Chances are, anyone entering your home will request to use your bathroom. If there are urine stains on the toilet seat, dirty, wet and stained floor, cluttered counter and misty mirrors; then you receive guests. They’d think you are gross. And to be fair, they will be right. If they see that, it is not rocket science why they will decline to eat. Your bathroom, as insignificant as it may seem, it is a very important room that you can’t leave without. It is no place to take cleaning shortcuts and procrastination. It is not one of those rooms you will close the door and wait until you feel like cleaning to get the job done.
You just have to regularly clean the bathroom. If it is of any help, you are not alone in dreading the job. Moreover, it is in your best interest when the room is clean. It’s so worth it. For instance, it’s a good place to decompress if you had a long day or just want to disconnect from the world for a while. As a matter of fact, I can’t think of a matter way than to take a long shower. Very relaxing, plus a majority of people know better than to bother someone while they are in the bathroom.
We know that if your bathroom is in a bad state, it was never your intention for it to get that gross. We know the drill, you plan to wash your bathroom on the weekend then you end up ‘forgetting’ about it for weeks. That’s why we got you. After you have made the necessary steps to thoroughly clean your bathroom, here are some tips to ensure your bathroom is always ready for impromptu guests.
Clean the bathtub and walls
There are a good number of us who can’t just seem to clean the bathroom unless you hear guests are on their way. By then, it is not a simple task and you’ll be there beating yourself as to why you never keep it clean in the first place. If you are in that position, where you can’t clean before it is out of hand, then this habit will help you. After you have loathed yourself, use a sponge filled with detergent and vinegar and swiftly clean the bathtub. Then as you rinse yourself, you’ll also be rinsing the tub. If you are feeling too lazy to scrub, after showering you can spray your walls with a mixture of water and vinegar. Then whisk away the excess moisture with a squeegee.
Keep things put away
The first step in keeping a place clean is by removing clutter. This is especially true in the bathroom where space is small and an impressive amount of grime can collect. You will have such an easy time when cleaning the surface if it’s free of clutter. Plus your bathroom will instantly look cleaner. Strive to have almost empty surfaces in your bathroom. Neatly store items in the drawers and cupboards.
Keep cleaning tools close
How many times have we talked ourselves out of cleaning the bathroom just because the disinfectant is upstairs? Fight that by having designating their place close by. In the same voice, ensure you have all the arsenals you need to clean your bathroom. It goes without saying that you must own a brush and a disinfectant of your choice. Also have a basket of rolled washcloths on your counter, which you can easily retrieve when you want to wipe the surface.
Let it sit
For an easier time while cleaning your toilet, let the disinfectant sit for some time, you could be wiping the surface or brushing your teeth as you wait. After about five minutes, all you will have to do is swiftly scrub then rinse thoroughly. And your toilet is super clean without much effort on your part. A good way of also cleaning your tub is to let it heat up. Fill the bottom of the tub a couple of inches with the hottest water you can get from the tap. Let it sit for a while, this action will double up the effectiveness of the cleanser you are using. You can also throw some hot water on the walls and surface.
Clean before it gets gross
This can be as simple as wiping off soap on the counter before it hardens and becomes more irritating to clean. Now that your surface is clean and have the necessary tools at hand, make it a routine to daily spread some soda ash on the toilet and give it a quick scrub. When you do it more often, it will be so easy and fast.
Empty trash bin
It is a simple underrated task that goes a long way to ensuring you have a clean bathroom. After you are done showering, make it a habit of clearing your bin as you step out of the shower. Litter is an unpleasant site that can also mess with your nose by the foul smell wafting from it if you let it be long enough.
Spray and fan
A good fragrance is the easiest way of fooling someone that yours is a clean bathroom, especially with empty counters. Invest in commercial air fresheners or use an exhaust fan. Turn it on to keep the air in the bathroom fresh.
Clean glass, mirrors, and counters
Remember the rolled washcloths on your counter? Use those to quickly wipe down the mirrors and counters. You don’t need a cleanser at this point. Just dibble a little water on the cloth then wipe the surface. Same with the mirrors but if you want them shining, you can wipe them down with rubbing alcohol. Also, remember to wash your sink, and you can do it while brushing your teeth than drying the surface with the washcloth.
If you incorporate the tips listed above, it is possible to have a clean bathroom in less than five minutes daily.
If you have kids, you know how easy it is for their toys to take over. The toys seem to find their way in every room and make space look so messed up. Being a mother of three, I had literally given up on having an organized home. Clean, yes, but organized? I was afraid I no longer had the privilege to decide that on my own, apparently, my kids had a lot to say about it. It seemed to be such a thankless thing to do because every time I cleaned and organized my kid’s stuff, they ‘miraculously’ got back to how they were. And no, it didn’t take twenty-four hours. I didn’t think I had the energy to wake up another morning just to clean and organize those toys again.
Every morning I kept thinking, ‘what a waste of my time. This was totally not part of the bargain. No more toys for them’. But you, of course, know how the story ends. I knew to keep their toys, from the word go, wasn’t going to work. As a matter of fact, toys are very helpful for your kid’s growth. Plus they are the reason you can finish up on that movie, therefore, totally eliminating them is not even an option. I had to look for ways to get them organized and still maintain my sanity. If you are trying to handle your kids’ toys, then you have found the right place. Here are ways you can cleverly manage and organize your children’s toys.
