Apr 112014

Sterilite See-Through Holiday ContainerI’m kind of a plastic storage container addict. I usually buy them a dozen at a time and, believe it or not, there is not one empty container to be found in this house. I’m going to have to buy some more. My brand of choice is Sterilite. I also found that some of Target’s containers are made by Sterilite. They are the same thing, and have the name on the container. They come in all sizes. I have two, three and four-drawer units. These are great for office and sewing supplies. I also have many 6-quart, 16-quart and 66-quart sizes. They are clear and most of them have white lids and the larger ones have latches. The small ones have lids that snap closed. One thing I love about these containers is that they have indented tops so that they stack nicely on top of another.

My son must have at least 20 of them with his Legos, Star Wars, Picachu cards, clay, you name it, whatever he collects he puts in these storage containers. They are stacked in the garage, his closet and also under his bed. He’s almost 20 now and still has most of them. He’s a pack rat, too, what can I say. Wonder who he takes after. 🙂

Then, for my office I have containers for paper, file folders, envelopes, office supplies, etc. I use them to store batteries, light bulbs, hooks and picture hangers. Everything is so much easier to manage when I keep things in containers.

I use them for everything. They’re great for seasonal items. I buy the see-through containers so they’re easy to find. I take advantage of sales during the holidays because I could always find containers with green or red lids for Christmas, orange lids for Halloween. My husband has rearranged the garage so many times, so it helps when searching for things. I use them for Christmas, Easter, Fourth of July, and Halloween decorations. They’re great for linen napkins, placemats and table cloths. I store our Winter clothing, such as sweaters, hats and gloves. There are so many storage containers, we don’t even have enough room in our garage to park the car!

Sterilite 18 Gallon Purple & Black Storage Toter
Sterilite 18 Gallon Purple & Black Storage Tote

These are great for Halloween decorations, costumes, and other Fall accessories.

It measures 25.5″L x 17.5″W x 15.5″H.

Sterilite See-Through Holiday Container
Sterilite 66-Quart See-Through Holiday Storage Box with Evergreen Lid & Rocket Red Latches, Set of 4

I have several of these. They are great for holiday lights, decorations and ornaments. It measures 24-1/2″L x 17-3/4″W x 13-3/8″H.

Sterilite 66-Quart See-Through Storage Box with Latching Lid and Handle, Set of 4
Sterilite 66-Quart See-Through Storage Box with Latching Lid and Handle, Set of 4

This is also a good size for storing larger items.

It measures 24-1/2″L x 17-3/4″W x 13-1/4″H.

16-Quart See-Through Storage Box with White Secure Fit Lid, 12-Pack
Sterilite 16-Quart See-Through Storage Box with White, 12-Pack

This is the perfect size to store your Winter sweaters, and a whole lote more. I also use these containers for my household files, such as bank statements, tax returns, bills, mortgage information, automobile records, user manuals, etc.

It measures 16-5/8″ x 11-3/4″ x 7″.

6-Quart See-Through Storage Box with White Secure Fit Lid, 12-Pack
Sterilite 6-Quart See-Through Storage Box with White Lid with See-Through Base, 12-Pack

This is a perfect size for shoes and other smaller household items. This is the size my son uses for his card collections, lego pieces, school supplies, etc.

It measures 13-1/2″ x 8-1/4″ x 4-3/4″.

Sterilite 67-Quart See-Through-Wheeled-Underbed-Organizer
Sterilite 67-Quart See-Through Wheeled Underbed Organizer

This is a great under-the-bed organizer. However, make sure you have enough clearance under your bed frame. My king-size bed has a very low frame and this doesn’t fit. It does fit under my other beds with higher frames.

This is great for storing clothes, shoes, decorations, and rolls of gift wrapping paper.

It measures 39-5/8″L x 20-1/4″W x 7″H.

Sterilite 3-Drawer See-Through Organizer - Letter Size
Sterilite 3-Drawer See-Through Organizer – Letter Size

I use these for printer paper and stationery. It’s a perfect size for letter size paper (8-1/2″ x 11″).

It measures 13.2 x 11 x 9.5 inches.


This one is perfect for legal size paper (8-1/2″ x 14″).

It measures 14.5″W x 14.25″L x 10.25″H.

