September 20, 2016, 03:24:34 PM
if you hate cleaning blinds, try going without any window coverings.
you can get privacy window films or tint them.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MsPeacock on September 20, 2016, 03:26:17 PM
1.  Minimalism

2. Organization of what you do have.

3. Only white towels, sheets,, and dishes. Easier to mix and match, can go in every room, etc. one kind of glass, one kind of mug, one kind of bowl, etc. not 4,000 things and special dishes for holidays and all that nonsense.

4.  No pets. Now that my kids are older 90% of the mess, dirt,must, and hair in the house comes from animals.

5. No shoes inside. Aside from pets, shoes are what makes floors dirty. 

6. Purge the excess on a regular basis.

7. Clean as you go and pick up every day. Go to bed with a neat house.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: former player on September 20, 2016, 03:49:16 PM
I agree with MsPeacock: don't have pets.  Agree with everyone else: only have stuff in the house if it has a place it belongs.

Don't wear outside shoes inside the house.  Have a basket immediately inside the doors for shoes and slippers.

Put glass doors on your bookshelves/dresser/display cabinets to limit dusting.

Limit the amount (and size) of your furniture, so that you can clean more easily.  Put larger items on casters so that you can move them to clean.

Keep stuff off the floors.

Have floors to sweep rather than fitted carpet.

Keep cleaning stuff for each bathroom in that bathroom.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Cassie on September 20, 2016, 05:42:09 PM
I prefer curtains for window coverings and once/year I just wash and rehang.  I also cut down on the clutter that I need to dust.  You don't need a ton of serving bowls but just enough. For people with pets I doubt they mind cleaning up after them.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: little_brown_dog on September 20, 2016, 05:57:58 PM
Fabrics are constantly deteriorating, even when you can't see it, and releasing dust into the air. People with dust allergies are often told to try to keep their homes as fabric free as possible - no carpets, few rugs, no curtains/drapes, leather or wooden furniture, etc. To reduce dust build up, I would eliminate extraneous fabrics - curtains/drapes, decorative pillows, throws, etc come to mind - and when replacing furniture go for wood or leather pieces instead.

Vacuuming - vacuum first before dusting. It kicks up dust which will just settle onto your nicely dusted areas, so you want to vacuum first. Always prioritize vacuuming as one of the first things to do when cleaning, or the thing to do most frequently, as a dirty dusty rug or carpet will constantly kick up particles as people and pets walk across it.

Air filters - some people swear by air filters which can reduce dust loads in a given room. However, a nice one can be costly and you have to deal with the white noise and increased electrical usage.

Pets - instead of forgoing pets completely, commit to 5 min a week to de-shedding or brushing the pet. Seriously, our furball load has noticeably improved since I started brushing our dogs on a regular basis. The sheer amount of hair that comes off them is astounding. Also, think of banning pets from certain areas of the house. If you don't let your dogs upstairs or in the bedrooms, that means the rooms will stay cleaner longer.

Paint - always go with an eggshell or glossier finish rather than matte. Easier to wipe off scuff marks and smudges.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: dinkhelpneeded on September 20, 2016, 06:29:31 PM
1. Purge regularly
2. Sort laundry (dont fold)
3. Keep laundry baskets strategically in rooms/bathrooms where you find you are changing clothes often
4. White or consistent dishes
5. Use the dishwasher regularly, even if you dont have "enough" to fill the dishwasher
6. Roomba on a schedule
7. Keep trash cans in every room, and every bathroom and such that it can be reached from the bed
8. Cleaning supplies in every bathroom
9. Extra cleaning and laundry supplies stocked
10. Hire a cleaning service if things still dont work. No shame.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Cassie on September 20, 2016, 06:36:42 PM
I have allergies/asthma and over the years I have tried every window covering known to man. The easiest one on my problem with dust has been curtains that you can wash. My son had it too and when he was a child I washed his curtains monthly.  I don't want to have windows with no coverings that everyone can see in.  Limit stuffed animals if you have kids.  Brushing pets really does help a lot. Some dog breeds don't shed. They hair grows so you do need to get them groomed but much easier on the allergies.  Professional cleaners always clean top down so the last thing they do is the floors.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: HappierAtHome on September 20, 2016, 08:00:56 PM
So much great advice in this thread. Posting to follow.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MBot on September 20, 2016, 08:18:18 PM
Posting to follow also

With pets I prefer to wear mixed tone pants now (tweed, slight plaid, denim) as opposed to pure black or gray. Same with shirts. Completely solid colors show dirt and hair far more.

This is also true for sofas and upholstery. A very solid colour shows more dirt. Mixed tones far less.

Door mats and mats under cat litter pans, boots, etc help a lot.

My current house doesn't have toe kicks under the kitchen cabinets yet and WOW do they trap dirt. Baseboards and toe kicks really help.


Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Sailor Sam on September 20, 2016, 08:20:59 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. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: pbkmaine on September 20, 2016, 09:04:44 PM
1) Clean as you go.
2) Break tasks into bite-sized chunks. Have five minutes? Dust one room.
3) Take advantage of the tool you currently have in your hand. Did you get the Dustbuster out to clean up a spot? Use it on the dust bunnies nearby.
4) Use medium colors. Very dark colors show lint; very light colors show dirt. Mid-range colors work best.
5) When you get out of bed, make it right then. It sets the tone for the day.
6) Clutter collects dust. Minimize it.
7) If you have pets, have slipcovers or throws on the furniture that you can toss in the wash.
8) If you have pets or children, avoid delicate or finicky furniture.
9) Strive for a balance of comfort and elegance.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Del Griffith on September 20, 2016, 09:07:04 PM
Not necessarily related specifically to cleaning per se, but along those lines... for the stinky-stuff trash (perishables, raw meat trimmings, fruit and veggie bits, etc), we keep a separate small store bag we get when we forget to bring our reusable bags to the grocery store and hang it on a doorknob near the trash. All food leftovers/trash gets thrown right in there. We found throwing away something (since we don't have a garbage disposal) like a small piece of onion would stink up the place and force us to get rid of an otherwise mostly empty trash bag. Big waste. Now we just grab a small bag, throw in anything offending, and get rid of it every day or two to keep bad smells out. This way, it takes us much longer to fill the larger bag in the trash can with non-food trash.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Primm on September 20, 2016, 10:44:52 PM
Declutter declutter declutter!

A place for everything and everything in its place. I know this sounds twee, but since I did a massive life-changing tidy up along the lines of Marie Kondo (not strict, but still huge for me) keeping things clean and tidy is so much easier. One of her suggestions is to keep things in the most logical place. That particularly worked for my kitchen, which I reorganised along the lines of taking everything out and putting it back away where it seemed most logical, instead of where it fitted. I got rid of so much stuff that I found I didn't really use or had an alternative that did the same job.

Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: frooglepoodle on September 21, 2016, 03:40:49 AM
Posting to follow.

Position large furniture against walls rather than in the middle of a room. We recently rearranged our open downstairs to limit the fall hazards to our climbing toddler. Now that the couch and sideboard are against walls instead of acting as a room divider, I can sweep and mop one larger area instead of two smaller ones, and it's much faster.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Anatidae V on September 21, 2016, 03:57:07 AM
Posting to follow. I read this thread, looked around my room and realised there's 3 pieces of furniture I can get rid of (2 of which are already intended to leave, but we'd done nothing about it).
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on September 21, 2016, 04:46:25 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) so now it's a slow but ongoing trickle. I'll agree that what we've done so far has made a big difference and I hope we can carry on!

My favourite tip so far has to be the one about choosing large tiles so there is less grout to clean. It seems so obvious now you've said it, but I'd never have thought of it on my own.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Cranky on September 21, 2016, 05:23:07 AM
A lot of it really is working out a routine, though. Just like it's easier to clean up as you are cooking, once you build a routine for other household chores, you don't have to think about them anymore.

I never "clean the bathrooms". Every morning I take about 2 minutes to wipe off the counter, change the hand towel, and empty the wastebasket.

Every Thursday, I wash the kitchen and bathroom floors, and toss the bucket of cleaning water into the toilet and give it a swish.

Every Saturday - which is also the morning I clean the catboxes - I scrub out one of the showers. (Both of these involve bleach water.)

The bathrooms always look nice.

I just have specific things that I do every day, and a few once/year things that get done on specific days once/year. I never need to "clean up".

(Except now, because we're remodelling the kitchen and the whole house is a mess. It's inspiring me to throw a lot of stuff away, though!)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on September 21, 2016, 06:48:18 AM
I'm loving reading everyone's suggestions. And I thought of one more! I also follow the "one minute rule". http://gretchenrubin.com/happiness_project/2006/12/need_a_simple_a/ (http://gretchenrubin.com/happiness_project/2006/12/need_a_simple_a/)  Basically, if it can be done in one minute, do it *right then*, no putting it off. This helps hugely for things like coats not accumulating on chairs, junk mail not piling up, etc.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: ender on September 21, 2016, 07:32:09 AM
A lot of it really is working out a routine, though. Just like it's easier to clean up as you are cooking, once you build a routine for other household chores, you don't have to think about them anymore.

I never "clean the bathrooms". Every morning I take about 2 minutes to wipe off the counter, change the hand towel, and empty the wastebasket.

Every Thursday, I wash the kitchen and bathroom floors, and toss the bucket of cleaning water into the toilet and give it a swish.

Every Saturday - which is also the morning I clean the catboxes - I scrub out one of the showers. (Both of these involve bleach water.)

The bathrooms always look nice.

I just have specific things that I do every day, and a few once/year things that get done on specific days once/year. I never need to "clean up".

(Except now, because we're remodelling the kitchen and the whole house is a mess. It's inspiring me to throw a lot of stuff away, though!)

This is really the key to sustained success. Most people who don't do well at cleaning try to do all the things (http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/06/this-is-why-ill-never-be-adult.html) and then burn out in about 2 days.

Cleaning and keeping a place nice is either the result of a large chunk of time dedicated at once or... lots of small things.

Being mindful of the net effect of many small things on overall cleanliness is helpful. For example, someone mentioned dishes - a lot of people seem to have the "pile them high and then spend hours cleaning" approach. Spending a few minutes every meal cleaning up is a lot less total time, stress, and hassle, particularly since a lot of dishes are much easier to clean immediately after use than after food dries onto them.

Similar approaches happen for putting things away. Being mindful to move items to their correct place when you see them. Helps prevent "ahhh clutter mess!"
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on September 21, 2016, 01:45:58 PM
I'm loving reading everyone's suggestions. And I thought of one more! I also follow the "one minute rule". http://gretchenrubin.com/happiness_project/2006/12/need_a_simple_a/ (http://gretchenrubin.com/happiness_project/2006/12/need_a_simple_a/)  Basically, if it can be done in one minute, do it *right then*, no putting it off. This helps hugely for things like coats not accumulating on chairs, junk mail not piling up, etc.

I've been doing something similar which I think of as "If not now, when?" If a task occurs to me (like "I should really wipe that dirty mark off the door sometime") then I try to catch myself before it becomes a "some time in the future" and ask "If not now, when?" If I can't think of an actual reason not to do it right now and an actual better time in the future, I do it now. It's great as long as I remember to catch myself and ask the question rather than going on autopilot!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: ariapluscat on September 21, 2016, 02:22:28 PM
if you have a cat, a metal litter box inside a second larger box w removable carpeting = best set up.

i've heard that matte neutral wall paint is easiest to clean and maintain, but don't know much.

Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: RetiredAt63 on September 21, 2016, 05:05:24 PM
Grout should always be sealed.  New grout can be bought with sealer already in it, but you can also paint clean old grout with sealer. Then spills sit on top instead of sinking in.

Don Aslett has an old book called Let your house do the housework, it is full of good suggestions.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Goldielocks on September 21, 2016, 05:30:16 PM
Large floor mat at entry (both outside and inside).  Shoes off at door...
Declutter.
Doors.   (to rooms, on cupboards, closets, etc.)  Makes it easy to just keep 3 rooms clean all the time, and the rest can hide.  No open shelves, less dust etc.
Less Stuff.
Cleaning supplies in every bathroom, but also brooms near every floor area that is frequently swept.
Hard surfaces are easier to clean.
EPOXY Shower Grout with large tiles!
===================================
I am working on getting rid of the cat..... or giving DH the ultimatum to start cleaning up after it himself or it is gone.  Darn thing pees ALL OVER the garage, and on anything sitting on or near garage floor...   mainly because DH does not clean its litter box,(his cat, his job, right?)  the poor frustrating, stinky, thing!

Can't get rid of teenagers, though.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: BlueHouse on September 21, 2016, 07:21:07 PM
I have a pet peeve with electrical cords.  I don't like to see them and I detest it when they sit on the floor, get in the way of vacuuming and accumulate dust.  All electrical cords need to be attached with cable management systems to the walls.  Power strips need to be in power strip boxes so all the cables are hidden. 

Agree with others -- all bookcases/shelves should have cabinet doors.  Kitchen chairs need to be wood or leather - no upholstery in kitchen.  I keep fabric curtains to a minimum.  I prefer shutters and up/down cellular shades. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: norabird on September 21, 2016, 08:28:25 PM
Agree about having homes for your stuff and decluttering. Keep surfaces clear, and routinely tidy as a habit -- it's not onerous, just putting things back where they belong instead of letting stuff roam.

People love their roombas (including some MMMers!) so having furniture they can go under etc and using those to keep the floor clean can be nice. I don't use one, I just try to occasionally sweep and run my fingers along the baseboards sometimes.

Strangely I used to dislike cleaning and hardly did it--then I moved into my own newly renovated place and suddenly I like cleaning the tub, the kitchen surfaces, the floor, putting stuff away. I only do these things periodically but it's easy to keep up when you start with a clean place. So moving into a good layout without existing grime and paring/being thoughtful about possessions when you move is going to be huge in hopefully shifting your mindset.


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Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Sibley on September 22, 2016, 10:56:51 AM
I am working on getting rid of the cat..... or giving DH the ultimatum to start cleaning up after it himself or it is gone.  Darn thing pees ALL OVER the garage, and on anything sitting on or near garage floor...   mainly because DH does not clean its litter box,(his cat, his job, right?)  the poor frustrating, stinky, thing!

Can't get rid of teenagers, though.

Yeah, that isn't the cat's fault. It's not fair to the cat to not meet it's needs and then be annoyed when it finds a why to meet its needs, just in a way you don't like. Your DH needs to get his act together, or some other arrangement needs to be sorted out so that the litter box is cleaned regularly. The risk you're running is that even once the litter box is clean, the cat may have developed behavioral problems and continue to not use the litter box. That is MUCH harder to solve.

And this isn't against you specifically, cause clearly you're not the problem, but in general. If you're not willing to provide proper and adequate care, attention, training, exercise, and medical care for an animal for the entire lifespan of that animal, then don't get an animal.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: frugaliknowit on September 22, 2016, 11:18:52 AM
Take your shoes off when entering the house.  It makes a huge difference in keeping floors clean.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: ariapluscat on September 22, 2016, 11:36:22 AM
I am working on getting rid of the cat..... or giving DH the ultimatum to start cleaning up after it himself or it is gone.  Darn thing pees ALL OVER the garage, and on anything sitting on or near garage floor...   mainly because DH does not clean its litter box,(his cat, his job, right?)  the poor frustrating, stinky, thing!

Can't get rid of teenagers, though.

Yeah, that isn't the cat's fault. It's not fair to the cat to not meet it's needs and then be annoyed when it finds a why to meet its needs, just in a way you don't like. Your DH needs to get his act together, or some other arrangement needs to be sorted out so that the litter box is cleaned regularly. The risk you're running is that even once the litter box is clean, the cat may have developed behavioral problems and continue to not use the litter box. That is MUCH harder to solve.

And this isn't against you specifically, cause clearly you're not the problem, but in general. If you're not willing to provide proper and adequate care, attention, training, exercise, and medical care for an animal for the entire lifespan of that animal, then don't get an animal.

#KittyDefenseSquad

maybe get the cat person to buy more litter boxes or one of the self cleaning ones?
i also put baking soda around cat heavy smell areas to absorb the odor.

in other cat cleaning things, i've found that periodically cleaning the cat bed and trees means that the cat stuff collects the majority of fur rather than getting full and the reminder of fur going to ppl furniture to collect.
Same goes for not having mircofiber furniture which collects cat hair like no other.  esp if you aren't willing to clean it daily, the fibers end up pet-dander covered and are really hard to ever get truly clean

++ to air filters. i'm a fan of them personally.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Goldielocks on September 22, 2016, 10:46:38 PM
I am working on getting rid of the cat..... or giving DH the ultimatum to start cleaning up after it himself or it is gone.  Darn thing pees ALL OVER the garage, and on anything sitting on or near garage floor...   mainly because DH does not clean its litter box,(his cat, his job, right?)  the poor frustrating, stinky, thing!

Can't get rid of teenagers, though.

Yeah, that isn't the cat's fault. It's not fair to the cat to not meet it's needs and then be annoyed when it finds a why to meet its needs, just in a way you don't like. Your DH needs to get his act together, or some other arrangement needs to be sorted out so that the litter box is cleaned regularly. The risk you're running is that even once the litter box is clean, the cat may have developed behavioral problems and continue to not use the litter box. That is MUCH harder to solve.

And this isn't against you specifically, cause clearly you're not the problem, but in general. If you're not willing to provide proper and adequate care, attention, training, exercise, and medical care for an animal for the entire lifespan of that animal, then don't get an animal.
yeah,  he has exactly TWO chores he is responsible for...   his laundry (or he can wear stinky laundry), and the cat box (because he loves the cat and is likely to be nice to it).   Oh, he will do other chores from time to time, but only when requested and does not "own" them   My bad for taking over the cat box for the past three years, because I liked the cat, too.    And I think you are right about behavioural issues.   It started  out of an aggressive neighborhood cat that would try to sneak into garage and eat its food.   I worked hard to resolve that, mainly by cleaning up everything and never leaving anything on the garage floor..setting up several litter boxes and moving them gradually closer together... using enzyme cleaning on any spots, throwing out many items that I liked to prevent reoccurance..    DH was then cleaning the cat box a couple of times... but then just stopped, and now I have a big problem again.   u\agguh.

I thought the cat was on last legs due to an illness, but now it seems to be recovering.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MrsPete on September 23, 2016, 02:36:19 PM
Best suggestion I have:  Read the book Make the House do the Housework (or something like that) by Don Anslette (or something like that).  It's a whole book chock-full of the type of things that're being discussed here.  A couple details I remember:

- Invest in top-quality mats (inside and outside) for every exterior door.  If you're forced to walk 3-4 steps on the mats, most of the dirt'll fall off. 
- Limit exterior doors.  Cleaning 1-2 really dirty door areas doesn't take as much effort as cleaning 5-6 barely dirty door areas.
- Set up systems for stuff as you arrive home:  mail is probably the worst thing for us, but include a spot for every one's stuff -- dad's hat, your daughter's barrettes, etc.
- Limit the number of materials you have to clean.  For example, cleaning carpet AND linoleum AND hardwood floors is more work than just cleaning one of those. 

Seriously, find that book.  It's been out forever and should be easy to find.  I read it probably 15 years ago.





Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: dcheesi on September 23, 2016, 02:43:42 PM
I'm loving reading everyone's suggestions. And I thought of one more! I also follow the "one minute rule". http://gretchenrubin.com/happiness_project/2006/12/need_a_simple_a/ (http://gretchenrubin.com/happiness_project/2006/12/need_a_simple_a/)  Basically, if it can be done in one minute, do it *right then*, no putting it off. This helps hugely for things like coats not accumulating on chairs, junk mail not piling up, etc.

I've been doing something similar which I think of as "If not now, when?" If a task occurs to me (like "I should really wipe that dirty mark off the door sometime") then I try to catch myself before it becomes a "some time in the future" and ask "If not now, when?" If I can't think of an actual reason not to do it right now and an actual better time in the future, I do it now. It's great as long as I remember to catch myself and ask the question rather than going on autopilot!
Good idea! Plus, I find that I'm more likely *have* these thoughts occur to me if I keep the place clean in the first place. Once clutter starts to build up, I become almost blind to it; but if I keep everything clean then the one new bit of clutter stands out and gets my attention.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: obstinate on September 23, 2016, 03:19:28 PM
This might be obvious, but the less stuff you have, the easier it is to clean around. Likewise, the less space you have, the less space there is to clean.

In terms of the types of furniture, you want to go in one of two directions: pieces that go all the way to the floor, and pieces that have tall, straight legs. It's difficult to clean around pieces that have curved legs.

Hardwood and tile tend to be easier to clean than carpet.

Throw away things you don't need. Reduce the amount of toys your kids have. Hide as much stuff as possible in closets. Have a coat-hanger if you're in a cold climate.

Don't wear shoes indoors, or have a set of inside shoes that you don't wear outside. You'd be surprised how much this reduces your home's dirt uptake.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: frugalcoconut on September 25, 2016, 07:37:51 AM
Get one of those extendable poles with a duster on the end so that you can reach up to the ceiling or light fixtures/ceiling fans or high on the walls.

If you have a multi-level home (2nd floor, basement, etc.), try to find a place on each floor where you can keep some general supplies ... such as cleaning products, vacuum, ladder, basic toolbox, etc.

If I'm adding a new piece of furniture, I have a strong preference for high metal legs so that 1) I can see under it and vacuum under it, and 2) I don't have to worry about scuff marks from the vacuum cleaner or taking the extra time to "gently" vacuum around the legs ... I can just bump right into them without giving it a second thought.

For anything with drawers (cabinets, dressers, etc.) it can be easier to have the drawer-pull integrated into the drawer itself (with a slight lip at bottom or top) rather than a separate knob which has to be dusted/polished and can possibly come loose over time.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Life in Balance on September 25, 2016, 08:27:11 AM
Posting to follow.  These are some great ideas. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on September 25, 2016, 02:11:37 PM
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)?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Goldielocks on September 25, 2016, 02:57:48 PM
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)?
I find that fabric shades are easier to clean (non cotton).   Thrift shops often have modern looking and attractive ones.  Then a damp microfibre cloth is all I need...   I can't think of a way to clean them after the dust has "worked in"

Paper -- perhaps buy new paper shades?   After all, paper is used for filtration media, and generally disposed instead of cleaned.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Making Cookies on September 25, 2016, 03:31:42 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.

You need a professional grade gasoline powered leaf blower for these dust bunnies. Open the patio doors and blow it all out.... (I wish it worked that way)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: totoro 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: pbkmaine 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.

Yes!


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Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: totoro on September 25, 2016, 04:17:10 PM
It was my 17 year old son who came up with that one1
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Pigeon 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: lemonverbena 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: BlueHouse 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!   
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MBot 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!)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Sylly on September 26, 2016, 09:23:58 PM
Posting to follow. So many great tips!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: misshathaway 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: dcheesi 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...
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TrMama 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: catccc 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...
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TrMama 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: marble_faun on September 27, 2016, 04:57:45 PM
*posting to follow*
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: frooglepoodle 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!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Primm 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!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: GuitarStv 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: catccc 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).
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: gillstone 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)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring 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:

Know why your things are getting dirty, and choose your cleaning method appropriately. 

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) (https://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/16-common-product-combinations-you-should-never-mix?utm_term=.carPQ2vKq#.iryrjLQKd)

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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: halftimer 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: totoro 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/
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: newelljack 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!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream 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?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MandyM 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: letthelightin 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!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream 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/
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TrMama 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: SandyBoxx on September 29, 2016, 12:01:10 PM
Posting to follow - this thread has been super helpful already!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MountainFlower 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. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: 4alpacas 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? 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Monkey stache 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: jeninco 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!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: SomedayStache 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. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: BlueHouse 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: galliver 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 :)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MountainFlower 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. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: dcheesi 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: GuitarStv 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!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: csprof 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.)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TrMama 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
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: dcheesi 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: partgypsy 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!)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: csprof 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Kyle Schuant 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: BlueHouse 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
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: nnls on October 02, 2016, 01:31:27 AM
posting to follow.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: nottoolatetostart 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!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TomTX 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Lski'stash 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.

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

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

Also,   recommended brown or earthy "tweed" textures or patterns to hide dirt, especially on floors.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Trudie on October 03, 2016, 09:45:51 AM
+1 to decluttering, to which I'd add - don't keep too many duplicates of anything.  This is especially an issue in the kitchen -- saving too much stuff (most of which could be easily replaced if it breaks) for a "rainy day."

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

Just own less of about everything.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TrMama on October 03, 2016, 11:01:30 AM
I get rid of junk mail ASAP, tear off addresses and put in shredder and try to get rid of paper clutter as much as possible.

I go one step further when we get junk mail with our address on it. I call the supplier of the junk mail and ask them to take our name off their mailing list. Works like a charm to reduce the amount of junk I have to deal with and hopefully saves some trees at the same time.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 03, 2016, 11:04:09 AM
I get rid of junk mail ASAP, tear off addresses and put in shredder and try to get rid of paper clutter as much as possible.

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

Ugh, I really need to get back on this. I was a junk-mail-unsubscribing fiend for a while last year and I got us off SO many lists (both postal and email). But there is still a slow trickle and it seems less urgent when it's just the odd thing. I was at my grandmother's the other week and she gets about five to ten bits of junk mail a DAY and chucks it straight in the bin. Makes our situation seem so much better!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: nottoolatetostart on October 03, 2016, 11:16:52 AM
I get rid of junk mail ASAP, tear off addresses and put in shredder and try to get rid of paper clutter as much as possible.

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

I totally do this too! It never is 0 though. I hate mail.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: ShortInSeattle on October 03, 2016, 11:21:06 AM
Great ideas! I'll add a few.

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

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

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

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

SIS
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on October 04, 2016, 04:37:51 AM
Another great sheet storage idea is to use the pillowcase as a bag to hold the sheet set inside of.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spare bed sheets are washed as needed.

(As with everything else in this thread, this is me going with what works. For me, multiples make things harder, not easier, but YMMV.)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: misshathaway on October 04, 2016, 08:48:41 AM
I get rid of junk mail ASAP, tear off addresses and put in shredder and try to get rid of paper clutter as much as possible.

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

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

I was able to reduce the junk mail quite a bit with an app called PaperKarma. You take a picture of the return address within the app and they contact the company on your behalf. It worked for awhile and then I got less diligent about scanning the new junk sources.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on October 04, 2016, 09:05:04 AM
I get rid of junk mail ASAP, tear off addresses and put in shredder and try to get rid of paper clutter as much as possible.

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

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

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

Thank you for the paper karma reminder. I did that years ago, and forgot what it was called. We are being inundated with life insurance junk because we just took out a mortgage. ~15 letters per week right now.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Aimza on October 04, 2016, 03:08:49 PM
To get rid of catalogs, I've used https://catalogchoice.org/

Great tips so far!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on October 04, 2016, 03:56:54 PM
Another sheet-related tip...

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

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

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

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

The family was happy to comply. An elegant solution for a difficult situation.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: galliver on October 04, 2016, 05:15:28 PM
Others have given good advice: de-clutter, and have a place for everything.

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

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

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

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

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

An alternative approach to laundry baskets: depending on your family's habits/routines, it might make sense to keep a laundry basket in the bathroom(s), if lots of dirty clothes are generated there. Growing up we didn't have hampers in our bedrooms, just a pile of re-wearable clothes, and whenever we deemed them dirty we'd take them to the hamper. Mom (or eventually, whoever) would also let everyone know she was doing laundry so we could remember to throw things in, on laundry day.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: ohsnap on October 05, 2016, 10:45:04 AM
Laundry is always washed in cold, so there is no need to sort by color.  Loads are instead done by person.
All my laundry goes straight from my hamper, into the machines, into a basket (it's only my clothes in the basket) and then I fold it or steal from it.  My husband has his own loads as do each of my children.  Glorious.

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

Sorting only takes me about 5 minutes on laundry day; I think it's time well spent.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: 4alpacas on October 05, 2016, 10:50:58 AM
Laundry is always washed in cold, so there is no need to sort by color.  Loads are instead done by person.
All my laundry goes straight from my hamper, into the machines, into a basket (it's only my clothes in the basket) and then I fold it or steal from it.  My husband has his own loads as do each of my children.  Glorious.

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

Sorting only takes me about 5 minutes on laundry day; I think it's time well spent.
I wash almost all of our clothes together--jeans, sheets, towels separately.  If I'm worried about something bleeding, I'll use a color catcher.  We don't have enough clothes to separate and wait for a full load. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: krustyburger on October 07, 2016, 08:00:44 PM
I don't know if someone already posted this but....hooks, hooks everywhere!

I live on my own in a one bedroom studio and I have 7 hooks. It keeps my clothes, towels, bags etc off my floor, bed and couch.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on October 08, 2016, 09:11:16 AM
I don't know if someone already posted this but....hooks, hooks everywhere!

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

Yeah, putting up an over the door hook for my purse and making a "go station" were major achievements for me. Right by the door we always come in, so stuff never even makes it in the house. I also have a trash can right there for receipts and the like that need to get thrown out right away.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on October 10, 2016, 02:46:46 PM
I saw this article today, and it made me think of this thread! http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/renovation-tips-for-people-who-hate-to-clean-211458 (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/renovation-tips-for-people-who-hate-to-clean-211458)

7 Smart Choices to Save Yourself Time Cleaning Later
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: newelljack on October 10, 2016, 03:00:24 PM

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

-----

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

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

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

I just bought two Roombas for $50 on eBay. It looks like the previous owner ran it until the brushes became too full and sold them to me. I spent about 30 minutes cleaning them and bought a new battery for one of them ($20). Now they both run great!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on October 10, 2016, 04:28:36 PM
Thought of another one while pottering around home this morning.

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

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

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

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

*I catch public transport to work, which means I walk past our building's garbage bins on my way out, so I take out the garbage 95 per cent of the time. It is astonishing the number of people (friends and neighbours) who make like comments like, "Your husband should do that for you!"
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Goldielocks on October 10, 2016, 04:37:55 PM


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

Instead, I tend to get to hear the husbands telling their wife....  "See Goldielocks mows the lawn, you can too"...
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TomTX on October 15, 2016, 07:58:25 PM
Rubber broom has been ordered. I am so indulgent!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 16, 2016, 01:43:16 PM
Thanks to this thread and the Don Aslett book, I just spent £20 on a suspended bin. SO WORTH IT. I also finally swapped rubbish and recycling over so recycling gets the bigger bin.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: BlueHouse on October 17, 2016, 09:14:53 AM
Thanks to this thread and the Don Aslett book, I just spent £20 on a suspended bin. SO WORTH IT. I also finally swapped rubbish and recycling over so recycling gets the bigger bin.
What is a suspended bin?  Can you please post pictures?  I feel like I NEED one now and I don't even know what it is!  :)  I am addicted to cleaning and organizing! 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on October 18, 2016, 03:37:12 AM
Thanks to this thread and the Don Aslett book, I just spent £20 on a suspended bin. SO WORTH IT. I also finally swapped rubbish and recycling over so recycling gets the bigger bin.
What is a suspended bin?  Can you please post pictures?  I feel like I NEED one now and I don't even know what it is!  :)  I am addicted to cleaning and organizing!

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

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

It sounds silly, but I never thought it could make that much difference!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: BlueHouse on October 18, 2016, 01:25:58 PM
Thanks to this thread and the Don Aslett book, I just spent £20 on a suspended bin. SO WORTH IT. I also finally swapped rubbish and recycling over so recycling gets the bigger bin.
What is a suspended bin?  Can you please post pictures?  I feel like I NEED one now and I don't even know what it is!  :)  I am addicted to cleaning and organizing!

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

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

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


Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: KiwiSonya on October 19, 2016, 03:03:07 AM
This is the best thread.  I bought the Ergonomics book recommended earlier in the thread and it has already changed my life.  My kids (4 & 6) are terrible eaters at the table - up, down, up, down, food on floor etc.  Instantly fixed by putting a stool under their feet.  Also bought a stick vacuum so we (incl them) can clean up the messes we make during the day.  I also bought them a step stool and their own cutlery and crockery in separate colours and they are taking full responsibility for serving themselves, washing their dishes, drying and putting them away.  And they love that they are able to be helpful.  Feel a bit silly that I didn't notice earlier that our house didn't really allow them to be independent.  And I'm still waiting for the arrival of Don Aslett's book - takes ages for mail to come from US to NZ! Thanks for the great tips everyone.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Cranky on October 19, 2016, 05:03:50 AM
Those little whisk brooms and dust pans (sold at the dollar stores) are great for kids to use to clean up their own messes! I teach at a Montessori, and even the teenagers still use them.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: BlueHouse on October 19, 2016, 01:30:59 PM
I have small plastic bins in my closet and keep one bin for work socks (identical sets), peds, and one labelled "orphans".  All of the socks that come out of the dryer without a mate go in my orphan bin until the other one reappears.   It's amazing how many socks get reunited this way!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Primm on October 21, 2016, 12:11:52 AM
Those little whisk brooms and dust pans (sold at the dollar stores) are great for kids to use to clean up their own messes! I teach at a Montessori, and even the teenagers still use them.

I work in a hospital and we have one of these (with a long handle) sitting in the medication room for the nurses to use. It's a hell of a lot easier than emu-bobbing up all the little scraps of paper and tape that fall to the floor during a procedure.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Lmoot on October 22, 2016, 08:21:45 AM
Implementing a junkbox in most rooms saved my life.  At the end of the day if I don't feel like cleaning up I can just throw everything in the junk box, or if I haven't created a place for something it goes in the junk box. Then every week or two I take the box and put everything away.

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

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

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

Which ergonomics book? Missed it!

So a stool under their feet while sitting makes them sit better??!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: catccc on October 30, 2016, 10:14:25 AM
This is the best thread.  I bought the Ergonomics book recommended earlier in the thread and it has already changed my life. 

Which ergonomics book? Missed it!

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

I gotta get my hands on this book!  So, I did a search of this thread for ergonomics and can't seem to find the original suggestion.  Can you share the title and author, ladystache?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: margarita on October 30, 2016, 12:34:17 PM
Totally agree that less clutter means less cleaning.  In the bathrooms there is nothing on the counter except electric toothbrush, 1 cup and hand soap pump.  Everything else is kept in the drawers and put away.  Same for bedroom - as little as possible on the surface.  I got so tired of picking up the same photo frames and dusting them every week so I got rid of them.  Instead of taking 5 minutes to dust everything it now takes seconds to dust the top of the dresser.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Think before buying cuts down on clutter.  It seems obvious but for years I kept buying things I didn't need; i.e. another pair of black pants, another pair of jeans, another pair of running shoes.  I stop and think before buying.  The other day I was in Old Navy and picked up a long sleeve tshirt for $8 regular $24 (what a bargain) walked around the store with it and then smacked myself when I thought I have a couple almost the same and do I really need another one even at the bargain price?  Nope.  Set it down and walked out of the store. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Ynari on October 30, 2016, 01:19:54 PM
If you live with someone else (or multiple someones), you may be able to use that to your advantage.

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

Another thing we do, since our work schedules tend to be staggered, is that he'll load the dishwasher in the morning before work, and I'll unload it once I get home. The work is evenly divided, and it happens to be something that we can both sustain. (If we tried to flip it so I did it in the morning and him in the evening, I don't think it'd work!)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MBot on October 30, 2016, 02:13:59 PM
I buy the disposable square plastic ziplock containers (which I use over and over).  Multiples of two sizes - medium and large.  They stack and the lids sit underneath in the cupboard.  Instead of random sizes of "Tupperware" taking up a lot of space this covers almost everything that needs to go in a container and takes up very little space as they stack.  I know they are plastic and maybe not great but I never reheat in them only use for storage in fridge.


+1

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

Easy to stack, you always have a lid, it's still cheaper than buying the mismatched multipack with one of each size and it NEVER overfills the drawer. Plus the rectangular size fits a good meals worth of food and fits better in a bag than a square one.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: CarrieWillard on October 30, 2016, 06:05:18 PM
About a year ago I got tired of cleaning the house inefficiently and put some effort into researching how professional cleaners get done so quickly. I came across the  "many rags" method.

Supplies:

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

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

Method:
Bathrooms (aka wet rooms)

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

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

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

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

5. Replace dirty towels/mats with clean ones.

6. Vacuum yourself out of the room.

7. Spray mop yourself out of the room


Dry rooms (bedrooms, living rooms, etc)

1. Strip bed linens

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

3. Clean windows with glass cleaner and a clean rag

4. Remake the bed with clean sheets

5. Vacuum yourself out of the room

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

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

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

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

Yes yes yes! This is how professionals clean effectively and quickly. Love it.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: totoro on October 30, 2016, 10:19:49 PM
Very good system but I add an old toothbrush - pet peeve is dirt around faucets, drains, toilet bases and shower doors.  Toothbrush works great for crevices/grout lines.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: BlueHouse on October 31, 2016, 10:09:37 AM
I buy the disposable square plastic ziplock containers (which I use over and over).  Multiples of two sizes - medium and large.  They stack and the lids sit underneath in the cupboard.  Instead of random sizes of "Tupperware" taking up a lot of space this covers almost everything that needs to go in a container and takes up very little space as they stack.  I know they are plastic and maybe not great but I never reheat in them only use for storage in fridge.


+1

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

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

Along those same lines, rearranging the things in your cabinets & pantry for how you actually use them does wonders.  I changed the heights of all the shelves in my kitchen cabinets, and it gives me the use of an entire additional shelf because now I can reach it.  Put your shortest items on the bottom two shelves, then a tall shelf because you can reach the bottom of the items to pull them down.  I can't reach the top shelf without a stool no matter how low I can put it, and it's not really needed that much anymore anyway because I now have easy access to three shelves! 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on November 01, 2016, 10:12:46 PM
Pondering this thread this morning...

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

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

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

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

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

I keep a bucket in the bathroom to catch shower water. I use this to mop floors or for other cleaning where re-used water is fine. One less step of getting the bucket, filling it in the sink etc, and saves water.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on November 02, 2016, 04:34:52 AM
Wow, great thread.

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

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

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

How do you shower if there's a bucket in the way?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: KiwiSonya on November 02, 2016, 12:00:31 PM
I have been busy making changes on the domestic front after reading this thread and the recommended books. Ergonomic living encourages me to rearrange my house so my 4 & 6 year olds can be more independent. Bringing their things lower and providing step stools has lead to a transformation in their helpfulness. They get their own breakfasts and snacks now, can (and do!) clean up their messes since I bought a stick vacuum with dust buster that they can use. Decluttering has meant less stuff to pick up and clean behind. We all love our much tidier and cleaner home - thanks everyone. Next step is trying the many rags cleaning method. I have also passed Don Aslett's book to my sister who is about to build a house and had left her husband in charge of choosing fixtures when he's never cleaned a thing in his life! Life changing stuff!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Goldielocks on November 02, 2016, 11:08:35 PM
I have also passed Don Aslett's book to my sister who is about to build a house and had left her husband in charge of choosing fixtures when he's never cleaned a thing in his life! Life changing stuff!

Ug, yes.  I had a terrible fight with DH about saying no to little mosaic tiles (and lots of grout lines) in the master shower.   He just did not understand my displeasure at using a toothbrush to scrub the shower groat after 5 years....
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on November 03, 2016, 01:58:37 AM
Is this the book on Ergonomic Living? Is it worth buying this one as well as Don Aslett?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/002093081X/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478159814&sr=8-1&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=ergonomic+living&dpPl=1&dpID=51Qwtj-D5EL&ref=plSrch
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on November 03, 2016, 08:57:20 AM
I have also passed Don Aslett's book to my sister who is about to build a house and had left her husband in charge of choosing fixtures when he's never cleaned a thing in his life! Life changing stuff!

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

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

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


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

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/002093081X/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478159814&sr=8-1&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=ergonomic+living&dpPl=1&dpID=51Qwtj-D5EL&ref=plSrch
[/quote]
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TrMama on November 04, 2016, 05:25:29 PM
I got so sick of the amount of junk mail in our mailbox so I googled "stop junk mail Canada Post" and all it takes is to put a note in the mailbox (taped to the inside saying "NO neighbourhood mail please".  Voila no more junk mail.  Also called up the free newspaper company and told them I do not want it.  The paper wasn't the problem it was the million flyers.  Downloads the app "Flipp" and all the flyers are on it.

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

Another Canadian mail tip is to fill this out, https://cornerstonewebmedia.com/cma/submit.asp. Hopefully it will cut down on the number of addressed pieces of junk mail we get. MIL lives in our basement and is on every. single. mailing. list in existence. I think there's a similar opt out for Americans.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Anatidae V on November 04, 2016, 05:37:05 PM
I have also passed Don Aslett's book to my sister who is about to build a house and had left her husband in charge of choosing fixtures when he's never cleaned a thing in his life! Life changing stuff!

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

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

Find a friend with those mosaic tiles and ask if DH can clean his/her bathroom.  :)
I still really like my home decor magazines and shows, but I've noticed this too. As well as "why do they have so much STUFF in that room?!"
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: stashgrower on November 07, 2016, 01:57:45 AM
How do you shower if there's a bucket in the way?

One or more of: it's off-centre or I shift it during the shower or I put up with the inconvenience.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on November 19, 2016, 09:26:43 AM
I was just folding laundry and have had a genius idea to eliminate a step, so I had to come and tell all y'all about it! I don't have all identical socks (although I am slowly moving in that direction by committing to only buying blue socks, but I like having different shades and patterns!) and so my sock laundry involves washing, hanging to dry, pairing and then folding. But... who says socks have to live in a drawer?

