Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New Uses for Old Things

-At a party, stash ice in a colander set on top of a bucket or a bowl. Water will drain out, and guests will get only the solid stuff.

-Use a clean toothbrush to remove stray threads of silk from freshly shucked ears of corn. The bristles will lift them away quickly and efficiently.

-Tuck a few needles, pins, and thread into a matchbox for an instant sewing kit.

-Cart condiments to a backyard barbecue. Slot flatware, ketchup and mustard in the compartments for easy transport.

-Have an old cassette case hanging around? (Oh, you know you do.) Coil iPod earphones and tuck them in to keep wires uncrossed.

-Use a lifeSaver as birthday-candle holder. (Candies in the original rolls provide the best fit―LifeSavers sold in big bags are larger and don’t work as well.)

-Forget unruly plastic bags that seemingly regenerate under your sink. An empty tissue box keeps them neatly corralled and ready for use.

-A hard plastic soap case is the perfect size to protect a camera stashed in a carry-on bag.

-A supermarket bag, tightly secured with a rubber band, will keep a brush (or roller) moist for a day or two in between painting sessions: the end of dried-out bristles.

-No more worries of camisoles, sundresses, and other slippery garments slipping off hangers when you wrap the ends with rubber bands.

-Save a countertop with an old mouse pad turned trivet. (Make sure it has a nonplastic coating.)

-No more oops! moments when painting, if you cover doorknobs and hardware with aluminum foil.

-That straightening iron works on more than rambunctious hair: Use it to press between buttons, where a regular iron won’t fit.

-When traveling, eliminate clunky bottles for nonprescription meds from your purse by popping the pills into a contact-lens case.

-Assemble a spray-cleaner arsenal by installing a rod in the closet or underneath the sink and then hooking the bottles onto it by their triggers.

-A clear hair elastic binds blooms together for a better arrangement in a wide-mouth vase. Stretch the elastic around the stems, then let the flowers fall naturally.

-Make no-mess pancakes with the help of a ketchup bottle: Pour in batter, then squeeze out precise portions.

-Rubber bands give little fingers a better grip on a chilly or slippery glass.

-An unused glass case makes a convenient storage spot for nail files, clippers and other manicure essentials while on the go.

-The cardboard tube from a spent roll of toilet tissue is a wonderfully simple tool for keeping extension cords tangle-free.

-A lemon works to remove tough food stains from a plastic or light-colored wood cutting board. Squeeze on the juice of one half, rub it in, and let sit for 20 minutes before rinsing.

-Slide bobby pins onto a hem to hold pleats in place as you iron them.

-Stick a sparkler in Play-Doh, then light it up. The container protects hands from flying sparks, preventing burns.

-Change dirty water in a flower vase by using a turkey baster to suction up the liquid without disturbing your arrangement. Add fresh water directly from the tap.

-Silence cabinet doors that slam with cork sliced into thin disks and glued onto the inside corners.

-Give Easter eggs a year-round use (and save on resealable bags) by filling them with snacks like crackers or Cheerios.

-Cut down on the amount of potting soil needed by crumpling plastic bags to fill the bottom of a deep pot (just be sure that you don’t cover the drainage hole, if there is one).

-Organize bills―arranged in the order in which they need to be paid off―in an unused napkin holder.

-Boost a meager bouquet to new heights by inserting short flower stems into plastic straws to give them greater stature.

-Shower-curtain hooks provide sturdy storage for heavier items, like purses.

-Liberally apply cooking spray to both sides of a plastic or metal shovel before clearing away snow, and ice will slide right off instead of building up.

-Stop tweezers from going astray by installing a magnet on the inside of the medicine cabinet and they will always be at your fingertips.

-Give cocktails extra pop with lollies in complementary colors subbed in for stirrers.


  1. Karen you are AWESOME!!!!!!!! I love all of these ideas.. I will be putting all of them to use.. Thank you so much for sharing them!

  2. Great tips!! It is so nice to see your post. I thought maybe you went on vacation and decided not to come back.

  3. Thanks guys!...I LOVE TIPS and anything else to make life more simple. I love sharing this stuff! Mel...I just STOPPED blogging... no reason at all...just did....but I wanted to post...and I will keep on it until...well...I don't!!