If you have kids, you might be wondering how many new toys you’re going to have to find room for come next week. EC reader Beth has a great suggestion that will please everyone, even the kids.
BALANCED TOY INVENTORY. A family friend had a great system that avoided too many toys no longer being played with. Their children knew that each year after Christmas there would be a count of the new toys they received as gifts. They would then go to their rooms and find the same number of toys they no longer played with, to give away. Of the toys they picked, one could be put away and kept in a memory box.
As a family, they would take the toys and go to a local charity where they would donate them. Doing this each year helped to keep their house less cluttered and the kids learned a valuable lesson about making choices and allowing other children to benefit from things they had once enjoyed. Beth, email
SWEET SKIN CARE. I have a great home recipe for exfoliant that uses what I have in my pantry. I mix equal amounts of honey and cornmeal and apply to my face, elbows and heels. It leaves my skin feeling wonderful and it smells nice, too. Lee, email
RUBBER BAND GRIP. Instead of using those rubbery disks designed for gripping a jar lid to make it easier to open, simply put a rubber band or two around the lid and twist! It gives you a great grip on the lid and it’s much handier than keeping one more thing in your kitchen than only serves one purpose. Mara, Michigan
GRINDING THE GROUNDS. Instead of purchasing whole peppercorns for use in a grinder, I just fill my grinder full of regular ground black pepper. The grinds are big enough that when it’s ground again, I get a fresh ground pepper taste at a fraction of the cost. It lasts a lot longer than those tiny bottles of peppercorns. Jennifer, email
WRAP UP A BOUQUET GARNI. If you make soup, a bouquet garni (spices and herbs tied into a little bundle so they can be easily removed before serving) is a wonderful thing. But instead of buying cheesecloth for this process, I wrap the herbs and spices in a coffee filter, roll it or fold it and wrap it with string. I drop it in the soup pot and fish it out easily with a spoon when the soup is done. Jessica, email
FOIL SCRUBBER. One morning I faced a tough job cleaning the dried-on pancake batter in a bowl. Instead of reaching for a scrub pad, I balled up a piece of used aluminum foil and it worked perfectly to scrub the bowl clean. Brenda, Michigan
HANDY CHARCOAL LIGHTER FLUID. I’ve discovered that charcoal lighter fluid works well on removing the residue that stickers leave behind. A little on a cloth does the job. I also found that it does a great job getting oil paint out of brushes. It has very little odor and it’s a lot cheaper than the stuff you buy in the store for that purpose. Grace, Minnesota
Question: What do you do when your house gets overrun with toys? Share your ideas here.
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