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If you love speed cleaning tips and you would rather eat donuts, watch TV or sit on a porch drinking tea then take a moment to read this life-changing article.

There are plenty of ways to attack a task and and I’m putting my bet on ‘the fast way’ over ‘the slow way,’ when it comes to stacking dishes, washing grime off plates and wiping crumbs up from underneath the toaster. But fear not. I’m on a mission to get the job done and fast.

These are my hot tips on how to get out on that porch and sitting in ‘relaxation’ pose and fast.
The key to any speed-cleaning expedition is to prepare properly. A busy person must have a clear mental picture of what should be done and must stick to a plan (yes, using an egg-timer), and then attack the job with speed and precision.

Here’s how:

No matter what the scenario at home (i.e. Missy pulling at your clothes while you are cutting onions) every challenge should be tackled successfully. Just focus. Take a quick bite of that donut for an energy boost and divide the job into a few simple steps.
Here is my quick four-step system for cleaning a kitchen in five minutes:

Step 1 | Line up your buckets

Set up three bins or buckets on the bench for:

  • Recycling
  • Rubbish bin
  • Things that don’t belong

The main reason this is important is the fact that you don’t want to be running around the kitchen, backwards and forwards unnecessarily. This is vital to achieving this speed cleaning job in less than five minutes.

Step 2 | Group like items together

  • Focus on like objects. For example, start with rubbish and discard all rubbish in one sweep.
  • Put all ‘things that don’t belong’ in that dump bucket.
  • Stack all plates near the sink and run a sink of hot water.
  • Place all pantry items back in the pantry at once.
  • Place items for the fridge and freezer back in one sweep.

Step 3 | Do the dishes

Once the bench is clear of rubbish you can start on the dishes.
This is to make sure all the dishes are done in one action. Another reason is that you need to focus on this bigger job so that you are not and running around and wasting energy aimlessly.
Rinse dishes for the dishwasher or wash them by hand. Do this as quickly and accurately as you can using the right tools including a good sponge, scourer and liquid cleansers.
To flesh this out somewhat, again wash like items together.

  • Wash all flat plates at once or place them in the dishwasher.
  • Wash all cups at once or rinse them and place them in the dishwasher.
  • Wash all cups at once and all knives and forks at once.
  • Make sure you have soaked pots after use to make sure cleaning them is easier.
  • If you need a system for this step simply work from the big items to the small items. This way the bench will clear faster as the bigger items disappear.

Work the same way when drying items and putting them away. Work big to small and then you will have an easy system to work to.

Step 4 | Wipe down surfaces

Finally, wipe down benches using a drop of Eucalyptus or tea tree oil in hot water and empty the kitchen rubbish bin and recycle bin into outdoor bins. Also, take your ‘things that don’t belong’ bucket into the next room.
When you believe you have followed these steps attentively, you have succeeded in creating a beautifully clean kitchen in just five minutes! Wow!
Now you can move into another room, where you will decant items for that room from the dump bucket and place items that don’t belong in that room into the dump bucket. (Note: Square plastic buckets with handles work best.)
But first, congratulate yourself and make yourself a nice cuppa. Enjoy sitting in your beautifully clean kitchen with a feeling of clarity and accomplishment!
If your kitchen was really dirty and you didn’t achieve this task in five minutes, don’t dismay because practice makes perfect! There are many minutes in a day and you can keep practicing until you achieve this goal!
Want more challenges and methods for saving time, money and sanity? Visit the Savings Room for over 10,000+ saving tips in the one room!

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If you have not met me you might mistake me for one of those tight-lipped, spectacle-wearing mothers (I’m picturing The Nanny) who runs around her house with a clipboard in hand and with post-it notes hanging off her perfectly-ironed apron. And that in my dreams I whisper… checklist, checklist, checklist… while riding some magical feather duster.
If you imagine my house you might conjure up visuals of a clock in every room so that I can time all these wonderful five-minute cleans I’ve been executing and writing about lately. Oh and they are wonderful speed-cleaning experiments and I am very excited about them. More on this later…


The Super Housewife persona

In a perfect world it would be great to fit the persona of the perfect 50’s style retro housewife who loves to dust and clean. How glamorous it would be to don a pretty apron and whisk around the house like a Fairy Godmother with nothing else on the agenda but housework.
If I could devise a way to wiggle my nose and make housework disappear, Bewitched-style, believe me, I would find a way and find it fast. At the very least, I want to get as close as possible to this goal in my lifetime. But for now, to paint a picture of myself as some sponge-and-mop wielding super-housewife would be self-delusion. Trust me. I can think of way more pleasurable endeavours to spend my delusions on, than cleaning.

