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Old 06-28-2014, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,055 posts, read 6,013,861 times
Reputation: 9437

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Great suggestions on this thread! I also loved the leaf blower idea! (:

I have been downsizing furniture and "things." I don't want to take the concept overboard and live like a monk, but to a certain extent, the less one has, the easier it is to clean, and then as pointed out with the bed, certain types of furniture are easier to clean around.

- I got rid of large, heavy bookcases and a ton of books. I now have three-shelf folding bookcases for hard copies that I feel I need (mostly reference volumes for my jobs) plus I've moved to eBooks, which store more easily.

- Extra furniture is gone. I moved, didn't bring it, didn't replace it. The pieces I do have can be moved alone with a hand cart.

- Carpeting - I'm still working on this one! I'm moving to all hardwood floors with three rubber-backed rugs: at the kitchen sink, in the bathroom, and by my bed. Right now, I've got this awful wall-to-wall stuff but I need help in cutting it and pulling it out of the house.

Once it's out and the floors are repaired, I will have mostly hardwood or vinyl to clean (plus the three throw rugs). It's a lot easier to run a commercial duster through a house, with little furniture, than to vacuum. Yes, I already have commercial mats at all of the doors, plus I make people remove their shoes.

- Window coverings - I use mini-blinds but I have "eclipse" drapes on a bar above for sub-zero days. The mini-blinds are easily dusted with the special tool (looks like cloth fingers).

Those are a few of my strategies.
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:00 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,154,265 times
Reputation: 22373
Quote:
Originally Posted by StressedOutNYer View Post
I've often wondered how well the steam mops work; do you find that using it degrades or in any way damages the grout on your tile floors?

And do you have to use a proprietary solution in the steam mop, or could you just fill it with plain water if you wanted to? All the "packaged" solutions (even those Swiffer wet pads) have fragrance added, which I can't use. I have to clean with either a fragrance-free cleaner (like 7th Gen or Berkeley) or a mixture of something like alcohol/water, vinegar/water, peroxide/water, etc.
I have never noticed any damage to grout on my tile floors. Having said that, I should mention that I re-seal the grout every two years or so.

I use water and vinegar in my steamer.
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,489,649 times
Reputation: 27565
Another idea is to use patio furniture in your living room.

This is the nice bamboo/wicker stuff with upholstered cushions. They call it "outdoor furniture".

If it's made to last outdoors then imagine how long it will last indoors ?
And they make removable cushion covers which makes for easy washing and easy redecorating too.

That's on my list as I replace furniture.
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:07 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,154,265 times
Reputation: 22373
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelassie View Post
I don't even have a big vacuum cleaner any more, just a small Shark model that does a good job at picking up dirt and stuff on the area rugs, and its easy to empty the little cup in the Shark vacuum when you're finished. I figured that it's also easy to mop this tile- we have it all over the house, and I also "spot clean" the floor when I see a spill or dirt somewhere- I've taken to using either a once-used dryer lint sheet, or a wet wipe that I put under my foot to wipe away the dirt ( unless it's a big spill, of course, then a mop will do), so it's not too hard to keep the floors decent that way.

I've got long-handled brushes, and dusters to clean the high stuff- but I don't do that real often, as lifting like that tends to aggrevate these old joints ( particularly the bursas).

Think you have a good idea there to get someone else to wash windows- that's a chore in itself.
Love that idea about the used dryer sheet! I started saving mine and using them to dust with in between actually polishing my furniture. They work great! Hadn't tried them on the floor but now I will.

One year, the windows were filthy after a nasty winter and I just couldn't tackle them. I kept thinking, I will get this done a few windows at the time during the summer. Well, it didn't happen. By Thanksgiving, I was having dozens of folks in for dinner and the windows looked horrible. That is when it hit me - wonder how much it would cost to get someone to wash these windows? I was lucky - I thought about the nasty windows a few weeks before Turkey Day and was able to get a man in to do them. On Thanksgiving, the sun was shining and I felt good about being a hostess. That was the end of my trying to clean the windows.
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:35 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,154,265 times
Reputation: 22373
Other strategies I have that may help someone else (or not! lol)

I use sheers throughout my house. When I have folks in to help with the overall seasonal cleaning, one time a year, I have them remove all the sheers (not the draperies - sheers only). As they work on the house, I wash and dry all the sheers. I have one of the workers help me put them back up immediately as they are taken out of the dryer (so they won't wrinkle) as I can't do that with my shoulder issues.

Every time I have someone in to help clean, I ask them to vac off the heavy drapes and cornices/valances. This eliminates having to send them to the drycleaners annually.

I am buying LED bulbs ahead and every time I have someone in my house to clean, I also get them to replace a few of the incandescent bulbs with the longer lasting LED types. Eventually, I will have only LED bulbs in the house which should mean I won't have to replace them often in the future. Important for those hard to reach fixtures.

I spray down my sink with Clorox Clean up as I make my coffee in the morning, let it sit, then wipe out with a paper towel. I do that again after cooking in the evening. I also spray the interior of my MBR toilet every morning, let that sit as I get ready, then flush. I don't even have to use the brush - it keeps the bowl fresh 24/7 doing it this way. I use Clorox Wipes on the outside of the toilet bowl daily and in and around bathroom sinks.

I use a swiffer that is made for fans on the blades of my fans regularly. Otherwise, "fuzz" builds up quickly on fans that I keep running 24/7.

In the bathroom, I spray a bit of hubby's shaving cream on the mirror and wipe off with a washcloth. Old trick shown to me by a former housekeeper. I also use Lemon Oil on all bathroom fixtures, on the shower doors, and on my stainless steel appliances. Easy to wipe on with a cloth and it makes water bead up and prevents calcium/lime build up.

I put press on tiles in all my cabinet floors - bathrooms and kitchen. Easy to wipe out if there are spills.

