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if you've known me for more than a minute you may have heard my expression for what it feels like when i get an idea that just makes sense: 'it's like a white hot hammer of inspiration to the back of the head'

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


there are a lot of little things i've done around my house to make daily life easier that aren't each enough for a full post. i keep meaning to take pictures and finally got around to it.
not the best pictures, just the camera phone.

i just had to replace my car battery. since i did it myself i didn't have a receipt for the date of service, like i would for a professional repair. masking tape label! i labelled it just like i do when i open a food package or put something in the freezer. 

extra shower rod. spring tension rods run around $8-$15 depending on the length. tighten it in place high up over the center of the shower, great for hang drying bras and other things that shouldn't go in the dryer. and my cpap hose. that little plastic octopus looking thing is a tie/belt hanger, something like this. i use it for bras. you can also just hang your drip dry delicates on plastic hangers and put them up here too. the blue clip is an oversized clothespin from the dollar tree, usually found in a multi pack
you could also use clothespin hangers and hanging drying racks (also in plastic but the two plastic ones i have had go brittle in about 2 years and fall apart) 

little magnetic bars from ikea. i think they are meant for desks and dorm rooms. i have one in each bathroom for tweezers and stuff. i also dropped a super strong magnet in the dental floss box so it sticks to the magnet bar

a holder on the side of my fridge for cleaners and paper towels.  i also made a smaller one with smaller magnets for a friend's dish towel holder. hers uses 25lb pull magnets which will NOT hold a roll of paper towels an 2-3 full spray bottles of cleaner to the side of a fridge. 
this will probably stick to most stoves too

two big round 95lb pull magnets from harbor freight tools
2 screw eyes that fit through the holes in the magnets, 4 nuts for the screw eyes

put a nut on the screw eye, put the screw eye through the hole in the magnet, put the other nut on the end of the screw eye. tighten them down until the screw eye is stable in the magnet without the end sticking out past the back of the magnet

this is an old curtain rod that the previous homeowners left when they moved out. but any pole or rod that can bear the weight and fit through the holes will work. this worked better before i knocked the finial off the other end of the rod so it slips out if i run into it

additional sizes of the magnets

broom clips and cheap LED flashlights. i keep them near every door to the outside for those nights the cats drop things on the doorstep that i have to deal with. i got a ten pack of flashlights with crummy batteries for $10 at harbor freight. i've also seen them at big lots and the dollar tree. here's a 2 pack for $3 (watch for sales)

 my tape rack. i've overloaded this one and the wall it's on is very old drywall, so i need to fix up the hooks. and make it longer. this is behind the door in the utility room. also would be good in a supply closet or garage. the bread tabs on the tape rolls make sure i can always find the end

this handy little twist tie dispenser is from the dollar tree. a 2 pack. cut your own length. it's probably meant to be nailed to the wall, but i haven't yet. you can also get them in garden centers. this one isn't a terrible price, but i'd check your local discount or dollar store first 

did everyone have that metal grid and plastic corner cube stuff in their dorm room? the plastic gives out but the metal grid panels have other uses. like my bread holder? cut a couple places and bend, then hook it under the cabinet. fits a standard size loaf snugly and keeps the cats from stealing bread

this is a limited use arrangement. if you live in the woods and lose power a lot, you might want to keep a lantern handy. most people don't have a) this weird banister wall arrangement and b) a need for a propane lantern hanging around the house. 
there's a really big cable tie (actually two, end to end) around the rail, and a plain metal shower curtain hook hanging off it. the lantern comes with the chain

speaking of the plain metal shower curtain hooks, everyone should keep a 12 pack around because you will find the most unexpected uses for them. i keep trying to learn glass lampwork and while i haven't yet managed to, i have the glass rods in a case. with a teeny tiny hole on the top. it won't fit over a peghook, but it will fit a shower curtain hook

and maybe you have an extra weird pantry, like i do, with a closet rod in it. i use the shower curtain hooks and various bag clips to hang up my chips so they don't get smashed. another limited use idea for this specific purpose, but then again, you can always add a tension rod to your pantry, right?

when your kitchen scissors wear out and won't go back together again (you did know they come apart on purpose, right?) save the halves and you have great box cutters with handles