Groundhog day

What I am is a perfectly normal (OK – I’ll admit a little eccentric) 41-year-old mother of two young children. I wake up every day like every other mother my age (and other mothers not-my-age) to a certain domestic scene, which plays out a little like the movie Groundhog Day. Same day. Same street. Same family. Same laundry. Same dishes. I just get to navigate through the movie differently if I so desire.

The morning scene

I love my children and I can’t wait to see their beaming fat cheeks every morning. But I can tell you I no longer bounce out of bed like I did when I was 30, or even 35. Hold a Borocca to my lips and you might see one hand emerge from the covers and place itself on the bedside table. But the rest of my body would still be lying happily inside the warm and cosy covers of my soft, fluffy and welcoming bed.
Mainly, the thought of washing dishes, doing loads of laundry, changing nappies, making lunches, making breakfast, cleaning the house and driving halfway across town and back before my work day begins is sometimes, how should I say it? Overwhelming. And I don’t even live in a city.

Time in Fiji

My reaction?
To roll over and plant my face back into the pillow and hide under the doona. I could just disappear in a puff of morning pillow smoke. I wonder if anyone would notice me under here? Maybe they will think I am hanging out in the laundry. They never think to look for me there. Anyway, I am dreaming of Fiji. I am lying on a beach and a friendly Fijian waiter is delivering me a Penina-colada.
An extra ten minutes in Fiji…ah..
My holiday is broken not by a drink-wielding Fijian, but by a similarly fuzzy-crowned two-year-old (of similar Pacific decent) jumping on my head yelling ‘Bobbo bobbo.’ That’s ‘bottle’ for those of you who are either past the toddler stage or have abstained from toddler-dom.
Today I feel a little like the painter who didn’t paint his own house. If I was really smart I would have followed my own time-management advice (like I try to most mornings) and I would have risen earlier. This way I could catch the pleasure of an uninterrupted shower and a hot coffee. I could drink it in quiet contemplation way up the back of the house where no-one would think to look for me. Again, in the laundry.

Send me to the naughty corner – I dare you…

Luckily most days I do take my own advice, but today I am facing the onslaught of nappies, lunches and school permission slips with a non-exfoliated face and without caffiene in my bloodstream. The lack of caffeine in itself is a wrong move for any mother. But this mother – me – would like ten minutes to herself. So please excuse this mother for deciding to have a life. I feel guilty, as if someone should tell me off in a frantic and frustrated tone. Surely, I should be treated like a two year old myself and sent to some naughty corner for lazy mums. Excuse me for not wanting to bounce out of bed on a mission to be the perfect mum.
But I don’t care. The ten-minute trip to Fiji was worth every second. My Fijian waiter was very nice. Thank you very much.

House rats

So it’s a big cheesy omelette for everyone. That’s what they’ve ordered and since I haven’t had my coffee yet, they get whatever they want in this restaurant that is my kitchen. And as for my kitchen? It seems to have taken on a life of its own. I am so sure I left it perfectly tidy before falling into a semi-coma on the couch last night.  Now I see that various house rats (not mentioning any names) have (while I was in Fiji) had their way with a tin of Milo, a box of Coco pops, a large bottle of milk, a packet of lollies, a loaf of bread and a block of cheese.

