After you posted that master list of vinegar uses, I says to myself I says "Hey, I can reuse vinegar in different ways to conserve this precious substance!" So I microwaved a bowl of vinegar and water in the microwave before cleaning it. Then I dumped the same bowl of vinegar in the washer with my towels to remove their musty scent. Unfucking... conservation-of-resources style!
Time for a final wipedown of all the germy surfaces in your house. Those little fuckers like to linger. Take a few minutes and wipe down your door handles, sink and tub faucets, toilet flusher knob, and light switches. While you’re at it, switch out your hand towels and dish towels for fresh ones.
Enjoy your clean(er) house and the rest of your weekend!
Find, organize, and, if you can, pay your bills. Now is a good time to set up automated payments or online bill pay if you haven’t already. If you’re out of stamps, still get the bills ready to go and put them on top of your purse or bag so that you get a book of stamps the next time you’re out.
This one’s for pet owners. No pets? Do a freestyle 20/10 on whatever needs unfucking.
Pet owners: wash out those slobbery food and water dishes, and wipe down the area where your pets get fed, including any cabinet or wall surfaces that may get accidental splatter mess. Cat people, clean out your litter box. Gather up any toys and pet-related detritus scattered around the house and put them away. Wash your pet’s bedding. It smells. Trust me.
To the bathroom! Time to go through the medicine cabinet, drawers, and any other storage you have in there. Throw out anything expired or gross, wipe down anything icky or sticky, sort, toss, organize and clean. Check to see if you’re running low on anything (especially critical stuff, like toilet paper).
By this point, almost everything should be done but most of your floors. (If you were following along, you’ll have swept your bathroom and vacuumed the living room.)
Grab the vacuum and a mop and bucket (or, if you’re me, your steam mop WHICH IS THE BEST THING EVER) and go to town on your floors. You should have access to most floors, since you picked up all of your clothes and put everything back where it belongs everywhere else.
Time to double check your flat surfaces. Any table, counter, desk, or bookshelf that you haven’t already dealt with is getting some attention. Clear them off, put or throw stuff away, and clean or dust off the surface.
Swiffer dry mop (you can replace the disposable cloths with a microfiber cloth)
Top ten uses for vinegar:
Drain volcano! (Pour baking soda down drain. Pour vinegar over it. Watch magic happen.)
Add a cup to your laundry to get rid of musty odors and fabric softener build-up, especially on towels.
Microwave a bowl of vinegar and water to make cleaning the inside of your microwave a zillion times easier.
Run your dishwasher empty with a cup of vinegar, face up, to get rid of stains, smells, and mildew.
Descale your coffeepot or tea kettle.
Take the sting out of sunburn. No, seriously.
Clean your fridge, especially the cruddy rubber seals.
Boil a pan of vinegar and citrus on the stove to get rid of lingering stink.
Kill weeds. (Will also kill plants that are not weeds, so use carefully.)
Put it in a spray bottle and use it to clean EVERYTHING.
Top ten general tips:
Laundry and dishes have three steps: wash, dry, and PUT IT AWAY, GODDAMMIT.
Direct sunlight will clear up mustiness in almost anything.
Denture tablets are awesome for cleaning water bottles or stained tea cups.
If you have a ridiculous amount of paper to shred, most office supply stores will shred for you (they charge by the pound), and many places have “community shreds,” where you bring your stuff and they shred it in front of you, either for free or a nominal charge. Google “community shred [your area].”
Before you start cooking, fill your sink with hot soapy water. Chuck your prep dishes in as you go (except knives. Leave those off to the side). Once your food is cooking, wash up! Clean as you go.
You’re avoiding something. It might be an invisible corner. It might be a box of crap you need to deal with. It might be your junk drawer. Whatever it is that you’ve been relieved that none of the challenges so far have made you deal with, that’s what you’re dealing with for the next 20 minutes. Don’t lie to yourself. You’re putting something off, but now you have to go deal with it.
When you’re done, take the rest of the day off. We’ll see you in the morning with more challenges!
To the living/family room! Start by clearing off the coffee and end tables. Straighten the bookshelves. Put away anything that belongs somewhere else. Fold any blankets, fluff the pillows, dust what needs dusting, and run a quick vacuum.
