NOTES ON A MINIMAL-UPKEEP HOME
This isn't a verse,but it may be something you'd like to add your ideas to, and pass on.
Probably the first thing you'll say is: "Is there such a thing". Well - there's no such thing as a "no-upkeep" home. But our times cry out for ways to minimize housework. Many working families hardly have time to take care of such as Grandma once did. What follows are only some ideas which I believe could offer reduction of household chores, easier movement in essential chores, and less need for repair and replacement of gadgets which cause more work than aid.
If you've got money to build a mansion, then you can afford a maid. This will not interest you. You can afford the mahagony, crystal, and silver, and the maid to take care of them. This should especially interest the working family, and retirees of modest means. So,for whatever they may be worth to such, here are a few ideas I've come up with over the years. I can't afford to build a new home, but if I could, these things would be included, if I had a choice.
SPACE-Limited to necessities of lifestyle,number of occupants, and potential for entertaining guests. No more to take care of than is required ! Include a 'work' area separate from main 'traffic' areas. This could be used for a personal office, sewing room, artist's studio, reading room etc. It should be a place for persons to be creative, meditative, studious, and touch one's center in whatever way works best for individuals involved. Plenty of light and air access throughout the home. Minimal clutter of furniture, wall hangings etc. The home needs to minimize clutter today, because there is so much of it in day to day life. Street traffic, office clatter, TV, PC, Internet, everywhere !
The room described above is not the same as a 'rec room', which is a recreation room (re-creation room). This room is a 'creation room', whether interior or exterior creation. It relieves more tension than the 'rec room'.
WINDOWS/DRAPES/WINDOWSHADES- Maybe ONE plateglass window in living-room area. No pleated drapes with mechanical pulls! Heavy drapery material to insulate against direct sun,or glare, when needed; attached to secure rods with heavy-duty large wooden rings, which will slide easily when moved by hand. A back-up supply of the heavy rings. This eliminates possible need to replace mechanical pull gadget,and reduces much bad language !
OTHER WINDOWS-Elsewhere,those kind of windows that open inward, so they can be washed from inside. Preferrably the 3 tiered variety with ability to open each tier separately. These can safely be opened at top tier for rainy days, and hot days and nights when maybe air conditioner is on the fritz. No venetian or vertical-strip blinds. Too hard to keep clean, dust free, and working well.Use simple, but good quality, pull down window shades, easy to use, not costly to replace.
CARPET/FLOORS -Minimal carpeting. If used in living room area, use firm, flat-topped carpet. No heavy pile or shag ! Preferred: vinyl tile floors in most areas; neutral,muted,colors.
WALLS/CEILINGS/WOOD-TRIM- Basic, neutral colors: white, cream, beige, grey etc. Colors which are not so emphatic that we're locked into a color scheme, and can't change without major re-do. The whole color-feel can be changed with simple accent color; accent rugs, pillows, scenic movable-murals which suggest calm and expanse. These are not painted on walls. They are done on plywood or other portable materials, and are weatherized by final coatings of durable clear shield varnish which can be wiped clean when needed.They can be fitted into frames of molding, or suspended from upper molding via hooks and line.
CABINETS/SHELVING-None without doors or glass enclosures ! This simple provision will eliminate much dusting, and will protect linens, papers,books etc. Use more metal file cabinets! Have all at same medium height so that they can fit evenly side by side and topsides will double as tables aligned along walls. Metal file cabinets are great for storing linens,sewing supplies,and even personal clothing. Even the cheapest offer more protection from fire and water, than wood. If we need to relocate, there's much less concern with packing. These can be moved with contents in place, which is a great time and energy saver ! Equip all heavy items with locking casters.
KITCHEN- I love the island food prep area, with plenty of workspace, a chef's central area, and stools all around for great,informal food prep and dining. This is both convenient, and great fun, for a family on-the-go. Also you can have plenty of drawers for small items needed, and an all-around overhang for pots, pans, and other cookware. The person loving formal dining with china, silver, crystal, and carefully arranged seating would NOT care for this. But I think for today's on-the-go casual lifestyles,it's great - and fun !
Well - don't know how you take to these ideas, but hope maybe some of them can help reduce your daily list of routine chores ! I'm sure that many of you have run across things in your living quarters that have caused you to think of what could be changed to make upkeep easier. Print this out,add a paper with your own ideas, and pass them on. You never know what unnecessary work we might help someone avoid !