Showing posts with label Tips for the Home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tips for the Home. Show all posts

Small Closet Organization

I am in the process of organizing my very small closet. I need all the closet organization tips I can find.

  The most important step is to get everything out of the closet and evaluate it's value.  Here is a simple way to decide what stays and what goes.

I personally don't go along with the idea  throw it away after a year. Why not store it away.  It could be an important piece when other pieces are added to your wardrobe. 


           How to Organize Your Closet


Here are two ideas for  tank tops.  I had put my  solid tank tops on one hanger and the patterns on another hanger, but  I really like the idea of a tie rack.
And this one uses shower curtain rings.  Genius!!

 Both ways are a great way to have tanks at your fingertips.

 I used to put my tank tops in a drawer so I forgot to use them when dressing.  They add so much style, hide straps, add color, and the list goes on and on.
I have NO lights in my closet and when I first saw this idea I said no way. But when you when you start thinking about strands of lights around the door(on the inside), it starts to make sense. Definitely trying this.

Reviving Old Sofas

A few posts back I showed how I stuffed my sofa with fiberfil (used to make pillows).  I  loved the way it worked.  It will satisfy me until I can find the perfect (or almost perfect sofa)
My niece Krista saw the post and tried it too.  She said she was very pleased with the results.  She sent the before and after photos: Here is Krista's Sad Sofa.

 And here is the After Picture.  It made a lot of difference to the looks but she said she also loved the way it sat after the makeover.
So now we can relax until the perfect couch is found.

Craft Room Organization

Last year I organized my craft supplies because I kept buying supplies I didn't need.  I was buying  duplicates of duplicates.  It just makes economical sense to organize craft supplies.

 These storage drawers can be found at Lowes in the hardware department.  My first thought was it would make a great craft organizer. You can make your own labels or use  Avery labels to identify the contents.You can change the whole look by painting the organizer. This can be done by taking all the drawers out and using a spray paint for plastic.  Be gone the dreaded gray "man color".   This is the best craft organizer  if you have a lot of small items.
  This is a great system for craft papers that is portable. It is a plastic container that has groves to hang the files. 
 It holds laminating sheets,photo  paper,labels,velum,colored card stock and anything else that is paper size in this file. It can be easily moved to any place you craft.

Plastic drawers make great storage for crafts and basket making items. I have a gift drawer for women and girls.  When I find something on sale I buy it and save it for a basket or a gift combo for later.  Gift packs are good to buy when they are priced to sell.  Break them down and put in your gift drawer.  You are ready for any occasion without a trip to the store.
You can also make a drawer for kids gifts.    Buy products on sale and save them until you need them for gifts or baskets.
I have a 3 drawer plastic bin where I keep all my gift basket supplies.  I have shreds, excelsior, tulle, teddy bears, and I keep a few gift items in the bottom bin.
  This drawer holds all my  candles, clear ornaments, and votive candle holders.  I love making  photo candle...see my Candle Making Technique.

Organize tape,glue sticks, and glue dots in the same drawer. Use small baskets to separate them.
 There are a lot of ways to organize your crafts, but with the small area I have for crafting, this works best for me. It's been over a year now and all my stuff is still organized.

How to Paint Kitchen Countertops

I have been contemplating if painting kitchen countertops is the way for me to go.   Five days is a long time to deal with any painting project, at least for me it is.  Here are the finished kitchen countertops I've had my eye on and they are gorgeous.
Diy Painted Kitchen Countertops
Click on this link for want a step by step tutorial on painting kitchen countertops. This site has alot of good ideas like covering your paint roller pan with plastic bags so you can easily change the paint color.  The cost is around $30 which is much cheaper than granite countertops.

 Click on the following link for  another technique showing how to spray paint countertops.  You use a can of  Stone color spray paint.   The cost is around $10. This looks pretty easy.  This is a bathroom but it could be used for a kitchen also.  I think I could deal with this one.  How about you?  Which technique would you use?

How to Stop Junk Mail

Want to stop all the junk mail coming into your home daily?  Send a letter with all possible spellings of your name, address and signature. Mail it to: Mail Preference Service / DMA ATTN: Dept. 9407644 P.O. Box 643 Carmel, NY 10512. Or Call them at 212-768-7277.

26 Uses for Coffee Filters

Wanted to pass this list on, There  are some great uses for coffee filters,  Never knew there were so many.  Don't know who originally made this list.  If you do, let me know so I can give them credit.  Thanks to  Mary Alice for sending it to me.   

