If you regularly scour the internet for home hacks, organization tips or design hacks to help make your space green, clean and beautiful, read on. As we continue to acclimate to the circumstances of the pandemic, the importance of maintaining an enjoyable space cannot be understated. Who wants to fester in an undecorated apartment full of dust and a weird-smelling refrigerator?
Every home has its quirks, and some spaces prove more challenging to clean than others. Maybe you can’t seem to keep your houseplants alive, or maybe an excessive amount of dust accumulates on your shelves, or maybe your food seems to go bad too quickly. It’s time to stop wasting hours cleaning surfaces only for stubborn dirt to persist in crevices and the smell of the garbage keeping you up at night.
Whether you live in an old house, a modern apartment, a tiny house or a cabin, these home hacks will help you cut corners to keep your household lovable and livable. Scroll on for tips to improve the sustainability and atmosphere of your space. So let’s shoot for a green, clean and beautiful home.
How is it that some people’s homes look like a hotel? Their expertly folded towels and beautifully arranged cabinets, shelves and dressers put the rest of us to shame. What they won’t tell you is that their methods aren’t as time-consuming as they might look. Studies tell us that organization, both the act and the state, improves our mental health. Let’s be honest – there’s a difference between the recent trend of cluttercore and a messy bedroom.
Start with your towels and clothes. These basic techniques will make your bathroom look like it comes with room service. Of course, most already know two classic techniques of folding towels: in a stack or over a bar. But have you heard of the spa roll? It saves space and looks luxurious.
First, set the towel out on a clean, flat surface. Bring the top right-hand corner down diagonally and line it up with the opposite end, creating a triangle shape. Then fold the square end in half lengthwise. Flip the towel over and tightly roll it from the square end to the pointed end. To finish it off, tuck in the pointed end. Check out @thefoldinglady on TikTok for a video tutorial and other home hacks.
As for your dresser, try investing in a few organizers. They help keep your clothes in the correct place, so you don’t have to fish around for your favorite T-shirt or a business-casual outfit that has migrated to the bottom of your clothes pile.
Before you embark on cooking or baking adventures, arranging all your ingredients is a must. Marty Basher, a design and organization expert with Modular Closets, recommends starting with a pantry reorganization. “Purge the pantry of any past due items, reorganize what’s left and make sure you have everything you need for your favorite recipes,” advises Basher.
“A mad dash to the store at 7 p.m. on party night is best avoided. Snacks are an important addition as holiday periods mean lots of people, big and small, milling about claiming to be starving. Stocking up on essentials like water, canned goods, wine, beer, mixes and so on, just makes good sense. Don’t forget napkins, paper towels and toilet paper!”
Another of our home hacks is to buy a jug of white vinegar and a box of baking soda, but don’t combine them (it’s a common misconception that they work together as a cleaning agent). White vinegar acts as a natural cleaner with other secret perks. Baking soda lends a hand with your baking projects and moonlights as an air freshener and a home remedy for myriad ailments. Forget running to Target for an all-purpose cleaner, fabric softener and deodorizer.
To create a baking soda air freshener, simply add ⅓ cup of baking soda and several drops of essential oils to a jar, cover it with paper or a coffee filter, and hang it or place it on a shelf. You can also hide a jar of baking soda in your fridge to help deodorize unpleasant smells.
If your fridge is due for a deep clean, mix 1 cup of water, ¼ cup of white vinegar and a tablespoon of vanilla extract or essential oils. Place the mixture in a spray bottle and use it to clean surfaces. Rinse shelves and compartments with warm water.
In terms of a sustainable kitchen, it comes down to smart storage and using locally grown or sourced ingredients. We, as consumers, have so much power to change our contribution to the environment for the better.
Correct storage is the key to reducing waste and keeping food fresh. Remove produce from bags and place them in airtight containers. Place paper towels in the containers to soak up excess moisture. There are a variety of ways to store produce. For example, place parsley in a jar filled halfway with water, reuse a plastic bag over the top and store it in the fridge.
Always look at use-by dates on perishable items and follow the “first in, first out” rule, ensuring you move old products to the front to be used first. If you won’t use that salmon by its use-by date, store it in the freezer. Check out tips and information on proper storage from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure you are following safety guidelines.
If smart storage fails, you can repurpose food waste and do your best to compost. Frequently you can reuse the skin of foods like fruit or potatoes to add nutrients to a smoothie or create a potpourri. Stale bread can easily be transformed into delicious, homemade croutons for your salad. Think outside the box for ways to use up items past their prime before tossing them out to cut back on food waste and make your kitchen more eco-friendly.
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