Communicate With Your Kids
Kids are smarter than what most of us credit them for. Communicating your values to your kids is essential. Start as early as when they can get the sense of what you are saying. Teaching them discipline is too important to leave to chance. Yet it is surprising how many parents fail to accept this responsibility (no judgment intended). You can start by letting them know where they should keep their toys after playing or the places around the house where toys are banned. You can also tell them how much stuff they need, to prevent buying too much. Don’t forget to communicate the rationale behind your decision so that your kids may not just see it as a limitation on their freedom. Plus taking some soft measures if they disobey. You might seem too strict to your kids but instilling certain values in them goes a long way in their future life. Anyway, you must be the adult because after all is said and done, who will do the cleaning? Yeah, not them. So you might as well be a little selfish and love yourself.
Create a Storage Space
A good storage system is key in maintaining order for your kids’ toys. You will need to first come up with a storage system and this can be a large storage shelf that is simple and quite inexpensive to build. Then collect all the toys and categorize them to know what goes where. Decorative baskets and bins have always done the trick, remember to label them. For instance, you can designate a space for puzzle and board games on top of the shelf to prevent them from getting lost. Books are good for the kids but can also very easily get out of control, therefore, they also have a small bookshelf where they can retrieve a book one at a time. After you have stored them in a smart and organized fashion, you can rotate them to keep them fresh.
Have a Place For Everything
This is the best way of taking care of clutter. When every toy has its place, it is much easier for kids to tidy up when they are finished playing. With this, they won’t have any excuse if a toy is found misplaced. If some of the toys are habitually never in their place, it means it needs to move on because they don’t care enough for it to take a few seconds and place it back. It might be hard to cultivate this habit, but gradually they will get the hang of it. Cleaning the space will be so much easier and you might even find yourself doing it more frequently.
Assess and Donate
Toys, just like clothes, are age-specific and kids will grow out of some when the time comes. That is why it is important to assess your kids’ toys. Look out for the ones that they have outgrown and those which they simply don’t play with frequently. You can then donate them or sell them at a children’s consignment store as long as they are in good condition. If your kids are old enough, they can help you pick on the ones they no longer need.
Regulate How You Buy
Most kids have many toys, mine included (which I have no idea how they accumulated in the first place). And if you are reading this, chances are you are a victim too. To prevent turning your house into a toy shop, regulate what you buy. This will be made easier by having an idea of what you want for your kids and what they enjoy doing. You’d rather spend money on a few but quality toys than many simple toys that they are likely not to play with at all.
Involve The Kids In Cleaning
I know we’d rather do the cleaning ourselves but by now you know when it comes to their toys, they must get involved. It’s their possession and needs to be responsible for them. Involve them in the process of organizing their toys. Let them have a say as to what goes where. Help the kids be aware of what they possess.
The Bottom Line
As parents, due to the love and the need we feel to satisfy our kids, we might be tempted to overwhelm them with toys. If you have the storage space and makes you feel good, buy as many toys as you want for your kid. But at least don’t give it all to them at the same time. No kid has ever played with so much at the same time.
It goes without saying that clothes look their best when the colors are crisp and new. It is everyone’s wish to maintain their color. After a few tossing and drying of your brightly colored clothes, they tend to fade. While this is almost inevitable, you can surely prolong the youthful look of your garment. Especially if clothes grow on you and have favorites like me, which I will still wear even with the faded bright hue. But with time you painfully know you have to let them go unwillingly. That literally hurts, unless of course, you are going for that comfortably stained and faded look.
Then there are stains. If not well treated after they appear on your cloth, stains can be such a turn off on a brightly colored cloth. Wait till it sets and become permanent, then your fancy dinner dress becomes utterly useless. If possible you can recycle and use it as a nightgown (for those who can’t just let it go). If you thought you are the only one struggling with maintaining your whites white, then you are wrong. You have found your people. It has been a struggle for several of us until we learned of a few tips. Try them and see the transformation.
Keeping Whites White
The first step in maintaining your white clothes while washing is by sorting the dirty laundry. Put the whites together and start with that load. As you are loading the washer, do not overload it. This is to prevent the dirt from redepositing itself in another cloth. There should be enough space between clothes for whiter clothes. With white clothes, select a detergent that has optical brighteners. These brighteners fool the eye into seeing the cloth is whiter than it actually is. This is achieved by bending the UV light waves to showcase blue light and minimize the amount of yellow light our eyes perceive making the cloth look whiter.
I should have probably started by mentioning that you should adequately deal with stains. Before you load the washer, ensure that stains are taken care of. Otherwise, due to the pressure applied to the fabric while washing, they might set and be impossible to remove. After you have properly washed the garment, add one cup of distilled white vinegar to the rinse cycle. This is to ensure that all dulling detergent residue is removed. If ready for drying, line-dry them outside if possible. The ultraviolet rays from the sun will naturally whiten the fabric. If there’s hard water in your area, then you’d want to invest in water softeners and add to each load of laundry. If not, the minerals in the water will deposit in your cloth making it look yellow regardless of how well you’ve washed it.
Soak Brightly Colored Clothes in Salty Water
Soaking brightly colored clothes in salty water is actually a habit I learned from my mother. There are commercial products that you can use, yet salt is not only cheap and environmentally friendly but also gets the job well done. Your clothes will be brighter and prevent running to a degree too. Before soaking any cloth with another, ensure it is not colorfast to prevent stains. Fill the washer or basin with cold water, add half a cup of salt then add your cloth. In the morning, add detergent and other clothes if you wish then run the washer as you normally would.
