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

Why Didn't I Think Of That?

Here on my blog, I strive to share simple, everyday tips and tricks that can help make 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. I decided to share some of those tips and tricks today, in the fifth edition of my ongoing series, “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?

Note: Many of the tips I share on the blog come straight from your comments. If you have a great idea you’d like to share, leave it in the comments, and your idea could be featured in the next “Why Didn’t I Think of That?” post!

Be sure to scroll down to see some of these brilliant hacks in action on video!

Why Didn't I Think Of That?

Remember Where You Parked

It’s kind of embarrassing how often I return to the parking lot after shopping, only to realize that I have no idea where I left my car. But luckily for me, the latest iOS update for iPhones includes a feature that can remember where you parked!

You can turn the function on by going to Maps in the Settings menu. If you scroll down you should see a toggle option labeled “Show Parked Location.” Just turn this feature on, and the next time you leave your car, the Maps app should show a notification telling you that it has dropped a pin for your car’s location. You can also view the location by opening the Maps app, selecting the search bar, and scrolling down to “Parked Car.”

Why Didn't I Think Of That?

Sharpie Revival

If the tip of your favorite permanent marker has dried out, don’t toss it out just yet! You may be able to revive it with a little bit of rubbing alcohol.

Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol into a small dish, then place the tip of the marker (cap off) into the alcohol for about 5 minutes. Put the cap back on the marker for one hour, and your marker should be ready to use!

Why Didn't I Think Of That?

Trash Tip

Nobody wants to take the trash out when the trash bag is a drippy, soggy mess! But there’s a simple way to avoid a wet garbage mess, and all you need is some newspaper.

When you put a new trash bag into your garbage can, line the bottom of the trash bag with a few sheets of newspaper. The newspaper will help absorb the liquid that falls to the bottom of the bag, reducing the chances of a dripping disaster. Smart!

YouTube video
This one simple step can prevent a lot of mess!
Why Didn't I Think Of That?

Storing Packets

Here’s a simple tip for storing spice, dip, and sauce packets in your pantry or cupboard. Stack up all of your packets and clip them together at the top with a binder clip. Hang the binder clip from a small Command hook. You’ll always know where your packets are, and it’ll be easy to flip through and find the one you need.

YouTube video
I just love all the great organizing you can do with Command hooks!
Why Didn't I Think Of That?

Add Grip To Glasses

Whether they’re reading glasses or sunglasses, it’s really annoying to have them slipping off your face! Just grab your trusty hot glue gun to add some extra grip.

Apply a line of hot glue to the inside of each arm of your glasses, near the back where they rest above your ears. When the glue dries, the glue will add some extra grip and keep them from sliding. (And you can peel the hot glue off whenever you want without damaging your frames.)

Why Didn't I Think Of That?

Put A Lid On It

If you have leftover chocolate chips after baking, here’s a quick tip for storing them. Cut the top third of a plastic water bottle off, then thread the top of the chocolate chip bag through the mouth of the bottle. Fold the bag over the opening, then screw the lid back onto the bottle.

Your chocolate chips will stay fresh until you need them, and they’ll be easy to pour, too!

YouTube video
You can reuse this DIY bag topper over and over!
Why Didn't I Think Of That?

Wrinkle Rescue

Sometimes you pull a button-up shirt out of your closet and it looks fine, except for the collar. Collars have a mysterious ability to wrinkle or curl up for no reason. But since it’s just the collar that’s wrinkled, it doesn’t feel worth it to drag out the iron and ironing board.

A quick way to tame a curled collar is to use your hair straightener! Hair straighteners heat up quickly, so you’ll be able to fix your collar issues even when you’re in a hurry.

Why Didn't I Think Of That?

Better Blender Cleaning

For the most part, cleaning a blender cup is really easy. But occasionally you blend something that just will not come off of those blades at the bottom of the cup! But there’s an easy way to tackle the mess, without risking your fingers.

Pour a few cups of hot water into your blender cup, along with a few drops of dish soap. Put the lid on and run your blender for a few seconds. The hot, soapy water will help loosen the stuff that’s stuck to the blades, and your blender cup will be clean in no time!

Why Didn't I Think Of That?

Turn Trash Into Garden Tools

Plants benefit from gentle, even watering, but you don’t need to buy an expensive watering can. You can make one using an empty milk jug!

