More Handy Housekeeping Hints

1. Make your own kitchen air freshener for the holidays. In a saucepan, bring a small amount of water to a boil and add cinnamon sticks and orange peel. Simmer under a low fire, and let the homey scent fill your kitchen. This will also work well with cloves instead of the cinnamon. For a fresh scent every day, use any discarded orange or lemon rinds you might have.

2. Do you have a child who wets the bed? Or a pet who has soiled his and you’re tired of washing the dog bed all the time? Remove nasty urine odors on mattresses with borax. Dampen the affected areas with cold water, and sprinkle borax over them. Rub the borax vigorously over the affected areas and let dry. Then brush off the remaining powder and it should be much fresher and cleaner.

3. Remove wallpaper easily with the help of vinegar and warm water. Mix equal parts of vinegar and warm water and roll it over the wall paper you want to remove using a paint roller, until the paper is thoroughly soaked. Repeat again about 30 minutes later. And wait 30 minutes more. The paper should peel off easily.

4. Place contrasting elements together to create a dramatic effect in a room. For example, if you have a glass and chrome table, group nicely upholstered chairs around it.

5. Mirrors are best cleaned with newspaper to prevent streaking. After wiping them with a rag soaked in soapy water, rinse and wipe dry with crumpled newspaper. The mirror should be squeaky clean, without any streaks.

6. Schedule once-a-week chores to save on time and electricity. Iron your whole week’s worth of clothes at the same time (while watching a movie, for example, to make the chore less tedious) instead of one piece at a time. De-frost all of your freezers at the same time once a month to keep them operating efficiently and to help sort them and check your log of what you have in each.Go to the supermarket once a week to save on fuel, and to shop the sales at the store.

7. To keep the kitchen free of spills and sticky drippings, transfer condiments, salad dressings, jelly and other messy items into plastic squeeze bottles, using a funnel to avoid spills. Keep the tips of the bottles clean and sanitary by wiping at the end of each use. Use a Q-tip if it really gets clogged.


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