Posted in Clever Re-Uses, Suggestions, Timely Tips

Just This Morning…

…I re-used some dryer sheets to clean the blinds in a bedroom. It really is easy-peasy, and so fast.

After using them in their usual way, tuck used dryer sheets away. They actually have multiple uses. For more suggestions, see my post, from January 2018. It’s under Timely Tips, and Clever Re-Uses. Good ideas keep!

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Clever Re-Uses, Timely Tips

Clever Reuses – for Dryer Sheets!

I recently saw an article about clever reuse, and thought to pass along its suggestions. If you use dryer sheets to keep your clothes static-free, keep them. Put a container in the laundry area to hold used ones, then use them to make any of the following household tasks easier.

Around the House

  • Wipe one over clothes or furniture to help remove pet hair.
  • Run them over baseboards and other molding to lift dust and help repel it. (Much easier than hauling around a vacuum!)
  • Keep window blinds clean longer by wiping them down with a used dryer sheet to repel dust and lint. (This is my favorite, since cleaning the blinds never seems easy, and is oh-so easy to skip.)
  • Wipe ceiling fan blades. (How to do this? Maybe secure one to a yardstick with a rubber band.)
  • Remove soot from candle holders with a light scrub from a used dryer sheet.

For the Laundry

  • Stuff two into stinky shoes to help freshen them.
  • Clean a gunky iron by rubbing a used dryer sheet over it.
  • Wipe down the inside of the dryer and the lint tray with a used dryer sheet to help pick up stubborn dust and lint.
  • Remove deodorant marks on clothes by lightly rubbing with a used dryer sheet.
  • Tuck a few used dryer sheets in dresser drawers for a nice, light scent.

In the Office

  • Wipe and dust the television or computer screen. Dryer sheets’ anti-static properties help repel dust and lint.
  • Freshen a musty book by putting it into a large plastic baggie with a used dryer sheet or fold a piece or two within the pages of the book itself.
  • Wipe dull scissor blades with a used dryer sheet to sharpen them for clean cuts.

In the Bathroom

  • Wet a used dryer sheet with a few drops of water and wipe it on bathroom surfaces (faucet, shower doors, etc.) to remove soap residue.
  • Help remove glitter nail polish by soaking a used dryer sheet in nail polish remover.
  • Eliminate “hat head” and flyaways by running a used dryer sheet on hair.
  • Scrub toilet rings with used dryer sheets.
  • Polish eyeglass lenses with a used dryer sheet (don’t use on plastic lenses).

In the Kitchen

  • Clean up dry spills (like flour in the kitchen or sawdust in the garage) with a used dryer sheet. The tiny particles will stick better to a clingy dryer sheet than to a rag or paper towel.
  • Wet a dryer sheet and use it to clean stubborn food off cookware.
  • Toss a used dryer sheet into a sheet pan that’s soaking to help loosen cooked-on food.
  • Help keep garbage can odors at bay by tossing in used dryer sheets.

In the Yard

  • Put a used dryer sheet in the bottom of a planter or pot to keep soil from falling through the drainage hole.
  • Stuff used dryer sheets into toilet paper rolls to use as a fire starter for camping or a backyard bonfire.
  • Wet a used dryer sheet, then scrub bugs from the front of your car.
  • Dust your car’s console and dashboard with used dryer sheets.

About De-clutter Me!

De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been “bringing calm to chaos” since 2013.

Posted in Clever Re-Uses, Clothing, Suggestions, Timely Tips

How to Solve the Dilemma of Unmatched Socks

It happens to most of us. Somehow, a pair of socks isn’t a pair anymore. Does the washer eat one? Does the dryer hide one? It’s a mystery, but we sometimes end up with unmatched socks.

Now that summer is transitioning to fall and some of us are wearing socks again for the first time in months, the dilemma of unmatched socks is back. Some suggestions –
• Wear them with others whose “mates” have disappeared
• Use them as padding in packages
• Use them as storage for delicate holiday decorations
• Use them as dust rags
• Use them for craft projects, including as hand puppets
• Turn them into pet toys, like filled with catnip

About De-clutter Me!

De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been “bringing calm to chaos” since 2013.

Posted in Clever Re-Uses, Suggestions, Timely Tips

Fun Uses for Mason Jar Lids

From the archives, here are some clever suggestions for using Mason jar lids. As canning season is about to start and with jars available in many stores, these could be both timely and fun.

