10 Household Tips and A Look Into My Pantry

When I saw this month's topic for the 10 on the 10th link up with the Bolin Bunch (10 household tips) and that the pantry was the topic of the month for the Let's Look At link up with Mix and Match Mama I just knew they'd make the perfect combined post.



Being a full time stay at home mom, I have many household tips but I will do my best to narrow them down to my top 10.

1.  Everything in it's Place and a Place for Everything-- I find one of the easiest ways to keep the household running smoothing is to keep it organized and the best way to do that is to make sure there is a place for everything and that everything eventually gets put back where it belongs.  This saves down on the time I'm hunting around.

Our panty is large enough to store all our art and science supplies too


2.  Keep like things together--  In our pantry (and honestly, throughout much of the house) I keep like items together; all cleaning supplies and paper goods on the top shelf, food storage/ snacks/ pasta & rice on the second shelf, baking supplies and cereals/ canned goods on the third shelf, and all our school supplies for art, science, and hands on fun fill up the bottom shelf and line the floor.

Paper goods, cleaning supplies, extra lightbulbs are all on the top shelf

Most cleaning supplies are kept in these two bins I picked up at the dollar store

Party supplies are kept all together too on the top shelf.

Food & everyday items are kept on the next two shelves

All the snacks are kept together; all the baking supplies are kept together

We keep 90% of all our spices on this wall mounted spice rack

The bottom two shelves and this cabinet are for schooling & art supplies 

I keep paints and brushes together, science and math materials are in labeled bins and I have a hanging file storage cube for each boy's completed schoolwork

We even have one small corner for our broom/mops and fire extinguisher

3.  Use the crusts of bread and a food processer to make your own breadcrumbs!- I hate food waste and am always looking for ways to use food stuff that might otherwise end up in the trash.  I save all the breadcrumbs in a giant freezer bag and almost always have plenty on hand.

4. Find a cleaning schedule that works for you.  I used to clean in rotation-- on Mondays I cleaned all the bathrooms sinks and toilets, on Tuesdays I did all the dusting, on Wednesdays I vacuumed, etc. so that by the end of the week the house was cleaned.  Now with the boys help we each pick a room each day and again by the end of the week the whole house is cleaned.  I am all about schedules and by making sure we stick to our cleaning schedule each room never goes more than 5 or 7 days without being thoroughly cleaned.

5.  Pick one day for food prep.-- I do a rather large grocery shopping trip each week. With a family of 5 we go through a lot of food and yet I found that picking one day a week to focus on food prep saves me time in the end and cuts back dramatically on food waste.  I make a huge salad (enough to last for 3 or 4 days), wash and cut up most fruits (obviously that doesn't work for things like apples and pears), hard boil eggs, etc.  I find having good foods that are ready to grab and eat cuts back on everyone eating lots of junk and then I'm not throwing away food because someone didn't want to wash the grapes and pick them off the stem.

6. Let the kids to their own laundry-- as soon as my kids were tall enough to reach the buttons/knobs on our washer I taught them to do laundry.  I mainly wash and dry their clothes using the same settings anyway so I put little dot stickers on the machines so they'd know how to turn it on.  They have their own hamper and own laundry basket and can completely keep up with their own washing now.



7.  Add vinegar and baking soda to the washing machine to keep towels smelling fresh and new-- I don't do this with every load of  towels but whenever I notice our towels are starting to smell a bit funky or if they sat out through too many rainstorms in the summer I will add 1 cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of baking soda to the washing machine with our towels-- along with the laundry detergent! That added boost really gets the towels clean and fresh.

8.  Dawn dish soap takes food grease stains out of clothes-- I had an old shirt that I just loved but it had a few cooking oil stains on it (I really need to invest in an apron!).  I read that Dawn dish soap would take that away.  I was skeptical because the shirt had already been washed and dried a few times but I put just a tiny squirt on the oil spots and voila! no more oil.  I have found that it won't work with every fabric but it works pretty great on most anything with cotton.