I'm thinking that if I hang my socks to dry in pairs on a hanger like this: http://g01.a.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1O8o4NpXXXXbMXpXXq6xXFXXXF/Plastic-Storage-Clothes-Hangers-Dryer-Organization-Cabide-De-Veludo-Socks-font-b-Drying-b-font-Clips.jpg. It's basically the same effort as hanging them on the rack, but then I can just move the hanger from the drying rack straight into the wardrobe and clip off a pair of socks every day. Being a mustachian, I'm not about to run out and buy some fancy-pants hangers, but I figure I can do it with existing hangers and clothes pegs (which I somehow have hundreds of). Anyway, I'm going to try it out!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on November 19, 2016, 11:36:06 AM
I have 2 colleagues who are really enthusiastic about their robot vaccuum cleaner. It works when they are away from home and collects a lot of dust from under the sofa.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: LadyStache in Baja on November 20, 2016, 11:49:25 AM
Love the professional cleaning "many rags" method.  I'm going to try it. 

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

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

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

When it comes to cleaning sprays in general, you could also use a homemade spray, made of vinegar and dishwashing soap. This also cleans bathrooms and kitchens well and does not contain chemicals that cause allergy.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on November 21, 2016, 01:21:52 AM
My past 2 apartments have been all wood/tile floors, with no rugs. I loved the aesthetic, and the lack of vacuuming, but I used to be really puzzled by the large dust bunnies that would sometimes just appear. I'm pretty vigilant about cleaning, so where could those almost sentient dust balls becoming from?

These dust balls are just human hair, and skin, and parts of your clothes. You can easily collect them dry wiping with a microfiber cloth (like Swiffer).
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on November 21, 2016, 02:18:08 AM
My past 2 apartments have been all wood/tile floors, with no rugs. I loved the aesthetic, and the lack of vacuuming, but I used to be really puzzled by the large dust bunnies that would sometimes just appear. I'm pretty vigilant about cleaning, so where could those almost sentient dust balls becoming from?

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

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

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

Dust and fluff is certainly more noticeable on floorboards.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MrsDinero on November 21, 2016, 06:23:18 AM
Why do you recommend a spray mop rather than a regular mop?  It seems like it wouldn't get as clean?  But maybe the ease of use means you're more likely to do it frequently compared to the bucket mop method?  Thanks!

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

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

I cannot speak highly enough about my bissel steam mop. We haven't used chemical cleaner in the floors since buying it in June.  My floors are cleaner than they have ever been and it is very easy to use. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Torran on November 21, 2016, 07:05:33 AM
I'm late to the party with this thread but it's brilliant!!

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

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

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

Therefore following this thread :)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Mel70 on November 21, 2016, 11:01:47 AM
Posting to follow. My biggest issue is mail and school paperwork. I always have bills and statements laying all over, even if the most urgent ones are in a cork board above the desk. I have most of my bills in electronic form, but some, like the credit card statement, I prefer to have in paper to keep track of different budget lines.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: sakura on November 21, 2016, 11:27:41 AM
Posting to follow!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on November 21, 2016, 02:47:15 PM
I was just folding laundry and have had a genius idea to eliminate a step, so I had to come and tell all y'all about it! I don't have all identical socks (although I am slowly moving in that direction by committing to only buying blue socks, but I like having different shades and patterns!) and so my sock laundry involves washing, hanging to dry, pairing and then folding. But... who says socks have to live in a drawer?

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

Save yourself the trouble of pairing and safety pin your socks together when you remove them from your feet!  Then toss in the wash.  They get just as clean, and it will be easier to hang them on a normal hanger (with one sock on each side, pin in the middle over the hanger bar).
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on November 21, 2016, 06:40:16 PM
I was just folding laundry and have had a genius idea to eliminate a step, so I had to come and tell all y'all about it! I don't have all identical socks (although I am slowly moving in that direction by committing to only buying blue socks, but I like having different shades and patterns!) and so my sock laundry involves washing, hanging to dry, pairing and then folding. But... who says socks have to live in a drawer?

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

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

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

Do you all have gremlins who live in your washing machine and steal socks? I always thought reports of lonely socks were exaggerated. They get taken off at the same time, washed at the same time, and pegged on the line at the same time - where else are they going to go?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on November 22, 2016, 07:12:19 AM
I was just folding laundry and have had a genius idea to eliminate a step, so I had to come and tell all y'all about it! I don't have all identical socks (although I am slowly moving in that direction by committing to only buying blue socks, but I like having different shades and patterns!) and so my sock laundry involves washing, hanging to dry, pairing and then folding. But... who says socks have to live in a drawer?

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

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

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

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

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

All that to say- if I can lose socks, with a very stable and highly structured life, I imagine it's incredibly easy when you have children running around, laundry is put on the floor, multiple people running laundry, and so on.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on November 22, 2016, 07:20:27 AM
The missing socks-phenomenon? I recently explained this on another (mail dominated) forum. As I am the person doing the laundry most often, I have found an explanation.
We throw socks in 2 baskets in separate bathrooms, which fill up during the week. In the weekend I take another basket and pick out either the (almost) white or the coloured clothes to be washed. When the clothes are to be sorted out, there is often a sock missing. I always find it later underneath in the laundry basket. Typically a colored sock is hiding wrapped up in a white t-shirt. If I don't do white wash, I don't notice the sock.

The other cause is that socks often get holes in them after a while. I then throw away the one sock with the hole and wash the other in the hope that I have other socks in the same color. Then I also end up with a single sock. Next time, buy several pairs of the same socks or just dare to walk around in 2 different socks.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TrMama on November 22, 2016, 02:20:28 PM
Love the professional cleaning "many rags" method.  I'm going to try it. 

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

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

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

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

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

Missing socks may be found in the pump of your front load washing machine. Every few years my machine refuses to drain. At that point I bail it out and take the rubber boot off the pump. I find all kinds of missing things in there clogging up the pump.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Goldielocks on November 22, 2016, 05:45:07 PM

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

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

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

I think the sock monster lives at my house and is greatly fed.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on November 22, 2016, 09:28:18 PM
Save yourself the trouble of pairing and safety pin your socks together when you remove them from your feet!  Then toss in the wash.  They get just as clean, and it will be easier to hang them on a normal hanger (with one sock on each side, pin in the middle over the hanger bar).
Save myself the trouble? Safety pinning socks seems like a lot more trouble than just washing, pegging and folding.

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

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

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

I don't really have sock loss issues, which is a surprise.  We use a public laundromat, so if a sock gets lost in the machine it will never be seen again.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: GreenSheep on December 15, 2016, 11:24:38 AM
I had to come back and find this thread because it occurred to me just now, while washing dishes, how helpful it is to have a drying rack over the sink. When I first bought my (former) house almost a decade ago my (former) boyfriend mentioned that it was common in Italy to have a rack over the sink to save counter space and allow the wet dishes to drip directly into the sink. So he screwed an old painted metal shelf/rack into the underside of the cabinet on each side and voila, in 5 minutes I had a drying rack.

I've implemented the same idea in my new house, and I've seen others do the same, even getting fancier with it by adding cabinet doors to cover up the drying dishes, etc. I guess the only down side would be if you have an over-the-sink window with a gorgeous view you don't want to block.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise on December 15, 2016, 11:57:35 AM
Posting to follow. I can't think of anything to add, except that I recently discovered why an otherwise tidy bedroom gets dusty so fast: it's because I sort and fold the laundry in that room.  So if you want to dust a room less often, keep it isolated from laundry folding.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on December 15, 2016, 12:04:31 PM
Posting to follow. I can't think of anything to add, except that I recently discovered why an otherwise tidy bedroom gets dusty so fast: it's because I sort and fold the laundry in that room.  So if you want to dust a room less often, keep it isolated from laundry folding.

I usually fold my laundry at my breakfast nook table, partially for this reason. I have to sweep the kitchen/nook constantly, so it doesn't add anything there. And since we use the table constantly, there is zero chance I will leave things unfolded or forget them and let them get wrinkly. So I kind of "force" myself to take care of it all right away, otherwise it's super annoying and in the way. Easier to just follow through =)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise on December 15, 2016, 12:33:32 PM
Oh, I remembered: I do have a tip for cleaning soap scum off glass shower doors. Use shampoo. I put it on an old shower scrubbie pouf (don't know what those things are called) and give the doors a quick scrub before I get into the shower.  Works a treat. I was also able to use up a bunch of shampoo samples I didn't want to use on my hair.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: LadyStache in Baja on December 15, 2016, 02:13:49 PM
You guys!

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

In case you don't know, a dust mop is those wide flat things with a fluffy bottom that you see janitors use.  There's also a pic to one in the blog post I wrote today (see sig).
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Just Joe on December 16, 2016, 01:01:06 PM
There is a dust mop that can be purchased at many stores which has a 18"-24" wide head on a broomstick handle. It has a elastic edged terry cloth cover that can be removed and washed. I wet or dry mop our kitchen with this.

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

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

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

I have used the swiffer spray type mops and had mixed results on muddy foot prints on a tile floor. Seemed to spread the dirt around so there were these cloudy streaks on the floor. Took a few new pads to get the job done.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on December 16, 2016, 06:49:43 PM
I bought a jute rug about five months ago, and I've have learnt that I need to vacuum twice as often or jute fibres end up in/on everything.

Still love the natural, rustic look though, and the rug itself doesn't show dust or dirt.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: m8547 on December 16, 2016, 09:16:42 PM
I've recently put caulk around the kitchen sink, around a shower valve, and on some gaps in trim to keep those places clean. Bad caulk seems to get dust stuck to/ embedded in it. Good silicone caulk doesn't do that as much.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on December 17, 2016, 02:03:27 AM
I have small plastic bins in my closet and keep one bin for work socks (identical sets), peds, and one labelled "orphans".  All of the socks that come out of the dryer without a mate go in my orphan bin until the other one reappears.   It's amazing how many socks get reunited this way!

Wow, I thought I was the only one with a sock orphanage. I pin the similar-but-not-identical black socks to the sides so that I can see the difference at a glance.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on December 17, 2016, 02:08:32 AM
Do you all have gremlins who live in your washing machine and steal socks? I always thought reports of lonely socks were exaggerated. They get taken off at the same time, washed at the same time, and pegged on the line at the same time - where else are they going to go?

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

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

I'm sort of curious to know if MPGH actually does the sock washing or is making a theoretical observation.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on December 17, 2016, 01:52:02 PM
Do you all have gremlins who live in your washing machine and steal socks? I always thought reports of lonely socks were exaggerated. They get taken off at the same time, washed at the same time, and pegged on the line at the same time - where else are they going to go?

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

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

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

Individual gremlin headwear... love it!

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

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

Individual gremlin headwear... love it!

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

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

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

And what will my poor little gremlins wear on their heads?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Johnez on December 18, 2016, 02:06:03 PM
Just scoured this thread for hints to help clean the mess of our apartment, I gotta say this is one the most useful threads here since I used up all of the hints in IP Daily's thread.

My hints:

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

Paper shredder by your front door.
Mine is by the keys, I go through the mail, keep the bills, toss the adds and shred credit card offers. Get one that can shred at least 15 sheets. Mine shreds 5 and it annoys me every time I have to open an envelope to shred some dumb offer. Each offer comes with 2 envelopes and usually 2  or more trifolded sheets of paper, that's TEN layers of paper!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on December 18, 2016, 03:14:37 PM
Paper shredder by your front door.
Mine is by the keys, I go through the mail, keep the bills, toss the adds and shred credit card offers.

I like this. I currently have a paper recycling bin which does a lot of the general junk but not the stuff addressed to me.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on December 18, 2016, 04:06:16 PM
I'm fortunate that I have to walk past our building's bin enclave on the way to and from the mailbox.

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

Individual gremlin headwear... love it!

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

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

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

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

Gremlin update! They've clearly been monitoring my messages and have broken my machine. Fried the circuit board (according to Youtube). Any further advice on a sock retaining (or generally efficient and easy to use/maintain) machine? Thanks.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MMMaybe on December 19, 2016, 04:31:32 AM
Any thoughts on the best fittings to have in a hard water area? The place I am currently renting has stainless steel sinks and taps and it is impossible to keep clean. Limescale makes everything look dirty.

I am thinking ahead for when I buy. It just seems like much more work than it needs to be!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on December 19, 2016, 05:16:54 AM
<...>
  • My mother always said she would have loved a house with a central vacuum.  I'm not sure how common these are.
<...>

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

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

Here in Scandinavia we always take of our shoes when entering a house. In offices this is not the case and in the winter with snow on the roads, people enter the office with very dirty shoes. This melts on the floor all over the place and becomes a mess.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on December 19, 2016, 06:12:01 AM
I work in a hospital and we have one of these (with a long handle) sitting in the medication room for the nurses to use. It's a hell of a lot easier than emu-bobbing up all the little scraps of paper and tape that fall to the floor during a procedure.

I have one of these stand-up whisks stored beside the front door. And a carpet beater. There is always stuff walked in from outside. I beat the doormat approx twice a week and whisk the tile floor when necessary. It is easy to do when the tool are close at the place you need them.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on December 19, 2016, 06:20:42 AM

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


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

About paper: We have one of those stickers on the mailbox, that you can get in Norway to prevent getting unaddressed mail. I get most of my bill as an electronic invoice, automatically paid as well. We don't get newspapers. There is really very little paper left that used our house. I have a pin-up board for papers that we need to do something with later. And I use a to-do program  (i.doit.im) on my electronic devices that I put a reminder on for later.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on December 19, 2016, 06:24:07 AM
Here in Scandinavia we always take of our shoes when entering a house. In offices this is not the case and in the winter with snow on the roads, people enter the office with very dirty shoes. This melts on the floor all over the place and becomes a mess.

We are also a 'shoes off' household. Our old place had a very defined shoe threshold with a rack. Our current place doesn't have a threshold in the same way (when we go upstairs we walk on top of the area where we take off our shoes). It has made a noticeable difference to how much we need to vacuum. I'd look for something like the first one in a new house. We also rearranged our front garden so that it is only slate and concrete with no mud or grass, much better than the old grass/mud with stepping stones.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on December 19, 2016, 06:46:39 AM
Ug, yes.  I had a terrible fight with DH about saying no to little mosaic tiles (and lots of grout lines) in the master shower.   He just did not understand my displeasure at using a toothbrush to scrub the shower groat after 5 years....

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

In our current house (not built by us), we have a pebble floor in the shower corner. I put an indoor broom in the bathroom, behind a cupboard and every other cleaning I shrub the pebble floor with the broom. Works fine and isn't a terrible lot of work. The rest of the floor is done with a wet microfiber mop.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on December 19, 2016, 06:58:13 AM
Ug, yes.  I had a terrible fight with DH about saying no to little mosaic tiles (and lots of grout lines) in the master shower.   He just did not understand my displeasure at using a toothbrush to scrub the shower groat after 5 years....

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

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

The one who suggests mosaic tiles is in charge of cleaning the grout!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: BlueHouse on December 19, 2016, 07:10:12 AM

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

My gremlins don't live in my washing machine.  They live in my dryer, create static electricity, and attach my socks to the inside arms of sweatshirts, or inside a robe, or even in the rounded elasticized edges of fitted sheets.  Sometimes I find them when I have a bulge under my sheet when I'm sleeping, and sometimes I don't find them until the next wash when they dislodge themselves from wherever they were hiding and come back into circulation.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MrsPete on December 19, 2016, 07:22:51 AM
I cannot speak highly enough about my bissel steam mop. We haven't used chemical cleaner in the floors since buying it in June.  My floors are cleaner than they have ever been and it is very easy to use.
On what type of floors does one use a steam mop?  Specifically, can it be used on engineered wooden flooring or luxury vinyl tile? 
And which model is it that you like so much?  I see 6-8 types on Amazon.  If you don't know the model number (and I'd be surprised if you could spout that information), please tell me the color.  They all seem to be white ... but with different colors on the front. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MrsDinero on December 19, 2016, 07:34:22 AM
I cannot speak highly enough about my bissel steam mop. We haven't used chemical cleaner in the floors since buying it in June.  My floors are cleaner than they have ever been and it is very easy to use.
On what type of floors does one use a steam mop?  Specifically, can it be used on engineered wooden flooring or luxury vinyl tile? 
And which model is it that you like so much?  I see 6-8 types on Amazon.  If you don't know the model number (and I'd be surprised if you could spout that information), please tell me the color.  They all seem to be white ... but with different colors on the front.

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

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

This is the one we have:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0091YYUAM/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MrsPete on December 19, 2016, 07:34:52 AM
Save myself the trouble? Safety pinning socks seems like a lot more trouble than just washing, pegging and folding.
No, it's not trouble at all.  I have those little plastic circles that hold socks together, and they're great: 

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

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

Problems:

- You have to buy the sock locks up front, but this is probably a $5-6 per family member investment, and you should never have to do it again.  You'll save more than this in a year by NOT replacing socks. 
- Some of my husband's big, thick winter socks are too thick to fit into the sock lock.  I haven't figured out how to solve this problem yet. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MrsPete on December 19, 2016, 07:42:30 AM
There is something to say about small tiles in a shower. Grout lines do not get as slippery as wet and soapy tiles do. Slipping in the shower can get your shoulder dislocated and other bad stuff. When we made a new bathroom in our previous house, we made a path of smaller tiles (10x10cm) out of the bathtub/shower and had 30x30cm tiles in the rest of the floor. I have not shrubbed on the grout lines with a toothbrush.
If you're re-doing your shower, your choice of tile can make a huge difference in the amount of labor you'll put in over the years:  My own shower is white tiles.  I could have said never-clean white tiles.  I am constantly scrubbing those things.  However, I re-did my kids' shower a few years ago, and -- by accident -- I did it right:  I chose a multi-brown 2" mosaic tile for the floor and 12" tan tiles for the walls.  They don't show dirt.  They weren't expensive:  just standard stuff from Lowes' Home Improvement. 

When we build our retirement house, I'm definitely going with the same thing not because I think they're so lovely, but because average /boring tile that looks clean trumps lovely /trendy tile that looks dirty. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MrsPete on December 19, 2016, 07:46:28 AM
Here, each bed has only two sets of sheets - one summer, one winter.
My daughter just did her wedding registry, and they're still saying the same thing they did back when I was first married:  You need six sets of sheets for each bed:  Three sets of percale, three sets of flannel for the winter.  One set to be on the bed at any given time, one set to be in the dirty clothes hamper, and one set waiting clean on the shelves. 

I've never in my life owned so many sheets, and somehow I've happily survived.  I totally agree with you about washing the sheets and putting them straight back on the bed -- no folding involved.  One less chore.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MrsDinero on December 19, 2016, 07:47:57 AM
On the sock thing, one thing we did when I was in military basic training, was use mesh laundry bags.  everyone put their socks in their own mesh bags, tossed them in the laundry (with 20+ other peoples) and everyone got their own bag back.  You could even have 2 per person, one mash bag that can immediately be put in the sock drawer (cuts down on folding) and one for dirty socks.  I've seen mesh bags for as little as 2 for $5 at Walmart. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MrsPete on December 19, 2016, 07:50:31 AM
Implementing a junkbox in most rooms saved my life.  At the end of the day if I don't feel like cleaning up I can just throw everything in the junk box, or if I haven't created a place for something it goes in the junk box. Then every week or two I take the box and put everything away.
That's actually one of the principles in the Make You House Clean Itself book that's been discussed on this thread!  The idea is that you assign one spot in every room to be "the messy spot".  You put your trash can, your Kleenexes, and your "this doesn't belong here" box in that area ... which means that the rest of the room stays clean, and when you come in to spot-clean, most of your attention goes to this one area. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MrsPete on December 19, 2016, 07:53:11 AM
Don't buy a shallow bathroom sink. We moved earlier this year and everyone who washes their hands in the bathroom gets water everywhere as the sink isn't deep enough to stop the spray.
Ugh.  I have the prettiest sinks in my bathroom:  They're shaped like shells, but -- just as you describe -- they're so shallow.  If you turn the water on past a trickle, they splash back at you.  I didn't appreciate my plain-but-deep sinks in my old house.  Guess what the house we're building is going to have! 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MrsPete on December 19, 2016, 07:59:52 AM
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. 
Here's a variation on that thought:  When you're buying new furniture, choose items that the Roomba can easily scoot under ... or items that sit solidly on the floor.  Avoid things like dressers that stand up on little feet -- unless you just like cleaning under things.  This is true in bathrooms too; I don't know why you would not want a vanity that sits solidly on the floor. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Dave1442397 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
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: GuitarStv 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 .  .  .
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: CloserToFree on December 19, 2016, 11:27:17 AM
This thread is life changing.  Posting to follow!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Rimu05 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: ormaybemidgets 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: handsnhearts on December 19, 2016, 03:01:14 PM
That Heinlein article was great. So ahead of its time.
Cork floors. Double panes windows. Forced air heat and cooling. Radiant pipes. Mom's office in the kitchen. Built in lighting.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Ebrat 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: BlueHouse 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. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: totoro 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: GuitarStv 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?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: GuitarStv 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: totoro 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. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MrsPete 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: rpr on December 21, 2016, 06:31:26 PM
Posting to follow. Some wonderful suggestions on the first page. Haven't read the rest yet.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: justchristine 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Zoot 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.  :)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TomTX 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!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: former player 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Zoot 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!  :)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Cranky 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TacheTastic 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Playing with Fire UK 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?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TomTX 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"?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: GuitarStv 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: handsnhearts 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. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Johnez 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!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TacheTastic 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Dave1442397 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: RelaxedGal 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. (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S39023492/#/S89903251)  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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Rimu05 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Life in Balance 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. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: totoro 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: csprof 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. :-)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Fresh Bread 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...
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: gaja 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).
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: 1967mama 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Playing with Fire UK 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Playing with Fire UK 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?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TomTX 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.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Ebrat on December 31, 2016, 09:47:03 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.

We have gray grout with gray tile around our tub.  I like it, and it's fairly easy to keep clean.  I've seen some installations of white subway tile with black grout, and it always looks a little messy because the grout lines are never going to be perfectly straight, and the black on white makes them stick out.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Cassie on December 31, 2016, 05:12:51 PM
In May I decided I had too many sheets, towels, etc. So I now only have 2 sets of sheets for each bed which is plenty.  I did keep more towels then sheets because we like to host people to spend the night when they are visiting and this summer I had 6 people come at once.  Reducing the nik-naks helped too and now I can actually see and appreciate the items I kept. I got rid of my dolls and only kept my 3 favorite ones.  It is amazing how much faster I can clean.  When I was raising my 3 boys I always kept the lonely socks hoping for a mate:))  At one point I had a big garbage bag full of lonely socks.  Finally I threw it out. Who knows what boys do with socks! I have a huskie/shephard mix dog that really sheds. My roomba does a good job at getting the hair picked up. I love it.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TomTX on December 31, 2016, 05:28:33 PM
In May I decided I had too many sheets, towels, etc. So I now only have 2 sets of sheets for each bed which is plenty.  I did keep more towels then sheets because we like to host people to spend the night when they are visiting and this summer I had 6 people come at once.  Reducing the nik-naks helped too and now I can actually see and appreciate the items I kept. I got rid of my dolls and only kept my 3 favorite ones.  It is amazing how much faster I can clean.  When I was raising my 3 boys I always kept the lonely socks hoping for a mate:))  At one point I had a big garbage bag full of lonely socks.  Finally I threw it out. Who knows what boys do with socks! I have a huskie/shephard mix dog that really sheds. My roomba does a good job at getting the hair picked up. I love it.

My son loves wearing mismatched socks.  He's 3.

I think we still have all the pairs, though.

Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: RetiredAt63 on December 31, 2016, 05:29:39 PM
Sealing grout is important - when I had a floor re-tiled several years ago I was told 48 hours between grouting and tiling.  That sealed grout survived house-training a puppy.  My latest tile job has coordinated grout that is self-sealing, no need to paint over the grout with the sealant.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Fresh Bread on December 31, 2016, 05:31:19 PM
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.

My dogs hair grows to about three inches long but the bits that moult are shorter undercoat mainly. My hair - I brush it only before I wash it (frizzy mess) and do it outside. If I see one of mine on me or on the floor I pick it up and put it straight in the bin.

What brand is your vac? It could change my life!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Fresh Bread on December 31, 2016, 08:47:14 PM
In May I decided I had too many sheets, towels, etc. So I now only have 2 sets of sheets for each bed which is plenty.  I did keep more towels then sheets because we like to host people to spend the night when they are visiting and this summer I had 6 people come at once.  Reducing the nik-naks helped too and now I can actually see and appreciate the items I kept. I got rid of my dolls and only kept my 3 favorite ones.  It is amazing how much faster I can clean.  When I was raising my 3 boys I always kept the lonely socks hoping for a mate:))  At one point I had a big garbage bag full of lonely socks.  Finally I threw it out. Who knows what boys do with socks! I have a huskie/shephard mix dog that really sheds. My roomba does a good job at getting the hair picked up. I love it.

Hello, what Roomba model do you have? I'm looking on our version of Craigslist and there's a lightly used one going for a good price.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on January 03, 2017, 05:03:30 AM
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...

Critically go through all your books. Which ones does you really intend to read again? Maybe only a quarter of them. Give away the rest of the books. Store the remainder on a shelf in a dry and ventilated room.
Then buy an eReader and buy your next books electronically. No more shelf space needed.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Just Joe on January 05, 2017, 12:06:18 PM
Roomba sells a version specifically for garages and pets. I know nothing about those versions first hand though.

We have an older 400 series (red). It has been a trooper. I need to tear it down and do a big cleaning. the side brush is struggling. Our bagless vacuum (different brand of course) also needs TLC to keep the filters cleaned. I clean its filters with the garage shop vac and air compressor outside.

That's the problem with vacuums and roombas IMHO - the need to tear them down and clean the machine occasionally might outweigh the effort to just sweep with a broom and dust pan.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: GuitarStv on January 05, 2017, 12:18:19 PM
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...

Critically go through all your books. Which ones does you really intend to read again? Maybe only a quarter of them. Give away the rest of the books. Store the remainder on a shelf in a dry and ventilated room.
Then buy an eReader and buy your next books electronically. No more shelf space needed.

I've slowly been reducing our book collection from several thousand to a few hundred over the past five years, all because of a rediscovery of a magical place called the library.  It made me feel really stupid when I realized that nearly every book I paid for was available for free.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: rpr on January 05, 2017, 12:51:49 PM
I've slowly been reducing our book collection from several thousand to a few hundred over the past five years, all because of a rediscovery of a magical place called the library.  It made me feel really stupid when I realized that nearly every book I paid for was available for free.

There are at least two categories of books that are difficult to get rid off.

1. Some (a lot) of work related technical reference books. Some are starting to be available in PDF format but are quite expensive to repurchase usually ~$100 per book.

2. Foreign language books. Don't have that many but there are still a few.

The hardest part is actually trying to convince my OH to get rid of a lot of english language fiction. We have quite  a few of those but can't get OH to part with any of them. Any suggestions on how to start convincing your partner to join in the declutter. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: sw1tch on January 05, 2017, 01:26:28 PM
subscribing for tips!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on January 05, 2017, 01:42:26 PM
I've slowly been reducing our book collection from several thousand to a few hundred over the past five years, all because of a rediscovery of a magical place called the library.  It made me feel really stupid when I realized that nearly every book I paid for was available for free.

There are at least two categories of books that are difficult to get rid off.

1. Some (a lot) of work related technical reference books. Some are starting to be available in PDF format but are quite expensive to repurchase usually ~$100 per book.

2. Foreign language books. Don't have that many but there are still a few.

The hardest part is actually trying to convince my OH to get rid of a lot of english language fiction. We have quite  a few of those but can't get OH to part with any of them. Any suggestions on how to start convincing your partner to join in the declutter.

My main suggestion for harmonious decluttering is to sit down together before you even look at what you have and decide how many is a reasonable number. It might be in terms of number of items (e.g. One towel per person plus a spare) or in terms of what volume of storage space you are willing to dedicate (e.g. We can keep however many books fit into these four bookcases). Then your OH is free to decide which books of theirs to keep and which to get rid of but you know that it won't be more than the pre-agreed number (which you came up with TOGETHER). I have a trunk and three drawers for my sewing stuff and if it fits in there I'm allowed to keep it - my husband is happy because it's corralled in one place and I'm happy because I can choose what I want to keep without him shoving his oar in or trying to get me to get rid of more than I want to.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: rpr on January 05, 2017, 01:59:57 PM

My main suggestion for harmonious decluttering is to sit down together before you even look at what you have and decide how many is a reasonable number. It might be in terms of number of items (e.g. One towel per person plus a spare) or in terms of what volume of storage space you are willing to dedicate (e.g. We can keep however many books fit into these four bookcases). Then your OH is free to decide which books of theirs to keep and which to get rid of but you know that it won't be more than the pre-agreed number (which you came up with TOGETHER). I have a trunk and three drawers for my sewing stuff and if it fits in there I'm allowed to keep it - my husband is happy because it's corralled in one place and I'm happy because I can choose what I want to keep without him shoving his oar in or trying to get me to get rid of more than I want to.

Thank you for these tips. A big part of the problem is likely that I'm not approaching my OH with the right spirit. I will think about what you have said.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 05, 2017, 02:03:25 PM
I've slowly been reducing our book collection from several thousand to a few hundred over the past five years, all because of a rediscovery of a magical place called the library.  It made me feel really stupid when I realized that nearly every book I paid for was available for free.

There are at least two categories of books that are difficult to get rid off.

1. Some (a lot) of work related technical reference books. Some are starting to be available in PDF format but are quite expensive to repurchase usually ~$100 per book.

2. Foreign language books. Don't have that many but there are still a few.

The hardest part is actually trying to convince my OH to get rid of a lot of english language fiction. We have quite  a few of those but can't get OH to part with any of them. Any suggestions on how to start convincing your partner to join in the declutter.

My main suggestion for harmonious decluttering is to sit down together before you even look at what you have and decide how many is a reasonable number. It might be in terms of number of items (e.g. One towel per person plus a spare) or in terms of what volume of storage space you are willing to dedicate (e.g. We can keep however many books fit into these four bookcases). Then your OH is free to decide which books of theirs to keep and which to get rid of but you know that it won't be more than the pre-agreed number (which you came up with TOGETHER). I have a trunk and three drawers for my sewing stuff and if it fits in there I'm allowed to keep it - my husband is happy because it's corralled in one place and I'm happy because I can choose what I want to keep without him shoving his oar in or trying to get me to get rid of more than I want to.

Good advice. We did go through our books, I was able to chuck half but he took most of them back. We only ended up getting rid of about 30. You've made me realise the bookcase is too big. He sees we have space, so we'll keep them, there's no reason (to him) to get rid of them. We sort of have a system for mementos - one trunk (I'd call it a box but it's bigger than that) each. If I could just contain his hobby stuff from spreading to every room in the house...
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: rpr on January 05, 2017, 02:09:53 PM

Good advice. We did go through our books, I was able to chuck half but he took most of them back. We only ended up getting rid of about 30. You've made me realise the bookcase is too big. He sees we have space, so we'll keep them, there's no reason (to him) to get rid of them. We sort of have a system for mementos - one trunk (I'd call it a box but it's bigger than that) each. If I could just contain his hobby stuff from spreading to every room in the house...

This is similar to my problem. The house is big and there is ample space for just the two of us. One of the bedrooms is a library with 4 bookshelves plus another two bookshelves in the living room. The books are certainly contained without overflowing. But a royal pain to clean these. Someday, I'd love to go down to just two bookshelves of only essential books.
 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 05, 2017, 02:12:52 PM
Roomba sells a version specifically for garages and pets. I know nothing about those versions first hand though.

We have an older 400 series (red). It has been a trooper. I need to tear it down and do a big cleaning. the side brush is struggling. Our bagless vacuum (different brand of course) also needs TLC to keep the filters cleaned. I clean its filters with the garage shop vac and air compressor outside.

That's the problem with vacuums and roombas IMHO - the need to tear them down and clean the machine occasionally might outweigh the effort to just sweep with a broom and dust pan.

Hmm, I'm in such a quandry. Chances are I'll get one and the stupid dog will bark at it and I'll have to get rid of it...!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on January 05, 2017, 03:21:55 PM
I've slowly been reducing our book collection from several thousand to a few hundred over the past five years, all because of a rediscovery of a magical place called the library.  It made me feel really stupid when I realized that nearly every book I paid for was available for free.

*snip*
The hardest part is actually trying to convince my OH to get rid of a lot of english language fiction. We have quite  a few of those but can't get OH to part with any of them. Any suggestions on how to start convincing your partner to join in the declutter.

I specifically avoid getting rid of books that I will reread, even if the library has them.  The issue is that the local library system decides what gets cut from the collections based on what is not getting checked out within a certain time period.  So, that contemporary lit piece that is on the reading list for the local high schools will stay forever.  However, books by Asimov (one of the top classic sci-fi authors) are getting sold off because the public interest pendulum swung away from sci-fi for a bit.  There are many science fiction classics where not a single copy is left at any branch in the local system.  That is horribly depressing.  I can get lots of new stuff at the library, but the old stuff gets sold or stolen, and then it is gone.

This is similar to my problem. The house is big and there is ample space for just the two of us. One of the bedrooms is a library with 4 bookshelves plus another two bookshelves in the living room. The books are certainly contained without overflowing. But a royal pain to clean these. Someday, I'd love to go down to just two bookshelves of only essential books.

Can you add glass doors to the shelves?  Then cleaning is just a quick wipe if there are kids who touch the glass.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on January 05, 2017, 08:19:40 PM
I specifically avoid getting rid of books that I will reread, even if the library has them.  The issue is that the local library system decides what gets cut from the collections based on what is not getting checked out within a certain time period.  So, that contemporary lit piece that is on the reading list for the local high schools will stay forever.  However, books by Asimov (one of the top classic sci-fi authors) are getting sold off because the public interest pendulum swung away from sci-fi for a bit.  There are many science fiction classics where not a single copy is left at any branch in the local system.  That is horribly depressing.  I can get lots of new stuff at the library, but the old stuff gets sold or stolen, and then it is gone.

Thus the headline:

Why a Fake Patron Named 'Chuck Finley' Checked Out 2,361 Books at This Florida Library Last Year

Library workers wanted to ensure the classics stayed on the shelves.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/why-a-fake-patron-named-chuck-finley-checked-out-2361-books-at-this-florida-library-last-year
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on January 06, 2017, 02:15:22 AM
Has anyone ever Nikwaxed their furnishing fabrics? You can get spray-on or soak-in versions and I'm wondering if it's worth doing to avoid those minor stains. But...

1. Is there any reason not to? Like, will it come off on our clothes?
2. How long would it last?
3. Do bought furnishing fabrics have something like that already? Even if they're not in their finished form? I'm planning to make some of my own cushion covers and might reupholster a chair myself.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on January 06, 2017, 02:35:02 AM
Has anyone ever Nikwaxed their furnishing fabrics? You can get spray-on or soak-in versions and I'm wondering if it's worth doing to avoid those minor stains. But...

1. Is there any reason not to? Like, will it come off on our clothes?
2. How long would it last?
3. Do bought furnishing fabrics have something like that already? Even if they're not in their finished form? I'm planning to make some of my own cushion covers and might reupholster a chair myself.

We have used something else than Nikwax, some set from Ikea. We don't use much and wipe it well in. Haven't gotten stains on clothes.

Text from Ikea's website:
Leather
Vacuum clean.
Protect from direct sunlight to prevent drying out.
For best possible result, wipe clean and treat the surface regularly with ABSORB leathercare set.

I can't find the product as a separate article on their website. But I wouldn't use Nikwax for shoes on a sofa. I presume any furniture store can sell you a suitable product for leather furniture.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on January 06, 2017, 02:56:45 AM
Has anyone ever Nikwaxed their furnishing fabrics? You can get spray-on or soak-in versions and I'm wondering if it's worth doing to avoid those minor stains. But...

1. Is there any reason not to? Like, will it come off on our clothes?
2. How long would it last?
3. Do bought furnishing fabrics have something like that already? Even if they're not in their finished form? I'm planning to make some of my own cushion covers and might reupholster a chair myself.

We have used something else than Nikwax, some set from Ikea. We don't use much and wipe it well in. Haven't gotten stains on clothes.

Text from Ikea's website:
Leather
Vacuum clean.
Protect from direct sunlight to prevent drying out.
For best possible result, wipe clean and treat the surface regularly with ABSORB leathercare set.

I can't find the product as a separate article on their website. But I wouldn't use Nikwax for shoes on a sofa. I presume any furniture store can sell you a suitable product for leather furniture.

Thanks, I'll look at the IKEA stuff. But Nikwax does products for fabric as well as leather, and that's what I've been looking at. We don't have a leather sofa - it's a damask.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: marty998 on January 07, 2017, 03:15:26 PM
I specifically avoid getting rid of books that I will reread, even if the library has them.  The issue is that the local library system decides what gets cut from the collections based on what is not getting checked out within a certain time period.  So, that contemporary lit piece that is on the reading list for the local high schools will stay forever.  However, books by Asimov (one of the top classic sci-fi authors) are getting sold off because the public interest pendulum swung away from sci-fi for a bit.  There are many science fiction classics where not a single copy is left at any branch in the local system.  That is horribly depressing.  I can get lots of new stuff at the library, but the old stuff gets sold or stolen, and then it is gone.

Thus the headline:

Why a Fake Patron Named 'Chuck Finley' Checked Out 2,361 Books at This Florida Library Last Year

Library workers wanted to ensure the classics stayed on the shelves.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/why-a-fake-patron-named-chuck-finley-checked-out-2361-books-at-this-florida-library-last-year

Arrrg... scratching my head trying to think where I remember the name Chuck Finley from...

It was adopted as the alter ago of Sam Axe in the TV series Burn Notice!

Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Goldielocks on January 11, 2017, 06:00:32 PM
Has anyone ever Nikwaxed their furnishing fabrics? You can get spray-on or soak-in versions and I'm wondering if it's worth doing to avoid those minor stains. But...

1. Is there any reason not to? Like, will it come off on our clothes?
2. How long would it last?
3. Do bought furnishing fabrics have something like that already? Even if they're not in their finished form? I'm planning to make some of my own cushion covers and might reupholster a chair myself.

Well,  it smells like elmers glue, for starters, and weather proof fabrics for household furniture and items are readily available, but often the superior tech quality, but soft and wearable, outer wear garments still need help when they get dirty.

Also Nikwax is expensive!  You really have to have a strong need for it.

In the past, this was called "ScotchGuard" and came in a spray format (typically), and has been replaced with the improved quality fibres now available for carpets, furniture, etc.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MrsPete on January 11, 2017, 07:01:22 PM
I specifically avoid getting rid of books that I will reread, even if the library has them.  The issue is that the local library system decides what gets cut from the collections based on what is not getting checked out within a certain time period.  So, that contemporary lit piece that is on the reading list for the local high schools will stay forever.  However, books by Asimov (one of the top classic sci-fi authors) are getting sold off because the public interest pendulum swung away from sci-fi for a bit.  There are many science fiction classics where not a single copy is left at any branch in the local system.  That is horribly depressing.  I can get lots of new stuff at the library, but the old stuff gets sold or stolen, and then it is gone.
This is reasonable, but I'd also point out that books -- even unique books -- are easy to find these days.  Ebay and Amazon make it super easy.  At worst, you have to wait a week or so for delivery.

You might be saying, "But it'll cost money!"  Yeah, but two points:  1) it'll only cost money IF you decide you want that book again AND the library has ditched it.  2) keeping books costs something too; it costs in terms of space, bookcases, and dusting. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on January 12, 2017, 02:44:50 AM
Has anyone ever Nikwaxed their furnishing fabrics? You can get spray-on or soak-in versions and I'm wondering if it's worth doing to avoid those minor stains. But...

1. Is there any reason not to? Like, will it come off on our clothes?
2. How long would it last?
3. Do bought furnishing fabrics have something like that already? Even if they're not in their finished form? I'm planning to make some of my own cushion covers and might reupholster a chair myself.

Well,  it smells like elmers glue, for starters, and weather proof fabrics for household furniture and items are readily available, but often the superior tech quality, but soft and wearable, outer wear garments still need help when they get dirty.

Also Nikwax is expensive!  You really have to have a strong need for it.

In the past, this was called "ScotchGuard" and came in a spray format (typically), and has been replaced with the improved quality fibres now available for carpets, furniture, etc.

Thank you! Scotchguard is what I was trying to remember.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise on January 12, 2017, 08:26:25 AM
I reupholstered part of a couch once, and since I was going through all the trouble I thought I would Scotchguard the fabric.  However, I read around a bit and decided I'd rather not worry about it being toxic or not; opted to starch the fabric the old fashioned way instead. Can't tell whether the results were better or worse than Scotchguarding or not bothering to do anything to the fabric at all. Basically I shriek at the family if they try to bring food into the living room, and that is my fabric protection.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: HappierAtHome on January 12, 2017, 04:48:22 PM
Basically I shriek at the family if they try to bring food into the living room, and that is my fabric protection.

And that's a frugal option, too :D
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on January 12, 2017, 08:36:16 PM
I specifically avoid getting rid of books that I will reread, even if the library has them.  The issue is that the local library system decides what gets cut from the collections based on what is not getting checked out within a certain time period.  So, that contemporary lit piece that is on the reading list for the local high schools will stay forever.  However, books by Asimov (one of the top classic sci-fi authors) are getting sold off because the public interest pendulum swung away from sci-fi for a bit.  There are many science fiction classics where not a single copy is left at any branch in the local system.  That is horribly depressing.  I can get lots of new stuff at the library, but the old stuff gets sold or stolen, and then it is gone.
This is reasonable, but I'd also point out that books -- even unique books -- are easy to find these days.  Ebay and Amazon make it super easy.  At worst, you have to wait a week or so for delivery.

