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Housekeeping 143 Ideabooks

With backyard barbecues, clambakes and beach days, July is a time when many of us spend (or wish we were spending) more time outdoors than in. This month’s checklist offers ways to slash energy and water bills, keep your garden and patio in good shape, and protect your home while you’re away on a summer trip. ...
Got a Disastrously Messy Area? Try Triage
For those of us who are Not Naturally Organized, running a household can be overwhelming. “I don’t even know where to begin” is a common lament. We look at our Naturally Organized family members and friends and wonder how they do it. How do...
Can-Do Cleaning Strategies for Busy People
Some housekeeping books read like a lovely daydream. Imagine having the time to dust under the furniture, rotate mattresses like clockwork and clean the refrigerator coils! To be quite honest, I can't recall the last time I did any of those things, and...
7 Habits to Help a Tidy Closet Stay That Way
You’ve banished your excuses, sorted your stuff and lightened your load. Your closet looks great! You’ve celebrated your accomplishment and are basking in the glory of your newly purged space. So ... now what? Nature abhors a vacuum, as they say,...
Get Grout Magically Clean — Stains and All
Tile — whether it's used as flooring, in the kitchen as a backsplash or for counters, or in the bathroom — has one great downfall: grout. Since grout is porous in nature, unsealed grout absorbs all kinds of stains, from mildew to coffee and everything...
Baking Soda: The Amazing All-Natural Cleanser You Already Own
Fluffy pastries and scrumptious cookies might be the first things that come to mind when you think of baking soda, but this ingredient is far more than a baking staple. Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a powerful cleanser that should be a mainstay...
How to Build Your Housekeeping Muscle
A few months ago I was listening to a story on the radio about the increase in private lending. The subject of the interview was a man who, over the years, has lent thousands and thousands of dollars in small amounts to family, friends and acquaintances....
Dish-Drying Racks That Don’t Hog Counter Space
Drying dishes can be a drag. So why not let Mother Nature do the work for you? A dish-drying rack can save time and doesn’t even need to take up counter space, so it can make your kitchen look cleaner, faster. Air drying may result in a...
Old Furniture: Clean, Reupholster or Replace It?
Let’s say your mother-in-law has purchased a brand-new shiny sofa, and has deposited her aging original one in your front room. Or you’ve scored a once-in-a-lifetime roadside find — a Louis XVI chair with a magnificent frame but questionable...
How to Keep Your White Kitchen White
A recent featured ideabook on white kitchens garnered a ton of comments from readers, most of which contained concerns about how to keep those beautiful...
A Fine Mess: How to Have a Clean-Enough Home Over Summer Break
I awoke at 1:00 the other morning to my niece Grace's soft voice informing me my daughter Eden was, as they say in the U.K., "being sick." And boy howdy, was she ever! My husband, Paul, and I have a team approach on these occasions, and we are...
To-Dos: Your June Home Checklist
June is here, and it’s time to get in the swing of summer. Whether you are watching your kids say goodbye to another year of school, scheduling a major home improvement project (like painting the house), or just looking forward to some much-deserved...
7-Day Plan: Get a Spotless, Beautifully Organized Garage
If you are ready to transform your garage from dumping ground to a useful, well-organized space, this plan is for you. It breaks down a monster of a task into manageable steps, so...
7-Day Plan: Get a Spotless, Beautifully Organized Home Office
Why spend time getting your home office in order just as summer is about to begin, and the last thing you want to think of is work? Because a messy home office only gets in the way of summer plans, that’s why!
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