Monday, April 30, 2012

Laundry Baskets


If you relegate the laundry baskets to the laundry room, you’re missing out, I’ll tell you why!



I’m sure you’ve all seen REUSABLE grocery bags and a lot of you PROBABLY use them, but how about a laundry basket for the ultimate in “green grocery bags.” 



It’s designed to hold stuff and IS easily portable so keep one in the back of your car, and load it up with groceries directly from your cart.  You can carry the whole basket into the house and stash it back in there when you’re done.



Use a laundry basket to collect weeds and clippings as you work outside and then you can dump it when you’re finished.  In the off season, use the basket to corral your HOSE AND sprayer in the garage or shed.



Speaking of corralling, I collect little gifts and trinkets throughout the year so I always have a gift on hand when I need one.  I keep them all in a laundry basket on a shelf so I know right where they are, plus I keep a few gift bags in there so I can grab, stash and go in a hurry!



Heading out on a car trip to a sunny destination?  Fill a laundry basket with towels and swim gear.  You won’t need to dig through suitcases when you arrive.



Plus, you’ll have a spot to store dirty laundry during your trip. I’m Mrs. FIXIT and it’s just that simple!

Muffin Tin


If you only pull your muffin tins out of the cabinet when you’re getting ready to bake, you’re not using them nearly enough.



In the kitchen, you can use an inverted muffin tin as a cooling rack; the spaces between the cups allow air to circulate.



If you’re getting ready to decorate cookies with the kids, put your sprinkles and candies in a muffin tin to help make them easily accessible and not so easy to spill!



If you’re trying to carry drinks to the table, slip the cups into a muffin tin, you’ll be able to carry more and you’re not as likely to spill! 



If you enjoy crafts a muffin tin is just what you

need.  Store different types of beads in each compartment for making jewelry.



Or if you enjoy painting, a muffin tin is a great paint pallette.  Squeeze your paints into the compartments, and then when you need to mix colors use one of the empty spots for swirling together that perfect shade. 



When you’re finished painting, the tin will wash up in a snap and be ready for your next project.

Faux Leather Lampshade


I’m sure you’ve seen them in high-end catalogs, leather lampshades or mica shades, they’re beautiful, but the price tag can leave your wallet a little bare.  well, i can show you how to get that look for a lot less. 



Cut some brown paper bags so that they can lay flat and cut out any parts that have printing on them so that when you’re project is done there isn’t any ink bleeding through. 



first, spritz the bags with a little water so they’re damp.  Crumple the paper tightly into a ball and then open it back up, repeat until you’ve got some nice wrinkles and then smooth it out flat. 



Tear pieces of the paper into smaller pieces that will fit onto your lampshade. 



Spread decoupage glue over the paper with a foam brush and smooth the piece onto the shade. Decoupage glue is simply equal parts of white glue and water mixed together.



brush glue on the top of the paper once it’s in place.  and Repeat the process with the rest of the paper overlapping the pieces as you work. 



Once you’ve covered the whole shade, use a utility knife to gently trim any raw edges.  Then coat the whole piece one more time with decoupage glue and let it dry completely. 



A high-end look at a low end cost, I’m Mrs. FIXIT and it’s just that simple!

Homemade Laundry Detergent


Did you know with a few simple ingredients you can make your own laundry detergent and you can save yourself a fortune?



First, you’ll need some natural bar soap for cleaning, some washing soda for removing dirt and odors, borax for brightening and deodorizing and water to meld it all together!



Fill a large pot with three cups of water and put it on the stove to heat up.



In the meantime, use a vegetable peeler or a box grater to shred a whole bar of soap.



Once the water has boiled, turn it down and add the soap shavings, stir them until they’re completely melted.

Fill a large bucket that has a tight fitting lid with about three gallons of hot water. I picked up this bucket at my local home improvement center.



Pour one cup of washing soda, a third of a cup of borax and your melted soap mixture into the bucket; stir it until all of the ingredients are well mixed. 



Leave the mixture to cool overnight.  As with any large bucket, keep it out of the reach of your kids. 



Once cooled, use a cup of detergent for each load of laundry. 



I spent seven dollars on these ingredients made three times more than this

and I have more than enough to make several more batches! I’m Mrs. FIXIT and it’s just that simple!

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Visit me on the web at www.mrsfixit.com! It's just that simple!

