One of the best things about having a blog is that you get to meet and interact with people who share your interests. A few posts ago, I talked about how much I liked Real Simple mag. And then a friend of mine — working mom Candiceposted a note saying that, surprise, there’s a Real Simple online newsletter.1 I’m glad she told me because now it’s the only newsletter I look forward to receiving every week. It’s chockfull of clever and aha! tips with titles like: “Decorate on the Cheap with Everyday Items” (ex: Use binder clips to display photos), “Learn How to Say No2, “16 Quick Ways to Take Control of Your Life” (ex: Itemize your possesions), and “27 Clever Cleaning Tips” (ex: Store cleaning products in a see-through shoe holder). If you want to simplify your life, go ahead, do yourself a favor and subscribe.

By the way, I think I’ve gained some three years worth of stay-at-home-wifedom cred to list down a few household tips myself. Let me share them with you:

1. Baking soda is your friend. Use it to unclog drains (sprinkle some on the drain before pouring boiling water through it), freshen up kitchen counters (sprinkle some on the counter, pour some vinegar or squeeze a few pieces of calamansi on the powder — it will fizz — then wipe it off), or remove unpleasant smells in your ref (keep an open container of it inside your ref).
2. Rub off the nasty black stains on the bottoms of your pots and pans with vinegar.
3. Keep a little basket or tray containing everything you’ll need when you go out. Ours holds our house keys, car keys, wedding rings, cellphones, and a wallet with “emergency money”. We bring it to the bedroom with us when we sleep, and we bring it downstairs every morning when we open the doors. We’ve made it a habit to put the abovementioned items in it everytime we go home.
4. Make duplicates of all your keys and label each one carefully. Entrust the duplicates, or at least the ones that open the main doors) to a trusted family member or friend who doesn’t live in the same house.
5. Make it a habit to switch off the gas before turning off the stove.
6. Have scissors, even the kid-size ones will do, available in every room. Trust me.
7. Put all loose change on a bowl on your kitchen counter. Pretty soon you’ll end up with a big pile that you can use for miscellaneous expenses like parking, tips for your cleaning lady and drinking water delivery guy.
8. Enroll your bank accounts in an online facility, if possible. (I’m not sure about the other banks but I know BPI and Citibank accounts can be managed online). My fabulous friend Tippi introduced me to online finance management and I’m glad I took her advice. It’s so convenient — you can check your balances, transfer funds, and pay monthly bills all from the comforts of home, even on weekends and holidays!
9. Keep extra trash bags at the bottom of your trash cans. This way there’ll always be a bag when you need one.
10. Buy toilet paper, paper towels, and table napkins in bulk. They don’t spoil, it’ll come out cheaper, and having them around will give you peace of mind.
More next time. 😀
By the way, another fabulous friend Sheila has a happy new blog. She’s an award-winning advertising creative director so please visit her site, try out her tasty recipes, and just see what else goes on inside the mind of a genius! Clicky.

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  1. See, I didn’t even know that and I probably wouldn’t have if I didn’t blog about it and if she didn’t point it out. Thank you Cands![ back]
  2. A must-read. In my life I’ve been through a lot of sticky situations where I had difficulty saying no.[ back]