That is a pretty bold statement, but I mean it. The items listed below are items that aren’t expensive, do double-duty and will earn their keep. You may already have most if not all of them!
- A needle-threader. BEFORE you stop reading, please hear me out. Yes, a needle-threader is more of a sewing thing, but I use it to pull picks (aka snags) from the front of fabric to the back. Actually, I rarely use it to thread a needle.You will want to purchase the cheap, original kind that has a metal wire at the top. Don’t pay $5 for 10. You can get 100 or 200 for $6.00. That way you can share with friends and family.
From the back of the fabric, insert the point of the wire loop as close to the pick/snag as possible. When the wire loop is on the front of the fabric, gently pull the picked/snagged fiber through to the back side.
My favorite is this one: https://amzn.to/3RfpYxt
- Frozen face roller. Again, read this before you discount it! I keep a face roller in the freezer to help with headaches, wrinkles, sinus pain. It is convenient, and it works.Recently I was stung on the elbow by a wasp while having dinner with my husband at our dining table. To alleviate the pain, I grabbed the ice roller. It worked perfectly without having to deal with melting ice or freezing fingers.
From now on, be it sting, burn, bump, or headache, I am going for the ice roller!
The one I use is: https://amzn.to/3KpmZ3n
- Vacuum cleaner. Yes, a vacuum is great for picking up lint and dust, but it is also good at collecting dead or alive spiders, small fallen leaves, small dust piles from sweeping, etc. around the house.My vacuum is a Dyson stick vac, so I can use it like a hand vac. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t grab it from its charging cradle and pick something up with it. Some small jobs are what I used to do with a wet washcloth or wet paper towel; for example, when getting dry particles out of the sink bowl such as hair, dust, or dirt, or picking up the remainder of a dust pile from sweeping. It may be a small thing, but it cuts down on washing a cloth or throwing away a paper towel.
This time of year, it seems every bug and spider comes to my house to die. I suck them up in my vacuum cleaner just as soon as I see them. One little zap and they are gone! Of course, I already have a vacuum cleaner for when I go back and forth in a room to clean the flooring, but my everyday use is just those quick little spot removals of something that looks unsightly.
This is similar to mine: https://amzn.to/3ATb9eB
- Tape. Be it desk (invisible) tape or painters’ tape, tape is great for removing lint off clothing, collecting dust or small particles of Styrofoam from new purchases, and sticky residue from tape or labels. Be careful to test a small, inconspicuous area first so that you don’t ruin a fine finish of paint or stain or a delicate, woven fabric.
Even at work, small bits of paper, lint, and dust build up on the desk around the printer and under the keyboard. Small strips of desk tape quickly remove the debris without even having to get out of my chair!
If you enjoy making floral designs, use invisible tape to create a grid at the top of your container so that stems will stay in place. Since it is clear, it won’t show once your flowers are filling the container.
I have even “hemmed” a skirt with invisible tape when I noticed it had come unsewn at work. It wasn’t a permanent solution, but it got me through the day until I could sew it into place.
My favorite painters’ tape: https://amzn.to/3Ar7y6k and favorite desk tape: https://amzn.to/3cpwgf9
5. Binder clips. What did we do before binder clips were invented? They are great at the office and home for many more tasks than just securing papers together. I have used them to hold my hair back when at work without a barrette or hair band.
Right now, I have one holding a shower curtain liner back so that it isn’t seen peeking around the pretty, outer shower curtain. I also have one holding my dish washing gloves on a hook inside the cabinet door so that they are handy when needed. These are both on permanent duty.
Binder clips are great for keeping in your picnic basket to hold down the tablecloth (just clip a few around the edges) and paper plates or paper napkins that may be wanting to fly away. A few can serve as weight on top of stacks of either of these items, or they can clip to a paper plate of food to keep it from getting tossed around in a gust of wind.
The black metal part of a traditional bind clip can be painted to go with your decor or to liven the up a bit. If passing out sets of documents at a meeting, you could put a label or paint the participants’ name of their set so that they do not get lost or mixed up with other folks’ sets.
My favorite: https://amzn.to/3PVIrhu
6. Plain shelf liner. I love the cushiony, non-stick shelf liner that keeps scratches off the interior of painted cabinets and brightens up stained shelves (white shelf liner brightens up the dark wood stains in cabinets). I line every drawer and shelf in the house with this stuff.
It is also great for putting between pots and pans so they do not scratch each other or between stacks of plates to prevent them from chipping one another. I use it under items, such as a ceramic planter or metal lantern, that might scratch a wood table.
I like to put marble or granite on the top of end tables, chests of drawers, etc. I always put a piece of shelf liner between the wood furniture and the stone so as to prevent scratches.
This is what I like to use: https://amzn.to/3CCyItv
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