Archive for July, 2008

Don’t they? Sure they do! Anything women can do, men can do too.

Who’s cleaning house:

  • Men who live alone.
  • Men who live with a patner as a couple.
  • Men who are Dads.
  • Men who care for an infirm or disabled partner.
  • Men who enjoy housekeeping.
  • Men who are too frugal to hire a cleaning person.

With today’s busy lifestyles women and men are sharing the burden of cleaning house, doing laundry and much more. It only makes sense.

Lots of men keep their homes clean and even develop their own unique decorating styles. So we thought the Homemaker Helpers deserved a special place just for men who are involved in housekeeping and cleaning. After all there are tons of resouces out there for women.

We promised no frilly aprons required, just the straight goods!

What does frugal mean to you? One definition of frugal is – practicing or marked by economy, as in the expenditure of money or the use of material resources. Frugal often gets a bad rap, I’m sure you’ve heard the terms… skin flint, cheapskate, scotch, stinting but don’t let those bother you! Living a frugal lifestyle really means you choose to be economical and avoid waste, and that’s a good thing!

Frugal Tid Bits

    Waste not want not!

  • Be creative in the way you use up your left overs, your family will never know.
  • Take care of your furnishings and appliances, they’ll last longer if you care for and maintain them.
  • Buy the Best Quality

  • If you are in the market to purchase a new item or product buy the highest quality you can afford. A high quality item will last longer and save you money in the long run which makes the initial investment a bargain.
  • Are you prone to rash purchases?

  • Use cash that way you’ll actually see the money you spend. Freeze those credit and debit card in a block of ice, by the time you thaw them out you will have had time to think about whether you really need the item.
  • Make a Game of Being Frugal!

  • Challenge yourself and your family to use frugal methods every day. Make it fun!

Some things are essential for homemaking even if you are trying simply your life. Basic cleaning products, gizmo’s, gadgets, appliances and homemaking tools you can’t simply live without. Some of these items just make your life way easier. It’s our goal to give you our honest opinion of the very best and most essential ones.

Solutions for your toughest homemaking and cleaning problems, you’ll find the answers here! We make every effort to help you find the best deals, usually recommending the practical solutions we use ourselves. This is also where we will share solutions to your life’s biggest challenges, like getting organized and simplifying.

Don’t hesitate to contact us and tell us about your “problem” so we can help you find your solution.

Keeping your home neat, tidy and organized isn’t always an easy task, especially when you have a busy family. You want to create a welcoming, tranquil environment; they seem to want to take over the entire house with their hodgepodge.

You can have a more organized home with a little thought, careful planning and effort. You may need to start a new routine and get the entire family into the habit of living more organized. Following are some easy organized living tips to help you create the welcoming and peaceful home you and your family want.

First make a plan of what needs to be done. Go through each room and identify which rooms need extra storage, and what type of storage. You may want to invest in a few storage and space saving solutions. For example:

  • baskets
  • totes
  • under bed storage
  • bookcases
  • hanging storage
  • shelves
  • boxes
  • closet organizers

This is also a good time to reconsider your room’s layouts. By arranging furniture and storage in a practical configuration it will be easier to stay organized and keep things tidy and clutter free.

Time to Sort and Purge

You have your storage needs determined, now you can start organizing by tackling one room at a time. Get your family involved in this process, they can help you decide what is worth keeping and they will be happier knowing you haven’t thrown away anything that’s precious to them. They will also be more motivated to keep organized in the future.

Make three piles, one for items you want to keep, one for charity and one for the trash. Be honest and totally ruthless. If you haven’t used it within the last few months maybe you don’t need it anymore! Give it to charity or add it to the trash. If the object has sentimental value then you can either start using it, store it or give it away. Think about how wonderful you and your family will feel coming home to a clutter free, organized home.

Getting Organized

Now that you have a plan and have all your family’s storage solutions ready, it’s time to get down to work and start organizing your house. The following tips will help you do just that and more importantly help you maintain organized living for the long term.

First you need to make sure you have a place for everything in your house, then get into the habit of putting things away as soon as you finish with them. Teach your family members to do the same. If you take a few seconds to put things away you will never have an overwhelming problem on your hands. Make sure your family knows where the appropriate place for everything is.

Mastering Paper Clutter

Take care of your bills and mail as soon as you receive them. Dispose of junk mail and flyers right away. Set up a filing system for bills that need to be paid and documents that need to be filed. Set aside a bit of time to file them at least once a month. Sort through your old papers and files. If you haven’t used something in a while but may need it in the future put it in a box labeled old files and store it away in your attic or garage.

Don’t let old newspapers and magazines pile up all around your house, more than likely you won’t get back to that newspaper article or magazine column again so once you’ve finished with it, recycle it. Tear out any articles you want to keep and immediately file them in the appropriate place.

Children’s school work and art work is precious, however it adds up over time. Frame the most current or best works of art and display them in a place of honor. Admire the rest and purge at least once a month to make room for next months papers.

Keep your telephone, pens, note pads, mail and calendar in one central location. Write down all your family’s important dates and appointments on the calendar as soon as they are scheduled.

Maintaining Organized Living

Don’t let precious time slip away, try to do two things at once. If you are on hold on the telephone why not use that time to clean out a nearby drawer. If a friend calls for a chat, clean the house or fold the laundry while you’re talking. You will get your chores done without even noticing.

Clean as you go rather than go back to do the job. It only takes a minute to clean the shower as soon as you get out. The bathroom sink can get a quick wipe while you are washing your hands. Wash dishes while you are cooking or load them into the dishwasher as soon as they are used. Wipe up spills as soon as they happen.

Go from room to room with one large basket and place items that don’t belong in that particular room inside your basket. As you go though the house put the items back in the rooms where they do belong. The basket technique works especially well if your house is set over two or more floors. This will save you time and help keep things organized.

