Thursday, February 25, 2016

Housekeeping 101

Where in the world did Home Economics go?? It was such a great way to learn how to do the everyday household kinda stuff- balancing a checkbook, ironing a shirt, making meals from scratch. The teacher was like your own personal "Hints from Heloise" - giving you the inside scoop on just about everything you needed to know to make it on your own.  Now I'm not gonna pretend I'm in the same league as those women, but I do have a few tricks up my sleeve when it comes to running a house. None of these tips are what I'd call rocket science, but my hope is one of these might have you thinking, "Now that was a pretty good idea."
1. Cleaning a wooden cutting board- We all know wood should never go in a dishwasher and you should never use any type of soap to clean it. So what's the best way to get rid of all those germs? To do the trick, just dump some kosher salt on your board and scrub away with half a lemon. When you're all done, rinse it off under some running water and let it completely dry. It'll be bacteria free and ready to go.
2. Cleaning up broken glass- If you have tile floors like me, you know what a nightmare it is when a kiddo accidentally drops a glass. Little fragments go flying everywhere- almost impossible to see with the naked eye. Here's an easy way to clean up all that carnage. Just use a piece of white bread and gently swipe it across your floors. The bread's soft texture will grab all those hidden tiny shards you might otherwise miss. Shards a broom usually leaves behind and are found later when you're walking barefoot through the kitchen. Yet another reason why Wonder Bread is a gift from the gods.
3. Dusting your ceiling fan blades-  I've always hated doing this job, because, invariably, dust clumps would fly all over the room. Finally, (thank you, Pinterest!) here's a way to do it without all the mess. Simply slide a pillow case over each fan blade. Using both hands, squeeze the case closed and draw it towards you. This way, all the dust ends up in the pillow case. When you're all done, take it outside and shake it all out in the garbage. Ingenious! Wish I'd thought of it.
 4. Folding a fitted sheet- I'm pretty sure most of y'all already know how to do this, but just in case you missed it, here's how it's done. Lay the sheet flat on your bed with the pockets facing you. Tuck the bottom pockets inside the top ones.
 Fold it top to bottom into thirds.
 Then fold it side to side into thirds.
 And there you have it. As simple as ABC.
 5. Adding keys to your key ring (without destroying your nails)- Grab the staple remover out of your desk and use its teeth to separate the ring for you. You'll be able to slide on even the chunkiest of keys with no problem. It's crazy how well this gets the job done, your manicure surviving unscathed.
 6. Cleaning Legos- This may be a boy thing, but I'm pretty sure we've all had that moment when we've looked into the kids' Lego box and went, "Blech! What in the world did they spill in there?!?" No worries, ladies. Simply gather up those germ ridden blocks and toss them into a sturdy laundry bag. Tie it up tight and wash the bag in cold water on the gentlest cycle. When the washer's done, pour the Legos out onto a beach towel and let them air dry. This is hands down the best and easiest way to clean those babies without losing your sanity. 
7. Protecting your boots- If you have a pair of soft leather boots, you'll need to protect their shape so they don't end up with that weird crease near the ankle. An easy solution? Cut up one of the gazillion swim noodles in your garage from last summer and make your own boot trees. This is what you call upcycling at its best. Not quite the same as hugging a tree, but pretty darn close.
8. Tackling squeaky floors- Now that I have wooden floors, I also have the squeaks that come with them. A minor issue to be sure, but bothersome just the same. When we have a house full of kiddos, that can be a lot of squeaking. You only need one product to tackle this problem- baby powder. Just sprinkle some on the floor, brush it into the cracks and voila! The sweet sound of silence.

And there you have it- 8 little tips for making things easier to get done around the house. Like I said before, it's not rocket science or anything. It's not gonna solve any of the world's major problems. But what it will do is protect you and your toes from any broken glass, which is almost the same thing.

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