Designing-out housework(9 Posts)
I've just been reading a 1930s Good Housekeeping magazine, all about how to design your home so you can manage without servants. It tells you to replace all those pesky Victorian doors with panels and moulding with nice flat white modern ones that won't gather dust, don't have picture rails, and get rid of open fires and install clean, modern electric fires. I'm rather partial to my panelled doors, picture rails and open fire, but it did make me think about other ways you can design your house not to need as much housework.
Obviously being tidy and having less stuff helps reduce housework. Also training kids to tidy up after themselves and do housework. But what else are the really big wins?
I think one is having either hard floors or speckledy pale carpets - we have a plain dark carpet on our stairs and landing and it needs hoovering about every 2 days (it doesn't get it). The rest of the house which is either pale carpets or hard floors looks fine much longer.
A friend has a bathroom where the toilet and sink are hung on the wall and she reckons that makes it much quicker to clean the bathroom floor (although I don't know where her loo brush and bin live, if not on the floor).
Kitchen cupboards that go right up to the ceiling and down to the floor with no gaps (my kitchen fails on both of those counts).
Ornaments and clutter in general are always going to make life harder. Assuming you dust in the first place (unlike me!)
We've put doors on our bookcase - primarily to stop the dog eating the books, but it's had the knock-on effect of stopping the shelves getting all dusty. The glass doesn't seem to get too grubby, either.
Our living room has a massive floor to ceiling window which is a nightmare - glass at floor level is always a state with 2 dogs and a toddler in the house. I'd design that away if I could! Unfortunately DH won't let me as "I might upset the dogs"
We keep kitchen appliances away where possible (toaster etc) to reduce clutter on the worktops and make them easier to clean.
Not having dogs or small children would be good, but I have both! <fail>
Adequate storage space makes a huge difference. We have more stuff than storage space at the minute, which - aside from looking untidy - makes things harder when it comes to vacuuming / cleaning counters / dusting.
minimal junk and clutter. Everything should have a home. Lots of storage space.
Clear out junk and clutter regularly. Wipe the inside of the oven out once a week and it will stay spotless. Wipe up spills in the fridge as they happen. Once a fortnight microwave a cup of water and let it sit till the microwave has steamed, then quickly wipe it out with antibacterial. Most these jobs can be done as the kettle boils or whiles overseeing cooking, which means you never have to spend a good hour and half gutting the oven!!
There is a book called Make Your House Do The Housework by an American called Don Aslett - I read it some years ago and it had a lot of good points. However, unless you are building a house from scratch, it takes time to implement a lot of the points. But a useful read if you are lazy like me!
I have silicone liners on the bottom of my oven. I remove and clean with the rest of the washing up - stuff just slides off and it's much easier than cleaning the oven.
I got rid of the toaster, which was one less thing to clean and stopped toast crumbs all over the worktops. We toast in the grill and rinse the grill pan out after. Plus I can do 10 slices in one go.
Our kitchen table has just one leg, with a flat circular base, so sweeping/ mopping around it is quicker.
Toaster lives on a tray, and it's by the table, out of the main kitchen area, so we don't spread crumbs while transferring to plate/ table.
I keep washing-up brushes, sponges, etc. in a thick glass vase by the sink, so it allows the light to pass through from the window (solid cannisters block the light and make the sink area look cluttered). Vases can be washed in the dishwasher.
I put a plastic-backed carpet runner beside the front and back doors, rather than a mat. Not only do runners not shift as easily as small mats, they hold a row of shoes without either getting in the way of the door or allowing shoe-mud on the floor.
oooh, I like the vase for kitchen sink crap idea. Will be stealing that.
I have no useful ideas as my Victorian terrace is a shambles (bodge job extraordinaire by previous owners which will take years to save up to resolve) but storage is key.
oh, I do have a small wooden tray for the salt/pepper/oils/vinegars right by the cooker. Keeps the crumbles from spreading
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