Homemade Christmas Gifts - Make it Hard

Your grandmother made you a sweater, with her own hands. You say you love it, but you know you will never wear it. Your child crafted you a picture frame out cotton balls, but where do you put it? Show me someone who can easily part with even the most obnoxiously misspelled handicraft Besides being heavy to lift, those precious handmade plaster hand casts, end tables, and jewelry boxes are durable as granite and will survive six generations. Once made, you're stuck: since you usually don't want to be seen with them, they don't have a chance to wear out or get broken. I have a solid respect for what those schools and camps produce through a bunch of kids. They embalm a pile of popsicle sticks...

Seven Tips for Whittling Down Your Wardrobe

No matter how rich you are, whether it was a gift or not, non-used clothes are clutter. When you have so many clothes that they can't fit into the normal closets of s normal home- condo, dorm room, or apartment-you have too many! Remember, there's only one of you-and if you have to stash and box and truck clothes away to get room for the one's your're actually wearing, you have too many. I'm not in any danger of being elected to the ten best dressed list, but I try to always be presentable. The clothes in my closet take up only five feet of width. I have better things to do than sort through a dry-goods store inventory every morning. Here are seven tips for whittling down your closet. 1. If ...

Party Cleaning Pointers

The holidays are coming and that means lots of entertaining which leads to more cleaning. Here are a two tips to help you get through the holidays. The average party generates thirty-one stains, twelve of which are on the best furniture and at least half of which are red dye base, plus four broken and seventeen left or lost things, three scratches, countless pounds of scattered litter and waste. The most obvious but seldom-practiced party precautions is to triple the waste containers throughout the party area outside and in. Every guest (even the drunks) will look for a disposal site first, and if one is right at his elbow, he will make use of it, and others will follow suit. Likewise, once ...

School Papers and Projects

After investing many dollars to bring our babies into the world, then another $15,000.00 to $25,000.00 to get them six years old and into school ( plus an incalculable amount of love, effort, and emotion along the way), we seek evidence to assure ourselves they are going to be productive people. The first trickle of assurance comes in the form of some scribbled art done in kindergarten, and we snatch it up and place it into scrapbook storage. By first grade we actually see intelligent words (even if the letters are a little out of alignment); every sheet is collected. By the second grade sentences are being produced and they overcrowd the scrapbook and stuff the drawer. By the eighth grade, ...

Where is the Best Place to Store Cleaning Supplies?

"Under the kitchen sink" isn't the answer-yet most of us have the entire supermarket aisle selection under there, nice and handy for breaking our back and bumping our head and for the little ones to get into. There's rusting cans, bottles with disintegrating labels, and boxed cleaners that have turned into unidentifiable white lumps surrounded by soggy cardboard. All these items just waiting to be leaked on should your plumbing break. This is not a place to store your cleaning goodies. If you just removed all the snoutless aerosols. anything that's rusted shut or ruined, the accidental duplicates, the free samples you will never try, and the bottles and jugs that contain only a teaspoon of s...

Signs of a Serious Junk Problem

You may have a serious junk problem if you:
Hide when the doorbell rings
Wear your coat when you answer the door so your caller will think you were just leaving
Wait until dark to pull the car into the garage
Live in fear that someone you respect may someday open one of your closets
Have to think about how to cross a room
Finally find the Christmas tree lights while hunting for the Easter baskets
Finally replace a badly worn or broken part- then keep that broken part
Fear lifting the lid on some of the Tupperware containers in your refrigerator
Hide the tangled contents of a messy drawer by laying a couple of neatly folded things over the top
Drag your 22-cubic foot chest freezer into the yard to keep...

How to Clean a Wooden cutting board

Many of us have a wooden cutting board on our counter top or stashed in our kitchen cupboards somewhere, and we butcher more than meat on it- salads, carrots, and scraps all get worked on (and into it). The value of a "butcher block" is the very fact that wood is hard enough to work on but soft enough to allow knives and sharp tools to be used on it and even pierce it, without dulling the knife or chipping the block. Hence a block surface has only an oil treatment- none of the usual wood finishes like varnish or paint can be used on it. So the blows of our preparation instruments aren't the only thing it absorbs- food particles, fats,meat and vegetables, juices, etc. can soak in and provide...

Keep Your Data Safe: The Joy of Locking Your Computer

Here's a simple way to keep your data safe from potential bad actors in one easy step. Are you ready? Here it is: Log out and lock your computer whenever you're not in front of it.
That's right, it's so simple it can almost be seen as an analog approach to cybersecurity. But make no mistake, all those in-depth disk encryption efforts can be rendered pointless. If you step away from your computer while it's on and unlocked, anyone passing by can access it.
Working Remotely Promotes Data Vulnerability
What's perhaps most insidious about someone gaining physical access to your computer is the fact that the attacker doesn't need any advanced technical know-how to steal sensitive information. A mome...

Does a Modern House Need to be Aired Out?

Your Grandma always "aired out the house" in the spring. This airing out announced the coming of spring. but is it really necessary? Yes, it is! Today;s homes actually need airing out even more that Grandma's did.The house, which had been draft-proofed as far as possible with storm windows, heavy curtains, felt strips around the door and window frames, and blankets stuffed under the doors, was opened up to let the fresh spring breezes flow through. And as winter's cooking and heating odors wafted away on the wind, serious spring cleaning began.
But talk about closed up! Our modern homes make those of thirty or forty years ago seem like wind tunnels by comparison. You can almost feel your ear...