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One of my favorite methods for killing time, instead of actually accomplishing something, is looking for cool homemaking tools. I’m always looking for easier ways to accomplish my housework, so I can move on to the more creative activities that I enjoy.
A Useful Phone App
This past month, I discovered a nice and useful phone app, available for both iPhones and Android, that can be shared by all family members. There’s also a web app. It’s “a gamified task system”, called Our Home. Each member is assigned their own cute little avatar. Ours are the puppy, the kitten, and the turtle. These seem to be assigned automatically. I really wanted to be the little blue turtle, but no, I’m the little pink puppy.
Each task can be assigned a certain number of points as rewards. You could tie earning a certain number of points to certain types of rewards, if you wanted to use incentives.
You can decide if and how often each task repeats and, if you want to, assign each task to a certain member. Also, I heard from a friend, that if someone doesn’t do their tasks often enough, the app will offer to reset and allow you to restart with a clean slate of tasks.
The app also has a calendar where you can add all of your many appointments and obligations so that you know why you can’t get to your tasks just now. But the most used part at my house is the running grocery list. No more grumbles about forgetting the list or not being able to find pen and paper to make the list. We always know where our phones are, so no excuses!
It’s an inexpensive little app that we use daily around here. If you give it a try, let me know what you think. You can find it at OurHomeApp.com on web, or in the respective webstores for each browser.
Silicone Cleaning Gloves
Another discovery of time-killing was a pair of cleaning gloves with built-in scrubbers. These gloves are like normal dishwashing gloves, but made out of silicone. Further, the hands portions are covered with scrubbing tips. They’re double-sided and heat resistant.
They’re good for dishwashing, but also for cleaning almost anything: vegetable washing, kitchen cleaning, household cleaning and car washing. They seem to be very cool. I haven’t had them long enough to really vouch for their longevity or usefulness. I’ll try to circle back and write more once I’ve given them a heavy duty workout or two. These are available on Amazon.
No Need for Expensive Cleaners for Everything
Next, here’s a reminder of another oldie but goodie. When there’s dirt on your coffee table surface or a dirty spot on your window, what’s your first impulse? Grab furniture wax? Or strong window cleaner and paper towels? Mine is to grab a microfiber cloth and apply it with vigor as needed. If that doesn’t take off the dirt, I add a bit of water to the cloth, make sure it is barely damp, then reapply it to the dirt. That usually takes up about anything that doesn’t bond with the underlying substance. No chemicals are needed. You can grab these at most Walmarts or other household goods sellers.
Love My Kitchen Scissors
Another kitchen tool that is one I’ve actually had several years but which is used repeatedly every day in our home is a heavy-duty set of kitchen scissors. I use these things for everything from opening a plastic container to cutting up chicken, both cooked and raw. I try to keep 2 pairs of these in my kitchen at all times. Otherwise, they’re always in the sink to be washed. I like Kitchen Aid or OXO brands, but there are plenty of heavy duty kitchen scissors out there. Just check reviews for what you want.
Pet Hair, Get Gone
And last, but definitely not least, as the owner of a house with two large dogs, I love my rubber brush and rubber broom! These things gather up pet hair with just a bit of effort. I use the squeegee part of the broom to pull the hair out of the carpet!. The change in a carpet’s condition when these are used before vacuuming is amazing. I remove as much pet hair as possible before vacuuming and that allows the vacuum to remove the finer flotsam and dust, which can grind into and destroy the carpet fibers. You can find these in many places — Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot or Lowe’s. They are a game changer for us.
These are the tools I’m happy to have for easing work-time. Do you have favorites? Please let me know in the comments, so I can put off working by checking them out!