Keep a basket/box/bin in the bathroom for mail that needs to be sorted. Every time you're in there, you can sort through a piece or two (or twenty), and you'll soon find that you almost never have to make time to sort mail anymore. You can even put the shredder in the bathroom, too, and dispose of junk mail as you go.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Picture a recipe that calls for 1 1/2 cups of flour. You probably instinctively reach for the 1 cup measurer and the 1/2 cup measurer, right? But that dirties two dishes! Why not just fill the 1/2 cup measurer three times? Or, better yet, the 3/4 cup measurer twice?
Math can also help you in a pinch when a recipe calls for a measurement that you can't find the measuring utensil for. Can't find the tablespoon? Use three teaspoons. Need two cups of flour and can't find the 1 cup measurer? Fill the 2/3 cup three times.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
(Submitted by Neha)
Friday, August 26, 2011
Here's a Crappy Housewife approved list of milk substitutes for morning coffee:
-single serving creamers stashed from the last time you got coffee out somewhere
-hot chocolate powder (the "add water" kind, not the "add milk" kind)
-breast milk or formula
Milk substitutes I think might work but I haven't tried yet:
Milk substitutes I'm pretty sure won't work (but have seriously considered):
Sunday, August 21, 2011
If company is coming, and you don't have time for a thorough bathroom cleaning, clean the bathroom mirror. It brightens up the whole room.
Then, when you've cleaned the mirror, rub a dry cloth or paper towel over the faucet to shine it up. When you sprayed the Windex on the mirror, some will have misted down onto the sink, so it's an easy, quick job to polish the faucet.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
There are hundreds of nutritional/medical/developmental/emotional reasons to breastfeed your kids, but it's also a total Crappy Housewife's dream. Here are a few of the many labor-saving advantages of breastfeeding:
1. The poop of an exclusively breastfed baby doesn't smell nearly as bad as formula poop. So, if it takes you a few days to empty the trash, it's not the end of the world.
2. Breastfed poops are easier to wash out of cloth diapers, clothing, sheets, etc. than formula poops. And breastfed-poop stains literally disappear after an hour in the sun.
3. Breast milk spit-up and spills don't stain like formula.
4. No bottles to wash.
5. Nothing to pack (or forget) on outings. If the baby gets hungry, you have her food source attached to your chest. And you don't need to figure out a way to warm it up, either, it comes pre-heated to an ideal 98.6 degrees.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Practice the art of creative substitution.
No clean bowls? Eat your cereal in a mug. No clean spoons? Use a measuring spoon.
No clean glasses? Try a Mason jar. No clean knives? Spread your butter with a spatula.
Once you start to think outside of the box, you'll be surprised how many of the items in your kitchen are interchangeable.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
1. Load the dishwasher up with the dishes that are the easiest to prep - non-crusty dishes, mixing bowls, etc. The key for round one is to get the dishwasher full and running as soon as possible. Don't worry too much about conservation of space in this round, you just want to get a bunch of stuff out of the way. Run the dishwasher. If you have the choice, make sure to use the hottest possible setting for the final rinse.
2. While the dishwasher is running, prep the dishes for round two. Depending on your dishwasher, this could mean anything from just scraping the big chunks off into the trash to soaking, scrubbing, and practically washing every dish (and wondering what the point of the dishwasher is, anyhow). Stack the prepped dishes in piles of similar items to make loading the dishwasher for round two easier.
3. When the dishwasher finishes, open the door immediately. Pull out the racks and shake them vigorously to get as much water as possible off of them. (Do the top rack first, otherwise you will just shake the water from the top rack back onto the bottom rack.) If you do this while the dishes are still hot from the rinse cycle, they will dry quickly (and almost completely spot-free).
*Edited to add: You don't need to pull the racks all the way out, just shake them back and forth on their tracks and leave them sticking out as much as possible. The more they stick out, the quicker they will dry.
4. Go do something else for a few minutes.
5. Put away the dishes. Most of them will be dry enough to put away after a few minutes of drying, assuming you followed step 3 correctly. Plastic things might still be wet because they don't hold the heat enough to dry themselves, so just move any wet items to the dish drainer to finish drying.
6. Load up the dishwasher for round two. With your pre-sorted stacks, this step shouldn't take too long. Use your Tetris skills this time, to fit as much as possible into the dishwasher. Your pre-sorted stacks will come in handy for spacial organization, too.
7. While the dishwasher is running round two, assess the remaining dish situation. If it's enough to warrant a third dishwasher round, return to step 2. If not, just wash the remaining few dishes by hand.
Friday, August 12, 2011
1. Take everything out of the sink. (I told you not to put them in there, but do you ever listen?)
2. Dump out the nasty stuff, and stack things into piles of similar and stackable items. This clears up enough counter space for step 3.
3. Fill all the cups and mugs with hot water, and set them aside to soak.
4. Fill the sink with hot, soapy water, and as many of the stacks as you can fit. Pile all the silverware on one side of the sink.
5. The sink is too hot. Leave and go do something else for a while.
6. Oops, you spent too long doing something else, and now the water is cold. Empty the sink.
7. Refill the sink with WARM water. Fill a dish tub with hot water for rinsing.
8. Wash and rinse dishes, then pile as many as you can in the dish drainer.
9. When the dish drainer is full, move it to a clear counter, or the floor, and let those dishes dry. Move your spare dish drainer beside the sink and continue washing dishes.
10. If you find a crusty dish, scrape the gunk off with a spatula, then move it to the bottom of the pile to soak some more.
11. When the second dish drainer is full, switch the dish drainers again. The dishes in the first drainer should be dry enough to put away by now.
12. Once all of the smaller, stackable items (plates, bowls) and silverware are clean, work on the bigger items, like pots and pans and mixing bowls. These bigger items will fit on top of the smaller stuff in the dish drainers, so you can put off emptying the dish drainers for longer.
13. Wash the cups last. By the time you get to the cups, you should have cleared enough counter space to spread out some tea towels to dry the cups on. (If you have baking racks, put them under the tea towels - the extra air space will help them dry faster.)
14. Try to put all the dishes away. Realize that, when all of your dishes are clean, there isn't actually room for them all in the cupboards. Put a bunch of dishes in the dish drainer as temporary storage until you dirty enough dishes to make space for them.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Hanging takes less effort than folding, so hang as many of your clothes as you have closet space for. Invest in a few garment racks if you're short on closet space. Hanging clothes also means less ironing later. (Honestly, I don't even know where my iron is anymore. I avoid ironing at all costs.)
Bonus tip: Buy plastic hangers, and hang wet clothes on hangers straight out of the washer. They can dry right on the hanger, and skip the dryer completely. (Hey look, one of my tips is actually good for the environment!)
Friday, August 5, 2011
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Really messy floors? So gross that you're worried you might have to get down on your hands and knees and actually scrub? Try the Crappy Housewife Patented Sloppy Mop Technique*.
First, mop your way across the room without wringing out the mop. Your floor will be sopping wet, so make sure you don't slip and fall. (Bonus Tip: Do this job in bare feet, and scuff the bottoms of your feet a few times across the mop to clean them so you don't leave dirty footprints.)
Once the floor is sopping wet, go back to the other side and work your way across with a really well wrung-out mop. Almost all of the dried-on gunk will come up easily on the second pass. Stick a spatula in your pocket as you go, and use it to scrape up any rogue crusty bits.
*not actually patented