Helpful household tips
New bedroom wastebaskets: My children needed wastebaskets in their bedrooms as that is where they do their homework—away from the television. I didn’t have the money in my budget for such an expense so we looked around for a substitute. A family member had ‘blessed’ each child with a huge tin of popcorn at Christmas time a couple of years ago and after emptying the tins of the goodies, they just got shoved in a closet.
We rescued them from the closet, and I lined each one with a plastic grocery bag and we were in business. The kids liked them alright, but didn’t think much about Santa Claus in August—it just didn’t look right! So, as soon as family finances allowed, we bought some of that “sticky backed” shelf paper at the hardware store (everyone wanted their own different pattern) and the total cost for each of the wastebaskets was just .59 cents each. The kids felt pretty good that they recycled something they already had for under a dollar each.
Stinky sheet solution: My son is a high school football player and comes home evenings sweaty and dirty after his daily practices. He showers, does his homework and goes to bed. But, he sweats so much at night that the sheets are soaked come morning and has to be washed along with the mattress pad. I wash them daily, but noticed that there is still a “perspiration smell” regardless of what kind of laundry detergent I used on the bedding.
A friend of mine shared her secret (she had several boys playing at the college level in football, basketball and track and knew what I was talking about.) She said to fill the washer with hot water and add 1 cup of powdered dishwasher soap. It’s a little more expensive than regular laundry detergent and I don’t use it every time I do his laundry, but I can now wash the bedding and have no more “stinky sheets.”
Two-way puzzles: My little ones love puzzles, and I’ve come up with a way to get “double-duty” out of them. (I buy puzzles with 30 pieces or less as they are just 3 and 4 years old.) When we get a new puzzle we put it together the first time with the underneath side facing up. We then put either alphabet letters or numbers on the back side of each puzzle piece. Sometimes I use uppercase and sometimes lowercase for the letters. And print the numbers up to 25 or 30, depending on the pieces in the puzzle.
Folks coming to my home are likely to see one kid putting together the mouse puzzle and the other kid is lining up the numbers on a piece of cardboard (puzzle backside.) The kids love the confused look, and they are learning fast.
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