Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Microwave cleaning tip, Benefits of a cleaning schedule, organization and supplies

 
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Microwave Filth:
Food splatters all over the inside of your microwave and cooks itself on after time. To easily remove this mess, place a sponge soaked in water or just a dish filled with 1/2 cup water in the microwave. Cook on high heat for 2 minutes. The filth is now ready to be wiped right off - no scrubbing!

Repeat Entry:
I originally made this entry (the part written in blue) in November of 2005.  I went back through it and decided it was worth posting again with some additions (the part written in brown).  I think when we are young and get our first place that we don't really appreciate how much work it takes to keep a clean and well organized home. 
 
Oh, it's easy to throw all (darks, whites and colors) in the washer in one or two huge loads and get the clothes washed.  Then how clean did those clothes really get in that heavy oversized load, that wears the washer down, when the cycle is done?  LOL, that's why so many young people walk around in those nasty looking dingy gray shirts, that used to be white. 
 
Or it's easy to toss all the junk into a corner in the bedroom, or front closet where no one can see it when they show up.  But take a closer look.  How deep are the dust fields on the furniture?  How many trails of ants are traipsing across the floor?  Look up...how many cobwebs are dangling from the ceiling and walls?  (I'm only 5' 3 and 3/4" tall, and that is one that I often forget or don't notice.)  Are the bugs riding wee little sleds down the slopes of dust on the lamp shades? 
 
I believe that being a housewife and mother is a full-time job.  The key to being successful at any job is organization.   

When one gets their first own place it is a good idea to sit down with pen and paper and make a plan, a schedule if you will.  I think it is much easier to get organized and keep things clean if you have a plan.  As time goes by, you will most likely be able to get rid of a written schedule as you become used to your schedule of doing things every week and it becomes a part of your everyday life.  

The daily and weekly chores may seem mundane, but they really do make a difference.  Some of the things that I do each and every morning are the ones that make everything seem a little less dis-organized and cleaner.  1) Make my bed---the room looks ten times cleaner.  2) Clean the kitchen sink---just like making the bed, when the sink is clean the kitchen appears much cleaner.  3) Do at least one load of laundry---that way it doesn't have a chance to accumulate into this seemingly overwhelming chore. 4)Give the living room a quick once over---it's the room everyone ends up in and when it's messy, the whole house feels "messy".

Those aren't my only daily chores.  But they are the ones that I do at least once every day, if not more than once, that seem to help me feel more organized.  If I stay on top of the other chores, then on some days I may be able to do those 4 little things and maybe one or two other chores, then be free to spend the day doing something with Rylie. 

Grab a calendar and take a look at it.  There are times when you will want to major cleaning.  For instance, perhaps May would be a good time to wash the windows.  Also to shampoo the winter gunk out of your carpets.  Every 6 months, or so, you should also turn the mattress on your bed over to keep it from developing those saggy spots.   

Then come the end of October or the beginning of November do it again.  This is a good time for me because the holidays are coming up and I like to have the carpets cleaned around then.  Write these chores down when you want to do them on the calendar.  

Monthly cleaning chores may include things like cleaning the refrigerator, dusting the cabinet with all the little knick-knacks, changing your box of baking soda in the refrigerator and behind the toilet (I keep one there for odors), etc.  Pick a good date like the first Saturday of every month and write it down on your calendar for every month.  

Take a look at the things that you need to do every other week or so.  This is going to be different for different people.  It will depend on how clean you like things and on how big your family is.  For instance, a single woman living alone might only need to clean her bathroom every other week.  But a large family may need need to do it once a week.  If it is a large family with 6 boys, they'll probably need to clean the bathroom every day! LOL   

Now look at the chores you do weekly and daily.  Write them down and approximately how much time it takes to do them and how many times a week you need to do them.  Now that you have a list of what you want to do weekly and daily, make a schedule for yourself.  

Write down the days of the week and when you think it will be best for you to do each chore.  Be sure to include simple things, even if it only takes a minute.  For example, I make my bed every morning before I get into the shower.  I can't stand for my bed to be unmade.  The rest of the room may be a disaster, but the moment your bed gets made you will notice the room looks much, much better.  

Once you have the schedule made you may find that being organized and having a set schedule actually helps you to save time in your day.  As I said, as you repeatedly do it over and again every week, it will just become routine and you probably won't need a written schedule.  

But then ya'll might think this is just silly.  I can be anal retentive sometimes.  I am one of those people who makes a list of what I need to do every day, who I want to call, what I want to get at the store (organized by the order of the aisles in the store).  Heck, even my underwear are folded!  How sick is that?  LMAO!  

I believe that children learn by example, and being organized and keeping some kind of schedule is a great trait to pass onto your kids.  Even though she is just 3 yers old, Rylie is a great helper.  It isn't often that I even have to ask her to help me.  She will usually just walk up and start helping me with whatever chore I am working on.  I think it is wonderful that she does that.  I believe it is because she see's that we each have our part to do around the house and she wants to participate and help us out.  I sure could have used a little helper like that when I spent the last 3 months of my pregnancy on doctor ordered bed rest.  Maybe then I wouldn't have needed surgery to save the baby and ended up in the hospital for the last 40 days.

I found this schedule of housecleaning at Click here: Ask The Helpful Housewife: Requested Routines .  Its a good plan to follow if you need an idea of where to start.  Of course, your home may be bigger or smaller, just adjust it to fit your needs.  I think it would be a great idea to print out the list as a helpful reminder.  After some time everything will just become second nature and you won't need the list any longer.  Also you will find some things that you don't need to do and some that you may want to add to your list.

