Best domestic cheats, please share.

(299 Posts)
farmersdaugther Thu 17-Jan-13 20:46:36

Basically I need some tips on how to make me look like I'm an utter domestic goddess but without all the faffing about! wink

Don't get me wrong I'm fully capable of making my home lovely (clean and tidy etc) cooking and baking but I struggle with having a young family.

So what are your best domestic cheats?

I've started with a bread maker and a slow cooker.

NoseyParker4aHusband Fri 18-Jan-13 14:56:31

Flat cola or denture cleaning tablets down the loo to get rid of stains below the water line. Especially good if you live in a hard water area. Also vinegar and soda crystals for limescale. Also a scoop of soda crystals in with your normal washing powder means you can use half the reccomended amount. When taking off socks roll them together and turn the top one inside out, wash them like this aswell, they then stay in pairs (no odd socks again) and they do wash ok. I make sure all shirts are buttoned up before they go in the washing machine and then iron them like that.

I 'sweep' round rooms before bed and usually 1 other time in the day, by which I mean I go into the living room, gather anything for the bin and take it all out, gather any washing and take it all out, gather any cups/plates etc and take them out. I Also reorganise the sofa cushions (apparently DP and the kids can't manage to get off the sofa without part sliding/standing so all the cushions come off)

Next I fill the baby hamper (nappies/wipes) and generally replace remotes in the holder, and return everything out of place.

This takes me 10 minutes max but usually about 2-3 minutes and keeps the house looking presentable. It takes DP all day and if I'm ever absent sleeping off a bad night with the baby I can garuntee I'll get up to chaos. confused

NoseyParker4aHusband Fri 18-Jan-13 15:05:01

Oh to clean your dishwasher put a cup / old glass tumbler (one you do not mind looking stained) full of vinegar upright in the top rack of the otherwise empty dishwasher and do a full cycle. The vinegar will clean and descale the working parts of your dishwasher, doing this once a month is much cheaper than using 'dishwasher cleaners'.

Oh, I also have little routines, such as squirting bleach down the loo after my morning wee to keep it fresh during the day. I also don't go to bed without filling the washing machine, tumble dryer (dishwasher when I had one) and I set out the breakfast things. Then in my morning haze I can just go around pressing buttons or adding cereal and milk to bowls. grin

soundevenfruity Fri 18-Jan-13 15:17:46

Get those sheets collecting colour runs in washing machine. They help me to do only 2 washing loads.
Put a basket or something with a handle at the bottom of the stairs and dump there anything that needs to be taken upstairs.
Ironed working shirts and bedlinen make a huge difference for me so I started ironing again but with proper tools this time. I got an extra wide ironing board and a steam iron - it's so easy now and I am more likely to do it.

valiumredhead Fri 18-Jan-13 15:24:59

I agree with Julia open your windows!

Loulousmummy Fri 18-Jan-13 15:26:12

Oh God no Nosey OH's socks have been known to still smell after a wash. They must be unrolled to ensure a proper clean.

Abigail9580 Fri 18-Jan-13 15:32:59

Before I go to bed, I open the curtains downstairs, plump the sofa and put everything in the dishwasher before setting it off. And wipe down the kitchen surfaces. That way, when I come down in the morning the place looks less chaotic! Plus we have a big toy box downstairs, where I chuck everything at the end of the day. On Sundays we sort it out- take mist back upstairs, and start again on Monday!

mwah79 Fri 18-Jan-13 15:35:26

We have so much laundry that the house almost always smells clean but just in case I put cotton balls with lavendaas I put in the top of Henry Hoover. At Christmas I did it with cloves and used orange shake n vac. I have very low standards but this is my one thing that I like to do.
I think a quick hoover makes all the difference. I do the dishes while I'm waiting for DC food to cool down and teaching DC to tidy up at the end of the day. Don't waste time picking up toys they are only going to have out again in 5 seconds. Just wait until the end of the day.
Agree with bathroom wipes. Making beds is effective also.
Still trying to teach my DH that laundry basket doesn't have an impenetrable lid!

mwah79 Fri 18-Jan-13 15:38:07

oh and definitely get a handheld hoover so your heart doesn't break constantly as you watch food fall all over your just hoovered floor.