Do Not Over Dry
While over-drying in the sun is good for your white colors, it goes bad with brightly colored ones. Whether you are line drying or using a dryer, don’t let it dry for long. The heat is harsh on dyes and cloth fibers. Makes the color fade quite fast. Or if you are cloth lining, do it under a shade.
Turn Inside Out
It is not rocket science that the more friction is applied on the surface of the fabric, the more faded it will be. Therefore, turning the cloth inside out, will help in keeping the damage on the inside where it is not seen. The same applies to when you are line drying, you need to turn the clothes.
Wash Only When Necessary
Sometimes we wash clothes more often than we should. For the sake of preserving your clothes’ fabric and color, washing when necessary is the easiest way. If you are careful not to get stains on your cloth, you can get several wears before you wash. Use a dry sponge to remove any deodorant streaks and dust collected throughout the day. Some clothes like jeans don’t need to be washed unless they start to show dirt. That can be four to five years.
Don’t Stuff The Washer
Just like when washing whites, do not stuff the washer. This is to prevent removed dirt from redepositing itself on another fabric.
White vinegar is heavenly sent. It can not only maintain the bright hue of your clothes but also restore luster to your clothes. After a proper wash, add half a cup of vinegar to every rinse cycle to rinse away detergent residue from the fabric that may cause yellowing. You can also soak new items in a solution of vinegar to prevent them from running. Additionally, one cup of household ammonia added to the rinsing water will help brighten clothes. But do not use ammonia if bleach has been in use.
Amount of Laundry Detergent
Use as little laundry detergent as possible. That which you only need, overdosing on the laundry detergent is not a guarantee for a cleaner cloth, in fact, it has the opposite effect. When the residue of the detergent stays on the fabric, it makes it turn yellow. If line drying, the suds tend to attract dirt.
Launder brightly colored clothes after every wear even if they look clean. This is because body oil and perspiration can easily stain then fabric. It is also essential for you to clean your washing machine regularly to prevent staining.
Decorating a house isn’t a child’s play at all. To have a beautifully decorated house you will have to dig deep into your pockets something that often hinders a lot of people from decorating their houses. Decors can be really expensive making the process of house decoration to seem unaffordable. Other than cost, some decoration techniques are time-consuming and hard to implement at the same time. Even with the help of online videos, these techniques still seem hard to actualize. Well, for any problem there’s always an excellent solution to it. Everyone desires to live in a house that leaves all the guests admiring the decorations incorporated into that home. There are cheaper and easier ways of turning around the look of your house. In this review, there are various DIYs decorating techniques that are not only cheap but also fun and marvelous.
Floating shelves create a very beautiful illusion that can take someone some minutes before figuring out how such an idea was executed. Wooden shelves can be hard to construct maybe because of the prices of the material required thus floating shelves are your best alternative. To achieve this, you will need two or more metal brackets that are firmly anchored on the wall by screwing them. Floating shelves are ideal because they make use of wall space thus saving you more space to store other items. However, be careful not to put too many books such that the metal brackets won’t be able to withstand the weight exerted by the books.
Plain walls are pretty boring most of the time. On the other hand, painting a wall over and over can become expensive since they are people who love changing the colors of their walls from time to time. In such a scenario, opt for wallpapers. Wallpapers are beautifully crafted and can be customized to any look. You can have lyrics and favorite quotes written in these wallpapers and you can be sure that your walls won’t look the same way again. Anyone who sets their eyes on such a wall won’t be in a hurry to take their eyes off your walls. Wallpapers are easy and cheap to get making them a better option compared to painting.
Turn Wine Corks Into Necklace Racks
Most ladies love necklaces and they have a dozen of them thus storage places for these accessories become a hassle. Well, wine corks can be made useful and can be used to hold accessories such as necklaces and even watches. Paint these corks with a color that suits you then glue them into a small wood in a linear manner. Then, mount the wood into the wall. You can now hang your accessories on the wine corks. This is such a great idea that uses readily available materials. Also, this idea is amazing as it uses wall space saving you more space to store other items.
A Simple Nightstand
From your store or garage, you are likely to find an old table that you have no use for. Such a table can be turned into a marvelous and colorful nightstand. First, cut the table into equal halves. Afterward, you can paint the table with your favorite color. From there on you can attach the table against the wall and you can use it to hold your lampshade or even a glass jar full of flowers.
Chalkboard on Walls
Chalkboards are very convenient and magnificent especially when erected in the kitchen or kid’s bedroom. These chalkboards provide kids a chance to be creative and improve their art skills. In the kitchen, these chalkboards can be used to write reminder lists, rules of the kitchen or even a meal timetable. Chalkboards can really be magnetic when utilized in the proper way.
Shelves With Frames
Well, you may have shelves that have been outdated or are broken and they are lying in your store. Did you know that these shelves that seem useless can be revived and turned into magnificent shelves once again? First, you have to get a beautiful frame and put it on the edges of these shelves so as to recreate a new look. Afterward, you will have to paint the shelves so as to make it appear new.
To avoid confusion in any house, having labels and markings in your house saves guests some headaches and at the same time makes your house look beautifully decorated. These markings can be curved into a simple but beautiful wood, this wood can be attached to a metal bracket that is mounted on a wall. This is a cheap decorative method that will be greatly admired by a lot of your guests and friends.
