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

Why Didn't I Think of That

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 sixteenth 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? You’ll find links to every post in the “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” series at the bottom of this post!

Why Didn't I Think of That

1. Simple Butter Spreader

Don’t you hate it when you end up shredding a piece of toast while trying to spread cold butter on it? This special butter knife makes cold butter struggles a thing of the past!

It has holes along one edge that make perfect butter curls. Butter curls have more surface area than a pat of butter, meaning they’ll warm up in seconds and make spreading much easier!

Why Didn't I Think of That

2. Brilliant Grocery Bagging

A little foresight can go a long way at the grocery store! When you check out (either with a cashier or at a self-checkout stand), scan your items according to where they need to go once you get home.

For instance, anything that will go ini the fridge should be grouped together. The same goes for bathroom items, garage supplies, etc. This method will make putting away groceries quick and easy!

Why Didn't I Think of That

3. Perfect Nail Holder

You don’t have to risk your fingers every time you need to hammer a nail! Instead of holding the nail with your fingers, slide it between the teeth of a comb so that it stays snugly in place.

Then you can hold the comb in place on the wall while you hammer the nail, keeping your fingers safely out of the danger zone!

Why Didn't I Think of That

4. Bed Bumper

Making the switch from a crib to a “big kid bed” can be a big adjustment, and it can take a while for your little one to get the hang of it! Install a simple DIY “bed bumper” to help keep them from tumbling out of bed during the night.

Just cut a foam pool noodle to match the length of the bed, then place it on the mattress along the open edge of the bed. Then just put the fitted sheet back on the mattress to hold “bumper” in place!

Why Didn't I Think of That

5. Straw Holder

If you’re tired of the carbonation in your soda pushing the straw out of the can, here’s a quick tip to fix it! Just rotate the tab around so that the hole is positioned over the opening in the can.

Insert your straw through the hole in the tab, then rotate the tab slightly to one side until it holds the straw snugly in place. Problem solved!

Why Didn't I Think of That

6. Can Opener Fix

Manual can openers can be tricky to clean, but using wax paper makes it easy! Just fold a piece of wax paper a few times, then run the folded paper through your can opener.

The waxy paper will help clear away any food bits that may be clinging to it. And as an added bonus, this treatment also leaves behind a waxy layer that will help the can opener work more smoothly!

Why Didn't I Think of That

7. Quicker Blender Cleaning

If you are a fan of breakfast smoothies, then you already know how annoying it can be to have to wash your blender cup every day. So instead of hand-washing it in the sink, let the blender do the work for you!

Add a cup or two of water to the blender cup, along with a couple of drops of dish soap. Secure the lid and pulse the blender a few times to thoroughly wash the inside of your blender cup.

This is not only a huge time-saver, but it also cleans gunk from under the blades better than most people can manage with a sponge!

Why Didn't I Think Of That Perpetual Tips Calendar

Love The Tips In This Post?

Then you’re really going to love my new perpetual daily tips calendar — “Why Didn’t I Think of That? 365 Tips & Tricks to Solve Life’s Little Problems. It’s a bit like my blog in miniature because it features “one good thing” every day!

The daily tips in this calendar cover just about every aspect of life at home, from cleaning and laundry to beauty and organization. I’ve poured all my first-hand experience and research into these pages, so you can trust that every tip has received my OGT Seal of Approval!

But you might be wondering, “Why would I buy a calendar in April?” And that’s a great question! One of my favorite things about this calendar is that it’s perpetual. At the end of every year, you can flip the pages back over and start again! So it’s a calendar you can start using any time of year.

OGT readers are loving it so far:

I’ve had this calendar for a few weeks now, and I’ve learned or been reminded of something valuable each day. My rule is not to take sneak peeks ahead! It’s well-constructed on heavy stock, designed beautifully, and sits unobtrusively on my desk next to my computer. What a clever idea—thank you so much for coming up with yet another brilliant idea, Jillee!

Carol O.

I love my new perpetual calendar! Every day, I look forward to turning the page to read a new daily tip. Thanks for providing a new idea each day of the year. I’m looking forward to using it year after year.


I just love this perpetual calendar. It’s so colorful and handy. I look forward to Jillee’s emails every day because she always has such helpful tips for things I never would have thought of. Now I can look at these different tips daily, and the calendar will never expire. Thank you for another great idea!



Why Didn't I Think Of That Perpetual Tips Calendar

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

  • We do at least one smoothie a day. So I tried the “blender trick”. The jar looked clean each time but developed a bad odor quickly – in just a couple of days. I’ve always washed the jar in the dishwasher and have never had an odor problem.

  • The pool noodle is a good idea not only for kids but also for older folks who might fall out of bed. My mom had dementia and was getting out of bed and falling. The caregivers were not allowed to use the bed rails as that is considered “restraint.” (And falling down and hitting one’s head is better???) So I got two of the really fat pool noodles from Costco, used heavy Velcro to make “straps” attached to the two sides of an old sheet to make a pocket to put the noodles in, and put that under my mom so that there was a noodle on each side of her in the bed. It was a nice cushion and also made just enough of a barrier that she could not climb out. Problem solved.

  • I won’t lie… I thought everyone did the blender, grouping grocery items, and straw things! My mother taught me well. ;) When checking out, meat goes in a separate grocery bag, then all the meat (in individual bags) goes into one big bag to avoid contaminating non-meat items. Then it’s refrigerator items all together, freezer items all together, bathroom supplies all together, etc, etc. It’s also best to scan heaviest to lightest, so the heaviest items can go into the cart first once you’re done. Once you get home, leave the meat in the individual bags you put them in… helps you remember that you need to cook it up soon.

    The nail one is clever, but I feel like the nail would just fall right away? Maybe get the first tap in by holding it, then using the comb to keep it level. I have multiple gallery walls in my place (my largest being roughly 14′ wide and 4′ tall!), but I’ve never hit my thumb with the hammer–however, I ALWAYS struggle with keeping the nail straight, so I think the comb would be a good fix for that. :)

  • You can also use a potato peeler for the cold butter.

    I have always used old toothbrushes for cleaning, but because I use a soft toothbrush, it doesn’t always work very good. Now I use a denture brush, which is very stiff and even has a smaller section of brushes that you can use on very small areas.

  • I don’t have a butter knife like the one show. I just cut a pat or two off butter and put it in between my toast or biscuits. For plain bread you can just cut real thin slices of butter from the stick of butter. Hammering a nail in you can also use pliers or vise grips to to clench a nail and then hammer the nail.

  • I’ve also seen the idea of using a box grater to “shred” cold butter, mainly for baking when a recipe calls for cold butter (biscuits, pie crust) or when one forgets(!) to get out butter to soften ahead of time. I wonder if a microplane would do a similar job as the knife shown here.

  • Tuck in the lid on your boxes of wrap, foil, wax paper, etc. make sure the foil itself is between the box and the lid. Now your drawer or organizer will be neater, easier to grab the box you need, and best of all it is super easy to tear off a piece plastic wrap. It is always at the box opening to grab, tear, and go!

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