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How to Fold that Hoard of Plastic Bags that Lives Under Your Kitchen Sink

by M.E. Gray

Life Hack: The quickest and easiest way to fold plastic shopping bags

I am pretty good about remembering to bring my reusable shopping bags with me when I pick up groceries. I walk in the store with my canvas bags, and I leave with my groceries and only those bags (and usually a pint of Ben & Jerry's - don't judge me). No matter how hard I try, plastic shopping bags still seem to magically appear under my kitchen sink. While tiny bags are handy to have around (fellow pet owners may agree with me here), keeping them from looking like a literal wad of trash is tricky. I'm here to share with you a folding technique to beat all others. It's by far the fastest, and definitely the easiest, way to fold a plastic shopping bag.    

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How to: Make a Modern Family Chore Chart Your Kids will Actually Use

by Lidy Dipert

How to: Make a Modern Family Chore Chart Your Kids will Actually Use

As our kids are getting a little older, I thought it might be a good time to introduce a simple chore chart to teach them shared responsibility, goal setting, and following through on commitments. Sometimes parents can be so hard on ourselves (and others) when it comes to the idea of putting our kids "to work" at a young age. I've even heard the term "child-labor" thrown around...which is, of course, silly and even dangerous.

I never thought I would say this, but "when I was their age..." I did chores around our house all. the. time. I started helping to clean at six, babysitting when I was 12, and was expected to cook for the whole family as a teenager. (I began working at a fast food restaurant when I was 14 and I'm still alive to talk about it!)

I'm proud of those experiences, and they taught me a deep sense of gratitude and a positive attitude. I think those are all experiences we want to give our children.  So! This is a super simple DIY to help your kids visualize their responsibilities and celebrate their little achievements along the way.   

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Make Cleaning Less of a Chore with this DIY Household Cleaner Organizer

by M.E. Gray

Handmade cleaning caddy - keep all your cleaning supplies in one place with this cute carrier

 

There are a couple rules-of-thumb when it comes to successfully keeping your home clean. One of those rules is that you should always keep your cleaning supplies in one place, and you should always put them back when you're done using them. A cleaning caddy meets both those criteria, and - bonus - makes carrying household cleaners from room to room super easy! I've been wanting to incorporate a carrier into my cleaning routine for a while now, and rather than purchase a cheap-looking plastic one that will surely break over time, I opted to make one instead.     

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Organize Dangling Earrings with this DIY Concrete Earring Tree

by Holly Wade

Organize Dangling Earrings with this DIY Concrete Earring Tree

I've tried multiple techniques for organizing earrings over the years, but dangling earrings tend to be more difficult to organize in an easy-to-manage way. Luckily, this simple DIY concrete earring tree does the trick and makes the perfect spot to hang several pairs of dangling earrings in a way that's easy to grab what I want and head out the door.         

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How to Clean Tile Grout

by Chris Gardner

 How To Clean Dirty Grout

Dirty grout is a common problem. But with so many cleaning tips floating around on the internet, it's hard to know what to believe. So I decided to take the guess work out of it by testing a few methods and reporting back to you. Read on to see what I discovered...  

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13 Things You Can Just Go Ahead and Throw Away Right Now

by M.E. Gray

New Years Cleaning Challenge: Get rid of these 13 things cluttering your home

It's a new year. Now that the dust has settled, you want to maintain the great start you've accomplished. That means you gotta make like Elsa in Frozen and just "Let it go! Let it goooo..." That's right, I've caught the purging bug, and I'm talking about getting rid of clutter. After the materialist pressure of the holidays, it always feels good to go through your home and do a quick purge. This January, take on this cleaning challenge and get rid of the unnecessary. Don't think, just act. Here are a few things you can go ahead toss without guilt or a second thought:         

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13 Things You Can Just Go Ahead and Throw Away Right Now

by M.E. Gray

New Years Cleaning Challenge: Get rid of these 13 things cluttering your home

It's a new year. Now that the dust has settled, you want to maintain the great start you've accomplished. That means you gotta make like Elsa in Frozen and just "Let it go! Let it goooo..." That's right, I've caught the purging bug, and I'm talking about getting rid of clutter. After the materialist pressure of the holidays, it always feels good to go through your home and do a quick purge. This January, take on this cleaning challenge and get rid of the unnecessary. Don't think, just act. Here are a few things you can go ahead toss without guilt or a second thought:         

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The Ultimate Guide to Making Your House Smell Amazing with Potpourri and Home Fragrance

by Erin Francois

The Ultimate Guide to Making Your Home Smell Amazing

As home décor and design enthusiasts, we spend a lot of time and consideration visually crafting our “perfect” home space, but how often are we actually thinking about the way it smells? From the psychology of scents, to removing unwanted odors, to incorporating home fragrance with style, we’ve created a comprehensive guide packed with everything you need to know to make sure your home smells as lovely as it looks.

