My friend has many hand and shop tools and is creative when it comes to storing them. To store his electric drill, he uses an empty dish-soap bottle (one of those large ones with a handle). He then flipped it upside down, cut off enough of the bottom so that his electric drill drops down inside and screwed it to a board in his shop. He cut a big notch out of the handle so his cord can wrap around it and keep it out of the way, and off of the floor.
Fall we be just around the corner soon and many of the stores will try to get rid of their pretty pastel candles that are used both indoors and out during the warmer months. I buy as many as my budget can handle and stash them away in a closet for winter time. We live in a rural area with lots of trees and invariably, we get some kind of a storm that knocks out our electricity–sometimes for as long as two days. I don’t own any lamps (the old fashioned ones) and the candles can ‘get us by’ until the electricity is restored.
I’ve come to appreciate our great-grandparents ability to read by candle light. It’s not easy!
An elderly gentleman who lives down the block from me spends his spare time making wooden toys for the Christmas Toy Drive in our city. I was watching him one day and he was using an unsharpened wooden pencil with a rubber eraser on it as a push stick for the small pieces he was working on. He said that the small rubber eraser gives him enough grip to move the pieces about and he didn’t have to buy ‘yet another gadget’.
We were given an antique table for our new home, but the leaf was nice and shiny while the rest of the table was a little dull. My son suggested he could try using toothpaste to clean it up. We figured it wouldn’t hurt and might even help, so he was given the go-ahead. He put dabs of the toothpaste on a dry cloth and rubbed away. The slight abrasive in the toothpaste put quite a shine on that dull finish, and the cost was next to nothing!
A lot of folks seem to fall for the advertising gimmicks if ONLY the new ones work best. So, we buy the new and ‘get rid of’ the old stuff right away. A friend of a friend had decided that she needed the very latest in computers and so spent a wad of money to purchase the newest and fanciest computer the stores had available. She brought it home and set it in her office and then took the old one to a charity place and donated it. Of course, she wiped an cleaned out all of her data first.
It didn’t take her long to discover that her very latest purchase was not compatible with her big new printer/scanner/fax machine she’d purchased a month earlier! Needless to say, she was NOT a ‘happy camper’.
I recently built a couple of step shelving units for underneath my kitchen sink. That miserable spot holds all of my cleaning supplies and is the ‘dark hole’ as far as finding anything goes, not to mention having to work around the plumbing under the sink.
To make better use of this space, I took four boards and made a double shelf. That work out so well that I made another one. My tall boards were 12 inches high and I nailed a board on the top for the main shelf and then put another board that was just a stitch smaller so it fits between the two bigger boards, about half-way down. I use the 6-inch shelf for my smaller containers of silver polish, etc. and then can fit the quart bottles of cleaners on the top board. Sure does make it handy for me because now I can actually see what I have at a quick glance. And, it’s saved me money because I wasn’t buying more ‘stuff’ because I couldn’t find the first container of cleaner!
Is someone in your family (I’m thinking teens here) one of those that needs to ‘keep up’ with the very latest in gadgets? If so, try teaching them about ‘trade-offs’. For instance, If your daughter thinks she needs the $40 brand of mascara, have her work for it instead of just handing over the cash. Four hours spent pushing the lawn mower, cleaning the garage or raking and bagging leaves will give any kid a ‘reality check’ that it takes real work to earn the cash to buy the goodies.
If a pair of $100 jeans is on the ‘just have to have it’ list before school starts, then a day of doing ‘dirty jobs’ is in order. Mucking out the barn, cleaning the garage (including cleaning off the tool bench and putting every piece in its proper place), raking and bagging leaves, or even taking the wax off of the kitchen floor and re-waxing it–on hands and knees! Many of us have spoiled our children to the point where they do not realize that it takes hard work to earn the finer things in life.