Friday, December 2, 2016

The Wiper

I can't keep house without a generous supply of wipers. My current favorite is the terry washcloth with a hanging loop that is sold at the Great Big Northern European Home Furnishings Chain.

A veteran housekeeper and mother of four clued me to the value of a flimsy washcloth. It's especially good for cleaning babies, she said, and I agree. The same canny dame used tip towels as napkins.

For years I have experimented with various bar and shop towels and napkins trying to find one all-purpose wiper that can gradually migrate from table to bath to cleaning cupboard to paint locker. The risk of cross-contamination is too great, it seems, and so I simply demote a wiper to painting duty as stains accumulate.

Housecleaning guru Don Aslett points out the value of using a hemmed wiper rather than a rag for doing the best work. A well-stocked cleaning cupboard (or locked tool kit) is a cost of labor  -30- More after the jump.

Thursday, December 1, 2016


Keep the morning room warm. People are reptiles when they first wake up -30-
More after the jump.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The January Edit

Now is a good time to plan post-holiday changes in the interior. Gifts and new acquisitions rightfully displace aging and redundant gear. Make the most of every precious cubic inch of space by passing along things that have been improved on.

Doing so is not waste. Doing so protects the most valuable asset of all, attention. In my world, at least, it is trivial to acquire needed gear. Industry refers to the principle as "just in time supply" -30- More after the jump.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Best Landlady Ever

I had the privilege of occupying a waterfront apartment in the home of a Greek couple. Early on, I ran upstairs to pay the rent, and mine hostess invited me to take a cup of coffee. As we sat in her elegant living room, Anna pointed out the threadbare carpet and observed,"Every time we get the money saved up to replace it, we go back to Greece instead."

On an earlier trip, she and her husband had planned to adopt a child. They found a pair of siblings and cheerfully came home with two, instead -30- More after the jump.