Painted Flower Pots
There are various flower pots and vases that have been crafted in such an amazing way and then painted in a very admirable way. These vases sometimes are expensive leaving many people with no other option but to admire them from a distance. If you have flower pots of your own, you can work some magic on them by painting them. You can opt for colors such as gold, red or even purple. Bright colored pots tend to rhyme very well with flowers. For instance, vases painted in gold bring out an exquisite design and feeling around your house.
Creativity will earn you a lot when you are decorating your house and you really want to cut down on cost. You don’t have to buy new pillows, you can swap pillows from different rooms and create a new look in your room.
The Bottom Line
There’s no better feeling than that of living in a well-decorated home. With the advancement of decoration techniques, prices shouldn’t be a barrier at all. You don’t need to be an expert in home decors to make your house look fantastic since there are various tips to do so and they can easily be found online. Try these tips and add more flair and glamour to your house,
Cleaning as essential as it is, is not everyone’s cup of tea. We were born and found that people have to clean stuff. To most, I included, is just about “when you go to Rome, do what the Romans do”. Some even feel cleaning is overrated, but seriously though, a clean home is a happy home. It an activity that you can barely look up to, but in a big way very important. The reward is great, who doesn’t enjoy the peaceful vibe that comes out of a clean home? And while there’s not just one way of cleaning your home, there are smart cleaning ways of doing it. The bottom-line is to have a clean home, therefore, why not achieve the same result but now in half the time you used to.
Frankly, life gets in the way most times than we would prefer and cleaning your home seems to be the fair option to be kept aside (I mean, without your salary, you won’t have the house in the first place). Therefore if you are a victim of circumstances like most, you need all the help you can get. Lucky for you, we have some smart ways that will keep things tidy and neat in time. With a few simple changes to your daily routine, you can buy back several of those hours for whatever activity you want to do. Here are some smart cleaning ideas:
Simplify your closet; less laundry
When it comes to the closet, we know the drill. On our good days, we thoroughly organize our stuff only to go back to square one when looking for an outfit the next day. While there are several ways you can solve that problem, there’s one that is most effective. Simplify your closet. Get rid of all the clothes that don’t fit or are out of trend for you. Having less can reap huge rewards in not only having an organized closet but also less laundry to wash. Speaking of laundry, there are clothes that don’t need to be washed as frequently as we do. For instance, jeans should be washed only if it starts showing dirt (we are talking about washing it after about four times of wear). You bras don’t need to be washed after every wear too because they easily get out of shape.
Break up chores
If you are looking for cleaning short-cuts, chances are you don’t have the whole day to do cleaning or you don’t want to put a whole day’s effort. Therefore, instead of spending the whole day cleaning on weekends, break up the chores. Most of us wait until weekends to do our cleaning, in which we are most likely to talk ourselves out of because there will be too much to do. It is easy to distribute the work throughout the week, dealing with the basic ones like washing utensils daily.
Less is more in the kitchen
I can’t think of a room that can be a huge turn off when dirty from the kitchen. Essentially this is the heart of every home. It is a place where meals are prepared and very critical to our health. Therefore, it is important to maintain order in the kitchen by creating a place for everything. This will mean that you cut on some things because our kitchens are not as spacious as our stuff demands. Therefore, go through your utensils donating or keeping in the garage or store the things you don’t need. Also those that are in double. You will then, have an easier time keeping your counters free and clean.
Make use of dead time
This simply means maximizing your time. For instance, if you are leaving a room, you can grab something and put it in its right place. Or you can be setting the table as the food warms up. Or straightening up your throw pillows when the show goes for a break. This, though, should not be mixed up with multitasking. There’s a fine line between the two.
Have a junk drawer
A floor that has only furniture and less clutter is way easy to clean. That is why you need to have a place for everything. Yet there’s this hack that most people overlook. A junk drawer. This is a drawer that is used to keep things that are regularly used. And by regular, I mean nothing more than a week. These can be your keys, remote, pen or the novel you are recently reading. You can have a draw for that purpose in every room. You will have an easy time wiping surfaces due to less clutter.
Get your kids to help
You might roll your eyes at the thought of your kids doing the cleaning. We get it, all they seem to get well done is having stains on their clothes. But if you know your way around getting your kid to do a task, they can be very good at it. Allocate them responsibilities according to their capability. There’s so much they can help you do, for instance, feed the pet, water the garden, set the table or put away grocery. Mostly, to have it easy when cleaning, talk to them to ensure their toys are always contained in the right place. You will love that you did, kids are smart and they get it. Trust them and teach them smart cleaning ways to make it easier for them.
Clean the bathroom after bathing
By now you know it is best if you clean your kitchen after every use, same applies to the bathroom. It might sound inconvenient but gradually you will realize it is easier that way. You will rarely have to deal with stains and scum. Bathrooms can get really gross if you let them. Therefore, after you finish bathing, swiftly squeegee your bathroom. You will be grateful you didn’t leave the dirt to accumulate for a week.
Have area rugs in high traffic areas
You don’t want to be mopping or vacuuming every other day. You can solve this by having a no-shoe-indoor policy, or enjoy the comfort of your shoes but then invest in area rugs. You will simply take them out to hose or air them.
In as much as we would want to be healthy and eat right for prolonged life, there are some unnoticeable items that are always around us that are very toxic to our bodies and are probably the cause of our health problems no matter how much we check our diet. In order for us to be cautious of them, we need to be aware of each and everything we bring in our homes. A few of them are listed below.
1. Deodorants and Perfumes
Some of these fragrances that we use are not as friendly as the odor they have. Most of them are made up of chemicals like acetone and methylene that may cause nausea and irritation to the eyes and throat. You would think that you are just sick but the cause of your illness lies in that perfume that you love so dearly. Seek advice from your beauty consultant on more natural alternatives to toxic perfumes and deodorants.
