Around the house
* Remove car grease from clothing. Rub petroleum jelly into stain, wipe off excess, and rub in undiluted liquid detergent. Launder.
* Clean your oven without fumes. Make a paste from a small box of baking soda, two squirts of liquid dish-washing soap and water. Sprinkle water over bottom of soiled oven to moisten; spread mixture over grime and sprinkle more water on top of paste. Let sit overnight and wipe up grease with a slightly abrasive pad. Wipe off residue with a soapy sponge; rinse well.
* Vacuum upholstered furniture. Remove cushions and vacuum all sides, including the areas beneath the seats. Frequent cleaning prevents soil from becoming embedded in the fabric.
* When dusting a room, begin at a specific object, like a table, and work around the room in one direction. First dust small accessories on table tops, then tables, continuing around perimeter of room until you finish at the first object.
* If the plastic rail that keeps bottles intact on the shelf of the refrigerator door breaks, a tension curtain rod is an adequate replacement.
In the garden
* Take the guesswork out of watering house plants. Make a watering wick from any absorbent material such as cotton shoelaces or oil-lamp wicks. Fill a container with water and place it near the plants. Extend the wick that has been pushed firmly into the root ball into the container of water.