Sterilite 7-Drawer See-Through Storage Unit
Sterilite 7-Drawer See-Through Storage Unit

The multi-drawer towers are great for office, craft and hobby areas, as they provide a combination of smaller and larger drawers ideal for sorting different sized items. Casters are included with all drawer carts to create rolling storage options.

It measures 14-1/2″L x 12-5/8″W x 39-1/2″H. The 4 small drawers are 3-1/8″H the 3 large drawers are 7″H.

Sterilite Small 5-Drawer See-Through Organizer, 4-Pack
Sterilite Small 5-Drawer See-Through Organizer, 4-Pack

This is great for pens and pencils or small craft items. The drawers are small and not big enough to fit letter size paper. I don’t think casters are included with this one.

The drawers measure 6-1/2″W x 7-1/2″L x 2″H.

Sterilite 4-Drawer See-Through Storage Unit
Sterilite 4-Drawer See-Through Storage Unit

I have two of these. I keep office supplies in one and sewing supplies in the other. I especially like the fact that it has two small drawers and two deeper drawers for storing different sized items. These drawers will fit 8-1/2″ x 11″ letter size paper.

It measures 12-5/8″W x 14-1/2″L x 24″H. With the casters it is 25 1/2″H. The top two drawers are: 13″L x 10 1/4″W x 3″H. The bottom two drawers are: 13″L x 10-1/4″W x 7″H.

This doesn’t even touch on kitchen or closet organizers. That’s another story. 🙂

Check out more Sterilite Products – Click Here

Mar 062014

How to Unclog a Toilet

Ridgid 59787 K-3 3-foot Toilet Auger with bulb head
Ridgid 59787 K-3 3-foot Toilet Auger with bulb head

I woke up the other day to hear my husband and oldest son yelling. I could tell something bad happened, and my first thought was that something happened to the van. My oldest son works nights and it was around the time that he usually gets home, which was just before eight o’clock in the morning.

As it turns out, the toilet in the main bathroom had overflowed and my son was dealing with sopping up the floor with wet towels. He had turned off the water and slowly, over a long period of time, unclogged the toilet. All we have is a toilet plunger and it just didn’t want to do the job. After plunging many times, adding hot water and liquid soap, and poking it with a wire hanger, the clog finally came loose and flushed away. I suspect it was from a build up of toilet paper. He who shall remain nameless (my youngest) has had this happen before when we lived in the townhouse. We have been here just over a year and it was the first toilet overflow in this house.

Anyway, I took it upon myself to do some research and found the perfect tool just in case it happens again. My son and I practiced using it and it was very easy to do. We will be prepared next time.

I found the Ridgid 3-foot Toilet Auger at Amazon, which is my #1 goto for shopping. I have Prime Membership and it’s been worth its weight in gold, not just for the free shipping but it almost always arrives in one day because we’re close to the warehouse. So, if you ever have a problem with a clogged toilet, give this a try. It’s used by professionals (imagine paying a plumber $200 to unclog a toilet) and can easily be used by the average homeowner. I’d much rather spend less than $40 and have it for the rest of our lives. I’m sure this isn’t the last time we will have to deal with a clogged toilet.

Once you realize the toilet is backing up, try to hurry up and turn off the water under the toilet. This will at least stop the bowl from filling back up. Grab the plunger and using short bursts try plunging six to eight times. Hopefully, this will release the clog and the water will drain. Unfortunately, if the clog is too big a plunger will probably not be good enough.

Basically, to use the auger you want to pull the snake-like coil up into the tube. Place the bulb head into the hole in the toilet with the plastic part resting against the porcelain for protection. Don’t touch the metal snake against the bowl or it might scratch. Then, push down on the tube while turning the handle. This will push the snake down into the drain. After turning the handle several times, you might notice that the water has started to go down. Pull the tube snake back out of the drain while turning the handle. Either the snake pushed the clog all the way through, or the snake will have the material that was clogging the toilet wrapped around the bulb head. Usually, it will pull out a big wad of toilet paper, other times it will have something else. Once the clog has been cleared, push the snake down again while turning to make sure the clog is completely gone. Then, while the snake is still down, flush the toilet a couple of times to rinse it off before you retrieve it. That’s it!

