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HOUSEHOLD TIPS]Much time and money can be saved by using everyday household products to solve common household problems. Besides being cheap and effective, they are also much more environmentally friendly.

1. Stubborn stains on pots and pans are normal problems in most household which can be removed by boiling a cup of water together with two tablespoons of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar in the stained pots and pans for about twenty minutes.

2. Stubborn coffee stains in mugs can be removed by placing the mug with some vinegar in it in the microwave for about a minute or two.

3. Cars with stained fabric upholstery can be unsightly. To remove them, one can just dab some shaving cream on it. Then, rub and wipe away the shaving cream with a clean, damp cloth.

4. Storing chillies in freezers immediately after purchasing them will make them last longer.

5. A limp-looking stick of celery does not look appetizing. Placing the celery in ice water together with a peeled and sliced raw potato for about thirty minutes will make it look fresh once again.

6. Price tags or stickers on items bought at the supermarket leaves a sticky stain if not removed properly. The stickers or price tags can be easily removed by applying some vinegar over it and wiping it away five minutes later. Putting them in the freezer for a while works just a well.

7. Blunt sewing needles can be sharpened just by stitching through sandpaper. This also applies to blunt scissors which can be sharpened by cutting through sandpaper.

8. Dull looking aluminium pots and pans can be brightened up just by boiling a few pieces of apple peels in them.

9. Many people are concerned about their dry lips. Try applying a warm teabag to cleaned lips for five minutes. This will help to retain the moisture in the lips, resulting in a smoother appearance.

10. Ever wondered whether the eggs you are using is really fresh? Worry no more. To test for freshness, just submerge the eggs one at a time in a big bowl of water. If the egg floats, that means it is stale. If it stands upright on its pointed end, it is not fresh either. The freshest eggs are those that lie flat at the bottom of the bowl of water.

11. To prevent tools from turning rusty in tool box, put in some mothballs or a piece of chalk.

12. Try removing stains made by ballpoint pens by using hairspray or milk.


Plan your wardrobe

Reorganize your closet several times a year, making sure seasonal items are most accessible. Keep within reach garments that you may require for a business trip, dressy evening, funeral, holiday in the sun in winter, skiing holiday in summer, etc. After leafing through fashion magazines, try on your entire wardrobe at the start of every season; decide what fits, what is in fashion, what goes with what and what purchases you need to make to update your look.

Discard whatever doesn’t look fabulous (keep what you may wear in future and swap/give away what you will not).

Keep things handy

Place the clothes you are most likely to wear (i.e., your weekday clothes) at the center of closet. Place your weekend wear and nightwear on either side , and place the clothes you are least likely to wear (i.e., evening clothes, off-season apparel and accessories) in the least accessible location.

Maximize space

Divide your closet in three sections according to garment length: 1) pants hanging from the waist or hem, men’s suits, dressing gowns and evening dresses; 2) women’s suits and dresses; 3) jackets, vests, blouses/shirts, folded pants, skirts.

Superimpose two hanging rods in at least one of those sections. Place your shoes in shelving units on the floor (as many shelves as your need/have room for). Place your sweaters, T-shirts, folded shirts, handbags, hats in shelving units installed above the hanging rods (if necessary, keep a stool handy).

Save time

Group garments by color to find things more quickly without confusing navy blue and black. If looking right is of primary importance, group your garments in ready-to-wear ‘ensembles’.

Use the right hangers

Hang your coats and suits on wood hangers of the appropriate size, hang pants and skirts with the matching jackets. Use padded hangers for delicate fabrics, knitwear, evening wear and nightwear. To save space, place garments you wear less often on multi pant and shirt hangers.

Be ready at all times

Make sure your clothes are always clean and pressed/ironed and be sure to make repairs, sew on buttons, polish shoes/bags as soon as you notice something needs doing.

Visit Clever Clarissa’s website for tons of Household Tips []. Make sure to sign up to Clarissa’s Newsletter for more tips, advice and recommendations.