9. Put the Date on all your Appliances-- We started writing with permanent marker on the backs (or not showing sides) of all our appliances the day we install them.  It help us to see at a glance if the product is likely to still be under warranty without diving into the filing cabinet to find the paperwork.  It also helps us get a feel for the amount of use we've gotten from them... sadly for most of our appliances we really don't get much use before we have to replace them.  Our washing machine that died this January was just over 2 years old-- long enough to terminate the warranty!  Needless to say we did not buy that same brand again.

10.  Change smoke detector batteries every time you change the clocks-- We started doing this a few years ago and it's a great way to make sure the smoke detectors are in working order at all times.

What are some of your favorite household tips?!

Linking Up With:


Comments

  1. What a great list. I am really trying to pair down. I wish I had a pantry, but this house is missing one. I do have a huge laundry room which needs to be painted and made less gloomy so I will use it more.
    Blessings, Dawn

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    1. We added a calming color of paint and lots of shelves in our laundry room so I could store cleaning supplies, rags, even the laundry baskets on those rare occasions they're not being used.

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  2. Great advice! I'm pretty bad at household things, I think. I do like to keep like things together. Then my husband moves things around and I lose them! lol!

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    1. My kids and husband are great for that too! I did do a quick cleaning of the pantry before snapping those photos. ;)

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  3. Your pantry is SO BIG!!!! I would love to have more space in ours like that!

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    1. It really is quite large. Our house plans called for a double wall oven that abutted the pantry but we knew we didn't want those double ovens and our contractor suggested making the pantry twice as big! It was a fabulous idea!! You can never have too many closets.... that was pretty much mantra anytime we looked at any room of the house.

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  4. Great household tips! How often do you clean out your refrigerator? One tip I learned recently is NOT to use fabric softener (liquid or sheets) on your microfiber towels... It coats the fibers and makes them less effective. I also read it on the back of the towel packaging. I hang those to dry outside if I use a dryer sheet.

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    1. I clean my fridge about once a month and I don't use fabric softener ever (the sheets are a real fire hazard). I have thought of putting clothes to dry outside but our laundry room is on the second floor and it seems like such a hassle to carry it all downstairs and outside.

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  5. These are good ideas. I'll have to try the vinegar and baking soda.
    x, Julie | ThisMainLineLife.com

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    1. Thanks! I hope it helps. I find it really helps with our summer/beach towels.

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  6. I like the tip on putting the date on appliances. I've never thought of that! You are very organized!

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    1. I am pretty much an organizational fiend. :)

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  7. Thank you so much for linking up with me! Your pantry is HUGE! WOW! You are so organized. Great tips! Have a great rest of the week.

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    1. It really is nice and big. As soon as more of our homeschooling stuff clears out of there I have plans to store all the small (no used everyday) appliances and serving dishes in there.

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  8. What a great list of ideas. I live in the UK and they don't seem to build houses with pantries in any more. The house I grew up in had one and I really missed it when I moved out to my own home! Great idea about putting the date of things on the actual machines. I always write it on the instruction manual but then you have to remember where you put that when it is years later!

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    1. I often write the dates on the manual too but did find having it right on the machine was helpful (because if had been more than a handful of hears I knew it was pointless to hunt down the manual!). I grew up in a very old farmhouse with few closets and limited storage so when we built our home I knew I wanted storage options everywhere!

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  9. Some great ideas here. I am in the middle of a kitchen make over and it is driving me mad not knowing where anything is. I can not wait to get more organised. Thanks for linking up to The Wordless Wednesday Link Up.

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    1. I do find anytime I have to tear apart a room for a remodel it drives me nuts in the short term but you've just to stay focused on the long term goal.

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  10. Such great tips! Putting things back where they belong is so important. One of our tips is that whoever pulls the last available item out of the pantry and uses it up has to put it on the grocery list. That way we are always fully stocked.

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    1. Yes, my boys are learning that one the hard way as no one put bread on the list week and I didn't think to buy any!

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