2. Toilet Disinfectants and Bleaching Agents
Most of these products contain very harmful chemicals for them to work effectively. For instance like the smell of the bleach is very irritating to the nose and you have to wear gloves while handling it since it can cause burns when in contact with your skin. The best alternative here is to have your DIY cleaning agents. You could mix baking soda with a little vinegar to scrub your toilet bowls and sink with it.
3. Air Fresheners
In as much as we want our home smelling fresh, air fresheners can be really toxic to our environment especially if not well ventilated. You could get some really fresh flowers or plants around your home as an alternative. Another idea is to get a fabric softener and add a little baking soda in it then spray your house with it. It is less polluting to your environment. Ensure your house is well ventilated after spraying.
4. Bug Spray
It is best to try and avoid those insecticides in your house. Try cleaning your house and tidying up your kitchen to avoid bugs. In a severe case where you need to fumigate your house, it is best that you check into a hotel for a few days for the air to clear before coming back to clean your entire house just to make sure that there are no traces of the chemicals left.
5. Switches and Extension Cables
Always be checking out for loose wires or switches that have lost a screw or two. Ignoring such things can cause a major harm to your home like fires and shocks. Before you go to bed, counter check that all lights are off and that the water taps are tightly closed else you wake up in the morning to find water everywhere and when you step on the water you instantly get electrocuted because of the switches that were left on or unattended to.
6. Open Hair in The Kitchen
We all know that leaving your hair open around the kitchen is disgusting and unhygienic but it is also very dangerous. The products we use on our hair and the hair itself is highly flammable. Always have a hair net when in the kitchen just avoid harm to yourself.
7. Gas Cylinder
Be sure to check your gas knob when going out or as you go to bed. Ensure the knob is tight and check if the cylinder has any kind of crack that might cause leakage. Before you do anything in the morning, open all windows to let clean air in just as a health measure.
Burning candles in our homes especially when you want to have that inviting feeling can be harmful to your health. Most of these scented candles are made of paraffin which when lit emits some dangerous chemicals such as benzene. You can use those artificial flames from the store just to avoid any emergencies at home.
You could think of warming up your home during the winter by lighting up your fireplace. That could be a very bad idea especially if you are using charcoal. This is because charcoal emits carbon monoxide which has very slight symptoms but the effects are fatal. In some instances, inhaling too much carbon monoxide causes death.
10. Plastic Items
Avoid plastic containers, toys or water bottles around the house. They contain some elements like phthalate or are made out of PVC. Get an alternative to plastic or you could choose toys and plastic items that are labeled PVC free. Avoid plastic completely in the kitchen because they can cause quite a mess when in contact with fire and the smell of burnt plastic can also cause irritation of the nose.
11. Broken Glass
Always take a broken glass as a priority. Leave everything else and pick up the larger pieces carefully then seep the smaller pieces into a dustpan. You can then vacuum the area just to be sure that all the pieces are collected. Also, keep checking your glass utensils for any chip that could cut you as you are taking tea or water.
12. Loose Nails
On your free day, take your time to walk around the house and check carefully on your wall for any loose nails that might prick you or tear away your clothes. You could also think of replacing the nails with other safer alternatives from the store that are plastic-free.
The Bottom Line
The list is endless when it comes to anything that might cause harm to you and your family. Always be careful of anything around you and inquire about the contents of what you want to buy at the store just to make sure it doesn’t bring a long-term effect. Remember, staying healthy is one thing but living an accident-free life from the least expected things around your home is another. Have time to check around your house once in a while even for pests or tiny insects that come around your home which might be a danger to you.
Things made out of plastic are very attractive and you find yourself buying them every time you head out for shopping. However, plastics take years and years to degrade hence being an environmental hazard. Not all plastics are recycled as well so it is better to avoid using these products not only for our environment but for our own personal well-being. It is possible to have a plastic-free home. You can get some of the products to replace the plastic or ways in which you can avoid plastic around your home.
1. Kid’s Toys
Most babies and toddlers love chewing or stuffing their mouths with toys. Plastic toys could have a harmful chemical which once consumed would cause harm to the body. Look for eco-friendly toys such as wooden toys that have more natural elements. They last longer too.
2. Food Containers
Replace your plastic containers with foods that are packed in cardboard or foil paper. Avoid microwaving food in plastic as the heat will only speed up the reaction of phthalates which can transfer into your food. Go for more reusable options like tins or food bags.
3. Food Storage
Always encourage your family to store food in the fridge using mason jars, glass bowls or even steel bowls. This will help in avoiding the trouble of having to wonder where to take your plastics for recycling and will ensure a clean environment in your home. Food stored in plastic tends to go bad faster than when stored in other containers. Many homes have plastic bottles or containers stuffed in one plastic bag around the kitchen which doesn’t quite bring a pleasing picture.
4. Shopping Bags
For a longer-lasting, washable and reusable bag, get one that is not plastic. You can also do your own DIY shopping bag out of canvas or a piece of cloth that you no longer use to make sizeable bags for the whole of your family to use on grocery shopping. Plastic bags are very dangerous especially when you have kids around. They could easily harm the child in terms of suffocation as the kids are playing around with it. If you really need to have a bag or two in the house, make sure you keep it as far away from your kids as possible.
