Kitchen Nightmare

kitchen cleaning tips

HOW TO AVOID A HUGE MESS IN THE KITCHEN WHILE COOKING TO CUT BACK ON STRESS:

1-PREP, PREP, PREP.

2-Prior to your big cooking event/prep session/routine nightly cooking; make sure the dishwasher is free of the previous clean load.

3-Wipe spills as soon as they happen, whether it be on the countertop, floor, stove top, etc.

4-Keep a large bowl for your food scraps if you compost or for the garbage disposal.

5-If a bowl is not your thing, keep your trash and/or recycle bins close by for quick disposal of items. This helps to keep your prepping and cooking areas clean, avoid unnecessary spills on the countertops, cabinets, and floor.

6-To avoid the dishes piling up in the sink or counter, load the dishwasher as you go.

7-Keep your cleaning solution handy and ready for cleaning.

8-Once dinner is over, finish loading the dishwasher and run a complete cycle. You may want to put the dishes away once the cycle is complete or you can do this the next morning or later that day. However, I do recommend that you get it emptied before your next cooking session to keep from having a huge mess of dirty dishes to deal with.

Your goal is to not have a HUGE mess to deal with at the end of your cooking session or after the eating is done.  Dealing with the mess later is the option that most people go for and end up regretting that decision in the end, especially due to stains that have had the chance to set on your countertops, cabinets or floor.

Technology Cleaned My House

IRobot, Hook cleaning, Roomba

I am sure that one day in the far, far future there will be a house built that will have a “self-cleaning” feature! So, until that day arrives, we must keep cleaning our homes the good old fashion way.

However, there are a few gadgets out there on the market that can help make the housecleaning process a little bit easier. Before you go purchase any device, having a cleaning schedule, sticking to it, getting everyone in the household involved in the process and being vigilant is the key to keeping your home clean.

Today you can go online and purchase vacuums and floor mopping system robots to do the job for you. I always advise my clients to do their research to make sure they are buying the right system that will get the job done as efficiently as possible for their home size and needs.

These systems are not cheap, even after being on the market for several years as the technology is forever evolving with newer technology. Even with me being the owner of a housecleaning company, I have taken the leap into the advanced technology, and I purchased the iRobot Roomba vacuum. It has been the BEST gift I have ever purchased for myself. After a long day of working in the field, there is nothing like coming home to clean carpets and hardwood floors!

Clean floors make the entire house seem fresh upon entry even though I may be behind with my dusting and mopping. I have my Roomba programmed to vacuum 7 days/week at 8am, and it will clean for 30-45 minutes on a full charge. I have a reminder set on my cell phone calendar to empty the collection bin at least 3 days/week and check underneath there isn’t much maintenance to the Roomba. It does a WONDERFUL job at keeping under the beds clean which is one of the unforgotten zones that gets neglected by us all!

Based on how the iRobot Roomba has saved me time with vacuuming, making my house appear brighter upon entry, and the money spent to purchase it; I highly recommend making the investment into this technology to anyone who has a tough time with vacuuming or who simply cannot find the time in their busy schedule to do so. I always advise that you do your research and make sure you are purchasing a system that can handle your house size or the various type of floors that you have in your home.

For me, with the iRobot Roomba vacuum, this piece of technology has been the best thing I have discovered in my 20+ years of cleaning, as an actual device that is well worth its cost and gets the job done.  It does take some time to make sure all the components are clear of debris and in good working condition. Other than that, there’s really nothing negative I can say about the IRobot Roomba. And this is NOT a sponsored post, just my own personal opinion being a user of this cleaning gadget.

Laundry Demon

Laundry

The never-ending demon that lurks!  Is this the way you feel when it comes time to get the laundry done?  Most of you will say yes but it does not have to be this way. Here are a few tips that can help you with making laundry day a little less stressful!

1-Sort. Sort. Sort. Sort. Sort. To make loads easier and to ensure that like items are washed together, it is best to have the laundry pre-sorted.  The best way to get the laundry pre-sorted is to have everyone in the household involved in this process.  You will be amazed at how smoothly things go when the laundry is already sorted.  This can be accomplished by having laundry bins in each person’s room/bathroom/closet with the appropriate labels to help them sort their clothes.

