· Bright Ideas · “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” – Part Twelve

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

Why Didn't I Think of That? Tips

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 twelfth edition of my ongoing series “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?”

cleaning a window screen

1. Cleaning Dirty Window Screens

After a few months of wet weather, your windows screens are likely to look as dirty as the windows themselves! It would be a huge pain to have to remove each screen from each window to clean them, but luckily there’s a much easier way! Just use put the dusting attachment onto the hose of your vacuum, and use that to clean your window screens. You’ll be able to remove the majority of the dirt and grime from the inside without needing to remove the screen at all!

Why Didn't I Think of That? Tips

2. Simple Cake Hack

The next time you make a cake, line your plate with plastic wrap before putting the cake onto it. Once you’ve served the cake, you can use the plastic wrap to quickly and easily move any leftover cake to another plate or container. (All credit for this brilliant cake tip goes to OGT reader Biljana, who shared it in a comment a few years back! Thanks Biljana!!)

Why Didn't I Think of That? Tips

3. Prevent Ribbon Fraying

Sick of dealing with fraying ribbon ends? Here’s a quick tip to prevent fraying! Hold the cut end of the ribbon over the top of a lit candle or lighter. The heat rising off the flame will gently melt the edge, causing the threads to stick together. No more fraying edges!

Why Didn't I Think of That? Tips

4. Color Coded Storage Tips

Using a color code is an easy way to quickly identify what’s inside a certain storage bin. But you don’t have to go out and buy new colored bins to color code your storage—just use colored tape instead! Use red and green tape to identify the bin your Christmas decorations are in, and orange tape to mark autumn/Halloween decor, or any color code that makes sense to you!

Why Didn't I Think of That? Tips

5. Cleaner Eyeshadow Application

Some eyeshadows (especially the loose powder kind) are hard to apply without it getting on your cheeks and under your eyes. To avoid the eyeshadow fallout, place a sticky note under your eye to prevent stray shadow from settling on your face. You can also use a sticky note after you’ve applied eyeshadow to pick up any bits that have gone astray!

Why Didn't I Think of That? Tips

6. Foot Odor Fixer

Struggling with smelly feet or shoes? Try a shoe insert made of activated charcoal! Charcoal is highly absorbent, which makes it an excellent choice where unpleasant odors are concerned. This set of charcoal shoe inserts on Amazon comes in one large size, but can be trimmed down to fit into any size shoe!

Why Didn't I Think of That? Tips

7. Keep Food Warm

Need to keep your food warm while you finish up cooking? Put the food onto a warm plate! The warmth from the plate will help keep your food warm for a few minutes while you finish up the rest of the meal. And warming the plate is easy—just toss it in the microwave for a minute or two!

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

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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

  • Being a military family we moved often. To easily identify which rooms each of our moving boxes belonged to I color coded the boxes with duct tape. I then made a poster board to leave in the entry way so the movers knew exactly where to place the boxes. To make it extra easy I also labeled the door frames with the colored tape so there was no doubt. We always had a strict 3 day rule for unpacking which, though hectic, was worth it. No boxes to deal with and everything in its place.

  • A great way to clean the microwave is with a coffee cup filled with water. Heat the water for 1 to 2 minutes and then let it sit in the microwave for 3 to 5 minutes. Take a washcloth or a dry paper towel and wipe out the inside of the microwave. Fast and easy.

  • My brilliant dad told me this useful trick: use a coffee filter to cover a plate or bowl when you put in the microwave. Works wonderfully to help keep the microwave clean! Plus you can get a large package of filters for cheap and it can last for quite a while. Also works for a spoon rest while cooking although I tend to fold it once or twice.

  • Hey Jillee, Always enjoy your “Why didn’t I think of that” columns! Here are two I like: I use paper plates (the cheap kind) as a cover for my food in the microwave. Prevents spattering and keeps moisture in the food. I also use them as a spoon rest and as a quick cutting board. Such a versatile kitchen tool! Another: I use red pepper flakes a lot when cooking, also on pizza. I put my flakes in a pepper mill so the flakes are broken down to crumbs. I hate getting a pepper flake caught between my teeth! I hope you enjoy these tips.

  • I cut and heat seal ribbon and other synthetic fibers with a soldering gun. I place the ribbon, rope, or synthetic fabric on a piece of glass or mirror. Heat the soldering gun. Draw the hot tip across the item. Use a metal ruler to make straight lines, or use other unmeltable items as a template.
    When I made a princess costume for my granddaughter, I cut and sealed the hem with my soldering gun. Easier than a rolled edge.

  • Keeping food warm-if your microwave is over the range like mine, turn on the surface light. Mine is part of the microwave and thus generates heat IN the microwave. It’s great when I bring home a hot rotisserie chicken or other warm prepared food. I’ve used it making bread as well. It’s a great draft-free warm spot.

  • Great tips ,Thank you. I never thought of vacuuming my window screens from inside! A little hint from me, if you don’t want to use a flame for the ribbon hack. I just put a dab of craft glue on my finger, then pull the cut end of the ribbon thru the glue. If you get too much on there it’s easy to gently rub it off before it dries.

  • Warming up plates: Just a lazy tip from someone who does not want to have a microwave (as I sincerely think it is handy but does alter your food): . I just put some cold plates on top of my bread toaster! (even if i do not toast anything). Quick fix!

    • My mom would fill the sink with hot water place the plates in there to heat up. Then just before serving, dry off and use. Plus you have hot water for cleaning dishes afterwards!

  • Hi. I have read that when you warm plates in a mictowave you should put a glass of water on top of the plates,not just put them in on their own.

    • I always read that if your plates got hot in the microwave that they weren’t microwave safe?
      I put a damp paper towel between plates and heat them in the microwave that way.

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