Household Habits

by Zarine, REALTOR® 08/25/2019

Everyone does it. Everyone develops one or more of these bad household habits that ultimately end up costing time and money. Here’s a list of the top nine, why they’re bad, and what to do instead:

  • Setting the wash temperature to "hot"—most clothes do not need washing in hot water. Hot temperatures may result in shrinkage, discoloration, or cause clothes to become misshapen. Cool and warm temperatures clean most items, and modern high-efficiency soaps dissolve just as well in cold water as in hot. So save money on your utility bill and on having to buy new clothes by using the setting listed on the clothing tag.
  • Forgetting to clean the dryer lint filter between loads—lint builds up in the dryer filter in EVERY load. The dryer uses the vent to expel extra hot air and moisture. When the lint screen is clogged, the air and moisture can't escape. Not only does this cost extra energy because your clothes don't dry, but it can also cause a house fire. Clean the lint screen between each load.
  • Neglecting the HVAC filter—similarly, your HVAC filter needs changing regularly. Depending on the dust, dander, and animal hair in your home, some systems may need new filters as often as monthly, while others can handle a quarterly change. If your family suffers from allergies, however, frequent changes to the filter during winter and summer, when the system runs hardest, improves air quality.
  • Pulling plugs out by the cord—whether it's the iron, vacuum cleaner, curling wand, shaver, or blender, pulling plugs out of the outlet by the cord may damage both the wire and the outlet. Grasp the plug by the end and gently extract it from the outlet. If it sticks, do not yank the cord. Instead, carefully wiggle the plug in the socket until it releases.
  • Over-stuffing the refrigerator—it's easy to do when you're planning a party, or if you shop just once a week or less, but filling your refrigerator too full can result in frozen food, or over-working your compressor. When food is pushed too far to the back or sides, it can freeze. Refrigeration relies on air movement inside the case to move cold air around, so when something blocks it, that one item gets all the cold. Brrrrrrrr!
  • Wearing shoes inside the house—even new shoes, when worn outside for a day, track in dirt, dust, bacteria, and fungi. Leave shoes at the door or in the mud room and slide on some cozy slippers (but don’t wear those slippers outside, even to get the newspaper, or you negate their value).
  • Overloading closet rods—whether wooden dowels or wire rack rods, the place you hang your clothes can easily become over-burdened. If you’re stuffing hangers in to place, or the rod is swaying, you're in danger of it breaking. You can easily replace a broken dowel, but a metal rod is useless once bent, and overloading a wire rack can pull the anchors out of the wall, leaving you with damaged drywall and costly repairs.
  • Storing items in the oven—baking pans or cast iron, okay … you won't really damage those by turning on the oven to bake, although high heat from the broiler can cause problems, but those stacks of pans are heavy and can bend the oven racks (resulting in lopsided cakes and other oven mishaps). And NEVER store plastic in the oven. Melted plastic can damage the inside of the oven and release toxic fumes into your home. Store extra pans or plastic ware in a closet or even on top of the refrigerator.
  • Hanging jackets on the doorknob—tiny set screw holds most of the pieces of the doorknob in place. A heavy coat, purse, or another object can bend the metal, even slightly, resulting in the set screw misaligning and your knob becoming loose.

Good home habits result in savings of time and money since your home and appliances last longer and use less energy. If you need help finding other ways to save on utility bills, contact your local utility provider for a free energy assessment.

About the Author

Zarine, REALTOR®

With over two decades of real estate industry experience, Zarine focuses on the San Francisco Bay Area marketplace. From single family homes, condos, townhouses to multi-family residences. She works extensively with investors to upgrade, remodel sell residential and commercial properties. She has consistently been in the top 5 agents out of over 300 agents in the Company.

Zarine has been a Bay Area resident since 1977. She has been active in real estate since 1988. In addition to helping buyers and sellers find their dream home, Zarine and her husband Neville started investing in Real Estate in the Bay Area since 1978. They own and maintain several rental properties and also regularly purchase, fix, and sell homes. They have a team of contractors, landscapers, and tradespeople that they can recommend. They built our own home from scratch and worked closely with the architect in the vision and design. Together, they are involved in every aspect of real estate and live it daily.

Having traveled extensively around the world, Zarine is able to accommodate each of her clients’ unique needs, and prides herself on being a strong listener and communicator. Zarine’ s communication skills are an integral part of her success in real estate. She meets clients from all walks of life and dedicates herself to understanding each of their needs and goals. Zarine and Neville love what they do and have won several awards over the years. They are dedicated and have been with J.F.Finnegan brokers since 1995. In turn their clients are loyal as 95% of their business is from referrals. Real estate is more than just a profession to them; it is their hobby and passion.


Originally from Bombay, Zarine and Neville go back to India to visit family. They have travelled extensively around the world and love their annual escape to Maui. Zarine enjoys cooking, entertaining, gardening, reading, movies, and life! They have two daughters who live in San Francisco and their joy in their life are their three grandchildren.


  • 2016 Emerald Elite #2 in the whole Company
  • 2015 Emerald Elite # 3 in the whole Company
  • 2014 Platinum Award #5 in the Company
  • 2013 Emerald Elite #1 Team in the Company
  • 2012 Platinum Award #1 Team in the Company
  • 2011 Platinum Award #1 Team in the Company
  • 2010 Masters Award #1 Team in the Company
  • Consistently Among the top 3 individual agents of over 300 agents at BHG
  • Chairman's Circle (Consistent Winners 2001, 2002, 2003,2004,2005,2006,2007,2008,2009)
  • Winners of SAMCAR “SAMMY AWARDS”
  • San Mateo Association of Realtors (SAMCAR),California Association of Realtors (CAR), National Association of Realtors (NAR) San Jose Apartment Owners Association
  • Fine Homes Specialists, E Certified, Bankers Preferred Mortgage, CARTUS Relocation Certified