Emery Boards

I'm sure most of you have an emery board or two around your home, well dig them out, I have a some alternative uses for them!
1. An emery board is essentially sandpaper on a stick so use it when you need to sand little crevices and tight spots, one side for the rough work and the other side for a smooth finish.
2. Use an emery board to sharpen your carpenter's pencils!
3. They're also great for cleaning wood sap off the face of your hammer when you're finished with a project.
4. Wet the finer side of an emery board and use it to smooth away small chips on glassware.
5. If the make-up in your compact gets hard, scuff up the surface with an emery board.
6. Stains on suede? No problem, gently rub them with the finer side of an emery board to remove the stain and refresh the nap

Club Soda

Do you know what product can remove stains, shine surfaces and clean cookware? It's club soda; I have some easy ideas for this inexpensive little gem.
1. Speaking of gems, club soda does a beautiful job cleaning your gemstone jewelry. Just put some in a glass and soak it overnight!
2. Save your flat club soda to nourish your plants. Just water them once a week and the nutrients in the liquid will greatly benefit your plants.
3. Cooking in cast iron can make a big mess; pour some club soda in the pan while it's still warm. It will keep the mess from sticking and make clean up a lot easier.
4. It will put a great shine on stainless steel surfaces like pots and pans, sinks and faucets.
5. Club soda is also an amazing stain remover on clothes, carpets and upholstery. Use a white cloth to dab it directly on stains like wine, grease, fruit and chocolate. When you see that the stain is lifting, dab with a clean cloth and cool water.

Art on a Budget

Art on your walls makes your home cozier and more interesting, but if it isn't in your budget, I have some inexpensive ideas for you.
1. Buy a calendar with some pictures that you like. For about ten dollars you have twelve potential prints to frame for your walls. Some store bought matt board and a standard frame, and you've got artwork for very little money.
2. For smaller pieces, check out your local card store. There are so many great cards today and most of them fit easily into a standard sized frame.
3. Another place to check, the china cabinet. Plate hangers cost about a dollar a piece and your seldom-used china can make a beautiful addition to your home d├ęcor. If you don't want to use your china check your local discount store for closeouts on platters and plates.
4. Wreaths also make a nice statement and can be made inexpensively with items from your local craft store; this wreath was only about ten dollars!
5. Finally, try themed items. For a boy's room, sports equipment. For a kitchen, cooking utensils. A little girl's room, some outgrown dresses on a clothesline.

Cleaning Porcelain

The white porcelain sink looks all nice and clean until you do a few pots and pans and then you get these silvery marks and stains. Well no worries I can show you how to get the sink like new again.
1. The secret, are little green scrubby pads. Now don't be tempted to try different colors, the pads all have different textures and it's the green pads that will scrub without scratching! The other thing you need, bleach based cream cleanser. Squirt some cleaner over the surface of the sink.
2. Using a circular motion with the green scrubby, buff out all of the scrapes and scratches. Now don't think you're getting out of this easy just because I'm giving you a secret weapon. You need to use some elbow grease. But, it works wonders.
3. A TIP: Now, if you don't have any bleach based cleansers or you just don't like the smell of bleach, there are a few things that you can use, baking soda, white toothpaste or even powdered dishwasher detergent all work but they take a little bit more time and an ill more elbow grease.

Pintersted?

LOVING all of the fun projects and ideas on Pinterest!  Check it out for yourself!
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Clean Crystal


Crystal can add the perfect touch to any table, but if yours isn't sparkling the way you would like it to, here is some helpful advice.
1. Always wash your crystal by hand. Washing it in the dishwasher can cause scratching and cloudiness.

2. Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to soapy water and then rinse the crystal with a mixture of one part vinegar, three parts water. The vinegar will help cut grease and eliminate dulling film.

3. Put a towel in the bottom of the sink and it will protect your crystal against chipping. Wash the pieces one at a time. When handling stemware, hold them by the bowl rather than the stem, this way you'll be less likely to drop it.
4. If your crystal is dingy, try soaking it in a basin of water with a penny in it. This will cause a chemical reaction that will pull dust and dirt out of all the little cuts and crevices.
5. If you have set your table and notice a few water spots, don't panic. Just rub them with a soft cloth that has been dipped in lemon juice. Those spots will disappear in no time.

Care for your Yard & Garden

Yard work can be overwhelming, but if you use these few simple tips, I promise that work will be easier for you.

1. Before you make a hundred trips to grab different tools, why not use a caddie so you have everything right there when you need it? You could try an old golf bag. It's a great size and it's easy enough to carry because that is exactly what it was designed for. Or, try a big plastic garbage can on wheels. Weight down the base with some bricks or something so that it doesn't tip over, and then you can wheel it around the yard with no problems.

2. If it's too hard to get leaves from under bushes and shrubs with a regular rake, buy a child's rake. It has small tines that will get to all of those hard to reach places with no hassle.

3. If you're never really sure whether you've watered the lawn enough, put a coffee can or plastic dish in the path of your sprinkler. You'll want about an inch of water on your lawn, so you'll have an easy gauge to measure with.

Illuminating Projects

Most every project calls for good lighting but sometimes that's hard to do. Well, I have some easy ideas to shed some much needed light on your projects.