To use the auger, read the instructions on the package carefully. There is also a video below that demonstrates very well how it is done.


How to Unclog a Sink or Tub Drain

Do you ever find yourself with water up around your ankles while you’re taking a shower? Or does your sink drain ever so slowly when you’re trying to brush your teeth?

Well, I found the coolest gadget…EVER… that really works! While I was shopping for the toilet auger (above) I remembered that I needed something that would help me unclog my sink and tub drains. After reading the reviews, I decided on the FlexiSnake Drain Millipede Hair Clog Tool for Drain Cleaning. When I ordered it I accidentally ordered two. I’m not sure how that happened because I am usually pretty careful when reviewing my orders. Anyway, as it turns out, I was glad to have one for each bathroom. This little tool is fantastic! It fits right under the sink stopper, so you don’t have to remove the stopper. All you have to do is wiggle it around a little while feeding it into the drain. It doesn’t have to go very far before you can feel it catching onto something. As soon as I pulled it out I couldn’t believe it! It really was disgusting to think all that hair and goo was clogging my sink. I suggest that you wear rubber gloves when you use it so you can pull the hair off. What doesn’t come off easily can be scrubbed with an old tooth brush. It is reusable, so I after I cleaned it I stored it under the sink where it will be handy the next time I need it.

FlexiSnake Drain Millipede Hair Clog Remover FlexiSnake Drain Millipede Hair Clog Remover FlexiSnake Drain Millipede Hair Clog Remover

FlexiSnake Drain Millipede Hair Clog Tool for Drain Cleaning


Happy Plumbing!

Mar 022014

How to fix a sponge mop refill that doesn't fit your mop
This probably sounds silly, since it doesn’t cost much to buy a refill for a sponge mop. But my local grocery store didn’t have the right one! I didn’t realize until I got home that the one I bought had a new design and didn’t fit my mop. I have the Libman sponge mop, and I bought the Libman sponge mop refill. But I didn’t read the part that said, “new design!”

Anyway, I was in a cleaning mood and didn’t want to stop and run out to find the right refill. Believe me, I don’t want to get sidetracked when I’m in a cleaning mood because it doesn’t happen as often as it should. 🙂

So, I got the bright idea to take the old mop sponge and attach it to the new mop sponge. After all, I have a glue gun! It’s kind of like the duct tape for crafters, there are so many things you can do with hot glue.

Below are photos of the steps I took in cutting and gluing the mop. I didn’t actually show the gluing part because I needed two hands and couldn’t take the photo at the same time. But, well, chances are if you’re reading this you know how to use a glue gun. If not, take a look at the YouTube video below.

As you can see from the photo above, the old design slides on, and the new design snaps on.

LIBMAN 105 Mop Refill Scrubster Sponge for 8G790 by Libman

This is the refill I just ordered from Amazon. I prefer this one because it has the green scrubber strip. Just in case my glue job doesn’t last, I’ll have a new one on hand.

How To Use A Glue Gun

Oct 072013

How to get rid of those pesky ants!I have been getting these pesky ants in my kitchen. They seem to be coming up from under the house, behind my dishwasher. I could never see where they were coming in, and there was no trail of ants marching in formation, either inside or outside. I didn’t see where the anthills were, but they didn’t seem to be under the house. So, I did some research on ant behavior.

Ants are very social and live in colonies. Most colonies consist of a few dozen workers, some males and females, and one queen. Some larger colonies have several queens.

The queen’s only job is to produce more ants, workers, males or future queens.

The male ant’s only job is to mate with the queen. Once they have performed this task the male dies within a few days.

The worker ants are wingless females who never reproduce. They forage for food, care for the young, and take care of the queen. These are the ants that you see running around your kitchen or picnic table. They can forage as far as 700 feet away from their colony.

The soldier ant’s main job is to defend the nest. Not all ant colonies have soldier ants.

Ant Bully, the movieThe queen ant is the diva. The workers just adore their queen and will do anything to make her happy. She sends out her minions to forage for food, which they seem to do mostly at night. Night after night, after night. Did you know that even with those tiny brains, ants can not only find their way back to the colony, but they can communicate the location of the food to the other members of the colony…I find that to be amazing!

talking antsActually, they can’t really speak to each other, but they are very clever nonetheless. Each ant leaves a trail of pheromones as it looks for food. When they find the food, they follow the pheremone trail back to the colony. Eventually, the ants will find the shortest route to the food, leaving a stronger scent of pheremones because they can make more trips, leaving more pheremones each time. The trail with the strongest pheremones is the shortest route. It’s brilliant!