Just wash out a plastic milk jug, and use a craft knife to poke several small holes in the cap. Fill the jug with water, screw the cap on, and use your recycled watering can to water house plants, flowers, or your garden beds.

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

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Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • Just a note of appreciation for all of the work and research you must have to do to deliver the myriad of helpful tips on everyday household matters. Unlike a lot of women, I enjoy keeping a clean and organized home; it gives me a tremendous amount of satisfaction and a feeling of accomplishment. Thanks for your help in doing that.

  • I have 9 children. I never try to remember the number of the row I am parked in I make a mental note of which child. For instance if I’m pared in row 5 I just think Kelly who is my 5th child.

  • A hiding place for money in your purse or glove box is inside of an unused feminine napkin or panty liner. Open up the wrapper just enough to slip the folded money inside, then put it back with the open side down.

    Also in the car, double fold your bills, then pull the seatbelt all way the end. Tuck the money next to the roller and release.

    For ingrown toenail pain, or other minor tender spots, use Anbesol.

    For storing small portions of leftovers, use a zipper baggie.

    A simple way to rinse rice, especially brown rice, where you’d add the rice to boiling water instead of cold, measure the rice into zip bag…add water, zip closed and shake. To drain, open the bag a couple inches, fold the top over and pour.

    Simply cleaning out your microwave by heating up a small container of water, then let it sit for a few minutes without opening the door. The moisture softens the splatters, making it easy to just wipe out without scrubbing.

    To avoid heartburn while cooking some acidic dishes, add about 1 tsp of baking soda and stir thoroughly.

    Welcome to Utah Jillee.

  • Those are some great tips, I didn’t even know my phone had the feature on it to find my parked car, lol ! That’s awesome ! I have been using milk jugs to water my plants for as long as I can remember. I make up about 4-5 gallon jugs with water ahead of time, and add liquid plant food to them when needed. Plants like water that is room temperature, instead of the shock of cold water straight out of the faucet or water hose.

  • Jillee, you know floating candles are more expensive than regular candles…I have found a way to develop mine on the cheap.
    I make inexpensive floating candles from votive candles, scented or unscented. Get the candles with the metal bottom liners and hold it by the wick while you gently pull the metal piece off. Still holding the wick take a lighter and heat the bottom of the candle for a second or two…Let it cool for a moment and “Voila!” a floating candle. The heat seals the wick stay to the candle, producing an air tight seal. They look wonderful outside in ponds, birdbaths and even low bowls on a dining table inside. (Just make sure the lip of the bowl never can touch the flame, you know the kind that curves inward.) Throw in a few blossoms or petals, turn down the lights or add food coloring to the water, use your imagination…

  • I keep all those clippy things you get on store hangers. They usually hold the pants of say a pajama set. I just gently snap those off (may need help every now and then with a couple scores from a utility knife) and they are absolutely perfect for chip bags, half used bags of icing sugar, anything!! And the best things about them is that they’re really strong and they’re free! You don’t need to buy chip bag clips again!! :)

  • I saw your blog about other uses for a vacuum packing machine. I have an ebay shop and have to post a lot of fluffy scarves etc. and here in the UK our Royal Mail charges us more for any items that don ‘t go through an inch slot so I vacuum pack them like a hard frozen kipper so they go at a cheaper rate. They also can then go inside a large standard envelope and save me a lot of money. If I pack any bottles or creams I vacuum them so they can’t leak in the post and also if there are lots of small or sharp items it saves them getting lost in the packaging when opening up the parcel.

    • Hi Penny, I don’t post items like those very often, but your suggestions are brilliant! I’m thinking you should sell those vacuum packing machines in your shop with your advice in the description line.

  • Fold a paper towel or two, dampen with water. Place in a sandwich size plastic bag.
    Freeze. The frozen paper towels work great as an ice pack especially for children. When the paper towel has thawed, toss away or re freeze. Works great!

  • Love the tip for slipping eyeglasses, which are a constant nuisance for me. I was wondering if it would work with rubber cement, since it’s more soft & squishy. I may try it & report back.

