What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cleaning - A Woman's Work is Never Done

broom sweeping

The say that a woman's work is never done and in many respects that adage is so true when it comes to cleaning. It honestly never ends! Just when you think you have everything sparkling it's time to start over again. In today's world cleaning is a huge issue and it isn't just for women anymore. In many single parent households men take the role of main homemaker and that included cleaning as well. Now there is a difference between tidying up and cleaning. Homes can be quite neat and tidy but not clean and visa versa. In addition to that homes can be surface clean but not really clean.

The main thing with cleaning is you want neat and tidy with the dirt and grim up and out of your house. In order to do that you want to use methods that trap the dirt so you can discard it. In order to do this you need to wet dust and use a vacuum with good regularly changed filters . Use good eco-friendly cleaners on hard surfaces. Ok so you know how to clean but finding the time is a different matter and lets face most people don't want to spend their entire weekend cleaning. Here are a few of my cleaning tips:
  • clean as you go - This really is a very simple method but often overlooked. I got into the habit when cooking of cleaning when doing any prep work which means starting with an empty dishwasher and loading as I use dishes and utensils. When I'm canning I always have a couple of wet bar towels to clean up any spills on the floor. Wiping as you go means no huge clean-up later. At the end of each day when I clean the counter I wipe it down with 50% ethanol. This is an effective germ control while providing that sparkle effect. Cleaning as you go means dirt doesn't have a time to build up.
  • use small blocks of time - It is surprising how much cleaning you can get done in a 15 minute period. Even more surprising is how much cleaning you can get done in the period of a television commercial. Grab a clean cloth and your eco-friendly cleaner of choice or plug in the vacuum cleaner. When a commercial comes on do as much cleaning as you can during that time period then go back to your program. Now the nice thing about this method is you are consistently getting a bit of exercise as well. Never sit through a commercial if you can do a little tidying or cleaning. If used consistently daily you are always on top of those cleaning jobs. This is especially usefully for tidying and decluttering but is also useful for deeper cleaning.
  • keep cleaning cloths and solutions handy - Keeping solutions and cleaning cloths handy allows for easy spot cleaning. During food prep I keep a spray bottle of 50% Ethanol on the counter for wiping any spills from raw meats.
  • declutter as you go - Every time you go into a room remove one or more items that doesn't belong there or put something away. Attack those vertical surfaces that are just magnets for clutter. Every time you go by a vertical surface grab something that doesn't belong. Keep 3 boxes - give away, keep, toss and use them. Getting the clutter out of your house makes it a lot easier for cleaning.
Garden Gnome


Anonymous said...

I have a question on one of your older posts, Winterizing your Patio. What kind of plastic did you use around your patio? We can't find anything that clear! We found 2 mil that says its clear on the package but it is milky-white. Where do you find clear? Thank you!

Garden Gnome said...

Hi and thanks for visiting. We just used regular I think 8 mil plastic bought in a large roll from the lumber store. It is a heavy plastic with reduced visibility but you can definitely see through it. If you want to go a bit more expensive, you can get heavy but very clear plastic like they use in tent trailers made into a customized cover for your patio and less expensive but also very clear is the shrinkable plastic that needs a blowdryer but get the exterior rather than the interior type. HTH