You might be saying, "But it'll cost money!"  Yeah, but two points:  1) it'll only cost money IF you decide you want that book again AND the library has ditched it.  2) keeping books costs something too; it costs in terms of space, bookcases, and dusting.

Actually, a lot of the lesser-known stuff I read (not Asimov etc.) has become harder to find on Amazon.  :(
Current absolute lowest price (http://www.bookfinder.com/search/?ac=sl&st=sl&ref=bf_s2_a1_t1_1&qi=ZO33zTBK,p11MsqaAo4ESH64cpc_1484278050_1:1:1&bq=author%3Ddoris%2520egan%26title%3Dcomplete%2520ivory%2520daw%2520book%2520collectors) of The Complete Ivory by Doris Egan per BookFinder (great book purchase search aggregator): $14.54
Price at which I purchased years ago: $7.27 (and have read it at least annually since then)

1) I only buy books that I have either read multiple times or know the author's work so well that I know I will love to reread anything they write.
2) I have the space either way.  Bookcases are free on CL.  :)   And I don't dust enough anyway...

I see your point, but I really like my physical books.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on January 13, 2017, 12:16:09 AM
Have you people tried to buy books at antique stores? In Norway we have a website where we can search online  for books in all antique stores. I have bought quite a few books there that are out of print, but very good books and not available elsewhere.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on January 13, 2017, 06:33:09 AM
Have you people tried to buy books at antique stores? In Norway we have a website where we can search online  for books in all antique stores. I have bought quite a few books there that are out of print, but very good books and not available elsewhere.

That BookFinder website would be our best bet for finding a specific book, I think.  I never thought of looking at antique stores for reading material, though.  That is a good idea!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on January 20, 2017, 04:35:10 AM
Hey, I've started a new thread about being ready for guests! Hoping y'all have some tips for me!

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/advice-to-make-you-and-your-home-always-ready-for-guests/
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on January 22, 2017, 09:37:27 AM
I'm looking to replace my selection of inherited tupperware which is an eclectic mix of sizes and includes lids for which we have lost the containers and containers for which we have lost the lids. My ideal new containers will have the following attributes:

1. Come in the following three approximate sizes: 200ml, 1 litre, 3.5 litres.
2. Can buy lids and containers separately if required. (So we can replace just one bit if it's lost or breaks.
3. Suitable for the freezer and oven, and ideally can go straight from freezer to oven. (Container, not lid.)
4. Lid won't crack if I try and take it off straight out of the freezer.
5. Can buy each size as a single individual container, not as part of a set. (So I can get exactly the quantity and sizes I want.)
6. Compactly stackable.
7. And the ultimate miracle... the medium and large sizes take the same size lid.
8. Won't be discontinued in the near future.
9. Square, not round.

Do they exist?!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Rosesss on January 22, 2017, 10:16:34 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?

I havent heard of using stickers before but the rest of what you said sounds like The Minimalists. One of those guys packed up everything he owned and covered larger pieces of furniture under sheets and only took out or uncovered things as he needed them.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Sailor Sam on January 22, 2017, 10:26:59 AM
I'm looking to replace my selection of inherited tupperware which is an eclectic mix of sizes and includes lids for which we have lost the containers and containers for which we have lost the lids. My ideal new containers will have the following attributes:

1. Come in the following three approximate sizes: 200ml, 1 litre, 3.5 litres.
2. Can buy lids and containers separately if required. (So we can replace just one bit if it's lost or breaks.
3. Suitable for the freezer and oven, and ideally can go straight from freezer to oven. (Container, not lid.)
4. Lid won't crack if I try and take it off straight out of the freezer.
5. Can buy each size as a single individual container, not as part of a set. (So I can get exactly the quantity and sizes I want.)
6. Compactly stackable.
7. And the ultimate miracle... the medium and large sizes take the same size lid.
8. Won't be discontinued in the near future.
9. Square, not round.

Do they exist?!

I use pyrex, and love everything about it. I checked, and they do sell in the UK (http://www.pyrexuk.com/products/storage.html). They don't fulfill your number 7, but they hit everything else.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TomTX on January 22, 2017, 11:03:54 AM
I'm looking to replace my selection of inherited tupperware which is an eclectic mix of sizes and includes lids for which we have lost the containers and containers for which we have lost the lids. My ideal new containers will have the following attributes:

1. Come in the following three approximate sizes: 200ml, 1 litre, 3.5 litres.
2. Can buy lids and containers separately if required. (So we can replace just one bit if it's lost or breaks.
3. Suitable for the freezer and oven, and ideally can go straight from freezer to oven. (Container, not lid.)
4. Lid won't crack if I try and take it off straight out of the freezer.
5. Can buy each size as a single individual container, not as part of a set. (So I can get exactly the quantity and sizes I want.)
6. Compactly stackable.
7. And the ultimate miracle... the medium and large sizes take the same size lid.
8. Won't be discontinued in the near future.
9. Square, not round.

Do they exist?!

I use pyrex, and love everything about it. I checked, and they do sell in the UK (http://www.pyrexuk.com/products/storage.html). They don't fulfill your number 7, but they hit everything else.

UK pyrex may still be the original borosilicate glass, while modern US "pyrex" no longer is - it's tempered normal (soda-lime) glass.

Real borosilicate pyrex is FAR more resistant to temperature shock. Freezer to hot oven? No problem.  Modern US stuff is garbage, IMO.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Anatidae V on January 22, 2017, 04:21:58 PM
I'm looking to replace my selection of inherited tupperware which is an eclectic mix of sizes and includes lids for which we have lost the containers and containers for which we have lost the lids. My ideal new containers will have the following attributes:

1. Come in the following three approximate sizes: 200ml, 1 litre, 3.5 litres.
2. Can buy lids and containers separately if required. (So we can replace just one bit if it's lost or breaks.
3. Suitable for the freezer and oven, and ideally can go straight from freezer to oven. (Container, not lid.)
4. Lid won't crack if I try and take it off straight out of the freezer.
5. Can buy each size as a single individual container, not as part of a set. (So I can get exactly the quantity and sizes I want.)
6. Compactly stackable.
7. And the ultimate miracle... the medium and large sizes take the same size lid.
8. Won't be discontinued in the near future.
9. Square, not round.

Do they exist?!

I use pyrex, and love everything about it. I checked, and they do sell in the UK (http://www.pyrexuk.com/products/storage.html). They don't fulfill your number 7, but they hit everything else.

UK pyrex may still be the original borosilicate glass, while modern US "pyrex" no longer is - it's tempered normal (soda-lime) glass.

Real borosilicate pyrex is FAR more resistant to temperature shock. Freezer to hot oven? No problem.  Modern US stuff is garbage, IMO.
How do I check which type modern Australian pyrex is?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on January 22, 2017, 04:29:41 PM
UK pyrex may still be the original borosilicate glass, while modern US "pyrex" no longer is - it's tempered normal (soda-lime) glass.
Real borosilicate pyrex is FAR more resistant to temperature shock. Freezer to hot oven? No problem.  Modern US stuff is garbage, IMO.
How do I check which type modern Australian pyrex is?
[/quote]

My understanding is that new Pyrex here is the cheaper tempered glass.

I had a Pyrex baking dish explode straight out of the oven last year. No dramatic temperature changes, it didn't come into contact with water.

It's just not as durable as it used to be.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 22, 2017, 04:56:26 PM
I'm looking to replace my selection of inherited tupperware which is an eclectic mix of sizes and includes lids for which we have lost the containers and containers for which we have lost the lids. My ideal new containers will have the following attributes:

1. Come in the following three approximate sizes: 200ml, 1 litre, 3.5 litres.
2. Can buy lids and containers separately if required. (So we can replace just one bit if it's lost or breaks.
3. Suitable for the freezer and oven, and ideally can go straight from freezer to oven. (Container, not lid.)
4. Lid won't crack if I try and take it off straight out of the freezer.
5. Can buy each size as a single individual container, not as part of a set. (So I can get exactly the quantity and sizes I want.)
6. Compactly stackable.
7. And the ultimate miracle... the medium and large sizes take the same size lid.
8. Won't be discontinued in the near future.
9. Square, not round.

Do they exist?!

I use pyrex, and love everything about it. I checked, and they do sell in the UK (http://www.pyrexuk.com/products/storage.html). They don't fulfill your number 7, but they hit everything else.

UK pyrex may still be the original borosilicate glass, while modern US "pyrex" no longer is - it's tempered normal (soda-lime) glass.

Real borosilicate pyrex is FAR more resistant to temperature shock. Freezer to hot oven? No problem.  Modern US stuff is garbage, IMO.
How do I check which type modern Australian pyrex is?

I just checked all my pieces - one made in England, one made in Brazil, one made in USA. I have a storage jar with lid here belonging to a friend which says made in USA. So is there Australian Pyrex?

I have only broken one when I dropped it on the floor :( They can all shatter under extremes. The only Australian exploding one I've heard of anecdotally had just come out of the oven and been put on the counter, this sometimes happens if it's put down on a wet counter or in the sink when hot and I think the instructions say so - use a cloth or trivet to be safe. No idea how old/ what type the dish was. I've never put a frozen container in the oven (I'd never imagined that would be possible, didn't know people did that!) only from the fridge.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: gliderpilot567 on January 22, 2017, 05:16:50 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?

Yes, towels are a major contributor. The other is TP. Most toilet paper, even (especially) the soft expensive kinds, is very friable. Rip off a square, and you unleash a cloud of fine paper threads into the air. This, like towel usage, probably happens several times a day. Every few days, I can wipe a thick sheen of particles off the counter and top of the toilet tank in each bathroom.

Bathrooms are smaller than regular rooms, so the dust concentration gets higher. And, most bathrooms have hard floors, lacking the air-filtering effect that carpeted rooms have. I'm not sure what effect the increased humidity in a bathroom has on dust accumulation.

I run the exhaust fan in each bathroom while using it, even if I didn't make a stinky. This helps pull some of the dust out. Also I do it because the kids refuse to run the fan, either because they are scared of the noise, or maybe they enjoy the smell of their own produce.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: HappierAtHome on January 22, 2017, 05:54:35 PM
We had an Australian-bought pyrex dish shatter soon after Christmas when nothing had happened to it. It was sitting on the counter, hadn't been in the oven or fridge or anything, and it just... exploded in its own small, sad way. YMMV.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on January 22, 2017, 06:07:02 PM
I'm looking to replace my selection of inherited tupperware which is an eclectic mix of sizes and includes lids for which we have lost the containers and containers for which we have lost the lids. My ideal new containers will have the following attributes:

1. Come in the following three approximate sizes: 200ml, 1 litre, 3.5 litres.
2. Can buy lids and containers separately if required. (So we can replace just one bit if it's lost or breaks.
3. Suitable for the freezer and oven, and ideally can go straight from freezer to oven. (Container, not lid.)
4. Lid won't crack if I try and take it off straight out of the freezer.
5. Can buy each size as a single individual container, not as part of a set. (So I can get exactly the quantity and sizes I want.)
6. Compactly stackable.
7. And the ultimate miracle... the medium and large sizes take the same size lid.
8. Won't be discontinued in the near future.
9. Square, not round.

Do they exist?!

In theory, you *can* do any glass from frozen to oven. In practice, it's a matter of WHEN, not IF, it will explode. There is no substance that exists that always will handle this temperature swing. Even the best original pyrex will still sometimes explodes with temp shock.

Sorry =( Just gotta plan ahead or switch containers.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on January 22, 2017, 07:00:02 PM
I'm looking to replace my selection of inherited tupperware which is an eclectic mix of sizes and includes lids for which we have lost the containers and containers for which we have lost the lids. My ideal new containers will have the following attributes:

1. Come in the following three approximate sizes: 200ml, 1 litre, 3.5 litres.
2. Can buy lids and containers separately if required. (So we can replace just one bit if it's lost or breaks.
3. Suitable for the freezer and oven, and ideally can go straight from freezer to oven. (Container, not lid.)
4. Lid won't crack if I try and take it off straight out of the freezer.
5. Can buy each size as a single individual container, not as part of a set. (So I can get exactly the quantity and sizes I want.)
6. Compactly stackable.
7. And the ultimate miracle... the medium and large sizes take the same size lid.
8. Won't be discontinued in the near future.
9. Square, not round.

Do they exist?!

I use pyrex, and love everything about it. I checked, and they do sell in the UK (http://www.pyrexuk.com/products/storage.html). They don't fulfill your number 7, but they hit everything else.

UK pyrex may still be the original borosilicate glass, while modern US "pyrex" no longer is - it's tempered normal (soda-lime) glass.

Real borosilicate pyrex is FAR more resistant to temperature shock. Freezer to hot oven? No problem.  Modern US stuff is garbage, IMO.
How do I check which type modern Australian pyrex is?
In theory, you *can* do any glass from frozen to oven. In practice, it's a matter of WHEN, not IF, it will explode. There is no substance that exists that always will handle this temperature swing. Even the best original pyrex will still sometimes explodes with temp shock.

Sorry =( Just gotta plan ahead or switch containers.

Here is a page that shows how to tell which "Pyrex" you have based on logo and where it was made (https://www.buy-it-once.com/wp/why-did-my-pyrex-dish-explode/).  From what I've read elsewhere, the borosilicate (old-style) Pyrex was good at hot-cold shifts, but would shatter more readily with an impact; the soda-lime (new in USA) Pyrex doesn't like sudden temperature shifts, but it is more impact-resistant and, when it does shatter, will be larger, less-sharp pieces.

shelivesthedream, what about stainless steel food storage containers?  I don't have any brands to recommend, but I would think that metal would be durable for freezer to oven.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on January 22, 2017, 07:07:48 PM
Metal changes tastes majorly though, especially for acidic foods like red sauces. =(
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise on January 22, 2017, 07:11:07 PM
If you think ahead, you can line your glass containers with foil before freezing them, then take the frozen block out of the glass later.  That way you can use the containers many times, instead of leaving them in the freezer. And I daresay they may be less prone to shatter, even if you plop a frozen block into a room temperature pyrex container, then put the whole thing in the oven. 

oops, just saw Bracken_Joy's comment-- is that true for aluminum as well?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on January 22, 2017, 07:16:23 PM
If you think ahead, you can line your glass containers with foil before freezing them, then take the frozen block out of the glass later.  That way you can use the containers many times, instead of leaving them in the freezer. And I daresay they may be less prone to shatter, even if you plop a frozen block into a room temperature pyrex container, then put the whole thing in the oven. 

oops, just saw Bracken_Joy's comment-- is that true for aluminum as well?

Yep, according to what I've read: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/tools-products/aluminum-foil-dos-donts (http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/tools-products/aluminum-foil-dos-donts)

Quote
Don't use foil to store foods that are high in acids. This means tart fruits and dishes made with vinegar, tomatoes, or tomato sauce. After a few days in foil, the acids in lasagna, for example, interact with the aluminum and erode the foil, says McGee. Small amounts of aluminum can then migrate into the food, creating both pinprick holes in the wrap and a metallic taste in the lasagna. Also, white spots (actually aluminum salts) can form on these foods when their acidity reacts with the aluminum. Theoretically you can cut these spots away; they're not harmful. But they are certainly not appetizing either, so stick to plastic storage for the acidic goods.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on January 23, 2017, 04:56:15 AM
The thing I don't understand about temperature shock, now that I have read about it a bit, is this: I completely get that putting a frozen container into a hot oven would put it under strain. But what if you put the frozen container into a COLD oven and then turned it on?

Also, the stuff I'm thinking about going from freezer to oven with would need to stay in a same-size-and-shape container - like lasagna or fish pie. So if I transferred, I'd have to buy a cooking container of some kind that was the exact same size and shape.

Pyrex is looking good, though. I'm slightly overwhelmed by their website! It's obviously expanded a bit since my parents bought theirs a few decades ago...
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on January 23, 2017, 08:53:00 AM
Metal changes tastes majorly though, especially for acidic foods like red sauces. =(

Well, shoot.  I knew that was the case for aluminum, but I thought stainless steel was good.  I've noticed that some cheap utensils/flatware taste bad when I'm eating, which is unpleasant and probably related.

The thing I don't understand about temperature shock, now that I have read about it a bit, is this: I completely get that putting a frozen container into a hot oven would put it under strain. But what if you put the frozen container into a COLD oven and then turned it on?

Not that you need to worry about this, as the UK stuff is still borosilicate, but in the US there are complaints from people who took new-US Pyrex hot out of the oven and put it on a wet countertop, causing it to shatter.  The countertop would have been room temperature, so for soda-lime glass, this is a really big issue.

I don't know if a cold oven would warm slowly enough to be okay for soda-lime glass, but maybe your borosilicate glass would work with that.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: RetiredAt63 on January 23, 2017, 09:06:12 AM
Sorry, this is long because of detail: Re storage, when my parents made big batches of stuff, they chilled it, then put it into the Corning-ware lined with aluminum foil which was then lined with plastic wrap, so the food was touching wrap not metal. Then they froze it, took it out of the Corning ware, and finished wrapping it for long-term storage (including labeling it because one frozen lump in foil looks like any other lump in foil).  They would end up with several frozen packages that fit a Corning ware dish.  When they wanted one they would take it out of the freezer, let it sit on the counter long enough that the wrappings would come off easily, slide it into the dish, let it thaw in the fridge, and then it was ready to go.  The containers were available because they were not being used for storage, but the frozen item could be heated easily.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MrsPete on January 23, 2017, 09:10:07 AM
1) I only buy books that I have either read multiple times or know the author's work so well that I know I will love to reread anything they write.
2) I have the space either way.  Bookcases are free on CL.  :)   And I don't dust enough anyway...

I see your point, but I really like my physical books.
I remember this being "a thing" when Kindles came out.  Some people were very against them, saying, "But I want to touch my books!"  I realized that -- with the exception of a few special books that were gifts or were signed by the author -- I don't care about touching paper.  In fact, I like the idea that the book doesn't take up space, doesn't grow old and brittle.  Here's what I've decided:  Some people love reading, and some people love books.  I love reading. 

In your case, I'd say be selective about the books you choose to house. 

I'm looking to replace my selection of inherited tupperware which is an eclectic mix of sizes and includes lids for which we have lost the containers and containers for which we have lost the lids. My ideal new containers will have the following attributes:

1. Come in the following three approximate sizes: 200ml, 1 litre, 3.5 litres.
2. Can buy lids and containers separately if required. (So we can replace just one bit if it's lost or breaks.
3. Suitable for the freezer and oven, and ideally can go straight from freezer to oven. (Container, not lid.)
4. Lid won't crack if I try and take it off straight out of the freezer.
5. Can buy each size as a single individual container, not as part of a set. (So I can get exactly the quantity and sizes I want.)
6. Compactly stackable.
7. And the ultimate miracle... the medium and large sizes take the same size lid.
8. Won't be discontinued in the near future.
9. Square, not round.

Do they exist?!
I don't know about your dream food storage ... but over the last year or two I've started buying vintage Pyrex refrigerator boxes.  I found a bunch to start with at an antique store, and I've bought more from ebay.  Sometimes they're reasonable; other times they're quite expensive.  They're rectangular (more efficient) and they stack nicely.  They're available in two sizes, which I think of as single serving vs. family serving.  The lids (within the same size) are all interchangeable.  And they're not plastic, which I like, and they can go straight into the microwave for single-serving lunches.  And with all the same size /brand, they fit efficiently into my cabinets for storage.   

Negatives:  While Pyrex is tough glass, it is glass.  The lids are not so secure that I can toss one into my tote bag and take it to work; I must hold it in my hand, or the lid will fall off.  They're not 'specially cheap. 



Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MrsPete on January 23, 2017, 09:15:04 AM
I havent heard of using stickers before but the rest of what you said sounds like The Minimalists. One of those guys packed up everything he owned and covered larger pieces of furniture under sheets and only took out or uncovered things as he needed them.
Yeah, I've heard similar suggestions:

Turn all the hangers in your closet backwards.  When you wear the garment, return the hanger back in the natural position.  At the end of a year (or whatever time you designate), donate anything on a hanger that's still backwards. 

Remove all the kitchen gadgets from your drawers and place them in a box somewhere in another room.  As you fetch them out and use them, return them to the drawer.  After X amount of time, throw away any kitchen gadget that hasn't been used. 

Hypothetically, you could use this type of system for anything in your house. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: RetiredAt63 on January 23, 2017, 09:31:17 AM
Remove all the kitchen gadgets from your drawers and place them in a box somewhere in another room.  As you fetch them out and use them, return them to the drawer.  After X amount of time, throw away any kitchen gadget that hasn't been used. 

My sister actually did this when her kitchen was redone.  She ended up getting rid of about a third of the stuff.  Part was duplication, part was "neat" things she never actually used, part was her kids getting older. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: GreenSheep on January 23, 2017, 09:51:55 AM
Remove all the kitchen gadgets from your drawers and place them in a box somewhere in another room.  As you fetch them out and use them, return them to the drawer.  After X amount of time, throw away any kitchen gadget that hasn't been used. 

My sister actually did this when her kitchen was redone.  She ended up getting rid of about a third of the stuff.  Part was duplication, part was "neat" things she never actually used, part was her kids getting older.

I did this, and it's amazing how many kitchen gadgets are not really necessary. What's necessary or not will probably vary from person to person (some people love their garlic press, but I tossed mine after realizing I don't mind mincing it myself). It also made me realize how many duplicates I had. How many spatulas does one kitchen really need?! My kitchen is now much more streamlined, and it only has good quality, long-lasting things that I really use all the time in it. I'm trying to spread that idea throughout the rest of my house.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on January 23, 2017, 11:12:10 AM
When we got married, I explained to my husband that I had very strong feelings about spatulas and he had to like it or lump it. We have one Rubbermaid curved spatula and one flat sort of crescenty one which I always called a palette knife but I have recently found out is not actually a palette knife. So one for scraping, one for spreading. Never will I permit another spatula into my house. Thus spake shelivesthedream unto Mr Shelives, and lo, Mr Shelives decided he had better like it. And even into this day do they remain married.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on January 23, 2017, 12:05:26 PM
When we got married, I explained to my husband that I had very strong feelings about spatulas and he had to like it or lump it. We have one Rubbermaid curved spatula and one flat sort of crescenty one which I always called a palette knife but I have recently found out is not actually a palette knife. So one for scraping, one for spreading. Never will I permit another spatula into my house. Thus spake shelivesthedream unto Mr Shelives, and lo, Mr Shelives decided he had better like it. And even into this day do they remain married.

So let it be written; so let it be done!

And I like that your husband is Mr. Shelives, as opposed to Mr. Dream.  :)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on January 23, 2017, 02:19:52 PM
Remove all the kitchen gadgets from your drawers and place them in a box somewhere in another room.  As you fetch them out and use them, return them to the drawer.  After X amount of time, throw away any kitchen gadget that hasn't been used. 

I've heard of this technique for clothes a million times - how did it not occur to me to do the same with the bloody utensil drawer?

I have the perfect box, too. Starting this tonight!

(Husband is OS so it's always fun when I start projects like this and he comes home to random empty drawers and I have to fill him in.)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 23, 2017, 02:54:27 PM
Remove all the kitchen gadgets from your drawers and place them in a box somewhere in another room.  As you fetch them out and use them, return them to the drawer.  After X amount of time, throw away any kitchen gadget that hasn't been used. 

I've heard of this technique for clothes a million times - how did it not occur to me to do the same with the bloody utensil drawer?

I have the perfect box, too. Starting this tonight!

(Husband is OS so it's always fun when I start projects like this and he comes home to random empty drawers and I have to fill him in.)

Hmmm, maybe I can use this method to prove we don't need a sushi rolling mat thingy and 10 pairs of chopsticks and two corkscrews...
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise on January 23, 2017, 03:09:29 PM
Sorry, this is long because of detail: Re storage, when my parents made big batches of stuff, they chilled it, then put it into the Corning-ware lined with aluminum foil which was then lined with plastic wrap, so the food was touching wrap not metal. Then they froze it, took it out of the Corning ware, and finished wrapping it for long-term storage (including labeling it because one frozen lump in foil looks like any other lump in foil).  They would end up with several frozen packages that fit a Corning ware dish.  When they wanted one they would take it out of the freezer, let it sit on the counter long enough that the wrappings would come off easily, slide it into the dish, let it thaw in the fridge, and then it was ready to go.  The containers were available because they were not being used for storage, but the frozen item could be heated easily.

Thank you, that is the ticket!  I have been freezing in foil and cooking directly in the foil, but I think your parents' way is better.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on January 23, 2017, 03:12:06 PM
I just... don't want to be using all that disposable stuff all the time. *sigh* I hoped there was an amazing solution I didn't know about, but maybe I'll just have to prioritise. I might buy one Pyrex as a test, though, and see how it goes. I'll have to go through all the thousand different options on the website, though...
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on January 23, 2017, 03:24:56 PM
Remove all the kitchen gadgets from your drawers and place them in a box somewhere in another room.  As you fetch them out and use them, return them to the drawer.  After X amount of time, throw away any kitchen gadget that hasn't been used. 

I've heard of this technique for clothes a million times - how did it not occur to me to do the same with the bloody utensil drawer?

I have the perfect box, too. Starting this tonight!

(Husband is OS so it's always fun when I start projects like this and he comes home to random empty drawers and I have to fill him in.)

Hmmm, maybe I can use this method to prove we don't need a sushi rolling mat thingy and 10 pairs of chopsticks and two corkscrews...

Yes! Chopsticks!

A dozen pairs of those (never use). Two packets of skewers (never use). Two packets of straws (never use). Various plastic cutlery left over (some left over from my 21st, nine years ago!) Various bottle openers (use one). Argh.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: galliver on January 23, 2017, 03:27:48 PM
In theory, you *can* do any glass from frozen to oven. In practice, it's a matter of WHEN, not IF, it will explode. There is no substance that exists that always will handle this temperature swing. Even the best original pyrex will still sometimes explodes with temp shock.

Sorry =( Just gotta plan ahead or switch containers.

Metal changes tastes majorly though, especially for acidic foods like red sauces. =(

Well, shoot.  I knew that was the case for aluminum, but I thought stainless steel was good.  I've noticed that some cheap utensils/flatware taste bad when I'm eating, which is unpleasant and probably related.

The thing I don't understand about temperature shock, now that I have read about it a bit, is this: I completely get that putting a frozen container into a hot oven would put it under strain. But what if you put the frozen container into a COLD oven and then turned it on?

Not that you need to worry about this, as the UK stuff is still borosilicate, but in the US there are complaints from people who took new-US Pyrex hot out of the oven and put it on a wet countertop, causing it to shatter.  The countertop would have been room temperature, so for soda-lime glass, this is a really big issue.

I don't know if a cold oven would warm slowly enough to be okay for soda-lime glass, but maybe your borosilicate glass would work with that.

I would think the flavor issue would be less of an issue for frozen foods (*nerd hat* because there's less molecular vibration/motion at lower temperatures, therefore less diffusion, therefore less flavor polution *nerd hat off*). Of course, the benefits of freezing might be undone during cooking...but wouldn't you cook tomato sauces, etc in a metal pan anyway? There are also lined metal options (Teflon if that doesn't bother you, more expensive ceramic coating if it does)... What would probably bother me more about metal containers is they aren't microwave compatible, should the need arise.

As an alternative not yet mentioned, maybe consider heat-safe silicone? I mostly saw bakeware, though, so it might not be a coordinated set, more like some containers for freezer-to-oven, and different containers for other purposes? And one problem I forsee is if you need to cut the food into servings with something sharper than a spatula.

Your other two options are obviously plastic (which would obviously melt in the oven!) and glass, which has a hard time with sharp temperature changes. Putting the dish in the cold oven is probably better than in the hot oven, but glass conducts heat poorly/slowly, so it would take a while to heat through as the oven warms up, and your frozen casserole would keep the inside of the dish pretty close to freezing temps...I would put my money on the outside heating up faster than the inside, creating a large change across the (not-so-large) thickness. Difference in temp causes different parts of the dish to try to expand different amounts and creates tension (different parts of the dish "pulling" at each other), which can either create or pull apart existing tiny cracks, until eventually a crack goes all the way through and the dish shatters.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on January 23, 2017, 09:12:36 PM
I just... don't want to be using all that disposable stuff all the time. *sigh* I hoped there was an amazing solution I didn't know about, but maybe I'll just have to prioritise. I might buy one Pyrex as a test, though, and see how it goes. I'll have to go through all the thousand different options on the website, though...

Why not start out at your local thrift store/charity shop?  Buy a few there in designs that are still carried on the current Pyrex website.

Could you do the below freeze-process with ripstop nylon fabric as the liner and some standard zipper baggies?  I bet the nylon would freeze well and be washable, and if you used lengths that could wrap over the top of the food, the zipper bags wouldn't get dirty but would just seal out the air.  I've always washed those gallon freezer ziploc bags, but plastic wrap and foil are more tricky.  I can certainly see not wanting to use that much disposable material. 

Sorry, this is long because of detail: Re storage, when my parents made big batches of stuff, they chilled it, then put it into the Corning-ware lined with aluminum foil which was then lined with plastic wrap, so the food was touching wrap not metal. Then they froze it, took it out of the Corning ware, and finished wrapping it for long-term storage (including labeling it because one frozen lump in foil looks like any other lump in foil).  They would end up with several frozen packages that fit a Corning ware dish.  When they wanted one they would take it out of the freezer, let it sit on the counter long enough that the wrappings would come off easily, slide it into the dish, let it thaw in the fridge, and then it was ready to go.  The containers were available because they were not being used for storage, but the frozen item could be heated easily.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on January 24, 2017, 01:30:35 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?
Yes, towels are a major contributor. The other is TP. Most toilet paper, even (especially) the soft expensive kinds, is very friable. Rip off a square, and you unleash a cloud of fine paper threads into the air. This, like towel usage, probably happens several times a day. Every few days, I can wipe a thick sheen of particles off the counter and top of the toilet tank in each bathroom.

This is the answer, thank you. We have two loos, one is always dusty (and has fancy multi-ply quilted TP), the other one much less (and has what I call regular TP and what my SO calls sandpaper). I had thought it was because the first had a soft close lid (so if you push it shut and flush it straightaway isn't closed while the stinky is being aerated) while the second had a cheap lid. I like this answer more.

Sounds like cleaning the fancy bathroom is HRH Dainty-Ass SO's job from now on! I will clean the utilitarian non-fluffy one.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on January 24, 2017, 01:36:05 AM
I havent heard of using stickers before but the rest of what you said sounds like The Minimalists. One of those guys packed up everything he owned and covered larger pieces of furniture under sheets and only took out or uncovered things as he needed them.
Yeah, I've heard similar suggestions:
...
Hypothetically, you could use this type of system for anything in your house.

That's the one, thanks.

To all the people saying two corkscrews are unnecessary: are you limiting yourself in the number of places you drink wine. I have bottle openers in my study, games room, sitting room and kitchen. Is there anything worse in the (first) world than bringing one opened and two unopened bottles through for dinner and then realising that you need to pause your game to go get a bottle opener? You may choose to believe that I'm referring to huge, multi-person gatherings if you wish.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on January 24, 2017, 02:01:24 AM
To all the people saying two corkscrews are unnecessary: are you limiting yourself in the number of places you drink wine. I have bottle openers in my study, games room, sitting room and kitchen. Is there anything worse in the (first) world than bringing one opened and two unopened bottles through for dinner and then realising that you need to pause your game to go get a bottle opener? You may choose to believe that I'm referring to huge, multi-person gatherings if you wish.

Goddamn you crack me up.

I only drink spirits (thank god, then, for the nine BOXES of wine glasses I received as wedding presents) but I do keep wine around for guests.

I can touch my fridge, wine rack and dining table at the same time. From there it's five steps to the lounge. It's an even shorter walk to the non-existent study and games room, so strategic bottle opener placement is covered.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 24, 2017, 02:15:57 AM
I havent heard of using stickers before but the rest of what you said sounds like The Minimalists. One of those guys packed up everything he owned and covered larger pieces of furniture under sheets and only took out or uncovered things as he needed them.
Yeah, I've heard similar suggestions:
...
Hypothetically, you could use this type of system for anything in your house.

That's the one, thanks.

To all the people saying two corkscrews are unnecessary: are you limiting yourself in the number of places you drink wine. I have bottle openers in my study, games room, sitting room and kitchen. Is there anything worse in the (first) world than bringing one opened and two unopened bottles through for dinner and then realising that you need to pause your game to go get a bottle opener? You may choose to believe that I'm referring to huge, multi-person gatherings if you wish.

Darling, you should just drink champagne! Or wine with screw caps. It pretty much all comes like that in Aus now.

We mainly drink beer, and I too can stand in one spot and touch my wine rack, fridge and dining table. Although the table is with leg extended.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: GuitarStv on January 24, 2017, 07:46:28 AM
Yes! Chopsticks!

A dozen pairs of those (never use). Two packets of skewers (never use).

These items are redundant.  If you have chopsticks, you have skewers.  If you have skewers, you have chopsticks.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on January 24, 2017, 09:07:24 AM
To all the people saying two corkscrews are unnecessary: are you limiting yourself in the number of places you drink wine. I have bottle openers in my study, games room, sitting room and kitchen. Is there anything worse in the (first) world than bringing one opened and two unopened bottles through for dinner and then realising that you need to pause your game to go get a bottle opener? You may choose to believe that I'm referring to huge, multi-person gatherings if you wish.

Goddamn you crack me up.

Why thank you.

I can touch my fridge, wine rack and dining table at the same time. From there it's five steps to the lounge. It's an even shorter walk to the non-existent study and games room, so strategic bottle opener placement is covered.

Five steps? All this MMM exercising and bike riding has made you a glutton for punishment. I don't exercise after drinking, it's not good for my ankles.


Darling, you should just drink champagne! Or wine with screw caps. It pretty much all comes like that in Aus now.

We mainly drink beer, and I too can stand in one spot and touch my wine rack, fridge and dining table. Although the table is with leg extended.

I like you Freshwater, you have good ideas. I should drink more champagne and declutter my corkscrews.

Are Aus beers screw-tops? Ours are better opened with an opener (although can be opened using a table edge, but not when the SO is looking). My life is so difficult.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Just Joe on January 24, 2017, 03:02:47 PM
And if you are drunk enough you can open the beer with your teeth too I hear...
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Anatidae V on January 24, 2017, 04:27:20 PM
Yes! Chopsticks!

A dozen pairs of those (never use). Two packets of skewers (never use).

These items are redundant.  If you have chopsticks, you have skewers.  If you have skewers, you have chopsticks.
I'm pretty sure my chopsticks are covered in a varnish that means I wouldn't want to use them in an oven or on a BBQ, and my skewers would stab me in the tongue while trying to eat...
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: galliver on January 24, 2017, 04:45:51 PM
And if you are drunk enough you can open the beer with your teeth too I hear...

Cheap, not frugal, after figuring cost of dentist ;)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Cassie on January 24, 2017, 04:46:18 PM
Just saw this thread again and sadly I don't know which one it is. It is not the one for dog hair. I have a 80lb shedding machine (husky/shepherd mix).  None of the 4 dogs bark at it. The other 3 are big barkers (Maltese) but not at the robot.  I looked for the manual and have every one but that one.  I paid 400 for it.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on January 25, 2017, 09:56:22 AM
To all the people saying two corkscrews are unnecessary: are you limiting yourself in the number of places you drink wine. I have bottle openers in my study, games room, sitting room and kitchen. Is there anything worse in the (first) world than bringing one opened and two unopened bottles through for dinner and then realising that you need to pause your game to go get a bottle opener? You may choose to believe that I'm referring to huge, multi-person gatherings if you wish.

Well, that's just silly.  Here you go!
Cap bottle opener necklace (https://www.etsy.com/listing/285789447/big-key-bottle-opener-necklace)
Maybe you could put a corkscrew on a chain, too.  :)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MBot on January 25, 2017, 08:42:00 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?
Yes, towels are a major contributor. The other is TP. Most toilet paper, even (especially) the soft expensive kinds, is very friable. Rip off a square, and you unleash a cloud of fine paper threads into the air. This, like towel usage, probably happens several times a day. Every few days, I can wipe a thick sheen of particles off the counter and top of the toilet tank in each bathroom.

This is the answer, thank you. We have two loos, one is always dusty (and has fancy multi-ply quilted TP), the other one much less (and has what I call regular TP and what my SO calls sandpaper). I had thought it was because the first had a soft close lid (so if you push it shut and flush it straightaway isn't closed while the stinky is being aerated) while the second had a cheap lid. I like this answer more.

Sounds like cleaning the fancy bathroom is HRH Dainty-Ass SO's job from now on! I will clean the utilitarian non-fluffy one.

And that dust is terrible for dark colours in the washroom

As a quick "refresh" I painted our bathroom an amazing almost-black wall colou. It had dark bronze hardware (all white fixtures and shower curtain, so it was still very bright). The wall by the TP holder was always covered in the stupid dust, and the bronze coloured hardware too. Dark colours don't work well with  that dust

When we rip it out and redo (it's moldy and poorly done by the previous owner, so this was just a solution for the short term)  it's going to be good old white or light colours.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on January 26, 2017, 07:48:51 AM
Where does the dust come from in a bathroom? I know towels would produce some dust. Is the answer really gross?
Yes, towels are a major contributor. The other is TP. Most toilet paper, even (especially) the soft expensive kinds, is very friable. Rip off a square, and you unleash a cloud of fine paper threads into the air. This, like towel usage, probably happens several times a day. Every few days, I can wipe a thick sheen of particles off the counter and top of the toilet tank in each bathroom.

Dust can also come from human hair and skin particles. I can imagine some dry skin is loosened when the body is dried with a towel. And hair is a no-brainer, I loose lots of it every day.

I dry wipe the bathroom every week or so and always get a lot of dust and hair. And then I wet wipe it afterwards, only every other week or so.

A thing standing in the way in my bathrooms when cleaning them are the scales. They are also always dusty. But storing scales in a cupboard does that it is not as often as they should. So I stick to keeping it on the floor.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Rural on January 26, 2017, 07:15:01 PM
I just... don't want to be using all that disposable stuff all the time. *sigh* I hoped there was an amazing solution I didn't know about, but maybe I'll just have to prioritise. I might buy one Pyrex as a test, though, and see how it goes. I'll have to go through all the thousand different options on the website, though...


You could always use waxed paper instead of plastic wrap. I use it often because, while it's still disposable it composts readily (and also makes spectacular kindling).
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Goldielocks on February 01, 2017, 01:12:25 AM
Okay,  back to my kitchen gadgets....  I don't know whether to keep or toss the following:

1)  Nutcracker.  no, not the doll, the simple little metal one joined at the end.  Doesn't take up space, but I only use it two times every three years -- But what would I sub for it?

2) Pumpkin carving set.   I will keep the two funny little knives, but the battery operated squash scooper (spins and takes out all the threads)...  we use it every year on three pumpkins.   but it is larger than a remote control... keep?  Toss?

3)  Lemon / orange juicer / reamer -- only used when I mix cocktails, but I have gotten lazy lately, (and cheap) just drinking spirits straight with ice.

4)  Serving utensils like a large fork or a spoon -- family dinners we just use regular size serving tools.  should I ditch the ones that are dedicated to serving that are only used 6 times per year?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: former player on February 01, 2017, 02:19:33 AM
Okay,  back to my kitchen gadgets....  I don't know whether to keep or toss the following:

1)  Nutcracker.  no, not the doll, the simple little metal one joined at the end.  Doesn't take up space, but I only use it two times every three years -- But what would I sub for it?

2) Pumpkin carving set.   I will keep the two funny little knives, but the battery operated squash scooper (spins and takes out all the threads)...  we use it every year on three pumpkins.   but it is larger than a remote control... keep?  Toss?

3)  Lemon / orange juicer / reamer -- only used when I mix cocktails, but I have gotten lazy lately, (and cheap) just drinking spirits straight with ice.

4)  Serving utensils like a large fork or a spoon -- family dinners we just use regular size serving tools.  should I ditch the ones that are dedicated to serving that are only used 6 times per year?
How pushed are you for space?  Because you do actually have uses for each of those things, even if only a few times a year, so they are an indication of decadence rather than obsolescence.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: BrassyLass on February 01, 2017, 06:05:32 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!

I was thinking exactly the same earlier this week - I grew up in a very untidy / unclean family and never learnt how to clean. It had never previously occured to me that I'm struggling to keep things clean because I actually don't know how to do it. I was wondering if I could find a local cleaner to come and teach me. Actually maybe a chambermaid would be better than a cleaner - I had a temp job once doing that and the full time people were super-efficient.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise on February 01, 2017, 07:12:31 AM

I was thinking exactly the same earlier this week - I grew up in a very untidy / unclean family and never learnt how to clean. It had never previously occured to me that I'm struggling to keep things clean because I actually don't know how to do it. I was wondering if I could find a local cleaner to come and teach me. Actually maybe a chambermaid would be better than a cleaner - I had a temp job once doing that and the full time people were super-efficient.

If you have the time, what about taking a weekend side gig cleaning houses for a few weeks?  Rather than have to ask a favor or pay somebody to show you how to clean? It's not rocket science but it is developing good habits.

When I was younger, I had a job through my school, cleaning dorm bathrooms.  I used to clean 10 bathrooms a day... I remember that once I spent over an hour cleaning some jocks' filthy shower (not required, just my personality) and they felt so bad for me that they kept offering me beer!  I also took on some independent work as a cleaning lady. Anyway, at least I can now clean my own bathroom very fast.

The trick to a clean house is: clean often. That sounds obvious. But for instance, if you only clean the bathroom once every 6 months, it is going to be a 2 hour horror of scrubbing, and then it is only clean for a week. Whereas if you wipe it down every day or every other day, you don't have to scrub or use any terrible chemicals, and the bathroom is always clean!

