“Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” – Part Nineteen

Here on my blog, I strive to share simple, everyday tips and tricks that can help make your life a little bit easier. But sometimes, the tips that I want to share aren’t something I can write a whole blog post about!

And since I simply cannot waste a good idea, I tuck them away to use at a later date. Today I’ll be sharing some of those tips and tricks with you in the nineteenth edition of my ongoing series “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?”

Missed the last installment, or want to revisit some of your old favorite tips? Check out the entire archive of the “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” series at the bottom of this post!

1. Put A Mini Diffuser Anywhere

Diffusing essential oils is an easy way to freshen up the air throughout your home. But wouldn’t it be nice if you use essential oils to freshen up smaller and smellier spots around the house, like the inside of your trash can or the hamper where you put your dirty laundry?

You actually can, and it couldn’t be quicker or easier to do! Simply stick a small felt pad (the same ones you’d stick on the bottom of furniture and chair legs to protect your floors) wherever you could use a scent boost, then add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil to it.

I’ve already put up a few of these DIY “mini diffusers” in my laundry room and closet, and I think they’d be equally useful in diaper pails, gym bags, and anywhere else too! I’ve been loading mine up with a few drops of sweet orange essential oil, because its fresh and cheerful scent is perfect for chasing away the winter blues. :-)

2. Freezer Bag Solution

While vacuum sealing foods before storing them in your freezer is the best way to keep it fresh as long as possible, it’s not an ideal solution for ingredients you want to use a little bit at a time, such as smoothie ingredients, frozen cubes of fresh herbs or leftovers, etc. Ziplock freezer bags are a more convenient option for storing these items, but the emptier the bag gets, the harder it becomes to avoid freezer burn!

But there’s a quick and easy solution to this particular problem. When the bag is less than half full, cut the top portion off the bag in a straight line. Roll or twist the bag to close it up, then use the portion you cut off to tie it up tightly.

Not only is this method a simple and effective way to reduce the chances of freezer burn, but it’s also less wasteful than transferring the food to a new bag!

3. Makeup Brush Drying Rack

You just washed your makeup brushes to eliminate product buildup and bacteria… so now what? The safest way to dry makeup brushes is to air dry them upside down, and there’s an easy way to do it!

Grab one hair ties for each makeup brush, and place the hair tie against the backside of your towel bar. Take one of your brushes and hold it upside down in front of the towel bar, then fold the top and bottom of the hair tie over the towel bar and slide the brush through the two “loops” to secure it.

Once all your makeup brushes are suspended upside down, allow them to air dry completely. No need for any fancy drying racks here!

4. Extra Large Ziplock Bag

In instances when even a gallon ziplock bag isn’t big enough, you can combine two of them to make an extra large ziplock bag! Just open both bags, flip one inside out, and fit the “tongue” portion of one bag into the “groove” portion of the other.

Press the seals firmly all the away around to make sure it’s closed properly. Your new two gallon ziplock is perfect for storing larger food items, or even dirty shoes that you’re packing into a gym bag or suitcase.

5. Clipboard To-Do List

If you or your family has a set list of chores that you repeat daily or weekly, you can easily keep track of those to-dos with a clipboard and a handful of binder clips. Start by writing out each of the tasks along the left edge of a piece of paper, continuing along the right edge if you have a long list. (You can also type it up on your computer, arrange the text into two columns, and align the text to the left and right edges of the paper.)

Once you’ve got your checklist written or printed out, clip it on your clipboard, then clamp binder clips to the side of each task. After finishing a task, flip the metal arms back so they rest against the clipboard to indicate the task is done. (The little “click” of the metal hitting the board is highly satisfying!) Resetting your list is as easy as flipping the metal arms of the clips back out again.

6. Make Your Mask Work For You

We all know how important it is to wear a mask in public, so why not make the most of the experience? One way to make mask wearing a little more pleasant or productive is to spritz it with a simple DIY essential oil mask spray!

If grocery shopping during the pandemic is still making you anxious, make your spray with calming oils like lavender or Calm Mind. If you need a boost to your mood or energy, spritz your mask with a citrus oil like lemon or sweet orange!

Check out this post to learn how to make your own DIY mask spray, and if you’re still looking for the perfect reusable mask, check out my favorite one here.

7. Better Biscuits

Homemade biscuits are a breakfast staple, especially when you’re in the mood for something satisfying! If you make yours from scratch, you may have heard that twisting your cutter when stamping out biscuit dough is helpful, but that may not have been good advice after all!

Twisting your biscuit cutter can actually seal the outer edges of the dough, preventing the biscuit from fully rising as it bakes. Instead, cut your biscuits by pressing straight down with a well floured biscuit cutter, which will keep the edges open and help your biscuits rise high!

8. Maximize Your Fridge Space

Tired of playing Tetris every time you want to stick something in the fridge? Utilize the vertical space left in your fridge by placing a cooling rack on top of a bowl, casserole dish or other large item, and then you can stack things right on top of the rack! (Don’t have a cooling rack to spare? Try using chopsticks instead.)

9. Safer Scrubbing For Cast Iron

Can’t find the right scrubber or brush to keep your cast iron pan clean? Try a traditional Tawashi brush! These Japanese brushes are made from tightly wound palm fibers that are sturdy enough for scrubbing, but gentle enough that they won’t strip away your cast iron’s seasoning.

And since these brushes are made from organic, biodegradable material, they’re a great choice for the environment too!

The “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” Series

If you’ve missed any of the previous posts in this series, or want to revisit some of your old favorite tips, click the button below to check out the full archive of the “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” series.

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