101 Tips For Home Chores

Laundry

  1. Most people know to wash white, black and coloured clothes separately, but washing each colour separately (or even by shade as well!) keeps your clothes brighter for longer.
  2. Put pillow cases and duvet covers on easily by starting with them inside out, then putting your hands in to each top corner. Hold the corners of the pillow or duvet, and shake the case right side out onto it without letting go of the corners.
  3. Get your sports injury or menstrual blood stains out by soaking your clothes in vinegar before washing as normal.
  4. Never lose socks in the washing machine again by washing them in one of those mesh bags for washing ‘delicates’ in.
  5. Jeans, designed to only need occasional cleaning, don’t need fabric softener and last longer without it – there are often denim settings for doing separate jean washes.
  6. If you’re the type to avoid washing your jeans, vodka elements odours and putting them in the freezer keeps them cleaner and darker longer.
  7. Sitting or crouching in front of the washing machine, if you can still see the back of the drum it’s not overfilled.
  8. Hanging t shirts, jeans and sportswear to dry prevents them getting wrinkled and saves ironing things that just need to be smooth.
  9. Clean your washing machine by putting a mixture of two parts vinegar, half a part bicarbonate of soda in as detergent on an empty, hot cycle.
  10. Hang brightly coloured items inside out to prevent colour fading.
  11. Avoid outdoor line drying if you have asthma or hay fever, as pollen and other things stick to the fabric.
  12. Dry items that might stretch, like sweaters, on a flat surface.

 

Bedroom

  1. Getting out of bed with some leg kicks not only wakes you up, but straightens the duvet out for making your bed.
  2. Fill your drawers like a filing cabinet rather than stacking things, to help you find things easier and quicker, and prevent making a mess by looking for certain items.
  3. Open the window while you tidy, even if it’s cold, to get fresh air circulating in the room and prevent that musty feet smell that can build up.
  4. Sit on the bed to change the duvet covers; there’s space for the duvet so there’s space to change the covers properly.
  5. To remember to change your sheets once or twice a month, line it up with the first of the month, payday or another monthly event, or any fortnightly event.
  6. It’s best to change your duvet and pillows with the seasons, so having a box under the bed with the light summer set, heavy winter set and regular autumn/spring set to swap makes it easy to wash (and remember) each change.
  7. Sort any clothes on the floor, bed or side into dirty and clean, with the clean pile sorted by type. Putting it all away at once, when you’ve finished, will make the task feel quicker and easier than putting things away as you find them.
  8. Dust plastic and wooden surfaces, and hoover fabric surfaces regularly to keep dust and dust mites at bay, as this is the room you’ll be breathing in for up to 8 hours straight.
  9. When you sort out your wardrobe, be ruthless. Get rid of everything that doesn’t fit, that you don’t like, and that has damage that you won’t or can’t fix. Bin things you know people wouldn’t want, and take the rest to charity shops, boot sales or friends and family that would want them.
  10. Make your storage part of your décor. A neat shoe rack at the end of the bed looks like a feature, not clutter; keeping things in a hang-rack on the back of the door looks nicer and is easier to use than a pile of things on a bedside table; putting your jewellery on an upright display shows them off far better than a box or tray full of bits and pieces.
  11. Keep a hamper or basket in your room and throw clothes you don’t want in it as soon as you decide it. Putting them in the wash with regular clothes or putting them back in the drawer to sort later just means you’ll forget you decided to get rid of them.
  12. Keep your mattress fresh by patting it down with a sponge, and laundry detergent in water. Dry it with a blow drier to stop it getting musty.
  13. Organise your bedside or getting ready table and keep it minimalist. This means you don’t accidentally keep things that are broken or out of date, and helps you find what you need quickly.

