Vail Daily column: Thirty ways to simplify your life
August 31, 2014
1. When reheating leftovers in the microwave space out a circle in the middle, it will heat up much more evenly.
2. Use a squeeze-ketchup bottle top (preferably a clean one) with your Shop-Vac to clean your keyboard, phone, microphone or other nook on an electronic device.
3. Don't burn yourself in those hard to reach candlewicks, light a stick of spaghetti then light the wick with that.
4. Put a small amount of water in a glass when you microwave your pizza to keep the crust from getting chewy
5. Use a staple remover to save your fingernails when trying to add things to your key ring.
6. After finishing a roll of toilet paper, slit one side of the cardboard "cuff" to fit around wrapping paper to keep it from unrolling
7. Use a bread tab to hold your spot on a roll of tape
8. Use a soda pop tab to offset hangers and save space in your closet. Loop the pop-top over one hanger and you can insert a second hanger into the other opening in the pop tab.
9. When staying in a hotel or motel and you don't have a charger, check the TV, they usually have a USB port.
10. Save money by taking that annoying sliver of soap from an almost used up bar and stick it onto a new bar.
11. Keep a square of cardboard in a zip lock bag to protect small, important documents like checks from rain and keep them uncreased.
12. Need a flathead screwdriver? Basic power plugs usually fit medium and large-sized screws
13. Rid yourself of suction issues that make it difficult to insert or take bags out of your kitchen garbage can by drilling a few small holes in the bottom of the can.
14. Insert charger cables into the springs from old pen refills to keep them from bending and breaking
15. Attach half a swimming pool noodle to your garage wall to protect your car door from slamming against it.
16. Use a magnet to find nails and studs in your wall.
17. The next time you look at an Interstate exit sign, notice if the exit number above the name of the street is on the right or left. If it's on the left, then the exit is left; if it's on the right, then the exit is right.
18. After popping microwave popcorn, separate the opening of the bag just enough for the unpopped kernels to fall out, then pour the popcorn into a bowl.
19. A frozen saturated sponge in a plastic bag makes a nice icepack that won't drip all over when it melts
20. Fill a plastic water bottle a quarter of the way full, and then lay it on its side in the freezer. After it has frozen, you can fill the rest of the bottle with water and have ice-cold water to go.
21. Wrap a wet paper towel around your beverage and put it in the freezer. In about 15 minutes it will be almost completely ice cold
22. Morton's Salt will absorb the color of the wine when rubbed into the stained area.
23. A paper towel and a hot iron will remove wax from your carpet. Heat the iron, lay the paper towel over the wax area and rub the iron over the paper towel
24. Peanut Butter, WD-40, Avon Skin So Soft will remove labels from any glassware
25. Kool-Aid drinkers take heart — Kool-Aid can be used to clean the pipes for your dishwasher. You add the Kool-Aid to the dishwasher detergent cup and run your dishwasher as normal. You can also use Kool-Aid to clean your toilet. I wonder what it does to your stomach?
26. Use a dry cotton ball to pick up broken glass. Cotton balls will even pick up the smallest of pieces of broken glass—so now we all know the real reason why women keep them!
27. For those of you who have children with quite a few stuffed animals, affix a piece of Velcro to the back of the stuffed animal then affix the other side of the Velcro to a wall. Now your kids will have a place to put their stuffed animals instead of using the floor or putting them under the bed.
28. A damp rubber glove will remove pet hair from your furniture or any other surface that has pet hair attached to it.
29. Instant coffee, baking soda and cat litter will remove the odors from your refrigerator.
30. You can unclog a drain by first pouring a cup of baking soda into it followed by a cup of vinegar. Let the mixture set for five minutes and then run hot water down the drain.
Quote of the day: "100 extra calories a day will add 10 pounds in a year—a hundred fewer calories a day will result in losing 10 pounds per year."—Dorothy Hastings, nutritionist and dietician.
Butch Mazzuca, of Edwards, writes regularly for the Vail Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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