Bewitched

Even though I am feeling as stale as the week old bread (I left on the bench for the purpose of making breadcrumbs) there is a sense of excitement in my bones. Standing next to the bench of mess, in its shiny sanity-giving glory, is my newly revamped cleaning trolley (with inherent cleaning system) and beautifully polished red egg-shaped kitchen timer.
This may not mean much to you right now, but it will. Because my cleaning trolley and its inherent cleaning system proves that my kitchen could indeed soon resemble a scene out of Bewitched.
Why? Because recently I have discovered the wonderful trick of cleaning a kitchen in five minutes! As well as cleaning a living room, boy’s bedroom and nursery in the same time frame! I want to put my little apron on and run down the street screaming “I’ve got a Fairy Godmother! I’ve got a Fairy Godmother!…” Because there could be one (a Fairy Godmother) hiding under that apron of mine after all! This thought makes my nose wiggle with excitement and this is not because hayfever season is fast approaching.

A super theory

In terms of the whole Super Housewife thing, I have a theory of organisation that I am developing that seems logical to me.
My theory is this:
Organisation follows disorganisation.
If this statement is true, then it seems logical that before wanting to write self-help organisational manuals, I must have been, at some point, very disorganised. Right?
So now it is possible that even though I may not have completely reached Super Housewife status yet (the NZ Herald did call me a Super Mum once which was nice of them), I am well on the path to becoming one.
I know this because my theory of organisation doesn’t work the other way. I have never met an already organised person who regresses into disorganisation. Unless they got drunk and had a really bad hangover. This is the only exception I can think of. Organisation just doesn’t work like this.
On the other hand, there is nowhere else for disorganised people to go but up and out of their own filth. It is not like it is socially or morally acceptable to take all those dirty socks lying around the floor and throw them over the fence into your neighbour’s backyard is it? No. Eventually disorganised people of the world have to pick those socks up and do something with them.

The Super Housewife keeps a calm attitude about dirty socks

I can tell you now that before I started on this help-yourself journey, I was not happy Jan. Not happy about socks (mainly other people’s). Not happy about housework and I was not happy about cleaning the toilet and bathroom. But now I am calm about the socks, the jocks and even the toilet and bathroom.

Are you on the path to becoming a Super Housewife?

If you are reading this and you are currently on my path, which is the path to becoming my own Fairy Godmother and Super Housewife, this is great news. Keep it up and you will succeed. If you are currently where I was once, which was totally disorganised, I encourage newbies to the revolution to proudly raise their feather dusters and move forth with cleaning gusto in your hearts and trolleys. Just like I did.

The Super Housewife is not afraid to be little crazy

What I’m saying is: Get crazy about cleaning! Getting organised is something to be celebrated fully by all disorganised people in the world. Like any vice, once you admit to yourself that you are disorgansed you are taking the first step to overcoming it.
There. I’ve admitted it. You can too.

How will you find the time to become a Super Housewife?

Lately, I’ve been more obsessed with time than any other year in the past six years. My previous obsession with time and money ended in Table Tucker; a 336 culinary manifesto for time-poor families and individuals (like me!). I still flip through the book and I can’t believe I wrote it. Who was that woman? And honestly, how did she find the time in her busy schedule?
Ironically, the cooking system I was writing (and using as I was cooking and writing it) allowed me the time to finish writing it. This is quite difficult to explain but that’s how it happened. The result (of finally finishing Table Tucker) was a realisation that I have a peculiar interest in the subject of time and more so now that I have ever experienced before.

Time should be a Super Housewife’s obsession

Time excites me the way a glass of wine excites a woman at the end of a long day of school runs, work and chasing children around swimming pools.
Darling. Get away from the edge. You might fall in…
I just love the way time is so piable. Like Play-doh. (See my article: 15 random time management tips.) In fact, I was so excited about time recently I purchased two clocks at $3 each from K-Mart. They were going cheap and I thought – why not? I love a great clock for its intrinsic timekeeping properties. Perhaps my dream of becoming the perfect 50’s style retro housewife is less far off than I think.
Time excites me because I have discovered that by being totally obsessed with devising housework related time-management systems, (that’s finding and creating systems to reduce my own work load) I can heavily reduce the time it takes to complete any task, big, small, dirty and even disgusting.