A car that is clean, that smells good, and that drives well is not only safer and more enjoyable for you and your family; it will also retain more of its value. You will be able to get more car for your dollars when you next upgrade your vehicle, so it is important to keep your investment in good shape!

Here are a few, low-cost tips to help keep your car in the best shape possible.

A winning routine – Check the windshield washer level, the engine oil level and the tire pressure on a regular basis and before going out-of-town or on a long journey. Replace the blades of your windshield wipers every year before the start of winter.

One-step wash – No matter how dirty your car is, simply wash it with a solution made from one cup of kerosene dissolved in one bucket of plain water. Wipe it thoroughly with a soft cloth and voilà! There is no need to rinse or wax. The treatment helps prevent rust and rainwater will actually bead off the car.

Kitchen aids – Sprinkle baking soda onto a damp sponge to remove dirt and grime from windows, headlights, chrome accessories and trims; rinse and dry. To remove dead insects from your windshield, rub it with a ball made from plastic net bags (the kind onions come in).

A cocktail of sticker removers – You have the choice of using nail polish remover, lighter fluid, lemon extract, salad oil or hot vinegar. Saturate, let set a while (if needed) and then gently scrape with a razor blade or a knife.

Speedy camouflage – Hide scratches and small nicks by delicately working a matching colour crayon into them. Remove tar spots by soaking them with raw linseed oil until soft; wipe with a soft cloth dampened with the oil.

Remember that as cars and trucks go, prevention is the key. An issue that could’ve cost $2 to fix may end up costing you $500 because you waited. So take the time to deal with little problems before they become big ones!

Visit Clever Clarissa’s website for tons of Household Tips []. Make sure to sign up to Clarissa’s Newsletter for more tips, advice and recommendations.

Here are a few more tips to help with your automobile:

Plan ahead — Join an automobile club, especially if you drive a lot and/or if your car is several years old. Keep the following on hand: owner’s manual, key information on insurance and automobile club membership, maps, change for parking meters, flashlight, knife/penknife, pen/pencil and pad, lighter/matches, first-aid kit, emergency tool kit, water, nuts/granola bars/candy, tissues, sunglasses, extra pair of glasses/magnifying glass, plastic head-covering, umbrella and blanket. A cell phone can be a lifesaver — provided service is available.

Establish your I.D. — Drop your business card or other form of I.D. down the window slot, should you need to prove the car belongs to you some day. To establish ownership of a bicycle, roll the card around a pencil and insert it into the bicycle frame under the seat.

Save time and energy — To avoid the chore of scraping your windshield in freeze-up conditions, place your rubber floor mats on the windshield and secure them with the wipers.

Halt corrosion — Corrosion-proof your battery by scrubbing the terminals and holder with a toothbrush dipped in a weak solution of baking soda and water; grease lightly with petroleum jelly. At the end of the winter, remove salt residue from the carpeting in your car with a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water.

Fit into a tight spot — A ball suspended strategically from the ceiling of the garage can help you avoid smashing into the back or side wall or closing the garage door over the trunk of the car.

Prevent lock freeze-up — Wipe or spray the rubber gaskets of your locks with a heavy coating of vegetable oil to seal out water without harming the gaskets.

Get free traction — Always keep a bag of sand and a shovel in the trunk of your car in the winter (in addition to an ice scraper and snow brush). A bag of kitty litter can also be useful; it provides excellent traction over ice and snow. In a pinch, use your rubber mats to gain traction.

Avoid a service call — If your car will not start on a cold morning, try blowing hot air from a hairdryer on your carburetor.

Avoid another service call — If your car locks are frozen, heat your key with a cigarette lighter or match; turn it in the lock very gently, without forcing. Always keep an extra key in a magnetized box stuck on the car’s underside.

Always remember that just like a house or condominium, a car is one of your assets, sometimes a valuable one, and should be treated as such!

Visit Clever Clarissa’s website for tons of Household Tips []. Make sure to sign up to Clarissa’s Newsletter for more tips, advice and recommendations.

