Quick tip friday

Quick Tips for Friday – packing up Christmas


More holiday decoration storage and organization tips

While putting up my decorations for the year I noticed some of my little tricks I’ve developed that might be worth sharing.

To keep the musty attic smell out of soft items like stockings, tree skirts, table runners, garlands, even wreaths I toss some cinnamon sticks or cloves in the box or bag with them. Take care not to let them be in direct contact if oils or colors could affect the seasonal items, it won’t do much good to have things smell better if they are ruined with stains!

Some years ago after buying some new ornaments I wrote on the packages they came in what the they looked like, before hanging them. Now when I am undressing the Christmas tree I can very easily put them back in the same box. I have gotten so used to this handy little trick I didn’t think to share it at the start of the season!


Mark ornament boxes to re-use for storage.

Mark ornament boxes to re-use for storage.

This makes packing Christmas ornaments so much easier!

This makes packing Christmas ornaments so much easier!


I also try to keep certain types of items together in the storage bins I use. Outdoor lights are in different bins than ornaments used for the tree, stockings are stored with tree skirt, etc. With this system I can take a peek into one bin and find a whole category of items quickly; even when I forget to put a label on the bin or can’t remember the genius plan of remembering what color bin is supposed to go with what items.

Happy un-decorating!

Categories: Christmas, cleaning, decorating, helpful tips, holiday decorating, holiday tips, Quick tip friday, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quick Tip for Friday – taking down holiday lights and decorations

If your decorations were complicated to put up, you did them for the first time or they turned out especially great this year – DO THIS FIRST.
Take photos for reference.
I don’t mean lighted nighttime ‘Look, how pretty!’ shots, but daytime ‘This is how it is done.’ shots. Concentrate on anything that will help you duplicate the positive results next year. Print and store with your decorations, make notes if you thought of better ways to do it or complications you had. Or create a folder on your computer to save it.
It is easier than figuring out how to get the ornaments back in the boxes and will be as useful as having untangled light strands next year.

Oh, speaking of storing ornaments, bonus tip here:

Those plastic containers with apples and other fruit from Costco are great for packing away ornaments safely!

Re use store packages for fruits to store Christmas ornament

Re use store packages for fruits to store Christmas ornament

Feel free to come back and thank me next December. 🙂

Categories: Christmas, Christmas lights, decorating, helpful tips, holiday decorating, holiday tips, organizing, Quick tip friday, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quick Tip for Friday: 10 Things plumbers wish you knew

I got out of the habit on my Quick Tip for Friday posts, so I am going to make it up to you by sharing 10 really good ones!

There is such great advice in this article from  She Knows I had to share it. It is short and easy to read so I will count it as a quick tip still.

10 Things plumbers wish you knew.

I think # 9 should really be top of the list, knowing where/how to shut off your water is extremely important.

Anytime you move into a new home it’s a good idea to get familiar with 3 things right away:

  1. breaker box
  2. water shut off
  3. gas shut off

Learn where these are and how to use them, it will not be a waste of time.

#7 is the best explanation for why I decline certain plumbing jobs  and refer customers to a licensed plumber.

Leaks and other plumbing issues can lead to such bigger problems it is important to take care of correctly. Water damage and mold are very expensive and difficult correct.

One more just so I can make this one go to eleven:

11. Be careful what you put down the toilet. Just because it passes out of the bowl doesn’t mean it won’t cause a huge problem in the pipe on it’s journey to….um…away, wherever. I will skip mentioning some of the more obvious things we have all been warned about. However, I have heard from plumbers over the years that a lot of people flush Q-tips and those really belong in the trash can instead.

Keep your pipes happy!


Categories: DIY tips, helpful tips, Home Improvement, home maintenance, home repairs, plumbing, Quick tip friday | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Quick tip for Friday – update hardware

I’m cheating a little on today’s Friday quick tip because I have been feeling exhausted all day (better not be coming down with anything!).

This is advice I give often – to update the look of a kitchen or bathroom sometimes all it takes is adding new hardware to the cabinets. Quick and inexpensive!

Improve Your Home: 30 Weekend Projects#page=5#page=7#page=9#page=9.

Categories: DIY tips, helpful tips, Home Improvement, home maintenance, kitchen, Quick tip friday | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Quick tip for Friday – organization

Put labels on power cords. Use a method that will stay attached if they are jumbled around in a drawer. This is most helpful for those items that are used less frequently.

Categories: organizing, Quick tip friday, Uncategorized | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Quick Tip for Friday – solar yard lights

Posting my Friday tip on Saturday, it’s been busy lately, can you tell?

