Saturday, December 31, 2011

Crappy Housewife Tip of the Day

Always pack an overnight bag for long car trips, even if you're not planning on stopping for the night. That way, when you hit a snow storm in Watertown (there's always a snow storm in Watertown), you can get a hotel room and just grab that one bag, without having to dig through all your stuff to find clean underwear.

Or, if you're stubborn like me and you just keep driving and get home at 4:00 in the morning, you don't have to unpack the whole car - you can just bring your overnight bag into the house, and unpack the rest the next day. Or the next day after that. Or, well, eventually, anyhow.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Crappy Housewife Tip of the Day

If you're buying a new fridge, do it in the winter. Then you can put all the food outside to stay cold while you are waiting for the new fridge to be delivered.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Words to Live By

Efficiency: Cleaning out the car from the last road trip while packing for the next road trip.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Crappy Housewife Tip of the Day

With the exception of new and heavily-dyed clothing, I don't really sort laundry by colors anymore. I sort by "effort required to fold". When I'm doing multiple loads, the first load will be the fiddly, annoying stuff - mostly my shirts and the girls' clothes. I usually have more energy for folding at the beginning of a laundry day, so I try to get the annoying stuff out of the way first. Next, I tackle the bulky stuff that folds up quickly and easily - like bath towels and Jeremy's shirts. Finally, I wash the things that don't really need to be folded at all, like socks and underwear, so that when laundry day bleeds into laundry night, I can just stick them in the dryer and go to bed, without worrying about the inevitable wrinkles in the morning. (This also works out nicely because the socks and underwear tend to sink to the bottom of the hamper, anyhow.)

I use the same logic when I'm doing just one load of laundry, and not tackling the whole pile. I start by throwing in the things I need right away, and as I throw them in, I assess the time required to fold them. Then I throw in towels or shirts or socks to fill the washer the rest of the way, based on how much remaining folding energy I expect to have.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Crappy Housewife Tip of the Day

The "Kids Getting Into Stuff" Equation

When the kids are getting into something, and enjoying it, sometimes it's worth just letting them play and explore the world on their own messy terms. Here's how to know when to interfere and when to let it slide:

If F (how much fun the kids are having) times L (how long it will keep them entertained and out of your hair) times N (whether or not they know it's naughty, where N is a sliding scale from 1 to 0 with 1 being completely innocent play, and 0 being "Mom just told us not to do this three minutes ago, and we fully understood") is greater than C (amount of time and effort it will take to clean it up) times D (likelihood of irreparable damage or bodily harm), then just let them play, and deal with the mess later.
If FLN<CD then intervene
If FLN=CD then the only logical course of action is to join in. I bet smearing soap on the bathroom walls really is just as fun as they are making it look.

I'm sure my equation has mathematical errors. This is just a blog, not a web comic.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Crappy Housewife Tip of the Day

When you finally tackle that mountain of dishes, and you encounter nasty, moldy dishes, choose to be impressed rather than grossed out. Each moldy dish is a work of art and a science lesson all rolled into one. Observe the colors, the textures, the growth patterns. There's your standard green and black, but is that a blue mold under there? Did you ever notice how much more mold is formed when another dish is on top, keeping the moisture in? Or how moldy fruit smells like wine, but moldy vegetables smell like farts? It's fascinating!

(It has to be. Otherwise, it's depressing.)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Words to Live By

Sometimes, you just need a day where everyone stays in their pajamas and does nothing all day. Every day. For a week. Or two.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Crappy Housewife Tip of the Day

After mopping, put two towels under your feet, and skate around the floors, drying them as you go. This prevents slips and falls and dirty footprints. (I definitely did NOT learn this trick from working at a certain coffee shop where the practice was decidedly frowned upon.)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Crappy Housewife Tip of the Day

If you only have time for a rush cleaning, start with the most obvious areas - toys on the living room floor, dishes on the dining room table, etc. If you have time for a deep cleaning, start with the most neglected areas - the clutter pile, the countertop under the toaster oven, etc. If you run out of time for deep cleaning, you can always get to the obvious stuff later, but if you do the obvious stuff first, you’ll never get around to the deep cleaning.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Crappy Housewife Tip of the Day

Don’t forget about gravity. If you need to clean the counters and the floors, clean the counters first. Otherwise, you’ll be cleaning the floors twice.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Crappy Housewife Tip of the Day

If you want to record a cute video of your kids dancing, or make a tutorial for your other blog, and you don't feel like cleaning up the living room, just shovel all the crap to one side of the room, then crop the messy half of the room out of sight.



Friday, December 2, 2011

Crappy Housewife Tip of the Day

Get a smaller trash can.

I know, I know, this seems like a backwards tip. Shouldn't I be telling you to get a bigger trash can, so you can put off taking out the trash for a few more days? That was what I thought at first, too. But I have learned something about myself: I will put off taking out the trash until I can't balance another item on the mound. Once a piece of trash tumbles off the pile for the fourth or fifth time, I will cave and take out the trash. This presents three problems when you have a big trash can: 1. You can't get the bag shut, because there's too much stuff in it, 2. The bag is too heavy to carry, and/or 3. The trash has been sitting in the bottom of the bag for far too long, and the lowest level of trash has liquefied, making a leak that much more nasty (and, proportionately, that much more likely).

So, buy a trash can that is just a little bit too small. It will make you take the trash out more often, and save you a lot of headaches in the long run. (But keep buying the bigger trash bags, for those days when you really need the extra trash space, when you can just take the bag out of the can and fill it to your heart's content.)

Bonus tip: If you live in an apartment building with a garbage chute, buy a REALLY small trash can. There's nothing worse than getting to the chute and realizing your bag won't fit, so make sure a full trash can will always fit.