  • When the now ex husband and I separated 20+ years ago, I would frequently go to a mall a ways away from my home, just to escape the loneliness and fears of what my future held. It’s a large mall, with a multi level parking garage, so I was always careful to park near the mall entrance for safety (since I was alone) and ALWAYS made note of “landmarks” nearby… close to the elevator, to the left of the stairs, by the exit sign, etc. One day that’s indelibly etched into my memory, I walked out to my car (which, during that era in my life, was my safety and my freedom), and it was GONE. I knew exactly where I’d parked..one row across from the elevator, two spaces to the right…but my beautiful car was not there. I was totally panic stricken, no husband I could call, and back then, cell phones didn’t exist. Well…happy ending…I WAS ON THE WRONG GARAGE LEVEL.
    So this is a long story to validate how much it means to be able to find our cars. I was so traumatized by that incident that I can still tell you what I was wearing that day! Anything that helps is truly a blessing. Thank you, Jill!

    • You’re not the only one! Except my car was exactly where I thought it was and I could NOT understand why the key wouldn’t unlock the door. I started banging on it in frustration and the alarm went off. Then I noticed that the dog bed wasn’t in the back seat and – it was a different license plate number. Identical car. Mine was one level down. Mall security was very understanding and the rightful owner of the car thought it was hilarious. One of my ‘pure genius’ moments.

  • I don’t own a flat iron, but I may have to get one after seeing this post. It is not only the collars that are the issue in my house. It is the placket, especially the side with the buttons, inevitably half of the placket will fold back on itself after only a couple of washings. Some shirts and blouses, even jackets can be stitched in place permanently, but others can’t, I usually end up either repressing or giving a mist of water and a quick tension pull to spring it back in place, not always successful though. I will have to try this out. I really don’t like to iron if I don’t have to.

  • For the, “Show Parked Location,” on my iPhone 7, it states, “A connection to your car’s Bluetooth or CarPlay stereo is required. Important information to know.

  • Love your posts. Sometimes the smallest things are the best. In our complicated world hearing of simple answers is great. You can also cut of the top of a gallon of milk and make it a scoop or fill with water, dirt, whatever.. the handle makes it easier to use. Great for starting seeds also.

    • Terri, next time you’re buy clithes that have those clamp type hooks that typically hold pants/slacks, keep the hanger and remove both clips. I have gotten a few over the last little while and they make the best chip bag clips or clips for any bag and they’re free. You could also probably ask for a couple of those too. The cashiers usually have tons stacked up beside them and wouldn’t mind getting rid of a couple :)

  • I have a friend who always parks on row 7 when she goes to Walmart- any Walmart-anywhere. That way she doesn’t have to worry how to find her car! Haha.

  • I love the tip for remembering where you parked your car. This is great for stores without the numbered rows. It can come in handy if you have a car that’s a popular model and color. As far as the garbage. If we’re doing something in the kitchen that’s messy, we just use a plastic bag to contain the mess and leave it outside until our trash day, and add it to one the bags. We also put an extra trash bag inside our main kitchen bag , this helps make the bags stronger.

    • I don’t have a fancy phone but when I leave my car and start toward the store, I mentally make a note of what marker on the front of the store I’m looking at. Say the “M” in WalMart. then I know what row I’m parked in

  • As you know, there is a shortage of water many places. Because of that, I cringe when I see people tossing bottles or coffee cups with liquid in them into trash barrels. These go to landfills, not anywhere the liquid is able to evaporate and get back into the rainfall/water cycle. I encourage everyone I know to empty their containers before tossing and hope you’ll write a post about this. It best to NEVER throw away any bottles or containers containing remnants of liquids, even if there’s cream or coffee or fruits or vegetables & meat (like in soups).

    You’re tip today about lining trash bags with newspaper to absorb liquids reminded me.

    Once it has been emptied, in a sink, toilet, on soil or sand or whatever, Mother Nature will take it from there.

    Thank you for what you do!

    • I appreciate and agree with the sentiment, but our trash trucks first compact the trash which pops open all containers and trash bags. The when it’s dumped, the liquid can evaporate. Even if it didn’t, those trash bags do not last long before they deteriorate and open up, letting the liquid out. The tightly closed water bottles may hold their contents indefinitely, but I suspect that’s a relatively small about of water. I think you can relax a little.

  • I don’t have the car app thing on my phone, so I just walk a few feet away from my car, look back and snap a photo! This gives you a reference point from the view of the store as you leave.

    • I use my unlock button on my keys, it blinks the lights and I find the car. This only works well if you’re in the near vicinity of the vehicle …………………………….

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