If you have solar lights in your yard, along walkways etc. this is a great time of year to give them a little attention. Start watching for the sun shifting and the days beginning to shorten, making a few adjustments in placement can help you get the most from your lights as fall and winter come along.

Rotate the locations of lights that may have already been getting shorter amounts of direct light or are in the areas where they come on the soonest as it gets dark.

If you have lights with on/off switch turn them off for a couple of days now and then so they can store up the charge. This can be especially helpful in the short days of winter.

Clean the tops of your lights to keep them functioning at their best. All it takes is a damp paper towel or rag and a few minutes to rub the area where the little solar panels collect the energy. This one simple bit of maintenance will dramatically increase the life of your decorative solar yard lights.

Solar light touched up

A little effort can do a lot to extend the life of solar yard lights!

Categories: DIY tips, helpful tips, lights, outdoor lights, Quick tip friday, Uncategorized | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Quick Tip for Friday- Keeping it cool for the BBQ

Get creative this Labor Day weekend when putting out the goods for the big BBQ!

Freeze water in balloons to put in the buckets and tubs, it adds fun color and also helps with the melting run off!

ice balloons

I freely admit to discovering this tip on Pinterest and happily provide the link back to the original source by clicking on the image (if I did it right!).

Use Blue Ice when possible to help reduce water run off, especially in the bottoms of coolers and buckets. If you are putting out bottled water freeze a few of them first and put towards the bottom, they will be ready for drinking as your guest get to them.

Keep in mind you don’t have to spend a lot of money on special tubs or buckets to put drinks out for your guests. You can use anything big enough that is also relatively clean. Line a garden bucket with a plastic bag then fill with ice. Or buy and new one and use for the party first if you were about due anyway. Regular plastic storage bins are great too!

Food can be kept safe to eat longer by setting it out on ice, and this can be done all sorts of ways. If you bought a pre made tray of sandwiches, veggies or cold cuts turn the lid over, fill with ice then set the tray on top of that. Automatically a perfect fit.

I often use large Pyrex baking pans filled with ice to put out condiments, or dips it’s great because the items wont tip over as it melts because the pan is shallow.

One last tip: make sure the ice has fully melted and the water isn’t cold anymore before pouring onto the lawn on plants. Cold water can shock the roots.

Happy Grilling! Stay hydrated and please don’t drink and drive!!

Categories: helpful tips, outdoors, Quick tip friday, storage, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Quick tip for Friday; buying plants

Here is some simple but effective advice to really help with success in your landscaping and gardening.
Pay attention to the location of the plants you want from the nursery or garden center and choose accordingly.

When the beautiful, vibrant blooms of a fuchsia start singing to you ‘Take me home’ make note that you (and the plant) are in a bright, but somewhat shaded location. While you may imagine how lovely those colors will look in the full, bright sun outside your kitchen window, you won’t have them for very long if you put it there. It won’t be happy, trust me, I have tried!

red and purple fuchsiapink fuchsia

When you are looking to add some plantings to a shady spot whether it is flowers, fruit or ground cover then make sure you don’t need SPF and sunglasses while picking out what to buy!

Beebutterfly on bougainvillea

Your first step to success can be that easy, choose from conditions similar to where you want it to thrive!

And here is a picture of a dragonfly just because I am so excited that I got this shot. 🙂


Happy planting!


Categories: gardening, helpful tips, outdoors, Quick tip friday, Uncategorized | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Quick Tip for Friday – remove a cork

Do you have trouble getting out the Champagne cork unless you use the fun but sometimes not ideal method of sending it flying off with your thumbs. “Hey, you can put an eye out with that thing!” (or break a light fixture, doh! I’ve been there done that.) Besides it’s wasteful.

popping champagne cork

Ever put a cork back in a bottle and find it nearly impossible to get back out? Can’t use a corkscrew again without crumbling the cork back into the bottle, so maybe you resort to pushing the cork in whole since it’s going to end up there anyway?

Well, rummage around in that one kitchen drawer containing the stuff you rarely use. Because hanging on to that nutcracker suddenly paid off! It is perfect for grabbing  hold of a cork you can’t use with a corkscrew.

Picture below I’m opening a bottle of oil that had a very tight cork. I was about to head to my toolbox for some pliers when I remembered my super smart boyfriend has used the nutcracker on champagne corks. Perfect!

How to remove a cork

How to remove a cork

I think this was much more sanitary and would be much better in front of guests than my pliers idea. 🙂

Happy uncorking!!

Categories: cooking, helpful tips, kitchen, Quick tip friday, random, repurposing, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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