Tips for starting out living away from home

If you’re like me, and your mom kept a nice clean house all the time while you were at school/work without you taking much notice at how much work she was really doing, here’s my advice to you:

Clean things before they look dirty. Set yourself a schedule to do cleaning chores on a regular basis. If you wait until your toilet has a nasty ring at the water level, or your kitchen counter is all grungy, you’re going to feel really gross when you notice and have to clean that shit up, and it makes you look and feel like a slob.

My habits are:
Clean the kitchen – every night. It’s my least favorite job, but I bite the bullet and do the last dishes before bed, they’ll be gross in the morning. Don’t forget to wipe down the counters and stove. Put on some music and these things feel like much less of a chore. Supplies: Dish soap for the dishes and sink, a gentle cleaner like Windex Multisurface for the counters, stove, fridge shelves, etc.
Clean the bathrooms – I have two in my apartment, so I clean one about every five days, alternating bathrooms. Supplies: Bleach for the toilet, Scrubbing Bubbles foam for the shower and sink, Clorox wipes for the counter, Windex for the mirror.
Wash bedding – Once a week. A clean bed feels so nice, hang your sheets outside to dry in the summer and they’ll smell spectacular.
Vacuum – At least every four days, unless you notice dirt on the carpet, and more often if you have a shedding pet.
Dust – I do it every other week, but that’s probably a bit long. I use Swiffer magnetic dusters, works like a charm.
Basically, if something actually looks or smells dirty, it’s really dirty by that point. If you let chores pile up, they’ll seem overwhelming and you’ll be frustrated with your environment. Coming home to a clean house just feels good at the end of the day.

Double check with Mom and Dad about any mild allergies or reactions you have. It sounds so silly, but when I moved out I started using a new laundry detergent that caused me to break out in a rash, miss a ton of work, and owe the hospital for ER visits. Turns out I had a similar reaction when I was a kiddo and it didn’t occur to me that my Mom had only used Tide on my clothes and sheets for a reason.

Prepare an additional budget for things you will inevitably forget to buy in order to have a functional home. I forgot to buy things like a trashcan, a can opener, cleaning supplies, power strips, lightbulbs. Having a little extra cash set aside for those things will help a ton!

As far as furnishing and buying basic things like plates and silverware and a trash can, ask around to your parents or friends or any other relatives. Even if they aren’t supportive of your going away for college, they might have so much lying around that getting rid of it would be a good thing and you can play it off as cleaning out the cabinets. I’m well out of college and most of my kitchen supplies are still from the kitchen of my (admittedly super-supportive) parents, so you never know.

First time homeowner tips

Respect water. Seriously, water damage is always worse than it looks. Don’t just fix the drywall, fix the issue.

Spend the few extra cents on nice toilet paper, and buy lots of it. You know the mega-extreme 48-packs that no one ever buys? Buy one of those and keep it somewhere. It’ll last awhile, and the few extra dollars you spend will be worth it every time you go to the bathroom.

Make sure that all windows, doors, and walls are properly insulated and airtight. This saves so much on heating costs you won’t believe it.

Preventative maintenance and upgrades/modifications when you have the money to spare are almost always well worth it. It also usually pays itself off with time. If you don’t have much money, cheap upgrades to increase the efficiency of the home, like greywater recycling systems, skylights to heat the interior, and rocket mass heaters are usually worth it, depending on the severity of the situation.

Assuming you don’t need tips like staying away from a variable mortgage rate, using a company that won’t sell your loan and if you had to pay for PMI, then getting rid of it after you get x amount of equity in it…

Buy a vacuum cleaner, Miele is the best vacuum for pet hair, if you have pets, buy a pet hair vacuum.

Someone mentioned the home warranty: This is a good tip. If your inspectors are like every inspector around the world whether private or gubbermint employed, then they’re all lazy liars who can be easily bribed to overlook major issues or won’t do a thorough job.

A home warranty for the first 5 years will be sufficient to take care of any issues you have. In other words, whatever piece of shit the home inspector let pass will likely break on you within 5 years. The downside to the home warranty is that the replacement unt they install (AC, water heater, etc…) is going to be the absolute cheapest, least efficient hunk of shit they can con you into taking.

Two Words: Super Paint. This is going to be your best friend. One coat covers everything unless you don’t do it right and have to do touch ups. Sherwin Williams. Expensive, but totally worth the freaking hassle of 3 coats from normal paint.

Do NOT EVER let a contactor walk over you. Get multiple opinions, watch home and garden TV, learn what you’re doing or have a general idea what is involved if you have to hire a contractor for anything.

If you’re like me and stay up till 3 drinking distilled water and doing fingertip pushups, don’t go searching the house for that faint buzzing noise. You won’t find it…and it’s likely the freezer anyway, or so you think. It could be tiny cameras watching you, but you’ll never know because you won’t be able to find it.

How to get rid of deodorant stains on shirts

Simply gather a clean piece of fabric from another area of the stained shirt, and rub the clean fabric on the deodorant stain. The stain will totally disappear. It sounds crazy, but it’s always worked for me, no matter the fabric.

I too am wondering this.
I have some black shirts that have this caked on white deodorant stains on them. Washed them in various temperatures of water. They just build up and is now like a white hardened glue like material.
If you don’t mind me asking, what brand of deodorant are you using?

This should cover what you want to know
If you don’t want to read it pretty much says White Vinegar can be used for just almost all types of fabric. If you want to try it I recommend reading the article so you don’t ruin anything.

