Thursday, July 29, 2010
If you're like me, you're always looking for some ideas for storage and organization; well I have some great ideas to help you out in the workshop! Moisture and humidity can seriously cut the life of your sandpaper. To help it last longer store it in large plastic zipper bags. A bonus, most of these bags have a space for labeling on the front. So write the grit in the space so you can easily find the paper you need for your next project. If you have a lot of toothpaste style glue and caulk tubes, fold a length of duct tape in half and secure it to the end of the tube, creating a "tab." Punch holes in Extension cords tangled? Cut the toe out of an old sock, coil the cord and then slip the sock band around the cord. If you have a baby in the house snag the empty jars for storing small nails and hardware. To maximize storage space, screw the lids to the underside of a shelf and simply screw the jars onto their lids for storage. Another kitchen recycle that is great for storage, coffee cans. To prevent rust add a tablespoon of baking soda or kitty litter to the bottom of the can. Check the closet for paintbrush and roller cover storage. Pants hangers and tie racks can give you great storage without taking up much room!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
To keep clothes looking their best they need care beyond cleaning, I have some ideas. If your clothes have pilling on the fabric and you don't have one of those fuzz removers, grab a pumice stone. Run the stone in one direction over the pills, it will grab them and gently pull them off the fabric. No pumice, no problem, use an emery board or the hook side of a piece of Velcro to remove those pills. Always work in one direction so that you don't damage the fabric. If you left a tissue in your pocket and your clothes come out of the wash covered in lint run them through again, and rather than using laundry soap use a cup of white vinegar in its place, it will release the lint from the fabric and your clothes will look like new again. If you're dealing with regular lint, try the loop side of the Velcro you used for the pills. The soft nap will grab onto the lint. You could also use a vegetable or fingernail brush to remove that lint.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
If your popcorn burned in the microwave or the fireplace smoke backed up into the house, you know that smoke odor can permeate everything it touches. But I have some easy ways to get it out. If your microwave smells smoky, put a dish of water with a few slices of lemon inside. Turn it on high for five minutes the steam from the water and the citrus will work together to eliminate the odors. If the smell is stuck in the upholstery, sprinkle with baking soda and let it sit overnight. In the morning you can vacuum the baking soda and the odor out of the furniture. Baking soda will work in the fireplace too. Put a box of baking soda in the fireplace to absorb stale smoke odors in the off-season. You could also try a dish of white vinegar. If you were in a smoky restaurant and your clothes smell, put them in the dryer with a dryer sheet and set it to air for twenty minutes. Or fill the bathtub with hot water and add two cups of white vinegar to the water. Hang the clothes on the shower rod and let it sit for an hour or so. As the steam and vinegar fill the air, they will release the odors from the fabric.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
You may not think bungee cords are an essential, but they come in handy for all sorts of things!For emergency childproofing, keep several small cords handy to secure cabinets and doors. Just stretch the cord around the handles. If you've got a load a little too big for your trunk, just attach some cords to the hook at the back of the trunk and then to the top. It will secure the trunk door for your trip. If you have to move furniture with drawers, secure a long cord all the way around the dresser from front to back, and watch those drawers stay in place. If you can't find the cords in the size you want, make your own. Buy some bungee cording material with no hooks on it, then buy some hooks. Decide how long you need the cord, and snip it off giving yourself a few extra inches to connect the hooks. Thread the end through the hook and tie it off. It's just that simple!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Just scheduled the install of the fireplace surround - can't wait to see how this looks - love the tiles. I know Vallar's knows what's up! I'll post pictures of the install!
Kids love candy, but let's face it; it can make a big mess! So how do you get rid of those stains? Chocolate. Short of dressing your kids in chocolate brown odds are if they eat chocolate they are going to end up with stains, well, don't worry, everyone has the best stain fighter for chocolate and you probably don't even realize it! Plain old dish soap applied directly to chocolate stains will remove them in short order - even older stains. Rub it into the fabric and then launder in cold water! Lollipops are a sticky mess, but luckily are water soluble. So just run hot water over the stickiness to dissolve the sugars and remove the film. If there is a colored stain left behind, rub white shaving cream onto the stain with a toothbrush and then launder. The warm water will also help loosen lollipops and hard candy that are stuck to household surfaces. How about gum -the worst of the candied messes! Really the best line of defense is to dissolve the gum. Lubricating oil will dissolve the stickiness and loosen the gum. Once you've removed it, pull that dish soap back out to break up the oil residue, and then launder it as directed! Good luck!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
You won't have to worry about tackling kitchen messes if you can prevent them in the first place! I have some tips. Before you do any cooking on your stove turn on the exhaust fan. The fan is designed to pull and filter cooking grease, odors and smoke up and out of the house. If you're cooking something that you know will splatter use the lids for your pans, or a splatter guard that will catch those spats before they end up on your stove and walls. Along those same lines, keep a plate on the stovetop to set spoons and spatulas on. You can easily pop the plate in the dishwasher and don't have to worry about cooked on messes that dripped from those utensils onto the stovetop! To keep greasy build-up from staining fabrics in the kitchen spray window treatments, chair pads and throw rugs with a fabric protector. These sprays act as a barrier between stains and fabrics without altering the look or feel of the fabric.
Monday, July 12, 2010
A family car trip should be fun, but if just the thought of it stresses you out, I have some easy things that you can do to make your vacation more enjoyable. Make a list of all contents as you pack your suitcases, then throw the list in at the end. This way you have a check list for re-packing to come home. Make two photocopies of your identification, insurance and credit cards. Leave one at home and put one in your luggage. Now, if someone loses a purse or wallet, the loss can be reported immediately. Pack yourself a child's survival bag. Include baby wipes. They will clean everything from spills to the kids. Water bottles which are easy to fill on the go. An easy tip, fill bottles halfway and freeze them, before you leave, fill the rest of the bottle with water. It will stay nice and cold as the ice melts. Finally, snacks, packed in plastic zipper bags, travel games and hard lemon candy or lollipops, which help with children who get motion sickness. Also include a quick change of clothes. If you're traveling with your pet, add the phone number of someone at home to their i.d. tags. This way, if the animal is found, someone will be there to get the call. Don't forget to pack water for your pet too! Have a great trip!
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Little frustrations pop up everyday in life, don't let them get you! I have some ideas to help you get back on track! In the kitchen, if measuring sticky substances like peanut butter and or honey is a problem, dip your measuring cups or spoons in hot water and then fill them up. The heat will help those items slide easily from the cup or spoon. If the ice in your ice bucket always seems to melt too fast, use a funnel instead of an ice scoop. The ice will stay in the funnel and the water will wash easily away. If your chairs are always scuffing your walls and you don't want to install a chair rail, keep white toothpaste handy. A little on a damp cloth will remove scuffs and spots from any painted surface with ease. And speaking of scuffs, if a protective pad for a chair foot has fallen off and you don't have any more on hand, cut a slice from a cork and hot glue it to the foot. It will work beautifully! As a bonus, if you have a chair that's a little wobbly cut the cork a little thicker than all of the other pads that will keep it from wobbling.