Squirming toddlers are hard to groom, especially when you're in a hurry to leave the house. So stow a comb behind your child's car seat. Comb his hair while he's confined, and you've avoided a protracted battle.
- Here's a time-shaving tip for the petite: Use a long shoe horn or back scratcher to get a handle on those just-out-of-reach items in the back of the pantry or top of the closet. This eliminates the need to round up the kitchen footstool or a chair.Source: Judith Victor, Cordova, Tenn.
- If you don't have an evening bag to coordinate with a particular outfit, make a temporary one out of a square scarf. Put your cosmetics, keys, ID and change in the center and tie the corners diagonally.
- Tired of running back and forth to the kitchen to check the timer on the stove? Here's a way to tell time by your TV. TV programs are generally a half-hour, 1 hour or two hours long. To break those time segments down, just remember that prime-time shows generally run 121/2 minutes between commercials.
Source: "Practical Problem Solver," by Reader's Digest books. $27.
- Spend the last 10 to 15 minutes of your day touring every room of the house. Put newspapers, books, towels and any odds and ends out of place back where they belong. You'll wake up to a neater home the next day.
Source: Eula E. Brown, Millington, Tenn.
- If you're sending cookies by mail, pack them in miniature marshmallows. They cushion the cookies and help them retain moisture.
Source: Sharon Whitaker, Memphis, Tenn.
- Eliminate the mess of making crumbs from bread, vanilla wafers or graham crackers. Put them in a plastic bag, use a rolling pin or drinking glass to crush and transfer to your pie plate.
Source: Barbara Patterson, Memphis, Tenn.
- Black shoes with scuffed toes and heels can be quickly touched up with a wide, black, felt tip pen.
Source: Carol Befort, North Platte, Neb.
- A green file folder marked "FLOWERS" has been Patricia P. Cox's "flower power" reminder for years.
"I raise and give away flowers. In order not to forget people to take flowers to, I make a list on 8-by-10 paper and file it in my folder. Then, when the blooms are ready, people are on my mind. Frequently after taking flowers, I write dates by the names."
This can apply to anything you give away, including food.
- Here's a time-shaver for cold-water washing: Label a laundry basket for every family member. When you do a load of clothes, limit it to that individual. You'll eliminate the need for sorting and avoid mix-ups on towels, socks and underwear. This household chore is easy for children to manage, too.
- Children tugging at your apron strings while you try to clean the house? Bring out the artist in them. Spray foam window cleaner on mirrors, windows, oven doors and television screens. Stand back and enjoy unbelievable designs that change quickly. Wipe off with a clean cloth. Result? Fun - and a clean house.
- Use peel-off labels on catalogs you receive in the mail to use as your return address on bills or other non-personal correspondence. Blot out or trim off any part you don't need.