I need help, ufyh! There are some patches of that sticky glue/sticker residue on my floor that I didn’t notice until recently and nothing will get them off. They’ve sort of dried now to make matters worse. Help!
Have you tried Goo Gone? If that’s a no go, my next suggestions would be (one at a time) oil of some sort, rubbing alcohol, or WD-40.
Oh, jeez, no. Writing a book and getting it published are really really difficult and labor-intensive, and I have about six other UfYH-related projects on my list before I’d even start thinking about it. Although a pop-up book would be fun. It’d just yell at you a different way every page.
Dude, what the hell, talk about the app as much as you want. This IS your only way of getting paid AND it’s easy to see you spend a lot of time doing this. PS. probably you’ve already thought of this, but a donate button?
I’ve had a donate button for a few months. I just don’t like to mention it because it seems tacky. :)
Aww shucks!! I feel special. We want to hear about the Unicorns?!?!
The unicorns! So, some of you may or may not know that I’m also the lead copyeditor for Persephone Magazine. P-Mag’s unofficial (hell, it’s probably official at this point) mascot is the unicorn. Not because we’re a bunch of Lisa Frank freaks (although that, too), but unicorns are beautiful and majestic and whatnot, but they can run you through and disembowel you with that beautiful horn if you piss them off. Which seems like a fitting mascot for a modern ladyblog. So I have a LOT of unicorn and unicorn-related pictures and gifs.
20 minutes cleaning the bathroom. Start by filling the tub and sink with hot water and cleaner. Pour some cleaner in the toilet. Wipe down all surfaces, get the gunk off of the bottles in the shower, empty the trash, sweep or Swiffer the floor, wipe down the walls, then drain and wipe the sink and tub, and scrub the toilet.
Any time left over? Go through your medicine cabinet or drawers and do some unfucking.
Do you have any advice for unfucking your sleep schedule?
Some, but it all depends on why your sleep schedule is fucked up to begin with. So here’s a bunch of stuff, any number of which may or may not work for you.
Unplug. At a designated time every night, all electronic distractions get turned off and left somewhere other than your bedroom. If you need your phone for your alarm clock, set it to airplane mode so you’re not tempted to get back online.
No caffeine later than the afternoon. For some people, this really helps. Me, I can drink a double espresso at 11 p.m. and go right to sleep, but I have an inhuman caffeine tolerance.
Reset. On a day you don’t have anything at stake (work, school, etc.), stay up through the night until a reasonable bedtime the next night. You may be up for 36 hours or so at this point, so falling asleep will probably be pretty easy.
Wake up at the same time every day. It’s easier to regulate your schedule if you have some consistency in your routines.
Do the unfuck tomorrow morning list. If nothing else, it’ll start sending cues to your brain that it’s about time to sleep.
Do some nighttime yoga or breathing exercises.
UNPLUG! Because this is probably the #1 reason people who read UfYH (on their computers or phones) don’t go to bed on time. The internet will still be there in the morning.
I love your reminders (or commands) to get people to turn off their shit and tuck their asses in to bed at night, but I work overnights and obviously, I'm not about to go to bed when I'm heading off to work. Would it be too much to possibly do a little reminder for us night owls in the morning? I'd love the motivation, especially since sometimes it's a bit of struggle to get to bed in the morning at a decent hour!
Since I have people from almost every timezone, adjusting and reposting things for different times of day would make people’s dashboards really cluttered. A good thing you can do is take the post, then reblog it to your own Tumblr, using the “post on” feature to set the time that’s appropriate for you. then, when that time rolls around, it posts for you at the exact right time!
20 minutes in the kitchen. De-scuzz the stovetop, wipe down the counters, throw away the gross food in the fridge. If you see it, clean it. You’ll be surprised how much you can get done in 20 minutes. If the washer’s done, put your stuff in the dryer. If there’s already stuff in the dryer, PUT IT AWAY. Like, AWAY away, not languishing in a basket.
Get out of your bed and pay it some attention. Throw your bedding in the washer before you start today’s adventures (and then add detergent and start the washer, smartasses). Be honest, your sheets need washing, don’t they? If not, or if you don’t have access to a washing machine right now, MAKE YOUR BED.
