Hey Smart Stewards, I am Thrifty Thursday!
We will be discussing maintaining a clean house under budget.
We have shared extensively on budgeting in this group and for this reason, I will implore us to also include our cleaning products in our budget and also purchase them in bulk because of their regular usage (except the ones like mopping sticks which you usually don’t need more than two at a time but definitely not less than two per time). Regular ones are glass cleaners, toilet rolls, kitchen rolls; napkins, cobweb stick etc. (Please educate the kids, helps, on the prudent usage of especially the kitchen and toilet rolls)
Cleaning is something we are trained as ladies to do. Saturdays in most homes while growing up was for nothing but cleaning! This made some grow up hating household chores. I want us to know we can go about it in a smart, effective way and within our busy time schedule.
Housekeeping is not just about cleaning the house periodically but also maintaining or keeping up a standard to avoid moth and rust as the bible clearly stated. My personal mantra is when all else fails, I must always go back to a welcoming home! And to have a welcoming home, it must be clean at all times, maybe not at all times, but maintained in a way that gives you that welcoming ambience.
Dictionary definitions of housekeeping:
Housekeeping refers to the management duties and chores involved in the running of a household; such as cleaning, cooking, home maintenance, shopping, laundry and bills payment. These tasks maybe performed by any of the household members, or by other persons hired to perform these tasks but in our case of smart stewards, we are going to look at doing it ourselves.
What does the bible say about housekeeping?
Mathew 6 vs.19: Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.
Titus 2vs.5: To be discreet, chaste, homemaker, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
Proverbs 31vs.27: She watches over the ways of her households. And does not eat the bread of idleness
Where/What do I need to clean?
The Kitchen (sink, cooking gas, fridge, freezer, cabinets)
Bathroom (wall tiles, floor tiles, closet, washing hand basins)
Bedroom (floor tiles, carpets, rugs, wood furnishing, doors, curtains, wardrobe tops)
Sitting room (leather chairs, upholstery, fans, curtains, wall decors)
There are several cheap and effective cleaning products we can use: I was stuck with a particular product line for several years until a friend introduced me to cheap and cheerful Baking soda and Vinegar, which are not just easily available but also cost effective.
Because we are looking at smart spending on cleaning products, I will be limiting this write-up to the use of Baking Soda and White Distilled Vinegar
for cleaning of our kitchen and bathroom; my main focal points in this write-up but I will try to touch on other areas like wood furnishing as well.
Baking Soda, has three major things going for it as a cleanser
1. It is non-toxic
2. It is multipurpose
3. It is cheap
In the kitchen
The kitchen is the most likely place to find baking soda. Don't stop using it for baking though!
a) A box or small bowl of baking soda in the refrigerator, freezer, or any cupboard will keep away unpleasant odors.
b) Similarly, baking soda will keep away garbage odors; sprinkle the bottom of the pail, and then sprinkle again after you put a new bag in.
c) Grease fires can be put out by sprinkling them with baking soda.
d) To clean surfaces, sprinkle baking soda on a damp cloth. Wipe, and then rinse with clean water.
e) To remove stale smells from food containers, rinse out with hot water and baking soda. If the smell persists, let the container soak overnight in the baking soda and water mixture.
f) To remove scuff marks or grease spills from the floor, sprinkle with baking soda and then wipe with a warm, damp cloth. This is even safe for no-wax floors!
g) For burnt-on food in the bottom of pots, sprinkle with baking soda, then add hot water. Let soak overnight; the dried on food will come loose much more easily and you won’t need to use spoon or iron sponge on that non-stick pot
In the Bathroom
a) To remove stubborn stains from most surfaces, use a baking soda paste (3 parts baking soda, one part water). Apply, let stand, then scrub or wipe clean.
b) To avoid clogged drains, pour 1/4 cup baking soda down weekly. Rinse through with hot water.
For the purpose of cleaning it has to be White Vinegar having in mind that there are different types of vinegar and for different purposes.
In the Kitchen
a) Sprinkling white vinegar atop a dusting of baking soda is good for cleaning sinks, tubs, tile floor. Just dilute with water as much as 50-50
b) Clean the fridge by washing with a solution of equal parts water and white distilled vinegar
In the Bathroom
a) Bathtub film can be removed by wiping with white distilled vinegar and then with soda. Rinse clean with water.
b) Rub down shower doors with a sponge soaked in white distilled vinegar to remove soap residue.
c) Stubborn stains can be removed from the toilet by cleaning with white distilled vinegar and brushing vigorously. The bowl may be deodorized by adding 3 cups of white distilled vinegar. Allow it to remain for a half hour, then flush
I don’t joke with my pledge furniture spray (J….. product) which is quite affordable, tested and trusted too, but in the absence of this, my friend that introduced me to baking soda and vinegar also did this olive oil mixture once in my presence.
To clean wooden furniture
1 cup filtered water
3 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
To polish wood furniture
1 cup of cold pressed olive oil (Original Olive oil!!!)
Half cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Mix in a bowl or shake in a glass jar and apply with a very soft cloth to naturally clean and polish hard wood furniture.
Cleaning does not have to wait till weekend!!! What has worked for me over the years is cleaning some areas during the week and capping it up by weekend. Days when I come in on time, I would usually clean the fridge, freezer, fan and the toilets including the wall tiles and this can be done at least once or twice a month, don’t forget we are not just doing the mandatory cleaning but also maintaining a standard clean environment. (Sorry, but I am yet to understand why people don’t clean the toilet wall tiles).
You should also unclog the kitchen cabinets once in every three months or twice a year. Some of us have kitchen gifts (as wedding gifts and some as party souvenirs) we have received and never used!
I had a personal experience on this; work took me out of particular location that I had stayed for three years to another state and in the process of packing up the kitchen, I discovered I had full set of almost everything you can think of as kitchen utensils stacked away in cabinets! Meanwhile I was complaining about the set of pots I was using at that point in time, that they needed change, alas the change has been stacked in just a cabinet away. If I was unclogging regularly and had not waited for three years to do it ,I would have known!!! These utensils can be an answer to someone’s prayer, don’t hold on to them biko! It can also replace that pot that has one handle that you are emotionally attached to!!!
A lot of people also leave washing of their curtains till year end which to me depicts dirtiness. It will be nice to see the curtains down at least once in 3months for cleaning, which means having two functioning sets of window/door curtains is better than having one for years.
Houses painted in texcote are prone to cobwebs hanging and lizard crawling than the ones with gloss or water base paint, what this means is your cobweb sticks has to be put to use at least every other week if you are staying in such environment.
Much more than washing and cleaning, the core of everything at home should speak safety!!! This will guide how we stack up stuffs in the house, whereby nothing falls on anyone and we don’t walk into things littered all around.
Always remember cleanliness is next to godliness. A clean house gives room for clean health and a clean state of mind most times!
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