 It helps to set a little schedule and route for each room, i.e. I always first put cleaning solution in the toilet, then clean the sink, then the shower,  wipe sink dry with rags and polish all stainless fixtures, then use old rags on toilet last. Finally spritz the bathroom mirror with glass cleaner, wipe with paper towel or newspaper, then use the damp paper to sweep up stray hairs and dust from the floor. This usually takes me about 5 minutes if I do it every day, plus the house is always company-ready.  Twice a week I'll also mop myself out of the bathroom.

Oh, one thing I do also is I cut my bathroom sponges in half in a special way, so that sink/tub sponges are shaped like triangles, and toilet sponges are half-rectangles. That way nobody will confuse the two.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: GreenSheep on February 01, 2017, 09:10:52 AM
The trick to a clean house is: clean often. That sounds obvious. But for instance, if you only clean the bathroom once every 6 months, it is going to be a 2 hour horror of scrubbing, and then it is only clean for a week. Whereas if you wipe it down every day or every other day, you don't have to scrub or use any terrible chemicals, and the bathroom is always clean!

 It helps to set a little schedule and route for each room, i.e. I always first put cleaning solution in the toilet, then clean the sink, then the shower,  wipe sink dry with rags and polish all stainless fixtures, then use old rags on toilet last. Finally spritz the bathroom mirror with glass cleaner, wipe with paper towel or newspaper, then use the damp paper to sweep up stray hairs and dust from the floor. This usually takes me about 5 minutes if I do it every day, plus the house is always company-ready.  Twice a week I'll also mop myself out of the bathroom.

Oh, one thing I do also is I cut my bathroom sponges in half in a special way, so that sink/tub sponges are shaped like triangles, and toilet sponges are half-rectangles. That way nobody will confuse the two.

These are great tips! It took me too long, after I started living on my own, to realize that cleaning more frequently is a lot easier/less gross than only doing "emergency cleaning."

The bathroom sponge idea is genius. So simple, but brilliant. Thanks!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Goldielocks on February 01, 2017, 11:41:29 AM
Okay,  back to my kitchen gadgets....  I don't know whether to keep or toss the following:

1)  Nutcracker.  no, not the doll, the simple little metal one joined at the end.  Doesn't take up space, but I only use it two times every three years -- But what would I sub for it?

2) Pumpkin carving set.   I will keep the two funny little knives, but the battery operated squash scooper (spins and takes out all the threads)...  we use it every year on three pumpkins.   but it is larger than a remote control... keep?  Toss?

3)  Lemon / orange juicer / reamer -- only used when I mix cocktails, but I have gotten lazy lately, (and cheap) just drinking spirits straight with ice.

4)  Serving utensils like a large fork or a spoon -- family dinners we just use regular size serving tools.  should I ditch the ones that are dedicated to serving that are only used 6 times per year?
How pushed are you for space?  Because you do actually have uses for each of those things, even if only a few times a year, so they are an indication of decadence rather than obsolescence.

Space is not an issue...  lol, this is a gigantic kitchen with over 30 drawers...
 The challenge (minor) is all the crumbs / smudges in the bottom of the utensil drawers, that need a good scrub out.  Full drawers are a hassle.  Each time I wonder if I should toss these objects.  and sometimes other people use them too... hm.. maybe I will just put them into a shoebox in the pantry -- and throw what remains in the box out after 24 months... but then the pantry gets full too....

Love to your hear input / advice, this thread is great.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: BlueHouse on February 01, 2017, 12:54:01 PM

Oh, one thing I do also is I cut my bathroom sponges in half in a special way, so that sink/tub sponges are shaped like triangles, and toilet sponges are half-rectangles. That way nobody will confuse the two.

The bathroom sponge idea is genius. So simple, but brilliant. Thanks!

Yeah, that's a great one.  I've been living with Yellow and Blue Sponges for 30 years.  "Yellow Zone" means yellow sponges ONLY are ever used in the bathrooms.  Blue sponges are always for kitchens.   Then one time the store only had pink sponges.  I still have them because I don't know where to use them.  :) 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on February 01, 2017, 12:56:00 PM

Oh, one thing I do also is I cut my bathroom sponges in half in a special way, so that sink/tub sponges are shaped like triangles, and toilet sponges are half-rectangles. That way nobody will confuse the two.

The bathroom sponge idea is genius. So simple, but brilliant. Thanks!

Yeah, that's a great one.  I've been living with Yellow and Blue Sponges for 30 years.  "Yellow Zone" means yellow sponges ONLY are ever used in the bathrooms.  Blue sponges are always for kitchens.   Then one time the store only had pink sponges.  I still have them because I don't know where to use them.  :)

Okay, this made me laugh! It's just that little bit neurotic that I totally relate to. =D
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on February 01, 2017, 03:05:50 PM
The dishes sponge lives by the sink until it becomes a bathroom sponge with one diagonal \ drawn across it, at which point it retires to under the kitchen sink.  In time, the bathroom sponges become toilet sponges by having an X drawn on them in permanent marker (just crossing the previous line with /).

*snip listing of utensils/gadgets*

Space is not an issue...  lol, this is a gigantic kitchen with over 30 drawers...
 The challenge (minor) is all the crumbs / smudges in the bottom of the utensil drawers, that need a good scrub out.  Full drawers are a hassle.  Each time I wonder if I should toss these objects.  and sometimes other people use them too... hm.. maybe I will just put them into a shoebox in the pantry -- and throw what remains in the box out after 24 months... but then the pantry gets full too....

Love to your hear input / advice, this thread is great.

Take out drawer, dump it into wire basket (or dish drainer or whatnot).  The wire basket will let crumbs fall through to the floor to be swept up quickly.    Scrub drawer, let dry.  Dump utensils back from basket into drawer.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: totoro on February 01, 2017, 03:17:53 PM
[I was thinking exactly the same earlier this week - I grew up in a very untidy / unclean family and never learnt how to clean. It had never previously occured to me that I'm struggling to keep things clean because I actually don't know how to do it. I was wondering if I could find a local cleaner to come and teach me. Actually maybe a chambermaid would be better than a cleaner - I had a temp job once doing that and the full time people were super-efficient.

Hey, if you are a learn by reading type you might try this book - I used it and it is available through my library: https://www.amazon.ca/Speed-Cleaning-Jeff-Campbell/dp/0440503744
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on February 02, 2017, 05:36:46 AM
I also read about a sponge system where you cut off a corner every time you 'downgrade' it.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on February 02, 2017, 10:26:15 AM
I also read about a sponge system where you cut off a corner every time you 'downgrade' it.

This is genius. The marker pen I use on my floor cloths isn't quite permanent enough. Don't ask me how I know.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise on February 02, 2017, 10:29:34 AM
The dishes sponge lives by the sink until it becomes a bathroom sponge with one diagonal \ drawn across it, at which point it retires to under the kitchen sink.  In time, the bathroom sponges become toilet sponges by having an X drawn on them in permanent marker (just crossing the previous line with /).

We have almost the same progression, but in our household nobody would notice anything so subtle or sensible as lines or snipped corners on the sponges even if I pointed them out a hundred times!

Quote
*snip listing of utensils/gadgets*

Space is not an issue...  lol, this is a gigantic kitchen with over 30 drawers...
 The challenge (minor) is all the crumbs / smudges in the bottom of the utensil drawers, that need a good scrub out.  Full drawers are a hassle.  Each time I wonder if I should toss these objects.  and sometimes other people use them too... hm.. maybe I will just put them into a shoebox in the pantry -- and throw what remains in the box out after 24 months... but then the pantry gets full too....

Love to your hear input / advice, this thread is great.

Take out drawer, dump it into wire basket (or dish drainer or whatnot).  The wire basket will let crumbs fall through to the floor to be swept up quickly.    Scrub drawer, let dry.  Dump utensils back from basket into drawer.

Brilliant hack, thanks!!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: BlueHouse on February 02, 2017, 10:48:56 AM
I also read about a sponge system where you cut off a corner every time you 'downgrade' it.
Holy cow, I can't believe I'm learning so much.  I thought I was the ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD who knew how to clean properly, but I've learned a lot of good tricks on this thread.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on February 02, 2017, 12:22:20 PM
The dishes sponge lives by the sink until it becomes a bathroom sponge with one diagonal \ drawn across it, at which point it retires to under the kitchen sink.  In time, the bathroom sponges become toilet sponges by having an X drawn on them in permanent marker (just crossing the previous line with /).

We have almost the same progression, but in our household nobody would notice anything so subtle or sensible as lines or snipped corners on the sponges even if I pointed them out a hundred times!

Well, I'm the only one who uses those under-sink sponges, so it is with mixed emotions that I declare success with this method...
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: galliver on February 09, 2017, 12:02:46 PM
We use these fancy sponges with purple cloth covers that are soft on one side and have non-scratch plastic scrubby dots on the other. It's a splurge but I love them.

Theoretically, dish sponge becomes undersink sponge (used on stove and sink and scrubbing counters) which then gets thrown away. in practice, I've worn the last couple dish sponges down to beyond the state of the undersink sponge, so they've skipped that stage. We also have a giant pile of flannel rags made from an old sheet that are used for wiping counters, cleaning bathroom fixtures, and eventually thrown away after they're used on something nasty, like an oil spill or bathroom floor. I use paper towels on the toilet so as not to worry about cross-contamination or germ-breeding...could also use an end-of-life cloth rag though.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Kerowyn on February 21, 2017, 02:18:05 PM
Posting mostly to follow, but also to say, I use cloth rags, not sponges. (I also use dish cloths for the dishes, with scrubbies if necessary.) They get bleached after every use. No need to worry about where I've used them last... unless there is a need, and my mom just never thought to mention it...
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on February 23, 2017, 02:25:36 AM
Posting mostly to follow, but also to say, I use cloth rags, not sponges. (I also use dish cloths for the dishes, with scrubbies if necessary.) They get bleached after every use. No need to worry about where I've used them last... unless there is a need, and my mom just never thought to mention it...

I use microfiber cloths for cleaning the house. They are pretty good. I use different colours for the toilet. And I wash them after use. I use microfiber glass cloths for cleaning the bathroom mirrors. They dry at the same time as washing them.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MMMaybe on February 23, 2017, 06:10:02 AM
I'm renting in a place where the landlord has picked the worst surfaces. Glossy whites, lots of glass and the dreaded chrome and stainless steel. The place literally always looks dusty/grimy and you can see every water mark on the appliances and sinks etc. Despite frequent cleaning.

This is definitely a case, where the LL should have read this thread! I am tearing my hair out as I am trying to get ready for the end of lease cleaning inspection.

But today I discovered that chrome actually comes up nicely if you spray it with window cleaner! Any other tips for cleaning against terrible odds, gratefully accepted :)

Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on February 23, 2017, 08:03:21 AM
I'm renting in a place where the landlord has picked the worst surfaces. Glossy whites, lots of glass and the dreaded chrome and stainless steel. The place literally always looks dusty/grimy and you can see every water mark on the appliances and sinks etc. Despite frequent cleaning.

This is definitely a case, where the LL should have read this thread! I am tearing my hair out as I am trying to get ready for the end of lease cleaning inspection.

But today I discovered that chrome actually comes up nicely if you spray it with window cleaner! Any other tips for cleaning against terrible odds, gratefully accepted :)

Do you really need to get it water-spotless for the end of lease cleaning inspection?  In my area, the standard is broom-clean.  It is not expected that things will be pristine, but that there won't be bits or dried-on spills on the floor or any major stains in the carpets and all personal possessions and trash will be removed.

If it really needs to be spotless, you shouldn't bother with most of it until a few hours before the inspection.  As you move out, clean up and close off one room at a time so that no one goes back in and puts fingerprints and water spots all over it.  In the rooms you are still using, a few hours before the inspection kick out all small children and get the older kids and any adults using cloths, a squeegee, and spray to get things wiped up.  Work methodically from far side of each room to the door, then close the door.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MMMaybe on February 23, 2017, 10:43:42 AM
Quote

Do you really need to get it water-spotless for the end of lease cleaning inspection?  In my area, the standard is broom-clean.  It is not expected that things will be pristine, but that there won't be bits or dried-on spills on the floor or any major stains in the carpets and all personal possessions and trash will be removed.

If it really needs to be spotless, you shouldn't bother with most of it until a few hours before the inspection.  As you move out, clean up and close off one room at a time so that no one goes back in and puts fingerprints and water spots all over it.  In the rooms you are still using, a few hours before the inspection kick out all small children and get the older kids and any adults using cloths, a squeegee, and spray to get things wiped up.  Work methodically from far side of each room to the door, then close the door.

Yep, it really does have to be spotless as the rental agency is pushing for a professional level cleaning. They've quoted me 250 pounds, in case I want to pay for their affiliated cleaning service to do it. (Which I won't)

But I will do as you suggest and do those bits last!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TrMama on February 23, 2017, 01:07:43 PM
Quote

Do you really need to get it water-spotless for the end of lease cleaning inspection?  In my area, the standard is broom-clean.  It is not expected that things will be pristine, but that there won't be bits or dried-on spills on the floor or any major stains in the carpets and all personal possessions and trash will be removed.

If it really needs to be spotless, you shouldn't bother with most of it until a few hours before the inspection.  As you move out, clean up and close off one room at a time so that no one goes back in and puts fingerprints and water spots all over it.  In the rooms you are still using, a few hours before the inspection kick out all small children and get the older kids and any adults using cloths, a squeegee, and spray to get things wiped up.  Work methodically from far side of each room to the door, then close the door.

Yep, it really does have to be spotless as the rental agency is pushing for a professional level cleaning. They've quoted me 250 pounds, in case I want to pay for their affiliated cleaning service to do it. (Which I won't)

But I will do as you suggest and do those bits last!

Try some microfibre cloths and a bottle of windex. The dry cloths will pick up all the dust and much of the water marks. Spray anything that doesn't come off with the dry cloth with windex and then wipe again.

Here in North America you can buy bales of microfibre cloths very cheaply in the car washing supplies isle at Walmart.

https://www.amazon.com/Zwipes-Microfiber-Cleaning-All-Purpose-Assorted/dp/B000XECJES
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: pbkmaine on February 23, 2017, 02:34:58 PM
I'm renting in a place where the landlord has picked the worst surfaces. Glossy whites, lots of glass and the dreaded chrome and stainless steel. The place literally always looks dusty/grimy and you can see every water mark on the appliances and sinks etc. Despite frequent cleaning.

This is definitely a case, where the LL should have read this thread! I am tearing my hair out as I am trying to get ready for the end of lease cleaning inspection.

But today I discovered that chrome actually comes up nicely if you spray it with window cleaner! Any other tips for cleaning against terrible odds, gratefully accepted :)

I use mineral oil on my stainless steel appliances. I just wipe them down with a soft cloth and a very small amount of mineral oil. It works for chrome, too.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on March 17, 2017, 06:57:12 AM
I am getting stressed out by coat hangers! I and my husband both hang our shirts and jackets in a wardrobe. Obviously, as the days pass we take a shirt off a hanger, wear it and put it in the laundry basket. We then have an empty hanger for a week or two.

What do we do with it?? If I leave it in the wardrobe it gets tangled up and lost among the other hangers and it's a pain to fish them all out again when I'm hanging clean shirts. At the moment we have a box by the laundry basket that we put them in, but they just get tangled up with each other again and I hate having the box hanging around.

Is there some magical coat hanger storage solution? If it makes a difference, all the shirt hangers are simple wire ones.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TomTX on March 17, 2017, 07:33:33 AM
I am getting stressed out by coat hangers! I and my husband both hang our shirts and jackets in a wardrobe. Obviously, as the days pass we take a shirt off a hanger, wear it and put it in the laundry basket. We then have an empty hanger for a week or two.

What do we do with it?? If I leave it in the wardrobe it gets tangled up and lost among the other hangers and it's a pain to fish them all out again when I'm hanging clean shirts. At the moment we have a box by the laundry basket that we put them in, but they just get tangled up with each other again and I hate having the box hanging around.

Is there some magical coat hanger storage solution? If it makes a difference, all the shirt hangers are simple wire ones.

I have an over-the-door hook on the two laundry doors, facing to the inside. Extra hangars go there. After washing, I tumble shirts for 2-3 minutes and then hang them directly, so the hangars are very convenient.

Random example: https://www.amazon.com/Spectrum-Over-Door-Single-Coated/dp/B008XAY4AG/ref=zg_bs_16412751_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=0Y5P3KJ584M3PBW51RQG
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on March 17, 2017, 07:41:20 AM
I am getting stressed out by coat hangers! I and my husband both hang our shirts and jackets in a wardrobe. Obviously, as the days pass we take a shirt off a hanger, wear it and put it in the laundry basket. We then have an empty hanger for a week or two.

What do we do with it?? If I leave it in the wardrobe it gets tangled up and lost among the other hangers and it's a pain to fish them all out again when I'm hanging clean shirts. At the moment we have a box by the laundry basket that we put them in, but they just get tangled up with each other again and I hate having the box hanging around.

Is there some magical coat hanger storage solution? If it makes a difference, all the shirt hangers are simple wire ones.

Just hang them back in the closet on the far right side (or left side). Then you know where to find it next time you need one.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: BlueHouse on March 17, 2017, 12:28:09 PM
Is there some magical coat hanger storage solution? If it makes a difference, all the shirt hangers are simple wire ones.

No wire hangers EVER! 

Seriously, a few years ago I got rid of all my mismatched hangers and now I have only two kinds. 

Everything on the bottom rod (blouses, shirts, etc) get this hanger (best hanger ever invented)
https://www.amazon.com/Mighty-Hanger-Lightweight-Shoulders-Wrinkle-free/dp/B01HT2AC9U/ref=sr_1_50?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1489775130&sr=1-50-spons&keywords=hanger+wood&psc=1

The heavier items (jackets, sweaters, blazers, etc) get this hanger
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F9VGIE2/ref=sxr_rr_xsim3?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=2795440402&pd_rd_wg=BH80A&pf_rd_r=J4Q5C2X0MXC4XG1993FF&pf_rd_s=desktop-rhs-carousels&pf_rd_t=301&pd_rd_i=B00F9VGIE2&pd_rd_w=BfekW&pf_rd_i=hanger+wood&pd_rd_r=1FQCFR1YPTZW9MMPVFY0&ie=UTF8&qid=1489775130&sr=3

It also made it so that I know exactly how many hangers I have in the house.  (100 of each type).  If I do not have a hanger to hang something up on, then something else has to go!  I suppose you could just count your hangers to get the same result, but having all one type of hanger on a closet rod makes your closet look so much neater. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on March 17, 2017, 12:39:41 PM
1- I hate wire hangars with a fiery passion. I do plastic ones.
2- After pulling things off, we move them off to the side in the closet in their own "section". Then it's easy to grab them when I'm hanging the laundry back up. (It's better for your clothes to lift them off the hangar, vs PULLING them off the hangar, so we take the hangars out anyway, as we remove each piece of clothing. This also avoids the hangar snap-back, which flings it about to tangle with other clothes)

I took a picture =) http://imgur.com/a/Q83yV (http://imgur.com/a/Q83yV)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: golden1 on March 17, 2017, 12:55:53 PM
I like this thread - I got some great ideas so far! 

Quote
Remove all the kitchen gadgets from your drawers and place them in a box somewhere in another room.  As you fetch them out and use them, return them to the drawer.  After X amount of time, throw away any kitchen gadget that hasn't been used. 

I really ened to do this.  I have a very cluttered small kitchen and I need to do a purge.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on March 17, 2017, 03:55:34 PM
Wow, intense hatred for wire hangers! I hate plastic ones! I always end up cracking them. Wire hangers are just fine for shirts - we have wooden ones for anything that needs a bit more TLC. *Sigh* Seems like I'll just have to get better at hanging them up in the wardrobe properly.

(Also, is hangar the American spelling? Several uses upthread, and makes me think of planes!)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: CloserToFree on March 17, 2017, 03:59:17 PM
Does anyone know whether those Clorox hard tablets that you put inside your toilet tank have bad environmental effects (or are there other reasons not to use them)?  I discovered these about a month ago and I have to say, they make the most amazing difference - our toilets are now spotless all the time, even without scrubbing.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Fresh Bread on March 17, 2017, 04:03:53 PM
I put them back in the wardrobe but all together in one spot.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Catbert on March 17, 2017, 04:18:46 PM
Wow, intense hatred for wire hangers! I hate plastic ones! I always end up cracking them. Wire hangers are just fine for shirts - we have wooden ones for anything that needs a bit more TLC. *Sigh* Seems like I'll just have to get better at hanging them up in the wardrobe properly.

(Also, is hangar the American spelling? Several uses upthread, and makes me think of planes!)

As an American I think that "hangers" are what you use in closets and "hangars" are what you store airplanes in.  But then I can't spell... 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on March 17, 2017, 06:00:23 PM
(Also, is hangar the American spelling? Several uses upthread, and makes me think of planes!)

Probably not. I'm godawful at spelling in English. My homeroom was in Spanish, haha. Spellcheck is my miracle worker =\
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on March 18, 2017, 05:21:04 AM
We use mostly wooden hanger from Ikea. They are quite thick and take up space. We also have some plastic ones left that you sometimes get with clothes.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on March 18, 2017, 06:07:22 AM
I am getting stressed out by coat hangers! I and my husband both hang our shirts and jackets in a wardrobe. Obviously, as the days pass we take a shirt off a hanger, wear it and put it in the laundry basket. We then have an empty hanger for a week or two.

What do we do with it?? If I leave it in the wardrobe it gets tangled up and lost among the other hangers and it's a pain to fish them all out again when I'm hanging clean shirts. At the moment we have a box by the laundry basket that we put them in, but they just get tangled up with each other again and I hate having the box hanging around.

Is there some magical coat hanger storage solution? If it makes a difference, all the shirt hangers are simple wire ones.

As we use hangers through the week, I grab them and slot them on my side of the wardrobe, which is half empty, and also closest to the hallway/laundry. I end up with a neat row of them, and just grab them out when I iron.

A box of wild coat hangers does sound like hard work. Even a hook in the laundry (over-door hook perhaps) would be better.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Goldielocks on March 18, 2017, 10:33:41 AM
Does anyone know whether those Clorox hard tablets that you put inside your toilet tank have bad environmental effects (or are there other reasons not to use them)?  I discovered these about a month ago and I have to say, they make the most amazing difference - our toilets are now spotless all the time, even without scrubbing.

They can off gas a little, and will gradually weaken (make more friable) cheap plastic parts in your tank if you leave them in longer than directed or double up (not usually a problem).  Never mix ammonia or other types of toilet cleaners when you do clean, so if you have kids around who may clean, think about what products you bring into the home.

Also,  they are disinfecting tablets, not so much "cleaning" tabs (unless there is a detergent combo I haven't seen).  You will still need to scrub the toilet occasionally, or a typical build up (looks clean but isn't) may occur.  e.g., twice a month instead of every other day, however.   

Oh, obviously they don't clean the toilet seat or rim.  For us, it is the seat / rim / behind the toilet seat areas that gross me out the most, so I don't use them anymore after trying them for a short time.


Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Rural on March 18, 2017, 12:07:17 PM
Does anyone know whether those Clorox hard tablets that you put inside your toilet tank have bad environmental effects (or are there other reasons not to use them)?  I discovered these about a month ago and I have to say, they make the most amazing difference - our toilets are now spotless all the time, even without scrubbing.

They can off gas a little, and will gradually weaken (make more friable) cheap plastic parts in your tank if you leave them in longer than directed or double up (not usually a problem).  Never mix ammonia or other types of toilet cleaners when you do clean, so if you have kids around who may clean, think about what products you bring into the home.

Also,  they are disinfecting tablets, not so much "cleaning" tabs (unless there is a detergent combo I haven't seen).  You will still need to scrub the toilet occasionally, or a typical build up (looks clean but isn't) may occur.  e.g., twice a month instead of every other day, however.   

Oh, obviously they don't clean the toilet seat or rim.  For us, it is the seat / rim / behind the toilet seat areas that gross me out the most, so I don't use them anymore after trying them for a short time.


Anything you flush does go into the water system, so they are adding to either pollution or to the load on water treatment plants - I'll leave it to someone else to consider how significant this is since I don't know what's in them.


Since the brand name is Clorox, though, I'd assume there's at least some bleach, and a constant slow application of bleach wouldn't do a septic system any favors. I wouldn't use them in my own house because of that (and because I can't guarantee dogs or cats will never drink it!)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: KiwiSonya on March 19, 2017, 02:17:44 AM
I just love this thread. The many rags method has been a revelation. I know this sounds weird but can anyone talk me through cleaning a toilet. I was never taught and now I have three boys peeing everywhere I need a more thorough and professional approach as my bathroom often smells like a urinal. Help!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on March 19, 2017, 03:19:30 AM
I just love this thread. The many rags method has been a revelation. I know this sounds weird but can anyone talk me through cleaning a toilet. I was never taught and now I have three boys peeing everywhere I need a more thorough and professional approach as my bathroom often smells like a urinal. Help!

I do it like this:
First I pour toilet duck into the toilet. Pour it as close as you can under the rim. It will by itself sink down. I also squeeze some in the water. Then I clean the sink, so that the toilet duck can do it's work.
Then I start cleaning the toilet from the top. I use water with a detergent and a cloth. Just use a wet and sqeezed cloth and wipe dust from the top of the water reservoir and the flush buttons. Then wipe the outside of toilet lid. And the porselain behind the lid. Then open the lid and wipe the other side. Then wipe the seat. Do the rims on outside and inside extra well. Open seat and clean the other side. Clean well where the seat it connected to the toilet. Then clean the rim of the toilet and outside of the toilet.
Take the brush and brush the inside of the toilet. Make sure to brush as far as you can under the rim. Brush also under the water surface, as deep as you can. Flush and keep the brush in the flush water to clean the brush.
I also wipe off the lid and seat with a dry cloth afterwards.
If you have a mat in front of the toilet, that mat should be washed in the machine from time to time. Or just remove it at all.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: former player on March 19, 2017, 07:59:34 AM
I just love this thread. The many rags method has been a revelation. I know this sounds weird but can anyone talk me through cleaning a toilet. I was never taught and now I have three boys peeing everywhere I need a more thorough and professional approach as my bathroom often smells like a urinal. Help!
Please, do yourself and the world a favour: teach your boys to pee properly by aiming where it won't splash.  If necessary, threaten them by saying you will take the lock off the door and supervise them and/or require them to sit down until they get it right.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Lews Therin on March 19, 2017, 08:20:50 AM
Have them sit down?

Or make them clean it up themselves.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TomTX on March 19, 2017, 08:30:44 AM
Have them sit down?

Or make them clean it up themselves.

Yep. This is the answer. If they are old enough to pee in the toilet unsupervised, they are old enough to make sure it all goes in the bowl, and clean up any misses.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Shinplaster on March 19, 2017, 08:53:53 AM
Does anyone know whether those Clorox hard tablets that you put inside your toilet tank have bad environmental effects (or are there other reasons not to use them)?  I discovered these about a month ago and I have to say, they make the most amazing difference - our toilets are now spotless all the time, even without scrubbing.

They can off gas a little, and will gradually weaken (make more friable) cheap plastic parts in your tank if you leave them in longer than directed or double up (not usually a problem).  Never mix ammonia or other types of toilet cleaners when you do clean, so if you have kids around who may clean, think about what products you bring into the home.

If you have a 'flapper' flush mechanism in your toilet, it's hell on the rubber.   Also, as the tablet dissolves, it will eventually be just the right size to (a) get flushed out of the tank and (b) perhaps get stuck in and block the airhole in the toilet.  Result?  An overflowing toilet.  Ask me how I know.  : )
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on March 19, 2017, 10:50:03 AM
In public toilets they found out that men tend to aim better when there is a fly painted deep into the toilet. Maybe you can find a sticker that will stick.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MarioMario on March 19, 2017, 01:00:36 PM
I changed how I did laundry a while back.  Now most of the adult cloths are hung to dry.  The key for me is that I hang the shirts on hangers so they are ready to put a way. 

So I might do 2 loads a week.  I get up one morning, start a load and unload the cloths dryer and put cloths away.  When the washer is done (delicate cycle so I can wash everything together) I hang everything up and forget about it until the I do laundry a few days later.  Laundry now takes 2 hours a week and only about 20 minutes of actual work
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: KiwiSonya on March 19, 2017, 04:30:50 PM
I just love this thread. The many rags method has been a revelation. I know this sounds weird but can anyone talk me through cleaning a toilet. I was never taught and now I have three boys peeing everywhere I need a more thorough and professional approach as my bathroom often smells like a urinal. Help!

I do it like this:
First I pour toilet duck into the toilet. Pour it as close as you can under the rim. It will by itself sink down. I also squeeze some in the water. Then I clean the sink, so that the toilet duck can do it's work.
Then I start cleaning the toilet from the top. I use water with a detergent and a cloth. Just use a wet and sqeezed cloth and wipe dust from the top of the water reservoir and the flush buttons. Then wipe the outside of toilet lid. And the porselain behind the lid. Then open the lid and wipe the other side. Then wipe the seat. Do the rims on outside and inside extra well. Open seat and clean the other side. Clean well where the seat it connected to the toilet. Then clean the rim of the toilet and outside of the toilet.
Take the brush and brush the inside of the toilet. Make sure to brush as far as you can under the rim. Brush also under the water surface, as deep as you can. Flush and keep the brush in the flush water to clean the brush.
I also wipe off the lid and seat with a dry cloth afterwards.
If you have a mat in front of the toilet, that mat should be washed in the machine from time to time. Or just remove it at all.
Thanks Linda, that is very helpful especially with all details covered. I have one boy who sits and another who has started to clean up after himself so yes, I'm working on that angle too. I have to do a lot of reminders about flushing too. We will get to the point of being appropriately socialised but they are 4 & 6 so still on that learning curve. Thanks everyone.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: JustGettingStarted1980 on March 19, 2017, 04:47:56 PM
Bump
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: chaskavitch on March 19, 2017, 05:04:32 PM
PTF, because I don't have time to read everything right now, and I need this thread like nobody's business.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Cyanne on March 19, 2017, 07:38:42 PM
When I was teaching kindergarten students we had a toilet that someone had "painted" a spot in the bowl using finger nail polish. That might help with the aim into the toilet.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: KiwiSonya on March 20, 2017, 02:13:45 AM
Thanks Cyanne, that was easy. I now have an orange spot for everyone to take aim at.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Vicster on March 20, 2017, 02:48:48 AM
I found this book to be great...a little quirky but inspired me to have a big reclutter that has really helped with keeping things tidy...

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-Changing-Magic-Tidying-effective-clutter/dp/0091955106
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on March 20, 2017, 02:52:23 AM
Over the past year or so I've been re-evaluating which cleaning products I really need.

I've found it's much easier for my husband and guests to clean up after themselves if they open the cupboard under the sink and find a handful of items, rather than being overwhelmed by single-use products (stainless steel wipes, anyone?).

I have glass cleaner, dishwasher powder (cheaper and easier than tablets), dish soap, a spray bottle of diluted dish soap for surfaces, and a timber and leather polish. Those plus a roll of paper towel and a basket of clean cloths means it's pretty simple to navigate.

(I also keep toilet cleaner next to both toilets, and laundry powder, pre-wash spray, and bathroom cleaner in the laundry.)

As I've finished single-use products, such as wool wash or floor cleaner, that I've been given, I haven't bothered to replace them.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on March 20, 2017, 03:16:07 AM
Not wanting to create a huge mound of foam, but why do men/boys insist on peeing standing up? The amount of aggravation caused by peeing everywhere and leaving the seat up - surely it would be of great value to society if all mothers taught their boys to sit down as a matter of course. (Not fathers because I assume they stand up now and are part of the "problem"!)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on March 20, 2017, 03:59:27 AM
Over the past year or so I've been re-evaluating which cleaning products I really need.

I've found it's much easier for my husband and guests to clean up after themselves if they open the cupboard under the sink and find a handful of items, rather than being overwhelmed by single-use products (stainless steel wipes, anyone?).

I have glass cleaner, dishwasher powder (cheaper and easier than tablets), dish soap, a spray bottle of diluted dish soap for surfaces, and a timber and leather polish. Those plus a roll of paper towel and a basket of clean cloths means it's pretty simple to navigate.

(I also keep toilet cleaner next to both toilets, and laundry powder, pre-wash spray, and bathroom cleaner in the laundry.)

As I've finished single-use products, such as wool wash or floor cleaner, that I've been given, I haven't bothered to replace them.

My mother in law once told me I should use dish washer tablets which were much "better" than loose powder. I have always been a fan of using powder, deciding for myself how much I want to use per wash.

I also try to ha a limited number of cleaning materials. It also turned out that my DH is very allergic to cleaning materials used in floor wipes. I made the mistake of buying those when our previous house was on sale and everything needed to be shining. DH gets breathing problems. I had to throw away a whole box of these towels. I'll never buy these again.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on March 20, 2017, 06:50:52 AM
I just love this thread. The many rags method has been a revelation. I know this sounds weird but can anyone talk me through cleaning a toilet. I was never taught and now I have three boys peeing everywhere I need a more thorough and professional approach as my bathroom often smells like a urinal. Help!

I do it like this:
First I pour toilet duck into the toilet. Pour it as close as you can under the rim. It will by itself sink down. I also squeeze some in the water. Then I clean the sink, so that the toilet duck can do it's work.
Then I start cleaning the toilet from the top. I use water with a detergent and a cloth. Just use a wet and sqeezed cloth and wipe dust from the top of the water reservoir and the flush buttons. Then wipe the outside of toilet lid. And the porselain behind the lid. Then open the lid and wipe the other side. Then wipe the seat. Do the rims on outside and inside extra well. Open seat and clean the other side. Clean well where the seat it connected to the toilet. Then clean the rim of the toilet and outside of the toilet.
Take the brush and brush the inside of the toilet. Make sure to brush as far as you can under the rim. Brush also under the water surface, as deep as you can. Flush and keep the brush in the flush water to clean the brush.
I also wipe off the lid and seat with a dry cloth afterwards.
If you have a mat in front of the toilet, that mat should be washed in the machine from time to time. Or just remove it at all.

Total revelation.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on March 20, 2017, 08:30:47 AM
Not wanting to create a huge mound of foam, but why do men/boys insist on peeing standing up? The amount of aggravation caused by peeing everywhere and leaving the seat up - surely it would be of great value to society if all mothers taught their boys to sit down as a matter of course. (Not fathers because I assume they stand up now and are part of the "problem"!)

Okay, I wondered this too! And so I looked it up. Thankfully, the internet provides answers. I will censor the most oft given reason:
Spoiler: show
most toilet bowls are shallow, so their penis can touch the bowl, and this is uncomfortable and unsanitary.
Here is the thread I saw this on: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskMen/comments/14xtoi/why_dont_guys_just_pee_sitting_down/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/AskMen/comments/14xtoi/why_dont_guys_just_pee_sitting_down/)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: 4alpacas on March 20, 2017, 09:47:47 AM
I have glass cleaner, dishwasher powder (cheaper and easier than tablets), dish soap, a spray bottle of diluted dish soap for surfaces, and a timber and leather polish. Those plus a roll of paper towel and a basket of clean cloths means it's pretty simple to navigate.

My mother in law once told me I should use dish washer tablets which were much "better" than loose powder. I have always been a fan of using powder, deciding for myself how much I want to use per wash.
I love the tablets.  They're ridiculously expensive (I do wait until I have a coupon and sale, but they're still ridiculous), and I probably should switch back to the powder. 

I use vinegar to clean almost everything.  I buy gallon bottles of white vinegar, and I put it in my nice spray bottles as needed.  I also use vinegar while washing my towels (along with detergent).
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: adrianmorrell on March 20, 2017, 10:11:24 AM
I have glass cleaner, dishwasher powder (cheaper and easier than tablets), dish soap, a spray bottle of diluted dish soap for surfaces, and a timber and leather polish. Those plus a roll of paper towel and a basket of clean cloths means it's pretty simple to navigate.

My mother in law once told me I should use dish washer tablets which were much "better" than loose powder. I have always been a fan of using powder, deciding for myself how much I want to use per wash.
I love the tablets.  They're ridiculously expensive (I do wait until I have a coupon and sale, but they're still ridiculous), and I probably should switch back to the powder. 

I use vinegar to clean almost everything.  I buy gallon bottles of white vinegar, and I put it in my nice spray bottles as needed.  I also use vinegar while washing my towels (along with detergent).
I don't have much I can add about cleaning, that's not really my forte, but if you like the dishwasher tablets, try these:
Finish All in 1 Powerball Fresh 85 Tabs, Automatic Dishwasher Detergent Tablets (Packaging May Vary) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GLXKDPC/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_yT.ZybPD5NTFE

Current print works out to around .$0.17 per load. Is the powder significantly cheaper than that? I've been using these for years. I actually think I learned about them on this forum.

Adrian

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Kerowyn on March 20, 2017, 11:16:17 AM
(Also, is hangar the American spelling? Several uses upthread, and makes me think of planes!)

Well, since you asked, no, "hanger" is the correct American spelling. "Hangar" is only for where planes are kept. Trust me, I'm a professional ;)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: jeninco on March 20, 2017, 12:26:26 PM
I just love this thread. The many rags method has been a revelation. I know this sounds weird but can anyone talk me through cleaning a toilet. I was never taught and now I have three boys peeing everywhere I need a more thorough and professional approach as my bathroom often smells like a urinal. Help!

<snip>

Thanks Linda, that is very helpful especially with all details covered. I have one boy who sits and another who has started to clean up after himself so yes, I'm working on that angle too. I have to do a lot of reminders about flushing too. We will get to the point of being appropriately socialised but they are 4 & 6 so still on that learning curve. Thanks everyone.

I've said this on other threads, but start teaching them to clean the toilets now, and assign them to take turns cleaning their bathrooms on a regular basis (we do weekly). It will take up to 6 months of instructional time and being calm and consistent for them to do a reasonable job -- be patient, and explicit about what constitutes acceptance criteria. It is now their job to clean the toilet they use (and you can expand this to having them clean the entire bathrooms -- it's not a huge job). Aim will vastly improve, and future roommates/partners will thank you.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: chaskavitch on March 20, 2017, 12:34:11 PM
Does anyone have any suggestions for vacuums with good attachments, or light vacuums that are ok with small rooms?  I like our vacuum overall (don't remember what brand it is offhand), but the hose attachments are TERRIBLE and basically useless.  I usually end up just taking our whole vacuum up the stairs while I vacuum them individually, which is ridiculous.  It is such a pain that I don't do it often enough, and it really kills me that the stairs (which are directly in front of our front door, and therefore the first thing people see in our house) are always visibly filthy with dirt and hair.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MMMaybe on March 20, 2017, 12:42:07 PM
I am using this vacuum at the moment. Despite being very cheap, it is doing a great job. Its very lightweight and I am definitely more inclined to pull it out for a quick vacuum, as a result. We have a cat (hair) and stairs and it deals with both of those very well.

https://www.amazon.com/VonHaus-Upright-Handheld-Cleaner-Filtration/dp/B00OHTKVM2
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: chaskavitch on March 20, 2017, 12:47:15 PM
I am using this vacuum at the moment. Despite being very cheap, it is doing a great job. Its very lightweight and I am definitely more inclined to pull it out for a quick vacuum, as a result. We have a cat (hair) and stairs and it deals with both of those very well.

https://www.amazon.com/VonHaus-Upright-Handheld-Cleaner-Filtration/dp/B00OHTKVM2

Haha.  The very first review is almost enough to make me buy it without reading anything else :)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on March 20, 2017, 08:19:44 PM
I have glass cleaner, dishwasher powder (cheaper and easier than tablets), dish soap, a spray bottle of diluted dish soap for surfaces, and a timber and leather polish. Those plus a roll of paper towel and a basket of clean cloths means it's pretty simple to navigate.

My mother in law once told me I should use dish washer tablets which were much "better" than loose powder. I have always been a fan of using powder, deciding for myself how much I want to use per wash.
I love the tablets.  They're ridiculously expensive (I do wait until I have a coupon and sale, but they're still ridiculous), and I probably should switch back to the powder. 

I use vinegar to clean almost everything.  I buy gallon bottles of white vinegar, and I put it in my nice spray bottles as needed.  I also use vinegar while washing my towels (along with detergent).
I don't have much I can add about cleaning, that's not really my forte, but if you like the dishwasher tablets, try these:
Finish All in 1 Powerball Fresh 85 Tabs, Automatic Dishwasher Detergent Tablets (Packaging May Vary) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GLXKDPC/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_yT.ZybPD5NTFE

Current print works out to around .$0.17 per load. Is the powder significantly cheaper than that?
...

I originally switched to powder after my previous dishwasher had trouble dissolving tablets.

Powder works out at about half that per load for me. I buy Finish powder on sale and, as others have said, I use less powder than recommended.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: theadvicist on March 21, 2017, 04:35:21 AM
Not wanting to create a huge mound of foam, but why do men/boys insist on peeing standing up? The amount of aggravation caused by peeing everywhere and leaving the seat up - surely it would be of great value to society if all mothers taught their boys to sit down as a matter of course. (Not fathers because I assume they stand up now and are part of the "problem"!)

Okay, I wondered this too! And so I looked it up. Thankfully, the internet provides answers. I will censor the most oft given reason:
Spoiler: show
most toilet bowls are shallow, so their penis can touch the bowl, and this is uncomfortable and unsanitary.
Here is the thread I saw this on: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskMen/comments/14xtoi/why_dont_guys_just_pee_sitting_down/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/AskMen/comments/14xtoi/why_dont_guys_just_pee_sitting_down/)

Aha, makes perfect sense!

