Have you ever spent your hard-earned money on an item with only one purpose such as a hard-boiled egg slicer or a mascara warmer? (Seriously, it exists.) Every product you buy costs you money to acquire and space to store. To save both money and space, invest in household products that have multiple uses. If you could clean your entire home with only a few products instead of filling your cabinets with specialty cleaners, why wouldn’t you? I’ve listed five of my personal multi-purpose favorites that you’ll always find in my house.
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1. Baking Soda
Perhaps the most versatile on the list and a fave of the uber-frugal, baking soda rocks the house! Make a paste by mixing it with a bit of water and scrub everything from your pots and pans to your Fiberglas® or stainless steel sink and microwave interior. Baking soda also cleans fruit and veggies, scrubs tarnish off your silver, softens your bath water and exfoliates your face.
2. White Vinegar
Nearly as inexpensive as baking soda, white vinegar picks up where baking soda leaves off. Use it mixed with water to clean windows, brighten laundry, freshen kitty litter boxes, and full strength it even kills weeds in your driveway.
This amazing squishy silicone compound can fix or improve any number of products in your life. Hand mold corner bumpers for your smartphone, create custom grips for sports equipment, repair a rusty dishwasher rack or cushion the heel in a new pair of shoes. The uses for Sugru are only as limited as your imagination!
4. Binder Clips
I broke up with paper clips years ago when I discovered that these strong little clips are great for all kinds of uses, not the least of which is binding paper! String a few on a horizontal wire and display your kids’ art work. Use a binder clip to mark your page in a book, clip a few on top of your trash can to keep the bag from slipping down, tame tangled cords, and keep snack bags closed in the cabinet.
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5. Glass Jars
Wash out pasta sauce and jelly jars (with their lids) and save them for other uses. They’re great for mixing homemade salad dressing or gravy slurry, transporting soup in the car, starting plant cuttings, storing kids markers, pencils and paint brushes. Keep safety pins, nails, screws and buttons handy in baby food jars. Pretty up any party table by using small jars as candle holders or fill with water to use as a vase or centerpiece.
Monica Ricci founded Catalyst Organizing Solutions in 1998 and has been helping people change their lives ever since.
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- Baking Soda