Every evening take a few minutes to go through your home and put everything back in it’s place. Try to do a quick tidy up and leave everything ready for the next day. This will help you avoid the morning rush but most importantly you and your family will feel fantastic waking up to a neat, tidy organized house.

It takes time to learn new habits and get into a new routine, by persevering you and your family can do it. Little steps like this can make the overall task of staying and living organized a whole lot easier.

This real man’s guide to cleaning is designed to help you master the basics, make a cleaning attack plan and get the work done as quickly and easily as possible. You’ll find this routine helpful if you are just learning the ropes or even if you are an old hand at cleaning the house.

Your Cleaning Attack Plan

You decide how you want to do this either one day a week or by splitting the tasks up and doing some each day. Start by making your cleaning attack plan. If you have a spouse, roommate and or family you might want to sit down and draw up your attack plan together, that way you can divide the work load. Depending upon your housing situation your weekly cleaning chores should only take 2 to 5 hours per week, the bigger your home the longer it will take.

Your cleaning uniform should be old comfortable clothes, you might get dirty and sweaty because cleaning house is hard work.

How To Clean The House Guide

The Kitchen
If you cook, and frugal men know cooking for themselves is far more economical that eating out. Not to mention much healthier too.

Daily Tasks: Clean as you go, fill the sink with hot soapy water and wash tools, pots etc. as you use them, or put them in the dish washer. Umm, and don’t put that knife you just used away without giving it a quick rinse and wipe first. Wiping the counter tops and stove top deals with crumbs, spatters and spills before they get a chance to petrify. Sweep the floor, put out the trash and run the dishwasher if needed.

Weekly Tasks: Wipe down the exterior of kitchen appliances and cupboards. Sweep and wash the floor.

The Bathroom
Daily Tasks: Clean the bathroom in the morning or evening after your shower. It just needs a quick wipe to keep it looking half decent.

Weekly Tasks: Use a spray and wipe bathroom cleaner to clean the tub, shower stall and sink. Give the toilet bowl a good scrub with a brush and some toilet bowl cleanser. Don’t forget to wipe down the outside surfaces too. Yes, you need to clean it, sorry it’s not self cleaning! Clean the mirror. Empty the trash. Sweep and mop the floor, make sure to get behind and around the toilet well.

The Bedroom
Daily Tasks: Make your bed as soon as you get up. A fitted sheet and a duvet or comforter is the quickest and easiest way deal with it. Pick up your dirty clothes and put them in a laundry hamper or basket.

Weekly Tasks: Clean the mirror. Vacuum the carpet. Dust the dresser, night stand etc. with an old T-shirt cut in half. Change the sheets.

The Living room, Dining Room, and Family Room
Daily Tasks: Once a day or every evening before you head off to bed, take a tour around the house and pick up and put things away, magazines, dishes, clothes, shoes.

A tidy home looks cleaner than a cluttered one so get into the habit of putting things away. This means your dirty clothes belong in the laundry hamper not on the floor, and dirty dishes need to go in the sink or the dishwasher, they don’t belong on the coffee table.

Weekly Tasks: Dust the furniture with an old T-shirt cut in half. Vacuum the carpet. Sort and dispose of old newspapers and magazines.

Other weekly house hold chores. Grocery shopping, it’s not really house work but you might need to do it. Laundry, if you changed your sheets you need to wash them plus the clothing you wore and the towels you used this week!

Once a month or so… you’ll probably need to do the following:
Clean out the refrigerator, discard any unknown items and wipe the interior with a damp cloth. Change or empty the vacuum cleaner bag. Wipe down doors and around light switches where finger prints and hand prints appear. Look up, way up, do you see any cob webs? Remove them with a clean broom or duster.

Once or twice a year you’ll really should do these:
Wash the ceilings and walls. Clean all the windows inside and out. Move large appliances, and furniture and clean behind and underneath them.

Create a check list of your cleaning tasks and post it some where handy so you don’t miss doing anything. You may find somethings need cleaning more often and others you can let slide a bit longer. Ultimately it’s up to you and your personal standards. If you are comfortable and you won’t be embarrassed by the condition of your home if unexpected guests drop in your mission is accomplished.

More House Cleaning help:

I’m very excited to announce, the Homemaker Helpers site is getting a face lift, actually the entire site will be move to word press and redesigned. Not only will we look better but it will be easier for you to navigate around. It will also be easier for our authors to post their articles which is even more good news for you!

Thank you to all our wonderful and loyal subscribers, you’ll want to watch you inbox for a link to download our free All Natural Cleaning Guide. Cleaning your home shouldn’t be a chore… it should be an experience! Stay tuned and we’ll let you know as soon as we are ready for the unveiling.

The summer heat is here and we are all doing our best to stay comfortable and cool  but that usually means a high electric bill! Here’s how to save energy and money this summer.

Keep the sun out! Close the curtains, drapes or blinds to keep the sun and heat it generates out of your home. Plant a vine so that it grows over your windows to shade them in the summer. Hang bamboo blinds over the outside of your windows. Add a heat blocking  liner to your drapes or temporarily hang a sheet or towel over a window with sheer or lace curtains to block the sun.

Turn your portable air conditioner down, and use the power saver option if it has one. Use fans to move and circulate the cool air. If you have central air, turn the thermostat up. 75 degrees feels cool when it’s hitting 90 or more outside!

If it cools off outside at night, open all your windows and let the cooler air in, then close them in the morning before the temperature rises. This works even better if there is a breeze, if not place fans in a few window facing out to blow the warm air out of your home.

Keep your home from heating up by keeping the sun out and letting the cool night air in, plus adjusting your air-conditioning to a warmer temperature and using fans will all save you energy and money this summer!