A Super Housewife’s magic formula

Systems (good old-fashioned Fairy Godmother style systems mixed with a pinch of modern technology) give me the magic formula to have the following and more:

  • More minutes in bed dreaming about Penina-coladas in Fiji
  • More minutes on the couch reading a great novel
  • More minutes in a hot bath with a glass of wine

Life is simple. When I look back on time I’ve spent with myself I don’t know how I ever made it so complicated.

Start acting like a Super Housewife

My recent discovery that acting like a duster-busting 50’s retro housewife (you have to fake-it sometimes) is a hell of a lot of fun and in acting like one, I am quickly creating a sparkling clean house in an amazing Bewitched-style, nose-wiggling time frame. For example, now that I can clean my kitchen in five minutes, I am doing more of the following:

  • Sitting in the garden sipping tea
  • Reading novels and interesting articles
  • Reading to my son and daughter
  • Calling my mother
  • Spending time at the pool

The Super Housewife has buckets of time

It doesn’t matter that I have had to be a little particular with my time journey. What matters is that now, as a busy mother-of-two, I have even more chunks of quality time – off. And I am talking buckets of time. Not just a few minutes here and there. With Table Tucker I was already getting four nights off cooking each week. But now I am freeing up full days on the weekend.  These are exciting times (Excuse the pun).
Five-minute room cleans aside; if you are a Table Tucker aficionado or even a newbie to my systems, experiments and discoveries, I hope you enjoy my upcoming time and money saving adventures.
I have to go now. I can feel a twitch in my nose…
See you in the room!
Penina
P.S Don’t forget to listen to my little Bewitched-style jingle below. My little ditty will really get your Super Housewife toes tapping.

Author, social entrepreneur, save money expert and mummy blogger.

On the path to a super home!


Take the Survey

Are you a Super Housewife?
Play the Savings Room Jingle – You’ll feel bewitched!

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You will no doubt find yourself feeling a little overwhelmed by the long list of things to do in preparation for your big move! Booking a removalist, cleaning the house, clearing out your old possessions, packing… the list goes on. If you’re moving house for the first time and have decided to pack some household items yourself, you might be unsure of exactly what you do / don’t need to do around the house before the removalists arrive. You need to prepare those key household items prior to moving day using this simple guide:

Bedding

It’s a good idea to remove the bedding and sheets from your bed before the removalists arrive. Neatly fold and pack away your bedding and sheets in specialised removal boxes. Your removalist on the day will wrap your mattress in a specialised plastic cover to ensure it remains clean throughout the journey to your new home, and disassemble your bedframe; but the bedding should already be packed away.

Moving house tips

ErikaWittlieb / Pixabay

Crockery and cutlery in the kitchen

Wash up any cutlery and place these together with your glass and china ready for packing. Make sure that you use plenty of professional packing paper to wrap-up and protect those fragile items during transport. You can usually pick paper up from your removal company for a small fee.

Self-assembled furniture

Things like computer desks and bookshelves you will need to disassemble before moving day. Larger items like your bedframe and dining tables will be disassembled by your removalist, but unfortunately not these lighter, self-assembled goods. We know this is a bother, but advisable for the safe transport of these sometimes fragile furniture items. Placing nails and screws in a labelled and sealed envelope will make re-assembly at the other end much easier also.

Entertainment equipment

Disconnect the cords to all of your electrical devises; like your stereo, computer, plasma TV and DVD player. If you still have the original box that came with your plasma TV, great! This can be used to transport your TV safely to your new home, so hold onto it. If you no longer have the original box don’t stress, most removal companies should provide them.
Move your business with these time and money saving tips

Garden equipment

Give your garden tools a good wash and scrub to remove all soil and plant particles. It is important to do this as dirty garden equipment could not only mark and damage your precious furniture inside the removal truck, but certain State and Territory quarantine restrictions will not allow you to bring some types of plants/soil parts across the border into their State.

jill111 / Pixabay

Outdoor items

Your child’s precious swing sets and cubby houses will also need to be dismantled before the removalists arrive also. The kids might not be happy but allow plenty of time for this. Try to keep the play equipment flat packed as much as possible and it is a good idea to keep any small components together, packed into a suitable box.
Make your house move even easier with these extra tips

Money, passports and personal documents

There would be nothing worse than losing or damaging your most valuable jewellery and important documents. From your passport, to money, tickets etc. They cannot be insured by your removalist so keep them with you separately in a safe place.

