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Cleaning and Organizing Tips and tricks to get your home and all within it sparkling clean and neat as a pin.

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Old 08-15-2012, 10:04 AM   #1
CanadaSue
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Talking Clean Your Way Through TV Shows!

Call me a peasant, a peon, trailer trash without the trailer, a 99%; call me whatever you want but don't call me lazy! I'm an intelligent person, do a lot of 'serious' reading & thinking & all that edumacated stuff... but I also LOVE my trash TV. I watch a fair bit of - ahem - reality TV, especially cooking competition shows & anything with Gordon Ramsey. I like AMC's series & my calender is studded with reminders of different dramas & comedies I'd like to at least try as they debut this fall.

That can eat up a LOT of time in the evening, especially early in the season as I sample a lot of shows. Most I'll end up not bothering to follow but it takes me a fair bit of time in late summer/early fall to figure out what programsI'm going to continue to watch.

And there's the thing - I don't have to entirely waste my time. And neither does anyone else if they find their enjoyment in watching TV is reduced by the guilts: "I should be doing this, I should be doing that." I'm going to list all the ueful, productive, virtuous things you CAN do while wiling away your hours watching whatever turns your crank...LOL

My day time hours are busy - who isn't busy during the day? There are tons of cleaning chores I end up telling myself I'll get to later & 'later' never seems to come. I've been experimenting with doing different little jobs while watching TV, as well as breaking down bigger jobs into small chunks I can do during ad breaks. That's the trick - even big jobs can be broken down into steps that only take small increments of time & one you've figured out how that works best for you - you'll be amazed how much you can actually get done while... watching TV!

First, I'm going to list some of the more obvious stuff that can be done. I recognize that anyone who's been running their own household for any length of time probably has these figured out but new housekeepers may not & the ability do do these little chores an evening or two a week & even getting children involved can often keep your home from overwhelming you. Gentlement - you won't be forgotten either.

The first thing you have to figure out is... does your show have ads? I watch a fair bit of PBS - NOVA, Front Line, etc & I know I have to set up my chores ahead of time because there are no ads. Some networks do few ad breaks but they're several minutes long. The mainstream networks tend to do 30 second to 2 minute ad breaks.

Let's start with shows withut ad breaks. Or rather, let me start after I empty out a few kitchen cupboards here & spray them down - be right back...
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:01 AM   #2
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Yup. Learned as a teen I could wash a lot of dishes in a two minute commercial break.
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:00 PM   #3
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Okay - we're about to sit down to watch NOVA - great show on tornadoes or string theory coming up - I'm not ENTIRELY an unedumacated, dull witted peasant! We're going to get rid of something that's been looming in the corner or on a spare bed somewhere. We're going to fold & hang laundry! Stop groaning.

Clear your coffee table unless like me, you're whizz bang at folding on your lap. I watch TV, read online AND fold. I know - I'm so special... Collect a drink & snack - not anything sticky. Grab some hangers - there's always stuff to hang up. Dump everything on the other end of the couch & sternly remind the cats the pile isn't there for them to crawl into - keep reminding them. I fold sheets & linens first as they stack nicely as well as flat at the bottom of my baskets - but do it your way. Indiidualism is a laudable trait. Get everything folded & on hangers. Once the show is over - put it all away.

Another one to do while watching TV without ads or short, infrequent ad breaks. Get your wall art off the wall - one room at a time if you have lots of it. Grab whatever cleaner you use, a bunch of clean rags & paper towels & go to it. On ad breaks - run back to whatever room they came from & hang them. So what if they're going back up on a wall that's not pristine? The aim isn't doing everything in a certain order or perfectly. If you wait until you have time for perfection - nothing is ever going to get done - ask a hoarder about that. Put it this way - when you do have time to do a wall or walls - the art work on it will already be cleaned & will simply need to be wiped free of dust. Over the course of an evening or two, you can have all your wall stuff done. Good time to edit too - why do you have stuff on your wall you hate? A lot of us do. If it's in a decent frame, remove the 'art' & later replace it with a favourite photo or anything you like that fits.

You can do the same thing with ornaments. Collect them - one room at a time on your coffee table & clean them. In this case, it probably IS best to clean the sheles or whatever they're sitting on... even if you only find time to do one shelf at a time. Keeping chipping away at it while you're mezmerized by Mob Doctor or yelling at Dog the Bounty Hunter that the perp he doesn't see is about to pull a gun. Amazing how much boring work you can get done while you're entertaining your brain with fun, mindless stuff.

Another favourite of mine. I have next to no wall space in my kitchen - it's a tiny galley kitchen. The only place I could hang my spice rack was right beside the stove. That it means it gets covered in dust & grease far too often. I take the whole thing down, take the spice jars out & wash the rack. Then, one at a time, I degrease, dry & replace the bottles. Also a good time to refill bottles from larger spice stores and/or take notes of those running low you need to buy.

