Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Life Lessons in Practicality, tips & household tricks

(Karen, Ruby, edit this freely until we get a good list going! I know several young couples just starting their households that could benefit from us figuring it out the hard way)

1. Don't buy a white trash can for the kitchen. White cans ALWAYS look dirty & icky (that's the technical term) when subjected to kitchen trash duty. Also, LIDS rule on kitchen trash cans! Nothing makes your kitchen look dirtier than seeing the trash heaped up- wouldn't you rather not see it if you could? And it keeps the smells contained better anyways!

2. If it takes less than 5 minutes to do, do it now. Future you is a lazy bastard, and you know it won't get done. Or it will pile up until it becomes overwhelming. Don't fall into the trap!
Yes, this hangs in my kitchen. Don't Judge. 

3.  You know you're gonna empty your pockets, drop your bags/purse/whathaveyou when you come home. You know this. Do not make life harder on yourself by not having a place specifically to do so. Even if it is just a basket to catch keys and wallets and pocket fuzz on the counter or side table, it will keep you from going crazy later looking for your keys. No entry area is no excuse. We have no entry area, so we put hooks on the wall behind the door for keys & coats, and a few steps away we have a cubby-thingie to catch the rest. Get thine self to Wal-(hell)-mart and get some hooks, or a basket, or what-ever-the-heck works for you.
 Two $4 keys hook bars and two $6 coat hook bars. 
This isn't rocket science, but it's kind of just as impressive when it comes to keeping clutter corralled.
And here's the magical hide everything that has no home elsewhere box. 
There's a bin for dog accessories, one for tools commonly needed... shoes get the bottom row... random junk I don't want to give away or throw out gets two bins, because one junk drawer is never enough... sewing stuff even has a bin. 
Aaaaaaannnndddd.... well, I'm not sure what's in the middle. Mail goes on top so Chris can see it when he gets home, and we can leave things for each other and know the other one will find it quickly. This was a Big Lots furniture piece for $90. The bins are from Lowes, (roughly $7 each, sometimes on two packs for $13) and I just picked them up a few at a time as needed. There are more of these bins in the hall closet holding random military odds & ends and one for gloves & hats which will probably move to the middle cubby at the end of the month. You know, when Winter gets here.  Because this is Wyoming, and that's just how we roll.

4. When you are going to meet up with someone at a public place (either because you don't know them, or are catching an out-of-towner on their way by on the interstate) Park at the very end of the parking lot. This makes you much easier to find.

5. Keep a microfiber cloth in the bathroom. When you are done brushing your teeth & have rinsed the leftover toothpaste down, dry the sink, then wipe down the faucet & mirror. Funk never gets started. A dry sink collects no scum... yeah, that proverb doesn't adapt so well, but you get the idea. And when the sink & mirror are clean, the rest looks better too. ( Seriously, I haven't had to SCRUB the sink since I moved in-- I started using a regular washcloth, but that stayed wet too long and too easily got stinky; microfiber is the way to go.)

6. Toothpaste: Buff a CD/DVDApply toothpaste to a cotton ball and wipe the disc. Wash with water afterwards and you’ve got a brand new disc!

7. Cornstarch: Untangle Knots Sprinkling cornstarch into tough knots, such as shoe laces helps loosen them.

8. Walnut: Buff Dings out of Wood Furniture Get rid of unsightly scratches and dings on wood furniture by rubbing a walnut on the areas. The blemishes will vanish quickly and your furniture and pocket book will be saved.

9. Club Soda: Make Your Breads FluffierWhen baking, where recipes call for water, add club soda instead to make pancakes, waffles and any other breads fluffier.

10. Salt: Keep Windows Frost FreePour a cup of salt into a liter of water. Sponge the liquid onto the inside of window to prevent frost from forming during the winter months. ( For single-pane windows)

11. Rubbing Alcohol: Remove Permanent MarkerDab the surface that has the permanent marker on it with a cloth or cotton ball covered in rubbing alcohol to make it disappear quickly.

12. Chap stick: Stops Bleeding When Nicked ShavingCut yourself shaving? Just swipe some chap stick over the cut to stop that constant bleeding. No more tissue squares!

13. Apple Juice: Removes DandruffDon’t ask how it works, but it does! Instead of buying a special shampoo, just wash your hair in apple juice to rid your scalp of pesky dandruff.

14. Aspirin: Get Rid of Armpit Stains on T-ShirtsGrind up an aspirin tablet or two, then make a paste out of it using water, lemon or vinegar. Spread the paste on the stained area and let sit for an hour before washing. Alternatively, use a one to one mix of hydrogen peroxide and blue dawn (original type).

