Recent Hints

Re-use butcher's paper to save on paper towel

Instead of buying expensive paper towel, which doesn't seem to last in our household, we use the butcher's paper that is wrapped around purchases such as deli products to clean out oily pots and pans. This saves us money, as well as a heap of paper towel, landfill space and our precious trees!

By: Akiko Yoshimoto

My level headed method helps me reach my goals

My daily book has been helping me save my goals and achieve all year. At the start of the year I bought an A4 meeting book, with section dividers. This gives me a section for my goals, one for 'major lists' that will go through the whole year and lists of different levels. To give you an example, it's this one here:

I count general housework as Level 1, things like tidying up/sorting, paper cleaning as Level 2 and Level 3 as big things that need other help, such as tax or renovating/new major organisation of the house and so on.

I work full time at a job that has many night and after hour events, so find myself doing a lot of Level 1 on the weekends. However, unless I make a conscious effort, I do not get much of Level 2 or 3 done. Using this book both at work and home helps me to be really organised!

By: Sahr 2 responses in the members' forum


Hottest Hints

Home-made floor mop

My home-made Enjo-style floor mop is a joy to use and cost me just $6.00 compared to the brand name alternative! I had been hearing about the wonders of the Enjo cleaning cloths and mops for some time, but the price tag always stopped me from buying one!

Using a hint from the Vault, I purchased half a metre of quality polar fleece for $6.00 and cut it into eight decent sized cleaning cloths, they worked great. Then I looked at my sad sponge mop. It was in a terrible state and the sponge needed replacing - so I decided to try and make my own Enjo-style mop head!

I took one of the cloths I had cut and stitched some elastic around the edges. I now had a removable mop head, and with a little vinegar and eucalyptus I had a sparkling floor. Now every time I mop the floor, I just rinsed out the cloth, dry and replace!

By: Kim H 5 responses in the members' forum

Time-saving tips for working mums

For many people juggling work, family and study, time is the most important saving they can make. I work four days a week, have a three-year-old and studied part-time for a diploma for a year. I got by with these time-saving tips:

  1. Lowering my expectations for the house. I don't need a spotless house, but a tidy and lived-in home.

  2. Doing my housework little and often, rather than spending huge amounts of time tidying up. I do things like:

- put my little one's daycare bag together for the next day as soon as we get home in the afternoon.
- cook my lunches (pasta and sauce, muffins and so on) once a week and freeze them.
- put my lunch box together from the freezer in the evening.
- clean the toilet by putting a teaspoon of Napisan in it each night. It soaks overnight and the bowl is clean with the next flush.
- do laundry when enough for a load accumulates so we don't have a sudden clothes drought, then an avalanche of laundry to do and put away.

  1. Exercising on a stationary bike in front of the TV in the evenings after my little one is in bed.

  2. Programming our DVD recorder once a week (Sundays when we get the new TV guide) so I don't miss my favourite shows.

  3. Filling cereal bowls with water if I am rushing and have to leave the breakfast things. This makes them easier to clean later and stops ants.

  4. Trying not to double handle things. Rubbish goes straight in the bin, meat is put in meal size portions in plastic bags and frozen as soon as it gets home, magazine subscriptions go straight to magazine rack when they arrive in mail.

  5. Leaving rooms better than when I arrived, so the need to tidy doesn't build up. It only takes five minutes to put laundry from the floor to the hamper, make the bed, wipe a bench, replenish the toilet paper.

  6. Recruiting my little one to help - she's only three but she can put dirty dishes in the sink, put toys away in her room, dirty clothes in the hamper.

  7. Shopping for groceries by myself in the evening so hubby can watch his TV shows in peace and I am not tempted to go to other stores as only the supermarket is open. Also many things are marked down at that time.

  8. Trying to do three things for myself that make me feel happy each day, like listen to podcasts while I do the housework.

  9. Writing the shopping list progressively through the week so I can pick it up and go when it's time to do groceries.

  10. Storing the bedding in storage containers under each bed so it's quick to make the bed, especially when changing my little one's wet sheets in the middle of the night.

  11. Shopping for presents at sales during the year (online or in stores) so I don't need to go to crowded stores during the Christmas rush.

  12. Not beating myself up if I find lifestyle changes tricky at first - I am afterall human!

By: Spud 204 responses in the members' forum