I used to live in Switzerland, in a flat, and after 9pm men were *required* to sit, so as to prevent annoying noise travelling through the building. I wonder if the bowls aren't so shallow at the front?

I believe in some countries (Czechia or Germany? I can't remember) the bowls are shaped so as to allow inspection of one's bowel contents before flushing. I can imagine that would add to the issue.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Squirrel away on March 21, 2017, 05:08:44 AM
I switched over to space saving hangers and they are amazing. I bought them from Amazon, JVL Thin Velvet Touch Space Saving Non-Slip Coat Hangers, Black, Pack of 100. I donated all my old ones to a charity shop.


I am using this vacuum at the moment. Despite being very cheap, it is doing a great job. Its very lightweight and I am definitely more inclined to pull it out for a quick vacuum, as a result. We have a cat (hair) and stairs and it deals with both of those very well.

https://www.amazon.com/VonHaus-Upright-Handheld-Cleaner-Filtration/dp/B00OHTKVM2

I might buy that one. I have bad wrists and the vacuum I have is so heavy and clunky.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on March 21, 2017, 06:10:41 AM
Not wanting to create a huge mound of foam, but why do men/boys insist on peeing standing up? The amount of aggravation caused by peeing everywhere and leaving the seat up - surely it would be of great value to society if all mothers taught their boys to sit down as a matter of course. (Not fathers because I assume they stand up now and are part of the "problem"!)

Okay, I wondered this too! And so I looked it up. Thankfully, the internet provides answers. I will censor the most oft given reason:
Spoiler: show
most toilet bowls are shallow, so their penis can touch the bowl, and this is uncomfortable and unsanitary.
Here is the thread I saw this on: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskMen/comments/14xtoi/why_dont_guys_just_pee_sitting_down/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/AskMen/comments/14xtoi/why_dont_guys_just_pee_sitting_down/)

That's one of those things that I can never un-know. :) Still doesn't explain why parents don't teach their little boys to sit down until *it* becomes a problem for the boys. You could get a decade of cleanliness at least.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: pbkmaine on March 21, 2017, 06:47:27 AM
The reddit thread about men peeing sitting down is hilarious.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: BlueHouse on March 21, 2017, 10:39:53 AM
Not wanting to create a huge mound of foam, but why do men/boys insist on peeing standing up? The amount of aggravation caused by peeing everywhere and leaving the seat up - surely it would be of great value to society if all mothers taught their boys to sit down as a matter of course. (Not fathers because I assume they stand up now and are part of the "problem"!)

Okay, I wondered this too! And so I looked it up. Thankfully, the internet provides answers. I will censor the most oft given reason:
Spoiler: show
most toilet bowls are shallow, so their penis can touch the bowl, and this is uncomfortable and unsanitary.
Here is the thread I saw this on: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskMen/comments/14xtoi/why_dont_guys_just_pee_sitting_down/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/AskMen/comments/14xtoi/why_dont_guys_just_pee_sitting_down/)

That's one of those things that I can never un-know. :) Still doesn't explain why parents don't teach their little boys to sit down until *it* becomes a problem for the boys. You could get a decade of cleanliness at least.

I seriously was not understanding this explanation until just now (and I spent a good deal of time thinking about it).  I was picturing the [masked] explanation for the guys who were standing up, and picturing that I was pretty dumbfounded because I have never known anyone with THAT problem.  But now I realize that it becomes a problem when they are sitting.  Thank you very much.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Shinplaster on March 21, 2017, 12:00:16 PM
When our son was smaller he was worried about falling into the toilet.  (skinny little butt).  So DH showed him how to sit on the seat facing the tank, so his butt was closer to the narrow part.  We used to call it 'riding the toilet', because he looked like he was mounting a pony.   DS loved it - he could line his toys up on the toilet tank and play a bit, and no mess on the floor for me.  I'm going to show our grandson how to do this when he's 3 too - DIL will thank me later.  : )
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TomTX on March 21, 2017, 08:28:55 PM
Thanks Cyanne, that was easy. I now have an orange spot for everyone to take aim at.

Shouldn't the spot be Cyan


(cue CSI: Miami shades removal) ....Yeeeaahhhhh!


Edit: Dunno how well this translates to text. It's really funny in my head.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TomTX on March 21, 2017, 08:41:07 PM
Not wanting to create a huge mound of foam, but why do men/boys insist on peeing standing up? The amount of aggravation caused by peeing everywhere and leaving the seat up - surely it would be of great value to society if all mothers taught their boys to sit down as a matter of course. (Not fathers because I assume they stand up now and are part of the "problem"!)

Okay, I wondered this too! And so I looked it up. Thankfully, the internet provides answers. I will censor the most oft given reason:
Spoiler: show
most toilet bowls are shallow, so their penis can touch the bowl, and this is uncomfortable and unsanitary.
Here is the thread I saw this on: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskMen/comments/14xtoi/why_dont_guys_just_pee_sitting_down/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/AskMen/comments/14xtoi/why_dont_guys_just_pee_sitting_down/)

That's one of those things that I can never un-know. :) Still doesn't explain why parents don't teach their little boys to sit down until *it* becomes a problem for the boys. You could get a decade of cleanliness at least.

Okay, a few items:

1) I have no problem peeing sitting down.
Spoiler: show
I have a (left) hand which will readily keep the contact situation from happening.
It's really NBD on most toilets.

2) My son is being taught to pee sitting down. If he wants to pee standing up, he can do it in the tub. If he pees on himself he gets hosed down.

3) Urinals. In most public restrooms, men pee standing up: To avoid having to wait, or sit on a questionable toilet seat. Reinforces a habit of standing to pee. And I'm NOT sitting in a portajohn unless it's an emergency. But they all have a pee funnel anyway.

4) Outdoors. Ladies, if you're not around - most guys aren't coming back in the house from the back yard to pee. They're peeing in the bush.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on March 21, 2017, 09:10:51 PM
Not wanting to create a huge mound of foam, but why do men/boys insist on peeing standing up? The amount of aggravation caused by peeing everywhere and leaving the seat up - surely it would be of great value to society if all mothers taught their boys to sit down as a matter of course. (Not fathers because I assume they stand up now and are part of the "problem"!)

Okay, I wondered this too! And so I looked it up. Thankfully, the internet provides answers. I will censor the most oft given reason:
Spoiler: show
most toilet bowls are shallow, so their penis can touch the bowl, and this is uncomfortable and unsanitary.
Here is the thread I saw this on: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskMen/comments/14xtoi/why_dont_guys_just_pee_sitting_down/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/AskMen/comments/14xtoi/why_dont_guys_just_pee_sitting_down/)

That's one of those things that I can never un-know. :) Still doesn't explain why parents don't teach their little boys to sit down until *it* becomes a problem for the boys. You could get a decade of cleanliness at least.

I seriously was not understanding this explanation until just now (and I spent a good deal of time thinking about it).  I was picturing the [masked] explanation for the guys who were standing up, and picturing that I was pretty dumbfounded because I have never known anyone with THAT problem.  But now I realize that it becomes a problem when they are sitting.  Thank you very much.

I'm crying with laughter over here.

Should not have opened this thread at work!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on March 22, 2017, 10:48:24 AM
Not wanting to create a huge mound of foam, but why do men/boys insist on peeing standing up? The amount of aggravation caused by peeing everywhere and leaving the seat up - surely it would be of great value to society if all mothers taught their boys to sit down as a matter of course. (Not fathers because I assume they stand up now and are part of the "problem"!)

Okay, I wondered this too! And so I looked it up. Thankfully, the internet provides answers. I will censor the most oft given reason:
Spoiler: show
most toilet bowls are shallow, so their penis can touch the bowl, and this is uncomfortable and unsanitary.
Here is the thread I saw this on: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskMen/comments/14xtoi/why_dont_guys_just_pee_sitting_down/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/AskMen/comments/14xtoi/why_dont_guys_just_pee_sitting_down/)

That's one of those things that I can never un-know. :) Still doesn't explain why parents don't teach their little boys to sit down until *it* becomes a problem for the boys. You could get a decade of cleanliness at least.

Okay, a few items:

1) I have no problem peeing sitting down.
Spoiler: show
I have a (left) hand which will readily keep the contact situation from happening.
It's really NBD on most toilets.

Okay, I seriously wondered this one. But, not being a dude, I didn't want to presume to be like "clearly you're just doing it wrong" because I HATE when men do that about women stuff.

But yeah, that was basically what my husband said when I asked him. "I think those guys are just idiots then?"
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Rural on March 22, 2017, 07:36:28 PM
Not wanting to create a huge mound of foam, but why do men/boys insist on peeing standing up? The amount of aggravation caused by peeing everywhere and leaving the seat up - surely it would be of great value to society if all mothers taught their boys to sit down as a matter of course. (Not fathers because I assume they stand up now and are part of the "problem"!)

Okay, I wondered this too! And so I looked it up. Thankfully, the internet provides answers. I will censor the most oft given reason:
Spoiler: show
most toilet bowls are shallow, so their penis can touch the bowl, and this is uncomfortable and unsanitary.
Here is the thread I saw this on: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskMen/comments/14xtoi/why_dont_guys_just_pee_sitting_down/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/AskMen/comments/14xtoi/why_dont_guys_just_pee_sitting_down/)

That's one of those things that I can never un-know. :) Still doesn't explain why parents don't teach their little boys to sit down until *it* becomes a problem for the boys. You could get a decade of cleanliness at least.

Okay, a few items:

1) I have no problem peeing sitting down.
Spoiler: show
I have a (left) hand which will readily keep the contact situation from happening.
It's really NBD on most toilets.

2) My son is being taught to pee sitting down. If he wants to pee standing up, he can do it in the tub. If he pees on himself he gets hosed down.

3) Urinals. In most public restrooms, men pee standing up: To avoid having to wait, or sit on a questionable toilet seat. Reinforces a habit of standing to pee. And I'm NOT sitting in a portajohn unless it's an emergency. But they all have a pee funnel anyway.

4) Outdoors. Ladies, if you're not around - most guys aren't coming back in the house from the back yard to pee. They're peeing in the bush.


What do you mean, when we're not around? :-)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TomTX on March 22, 2017, 07:56:47 PM
Not wanting to create a huge mound of foam, but why do men/boys insist on peeing standing up? The amount of aggravation caused by peeing everywhere and leaving the seat up - surely it would be of great value to society if all mothers taught their boys to sit down as a matter of course. (Not fathers because I assume they stand up now and are part of the "problem"!)

Okay, I wondered this too! And so I looked it up. Thankfully, the internet provides answers. I will censor the most oft given reason:
Spoiler: show
most toilet bowls are shallow, so their penis can touch the bowl, and this is uncomfortable and unsanitary.
Here is the thread I saw this on: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskMen/comments/14xtoi/why_dont_guys_just_pee_sitting_down/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/AskMen/comments/14xtoi/why_dont_guys_just_pee_sitting_down/)

That's one of those things that I can never un-know. :) Still doesn't explain why parents don't teach their little boys to sit down until *it* becomes a problem for the boys. You could get a decade of cleanliness at least.

Okay, a few items:

1) I have no problem peeing sitting down.
Spoiler: show
I have a (left) hand which will readily keep the contact situation from happening.
It's really NBD on most toilets.

2) My son is being taught to pee sitting down. If he wants to pee standing up, he can do it in the tub. If he pees on himself he gets hosed down.

3) Urinals. In most public restrooms, men pee standing up: To avoid having to wait, or sit on a questionable toilet seat. Reinforces a habit of standing to pee. And I'm NOT sitting in a portajohn unless it's an emergency. But they all have a pee funnel anyway.

4) Outdoors. Ladies, if you're not around - most guys aren't coming back in the house from the back yard to pee. They're peeing in the bush.


What do you mean, when we're not around? :-)

Username checks out. :D

Yeah, I'll pee in a bush if it's reasonably secluded - whether or not my wife is around.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: iris lily on July 23, 2017, 09:21:46 AM
 This is a good thread and we should keep it going.

It is timely for me because I was just this moment, looking at area rugs online.  A bright, contemporary, area rug in my living room with add such a splash of color! So pretty! And it ties the room together.

 Also we need a runner in one area of the first floor because the wood on our floor is worn.

But then I remember why I don't have rugs. I don't have rugs because then I would have to haul the vacuum cleaner downstairs and vacuum them.  It would make my life more complicated. I like my wood floors,  they are easy to clean so easy, just sweep them.

So I will see if I can hold off on this for a while, but I think my compromise position maybe to have rugs down in the winter season and take them up and store them during the summer. During the summer we have lots more pet hair because the dogs are shedding  and we also have more dirt tracked in from the gardens.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise on July 26, 2017, 01:30:49 PM
How do y'all wash dishes? I'm thinking about renovating my kitchen and am trying to decide on layout, such as 1 sink vs. 2 sinks. I know some soap up their dishes in one sink then use the second sink for rinsing. 

Other questions:
extra sink or dish tub?
sponge, washcloth, or brush?

Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: former player on July 26, 2017, 03:02:39 PM
How do y'all wash dishes? I'm thinking about renovating my kitchen and am trying to decide on layout, such as 1 sink vs. 2 sinks. I know some soap up their dishes in one sink then use the second sink for rinsing. 

Other questions:
extra sink or dish tub?
sponge, washcloth, or brush?
If you need to rinse your dishes you are using too much soap - you just need enough for a few bubbles on the top of the washing water, and then no need to rinse.

I have an undermount sink with a washing up bowl and a second small drainer/half sink alongside, plus drainer grooves in the slate worksurface for the draining rack and it does everything I need.

Washcloth, plus sponge with scrubber side for the difficult bits, brillo pad for the really difficult bits.
Title: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: pbkmaine on July 26, 2017, 03:07:10 PM
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170726/137b8192c551f9192e1a78908665f482.jpg)

This setup works great for us. We wash dishes in right bowl and let them dry in left.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: totoro on July 26, 2017, 03:12:57 PM
We have the Ikea farmhouse sink with a dish drainer on the right side.  We don't wash very many dishes by hand though - only pots and pans and things that can't go in the dishwasher.  I love the dishwasher.

We use a plastic mesh scrubber with a metal one for stuff that is stuck on and it is held in this:  https://www.google.ca/search?q=dish+scrubber+holder&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiF-4al7qfVAhUnqVQKHS23BrkQ_AUICigB&biw=1242&bih=535#imgrc=-O8dd4zI6KGA8M I run both the plastic and metal dish scrubber through the dishwasher pretty regularly.

I just let the pans soak with a little water and dish soap and then scrub and rinse with running water.  I think this is the lazy way maybe?  If you wash all your dishes by hand it wouldn't be the best.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise on July 26, 2017, 03:30:15 PM
Thanks!!  One more question, how many are you washing up for? I really like pbkmaine's setup (because it's so nice and clean) but I suspect that our left sink would get filled up very quickly.  3 kids, cook 3X a day, lots of pots and pans, also washing overflow from dishwasher.

former player, don't you have issues with grease and scummy water? Maybe I overdo it... always feel like I want to rinse the old water off because it is full of crumbs, germs, etc.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Cassie on July 26, 2017, 03:35:14 PM
If any soap gets left on dishes it causes diarrhea. I mostly use my dishwasher but if I can't then I soak stuff do so it is easy to wash. We have 2 sinks. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Anatidae V on July 26, 2017, 03:49:18 PM
I find 2 sinks really important, we don't have a dishwasher and we're 2 adults & an infant. One sink for pre-rinsing or soaking or post-secondary rinsing under running water depending on what the dishes are... Or for rinsing the lettuce while I wash dishes etc.

Cassie, I'd never heard that not experienced it, how curious!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: totoro on July 26, 2017, 05:30:20 PM
Thanks!!  One more question, how many are you washing up for? I really like pbkmaine's setup (because it's so nice and clean) but I suspect that our left sink would get filled up very quickly.  3 kids, cook 3X a day, lots of pots and pans, also washing overflow from dishwasher.

former player, don't you have issues with grease and scummy water? Maybe I overdo it... always feel like I want to rinse the old water off because it is full of crumbs, germs, etc.

We cook for six and often have big dinner parties.  I run the dishwasher twice some days and never hand wash the overflow - it stays stacked above the dishwasher until the current load is done.  Pots and pans similarly stacked to the left of the sink or in sink with water to soak if needed.  We then just wash all the pans at once.  I tend to cook extra so lunches are leftovers with not too much cooking needed.  This works well for us and the kitchen is usually pretty tidy - although it wasn't as clean pre Reno when we had less storage space.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Cranky on July 27, 2017, 07:08:39 AM
If you have a single bowl sink, and there's stuff in it waiting to be washed, it's harder to rinse vegetables, drain pasta, etc. It doesn't sound like it would be a big deal, but it was a constant annoyance to me, and one of my firm requirements when we remodeled was that we got a double bowl sink. A year later, I still love it.

I've got a hammered copper sink, and I love that it doesn't show any stains - I was constantly scrubbing the old white porcelain sink.

We're cooking for 3 adults, we almost always cook and eat at home, and I run the dishwasher at least once/day.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise on July 27, 2017, 08:08:47 AM
Thank you so much for your feedback, everyone!  I've never lived in a place with a double sink and the cost does not seem to be much more than a single sink. We would lose some counter space, though.

I try to keep an empty sink (like Flylady) so my biggest beef is really the dishes that are always on the drainboard, unless we take the extra time to dry them. I don't like the clutter, so having the dishes drying in the second sink is intriguing!

I also think the two sinks could streamline my dishwashing routine, and maybe even save water. 

I'm also going to revisit the discussion of drying cupboards.  I like having a window over the sink... anybody have a drying cupboard to the right or left of the sink?  Would it be bad to have the water dripping onto the counter?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on July 27, 2017, 08:47:10 AM
Why not just have a counter top draining rack? We use this one:
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51si1pMlMwL._SL500_AC_SS350_.jpg)
And it folds up very small when it's not in use (although I'll be honest, it lives out here generally, we have plenty of counter space. At our last old place it got put away though). I keep a dish towel under it that I swap out every week when I wash towels.

So this way, we have a double sink *and* a dish drying rack. It's lovely, so much workable space this way.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Lews Therin on July 27, 2017, 09:00:56 AM
I have the same rack with a dollarama mat under to pick up water. They both fold flat, so hides under the sink when not in use, only using a few inches of space.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on July 27, 2017, 09:08:58 AM
I have the same rack with a dollarama mat under to pick up water. They both fold flat, so hides under the sink when not in use, only using a few inches of space.

I will issue a 'warning' on those absorbant drying mats (not sure if that's what you have, but I was reminded of that!). If you live somewhere very humid (aka, Oregon in wintertime), they can mold very quickly if you don't wash and dry them often! After a particularly gross instance of counter-mold, I switched to the dish towel system, since they dry out more completely and faster, and it's easier for some reason for me to remember to wash it every week. However, in the desert where my parents live? Those drying mats are awesome.

You can also get a tilted basin that drains water back into the sink, but I find those develop soap scum/mineral deposits that are really hard to get off, and very unsightly.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise on July 27, 2017, 11:01:06 AM
Why not just have a counter top draining rack? We use this one:


We did have one (a stainless steel version), but this year made the decision to get rid of it... now just lay a dish towel down next to the sink. 

What I have in mind is something like this:
http://99percentinvisible.org/article/finnish-dishes-simple-nordic-design-beats-dishwashers-drying-racks/
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on July 27, 2017, 08:03:11 PM
Why not just have a counter top draining rack? We use this one:


We did have one (a stainless steel version), but this year made the decision to get rid of it... now just lay a dish towel down next to the sink. 

What I have in mind is something like this:
http://99percentinvisible.org/article/finnish-dishes-simple-nordic-design-beats-dishwashers-drying-racks/

See, my worry is that inadequate airflow and cleaning options would mean the cupboard would get funky and warped. Admittedly, I'm in a higher humidity area than many, but that would be my personal hesitation. Particularly if the wood of the cupboard itself got warped (sides/door), that's really awful because it would be quite expensive to replace.
Title: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: pbkmaine on July 27, 2017, 08:38:14 PM
I have tried the rack next to the sink but the double sink works best for me. It looks neater to me to have the dishes drying in the sink rather than on the counter. And the water goes right down the drain rather than onto a mat.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: theadvicist on July 28, 2017, 04:32:04 AM
Are 'draining boards' not standard in the US? Here most stainless steel sinks have a side return with a slight slope and groves in it, where you stack your dishes. The water runs off and drains back into the sink. If you have granite, you have sloped grooves routed into the surface which again, drain back into the sink. Literally every kitchen has a draining board.

The only person I know in the UK who doesn't have one is my American aunt who didn't want one and leaves her dishes to dry on a tea towel. Seems like a weird and impractical set up to me (and kind of unhygienic compared to just allowing the water to drain straight back into the sink and air dry), and it doesn't allow the inside of wine glasses and mugs to dry, but I guess it's just what you grew up with.

A drying cupboard is a great idea. I don't think it would warp - surely the wood is treated just like other wood used in kitchen cabinetry? I mean, I wipe mine down all the time and never dry them, they are varnished or something.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Cranky on July 28, 2017, 05:32:18 AM
Draining boards are not common in US kitchens. I've seen them in IKEA set ups and in pictures of European kitchens in general. I had one built into the sink in an apartment we lived in where the whole setup probably dated from the 1930's, but I've not seen them otherwise.

I think we prefer to pretend that the dishes magically dry themselves. ;-)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: GreenSheep on July 28, 2017, 08:53:02 AM
Why not just have a counter top draining rack? We use this one:


We did have one (a stainless steel version), but this year made the decision to get rid of it... now just lay a dish towel down next to the sink. 

What I have in mind is something like this:
http://99percentinvisible.org/article/finnish-dishes-simple-nordic-design-beats-dishwashers-drying-racks/

See, my worry is that inadequate airflow and cleaning options would mean the cupboard would get funky and warped. Admittedly, I'm in a higher humidity area than many, but that would be my personal hesitation. Particularly if the wood of the cupboard itself got warped (sides/door), that's really awful because it would be quite expensive to replace.

My current kitchen setup doesn't allow this, but in my last two homes, I solved this by having just a wire rack over the sink, attached to the bottoms of the cabinets on either side, rather than an entire cabinet. So there was airflow all around. Of course, since there were no doors, you could see all the dishes drying up there, but that never bothered me. I think seeing them was actually a constant reminder to put the damn things away, whereas hiding them behind a door might have made it too easy to leave them there forever!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: GreenSheep on July 28, 2017, 08:58:04 AM
Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread. I recently moved to a new home, and I've set up a cleaning routine that makes me so happy! Having the right tools and some sort of organized process makes the whole task of maintaining a clean home easy and even pleasant. I now have a little closet full of homemade cleaners, microfiber towels, and two Sharks (vacuum and steam mop). I also used some essential oils that were given to me to add nice scents to my homemade cleaners, Costco hand soap, etc. Anyone can stop by anytime and even use the bathroom, and I have no fear that they'll spot a ring around the toilet or a fur tumbleweed in a corner!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: galliver on July 28, 2017, 12:36:34 PM
Re: dishes (for 2 people, apt with no dishwasher)

We have a double sink. I do dishes once daily on average (unless I skipped a day and am catching up); I prefer to do a whole sinkful at once, rather than a plate at a time. Ideally, there's no stuck on crud so I run some water over them just to dampen, then use a damp soapy sponge (https://www.amazon.com/Scotch-Brite-202-Clean-Rinse-Scrubber/dp/B00455EPO) and move them to the other sink. Once it's full, I rinse the dishes under running water over the other dishes (ultimately cuts rinsing time) and put them in the drying area. I've tried the "wash and rinse" tub idea but it feels gross to me. On the other hand I don't feel the need for a lot of water for the washing stage, just soap and scrubbling (even stuck on stuff comes off if I soap it up and leave it for a minute).

For drying, we have a plastic rack* (https://www.amazon.com/Casabella-Flip-Dish-Rack-White) or drying mat (https://www.amazon.com/OXO-Grips-Large-Silicone-Drying/dp/B004ZLAG54/). I found that taller dishes (glasses, mugs) didn't dry so well on the drying mat alone, but then we got a "roll up dish dryer" (https://www.amazon.com/DW-Stainless-Foldable-Flexible-Silicone/dp/B01N6LCEUY) as a gift and that helps speed up drying a LOT, on a dish towel or the silicone mats. Cutlery goes into a mesh/ventilated caddy to dry (small things in the little dryer basket).

If I have a lot of pots and pans, I set them on the clean stove (one edge on a burner) to dry.

*I grew up with and generally prefer 2-tier racks, but the cabinets in this kitchen were so low that the one I had didn't fit :'(
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: nottoolatetostart on July 28, 2017, 07:21:36 PM
Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread. I recently moved to a new home, and I've set up a cleaning routine that makes me so happy! Having the right tools and some sort of organized process makes the whole task of maintaining a clean home easy and even pleasant. I now have a little closet full of homemade cleaners, microfiber towels, and two Sharks (vacuum and steam mop). I also used some essential oils that were given to me to add nice scents to my homemade cleaners, Costco hand soap, etc. Anyone can stop by anytime and even use the bathroom, and I have no fear that they'll spot a ring around the toilet or a fur tumbleweed in a corner!

Congrats! This is so awesome for you. It is such a good feeling. Keep up the good work!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: BlueHouse on July 31, 2017, 08:06:26 AM
Draining boards are not common in US kitchens. I've seen them in IKEA set ups and in pictures of European kitchens in general. I had one built into the sink in an apartment we lived in where the whole setup probably dated from the 1930's, but I've not seen them otherwise.

I think we prefer to pretend that the dishes magically dry themselves. ;-)
My grandmother had a draining board, but I havnet seen once since then.  Her house was 1930s also. 

I don't like double sinks.  how do you wash the big dishes that can't fit in the smaller sink?  I have a huge trough for a sink.  I got it right when those started being manufactured, and unfortunately, mine has the square corners.  One year later and I would have had rounded corners...easier to clean.  Oh well.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: pbkmaine on July 31, 2017, 08:14:31 AM
Draining boards are not common in US kitchens. I've seen them in IKEA set ups and in pictures of European kitchens in general. I had one built into the sink in an apartment we lived in where the whole setup probably dated from the 1930's, but I've not seen them otherwise.

I think we prefer to pretend that the dishes magically dry themselves. ;-)
My grandmother had a draining board, but I havnet seen once since then.  Her house was 1930s also. 

I don't like double sinks.  how do you wash the big dishes that can't fit in the smaller sink?  I have a huge trough for a sink.  I got it right when those started being manufactured, and unfortunately, mine has the square corners.  One year later and I would have had rounded corners...easier to clean.  Oh well.

I clean big pans in my laundry sink.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Dave1442397 on July 31, 2017, 08:21:42 AM
Draining boards are not common in US kitchens. I've seen them in IKEA set ups and in pictures of European kitchens in general. I had one built into the sink in an apartment we lived in where the whole setup probably dated from the 1930's, but I've not seen them otherwise.

I think we prefer to pretend that the dishes magically dry themselves. ;-)
My grandmother had a draining board, but I havnet seen once since then.  Her house was 1930s also. 

I don't like double sinks.  how do you wash the big dishes that can't fit in the smaller sink?  I have a huge trough for a sink.  I got it right when those started being manufactured, and unfortunately, mine has the square corners.  One year later and I would have had rounded corners...easier to clean.  Oh well.

You really don't see them here at all. Oddly enough, our basement sink has one built in. It's not like we'll ever be doing dishes in the basement, but that's how they built it in 1960.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: totoro on July 31, 2017, 09:15:44 AM
I don't like double sinks.  how do you wash the big dishes that can't fit in the smaller sink?

Do mean things cookie sheets, pizza trays and large roasting pans?  I wash big pans like roasting pans by soaking them on the counter and scrubbing the bottom on the counter,  and then they go in the sink on an angle for final cleaning.  Having a pull-out sprayer helps.  Cookie sheets and pizza pans the same.  I haven't had a problem with this method.  Our sink is fairly big though because it is a double farmhouse sink.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Rural on July 31, 2017, 05:05:56 PM
I had a drain board in the old farmhouse we rented before we bought this place. wonderful thing, but hard to find now.

Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: theadvicist on August 01, 2017, 02:31:22 AM
Interesting that draining boards got phased out! Must have been the rise of the dishwasher, though we use our daily as DH won't allow knives and pans in the dishwasher.

I also prefer a big sink for cookie sheets etc, but like two sinks for the ability to rinse or just get a glass of water / tip something away whilst the other sink is being used to wash up or soak. So in my next kitchen I'm going for a 'double' sink that's a big one and little one. I guess one is 1.5 normal size, one is 0.5 normal size. With a draining board built in to the worktop, lol.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: nottoolatetostart on August 01, 2017, 04:29:34 AM
Here's a silly question (I learned very little from my Mom in cleaning, so I feel like I am learning all of this now that I am a SAHM getting some breathing room with my toddlers)....

I have a double sink (33" total if that helps). I have been trying to use my dishwasher more, but kind of enjoy washing dishes and putting them away ASAP and using a dishwasher feels like I am putting off the task to procrastinate (I hate unloading). I probably waste too much water.

I don't have a drainboard nor a rack that goes in one of my double sinks. No rack because of the clutter and cleanliness factor. I like setting out a new towel each day or each time I wash. I let them dry downstairs overnight in the basement laundry sink to avoid mildew and then wash all my kitchen towels together when I get around to it. Each day has new towels.

My silly question is.....my sink NEVER feels clean. How do get yours clean? How often do you clean it? What do you clean with (baking soda, something harsher)? I clean it, wipe it down every night, but would never think to actually put clean dishes in there to dry. That grosses me out. Let alone every time I see a rack for drying dishes, it looks dirty (like at my family or friend's houses), dusty, crumbs in their racks, or gunk in the corners of rack. How do you all clean the rack or is there some kind of regularity to it?

I have a small amount of counterspace (my kitchen is a fabulous original midcentury kitchen), and I suppose getting over my phobias over a clean sink and/or clean drying rack would give me back a lot of counter space.

Also, I am home all day with my kids, so our sink is used constantly. Water cups, snacks, lunch, prepping dinner, baking, etc.

Any ideas on having a clean sink? Has anyone thought of this?

Edited to add: I have a stainless steel sink.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on August 01, 2017, 04:55:10 AM
What is your sink made of?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: nottoolatetostart on August 01, 2017, 06:11:27 AM
What is your sink made of?

Thanks, sorry for not including. I modified my post earlier too. It is stainless steel (was in the house before I bought it, so I don't know 18 gauge or 22 gauge). It is standard depth, not like 9"-10" depth. It has scratches, but those don't bother me.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Cranky on August 01, 2017, 06:52:51 AM
I am not really bothered by crumbs in a kitchen, and I figure that since I am regularly filling my sink with hot soapy water, it's pretty clean!

My white sink did stain really fast, and I had to use comet on it. My copper sink, I have spray on copper wax that I use about once/week. I bet you could wax a stainless sink, too.

When I took Home Ec, back in the Olden Days, the teacher was insistent that we should dry the sink every day, and then throw the dish towel into the laundry.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: former player on August 01, 2017, 08:01:32 AM
With a double sink, you can have one that's "clean" and another that is used to drain.

Do you use washing-up bowls?  They make washing-up by hand much easier and more pleasant, mean you can use less water, and they keep the sink itself both cleaner and easier to clean.

I used a scrubbing brush and washing-up liquid (if the dishwashing water is clean enough, I use that) to clean my sink: it gets done at the end of the day after the last dishwashing.  The draining rack gets done less often - a draining rack should stay pretty clean most of the time, as you are only putting cleaned items on it.  Again, a scrubbing brush and washing-up liquid does the job when needed.

I have grooves in my worktop where the draining rack sits - using a towel seems unhygienic to me (I guess we all have our own squick levels, but using a towel would not pass muster in a commercial kitchen).  If I didn't have a draining board or draining grooves, I would put the rack in the second sink.  You could put a rack on an upside down washing-up bowl to keep it above the level of the sink in order to avoid your "gross-out" factor.  A folding rack would avoid it looking like clutter when not in use.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: GreenSheep on August 01, 2017, 08:14:10 AM
Well, I'm no expert, but here's what I do. Although I typically wash any dishes right away, if there is a time when I need to just put them in the sink and deal with them later, I make sure to run water into them so any food will be soft and easy to clean off later. I also wipe down the sink with the soapy sponge after I wash my dishes, to prevent having to scrub hardened gunk off of it later. For "real" cleaning of the sink, Melissa Maker at cleanmyspace.com (I like her articles... not really her videos) recommends equal parts water and isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol for cleaning a sink. It shines and disinfects at the same time.

(Not to get into a "you should eat like me" argument, but for numerous reasons beyond the cleanliness of my sink, I stopped eating all animal products and all oils a couple of years ago, and it has worked wonders for my dishes and sink, and my kitchen in general. It's so easy to clean when there's no grease! Everything is water-soluble and just wipes right off!)

Like you, I don't use our dishwasher, and I like the idea of getting all of the dishes done right away, rather than having them lurking in a dirty box under the counter. (My friend says, "Want a box of shit in your house? Get a cat!" I feel like dishwashers are sort of similar. To me it's a box of gross, dirty dishes, or it's a box of clean stuff hanging over my head that I need to put away. If I had a larger family, I might feel differently!) I was very against having a drying rack, too, but we recently moved to a new house that has no rack over the sink, so I've given in to having one on the counter next to the sink. (The sink is huge but doesn't have two sides, so putting the rack in the sink wasn't really an option unless we wanted to avoid using the sink for hours at a time while allowing the dishes to dry.) I don't actually mind it. I just give it a quick wipe/rinse every few days to keep the grime away. (Actually something I've finally learned to do with the rest of the house, too. A quick wipe here and there is so much easier than a weekend-long flurry of scrubbing when it becomes gross!)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: YogiKitti on August 01, 2017, 08:23:36 AM
I have a stainless sink that I'll scrub down with dish soap if there is food scrubs in it and then when I'm doing my usual cleaning I clean the basin and the facet with vinegar to shine it up.

Re: double sink discussion. My last place has a large single sink and I much prefer it to a double sink. So much easier for large pots and pans. If you need to drain pasta or rinse vegetables in it, then you just do the dishes before you start cooking. I see that as a plus to get a chore out of the way more than a hassle. Our current place has a double sink and we never use one side of it. We dry dishes in a towel set on the counter. I like this set up, because when they are done you have that additional counter space instead of a drying rack taking it up.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: iris lily on August 01, 2017, 11:49:17 AM
I woildnt live without a double sink. One side is always "dirty" with vegetable scraps and etc.

I also like stainless and find it to be one of the few mid-range finishes to hold its looks. Granted, I woild like a porcelain sink, but not enough to spend the money. I am satisfied with stainless.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on August 01, 2017, 12:35:02 PM
Whatever you do, don't get a white sink.  It stains so easily; it is a pain to scrub out the sink with baking soda to get most of the stains then lay down towels with peroxide to get the rest.

When you do this reno, make sure to get a spray nozzle!  That would make rinsing dishes easier.  With my single-basin, I could just soap up all the dishes, set them in the rack in the sink, spray them down to rinse, then put the rack on the draining board.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: totoro on August 01, 2017, 01:17:07 PM
Yeah, ours is white and I now prefer stainless.   The white farmhouse sink is lovely in design and practical for space, but it shows the dirt and it is more difficult to get completely clean than stainless.  It also has grooves on the shelf bit between the sink and wall and those are fiddly to clean and get dirty frequently too.  I do enjoy the aesthetics of it, but not enough to do it again.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise on August 01, 2017, 02:00:38 PM
When you do this reno, make sure to get a spray nozzle!  That would make rinsing dishes easier.  With my single-basin, I could just soap up all the dishes, set them in the rack in the sink, spray them down to rinse, then put the rack on the draining board.

VERY clever!  I currently have a large white porcelain sink, with spray nozzle. Dry my dishes on a towel set next to the sink. The surface of the porcelain is worn so it stains constantly. I try not to let dishes pile up in it, and wipe it dry with a kitchen towel a few times a day.  We spray it with dilute bleach about 1x per week. Not crazy about my method though... too often dirty, drying dishes clutter the counter, and wasteful of water too.

But I am going to try your rack method today!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: marble_faun on August 01, 2017, 04:12:49 PM
Re: Grease spattering all over the stove top --

I recently got a grease screen to cover my skillet while cooking meats. It's a device I didn't really know existed until I googled for solutions to the problem of burning hot grease spraying everywhere and creating a giant mess every night of my life.

It works so well!  Cleaning the stove got a lot easier. And you can throw the screen itself in the dishwasher.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on August 01, 2017, 07:28:23 PM
When you do this reno, make sure to get a spray nozzle!  That would make rinsing dishes easier.  With my single-basin, I could just soap up all the dishes, set them in the rack in the sink, spray them down to rinse, then put the rack on the draining board.

VERY clever!  I currently have a large white porcelain sink, with spray nozzle. Dry my dishes on a towel set next to the sink. The surface of the porcelain is worn so it stains constantly. I try not to let dishes pile up in it, and wipe it dry with a kitchen towel a few times a day.  We spray it with dilute bleach about 1x per week. Not crazy about my method though... too often dirty, drying dishes clutter the counter, and wasteful of water too.

But I am going to try your rack method today!

To clarify, that would be my ideal.  I do NOT have a spray nozzle.  I am currently using the inefficient scrub-things-with-water-running-and-rinse-as-I-go method.  Do tell me if it works well!

Also, occasionally I have waxed the sink after scrubbing + peroxiding it, which seems to help a little.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on August 02, 2017, 01:06:24 AM
I went and looked at my kitchen sink. It's fine, but not spotless. I realised that I just think of the kitchen sink as a dirty place, so I'm not fussed about it.

Also, you can buy kitchen tap hose attachments - either screw-on ones or shorter silicone ones that basically just direct the water.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: dess1313 on August 02, 2017, 02:23:45 AM
Posting to follow. My biggest issue is mail and school paperwork. I always have bills and statements laying all over, even if the most urgent ones are in a cork board above the desk. I have most of my bills in electronic form, but some, like the credit card statement, I prefer to have in paper to keep track of different budget lines.

Late to the game but saw this post about papers and paperwork.  I have one similar to these tucked in a deep drawer. Papers only go in when finished with, like bill is paid, or statement is viewed.  I try to do it right away after getting mail.  you could also keep it on a corner counter. All the papers have a folder/category which keeps it neat and tidy.  every few months i put the papers in the big accordion folder i use for the tax year.  everything is sorted and easy to find this way.  If you added a small pin board above it, you could pin stuff that still needs to be done, then easily file it after finishing.

https://www.staples.ca/en/Deflect-O-Desktop-Hanging-File-Folder/product_1570001_2-CA_1_20001 (https://www.staples.ca/en/Deflect-O-Desktop-Hanging-File-Folder/product_1570001_2-CA_1_20001)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Cranky on August 02, 2017, 05:11:07 AM
If you're remodeling, a pull down faucet has all the advantages of a sprayer nozzle, and so much more.

I think I only have one pan in regular use that doesn't fit easily into my double sink.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Goldielocks on August 02, 2017, 02:03:39 PM
Why not just have a counter top draining rack? We use this one:


We did have one (a stainless steel version), but this year made the decision to get rid of it... now just lay a dish towel down next to the sink. 

What I have in mind is something like this:
http://99percentinvisible.org/article/finnish-dishes-simple-nordic-design-beats-dishwashers-drying-racks/

Yes! this!  I am renovating a small condo kitchen, and taking out the large double sink, and putting in a sink and a half, with the drying shelf / rack over top.  It drips into the sink. I am not sure if I will by the sink with the side stainless steel drying area or not.

That would be more than enough for a 2 person use.  More people, and back to two full sinks.. although my sister has a larger oversize deep sink with a half sink instead (she entertains a lot, has a dishwasher, and handwashes a lot of wine glasses, china, and platters).

I like a half sink, as I can rinse the crud off in the half sink, and handwash in the second larger bowl, and rinse if needed back in the first half bowl (holding the item under the faucet).  Then place it over the sink -- the genius is the reduced counter clutter.  I am also not a fan of hand drying.  I put the bowls and pots upside down to drain while I finish, then just pat dry the worst spots as I put them away -- dishes can drip dry.  (I have soft water - no spotting).

Note-- If you live in an area with lots of dust, dust storms etc., leaving dishes to self-dry will cause you to need to wash them twice, sometimes.

Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Goldielocks on August 02, 2017, 02:10:18 PM
Draining boards are not common in US kitchens. I've seen them in IKEA set ups and in pictures of European kitchens in general. I had one built into the sink in an apartment we lived in where the whole setup probably dated from the 1930's, but I've not seen them otherwise.

I think we prefer to pretend that the dishes magically dry themselves. ;-)
My grandmother had a draining board, but I havnet seen once since then.  Her house was 1930s also. 

I don't like double sinks.  how do you wash the big dishes that can't fit in the smaller sink?  I have a huge trough for a sink.  I got it right when those started being manufactured, and unfortunately, mine has the square corners.  One year later and I would have had rounded corners...easier to clean.  Oh well.
I think the standard is a double sink with two 15" or even 17" full size sink bowls, depending on if your cupboard is 30" or 36" wide below. 

the half sink is just used for rinsing / draining, really, maybe washing a plate, which is why they are less common.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Rural on August 02, 2017, 08:58:32 PM
You know, even my big water bath canner fits easily into both sides of my double sink. I have a tall arch-over style faucet, and I think that makes more difference in things fitting than sink size. That said, I did pick the sink and designed the counters around it...
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: galliver on August 03, 2017, 01:41:44 PM
My silly question is.....my sink NEVER feels clean. How do get yours clean? How often do you clean it? What do you clean with (baking soda, something harsher)? I clean it, wipe it down every night, but would never think to actually put clean dishes in there to dry. That grosses me out. Let alone every time I see a rack for drying dishes, it looks dirty (like at my family or friend's houses), dusty, crumbs in their racks, or gunk in the corners of rack. How do you all clean the rack or is there some kind of regularity to it?

