The Mountain Times

°F Wed, April 23, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

20 creative household tips


I'm in the second half of my 20s now, which means it's time for me to move away from the dorm-room mentality and turn my house into a real home - by filling it with nifty DIY projects, ostentatiously cozy touches, imaginative reinventions of mundane objects, and time-consuming organizational structures! In order to learn how to circumvent the inherent chaos of human existence and basically turn my life into a "Better Homes and Gardens" spread while saving money and having fun with scissors, I've been trawling Pinterest and various mom-blog listicles for household tips.
Here are the 20 best I've come across:
1. Eliminate backyard weeds by spraying them with white vinegar!
2. Cut open toilet paper rolls and, employing them as cuffs, slip them over your wrapping paper to keep it from unrolling!
3. Use muffin tins to store old tennis balls!
4. If you accidentally allowed your milk to go bad, let it sit in the fridge for another few months - after which you'll be able to repurpose it as toothpaste!
5. Use greasy fast food wrappers to polish your dress shoes!
6. To save money on baking soda, substitute regular household drugs!
7. Use your cat's hairballs as loofahs!
8. For a handsome, inexpensive alternative to wood, hand-crafted tables and chairs can just as easily be made out of pretzel!
9. Save money on ping-pong balls by using fresh Brussels sprouts instead!
10. Instead of buying a TV and a DVD player, just buy a telescope and press your DVD up against the lens - I'm pretty sure you can see the movie in there!
11. Use halved, hollowed-out cantaloupes as cereal bowls!
12. Remove stains from white garments by dousing them with soy sauce!
13. Save money on toilet paper by using old potato skins instead!
14. Shave your head to cut down on shampoo costs!
15. Don't waste your money on condoms - just repurpose an old Pringles can!
16. Use your top-loading washer as a fish tank!
17. Puree three boiled turnips in your food processor - then put them in the freezer for four hours!
18. Use stale pieces of toast as coasters!
19. No need to buy laundry detergent - a solution of yogurt, seltzer, and mint jelly will do the trick!
20. Use mason jars for everything!
OK, OK - all of these are fake except the first two, and maybe the last one. Don't try any of the tips in between, especially not the one with the Pringles can.
Forgive me, for, every three seconds, someone posts an article on Facebook containing useful advice on how to rid one's bathroom of mold without pricy, unwholesome chemicals or how to make window curtains out of materials you already own - or, even more often, advice on how to solve a problem you didn't even know existed (because it didn't, until someone came up with a crafty solution: see tip #2 and the nonexistent menace of wrapping paper run amok) - and I'm not sure how much more I can take. Please, Internet, just let me wallow in my filth and wreckage while my finances steadily dissipate.
Is life a puzzle to be solved? Will my home finally become a happy place if only I can think of a way to repurpose that stained tablecloth? Can I really avoid bankruptcy by turning my lawn trimmings into a nutritious soup, thereby reducing my grocery bill? If I don't clean up my place a little, will Gwyneth Paltrow never be friends with me?
Either way, I really do think it would be cool to have furniture made out of pretzel.