Housekeeping 101 for the newly house wife!

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Laundry can be really messy. I remember what a mess the house was when I started taking care of the laundry. Piles of clothes inside and around the hamper, piles of fresh clean clothes inside and around the laundry basket, and clothes on the drying ropes hanging there for several days. Sometimes I would even forget the clothes hanging until I would have to wash them again because they have been hanging there for so long they smelled like dust. My husband had to take a dive in the 10 feet tall laundry pile to find himself a shirt – well I would have to say – about everyday! Well, laundry is a dirty job but you can’t get out of it, so read this carefully. The number one rule; do not postpone a task especially when it comes to laundry. Whatever the task is; do it now! Washing; you should always break up you laundry into three piles; whites, light colors, and dark colors. You know whites, but what are light and dark colors? Light colors include pastels, beiges, light grey, light pink, baby blue… well you get the idea. While black, brown, dark grey, dark green, red, purple, fuchsia, etc are considered dark colors. If you wash these with whites or with light colored clothes, you will lose them to color run and, well you can forget about wearing them ever again.

Wash the towels separately because you will need to use 90 degrees hot water with them. Whites get the same as well. Wash colored clothes with cool water. Do not stuff your washing machine or else clothes will not come out clean. There should be a space that fits a fist. Always use fabric softener. Use chlorine with whites. Now, if you do not want to have a hard time folding your clean and dry clothes, always use a separate program for spinning, so that you turn it on only when you are ready and have space on the ropes to hang your clothes. Get the close out of the machine and onto the ropes as soon as the spinning stops. Place them on the ropes in a neat way, not one over the other. And try to stretch each piece while you are hanging it so it will be neat and ironed, because the clothes will dry in the same shape they were put to dry in. If you place them in a sloppy way, then this is the way they will turn to be when dry. Also, turn over any clothes that are on their wrong side. You will find it easier to do that when they are wet than when they are dry and stiff.

Normally in summer laundry takes just 1-2 hours to get dry. In winter, it can take all day long. In both cases as soon as the clothes are dry, remove them and fold them immediately. Press the t-shirts and the underwear with your hands as you are folding them so that they look like you’ve ironed them, and send the clothes that need ironing to the dry cleaners. If you are not intending or do not have time to fold the clothes right away, place them on a bed or a couch in a neat manner, not. Remember, the key is to do whatever it takes right away. Any small delay believe me will lead into a pile up of laundry and you don’t need that!

Cooking and Meals

Normally, cooking depends on your personal skills and what you’ve learned from your mom. And whether you are experienced or not, the idea of you being alone in the kitchen for the first time will make you panic a little and you might mess things up; burn the rice a little, set a pan on fire. Don’t worry that’s normal. Ideally once you get the hang of it – unless you want to – you don’t have to cook everyday. Buy the meat and poultry at the beginning of the month, marinate them for 12 hours, and store them in the freezer. You cannot imagine how good a deal this will cut off the time you spend in the kitchen.


Cleaning the House

If your house is big (3 bedroom/2 bathrooms or more) you should probably get a maid to help out on the cleaning. If you can’t afford one, do one bedroom at a time. Do the bedroom and the living room on Wednesday and Thursday because this is the area you will be using most in the weekend, and do the reception area, the bathrooms and the kitchen on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.

Kitchen and Bathroom Hygiene

Your bathrooms and kitchen need to be clean and shiny everyday. So keep a cleaning sponge behind all your tubs along with a bottle of bathroom cleaning spray. Every morning, wipe the tub, the mirror, and bath tub and the toilette. If you do it daily, there will not be any hard stains and it will take you only a few seconds to get it over with.

Always keep a mopping stick behind the kitchen door for emergency spills and for the daily floor cleaning as well; kitchen tile always gets wet and needs mopping. You should have a dish brush on your kitchen tub. After meals, wash the dishes or place them in the dishwasher immediately. If you are not going to wash them right away, you should at least brush the food remainders off them so that they won’t stick and be hard to clean, rinse them and place them neatly in the tub or dishwasher. Fill cooking pots with water and leave them for a few minutes before washing them. This ought to remove any food remainders sticking on its surface. If not, use lemon juice. It will definitely do the trick. Everyday, you should wipe your kitchen surface and your stove. Once a week, do the refrigerator, the oven, the inside and the top of the cabinets, the microwave, and the surfaces of your electronics such as your kitchen machine and your dishwasher.


Buying the House Supplies

Buying the house supplies from food to cleaning supplies on a monthly basis works best for and for most of my friends. Whether you get your stuff on the beginning or the end of the month, always make a list of the things you need before you go to the retail store. This list should contain the specific amounts of each item you want to get. Go for the necessities only; the rest you can buy weekly if you are right on the budget and it should include cheese, bread, fruits and vegetables, snacks, yogurt, canned food, juices. Things you can’t get by month anyway unless you want them to rotten in your refrigerator.

Food: oil, ghee, rice, macaroni, sugar, tomato paste, mineral water carton, milk, etc.

Cleaning supplies: glass cleanser, floors cleanser, wood cleanser, dishes soap, detergent, etc.

Personal hygiene: soap, bath supplies, toothpaste, shaving cream, deodorants, etc.

Other supplies: toilette paper, kitchen paper, trash can plastic bags, foil, cling film, etc.

DO NOT BUY ANYTHING THAT IS NOT ON YOUR LIST. And do not buy in excess of your needs and think it won’t hurt you. It’s better for you to buy a few items of whatever you’re running out on, rather than just find stuff lying in your cabinet. It’s a waste and you will never be able to find out the true amount that you are using each month.

Aim for retail stores where you can get the best bargains. They are the best, and they have everything. If you do not have a family trusted butcher you can get your meat there and you will get good quality and reasonable prices as well. Retail stores also have sections for fresh vegetables and fruits.

Good Luck!

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