Household Hints

April 26, 2010 | My Jottings

My daughter Sharon used to go to library when she was a little girl and check out the books by Heloise on household hints. She used to pronounce the author’s name “HELL-loyz,” instead of “hel-lou-EEZ,” and we had a few good chuckles over that. Years later, my friend Kathleen and I wrote a song for Sharon (“You’ll Always Be HELL-loys To Me!”) and performed it at her bridal shower. It was a great blessing to her that she still holds extremely dear to this day.

Anyway, today I’m thinking about household hints. I have a few hints myself on keeping house (even though I don’t use most of them), but I could always use new ones.

Here are a few household hints I would highly recommend:

1.  Do not let paperwork pile up in your office.

2.  Do not let the dogs come in the house after it rains without washing their feet in the sink.

3.  Do not let your house get messy.

4.  Do not just throw random things into kitchen drawers.

5.  Do not eat in your car.

6.  Do not cook meals.

If you follow all of the above invaluable household hints, you will definitely have time for pursuing your other interests rather than being a slave to your house.  🙂

Seriously, I will offer one household hint that can work pretty well, and then I would like you all to share a few of yours.

Household hint: get a laundry basket for every person in your house and write their name on it in small letters with a Sharpie. Keep that basket in their room and have them throw all their dirty laundry (towels included) into that basket. Assign a day of the week to do that person’s laundry. Do that person’s laundry on that day of the week. As soon as it’s washed and dried, fold that person’s laundry (unless you can coerce them to fold their own) and put it away as soon as you have folded it. I’m guessing that unless the person you’re doing laundry for is a city sewer worker or works on a Texas oilfield, you would have only one-two loads to do each day of the week. And if you don’t have seven people in your family, you would even have days when the washing machine and dryer are silent.

I haven’t always done this, but doing Foster care has helped me stick to this most of the time. It makes laundry seem manageable, and only doing one to two loads in the morning seems less daunting. There are exceptions to trying this, I know. We have family temporarily staying with us right now until they move into their lovely new house, so we all just use the washer and dryer whenever we can, which works for us. Also, if you are the Duggar family, my method would not work for you.

Now if I could only follow my own advice regarding paperwork.

What household hints do you have to share? What things do you do in your home that save time, help things run more smoothly, or give you a sense of calm and order?

Or if you have a question on how to do something more efficiently, ask your question and maybe some readers will have answers for you!

Serious and funny comments are welcome…


  1. Jessica says:

    My house is out of control and it makes me crazy. I cannot, I repeat, cannot, stay on top of it in any area. Some days I just want to go live at the neighbors.

    It’s like a never ending project. Never ending.

    However, one small thing that helps me hang on to a shred of sanity (and this was only recently discovered) is making sure that I keep the rug just inside our side entrance vacuumed. I can’t tell you exactly why but having that one small piece of floor clean helps me take a deep breath and not lose it.

    Something about coming in the house, or around the corner and not seeing a pile of dirt, grass, gravel, what have you, that has been tracked in by everyone’s shoes helps me to not fall apart at that particular moment.

    And yes, I have to vacuum it more than once a day to maintain it.

    As for the rest of house? I need a plan. I really do. Or a housekeeper.

    My favorite household hint of yours is “never cook meals.” I might give that one a try.

  2. Just Julie says:

    Thank you for sharing your sanity-keeping tip, Jessica. Maybe we should also co-author a blog called, “Never Cook Meals” seeing as we are of the same mind there.

  3. Jill says:

    I’m not sure how much this helps my household, but it helps my mental state immensley: Every night before I go to bed, I start the dishwasher, prepare the coffee to auto-brew at 6am, wipe down the kitchen countertops with lavendar spray, and scrub my sink so it sparkles. Since it seems I do most of my living in the kitchen, I in essence put my kitchen to bed before I go to bed. And in the moring, it’s awake when I get up…coffee brewing, clean dishes waiting, sink sparkling and a little hint of lavendar still in the air. Now the laundry – that’s another story haha!

  4. Just Julie says:

    I can just see it and smell it all now. What kind of lavender spray do you use, Jill? I’d like to try that. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Heloise says:

    Use cheap shampoo to clean your tub and sink. You can even get a long handled brush and scrub the shower a little while you’re in there. Shampoo removes soap scum well. Rinse off the suds when done.

    While you’re in the shower, you can open the small tupperware container you keep there. In the container is turbinado sugar mixed with a little bit of olive oil, just enough to dampen it slightly. This is the best body scrub you can buy, hands down.
    The more oil you add, the more moisturizing it is (but it exfoliates less).

    Baby wipes are also excellent to keep in the bathroom for wiping sinks and the backs of toilets. They also work well in the car for dusty dashboards. They’re much less expensive than household cleaning wipes, and if you want a fresh scent, you can buy unscented wipes and add a few drops of essential oil (like lavender) to the container.

  6. Sue Raimo says:

    Flylady has helped me with her hint of using a timer. She says “you can do anything for 15 minutes”. So when faced with any task I would prefer to avoid, I set my trusty timer and commit to a 15 minute bite out of the chore.

  7. Just Julie says:

    I think that’s a great idea too, Sue. I am going to do that with my paperwork today – fifteen minutes of paperwork will accomplish something!

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