Household Hints and Tips

Bring order to your household with handy hints and timely tips to do everything faster and better.

Whether you need to clean house, cut clutter or get organized, these daily tips will help clean up life on the home front.

Keep Linens in Order With a Color Code

Jumbled in linen storage areas, it can be hard to tell king-sized sheets from their full- or queen-sized cousins. Simplify matters with a simple color code. When twin beds wear print sheets, the king bed is dressed in light solids, and the teenager's futon dons bright primaries, making beds is a snap.

Calm Kid Chaos With A Color Code

Assign each family member a color to keep life organized on the home front. Use permanent markers to color-code gym socks, shampoo bottles or plastic drinking glasses. Color-coded laundry baskets, file folders and organizers make it easy to sort toys, paperwork or clothing by family member.

Clutter-Cutter: Pick A Number

Decide in advance how many items you'll keep, to pare down multiples, whether they're pens, DVDs or items of clothing. If you know you'll keep three sweater sets, zero in on your three favorites, then consign the leftovers to the donations box. Pick a number to cut the clutter!

Clean Strategy: Avoid Remedial Cleaning

Over time, maintaining clean surfaces is easier than playing catch-up at long intervals. Summer school students know the truth of this: it's easier to learn material year-round, than spend your summer catching up on all the points you missed. Regular maintenance cleaning prevents grime from building up--and avoids sweaty remedial scrubbing sessions.

Stand Your Ground, Speed Your Cleaning

To make quick work of cleaning chores, stand your ground! Circle each room only once, cleaning everything in your path from top to bottom. Avoiding switchbacks and back-and-forth cleaning patterns cuts cleaning time. Use a cleaning apron to hold tools you'll need to clean all surfaces in front of you.

Stock Up On Stamps

Why stand on line at the Post Office? Instead, stock up on stamps online, courtesy of the USPS. They'll be delivered to your mailbox for a small service fee. While at the USPS site, don't miss free mailing boxes and envelopes offered by the Postal Service. They deliver!