Best decluttering strategies
If you’re like me, you’re prone to collecting things and holding on to them for, well, forever. Not good.
I struggle with distinguishing between things that still have value and things that I’m holding on to just because. Huffington Post offers eight decluttering tips for “Things You Can Live Without.” Here are some excerpts:
T-shirts: “I’m not talking about those soft, perfectly fitted T-shirts you love and wear all the time. I’m talking about what’s down there in the bottom third of your dresser drawer. ... Donate these or turn them into a craft project. Your dresser drawer is happiest when it contains only the clothes you wear on at least a monthly basis.”
CDs and DVDs: “You don’t need these anymore. All the music and movies you want are on the internet now or can be stored on a hard drive. So upload them and make some space on your shelves.”
Bags and baggage: “You only need one suitcase, one bag, and possibly a purse (or two). Even if you’re fashion-conscious. Spend some dough on these few things so you get quality stuff that will last you a while and look good. All those other bags and duffels you have crammed into each other under your bed will be happier at Goodwill.”
Things that are neither useful, nor beautiful: Writer Lindsay Schauer quotes 19th-century British textile designer, artist and writer William Morris, who once said, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
“Take a look around. Sit in your reading chair and observe your home. Do all the things hanging on your walls make you smile or think? ... Do not get rid of those things. If anything, make more space for them. Those are the objects that inspire. And without all that clutter, they get to shine for us that much more.”
Check out these decluttering strategies and more at http://nando.com/xy.
Best garden tips
Dreaming of working in your garden? Burpee, the seed purveyor, offers 10 tips for beautifying small spaces in the garden. Here are a few of them:
1 Plan ahead. Early spring is the time to visualize what you want to achieve, then refer to seed catalogs for inspiration and plant selections.
2 Use a succession of plants to suit the changing seasons so that you never run out of color or volume.
3 To add interest, use a variety of containers, raised beds and vintage or recycled items such as watering cans, wheelbarrows, drawers and gallon jugs.
4 Use cages, bamboo or a trellis to run vines up a wall.
5 Use cascading plants such as Wave Petunias, Wave Pansies, Dichondra, English Ivy and Vine Nasturtiums to transform walls into foliage-covered canvas.
6 Always mix color and texture. Combine plants that flower prolifically – such as New Guinea Impatiens and Begonia – with leafy tropicals such as ferns and elephant ears. Thyme and grasses such as Ornamental Millet can also add texture and multiple shades of greens.
Best chili in a hurry
Teresa Watts of Raleigh shares her recipe for Quick Chili.
“This dish is a long-time family favorite when the cold weather rolls in,” she says. “Cornbread goes great with it.”
You will need:
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon minced onion (can use dehydrated minced onion)
2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste
1 15-ounce can pork and beans
Brown ground beef in a large skillet and add ketchup. Add onion, chili powder and pork and beans. Stir to combine and heat about 10 minutes over medium heat until mixture is hot and bubbly.
Seeking your best one-pot recipes
We are often in a rush to get dinner on the table without a lot of mess, and we could surely use some new ideas. If you’re a master at simple, one-pot meals, we’d love to share your tips. Please send seven-ingredient-or-less, one-pot recipes to firstname.lastname@example.org. If we use your recipe, you’ll be entered in our quarterly drawing for a Visa gift card. Be sure to include your name, street address and city. Put “best one-pot meal” in the subject line.
Note: Precise measurements are required.
Best way to salvage mascara
Revive clumped-up mascara with this reader tip submitted to Real Simple magazine. “After I complained to a makeup-counter salesperson that my mascara always became dry and clumpy within a month, she suggested submerging the closed tube in a bowl of hot water for three minutes to make it creamy again. (Just don’t try to revive expired mascara.) This solution has stopped me from tossing out salvageable makeup, saving me money in the process.”
Learn these and other home beauty tips by visiting http://nando.com/xz.
On the tube
Fire-damaged overhaul: Nicole heads to her hometown of Detroit to save a 1920s home that has been vacant since a fire next door left it severely damaged. She works with the city to clear the neighboring home from the lot next to hers, and to cut through the jungle that has overtaken the backyard. There’s a lot to fix inside, but first Nicole needs a plan of attack. “Rehab Addict” airs at 8:30 p.m. Sunday.
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