Household hints they never taught us in the nuthouse

They don’t teach anything practical on the wards because they don’t want us to survive on our own. The object is to prevent self-sufficiency so we “patients” will go running back to the staff again and again. Think about what they teach us and you realize just how useless their “skills” are in the real world:

“Hold onto a frozen orange when you can’t cope.” How useful is this? If you are making toast and the toast burns and your smoke alarm goes off, holding onto a frozen orange is going to be very useful! You could also try their other useful coping skills, such as taking a PRN or calling your therapist or snapping an elastic band on your wrist over and over or how about “affirmations”?

All kidding aside, here are today’s Household Hints:

How to keep the garbage from stinking: They do not teach us this on the wards. Here’s how. First of all, empty your kitchen trash regularly. Not when it is overflowing and not once in a Blue Moon. If it helps, do it on a certain day of the week or discipline yourself to empty the trash when it gets up to a certain level. Make this a habit.

Secondly, when you have a chance, think over what you are using for a receptacle in the kitchen. Different types of receptacles work for different people and there’s no “best type.” Do you have children? Do you have pets? Are you tall or are you short like me? Do you need something under a table or under the sink? Go take a peek at what other people are using. Try these out for yourself. Especially try opening and closing the lid.  If you have pets you want to make sure your pet can’t break in. You would be surprised at what you can find at a very low price or free, trash receptacles that in my opinion surpass the fancy ones that cost a fortune. You also want something that can be easily cleaned.

(Have you ever purchased “bargain” trash liners that were junk? Bet you have. They won’t open or they spring a leak too easily.  Don’t buy them again. They didn’t teach us this in the nuthouse.)

After emptying the trash, you want to clean the receptacle, especially the lid. I use hydrogen peroxide for this. Sometimes there’s grease on the top of the lid or on the handle where I have touched it. Some people use Pine Sol for the inside of the trash barrel. Be sure to dry it out before putting a new liner in.

An easy way to prevent odors is to put about 1 TBSP Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda) into the liner. I would not put the baking soda under the liner, but inside the liner itself. Just spoon it in, on the bottom after you put the fresh liner on. Now the baking soda will absorb odors as you start to fill the trash up.

I do not put food garbage into the kitchen trash. Mostly not. Anything that is going to seriously reek goes into the freezer instead. Also, I put chicken bones or anything unsafe for Puzzle into the freezer instead of the trash. I collect this “contraband” in a container in the freezer until I am ready to take things outside. Then, I transfer freezer contraband into a bag and take that directly outside and ensure it is collected and not raided by critters. Where I am living now they’ve devised rather cool barrels that tend not to be raided, but I have seen a few tipped over on windy days.

How to clean your sink, fixtures, dirty walls, etc: They don’t teach us this on the wards either. If you rent you might find that you’ve got dirt in your place from the last ten tenants. I found greasy drips on my walls that I knew weren’t from my cooking! I found I was able to get these drip marks off easily with hydrogen peroxide. Use a tissue because tissues are soft and won’t scratch your walls. I don’t think peroxide will dissolve most paints unless your paint is really old or already chipping, but to be sure, try it in an inconspicuous area. I have managed to get all the old grease drips off of my kitchen walls this way.

Peroxide is great on stovetops and fixtures such as sinks and faucets. The back of your sink, that nasty part you don’t want to think about will clean up in a jiffy with peroxide. I would use a paper towel here. You’ll need several. Dribble peroxide on the back area there, where it’s totally gross. I bet mostly you’ve got dish soap drips. The peroxide will turn white and foamy and instantly mix with the old dish soap. Pick that up with your paper towel. Repeat. In just a few wipes you’re likely to clean all the gross stuff you’d rather not think about off of that area.

If it’s super gross I’d suggest cleaning that area daily, every single time you do your dishes. Just wipe it over once. I’d also suggest wiping up all the wet areas you see on your sink after you’ve finished doing the dishes. They never taught us this in the nuthouses, but wet puddles lead to mold. Not always, but in certain climates or during some times of year.

If you use those padded cloth dish strainers (I don’t know how else to describe them), then these need to be dried out between uses. If you do not (and chances are you likely do not), you’ll be shocked one day to discover you’ve got disgusting mildew not only in the dish strainer cloth but actually in your dishes!

Here’s the solution: Get a second cloth dish strainer (costs a dollar or two) to act as substitute so you can take out the one you’re using and wash and disinfect these regularly. You’ll also want to disinfect the countertop underneath.

I have talked to so many patients who feel overwhelmed by housework. This is due to brainwashing by the system. You have been told over and over that you are incompetent. This is not true. It only takes a few minutes a day to keep your place clean. It doesn’t take much to get into good habits. The System is in the business of convincing patients of their incompetence. Don’t let something as trivial as housework get the best of you. Just get it done and get on to what you really want to do in life.

Feedback and comments welcome!