After you start the washer or make your bed, round out your 20 minutes washing some dishes, unloading or reloading the dishwasher, or scrubbing your sink and drying rack.
How long should dishes be left lying around? I'm trying to get one of my roommates to wash them same day - but he insits it's alright to leave them for a few days, even up to three.
Do your dishes daily. Not only to avoid stinkiness, fruit or drain flies, and lack of clean dishes, but also because of the broken windows theory: a few dirty dishes lead to more dishes, then crap on the counter, then uncleaned spills, and next thing you know, your kitchen’s a disaster.
Do you change your routines on the weekend, or stay consistent thought the week?
If it’s a weekend day that I don’t have to work, I skip the outfit (because I usually stay in my pajamas on my days off. Don’t judge me), the keys (because they’re always in the same place), and making my lunch. I do everything else, though. I’d say I don’t set an alarm, but Girl Dog wakes me up at 5 a.m. to be fed, and she doesn’t grasp the concept of “weekend.” The coffee prep is a necessity for every day, and the rest is just part of my nighttime routine.
That person was rude. This is your blog. You can post about unicorns for all I care because you take the time to help other people become unfucked. It’s your business you shouldn’t have to apologize for that.
(I already had the sparkly unicorn text gif. Don’t ask.)
My living room is… well. One big invisible corner at times. But so many small corners, between, behind, under furniture. So much STUFF. And MESS and piled up post and cat hair and god knows what else. But, now my MSc course has finished I have time, and nothing much else to do, so. It was TIME.
Need to summon the UFYH team pronto! Son and girlfriend left toast in the toaster and left the room. Toast got stuck, fire resulted. Big flames that scorched the bottom of my overhead cabinets before the extinguisher could be used. Fortunately no permanent damage - nothing a sander cant fix, but the smell is still horrible after a full day of airing out with all the windows open and house fan running. That bottom board was particle board and i think some of the chemically burnt smell is a combo of that and the fire extinguisher smell. I need ideas people! Can you help?
Sincerely, Fuming in California
Boil a pan of vinegar and lemon juice. Lots of ventilation! I’m glad no one was hurt, and that your son has learned his lesson about toast.
Are you going to talk about the app every day? We know you have it, so can you just get back to the unfucking stuff so I don’t have to unfollow you?
(Anonymized by me)
This is a totally valid question. I do talk about the app a lot. If it’s annoying, I apologize. But right now, it’s the only way I get “paid” for doing UfYH, and I’m still paying off the debt I incurred making the app and doing other UfYH-related stuff. It may not seem like a whole lot of effort on my part, but it’s a couple hours worth of work every day. I worked really hard on the app because I thought it was a neat idea and another way people could use UfYH. But the point is taken, and I will try to cut back on the app talk and get back to the challenges and before and afters and whatnot.
I may end up deleting this, because it’s still coming across as defensive, I think, but I wanted to try to explain my side.
ETA: I’m very careful to tag every post about the app with “ufyh app” so if you have Tumblr Savior, it should catch each one.
I finally tackled a big chunk of the kitchen today! Not only did I actually manage to do a whole 20/10 (a month ago, a 20 minute stint was beyond me physically), but I kept going afterwards, because I close to photo-ready and wanted to post this. :)
So tonight after work I:
Did a massive drain volcano on the kitchen sink, both sides. It did my heart good to hear that shit bubbling away down there.
Scrubbed out both sinks
Got rid of all the trash
Scrubbed all the countertops
Finally cleaned the stove!
I’d been working on the last of the dishes all day today between working, so the only dirty dishes I have right now (well, aside any that might be lurking in the nastier parts of the house) are in the dishwasher.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
Barkeepers Friend is MAGIC. It got shit clean I didn’t even know was dirty, and my stainless steel sinks have never looked cleaner. It also managed to clean out a bunch of burnt on stuff in my favorite stainless skillet—and I thought that was ruined for good.
Magic erasers, likewise. But I already knew that. I just didn’t realize there were so many many uses for them.
I am capable of this: I’ve had my bed made nearly every day for a week, and I’m slowly making progress all over the house.
So, without further adieu, what you’re really interested in, the before and afters!