The world we live in is constantly go, go, go. Sometimes, the simplest item can help streamline and organize your life, especially at home where you want relax and enjoy time with family. So for this edition of Cheap Thrills, we’ve asked local experts to share their favorite home hacks and tricks of the trade for everyday living. Here’s to making life simpler and discovering new tips!
The biggest space saver in any room? Vertical dividers! Blue Pencil Home says this is their favorite hack ever. “Whether you are storing cookie sheets, cutting boards or casserole dishes, turning them on their sides and separating them with dividers makes all the difference in the world,” says Katie Savage of Blue Pencil Home. Her business partner Brooke Levy adds, “And this isn’t just a kitchen trick; you can use it any room in the house. Separate your purses in your closets or your files in your office.”
Chris Carruth, owner of More Than Closets, says his favorite home hack is a trick to help with closet clean-outs, just in time for spring cleaning. “When I clean my closet, I turn my hangers around backward and only turn them the correct direction when I take whatever is hanging on them down to wear,” he says. “The next time I clean out my closet, I know anything still hanging backward can be either stored or given away.”
Ami Austin, of Ami Austin Interior Design, let us in on a little secret when it comes to hanging and decorating things. She says, “A trick of the trade for pictures or art that won’t stay put is to use earthquake putty.”
“If you have hydrangeas in a vase that are beginning to wilt, take them out, clip the ends at an angle and put them back into warm water. When you do this, they come right back to life,” says Sue Layman of Sue Layman Designs. “This home hack makes my hydrangeas last twice as long!”
Kevin Barnard says, “I hate droopy pillows. Always be sure your pillow is in good shape. If you bend it and it doesn’t bounce back, it’s time for a new one,” he says. “Whenever you are stuffing pillowcases, buy the next size up. It makes the pillows look full without flopping at the end.”
STAIN REMOVERS & SUCH
Cindy McCord of Cindy McCord Interior Design says her favorite home hack is alcohol-based ink markers for furniture, picture frames and other objects around the house. She says, “When you need a permanent marker for touch-ups, many people know that Sharpie brand markers work great. However, they aren’t always available in the color you need.” She says that an artist’s alcohol-based ink marker gets the job done, and you can buy them online or in stores like Michael’s. The Artist’s Loft Line is available in 56 colors and their color, Coffee E18, is perfect for dark brown furniture.
Jewelry cleaning remedy
When cleaning jewelry, taking great care is a priority to protect your pieces. JP Odell, owner of Urban Hardware Designs, tell us how to properly clean fine jewelry. “When cleaning jewelry like platinum or gold, you can use commercial cleaners, but if you’re looking for a more natural way to clean your fine jewels, try this homemade solution.” You will need a 1/2 cup of warm water and 1 capful of Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner. Soak and pat dry.
Coldwell Banker Collins-Maury has some tips on how to keep your floors looking clean and spotless. “Whether you’re moving into a house with dirty, discolored grout or trying to prepare yours for market, this hack will help save you time and energy. Drive to your closest Home Depot or Lowe’s and purchase a bottle of Grout Renew,” says Coldwell Banker Collins-Maury Broker Tiffany McLemore. They say that a little will go a long way. Just choose the grout color that is closest to the look you are trying to achieve and use a toothbrush or craft brush to apply. Stay off the floors for 24 hours while it dries, then enjoy your fresh, clean grout!
Murphy Oil Soap
Murphy Oil Soap is a staple home hack for Allen Cheeks, owner of Beau Maison. “Use Murphy Oil Soap on exterior metal items. With things like grills, railings, iron doors and gates, it helps preserve expensive items.”
409 stain remover
Mindy Roberts from Palladio Home & Garden says her favorite hack to use is 409. “This stain remover works every time,” she says. You can never go wrong with a simple product for a great result!
“I absolutely love my pink mini electric screwdriver from Skil!” says Leslie Murphy of Murphy Maude Interiors. “It is the best tool in the world for quick fixes and home decorating like hanging pictures and assembling small furniture items. I also regularly use it in the assembly of art projects (as evidenced by the many coats of paint as you see caked to this tool). Plus, since it’s pink, my contractors don’t try and steal it from me!”
Mona, owner of Mona Esthetics, says her simple hack is a luxuriously long iPhone cord. “It’s so annoying to be ‘stuck’ within a two-foot radius against a low wall plug on an important phone call while you need to charge your phone,” she says of her long charger cord. “I bought chargers for everyone in my house and even two for myself. You will probably need one to reach the backseat of your car, too!”
“If you see your box springs when you pull your sheets back, cover them with a fitted sheet that matches your sheets or top bedding,” says Becca Gaines of B. Gaines Interior Design. There’s no need to go and buy a boxspring cover with this tip!
We hope these home hacks will make your day-to-day living a breeze this spring — as they say, it’s the little things!
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