I have a small amount of counterspace (my kitchen is a fabulous original midcentury kitchen), and I suppose getting over my phobias over a clean sink and/or clean drying rack would give me back a lot of counter space.

Also, I am home all day with my kids, so our sink is used constantly. Water cups, snacks, lunch, prepping dinner, baking, etc.

Any ideas on having a clean sink? Has anyone thought of this?

Edited to add: I have a stainless steel sink.

If I started with a clean sink and washed maybe a day's worth of fresh dishes, I'll just wipe it down with the dish sponge or a rag and rinse well with water. If dishes have been sitting because I've been busy, and/or I see staining (I have a white sink so it's more frequent than when I've lived with SS sinks :'( ), or any other grossness, I'll throw on some Comet powder (and let it sit a few mins for disinfection by bleach in the Comet).

For the rack, I don't worry too much because the dishes mostly just touch the top part(s) and any grime collects in the bottom/water channels. My parents' enameled-wire rack practically doesn't get dirty (ok, it gets sticky dust and some hard water on it eventually, we do clean it, but less than I clean my plastic basket rack)...the water-draining tray underneath, however, can get a little nasty. Basically, I'll scrub the rack and any sub-rack trays, mats, etc with a brush and soap anytime they look gross, which is generally rarer than 1x/week. Hard water stains don't bother me from a cleanliness perspective if they don't come off easily, but for aesthetics I'll scrub with citric acid on occasion.

General thoughts on cleaning:
-water is great at rinsing dirt, and any germs living in that dirt, away. Often takes copious amounts to rinse and hard to as well for stationary surfaces (e.g. floor, counter). Wiping with a wet rag you might spread germs around more than you take them away.
-some types of dirt don't dissolve well in water, e.g. greasy dirt (because oil and water don't mix!). To dissolve those in water you need surfactants--chemicals found in soaps and detergents that bind to grease/dirt on one end and water on the other, allowing water to rinse away grease/dirt. Detergents (any kind of "liquid soap" like dish, hand, maybe laundry) are generally formulated to rinse away better and dissolve better in hard water.
-some types of dirt don't come away with soap and water, but you can scrub them away because they're only a surface layer on the object (e.g. burned on stuff in a pan). Baking soda is a good scrubber.
-some dirt takes an inordinate amount of scrubbing to try to get off; finding an alternative solvent (instead of water) to actually dissolve the dirt may help, and it depends on the dirt. Vinegar (acid) can be a good alternative solvent, e.g. for hard water stains. Rubbing alcohol works wonders on that sticky buildup of grease+dust on the tops of cabinets, range hoods, etc. or sometimes when getting a label off a jar. Nail polish remover (acetone) dissolves permanent marker (and also paint...so be careful).
-Soap, water, and scrubbing don't disinfect! Heat (boiling or hotter), bleach, and alcohol do a good job disinfecting. Vinegar, I think, does some. And of course there are commercial sprays (Lysol, Fantastik, 409, etc), many of which are also solvents of some kind. Most of these take a few minutes to actually work for disinfecting.
-Finally, I think it's important to remember that we aren't necessarily built for a sterile environment. Around the house, I generally figure if it looks clean, smells clean, and feels clean...it's clean, while applying common sense...so my sanitizing is basically limited to: after working with meat/eggs, anything stinky, and bathroom ~1x/week at most. Most things are resolved with soap, water, scrubbing.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: SomedayStache on August 03, 2017, 02:10:53 PM
You know, even my big water bath canner fits easily into both sides of my double sink. I have a tall arch-over style faucet, and I think that makes more difference in things fitting than sink size. That said, I did pick the sink and designed the counters around it...
I can fit a five gallon bucket in both sides of my double sink and the high-arching faucet easily swivels over both sides when filled with said bucket.  We got deep sinks and a very tall faucet.  Ours is also a 'low-divide' sink which I think is the best of both worlds.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on August 03, 2017, 04:40:26 PM
Quote
The myth that you can get rid of the germs from your beloved kitchen sponge by tossing the grubby thing into the microwave has officially been busted.

A new study in the journal Scientific Reports, conducted by a team of German researchers, has found that the methods we use to clean our kitchen sponges are all relatively ineffective in reducing bacteria.

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/home/interiors/your-clean-kitchen-sponge-has-a-dirty-little-secret/news-story/c22497b6e3aaea1f9bdd2022479c7c0e

It suggests changing sponges every week.

I use Chux cloths in the kitchen. Under my sink is a small basket of clean ones and a small basket for dirty ones. I change cloths every day or two then wash them in hot water in the washing machine.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Rural on August 03, 2017, 05:39:17 PM
You know, even my big water bath canner fits easily into both sides of my double sink. I have a tall arch-over style faucet, and I think that makes more difference in things fitting than sink size. That said, I did pick the sink and designed the counters around it...
I can fit a five gallon bucket in both sides of my double sink and the high-arching faucet easily swivels over both sides when filled with said bucket.  We got deep sinks and a very tall faucet.  Ours is also a 'low-divide' sink which I think is the best of both worlds.


I did get a deep sink; I'd forgotten that. I don't know if I can fit in a five -gallon bucket (never tried), but I might. It would be close if not, and the limiting factor would be height (my canner is as large in diameter as a 5-gallon bucket). I don't think I'd like the low divide, though - I want the two sides to be separate all the way up. Glad you like yours!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: BlueHouse on August 05, 2017, 09:49:06 AM
If you need to rinse your dishes you are using too much soap - you just need enough for a few bubbles on the top of the washing water, and then no need to rinse.


I have been thinking about this all week.  Usually in the bathroom.  I'll stick with too much soap and lots of rinsing. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MountainTown on August 05, 2017, 09:58:11 AM
posting to follow!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on August 06, 2017, 01:30:20 PM
When we brew beer at home, we really need to have a clean sink, as the bucket with cooked beer is standing in it. Then we clean the sink with Jif cleaning gel, a scrubbing variant, and use a dishwashing brush. This really makes it look clean and shiny. The rest of the time we don't really bother to clean it. At our cabin we use a drying rack for dishes. After drying I always wipe the dripping tray dry.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: theadvicist on August 07, 2017, 02:57:08 AM
Regarding a clean sink, I've never paid it much attention... it gets full of hot soapy water multiple times a day. 

That said, I do occasionally soak dishcloths in OxyClean (well, generic equivalent, natch) in my stainless steel sink. The first time I did it I was shocked by how clean and shiny my sink was around the plughole. I had never noticed until it wasn't there, but usually there is dark staining there, I assume from emptying the teapot into the sink many times a day.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on August 07, 2017, 03:04:56 PM
We have a white porcelain sink, so it shows grime quickly. We also cook with lots of turmeric, cranberries, red onion, stuff like that, oh and drink lots of coffee, so it gets nice and colorful/icky. We clean it with softscrub every ~3rd week. If the coating was in better shape, we might do something less abrasive, but it's pretty worn, so that's the only thing that will get it clean.

I do sometimes miss having a stainless sink. Seems like it got less "slime" accumulation, even just by feel and not by appearance. Maybe we'll replace the sink when we re-do the kitchen counters... some day.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: dcheesi on August 07, 2017, 03:14:17 PM
It's probably been said a bazillion times already, but as someone with a new cat-allergic girlfriend, it's been a real relationship-saver: Machine-washable slipcovers for ALL upholstered furniture!

In my old house I had traditional couches, etc., and it was impossible to ever get all of the cat hair/dander out of them. And of course any spills, etc., could potentially doom a piece of furniture.

In my new place I made sure everything was washable (slipcovers, etc.), and it's so much easier to keep clean! And my new gf has been very comfortable, even commenting on how different the experience is from every other cat household she's spent time in.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on August 08, 2017, 04:08:11 AM
Our shower has a drain grate that looks like this:
https://megaflis.no/design-slukrist-n-12-borstet-stal.html

After every hair washing shower I pick up my hairs that I find on top of this drain grate. But obviously a lot of hair found it's way through the holes in the past 7 years (we have only lived there for 2 years). Yesterday I cleaned it out and that is just a disgusting job.

In our previous house we showered in the bath tube where I could put in a small round grate in the drain and catch most of my hair. Is there any way to improve the drain in our current house to prevent (half) long hairs from getting into it? Or do I need to do this job every 5 years or so? There was also a lot of other brown grim right underneath the grate that had to be brushed away. I do not want to millimeter my hair.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on August 08, 2017, 04:49:05 AM
Our shower has a drain grate that looks like this:
https://megaflis.no/design-slukrist-n-12-borstet-stal.html

After every hair washing shower I pick up my hairs that I find on top of this drain grate. But obviously a lot of hair found it's way through the holes in the past 7 years (we have only lived there for 2 years). Yesterday I cleaned it out and that is just a disgusting job.

In our previous house we showered in the bath tube where I could put in a small round grate in the drain and catch most of my hair. Is there any way to improve the drain in our current house to prevent (half) long hairs from getting into it? Or do I need to do this job every 5 years or so? There was also a lot of other brown grim right underneath the grate that had to be brushed away. I do not want to millimeter my hair.

I have waist-length hair so I'm careful to keep it out of drains.

I use a drain wig in the shower (mine is a $2 version from eBay), and clear it every three weeks or so.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DC4E1X8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_vvzIzbKDW8E31
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on August 08, 2017, 06:41:20 AM
Our shower has a drain grate that looks like this:
https://megaflis.no/design-slukrist-n-12-borstet-stal.html

After every hair washing shower I pick up my hairs that I find on top of this drain grate. But obviously a lot of hair found it's way through the holes in the past 7 years (we have only lived there for 2 years). Yesterday I cleaned it out and that is just a disgusting job.

In our previous house we showered in the bath tube where I could put in a small round grate in the drain and catch most of my hair. Is there any way to improve the drain in our current house to prevent (half) long hairs from getting into it? Or do I need to do this job every 5 years or so? There was also a lot of other brown grim right underneath the grate that had to be brushed away. I do not want to millimeter my hair.

I have waist-length hair so I'm careful to keep it out of drains.

I use a drain wig in the shower (mine is a $2 version from eBay), and clear it every three weeks or so.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DC4E1X8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_vvzIzbKDW8E31

Thanks, I didn't know that this thing existed. I'll look into it.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: chaskavitch on August 08, 2017, 06:46:49 AM
Our shower has a drain grate that looks like this:
https://megaflis.no/design-slukrist-n-12-borstet-stal.html

After every hair washing shower I pick up my hairs that I find on top of this drain grate. But obviously a lot of hair found it's way through the holes in the past 7 years (we have only lived there for 2 years). Yesterday I cleaned it out and that is just a disgusting job.

In our previous house we showered in the bath tube where I could put in a small round grate in the drain and catch most of my hair. Is there any way to improve the drain in our current house to prevent (half) long hairs from getting into it? Or do I need to do this job every 5 years or so? There was also a lot of other brown grim right underneath the grate that had to be brushed away. I do not want to millimeter my hair.

I have waist-length hair so I'm careful to keep it out of drains.

I use a drain wig in the shower (mine is a $2 version from eBay), and clear it every three weeks or so.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DC4E1X8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_vvzIzbKDW8E31

That looks like an excellent invention!  My sister has super long hair and only a shower grate, so maybe I'll point her in that direction. 

I just bought a tubshroom from Amazon on prime day, and it is working out pretty well, in addition to my primary "I'm going to stick all the hair on my hands to the wall of the tub" course of action.  Unfortunately it only works if you have a drain cover/stopper that you can remove, and a drain that is the right size.

https://www.amazon.com/TubShroom-Revolutionary-Protector-Catcher-Strainer/dp/B01BYMTYBS
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: galliver on August 08, 2017, 08:50:05 AM
Our shower has a drain grate that looks like this:
https://megaflis.no/design-slukrist-n-12-borstet-stal.html

After every hair washing shower I pick up my hairs that I find on top of this drain grate. But obviously a lot of hair found it's way through the holes in the past 7 years (we have only lived there for 2 years). Yesterday I cleaned it out and that is just a disgusting job.

In our previous house we showered in the bath tube where I could put in a small round grate in the drain and catch most of my hair. Is there any way to improve the drain in our current house to prevent (half) long hairs from getting into it? Or do I need to do this job every 5 years or so? There was also a lot of other brown grim right underneath the grate that had to be brushed away. I do not want to millimeter my hair.

I have waist-length hair so I'm careful to keep it out of drains.

I use a drain wig in the shower (mine is a $2 version from eBay), and clear it every three weeks or so.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DC4E1X8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_vvzIzbKDW8E31

That looks like an excellent invention!  My sister has super long hair and only a shower grate, so maybe I'll point her in that direction. 

I just bought a tubshroom from Amazon on prime day, and it is working out pretty well, in addition to my primary "I'm going to stick all the hair on my hands to the wall of the tub" course of action.  Unfortunately it only works if you have a drain cover/stopper that you can remove, and a drain that is the right size.

https://www.amazon.com/TubShroom-Revolutionary-Protector-Catcher-Strainer/dp/B01BYMTYBS
I've been surprised by how effective the tubshroom is...catches *lots* of hair, and easy to clean out!

It might fit UNDER a large shower grate, maybe?

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on August 08, 2017, 01:19:43 PM
Our shower has a drain grate that looks like this:
https://megaflis.no/design-slukrist-n-12-borstet-stal.html

After every hair washing shower I pick up my hairs that I find on top of this drain grate. But obviously a lot of hair found it's way through the holes in the past 7 years (we have only lived there for 2 years). Yesterday I cleaned it out and that is just a disgusting job.

In our previous house we showered in the bath tube where I could put in a small round grate in the drain and catch most of my hair. Is there any way to improve the drain in our current house to prevent (half) long hairs from getting into it? Or do I need to do this job every 5 years or so? There was also a lot of other brown grim right underneath the grate that had to be brushed away. I do not want to millimeter my hair.

I have waist-length hair so I'm careful to keep it out of drains.

I use a drain wig in the shower (mine is a $2 version from eBay), and clear it every three weeks or so.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DC4E1X8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_vvzIzbKDW8E31

That looks like an excellent invention!  My sister has super long hair and only a shower grate, so maybe I'll point her in that direction. 

I just bought a tubshroom from Amazon on prime day, and it is working out pretty well, in addition to my primary "I'm going to stick all the hair on my hands to the wall of the tub" course of action.  Unfortunately it only works if you have a drain cover/stopper that you can remove, and a drain that is the right size.

https://www.amazon.com/TubShroom-Revolutionary-Protector-Catcher-Strainer/dp/B01BYMTYBS
I've been surprised by how effective the tubshroom is...catches *lots* of hair, and easy to clean out!

It might fit UNDER a large shower grate, maybe?

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

Well, my drain looks very different from inside and this things wouldn't fit there. This thing is made for a typical bathtube drain.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: galliver on August 08, 2017, 02:43:47 PM
Why not just have a counter top draining rack? We use this one:


We did have one (a stainless steel version), but this year made the decision to get rid of it... now just lay a dish towel down next to the sink. 

What I have in mind is something like this:
http://99percentinvisible.org/article/finnish-dishes-simple-nordic-design-beats-dishwashers-drying-racks/

See, my worry is that inadequate airflow and cleaning options would mean the cupboard would get funky and warped. Admittedly, I'm in a higher humidity area than many, but that would be my personal hesitation. Particularly if the wood of the cupboard itself got warped (sides/door), that's really awful because it would be quite expensive to replace.

My current kitchen setup doesn't allow this, but in my last two homes, I solved this by having just a wire rack over the sink, attached to the bottoms of the cabinets on either side, rather than an entire cabinet. So there was airflow all around. Of course, since there were no doors, you could see all the dishes drying up there, but that never bothered me. I think seeing them was actually a constant reminder to put the damn things away, whereas hiding them behind a door might have made it too easy to leave them there forever!

The dish-drying discussion made me realize how much one more roll-up rack would improve my life (by drying dishes FASTER) and while I was adding it on Amazon I found this: https://www.amazon.com/NEX-Stainless-Nonslip-Adjustable-Chopstick/dp/B01HUJKNCI/ There are a few models for (slightly) different sizes, numbers of tiers, etc. Might work for anyone who'd like an over-sink drying rack/cupboard but can't install one for whatever reason? (I'd consider one myself but I'm hoping to be out of this apartment in a few months and maybe have a dishwasher at the next place! So I'm just wishing I could get one 3 years retroactively...)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Lews Therin on August 08, 2017, 02:45:53 PM
Seems a little excessive to my eyes. I just looked at my thrift store until a foldable bamboo one appeared. They are in the 20-80$ range new dpending on the fancyness of the store.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise on August 09, 2017, 07:01:23 AM
It is true that MMM thrift would suggest that it would be easy to build such a rack oneself out of wood or a using a standard wire closet shelf, especially if one had cabinets flanking the sink.  I personally don't like to see the dishes out, but that is just form, not function.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: YogiKitti on August 09, 2017, 09:40:36 AM
In regards to making your home easier to maintain, I have a few aqua globes and they make it easier to keep my plants watered. If you don't know what they are, they are glass globes that you fill with water and stick in your plants and they will be watered for about 1-2 weeks.

I got them because I was having issues over watering some of my finicky plants and the plants are now thriving with the aqua globes. It doesn't work well for plants that like dry soil though.

I'm going to start asking for these for birthdays and holidays. They will easily cut down the time I spend each day water plants and when we go out of town we don't worry about those plants dying.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on August 09, 2017, 12:01:04 PM
In regards to making your home easier to maintain, I have a few aqua globes and they make it easier to keep my plants watered. If you don't know what they are, they are glass globes that you fill with water and stick in your plants and they will be watered for about 1-2 weeks.

I got them because I was having issues over watering some of my finicky plants and the plants are now thriving with the aqua globes. It doesn't work well for plants that like dry soil though.

I'm going to start asking for these for birthdays and holidays. They will easily cut down the time I spend each day water plants and when we go out of town we don't worry about those plants dying.

Sounds like a good idea. When we went on vacation for 3 weeks, last year 4 weeks, we just put all our plants outside and hoped for a suitable amount of rain. It worked well both times. ;-)
Your idea is neater.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Primm on August 09, 2017, 09:07:28 PM
In regards to making your home easier to maintain, I have a few aqua globes and they make it easier to keep my plants watered. If you don't know what they are, they are glass globes that you fill with water and stick in your plants and they will be watered for about 1-2 weeks.

I got them because I was having issues over watering some of my finicky plants and the plants are now thriving with the aqua globes. It doesn't work well for plants that like dry soil though.

I'm going to start asking for these for birthdays and holidays. They will easily cut down the time I spend each day water plants and when we go out of town we don't worry about those plants dying.

You can also buy something like this (https://www.bunnings.com.au/holman-adjustable-watering-spike_p3110295). It screws onto the top of a bottle and turns it into an automatic waterer. Cheaper and you can adjust the volume (by using a bigger bottle!) for longer trips.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: koshtra on August 09, 2017, 09:40:20 PM
What a fun and useful thread! Thanks, all.

My big thing, now that I'm nearly sixty and can be as crotchety as I like, is that anything that needs special handling goes right out the door. No more dishes that have to be hand-washed because they're delicate, or funny shaped, or can't endure hot water. No clothes that can't stand the regular washer cycle. No fragile anything anywhere. Any time I start cleaning and run into something that holds me up because it needs to be dealt with in some special way -- I give it a baleful look and resolve to get rid of it. If it can't be cleaned quickly in the ways I already clean things, I don't want it, no matter how pretty or trendy or supposedly convenient it is.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on August 10, 2017, 01:28:58 AM
What a fun and useful thread! Thanks, all.

My big thing, now that I'm nearly sixty and can be as crotchety as I like, is that anything that needs special handling goes right out the door. No more dishes that have to be hand-washed because they're delicate, or funny shaped, or can't endure hot water. No clothes that can't stand the regular washer cycle. No fragile anything anywhere. Any time I start cleaning and run into something that holds me up because it needs to be dealt with in some special way -- I give it a baleful look and resolve to get rid of it. If it can't be cleaned quickly in the ways I already clean things, I don't want it, no matter how pretty or trendy or supposedly convenient it is.

A very good advice. I have adapted this idea for clothes. I just wash clothes in the washing machine no matter what. If they don't survive, I get rid of them. Although I still don't put woolen shirts in the tumble dry. I like using woolen undershirts and they just always shrink in the dryer.
Unfortunately we still have a bunch of nice wine glasses that are always standing on the kitchen counter near the dishwasher, because they should not be put into there and because we don't like handwashing. So they can be standing there for a long time. Maybe I should start adopting your strategy, ruining them in the dishwasher and then buy more solid glasses.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on August 10, 2017, 02:09:45 AM
That's my policy too (officially since reading Don Aslett!) with a few exceptions:
- Two good kitchen knives
- Wooden chopping boards (though I do put them through if they've had raw meat on them)
- Woollen jumpers and other garments which don't touch the skin

I've ruined the odd thing but the hassle saved for everything else ever was worth the cost!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: YogiKitti on August 10, 2017, 09:27:08 AM
I have a wood cutting board that's designed for the dishwasher, so that's nice. I don't have an issue with cross contamination though.

For the laundry policy, I also included not doing a load of reds. I either have a load of white or everything else. If the middle ground colors can't keep their colors (besides the first wash) then they aren't worth my time.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: galliver on August 10, 2017, 10:40:38 AM
What a fun and useful thread! Thanks, all.

My big thing, now that I'm nearly sixty and can be as crotchety as I like, is that anything that needs special handling goes right out the door. No more dishes that have to be hand-washed because they're delicate, or funny shaped, or can't endure hot water. No clothes that can't stand the regular washer cycle. No fragile anything anywhere. Any time I start cleaning and run into something that holds me up because it needs to be dealt with in some special way -- I give it a baleful look and resolve to get rid of it. If it can't be cleaned quickly in the ways I already clean things, I don't want it, no matter how pretty or trendy or supposedly convenient it is.

A very good advice. I have adapted this idea for clothes. I just wash clothes in the washing machine no matter what. If they don't survive, I get rid of them. Although I still don't put woolen shirts in the tumble dry. I like using woolen undershirts and they just always shrink in the dryer.
Unfortunately we still have a bunch of nice wine glasses that are always standing on the kitchen counter near the dishwasher, because they should not be put into there and because we don't like handwashing. So they can be standing there for a long time. Maybe I should start adopting your strategy, ruining them in the dishwasher and then buy more solid glasses.
My parents used to have this problem (with middle-tier Reidels), but their most recent place has a dishwasher with stemware holders, so eventually they caved and started putting them in. I don't think they've lost as many glasses to washing as to dad's crushing grip since then! I also think there are probably affordable aftermarket plastic doodads available for dishwashers without this feature.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: GreenSheep on August 10, 2017, 11:45:33 AM
I have a friend who calls her dishwasher the Darwinator. Meaning that if something can't survive the dishwasher, it wasn't meant to survive at all. She throws everything in there, including wine glasses, and if they don't make it out... oh well. On the Mustachian side of things, she has learned not to buy things that probably won't survive the Darwinator.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on August 10, 2017, 11:46:32 AM
I have a wood cutting board that's designed for the dishwasher, so that's nice. I don't have an issue with cross contamination though.

For the laundry policy, I also included not doing a load of reds. I either have a load of white or everything else. If the middle ground colors can't keep their colors (besides the first wash) then they aren't worth my time.

I recently started doing this. Reds just go in with the dark colors. So I have delicates, whites/linens, and everything else. So much easier. Partially necessitated because our new washer is SO MUCH BIGGER than our old one. It *can* do tiny loads (HE top load, smart sense, all that), but now that I *can* do a couple loads per week, it's wonderful. I used to be so confused about people who only did 1-2 loads of laundry per week... I was doing like eight... forgot to factor in that my washing machine was 27 years old and had less that 1/4 the capacity, LOL. Plus I always had to underfill or it would get off balance. Now I am happily a ~3 loads per week person =)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on August 10, 2017, 01:58:59 PM
I have a friend who calls her dishwasher the Darwinator. Meaning that if something can't survive the dishwasher, it wasn't meant to survive at all. She throws everything in there, including wine glasses, and if they don't make it out... oh well. On the Mustachian side of things, she has learned not to buy things that probably won't survive the Darwinator.

I'm adopting the Darwinator! Brilliant!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on August 10, 2017, 07:31:00 PM
I have a friend who calls her dishwasher the Darwinator. Meaning that if something can't survive the dishwasher, it wasn't meant to survive at all. She throws everything in there, including wine glasses, and if they don't make it out... oh well. On the Mustachian side of things, she has learned not to buy things that probably won't survive the Darwinator.

I'm adopting the Darwinator! Brilliant!

Me too!

This thread has made me realise that there are entire housework struggles that I've managed to avoid by virtue of the fact that I don't own red clothes and don't drink wine.

I bought a new egg flip yesterday (old one split in half after eight years) and was excited because it's one piece of moulded plastic with no fake metal trim that will flake off in the dishwasher and no weird holes to catch water.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: JanF on August 10, 2017, 07:55:30 PM
for glass shower doors, use a squeegee on it after every shower. I never have issues with soap scum.

Quote
I just wash clothes in the washing machine no matter what. If they don't survive, I get rid of them.

What do you do about bras?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on August 10, 2017, 07:57:37 PM
for glass shower doors, use a squeegee on it after every shower. I never have issues with soap scum.

Quote
I just wash clothes in the washing machine no matter what. If they don't survive, I get rid of them.

What do you do about bras?

Personally, I do mesh lingerie bags (on delicate setting) and then hang them to dry. It seems like it's the dryer that murders them the most, not washing.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on August 10, 2017, 09:04:07 PM
Quote
I just wash clothes in the washing machine no matter what. If they don't survive, I get rid of them.

What do you do about bras?

Personally, I do mesh lingerie bags (on delicate setting) and then hang them to dry. It seems like it's the dryer that murders them the most, not washing.

Yep, bras, knits and a couple of light work tops go in mesh bags. I don't use the dryer for anything, so it's all line-dried.

I peg jeans and a few other things inside out to prevent them from fading and deteriorating in the sun.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on August 11, 2017, 01:12:47 AM
Quote
I just wash clothes in the washing machine no matter what. If they don't survive, I get rid of them.

What do you do about bras?

Personally, I do mesh lingerie bags (on delicate setting) and then hang them to dry. It seems like it's the dryer that murders them the most, not washing.

Yep, bras, knits and a couple of light work tops go in mesh bags. I don't use the dryer for anything, so it's all line-dried.

I peg jeans and a few other things inside out to prevent them from fading and deteriorating in the sun.

I also use the mesh bags, but that is also to protect the washing machine. If one of the braces would fall out, which it once did, that can ruin your washing machine. I put bras in the tumble dry. There is only one that once broke and where a brace started to fall out. It guess it was badly sewn. I hang my laundry to dry outside in the summer half year.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: misshathaway on August 11, 2017, 07:21:50 AM
I have a friend who calls her dishwasher the Darwinator. Meaning that if something can't survive the dishwasher, it wasn't meant to survive at all. She throws everything in there, including wine glasses, and if they don't make it out... oh well.

Laugh of the day.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on August 11, 2017, 08:23:30 AM
Over on PBK maine's cheap style thread, someone asked about living room storage and small space organization, and I thought it might be useful here as well. https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/pbkmaine's-cheap-style/msg1655963/#msg1655963 (https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/pbkmaine's-cheap-style/msg1655963/#msg1655963)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: totoro on August 11, 2017, 09:57:52 AM
I have done a lot of kitchen reorganization and I find these lazy-susan type things good for oil/condiments and other things that don't need refrigeration: https://www.amazon.com/lazy-susans/b?ie=UTF8&node=3744181

Also, I really like having a spice drawer.  I just bought these bottles, filled them with bulk buy spices and what I had, and labelled the lids with a sharpie and put them in alphabetical order: http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/glass-spice-jar-3-oz-0423199p.html. 

Super easy to find everything and easy to keep in order. I find it is way better than trying to organize a bunch of different size spice containers in the cupboard.

I now use mason jars to organize baking supplies in the cupboard the had the spices.  I have a wire stand thing that allows me to fit more in the cupboard kind of like this one: https://www.amazon.com/Copco-Non-Skid-Cabinet-Organizer-10-Inch/dp/B0036OQU4C/ref=pd_sbs_79_4?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B0036OQU4C&pd_rd_r=D24MPVR8XAPCPZ9EV86D&pd_rd_w=iSfDe&pd_rd_wg=e5B04&psc=1&refRID=D24MPVR8XAPCPZ9EV86D

I have found that spending the time up front to organize the kitchen makes it easier to manage for everyone.  My fridge is still pretty disorganized so I'll probably try to tackle that next. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: rockstache on August 11, 2017, 10:05:53 AM
I love this thread. SO many great ideas!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Goldielocks on August 11, 2017, 10:06:02 AM
Totoro -- you reminded me of one thing I changed a couple of years ago...

I now store my spices in the spice drawer in alphabetical order.  This saves a lot of time when cooking, and I am more likely to use them (or a variety) now.

Easier to clean?  hmmm,,,,   easier to put away?, for certain.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on August 11, 2017, 01:16:10 PM
Totoro -- you reminded me of one thing I changed a couple of years ago...

I now store my spices in the spice drawer in alphabetical order.  This saves a lot of time when cooking, and I am more likely to use them (or a variety) now.

Easier to clean?  hmmm,,,,   easier to put away?, for certain.

I did this too some time ago. It has been an improvement. But today I was looking for "grillkrydder", which I wanted to put on fried potatoes, but now it was called "potetkrydder". Took me some time to find. :-)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: theadvicist on August 15, 2017, 07:01:14 AM
Well, I never knew I was meant to do a 'red' wash! I do whites and... the rest. I do ruminate for far too long over striped items though!

I agree that tumble drying, rather than washing, is what ruins bras. I have some that are older than I should probably admit, but still doing their job well. The heat ruins the elastic, which really is key.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: GreenSheep on August 16, 2017, 10:07:18 AM
In regards to making your home easier to maintain, I have a few aqua globes and they make it easier to keep my plants watered. If you don't know what they are, they are glass globes that you fill with water and stick in your plants and they will be watered for about 1-2 weeks.

I got them because I was having issues over watering some of my finicky plants and the plants are now thriving with the aqua globes. It doesn't work well for plants that like dry soil though.

I'm going to start asking for these for birthdays and holidays. They will easily cut down the time I spend each day water plants and when we go out of town we don't worry about those plants dying.

We have a few of these, and they're great! My husband recently discovered that empty wine bottles work well, too. Well, empty of wine, refilled with water! (We used to get boxed wine, but after we moved, we discovered a grocery outlet store that sells wine for as low as $3/bottle, and it's good!) We use them around the yard in places where we haven't set up drip irrigation yet, and they last for about a week. The globes are obviously prettier, though, so we use those in the house.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on August 16, 2017, 10:12:35 AM
In regards to making your home easier to maintain, I have a few aqua globes and they make it easier to keep my plants watered. If you don't know what they are, they are glass globes that you fill with water and stick in your plants and they will be watered for about 1-2 weeks.

I got them because I was having issues over watering some of my finicky plants and the plants are now thriving with the aqua globes. It doesn't work well for plants that like dry soil though.

I'm going to start asking for these for birthdays and holidays. They will easily cut down the time I spend each day water plants and when we go out of town we don't worry about those plants dying.

We have a few of these, and they're great! My husband recently discovered that empty wine bottles work well, too. Well, empty of wine, refilled with water! (We used to get boxed wine, but after we moved, we discovered a grocery outlet store that sells wine for as low as $3/bottle, and it's good!) We use them around the yard in places where we haven't set up drip irrigation yet, and they last for about a week. The globes are obviously prettier, though, so we use those in the house.

I'm so glad you mentioned this. Adding this to my container peppers and tomatoes, which are a constant battle to water this summer. For the first time in my life in Oregon, I'm fighting *too much* drainage! Poor things are miserable.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on August 17, 2017, 01:08:00 AM
In regards to making your home easier to maintain, I have a few aqua globes and they make it easier to keep my plants watered. If you don't know what they are, they are glass globes that you fill with water and stick in your plants and they will be watered for about 1-2 weeks.

I got them because I was having issues over watering some of my finicky plants and the plants are now thriving with the aqua globes. It doesn't work well for plants that like dry soil though.

I'm going to start asking for these for birthdays and holidays. They will easily cut down the time I spend each day water plants and when we go out of town we don't worry about those plants dying.

We have a few of these, and they're great! My husband recently discovered that empty wine bottles work well, too. Well, empty of wine, refilled with water! (We used to get boxed wine, but after we moved, we discovered a grocery outlet store that sells wine for as low as $3/bottle, and it's good!) We use them around the yard in places where we haven't set up drip irrigation yet, and they last for about a week. The globes are obviously prettier, though, so we use those in the house.

I supposed you'll need to recork the bottles and make a small hole in the cork? Or how else would a wine bottle work?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: misshathaway on August 17, 2017, 07:39:52 AM
Well, I never knew I was meant to do a 'red' wash! I do whites and... the rest. I do ruminate for far too long over striped items though!

I agree that tumble drying, rather than washing, is what ruins bras. I have some that are older than I should probably admit, but still doing their job well. The heat ruins the elastic, which really is key.

Yup. I have some work bras that I coddled with line drying. They were fine until I retired and streamlined everything including wash. Since going through the dryer the stressed seams are starting to fray. After they die, it will be sports bras all the time. BECAUSE NOW I CAN!

Re: easier cleaning
Recently I started upgrading my cleaning tools, which has increased efficiency. For example I switched out an ancient steam mop for a new OXO bucket and manual mop with replaceable mop heads. Turns out, washing the kitchen floor with ammonia/water and plain water rinsing after, causes the floor to stay cleaner longer than with the steam mop.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: GreenSheep on August 17, 2017, 07:51:52 AM
In regards to making your home easier to maintain, I have a few aqua globes and they make it easier to keep my plants watered. If you don't know what they are, they are glass globes that you fill with water and stick in your plants and they will be watered for about 1-2 weeks.

I got them because I was having issues over watering some of my finicky plants and the plants are now thriving with the aqua globes. It doesn't work well for plants that like dry soil though.

I'm going to start asking for these for birthdays and holidays. They will easily cut down the time I spend each day water plants and when we go out of town we don't worry about those plants dying.

We have a few of these, and they're great! My husband recently discovered that empty wine bottles work well, too. Well, empty of wine, refilled with water! (We used to get boxed wine, but after we moved, we discovered a grocery outlet store that sells wine for as low as $3/bottle, and it's good!) We use them around the yard in places where we haven't set up drip irrigation yet, and they last for about a week. The globes are obviously prettier, though, so we use those in the house.

I supposed you'll need to recork the bottles and make a small hole in the cork? Or how else would a wine bottle work?

I asked my husband something similar when he first showed me the upside-down wine bottles in the dirt... isn't the hole too big? Doesn't the water all just drain out at once? He said no, you just have to press the wine bottle firmly into the dirt, so the dirt goes into the narrow part of the bottle and holds most of the water in.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Cranky on August 17, 2017, 08:24:54 AM
In regards to making your home easier to maintain, I have a few aqua globes and they make it easier to keep my plants watered. If you don't know what they are, they are glass globes that you fill with water and stick in your plants and they will be watered for about 1-2 weeks.

I got them because I was having issues over watering some of my finicky plants and the plants are now thriving with the aqua globes. It doesn't work well for plants that like dry soil though.

I'm going to start asking for these for birthdays and holidays. They will easily cut down the time I spend each day water plants and when we go out of town we don't worry about those plants dying.

We have a few of these, and they're great! My husband recently discovered that empty wine bottles work well, too. Well, empty of wine, refilled with water! (We used to get boxed wine, but after we moved, we discovered a grocery outlet store that sells wine for as low as $3/bottle, and it's good!) We use them around the yard in places where we haven't set up drip irrigation yet, and they last for about a week. The globes are obviously prettier, though, so we use those in the house.

I supposed you'll need to recork the bottles and make a small hole in the cork? Or how else would a wine bottle work?

I asked my husband something similar when he first showed me the upside-down wine bottles in the dirt... isn't the hole too big? Doesn't the water all just drain out at once? He said no, you just have to press the wine bottle firmly into the dirt, so the dirt goes into the narrow part of the bottle and holds most of the water in.

I've seen people use 2 liter bottles this way.

FYI - Family Dollar often has the pretty glass Aqua Globes, or an indistinguishable knock off - for $1 each in their gardening aisle.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: theadvicist on August 18, 2017, 03:38:35 AM
For anyone in the UK, aquaglobe type things are on special at Aldi this week.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: DeltaBond on August 21, 2017, 06:24:07 AM
I've done the whole minimalism thing for the past few years, and our home is much easier to deal with now than before.  There are so many good tips on here, and I want to add a few.

We are starting to make end tables that just attach to the wall, with no legs, like a floating table... not so big that it can't stay up, but with no legs, it is easier to clean the floor.

We are installing sconce lights in all the rooms, where you can just flip a switch on the wall and not have cords all over the place collecting dust.  Even the bedrooms.

My husband cleaned the bathrooms this weekend... his way... and it took him 5 min and the tub was gleaming and the toilets had NO hard water stains.  I couldn't do this if I tried, not with anything.  He grinned and said he used his muriatic acid.  He got a jug of it at the hardware store for something else, and knew that it would work for the tub and toilets.

We have a car squeegie we use on windows, with water and dawn.

I also feel that my home doesn't have to be spotless every day of the year.  How clean does your home really NEED to be?  I mainly just don't want junk to look junky and get in my way. lol
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: 4alpacas on August 21, 2017, 10:16:32 AM
In regards to making your home easier to maintain, I have a few aqua globes and they make it easier to keep my plants watered. If you don't know what they are, they are glass globes that you fill with water and stick in your plants and they will be watered for about 1-2 weeks.

I got them because I was having issues over watering some of my finicky plants and the plants are now thriving with the aqua globes. It doesn't work well for plants that like dry soil though.

I'm going to start asking for these for birthdays and holidays. They will easily cut down the time I spend each day water plants and when we go out of town we don't worry about those plants dying.

We have a few of these, and they're great! My husband recently discovered that empty wine bottles work well, too. Well, empty of wine, refilled with water! (We used to get boxed wine, but after we moved, we discovered a grocery outlet store that sells wine for as low as $3/bottle, and it's good!) We use them around the yard in places where we haven't set up drip irrigation yet, and they last for about a week. The globes are obviously prettier, though, so we use those in the house.

I supposed you'll need to recork the bottles and make a small hole in the cork? Or how else would a wine bottle work?

I asked my husband something similar when he first showed me the upside-down wine bottles in the dirt... isn't the hole too big? Doesn't the water all just drain out at once? He said no, you just have to press the wine bottle firmly into the dirt, so the dirt goes into the narrow part of the bottle and holds most of the water in.
I finished a bottle of wine on Saturday, and I'm using this technique in my raised bed.  So far, so good!  No need to spend $1 on an aquaglobe.  I'm able to use my garbage (actually recycling, but whatever). 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on August 21, 2017, 05:16:07 PM
Yeah, I added my empty wine bottle to my peppers container. Getting more wine today. Only *lightly* using my tomato container as a rationalization ;)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: koshtra on August 21, 2017, 05:22:34 PM
Tomatoes is lookin' peaky, hon: we better buy another case of wine!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on August 21, 2017, 06:45:08 PM
Tomatoes is lookin' peaky, hon: we better buy another case of wine!
I didn't see you there in the corner of my kitchen ;) haha.

Jury is still out on the efficacy of the system for the peppers though. The neck of the wine had to go so far down to be stable, I worry it'll be too low for the peppers' shallower roots system.

No cost though, so why not?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on August 21, 2017, 07:17:46 PM
We are installing sconce lights in all the rooms, where you can just flip a switch on the wall and not have cords all over the place collecting dust.  Even the bedrooms.

This is why I would love ceiling fans. No more pedestal fans cluttering up the floor, collecting dust. But we're renting.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on August 21, 2017, 07:32:14 PM
We are installing sconce lights in all the rooms, where you can just flip a switch on the wall and not have cords all over the place collecting dust.  Even the bedrooms.

This is why I would love ceiling fans. No more pedestal fans cluttering up the floor, collecting dust. But we're renting.

Window fans are the way to go for renters!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Anatidae V on August 21, 2017, 08:06:17 PM
We are installing sconce lights in all the rooms, where you can just flip a switch on the wall and not have cords all over the place collecting dust.  Even the bedrooms.

This is why I would love ceiling fans. No more pedestal fans cluttering up the floor, collecting dust. But we're renting.

Window fans are the way to go for renters!
what is a window fan? **Google** hmm, but we tend to have flyscreen on our windows, doesn't seem compatible?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on August 21, 2017, 08:23:15 PM
We are installing sconce lights in all the rooms, where you can just flip a switch on the wall and not have cords all over the place collecting dust.  Even the bedrooms.

This is why I would love ceiling fans. No more pedestal fans cluttering up the floor, collecting dust. But we're renting.

Window fans are the way to go for renters!
what is a window fan? **Google** hmm, but we tend to have flyscreen on our windows, doesn't seem compatible?

To clarify for everybody, I think of window fans such as in this pic (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81RK2qKYd4S._SL1500_.jpg) or this other pic (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512FjFzWajL.jpg).  One or more fans arranged horizontally in a solid frame that fits inside the opening of a partially-closed window, usually with sidewalls of adjustable length to keep air from going back the wrong way.  Fancier versions allow you to either pull air in or push air out by flipping a switch.  Are they uncommon in Australia?