While you might use a jar to hold flowers or other contents:

  • Use the ring of a lid to press circles for biscuits or sugar cookies.
  • Make a quick fridge photo frame. Trim a photo, using the flat lid piece as a template. Glue the photo to the inside of the flat plate and place it inside the ring. Glue a small magnet to the back of the plate. Ba-da-bing!
  • Is your muffin tin MIA? If so, place six jar rings (wide side down) on a cookie sheet. Set a paper baking cup in each, fill it with batter, then bake according to the recipe.
  • For a different votive candle holder, apply glue to the edge of the flat piece and place inside the ring. Let dry and enjoy candle light!

About De-clutter Me!

De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been “bringing calm to chaos” since 2013.

Posted in Clever Re-Uses, Suggestions, Timely Tips

Clever Re-uses

From the archives, here are two clever ways to reuse items. A plastic squeeze water bottle can double as a salad dressing shaker. If you mix your own vinaigrette, this is a handy way to bring it along to work or on a picnic. Also, the spout can prevent over pouring. Another use – for picnicking, to bring along cut carrots and celery sticks. Yet another use – store your sunglasses. This could be especially useful in the car, placed in a cup holder. No more crushed shades!

Reluctant to toss or recycle a smoothie container? It could store a ball of string, with the end coming out the end. Another use – turned upside-down, its lid can serve as a funnel for pouring homemade salad dressing into a bottle. Next, two uses for when painting. For kids, pour paint into smoothie cups. A brush can rest securely through the hole without tipping, and the lid minimizes spills. You might tape the lid to the bottom, “just in case.” For grownups, if painting overhead on ceilings or trim, place a smoothie lid over a brush handle to protect your hand from any drips or dribbles.

About De-clutter Me!

De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been “bringing calm to chaos” since 2013.

Posted in Clever Re-Uses, Suggestions, Timely Tips

A Way to Keep Foods Cold, With a Cool Additional Use

Here’s one that’s good for picnics and other outdoor events, especially timely with the upcoming July Fourth holiday in mind.

Need a way to keep foods cold in a cooler? Instead of using ice, consider this cool alternative. (Oh – bad pun!) Wet a sponge, put it in a plastic sandwich bag (or two), then place it in the freezer. You might want two or three.

Benefits: once placed in the bottom of a cooler, it’s flat, which could keep food containers upright. Also, since it’s relatively “skinny,” it also can be slid down the side of the cooler, to further help in keeping food chilled.

Bonus points – if you need a wet sponge for clean-up at the end of your event, you’ll have one ready. Once back home, repeat the process. Wet the sponge, replace in the sandwich bag, then freeze it for the next time.

Also, unrelated, but fun to think about with this particular holiday – “he who drinks a fifth on the Fourth will not go forth on the fifth.” Ha!

About De-clutter Me!

De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been “bringing calm to chaos” since 2013.

Posted in Clever Re-Uses, Timely Tips

Toothpaste – Not Just for Your Teeth Anymore

Here are some downright nifty tips found online for how to use toothpaste; that is, beyond its normal way. It also can help to clean your house, remove stains, fix scuffed shoes and scratched phones, and even polish your favorite jewelry. Here’s how:

Polish your jewelry. To make your jewelry (yes, even diamond rings) sparkle and shine more, put some toothpaste on an old, clean toothbrush and gently scrub away any dirt and grime. When you’re done, clean off excess toothpaste with a damp cloth.

Clean gunk off your iron. Rub some toothpaste on the bottom plate of the iron and wipe it off with a damp cloth. Of course, be sure that the iron is unplugged and cool before you do it.

Brighten up your car headlights. If your headlights are looking dull and grimy, you can use toothpaste to clean them up. As long as your headlights aren’t glass (toothpaste won’t be abrasive enough), you can scrub your headlights with some toothpaste and a rag, using slow and steady motions. Rinse off with water when you’re done.

Deodorize hands after cooking. Toothpaste can remove the smell that cooking fish or chopping onions leaves behind on your hands. Just rub it on your hands and rinse it thoroughly.

Remove scuffs from your shoes. To get scuffs and marks off canvas-covered shoes, apply a little bit of toothpaste to a clean cloth and gently polish them away. Wipe off any residue with a clean damp cloth, and let dry when finished.

Take out carpet stains. Rub toothpaste into stains on your carpet, then rinse or wash as usual.

Fix a scratched phone. Dab a little toothpaste onto a soft cloth or cotton swab, then gently rub it in (in circular motions) until the scratches seem to be gone. Then, use a slightly damp cloth to wipe off any excess toothpaste.

Posted in Clever Re-Uses, Suggestions, Timely Tips

Salt – It’s Not Just for Cooking

While reading a newspaper online or just noodling around recently, I read some interesting uses for salt. (I gotta get out more!)

