Monday, March 26

ABC #10


Rise and Shine

Keep your *stuff* clean.  Rise up when you don't feel like it, shine your stuff until it's nice, THEN put it up.

If you keep your stuff clean and nice, the life of your stuff will be prolonged.  When thinking about *R*, a thought came to my head.  What if we just got ONE of each thing. ONE thing, not one after another because the others got ruined, but just ONE thing.  Lawn mower, coffee maker, high-chair?  We would probably take better care of our things if we knew we couldn't just trot out and replace them when they were ruined....often being our own fault.  I was not brought up in a poor home, but I was brought up to watch my parents take care of the things they had.  My sister has the ice chest we used to take camping when I was a kid.  That makes it pretty's still a pretty green and very usable.  The life of ice chests these days is very short.........because we can just trot out and get another one.

Yes, I have a thing about ice chests and keeping them clean. They are not free and you can't call the company when one gets moldy and expect them to replace it.  I use mine to get groceries and we of course use them for camping.  I never want to get them out of the garage and have to clean them up before I use one.

Food, stains, dust, grime, dirt, mold, sticky stuff, grease, rain, the weather in general, ...........will make things OLD.  It makes your stuff NO fun to you might be compelled to get rid of that dusty old thing and buy a new one.  That is never a good idea.  It's not frugal or careful at all.  The best idea is to keep it clean.  If you put something up that's dirty, it will be even worse when you need to use it again.  If you don't keep up on things you use all the time, cleaning them will be harder.  Who likes to open up a grill to cook up something fun only to find it is filled to the brim with ashes and last year's picnic mess?  Or better yet, how about a waffle maker that won't even come open?

  A clean house is of course easier to clean than a dirty house......the clean house is clean because it's cleaned all the time, not because it's magic or something.  Things that are not kept up are a misery to clean.

Here are some examples of things that can get very dirty.........things that are sometimes replaced instead of just kept clean.

trash cans:  Take them outside and hose them out.......use dish washing liquid.....let it soak....rinse and dry in the sun.  If your trash cans are dirty, they are causing a smell.  You might just be used to it.

fridge:  A little care and hot soapy water will take care of most fridge problems.  Do scientific projects on the table, not in food containers.  If it's old, throw it out.  If it's good, keep it covered nicely.  Rotate your stock.  New cheese goes to the back, old towards the front.  GET RID of the things you will never eat.  I've seen some refrigerators before that should be in horror movies.

chairs:  Wipe your chairs off once in a while (with a hot soapy dish rag).... from top to bottom.  Do it while you're letting some dishes soak in the pan.  Keeping chairs nice will prevent your husband from sitting on some strange thing in his church clothes.

dust-pans:  Since they're not made out of sugar, they can be scrubbed clean just like anything else.  Why let Captain Crunch and dog hair be all over something when it CAN be clean?  Take it outside, hose it down and let it dry in the sun.

dish pans:  My mom finished dishes, soapy cleaned her pan, dried it off and put it under the sink.  She could probably make a dish pan last for 10 years that way.  Most of us don't relish the thought of doing dishes....and picking up a greasy dish pan with coffee grounds on it is no way to start another load of dishes in the sink.  Use your dish brush and your dish washing liquid to clean it, nothing fancy is needed.

microwave:  Is yours splattered with spaghetti?  Pizza grease?  Corn?  They are really easy to clean.....put water in a microwave safe bowl, get it really hot in there, wipe out with a rag.  I know somebody that put vanilla in her water and she said it smelled like she was making cookies!  You can also do this while dishes are soaking in your nice clean dish pan.

ceiling fans:  I don't do so great on this.  Probably because I don't enjoy standing on chairs to clean things.  If they are really bad, use and old pillow-case to surround the fan blade.....wipe the blade as you work towards the end, all of the dust will be inside the pillow-case.  Then you can clean it with a rag.  From experience, you MUST keep them clean.  You never know when the dust will become to great for the blades to bear and it will all start flying around the room not caring that you are entertaining a missionary family.  Dust could possibly shorten the life of a ceiling fan.

box fans:  In order for the fan to work, it must suck air from the back to blow it out the front.  The back of a ceiling fan can certainly be *very* covered with dust and can certainly get into the motor.  Take it outside and gently sweep the dust off, or use a duster.  Do the front and back....and maybe even plug it in outside and turn it on and let it blow the dust in the yard instead of the hall-way.

grills:  Empty the ashes out a couple days after the bbq instead of right before you need it.  I will hose ours down and make sure it dries in the sun.  You can also spray the actual food part of the grill with oven cleaner and place it in a large trash bag and let it *work* overnight.  Carefully remove it and spray and scrub the food off.  If you know it's all nice and ready for the next bbq, that will be one less thing you have to do.

lawn chairs:  First of all, I hate the umbrella fold up type lawn chairs..............they don't last and they usually look horrible after a few uses.  They mold, they get dusty and fade easily.  If I can, I buy ones that can easily be sprayed off and dried in the sun.  I spray chairs off when we get home from the beach....and sometimes home from camping.  It just depends on what was spilled.  Lawn chairs already have a short life, don't make it worse by not keeping them clean.

pet kennels:  This is easy.  Remove the bedding, take the kennel outside, put some liquid soap on a scrubby brush and clean outside and inside......rinse, and let it dry in the sun. It's kind of like the trash can, if it isn't clean, it WILL be causing a smell.  And you're used to it.  I've seen pet kennels at thrift stores and wonder how they could get so grimy and nasty........that's probably why they ARE at a thrift store.  Instead of keeping them clean, they just get replaced.  If you do it often, it won't be a distasteful job.