Mine sits inside the screen/flyscreen with no issues.  In my windows (and other windows I see in the US) there is a gap of a few inches between the windowpane and the screen, which is plenty of space for the back of a window fan.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Anatidae V on August 22, 2017, 02:28:53 AM
We are installing sconce lights in all the rooms, where you can just flip a switch on the wall and not have cords all over the place collecting dust.  Even the bedrooms.

This is why I would love ceiling fans. No more pedestal fans cluttering up the floor, collecting dust. But we're renting.

Window fans are the way to go for renters!
what is a window fan? **Google** hmm, but we tend to have flyscreen on our windows, doesn't seem compatible?

To clarify for everybody, I think of window fans such as in this pic (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81RK2qKYd4S._SL1500_.jpg) or this other pic (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512FjFzWajL.jpg).  One or more fans arranged horizontally in a solid frame that fits inside the opening of a partially-closed window, usually with sidewalls of adjustable length to keep air from going back the wrong way.  Fancier versions allow you to either pull air in or push air out by flipping a switch.  Are they uncommon in Australia?

Mine sits inside the screen/flyscreen with no issues.  In my windows (and other windows I see in the US) there is a gap of a few inches between the windowpane and the screen, which is plenty of space for the back of a window fan.
that sounds good, then. I have seen air conditioners stuck in a window, but normally it's booked in. I've not seen a window fan before, I'll be looking for one before summer cos it sounds great
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Kerowyn on August 22, 2017, 07:56:01 AM
I have a window fan similar to the one With This Herring posted. It is glorious for when it's too warm for nothing but not so hot/humid that air conditioning is needed, especially when the apartment has gotten warm while we were out at work all day but the temperature outside is pleasant. I always have it on exhaust--it pulls the hot air out of the apartment rather than pushing outside air in.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: galliver on August 22, 2017, 11:23:16 AM
We are installing sconce lights in all the rooms, where you can just flip a switch on the wall and not have cords all over the place collecting dust.  Even the bedrooms.

This is why I would love ceiling fans. No more pedestal fans cluttering up the floor, collecting dust. But we're renting.

Window fans are the way to go for renters!
what is a window fan? **Google** hmm, but we tend to have flyscreen on our windows, doesn't seem compatible?

To clarify for everybody, I think of window fans such as in this pic (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81RK2qKYd4S._SL1500_.jpg) or this other pic (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512FjFzWajL.jpg).  One or more fans arranged horizontally in a solid frame that fits inside the opening of a partially-closed window, usually with sidewalls of adjustable length to keep air from going back the wrong way.  Fancier versions allow you to either pull air in or push air out by flipping a switch.  Are they uncommon in Australia?

Mine sits inside the screen/flyscreen with no issues.  In my windows (and other windows I see in the US) there is a gap of a few inches between the windowpane and the screen, which is plenty of space for the back of a window fan.
that sounds good, then. I have seen air conditioners stuck in a window, but normally it's booked in. I've not seen a window fan before, I'll be looking for one before summer cos it sounds great

We have that exact first one! Two of them! Can confirm, sits fine in front of a screen (but also in the US-CA). Doesn't entirely solve the cord problem, but does a lovely job of drawing sweet, cool CA evening air into the heated up house. We used to have two to encourage flow-through, but now we have too many plants in that one window so we make do with one.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: nickybecky1 on September 05, 2017, 03:04:06 PM
I'm posting to follow. I read through most of the thread and checked out the recommended Make your House do your Housework book - it's so helpful! We're doing well in a lot of areas but it gave me a few ideas like getting rid of table lamps and mounting desks to the wall that I think will make a big difference!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on September 05, 2017, 06:31:33 PM
Thought of this thread last week when I had a house guest who used obnoxious pink toothpaste and left it smeared in the bathroom sink.

I rinse the sink every time I use it, but even if I didn't, white toothpaste would never look that bad.

I did have a word to the piglet after the second morning.

It goes back to 'a little, often'. How often do I clean my sink? The answer is both always and never because I don't have to.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: kelvin on September 06, 2017, 06:25:10 AM
I used to work in a factory that had adopted the Toyota Lean 5S system. It was an eye opener.

Everything was set up so that a total stranger could walk into our factory floor and find what they were looking for in 30s or less. In general, this means everything clearly labelled, and lots of empty space on the shelves so your eye can quickly isolate the thing you're looking for.

Everything I needed for a particular job was all contained in the same spot - preferably without having to turn around or take an extra step to reach a tool. If I'm making coffee at home, I should be able to grab the coffee, sugar, cream, mug etc. without having to turn around or take an extra step. If I'm going jogging, my jogging clothes are kept with my running shoes and my cellphone sleeve. Everything in the same spot.

If you're moving from an apartment to a house, there's going to be some weirdness because you're used to doing everything in 2 rooms. I'm house sitting right now and it feels super weird to get changed in the bedroom, I'm used to changing in front of the TV. So I moved my suitcase to the rec room. Don't be afraid to do something odd, just make sure the furniture in that room can accommodate what you actually use it for, not what's "normal".
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: KiwiSonya on November 06, 2017, 09:11:34 PM
This is the best thread.  I bought the Ergonomics book recommended earlier in the thread and it has already changed my life.  My kids (4 & 6) are terrible eaters at the table - up, down, up, down, food on floor etc.  Instantly fixed by putting a stool under their feet.  Also bought a stick vacuum so we (incl them) can clean up the messes we make during the day.  I also bought them a step stool and their own cutlery and crockery in separate colours and they are taking full responsibility for serving themselves, washing their dishes, drying and putting them away.  And they love that they are able to be helpful.  Feel a bit silly that I didn't notice earlier that our house didn't really allow them to be independent.  And I'm still waiting for the arrival of Don Aslett's book - takes ages for mail to come from US to NZ! Thanks for the great tips everyone.

Which ergonomics book? Missed it!

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

Sorry am only a year late but the awesome book I was referring to was Ergonomic Living: How to create a user friendly home and office by Gordon Inkeles and Iris Schenck. And yes, having chairs that support kids feet makes a huge difference. Quite honestly my kids were right pigs at the table but are 100% better with foot support. I sat on a bar stool without foot support recently and realised how distracting it was, like having a conversation dangling from a cliff by one arm.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on November 06, 2017, 09:20:59 PM
This is the best thread.  I bought the Ergonomics book recommended earlier in the thread and it has already changed my life.  My kids (4 & 6) are terrible eaters at the table - up, down, up, down, food on floor etc.  Instantly fixed by putting a stool under their feet.  Also bought a stick vacuum so we (incl them) can clean up the messes we make during the day.  I also bought them a step stool and their own cutlery and crockery in separate colours and they are taking full responsibility for serving themselves, washing their dishes, drying and putting them away.  And they love that they are able to be helpful.  Feel a bit silly that I didn't notice earlier that our house didn't really allow them to be independent.  And I'm still waiting for the arrival of Don Aslett's book - takes ages for mail to come from US to NZ! Thanks for the great tips everyone.

Which ergonomics book? Missed it!

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

Sorry am only a year late but the awesome book I was referring to was Ergonomic Living: How to create a user friendly home and office by Gordon Inkeles and Iris Schenck. And yes, having chairs that support kids feet makes a huge difference. Quite honestly my kids were right pigs at the table but are 100% better with foot support. I sat on a bar stool without foot support recently and realised how distracting it was, like having a conversation dangling from a cliff by one arm.

This!

I'm short and my feet dangle sitting in my arm chair, our dining chairs, train seats...

It's distracting, and I think it contributed to some minor back issues I had for a while, trying to make myself comfortable when everything is designed for giants. I still tend to sit cross-legged wherever possible.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: KiwiSonya on November 06, 2017, 09:38:49 PM
I completely understand. I am short legged and often find myself awkwardly perched. And I have long term back pain issues. I made the change for the kids but now you mention it I have just realised that there is no chair in my entire house that I can seat on with feet of the floor. More changes needed. Where are the giants that furniture is currently designed for? The struggle is REAL!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on November 11, 2017, 11:59:27 PM
I completely understand. I am short legged and often find myself awkwardly perched. And I have long term back pain issues. I made the change for the kids but now you mention it I have just realised that there is no chair in my entire house that I can seat on with feet of the floor. More changes needed. Where are the giants that furniture is currently designed for? The struggle is REAL!

One of the giants is ny husband! I'm 5'2", he's 6'2". Imagine trying to buy chairs together! And all the handy diagrams suggesting you alter your kitchen countertops if you're taller or smaller than average...yer 'avin a laff! One day I dream of a kitchen big enough that we furnish ourselves to have his n hers countertops.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TheWifeHalf on November 12, 2017, 09:46:04 AM
If we drop some food on the floor and it's not something that will harm them, we call the dogs to clean it up!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on November 12, 2017, 04:59:39 PM
I completely understand. I am short legged and often find myself awkwardly perched. And I have long term back pain issues. I made the change for the kids but now you mention it I have just realised that there is no chair in my entire house that I can seat on with feet of the floor. More changes needed. Where are the giants that furniture is currently designed for? The struggle is REAL!

One of the giants is ny husband! I'm 5'2", he's 6'2". Imagine trying to buy chairs together! And all the handy diagrams suggesting you alter your kitchen countertops if you're taller or smaller than average...yer 'avin a laff! One day I dream of a kitchen big enough that we furnish ourselves to have his n hers countertops.

I'm 5'1", he's 6' and just a big dude. We have a big comfy lounge for him to sprawl on, and a wingback chair for me to perch cross-legged.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TomTX on November 12, 2017, 05:12:03 PM
This is the best thread.  I bought the Ergonomics book recommended earlier in the thread and it has already changed my life.  My kids (4 & 6) are terrible eaters at the table - up, down, up, down, food on floor etc.  Instantly fixed by putting a stool under their feet.  Also bought a stick vacuum so we (incl them) can clean up the messes we make during the day.  I also bought them a step stool and their own cutlery and crockery in separate colours and they are taking full responsibility for serving themselves, washing their dishes, drying and putting them away.  And they love that they are able to be helpful.  Feel a bit silly that I didn't notice earlier that our house didn't really allow them to be independent.  And I'm still waiting for the arrival of Don Aslett's book - takes ages for mail to come from US to NZ! Thanks for the great tips everyone.

Which ergonomics book? Missed it!

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

Sorry am only a year late but the awesome book I was referring to was Ergonomic Living: How to create a user friendly home and office by Gordon Inkeles and Iris Schenck. And yes, having chairs that support kids feet makes a huge difference. Quite honestly my kids were right pigs at the table but are 100% better with foot support. I sat on a bar stool without foot support recently and realised how distracting it was, like having a conversation dangling from a cliff by one arm.

We tried this, unfortunately shifting/sliding/tapping/tipping/kicking the footstool was an irresistible temptation.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: KiwiSonya on November 12, 2017, 05:23:27 PM
Actually the footstool didn't last long because I bought a Stoke Tripp Trapp chair and a similar knock off version which is adjustable and has footrest built in. I expect them to last until my kids are teens and can touch the floor. But yeah, I can certainly see potential for playing with a foot stool under the table.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on December 01, 2017, 05:11:09 PM
In recent news, horizontal blinds are a terrible window covering choice for a bathroom with no ventilation.  Good job, previous tenant.  I washed them in the tub the other day.  I'm glad I only have the one window, as they took far too long.  They are still somewhat grayed, but now they feel like plastic instead of grime.  I call that a win.

So, the lesson is that tricky-to-clean blinds are a poor choice in moisture-rich environments.  Go for a curtain that can be tossed in the wash or a roller shade that can just be wiped down instead.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Fresh Bread on December 01, 2017, 05:51:02 PM
I love this thread... :)

Horizontal blinds are fiddly to clean wherever they are. We leave ours down all the time and they get dusty and mouldy. I never remember to go over them regularly enough. And the string gets grimy too, yuck.

We are replacing our windows with double glazing - they will have so many benefits - aluminium on the outside so zero repainting, fewer layers of insulation needed on the inside so less clutter/ less to clean, hopefully no condensation so less cleaning of mildew from the glass, no need for curtains should mean less dust in the house. If we replace the blinds it will be with timber or PVC plantation shutters, which are less fiddly to clean and have no strings to break.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Zoot on December 01, 2017, 06:33:01 PM
In recent news, horizontal blinds are a terrible window covering choice for a bathroom with no ventilation.  Good job, previous tenant.  I washed them in the tub the other day.  I'm glad I only have the one window, as they took far too long.  They are still somewhat grayed, but now they feel like plastic instead of grime.  I call that a win.

So, the lesson is that tricky-to-clean blinds are a poor choice in moisture-rich environments.  Go for a curtain that can be tossed in the wash or a roller shade that can just be wiped down instead.

Your post is very timely--DH and I are considering installing plantation shutters in our master bathroom.  Would these be as icky to clean as blinds would be?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Anatidae V on December 01, 2017, 06:35:04 PM
Ah I have horizontal blinds, they seem very nice quality compared to other ones I've seen but that doesn't stop them being a pain to clean! They're also really heavy to pull up, so I just tilt them and as a result feel like I'm living in a cage. Ugh.

I am definitely looking forward to having easy to open blinds in a house of my own.

PS Zoot I would hate plantation shutters too, because of the cage effect, but they would be easier to clean.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Fresh Bread on December 01, 2017, 06:52:26 PM
Ah I have horizontal blinds, they seem very nice quality compared to other ones I've seen but that doesn't stop them being a pain to clean! They're also really heavy to pull up, so I just tilt them and as a result feel like I'm living in a cage. Ugh.

I am definitely looking forward to having easy to open blinds in a house of my own.

PS Zoot I would hate plantation shutters too, because of the cage effect, but they would be easier to clean.

You should be able to fold them back though.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on December 01, 2017, 08:37:03 PM
In recent news, horizontal blinds are a terrible window covering choice for a bathroom with no ventilation.  Good job, previous tenant.  I washed them in the tub the other day.  I'm glad I only have the one window, as they took far too long.  They are still somewhat grayed, but now they feel like plastic instead of grime.  I call that a win.

So, the lesson is that tricky-to-clean blinds are a poor choice in moisture-rich environments.  Go for a curtain that can be tossed in the wash or a roller shade that can just be wiped down instead.

Your post is very timely--DH and I are considering installing plantation shutters in our master bathroom.  Would these be as icky to clean as blinds would be?

I would guess they would be worse (but I've never lived with them).  I was able to remove the blinds and stick them in the partly-filled bathtub for scrubbing, but that wouldn't be practical with those shutters.  Those shutters have the same issue of many, many little slats.  The moisture in the bathroom makes them magnets for toilet paper dust and the tiny fibers shed by towels, clothing, and people.  That same moisture makes the dust adhere in a way that doesn't happen in, say, our living room.  It becomes this nasty, filmy layer.  And, because all the little slats are separate, you have to clean each one individually, instead of doing a solid wipe or scrub across a single surface.

Anatidae V, how would the plantation shutters be easier to clean?  I can see solid board shutters being better...

People who have installed their own window covers in bathrooms, what have you found to be decent-looking and easy to clean for Zoot?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: nickybecky1 on December 01, 2017, 09:13:56 PM
I kind of feel like the lowest maintenance window covering in a bathroom is no window covering, or that stick on privacy film. We have two bathrooms with windows and both have obscured glass, which is what I'd recommend for someone replacing windows. For someone who isn't replacing windows anyway, I've heard great things about the privacy film that you can DIY. I think younghouselove has a tutorial on how they did it. Private, let's lots of light in, and wipe down a single surface.

But I've never lived anywhere with window treatments in the bathroom so maybe it's regional?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: KiwiSonya on December 01, 2017, 09:41:25 PM
I second no window covering in bathroom, or privacy film. We have single glazing so I have used double sided tape to attach large circle bubble wrap to mine. Insulates and gives privacy. We don't mind the look but we are not style gurus.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on December 01, 2017, 10:00:48 PM
...But I've never lived anywhere with window treatments in the bathroom so maybe it's regional?

I currently live in a region where every neighbor is in sight of the bathroom window, including the backyard where my landlord's kids play.  So window covering in general is not optional.  :)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on December 02, 2017, 02:08:59 AM
...But I've never lived anywhere with window treatments in the bathroom so maybe it's regional?

I currently live in a region where every neighbor is in sight of the bathroom window, including the backyard where my landlord's kids play.  So window covering in general is not optional.  :)

My bathrooms also have windows that neighbours can look into. We have a film cover on the lower half of the window that does the job. I personally don't understand why the house was built with such big and low windows in the bathrooms. I think it was to ensure all similar windows in the house, seen from the outside.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on December 02, 2017, 02:26:22 AM
...But I've never lived anywhere with window treatments in the bathroom so maybe it's regional?

I currently live in a region where every neighbor is in sight of the bathroom window, including the backyard where my landlord's kids play.  So window covering in general is not optional.  :)

I honestly would look into privacy film. The patterns and opacity can make a huge difference. We used to overlook the backs of two houses with large downstairs bathroom windows and privacy film. In one we could tell if the light was on or off and that was it. In another, there was a day when we glanced out of the window and said, "Wait, I swear there are TWO people in that shower...!"
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: SavinMaven on December 02, 2017, 08:24:07 AM
PTF
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: nickybecky1 on December 02, 2017, 08:52:44 AM
...But I've never lived anywhere with window treatments in the bathroom so maybe it's regional?

I currently live in a region where every neighbor is in sight of the bathroom window, including the backyard where my landlord's kids play.  So window covering in general is not optional.  :)

I honestly would look into privacy film. The patterns and opacity can make a huge difference. We used to overlook the backs of two houses with large downstairs bathroom windows and privacy film. In one we could tell if the light was on or off and that was it. In another, there was a day when we glanced out of the window and said, "Wait, I swear there are TWO people in that shower...!"

This exactly! I should have clarified that we live in an urban area close to neighbors where people would be able to see into bathrooms without some sort of covering. But the privacy glass does the trick and the film would too. If privacy is a top priority, be sure to read reviews to find out which ones would do the level of privacy where you can only tell if light is on.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Catbert on December 02, 2017, 09:48:08 AM
I would not put plantation shutters in a bathroom, however, I find them okay to keep clean in other parts of the home. 

Plantation shutters have bigger and more rigid slats so you can wipe them with a barely damp cloth (or dust if you do it often enough) without fear of mangling the slats.  My standards are low which likely helps.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise on December 12, 2017, 07:41:36 AM
We have plantation shutters AND privacy film in our master bath.  The bathroom has an efficient fan and there don't seem to be signs of warping yet (shutters are about a year old, but there is also a shuttered closet door that probably has been there for decades.)

Only time will tell if the shutters are difficult to clean. I dust about once a month (supposed to be weekly but, reality), doesn't seem to be too bad. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on December 30, 2017, 10:02:33 AM
Does anyone have any pro tips for easing that final, crucial step of laundry: putting away? We line dry in summer and tumble in winter and both wear shirts a lot that require ironing. What usually happens is that stuff comes in and I don't have time to iron it straight away so it rests in a tangled mess in the laundry basket and then I do another load and have to put that on top and it spills out onto the floor and...argh!

So is there anything I can change to ease the transition from line/dryer to actually away? Either physical reorganisation or new methods are welcome, but habit suggestions like "Just do it right away!" or "Have you tried doing a little bit every day?" are unlikely to be useful.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: former player on December 30, 2017, 11:41:02 AM
For the shirts and anything else that needs ironing, can you keep a set of hangers in the laundry basket? That way you can put the shirts straight onto hangers when they come off the line/out of the drier.  You then need to find somewhere convenient to hang them up - I have been planning for ages to put a tension rod in my downstairs shower room (must put it on the shopping list) for wet coats and damp laundry.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: koshtra on December 30, 2017, 01:11:48 PM
Well, I'm afraid the solution's in the habits, if you're not willing to just stop wearing stuff that needs to be ironed :-)

But, knowing ahead of time that I'm contributing to the less useful subsection of advice -- my own rule now is that I have to do later parts of the washing-and-drying-and-putting-away process before I do earlier parts. E.g. if there's laundry to be put away and laundry to be hung, I have to put away first; if there's laundry to go in the wash and laundry to be hung, I have to hang first. It makes for inefficiencies, but it also means that the laundry is ALWAYS put away, and I'm the happier for it. We used to have heaps and heaps of clean laundry, even after the kids were grown and moved out, and I just got sick of it, and said, "dammit, the process has to change, this is silly, it's the same total amount of work no matter what." The way you do it now, the ironing and putting-away is optional and the last priority, so of course it tends not to happen.

Does anyone have any pro tips for easing that final, crucial step of laundry: putting away? We line dry in summer and tumble in winter and both wear shirts a lot that require ironing. What usually happens is that stuff comes in and I don't have time to iron it straight away so it rests in a tangled mess in the laundry basket and then I do another load and have to put that on top and it spills out onto the floor and...argh!

So is there anything I can change to ease the transition from line/dryer to actually away? Either physical reorganisation or new methods are welcome, but habit suggestions like "Just do it right away!" or "Have you tried doing a little bit every day?" are unlikely to be useful.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Fresh Bread on December 30, 2017, 01:24:39 PM
SLTD: I think if you want to cut down ironing time you should at least finish your difficult to iron clothes in the dryer. However that's not that mustachian...
What I do (don't have a dryer) is take the shirts out of the washer and put them straight onto hangers. I shake them and smooth them out while wet to cut down on creasing. They go on the line on hangers (do one button up to hold them on the hanger). Then they come back in, straight into the cupboard. Likewise anything else stored on a hanger. I used to do it with tees too but then I started Kondo folding them not hanging. With the other things, I shake and fold them off the line and into the basket, and then put them on the bed for a final air. Then they would (usually) get put away before bed. Because they are already folded, it's not an arse at 10pm. Obviously sometimes nothing happens and it's thrown to the side :) We only iron shirts, so the ironing pile is the cupboard, ironed ones are kept on one side.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on December 30, 2017, 02:06:48 PM
Fresh Bread: wait, you put the shirt on the hanger then the hanger on the line?! Wow! Funnily enough, I find the dryer makes the shirts harder to iron. Line-dried shirts are relatively crease-free. Maybe because we have a washer-dryer so it's always fuller than optimal for drying. But next sunny day I am trying this hanger-line business because they might even be just about good enough to go straight into the wardrobe! I don't have to be smart for work, so light wrinklage is often acceptable, and my husband irons his own shirts so acceptable crease levels are up to him.

Also definitely keeping hangers in the laundry basket. I like this.

Koshtra: I know it's in the habits really, sigh, but if I can remove any little obstacles in the road then I'd like to!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Bracken_Joy on December 30, 2017, 02:18:46 PM
Yep, I solve it by not ironing. Ever. I don't think I've ironed anything in the last 5 or 6 years. As far as making sure things get put away- I do like koshtra. Parts just... must happen. That's my rule. It also helps that I fold on the table I use my computer on and eat one- so I can't do ANYTHING ELSE unless I finish all the way though.

ETA: just realized the ironing is related to the doing things immediately all the way through. Out of the dryer, straight to folding while still warm, no wrinkles.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: marble_faun on December 30, 2017, 02:32:10 PM
I skip the ironing (because it is something I really hate doing). As I pull warm clothes out of the dryer, I fold them and place them back in the hamper. It's then a snap to transfer the folded clothing-stacks from the hamper to dresser drawers.

If a garment does get really wrinkly, I have two approaches:

(1) Hang it up in the bathroom before taking a hot shower. The steam in the bathroom often reduces the wrinkles. (This is especially handy when you're traveling with wrinkly suitcase clothes.)

(2) Use an actual steamer to steam it, which takes just a minute and somehow just seems like less of a hassle than ironing.  (We have a steamer on wheels that I originally got years ago to use on my wedding dress. It works like magic.)

My clothes never achieve that ultra-crisp ironed look, but that never seems to last long anyway once you are wearing them.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Fresh Bread on December 30, 2017, 02:52:55 PM
Fresh Bread: wait, you put the shirt on the hanger then the hanger on the line?! Wow! Funnily enough, I find the dryer makes the shirts harder to iron. Line-dried shirts are relatively crease-free.

Yep. Put a peg between each one or they slide into each other. If it's really really windy it might not work.

We had a washer dryer once and abandoned it because the dried clothes were impossibly creased.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Anatidae V on December 30, 2017, 06:43:41 PM
Fresh Bread: wait, you put the shirt on the hanger then the hanger on the line?! Wow! Funnily enough, I find the dryer makes the shirts harder to iron. Line-dried shirts are relatively crease-free.

Yep. Put a peg between each one or they slide into each other. If it's really really windy it might not work.

We had a washer dryer once and abandoned it because the dried clothes were impossibly creased.
My husband's button ups are hung with a peg on the bottom corner of the front pieces, and then as we take them off the line they go straight onto clothes hangers. He's happy enough with the result that there is no ironing.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: BlueHouse on December 30, 2017, 06:48:36 PM
I haven't seen anyone mention "hand-iron".  My BIL taught me this trick -- just before folding, lay out the shirt on a flat surface, use your hand to smooth the fabric and remove creases.  Wait until cool, then fold. 

This is best for cotton shirts that are dried in the dryer.  For a while, I thought he was ironing his undershirts because of how they looked. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on December 31, 2017, 01:13:14 AM
We hang all our shirts and tops because I have realised that folding them is an obstacle too far. Trousers get folded, though, and obviously there's socks and stuff. Our washer-dryer is in a really awkward place, though, so we can get stuff out of it in a big tangled lump but have to take things elsewhere to fold.

I have done the shower steam thing a few times while away in an 'emergency', but the possibilities of doing it at home intrigue me. Sounds like winter is still going to suck, ironing-wise, but in summer: out of the washing machine, onto a hanger, onto the line; then into the bathroom til the next morning; then into the wardrobe. Intriguing possibilities! I iron less in winter anyway, though, because I'm usually wearing a jumper over the top.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Cranky on January 01, 2018, 06:30:27 AM
Some things are better right out of the dryer, and some things are better line dried, I find.

I dry shirts on hangars in the winter, too, when all my line drying is inside.

Stuff that needs ironed goes right onto the ironing board, and I iron every Sunday. I think having a set time helps. I listen to a podcast while I do it, but I admit that I don’t hate ironing.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: chasingthegoodlife on January 01, 2018, 12:40:38 PM
My routine is almost exactly the same as Fresh Bread’s. While I use the dryer for some things in winter, I still tend to hang my nicer clothes to air dry inside because I think the dryer wears them out faster.

I put everything in the wardrobe and then iron things as I need them. In one way, this is inefficient getting the iron set up for just one or two pieces each time but I find this works much better for me because it removes the need to find a chunk of time to dedicate to ironing. The few minutes in the morning would only be used for drinking another coffee or messing around online, so ironing then saves my chore tome for other things.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Goldielocks on January 02, 2018, 01:39:09 AM
Laundry - Great question.   I don't have an ultimate solution as I am slow to put away, too, but like others, have found ways to reduce the work.

I separate the clothes that need ironing / line drying into a separate (usually gentler) wash cycle.
That load then gets hung to dry and removed to a separate laundry basket.   This means that the heaps of laundry that cause a bigger mess due to ironing procrastination doesn't happen . Why?

 The rest of the clothing (no ironing, some line hung or put into the dryer) are washed together without the iron - required items and just get pulled out when warm -- or I bump the dryer back on for 10 more minutes, and quickly hand folded, and put into a  two other baskets for his / hers. 

I have tried to reduce the ironing to work clothes (that don't get dirty after a single wear) and just cut them out as much as possible, so the ironing load is done only every 2-3 weeks.  Hang drying works well for many items to eliminate the iron.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on January 02, 2018, 02:03:59 AM
While we're sharing laundry - or what we Aussies would call "washing" - stories...

I cold-wash, line-dry everything.

People who peg washing like they are decorating a Christmas tree (hang this here, drape this there) (including my husband and my MiL who "taught" him) annoy the fuck out of me.

I peg with military precision because it makes folding and ironing that much easier.

I've slowly cut back how much I iron. Husband basically refuses to do it, and I don't see why I should be more invested in him having a wrinkle-free appearance than he does.

He wears a lot of t-shirts (can go through two or three a day while travelling for work), so I take them off the line, fold them with a foldy thingy, and put them on his shelf. His jeans go straight on a hanger (this works for heavy denim but not lighter blends that are prone to wrinkles).

I wear a lot of sheer tops for work - they go straight on a hanger, as do my corporate dresses.

I fold as soon as things come off the line which means the only things in the ironing basket are actually ironing (no socks or undies or PJs or running gear or whatever).

Does anyone have any pro tips for easing that final, crucial step of laundry: putting away? We line dry in summer and tumble in winter and both wear shirts a lot that require ironing. What usually happens is that stuff comes in and I don't have time to iron it straight away so it rests in a tangled mess in the laundry basket and then I do another load and have to put that on top and it spills out onto the floor and...argh!

@shelivesthedream, are you both involved in this process or are you doing it all?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: marty998 on January 02, 2018, 02:12:14 AM

 His jeans go straight on a hanger (this works for heavy denim but not lighter blends that are prone to wrinkles).

I wear a lot of sheer tops for work - they go straight on a hanger, as do my corporate dresses.

This is the way to go. Work shirts on a hanger, line dry by hanging the hanger on the line.

Collect all hangers off line (indicated exactly what needs to be ironed), iron shirts, rehang hangers in wardrobe. All done.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on January 02, 2018, 04:20:38 AM
Does anyone have any pro tips for easing that final, crucial step of laundry: putting away? We line dry in summer and tumble in winter and both wear shirts a lot that require ironing. What usually happens is that stuff comes in and I don't have time to iron it straight away so it rests in a tangled mess in the laundry basket and then I do another load and have to put that on top and it spills out onto the floor and...argh!

@shelivesthedream, are you both involved in this process or are you doing it all?

Generally I do the putting in the washing machine, the hanging up and the taking of dry laundry up to the bedroom, and then he does his own ironing and I do mine. I often do both of our putting-away of non-iron items too. I love hanging out laundry so it makes sense for me to take charge of the bits immediately either side of that, but dislike ironing so I won't do more than 'my share'.

I would line dry everything if the weather was amenable, but it rains a LOT here in winter (and, let's be honest, autumn and spring) and if I waited for the weather and my schedule to align we would never have clean clothes - so I'd say I line dry about half the year and tumble the other half. I moved out of a mouldy flat six months ago and know this house has had mould problems in the past (now hopefully fixed!) so will not have anything drying inside the house.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: nickybecky1 on January 02, 2018, 09:46:13 AM
I've always had trouble getting over the hump for putting away things, which has been helped immensely by two things - 1) I started hanging a lot more things even in winter and 2) I started folding as things come out of the dryer (I have no folding counter or anything, I just put a basket in front of the dryer and fold everything against my chest kind of marie kondo style as it comes out and then put it in the basket.

Caveats: we don't iron anything and haven't for years. I use my iron for crafts every 6 months or so and always have to remember where I put it. Also, while I live in a climate that is cold and rainy, our home is well insulated and I have a ceiling mounted drying rack that hangs right next to our ventilation fan in the bathroom. In the summer I hang everything out to dry, in the winter, I hang faster drying and delicate things and turn on the fan. The room has just enough heating to dry things over the course of 8-16 hours with the fan on.

The thing that really made a difference is that I take things off the line in groups. Underwear and socks are hanging on something like this: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80189663/ so they're all together. I take down the socks and underwear, then I fold and pull down all the shirts. Like someone else, jeans (in warmer weather usually - in winter they usually get tumbled) and dresses are on a hanger already for drying. With everything organized in the laundry basket, the putting away part is much shorter so that helps.

If I had a house prone to mold, it would make it much much harder for me because it really was being able to hang more things that helped. Also, I'm in the US and have separate washer and dryer so I it sounds like that might help with not having to iron. In past years, I did all my summer drying on one of those folding drying racks, and this summer we got one of those real rectangle things with a bunch of lines and it's amazing! I am already dreaming of sunny weather again (which I may not see until June or July).
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: YogiKitti on January 02, 2018, 10:10:52 AM
I use the dryer for most things, but for things that can't go in the dryer I wash them in large lingerie bags. That way I don't have to think when switching laundry to the dryer as it is easy to see what needs to be air dried.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on January 03, 2018, 03:30:13 PM
For the habits, I've found that it helps me keep the dishes in check (no dishwasher machine) if I do dishes while the kettle is boiling for tea and then as my tea is steeping.  It's just enough time to get a bunch of plates and tableware washed.  Similar little waiting-times might be enough time for you to do one or two shirts, if hanging from wet/the dryer isn't enough.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: jeninco on January 03, 2018, 05:03:32 PM
I do laundry for 4, and have a few suggestions:
I actually take iron-able shirts (and pants that get wrinkly) out of the dryer after 10 minutes or so and then put them on hangers -- they're still warm and dampish, but less wet then they were. This seems to help. They dry the rest of the way on hangers. I can smooth out plackets and such when I hang them. This means I count when I put stuff in the dryer: 1 DH shirt, 1 kid1 shirt, 2 DH shirt, etc. Then I have the appropriate hangers handy.

Socks: you have two possibilities here. 1 is get a zillion pair of identical socks and only wear those. Wash, dump into a drawer. Option 2 is that you have to match up the socks. Then roll them up like sushi rolls and put in your drawer. You will have to spend a little time the first time dumping your sock drawer on your bed and organizing it, but after that it's pretty easy to put socks away, it's easy to see everything you have, and it's fairly obvious if you own some you never wear. (Option 2 is a Marie Kondo variant.)

People who are not me who put clothing into the laundry inside out get their laundry washed, dried, folded and put away inside out. Life is too short for me to have to turn 25+ shirts right side out each week, much less socks! (4 people, 7 days, plus exercise clothes, but I put my stuff in the laundry the right way.) If you leave crap in your pants, woe is you! (We've had some near misses with gum, but no pen incidents ... yet.)

Actually, the best advice I have is "clean together". Dealing with the laundry is less of a burden if you're working with the other people in your house to get everything nice once a week or so.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise on January 04, 2018, 02:36:11 PM
People who are not me who put clothing into the laundry inside out get their laundry washed, dried, folded and put away inside out. Life is too short for me to have to turn 25+ shirts right side out each week, much less socks!

Thank you for this. I am going to start doing that!

Our dryer caught fire for the second time (turns out this model was the subject of a class action lawsuit but we missed the deadline to benefit) so we are going to replace instead of repairing.  We're going to redo the laundry nook a little while we're at it... it's terribly inefficient and a big mess.  Will be mining this thread for suggestions! Some things we are going to build in are:
-platform with storage for baskets/drawers
- fold out drying racks so we can use the dryer less
- bar for hangers (same)
- table for folding laundry/craft projects
- 4-5 storage bins for too-small kid clothes and textile recycling
- Ironing bin
- iron/board
-vertical shelving for electronics (our printer/router live in that room)
- and possibly a small TV so we can lure the kids in there to fold laundry while watching (we haven't owned a TV in their lifetimes)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: jeninco on January 04, 2018, 02:56:12 PM
People who are not me who put clothing into the laundry inside out get their laundry washed, dried, folded and put away inside out. Life is too short for me to have to turn 25+ shirts right side out each week, much less socks!

Thank you for this. I am going to start doing that!

Our dryer caught fire for the second time (turns out this model was the subject of a class action lawsuit but we missed the deadline to benefit) so we are going to replace instead of repairing.  We're going to redo the laundry nook a little while we're at it... it's terribly inefficient and a big mess.  Will be mining this thread for suggestions! Some things we are going to build in are:
-platform with storage for baskets/drawers
- fold out drying racks so we can use the dryer less
- bar for hangers (same)
- table for folding laundry/craft projects
- 4-5 storage bins for too-small kid clothes and textile recycling
- Ironing bin
- iron/board
-vertical shelving for electronics (our printer/router live in that room)
- and possibly a small TV so we can lure the kids in there to fold laundry while watching (we haven't owned a TV in their lifetimes)

Also:
- a high enough shelf to very conveniently hold laundry detergent (and whatever else you use regularly). Place to put the dryer tennis balls (for drying puffy stuff).
- a way to be sure you regularly clear out the too-small clothing, so they don't pile up.
- make sure you can get through when all the drying racks are spread out.
- we also have a couple of cabinets in there that hold school supplies and craft supplies (and desperately need to be cleaned out)
- place to put the laundry baskets
- sink? bucket for pre-soaking things (that fits in the sink, hopefully)?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on January 04, 2018, 03:49:02 PM
People who are not me who put clothing into the laundry inside out get their laundry washed, dried, folded and put away inside out. Life is too short for me to have to turn 25+ shirts right side out each week, much less socks! (4 people, 7 days, plus exercise clothes, but I put my stuff in the laundry the right way.) If you leave crap in your pants, woe is you! (We've had some near misses with gum, but no pen incidents ... yet.)

My mum's rule was that socks that didn't get turned through stayed in the bottom of the washing basket.

I do check pockets though. I don't want to ruin a microSD card or a passport, I don't want bits of delaminated business card all over my clothes, and I don't want to damage my machine by washing coins.


[Edited to fix quote formatting]
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on January 06, 2018, 09:24:07 AM
*snip*
I do check pockets though. I don't want to ruin a microSD card or a passport, I don't want bits of delaminated business card all over my clothes, and I don't want to damage my machine by washing coins.

When I check the pockets of pants, I then zip and button those pants.  First, it keeps the zippers from catching on and destroying other clothing, and second it tells me I've already checked those pants.  We don't have kids, though, so I don't know if this would work for parents.  (My friend's four-year-old daughter doesn't ever unzip or unbutton her pants, which led to her putting her tiny jeans on backwards when she dressed herself for playschool once.)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise on January 08, 2018, 05:15:01 PM
Also:
- a high enough shelf to very conveniently hold laundry detergent (and whatever else you use regularly). Place to put the dryer tennis balls (for drying puffy stuff).
- a way to be sure you regularly clear out the too-small clothing, so they don't pile up.
- make sure you can get through when all the drying racks are spread out.
- we also have a couple of cabinets in there that hold school supplies and craft supplies (and desperately need to be cleaned out)
- place to put the laundry baskets
- sink? bucket for pre-soaking things (that fits in the sink, hopefully)?
Very good point about the presoak bucket!  There's no sink in our laundry room but I definitely want a basin there as the nearest sink is the first floor bathroom, where all the guests go.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: TheWifeHalf on January 08, 2018, 05:58:06 PM
This doesn't add much to the discussion, and I won't be surprised if it's removed:
I don't think my parents realized it, but  I was named after the patron saint of LAUNDRY WORKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That explains my life
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on January 09, 2018, 03:01:24 AM
This doesn't add much to the discussion, and I won't be surprised if it's removed:
I don't think my parents realized it, but  I was named after the patron saint of LAUNDRY WORKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That explains my life

Veronica?

They could have named you Mary for the Magdalene laundries.

@marty998 is named after the patron saint of alcoholics. We have drinks on his feast day. :D
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: marty998 on January 09, 2018, 03:15:12 AM
To whom it may concern....

I am not an alcoholic. I sometimes post shit here when I'm drunk, but that does not imply anything!

Thankyou
Marty

(I'l get you back @mustachepungoeshere hehe)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on January 09, 2018, 03:19:15 AM
To whom it may concern....

I am not an alcoholic. I sometimes post shit here when I'm drunk, but that does not imply anything!

Thankyou
Marty

Yeah, no-one thought you were an alco until you posted that!

Anyway, this is a cleaning thread. Post a tip for sparkling windows or immaculately pressed collars, or be gone with you!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: marty998 on January 09, 2018, 03:24:26 AM
To whom it may concern....

I am not an alcoholic. I sometimes post shit here when I'm drunk, but that does not imply anything!

Thankyou
Marty

Yeah, no-one thought you were an alco until you posted that!

Anyway, this is a cleaning thread. Post a tip for sparkling windows or immaculately pressed collars, or be gone with you!

In the same manner that you posted a tip two posts up?? Oh wait...

;)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: HappierAtHome on January 09, 2018, 03:39:05 AM
For the habits, I've found that it helps me keep the dishes in check (no dishwasher machine) if I do dishes while the kettle is boiling for tea and then as my tea is steeping.  It's just enough time to get a bunch of plates and tableware washed.  Similar little waiting-times might be enough time for you to do one or two shirts, if hanging from wet/the dryer isn't enough.

This is brilliant.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Minnowstache on January 09, 2018, 03:56:52 AM
@shelivesthedream  we buy non-iron cotton shirts from m&s for dh - they may do women’s as well. Either line dry or take out of the dryer warm then hang straight away - i have hardly ever ironed dh’s shirts - he would never do it himself and doesn’t care less what he looks like - but I would prefer him to not look like a homeless tramp
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on January 09, 2018, 04:30:29 AM
@shelivesthedream  we buy non-iron cotton shirts from m&s for dh - they may do women’s as well. Either line dry or take out of the dryer warm then hang straight away - i have hardly ever ironed dh’s shirts - he would never do it himself and doesn’t care less what he looks like - but I would prefer him to not look like a homeless tramp

Since I never started ironing my DHs shirts, he found out decades ago that non-iron shirts are they way to go. We always hang them out on a hanger after coming out of the washing machine. There we stretch them out by hand and let them dry. Works fine.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on January 09, 2018, 05:12:48 AM
@shelivesthedream  we buy non-iron cotton shirts from m&s for dh - they may do women’s as well. Either line dry or take out of the dryer warm then hang straight away - i have hardly ever ironed dh’s shirts - he would never do it himself and doesn’t care less what he looks like - but I would prefer him to not look like a homeless tramp

Women's shirts from M&S are woeful (I remember them being better). This is an ongoing sadness in my life. They are transparent, need ironing if you take them out of the dryer too soon and shrink if you leave them in the dryer too long (if the dryer goes cold they will be both shrunk and creased). Recommendations for alternative shirts are welcomed.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Minnowstache on January 09, 2018, 05:32:03 AM
Maybe something like this?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Red-House-Ladies-Non-Iron-Shirt-RH79-M/dp/B01N0IFHUW/ref=sr_1_10/258-7462425-7072920?ie=UTF8&qid=1515500855&sr=8-10&keywords=non-iron%2Bshirt%2Bwomen&th=1
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise on January 09, 2018, 08:30:15 AM
Question about laundry room: retractable multiple clothesline vs foldout rack? Or one of those racks that look like several horizontal metal rods that swivel around a hinge?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Lews Therin on January 09, 2018, 08:39:59 AM
I have a rack because I can move it outside in the summer, place it over heating/air vents in winter. Just make sure it is a solid one, since it would be wasteful to have it break from the weight of lots of wet clothes!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise on January 11, 2018, 08:16:35 AM
We've been using the standing laundry rack for weeks and it's fine, but we are short of indoor floorspace, so I'd like to find a wall-mounted alternative.

