Time-Saving Household Tips

January 25, 2012

HGTV sent me some cool tips I just had to share. Because even though we have a lot of time-saving devices in our home, we often feel we can’t bother cleaning, as if it’s taking us away from something more important.

I don’t know about you, but I find a messy house to be a stressful place to be. So take these tips and run with them. Courtesy of HGTV whose latest issue (February/March) already hit the stands January 17th. Grab your copy while you can!

Dirty Little Laundry Secrets from the Pros

It’s the chore that never ends! Get it done easier and faster with tips from our crew of washing and folding experts.

–          A sink for hand-washing: A two minute soak in the sink isn’t enough. You need to soak stains for at least 10-30 minutes to really make a difference.

–          Bins for sorting: Don’t just separate by color but also by material. You don’t want to wash fuzzy fabrics like chenille and flannel with corduroy or permanent-press items, which can be magnets for lint.

–          Countertops for folding: Don’t fold clothes hot right out of the dryer (we know – we all do it!). You can wind up with creases that are hard to get rid of.

–          A rod for hanging: A rod is hey for keeping shirts smooth and crease-free. Take collared shirts out of the dryer a few minutes before they’re dry to prevent the neck from stretching and the collar from getting floppy.

–          Did you know: You should clean the inside of your washing machine to keep it and your clothes smelling fresh? You can put the lint screen from the dryer in the dishwasher? Hot pink, bring green, and electric blue can bleed more than other colors in the washing machine? Using too much detergent can actually make your clothes dirtier.

–          3 stain busters to have on hand: Rubbing alcohol for ink. Raise armpit stain remover for getting out touch sweat stains. Blue dawn dish soap for grease.

 

When was the last time you cleaned…

HGTV’s experts reveal common household items that might be getting neglected in the cleanliness department. Here are some tips on how and when to clean your hair brushes, pillows, coffee makers, produce bins in your fridge, etc. – and the answers may surprise you!

–          Your hairbrush: Beauty experts recommend washing your hair brush every two months. First pull out all stray hairs with a comb. Fill a sink with warm water and a squirt of soap or mild shampoo, and soak your brush for 15 minutes. (If your brush has padding, boar bristles, or a wooden handle, swish it back and forth in the sink and then rinse to prevent the brush getting waterlogged.

–          The inside of your coffee machine: Clean your machine after every dozen brews. Insert a coffee filter and fill the reservoir with two parts white vinegar and one part water, and run the machine through one full cycle. Then, repeat the process twice with cold water and filters.

–          The produce bins in your fridge: Scrub your bins every few months to keep produce flavors fresh. Empty the drawers and remove them from the fridge. Dip a cloth in a mixture of 4 tablespoons baking soda and 1 quart warm water, then wipe down the inside and outside of each bin. Avoid household cleaners, which can make food taste like chemicals. Be sure to rinse the bins in warm water before returning to the fridge.

Have any other time-saving tips to make your surroundings squeaky clean? Write in and let me know!

Sick of No Sick Days?

June 10, 2009

MomsRising.org is a very cool organization that seeks to empower people to live great lives. Since the power of slow is about mindful living, remember this: everyone is susceptible to illness. Non-paid sick days can spell disaster for some people.

MomsRising has taken the issue to Washington. Tomorrow, the Congressional Education and Labor Committee’s Workforce Protections Subcommittee will be hosting a hearing on The Healthy Families Act. This tissuesbill would guarantee seven paid sick days per year for workers at businesses with 15 or more employees, to be used to recover from routine illness, care for a sick family member, or seek services to recover from domestic violence.

In response to the swine flu outbreak, MomsRising members sent in nearly 50,000 letters to Congress asking them act now to address the fact that over 40% of private sector workers have no paid sick days.  In today’s economy, folks without paid sick days can’t afford to follow the CDC’s advice to stay home when they, or their children, are sick–and that puts everyone at risk of exposure to illness, whether it’s swine flu or any other communicable disease.

Just last week, they introduced the Healthy Families Act, which would allow people to earn paid sick days.  It has its first big hearing this very week, one of the key hurdles the bill has to jump before it can become a law.

The great news is you can move mountains. If you live in the United States, you can tell your Congressman or woman to move this Act into law.

Slow Barometer

March 30, 2009

Bernadette Noll at SlowFamilyLiving.com brought up a terrific point. Do you have a slow barometer to gauge whether your life feels managable or not? Without really knowing it, I have one, too. Typically during the week, I snaildon’t schedule more than two appointments a day outside of my regular routine. With the kids’ schedules and extracurricular events, more than two activities a day starts to feel hectic.

Do you have a slow barometer, too?