More Household Hints for Cleaning and Organizing.
BACK TO SCHOOL
For 21 years I carried a diaper bag. And getting 9 children ready for school or church is a monumental task.
Are the two related? To me they are; because I always prepared for both the night before.
Make your "getting ready for bed" routine more efficient by adding "getting ready for school" to it.
Make sure all papers that need to be signed, looked at, returned to the school, etc are done, in the backpack, and ready to go.
Make sure homework is done, signed, etc.
Make sure shoes, clean matching socks, clean underwear, clothes for the next day are lying out, ready to be put on.
Pack lunches and have them ready in the fridge.
Have all pack backs lined up ready to go by door.
Some children bathed at night, others in the morning. Never enough hot water or bathrooms for all to do it at the same time.
Have hair ribbons, etc. picked out and ready for next morning.
Have breakfast idea chosen and make sure you have what is needed so that you are not worrying about that in the morning.
Have briefcase ready with all needed documents, gadgets, and so forth.
Have the diaper bag packed with clean clothes, plenty of diapers, wipes, toys, etc. And have bottles already mixed, filled, and sitting ready-to-go in fridge.
If you ready everything the night before, the morning is usually pretty calm. But if you are looking for socks, shoes, doing homework, trying to print out something, the morning will be chaotic.
Homemade Shower Spray and Laundry Soap
Keep a squeegee in the shower or a shower spray.
After your shower, quickly spray or squeegee down the walls and doors to keep them nice and clean.
My friend Alice, makes her own spray:
Homemade Shower Spray
1 teaspoon of Jet Dry (for Dishwashers) with
1 Tablespoon of your preferred all-purpose disinfectant cleaner.
Make sure the cleaner is one that impedes the growth of mildew.
Put them in a quart spray bottle, then fill it up with water.
(Just make sure the two cleaners are compatible).
I also keep a quart spray bottle that I fill with water and a teaspoon of bleach. This bottle I use to spray any mildew that starts to grow. If you teach all the family members to spray it just as it first begins to grow…it never gets out of hand.
Homemade Laundry Detergent
July 27, 2010, in Self-Sufficiency, Skills, by Country Survival
Making your own home made laundry detergent is one way that you can save money.
It is really a personal preference, and some might think it’s just really a big hassle to make it yourself. This is a laundry detergent that does not have the harsh chemicals, dies, and perfumes (like the commercial products) that is really sensitive for some people.
What you need:
1 bar of soap (Fels Naptha, Zote, Ivory)
1 box of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (available in the laundry area)
1 box of 20 Mule Team Borax
A five gallon bucket with a lid
Three gallons of tap water
A big spoon to stir the ingredients
A measuring cup
A knife or grater
The Borax cleans, disinfects and softens the water. Arm & Hammer Washing Soda works on grease and neutralizes odors. The bar soap is a heavy duty laundry soap and stain remover.
Do not buy Arm & Hammer Baking Soda in place of Washing soda. They are two different products that are not interchangeable and results will vary if substituting one for the other.
Also, grate the soap first. This is so it dissolves better in the wash. The finer it is, the quicker it dissolves. Keep in mind this is the most time consuming part of the whole thing after that it is a breeze.
Homemade detergents produce low suds; you will not see many suds in the wash. This is actually good as the new machines that are HE require a low sud detergent
You only need 2 Tablespoons of laundry soap per normal load. This roughly comes out to about 1/8 cup. (I actually use double this or more, but I always do large loads. I also put it directly on the clothes as I am afraid it is too thick and would gum up the machine and it hasn't stained any of the clothes...of course, I usually try to put a towel, a tee-shirt or something like that on top...where I pour the detergent...)
1) First of all, boil 4 cups of tap water using a pan on your stove until it is almost boiling.
2) Shave the bar of soap into strips using a knife or grater and put it directly into the pan of boiling water. 3) After you have shaved or grated the whole bar of soap, you need to stir the hot water until it is dissolved and it becomes highly soapy water.
4) Then, you need to put three gallons of hot water into the 5 gallon bucket. Mix it with the hot soapy water and stir it for a little while before adding a cup of washing soda. 5) Stir it up to a minute or two, before adding a half cup of Borax. Then, stir it again for a few minutes and let the ingredients sit together overnight.
