Readers' tipsHome » Latest issue » Good, issue 24 » Readers' tips
The satisfaction of a well run home can be found in small victories over waste, muddle and mess
Save money and make beautiful bath salts by combining washing crystals (available at the supermarket) with a few drops of your favourite essential oil and a few drops of food colouring. Mix everything together in a recycled icecream container and store in lidded jars. Add a sprinkle to your bath water and relax or give away as gifts in a hand-decorated jar.
For a delightful homemade body scrub that wakes up the senses, mix white sugar, a little cocoa powder and enough olive or almond oil to form a thick paste. Combine together in a bowl and spoon into screw-top jars. Use as you would any other scrub or give them away as gifts.
Gifts from the garden
Take the opportunity in this season of fabulous fresh fruit and veggies to make a few batches of relish, chutney, jams or preserved fruit. If you label things beautifully now with the date it was made and the ingredients used, you’ll have a ready-made supply of gifts for the rest of the year. Whether it’s a friend’s birthday or a housewarming party, you’ll be able to show up with a jar of homemade preserves.
New uses for old items
Re-use your old toothbrushes for cleaning those tricky spots in the bathroom and kitchen, such as around the taps. Old toothbrushes also make great guinea-pig brushes!
I like to wash and reuse small sandwich-sized ziplock bags that are used in supermarkets’ bin products. I used to have problems drying them until I discovered that a heavy-based coffee mug on the window ledge filled with chopsticks made a perfect drying rack. One bag to a chopstick provides just the right angle for draining and airflow.
When you go for a coffee at a cafe, instead of throwing away any unused paper serviettes that come with your food and drink, take them home to wipe up small spills on the kitchen floor instead of using a cloth.
Upgrade your wardrobe
When clothes are stacked on top of each other in your drawers you can’t easily see what’s underneath. Instead of lying folded clothes flat, try stacking them vertically (like a filing cabinet). Not only does it save space, but you can see exactly what clothes you have in your drawers. My husband and I recently folded all of our clothes following this method and cleared out a whole dresser – saving us having to buy a new one for the baby we’re expecting.
For the little ones
When little toddler fingers get jammed in a tight spot, fill a plastic container with water, pour in some frozen peas and let them play. It’s much easier than holding on to an ice pack and a great distraction as well. When making baby food, freeze individual portions in silicone mini-muffin trays. They retain their flexibility when frozen, which seriously reduces the frustration of removing them!