Daily Cleaning Master Checklist

Entry Areas
Sweep
Shake out rugs

Kitchen
Wipe down counters
Wipe down sink
Dishes
Sweep floor
Take out trash every night
Hang wet dish cloths in laundry room

Living Areas
Vacuum
Pick up miscellaneous clutter

Bedrooms
Air beds in early morning
Make beds in late morning
Pick up laundry and put in hampers
Hang clothing that can be worn again
Remove water glasses to kitchen

Bathrooms
Wipe down counters, sinks
Hang towels to dry 
Pick up laundry and put in hampers

Master Cleaning Checklist
(full housecleaning)

Master Bedroom
dust
vacuum
windows
change bedding
laundry
ceiling fan
empty wastebasket
lamps and shades

Master Bathroom
sinks
mirror
tub
shower
toilet
vacuum
mop floor in water closet
change towels
straighten closet
windows
empty wastebasket

Kids' Bedrooms
dust
vacuum
change bedding
windows
laundry
empty wastebasket

Kids’ Bathroom
sinks
mirror
toilet
tub/shower
mop floor
change towels
window
empty wastebasket
clean training potty chair

Guest Room
dust
vacuum
change bedding
window
empty wastebasket


Hallway – second floor
dust banister
vacuum

Stairs
dust railings
vacuum

Entryway & Hallway – first floor
sweep
mop
dust
windows
shake rugs outside
clean door handles and surfaces
sweep front porch

Office
dust
vacuum
empty shredder & wastebasket
windows
panes on french doors

Living Room
dust
vacuum
windows
lamps and shades

Dining Room
dust
vacuum
windows
chandelier

Half Bath
sink
mirror
toilet
mop floor
empty wastebasket
clean training potty chair

Kitchen
cabinet faces
counters
dishes
appliances (countertop and full-size)
oven
sweep floor
mop floor
empty trash
tabletop
built-in desk
bleach countertop fountain
wash throw rugs
window
sliding glass door

Family Room
vacuum
dust
ceiling fan
lint brick over furniture
lamps & shades
swiffer fireplace tile
windows

Laundry Room
clean washer & dryer
counters
cabinet faces
litter box
cat food dishes
laundry
sweep floor
mop floor
shake rugs outside
clean door handles and surfaces

Also, are you a smoker?  Be sure to empty the ash trays daily.  Not only do they look nasty, but having them sitting around contributes to the smell of smoke in your home.

Something else that you may find useful is a list of cleaning supplies to keep on hand.Just as you have a toolbox with a hammer, a flathead screwdriver and other home repair essentials, you should have an area that you keep stocked with cleaning supplies.   That way, you will not always have to hunt down or go out and buy what you need when it is time to clean a specific area or object.
Here is a basic list:

1. A broom
2. A dustpan
3. A good mop
4. A vacuum cleaner. Even if you do not have carpets, you will need at least a small vacuum cleaner to clean your drapes and upholstery.
5. Several dishcloths and dust rags. Demote sink sponges down to cleaning sponges, also wash clothes that begin to fray or old tee shirts.
6. Nylon cleaning pads. These work better than sponges for cleaning stubborn stains, & do not scratch counters or appliances.
7. Gloves. They will protect your hands from germs and chemicals. For an added bonus, try putting cream on your hands first. After you finish cleaning, your hands will be nice and soft. It is also good to have a pair of cotton gloves handy for cleaning between the slats of mini blinds, if you have them.
8. A wood cleaner for cleaning wood floors and woodwork in general. Murphy's Oil Soap is a good one.
9. An old toothbrush. This is great for getting the crud between crevices that are otherwise unreachable.
10. Baking soda. This product can absorb smells from your refrigerator and freezer, deodorize your drains, and serve as a carpet freshener, among other uses.
11. Bleach. Bleach can be kept in a spray bottle and used for stubborn stains on white grout, or can be added in small amounts to spray bottles of water to disinfect counters and other surfaces. Just be sure to label the bottle BLEACH and don't add other chemicals to it as some will cause a caustic reaction.
12. Clear vinegar. Vinegar is not only an economical way to clean windows, but if used to clean pet stains, can cover the smell, thus deterring the pet from soiling the same area again.
13. Scouring powder, such as Comet.
14. A feather or lambs wool duster. Thelamb'swool variety is more expensive, but they attract dust the best.
15. A non-abrasive cream cleanser, such as Softscrub.
16. A degreasing cleaning spray.
17. Glass cleaner, such as Windex. 
18. Toilet bowl cleaner.
19. Salt. You can use it with ice to clean out a grimy coffee carafe, or combine it in a three to one ratio with lemon juice to create an effective polish for brass or copper. It is also good for soaking up stains on carpet before they have a chance to set in.
20. Rubbing alcohol. You can use this for removing those annoying stickers that won't come off of new purchases, as well as removing stickers from windows and other non-wood surfaces. Also great for removing ink stains.
21. Oven cleaner. Unless you never use your oven, this will come in handy for getting those baked on spots off. Be sure not to breathe the fumes, as they can be quite strong.
22. Liquid laundry detergent.
23. Dishwashing liquid. Of course you will need it for the dishes that you wash by hand, but you can also use it to clean your floors, and most other surfaces as well.
24. Furniture polish. This is perfect for giving a finished look to your furniture. Be careful not to overuse it, as it can attract dust and become sticky if over applied.
25. Canned air. This is essential for cleaning the dust and other particles out of your computer keyboard. It can also help with crevices around buttons on televisions and other appliances as well. Use in a well-ventilated area.
* I also like to keep at least one extra bottle of shaving cream on hand.  It is great at removing stains from carpet and also clothing.  I also use it as a cream whenever I feel a cold sore coming on.

Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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1 comment:

lacaza3 said...

Wow reading this has made me tired I think I need a nap now lol lol
Donna In TEXAS