5 things to do everyday

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1. MAKE YOUR BED(s).
if it takes you more than 2 minutes (per bed), consider simpler bedding. i have a fitted sheet and comforter, takes me 15 seconds.

2. OPEN THE WINDOWS. 
even if for a few minutes to give your space a breath of fresh air.

3. DO THE DISHES. 
even if you do it before you go to sleep, it’s so nice waking up to a new day with a clean, empty sink. I personally wash them before heading out for the day so it’s not waiting for me when i get back…

4. TAKE OUT TRASH + RECYCLING. 
for most people there’s no reason to store garbage + recycling. it stinks, take it out!!

5. KEEP THE TOILET SEAT/COVER DOWN. 
seriously, who likes looking into the toilet?

 

 

 

the laundress: laundry camp

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(may 2007 domino magazine)

Love the advice above from The Laundress. I’ve mentioned them before, their products and message are great. Not only that ‘dry clean only’ doesn’t mean you can’t hand wash it, but the overall idea of taking care of your things.
I remember as a kid my father teaching me how to polish my shoes, telling me it’s important to take care of my things. Such a simple lesson that I never forgot and a lesson that I try to pass on to anyone who will listen! Do you have any hand washing tips you want to share?

the vacuum is not just for carpet

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I spent the day giving my apt a MUCH needed deep clean and could not have done it without my vacuum. I vacuum everything: curtains, blinds, window sills, surfaces, radiator, books (how else can you clean the edges?), the shoulders of coats, hamper, document boxes, pandan boxes, tweed boxes and carved wood jewelry box, shoes, keyboard (turned off), furniture, baseboards, bare floors, and of course the rugs. The attachments are so easy to use and the little canister is so easy to maneuver around and pick up when necessary.

So I’m always so surprised by clients who only have a little dust-buster, not a vacuum. They give the same “I don’t have carpet so I don’t need a vacuum”… Is it just me?

the myth of ‘dry clean’ only

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Although I have a fantastic dry cleaner who got chocolate out of ivory silk and blueberry out of a silk/wool throw, unless I have a major stain on one of my ‘dry clean only’ wool and cashmere sweaters, and silk tops, I hand wash them at home in my large ss kitchen sink (that I give a good scrubbing beforehand).

I was going to make an instructional video but the brilliant ladies at The Laundress already have a great one on their YouTube channel. The Laundress has a number of wonderful cleaning products, but I use Ecover Delicate Wash. I soak two or three pieces at a time for about 10 minutes in cool water. Gently place the piece flat in the water and slowly push it down into the water without agitating or shaking it. I use their towel rolling technique for water removal instead of ringing for cashmere and wools, then air dry.
 
Do you hand wash your ‘dry clean only’ pieces?
 

sorting the laundry


I’ve mentioned how to
lessen your laundry load, now I’d like to share with you a couple tricks for sorting the laundry.

The first two shots are from my previous studio apartment. The hamper is from Muji (can’t find online) that’s actually two short hampers I cut and stacked to make one tall one. Two wash bags are attached to the side with Muji wire clips, but a binder clip would work just as well. I used them for the first reason, but there are a few ways to use these:
  • sort out pieces that can go into the washing machine but not the dryer
  • sort out your hand washables
  • sort out your dry cleaning
The last photo shows a large double hamper marked for laundry and dry cleaning using my trusty label maker.If you don’t have a label maker, you could easily use a Sharpie and a stencil(scroll down to see the letter stencil), write directly on it, use a piece of masking tape to write on…
 

living better with less… dirt

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(come in go away mat, buy here)

It doesn’t matter whether or not you wear shoes in the house, they’re still coming in along with all the lovely things that have been picked up from the street. And you don’t want that in your home and/or closet… Your choice; spend $3 at your local hardware store, $100 for a custom one, or any amount in between. It’s a no brainer, seriously – if you don’t have one, get one now!!

 

best dry cleaner in nyc

I tried a new dry cleaners recently but when my silk blouse came back with more stains on it than when I brought it in I wasn’t too pleased. They said they could try to clean it again but silk is really hard to clean… bla bla so I told them about my other dry cleaner who will charge be me at least $35 (they asked) but they would definitely get the stains out. For $35 they said I should just buy another one!! Seriously?!

If you’re in NYC you need to know about Meurice Garment Care. Yes, they‘re more expensive than your regular dry cleaner but are completely worth it. I take all my nicer pieces there and they do a fantastic job. They even clean handbags.

 

living better with less… cleaning supplies

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My lease is up soon and although I like my apartment, I don’t like the building so I’m looking for a new place. Before leaving I figured I’d show you a few details of the space you may not have seen already. The first is the cabinet under my kitchen sink where I keep all my cleaning supplies including my vacuum and trash. (click on bolded text for links). 

My cleaning supplies include a general purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, carpet spot cleaner, baking soda, Goo Gone and BonAmi. I like gentle non-toxic cleaners and believe a little elbow grease goes along way. I also use re-usable microfiber dusting cloths which means I don’t need dusting sprays.I invested in a Miele vacuum after being disappointed by small electric broom/dust buster type units. I purposely got a canister as opposed to an upright since they are easier to use and store. You can find them at Gracious Home andBed Bath & Beyond. I purchased mine at a local appliance shop.I take my trash out often and I don’t like large stand alone garbage cans. Not wanting to spend money on any kind of fancy bag holder, I simply used two adhesive hooks (that I already had) to hold a grocery bag. As for recycling, I prefer things not hanging around so I rinse what was used that day and take it out the next time I leave the apartment. Specialty recycling (batteries, cds, small electronics, toner cartridges) go into a small paper bag under the sink until it fills then I take it to a local place that accepts it.

living better with less… laundry

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The truth is, most of your clothes don’t need to be washed that often. Gym clothes sure, but something you wore for a couple of hours sitting at work, or running around town in really just needs to be aired out.

When you come home at the end of the day, try simply hanging your clothes either back on its hanger or on a hook outside of the closet overnight. Do this instead of putting them on a chair, a table or (yikes!) the floor. This not only keeps your place from getting messy but keeps your clothes from getting wrinkled. And I’ve noticed that when people have clothes lying around, when they eventually pick it up they automatically think it’s dirty and it goes right into the over flowing laundry bin…