Are you aware of the amount of water you use daily? The amount of water used by the average family in the United States today has increased dramatically from what it was 40 years ago. Add to this the fact that the population also has increased while climate changes have reduced the amount of available water in many regions, and you get water shortages that create severe problems and may even threaten our very existence.

Small changes make big differences. If you live in an area where the H2O supply barely meets demand, the changes you make may mean someone else has enough for his needs. When you decrease water usage by just one gallon, you provide more than enough water to supply another person’s needs for drinking water for one full day. When each person does his part in using water frugally, crops may get enough water to grow, livestock have water to drink and farmers and ranchers stay in business.

A few simple tips as to how you can help are:

1. When brushing your teeth, shut off the water except when you moisten or rinse the toothbrush. Fill a glass with water to rinse your mouth. You conserve water at the rate of 3 to 7 gallons for every minute the faucet is shut off.

2. Shut the water off while you shave. Run a little H2O to fill the sink to a low level for rinsing the razor. Turn the water on again briefly to rinse your face.

3. When you get ready to take a shower, catch the water that runs before it is to the temperature you like. Use this water to rinse produce, H2O plants or fill the toilet tank. Or pour it into your washing machine for your next load of clothes.

4. If you prefer baths, stopper the tub before you turn the H2O on. Adjust the temperature as the tub fills. For a quick bath, fill the tub to a low level and turn the water off. Because water removes dirt and soap, you still will be clean once you use the water and a washcloth to bathe.

5. Wash clothes only when you have a full load. If you must wash a partial load, set the machine to a lower water level. Spot-treat stains before washing. Use less detergent and bleach so that the clothes do not need a second rinse. To be really frugal, catch the rinse water as it pumps from the machine in the final spin cycle. This H2O can be used to water plants. Let it stand 24 hours before using if there is any possibility it contains chlorine.

6. If you have a dish washer, run it only when full.

7. When rinsing dishes by hand, stopper the sink and then fill it with water. Or fill a dishpan and rinse the dishes in the pan.

8. Keep a jar or pitcher of cold H2O in the refrigerator instead of turning on the faucet and running the water until it is cold every time you want a drink.

Learn more about Recycled Water and other valuable Water Saving Tips by visiting the website of Central Basin today.

In fighting mildew, special precautions apply to certain items or areas:

Valuables — Always consult a professional when dealing with expensive antiques, upholstered furniture or carpeting/rugs.

Books and magazines — If you have trouble drying the pages, sprinkle cornstarch or talcum powder between the pages to take up the moisture.

Apparel and textiles — Moisten the mildewed area with lemon juice and salt; then, dry in the sun. After testing the fabric, immerse briefly in a 50/50 solution of peroxide and water; wash thoroughly, rinse and dry.

Bathroom tiling and accessories — To avoid mildew, let the shower curtain hang loosely so it dries quickly. Thoroughly rinse the rubber bath mat after every use and place it over the edge of the tub to dry. Toss your plastic shower curtain or liner into the washing machine with other clothes, provided the water is not too hot. If your shower curtain is mildewed, soak it in a solution of chlorine bleach and water. Scrub mildewed grouting with an old toothbrush.

Confined spaces — Keep a light permanently turned on in a damp closet or musty corner of the basement. Install louvered doors to promote air circulation or leave solid doors open on occasion. Place silica gel (a chemical used for drying flowers) in an open container or a cloth bag (the granules are reusable after being dried in the oven).

Exterior walls – A moderate roof overhang will minimize moisture on exterior walls, as will gutters and downspouts. Landscaping can also play a role: Keep shrubs away from walls and arrange them so that natural breezes can flow near the house. Give special attention to air movement patterns on northern exposures where sunlight cannot assist in drying. A glossy or semi-glossy latex paint or an oil paint with an appropriate primer is recommended for siding materials that tend to absorb moisture from rain or dew. Use a water-repellent finish (often combined with a wood preservative) for wood siding that is stained or left to weather naturally.

Visit Clever Clarissa’s website for tons of Household Tips [] Make sure to sign up to Clarissa’s Newsletter for more tips, advice and recommendations.

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