Chores

Laundry Lust!

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I may be a freak of nature but I’m freely admitting that laundry is my favourite household chore.  Nothing gives me more pleasure than folding baskets of freshly cleaned clothes (especially when it’s a great TV night!).  I love to keep our dresser drawers organized and the clothes hanging in our closets in colour groups with the hangers all inserted the same way.  I also freely admit that I am a bit obsessive about all of this but being this organized (and yes, obsessive) means that I’m rarely behind with the laundry. Here’s a few tips and tricks I use!

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Check out that vintage wallpaper!  This is our laundry room.  It’s dingy and drab and someday I hope to re-vamp it and brighten it up a bit with a fresh coat of paint and maybe even more shelving for all my canned goods.  Until then this is the system I use!  I have three laundry baskets lined up on a counter.  One for whites, one for colours and one for darks, specifically hubby’s greasy farm clothes which I like to wash separate from all the other laundry.  I keep our dirty laundry sorted as it gets worn, this way I can visibly see when there’s a full load of whites for example and then I throw them in the wash.  This is the hugest time saver and may sound so basic but I’m telling you this little system is extremely efficient.  I have two smaller laundry baskets in E’s room as well, (one for whites and one for colors/darks) and I add them to the baskets in the laundry room as they fill.  We essentially sort our laundry as we get undressed.  I also have two air-drying racks in the laundry room for the articles of clothing that can’t be put in the dryer as well as a shelf above the washer and dryer for all laundry-related care items.

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This is my go-to shelf of arsenal.  It’s basic and although I’ve tried a multitude of stain-removers and other fancy laundering items these are my tried and trues.

  • Tide> I typically use Tide laundry detergent.  I’ve tried other more “natural” soaps and find that they just don’t get our clothes clean like Tide.
  • Dawn> I also use a squirt of Dawn dish detergent in a lot of the more soiled loads (especially my husband’s work clothes and E’s really messy items.).  Dawn is amazing at taking out grease and a lot of food stains.  I use it as a spot remover too and will squirt some directly onto the stain and either wash immediately or let sit until I have a full load of wash to do.
  • Washing Soda>I use a washing soda in loads that I want to amp up the cleaning ability of the tide.  I sporadically wash our towels with tide, washing soda and lemon or thieves essential oil to freshen them up.
  • Bleach> I rarely use bleach but every once and awhile I’ll throw some into the wash with my kitchen linens to sanitize and freshen them up too.
  • Dryer Balls> I never use fabric softener as I find it really irritates our eczema and although I have some of those fancy dryer balls to soften up the laundry in the dryer I rarely remember to use them!  We just suffer through the odd static cling in the winter!

I keep a number of open mason jars on this shelf above the washer and dryer as well so that I can separate any change or store any random tide-bits (like screws, washers, drill bits etc.) left in pockets…I’m curious to see what kinds of ‘treasures’ I’ll find in E’s pockets as he grows, as long as there’s nothing alive waiting for me!!

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I am old-fashioned in a lot of ways as I like to do some household chores on specific days of the week…like bathrooms on Tuesdays, windows on Wednesdays, vacuuming and dusting on Thursdays and Saturdays. Since having E this has drastically changed since I have to do a lot of these household chores more frequently or sometimes life happens and the windows get missed for a few weeks. One day that hasn’t changed though is Monday, Monday is ‘wash the bedding’!

For the first time this spring I was able to dig out my clothes-pin apron (that my grandma made for me as a shower gift 8+ years ago, note it’s still in mint condition!) and put a load of fresh washed laundry out on the clothesline today!  Typically I wash our sheets on Mondays but this week I saved that job until today as the forecast called for sunshine and a fresh spring breeze!

I think I love doing laundry so much because of its instant gratification.  You can clearly see all the work you’ve done as you sit surrounded by piles of cleaned and folded laundry.  And as insane as it may sound (and I’m sure someday it’ll change,) I love to fold all of E’s little clothes, it fills my heart!  Fresh laundry swinging in the warm sunshine is seriously one of my favourite farm views!  It’s relaxing for me to put a load out on the line and gather it all up later in the day, I know, this makes me sound insane!  I breathe deeper as I take in the smell of crisp air-dried sheets and at night, getting to crawl into a freshly laundered bed is only made better if those sheets have whipped in the wind all day like they have today…*sigh* Is it bedtime yet??

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Chores

Scheduling Set-up

I’m a list-maker.  I like to have things written down, categorized and organized.  It keeps me on top of my game as much as possible!

