Tips and Hints - Cooking, Cleaning, Life in General

I am looking for inspiration and new ideas. What are some of your favorite life hacks for cooking, cleaning or any other task throughout the day?

For example . . .

Are there certain things you like to do each day?
When cleaning, do you focus on a specific room each week?
Do you have a certain cleaning routine you try to follow?
Or do you clean in more of a catch-as-catch can fashion?
How do you deal with the more seasonal cleaning or household tasks?
Do you make meals ahead and freeze them or use a slow cooker, Instant Pot, etc?
Prep veggies or meats to be used in the coming week?
Or do you do the 5-O’clock, what’s for dinner shuffle?

Hi struggling - what an interesting question, thank you!

First I have to say that fibrowise I’ve become a radical splitter: baby steps of 1-5 mins. and task-switching between various kinds of cleaning and lying down (exercising, posting, working).
By nature I am/was somewhat hyperactive, chaotic, a collector, an eco and praps not to forget male,
by learning from friends and “simplify your life” I have become an energy-effectivizer, a simplifier and minimalist,
and to be sure I have a backup by well-worked out lots of electronic reminders in my laptop and pda, which go from really important things to as far as to remind me to drink and eat up to a certain time, and tend :roll_eyes: to help.

“Are there certain things you like to do each day?”
Hmm, is that like or do each day? I like and also feel I have to pre-wash dishes/cutlery and plastic-trash using the water from cleaning my raw veg as soon as possible. I like to hoover, which I do pretty fast, and sweeping, for which I’ve bought/got as a present! various good small and big (natural) brooms, but I don’t feel I have to do that each day. My wife cares for her guinea pigs and their pen, but I’m the one who cleans up after them, when we allow them to run around for 1-2 hours every evening, at least every few days. That used to take me up to an hour a day, but I now put out and renew newspapers where they linger the most (some edges of the 3 rooms, fairly hidden), which has taken that time down to 10 minutes a day. When I see things (e.g. for trash, cellar) that have to be taken somewhere else indoors I take them with me whenever and as far as I go in that direction. But since learning to pace I’m not combining outdoor things like table tennis and stores as much any more, taking breaks at home in between when necessary (all close distances).

“Cleaning”: catch-as-catch-can! When I see something dirty or messy I think about cleaning it, usually do it immediately or put it on my inner list. And when my wife asks me I do it. I’ve always hated scrubbing, because it’s so tough on my arms, wrists and hands, especially cleaning the mop or whatever after that, so I clean regularly in baby steps, with a small cloth. My wife thinks scrubbing needs to be done sometimes, but then that’s hers. I also find pegging out the washing very painful, always have, my wife usually does that, but we both do most of it on several laundry racks without pegs, 2 machines once a week.
I actually would quite like to clean windows occasionally, but my arms hate it, and I have to divide it up into 1 minute stints. My wife would like it done 100% clean, but never does it anyway, and I think I’ve got her down to 95% clean, but the arm-pain’s been postponing it for months. We don’t know anyone who thinks it’s important to do, ever (but I used to know someone who did all windows every day, OCD I assume…). I’ve also always found kneading dough very painful, but we never bake. I sometimes wonder whether these arm problems were precursors of fibro.

“How do you deal with the more seasonal cleaning or household tasks?”
I’m (still) a wizard needing 1-2 hours to tidy the main part of an untidy room, cellar or loft up completely, cleaning, re-arranging everything, so it looks as if there was only 25% in it, and everything can be found quickly. Altho I only threw 10% away, if allowed. I love doing that and I love throwing things away tho. But I respect (almost) everything someone feels they need. And only do it, if something has gone really wrong (insects, mice or water damage) or am asked, directly or indirectly. I often go into a room (or part of it) like this and just sit down and let it sink in first, for 5 mins, which may inspire me directly or later or at night, how to quickly and effectively turn the chaos into beauty (it’s not just order to me, it’s the beauty of simplicity and an art).

“Meals”: I don’t cook that much, due partly to my diets (nuts, soy, raw veg, no meat, yoghurt, wholemeal muesli & bread), my mouth, stomach and gut not liking hot food, and partly because my wife’s hypersensitivity doesn’t like the smells. When I do it’s spontaneous, in normal pots (don’t like the microwave), and it lasts for a few days in fridge or balcony. I prepare the veg from scratch, keep it extremely simple. My last cooked meals were boiled potatoes in skin plus sweetheart and then white cabbage (braise-steamed), with a raw apple, a bit of salt with Provençal herbs. I love the natural tastes without much seasoning. (In restaurants etc. I only ask for a big simple salad, with salt, oil and vinegar extra, because cooks seldom manage to cater for my IBSD).

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I focus on one room a week so that I can manage the cleaning in my house. I’m lucky because my husband will run the vacuum as I cannot push it without hurting myself. I use the Swiffer products to sweep, mop and dust the house. So much easier for me.
I tidy the house every morning when I have most of my energy.
I grocery shop online as I cannot stand on hard concrete floors in the stores anymore.
My meals are simple. I prepare a large amount so when I cook we have enough to eat a second day later in the week. Usually I cook chicken in one of many ways. I also make a pot of soup that I reheat throughout the week for my lunch.
I use my food processor for chopping veggies as my hands feel arthritic. I have an electric can opener if I need to open a can. I use an electric knife to slice a loaf of bread.
These are my hints.

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Great thread, strugglinginKs! I’m going to “pin” it to the top and maybe there will be more handy hints.

Seenie

JayCS - A lot of good ideas, thank you!