Here are some of the options I'm mulling over (click on Google images)
http://images.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=retractable+clotheslines
http://images.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=foldout+drying+rack
http://images.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=swivelling+towel+rods

The last option is probably good only to dry a few items, whereas sometimes I'd like to dry an entire load indoors.  The retractable lines look the most compact and easiest to install, though it seems like people have issues with flimsy construction and sagging lines.  The fold out wooden racks are sturdiest, but it seems like they would be harder to maneuver around in a cramped space.
http://images.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=laundry+pullout+rack

We would of course be building this ourselves whenever possible.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Lews Therin on January 12, 2018, 11:49:18 AM
I`d use the clothesline, and have some sort of system on each wall allowing you to tighten the line when all the clothes are on it (Could be as simple as a bar that twists along the line to take all the loose away) It would be easier to install, and just as solid as the racks, since you can find metal wire. Then when you are done, you roll it back into place. (Who looks at the corner of the ceiling really?)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: 4alpacas on January 12, 2018, 01:30:24 PM
We've been using the standing laundry rack for weeks and it's fine, but we are short of indoor floorspace, so I'd like to find a wall-mounted alternative.

Here are some of the options I'm mulling over (click on Google images)
http://images.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=retractable+clotheslines
http://images.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=foldout+drying+rack
http://images.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=swivelling+towel+rods

The last option is probably good only to dry a few items, whereas sometimes I'd like to dry an entire load indoors.  The retractable lines look the most compact and easiest to install, though it seems like people have issues with flimsy construction and sagging lines.  The fold out wooden racks are sturdiest, but it seems like they would be harder to maneuver around in a cramped space.
http://images.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=laundry+pullout+rack

We would of course be building this ourselves whenever possible.
We have both.  I have an indoor retractable closeline that I use for light things (undergarmets, dry fit shirts, etc.).  I also have a folding rack that I keep in between my washer and dryer.  I pull it out when I need it, but I keep it folded up most of the time.  Since the rack is taller than my machines, I do use it to hang a few heavier items when it's folded.

This is face-punch worthy, but it helps me a lot.  I buy the disposable Lysol wipes.  I keep a container on my counter, and I wipe down my counters quickly while drinking my evening tea.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Goldielocks on January 14, 2018, 01:42:48 AM
Another alternative:  Use hangers on one of these racks.  You can clip pants or socks to hangers, like on a line.  I have a folding stand rack and I certainly miss not having hangers.  I will install a clothes rod for hangers shortly...

http://www.leevalley.com/en/Wood/page.aspx?p=52553&cat=2,67373&ap=1 (http://www.leevalley.com/en/Wood/page.aspx?p=52553&cat=2,67373&ap=1)

http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=55186&cat=3,67405&ap=1 (http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=55186&cat=3,67405&ap=1)

I use this one outside, and it retracts when we want to use the yard.  Great for sheets that won't fit on the above.
I have had mine for about 10 years now.
https://urbanclotheslines.com/indoor-outdoor-retractable-clothesline-40-foot.html (https://urbanclotheslines.com/indoor-outdoor-retractable-clothesline-40-foot.html)
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: firelight on January 14, 2018, 03:27:31 AM
I might have missed it but why not use the dryer? Other than electricity costs, am I missing something? Growing up, we had to hang laundry and keep an eye on the sun all the time, which was tedious. I still think dryer and dishwasher are one of the best inventions for cutting down on time and effort.

My laundry routine is to throw everything into washer before dinner, have washer finish as we cleanup dinner, switch to dryer and let it go when we go to sleep. I wake up ten minutes earlier to fold everything from the dryer and put it in everyone's closet. We do laundry every three or four days based on when the basket becomes full (2 adults, a toddler and a baby). We don't sort by color since most of our clothing is colorfast and don't iron since we steam right before wearing. I run baby clothes and diapers separately since we cloth diaper. Once baby grows out of diapers, her clothes get added to the family bin.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: former player on January 14, 2018, 03:51:37 AM
I might have missed it but why not use the dryer? Other than electricity costs, am I missing something?
Carbon emissions: your contribution to the warming of the planet.  Unless you are on 100% renewables, of course, but even then there are the manufacturing costs of the dryer.

It's also better for your clothes and linens: tumbling around in the dryer wears them out quicker than hanging on the line.

And another one: if there are artificial fibres, then micro amounts of plastics get washed into the environment, causing pollution and getting into the food chain.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on January 22, 2018, 04:41:13 AM
@shelivesthedream  we buy non-iron cotton shirts from m&s for dh - they may do women’s as well. Either line dry or take out of the dryer warm then hang straight away - i have hardly ever ironed dh’s shirts - he would never do it himself and doesn’t care less what he looks like - but I would prefer him to not look like a homeless tramp

Women's shirts from M&S are woeful (I remember them being better). This is an ongoing sadness in my life. They are transparent, need ironing if you take them out of the dryer too soon and shrink if you leave them in the dryer too long (if the dryer goes cold they will be both shrunk and creased). Recommendations for alternative shirts are welcomed.

I have identified my optimal shirt. It is the standard Oxford from Crew Clothing Co. The fabric is thick enough that you cannot see the outline of my underwear through it! This is a rarity in women's shirts. I have two white ones currently and will be buying more as my other shirts wear out - and even if I wear a white vest underneath, you cannot see the vest zinging through the shirt fabric! They are shaped but not skintight. If you are looking to buy shirts, I would definitely recommend trying one on - you can always send it back. It is by far the best fabric quality I have found in my extensive survey of white women's shirts, and the fit suits me very well.* They do pastel colours and I think stripes, but I wanted just plain white.

Downsides:
- perhaps they are not formal enough for super-formal offices.
- I imagine very tall people would find the sleeves too short.
- They have a line of blue bias binding down the side of the placket the buttons are sewn onto (the one that ends up underneath) which has shrunk fractionally compared to the placket it is sewn onto. Honestly, I am sure that most people would not even notice, let alone care, but it minorly bothers me because they could just not have that binding.
- you have to iron them. They do iron up nicely, though!

*such pregnancy sadness: the buttons are now straining over my bump so I will have to wait til May to wear them again. They are the item of clothing I will miss most.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MrsDinero on January 22, 2018, 07:49:24 AM
Not sure if this has been mentioned before, but I just stumbled upon a crazy way to keep the dishes from piling up.  Having everyone who uses a dish, immediately wash, DRY, AND put it away!  This has been a total game changer for us. We used to let a few dishes pile up, then wash and put them in the drain board.  It was good for keeping the sink cleared but I realized no one likes putting away their dishes!  The drain board would get so overloaded that kitchen towels would appear on the countertops with drying dishes on top. 

Not anymore.  Mrs. D put her foot down.  Take a dish, use it, wash it, dry it, put it away.  Problem solved.  So far.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Rural on January 22, 2018, 12:07:14 PM
Not sure if this has been mentioned before, but I just stumbled upon a crazy way to keep the dishes from piling up.  Having everyone who uses a dish, immediately wash, DRY, AND put it away!  This has been a total game changer for us. We used to let a few dishes pile up, then wash and put them in the drain board.  It was good for keeping the sink cleared but I realized no one likes putting away their dishes!  The drain board would get so overloaded that kitchen towels would appear on the countertops with drying dishes on top. 

Not anymore.  Mrs. D put her foot down.  Take a dish, use it, wash it, dry it, put it away.  Problem solved.  So far.


You can maintain this if you are willing to take the dirty dish of any offender and insert it inside their pillowcase in such a way that it won't be obvious until they lie down. Just saying.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on January 22, 2018, 07:17:50 PM
*snip*
I have identified my optimal shirt. It is the standard Oxford from Crew Clothing Co. The fabric is thick enough that you cannot see the outline of my underwear through it! This is a rarity in women's shirts. I have two white ones currently and will be buying more as my other shirts wear out - and even if I wear a white vest underneath, you cannot see the vest zinging through the shirt fabric! They are shaped but not skintight. If you are looking to buy shirts, I would definitely recommend trying one on - you can always send it back. It is by far the best fabric quality I have found in my extensive survey of white women's shirts, and the fit suits me very well.* They do pastel colours and I think stripes, but I wanted just plain white.
*snip*

This US-UK difference is new to me.  :)   In the US, I've only ever heard "vest" used to describe a sort of sleeveless jacket/coat, such as might be part of a three-piece suit or a light-weight cold-weather top layer, never an undergarment.  A UK vest I would call a tank top or camisole.

But that sounds like a great line of shirts!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: former player on January 22, 2018, 08:40:04 PM

This US-UK difference is new to me.  :)   In the US, I've only ever heard "vest" used to describe a sort of sleeveless jacket/coat, such as might be part of a three-piece suit or a light-weight cold-weather top layer, never an undergarment.  A UK vest I would call a tank top or camisole.

Your vest is our waistcoat.  Perhaps Americans prefer "vest" because they no longer have waists?  [/jk]
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: With This Herring on January 22, 2018, 10:21:52 PM

This US-UK difference is new to me.  :)   In the US, I've only ever heard "vest" used to describe a sort of sleeveless jacket/coat, such as might be part of a three-piece suit or a light-weight cold-weather top layer, never an undergarment.  A UK vest I would call a tank top or camisole.

Your vest is our waistcoat.  Perhaps Americans prefer "vest" because they no longer have waists?  [/jk]

I would have called it a waistcoat, but I didn't know if the UK used that term, haha.  And, I didn't want to rule out puffy cold weather vests that we do not call waistcoats.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on January 23, 2018, 12:59:08 AM
*snip*
I have identified my optimal shirt. It is the standard Oxford from Crew Clothing Co. The fabric is thick enough that you cannot see the outline of my underwear through it! This is a rarity in women's shirts. I have two white ones currently and will be buying more as my other shirts wear out - and even if I wear a white vest underneath, you cannot see the vest zinging through the shirt fabric! They are shaped but not skintight. If you are looking to buy shirts, I would definitely recommend trying one on - you can always send it back. It is by far the best fabric quality I have found in my extensive survey of white women's shirts, and the fit suits me very well.* They do pastel colours and I think stripes, but I wanted just plain white.
*snip*

This US-UK difference is new to me.  :)   In the US, I've only ever heard "vest" used to describe a sort of sleeveless jacket/coat, such as might be part of a three-piece suit or a light-weight cold-weather top layer, never an undergarment.  A UK vest I would call a tank top or camisole.

But that sounds like a great line of shirts!

A camisole is a vest that is slightly fancy and decent enough to be seen. Maybe silk or a colour or with a bit of lace.

Depending on your age, a tank top is either a sporty vest worn by teenagers as a top, or a knitted sleeveless jumper.

A vest comes in white, black or beige and you buy them in packs of five from M&S and wear them exclusively to keep warm. It's the kind of thing you'd sneak off to quietly remove from underneath if you thought an early date night go really well, but by the time you're married it's more like, "Honey, what's that stain on your vest? Oh well, it's still functional. Now, will you fill up the hot water bottles or shall I?"
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on January 23, 2018, 02:03:55 AM
In the US, I've only ever heard "vest" used to describe a sort of sleeveless jacket/coat...

See my vest, see my vest,
Made from real gorilla chest...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyWVaZsUQjc
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on January 23, 2018, 04:57:23 AM
*snip*
I have identified my optimal shirt. It is the standard Oxford from Crew Clothing Co. The fabric is thick enough that you cannot see the outline of my underwear through it! This is a rarity in women's shirts. I have two white ones currently and will be buying more as my other shirts wear out - and even if I wear a white vest underneath, you cannot see the vest zinging through the shirt fabric! They are shaped but not skintight. If you are looking to buy shirts, I would definitely recommend trying one on - you can always send it back. It is by far the best fabric quality I have found in my extensive survey of white women's shirts, and the fit suits me very well.* They do pastel colours and I think stripes, but I wanted just plain white.
*snip*

This US-UK difference is new to me.  :)   In the US, I've only ever heard "vest" used to describe a sort of sleeveless jacket/coat, such as might be part of a three-piece suit or a light-weight cold-weather top layer, never an undergarment.  A UK vest I would call a tank top or camisole.

But that sounds like a great line of shirts!

A camisole is a vest that is slightly fancy and decent enough to be seen. Maybe silk or a colour or with a bit of lace.

Depending on your age, a tank top is either a sporty vest worn by teenagers as a top, or a knitted sleeveless jumper.

A vest comes in white, black or beige and you buy them in packs of five from M&S and wear them exclusively to keep warm. It's the kind of thing you'd sneak off to quietly remove from underneath if you thought an early date night go really well, but by the time you're married it's more like, "Honey, what's that stain on your vest? Oh well, it's still functional. Now, will you fill up the hot water bottles or shall I?"

I bask in the glow of this wisdom.

And I wipe coffee off my keyboard in the glow of this humour.

The shirts are on a 2 for £80 offer now.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on January 23, 2018, 03:19:55 PM
*snip*
I have identified my optimal shirt. It is the standard Oxford from Crew Clothing Co. The fabric is thick enough that you cannot see the outline of my underwear through it! This is a rarity in women's shirts. I have two white ones currently and will be buying more as my other shirts wear out - and even if I wear a white vest underneath, you cannot see the vest zinging through the shirt fabric! They are shaped but not skintight. If you are looking to buy shirts, I would definitely recommend trying one on - you can always send it back. It is by far the best fabric quality I have found in my extensive survey of white women's shirts, and the fit suits me very well.* They do pastel colours and I think stripes, but I wanted just plain white.
*snip*

This US-UK difference is new to me.  :)   In the US, I've only ever heard "vest" used to describe a sort of sleeveless jacket/coat, such as might be part of a three-piece suit or a light-weight cold-weather top layer, never an undergarment.  A UK vest I would call a tank top or camisole.

But that sounds like a great line of shirts!

A camisole is a vest that is slightly fancy and decent enough to be seen. Maybe silk or a colour or with a bit of lace.

Depending on your age, a tank top is either a sporty vest worn by teenagers as a top, or a knitted sleeveless jumper.

A vest comes in white, black or beige and you buy them in packs of five from M&S and wear them exclusively to keep warm. It's the kind of thing you'd sneak off to quietly remove from underneath if you thought an early date night go really well, but by the time you're married it's more like, "Honey, what's that stain on your vest? Oh well, it's still functional. Now, will you fill up the hot water bottles or shall I?"

I bask in the glow of this wisdom.

And I wipe coffee off my keyboard in the glow of this humour.

The shirts are on a 2 for £80 offer now.

I should totally write adverts for M&S. Majoring on vests, granny pants and long socks - let's be honest, that's their core product line.

The shirts come round on that offer regularly every four to six months. I'm just waiting for a few old ones to die and also to not be pregnant any more.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Fresh Bread on January 23, 2018, 03:39:04 PM
Here's a question to get, cough, back on topic...

I was looking for a 2nd hand robot vacuum a while ago to help with pet hair and asked about it here. The dog is now deceased :( :( :(  I could vacuum once a fortnight now and that could be enough, but I just can't be arsed cleaning is what it comes down to.

My question is - do non-pet owners that own one think it's worth it? A cheap no-brand one is available for $35 or a possibly better one for $100.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on January 24, 2018, 06:13:18 AM
Here's a question to get, cough, back on topic...

I was looking for a 2nd hand robot vacuum a while ago to help with pet hair and asked about it here. The dog is now deceased :( :( :(  I could vacuum once a fortnight now and that could be enough, but I just can't be arsed cleaning is what it comes down to.

My question is - do non-pet owners that own one think it's worth it? A cheap no-brand one is available for $35 or a possibly better one for $100.

One of my colleagues has 2 children and no pets. She loves her good quality robot vac, bought on sale for 1/2 the price. One of my other colleagues without a dog and without children loves his robot as well.

Do you have carpet? Then you might not see the dust so well. But it probably still there. We (2 adults without pets) have a wooden floor and a week after cleaning it is usually looking quite dusty and I feel the need to clean it.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: jengod on January 30, 2018, 10:39:03 PM
PTF


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Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: 4alpacas on January 31, 2018, 09:17:53 AM
Here's a question to get, cough, back on topic...

I was looking for a 2nd hand robot vacuum a while ago to help with pet hair and asked about it here. The dog is now deceased :( :( :(  I could vacuum once a fortnight now and that could be enough, but I just can't be arsed cleaning is what it comes down to.

My question is - do non-pet owners that own one think it's worth it? A cheap no-brand one is available for $35 or a possibly better one for $100.

One of my colleagues has 2 children and no pets. She loves her good quality robot vac, bought on sale for 1/2 the price. One of my other colleagues without a dog and without children loves his robot as well.

Do you have carpet? Then you might not see the dust so well. But it probably still there. We (2 adults without pets) have a wooden floor and a week after cleaning it is usually looking quite dusty and I feel the need to clean it.
I used to have a basic Roomba, and I loved it.  My place was small, so I would start it every day when I would leave for my run.  It rarely made it back on the charger, so I would spend a few minutes looking for it.  However, I didn't vacuum at all (didn't own one), and my place was fine. 

With a bit bigger place, I don't think my value model would have been helpful.  I don't know the battery life of the newer, expensive models.  I did a lot of repairs on it--brush replacements (buy on eBay), replaced a sensor (bought on a site that specializes in iRobot parts and soldered it on myself), and general cleaning.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: jengod on February 02, 2018, 08:46:35 PM
If you can afford it, get high-quality  allergy dustcovers on your mattresses and pillows.

In addition to keeping everything cleaner longer, and blocking dust mites, they are also useful for precluding fleas and bedbugs.


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Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on August 30, 2018, 08:10:42 AM
Posting this here to keep it all together...

If you could recommend one book (or other substantial, organised resource) on cleaning routines and efficiency, what would it be? I know "Speed Cleaning" has been mentioned a few times but I'd be interested to know if there are any other candidates.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: krmit on August 30, 2018, 12:04:10 PM
@shelivesthedream I'm a fan of the Unf*ck Your Habitat book. Simple , contemporary, and customizable.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: beekeeper on August 30, 2018, 02:35:45 PM
2. Sort laundry (dont fold)

Can you please explain how this works? I hate folding laundry.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: NotCreativeName on February 15, 2021, 03:32:41 PM
I love this thread - so many new-to-me ideas.  And I've ordered the Speed Cleaning book that many recommended.  I am bumping this post to see if anyone else has ideas or is just interested in reading.

The 2 big take-aways for me were 1. Dusting in the bathroom before cleaning.  It's really made the overall process go much quicker.  2. Multiple microfiber cloths and dumping dirty ones in a bucket rather than rinsing over and over.  Another big time-saver.

Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: lazycow on February 15, 2021, 03:52:14 PM
Not sure if this was a tip I read in this thread years ago but it bears repeating (at least I think so!) When wiping a countertop/kitchen cupboard/other surface, do it in a back and forth swirly S-shaped motion so you are not going back over the same area and spreading grime/dirt. I used to wipe in a circular motion and wonder why things never looked clean. Duh, slow learner.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: NotCreativeName on February 15, 2021, 08:06:48 PM
There are a few things that we incorporated into our kitchen remodel a few years ago that I am so glad we have as they function so well. 

1.  Recessed tile shelf above stovetop for frequently used spices.
2.  Tall, narrow built in spice cabinet - fit in-between studs.  It has like 8 shelves and all my spices are so easy to find.
3.  Flip out panel under sink (all my previous homes it was just a solid panel) that I store scrubbier, sponges, etc. 

I am much more excited about function than decor.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Fresh Bread on February 15, 2021, 10:33:48 PM
Posting this here to keep it all together...

If you could recommend one book (or other substantial, organised resource) on cleaning routines and efficiency, what would it be? I know "Speed Cleaning" has been mentioned a few times but I'd be interested to know if there are any other candidates.

I recently read "How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind" by Dana K. White and found it v useful.

There's a couple of things that don't work - eg she assumes you have a dryer - but overall v helpful.

I've adopted her "five-minute pick up" and having one cleaning/household task a day. I spend no more than 15 mins a day on the daily thing.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise on February 23, 2021, 10:17:09 PM
There are a few things that we incorporated into our kitchen remodel a few years ago that I am so glad we have as they function so well. 

1.  Recessed tile shelf above stovetop for frequently used spices.
2.  Tall, narrow built in spice cabinet - fit in-between studs.  It has like 8 shelves and all my spices are so easy to find.
3.  Flip out panel under sink (all my previous homes it was just a solid panel) that I store scrubbier, sponges, etc. 

I am much more excited about function than decor.

Thank you for this!  I am planning a kitchen reno and these are exactly the kind of things I wanted to know. I long for a shelf over the stovetop, but have been worried that shelf and items would get coated with grease. Also, spice storage is a big question mark for me, as I cook from many traditions and thus have hundreds of spices.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise on February 23, 2021, 10:21:12 PM
I don't know if this is too fussy, but when I put dirty silverware in the dishwasher, I sort it at that time, i.e. put dirty spoons next to dirty spoons, etc.  Then when I put the clean silverware away, I can grab all the forks with one motion, all the spoons, etc. Helps to have a silverware drawer in the dishwasher if you are worried about the spoons spooning. 

Even though I am the only person in the entire family who does this, it still speeds up the process of emptying the dishwasher (possibly because I am also the person who does the most dishwashing...)

Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on February 24, 2021, 01:47:22 AM
I don't know if this is too fussy, but when I put dirty silverware in the dishwasher, I sort it at that time, i.e. put dirty spoons next to dirty spoons, etc.  Then when I put the clean silverware away, I can grab all the forks with one motion, all the spoons, etc. Helps to have a silverware drawer in the dishwasher if you are worried about the spoons spooning. 

Even though I am the only person in the entire family who does this, it still speeds up the process of emptying the dishwasher (possibly because I am also the person who does the most dishwashing...)

Sounds indeed like time saving when sorting out. But don't you use additional time putting the stuff in the dishwasher?
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: lazycow on February 24, 2021, 02:27:24 AM
I don't know if this is too fussy, but when I put dirty silverware in the dishwasher, I sort it at that time, i.e. put dirty spoons next to dirty spoons, etc.  Then when I put the clean silverware away, I can grab all the forks with one motion, all the spoons, etc. Helps to have a silverware drawer in the dishwasher if you are worried about the spoons spooning. 

Even though I am the only person in the entire family who does this, it still speeds up the process of emptying the dishwasher (possibly because I am also the person who does the most dishwashing...)

Sounds indeed like time saving when sorting out. But don't you use additional time putting the stuff in the dishwasher?

I do this too, and it is most satisfying lining up all the cutlery, so I don't mind the extra few seconds it takes!

My latest revelation regarding house maintenance is to ruthlessly declutter the bathroom/s. Only the stuff that is used on a daily basis can remain on the counter (when we renovate I will insist on overhead mirrored cabinets for storage), and weekly stuff can live in the drawers under the sink. All medicines, etc in a box  in a different room (due to bathroom humidity), extra toilet paper in the adjacent laundry. Now I even have room to store the towels *in* the bathroom as we don't have any linen cupboards. I made the teens get ruthless with their hair and body products so no more multiples of partly-used bottles cluttering up the space. I have started using them all up myself, and won't have to buy toiletries for at least a year.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise on February 24, 2021, 11:35:02 AM
I don't know if this is too fussy, but when I put dirty silverware in the dishwasher, I sort it at that time, i.e. put dirty spoons next to dirty spoons, etc.  Then when I put the clean silverware away, I can grab all the forks with one motion, all the spoons, etc. Helps to have a silverware drawer in the dishwasher if you are worried about the spoons spooning. 

Even though I am the only person in the entire family who does this, it still speeds up the process of emptying the dishwasher (possibly because I am also the person who does the most dishwashing...)

Sounds indeed like time saving when sorting out. But don't you use additional time putting the stuff in the dishwasher?

Not quite as much time as is saved, I feel. One already has the single utensil in one's hand, so you just make the split second decision to put it next to another one of the same type.  Then when putting away, a single motion to pick a bunch up.  Whereas the other way, you have multiple motions dropping in the utensils anyway/multiple motions sorting them.  I could see this being a different calculation for people who load the dishwasher a sink at a time, rather than having individuals drop the items in one by one. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: NotCreativeName on February 24, 2021, 12:42:46 PM
There are a few things that we incorporated into our kitchen remodel a few years ago that I am so glad we have as they function so well. 

1.  Recessed tile shelf above stovetop for frequently used spices.
2.  Tall, narrow built in spice cabinet - fit in-between studs.  It has like 8 shelves and all my spices are so easy to find.
3.  Flip out panel under sink (all my previous homes it was just a solid panel) that I store scrubbier, sponges, etc. 

I am much more excited about function than decor.

Thank you for this!  I am planning a kitchen reno and these are exactly the kind of things I wanted to know. I long for a shelf over the stovetop, but have been worried that shelf and items would get coated with grease. Also, spice storage is a big question mark for me, as I cook from many traditions and thus have hundreds of spices.

I just counted and I have 53 spices in the tall narrow cabinet and another 8 on the stovetop shelf.  The ones above the stove do not get greasy at all.  They are frequently used and I wipe down maybe once a month?  I will try to attach pictures, but haven't done it before.

ETA: don't know how to get them straight.  But if you click on the file name it shows correctly.

Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: GuitarStv on February 24, 2021, 01:55:36 PM
We put all our spice jars in a pull out drawer and then put masking tape on top of each jar labelling it so you can immediately see what you need.  And then organize them alphabetically.  :P
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: shelivesthedream on February 24, 2021, 01:57:54 PM
I would just like to say how totally thrilled I am to see this thread resurrected. It has greatly improved my life since its inception, especially when we moved house and had the opportunity to organise things sensible from the start.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: keepingfocus on February 24, 2021, 02:17:29 PM
This is a little excessive but scores tidy points - we have a robovac that didn't have a sensible home for a long time, until OH had the idea to relocate the power supply under the kitchen cabinets and hinge a section of baseboard (it works like a human operated pet door) so that it could be stored out of sight.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: chaskavitch on February 24, 2021, 02:52:00 PM
This is a little excessive but scores tidy points - we have a robovac that didn't have a sensible home for a long time, until OH had the idea to relocate the power supply under the kitchen cabinets and hinge a section of baseboard (it works like a human operated pet door) so that it could be stored out of sight.

We did the same sort of thing - our vacuum docks under a cupboard in our living room that houses our DVD player and stuff, but doesn't have a front board on the bottom.  It's nice to  have a spot with adequate space where no one will step on it, but that's shallow enough for us to reach it easily for emptying and cleaning.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: NotCreativeName on February 24, 2021, 03:01:28 PM
I thought of another thing we did when we remodeled our bathroom.  We put an angled cabinet on the end of the vanity and cut a hole in the floor so we have a clothes chute.  It's very handy and the basket in the basement is right next to the stairs and the washer. 

Here's the pics - will probably be sideways again but if you click on the link you can see it rotated correctly.

Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: CNM on February 24, 2021, 03:02:27 PM
On the topic of spice storing, I have a very small kitchen and cabinet space is at a premium.  My fridge is within arm's length of the stove, so I store the majority of my spices in magnetic metal jars.  They live on the side of the fridge.  Easy and convenient!

Here's a link to what I'm talking about:
https://www.amazon.com/12-Tins-Talented-Containers-Refrigerator/dp/B01FY69CPS
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: jeninco on February 24, 2021, 04:11:05 PM
We have 42 spice-jar-sized jars in a wide, shallow drawer, leaning on adjustable curtain rods so they're up at an angle and it's easy to read the labels. Other spices (in particular, really large jars) are elsewhere, but the perhaps 28 inch wide drawer holds the majority of what we use.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Kris on February 24, 2021, 06:16:34 PM
I would just like to say how totally thrilled I am to see this thread resurrected. It has greatly improved my life since its inception, especially when we moved house and had the opportunity to organise things sensible from the start.

I am seeing this thread for the first time thanks to the bump, and it comes at an ideal time as I am doing a major decluttering/optimization of our house. Read through the entire thing and have marked to notify of new posts.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: BlueHouse on February 24, 2021, 07:19:17 PM
I don't know if this is too fussy, but when I put dirty silverware in the dishwasher, I sort it at that time, i.e. put dirty spoons next to dirty spoons, etc.  Then when I put the clean silverware away, I can grab all the forks with one motion, all the spoons, etc. Helps to have a silverware drawer in the dishwasher if you are worried about the spoons spooning. 

Even though I am the only person in the entire family who does this, it still speeds up the process of emptying the dishwasher (possibly because I am also the person who does the most dishwashing...)

I used to do this, until my mom pointed out that the silverware can all "spoon" each other, making it harder for water and soap to get in and do its job.  Ever since, I purposely try to put unlike silverware together in each cubby. 
Sounds indeed like time saving when sorting out. But don't you use additional time putting the stuff in the dishwasher?

Not quite as much time as is saved, I feel. One already has the single utensil in one's hand, so you just make the split second decision to put it next to another one of the same type.  Then when putting away, a single motion to pick a bunch up.  Whereas the other way, you have multiple motions dropping in the utensils anyway/multiple motions sorting them.  I could see this being a different calculation for people who load the dishwasher a sink at a time, rather than having individuals drop the items in one by one.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Poundwise on February 24, 2021, 09:06:33 PM
Yes, that's why I am now glad to have a pull-out drawer for silverware rather than a basket (I scored a two year old Bosch dishwasher from the curb this year!) Our silverware is so motley that spooning was not such a big issue when we did have a basket.

@NotCreativeName, thank you so much for the photos!  I think we'll try the inset over-stove shelf when we do our kitchen plans. I'm quite jealous of the laundry chute too... considered one for a long time before reluctantly deciding that it would be misused by kids. As for spices, your cabinet is a great way to use a narrow, shallow space. I've been jonesing for a roll out rack like the following but we'll have to see what the layout allows us to do.
https://www.custommade.com/pull-out-spice-rack-cabinet/by/noblebrothers/

@keepingfocus  Having a hidden dock under cabinets for the robovacuum is another brilliant touch. 
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on February 25, 2021, 01:14:22 AM
We put all our spice jars in a pull out drawer and then put masking tape on top of each jar labelling it so you can immediately see what you need.  And then organize them alphabetically.  :P

In our previous house we also had a large drawer under the extra large stovetop. I had the spices and herbs laying down in the drawer alphabetically, with the challenge that I have 3 different languages on the pots. And Inhad an extra smaller drawer beside it for stock cubes and medium big jars. And a big drawer beneath it for large spice bags.

In our current (rental) house, we have a normal size drawer for spices. But our Ikea pot holders exactly don't fit in the drawer in the logical direction, so I have put them in the opposite direction. That means they move backwards each time the drawer is smelled close hard. So I try to close it carefully, but have no control of what DH does and sometimes do wrong myself. I don't want to cut them off, because this house is temporary and maybe they will fit as they are in the next house.
Not the whole alphabeth fits in that small drawer, only up to the "P", so the rest is in a cupboard where I always use quite a lot of time to find stuff. There is also a small and narrow vertical cupboard with 4 shelfs, where I keep salt and maizena etc.

I am so looking foreward to living in a more definitive house again.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Malcat on February 25, 2021, 09:24:44 AM
On the topic of spice storing, I have a very small kitchen and cabinet space is at a premium.  My fridge is within arm's length of the stove, so I store the majority of my spices in magnetic metal jars.  They live on the side of the fridge.  Easy and convenient!

Here's a link to what I'm talking about:
https://www.amazon.com/12-Tins-Talented-Containers-Refrigerator/dp/B01FY69CPS

I *just* did this and I love it so much. I also like that it's easy to see the level of spice left in the jar. I have a designated spot underneath labeled "refill" where all of the containers that are low get relocated until they're refilled.

My trick for keeping my home extremely tidy is to organize by frequency of use and not by type of item. So I won't keep all of the spatulas together, I'll keep the spatula I use most by the stove. I don't keep all of my measuring spoons together, I use the tablespoon and teaspoon the most, so I have a bunch of 1 tsp and 1 tbsp measuring spoons in a spot that's most accessible.

I've described in another thread how I don't keep all of my pants in the same spot. In one drawer I will have all of the tops and bottoms that I'll wear in a particular context. So every drawer has tops and bottoms.

Advil is kept in the bathroom medicine cabinet, but all other less frequently used medications are in the linen closet, also organized by frequency of use. So the painkillers aren't kept together.

Likewise, I'll keep multiples of things around the house if they're used frequently instead of having one spot where they're supposed to be put away. For example, I have little bins with hand cream and lip balm all over the house. Anywhere you might sit has a designated spot for these moisturizers within arm's reach.
Likewise, certain sweaters are kept in the living room in a bin beside the sofa.

Cleaning supplies are also kept wherever they might be needed so that they're easy to grab the moment I see something that needs cleaning.

Basically, anything and everything that's used frequently is easily reachable and therefore easy to put away. Objects are organized in terms of how frequently they will be retrieved and redeposited, not according to their similarity to each other.

Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on February 25, 2021, 10:55:51 AM
On the topic of spice storing, I have a very small kitchen and cabinet space is at a premium.  My fridge is within arm's length of the stove, so I store the majority of my spices in magnetic metal jars.  They live on the side of the fridge.  Easy and convenient!

Here's a link to what I'm talking about:
https://www.amazon.com/12-Tins-Talented-Containers-Refrigerator/dp/B01FY69CPS

I googled this and found some pictures of what it looks like. Very tidy and easy to see what is inside.

While googling, I also found photos of a fridge-sized rack on wheels that fits between the fridge and the wall/cupboard where people store all their spices in. The whole rack could be pulled out. Could be practical if it didn't stand in the way, while still near the stove.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: NotCreativeName on February 25, 2021, 03:07:57 PM
While doing some cooking today I thought of 2 other things we did in kitchen design that function really well.

1.  I mentioned this earlier, but below is a picture of the tilt out panel under the sink.  It holds sponge, stoppers, scrubbie, etc.

2.  We also pulled the under sink cabinet out 3 inches.  This gives a little visual interest and there's more space behind the faucet where I keep the dishsoap, maybe flowers, or plants clippings that I'm trying to root.

ETA: don't know why the pics are rotated correctly, but yay.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: lazycow on February 25, 2021, 07:25:49 PM
On the topic of kitchen organisation, I absolutely love my magnetic strip (Ikea) which holds our knives, kitchen scissors and tongs. It is right next to the stove and replaced the big, bulky, ugly wooden knife block. Wish I'd done it years ago. We also have a strip with hooks (again, Ikea) which holds almost all our implements like microplane grater, soup ladle, metal strainers, basically anything with a hole that can hang on a hook.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: MaybeBabyMustache on February 25, 2021, 08:15:53 PM
Something that changed my clothing life... I roll my clothes. We have a dresser with deep drawers. I roll all of my workout clothes (pants of varying length, sports bras, tank tops, short sleeved/long sleeved workout tops), and it's been game changing. I also roll my tshirts & casual long sleeve shirts. It doesn't take up closet space, but also doesn't leave wrinkles from folding.

I also stack my bras on top of each other, arranged by the frequency with which I wear them. They used to be crammed into the back of a drawer & get wadded up. Now, they are stacked on each other, and help maintain their shape really well.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on February 26, 2021, 01:37:27 AM
On the topic of kitchen organisation, I absolutely love my magnetic strip (Ikea) which holds our knives, kitchen scissors and tongs. It is right next to the stove and replaced the big, bulky, ugly wooden knife block. Wish I'd done it years ago. We also have a strip with hooks (again, Ikea) which holds almost all our implements like microplane grater, soup ladle, metal strainers, basically anything with a hole that can hang on a hook.

Ikea usually also has open boxes that can hang in the rack, where you can store stuff without a hole. We used to have a plastic box where we kept the kitchen sponge and the nail brush in it. Again, in our previous 2 houses. In our current rental we only invested in a magnetic knife bar.

In our current house where we don't have much cupboard and drawer space I use to cylinder-shaped metal crates that stand on the counter. One for the washing brush and soap, and one for spatulas. I would prefer to have the latter in a drawer. For cleaning, you can at least lift up the crate.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: totoro on February 26, 2021, 10:19:58 AM
We do this with the spices.  Need a second drawer now though.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: FLBiker on February 26, 2021, 10:36:28 AM
We put all our spice jars in a pull out drawer and then put masking tape on top of each jar labelling it so you can immediately see what you need.  And then organize them alphabetically.  :P
I need to do this!  DW does the vast majority of the cooking, and whenever I'm looking for a spice I have to pull out half of them.  Sounds like a great project for this weekend!
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: GuitarStv on February 26, 2021, 11:58:23 AM
We put all our spice jars in a pull out drawer and then put masking tape on top of each jar labelling it so you can immediately see what you need.  And then organize them alphabetically.  :P
I need to do this!  DW does the vast majority of the cooking, and whenever I'm looking for a spice I have to pull out half of them.  Sounds like a great project for this weekend!

It's a huge time saver!  Dunno what we were doing before this, but it wasn't as good.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Linea_Norway on February 27, 2021, 04:35:26 AM
We put all our spice jars in a pull out drawer and then put masking tape on top of each jar labelling it so you can immediately see what you need.  And then organize them alphabetically.  :P
I need to do this!  DW does the vast majority of the cooking, and whenever I'm looking for a spice I have to pull out half of them.  Sounds like a great project for this weekend!

It's a huge time saver!  Dunno what we were doing before this, but it wasn't as good.

In the beginning, I divided between green herbs and coloured spices. But after collecting lots and lots of spices, as well as quite a few herbs, I had to implement the alphabeth method, which works much better.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: halftimer on March 04, 2021, 11:17:30 PM
My trick for keeping my home extremely tidy is to organize by frequency of use and not by type of item...I've described in another thread how I don't keep all of my pants in the same spot. In one drawer I will have all of the tops and bottoms that I'll wear in a particular context. So every drawer has tops and bottoms...Likewise, I'll keep multiples of things around the house if they're used frequently instead of having one spot where they're supposed to be put away. For example, I have little bins with hand cream and lip balm all over the house. Anywhere you might sit has a designated spot for these moisturizers within arm's reach.
Likewise, certain sweaters are kept in the living room in a bin beside the sofa.

Cleaning supplies are also kept wherever they might be needed so that they're easy to grab the moment I see something that needs cleaning.

@Malcat This is exactly what I do, and it works great. Small cleaning caddy under each sink (bathroom/kitchen) so I can wipe something if I'm there at the moment. Lotion and lip balm in an easy container near my favorite places to sit. And my zoom-meeting-ready sweater lives near the other meeting supplies.

I like to have a designated space for repair items and extras too. As in, fabric for patching or cleaning cloths (from old clothes) fits in this small space or it goes to textile recycling or gets stuffed into a cushion. Only 1 shelf and one drawer for extra toilet paper, personal care items, and random gifts. If it won't fit, I won't buy it. If we are given extras we will pass them on to those in need instead of storing them indefinitely.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: jeninco on March 05, 2021, 08:15:41 PM
We put all our spice jars in a pull out drawer and then put masking tape on top of each jar labelling it so you can immediately see what you need.  And then organize them alphabetically.  :P
I need to do this!  DW does the vast majority of the cooking, and whenever I'm looking for a spice I have to pull out half of them.  Sounds like a great project for this weekend!

A visiting teenager once pulled open our (alphabetized) spice drawer and stared at it in open-mouthed amazement. A few weeks later he brought a gift: a bottle of spices with a note on it that said "Alphebetize under "W" for "What the heck are you going to do with this?""

(It was star anise -- I used it to infuse some sugar and made sugar cookies, for starters.)

It's a huge time saver!  Dunno what we were doing before this, but it wasn't as good.

In the beginning, I divided between green herbs and coloured spices. But after collecting lots and lots of spices, as well as quite a few herbs, I had to implement the alphabeth method, which works much better.
Title: Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
Post by: Malcat on March 05, 2021, 08:20:18 PM
We put all our spice jars in a pull out drawer and then put masking tape on top of each jar labelling it so you can immediately see what you need.  And then organize them alphabetically.  :P
I need to do this!  DW does the vast majority of the cooking, and whenever I'm looking for a spice I have to pull out half of them.  Sounds like a great project for this weekend!

A visiting teenager once pulled open our (alphabetized) spice drawer and stared at it in open-mouthed amazement. A few weeks later he brought a gift: a bottle of spices with a note on it that said "Alphebetize under "W" for "What the heck are you going to do with this?""

(It was star anise -- I used it to infuse some sugar and made sugar cookies, for starters.)

It's a huge time saver!  Dunno what we were doing before this, but it wasn't as good.

In the beginning, I divided between green herbs and coloured spices. But after collecting lots and lots of spices, as well as quite a few herbs, I had to implement the alphabeth method, which works much better.

I initially had mine organized by frequency of use, with the most common ones on a large spice rack on the counter and the others in drawers grouped by use type, but now that I have them all in one highly visible spot on the fridge, alphabetical is the best way to go.