I have an old stone crock on one of my counters that holds most of the my kitchen utensils. Periodically, I dump those in a sink of hot soapy water & while my show is on, I clean the crock - man, are the insides of those dust magnets! I can quickly wipe down the utensils, rinse & dry them & refill the crock - done!

Kitchen drawers - not with a groan but a whimper. We've all got those. Take them out, one at a time, starting with the utensil drawer. Cean the drawer & any cutlery tray you use. Wipe down any utensils that need it & replace them. Good time to edit. There are three people living in the house - do you really need 37 tea spoons of 24 forks? Keep going as you can stand it - one drawer at a time. If you don't use any implement or utensil - GET RID OF IT. It's taking up space. Unless your adult child is within a year or two of leaving home, don't hang on to it for them or if you do - box it up & label it: "For when Mary moves out". Then hope Mary moves out.

Back to my cupboards for a bit...
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:47 PM   #4
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A friend cleans better and faster if she's talking to someone, so she calls someone on her cell phone and sends to signal to her hands free ear piece. That way she talks and cleans and is a happy person.

For us, we sort out the hanging clothes when we take them out of the dryer. Then when we get home the hangers go in them quickly. Then comes the folding and I do that as my desk. When it's all done it goes back in the basket and DH puts it away.
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:52 PM   #5
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Great thread..it's amazing too how much time is spent on commercials sometimes, definitely time to do a quick chore in.
I'm a talk radio person..it drives my husband nuts but I can get alot done while arguing with the radio..lol.
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:16 PM   #6
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More - much more coming. I'm in the middle of tearing my kitchen apart & cleaning it to within an inch of its sorry life. My LEAST favourite room of the house to fall clean so this year, thought I'd do it first. It's a small galley kitchen & I mean SMALL. I'm always amazed how much I cram into the shelves & after being here 4 full years, we've started letting clutter creep into our lives. We don't have room for clutter. I just finished the nastiest half of the kitchen - the side with the stove & fridge. No range hood - just a ceiling fan that's badly placed to draw grease so no matter how often I wipe things down - it gets greasy! The worst is always the top of the cupboards on that side & the cupboards themselves as well as the ceiling & top of walls. I have a few drawers on that side to go through but I'll do those this evening... watching Glee Project & Big Brother...LOL!

The great thing was eliminating a bunch of clutter. I've freed up an entire cupboard's worth of space on that side alone & figure I'll gain close to the same amount on the other side once I finish there. I like to think of myself as 'clutter aware' but who am I kidding? EVERYBODY saves weird things & I'm not immune. And we all hang on to things that aren't weird at all - that are perfectly good, useful items. It's just that there comes a time when they're not useful for our needs now or later.

I had several mini muffin tins that have obligingly followed us move to moe to moe. One problem - I don't make mini muffins. Gone. I only use the same few casserole dishes. I put the rest in the laundry room. Extra plates, glasses, bowls... gone. I'm paring down to what I USE. & boy I can't believe how much space I'm gaining. Now, I can hardly wait to tackle the rest of the house!

By the time I go to bed tonight, the kitchen will be done - right down to the exhaust fan & wiping down my hot/cold water & drain pipes...LOL. I may also have done my two other major storage areas for food/supplies near the kitchen. I don't know how I'm reorganizing all of that yet, just that I am. The last should be fast - just a question of taking things out, wiping down - the storage spaces were properly cleaned not all that long ago but like many, if I don't go through my stockpiles fairly often, I tend to forget some of the things there. I need to check a few expiration dates. I'm okay on them but want to make sure that stuff is used in the near future.

Leftovers for supper - back to cleaning!
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:19 AM   #7
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Default One Room Down

It took the whole day & evening but my kitchen is done. Every surface including the ceiling - scrubbed. Cupboards emptied, washed, sorted & reloaded. I was on a roll, so cleaned out 3 storage areas while I was at it. I got rid of a fair bunch of stuff I don't use & haven't for years - major clean up is always a good time to edit possessions & why hang on to things I don't use? Almost all the surplus stuff I put down in the laundry room was taken within 2 hours, so clearly others can put them to good use. All appliances big & small are shiny & boy does it feel good to have the toughest room in the house done.

All set now to start stocking up with storage areas, storage room, kitchen & freezer done.

Glad I got those done already. Got a call midafternoon asking if I could put in a full day of cleaning today. My usual Thursday morning client is switched to tomorrow to accomodate that - same family, so easily done. Bunch of errands to run after work tomorrow, my day out Saturday, rest up on Sunday - think I'll tackle the bathroom on Monday - it's due.
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