Thursday, July 29, 2010

Almost Frugal and Your Tip for the Day

Click here for my interview on Almost Frugal

First, my thanks today go out to Kelly at Almost Frugal, who published an interview with me in her regularly-occurring feature "This is What Frugal Looks Like."  I love Kelly's blog, and I especially love this feature, which demonstrates that frugality doesn't have to mean a life of monastic deprivation living off the grid and away from society (although it can, if that is your choice).  In fact, there are as many different ways to be frugal as people who consider themselves such.  Kelly does a remarkable job giving these various perspectives voice. round out today's column and give us a bit of a break from the gardening and cooking ideas that are so easy to focus on during summer, let me share a quick tip that saves time and money:  one-cloth cleaning.

A little history:  I am the type of person who likes to clean a room top to bottom.  I used to dust the walls (yes, I need an intervention), vaccuum the rugs, dust the furniture, and polish the metal and mirror (another intervention, please) before I would call a room "clean."

Then, I had a part-time job that required me to wake up before my husband.  I would get ready, sneak downstairs, and want to do some household chores before I left.  I couldn't vaccuum, because that would make too much noise, so I started doing one-cloth cleaning challenges on the main level of our house.

Basically, I would take a dust cloth, put on my dusting oil of choice, and see how far I could dust before the cloth was ready for more oil and the cloth was dirty.  That was it:  the cloth went in the laundry, and I stopped.  I did the same thing with reusable floor cleaning cloths by putting one on the old Swiffer handle, putting on whatever floor cleaning liquid I needed (or none, if I was dusting), and seeing how much dirt I could collect before the cloth was ready for the laundry basket.  Same thing with cleaning mirrors.  I do use paper towels for that, so I put my window cleaner on no more than two paper towels and see what I can get done.

I find that this approach keeps me from over-using any cleaning chemicals, because it eliminates the desire to re-wet a cloth every time you move from room to room.  It also limits paper towel use, for those times you choose to use them (I'm down to buying about two "bales" of paper towels a year, the equivalent of about one roll a month.)

And hubby slept through the whole thing.
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1 comment :

  1. I didn't know you were interview by them or anyone else for that matter. Nice to be on the other side, hey.

    Like your post about it and about what you do also.