What to do about these pesky ants?

Oh, I know you’re going to read about all of those home remedies. They tell you how to prevent them from entering the house in the first place. Close up the entryways, repair window screens (btw, ants are pretty tiny and can get through most window screens), spray around all entryways, caulk up the holes and cracks around the house.

And, of course, you must keep your house spotlessly clean. Use vinegar, lemon juice, coffee grounds, peppermint oil, spices and herbs, chalk, baby powder, cucumber and citrus peels, dish soap, the list goes on.

These remedies don’t control ants!

Ants are tiny little buggers and can get into the tiniest places. These remedies may be all well and good, and they might keep the ants at bay for short periods of time, but I guarantee that if you don’t nip this in the bud, they will keep coming back.

Spraying merely kills off the ones foraging for food in your kitchen. When the queen senses that these foraging ants aren’t coming back with food she simply sends out another raiding party to invade your space.

How this stuff works:

All you need to do is provide something yummy for those ants to bring back to their loving queen.

Well, I found the perfect ant food, recommended by my neighbor and it had rave reviews on Amazon. It is called Amdro Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait.

The idea is to kill the ants outside, so they can’t come inside. 24 ounces of Amdro will treat 1,080 linear feet as a 1 ft. band around the outside perimeter. Granules are carried directly into the mound by workers as food for the colony. When the queen is dead, the mound dies. Kills carpenter ants, argentine ants, fire ants, field ants and other listed ants. See fewer ants within a week of treatment. For use on lawns, landscaped areas, ornamental gardens and other non-cropland areas.

So, since I’d much rather buy it online and save a trip to Home Depot, I ordered it and it was delivered in two days (I just love Amazon Prime). It comes in granular form.

I sprinkled it all the way around the outside of the house, zig-zagging the flow about one foot wide. The 24 oz bottle is plenty as long as you sprinkle and don’t pour.

And guess what happened?

I swear, I’m not pulling your leg. It was the very next day, I said to my husband, “Knock on wood, it might be too soon (keeping fingers crossed), but I don’t see any ants.” I opened the dishwasher, where they always appeared first, and there was absolutely no sign of them. Not one! None on the floor, or the wall, or the countertop, nowhere! It worked! Amazing! That was several days ago and we are totally ant free.

It is early October. The weather’s beginning to change, and soon the ants would have gone into hibernation for the Winter, anyway. But, come Spring, if they come back I’ll be ready for them.

May 032013

Sewing, Canning, Cleaning, Gardening
Homemaking is popular again! Remember the days when our grandmothers (and grandfathers) would make everything from scratch, or perform tasks that most people hire someone to do today? Well, those days are here again! Doing things at home and by your own hand is a choice, not a chore. A new generation is embracing the do it yourself (DIY) mentality, even beyond home improvement projects.

Make your own cleaning supplies; alter, mend and sew your own garments; grow your own vegetables, can your own jams, knit or crochet wonderful gifts for family and friends. The list goes on. And you know what? Many of these are great family activities and can be so much fun to do together!

Think of how proud you feel after accomplishing a do-it-yourself project. Once you start, you gain the confidence to learn how to do more things you never thought about doing yourself. Things that many frugal moms have been doing for years. One such friend owns and operates Frugal-Freebies.com, where they post all kinds of do-it-yourself products and ways to save money. Continue reading »

 Posted by on May 3, 2013
Sep 302012

I read about some great household cleaning tips on the Internet. My favorite sites are Pinterest and Frugal-Freebies.com.

It’s amazing what you can do with borax, washing soda, bar soap, baking soda, essential oils, vinegar and lemons. For example, borax, washing soda, and bar soap makes a great laundry detergent and would cost less than $25 a year. You can make your own dishwasher detergent, floor cleaner, carpet cleaner, air freshener…the list goes on. Usually with a combination of a few of these ingredients.

Here are some uses: Continue reading »