Items ineligible for removal

It’s possible some of the items in your home cannot be accepted for transport by removalists. It would be best to discard of these items a few days before the big moving day. Ineligible items include oils, petrol, paints, methylated spirits and matches. Your moving consultant should provide you with a detailed list outlining all dangerous goods which cannot be accepted for transport in advance, giving you plenty of time to dispose of them.
Even more tips for a smooth house move. Get them here…

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If you love speed cleaning tips and you would rather eat donuts, watch TV or sit on a porch drinking tea then take a moment to read this life-changing article.
There are plenty of ways to attack a task and and I’m putting my bet on ‘the fast way’ over ‘the slow way,’ when it comes to stacking dishes, washing grime off plates and wiping crumbs up from underneath the toaster. But fear not. I’m on a mission to get the job done and fast.
These are my hot tips on how to get out on that porch and sitting in ‘relaxation’ pose and fast.
The key to any speed-cleaning expedition is to prepare properly. A busy person must have a clear mental picture of what should be done and must stick to a plan (yes, using an egg-timer), and then attack the job with speed and precision. 
 
Here’s how:
No matter what the scenario at home (i.e. Missy pulling at your clothes while you are cutting onions) every challenge should be tackled successfully. Just focus. Take a quick bite of that donut for an energy boost and divide the job into a few simple steps.
Here is my quick four-step system for cleaning a kitchen in five minutes:

Step 1 | Line up your buckets

Set up three bins or buckets on the bench for:

  • Recycling
  • Rubbish bin
  • Things that don’t belong

The main reason this is important is the fact that you don’t want to be running around the kitchen, backwards and forwards unnecessarily. This is vital to achieving this speed cleaning job in less than five minutes.

Step 1 | Group like items together

  • Focus on like objects. For example, start with rubbish and discard all rubbish in one sweep.
  • Put all ‘things that don’t belong’ in that dump bucket.
  • Stack all plates near the sink and run a sink of hot water.
  • Place all pantry items back in the pantry at once.
  • Place items for the fridge and freezer back in one sweep.

Step 3 | Do the dishes

Once the bench is clear of rubbish you can start on the dishes.
This is to make sure all the dishes are done in one action. Another reason is that you need to focus on this bigger job so that you are not and running around and wasting energy aimlessly.
Rinse dishes for the dishwasher or wash them by hand. Do this as quickly and accurately as you can using the right tools including a good sponge, scourer and liquid cleansers.
To flesh this out somewhat, again wash like items together.

  • Wash all flat plates at once or place them in the dishwasher.
  • Wash all cups at once or rinse them and place them in the dishwasher.
  • Wash all cups at once and all knives and forks at once.
  • Make sure you have soaked pots after use to make sure cleaning them is easier.
  • If you need a system for this step simply work from the big items to the small items. This way the bench will clear faster as the bigger items disappear.

Work the same way when drying items and putting them away. Work big to small and then you will have an easy system to work to.

Step 4 | Wipe down surfaces

Finally wipe down benches using a drop of Eucalyptus or tea tree oil in hot water and empty the kitchen rubbish bin and recycle bin into outdoor bins. Also, take your ‘things that don’t belong’ bucket into the next room.
When you believe you have followed these steps attentively, you have succeeded in creating a beautifully clean kitchen in just five minutes! Wow!
Now you can move into another room, where you will decant items for that room from the dump bucket and place items that don’t belong in that room into the dump bucket. (Note: Square plastic buckets with handles work best.)
But first, congratulate yourself and make yourself a nice cuppa. Enjoy sitting in your beautifully clean kitchen with a feeling of clarity and accomplishment!
If your kitchen was really dirty and you didn’t achieve this task in five minutes, don’t dismay because practice makes perfect! There are many minutes in a day and you can keep practising until you achieve this goal!
Want more challenges and methods for saving time, money and sanity? Visit the Savings Room for over 10,000+ saving tips in the one room!

