Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Mom Tips - For Around the House, #5

I so enjoy the little "mom tips" that I've come across in life - those little things that I've learned from my mom, or a mom friend, that just make life a little nicer.  Things that make the "daily-daily" just a little easier, or make me smile a little more, or maybe will be a time saver for me.   
I'm not referring to the bigger projects like de-cluttering or re-organizing, (although those definitely make me smile)!  But just the small  things - the "mom tips" that aren't in the self-help books, they're just life-experience things that I've gotten from a mom with experience under her belt.  Well I'll share with you some Mom Tips for Around the House, #5; I hope they bring a simple breath of fresh air to your regular every day patterns!  *smile*

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

~ Unusually large amount of laundry to face - If you have an unusually large amount of laundry to do in a day, consider the approach I discovered this morning. Instead of getting out all of the hampers and sorting ALL of the clothes at once in to colors/whites piles ready to be rotated through, which completely clogs up our very small hallway by the laundry room, I instead am taking from one hamper a colors and a whites pile and starting with those - but leaving all the rest of the laundry in the other hampers until I have more room on the floor for more piles. Then every time I put a load in to the washer, freeing up a space on the floor, then I pull another load amount from a hamper so that's ready for me to wash. Unloading one load amount at a time until it's all gone through. And I'll have our laundry folders today (our two oldest daughters) fold clothes one basket at a time as I have them dried and ready. (They know it's a big day, and we just have to do what we have to do today to get caught up).

~ Need writing utensils to stand up strait -  For years I have been trying to get the few writing utensils that I use all the time to stand up strait in my desk/counter top organizer but they were forever falling down side ways and disappearing underneath things where I couldn't find them!  Finally it dawned on me to cut a 4-5-inch long piece off of a paper towel roll and tuck it down inside the holder where it would hold up my utensils invisibly.  Works beautifully!  *cheer!*

~ Don't smell the sugar  - I've been really trying not to eat sugar for a while now in an effort to lose the baby weight I've needed to get off.  But I found it especially hard when serving something like birthday cup cakes to the kids when I had to smell the sweetness and it made my mouth water!  Now this may sound silly, but I discovered that if I just breathe out my mouth and not smell the sugar I'm serving, then my mouth wouldn't water for the dessert and I was really fine with passing it up!  *laugh*

~ Keeping my pen handy - I am forever needing a writing utensil during our homeschool hours as I'm correcting school work and helping the kids; however I cannot afford to set down a ball point pen for one second when I need my hands free because we've had the little and middle kids even pick up that ball point pen and do permanent damage to our furniture or mark on the walls, etc.  So if I didn't have a pocket handy (often) I was carrying around a ball point pen every where I went.  It finally occurred to me one day that I should have a lanyard for my pen to hang around my neck!  I tried a couple of stores that carry lanyards but my pen wouldn't clip on to the end.  So I decided to use some pretty glass beads the kids had bought for me from Michael's Craft Supply store, and ask our 6-year-old daughter if she would like to string them for me.  She loved to, but when I used elastic cording it eventually broke (even when doubled over, and of a heavy guage).  I tried cotton string, but that got severed, too, and also broke (yes, leaving beads everywhere both times).  My husband suggested using some of the parachute cord string he had (from making manly bracelets for he and our sons) and that has worked great, with a key chain clip (also found at Michael's) attached to the cord so that my pen clip can't sever it.  I think one could also use fishing line if the beads are string snugly enough that the fishing line would never touch one's skin and risk cutting them if it were pulled on.  I feel like a well-prepared and even decorative mama now!


~ Making a to-do list more efficient - This is an idea that I had published once in Marriage Partnership Magazine.  *smile*  For 15 years I have simply organized my 8x10-inch To-Do list in to three groups, "Call", "Do", and "Go".  This way when I have a little time to get something done off of my list I don't have to waste that time reading the entire list trying to determine what I have time for at that moment!  *laugh*  If it's a good time to make a quick PHONE CALL then I can glance at my list and choose from the ones listed.  The errands I have to run I don't need to think about until the weekend when I GO shopping, so I don't need to spend time reading about them during the week.  Mostly I just look over my DO list and quickly choose something from there that can be done in those 5 or 10 free minutes I have to use right then.  Quick, simple, and doesn't waste my time.  *smile* 

(click to enlarge)

~ Coffee filter uses - Who knew?!  This is an awesome list of 27 great uses for coffee filters which my dad just sent to me!  You can buy 1,000 filters, even the large ones, at the Dollar Tree!  Here you go!
 * Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave, to catch splatters but still allow the dish to "breathe".

* Clean windows, mirrors, and chrome; coffee filters are lint-free so they'll leave windows sparkling.

* Protect your good dishes by separating them with a coffee filter between each dish.

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

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

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

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

* 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. 

* Prevent a popsicle from dripping.  Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.

* Apply shoe polish.  Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.
* Recycle frying oil.  After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with coffee filter.

* Cut out strips for waxing eyebrows. 
* Straining soup stock with them.

* Prevent spilling when adding fluids to your car.

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

* Use them as a spoon rest while cooking, and for cleaning up small counter spills.  

* Filter rain water for drinking.

* Use them to hold dry ingredients when baking, or when cutting up fruit or veggies; saves on having extra bowls to wash.

* Use them to wrap Christmas ornaments for storage.

* Use them to sprout seeds.  Simply dampen the coffee filter, place seeds inside, fold it and place it into a plastic baggie until they sprout.

* Use coffee filters as blotting paper for pressed flowers.  Place the flowers between two coffee filters and put them in the pages of a phone book.

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

* Soak all the grease out of fried bacon, french fries, chicken fingers, etc. by putting a few coffee filters in a plate and placing the food on them.

* Keep a few in the bathroom for stopping bleeding from razor nicks.  Tear off a tiny piece and apply.

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

* To absorb or prevent odors, put baking soda into a coffee filter, enclose it and insert into shoes or a closet. 

* Cut out paper snow flakes for windows or to hang from the ceiling.


Blessings on your creative efforts at home!

Lots more Mom Tips for Around the House!  *cheer!*
Mom Tips - For Around the House, #1
Mom Tips - For Around the House, #2
Mom Tips - For Around the House, #3
Mom Tips - For Around the House, #4

You also might enjoy reading my related posts:
Mom Tips - For Children's Things, #1
Mom Tips - For Cooking, #1 
Mom Tips - For the Car, Organization & Preparedness
Mom Tips - For the Kitchen  


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