Helpful hints from Jenne’s file.
Think of your appliances as your servants and put them to work every morning. Whether you work or not, there’s no reason not to let the efficiency of your servants work for you. Get a load of laundry in the washer, start the dishwasher, get dinner going in the crock-pot– if you have a bread machine, why not dust that off and use it to make fresh bread? Put your freezer to work, too, with Once a Month Cooking. This will help give you more time in the day.
Make your bed every day. You’ll be surprised how quickly that brightens and neatens a room!
When you’re cleaning, open all the curtains and shades and get as much sunlight in the house as you can. You’ll be able to see more dirt that way. (If you’re just a beginner, you might want to wait until the bigger piles are taken care of, or this technique might overwhelm you!)
Take your time. Take it one bite at a time. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. Better to do a little every day than to do a lot at once and then NOTHING.
After you clean the oven, put tin foil down to catch the spills. When it gets cruddy, lift it off, wipe down the oven, and replace with fresh tin foil. (Stores now sell oven liners of aluminum… they’re about 50 cents each, but they save you the effort of figuring out what size to cut the foil.)
Wash the drip pans on the top of your stove regularly. This can help keep crud from building up and really makes your stove top look great. You can throw them in the dishwasher with the dinner dishes, or you can wash them by hand with your pots and pans.
Use a toothbrush to clean around the faucet and other tight spots
Mix your favorite cleaner with water in an old spray bottle to use for bathroom and kitchen clean ups! This is less expensive and works just as well as specialty cleaners.
Wipe down your microwave every day after you do dishes. This makes it much easier to clean, though it’s easy to forget. Make it a habit.
Wipe the top of your stove every day when you do the dishes.
Empty spaces look cleaner and are easier to clean. Put as many appliances as you can away in cabinets. This keeps the counters looking cleaner.
As for dishes… how many do you really use? If you’re a family of four who never entertains, why keep dishes for eight or more in your kitchen, taking up prime space? Maybe there’s another place, reasonably close to the kitchen, where you can keep extra place settings. Look at your mixing bowls and pots and pans. If you don’t use all of them, get rid of them. If they’re in good shape, donate them to the local battered spouses organization or the thrift shop. If they’re nasty, just toss them.
My number one homecare hint is this: DON’T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT ADDING TO THE LANDFILL, at least not right now. There’s no reason to use your house as a landfill in order to avoid filling the real landfill up. I know how you feel. Believe me, I feel guilty for throwing anything away! The best way to deal with this is recycle what you can (clothes, dishes, paper, compost, etc,) throw away what you can’t recycle, and try to cut down on bringing anything new in, if you can’t decide its ultimate fate. This takes a long time to get used to, but if you don’t want to live in clutter, this is essential!