I could go on and on but don't know if any of these things are really helpful to anyone! Happy to share some more of my strategies if folks are interested!
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Old 06-28-2014, 01:17 PM
 
Location: From TX to VA
8,578 posts, read 5,971,636 times
Reputation: 8073
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
Another idea is to use patio furniture in your living room.

This is the nice bamboo/wicker stuff with upholstered cushions. They call it "outdoor furniture".

If it's made to last outdoors then imagine how long it will last indoors ?
And they make removable cushion covers which makes for easy washing and easy redecorating too.

That's on my list as I replace furniture.
For a year, I shared a home with a co-worker and she used that wicker furniture in her living room. It looked good and it sure brightened up the room! She'd change out the cushions every so often too. She had dust allergies but I don't seem to remember her having to dust the wicker furniture.
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Old 06-28-2014, 01:23 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,229,344 times
Reputation: 14870
Quote:
Originally Posted by brava4 View Post
So, if I cleaned the way some of you do, not that it is wrong but your preference, I can look forward (NOT) to house cleaning being another job I will have when retire??????????
LOL - I'm already re-tired and just reading about what some people do has made me re-ally-tired.

I have been given unwanted advice (other thread ) that I'm entirely too casual, but, hey - to each their own!
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Old 06-28-2014, 01:36 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,745 posts, read 7,027,781 times
Reputation: 14234
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
Love that idea about the used dryer sheet! I started saving mine and using them to dust with in between actually polishing my furniture. They work great! Hadn't tried them on the floor but now I will.

One year, the windows were filthy after a nasty winter and I just couldn't tackle them. I kept thinking, I will get this done a few windows at the time during the summer. Well, it didn't happen. By Thanksgiving, I was having dozens of folks in for dinner and the windows looked horrible. That is when it hit me - wonder how much it would cost to get someone to wash these windows? I was lucky - I thought about the nasty windows a few weeks before Turkey Day and was able to get a man in to do them. On Thanksgiving, the sun was shining and I felt good about being a hostess. That was the end of my trying to clean the windows.
Yeah, I've found the dryer sheets about the best for cleaning spots off the floors- at least tile floors, I'm not so sure I'd use them on hardwoods. I found that there's just enough "stuff" left on the dryer sheet after it's been used once to do a good job of cleaning- it'll even do a fair job on the grout. I've tried using dryer sheets that hadn't been used, but they tend to suds up when you wet them, and leave too much of a residue on the floor that needs to be rinsed, but once-used dryer sheets are perfect.

I wash the windows here in the back of the house- these are several patio doors onto the lanai and a window in the breakfast nook- these are easy to reach inside and out, and those are the windows people who visit will see, they look out over our backyard to the water and mangrove areas, where we also see lots of wildlife. They still get wet and spotty when it's windy and rainy, so of course that happens every time I wash them- within a day or two it'll rain hard enough to get on those windows and sliding glass doors! But I have an absolute superstition against washing those windows during hurricane season- ( I figure it angers the weather god enough to gather the forces together to form a Cat 5 and launch it in our direction since I washed those windows, LOL- my husband still blames me for Hurricane Andrew since I washed our two cars just before it turned west in our direction and became a hurricane). It's a good excuse, anyway.
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Old 06-28-2014, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,971,705 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
Other strategies I have that may help someone else (or not! lol)

I use sheers throughout my house. When I have folks in to help with the overall seasonal cleaning, one time a year, I have them remove all the sheers (not the draperies - sheers only). As they work on the house, I wash and dry all the sheers. I have one of the workers help me put them back up immediately as they are taken out of the dryer (so they won't wrinkle) as I can't do that with my shoulder issues.

Every time I have someone in to help clean, I ask them to vac off the heavy drapes and cornices/valances. This eliminates having to send them to the drycleaners annually.

I am buying LED bulbs ahead and every time I have someone in my house to clean, I also get them to replace a few of the incandescent bulbs with the longer lasting LED types. Eventually, I will have only LED bulbs in the house which should mean I won't have to replace them often in the future. Important for those hard to reach fixtures.

I spray down my sink with Clorox Clean up as I make my coffee in the morning, let it sit, then wipe out with a paper towel. I do that again after cooking in the evening. I also spray the interior of my MBR toilet every morning, let that sit as I get ready, then flush. I don't even have to use the brush - it keeps the bowl fresh 24/7 doing it this way. I use Clorox Wipes on the outside of the toilet bowl daily and in and around bathroom sinks.

I use a swiffer that is made for fans on the blades of my fans regularly. Otherwise, "fuzz" builds up quickly on fans that I keep running 24/7.

In the bathroom, I spray a bit of hubby's shaving cream on the mirror and wipe off with a washcloth. Old trick shown to me by a former housekeeper. I also use Lemon Oil on all bathroom fixtures, on the shower doors, and on my stainless steel appliances. Easy to wipe on with a cloth and it makes water bead up and prevents calcium/lime build up.

I put press on tiles in all my cabinet floors - bathrooms and kitchen. Easy to wipe out if there are spills.

I could go on and on but don't know if any of these things are really helpful to anyone! Happy to share some more of my strategies if folks are interested!
Nice tips, I'll save these. You should write a book, Anifani's Household Tips for the Aged. Really.
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Old 06-28-2014, 01:40 PM
 
38,131 posts, read 14,894,548 times
Reputation: 24575
Love this thread.

My biggest problem about housekeeping as I age is motivation.

As the sands of time trickle away, I question whether wasting precious time vacuuming under the bed makes any sense.

Life is becoming increasingly finite. Why would I waste it dusting, scrubbing toilets, wiping water spots off the faucets...?

About the only way I can work up the steam to clean now is when company is coming.

I probably should hire a housekeeper.
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