Bunbaker Fri 18-Jan-13 15:53:19

"When taking off socks roll them together and turn the top one inside out, wash them like this aswell, they then stay in pairs (no odd socks again) and they do wash ok."

I couldn't do that with OH's socks. He suffers from extremely seaty and excessively smelly feet.

I agree about opening windows. Also, I "make" the beds and then leave the duvets pulled back to give them a good airing with the windows open. Beds that are made straight away encourage dust mites to breed because of the warm, damp conditions.

If doing a chips and beans style tea remove lid from tin of beans and pop in oven with the chips. Saves time and a pan smile

theowlworrier Fri 18-Jan-13 16:05:13

lifehacks
Not all are neccessarily about keeping things tidy, but ythey are about saving time, repurposing items and handy hints and tips.

farmersdaugther Fri 18-Jan-13 16:24:59

The limescale tips are ace.

Martha Stewart..watch out I'm after your crown smile

We're really not a smelly or dirty household, windows get opened after morning, duvets pull backed and aired etc etc. It's not like that "help my house and DH stink' thread. We aren't dirty people, but a bit messy grin

farmersdaugther Fri 18-Jan-13 16:27:31

Ho Magi please could you tell us about your 10 day menu? thanks

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 18-Jan-13 16:43:24

In an emergency, it's amazing how many discarded clothes etc can be put on the bed under a freshly shaken duvet without it looking odd.

MaureenShit Fri 18-Jan-13 16:46:06

But ironing doesn't take long.

MaureenShit Fri 18-Jan-13 16:47:54

Cooking tip. Plan the food for the week

magimedi88 Fri 18-Jan-13 16:53:40

I haven't done my 10 day menu since DS was at school & he's 32 now!!

It was just for the main meal of the day &, as far as I can remember, it went:

Day1 Spag bol

Day 2 Coriander chicken, rice & stir fry veg

Day 3 Fish pie & veg

Day 4 Tacos/Fahitas + bits

Day 5 Casserole & veg

Day 6 Lentil bake, rice & salad

Day 7 Tarragon chicken & veg

Day 8 Chilli & pita bread & salad

Day 9 Pizza & salad

Honestly, it was no more than sitting down & thinking of ten meals that I knew everyone liked, listing them in order & revolving through it. They never, ever, sussed grin

It's actually quite hard remembering what we did eat 20 years ago - I know there were things we don't eat now it's just me & DH. We eat a lot less now we are older as well!

plipplops Fri 18-Jan-13 17:13:41

I read somewhere the if a job is going to take less than 5 mins, do it now. I don't always comply but it has made things easier.

Also second dealing with post/school letters straight away (and back in the book bag for returning to school).

I never iron anything.

SkaterGrrrrl Fri 18-Jan-13 17:38:50

Tescos do a pre prepared scone mix. You pour it into a bowl and add milk. Everyone will marvel at your scones.

CJCregg Fri 18-Jan-13 17:43:24

Marking place, will be back. Not with tips - I am crap - but to learn. grin

TaraTiger Fri 18-Jan-13 17:45:55

<lurks>

cuppateaanyone Fri 18-Jan-13 17:54:39

Every evening last thing - bleach and clean toilet 1 min per toilet
Throw a load in the washing machine so it can go on first thing, weekly I clean the showers with viakal, the blue one, turn shower on, squirt over tiles, shower and shower glass, wait a min then get in shower and give it all a good scrub, takes 2 mins as the steam helps and it smells lovely and yes, I then shower straight after,it lasts all week.

starfishmummy Fri 18-Jan-13 18:06:07

I have put one of this fabric pocket things that are for storing shoes on ds's bedroom door. Into each of the lower pockets I put a set of his undies and park of socks; that way I can see at a glance that he has clean stuff and he can find it easily. Extras go in the top pockets with one reserved for odd socks.

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