Friday, July 29, 2011

Tools of the Trade-The Indispensables

Happy Friday!

I spent a bunch of time this week looking at all of the amazing blogs that are out there.
This causes me stress as my internal TO DO  list grows longer and time left in my summer break from school grows shorter
I better get busy!

You should read this post by Mari at For the Love of the House. 
She writes:
"I am a list-maker.
I love lists. 
I love making lists, I love reading lists,  I love crossing things off of lists (I always cross things off- even if I'm getting ready to throw the list in the trash I cross off 'accomplished' items first ;)"
Then she lists the 10 "housey" things she can't live without!

I AM NOT a list maker.
I HATE lists.
I LOVE other people's lists

But Mari's list had lots of things on it that I also consider to be indispensable.
I must really like you all because I am going to make you list of the "housey" things that I would hate to live without!
Chlorine Bleach-

Remember how much I like white?   Use bleach in the washer to whiten towels, jeans and other white clothes.   Bleach is great for cleaning all that green goo in your vases.  It is great for taking mildew off of anything....we spray it on the mildew that grows on our deck and siding.

 Good Scissors
Kitchen shears are strong enough to cut lots of things. It doesn't hurt to have one pair for food and another for all the other stuff.
Good old Fiskars are great for cutting paper, ribbon, cardboard and the like.  The pair in the junk drawer probably gets used 3 or 4 times every day.  
Dressmaker's Shears-Spend some money on these and you will thank yourself.  Keep them for FABRIC only.  Good shears will allow you to cut straight and clean lines.
 Steel Wool
The gunk on the bottom of your iron comes right off with a little steel wool.  The spots on your stainless flatware....gone with a couple of wipes.  You don't need to bother with special scrubbies with steel wool, just pinch off a tiny piece, use it and throw it away. 
Baking Soda
There are whole websites devoted to the uses of baking soda. Buy it in big bags at CostCo.  I leave the bag open in the laundry closet as an air freshener.  Use it to clean your anodized aluminum cookware, as an ingredient in homemade bathsalts, etc. etc. etc.
Floral Foam
If you want to arrange flowers easily, this is the real deal.  Buy 4 blocks for about $5 at any craft store.  It is a real time saver if you want your flowers to have a wow factor.
 Goof-Off
This stuff is amazing!  It takes dried paint off of woodwork and metal.  I takes off the goop from Goodwill stickers.  Many a time I have been able to take spots of unknown origin off of thrift store items and saved myself the trouble of refinishing.  Last month I used it to take some 15 year old construction adhesive off of a metal window screen frame. WOW! 
 Paddle Wire
Buy this in the floral department at any craft store.  Easy to cut and manipulate, you will find lots of uses for this.  You can use it for creating fabulous bows with wire-edged ribbon or even little loops to hang pictures if your frame doesn't have a hanger (just glue gun it on the back)During the holidays it is useful for wiring decorations together, securing lights, adding pinecones to arrangements.  Because it is so light weight, it is easy to hide.  You can buy this in green, silver, black, gold and copper.  Cheap too-around $1.

  

Bar Keeper's Friend
This is so much better than most abrasive cleansers.  I don't know what is in it, but it actually polishes copper.  It does the same jobs as other cleansers but seems to be less abrasive.  I even use it to polish silver plate items that are not especially good (it takes the tarnish off but does scratch a little). It is a great general stain remover too. 
 White Glue
Get a BIG bottle at HomeDepot or Lowes.  Besides the obvious, it can be thinned with water and used as a poor girls ModPodge, a fabric stiffener, semi-gloss coating over painted items.  It works for paper mache, collages and all sorts of other art projects. 





Secret Sauce
Try this simple, spicy condiment
1 tsp. dry mustard  2 tblsp Worcestershire sauce 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
Stir together and serve with chicken, steak or vegetables.  At our house, it takes the place of Hollindaise sauce.
 
I discovered I could keep going and going with this list....maybe this list thing isn't so bad after all.
So....what would be on your list of "housey" indispensables?
I would love to know your tricks!




 

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