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

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

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. But since I can’t waste a good idea, I tuck them away to use at a later date.

I’ve built up quite a catalog of these quick tips and tricks, so I decided to share 10 of them with you today! Here’s the 2nd installment of a series I’m calling “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” 

If you have a brilliant tip or trick you’d like to share, post it as a comment at the end of this post. You could see your tip featured in a future blog post!

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

Why didn't I think of that
I MUCH better option than easy-to-tip plastic cups!

1. Easy Paint Cleanup

A sturdy mug for rinsing paint brushes is less likely to tip over than a disposable cup, but they can be hard to clean. However, if you line the mug or cup with a plastic sandwich bag before using it to rinse paint brushes, it makes clean up SO much easier!

Why didn't I think of that
These smoothie packs make breakfast quick & easy!

2. Single-Serve Smoothies

Save time in the morning and still have a great breakfast! Make your own single-serve frozen smoothie packs at home. It’s an easy way to utilize in-season produce for a quick and healthy breakfast. Just grab, blend, and go!

YouTube video
Breakfast has never been easier!
Why didn't I think of that
A great use of otherwise wasted space in your freezer.

3. Save Freezer Space

Use binder clips to hang bags of fruit or veggies in the freezer. It’s a great way to maximize your precious freezer space and keep partially used bags closed as well. (For more useful clip ideas, check out my 30 creative uses for paper clips!)

Why didn't I think of that
I almost forgot I had so many cute scarf options!

4. Save Closet Space With Shower Rings

Instead of separate hangers for all your tops and scarves, try hanging things like tank tops and scarves on shower rings connected to a clothes hanger. This will save you a lot of closet space!

Why didn't I think of that
It’s a slippery slope for uninvited ants!

5. Keep Ants Off The Table

Have you ever had pesky ants climb right up the table legs and ruin your picnic? Next time you’re camping or picnicking, place a bowl or plate with water in it underneath the legs of the table. This prevents ants from crawling up to the food.

Why didn't I think of that
Coffee grounds and dirt…a gardener’s recipe for success.

6. Keep Slugs At Bay

Don’t throw away your used coffee grounds — save them for the garden! Keep slugs and other pests away from your garden by sprinkling used coffee grounds around the plants. They’ll also add nitrogen to the soil — a win-win!

Why didn't I think of that
Hold on to those smoothie straws!

7. Keep Flowers Standing Tall

If your bouquet is starting to look a bit limp, use a smoothie straw to keep droopy flowers upright and beautiful. To hide the straws in a clear vase, put a smaller vase into a larger vase, then wrap a piece of scrapbook paper around the smaller vase.

Why didn't I think of that
Make a chalk sachet to keep your closet smelling fresh!

8. Use Chalk For Freshness

Banish musty odors in closets with chalk. Hang a mesh bag of chalk in your closets to keep your clothes smelling fresh. Chalk is excellent at absorbing moisture and odor.

Why didn't I think of that
Filling water glasses just got a lot less messy!

9. Stop Drippy Pitchers

Tired of the way pitchers always seem to drip no matter how carefully you pour? Rub a very thin layer of butter on the outside of a pitcher rim. It will repel the liquid inside, preventing messy drips. A great tip to use when using a nice tablecloth!

YouTube video
Never get your pretty tablecloths wet when pouring into glasses again.
Why didn't I think of that
No more crying over dropped eggs.

10. Clean Up Raw Eggs Easily

Here’s an easy trick for cleaning up spilled raw eggs: don’t try to wipe them up right away. Instead, sprinkle salt on top of the spill and wait 10 minutes. The egg will wipe up easily, with no sticky mess left behind!

What’s your favorite easy tip or trick?