Breaking things down is something that I still struggle with. I am bad about thinking that I have to finish and so I push myself - and then pay for it. :roll_eyes: I’m learning, but that Missouri mule in me is sure stubborn sometimes. :rofl:

Until the 3-4 years it was mostly my shoulders, back and legs that gave me the most trouble. Then I started noticing I had troubles when doing some tasks like hanging the wash or braiding my hair. I can still do those things but the pain and hassle usually outweigh the enjoyment I would get. Which is a serious pity because I love hanging the wash out and I love doing my hair up in a French braid. I still braid it once in a while, but with it being mid-back in length I have to take several breaks! And then I have to remember where I was at exactly and I sometimes end up with some crazy twisted braids that look like that have a life of their own. :crazy_face:

The last couple of years especially I have noticed a marked difference in what I can do and can’t do; and especially in the last year with my arms and hands. Hence the decision to get Kori and train her.

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CathyO - Cooking and baking were always my favorites, but I lost my enthusiasm when mine all started out on their own. What I would fix then for a meal that might give a few leftovers (but usually not) would now last me the better part of a week. Somehow though it just doesn’t taste right when I try to make a smaller amount.

I like the idea of doing one room or section of the house each week - I started doing that some in this last year and I want to continue to work on that.

Usually I can handle the sweeper ok so long as it and I stay firmly planted on the ground. Was reminded this week that, NO I can’t stand on a chair with the sweeper to reach that high corner - that is why I have an extendable duster! :roll_eyes: :grimacing: My son yelled at me “just slightly” for that one. A well deserved scolding. :wink:

Guess I should share my own hints!

I am still trying to figure out the cooking for 1 thing but have a couple of things I like to do sometimes. I don’t often have fresh veggies this time of year, but when I do I like to prep extras to use over the next several days. I will also sometimes fix a large amount of beans or rice and then parcel it out into several meals throughout the week.

I also what to try doing the same with bread dough again. I used a recipe when mine were little that you kept in the fridge (it would keep for 4 or 5 days I think) and then you pull off a bit to make rolls, pizza crust, etc. I can’t do the kneading anymore but I just found a bread machine, so want to try using it to get the dough to the refrigerator stage.

For cleaning - I use a swiffer style mop, with a washable mop cover. And if I sweep, rather than vacuum, I have a dust pan with a longer handle - like what gas stations, restaurants, etc use. And I have a “grabber” for picking up things off the floor.

We’ve mentioned a lot of this already, so I’ve summed them up,
but there’s a bit in here for us, for me: A#6 mop walk, A#23 service pups :wink: , B#9 video/audio of thoughts, B#12 phone holding cases (B#18 self-care).

#1, #4, #17 alternate I do anyway #14 similar, but no TV, so no commercials. #25 breaks.
#3 long grabber thing: praps! #4 & #15 mop for the shower
#6 mop walk: that’s an idea!
#8 painter’s masks against mold/dust: hmm, obviously before CoV… :roll_eyes:
#9: I haven’t seen the quality of any infomercial items being worth their price… but do you beg to differ?
#10: Hire someone: Let’s see…
#13: Place things more and more in the direction they belong in: do that. #19: using bags for each room? Well I don’t wait till it gets that bad… and cf. #12: we don’t have/need/want that much. or cf. #22 if kids.
#16 & #26: relax standards: of course.
#18: vinegar and baking soda: Hmm for the piglets?
#20: Distraction to get more done?! No way - flares worse. Only for people who aren’t in a full flare.
#23: Service pups? What?! Now I know why you all have doggies! But we only have piglets! :worried: The only thing they’ve learnt to fetch is “my” veggies!

#1 shower chairs: I prefer showering 2x1’. Why more?
#2 Plan the day before… well… yes…
#3 Kitchen stools: Definitely!
#4 slow cooker. #10 batch cooker
#5 Only do 2/3 of 4 things, #11 breaking down & minimalism #4: Just say no!: Yesss.
#6 A basket for meds, so you don’t have to get up? Good glory: I need to move! (Meds only 2x/d)
#7 Ordering (grocery) online? I need to move, just keep it short.
#8 CareApp for control of symptoms, meds and appts: Similar, but more “old-fangled”.
#9 Video of thoughts to counter brain fog: Good idea, used that for my wife the other day.
#12 Phone and tablet cases that hold them up without you physically holding them: Ooh, I need that! How/Where do I find them?
#15 Camping chair instead of hard benches or standing: Yep, often thought of that, and asked for them in museums/art galleries.
#16 ER pack. Thankfully not nec.
#17 Specific comfy clothing for work: Yep.
#18 “Give yourself the same love and compassion you would give someone you love or even your childhood self dealing with this.” Very important!
#19 Use a rolling office chair doing things around the place, like cleaning.
#21 Pop-Tarts & Gatorade next to the bed?!? No wonder I cdn’t get out of it if ate that!
#22 Sunglasses indoors against sensory overload: I’ll suggest that to my wife… :roll_eyes: No sounds, no lights, no heating… When my wife was away for a day now the “boys” and I had a rumpus. OK, the boys don’t like sounds either, unless they can come into my carpeted room as a compensation, but they seemed to love the lights and heating.
#23 Asking for help - yeah, if it works…
The youtube-video is dead. But there are quite some under .
Tried one, but boring start, and in the comments someone said ‘My doctor says fibromyalgia is caused by a covid-related virus’ - that’s turned me off, completely, what rubbish.

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Thank God for our husbands, mine cooks and more since he retired. Set small goals each day and don’t get discouraged if your 5min may only take u a week to do, listening to our bodies if the first rule of FB.

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