Starting from scratch - give me all your tips!(26 Posts)
So we recently bought our first house which the previous owner basically flipped, so we have new bathrooms, kitchen, etc.
Although I'm not an absolute slattern, DH and I are both rather lazy and didn't always have our rented flat in pristine condition.
I want to be better in our house and have a house that, even if it's not perfect, I'm not mortified at the thought of unexpected visitors.
No kids or animals so basically no excuses. We even have a dishwasher for the first time in our lives.
Please let me know all your hints and tips for running a household and keeping it ship-shape. Preferably on the cheap and lazy side!
Get into habit of doing things as you go along.
If you've had a coffee in the living room, take the mug with you when you leave.
If something needs to go upstairs, put it on the stairs and take it with you when you go.
As you get out of bed, tug the duvet straight.
When you dry after a shower / bath / wash automatically hang the towel to dry in the right place.
Have your laundry basket wherever you take your clothes off - your bedroom or bathroom so it's not a sep job to collect clothes for the wash.
Empty the dishwasher while you are waiting for the kettle to boil.
Swill things out/ wipe things up as you cook, and put ingredients away as you use them so 'clearing up' isn't a big job.
Keep a spray and a cloth in the bathroom so you can give it a quick tickle when you are in there and it doesn't have to be a mammoth task that no-one wants to do.
Check out fly lady. I think there's a thread dedicated to it on here sonewhere.
Get a cleaner. 2 hours every other week do do all the big jobs - then you just have to keep it tidy
When I use to work nights (4 a week, 13.5hrs a time!) and my husband commuted, we hired a cleaner. Very luxurious but having someone Hoover, mop, wash up, put away clothes etc really helped. Left us just doing the small stuff which was manageable.
We like our house to be "lived in" while my mum lives in a show home so I know what you mean by not keeping on top of things. I'm now on maternity leave and this is what we do every day
-wash up pots
-wipe down kitchen
-take all pots into kitchen
-put dirty washing in baskets (I have 3, one for underwear, one for clothes and one for towels)
-clean out litter trays
Every other day
-Hoover upstairs, the stairs and down
-put on a wash
-put away clean clothes
-wipe down bathroom
-mop kitchen and bathroom
-dust every room
-clean out and bleach pets litter trays and houses
-carpet "clean" where I spray zoflora and water and then hoover
I'm in the middle of a huge spring clean at the moment so everywhere is getting scrubbed with zoflora, wiped down and tidied!!
One tip- buy zoflora, house will always smell clean even if it isn't!
disclaimer- I do not work for them am just obsessed with the stuff hence the name
Get in the habit of cleaning the kitchen and living room every evening so you never have a backlog.
A place for everything and everything in its place!
Laundry basket where all dirty clothes go until washed. Put them away when dry.
All used crockery goes straight in the dishwasher
Washing up is done immediately after meals
Lavatories and kitchen cleaned daily (not a deep clean but sinks, surfaces, tidy)
Set rota for cleaning fridge, changing bedding, hoovering and dusting.
Shoe box and somewhere to hang coats - these always make a house look messy.
Don't collect lots of 'twiddles' minimise clutter - clear surfaces make the place look neater.
Make sure approach (front garden, drive, front door area, porch) are clean, litter free and tidy - first impressions count.
Never used zoflora but a quick spray of polish just before opening the door impresses.
Wipe or at least squeegee down shower/ bath tiles as you get out.
Clear up kitchen mess (worktop/ washing up etc) as soon as it's made
Plus what everyone else said.
I'm pretty lazy too, so I set myself 15 minute timers and do a short blitz because I really hate housework. It's actually surprising how much you can get done in that time if you put your mind to it.
I have a rota- boring but functional. Eg:
Monday - wash bedding/towels (i alternate), clean kitchen
Tueaday - clean bathroom, sweep and mop (we are tiled throughout the house, this is a BIG FAFF).
Wednesday - clothes wash, clean windows, dust, take out recycing (we have huge containers at the end of our street).
Thursday - tidy: choose a cupboard or shelf or drawer and declutter it; go through house cleaning light switches and door handles.
