Around the house* A plastic wastebasket filled...


Around the house

* A plastic wastebasket filled with soapy water can be self-cleaning if used as a scrub bucket for mopping the floors.

* Prevent nails from splitting wood when hammering. Blunt tip of nail with a tap of the hammer.

*Use a ladle when transferring paint from can to tray. This will avoid messy spills caused by pouring paint into container.

*Fix leaky faucets and toilets and save hundreds of gallons of water a day.

*Marinate meats in a closable plastic bag. This will eliminate splashes when turning the meat.

*Make a quick funnel by rolling aluminum foil into a cone shape. Place the smaller end into the container you are filling.

* Place a colander in the sink when ready to do the dishes. Instead of scraping plates into trash can scrape them -- juices and all -- right into the colander -- the liquid will drain into the sink. When finished, simply empty food scraps into garbage or compost pile.

* Clean the broiler pan quickly. Before using, remove the top tray and fill the pan below with 1/4 -inch of water. Grease will drop into water and cleanup will be less work.

*Use a pressure cooker to reduce cooking time as much as two-thirds when cooking on stove top. In some cases, when cooking large amounts of foods, a pressure cooker can be quicker than a microwave.

In the garden

*Repel cats from using your garden as a litter box. Scatter orange or lemon peels among shrubs and flowers.

* Create an instant garden oasis. Fill a half-whiskey barrel with water. Stack cinder blocks or a few bricks in center -- just beneath water -- and place a small fountain that can be purchased from garden centers or nurseries on top. See manufacturer's directions before installing. You may wish to add a few water plants. If you want to add goldfish, check their needs before using either tap or well water. Surround barrel with potted plants.

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