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Thread: encyclopedia of tips and tricks

  1. #1
    Senior Member NatalieF's Avatar
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    Lightbulb encyclopedia of tips and tricks

    AKA "life hacks"

    I thought I'd start a thread where we could post life hacks, tips and tricks and shortcuts that we've learned through the years to help make life easier and have them here in one spot for all of us to refer to. It can be about anything.

    For example..with Holiday baking on the horizon...

    When baking, before I even start, I fill my sink with hot soapy water. I then wash as I go. This way I'm able to reuse cups, bowls, etc.. rather than dirty a ton of them. You're also not faced with a mountain of dirty dishes when you're done cooking. There are often points in a recipe that you have to wait for a step to complete before you can proceed, such as baking a crust or waiting for chocolate to melt or something to cool, you can take advantage of this "wait" time and wash.

    This also allows me to easily bang out a few recipes without the horror of cleaning up after myself at the end of it all.

  2. #2
    Senior Member NatalieF's Avatar
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    I always keep a piece of paper pinned to my refrigerator. Every time I run low on something or grab the last one, I write it down. This way, when it's time to go shopping, I just grab my ready-made list. This is specially practical for things you may not use as often and not realize you're almost out of. Saves a lot of aggravation. I also do this at work for office supplies. Otherwise I'd forget that I was running out of scotch tape and needed to some next time I placed an order for pens & paper.

  3. #3
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    I keep my cereals and rice and grains in plastic containers such i.e. Tupperware, Rubbermaid, etc. I cut the directions strip from the side of the box and tape it to the container or on the inside door of the cabinet. Same goes for round oatmeal containers. Just use an exacto/craft knife to cut the strip away and attach to container or door.

  4. #4
    Super Member sewingsuz's Avatar
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    I was asked to bring a hot dish to Quilt Club and i did not have too much time so I put the frozen store bought Lasagna in glass casserole and bake it and they ate it all. When i bake cookies I have learned to cover cookie sheet with Parchment paper and the bottoms do not burn or get to brown before they are done.
    Suzanne
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Elise1's Avatar
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    On a standard sheet of paper I wrote out a list of all the grocery items that we buy. The list has several columns on it and it is in the order the items are found in the store. Using our printer, I print the list on both sides of the paper, (it is good for 2 shopping trips).

    Everyone in the family uses a highlighter to highlight the items that I need to buy. Before my weekly shopping trip I review the list and highlight what we need. At the end of the list is an "Other" spot for those items that are not on the list, (furnace filters, prescriptions, and other seldom bought items).

    My list saves a lot of time in the store and items are not forgotten.

    Elise
    "Be brave enough to be who you really are.

  6. #6
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    I have two adult grandchildren living with me. Before I started pinning a grocery list to the refrigerator I would go to get something I knew I had and would find it gone. Now they know if they use something to add it to the list.
    Carmen E.

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    An oatmeal box holds 2 rolls of toilet paper for reserve in the bathroom.

    Arrange spices in alphabetical order and on a rotating base in the cupboard. (Mine are old so not sure if can be found in the stores now. One is double layered. You know--if it's a good idea, they quit making it!))

  8. #8
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    I'm glad to see most of these I already do. Well, except the frozen lasagna one LOL, cool trick!!
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

  9. #9
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    I love the frozen lasagna trick. I usually go to the deli and buy some sort of salad, put it in a fancy dish and sprinkle some chives, paprika, or whatever I have on hand that goes with the salad and dress it up a bit. By now I'm sure my friends have caught onto me.

  10. #10
    Senior Member NatalieF's Avatar
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    I use plastic clothespins to close chip bags, cereal, cracker packages, dog food bag.... much less expensive than chip clips.

  11. #11
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    An empty, rinsed out Oxy-Clean rectangular container perfectly holds a bag of microwave popcorn for eating. No more spills!
    http://s1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh485/KitsieH/
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  12. #12
    Super Member wendiq's Avatar
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    To dispose of liquid medicines, first put some cat litter in a plastic container, then dump the medicine into the litter.....Label trash run some tape around the lid and container and dispose of. I was told this by a pharmacy. I also have found out that I can buy a prepaid envelope in which to put hard pills into and mail to a disposal site. I bought mine at the HMO pharmacy.....$4.95.

    PS. I like this thread.......

  13. #13
    Power Poster JuneBillie's Avatar
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    I use some empty plastic coffee containers for outside water bowls for when my bigger dogs are outside. I put a few together in the same place so they always know where they are.

    I use a wide plastic lid to draw out a circle needed for such things as a round mug rug etc.

  14. #14
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    I make my bed the first thing in the morning after I get up. That way if I spend the whole day in my sewing room I can at least say I accomplished one thing in the house.

  15. #15
    Senior Member ChrisDee's Avatar
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    my tip

    When drying blankets or big towells in the dryer, I throw in a tennis ball. It helps to decrease the static cling and seems to make them dry faster, and the tennis ball is the perfect weight for the dryer.
    Next to God we are indebted to women, first for life itself, and then for making it worth having.