5. Home Décor
Before deciding what interior décor to use in your home, ensure that you check its material with caution as not to get anything with plastic content in it. Be keen on things like flower pots, vases, and garden gnome among others. The chemicals contained in those plastics could easily harm your dog as he chews on them. Get ceramic products instead and if you like glass, be sure to keep them in a safe place out of reach of children or pets.
6. Door Stoppers
Get rubber made door stoppers for your baby’s room as plastic could easily crack when the door is banged and leave sharp pieces on the ground which could cut your baby. Go for stainless steel door handles as well as replacement of the plastic ones. Also, ensure the baby’s entire room is plastic-free. You could replace plastic drawers with wooden ones.
7. Water Bottles
Stainless steel water bottles are much better in terms of durability and safety. If you prefer a glass made water bottle, just use a silicone sleeve to help prevent breakage. Dispose of the glass bottle once you notice some cracks to avoid cuts. It is not advisable to store hot water in even the hardest plastics.
8. Phone Cases
This is one of the most important to avoid. Sometimes our phones overheat when we are charging it or when we overuse it. The heat on the phone will gradually transfer to the plastic case which, in a severe scenario might cause burns when in contact with your skin.
9. Disposable Cups
There are these cups that we love using especially when you have events like birthday parties. They are disposable yes, but how do you make sure you dispose of all of them well and are they recyclable? Instead of having such questions, it is better getting melamine cups and plates that can be washed and used again. This is the best idea for going green and it is also cost-effective since you won’t keep going back to the store every time you have an event.
10. Buy Beauty Products Stored in Plastic-Free Containers
Things like lotions, perfumes, lip balms and foundation mostly come in plastic packages. Try getting the ones that come in metal containers or cardboard jars. If you are good at DIY, you can make a homemade lotion out of organic ingredients.
11. Carry Your Own Tin for Take-out
If you love take-out or just carrying your leftovers, consider requesting your food joint to allow you to carry your own container instead of taking with you their disposable ones. This option is also best if you need to buy prepared food or meat at a store.
12. Return Containers for Re-Use
Having to put tomatoes or fruits in a reusable bag is not the best idea as they can get crushed. Instead, get your own container and empty your stuff inside them or just have a habit of returning the plastic containers once in a while to your local organic market or store to avoid piling them in your house
13. Get Live Plants
Want to have green around your house? Go for live plants instead of the plastic ones as they also bring in the fresh air in the house. If you can’t be able to take care of a live plant because you are too busy, go for trees made out of natural materials like recycled cardboard.
The Bottom Line
Those are just a few of the alternatives to the daily things we use around the house that need to be plastic-free. Other items are like combs, blow dryers, CDs, and DVDs. All these can be very dangerous especially when in contact with heat. It is better to get rid of all of them and decide to go green with eco-friendly products that will save our environment. Eventually, your home will be fully green with everything plastic-free.
Clean is attractive. We all aspire our living areas to be sparkling clean so as to attract guests. Here are some genius cleaning hacks that are sure to help you in your cleaning routines:-
Clean Your Sofas with Baking Soda
Your sofa will get dirty over time from use. Normal soap might be a bit too harsh and leave corrosion marks on your sofa, also it might not perform the job as well as you expect it to. To clean dirt off your comfy sofa, mix one part of water with one part of baking soda, then use the solution to clean your sofa.
Treat Stinking Garbage with a Lemon
You might notice your garbage still stinks even when you seal off everything in a polythene bag. Such odors will make your home unbearable to live in. To counter this, cut a lemon into small pieces and dip it into the trash can. It will eliminate the bacteria at home contributing to the stinky odor, and add a fresh smell to the whole place.
Clean Your Chopping Board with a Lemon
Pieces of meat might get lodged into your chopping board when using it. Normal soap does not guarantee total removal of this remains. You can use a piece of lemon to clean off all the gunk and leave your chopping board clean as new, and smelling fresh.
Clean Your Oven with Vinegar and Baking Soda
Ovens often get caked remains stuck on their floors and walls. These are hard to get off. Use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda and water to wipe off the dirt off and your oven will be back to its glory.
Cleaning and Freshening Up Your Wood Surfaces
Use a hairdryer to quickly dry up damp wood floors or surfaces. Also, you can use olive oil to liven up your wood surfaces. For wooden surfaces that ooze stinky odors, use a lemon to ward off the smells.
Hide Leather Scratches with Shoe Polish
Leather sofas, jackets, shoes, or any other paraphernalia might get scratch damage. You can hide this by applying shoe polish and rubbing it till you achieve a shine. Remember to wipe off any extra polish. Your leather materials will be as glorious as new.
Clean Scum Off Water Tubs with Baking Soda
Water tubs often times get stained by a layer of scum due to an amalgamation of products from the reaction of hard water and soap. This layer is ugly and often proves difficult to remove. Use a mixture of liquid soap and baking soda with water to dissolve it off. After wiping, the tub will be clean as new and you can go ahead to use it.
Clean Toilets with Vinegar
Clean resistant stains on the toilet bowl with vinegar and restore the white color. Vinegar also purges any odors from the toilet.
Use Toothpaste To Restore White Sneakers
If your sneakers have stained and the white color is not clear, use a wad of paste to clean off the stains and they will be restored to their former glory. Also, any white rubber can be restored back to white with toothpaste.
Toothpaste is also useful for cleaning dirty or worn out engagement rings back to their shiny states.