6) The next morning you will have a bucket of gelatinous slime where by using only 1/8 cup is all it takes to do a batch of laundry. 7) If you want a scent other than the soap smell, you can add an ounce of essential oils.
8) Please bear in mind that this mentioned method might not be suitable for some front loading washers, while the Super Washing Soda is also not recommended for usage on wool or silk.
The cost of homemade soap is about 1/16th the cost of store bought liquid detergents.
I keep cleaning wipes (or when I find baby wipes on sale...) in each room.
I use them to wipe a counter, a sink, a table, the floor, the stairs, a spill, the dash or seat in the car, a car seat, the inside of a purse or diaper bag, the key board, the phone, the potty...
They are easy, fast, and when you clean up the spill when it happens it is 10 times easier than later after it has dried.
Especially, in the car. I try to make sure each time we get out we clean up any mess and take everything into the house.
You know the day you are just too tired to mop! Or there are just a few splatters and you don't even want to get the swiffer out? I always have cleaning wipes in the kitchen, so I just grab one, set it on the floor, and use my food to move it around.
I know, I know...how lazy can you get? Well, I am the queen. I am always looking for an easier, quicker way to do a job. This actually works really well. You do not have to bend over, except to pick up and throw away the wipe.
It's great for quick, small jobs, and makes your floor look presentable quickly with little work.
A Quick Tip on Clothes
Do you ever forget what you wore 2 or 3 days ago? Do you ever ask yourself or your spouse, "Did I wear this last week?"
My husband has a neat way of ensuring that he doesn't ever wear the same thing too often.
First of all he has all his dress pants in one area, all his dress shirts in another. The work clothes are in another part of the closet.
Since they are all neatly lined up, he simply pulls a matching pants and shirt that are on the right. When he put away clothes, he always puts them on the left. That way he goes through the whole row of shirts or pants before he put them on again.
I do it differently, I have all my suits in one area, then separate shirts, skirts, pants, etc. each have their area. Since I tend to dress more on emotion--what color do I feel like wearing today? I am more hit and miss.
I have thought about rotating my things, but I like have a place for each item. That way, I always know where that favorite blouse is. etc. I think at times that maybe I ought to make a list, perhaps a small dry erase board in the closet, that way I could keep exact track of what I have worn. Maybe as I get older and more forgetful, I will have to do that.
I recently was hired to organize a home. As I went from room to room, I kept finding tools; a screwdriver in the bathroom or a hammer in a bedroom.
I asked the client where their tools were kept. They did not have any spot. They lived in a small apartment and had never designated a spot for tools.
I suggested that they purchase a canvas tool bag and keep all the tools as well as nuts, bolts, nails, screws, cable, wire, etc.
If you do not have money for one of the nicer heavy canvas tool bags that have pockets...just use a box or plastic bin. Use smaller boxes to organize nails and stuff. You could even use a plastic silverware divider to organize items.
The main thing is to:
Have a place for everything.
Put everything in it's place.
My mom had 3 Christmas trees, several Christmas villages, and numerous other Christmas decorations.
Each year, it was so frustrating when putting away the decorations to find each individual box for an ornament, wreath, decoration, or item.
I kept thinking there had to be a better way to store the decorations.
I have all my decorations in heavy cardboard boxes or barrels.
I just stuff the bottom of the box with wadded up paper. I then lay down several ornaments. I then put another layer of ornaments. Then another layer of crumbled paper.
This is so much faster than trying to find a specific box or worse...finding the box, but trying to remember how the ornament or item fits into the box.
If an item is particularly fragile, I wrap it in bubble warp and put it in a plastic bag.
I put tinsel or strands of beads in gallon plastic bags. Same with strings of lights. It's easier than trying to rewrap it around the plastic stuff.
I have many Nativities, and I wrap each piece with paper or bubble wrap, put the set in a plastic bag, then put it in one of the barrels with paper around it.
It is extremely time consuming to try to fit a set back into an original box.
I have done this now for several years and it is 3-4 times faster. I also put the vases in the same boxes while they are put away during Christmas.
Items do not break in this manner and you will not believe how efficient it is.