    Christian Nestell Bovee,



  16. #16
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    I wait until after Christmas to buy the super soft lap blankets ($10 regular price, and goes down to about $2.50 after Christmas!) to make custom bathrobes, and to back quilts with. Below is a picture of my custom bathrobe. Just a basic shape, and simple sewing. (I did use fleece scraps for the facing.) Minky for about $2.50 a yard is cheap.
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    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

  17. #17
    Super Member citruscountyquilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elise1 View Post
    On a standard sheet of paper I wrote out a list of all the grocery items that we buy. The list has several columns on it and it is in the order the items are found in the store. Using our printer, I print the list on both sides of the paper, (it is good for 2 shopping trips).

    Everyone in the family uses a highlighter to highlight the items that I need to buy. Before my weekly shopping trip I review the list and highlight what we need. At the end of the list is an "Other" spot for those items that are not on the list, (furnace filters, prescriptions, and other seldom bought items).

    My list saves a lot of time in the store and items are not forgotten.

    Elise
    I do this too. It took a bit of time at the store initially to get things in the order they are on my list but once that was done it is so quick and easy. The only difference with my list is that I have space to write in things in each "aisle" category rather than at the end of the list so everything is together. Grocery shopping is so much faster that way because if there isn't anything highlighted in an "aisle" then I skip right by that in the store.

  18. #18
    Super Member lass's Avatar
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    I recently made Chicken Marsala. The chicken had to be pounded flat between wax paper. I had started saving the waxed bags inside my cereal box to use to wrap things up. I used the wax bag to pound the chicken flat. I only needed the one bag as it is more heavy duty then wax paper. It worked great and the chicken marsala was excellent.
    Education makes a people easy to lead;difficult to govern; and impossible to enslave

  19. #19
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    I have sooo many life tricks and hacks! what a great thread.
    Add to hamberger chopped/ground raw potato and your choice of herbs or spices
    Weed killer: 1/2 gal Apple Cider Vinegar 1/4 cup salt and 1/2 t. liquid dish detergent. Spray weeds
    Spray for mattresses Vodka (you can google 'Uses for Vodka" lots of info there
    Help in sprouting seeds 1 oz 3% Hydrogen Peroxide to one pint water let seeds soak overnight
    mosquito bites use inside of banana peel
    Leather use WD40
    retore wood coconut oil
    Pest prevention -- 1/3 cup soda, 1/3 cup suigar fill caps of milk jugs put under sink
    For grease ants put out whole closes
    For mice they do not like the smell of peppermint. one farmer bought peppermint tea bags and put in his machinery
    just discovered for snakes - put down the sticky stuff used for mice. works!
    I make lefse - I weigh amount of dough, set a timer as I roll and bake alone, and if you want completely round, before
    baking use a cover of something, cut around it and then bake.
    to deter flies from entering your house, punch 2 holes above the zip closurer of a zip lock bag, fill about 1/2 full of water
    then use succhen things to hang on your glass window of your door. flies do not want to pass through . they will
    come in on you tho.
    I could go on but this is enough

  20. #20
    Senior Member NatalieF's Avatar
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    I have two clothes hampers, one white, one blue. As we dirty clothes, we put them in the appropriate hamper (whites in the white hamper, colors in the blue). When it's time to do laundry, it's a breeze as it's already sorted.

  21. #21
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NatalieF View Post
    I have two clothes hampers, one white, one blue. As we dirty clothes, we put them in the appropriate hamper (whites in the white hamper, colors in the blue). When it's time to do laundry, it's a breeze as it's already sorted.
    I would need a third hamper, for what DH calls "the Barbie" load. All my hot pink, bright red, bright orange, etc, to keep the colors from spreading....
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

  22. #22
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    JANJJ----I want to hear more of your tips. really great.
    put off till tomorrow what you can do today, and if you procrastinate long enough, you may never have to do it.

  23. #23
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    I keep a printed list in my makeup case of everything we need to pack for a trip. My husbands list is on the left and mine is on the right. I copy and paste that list 3 more times on one sheet of paper. I tear off one strip to use that day and put the original sheet back into the case. I also have a hospital list to keep in 2 smaller bags since my hubby has to be admitted on short notice now and then. That way, he has what he needs and I have what I need to cover several days since we have no family to help out. He is deaf, so I have to stay with him the entire time - which can run into as much as 8 days. I have actually had to throw things together while waiting for the ambulance.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Notwendy's Avatar
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    I learned this from The Fly Lady (I find her writing style annoying but her methods work): get a cylindrical toilet brush holder that can hold water for each bathroom. Fill half way and add a squirt of cheap shampoo (Apple or Peach Suave is nice). Swish the bowls every morning. Also keep an all purpose cleaning spray in each bathroom and a roll of paper towels (or a stack of washcloths) and wipe the mirror, sink & countertop after you get ready in the morning. She calls this a Swish & Wipe. If you do it everyday your bathrooms will always be guest ready.

    Consistency is key and it really works. It is a great habit to instill in kids too.
    'Tacky' does not necessarily refer to the quality of adhesiveness.

  25. #25
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    Toothpaste (the white paste kind) can clean a surprising number of things. It's a mild abrasive and can work miracles on things like shoes and dirty plastic.

    Borax is a good ant killer. Ants crave either sugar or protein depending on the cycle of their colony - mix borax with sugar and put it out for the ants; if they don't go for it try peanut butter and borax. If you have pets, put the mixture into an old candy tin (like Altoids) and tape it securely shut and poke some holes near the bottom with a nail. The mixture works a little slower than a spray would, but I think it's safer around pets and it will eventually wipe out the entire colony since they add it to the colony's food supply.

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