coffee makers/coffee pots:  If you keep them clean, you won't think BLEH every time you make coffee and wish you had a new one.  I hold my maker over the sink and use a hard bristle tooth brush and scrubby brush to clean where the water goes.....of course be careful to only put water where water belongs as you clean.  Keep the outside wiped off all the time...........water spots and dribbles are not appetizing.  I don't think I've ever seen a coffee maker the COLOR of coffee.  Why not?  That would help, wouldn't it?  Use salt or baking soda on the inside of the pot......brown stains in a clear glass coffee pot will make you want a new one.

crock-pot:  If it had spaghetti in it, don't leave it over-night thinking you will want to hop out of bed in the morning to wash it all pretty.  You won't want to.  Call me crazy.......but I will take my crock pot inside, outside to clean with the hose.

I have four hoses outside to choose from which is very nice.  I usually go to the Spider Tree Garden because that hose has the attachment on it that makes a jet spray.  I have soap out there, too.  :)  Power spray it out, bring it in or let it soak.  Also, the cooking part of a crock pot usually has hardened on dribbles....they can be scrubbed with a nice sponge with salt or baking soda.........we have a crock pot wedding present I will use.  Keeping the outside of it cleaned off has given it a better life.  Isn't it just lovely to have a crock-pot at a *dinner* that's got all sorts of strange things on the sides?  yum?

car seats/ high chairs/ diaper bags/ play pens:  These things are routinely replaced..........some may wear out because of low quality, but most get replaced because of the aforementioned grime, stains and dribbles.  Wash car seat covers often.  If they are stained, they probably smell.  Remember, you might just be used to it.    Take your high chair outside (if it's really bad) soapy scrub it and then rinse it with the hose and let it dry in the sun. If it isn't that bad......wipe if off often with the hot soapy dish rag.   Wash your diaper bag.  It doesn't take that much time.... if you really like it and it's a good one, then why replace it just because it's dirty?  Wipe off any part of the play pen that you can and keep anything washed, that can be washed.  Don't plunk your kids into things that have syrup and slobber all over them.

deep-fat-fryer:  I lose.  I won't get one because it isn't worth the trouble to keep it clean.  My hat is off to any of you that can keep up on this neat little kitchen gadget.

ice chests:  Just think what goes into these things.  Uhhhhh, FOOD.  Keep them clean.  If you don't have four hoses to choose from, or even a yard, then use your hot soapy dish rag to keep them clean.  Wipe them out, dry them off, keep them nice.  They will last a long time if they don't get grimy.  We've had some for years and they are proof that the tops don't have to be gray with mold.

black skillets:  !!  Don't let a good one ruin.  Take care of it so it can be passed down in the family.  I've heard more than one person say they'd LOVE to have Grandma's cast iron skillet!  I will wash mine with soap, dry it on the burner and oil it a bit......just do what you have to do to keep yours nice....and not rusted.

kitchen sink;  The Fly-Lady says to keep it clean.  I think that is a great idea.

This is the little cabinet under our kitchen sink..........Lydia takes things out randomly and keeps this little spot clean.  When I got my new kitchen, I wanted to have a nice UNDER THE SINK spot, because the old UNDER THE SINK spot was horrible.  If you do it often, it's a pleasure.

Wow, the more I type, the more I realize how much I use the outside hose!

My lovely buckets!

Keepers, laundry baskets, crates, wire and plastic baskets, and Snoopy Baby Buckets.............

If you noticed, I mentioned ways to clean and things to use...........very simple things.

Don't find yourself buying expensive mango flavored house wipies.....mops that have replacement parts that cost and arm and a leg, special cleaners for all different parts of one sink.....or name brands when store brands have the exact same ingredients and formulas.  Do you know why?  Because none of those things have legs, none will clean your house for you. None will take flight when you are asleep at night.   Fancy things will not make your stuff clean, YOU DO.  It's like buying salad so you will lose weight.  Fabric so you will sew some curtains.  It's YOU that makes things work.

I use these things:  bottoms of old t-shirts for rags, dish and scrubby brushes from the Dollar Tree (Betty Crocker name brand), salt, vinegar, baking soda, liquid dish soap, Ajax and Comet,  store brand bleach spray cleaner, old toothbrushes, hard bristled paint brushes (small ones), old socks, hot water, the water hose, the sun......and pretty dish rags.

So, Rise and Shine and keep your stuff nice.  Don't be a waster.

Proverbs 31:27  She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness


Rebecca said...

Oh, my goodness! I think you thought of everything.

I'm going to do the fan thing with a pillowcase soon - before my dust flies on a missionary family!

My supplies pretty much match yours listed in that next-to-the-last paragraph. I'll have to check out the Dollar Store for dish & scrubby brushes...and I've yet to discover all those uses for the water hose!

Great post, Mo!

Tanya said...

My favorite rags are the white, so-called "bar mop" rags. They scrub and absorb so well, are cheap, and look as good as new after being laundered with a bit of bleach.

Dee said...

I like it that you do not make house work feel like drudgery. You have some great tips and you put me in the mood to clean:)

Anonymous said...

Well now I need to go clean my ice chest.

Crock-pot liners are my new best friend.
At least until all of the boxes I got for free a while back (with coupons) run out.