Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Spring...um, I mean SUMMER cleaning

Spring was too busy. Summer is pretty busy so far too but I had some time today while the girls all were napping and so I tackled some neglected areas.

I was in the library recently looking for a particular book. I did not find the book I wanted, but found myself perusing a shelf full of housekeeping books. I checked several of them out, and have read through the first two (which were small). Can you believe that one of the books I checked out had cursing in it? In a housekeeping book? Seriously? Very disappointing. Now I am in the middle of this huge book, Home Comforts. I love the title, but have a love/hate relationship with the book itself. I love how detailed it is, but I hate how detailed it is. ☺  It is extremely thorough. I partly feel inspired to clean like the dickens, and partly overwhelmed with all that having a clean clean house entails. As I hold the 3 inch thick book, I think who in the world has time to do it all?! I'm too far along to abandon it now, but I will not be ironing sheets. I will not be folding fitted sheets. I will continue to fold/wad them as neatly as I can in 30 seconds, then stuff the fitted, flat and extra pillow case inside the remaining pillow case and shove the whole caboodle in the closet. This book does have me on the look out for microbes and any microscopic bacteria lurking about my kitchen, ready to contaminate my food and poison my family. If you see one, let me know.

I'm exaggerating a bit, of course. The notion creating a safe, comfortable haven for my family is a worth while endeavor, and not at all defined by excessive cleaning. It's a continuing process, with no end. I much prefer the term "home making" to "house keeping", or even worse "house wife". I am not married to my house. And I am not a hired maid putting in my hours for a paycheck. A home maker's salary couldn't ever possibly be calculated. Nor could her duties be strictly listed. They are slightly different in every household. It does seem universal though that good meals and relative orderliness go along way to creating a pleasant home.

So allow me to share some of the helpful info I've picked up, which maybe you already know:

*Ya gotta wash sheets in hot water. It kills nasty little bad guys. I have always washed most laundry in cold water to save energy (and cause that is how my Mom did things, and we do tend to keep house the same way our mamas do, don't we?!)

*Unless your hot water tank is set to reach 180 degrees (which is not likely), that all assuring "sanitize" setting on your automatic dishwasher ain't really sanitizing. So if your husband does as one lady I know did and put the dog's pooper-scooper in their dish washer thinking all would be sanitized and fine, stop him. And put a straight jacket on him before he hurts himself.

*Good pots and knives should never go in the dishwasher. (So wait... I'm expected to actually hand wash some things? Maybe the communists have the right idea about burning books...)

*Peroxide is a great bleacher. (I actually did already know that... it gets blood out super well.)

*The treatments put on fabrics to make them "wrinkle resistant" or "flame resistant" only last through apprx. 30 washings. (I don't know about you, but our clothes stick around for a lot longer than that! So this explains why my husband's shirts need {much} ironing, and why my kids occasionally burst into flame. Okay... that last part isn't true.)

I've also learned many helpful facts about different kinds of fabric and caring for them, but I won't attempt to explain it all. I learned it just well enough to be a little more efficient with cleaning them but not enough to teach it to someone else.
Maybe I'm a dork for even reading such books. But to me, keeping fresh and inspired in my efforts to clean or cook or teach little ones or be a godly wife or mother, or any other responsibilities that I'm privileged to call mine, helps me stay motivated. Blogs are also a great source for inspiration and new takes on old concepts.

Any handy household tips to share?



Nomad said...

I don't think you're a dork. Because if you are, than I'm one, too! I love to read books that help my efficiency as a homemaker! And I LOVE your idea about putting the rest of the matching bedding into one of the pillowcases- brilliant! :-)

Rena said...

Some of my tips:

Baby wipes!! They clean stoves, inside of microwaves, bird cages, food stuck on counters, inside the fridge and much more!! Of course you may want to spray some water on what you are cleaning after you use them so that streaks won't show.

Make your own homemade laundry detergent. I have been using it for 5 months now and without any complaints. I make the powdered version which is made of 1 cup of Mule Team Borax, 1 cup of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda) and 1 cup of grated Fels Naptha laundry soap (you also can use plan ole ivory soap). I mix them all together and you only use 2 tablespoonsful per load. This will not suds up in the wash, but suds do not equal clean anyways. Suds are made from chemicals in commercial detergents. This recipe can be used in the newer HE machines as well.

I have some other tips and cleaning recipes to use on one of my blogs:
I haven't updated in a while but there are some good tips there already!

Joyful Blessings said...

Goodness, Alexandria must of read your post, we just ordered this book, she was so excited about it. It is very thick book, she has a big pink highlighter and she is on her way to outlining the whole thing. :-) I get a tingle of joy when I see you young mothers being so passionate about your homemaking. I just love it.

jen said...

I have that book! And the same love/hate relationship with it. Asked for it for Christmas one year. Reading homemaking books it a hobby. Yes, She is insanely detailed, but what do you expect from a lawyer. Was nice to see you in NJ.

Kayte said...

Jen it was nice to see you too! I think your family is just great... your kids seem quite well behaved! (in the 2 seconds I see them in passing! But still, I can just TELL!) =)