 

Bathroom

  1. Keep your toilet brush holder half-full of soapy water, so the brush is cleaned every time it’s moved or used.
  2. Avoid smudgy, smeared mirrors by rubbing them dry with newspaper.
  3. Wrapping vinegar soaked kitchen or toilet roll around metal taps to make wiping that grime and cloudiness off easy.
  4. Pouring cola down drains can help to unclog them when they’re draining slowly.
  5. Wiping your tiles off with a squeegee after a hot bath or shower to stop moisture build up and mould.
  6. Likewise, keep a spray bottle next to your bath or shower to give them a quick spritz after every use.
  7. Fill a plastic bag with lemon juice, tie it around the showerhead and leave overnight to get the residue off.
  8. Power clean the bathtub or tiles by attaching a scrubbing brush to an electric drill.
  9. Kitchen storage works fantastically in the bathroom; spice racks are great for your lotions and shampoo bottles, and those multilevel cake stands are fantastic for vertical storage.
  10. One way to clean the scum from your bathtub is by sprinkling salt on a grapefruit and using that to scrub the stains away.
  11. Get that mirror clean and perfect with black tea. Brew some nice strong black tea, multiple bags worth, and use it as your cleaner liquid. Go ahead and have a nice cuppa, too.
  12. Save one of your old toothbrushes to clean all kinds of things around the house.
  13. Give your no-slip bath mat a good clean by unsticking it and running the bath with laundry detergent. After a good soak, hang it to dry.

 

Kitchen

  1. If you have wooden chopping boards, get the ingrained dirt out by rubbing them with coarse salt and scrubbing the salty board with a lemon half.
  2. Lining the grill or toaster oven with tin foil before using it stops it getting dirty as quickly. Roll it up and take all the fat, spillage or other food mess with it to the bin or recycling.
  3. Clean the blender by ‘blending’ soapy water, rather than try to clean the sharp blades normally.
  4. Clean cheese graters by grating some raw potato, and just rinsing it off afterwards.
  5. Make it easier to clean food out of your microwave by heating a cup of water and chopped lemon first.
  6. You use the washing up sponge clean the plates you eat off of and cutlery you eat with, so give it a quick minute in the microwave to kill off dangerous germs.
  7. Designate a space next to your sink or near your dishwasher for dirty dishes, to make washing up and dishwasher loading quick and easy.
  8. Before you do your big shop, clear out the fridge and cupboards of old food and wipe down the shelves to make a clean space for your new food. It also helps you know what you need to buy!
  9. Even if you don’t feel like washing up right after your meal, run the water and put the pans and trays in to soak, wipe down the surfaces and scrape off the plates, so there’s less work when you do wash up.
  10. Don’t fret about cutting yourself cleaning up broken glass, use a piece of bread to safely pick up the tiny sharp shards.
  11. Empty the dishwasher or clear the draining board while you brew your morning tea or coffee. It’s time you’d just be standing and waiting, and it’s better to find a clean cup and tidy than to get one from the cupboard and leave the clean dishes to pile up.
  12. It’s easy to forget how dirty the tea towels get when they dry off our plates, but remember that they get warm and damp with every use. Swap them out every day if you can, to keep your cutlery clean.
  13. If you have a dishwasher, set it going before you go to bed. It’ll mean there are clean, dry dishes in the morning and not take any time out of your day.

 