15. Olive Oil: Make Pets’ Coat ShinierAdd a bit of olive oil to your pet’s food to give them a healthier, shinier coat of fur.

16. Newspapers: Clean Windows and MirrorsInstead of using a spray and a streaky cloth, use only newspaper to clean off your mirrors and windows for a streak-free finish.

17. Baking Soda: Remove Bugs from WindshieldMix baking soda with warm water to make a paste. Spread the paste over your windshield for fifteen minutes. Then wipe or spray off with a hose.

18. Bleach: Extend Life of Flowers in VaseAdd a few drops (2-3 for an average vase) of bleach to vase water to prevent the build-up of the slime caused by bacteria. It works just like chlorine in a swimming pool.

19. Kitchen Dish Soap: Flea-Killing Dog ShampooKitchen dish soap (not dish detergent) can double as dog shampoo for its flea killing abilities.

20. Coke: Remove Blood Stains from ClothingSoak the stain in coke until the stain is dissolved, then wash the clothing as usual. Wash before the coke dries, though. Cola can also remove stains from concrete. ...and we put this in our bodies...

21. Honey: Remove Blemish OvernightHave a blemish you need to get rid of by tomorrow? Put a dab of honey on the blemish and cover it up (it’s best to use a Band-Aid) and the honey’s natural antibacterial properties will clean out the bacteria by the morning.

22. Wax Paper: Clean Can Opener GearsRun a few small strips of wax paper through the can opener to clean out of the bits and pieces that have built up in the gears throughout the year. The wax will also rub off on the gears to protect for future use as well.

23. WD-40: Remove Crayons from WallsUse the lubricant and a cloth to remove stubborn crayon marks from the walls just by spraying on a cloth and wiping.

24. Chalk: Keep Ants and Slugs Out of the HouseAnts and Slugs Won’t Touch Chalk. So, simply draw a line in front of your doorway where you are having problems with these pesky critters and they won’t cross it, meaning they won’t be able to get into your house. Best when done with sidewalk type chalk- the thicker the line, the more effective it will be. Just remember to replace after it rains.

25. Vinegar: Kills Weeds and Helps Flowers GrowVinegar is a magic wonder when it comes to gardening. It not only kills weeds but they help flowers grow as well. Douse vinegar all around your garden to prevent weeds from popping up and to help your flowers to grow healthy and strong. For stubborn weeds, mix with some dish soap to help it stick.

26. Mayonnaise: Remove Bumper StickerSpread mayonnaise on the bumper sticker and let sit for at least thirty minutes. Then, rub the sticker off with a towel, leaving a clean bumper!

27. Tin Foil Ball: Replace Dryer Sheets PermanentlyInstead of using a dryer sheet ball up one or a few sheets of tin foil and toss it in the dryer. It removes the static electricity from your clothes and one can last up to a year.

28. Mouthwash: Cure Athlete’s FootPour mouthwash on cotton balls and then swab your feet. The alcohol will disinfect the bacteria completely if you continue this for a week or so.

29. Baking Soda: Clean BBQ GrillMix a cup of baking soda with half a cup water to make a paste. Dip your brush into the paste and scrub the grill. The caked on pieces and black residue will come off much quicker and using baking soda is much safer and cheaper than using cleaning chemicals.

30. Coffee Grounds: FertilizerCoffee is full of nutrients and vitamins that are very beneficial to soil. That’s why some people include it in compost piles. If you want to get the most out of your coffee, pour the grounds on areas where you want more grass or flowers.

31. Olive Oil: Shaving CreamThe smoothness of the oil can replace the need for shaving cream, and it also provides great moisture.

32. Dryer Sheets: Gets Rid of Static Electricity
Use dryer sheets to remove static electricity from things such as clothing, TV screens or your own hair. Tame fly away strands of hair by running a dryer sheet over them.

33. Freezer: Freeze Candles to Make Them Last LongerPut candles in the freezer for at least 2 hours before using. Once you burn them, the wax will melt at a much slower pace, making them last much longer!

34. Two glasses of water: Cure HeadacheWater is the cure to most common headaches. To make the headache go away quickly, drink two cups of water very quickly. You can also use gatorade, or lightly salted koolaid. (Which is all the difference between regular koolaid and gatoraid)

35. Lemons: Deodorize Garbage DisposalToss whole slices of lemon into the garbage disposal then run it. The acidity of the lemon will rid your sink of all odors and leave a fresh scent

36. Alka Seltzer: Remove Burnt-On Grease and Food StainsWhen letting your pots and pans soak, throw in one or two Alka Seltzer tablets and the caked on residue from cooking will come off easily when you scrub/wash. You can also toss Alka Seltzer tabs int eh bowl of the toilet and let sit for at least 10 minutes to remove stains and scum. Let sit longer for heavy stains.

