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Sharing your TIPS on doing it "smarter"


HouseInOz
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I am keen to ask others on the Forum their tips, for all to benefit!!

My first tip is:-(and lesson I had to learn and implement)

LOWER your expectations and standards with household chores (and surprise surprise ... the house is still OK)

OK go for it.....

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Buy heaps of clothing hangers, then.. "from the washing machine to the hanger to the cupboard". This works really well for T-shirts and other clothing that do not require ironing. This also saves time as there are less hanging and folding activities involved! :ilikeit:

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Clean at least one thing each day. It only takes a couple of minutes of your time... and that way the house is always clean and you dont have a MASSIVE clean-up to do on the weekend. :ilikeit:

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Don't have kids. :ilikeit:

Why didnt someone tell me this 20 years ago :ilikeit:

My cleaning tips:

  • Keep a dustbuster handy - very useful in tiled homes, even the kids and husband can use it!
    Keep wet wipes in each bathroom - that way its not a shlep to go to the laundry if you need to wipe up - and even the husband can learn to use them - kids not so much!
    Keep the house minimalistic - not too many ornaments - easier to dust!
    Do a bit each day - don't let it pile up!
    If you have a Kirby vac, the fluffy head is excellent to vacuum horizontal wooden blinds, and the little brush head is excellent for dust in the window and sliding door tracks. No need to battle with a cloth.
    For the pool - get a husband - they tend to like that job!
    Don't walk with shoes indoors - be Aussie and leave them outside!
    Tell the kids if they don't clean their rooms - it will attract big spiders and cockroaches.

Edited by Veronique
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Why didnt someone tell me this 20 years ago

We had our carpets professionally steam cleaned on Tuesday. By Wednesday, our 2 year old (bless his cheeky little cotton socks) had already:

  • Had a milk spillage incident

  • Chewed up a piece of bright yellow chalk (yes, chalk) and spat out the gooey chalk slush on the carpet

  • Tipped his vegemite-toast face down on the carpet.

I wonder if he's too young to operate a steam cleaner? :ilikeit:

Edited by HansaPlease
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I wonder if he's too young to operate a steam cleaner? :ilikeit:

As long as he follows OHS rules. He must wear steel tipped boots, a helmet and goggles.

Elize, I have been considering a robot vacuum cleaner. Does it work as well as they show on the infomercial?

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I leave toilet cleaner in each toilet now, that way if it needs a clean the gel is right there and I can just do it then and there....

We also BBQ a lot in summer - saves doing dishes.

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Get one of these for the carpets:

http://www.harveynorman.com.au/product/125...t-roomba-vacuum

and one of these for the floors:

http://store.irobot.com/family/index.jsp?a...StorePrice-IRBT

and for outdoors - one of these for the gutters:

http://store.irobot.com/family/index.jsp?c...62209_iwantlooj

and one of theses for the lawn:

http://www.robomow.com.au/

:ilikeit: :ilikeit: :ilikeit:

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I'm not there yet, but have two toddlers and no domestic help, so I regard myself in the position to contribute some ...

I leave a cloth, cleaner and toilet brush in each bathroom. The whole family including hubby and children are required (5 & 3 yrs old), to check the potty every time they used it and brush it clean if need be.

The one who makes a mess, cleans. Everybody knows where my 'duty cloths' are stored and everybody learns how to clean different kinds of spills. The worst ones I'll assist in cleaning.

I bought a 'travel steam iron', the kids are learning to 'iron' their own stuff. Still only a game in their eyes, fun to do 'adult stuff' ~ but they're learning to take responsibility each for his/her own things.

I let the children try to hang their own clothes on a smaller rack standing just outside their rooms, whether they do it crooked or not. It's the idea, the future will be much easier when they learn to do it properly. I go and check in secret and 'repair' the worst. They learn to fold their own underwear and pack it away too, nothing serious if it's crumpled when they put it on !

We take the clothes from the washer the moment it's done, give the larger items a good, big shake and hang it immediately nice and straight, minimizing the need to iron.

Clean all messes and spills immediately. Dusting happens as needed - I'm working to have a dustcloth in the children's bathroom for them to take responsibility to dust their own rooms. When they're physically big enough, they'll vacuum their own rooms too.

Each child has a big plastic toy chest, all toys needs to get in there before afternoon nap and again before bedtime at night. The 'outside toys' has a designated corner where everything should be put when they're done outside.

I'm serious about having good equipment. A dishwasher is indispensable for me. Saves loads of time and the children can help sort the cutlery into the drawer !

Between me and hubby, the one who gets up last from bed (usually hubby :ilikeit: is responsible for straightening the bed. Children should at least try to pull their bedding straight, perfection is not yet required, the attitude of own responsibility is what is required.

What can't be done, can't be done - tomorrow is another day !

OK, much of my household chores revolves around the children, I admit ~ but I guess I'm not the only one having little ones !

Happy housekeeping ! :ilikeit:

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I've bought the Samsung I Robot and am really very pleased with my Helen (named after my cleaning lady back in RSA)!!! I normally do the dusting, polish the furniture, etc, while Helen vacuums...She is not noisy at all (you can watch tv while she's working) and fits underneath my couches (RSA Helen didn't know how to do that LOL).

I think she is worth the $900 spent on her (got her at a special price from Harvey Norman).

Edited by Elize van der Merwe
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When I was raising my two sons, the only place that any eating or drinking took place, was at the table. That took care of any spillages or accidents! Of course, they were also allowed to eat and drink outside, no problem.

I am fortunate to now have a cleaning lady once every two weeks. In the interim, we do not wear shoes in our home, and I dust once a week. If there is any vacuuming to be done, which is rare, then hubby takes care of it. (I love it when a plan comes together!)

