Monday, November 19, 2012

Clean Your Home in 3 Easy Steps - A Refresher

The very idea for my book (originally titled The Happy Slob's Guide to Housecleaning, but re-titled No-Hassle Housecleaning) came about when I was working as a bank teller. I'd worked for years as a freelance writer, but I really wanted to write a book. I'd tried to get a fiction book published, and discovered that it was very difficult. Maybe a non-fiction book about housecleaning would be better received.

So, there I was doing bank teller-ish type things, and I decided that I would write a book for all my fellow 'happy slobs' out there - people who wanted to be neater and tidier, but wanted it to be accomplished quickly and simply. Martha Stewarts we are not, but we do want to keep things nice and neat (ish).

Maybe you've read this blog for a while, maybe you've just found it. But, regardless of that - thanks for reading these words. Here is a summary of the basic 3 steps that make up No-Hassle (or, Happy Slob's) housecleaning methods. If you can count to three, you can totally tackle this. And if you have health issues, or are battling with fatigue or maybe old age is causing you to feel like you can't do as much as you once could around the house. Rest assured - the three steps really help you to feel like you've got a bit more control over the mess and clutter.

  1. Cleaning bursts. These are just what they sound like - quick bursts of cleaning that you do once or twice a day to get the major stuff accomplished. Like handling that pile of dishes in the sink, or tidying up the bathroom. The areas you concern yourself with are the areas that you LIVE in the most. Makes sense, right? I thought so too. That's why it's step #1.  Here's a post that goes into more detail about cleaning bursts. Remember to set your timer! A good timer is a happy slob's best friend, since it reminds us that we only need to spend a certain amount of our precious time cleaning. It limits the misery!
  2. Focus Room Cleaning. This is, again, just what it sounds like. You spend a little more time cleaning in one very specific area of your home. Maybe it's the bathroom, where you'll do a little deeper cleaning than is possible with only a cleaning burst. Again, use your timer and budget your time. If you can only 'afford' five minutes, that's awesome! Set the timer, do your best, and on with your life you go. All about focus rooms in this link. Helpful, no?
  3. Clean-for-Alls. This is last on the list because you do these extra tasks only when you have time. As in, about once a week or so. Keep a notebook with you in your cleaning kit (here's how to make your cleaning kit) and keep track of real trouble areas around your home that will need more than just a few minutes during a burst or focus room cleaning. This will help you know what to tackle when you can afford some time to do a clean-for-all.
That is it. Start with a cleaning burst once a day, in either the morning or the evening. Then, add the opposite one to your day - a burst in the morning if you were doing one in the evening and vice versa.

Please remember that it's just house cleaning. Don't stress. And on the other hand, do all you can to fight our natural happy slob's desire to procrastinate. (Ooh, that should be my next post! I'm a master of procrastination, sadly...) Set your timer, and get to it. Post a comment to let me know how it's helped you and to share a tip or two with other slobbos from around the world.

Monday, November 12, 2012

An Unusual Way to Get Whiter Whites - Laundry Tips

Getting whiter whites...sounds like the woes of a woman in the 1950's, no? But seriously, it's one of those trickly laundry situations that make all of us happy slobs shake our heads...or perhaps in very bad moments, shaking our fists in despair at our dingy, greyish white clothes! So, I started doing some research to find new ways to get white laundry whiter and cleaner than ever.

Now, I admit that this tip is not entirely natural, so if you come here for tips on homemade, all-natural cleaners then it might not be the best tip for you. But, I read how some people use dishwasher detergent, of all things to boost the whitening power of their wash.

And guess what? It actually works! I added about a half cup of non-phosphate dishwasher detergent to a hot water load of white laundry. I wasn't really expecting much. But, to my (pleased!) surprise, the laundry looked much whiter than before. The dishwasher detergent (it was, as mentioned non-phosphate, and was a powder formula) left the whites much whiter and also felt crisp and nice to the touch. Huh. I'm still surprised by it all.

I'm not sure if you'd need to add this to your wash every time you wash whites. I might do it once in a while to boost whitening. But, it's a tip that I definitely had to share.

Have a killer laundry tip that you just MUST share with other Happy Slobs from around the world? Don't hold back slobbos - please, post it. :) And go and do a cleaning burst while you're at it...I'm about to do the same!

Cheap and clean - I like it! Cheaper microfiber cloths

Sometimes the comments on these posts contain little gems of information. On the recent post I wrote about microfiber cloths, an anonymous poster wrote the following tip on getting good microfiber cloths for less. I wanted to make sure you all had a chance to read this!

"I buy my microfiber cloths in the car care aisle at Walmart. They are much cheaper that way. I am retired but still clean for a couple of people and use microfiber all the time. I do use either dish soap or Mr. Clean with them however just because I feel it cleans better than just water but for dusting at my house I use water for finishes that aren't real wood or have a high gloss finish."