1. It is easy to direct light at your project with either a headlamp or a light that attaches to your ear. Both of these give off plenty of light for working and because they move where your head does, the light will always be aimed right where you need it.

2. If you've ever tried to prop up a flashlight for some extra illumination you know that they can fall and roll away in the middle of a job. You can easily direct that light by making a stand. Put a pair of pliers around the handle of your flashlight and use some rubber bands to hold the handles of the pliers in place.

3. If you need to get some light into a really tight spot, attach a night light to an extension cord and feed it to the spot you need.

4. If you need a reliable flashlight for your toolbox or your car try the shake variety. You don't ever need batteries; simply shake the light back and forth when you're losing power.

Simple Solutions

Necessity is the mother of invention, and that is exactly where these tips came from. I have some simple and easy solutions to some common problems. !!!!

1. Everyone knows that window blind cords are a chocking hazard for kids, but what do you do if you're traveling or renting and their not tied up. A couple of suction hooks is all you need. Stick them to the window and wind the cord up and out of the reach of the kids. (These hooks are also great for organizing necklaces so they don't get all knotted up in the jewelry box. Just hang them inside your closet door and drape the chains over the hooks).
2. If you need a temporary place for organizing guests to hang extra towels, try a wreath hanger. It fits neatly over the door to hold the towels and it can be stashed away when you don't need it.
3. If your mattress slips and slides all over the place a length of non-skid rug padding can help. Slip it between the mattress and a box spring. Problem solved.
4. Throw rugs can be slippery too, but because they're so light sometimes rug pads won't work, the fabric doesn't hold like it should. Flip the rug over and apply rows of clear acrylic latex cover to the underside of the rug. Let it dry and flip the rug back over,. It will give you a non-skid surface that has a real grip!
Simple and inventive solutions that can help you with your small problems!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Dryer Dilemmas

I can't imagine laundry without having a dryer, but between crayons and pens and gum and lint you can run into some headaches - I have solutions!

1. The single most important thing you can do to keep your dryer in great working order is to keep the lint trap clean, which means more than simply emptying it after each use. Over a sink run some water into the lint screen. If the screen holds the water, it can't do its job. Turn it upside down and use an old toothbrush and warm running water to clean it out. Then let it completely dry before you run the dryer again.
2. For crayon and ink, use a little white toothpaste on a damp cloth. Rub the cloth in a circular motion to gently buff away the marks left on the drum. Then use a clean damp cloth to clean away any toothpaste residue.
3. Gum in your dryer? Hold a freezer pack wrapped in a washcloth over the gum to harden it. Then use a plastic spatula or plastic putty knife to gently pry the gum off of the drum. Remove any residual residue with some white vinegar on a clean cloth. Then, use a clean damp cloth and water to clean away any residue. Remember always apply a cleaner to a cloth and then to the dryer, don't spray or pour cleaners directly in the dryer.
Help to keep that dryer in tip-top shape!!

Wallpaper Bubbles

Bubbles in your wallpaper make the wall look awful. Luckily there easy to fix!
1. For small bubbles (smaller than a quarter), grab a utility knife and cut a small slit right in the center. Use a syringe filled with liquid wallpaper adhesive to carefully inject a little adhesive behind the slit. Use a damp sponge to carefully smooth out the bubble and then let the area dry.
2. For a larger bubble (bigger than a quarter), use the utility knife to cut an "X" into the area. Carefully peel back the four corners, and apply wallpaper paste to the back of the paper. Grab a clean damp sponge and gently push each of the four corners back into place, smoothing as you go.
Easy fixes for unsightly wallpaper bubbles!

Cleaning Marble

Marble is a beautiful finish in any home, but it is porous and stains easily. So there are some special care issues to consider.

1. Wipe off anything spilled on marble immediately, it will soak into the stone and will cause a stain. Make sure that you use coasters under beverage glasses to avoid moisture rings.
2. For routine cleaning, mix a little soapy lukewarm water and clean with a soft cloth, then dry immediately with an absorbent towel so the moisture doesn't have a chance to soak into the surface.
3. If you have stains on marble, use a neutral, nonabrasive cleaner to remove the stain, like hydrogen peroxide, it works well and it's inexpensive.
4. For grease stains on marble, brush cornstartch over the stain and lay plastic wrap over the cornstarch. This will pull the grease out of the stone. Leave it overnight and brush the cornstarch away in the morning.
5. If you have marble countertops or bathroom surfaces, it is a good idea to seal them to protect from staining and it allows soil to be wiped off with a damp cloth.
Beautiful marble protected. I'm Mrs. Fixit and it's just that simple.

Carpet Vinegarette

If you have a carpet stain would you think to grab the vinegar. Well, you should, cause it can cut through some of the toughest stains.

