Four simple things to help your home

I know, I know. The title sounds ridiculous and boring. But I'm serious! I've been playing house for the past few months in our new apartment, and have had to learn a couple simple tricks to being an adult living in a clean home. I've spent many years living as a lazy student who has better things to do than vacuum or make the bed. But I'm old enough now that I actually care about making my living space feel welcoming and comfortable, rather than cluttered and potentially hazardous. Here's the four things that have made the biggest difference in my quest to not live in a pig sty:

Velvet Hangers

These hangers are a god-send for any girl's closet. They can handle every piece of clothing I stick on them: cozy oversize sweaters, slippery satin dresses, wide-neck blouses, spaghetti strap tops. I don't think I can describe in words how amazing it is to be able to drag a suitcase out of the closet and not send half my wardrobe cascading onto the floor.

My closet has never been so clean.

With slippery plastic or metal hangers, most of my clothes lived on the floor. My closet was in a constant state of FUCK IT. Now? I organize by type and then suborganize my clothes by color, yo. ME. ORGANIZE. CLOTHES. BY TWO CRITERIA. I couldn't have done it with plastic hangers. It wouldn't have been possible.

Some people like those fancy wooden hangers with like, traction grips on the arms. They're nice, I'll admit. But velvet hangers have one thing those wooden hangers don't: they're slim line and interlocking.

BAM. Suddenly a hundred articles of clothing only takes up three feet of space. It's glorious.(Those numbers are in no way experimental. I just wildly guessed.) Also, the velvet hangers are way cheaper than a closet's worth of wooden ones. TAKE THAT, WOODEN HANGERS.

Uniform Tupperware

I have literally never witnessed a Tupperware cupboard that was organized. I don't know how it happens, but everyone seems to end up with everyone else's containers. You lost the lid to that one, but if you really force it, the lid from that other container will fit - not that one, the other slightly-rounded-square lid. Dammit, where's the circle lid? Where's the rectangle lid? Where's ARUGHGUGH -

- and now you're buried under a pile of plastic containers.

It's no good.

When we moved, I hunted down the owners of all our stray tupperwares and aggressively gave them back. And I mean aggressively - people really don't want that shit back in their house. I had to bribe and/or threaten people just to get them to take their containers back. I dangled containers over garbage cans and made vicious eye contact: "It's going in the garbage if you don't take it back! Then you'll feel bad!"

I kept one stack of Glad containers and lids that were all the same shape. Everything else was either returned to its proper home or trashed (some people were resistant to my attempts at guilting).

You probably have no idea how pleasant it is to empty the dishwasher and be able to pop all the containers into one stack without triggering an avalanche. It's like, the highlight of my day some times.

Smaller Clothes Hamper

We used to have two hampers. I'm not even sure why; we just had them. They were just there. So we used them... and let them get full. Eventually they'd get so overflowing that I'd scrape off the top layer of clothes and do two loads of laundry and call it a day. But the hampers were both still packed full of clothes.

I threw one hamper away when we moved because it was broken. And ugly. But mostly because it was broken.

The new place has a washer and dryer in the apartment! That really helped because we don't have to time doing laundry around a bunch of strangers' schedules. But, this washer is also much smaller than the one we used before; it holds about half the load size. If we let our one hamper get full, it can take five loads instead of two to empty it.

A smaller hamper would be a gentle reminder of this fact. We're not good at following schedules; we tend to lose days. We need visual reminders to do non-daily tasks. A full hamper indicates "laundry time," but that signal doesn't work if a full hamper means five loads of laundry!

Keep the Kitchen Sink Clean

This one is from a miracle cure I read on the Internet somewhere: "If you keep your sink clean at all times, your kitchen will never be messy." It sounded easy. It sounded like it would take care of my least favourite and most problem area: the kitchen. I decided to try it.

It really does work!

But it also takes work.

The reason it works it because you're more likely to do dishes and tidy up if the kitchen sink is already clean and waiting to be used. Sinks have a real special way of getting nasty. When you put dirty dishes in a sink, they stay wet. Whatever bits of food left on the dish gets soggy and it turns the water into what my friend so aptly named "stinkwater."

The stinkwater then starts to absorb genetic materiel and nutrients from the various unsavoury items lurking in the sink and it creates an astounding new form of life. Then you come along later and you're all: "YEA TIME TO CLEAN!" and the toxic ooze monster that's living in your sink is like, "hey," and then you have to drink a bunch of alcohol to forget about it. All because you put a dish in the sink.

If you force yourself to at least clean out the sink every day, you end up doing a lot of necessary little side tasks too. For me, that simple task unrolls into twenty minutes of work. Unload the dishwasher, load it up with dirty dishes, clean the pots and pans, rinse out the french press... on and on. Then I can finally wipe down the sink!

But it's worth it, if only that I haven't seen an ooze monster for months.

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Four simple things to help your home
  1. 1. Our tupperware drawer ("Tupperware Hell") is what I use to explain the concept of entropy to my kids.

    2. Large-capacity and quiet washer and dryer with efficient short-running cycles installed on drawer pedestals for ergodynamically enhanced loading and unloading has been the best thing I've been able to do for my wife since I've learned to bring her to orgasm. No. Maybe it's better than that. With 5 kids providing a constant supply of dirtiness, those two machines are the center of our daily lives.

    1. With 5 kids, I'd definitely say a fancy laundry system is better than orgasms. I mean, just think about it... an orgasm has never saved anyone any time OR made clothes clean.

  2. Not long ago I found myself wondering why they haven't made some kind of universal standard for tupperware, like with sockets and batteries and... pretty much every electrical appliance.

    Somehow I never quite reached the more simple solution of only buying one type, but I'm not the one who does the shopping around here

    (Eighth time attempting to post this comment, FUCK YOUUU BLOGGERRRR)

    1. it appears firefox was the problem.

      which is a shame, because I am rather fond of firefox.

    2. Even only owning one or two types is made difficult, since folks seem to "gift" you the container when they bring over food. I've currently got three containers in the cupboard that don't belong to me and they don't fit with my others. >:(

      Too bad about Firefox. :(

    3. oh yeah. the "gifting" thing is actually probably the source of the problem. Are you waiting to give them back, using them, or just kind of hoping they'll go away of their own accord?

      It is too bad.
      Also too bad: the fact that blogger doesn't send emails when people reply to your comment on another blog.
      (Opened chrome specially. Problem suspected: possible cookie block of some kind)

    4. I'm waiting to give them back; we juuuuust got them over the Thanksgiving weekend so they'll go "home" as soon as I get a chance :P

      Blogger's comment system is a little shaky sometimes. And I've left a suggestion for some sort of comment portal thing before, but no one seems to care!

  3. Velvet hangers! That is pure brilliance! I have to find some. I constantly have a problem with things falling off hangers in my closet! Your hangers look great!

    1. They're my favourite household item. :3 They're pretty easy to find now too, because they're getting more popular! I found mine at Wal*Mart, but I've seen them at Winners and most other department stores.


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