Also, I recently made the switch from antiperspirant to straight up deodorant (no white cakey stuff) – it has made a HUGE difference in my washing. I was a little surprised how difficult it was to find any regular deodorant. I ended up buy Tom’s All Natural. I
This isn’t for everybody, as we all have different levels of perspiration, but I’m never going back.
I’ve had some success soaking clothes in Woolite, giving special treatment to the stains (applying soap directly to the underarm stains and letting it soak for a half hour to an hour).

Try first soaking it for a while in warm water then rub the fabric together to loosen up the crud a bit. Try to scrape off as much excess as you can without damaging the fabric if it’s really cakey. Run warm water through the stain and sprinkle some borax on it, not tons but enough to see the borax on the fabric and rub the fabric together to scrub again, then launder as usual.
Also, mom always told me not to machine dry anything stained. Not to say that if you’ve already put it through the dryer your screwed. It’s just that the dryer kind of bakes the stains on, making removal harder. So just try not to machine dry it again until you’ve fixed the stain as much as possible.
Hope this helps.

How to organize your computer


Much like organizing physical objects, everything needs a place.
I recommend starting with vague folders – use the system libraries (My Documents, My Music, My Pictures, My Videos), and then establish sub-folders below them. You have a bunch of pictures from the Internet? Make a folder called “From The Internet”, and dump EVERYTHING into it. Have a bunch of videos? (Porn, shows, movies, etc.), dump them all into My Videos, indiscriminately.
Then, after you have all of the items moved into their respective folders, you pick one. I always like doing Videos. So you go into My Videos, and you separate “Movies” from “Shows” from “Porn”, and so on. Then you go into “Movies”, and you make sure everything has a proper file name, works, etc.
Just go through and do this with all the folders, and it should make the job a lot simpler – along with providing you with natural intervals at which you can stop and do something else.

I was going to post the exact same thing. I’ve been doing this for years now and this WORKS!
I would like to add something that works for me when it comes to managing MASS data, IE: Photos! I adopted digital photography almost 15 years ago (wow) so … I needed some way to collect it, maintain it and get to it quickly…Like the poster above me, I start in “My Pictures” then…
My_Pictures -> Digital_Camera_Photos -> Archive 1998
My_Pictures -> Digital_Camera_Photos -> Archive 1999

My_Pictures -> Digital_Camera_Photos -> Archive 2011
My_Pictures -> Digital_Camera_Photos -> 01.01.2012-New_Years_Day
My_Pictures -> Digital_Camera_Photos -> 02.14.2012-Valentines_Day

My_Pictures -> Digital_Camera_Photos -> 12.25.2012-Christmas_Day
So then at the end of the year, I move all of the monthly photos into a “2012 Archive” folder and repeat the process going in to 2013…
This makes for a real clean Photo Library that is organized by the filesystem (don’t use other applications that organize for you. They will fuck it all up) It is quickly accessable, logical and easy to understand. You want to get to photos from the camping trip last summer? “Archive 2011 -> 07.12.2011_Camping_Trip”
This method works well with portable phone photos as well. Just move the photos in blocks according to the month based on the creation date.
We should also talk about BACKING up your shit too…For those of you with multiple hard drives (non RAID) for storage, be careful not to have unique items on them. That is dangerous. Instead, use a single LARGE drive like a 2TB drive then use SmartSyncPro for PC or Carbon Copy Cloner for Mac and do a daily sync to the external 2TB drive. Then every 3 months, rotate the 2TB drive with another, putting the older 2TB drive in a firesafe or bank vault. This protects you several ways:
1) In the event of drive failure, the immediate portable device covers you and you only have <1 day loss
2) In the event of a catastrophic disaster (house burns down, theft, flood, meteor, etc) you lose both local drives but the one you put in a vault has no more than 3 months of data loss. That should be acceptable for a catastrophic event.
This method is so brain-dead simple and requires user intervention every 3 months (swapping of external large HD) that everyone with a computer SHOULD be doing this.
I’ve been doing IT work since 1982, I’m old as fuck and there is no way I will lose my important data like family photos. I know this post was extra long but you seriously need to think about this shit if you care for the things on your computers.

Reducing amount of dust at your home

our home

Some ideas to help you:

1. I’d imagine keeping your bedroom windows closed is a bad thing. You know the whole indoor air is worse than outdoor air thing. More ventilation. Then again, when you’re cleaning, maybe you dont need a breeze going through your house.
2. Vacuum your mattress every time you change your sheets (1-2 weeks). You’ll sleep better too. I do at least. Good time to flip your mattress if you’re into that.
What type of sweeping do you do? Steam mop? Swiffer? Certain types pick up dust better than others. Works to get up pet hair and debris from two shedding corgis!
Also, get your vents and air ducts cleaned once a year.
3. I heard you can re-use Pledge dusting wipes if you wash them and they are useful for dusting furniture. I find microfiber is great at picking up and keeping dust too but it picks up everything else too, e.g. sand, which can scratch wood if you dust some furniture after.
4. Higher qualify HVAC filters (Not sure if they’re worth the money, I wait until ACE has them on sale), I get 1-2 levels above shitty blue filter level so that I still get a more reasonable pressure drop.
5. Maybe a silly question, but how well do you scrub when you shower? Do you just stick soap on your skin and move it around? Well, get small bathing towel or real loofah or something and scrub well.
6. How often do you properly clean your vacuum filters? Vacuums usually have 2-3 filters, a HEPA, an actual cannister filter/bag, and a motor filter. Keep them clean or replace.
7. If you have a garage, sweep that too once in a while. Theres always a lot of dust in there that can hover in as you open the door or walk through.
8. Get a swiffer sweeper (generic pads work just as well and are super cheap) or a mop, regular dusters or brooms mostly move around dust, not remove it. Change your bedding frequently. Take your rugs outside and clean them frequently.