Monday, October 8, 2018

I'M NO MARTHA STEWART, BUT I HAVE A FRIEND WHO IS!

By Mary Kennedy                                           

Okay, true confession time. I'm no Martha Stewart. My cupboards are sheer chaos, my jewelry is a tangled mess, my linen closet is not to be believed. One of my friends brags that she could "throw a cocktail party in her garage." Well, I say, good for her!  I can't compete. I wouldn't even try.

I have another friend who is helping me with home organization. She seems to know a million helpful tricks and I thought I'd share a few with you. You may have already heard of some of them, but there could be a few new gems in the mix.  Here goes.

Jewelry Do your chains and pendant look like this? Hopelessly tangled? Like metal strands of spaghetti all woven together?

                                                                      

They don't have to! A simple trick is to thread a gold chain through a drinking straw, leave the ends out and then fasten the chain. It will stay neatly in place, no more mess!
                                                                               

Flower arrangements. Flower arranging isn't something I normally do, but my friend makes beautiful ones from flowers in her garden.  Her arrangements always look so professional. A simple trick. When you have flowers with stems that are too short for the arrangement, you can make them taller by simply inserting them into the top of a straw and then bury the straw at the base of the vase. 
                                                                              


Cooking range.  How to clean it!                                                            

This was torture to clean until I discovered that all I had to do was mix Dawn dish washing detergent with a little baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Leave on for 3 minutes and the gunk comes off! I'd be using some pricey professional stuff that didn't work as well.

Steaming veggies quickly. I bought a little microwavable steamer that steams broccoli, brussel sprouts, etc, in 2 or 3 minutes.  It's big enough for one or two servings. No more fresh veggies going bad in the bottom drawer of your fridge! Here's the one I bought.  Just click on the link. I love it and use it just about every night. 
                                                                               

       Freezing fresh garden herbs.  What do you do with the end-of-the-season parsley and basil from the garden?                                                      

Well, ideally, you could make big pots of soup and freeze the soup in quart containers for winter. But here's an alternative. 

But some little plastic ice cube trays, you know, the old fashioned kind. You can buy plastic ones for a dollar. 
                                                                                   
                       
Now, add some fresh herbs to each space, top with water and freeze. When you want to add fresh herbs to soups, sauces and stews, just pop out a cube or two and throw it in the pot!

One of my friends freezes her herbs in olive oil, she makes a lot of Italian sauces and this works well for her. I usually stick to water, but I may try one tray of olive oil.

                                                                                


Organizing cupboards and pantries.  Again, my friend swears by "bins." They don't have to be expensive. You can buy them at Dollar Store or order them from Home Goods, or pick them up at yard sales. And buy a label maker. It will make a huge difference and my goal this month is to tackle the messy linen closet. You can buy clear ones for your pantry, too.
                                                                         
                             

Hope these tips help, if you have any tips you'd like to share, I'd love to have them!! Maybe there is hope for me, after all.

Mary Kennedy
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