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Every Monday I set up my week in a few different ways.  I create my menu plan for the week, the groceries I need, the “extra-curriculars” and appointments we have, my daily chores and now what I plan to focus on for my blog for each week.  I keep a bulletin board, a framed weekly meal planner that I use with dry erase markers and a white board on the wall coming into our house.  This way I see it when I leave and come home and stay reminded of what has to be done.  I often just take a picture of my grocery list too, although lately E really likes to “help” at grocery shopping by taking care of my list and I’d rather him drop paper than my phone! I also keep a calendar on my fridge which is right at the top of the landing in theimage same area as the rest of my organizing boards.  This way we have an over-view of the entire month (birthdays, appointments, commitments, etc).

I have an eraser and dry erase markers velcroed right by the white board so they are always conveniently on-hand. (Seems like a no-brainer but before I did this I would have to dig through my junk drawer each time I wanted to add something which became extremely annoying!) I divide the white board into four quadrants: Groceries, Other (the things I need to shop for from a store other than the grocery store), Rhea (this includes our appointments/commitments and chores for the week, listed daily), and Blog (for
what I hope to research/post daily as well).

I’ve used this “system” for quite a few years now and it truly keeps me on point.  It’s efficient and fairly clean-cut.  Every Monday morning I wipe away the previous week and start new! It helps me a lot to configure a weekly meal-plan too.  I can take things out of the freezer a day before as needed, I tend to only have to shop once (which cuts back on costs as well, which keeping us on budget), and I can prep ahead on days that I have more time. As E gets older and more involved with his own things I plan to create a section on the white board for just his commitments and chores so he can check them of as they’re completed.  The bulletin board will more than likely get covered with more of his items too (school notes and calendars etc.). Once he starts school we are going to set up hooks on the landing for his book bag as well so it will truly be a station to start and end each day. (Hopefully his lunch bag and agenda will make it to his momma a bit more regularly this way too!)

These simple little hacks are easy to implement into your own home too!  Dry-erase markers are truly a saving grace (and they’re cheap and cleaner than chalk)!

 

Chores

“Clean Cleaning”

The environment is important to me.  I like to think I live a reasonably low carbon footprint life….or at least I try to…(we recycle everything we can, I compost,  we use reusable containers all the time, especially mason jars!). My and my family’s health is important to me, and the less chemicals I can expose us to the better.  E and I also have skin sensitivities and so using more natural cleaners just makes sense for us.

My go-to all purpose cleaner is simply Dawn dish soap and vinegar diluted according to the task with the addition of essential oils when necessary or desired. (I usually mix it with a 1 part dawn to 2 parts vinegar and then water but to be honest I don’t “measure”!). It’s gentle (no rubber gloves needed), it smells amazing (my favourite is the purple/blue dawn dish soap), it’s cheap, and above all, it’s simple (one cleaner to do almost all of your cleaning chores)!!!

I clean my laminate and vinyl floors with a sink full of hot water, a glug of the dawn/vinegar mixture, lemon and orange essential oils.  My floors come out sparkling and the house always smells so fresh on floor washing day.

For bathrooms I put slightly diluted dawn and vinegar in a spray bottle (like half and half water to dawn/vinegar mixture) and spray down the counters, sink and toilet, let sit then wipe clean with hot water rinse.  I also spray down my shower and tub once a week with the solution, let sit then scrub down. (We squeegee the shower after every use to eliminate mineral and soap scum build-up.)

When a cold/flu bug hits I mix up a pail of the diluted dawn/vinegar solution (similar to the floor washing mixture) and add thieves essential oil to knock back the germs…I wipe down everything I can; light switches, doors and door knobs, cupboards, counters, toys and “kid height” surfaces. (And maybe it’s all in my head but I swear we kick the bugs way quicker when I do this!)

I dust and wipe down windows and glass surfaces with water and vinegar and these amazing cloths I get from my mom. (I’ll tag more info about them when I get it!) They are amazing lint-free cloths that feel more like paper until wet and used.  No cleaning products are needed for it to work its magic, simple water will do.  It leaves stainless steal sparkling and granite or quartz counters streak free as well as glass and mirrors shining.  I am obsessed with them! (They also work great to shammy down your truck or car after a washing!)

A clean home is important to me.  I feel like I’m so much more productive and relaxed when my house is in order and I truly enjoy the process of purging and scrubbing!  To be able to limit the chemical cleaners I use is important to me also and these are just a few of my ‘hacks’ to a cleaner clean home!