1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.

2. Clean windows, mirrors, and chrome... Coffee filters are lint-free so they'll leave windows sparkling.

3. Protect China by separating your good dishes with a coffee filter between each dish.

4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.

5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.

6. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.

7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.

8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.

9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.

10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes.

11. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.

12. Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows? Use strips of coffee filters..

13. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, etc on them.. It soaks out all the grease.

14. Keep in the bathroom. They make great "razor nick fixers.."

15. As a sewing backing. Use a filter as an easy-to-tear backing for embroidering or appliqueing soft fabrics.

16. Put baking soda into a coffee filter and insert into shoes or a closet to absorb or prevent odors.

17. Use them to strain soup stock and to tie fresh herbs in to put in soups and stews.

18 Use a coffee filter to prevent spilling when you add fluids to your car..

19. Use them as a spoon rest while cooking and clean up small counter spills.

20. Can use to hold dry ingredients when baking or when cutting a piece of fruit or veggies. Saves on having extra bowls to wash.

21. Use them to wrap Christmas ornaments for storage.

22. Use them to remove fingernail polish when out of cotton balls.

23. Use them to sprout seeds. Simply dampen the coffee filter, place seeds inside, fold it and place it into a zip-lock plastic bag until they sprout.

24. Use coffee filters as blotting paper for pressed flowers. Place the flowers between two coffee filters and put the coffee filters in phone book.

25. Use as a disposable "snack bowl" for popcorn, chips, etc.

26. Great in the tool room when separating nails and screws then use in to bottom of containers to remove moisture and prevent rust.


Calm Coughs and Sinus Headaches With Eucalyptus Oil

Got this tip from In this Crazy Life blog.  She used Eucalyptus Oil to calm coughs for her husband and baby.  By rubbing the oil on the bottom of their feet and and putting on socks, she said the coughs were gone.  To clear sinuses she put it on a tissue and breathed in the vapors....Sinus headache gone.  Also great for a vaporizer.  I haven't tried this but it is on my list of must buy products in the future.  My family and I have terrible sinus and allergy problems in the spring.  This is definitely worth a try at 8.00 a bottle.

How to Make Home made Febreze Spray

I have read several articles about making your own Febreze (Gain scented), so I set out to make my own.  I bought Gain Fabric Softener (original scent),  and baking soda.  The recipe calls for

  •  1/8 cup fabric softener
  • 2 Tablespoons baking soda
  • Hot tap water
I put the soda and softner in a measuring cup to mix so I could pour it into  the Febreze bottle. I added hot water to the bottle to  melt the ingredients and to fill to the top. 

Reading posts from people who tried it, it got rave reviews.  They said it was better than the original Febreze and lasted longer. 
Maybe it's my sinus problems but I'm not getting the Febreze love they are.  I added more Gain and still, no staying power, and my black  crocs turned white from the baking soda mist.

  I am obsessed with Gain but I was willing to try this because it can be made for around 20 cents. Maybe it's one of those things were you are willing to pay the extra to get exactly what you want. 
If you try this, please, please let me know what you thought of it.   You don't have to go out and buy Gain Fabric Softener, any scent you have on hand will work.

More Great Household Tips

  Turn your muffin pan upside down, bake cookie-dough over the top and  you have cookie bowls for fruit or ice-cream.  It's the perfect container for mini desserts that kids will love...and presentation is the king.

Store shoes inside shower caps to stop dirty soles rubbing on your clothes. And you can find them in just about every hotel. Great travel tip that is  better than tying them in a grocery bag and having to fight the knot you tied.  You can easily grab these from the cap.

Use egg cartons to store Christmas decorations.  I really like this idea for smaller ornaments.  I bought expensive ornaments when they went on sale.  Each year I put them in the clear cylinder I bought them in and hope they are in one piece next year.  Trying to figure out storage for larger decorations.
Here is the easy way to do  deviled eggs... Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Close and knead until they are mashed up.  Add other ingredients and mix.  Cut the tip of the baggy, and pipe into the eggs.  Easy cleanup...
Use plastic cups in a muffin pan for a craft caddy.  Put magnets on the bottom of cups to hold them in place.  Perfect for little ones to keep supplies organized.
Everyone loves fresh baked cookies, but no one needs to eat 3 dozen in one sitting....honestly, I have  eaten cookies and not even remembered eating them.  I looked down and they were  When you make cookies take scoops of dough and put them on a cookie sheet and freeze.  When they are frozen put them in a zip top freezer bag.  When you want a cookie or two, you can bake them and not be tempted by the other dozen.  This way you always have fresh cookies without all the work every time.

