75 Space Saving and Cleaning Tips to Make Life Easier
If your place is a mess after the holidays check out some space saving and cleaning tips to make life easier. Put those presents away and clean that tinsel.
Bathroom Shelving Unit
Find out how to build it.
Spice Shelf Inside Cabinet
Cabinet Door Message Board
Learn how to make a message board inside a cabinet.
Cutting Board Rack
Check out how to get it done.
Magnetic Office Supplies Holder
Check out the complete plans for a magnetic office supplies holder.
Tie, Scarf and Belt Organizer
Skinny Laundry Room Cart
Above Door Shelf
Plus: Build a Shoe Organizer
Turn-of-the-century office supply holder
Keep Your Spray Bottles in Line
Put a Lazy Susan in Your Fridge
Use a Bookshelf
Add-On Clothes Rod
Turn Your Hangers
Find out how to get rid of anything.
Baskets and Ottomans
DIY Sofa Arm Table
Dorm Room Spinning Storage Unit
New Use for Old Cabinets
Pallet Wine Rack
Trunk Coffee Table
Dresser to Bench
Light-Duty Extension Cord Storage
Patio Cushions and Camping Gear Storage
Belt and Other Hang-Ups
Musical Instrument Storage
Closet Glove Rack
Basement Junk Storage
OK, maybe junk is too harsh a word. We’re talking about luggage, camping gear, the ugly vase Aunt Martha gave you for your wedding—stuff you need to keep but don’t use all the time. If your house has a set of stairs with a sloped closet underneath, you have a huge amount of space that’s mostly wasted. Here’s how to get the most out of that black hole. Build a custom rolling cart that fits perfectly in the closet. This one is built like a shelf unit and rides on fixed casters so it slides straight out to keep things organized and accessible. When Aunt Martha comes to visit, just roll it out, grab the vase and you’re golden.
Clean the Exhaust Fan
Caution: The cans contain chemical propellants, not just air. Don’t let children play with them.
Ditch Your Carpeting
Dust with Your Dryer
Synthetic Soap Simplifies Bathroom Cleaning
Buff Off Heavy Grime
Pick up some polishing compound at a home center or an auto parts store and use an auto buffer to polish off the offending scum. If you don’t own a buffer, you can buy one for as little as $20 or borrow one from a gearhead friend. If possible, remove the doors and take them out to the garage to avoid messing up the bathroom.
Duster for the Vertically Challenged
Clean Grout with a Bleach Pen
For really mildewed grout, you may need a second application, and it can help to gently scrub the bleach into the grout with a toothbrush before allowing it to work for 10 minutes. Make sure to run the fan in the bathroom and to avoid skin contact. This method is best for light or white grout. If you have colored grout, test a small area first. It might fade.
Instead of trying to find a bleach pen at the store, the cleaning solution to grout might already be in the bathroom.
Clean with Microfiber Products
Microfiber dusting tools for blinds, ceiling fans, floors and general cleaning are available online and at many stores. Buy your microfiber cloths in the automotive section. ‘Cleaning’ and ‘detailing’ towels are the same as ‘dusting’ cloths, and they’re often a lot cheaper.
Make Your Own Greener Cleaning Solution
In a 5-quart bucket, mix: 1 cup of distilled vinegar, 3 tablespoons of borax, 1 gallon of hot water and 1/2 cup of soap (Maggie uses Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds). Maggie likes to add 10 or 15 drops of tea tree, lavender or lemon oil for a nice fragrance. Mix the ingredients and then pour some of the mixture into a spray bottle. Save the rest in a gallon jug. This is enough all-purpose cleaner to last for years!
Use this mixture to clean tile, countertops and painted woodwork. It’s a good all-purpose cleaner, but it’s not the best for cleaning glass. Maggie uses club soda to clean glass.
Clean a Sluggish Toilet
Easier Bottle Cleaning
Vacuum First, Then Scrub
For a really thorough cleaning, start at the top, vacuuming the dust from light fixtures and the top of window casings. Then work your way down. And finally, vacuum the floor methodically so you cover every inch. You don’t want to leave any stray hair or dust bunnies to muck up your cleaning water. A soft-bristle upholstery brush works best for this type of vacuuming. Figure out what vacuum to use here.
Protect Your Shower Doors from Mineral Buildup
Two brands are Aquapel and Rain-X. Follow the instructions on the package to apply the treatment to your shower door glass. You can buy Aquapel or find a local dealer online. You’ll find Rain-X at any auto parts store.
Let a showerhead amaze you with the comfort it can provide and check out 10 showerheads for a better shower experience.
Trash Can Cleanup
Clean Your Bagless Vacuum Filter
People avoid cleaning filters because it’s a messy job. The typical method is to tap the filter against the inside of a trash can until most of the dust falls off. But this raises a thick cloud of dust and doesn’t get the filter completely clean. Here’s a faster, neater, more thorough approach: Take the vacuum out to the garage and clean the pleated filter with a shop vacuum. Some pleated filters have a special coating that you can damage, so be gentle with the shop vacuum nozzle. Clean prefilter screens and post-filters the same way.
Citrus Peels and Ice Cubes for a Stinky Disposer
- With the water running at about half throttle, drop in orange or lemon peels. Run the disposer for five seconds. Citric acid from the peels softens crusty waste and attacks smelly bacteria. Give the acid about 15 minutes to do its work.
- Turn on the water and the disposer and drop in a few ice cubes. Flying shards of ice work like a sandblaster inside the disposer.
- Run the water until the bowl is about half full. Then pull the stopper and turn on the disposer to flush it out.
Plus: Bad Smell in the House?
Garbage Bag Holder-Upper
Flashlight Glass Finder
Besides being an all-time great Parliament song, a glow-in-the-dark flashlight might be a light saver in a blackout.
In the plumbing aisle, you’ll also find PVC and rubber ‘reducer’ couplings that let you connect your vacuum hose to a different-size pipe.
Beat the Dust out of Cushions
Renew Wood with Mineral Spirits
Remove Pet Hair with Duct Tape
Wrap duct tape around a paint roller cover, sticky side out. Roll the paint cover over furniture or carpet to pick up the pet hair. Add more tape as the surface gets full of hair.