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Our Top 50 Home Living and Organization Hacks (Part 2)

Uncle Bob's Household Hacks Part 2

You’ve seen the first half of our list of the 50 best home living and organization hacks. Get ready – we’re about to take you to number one.

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Last week, we shared the first half of our list of the 50 best home living and organization hacks. Get ready – we’re about to take you to number one.

If you have clever household hacks of your own, please share them in the Comments section below or tweet them to us at @LifeStorage. We’d love to know how you are bringing serendipity to your home organization efforts. Enjoy!


Top 50 Home Organization Hacks: Numbers 25-1


25. Use storybook pages as children’s placemats.

Storybook Placemats

Add whimsy to your futile attempts to keep meals in the general vicinity of the young children at your table. Real Simple suggests “sandwiching favorite storybook pages between lamination sheets” to make fun, colorful placemats that will put a smile on your face as you calculate the cost of a new tablecloth.

 

24. Add storage to your bathroom with a second shower curtain.

Second Shower Curtain Rod

Double shower curtain all the way! Shower / bath storage is always tricky – as Huffington Post scribe Michelle Manetti notes, suction cups and catch-alls rarely seem to perform as advertised. “Before you know it,” Manetti writes, “you’re getting hit in the head with a bottle of shampoo.” A second, hidden shower curtain is a great place to hang storage containers which prevent clutter, mess and conditioner concussions.

 

23. Build sliding storage on your garage ceiling.

Storage Bins on Your Garage Ceiling

A garage gets cluttered fast. Suddenly, you’re parking in the driveway. Utilize that space as much as possible — including the ceiling. The Family Handyman has easy instructions that show how to rig overhead wooden runners that support oversized plastic storage bins. Great for seasonal stuff like holiday ornaments, gardening equipment and sporting goods.

 

22. Try the Discardia closet trick to eliminate extra clothes.

Discardia Hanger Trick

Discardia is a holiday created by author Dinah Sanders that “helps you solve specific issues, carve away the nonsense of physical objects, habits, or emotional baggage, and uncover what brings you joy.” The Discardia closet trick is simple: when you wear an item of clothing, turn the hanger backwards. After six months, garments on any forward-facing hangers get donated. If you haven’t worn the item in a half year, you can live without it.

 

21. Use tension rods to divide your cupboards.

Tension Rods in Cupboards

Cupboards can cause the dilemma of Too Much Space – we indulge the urge to jam stuff in there because, hey, it fits. Martha Stewart recommends staying organized by adding vertical tension rods to store baking sheets, cutting boards or serving trays.

 

20. Add sliding pegboard storage to keep tools hidden yet accessible.

Sliding Peg Boards

According to Bob Vila, pegboards gained popularity in the 1950s as “a clever, simple, and inexpensive way to keep everything from tools to crafts to kitchen cookware and utensils in place.” Functional, yes. Aesthetically pleasing, not so much. If you don’t want to slather your walls in dull brown pegboard, build simple slides beneath shelves or cabinets that allow you to hang tools on pegboard hooks. Your tools stay organized and out of sight. American Woodworker has easy instructions online.

 

19. Organize the refrigerator with pull-out baskets.

Fridge Pull-out Baskets via Goodbye, House! Hello, Home!

Leslie at the Goodbye House, Hello Home blog illustrates (graphically) how nasty a disorganized refrigerator can get – and how much nicer it can be when properly cleaned and then organized with handheld, pull-out baskets. The baskets make storage and regular wipe-downs much more simple.

 

18. Use ice cubes to remove dents from carpets.

Fix Carpet Dents With Ice

I mentioned this trick in our earlier 12 Genuinely Cool Household Hacks and Products Get Stor-ganized post, but our voting public really loved it – so here it is again. If you find that your carpet has those obnoxious furniture dents, simply leave an ice cube on the divot and let nature take its course. Steam-ironing the divot will also work.

 

17. Rig a magnetic rack to your kitchen wall to store utensils.

Magnetic Knife Rack

Save yourself a trip to the ER when you accidentally “find” that paring knife you thought you’d lost in the utensil drawer. TheKitchn.com recommends hanging a magnetic strip horizontally under cabinets, vertically in an open space, next to the range or even inside a cabinets to clear out the drawer, make your kitchen tools more accessible.

 

16. Hang perfectly level pictures.

Hang Level Pictures on Walls with Painters Tape

Who has burst into wildly profane swearing jags when all attempts to carefully position a piece of art still results in a crooked picture? (raises hand) Save the ears of impressionable children and take the shockingly simple advice of PetaPixel.com’s DL Carr – place a piece of masking tape between the hanging points on the back of your picture, then apply the tape to the wall using a level before inserting your mounts. Works every time.

 

15. Clean your ceiling fan with a pillow case.

Clean a Ceiling Fan with an Old Pillowcase

Get a stool and check the blades of your ceiling fan right now. Gross, right? These delicate fans are actually super-easy to clean, as Real Simple’s Simply Stated blog notes – just slide a pillow case over the end of the blade and then gently pull back, taking the dust and dirt with you.

 

14. Store holiday ornaments in egg cartons.

Small Ornaments in Egg Carton

Nothing ruins the holiday spirit faster than a boxful of shattered glass and porcelain. Wikihow recommends placing fragile ornaments in used egg cartons, then storing the cartons in a firmly packed box. Pick a safe place — your new sliding garage ceiling storage, perhaps?