2-Check those pockets.  Nothing like doing a load of laundry only to discover that tube of lipstick you have been looking for was left in an unchecked pocket and now your shirts are ruined! Best way to avoid this is to make sure once the laundry is sort, everyone checks their pockets first before sorting the clothes or check before the laundry is loaded into the washing machine.  Keep a jar or small box handy so that you have a place to put the pocket items.

3-Stains. The best practice is to treat the stains when they happen.  In order for this to work, you have to make sure you have the right ingredients for the stains you are treating.  There are hosts of sites online you can go to for information on how to treat just about any stain that may occur. Another good practice is to have a cheat sheet placed in your laundry room that tells you how to treat stains to make sure you are treating the stain correctly.

4-Load size.  Even with the new line of High Efficiency (HE) washers and dryers, sometimes the best approach is an old school approach.  The smaller the load, the more efficient the appliances can be and the best way to ensure your clothes are thoroughly cleaned and every piece is dry.  And yes, this will at times causes you to have more to wash but that leads to the next tip.

5-Socks.  You start off washing with an even number and then once they come out of the dryer, you have an odd number. How can you avoid the lost sock scenario? Start placing all of your socks into a mesh bag before placing them into the washing machine. This will help eliminate the lost sock scenario.

6-Pile-up.  Do not let the laundry pile up on you.  Get ahead of the work before it becomes too enormous.  This will lead at times to more laundry sessions but an extra hour for that extra smaller load is better than an entire weekend.

7-Schedule.  This is the best way to manage your time when it comes to getting the laundry done.  This also aides with getting everyone in the household involved with getting the laundry done.  I personally have a schedule in everyone’s room that has each persons laundry day.  This way we have no confusion  on laundry day and no issues with their other responsibilities.

8-Dryer time.  The best way to get the most of out of your dryer is to a)use smaller loads. b)keep the lint trap cleaned out which is best to check before each load. c)use a dry towel inside loads that may take longer to dry in order to help with absorbing some of the moisture which helps cut back on the cycle time.  YES, it really works!

9-Supplies.  Before any of the above items can be accomplished, you must have your supplies.  It is best to always check the items in the laundry room and keep a list of items that need to be replenished. I keep a magnetic notepad attached to the front of our washing machine and make notes of any items that are low and will need replacing soon.  This way, when I do my grocery shopping, I simply add the items on the note to my grocery list and cross them off once I purchase them and restock.

Side note:  Sometimes we cannot figure out why our clothes are not getting cleaned or there seems to be a lot of residue leftover after they are washed.  You change the detergent and fabric softeners and still you have the same problem. The one thing no one ever looks at is the water!

Yes, the type of water you have in your home plays a key role in how efficient your detergent works. You can call your local water company and request that they test your water if you have any concerns about it or find an independent lab in your area that tests the water.

It may be as simple as changing your detergent or using less since most detergents today are concentrated due to the “HE” washing machines using less water.  Another may be to clean your washing machine and with this, I would recommend you follow the manufactures instructions for this.

Goodbye To Fall Holiday Stress

So the kids are back in school, vacations are over and the house is back to a normal routine.

Did you know that this is the best time to pre-clean before the holidays?  Yes! Most people stress themselves at the beginning of November or December to get the house spotless for all those guests if they are hosting for the holidays.

No need to stress yourself out.  Would it not be nice to actually sit back and relax for once? Here are a few simple tips to help you make any holiday event as smooth and stress-free as possible.

1-Plan your menu early

The sooner you know what you would like to serve, the easier it is to cook for the big event.  For each item you would like to prepare, make a list of all the ingredients needed for it.  Once this is done, check your pantry to see which items you already have in stock and check it off of your list. I normally recommend having some type of storage bin or area in the pantry where you can place all the items needed together and place a note stating which holiday the items are for.  You can then make a secondary list from the main list of the items you would need to purchase the week of the event which normally consists of those items that are perishable and would not keep long in the fridge.  This way you cut back on the number of trips you would have to make to the grocery store and the stress of missing items.