1. Gum on carpets is a nightmare, but vinegar can actually help to dissolve it away. Pour white vinegar directly onto the gum and let it sit for a minute, then use a paper towel to start easily pulling the gum out of the carpet fibers. Follow up with a little soapy water to clean up the vinegar and you're all set!

2. Dried glue on a carpet can also be dissolved with white vinegar. warm the vinegar for thirty seconds in the microwave, then dip a white cloth with it. Lay the cloth over the glue and leave for five minutes. once the glue had softened you'll be able to remove it from the carpet with a spoon and then just follow it up with some soapy water.

3. If you have chocolate stains on your carpet, mix together a half a cup of white vinegar and a cup of water and use that along with a white cloth to blot out any stains. Change the cloth frequently to be sure you don't redistribute the stains. This vinegar and water solution also works great on coffee spills.

Easy ways to use vinegar to keep your carpets looking their best!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Travel Time


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.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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!

Picture Groupings

Grouping pictures together on a wall can really make a statement, but it can be intimidating.

1. Lay a large sheet of paper out on the floor. Play with arranging the pictures on the paper. Remember that the top line of an arrangement should be level to guide the eye in the right direction.

2. When you're finished, trace around each picture frame to make a template.

3. Number each picture with a sticky note and write that number on the template.

4. Remove the pictures. As you do, flip each over and use a ruler to measure how far down you will need the nail and mark that on your template.

5. Attach the template to the wall with some tape, and gently tap an awl at each spot you've marked for your nails.

6. Take down the paper and put in the nails. Then you can hang the pictures according to the numbers on your map.

Clean Mini Blinds


Does it seem that no matter how hard you try to keep those mini blinds clean, the dust is back the next day. Well, I have a great tip to clean those blinds and keep the dust away longer.

1. Put the white glove test to work! Pull on a pair of cotton gloves and put your fingers in between the slats of the blinds. Run your hand back and forth along the slats. The glove will catch the dust and whisk it away. (If the blinds are dirty use that same glove but dip your hand in some soapy water before you start).

2. To keep the dust away, grab a dryer sheet. Dampen the sheet with some water and run it along the blinds. The reason the blinds get so dirty is because dust is attracted by static in the blinds and the dryer sheet eliminates it.

More Uses for Dryer Sheets


Dryer Sheets are a great multi-purpose item. Don't throw them away when you're done with the laundry; I have some great alternative uses!

1. Grimy, soapy shower? Wet a dryer sheet with hot water and clean the shower. All the scum will melt away! It works great on shower doors too!

2. If you've got a stubborn bathtub ring, fill the tub with hot water and drop a couple of sheets in for an hour or so. The soap scum will loosen up so it will wipe away when you drain the tub!

3. Pet hair a problem? Wipe a used dryer sheet over the area and watch the hair cling to the sheet not your clothes and furniture.

4. Run a needle and thread through a dryer sheet before mending a button. It will prevent snags and knotting.

5. Along those same lines, if you stuff a sock with dryer sheets and use it as a pincushion, you'll always have sharp pins and needle at the ready!

Unconventional Fertilizers


Fertilizers feed your plants and soil to give you great gardens, I have some easy ideas for fertilizers that you probably have right in your own home!

1. Nitrogen is a natural fertilizer and is produced in the waste of all garden creatures. Feed them and you feed the soil. Worms love paper so rather than sending the whole paper to the recycling bin, bury some around the base of your plants the worms will eat it and help the soil to thrive. Sugar is a great food too, but rather than just sprinkling it on the soil think about other sources as well. Cereal crumbs for instance have both sugar and other nutrients, so sprinkle the crumbs from the bottom of the box around your plants. Another easy sugar source is an energy drink; because it will give you a one two punch. One it feeds the organisms in the soil and second it adds potassium, a really important nutrient for plants!

2. Another great source of potassium are banana peels. They're especially good for roses. Simply bury them at the base of the rose bush and watch the roses thrive!

Caulk a Tub


Cracked and worn caulk in your bathroom can cause water damage as the water seeps into the walls. Well, it's easy to fix so you should do it as soon as possible.

1. Use a 5 in 1 tool, the pointed end of a bottle opener or a chisel to loosen and remove all of the worn sealant.

2. Then clean the entire area with a damp cloth and remove any dust and residue.

3. Fill the tub with water. If you caulk an empty tub, the normal weight that gets in and out of the tub every day will cause the seal to loosen more quickly. When the tub is full, let it sit for five minutes to settle.

4. Run a nice smooth bead of mildew resistant tub and tile caulk along the seam. Smooth the bead with the curved edge of an old spoon, an old playing card or even a wet finger. All you have to remember is to get a nice seal on the top and the bottom of the bead.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Production Day

Had a great production day - we have some great segments coming up this spring - if you don't get Mrs. FIXIT on your local news - call the station and tell them you want Mrs. FIXIT on your local news! It's just that simple!