 

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Earth is a wonderful place filled with limitless awe-inspiring beauty. It’s nice that we can call a pink lake or glow-worm caves part of our big global backyard. Thanks to the advent of technology, once remote and hidden places are finding their way into our lives. Millions of people across the planet are seeking out illusive and bizarre locations to find escape and perspective in a busy world.

So why travel to exotic locations?

Travel destinations provide people with a physical and psychological break from both their domestic and working lives. Some destinations are so compellingly beautiful, that just stopping for a moment at one of these locations can be life-changing.  The perspective gained while on holiday can spark a new sense of adventure, help a person reinvent himself or herself, set a person on a completely different path or even revamp a tired old relationship! The benefits of inspirational travel are far-reaching!
Whether you have a big desire to travel or you are just curious about what’s beyond your back door, consider adding one of these great locations to your bucket list!

Here are three top destinations to add to your bucket list

Milford Sound, New Zealand

What New Zealand lacks in size makes up for in incredible scenery. One of New Zealand’s most beautiful scenic spots is Milford Sound – a destination worth a thousand photographs. In Milford Sound it is easy for problems to melt away as quickly as the snow might fall. Whether you fancy a glacial climate biting at your skin, watching seals lazing on rocks or dolphins gliding through waves, this lost world will rejuvenate the most tired of souls.

New Zealand's Milford Sound. Milford Sound, on...

New Zealand’s Milford Sound. Milford Sound, one of New Zealand’s most famous tourist destinations[59]. Milford Sound, New Zealand. The terminus of SH 94, and the breathtaking view that rewards the weary traveller. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Petra, Jordan

History books aside, nothing can prepare a person for Petra’s splendour. Built entirely of rose-red towering rocks, this ancient city in Jordan is not only rich in stories, but radiates innovative intricacies of its era. Situated between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, this inhabited land was once the capital city of the Nabataea’s, created during Hellenistic and Roman times. It was once the chief centre for Arabian incense, exotic spices of India and fine woven silks of China. It is also a crossroad between Egypt, Arabia and Syria-Phoenicia. Only half built, Petra is filled with beautiful mountains, passages and gorges.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is nestled 7,000 metres above sea level on a petite hilltop between the Andean Mountain Range and above the Urubamba Valley.  This lost city boasts agricultural, urban and religious mysteries including the Incan structure, which is estimated to have housed 1,200 people. Researchers believe Machu Picchu could have been an isolated retreat for Incan rulers seeking solitude. This ancient city was never made known to its conquering Spaniard’s and was once almost lost until its recent rediscovery in 1911. Despite over 2,500 people arriving daily to marvel at this site, it still retains a level of awe-inspiring opulence.

Machu Picchu from Wayna Picchu ‪Norsk (bokmål)...

Machu Picchu from Wayna Picchu ‪Norsk (bokmål)‬: Machu Picchu sett fra Huayna Picchu. Türkçe: Machu Picchu’nun Huayna Picchu’dan görünümü (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Got the travel bug yet?

Great! There’s nothing like that excited feeling of a pending trip! Question is – how will you pay for it all and how will you secure your finances while travelling?

Enter the cash passport!

I remember in my day we would walk around with wads of cash in a bum bag. But thankfully this is no longer the case. Now there are a bunch of solutions for paying in the currency of the country you are visiting without actually carrying around cash. All you have to do is read the multitude of horror stories online related to travellers losing their money due to a bad experience in foreign destinations.  An example of one solution to the carrying-cash dilemma is the Travel Money Oz Cash Passport. Cards like these have the security of travellers cheques and the compact convenience of plastic. They have revolutionised the way you carry and keep track of your money while travelling. Cash withdrawals are possible in local currency at over 2.1 million MasterCard® ATMs worldwide, and such cards are accepted for purchases and over 35 million MasterCard merchants worldwide and online.


What mysterious places do you want to visit?

Have you visited or are you planning to visit an exotic location? Have you ever used a Cash Passport to save your dream holiday from disaster? Share your bucket list destinations and travel experiences in the comments below.
Happy traveling!

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