12 Useful Everyday Tips

Simple solutions for Everyday problems

These Useful tips that will make you say, why didn't I think of that.

  Re-use a wet-wipes container to store plastic bags.
Re-use a wet-wipes container to store plastic bags.

Use Baby Powder to Remove Beach Sand


Attach a Velcro strip to the wall to store soft toys.

Store gift wrap rolls against the ceiling
Find tiny lost items like earrings by putting a stocking over the vacuum hose.

Make an instant cupcake carrier by cutting crosses into a box lid.
How to perfectly fold a fitted sheet.

Hull strawberries easily using a straw.

Rubbing a walnut over scratches in your furniture will disguise dings and scrapes.

Remove crayon masterpieces from your TV or computer screen with WD40.

Stop cut apples browning in your child’s lunch box by securing with a rubber band.


Store Matching Linens in Pillowcases, No more lost pieces

Easy Way to Sort Socks

Do you have a hard time sorting socks on laundry day? And where do those missing socks go... I'm convinced our washer is eating socks.
Here is a way to turn your laundry ordeal into something simple and sweet... Order twenty identical pairs of socks in the same size. Now you have 40 identical socks; You never have to match them , just put them all in a drawer and pull out 2 a day. If one gets lost, you won't even ever notice. This way, you never run out of socks between washings.

Surprisingly Useful Ideas for Aluminum Foil

aluminom foil
  Aluminum foil is found in nearly every kitchen, and it’s surprisingly useful - but not only for its traditional purpose. From the cookbooks of grandmothers and the journals of contemporary internet homemakers, here are 30 new uses for that most unassuming of all shiny flexible metals: aluminum foil.

1. Frosting a cake but you’ve run out of pastry bags? Just grab a double thickness of aluminum foil and roll it into a cone shape, leaving a small opening at the point. Fill with frosting of spreading consistency. Twist the top to close the cone and use the device to make pretty frosting designs on your cake. Admittedly, this whole process is easier with a plastic zip-close bag with a corner snipped off, but when aluminum foil is all you’ve got it can be a lifesaver!
pastry bag
2. Sharpen your scissors. In between professional sharpenings (or for those 99 cent pairs of scissors that you don’t want to pay to have sharpened), use aluminum foil to keep your scissors in top form. Cutting through 6-8 layers of aluminum foil will improve the cutting surface of most scissors.

3. Make an Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie. You know, for protection from mind control enemies.

4. Shine up rusty chrome. With a bit of water on a wadded-up piece of aluminum foil, you can rub most rust spots off of chrome car parts.

5. Keep your oven clean. Tired of scraping burned-on food out of the bottom of your oven? Line it with aluminum foil before making something particularly messy. Don’t leave it in there permanently, however, because it can lead to oven damage over time.
cleaning the oven
6. Protect the heating element in your electric oven. For those times when you have to scrub burned-on crud out of your oven, cover the heating element with long strips of aluminum foil before spraying the inside of the oven with oven cleaner.

7. Make your soap last longer. Put a piece of aluminum foil on the bottom of your bar of soap to keep it from sitting in a puddle of water and wearing away quickly.

8. Make interesting cakes. Novelty cake pans in odd shapes are expensive. Get the same effect by using a regular cake pan but making a shaped liner for the inside. Make sure the liner is at least as tall as the edges of the pan and several thicknesses so it will hold its shape. This makes it easy to make that snowman or heart-shaped cake without spending a lot of money on a new pan.
a cheeseburger cake
9. Make a sun box for seedlings. If your plants are growing crooked or looking less than healthy, cut off the top and one side of a cardboard box, then line the bottom and remaining sides with aluminum foil. Place your plant inside and put the entire operation in the window with the open side facing the window. The sun will reflect off of the foil and cause your plant to grow up straight.

10. Make a portrait reflector. Forget those super-expensive professional photography reflectors. Just cover a sturdy piece of cardboard with aluminum foil and you’ll have an excellent light reflector for portraits and still lifes.
11. Keep birds out of your fruit trees. Hang twisted strips of aluminum foil all over your fruit trees using fishing line. The light reflections and the sound will keep birds away from your fruit.