 

 

Perfume History

 

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Responsible Adulting: 10 Fall Chores You Shouldn't Forget To Do

by Rachel Jacks

Fall chores you shouldn't forget

Now that people are putting up their Halloween decorations, picking apples, and making holiday plans, it's also time to face some fall chores. Wait, don't go! I know no one likes doing this stuff, but some of it's really important, and you can reward yourself with a trip to the pumpkin patch and an apple cider hot toddy when you're done. (Bribery: Not just for children and pets.) Here's our checklist of fall chores that you responsible adults out there won't want to forget.      

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Seriously Useful Apartment-Friendly Closet Organization Ideas for Renters

by Erica Young
Seriously Useful Apartment-Friendly Closet Organization Ideas for Renters
Photo: Elena Elisseeva/Shutterstock

 

Most beautifully organized closets have one thing in common - built-ins. Whether it be custom shelving or even IKEA installations, a little (or a lot) of construction is needed. But what if you're a renter, and you can't make any permanent changes to your closet? Are you doomed to a single hanger rod and basically a hot mess? Luckily we have some solutions that don't require a power drill. Read on for renter-friendly ideas that will keep your closet nice and tidy.

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How to Give Your Laptop the Deep Cleaning It Deserves

by M.E. Gray

How to clean your laptop

If you're sitting at your laptop right now, I want you to look down at your keyboard. Get really close. Close enough so you can take a peek under the keys. Now look at the screen. Move from side to side to get different angles. How's it looking? If your computer is like mine was before I cleaned it, then you're probably noticing a bunch of greasy fingerprints mixed with crumbs from lunches past. Real talk: When was the last time you actually cleaned your laptop? There's no shame if the answer is "never," and luckily it's a pretty quick clean. If your QWERTY is crusty, keep reading to learn how to clean your laptop at practically no cost.

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How To: Make Natural, Homemade Glass Cleaner

by M.E. Gray

How to: Make orange-scented homemade window cleaner

I've been on a green-cleaning kick lately. By "green" I mean natural, but also "green" as in money-saving! While paying four or five dollars for a bottle of cleaner might not feel like a big deal, it is when you consider how easy it is to create a similarly effective cleanser for a few cents a bottle. In an effort to convert all my cleansing products to homemade, I've recently whipped up a batch of homemade window cleaner that works just as well as the store-bought variety, and without streaking!        

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Two Weird Things You Should Start Putting in Your Dryer

by M.E. Gray

Two laundry hacks for your dryer

I'm always skeptical of "hacks" I see on the internet. Sometimes techniques touted as life hacks can be - well... hacky! On the flip side, we've tested a few hacks here on Curbly before with surprising success. I've seen these two laundry hacks pass through my media feeds a few times, and decided to finally give in and try them out myself. Both are supposed to optimize your dryer. Do they work? Let's find out!            

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How to Fold Everything in Your Dresser

by M.E. Gray

How to fold everything in your dresser

There's nothing quite like the frustration of trying to find a shirt in a dresser drawer packed full of balled up clothes. There's no order, and everything is kind of just shoved in there. While it may be tempting to just close up your dresser drawers when they start to get chaotic, being able to have everything nicely folded and visible will make getting ready in the morning a million times easier. So, rather than just tossing that tee in the back of the drawer, fold it properly the first time so you can find it when you need it. Keep reading for the best way to fold shirts, pants, socks, even underwear!         

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How to Fold Everything in Your Dresser

by M.E. Gray

How to fold everything in your dresser

There's nothing quite like the frustration of trying to find a shirt in a dresser drawer packed full of balled up clothes. There's no order, and everything is kind of just shoved in there. While it may be tempting to just close up your dresser drawers when they start to get chaotic, being able to have everything nicely folded and visible will make getting ready in the morning a million times easier. So, rather than just tossing that tee in the back of the drawer, fold it properly the first time so you can find it when you need it. Keep reading for the best way to fold shirts, pants, socks, even underwear!         

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25 Alternative Olive Oil Uses

by Chris Gardner

There are many olive oil uses beyond what you might normally think of (cooking!). It's an incredibly versatile substance that you can put to good use in a lot of interesting situations. Here's how ... 

olive oil uses

Nutritionists will continue to tout olive oil for its high content of healthful, monounsaturated fats, like oleic acid, and polyphenols. The fruit oil practically propelled the entire Western world in antiquity, and is mentioned in nearly every sacred text this side of the Tigris and Euphrates.   

As a cooking fat, it’s high up on the heart-smart  list…which works out, ‘cause it tastes darn good. (As a tip, Consumer Reports has rated Goya brand extra virgin olive oil [from Spain] as the best general purpose olive oil, and as their best buy. I whole-healthy-heartedly concur.)

