Being home all the time was difficult for your house too.
Instead, consider investing your time in small projects that offer great satisfaction. None of these five tasks take longer than an hour, and each ends with the satisfying thought: Why didn't I do this sooner? Best of all, unlike dishes and the bottomless pile of laundry, these tasks don't have to be done again for many months.
Thoroughly clean your bed
“Do you know that feeling when you come into bed with clean sheets? That's the feeling times 10, ”said Brandi Broxson, Senior Editor at Real Simple. A clean bed not only feels good, it's also better for your health. Bedding and accessories such as dust ruffles and pillows can collect dust and flakes of skin and turn them into an allergy trigger. Do this at least twice a year, Ms. Broxson suggested.
Start with the pillow test. Fold your pillow over; If it stays folded, throw it in. A pillow without oomph is not an idea of a good time. If it unfolds, wash it according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Remove the sheets, duvet, duvet cover, mattress topper and bumpers. Wash everything according to the labels (some comforters may be dry-clean only). During this thorough cleaning, Ms. Broxson washes her sheets with a little bleach. If they aren't white, she soaks them with a little vinegar beforehand to remove odors. If your comforter doesn't fit in your washing machine, you can hand wash it in your bathtub – and work out while you're at it.
Spray your mattress with a thin layer of baking soda. After 30 minutes, soak up the baking soda and turn the mattress over. Dust the crevices of your bed frame and vacuum the dust bunnies under the bed.
Don't forget your pillows. "I have a feeling these will never be cleaned, ”said Ms. Broxson. Peel off the covers and wash according to the labels.
Sharpen your knives
It doesn't seem intuitive, but sharp knives are safe knives, said Quintin Middleton, a blade smith from Saint Stephen, S. C. A dull blade requires the cutter to apply more pressure, which will cause a slippery onion or carrot to slip. Sharp knives also extend the life of the knife, said Brian Casey, chef and author of the KnifeGeeky blog.
A motorized knife sharpener will give you an adequate edge, but true purists like to do this job by hand. Different types of knives have different angles, and hand sharpening allows you to improve on exactly those angles, Mr. Middleton said.
Sharpening it once a year is likely enough for most home cooks, Middleton said. However, many people find the end results so gratifying that they sharpen their fleet quarterly.
Evaluate what your knives need. If they're just a little boring, a honing bar can do the trick. However, if you've sharpened your knives for the first time in a decade, you will likely need to use a whetstone.
Soak yours Grindstone in tap water for five minutes. Mr. Casey pointed out that you want it to stay wet throughout the process. “Dip it back in the water when it dries up. You don't want sparks or dust to fly. "
It does it slowly and steadily. If you have a knife that is blunt enough that it will lock on an even brie wedge, use the larger grit side of the stone first (a grit in the range of 1,000 is a good place to start). Place your knife on the stone and tilt it at an angle of 15 to 20 degrees. Starting at the heel of the knife (the side closest to the handle), gently pulling it along the stone, maintaining the 15-20 degree angle throughout the pull. The entire movement should be like an exaggerated J as you pull your hand back and then grind around to bring the blade back onto the stone. Mr. Casey recommended switching sides with each swipe to make sure your blade was evenly sharp. Once you've got the blade into basic fighting shape, use the finer grit (4,000-6,000). When the knife cuts through a piece of paper effortlessly, it cuts and dices carrots and beets. Finally, wipe the knife with a clean kitchen towel.
Organize the medicine cabinet
Medicines expire and are withdrawn from the market. So if you make sure that what you have is still safe, you can rest assured.
Doing this once a year should be okay, said Dr. Thomas So, a clinical pharmacist at First Databank who publishes and maintains drug databases for health professionals.
Think about where your drugs live. If it's the bathroom, you have to find another place. "This is the worst place you can take medication," said Dr. So, referring to the high heat and humidity of your shower as detrimental to the longevity of medication. He keeps his over-the-counter medication off the stove in a kitchen cabinet.
Check the expiration date. Most medications will be fine a few months after their expiration date, said Dr. There are exceptions, however; Expired antibiotics in the tetracycline family can actually cause kidney damage.
Dispose of with care. Don't flush pills as drugs can seep into our waterways and harm aquatic life. Bring expired medication to your local drugstore, who will collect it for free. Dr. So recommended bringing prescription opiates to your local police station.
Check to see if drugs have been discontinued. In April 2020, the Food and Drug Administration requested that all ranitidine drugs (often sold under the brand name Zantac) be removed from store shelves because they contain a known carcinogen. Make sure the drugs you are holding have not been recalled by posting them in F.D.A.'s Recall, Withdrawal and Safety Alert database. insert.
Plug that drain
Aside from being gross, drain clogging generally only worsens over time, said Jake Romano, who works for Ottawa-based plumbing company John The Plumber. In addition, blockages often form in pipes. If the connection is not properly connected and a block causes water – – and pressure – – A real plumbing emergency can arise when building up. This is a necessary task, but Mr Romano recommends doing a cleaning with baking soda and vinegar every month to keep everything running smoothly.
Try a plunger. "Plungers work just as well for sinks as they do for toilets," said Romano. Cover the drain if there is water hanging over it and push.
Skip the Drano. Mr Romano said this Product can be hard on pipes and prohibited in sewage treatment plants. Instead, pour half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar down the drain. Wait half an hour and then rinse the whole thing with a saucepan of boiling water.
Still clogged? You can remove the drain plug and use a clothes hanger to pull clogs out of the drain. Pull up everything you can, then repeat the baking soda and vinegar rinse.
Clean your filters
Food, lint, and other unwanted contaminants can affect the filters and performance of your appliances, said Katie Sadler, brand manager for Whirlpool's kitchen and cooking line. You should clean these filters at least every six months.
Start with your dishwasher. You really should be doing this every month. A heads up: it's gross. The filter catches any food left on the plates. So it is important that you empty them. Exactly where the filter is located depends on your make and model. However, Ms. Sadler said that it is usually easy to find and get out. Remove it, rinse it under hot water, and quickly scrub it.
Move to your range hood. There are two filters here, said Ms. Sadler. One is the grease filter, which should be washed with soap and water every 30 days. The other, an activated carbon filter that absorbs odors, should be replaced every six months.
Do not forget … Your HVAC filters, the drinking water filters in your refrigerator, and the filters for all household air purifiers. The lint cover for your tumble dryer should also be cleaned thoroughly every six months.