12. Protect saplings. Rodents and other animals sometimes chew on young trees in the winter. Protect your saplings by covering their bases with aluminum foil. Remember to change the covering periodically as the tree grows.
13. Re-soften hard brown sugar. Many people put hard brown sugar in the microwave to soften it up, but this can actually backfire and make the sugar harden even more. Instead, wrap the block of hardened sugar in some aluminum foil and bake in a 300° (Fahrenheit) oven for 5 minutes.
brown sugar
14. Keep the bottom of your fireplace or charcoal grill from becoming encrusted with soot. Line the bottom of your fireplace or grill with aluminum foil before starting a fire, then dispose of the foil after the fire is out and the coals are completely cooled.

15. Protect your furniture. Pets can’t stand the feeling or the sound of crinkling aluminum foil. If you want them to stay off of your furniture, cover the seats with clean aluminum foil whenever you’re not using the furniture. Your pets will learn within a couple of days to avoid sitting up there. You can also prevent them from scratching or biting furniture legs by covering them in aluminum foil.

16. Avoid moving the heavy furniture. When you want to quickly shampoo your carpets but don’t want to lug all of the furniture out of the room, simply cover the legs with aluminum foil to avoid getting shampoo on them.

17. Although we haven’t tested this tip (and it seems a bit dubious), it’s said that you can put a wadded-up ball of aluminum foil in your dryer with a load of clothes to reduce static cling.
18. Get creative and make fun sculptures with your aluminum foil.
19. Remove daily buildup on silver jewelry. With some common kitchen items you can make a simple but effective way to clean your jewelry at home.

20. If your TV and DVD player are stacked one on top of the other, you may find the picture is a bit fuzzy. This often happens when the electromagnetic fields from both devices interfere with each other. Place a sheet of aluminum foil between them to cut down on the interference.

21. When ironing, put a piece of aluminum foil under the ironing board cover. The foil will reflect the heat from the iron so you can essentially iron both sides at once.

22. Steam your silk or wool garments by placing a piece of aluminum foil on top of the ironing board and under the garment. Pass the iron over the garment from a few inches above the fabric while holding down the steam button. The steam will remove wrinkles without harming the cloth with direct heat.

23. Use it as wrapping paper in a pinch. You can glue or tape interesting cut-out pictures onto the aluminum foil to make it even more personal.

24. Make interesting Easter eggs.
easter eggs
25. Reflect heat into your house. Put a layer of aluminum foil behind your radiator when it is off and completely cool. When the radiator is turned on, more of the heat will be directed into the living area and less will be absorbed into the wall behind the radiator.

26. Keep pie crusts from burning. This may be one of the oldest aluminum foil tricks in the book, but it’s a good one. When baking a pie, cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil at the very end of the baking time to keep it from browning too much.

27. Make a cool noisemaker with your kids
28. Make a solar cooker. You’ll cut down on energy costs and experience a traditional way of cooking.
a solar oven
29. Use strips of aluminum foil to wrap your hair, then coil them up to make impromptu curlers.

30. Cover doorknobs and hinges with aluminum foil to avoid having to take them off while painting.
Bonus Tip: In many locations, aluminum foil can be recycled along with all of the other household recycling. When you’ve used it for cooking and all of the other interesting projects listed here, just throw it into the bin along with all of your other recyclable materials to keep it out of the waste stream.

Article from

How to Freeze Tomatoes

I have never thought of freezing tomatoes until I ran across this idea on the Newlyweds site. When tomatoes are taking over and you hate to throw them away, this is a great idea. Here are her step by step instructions for frozen tomatoes:

  1. First select your ripe tomatoes, don’t worry if they have any imperfections you can always cut them out later once they are frozen. But do make sure they are ripe to be eaten/or frozen that day. If you don’t have enough for a whole bag, that’s ok, just freeze as you go.
  2. Wash each tomato individually
  3. remove the stems.
  4. Place the clean tomatoes on a towel to dry.
  5. hand dry each tomato
  6. place in a freezer bag in a single layer.
  7. seal up the bag leaving a 1 inch opening, and pinch it open and with your mouth suck out as much air as you can. The less air the better.
  8. Place in your freezer on a flat surface till frozen.
After the tomatoes are frozen they are very easy to peel, chop and use in any recipe that calls for canned tomatoes. The texture of the tomato changes once it’s frozen so it best to use in only cooked recipes.

Close a Bag without a Clip Video

This video clip shows you how to close a bag without a clip. This is so cool. Good to know when you are short on clips or want to save a little money.
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