Author Topic: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain  (Read 146433 times)

lazycow

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #600 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.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2021, 05:49:17 PM by lazycow »

NotCreativeName

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #601 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.

Fresh Bread

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #602 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.

Poundwise

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #603 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.

Poundwise

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #604 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...)


Linea_Norway

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #605 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?

lazycow

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #606 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.

Poundwise

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #607 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. 

NotCreativeName

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #608 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.

« Last Edit: February 24, 2021, 12:44:39 PM by NotCreativeName »

GuitarStv

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #609 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

shelivesthedream

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #610 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.

keepingfocus

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #611 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.

chaskavitch

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #612 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.

NotCreativeName

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #613 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.


CNM

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #614 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

jeninco

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #615 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.

Kris

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #616 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.

BlueHouse

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #617 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.

Poundwise

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #618 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. 

Linea_Norway

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #619 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.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2021, 04:32:51 AM by Linea_Norway »

Malcat

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #620 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.


Linea_Norway

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #621 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.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2021, 01:43:06 AM by Linea_Norway »

NotCreativeName

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #622 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.

lazycow

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #623 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.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #624 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.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #625 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.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2021, 01:40:35 AM by Linea_Norway »

totoro

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #626 on: February 26, 2021, 10:19:58 AM »
We do this with the spices.  Need a second drawer now though.

FLBiker

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #627 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!

GuitarStv

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #628 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.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #629 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.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 12:35:27 AM by Linea_Norway »

halftimer

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #630 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.

jeninco

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #631 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.

Malcat

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Re: Advice for making your home interior easier to clean and maintain
« Reply #632 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.