POSTS WITH TAG: chores

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    Here's some irony for you: Baby wipes might be better suited for cleaning the house than wiping your baby's butt. Ever wonder how those little miracle sheets cut through that black mystery gunk on your toddler's hands or make the spaghetti sauce on the rug disappear in a flash? A lot of wipes contain harsh chemicals like chlorine, as well as synthetic preservatives, that can can conquer poop and kill bacteria no problem, but can actually irritate skin when used too much, says Irina and Bill Webb, founders of IReadLabelsForYou.com.

    More from The Stir: Weeknight Speed Cleaning: 30 Minutes to a Cleaner Home

    You might want to avoid overusing wipes on for your kid, or swtich to wipes made with plant-derived ingredients instead advise the Webbs. Then, keep your other stash on hand for some of these surprisingly effective uses for baby wipes around your home:

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    Soon after marrying my husband, it became abundantly clear that there are two types of people in this world: those who hire help, and those who don't. My husband's family fell into the latter category. They orchestrated moves from house to house themselves, did all their own cleaning and gardening, fixed appliances, sewed clothing, and even handled their own plumbing. In my family, we hired people to do everything.

    When we were first married, this disparity caused huge fights for us, but after living together since 2001, we have wised up a bit. As both of our careers have become busier and we have had one, two, then three children, it's become clear that some household needs simply have to be outsourced.

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    So, did you hear about the man who blamed his wife for their messy house? Spoiler alert: He admits he was wrong. He used to look around his house and judge his stay-at-home wife until he became a stay-at-home dad. Then he learned: Kids are destroyers. Not only that, taking care of a home (including the people who live in it) is a collection of "a million full-time jobs." This includes "housekeeper, disciplinarian, teacher, nurse ..." Oh blah blah blah, you know the list. We've all lived it. Congratulations, stay-at-home-dad, for observing the obvious!

    As with everything else in life, you have to prioritize. Some things are more important than cleaning your house. Actually, a lot of things are more important than cleaning. And anyway, aren't we all kind of suspicious of super-clean homes?

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    If you cook even once or twice a week, your stove-top can be a living monument to every meal you've prepared. Even the most finicky of housekeepers can overlook a dirty stove-top. It can sneak up on you! Sure, you do a daily wipe down (most of the time), but that doesn't keep the odd pot from overflowing or the oil and gunk from building up and building up until you're left with an embarrassing mess.

    Conventional stove-tops are notoriously difficult to clean. Their shape, size, and the frequently caked-on reminders of meals long gone can make all the elbow-grease in the world seem like it's going to waste. But hope is not lost -- not even for the ultra-lazy like me! Here are 5 easy ways to make that stove-top sparkle once more. 

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    Call me a weirdo, but I actually enjoy cleaning my bathroom. It's my sanctuary and I love the daydream-inducing sky blue penny tiles I picked out for the floor. It's just that I have a LIFE, see, and that kind of gets in the way of doing a deep cleaning of my bathroom. Most of the time we get by on a quick swipe -- and by quick I mean 10 to 15 minutes. I'm starting to get pretty good at this drive-by cleaning. Here's how the quickie bathroom cleaning goes down.

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    Oh, white water stain on my beautiful wooden kitchen table. You are EVIL! Why must you taunt me so, catching my eye every time I walk through the room?

    Last week I hosted a brunch (because I'm like a spunkier, more-champagne-drunk version of Ina Garten) and did something incredibly stupid. I placed my delicious cheesy bacon casserole on the kitchen table, sitting it on a towel and NOT on a trivet. *Slaps forehead*

    I didn't discover the mark for hours -- because brunch was long and the champagne delicious. When I did, I panicked. This was different than your average white ring left from a cup or mug plopped down sans coaster. This was a rectangle roughly the size and shape, well, of a kitchen towel. I frantically scrubbed and scrubbed with soap and water. If this has happened to you -- DON'T DO THAT.

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    I don't know about you, but I have completely and totally ignored my backyard for the last four or five months. I believe I stepped back there just once during the winter, and that was just to see if it was a raccoon I was hearing or an intruder. Needless to say, my lonely backyard is one huge, hot mess.

    But now, spring has sprung! It's time to face my fears and tackle the jungle that has grown in the back of my house. For inspiration, I have put together 5 tips on how to clean up our crazy yards so we can actually do fun outdoorsy things with our families now that it's warm out.

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    Moms, we do so much for our families. Stuff they don't even know about. And when it comes to these umpteen, thankless tasks that reliably fall to us, a lot of the time, no one even notices. If you're a mom, you're nodding your head right now. If you're not, you're probably sitting baffled, thinking, "Like what?!"

    I thought I'd ask some follow moms to share some of the ongoing chores they do that often go by completely unappreciated. A major shout-out to moms everywhere, because holy crap, we work our butts off for our families.

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    Sooooo, have you been glued to the TV watching the winter Olympics since they started? Nah. Me neither. Because it's super tough to find the extra time to sit down and watch them, what with all the stuff we moms have going on during a typical day.

    Between getting the kids off to school, work, helping them with homework, taking care of household tasks, and shuttling them back and forth to activities -- sometimes our lives really are like their own version of the Olympics.

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    For the most part I consider myself a clean and tidy person. I put things away. I wipe up spills. I clean the bathroom, er, well, almost every week. I change the sheets and do laundry regularly. There's a place for everything, and nearly everything is in its place. But still, there are some dark corners of my home that get neglected. Places I'm aware of but just never get around to cleaning. Or places so decrepit, I've lost the nerve to touch them at all.

    I know there are people out there who assiduously clean every last nook and cranny of their homes. I salute you! You must have really interesting lives to spend all the time cleaning ... But for those of us doing the bare minimum, I give you: My slideshow of shame.

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