My grandma is a very clever lady. She grew up on a farm and raised three little girls, a ton of pigs, and dozens of other animals at home. She was entirely in charge of the household and did all of the cooking, cleaning, child-rearing, and even quite a bit of the chores around the home while my grandfather worked and did the jobs around the house.
So, obviously, she had a lot of tricks and tips to help get everything done. Now, some of these tips are common sense things we still do today while some of them are considered to be old-fashioned. But all are helpful. So, here are seven tips straight from my grandmother to help you with those pesky housekeeping chores.
Do a little every day
This is the most important tip on this list; if you do nothing else, this is the one to adopt because if you clean a little bit every day, then keeping the house in order is no great feat. Cleaning as you go helps keep things from becoming a total disaster and makes those surprise visits from friends and family much simpler. When I have friends over unexpectedly, I can have my whole house clean in about 10 minutes, thanks to keeping it mostly clean throughout the week.
Simple cleaning supplies are best
Chemicals are terrible for you, and really it’s best to keep things simple. Baking soda, vinegar, borax, rubbing alcohol, water, and essential oils really can clean literally anything, and they’re all safer for you than using a smelly chemical. Don’t believe me? Check out our series on DIY cleaning supplies and make your own!
Clean with the seasons
Eventually, you’ll have to do some deep cleaning of your home, and the old-fashioned way to do this is to time it with the seasons. In the spring, deep clean the carpets and declutter. In the summer, clean the windows and the outside of the house. In the fall, wash your windows and change the furnace filter. In the winter, flip the mattresses and vacuum them. Doing this will help keep the house clean and make your ‘spring cleaning’ much faster, as it’s a year-round chore.
Use a rag bin
Instead of throwing away clothing and other cloth that is stained or has holes, start a rag bin. Soft linens and t-shirt fabrics are great for cleaning but you’ll want to avoid anything with a print on it as it won’t be as absorbent. Cleaning cloths can last forever and they’re way better than using paper. Be aware, though, that if you clean up any kind of oil, you’ll want to either handwash or throw the cloth away as it cannot go in the washer and dryer.
Tea stain linens to save them
Tea towels and other linens will sometimes get tons of stains on them. However, Grandma never wanted to throw anything away so instead she would simply tea stain the linens to cover the stain and end up with a like-new item. Simply add for or five black tea bags to a bucket of hot water and let it steep for 10 minutes. Then remove the bags, dump in the stained linen, swish around so it all becomes wet, and let it sit for a while. The end result will be a beautiful antique brown color and fresh life for your linens! As a note, however, this only works with absorbent cloth like cotton or linen.