Living Room

  1. You can buy microfiber cleaning cloths in high numbers for low prices. Don’t just use them to clean your specs, but wipe down your phone and computer screen too!
  2. If you have a ceiling fan, a pillow case is a nice easy way to dust the blades.
  3. To get rid of cobwebs on the ceiling or dusty ceiling lampshades, a regular broom will do the trick. If there are more fiddly parts, tie a fluffy tea towel to the broom.
  4. If you can’t realistically remove the sofa and chair covers to wash them, use carpet cleaner or a shampoo setting on the vacuum cleaner.
  5. Books, DVDs and the like can seem like clutter. Arranging them neatly in a good space, like next to the TV or beside the sofa, makes them seem more like they’re on a shelf.
  6. Using throw blankets and rugs makes cleaning quicker, as you can just pick them up and wash or shake them, leaving the carpet and upholstery underneath cleaner.
  7. If you have children, incorporating storage boxes and larger toys into the room’s furniture keeps tidying up to the same room.
  8. Baskets are the best thing to add to your living room. Suddenly the last few weeks’ worth of magazines are a tidy collection, the evidence of your stationery addiction is a useful stationery box, and your annoying amount of remote controls never go missing.
  9. Keep carpets clean if you have them by creating a ‘shoe space’ between the front door and the living room, and designating house shoes or slippers to keep your feet warm.
  10. Take everything off the shelves, dust or wipe them clean, then clean everything as you put it back. This not only gets everything very clean, but gets the shelf more organised and reveals anything that’s broken or unwanted.
  11. Keep a recycling bin in the living room so you can throw newspapers and magazines in there as soon as you’re done with them, to stop them piling up.
  12. Plump up cushions whenever you stand up to keep them fluffier and give the room that just-tidied look.
  13. Sprinkle baking soda over the carpet half an hour before vacuuming to get it extra clean. A spritz spray of vinegar or vodka helps with odour, too.

 

Office

  1. Keep your long term documents such as birth certificates, passports and contracts in one folder, by person, easy to find when needed and not cluttered by other documents.
  2. Keep everything you need for budgeting and tax in one place, easy to go through and in date order, so you can work quickly and without confusion.
  3. You only need bank statements, receipts and similar for 3 months, so go through them every few months and throw away old documents to stop them piling up.
  4. Clean keyboard with sprayed air. There are cans designed for this, with narrow plastic nozzles, but anything that sprays clean air like a bellows will blow dirt and dust from your keyboard keys. One thing that works is a condiment bottle.
  5. Empty out all your pens, check them on a piece of scrap paper, and bin every one that doesn’t work. Put the working ones back in a pen holder, and find a new home for anything else.
  6. If you have an overly cluttered desk take everything off of it, sort it though it all, and find desk and non-desk places to put everything. Even having neater piles of things on your desk will make it feel less cluttered.
  7. If you have a craft or art table, arrange it with the ‘in reach’ system. Lay everything out around a clear work space in the middle, with the most used things loose beside it and storage containers in height order.
  8. Take everything that isn’t work related out of the area; you wouldn’t sleep in the bath or cook in the living room, so don’t bring non-work activities into your office.
  9. Sort any physical work things into a classic “In” “Current” and “Out” filing system, so you don’t forget to do things, misplace finished things, or have too many projects on the go at once.
  10. If you use a lot of post it notes and make endless lists, collate them in a to-do notebook or even download an app or programme to type up your notes and lists in.
  11. Keep screen cleaner and a microfiber cloth by your computer screen, and clean it regularly. Use that time to clean your phone, glasses, and other screens too.
  12. Empty out your school bag or work bag every weekend, and repack it. It will mean you always have the things you need, won’t forget important things in your bag for weeks, and stops your bag filling up with unneeded items.

 

Pets

  1. Tape is great for picking up cat hair, saving time and preventing fluffy sofas and clothes.
  2. Sprinkle baby powder on your dogs matted hair to loosen it up so you can brush it out.
  3. Get fur and other fluff out of the carpet by using a squeegee, the thing you dry windows and mirrors with.
  4. Avoid ammonia based cleaning products, as its urine-like smell can stress pets out and cause them to spray and mark their territory.
  5. Dab out ‘accidents’ with equal parts water and white vinegar, then spray a little dishwashing liquid on the area.
  6. Vacuum pet beds before washing, and add baking powder to the washing machine to neutralise the odour
  7. Wash your pets’ collars with some pet shampoo and hot water.
  8. Use a spray-cooking-oil to make it easier to wash bowls out.
  9. Wash your dog sooner rather than later to stop the dirt on them getting all over the house. Use this time to trim their nails if they need it and remember to dry them off properly.
  10. Change any litter areas as soon as they’re pooped in, and keep air freshener nearby to stop smells lingering. Sprinkling baking soda in there reduces smells, too.
  11. Soak collars and toys in a pet shampoo and water mix to give them a deep clean, then rinse them off and leave to dry.
  12. Keep pet supplies near a designated space. Keep the food near the bowls, the litter near the trays and the spare bedding by the cage. This way they won’t get lost or spread unwanted pet mess into other spaces of your house.

