Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Whose Way Is Right? My Way Of Course!

Indirectly inspired by another blog I read, and partly by a magazine I buy, I decided I ought to post bits of useful information, as well as my usual thoughts and reflections about everyday life.

Two decades ago, I wrote to Helpful Hints of Heloise and got published. The idea wasn't mine, but it was a good one. There were six of us, we were little, easily distracted, and when we went to places with large crowds, my parents dressed us in fire engine red t-shirts that said, "Yeagley One" through "Yeagley Six". The shirts were a gift from my Dad's secretary in Ohio. She was a smart lady.

That said; I also know that we all have ways of doing things to make our lives easier. So set are we in our ways, that when others in our household do things using their own ways, we like to "helpfully" suggest to do it our way. By helpfully, I really do mean that when we watch someone else do something that is not our way -- the right way-- the hairs go up on the backs of our necks and we get grabby with the toilet brush/laundry soap/unfolded laundry/(you're item here).

We also say things like, "If you just try it, you'll see". Which really means, "Do it my way right now or I'll belt you and call your mother/boss/old girlfriend/(you're person here) to tell them how bad you are with the toilet brush/laundry soap/unfolded laundry/(you're item here). It really does take quite a bit of restraint on my part every time one of my bras finds its way into the dryer by a well meaning husband who doesn't know to set things aside unless it's in the mesh bag.

The truth is, our way isn't always the best way. Case and point; from one gal I learned that pouring about four inches of warm bleach water in the bathtub and letting it soak for a few hours before cleaning it makes it super easy. It was a revelation! I have been doing it that way ever since. She was right! Her mother was right! It is the best way, and it wasn't my way.

But sometimes our way is the best way! I still swear that the order in which I clean my bathroom is the most efficient. Floors, tub, toilet, sink, mirror. My way, is different than my mothers way. But to her credit, the cleaning products have improved substantially in the last 20 years.

Dear Readers, in the spirit of 'My Way or the Highway', please tell us your favorite ways of doing your least favorite chores. Who knows you might just learn something -- or it could just be that your way is still the best way, duh!


K&B Brown said...

I take after my dad and have a "system" for everything. Now that I have 2 little helpers, I don't have a particular order in which I do things but how I do things is still the same (which drives Bryan nuts). Loading the dishwasher is the one thing that Bryan won't do for me because I tell him he does it wrong and I change it. So that is something he just knows not to do (unless he is just adding to the already loaded dishes). I have a system in the shower (I have to do it in the same order or I miss something).
I am going to try that tub thing.

Anonymous said...

i am not really all that stuck into doing things my way. if i find that someone elses way is better than mine i am happy to switch....i am lazy. this is why i love living w/ karen so much. she always finds the fastest way of doing crappy things...or anything for that matter.

any way...i really hate going to the grocery store. here is my way of doing that.....i avoid it as long as possible...usually until i run out of soda. so when i get to the store i buy apples because they are write as you come in the door. then i get enough soda to last for about a month. then i go to the dairy section and get some yogurt (not to be confused w/ poogurt). i pay and go home.

i really hate the grocery store.

Anonymous said...

Karin, I also have an order in the shower (the most efficient order of course). Shampoo, soap, rinse, conditioner, facewash, rinse. Done. With long hair 10 min., short hair 7 min.

Liz, I hated the grocery store so much for years that Scott and I went once a month for a long, long time. Now we go every week because of my stupid diet. I have to buy a lot more fresh stuff now.

Emily said...

Match up underwear and roll it together is probably my biggest and stupidest one.

Things that can fit in the top of the dishwasher should go there because you can always fit them into the bottom when the top gets full.

Vacuuming with a hose instead of sweeping for a pre-mop is more efficient if you're already vacuuming carpet then.

Do your dishes right away, or at least give them a solid rinsing right away, because the job always does get worse over time. No matter what.

I believe in lining nice pans with foil if you're making something that can crust or make nasty.

That's all I can think of for now.

Ann said...

No one does laundry better than me. Really. I am an expert. I can get out any stain, on any item. Sort, pre-treat, maybe pre-soak. Every color load gets a bit of color safe bleach and every white load gets a bit of regular bleach. I have the whitest whites in town!

But I hate folding.

Karen B said...

If I have a way. It is the best way. Anything I don't have a good way of doing I don't much care how it gets done. But my way is always the best. I will stand by it. Especially when it comes to packing cars for trips.

Elizabeth said...

karen's right....she does park for car trip very well. she is also excellent a packing over packed aunties...ha ha ha.

Ann said...

I thought of another one. When you have rice for dinner and your kids or husband spill it all over the table and floor, don't try to wipe it up right after dinner. It's just too sticky and ends up smearing all over. Wait for it to dry, I leave it overnight, and it is so much easier to clean up.

Anonymous said...

I am going to try some of these. The rice thing is really good. And vacuuming before mopping, also good.

Question. Exactly how much bleach do you add to your whites, and what about items that are not supposed to have bleach? Specifically, church distributed items.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah. The microwave cleaning trick. Microwave a half mug of water for about two minutes and leave it in there for about ten. It will steam loose all the gross bits of food that have exploded all over your microwave since the last time you cleaned it. It makes it very easy to wipe out.

Anonymous said...

Interesting Bathroom method...I do the EXACT opposite, thinking that if I start with the mirror and go down to the floor, gravity has helped me out. AMY

Anonymous said...

Amy, I do the floors first because it's really hard to sweep up hair and baby powder if it's wet. I usually splash some when I clean, so I don't want to have crud stick to the broom. Yick!

Ann said...

I need that microwave one today! Very timely advice.

As for the whites, somewhere between a quarter and a half a cup is sufficent. Unless the load includes the boys' white baseball pants in which they have red ground-in dirt from sliding into home. Then it's more like a cup of bleach into a "large load" setting.

And I've never heard about church distributed items not being bleached. I'm going to have to ask on that one. What if I have to come up with a new "way" of doing whites?? Say it ain't so!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ann. I'll try it on the church distributed items and see what happens. I may have just added too much bleach years ago and it had a dulling effect. Let me know how the microwave thing worked out for you.

Chunky Monkey said...

Too much bleach turns silkies gray, but a little is okay.

I have a bathroom order that is a mix of the two mentioned above: Vacume, sink, tub, toilet, mop, mirrors. If I don't do mirrors last, I get splashes on them. And for in-between cleanings: clorox wipes for a quick, daily wipe up of everything, after I do my hair.

I even have an order for cleaning my house: gather garbage, kitchen, vacume, mop (except bathrooms, which I do in the above stated order), bathrooms, dust, windows/mirrors--which I do clean regularly now that I get handprints 2 feet up.

I love my way about everything.