READ ALSO:  How to Creatively Repurpose Old CDs and CD Cases

 

13. Create additional storage space beneath your sink with a tension rod.

Tension Rod Under Sink

From Gordan at the I’m Not a Cook blog:

“The area under the sink is the standard place to store all our cleaning products, and by simply installing a tension curtain rod, we can now organize all our spray cleaners together, clearing up room and making it easier to access our supplies.”

Well put, Gordan.

 

12. Make an in-drawer charging station.

In-Drawer Charging Station

A sign of the times: an iPhone on the floor, tethered to a nearby electrical outlet. Another sign of the times: a cracked iPhone screen. Avoid unpleasant accidents and follow this bit of Apartment Therapy advice — cut a small hole in the back of a nightstand or desk and use a drawer as a hidden charging station.

 

11. Clean up glitter with a lint roller.

Use Lint Roller to Cleanup Glitter

If you’ve ever had an in-house glitter explosion as part of an arts and crafts project or pre-clubbing mishap, then you know how impossible it can be to get glitter off of even a seemingly smooth surface. An easy solution from Sarah Lipoff of Pop Sugar: use a lint roller. The sticky roller sheets collect loose glitter quite efficiently.

 

10. Make eco-friendly furniture polish with vinegar and Canola.

White Vinegar & Canola Oil Furniture Cleaner

Go green! Hannah Stevenson of the Lily and Thistle blog offers step-by-step instructions for creating an effective furniture polish out of two everyday household items: white vinegar and Canola oil. Actually, there are only two steps – mix it, then use it.

 

9. Clean small toys in a laundry bag.

Clean Small Toys in a Laundry Bag

Kids are wonderful, but their mitts can get a little grubby – and so, in turn, do their toys. You clean your kids, you give them the same toys, and the dirty toys get your kids’ hands grubby again. Break the cycle! Load small toys like LEGOS into a laundry bag and toss them right into the washing machine. Forty-five minutes later, you have clean toys and clean hands for a few minutes, at least.

 

8. Light a candle with a dry spaghetti strand.

Light a Candle with Spaghetti

So easy. Pro tip: if you ever need campsite kindling and don’t feel like wandering into the woods, start your fire with Doritos instead.

 

7. Label your shutoff valves with key tags.

Labels for Shutoff Valves

If you need to turn off your water, locate your fuse box or shut off your gas, you probably aren’t on a leisurely stroll through your basement. Use colorful key tags and label all appropriate water valves, gas lines and fuse boxes to make sure that you can identify your utility shutoffs fast — and minimize the chances of getting a creepy cobweb on the back of your neck.

 

6. Use an onion to take the stickiness out of your grill.

Onion Grill Cleaner

Great advice from Cindy Hopper of the Skip to My Lou blog. Before barbecuing, slice an onion in half and rub the exposed rings on the bars of your grill. This will coat the metal surface, prevent sticking and help avoid cleanup issues.

 

5. Resurrect old paintbrushes with hot vinegar.

Boil Vinegar to Clean Old Paintbrushes

Jennifer Stimpson of This Old House shared this interesting tidbit: if you have gunky paintbrushes doomed to the nearest landfill, soak the bristles in hot vinegar for a half hour and then wash them in hot, soapy water. This should bring those brushes back to life.

 

4. Use the sun to refresh your pillows.

Sunlight Good for Pillows

With daily regular use, pillows get – shall we say – a little musty. Try this Apartment Therapy hack and place the pillow outdoors in direct sunlight for a half hour. Let it bake, then flip sides for another 30 minutes. This process should give your pillow a fresh, outdoorsy smell, which is a wonderful way to drift off to Dreamland.

 

3. Clean scorched pans with vinegar.

Clean Dirty Pans with Vinegar & Banking Soda

If you’re starting to think white vinegar is the wonder cleaner for your home, you are correct. A combination of white vinegar, baking soda and hot water (plus a scrubber and a little elbow grease) should get those unattractive scorch marks off of your prized stainless steel cooking pots and pans. If you display your cookware, this is an absolute must. If you learn nothing else from this list, folks, invest in white vinegar.

 

2. Unclog your drain with vinegar and baking soda.

Unclog Drains with Baking Soda, White Vinegar & Salt

This trick can save you from handling potentially dangerous clog-busting chemicals. Try treating a drain clog with, as Apartment Therapy prescribes, “1 cup of baking soda, 1 cup of table salt, and one cup of the white vinegar,” a 10-minute wait, and then flushing with boiling water.

 

1. Organize scarves with shower curtain rings on a hanger.

Organize Scarves with Rings on a Hanger

Ladies – if your closet is packed full of scarves that often, through no fault of your own, end up in cluttered, disorganized heaps, take note of this hack. Lorie from the Be Different, Act Normal blog recommends rigging shower curtain rings to an adjustable hanger and lacing your scarves through. It looks pretty nice, too.

Thanks for reading! Remember, if you have household hacks to share, please add them to the Comments section below or tweet them to us at @LifeStorage. Happy hacking!

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About the Author

Ben Kirst

Hey, everyone -- I'm a guest blogger here at the Life Storage blog, which, based on my lifelong battle against clutter, messes and household chaos of all kinds, makes this a bit of a dream come true. Best birthday ever? I got a Dyson.

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