 

Miscellaneous

  1. First thing first, get yourself in a motivated mood; put on music that makes your feel productive, roll up your sleeves, wear a headband or do anything else that makes you feel like you’re in cleaning mode, and don’t be doing anything else at the same time.
  2. Dust and even mop the floor with socks! Cheap fluffy socks make for great floor cleaners, picking up dust when dry and making a no-bending down mop. You will have to change them after mopping, though.
  3. Put some baking soda in your trainers after you wear them to freshen them up, pouring it out just before putting them on again.
  4. Get your trainers shiny white again by using some toothpaste to clean them.
  5. Take out the trash when you leave the house in the morning. You’re leaving anyway, so it takes an extra chore off the list.
  6. Clean your hairbrushes and combs with liquid dish soap mixed with water.
  7. Acetone-based nail polish remover is perfect for getting glue off of scissor blades and other non-painted things that might get all gummed up.
  8. Keep on top of your housework by setting aside a regular time to tidy. Ten minutes every day, half an hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays, an hour every week; however you sort it out make sure you keep at it to stop mess and dirt building up and overwhelming you.
  9. When you’re throwing things away, remember the William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
  10. Separating the ‘get rid of’ pile into bin, donate and sell type piles makes it easier to get rid of things. It’s not a case of keep or throw away, it’s a case of keep, donate, sell, or throw away.
  11. Keeping any bags or boxes that you need to take to the dump or charity shop in the way of your routine means you can’t forget about them, and you’ll have to take the time to take them there to stop them annoying you.
  12. Leave any sentimental items aside until last; trying to tidy up your gifts or photo albums is sure to distract you, and you’ll stop and look through, so do it after the other stuff!
  13. Take a step back when you’ve finished and admire the difference you’ve made. Appreciating the fruit of your effort and the way a cleaner tidier home makes your feel more motivated to do it more often.
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The Anatomy of a Cat

For vet trips and other medical situations, obviously the medical terminology for your cat’s body parts are the best words to use. But this is the internet and we’re all cat ladies, our actual genders irrelevant. Cats are ridiculously adorable floofs and we have a need for these far more appropriate terms for their body parts.

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Scritch Place: the space behind a cat’s ears, which is the best place to scritch your cat.

Ear Floof: all of the lovely long hairs inside your cats ears, presumably to make them extra cute.

Mane: the longer fur around your cats cheeks, just like a lion’s mane.

Boop: the soft, skin-coloured part of your cat’s nose, which is a perfect little button to press and say “boop”.

Blep: any part of your cat’s tongue that is currently sticking out of their mouth, especially if their mouth is closed.

Toofs: the super-cute little fangs that your cat shows you when they yawn.

Toe Beans: your cat’s toe pads, looking like little cattwojelly beans.

Peets: the cute little feet of your cat, made of soft pads for their sole and toe beans.

Sassy Pants: the extra fluffy floof that is your cat’s thighs, and looks like a pair of pantaloons.

Belly: the whole underside of your cat, all soft fluffiness and highly tempting to rub vigorously.

Nope: any part of your cat’s underside that they attack you for petting, named for your cat’s attitude to you touching it.

Bingo Wings: just like the sassy pants, the fluffy thigh/upper arm part of your cat’s front legs, like the loose skin older people often get but much cuter.

Bib: most easily identified on tuxedo cats, who have white fur there, the part of your cats chest that’s still visible when they sit up tall.