Whether or not cleaning and organizing is your strong suit, solving your home’s needs can easily end up on the back burner. Even the small stuff is enough to rattle our nerves. Fortunately, we’ve discovered some easy home hacks to simplify life in a pinch.

1. Store plastic bags in an empty disinfectant wipes container.

All of those leftover plastic grocery bags come in handy for small trash bagging needs to doggy business pickup, and so much more. But storing them can be a tangled mess if they pile up faster than we use them. Clean out a finished container of disinfectant wipes, twist each plastic bag into a loose coil, and stuff them inside. Pull out one-by-one as needed.

2. Remove spilled wax from furniture with ice.

Don’t try to wipe up hot wax from furniture or scrape it off. You’ll only make a bigger mess. Put ice cubes in a plastic baggie and let it sit for several minutes on the wax until hardened. Then pull off the hardened wax without ruining the surface.

3. Use white vinegar to get odors out of the microwave.

White vinegar is considered a home go-to for many cleaning needs. And it works on odors too, particularly in the microwave. Just pour some vinegar on a wet cloth or sponge and wipe down the inside of your microwave. Let air dry and the vinegar odor will dissipate.

4. Make a homemade dust cleaner for blinds.

Sure, it’s easy enough to buy a duster. But if you run out of duster refills and your white blinds are closer to a light gray, there’s an easy solution. All you need are kitchen tongs, two dish towels, and rubber bands. Wrap each towel around the tongs, fasten with rubber bands, and you’re ready to dust.

5. Use an extra tension rod to store shower accessories and keep them dry.

Loofahs, sponge puffs, and the like are nice shower accessories, but storing them in a way that allows them to dry can be a pain. They usually stay damp and become a breeding ground for grossness. Put up an extra tension rod in your tub/shower with S-hooks and a mesh bag. Hang the items inside the bag so they get a chance to dry thoroughly between showers.

6. Clean the toilet bowl with mouthwash.

It sounds unconventional, but don’t knock it until you try it. If you want to reduce the number of cleaning products you need to buy for the house, this is a great way to save. Pour a capful of mouthwash into your toilet boil and let sit for 30 minutes. Scrub, flush, and you’re done.

7. Use a rubber band on the hand soap dispenser to avoid excessive pumps.

Handwashing should be an emphasized rule in homes with kids, big and small. Quite often, though, more hand soap gets pumped than intended. An easy fix is to wrap a rubber band around the neck of the dispenser. This limits the amount that can be pumped. Test it to ensure a nice-sized dollop comes out.

8. Use paint or fingernail polish on keys so you don’t confuse them.

If you have two keys on your chain that are mostly the same shape and size, you might be tired of putting the wrong one up to the keyhole fifty percent of the time. Just use a dot of colorful fingernail polish or paint on the upper grabbing end of one to distinguish the two. Problem solved.

9. Store wrapping paper rolls in a hanging garment bag.

Wrapping paper for every occasion is lovely, but storing the rolls makes a complete mess in any closet. Keep them all zipped up neatly in a hanging garment bag tucked to the side of the closet. Voila! They’re hidden until needed.

10. Use a line of caulk on rugs to prevent slipping.

Let’s face it, unsightly rug pads do not stay securely hidden below throw rugs in high traffic areas. Try a line of caulk on the underside of your rug instead. Let it dry completely, then turn over for a non-slip solution.

11. Use a foam pool noodle to prevent car door dings in the garage.

Many of us have garages that are not as spacious as we’d like. If you have to get in and out of your car with caution to prevent a ding, this hack is for you. Cut an old foam pool noodle in half. Mark on the garage wall where your door makes contact and attach the foam to the wall with a nail or strong glue. Now your car has the perfect bumper protection.

12. Fix small window screen tears with clear nail polish.

Small holes or rips in a window screen make it less effective. If you don’t want to replace the whole screen, repair it with clear fingernail polish. Swipe the polish on the small hole or tear and let dry.

Real Estate Term of the Week

Mutual Acceptance: The point at which the seller and buyer reach agreement on price and terms of a house sale and enter into a binding contract. The signing of the Purchase Agreement, in most states, is signed at mutual acceptance.

Platinum Service Realty