Clean Fast, Knit More

My DD is in her first year of college. Like I said in an earlier post, I discovered Fly Lady years ago and turned my DD into a Fly Baby. I’ve always made her clean up her own room and at some age, the dusting and vacuuming (and cleaning her bathroom) became her responsibility - especially during the summer when she wasn’t in school. BUT, when she was little and a fan of “clutter” and not picking up clothes, toys, etc., I decided to start something new. She knew that her room was to be picked up before she went to bed. And that didn’t mean shoved in the closet and under the bed. I HATED stumbling over crap on her floor if I needed to go to her in the middle of the night, so that was my “excuse.” I can’t tell you how many nights I’d go to tuck her in and get her butt out of bed b/c her room wasn’t picked up.

You know, before long she discovered she liked it that way and I didn’t have to say anything to her anymore. She was one tidy teenager. When other people came over and looked in her room, they always thought I kept it that way. Nope, it was all her. I won’t say she’s a neat freak, but i probably could. Liking things neat and organized has now spilled over into her college dorm. So teaching your kids to live in clean, clutter free space really does make a difference.

Another tip: Use coffee filters when cleaning windows or glass fixtures (like chandeliers). They are lint free and leave things sparkling.

Also, I’m sure you all know about baking soda being a great cleaner (especially if you run out of Comet or other abrasive cleanser). But, you can also use it for facials. Instead of buying/using an expensive facial resurfacing cream use a handful of baking soda! Take a handful into the shower (or use at the sink. Wherever.) wet it and make it into a paste and rub on your face, neck, hands - wherever. Then rinse and moisturize. You’ll be so soft you won’t believe it. Do this once a week or less often if you have sensitive skin. This is not to be used as a regular daily exfoliator, it really is a resurfacer.

You can also use white vinegar in your wash instead of fabric softeners. (DH has lots of allergies, so I’ve learned lots of alternatives over the years). I just pour about 1/4-1/3 cup into the fabric softener dispenser in the washer. If the smell gets to you, just add a few drops of essential oil with it; I particularly like a mix of sweet fennel and clary sage. And lavender is great for sheets.

Hi! :waving:

A good workman knows his tools.

Some years back, when I discovered that the cute little thingy on the front of my electric can opener was actually for opening bottles, I realized that there was a lot I didn’t know about most of my appliances! I’d spent hours over that time looking for my hand-held bottle opener that mostly stayed lost in my silverware drawer but suddenly here was this wondrous little gadget that meant no more rooting around!

Going with the theme that seconds saved added up to hours saved, and hours saved could be spent knitting, finding that bottle opener actually bought me some knitting time! :woohoo:

Quite awhile ago I got myself a huge 3 ring binder and some of those clear plastic pocket inserts. I gathered up all my appliance and equipment instruction manuals and sorted them by category - kitchen appliances, power tools, laundry equipment, personal (like curling irons, blow dryers, etc.). All those things, along with any warranty cards, receipts, etc. go into that one binder.

I’d already made it a habit that when I got a new gadget or appliance I would read the instructions before I used it. There are so many labor- and time-saving devices available, and very often those devices have features that, if you know they’re there, can save you lots of effort and gain you more knitting time.

Now, if I have to have an appliance repaired I can pull out the manual for the repairman. It’ll usually have a parts list and always has the model and serial number. (If it doesn’t, I write it in before I file it). Or if I have to order a part myself, like a new glass coffee carafe to replace one that mysteriously cracked, all the info is right there. This has saved me bucks as well as time, since I don’t end up tossing the whole small appliance because a part is damaged!

Make no mistake - anyone keeping a home is holding an executive position! There isn’t a CEO in the land who can juggle details like a homemaker.

Hope this helps gain you some time with the sticks and string!

Happy knitting and fast cleaning,

Ruthie :hug:

Well said!!! :hug:

Thanks for all the [COLOR=black]vinegar [/COLOR]tips. Please note that [COLOR=black]vinegar [/COLOR]is also [FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3][COLOR=green][B]FRIENDLY TO OUR ENVIRONMENT[/B][/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT] - unlike fabric softners and limescale cleaners.

[COLOR=blue]Tip[/COLOR]: cleaning your kettle: pour a bit of [COLOR=black]vinegar [/COLOR]into kettle. Leave for few minutes. Add a bit of water. Boil and wash. Viola!

[COLOR=black]Vinegar [/COLOR]can also be used to clean your shower head.

I agree with you!! No one is born knowing how to clean a room or do laundry. We must be taught or learn the hard way when we’re adults.
When my kids were young teenagers (now they are in their late 30s and nearly 40), they would complain about having to go collect their dirty clothes, which never seemed to make it to the laundry bin. Finally we decided that they would be responsible for their own laundry. The first few times I oversaw the project, and agreed that I would instruct at whatever time they were ready to do laundry. ( That was to prevent pink underwear and shrunken items). It worked out great, and both have told me how grateful they were when they went off to college.
You’re doing the right thing to teach them young, and they will appreciate knowiing these things when they’re grown.

I SOOO agree with teaching the kids to clean. My two are totally responsible for the day to day of their rooms (the 4 y.o. does great, the 2 y.o. obviously needs a little guidance, but she does pretty good as well.) They love to empty the dishwasher and have recently picked up “helping” with the dusting and sweeping. They follow so much in what they see me do. I don’t demand (only encourage) help. Our philosophy is that if they are part of the house, they can help with its runnings. On a side note… My hubby is great about helping as well. Often it just takes asking “will you…” he has never told me no about helping.

I have been using vinegar to clean for a while, but had never heard or really thought about steeping it with cinnamon for a better smell. Very cool tip.

If you have Pergo floor you can make your own cleaner with equal parts water, vinager, and alcohol. Place all in a spray bottle and clean away. Cleans beautifully and does not damage the floor. Also works on windows and mirrors.

This has been *such * a great thread~ I love all the great vinegar tips!! ANd the tips/comments about teaching your kids to clean up and be responsible for their things, as well as cook. I’ve been (trying!) to teach my kids these things for years! LOL!~ I do have to remind them a lot though. I am glad they will know the basics of house keeping when they are grown!

I have another tip for natural cleaning. I had a pot that someone made oatmeal in (probably one of the kids, certainly couldn’t have been Me~lol!! jk), and it burnt to a cinder on the bottom. The pan was blackened and ruined-no amount of scrubbing would get it all, not even SOS. A friend suggested putting water with baking soda in it (and possibly vinegar, I can’t remember for sure) and boiling for a few minutes. She said it would come right off easily after that. I have to admit, I didn’t think it would work, but I gave it a try anyway, and lo-and-behold, IT WORKED!!!

So the lesson learned: you don’t have to throw away a perfectly good pot because of horrible burnt on crud, like I did when I was about 21 and was at my wits end :teehee:

Hi, Hilary! :waving:

This tip of yours has saved me many a pot over the years!!! And there’s something else that might help head trouble off at the pass.

I always keep a couple of single edged razor blades tucked away in my kitchen. If I have any food that’s cooked hard onto a pan or glass dish that razor blade will usually just whisk it away. It’s amazing how it works! And it doesn’t scrape up the pans, either.

I also use it for scraping off anything burned on my glass-topped stove. Used at the right angle it won’t scratch the glass and can save tons of cleaning time.

And anything that saves cleaning time makes knitting time, right? :slight_smile:

Happy knitting,
Ruthie :hug: