Homemaking Tips Library: Advice / Ideas / Reference
The art of homekeeping is one particular interest held in common by women past and present. Though most no longer step out in the morning every day to sweep clean the front stoop or get a batch of bread dough started after the kids are off to school, something within each of us desires to keep our surroundings tidy, organized and running tickety-boo. It's how we're wired.
Some people live in magnificent dwellings, the rest in more humble abodes. Regardless of the property and value of contents, it's actually cleanliness and order that sweetens the environs. A truth I learned the hard way: a really messy, chaotic home does affect the mood & well-being of each individual residing there. At one time a residence in disarray and having clutter packed to the rafters was considered a reflection of a disordered soul--there's real wisdom in this.
I've been a housewife and mother for over 30 years and Tipnut.com has been online for 15 of those--the goal is simple: try to share all I've learned in the homekeeping arts. At my age and after all this time, I'm still curious and always on the hunt for easier, new and improved ways to get things done (hopefully save money too).
This website as a whole has a huge cataloged assortment of helpful information, ideas and notes instructive to today's overwhelmed homemaker--everything is freely available, no annoying hoops to jump through. This particular section archives those pertaining to miscellaneous housekeeping issues and neat-to-know general information. Included are various intriguing takes captured from the past century, but most apply to contemporary times and issues...many are useful with numerous creative hacks that are sure to be tucked into your personal file of reference.
Feel free to poke around and see what experience has taught me and what's been discovered via other nifty sources...plenty here to keep a person busy quite awhile :).
In This Archive
- Frugal Living
- Household Notes
- Kitchen Tricks
My top pick for economical, comfortable wireless headphones that are tough enough to hang in there while I do housework, cooking & assorted tasks. I've had mine for years and use them to listen to music & catch up on podcasts while bustling around the house. Works with iPhone/Android (acts as Bluetooth phone headset, smart phone speaker for microphone).
This little KitchenAid chopper does a beautiful job when you only need a small quantity of something (chimichurri, hummus, salsa, onions, whatever)--no more hassle pulling out the big heavy food processor with all its blades & gadgets. Very convenient & dishwasher safe! Lots of colors to choose from.
Kitchen Tips & Tricks
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Keep sparkle on the metal trim of handbags, metal compacts, brass buttons, silver earrings, belt buckles and any other metal objects that are difficult to spray with clear nail polish or a tarnish preventive.
Cut open old socks then sew together to produce car wash cloths.
Best to test a stain remover first on a section under the hem of the garment to find out if it will affect the color of the fabric before fully applying it.
Wear white cotton gloves sprayed with furniture polish to do the dusting.
Paint the steps of a stepladder and sprinkle clean sand on the paint before it dries, it will give the steps a non-skid, stay put surface.
Papering or painting a room? Do it right & make a notation of the amount of material needed to do the job, and place the notation under the main light switch in that room. It won't get lost and it will save a lot of extra work when the space is being painted again.
Save those slivers of toilet soap that are usually thrown away, collect until there's a handful. Soak in water until they are soft then squeeze together forming a large bar shaped mass. Let harden and now there's an extra bar of bath soap in colors too.
When cleaning windows fill small spray bottles with water, add one teaspoon vinegar, one teaspoon ammonia and spray glass. Newspapers to wipe down glass! Makes them shine.
For books that got damp or are musty, sprinkle baking soda on the pages and allow time to air out. If there's mildew on the paper, rub the baking soda into the spots and lay out to bleach in the sun.
Use a clean paint brush to dust pleated lamp shades.
When wheel grease gets on children's clothes, rub lard on it to remove grease stains.
Remove stains in vases by filling with tea leaves and vinegar, shake or swoosh until stain disappears.
Coating the top of keys with different colors of nail polish will help to identify them quickly.
Make mittens salvaged from old towels and use to dust blinds.
1 scruple = 20 grains
1 dram = 3 scruples
1 ounce = 8 drams
1 pound = 12 ounces
2 pints = 1 quart
4 quarts = 1 gallon
2 gallons = 1 peck
4 pecks = 1 bushel
4 gills = 1 pint
2 pints = 1 quart
4 quarts = 1 gallon
63 gallons = 1 hogshead
2 hogsheads = 1 pipe or butt
2 pipes = 1 tun
1 sq. foot = 144 inches
1 sq. yard = 9 sq. feet
1 sq. rod = 30 1/4 sq. yards = 272 1/4 sq. feet
1 acre = 160 sq. rods = 43,560 sq. feet
1 sq. mile = 640 acres = 102,400 sq. rods
1 sq. rod = 625 sq. links
1 sq. chain = 16 sq. rods
1 acre = 10 sq. chains
Fold handkerchief diagonally forming a triangle with the base toward you. First corner is at left, as shown.
Bring top part of corner No. 2 down and lay it beside No. 1.
Bring corner No. 3 over and lay it beside No. 2.
Bring corner No. 2a (the one remaining) down and lay it beside No. 3.
Fold the extra part left after the last fold to the underneath. It may be necessary to do twice to conceal it behind the part that shows. Then fold the extra length under. Again it may be necessary to do twice.
Tuck the handkerchief with points up neatly into pocket. Source: The WorkBasket, 1955
I finally learned to note the length of my index finger (3 inches), hand (7 inches), and elbow to middle fingertip (16 inches).
Also helpful is the measurement of one's shoe and outstretched arms, fingertip to fingertip.
The Judge kept a belt having every 2 inches marked off on the inside. (Still my favorite method.)
A quarter is 1 inch in diameter.
A penny is 3/4 inch.
Source: Mrs. Dunwoody's Excellent Instructions for Homekeeping: Timeless Wisdom & Practical Advice / Miriam Lukken
Neat To Know
Children In The Home (from 1950's source)
Always greet family members when entering and bid goodbye when leaving.
Always rise to a standing position when visitors enter, and greet them after elders.
Never address a visitor until he has started the conversation unless he is a person of your own age or younger.
Never interrupt a conversation. Wait until the party talking has finished.
Always rise when visitor or elders stand.
Never let mother or father bring you a chair or get one for themselves. Wait on them instead of being waited on.
If leaving or crossing the room say "Excuse me."
If a visitor should say, "I am glad to have seen you," say "Thank you."
Never run up and down the stairs or across the room.
Talk in a low, even voice. It denotes refinement.
Always give way to the younger child. It is your duty to look after them instead of fretting them.
Never retire without bidding the members of the family good night.
Follow these suggestions assist in making the members of your family happy as well as in benefiting them in many other ways.
No calendar on hand? Here's an easy method to determine which months have 31 days & which have 30:
Count the months on your knuckles & the grooves between each. Leave out thumb.
Every month landing on a knuckle is 31 days, every month that lands on a groove between is 30 days (or 28 for February).
Starting on the forefinger's knuckle:
1st knuckle: Jan (31)
Groove: Feb (28 or 30)
2nd: March (31)
Groove: April (30)
3rd: May (31)
Groove: June (30)
4th: July (31)
Returning to first (the forefinger, remember--skip the thumb)
1st Knuckle: August (31)
Groove: September (30)
2nd: October (31)
Groove: November (30)
3rd: December (31)
Instead of moving right to left by starting with forefinger, one could also start on pinky knuckle and move left to right. Still works out the same.
Cheat Sheet: Grammar In Rhyme
Three little words you often see,
Are articles - a, an, and the.
A Noun's the name of any thing,
As school, or garden, hoop, or swing,
Adjectives tell the kind of Noun,
As great, small, pretty, white, or brown.
Instead of Nouns the Pronouns stand-
Her head, his face, your arm, my hand.
Verbs tell of something to be done-
To read, count, sing, laugh, jump, or run.
How things are done, the adverbs tell,
As slowly, quickly, ill, or well.
Conjunctions join the words together-
As men and women, wind or weather.
The Preposition stands before
A Noun, as in, or through a door.
The Interjection shows surprise,
As oh! how pretty-ah! how wise.
The whole are called Nine Parts of Speech,
Which reading, writing, speaking, teach.
Source: Dr. Chase's Recipes, 1863