Here’s how to peel hard-boiled eggs easier. Add salt in water to boil the eggs. When they are done boiling, drain off hot water and run cold water over them until the eggs get cold. Crack each egg against kettle just enough to make a few cracks in shell. Let eggs sit in cold water about 10 minutes and peels usually peel off fairly easy.

Next, here are some non-chemical cleaning suggestions.
If you spill wine or fruit juice on your tablecloth, pour salt on the spot immediately to absorb the stain.
Apply a paste of salt and olive oil to ugly heat rings on your table. Let sit for about an hour and then wipe off with a soft cloth.
To restore some of the color to faded fabric, soak it in a strong solution of salt and water.
Mix a tablespoon of salt into the water of a vase of cut flowers to keep them fresh longer.
A mixture of salt and vinegar will clean brass.
Salt on the fingers when cleaning meat or fish will prevent your hands from slipping.
To kill unwanted weeds growing in your driveway or between bricks and stones, pour boiling salt water over them.
For perspiration stains, add enough water to salt to make a paste, then rub into the cloth. Wait for an hour, and then launder as usual.
To freshen smelly sneakers (or any canvas shoe) sprinkle their insides with salt. Wait 24 hours for the salt to absorb the odor, and then shake them out.
Pour salt directly onto a grease spill and come back to it later.
Stainless steel can be cleaned by rubbing it with a gritty paste of two tablespoons of salt mixed with lemon juice. Rinse well and pat dry with a soft cloth.
Rub two to three tablespoons of salt onto the stains inside your glass vases, and then scrub clean with a damp bristle brush.
Gargle with warm salt water (¼ teaspoon salt to one cup water) to relieve a sore throat.
Sprinkle salt on carpets to dry out muddy footprints before vacuuming.
When silk flowers get dusty, put them in a paper bag with several tablespoons of salt and shake gently for two minutes to clean them.
Refresh household sponges by soaking them in cold salt water for ten minutes.

Posted in Clever Re-Uses, Kitchen Organization, Recycle, Suggestions, Timely Tips

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Vol. II

Do you have some extra things in your kitchen that you might toss out? Here are some suggestions for reusing them. An old, funky cupcake or muffin tin could store office supplies, jewelry, or to plant succulents. You also could use it to serve condiments at a party. An extra colander? Visualize yarn storage. You could feed strings through the holes to prevent tangles. Have too many, somehow? Hang them on the wall as fun art. You also could use one as a planter, though be sure to add something underneath to catch water. Hang one or two on chains, to store small objects. Do you have old, unmatched flatware? You could bend forks and spoons into napkin rings or curtain stays/pulls. An extra wine rack, somehow? It could hold wrapping paper. You could place one in the bathroom, with rolled towels inside. A surplus paper towel holder could hold bracelets and hair scrunchies, tape and ribbons for wrapping presents. If horizontal and meant to be hung on a wall, think about bracelets and necklaces. Any mismatched dishes? Hang them as wall art. Teacups could store jewelry. Ice cube trays? Great for storing jewelry and office supplies. Or, if you’re planning an art project, a paint palette in the making. If these suggestions spark your imagination, but you don’t have the needed pieces, it’s garage/yard sale and flea market season! Go forth and have fun!

Posted in Clever Re-Uses, Holidays, Seasons, Suggestions, Timely Tips

Storing Holiday Ornaments and Lights

The best way to store holiday ornaments and lights is in original packaging. If you’re like most mere mortals, you’ve not kept it and it’s long gone. Here are some tips to help keep it all organized until needed next holiday season.

As written in another December posting, cardboard wine boxes with partitions are great for storing ornaments. If useful, you might write an inventory list on the box. Also good for small ornaments – egg cartons.

If you still have wrapping paper from opened presents and have access to a shredder, you might run the wrapping through it, then use the newly smaller pieces to cushion delicate ornaments. Bonus points – recycling!

If you’ve made food-based ornaments from salt dough and/or macaroni, place them in resealable sandwich bags. That will protect them from pests and humidity.

An empty coffee can is great for storing lights. Cut a slit in the plastic lid and place the plug end of the light string in it, with extra bulbs, if you have them. Include a piece of paper about where you strung the lights. Wrap the lights around the can to keep them tangle-free.

For each string of garland, attach a piece of masking tape about where you used it, to make next year’s decorating easier. You might loosely wrap the garland around a hanger, then place it in a big plastic dry cleaner’s bag. That kind of bag might hold artificial wreaths well, too.

Zippered garment bags will protect big lawn ornaments. Hang them in the garage, if you have one.

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About De-clutter Me!

De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been “bringing calm to chaos” since 2013.