Clean Burnt Stick Pans with Water, Vinegar, and Baking Soda
Burnt pans are a pain to deal with. Use a mixture of water, vinegar, and baking soda then heat it in the burnt pan. Wipe off the residue and the pan will be clean.
Clean Your Keyboard With an Old Toothbrush
Dust and dirt that collects on your computer keyboard, your mouse pad, your mouse and even parts of the CPU, can be cleaned off using an old toothbrush. The bristles are thin and long enough to reach areas where normal fiber might not reach and effectively clean.
Collect Broken Glass Bits Effectively
Some of your cutlery might be glassware and they break often. Collection of broken pieces is a daunting task since you can get cut, and also there are really small pieces you might leave out that will hurt later. To avoid this, use a thick piece of bread to press on the floor area where the glass is, then collect and dispose of.
Use Chalk To Rid Off Grease Stains in Cloth
Grease is a particularly bothersome stain to get off clothes even with lots of soap. Rub some chalk on the grease stain area and the dirt will come off very quickly.
Carpet Cleaning Hacks
Use baking soda to purge oil, coffee or tea stains from your carpet. In addition, you can use rubbing alcohol to rub off nail polish that has stained your carpet.
Cleaning Your Cutlery
Use some sea salt to clean off dirt from your iron dishes.
Use cream of tartar to wash your stainless steel cutlery and surfaces.
To avoid scratching your glassware cutlery using other washing methods, use a ball of aluminum foil to clean the glassware.
Graters are hard to clean since you can hurt yourself trying to reach for the small bits in between holes. Grate a full raw peeled potato on your grater to help get rid of this bits. Then you can proceed to wash with soap.
Use lemon to clean off faucet stains.
You can also use lemon to keep your sink smelling fresh.
Cleaning Cabinet Doors
Use vegetable oil mixed with baking soda to clean your cabinet doors. If they are wooden, you can later dry them by using a hairdryer.
Use a sharp razor to scrap paint stains off from your clothes before washing them.
Use Coca-cola To Wipe Off Stains
Coca-cola can be used to wipe off rust stains on surfaces. It can also be used to clean off resistant oil stains from the floor, such as those in a garage floor, very efficiently.
Use a mixture of baking soda and bleach to clean off any residue in your bathroom. This mixture will also restore the color of the tiles in the bathroom.
Shine Mirrors and Floors with Lemon juice
Squeeze some lemons and obtain the juice extract. This can be used to bring back the shine on your mirrors and dull floors, restoring them back to their glory.
There are more cleaning hacks for your home but the above should get you started on the exciting journey of exploring cleaning hacks.
Ever found yourself in a hurry and you do not have time to clean your clothes or you were just too busy at work and you forgot about laundry? Or maybe you have a stubborn stain that just won’t come off? No need to worry because the below ideas will make it easier for you to clean your clothes from almost anywhere you are.
Getting rid of a chewing gum mess.
You may be in the office and accidentally sit on gum. That feeling is so annoying and it knocks you off everything you were doing just to figure out how to get it off. Just take your shirt and place it in a freezer for a while. The gum will be easier to remove when frozen other than in its natural sticky self and it will not leave any mess. Try this at home too.
If you get some mud stains on your outfit, don’t fret. Mud stains are so messy but very easy to remove. The first step after you see a mud stain on your shirt is, do not touch or try to rub it off. Be patient and wait for it to completely dry up. When dry, hold your cloth in a manner like you want to hand wash and rub it together on your hands. The stain will simply come off. You can also get a brush and brush through the stain as it will have dried and become like dust making it easy to come off.
If you accidentally spill ink on your shirt, just get some cotton wool or earbuds and soak it in the rubbing alcohol or any rubbing liquid you can get and press it through the stain as you gently rub. The ink will automatically come off. Just wait for it to dry preferably in the sun first for a better outcome.
Use a blow dryer.
Blow dryers can come in handy for your hair especially when you are away on vacation, at work or at a friend’s place and need to clean your clothes. It can, however, be used in an instance where you passed through a dusty road and got dust all over yourself. In this case, water might not be a good idea to use especially when you are in a situation where it is impossible to wait for your outfit to dry. Simply take a blow dryer and turn it on low heat but maximum air and aim at the dust area to blow it away. This is one of the most effective ways to get dust out of your clothes.
This mostly applies to oil stains. Try to suck up as much oil as you can on your cloth with the use of a paper towel or another dry cloth. Do not rub the cloth on the oil. Just pat harder on the oil until all the oil has been soaked up then take baby powder and put as much as you can on the oil. Wait for twenty to forty minutes and dust off the powder. The oil should have been cleared up by the powder at the time.
Hand-held vacuum cleaner.
Cotton materials are prone to attracting dust more than any other texture of material. Washing will only worsen the situation. The best idea is to tackle the fabric when dry. Take the handheld vacuum and run it through the cloth repeatedly. It will pull off any foreign thing making the cloth look clean and tidy. This technique is actually used by tailors as a finishing touch on their clothes including velvet fabrics as well.
If you are having some trouble of getting dirt out of your leather clothing, just take a scotch tape and press it over the affected area and pull it off. Be careful not to pull it off so hard or with force as it may come out with some of your material. The dirt will automatically come off with the tape as you will see on the tape itself. You can do this repeatedly if the dirt is in multiple areas of the cloth. This method is not advisable for velvet or silk.
