Saturday, June 09, 2018

Unfamiliar With Keeping House? A Few Tips

Hello Ladies,

I have been discussing this problem with friends and decided to post about it.  These are some basic areas of housekeeping that are sometimes overlooked. Giving heed to these things can keep the house from slipping into sloth.

These are some tips for what you can do at home during the day to make the house pleasant and clean. You might have  visited some homes of people who are not aware of the importance of keeping house and observed that the house was not just in a daily disarray but an accumulated filth of several months. I have one room somewhat like that, but everyone knows it really bothers me and that I am chipping away at it.  It's not filthy, just cluttered from an exhange of one room to another. 

-It really helps to bathe and dress, fix hair and use skin care every day so that you feel more keen, and a little more energetic and optimistic for the challenge. Your appearance should be the first thing you do because it is preparation.

-Gradually replace prepared food and ready-made foods with your own cooking. You can find a recipe for making things with natural ingredients, learn to peel and chop vegetables, and start smelling and tasting things in a better way.

-As you use food items, whether after cutting and chopping, or emptying ingredient containers, throw away the debris into a nearby bag or trash container.

-As soon as you use a bandaid or "plaster" throw away the wrapper. Don't leave things like that for a cleaning day.

-Using a cloth in a scooping motion, remove crumbs and food and dust from tables. Rinse the cloth under running water in the sink.

-When wiping a dining table, don't rub the food around, but remove it with the cloth, fold the cloth over and remove more. There is no need to wipe crumbs on to the floor.

-Sweep the kitchen floor by holding the broom at an angle and bringing the debris toward you as you move about the area, collecting it all in a dust pan.

- Daily wipe the bathroom, using window cleaner or anything non-toxic that you like. You can make your own spray with a little essential oil, hydrogen peroxide, cleaning vinegar or other things.

-Get in the habit of picking up clutter when you see it. Soon you will do it unconsciously and your house will be pleasant enough you will prefer being there than anywhere else. 

-Keep a SMALL kitchen trash bin so that it doesn't take too many days to fill it, and then it will always have a fresh liner, reducing bad smells in the house. It is better to empty it daily so it makes sense to use small trash bags. If you use a large bag and take it out daily you aren't getting a good value.

-Organize dirty dishes next to the sink with drinkware (glasses and cups) first, then stack bowls, plates, and put cutlery in groups of spoons, forks, knives. If hand washing, do cleanest items first and the cooking and serving vessels last. Stack the dish drainer (after washing and rinsing the dishes)  in an orderly way, like-things together, as you would the dishwasher. Some people do not rinse the dishes, but this is important since the dishes just came out of a pan of water filled with dirty dishes. It also rinses the soap taste off the dishes. It is more sanitary and eliminates bacteria from the dish water.

-When loading the dishwasher, put things that are alike close together so they can be unloaded and put away easily: Same size plates together, matching glassware and cups side by side, etc. If you don't, it takes much longer to put it all away. Some people like to toss it all in like a salad but are not being thoughtful of the person who has to unload it all.

-Don't put delicate, pretty teacups in the dishwasher. Wipe the tea stains off with a baking soda (soda bicarbonate) and water paste and wash by hand, rinse in hot water.

-Keeping dish towels used for drying dishes fresh smelling can be a problem, particularly the terry cloth type.  Try the stack of plain white cotton cloth towels, and boil them once in awhile like our grandmothers did, hang them on the line for freshness.

-Don't leave wet towels or soiled clothing laying around. If you don't have a full enough load for the washer, at least put in In the machine with the cleaning agent and close the lid.

--Have some semblance of the order of life when it comes to what to do all day: there is a morning time, an afternoon , an evening and a night. Develop good rituals that will one day give you mental stability when uncertainty besets you.

-At the end of the day you will delight in seeing fresh sheets and bedding turned down with proper bed clothes. 

-Have something constructive you like to do that will give you incentive to get your house in order so you can relax.  Many people find the final result of looking at a nice house is reward enough bit it's nice to have a cup of tea or do a bit of sewing or art.

It has always concerned me that young women on public assistance  are not given more instruction on how to manage their homes so that they are clean environments for their children. This list may help. 


Jennifer said...

What do you find to be the best small towel for wiping counters? I like microfiber but find they get smelly pretty quickly.

Janet W. said...

In the evening before retiring I like to do a tidy-up. It only takes a few moments to pick up clutter such as mail that got left laying on a counter or table, kids toys, a dirty cup or dish, a jacket, backpack or any other misplace item left laying around. This helps a lot when it comes to the morning when it comes time to clean house more thoroughly. It also takes some of the stress, overwhelming feeling and dread away. Sometimes it even makes me look forward to tackling a housecleaning job.
If you divide up your tasks into smaller amounts it won't be such a mountain
Janet Westrup

Janet W. said...

I have also found that using a fresh dish washing cloth and towel each day is not only more sanitary, but also eliminates a smelly problem in your kitchen.
Think about all that dishclothe gets used on everyday- dirty dishes, kids hands and faces after feeding meals, spills, mopped up milk which sours, raw meat drippings off counters, onion and garlic juice off cutting boards, grease and cooking sauces from stoves,etc. Towels too get their share of filth- wiping wet hands that may or may not get washed between kitchen projects, sometimes hands with sauce, oil, batter or milk and egg. I have even sited a teenager come in and grab a kitchen towel to wipe a sweaty forhead or someone wiping their hands after cleaning fish.
I keep a stack of dishclothes and towels in one of the kitchen drawers and change them every evening while doing my tidying before bed. They get draped over the washer or dryer to air dry before being tossed into the laundry basket so there is no mildew or foul smells from days of bacteria growth from repeated use.IIts not wise to use a dish washing cloth to wipe up drips or spills from the floor either. Think of where shoes have walked and then come into your house. Do you really want to wash your dishes or wipe your baby's face with it after using it on the floor?
Janet Westrup

Linda said...

I enjoyed this reminder so much. Home making tips are much needed. Sometimes I just do things by habit and don't think about am I doing it the best way.
Thank you for your posts.

Vickie said...

Thank you so much for these tips, Lady Lydia!

Christine said...

We are blessed to be in the middle of a remodel of our kitchen and living room. I can’t wait to reassemble my kitchen to cook and clean. I believe this is my role, to be caretaker of the home. I have missed taking care of it!

Unknown said...

Wonderful advice concerning our homes.

Julel said...

I am just dropping a comment in from Manchester, England to say how very glad I am to have found your blog, and how much I have enjoyed it. I would have really appreciated these tips 44 years ago when I was newly married. It bothers me very much that Home Economy and Domestic Science no longer have a place on the school curriculum here. There are generations of women now who rely on ready meals and have no basic cookery skills. It saddens me.
Thank you again

Lydia said...

those classes should have high status and extra credits foe completing them...if we still had them on the schools. Perhaps homeschoolers could offer such teachings in their homes and extend it to others.

Lynn said...

I remember how my grandparent's beds (twins) had their sheets turned down for them by their maid....that was pretty special! So do the same thing for yourself in the later evening so when you finally come to bed it is all set for you to climb in....(smile).

Joyful Mama said...

Great tips, but I've a question. Do you have any instructions on how to boil the kitchen towels? I really need to do this but not sure how to go about it. Thank you.

Lydia said...

That was in the day when kitchen towels were cotton flour sack, not the terry cloth we have today.Obviously you couldnt do it with the micro fibre towels. A web search of "How to wash kitchen towels" or how to boil kitchen towels can bring up a lot of things. We have hot water wash in our machines these days that I think would suffice, using Zote soap flakes, available at Walmart.