Autumn has arrived and your wallet is emptying out right before your eyes. You’ve had a never-ending expense list that included school supplies, clothes and shoes for growing children and teenagers, who may not even be growing anymore, but whose wardrobes are so “first half of 2015”. And the list could go on!
You have to get organized — but does that mean more major purchases? Not necessarily, if you follow these life hacks for home and car!
Getting your house in order
Divide and conquer
Do you have THE drawer at home? As in: “Do we have any batteries? Look in the drawer. Do we still have the receipt for the washing machine? Look in the drawer. Do we have a safety pin? Check THE drawer!” You can organize it quickly by cutting out the bottoms of your cereal and cracker boxes to make made-to-measure dividers. Cover them with scraps of wrapping paper to make them look uniform or to create an eye-catching and eclectic assortment.
You can also use toilet paper rolls inside boxes to create new subdivisions. It’s the perfect way to store wires, cords and small items!
Double your closet space
Use soda can tabs to double up your clothes hangers and keep similar items together! You’ll save on space and it’s a cinch to organize your children’s clothing for each day of the week!
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Hang up your recipe books
You love your cookbooks, but you lack the counter space to spread your favourite recipes out. Here’s a solution! Use a trouser hanger to hang up your cookbook! It will keep the book clear of splatter—most of the time, at least.
A musical fix for plastic covers
Are the covers of your Tupperware containers strewn about while your CD-ROM rack is sitting virtually empty? Why not declutter your desk and keep your plastic covers neatly in a drawer or a cupboard?
Make your grocery list a work of art
Writing your grocery list on a white board with an erasable marker is practical, but not very pretty. Why not use a frame instead? Find one that’s glass-covered and write on the glass with a non-permanent marker. You’ll feel like the Picasso of shopping lists!
Let an elastic band hold the door for you
You’ve bought all the necessary school supplies and done enough grocery shopping to feed an army. Now you have to bring it all in from the car. Try using a rubber band to keep the door unlatched, so you can scurry back and forth without the fear of locking yourself out!
Don’t waste time searching for the right key, while the kids are getting impatient and your grocery bags are scattered. Use nail polish to paint the end of each key a different colour and you’ll find them in a second! Plus, your children will love having their own cool personalized keys!
Protect your car
Pool noodles to the rescue!
These foam tubes only cost a few dollars and they’re fun for kids in the swimming pool. They can also prevent damage to your car doors! Cut them in half and screw them to your garage walls at the level where the car door would hit them if your youngest child were to open the door. It may not be elegant, but it’s better than a dented door or a gash in the wall!
Brush your headlights with toothpaste
Looks like headlights and your dentist have something in common: they’re both partial to toothpaste! Apparently cleaning your headlights with a little toothpaste will help make them clear and bright.
A handy trio: duck tape, socks and cat litter
Some objects have many different uses. Duck tape (or duct tape) can be used in a pinch to patch up a dangling side mirror or bumper—VERY temporarily, mind you. And the roll of tape itself can play double duty as a makeshift coaster if you need an extra one.
With all due respect to our mothers, a pair of socks can’t prevent us from catching a cold. However, slipping a pair over your windshield wipers can help protect them from ice crystals. Putting socks over your shoes can help prevent falls (the socks increase traction on ice, producing the opposite effect of socks on a hardwood floor).Wearing socks over your gloves keeps your hands warmer, so you can spend more time clearing the ice and snow from your car. But, don’t make it a fashion statement!
As for cat litter (fresh out of the bag or box — now is no time for recycling!), keep some in your trunk; it adds weight, which can help stabilize your car. The roads can freeze up quickly and spreading litter under the wheels can provide traction in an emergency. It can also help to absorb liquid messes, big and small.
Give yourself extra peace of mind this autumn by taking a little time to put your home and car in order. Send us your tips for organizing your belongings and tell us if you used these ideas to take your preparation skills to the next level!