Previously I divided the house up into 7 areas, one a day, took about 15-20 mins, not a killer to do and worked well.

I agree with the washing part, although my washing all goes through a dryer, shake it out and hang it immediately, most of the creases are gone. Over time I have changed my whole wardrobe, to things that need either none or very little ironing.

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Oh, yes ! I also restrict eating and drinking to the kitchen and outside. Quite weird for most people visiting with children, though ... we had quite a few instances where we had real ugly messes after some untrained kid trampled a piece of popcorn or a strawberry into my carpet, the mom not even noticing, because she's used to it in her own home and she has a cleaning lady who cleans and picks up after them.

Another thing I just thought of, is saving all newspapers I can. When I work on the kitchen counter, I put a piece of newspaper underneath - after the cutting / mixing / grating or whatever is done, the newspaper is discarded and the counter is still clean - works beautifully especially when children start wanting to 'help' in the kitchen !

When I work with something oily or something that might splatter around a pot, I arrange newspapers or serviette roll paper on the stove around the pot. It prevents extra cleaning.

I sometimes put newspapers on top of high cupboards, to replace it every few weeks, instead of having to get up there to dust. I also put newspapers underneath anything that might possibly spill in the fridge, like a watermelon or thawing meat.

The children's bathroom has a mop too, with a shortened stick - they clean the floor after a messy bath time.

Great thread, would love to read some more tips, can always do with more !

There is a good site with loads of household tips: www.flylady.com

Edited by Alida
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reading this thread, I thought of Flylady - then saw you had got in first, Alida... :ilikeit:

It is amazing what you can do in 15 minutes by the timer a la flylady!

What I like - things don't have to be perfect. :santa:

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Our way of getting the job done is simple . . . share the load.

My girls aged 10 and 12 have a few simple chores to do, now i am not talking slave labor here but obvious things like cleaning their owns

rooms, my eldest is in charge of unpacking the dishwasher and my youngest dusting. The rest we do which both my DH and I share 100%.

Leaving a standard 3 bed home to one person to maintain is just unfair especially when others in the home are more than capable of contributing.

Although I would like a robot vac one day :whome:

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My kids all have their own chores to do!

My kids do unpacking and packing dishwasher, mopping, dusting, tidying their rooms also feeding their dog and cleaning up after them! Obviously my oldest who is almost 11 does the hard things but the other 2, aged 6 and 3 have to help! They live in the house they must learn to keep it tidy!

I also have a Roomba which is set to go on at 8 am so the house gets vacuumed while the girls are at school! :)

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My Quick Tip for crease free linen (and clothes)

I love linen that is ironed and neat,but who has the time?

After washing the linen try and take it out of the machine straight away(leaving it wet and crumpled causes more creases)hang on the line or tumble dry (again take linen out of the tumble drier straight away). If there are still creases use a spray bottle filled with water and12 drops of lavender oil. Put the linen on the bed -spray with the lavender solution and this will take all the creases out!

This lavender solution also works well on clothes.

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If you dont know where to start or if the house chores have run away from you. It is simple basic advise and you will be feeling better in no time.

Do it now approach. Approach the first chore/item you see and take care of it, if everyone in the house has the same attitude you wont have too much to do.

Its a mindset :ilikeit:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just finished a "spring clean" for house inspection tomorrow.

To clean the oven racks easy spray them with oven cleaner, put them in a black rubbish bag and outside in the sun for a while (or until your kid ask you about the bag in the back yard - whicheven comes first - hehehe). It wipe clean easily without the need for scrubbing.

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I love a clean house and mine is clean most of the time except when we've had visitors with kiddies, then I let them do what they want (within reason).

My tip, don't let things go. Keep on top of your cleaning. When you used something put it back, that way things are always where they are supposed to be.

I clean our house decently once a week and the rest of the week it'll only be necessary to do the minimum.

Gotta love a dishwasher!!

I either tumble dry all our clothes and hang or fold straight away or if I hang on the line I give everything a good shake and hang it so that there will be no need for Ironing. I don't even know if my Iron still works as I haven't used it in months. Even denim won't need ironing if hung up correctly.

My biggest bug bear is people that don't clean the loo after a poo!! Have thought of making a plaque with " you made the poo you clean the loo' Luckily that doesn't happen often, got my lot trained really well.

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We're really impressed with out tumble drier, far better than the cheapie defy we had in SA.

BUT OMW the place in Noosa we stayed at on Holiday had a Miele.

I UNDERSTAND what all the hype is about.

You will never have to iron a single item of clothing. EVER.

So on my list so far:

iRobot (vaccum and floor washer)

Miele dryer

What we do in the meantime:

We have 2 vacuums one upstairs one downstairs, makes life easier, worth the money to get a 2nd one if your house has 2 stories. Get a EXTRA long extension cord and that way you dont have to unplug the vaccuum and move it until you're done. It makes it just a little easier, I cant reach all 3 bedrooms and halfway down the stairs with 1 extension cord.

Oh And I vacuum the kitchen and bathrooms rather than sweeping, and when you mop, you're moppping a clean floor basically, i found with sweeping that the dirt got trapped in the grouting and then when I mopped I was just relocating the dirt to be less visible.

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Hubby bought a new mop on the weekend and I must say I no longer hate cleaning the floor. We also vaccuum everything and then mop afterwards and its much easier. The new mop is a Rubbermaid Reveal and it has a little bottle into which you put the water and detergent and then has a trigger on the handle and it squirts the water onto the floor in front of the mop and you just go over it. Oh and its a microfiber machine-washable cloth. I think its awesome :)

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