Olive Oil

There are plenty of other olive oil uses around your home, outside of the sauté pan. There’s no need to waste your expensive Greek or Spanish Extra Virgin for these tasks, just grab a bottle of inexpensive, domestic olive oil for around-the-house use. You can cut down on excess oil by investing in a refillable spray can, such as the Misto.

1. Shave. Olive oil can provide a safe and natural lubricant for a close shave. Rub in an extra teaspoon after washing your body or face once finished.

2. Wood Furniture Polish. Wipe with a teaspoon of olive oil and a soft rag. Add a bit of vinegar of citrus juice to bulk up the cleaning power, and add a fresh scent.

3. Fingernails. Use a bit of olive oil to moisturize cuticles, or mix oil and water and soak your hands before a manicure.

4. Lubricate Measuring Cups and Spoons. Rub or spray olive oil on your measuring tools for easy clean-up of sticky substances like honey, grain mustards, and sugar syrups,

5. Control hair frizz. Comb a bit of olive oil through dry hair to tame the frizz and flyaways on humid days or in the winter.

6. Free a stuck zipper. Use a cotton swab to apply olive oil to the teeth of a zipper, then gently ease the tab down.

Zipper

7. Care for your kitty. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to your cat’s food to help prevent hairballs, and provide a shiny coat.

8.  DIY Lip balm. Mix olive oil and melted beeswax in a 1:1 ratio, with an essential oil for fragrance, and say goodbye to dry and chapped lips.

9. Stop Snoring. Take a sip of olive oil before heading to bed. It might lubricate your throat muscles, and stop yourself, or your partner, from snoring.

10. Shine stainless steel and brass. Rub a bit of olive oil on a clean rag to prevent streaks, corrosion, and tarnish.

Pots and Pans

11. Exfoliate your face and hands. Rub your skin with olive oil, then scrub with sugar or coarse salt, and rinse.

12. As you bathe. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to your running bath water. You’ll be amazed when you towel off.

13. Remove makeup. Dab a bit under your eyes, on your cheeks and forehead, then wipe with a damp cloth.

14. Cure an earache. Very carefully, use a cotton swab to apply olive oil to the outside ear cavity to help with earaches and excess wax.

15. Remove paint from your skin. Rub on olive oil onto messy hand and arms (or faces) and allow the oil to soak into the skin for five minutes, then rinse with soap and water.

16. Treat lice. Apply olive oil to your youngster’s hair, and leave on for at least 40 minutes. Shampoo twice, then apply a preventative.

17. Stop a throat tickle. Take a sip of olive oil to stop the itchy flicker that is making you cough.

18. Fix a squeaky door. Use a rag or cotton swab to apply olive oil to the top of a problematic hinge in your home or automobile. 

19. Shoe polish. Rub down your shoes with just a spray of olive oil to maintain their shine.

20. Personal Lubricant. It works…

21. Soften your skin. Rub olive oil daily on notoriously dry areas, such as your feet or elbows, especially after a shower, shaving, or waxing.

22. Easy clean up of garden tools. Spritz some olive oil on your tools to cut down on dirt buildup. Read more here!

23. Condition leather. Rub olive oil into worn leather, such as a baseball glove, and let set for 30 minutes, then wipe away any excess.

24. As a hair tonic. Comb some olive oil through your hair for the vintage look of pomade without the build-up, or add a bit to wet hair for grungy, but clean, look.

25. Cure diaper rash. Gently wipe on olive oil to your baby’s bottom to help with the irritation of diaper rash.

Curious about alternative uses for vinegar? Check out this useful cheat sheet!

created at: 03/27/2013

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9 Areas of the Home You Commonly Forget to Clean, and How to Deal With the Dirt

by M.E. Gray

You've cleaned your home from top to bottom - or so you think. Here are nine things most people forget to clean!

Occasionally you won't notice how dirty something in your house is until it's that dirt is called out. You drop something under your couch and discover a gang of dust bunnies living underneath. You throw open your curtains and find yourself in a front-row seat to a dust dance-off floating right in front of your face. Since it's spring cleaning season, now is as good a time as any to tackle those forgotten areas of your home. And don't feel...

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New Air, New You: Purify Your Home with These 7 Houseplants

by M.E. Gray

Air-purifying houseplants: Seven plants that can actually increase the quality of the air in your home

The month of January is usually all about improvement. You get a gym membership, you begin eating healthier, you buy a planner, and you start recycling. In this season of self-care, it's good to reflect on how our home benefits us - specifically, the things within our home. Houseplants are a great addition to any dwelling, not only because they visually make spaces feel more "alive," but because they are also good at improving health and productivity. Want some more good news? There are also air-purifying houseplants that can naturally clean out organic pollutants in your home. Check out these attractive plants that can make your home happier and healthier in the new year.          

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