2-Check Your Cookware and Bakeware

Once you have your menu set, this is also the perfect time to check your cookware and bakeware items to make sure you have all that will be needed to pull off a perfect holiday meal.  Nothing like wanting to serve some appetizers and you find out that the tray you thought you had is no longer presentable, damaged or missing.

3-Go Through Your Linen Closets and Storage Bins

If you will be having guests stay in your home, this is the time to go through your linen closets and/or linen storage bins to make sure you have enough sheets, pillowcases, spreads, towels, wash clothes, etc.  You can go ahead and pre-wash the items you would need to make sure they are fresh and clean before your guests arrive.  I usually recommend doing this at least 2-4 weeks prior to your guests’ arrival. This will eliminate the stress of wondering if the linens are clean and fresh for your guests, and to make sure they are presentable which keeps you from making any last-minute stressful trips to the store to purchase more.

4-Do A Home Deep Cleaning

We all want our homes to be fresh and clean before we host that big holiday event. It would help to have your home deep cleaned at least 4 weeks prior to hosting the holiday event. This will make it easier to keep your home clean before the big event.  This is also the time to get your carpets/rugs cleaned if they have not been done within the last 6 months. Also, a good time to take a look at your curtains/drapes/chair covers, etc. to make sure they are clean as well.

Planning ahead and being prepared is one of the easiest and best ways to cut down on some of the stress that comes with being the host for the big holiday event!

6 Essential Fall Cleaning Tips

Fall Cleaning TipsThe weather is cooler.  The kids are back in school. Fall sports are back in full swing.  Time to get a few essential items done around the house.  

This will be similar to a Spring cleaning with a concentration on items that pertain to the cooler/colder weather.  The best time to perform this cleaning is after Labor Day and before you start your Fall decorations.  

My list can definitely be customized to your house and preferences.  These are items that I have noticed over the years that most clients ignore or really do not think about.

1.The Fireplace.  If you use it during the winter, it definitely needs to be cleaned and checked by a professional.  If you do not use it, still have it checked by a professional and see what type of sealing options are available.  This is done whenever the fireplace is not in use which most people do after the winter.  This helps with drafts, AC loss in the summer and heat loss in the winter.  SIDE NOTE: if you are having the fireplace/chimney cleaned, this is also a good time to get the dry vent line cleaned out as well.  Most companies that clean the fireplace/chimney also clean out dryer vent lines

2. The Oven. Yes the oven.  This is the best time to get it cleaned out, if it has been a few months since the last cleaning.  This way you know the oven will be ready for all the holiday cooking and baking that will be taking place. You can also clean out the drawer below the oven (if you have one).  It can also be removed to make it easier to clean underneath the oven.

3. Refrigerator/Freezer.  Yes it can be done and this is the best time to get it done.  Remove all those items that have expired.  Find those storage containers you have been looking for as they have been sitting in the back of the freezer.  Don’t forget to clean the top of the fridge as this is an area that no one seems to think about.  If possible, I also recommend pulling your fridge away from the wall and cleaning behind it.  If you have a water line connected, do be careful as you move the fridge  to ensure you do not break this line.  I refer to the top and back of the fridge as the “forgotten zones”! 

4. Window Treatments. Take the drapes down and get them cleaned.  Wash the curtains and sheers.  Dust and clean shutters, blinds or shades.  And this leads to the next item…

5. The Windows. Yes.  If you are going to clean the window treatments, shouldn’t the windows be nice and shiny? The best way to get your screens, windows and sills clean is to have them pressure washed.  However, there are products on the market that you can use specifically for exterior window cleaning.

6. The Floors.  This is a great time to get the carpets cleaned, tile/marble floors, hardwood or laminate floors cleaned.  You can take this task on yourself or hire a professional to get the job done. There are a lot of carpet cleaning companies on the market today that also clean tile, marble and laminate floors.  Hardwood floors can be cleaned by a regular cleaning company, just ask when scheduling services if they clean hardwood floors.

I hope that you find the above list helpful in planning your Fall/Autumn cleaning.  The best plan is a well thought plan that you schedule sooner than later!