Modified principles of sanitary design

In the food industry, a high level of hygiene must be maintained and, in order to be profitable, it is beneficial to reduce the amount of effort required to maintain this high level of hygiene. Therefore, before any piece of equipment is purchased or any process started, it is evaluated with the Principles of Sanitary Design.

In order to reduce clutter and make my days easier and more productive at home, I ask myself these tough questions first and then I apply a modified version of the Principles of Sanitary Design prior to making any purchases. It might seem weird to use a food industry practice in one’s personal life, but I’m willing to do so because it makes my life easier, saves me money, and creates less clutter.

Easy assembly/disassembly: Items should be easy to disassemble and reassemble. If you need a degree in mechanical engineering to put together and take apart your food processor each time you need to clean it, you probably won’t use it and it will end up as clutter. Pieces of furniture may require some time and effort to assemble, however once built they should be solid. If you live a nomadic lifestyle (e.g. military family) consider purchasing furniture that can withstand being disassembled and reassembled numerous times and is easy to assemble/disassemble with a minimum number of people.

Compatible materials: Kitchen tools and kitchen appliance parts should be dishwasher safe and easily fit into the dishwasher. Fabrics should be durable and withstand day-to-day wear. Clothing should be machine washable (even if on a cold water, delicate cycle). Furniture should be able to withstand regular vacuuming and it should be easy to do “spot-cleaning” between regular deep cleans. (Purchasing a beige sofa with two children under 5 years old was not one of our family’s better ideas.)

No niches: Items that have nooks, crannies, and other hard to clean areas are off my list of potential purchases, especially if they are frequently used kitchen appliances. I avoid purchasing glasses with divots in the bottoms and bowls with rims because they collect water in the dishwasher. Furniture, lamps, and light fixtures that have dust-collecting decorative features are off my list, too, especially if I have to get a ladder to clean them.

Clean operational performance: During normal operations, the equipment should not increase my workload. For example, our hot-air popcorn popper spewed more popcorn on the floor than it did in the bowl. This created more work because we had to make two batches of popcorn to get enough in the bowl and we had to sweep the kitchen floor. A table saw that cuts wood faster than a manual saw but sprays sawdust all over the house may not actually save time or energy when cleaning up efforts are taken into account.

Hygienic compatibility: We tend not to purchase items that require special cleaners or special cleaning processes. This saves us time and effort, as well as money since we do not have to purchase special cleaners.

This list may seem restrictive, but we have found when items do pass the test, they last longer, we use them more often, and we have very little mess to clean up afterwards.

5 Comments for “Modified principles of sanitary design”

  1. posted by Verity on

    This is a great list!

    I laughed out loud about the beige couch. We got a beige couch when we had 4 children under 5 and, yes, I have to wash it down about once a week!

    I am definitely keeping this list in mind for future purchases.

  2. posted by ImmaterialGirlUK on

    “Don’t buy work” as my Grandma says and yes, I have a smart food processor that is fiddly to clean so I prefer my hand whisk or grater or stick blender (cleans under the tap). Think the f.p. will have to go!

    Also no nooks and crannies on items is a very good idea as I have just considered keeping a lloyd loom chair of my mother’s that took her ages to clean but I think I can live without adding the job of cleaning that to my life, pretty though the chair is!

    There do seem to be a lot of new items designed to be impossible to clean without using an old toothbrush!

  3. posted by Mycleanhouse on

    Great article, both funny and super helpful. Totally agree with your tips and tricks. Keep it up & thank you!

  4. posted by Diane on

    I’m new to uncluttering and these are great points. It seems simple usually is best.

  5. posted by Marie on

    We learned the hard way that furniture on feet is a no-no with pets. I swear I spend half my life with a yardstick in hand, fishing out cat toys from under the frigging sofa…and ten minutes later, they’re right back under there. Any new furniture from here on out will rest directly on the floor!

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