Lemon For Sweat Stains
Most of us think that it’s nearly impossible to get rid of sweat stains because, after some time, they turn yellowish and tend to look very disgusting on our shirts. Squeeze some lemon juice in a bottle and spray the affected area of your shirt. After that, rub it thoroughly until it comes off. For better results, sprinkle some salt on the stain first before putting lemon. Vinegar also works just as good as lemon. You can also use the lemon to prevent the sweat stain by applying on the areas of your clothes that are prone to sweat.
Foam For Makeup Stains
You can use foam to clean your clothes when they have makeup stains on them. Take an old toothbrush or small painting brush and use it to scoop up some thick foam. Rub the brush with the foam on the shirt with the makeup repeatedly. It should come off immediately. This idea can also be used in getting rid of lipstick smudges. Shaving cream will definitely work just as good as the foam. You can use this method on all kinds of materials. Just get a softer brush for the sensitive materials and be gentle.
Club soda For Coffee Stains
Coffee stains can be tough but a little club soda could work. Just pour some soda on the coffee stain and leave it overnight or even six hours. When you come back to check, all the coffee satin will be out. You can pour some salt first before the club soda for quicker results. Be sure to do this immediately you spot the stain to prevent it from being one of those stubborn stains that will take forever to get rid of.
As you have seen there are many ways to clean your cloth stains without using water. Even if eventually you will have to use water to clean your clothes, the stains will be less mild and you will have an easier time doing laundry.
Being a mom is a blessing and a great responsibility. You have lovely kids to take care of – and you will constantly worry about them especially when you are away from them. You have thousands of household chores waiting for you at home: the sink is full of dirty cutlery, the laundry basket is full, everyone’s wardrobe has to be arranged and you have to cook for the family. To top it all, you might have your own business to mind, or be employed. All this might drive you to your extreme if you have no planned routine to work it all out. Even when multi-tasking you have to have a proper laid out plan.
To survive all this work, you need to have a strategy. Some things you can do to ease your workload are:
Have a To – Do List
Having an organized list of all the activities you need to do will help you prioritize. What activities are the most important and should be carried out first? What activities are not all that important? What activities could wait until tomorrow? How much time do you need for each specific activity? How many people are in your home and how can they help you achieve it all? When should you have a break?
All the above are questions you need to consider when making an activity list to help you in effective multi-tasking.
Also, be flexible. Do not let the list fully control you, it should be flexible enough to accompany additional workload, additional helpers, emergency activities and tiredness issues.
Organize A Schedule
Have a set routine about how you will do all your work. It would be a plus to let everyone in the house aware of your chosen and established routine in order to avoid clashes and disturbances while you’re doing the chores. For example, everyone should be aware of what time you clean the house so they avoid being in the house at that specific time to allow you room to execute your plans.
Also, everyone should know when laundry is done, to avoid leftover laundry. If you have assigned anyone a task – such as assigning washing of utensils to your daughter let her know when, how and why she should do the activity.
Sometimes you will get too lazy and decide to carry forward the day’s work to the next day. Do you what you can do now. Avoid time wasting. If you carry forward your activities, your workload will only increase in time and with time, you will be overwhelmed by all you have to do. Then you will be in a big mess since time will be too little.
Multitask Simple and Easy Tasks
Multitask when you can. This greatly reduces your workload. Such as applying your makeup while feeding the kids; washing, drying and folding your laundry at the same time; cooking while washing utensils; listening to your favorite podcast while brushing teeth.
You can even make multitasking fun – such as playing with the kids while cleaning the house; or teaching the kids how to work in the garden while you are also working on it.
You will have to force yourself do some chores you don’t like because you have to. Also, when you feel lazy, you will still have to work since your family depends on you. Do all chores to the best of your ability, to minimize any repetitions of a task.
Your children, spouses, guests or pets might distract you from your duties, making you late in performing them. Avoid watching television or using your phone when executing your duties. If you need space while working, make it clear to other house members. Limiting distracters is the best way to get everything done on time especialy when multi-tasking.
Work in Small Increments
Do not hurry too much to do everything at once. You will be swallowing a pie too large for your mouth, which is disastrous. Do the activities incrementally; few small things at a time, just the right pace and soon you will be amazed at the size of workload you can finish in a day.
Doing the same chores every time every day will always feel like a monotony over the course of time. Even if you love your job, you will get bored soon. However, you can counter this by trying the following:
Look for the light – look forward to better days such as birthdays, night time when you will be asleep with your spouse, public holidays when you can rest, or even vacations.
Motivational quotes – the Internet has lots of motivational quotes services. You can utilize them to get daily motivation to push you through your day.
Get Moving – when you are very tired, the last thing you would want is to wake up and start working again. However, this is a proven to revive your motivation. Start working and your heartbeat will spur more energy into you, reviving you.
Get Support – inform your mate of how exhausted you are and often, they will chip in to help you cut down the workload.
Tick the List – once an activity is completed tick it on your list as done. This motivates you as one task has already been down so that is one less task to perform for the day.
Set Clear Boundaries
Be clear on when you should rest and how much work you are supposed to do in a given day. When you feel like you are overworking yourself, take an immediate rest and reflect. You can also find out how multi-tasking simple chores can make your days less hectic.
Make Time For You
As much as you are working for the whole family, make some time for yourself. You have a life and you need to take care of yourself.
Take a bath, have a rest, take a walk or watch a movie, since you deserve the best. This will also help you keep your moods in check, as being overworked will leave you dull, unable to cope with your family.
As a mom, your responsibilities will need a lot of planning and multi-tasking. All decisions you make will affect your whole family. If you try the above measures, you can be well assured of a fun-filled adventure in life with your family.