37. Apple Cider Vinegar: Relieve DiarrheaMix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into eight ounces of water to soothe your stomach. The taste may not be the greatest, but the antibacterial properties of the vinegar will end the unpleasantness of the bowel problems.

38. Toothpaste: Remove Scratches from GlassApply toothpaste to scratch, then rub with a cloth until the scratch is gone. Make sure the glass is clean beforehand.

39. Cheerios: Relieve Pain from Poison Ivy, Chickenpox and SunburnsPound one to four cups of Cheerios into a powder and add to your bath to soothe your skin while you soak. You may not feel relief while in the tub, but you will soon after.

40. Buttons: Sort EarringsOrganize your earrings and prevent them from becoming entangled by using spare buttons as holders for each pair.

41. Corn Oil: Prevent Hairballs for PetsAdd a few drops of corn oil to your pets’ food to prevent hairballs from forming. The thick oil helps the fur pass through the animal’s system much quicker and easily.

42. Whipped Cream: Remove Gum from HairThere are many remedies for removing gum from hair, but this is a lesser known one. Give it a try rather than peanut butter the next time you’re in need.

43. Brown Sugar: Facial Scrub
A scrub is good to do about once a month to remove dead skin and bacteria built up in pores and remove excess oil from the skin. Brown sugar does just as well as expensive products and will definitely result in a clearer and smoother complexion.

44. Dryer Sheet: Lint Brush 

You already know that dryer sheets remove lint in the dryer. Well, it can do the same thing out of the dryer, too. When you’re in a fix, use a dryer sheet. It works just as well as a lint brush, and if you like the scent, it’s an added bonus.

45. Newspaper: Deodorize food containers and Food Drawers in the Refrigerator 

For that stinky Tupperware or smelly refrigerator drawer that is too much to deal with, toss in a sheet of newspaper overnight before you deal with it. The paper will absorb the smell greatly reducing it or eliminating it completely.

46. Olive Oil: Unstick a Zipper 

The oil will help the zipper slide more easily, fixing the problem!

47. Salt: Cool Something Quickly

You know that feeling when you’re having a BBQ and someone asks for a drink and you realize that no one has put them in the cooler? There’s nothing worse than a warm drink on a hot day. Chill a drink quickly, by adding salt and water to your ice. The drinks will be cold in a matter of minutes; saving your party and making you look smart all at once.

48. Scotch Tape: Prevent Wall from Chipping When Nailing 

The wall can leave unsightly chips when hammering in a nail. Prevent this by simply placing a piece of scotch tape over the area you’re going to nail. The wall will be held tighter, preventing chips from occurring.

49. Alka Seltzer: Soothe Insect Bites 

Dissolve two tablets into a glass of water. Then use a cloth or cotton ball to apply it to the affected area. The red will go down and most importantly, the itchiness will vanish usually in fifteen minutes.

50. Lemon: Whitens Whites 

Add about half a cup of lemon juice to your load of whites to makes them extra white. You can use lemon juice with bleach or detergent, so don’t worry about mixing chemicals with the acidic lemon.

51. Banana Peel: Whiten Teeth 

This may sound a little odd, but rub the inside of a banana peel on your teeth twice a day for two weeks and you will receive the same effect from a teeth-whitening kit. Plus, you’ll save yourself money and the hassle of using chemicals.

52. Hair Dryer: Free Photos Stuck on PagesIf you have a photo stuck on a page that you can’t get free, try using a blow dryer on the back of the page. It will loosen the photo from the page and the adhesive holding it there.

53. Banana Peel: Heal Most Skin ProblemsBananas are the magical fruit, because they heal many common problems on the skin. By rubbing the peel on your skin, you can heal bruises and cuts and eliminate rashes, itching and warts. Basically if you have a common skin problem, it can be cured by this fruit.

54. Cotton Balls: prolong the life of dishwashing / cleaning gloves
Take 5 cotton balls and cut them in half. Put the halves into the fingers of your gloves- your nails won't dig into or puncture the tips of your gloves 

1 comment:

  1. We'll have to do it as a series...it doesn't let us edit each other's posts, just comment on them...but as soon as I get enough planned out, I WILL add on! Other than the obvious...enjoy single/early married life/just being a couple for a few years before having kids...there's no rush!! I know it's not how my life went, & it's worked out...but I think I'm rare in that & I sometimes wish we'd had that chance....but watch out 50...my kids will be GONE & you'd better knock before coming into my house!! ROFL!! (If we're there)