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ubersiren's avatar

What's the best housekeeping advice you can give me?

Asked by ubersiren (15170points) March 14th, 2009

In recent years I’ve become, not really a neat freak, but very aware of the state of clutter in my house. I’ve turned into one of those people who finds great joy in vacuuming and stain removal. I feel like I’m constantly picking up after a toddler and husband, and even myself. I try to not let things get out of hand to begin with, but it seems like I’m constantly and forever buried in housework. Sometime I really enjoy it, but if I let the house go a few days, it seems like I’m up to my ears in mess.

Anybody have any tricks up his/her sleeve on how to tackle housework efficiently, without burning out? Got a favorite way to clean something? Know how to get grease stains out of clothing? All cleaning/straightening/storage secrets accepted.

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19 Answers

asmonet's avatar

20 mins set aside every day after all your regular housework devoted to organizing things more efficiently and cleaning up those piles that always seem left behind. One or two things a day will make a big difference in your work load after a few weeks effort. :)

SeventhSense's avatar

Cold water for stains. Hot water sets them…ok maybe this is an obvious one for some, but it was a revelation for me.:)

ubersiren's avatar

@asmonet : Thanks, I will have to try that out. We definitely have a bad space:stuff ratio.

asmonet's avatar

No problem, I struggle with it, but it’s amazing if you stick to it. You’ll be very pleasantly surprised with it’s effectiveness. :)

kelly's avatar

dish towels are the nastiest items in a house. Don’t use them.

aprilsimnel's avatar

White vinegar and newspapers make mirrored surfaces sparkle!

casheroo's avatar

It’s hard not to get burnt out on housework…and I’m pretty much a stay at home mom! I do laundry and vacuum at least once a day. I don’t dust that often or windex..my husband usually does that. The best thing for me is to keep on top of it before it gets too cluttered. That’s near impossible with a toddler though. His toys are almost always everywhere!

Darwin's avatar

I try to get rid of at least one item a day. That doesn’t necessarily mean throw it out. You could give it away or even sell it. In any case, if you haven’t used it in a year it needs to either pay rent or leave.

I also do at least one load of laundry a day. As I do laundry, since I have growing kids, anything I run across that is now too small goes from the drier to a large plastic bag in the laundry room. When the bag is full, it goes out to the truck and from there to a donation box for Ronald McDonald House.

Otherwise I try to set aside 1 hour per day to focus on a non-routine task. Yesterday my hour was spent re-organizing the pantry and ditching out-of-date canned goods. The day before it was really cleaning the bathroom floor, on my hands and knees with a toothbrush. The day before that was “science experiment day,” wherein I got rid of all the science experiments in the refrigerator. Tomorrow is sock day – going through the house and finding all the socks my son has hidden in odd places, such as behind the couch, under the dog bed or on the screened porch.

If I didn’t live with teenagers and dogs I could get by setting aside 20 minutes a day.

augustlan's avatar

As soon as you can afford it, hire a cleaning service. Seriously. We had Merry Maids come every two weeks, and that left us with far less heavy cleaning to do. We’ve had to give it up for now, and I really miss it. :(

ubersiren's avatar

@Darwin: You are amazing!

@augustlan: It’s in my long term plans. Oh believe me. One day, I will have a small staff.

asmonet's avatar

@Darwin: Nice to see later down the road my ideas will still work. Thanks for sharing, looks like you have your hands full. :P

giltesque's avatar

1–800-getamaid :)

bea2345's avatar

Clean up, straighten, put away as you go along. Heavy cleaning should not be more than once a week.

bea2345's avatar

And it helps to be mildly OCD.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Using a big long dry floor mop on laminate flooring works better than a sweeper or a vacuum to keep those floors dust-free. The kind that are used on high school gym floors.

Those.

75movies's avatar

Buy a new CLEAN house.

gradyjones's avatar

Work from the back of the house towards the front and do high surfaces before low surfaces. This way you don’t have to keep recleaning the same area over and over.

Darwin's avatar

Don’t have children. That will keep your house cleaner than almost anything else you could do.

bea2345's avatar

Dick Francis, the thriller writer, has a classic description of a woman tidying her living room. She simply “swam” around the room, a box in her hand, into which she put the children’s toys and books and other objects lying about; then placed the box behind the couch, out of sight. There was a vase on the window sill with dead flowers in it: she simply emptied it out of the window and replaced it on the sill. Now this is a person after my own heart.

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