Friday - sweep and mop, clean fridge (DH dies the weekly food shop Friday morning).
Saturday - clothes wash, organise DS' swimming bag.
Sunday - chill the fuck out! Then half hour to: sort out DS' schoolbag (he is 5yo, we need to pack 2 'overalls' things, towel, beaker for water, diary, weekend reading book - if i try and do it Monday morning i always forget something!). In that half hpur I also sort put whatwe are going to wear for the week. DS will have a small pile, i'll have a coathanger, for each day; so wake up, pick up Monday's clothes, put on! I never gorgetvwhich day is PE, which day is dress-up etc. It includes pants and socks. Really takes 15 minutes tops, saves oodles of time.
I don't batch cook but do refridgerate leftovers.
By having a rota i can see there are just 2 or 3 things to do that one day so it doesn't build up.
I try and leave the living room tiday when i go up to bed and minimal - if any - washing up.
My house is most definitely 'lived in' messy but not dirty, bar the odd tea cup or spoon.
Oh and small cleans in between: bathroom and kitchen. I* don't clean just once a week, i spot-clean as i see dirt.
DH and I both. He is no stranger to a microfibre cloth or the toilet duck
I am the laziest person i know, so the rota helps a lot. I can spend 30 minutes/an hour on the house and the rest of the time is cup of tea and an episode or two of X-Files.
@Zoflorabore haha!!! I love it! I need to find the new orange one and pink grapefruit. I love twilight garden!
Don't put it down, put it away is a song my mother used to sing me
nurse I got both of them you mentioned in Home Bargains last week, come join us on the zoflora thread
Omg there's a zoflora thread?!!? Actually squealed!
Wow, this is fab, loads of info!
I drew up a chore list when we first moved in, some we already did, some that I'm trying to make a habit. Please let me know what I'm missing if you spot anything.
Bring down washing
If time/enough washing - load washing machine
Fill and put on dishwasher if enough dishes (I've found that we normally need it on every other day)
Clean down surfaces
Put out washing
Wipe down appliances (including inside the oven)
Clean our hamster
Put out bins
Maintenance clean dishwasher and washing machine
Wash inside windows
Wipe down doors, skirting boards, light switches, etc
Beat out front and back mats
Even after reading the zoflora thread and buying some I'm still not sure of the draw or use of it. I'm clearly missing something.
How often do people clean the outside of their windows? I think we're going to have to get a window cleaner for the upstairs.
I think I've managed to browbeat DH into squeegy the shower once he's finished so that helps.
@NotAMammy well done! That's excellent! I clean the inside of my windows every 2 weeks or when I can be arsed, outside is every month in the summer.
Zoflora is hit and miss for some people, I love it because of the smells and that it does clean well.
Watching this with interest and picking up tips. My husband and I are not exactly natural home makers... I feel so proud every day that I make the bed, like I'm a proper person.
When cooking, tidy up and wash as you go.
Get an extra vacuum cleaner for upstairs, and leave it up there.
A bunch of flowers will brighten up any room.
Clear out your fridge frequently, and be ruthless, you are not trying to create new life forms in there.
Get rid of all unwanted mail/leaflets/free papers ASAP
@AdaColeman yes to the extra Hoover! We have a cheap corded one which is like the Dyson cordless, cost me about £30 but has paid for itself. We have a Dyson animal for downstairs.
@applesauce1 my mum use to always go to me "oh we will never make a housewife out of you!" & I was like good!!!
If you decide to be an ironer, then keep on top of it, no huge piles of damp washing waiting to be "done".
On the other hand, you could decide not to iron, but to hang washing up in such a way as creases would be minimal.
Invest in some nice willow/rush baskets.
A pile of tat from your handmade cards hobby is just a pile of tat, but put it into a pretty handmade basket and it becomes a feature of your arty individualistic living room.
I iron on a Sunday with the door closed and some music on normally. Minimal ironing though, just work stuff. I have an agreement with DH that I iron, he changes the beds because I bloody hate changing the duvet cover but most of the ironing is his.
I may or may not use 'will I have to iron it' as a deciding factor when buying clothes...
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