With my optimistic hat on, I can smell more sunshine just around the corner…!
Obviously when the sun is out, the best thing to do is get as far away from the housework and boring jobs as possible and make the most of the fleeting summer. But there are days when the kids are happiest in their own back garden in the paddling pool, and there are ways to combine sunshine time with ticking a few things off the “to do” list.
- Air the house – I do this on every dry morning I can anyway. As soon as everyone is awake, I fling open as many windows and doors as is safe for as long as possible. I hate a stuffy house and it is much better than any synthetic air freshener.
- Dry washing outside – I don’t own a tumble drier, which means I dry clothes outside on any day it isn’t raining. On really warm days it’s great to do a white wash and see what a difference the sun makes to the “white-ness” of your clothes. I’ve salvaged a fair few stained white t-shirts, babygrows and tea towels thanks to the sun’s magic bleaching rays. Sunny days are also good for washing (and drying) big bulky items that would be hard to dry otherwise, those things that we know we should wash more often – pillows, duvets, sofa covers etc.
(Image used under Creative Commons by Keith Williamson)
- Freshen up dry-clean items – Dry days are perfect for hanging out a suit or coat that’s been lingering in the back of the wardrobe for too long. And don’t forget about any rugs, bedspreads or blankets that may not need to be washed but would benefit from an afternoon hanging in the breeze.
- Gardening –Obvious suggestion! I hate gardening and am totally useless when it comes to anything requiring green-fingers (in fact, we pay a lovely man who is worth his weight in gold to mow the lawn and keep everything tidy). But there are still jobs like sweeping paths and a spot of weeding, which mean I’m not going to kill anything pretty, improves the look of the garden and importantly I’m outside catching those rays.
- Clean outside things – Last weekend I spent half an hour with a bucket of warm soapy water and a couple of rags and washed down my window ledges, front and back door, garden gate, garden table and chairs and outdoor lights. It’s a quick and easy job to do in the sun and it’s amazing what a difference it makes to clean all those neglected, cob-webby outside things.
- Clean big things – I had a bit of a spurt on last weekend, and I also took advantage of the sun by taking the high-chair and buggy to bits, had a good old scrub, hosed it all down and left it all out to dry. Cleaning big items outside means you can do it quicker and with much less mess than trying to do it inside.
- Ironing?! – I haven’t tried this yet, but I have a friend who, with the help of an extension cable, regularly does her ironing outside on her patio. Probably not a good job to do in a bikini though!
- Write lists – If all else fails, pull up a deckchair, sunbathe and write lists. Sitting on your behind, troffing on an ice cream feels a lot better if you multi-task and start thinking about all the rainy-day jobs you’re going to do tomorrow!
If you’ve got any more suggestions, I’d love to hear them!!!
After discovering how amazing vinegar and bicarbonate of soda are to help clean stubborn stains in a toilet, I have been trying out the dynamite duo (quite literally – watch them fizz when they get mixed together!) on other cleaning jobs. Anything that speeds up cleaning is a winner in my books. Here are three ideas that really work…..
Fridge deodoriser – I’ve got a little pot of bicarbonate of soda sitting in my fridge, and am pretty sure it’s working well. Can’t smell anything whiffy anyway! Apparently one small pot works well for about three months, just shake it up every now and again. One blog reader commented on the toilet cleaning post about a friend recommending using bicarb to deodorise cat litter trays too.
Floor cleaner – I’ve got a steam floor cleaner and have previously added a splash of shop-bought floor cleaner into the water, but found it left streaks. I’ve started adding white vinegar instead and it definitely helps cut through dirty marks but doesn’t streak. It does leave a bit of a whiff of vinegar, but honestly it subsides in a couple of minutes.
Limescale Remover – I read about this on Pinterest…..the home of multiple vinegar tips! I used vinegar and bicarbonate of soda on our shower head this week to shift a build-up of limescale, and it made quite a good job. I’ve been reluctant to use anything super strong on my shower in case it tarnished the chrome coating, but our water is really hard and it was starting to look ugly. You just pop a cup of white vinegar in a freezer bag along with about half a cup of bicarbonate of soda, put the shower head in the bag and secure with an elastic bag. Leave it overnight and then give it a bit of a scrub in the morning. It needed a little bit more of a scrub than I had hoped, but we’re talking about quite a build-up here. I’m really pleased with the result, and because it’s more gentle than chemical cleaners will definitely be doing it on a more regular basis.
There are hundreds of ways you can use vinegar and bicarbonate of soda round the home (or so Pinterest tells me!), and I am ploughing my way through them. I’ll only recommend the ones that I think actually work. I’d love to hear any of your own tips…..