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

  • Forget about any green-ish bags to keep foods fresh for a long time…use what’s FREE right in most of your kitchens now: empty cereal bags!! These have (also) been inpregnated with a sort-of dessicant which has kept your cereals crunchy until the last bit, so of course they’ll also keep your foods fresher for much, much longer in your fridge!! Just shake them out and use! For vegetables such as lettuce: remove the lettuce from any wrappings, remove outer yucky leaves, give it a rinse, a good shake and place into the bag and seal. No more brown, limp lettuce, just fresh crunchy lettuce! For meats such as bacon, deli meats, omgosh, don’t you hate when they get a little slimy? Esp bacon?!! Remove all wrappings from your meats ( I give the bacon a quick rinse in water and pat dry because I don’t like anything on it from inside the wrappings!), place into the bacon, meats, into the cereal bags, clamp shut and you’re have “fresh” bacon until almost forever! :) So no more tossing out those free food-saver bags!! You’re welcome! :)

  • for the egg spill, using salt and waiting is a must. I use a spatula or kids plastic sand shovel to scoop the egg off of the floor.
    for crafting with beads or using legos, I set them inside a aluminum cake pan. Usually the thin ones. That way they do not roll all over or get lost. Also, I let the kids set their paints in it. If it spills, no worries. They are cheap, washable and can be recycled too.
    large, flat cardboard pieces, I use under artwork to save my floors or tabletops. They work well for projects too!
    large clear plastic peanut butter jars, when washed out and label removed, are good for storing items. Especially cutlery for trips, camp, picnics, etc. All hand and in one place. Or for snacks in the car that might get crushed in plastic baggies.
    I cannot wait to try out these “hacks”. I love to make my life easier!

  • Orange essential oil…or any citrus works great at taking stickers or sticky substances off. Cut an onion and use one of the circle slices to cook an egg in a perfect circle. Crushed chalk removes grease stains. Pets have ear mites?? No need to goto the vet, just use olive oil (or what you have available), it smothers them. Their life cycle is three weeks, so pay attention after you first apply, if in a few weeks if they start scratching again-repeat-it’s the eggs hatching. I myself haven’t had this issue. Two days of a few drops (I use a child’s medicine syringe) and no more buggies! If the area is very irritated from scratching you can add vitamin e oil and/or aloe to help soothe the skin. Also, it helps to add a drop of dish soap(I use blue Dawn) to the pan of water holding the picnic tables legs-some persistent ants will actually walk on the surface of the water!! It doesn’t happen often, but I always add the drop just in case. I hope some of these help others. I love this blog! So much great info. Keep up the good work!

  • This is the most useful kind of post! I never knew the bowl of water trick to keep away ants! That’s brilliant! To add onto someone’s painting trick above–If I know I need to wait until the next day to finish painting another coat or finish a big room, I wrap my roller and brushes in plastic wrap and seal them in a 2-gallon ziploc bag. It keeps the paint moist so it’s ready to go when I need it the next day and doesn’t make cleaning any more difficult. Incidentally, I also use plastic wrap in my trays too, but foil sounds like it works just as well!

    This is really great. Thank you!

  • Hi Jillee….I LOVE to paint—the walls in my house. Instead of buying the plastic liners that go inside of a metal paint tray that you dip your roller into, I line it with heavy duty aluminum foil. When you are through painting, you can easily pour what is left in the tray back into the can and then just roll up the foil and throw the mess into the trash. I always figure why buy more stuff (like the paint tray liners) if you can use something you already have at home.

  • The trick of putting the table legs in a tray of water to repel ants also works for keeping outdoor pet food ant-free! I use a two-bowl system, the outside one larger of course, and it does a fine job of keeping ants and other creepy crawlies out of Squeaky’s food.

  • Put a piece of chalk in with your jewelry to keep it from tarnishing.

    If you have pearls, wear them! The oils in your skin keeps them all shiney and beautiful.

    I don’t use petroleum jelly. I use a homemade NON petroleum jelly. Olive oil and beeswax. You can scent it with your favorite essential oil, if desired.

  • hi jillie here is a “trick” that i use and i think its ah ha why didnt i think of that thing i use my oval baking pot for cooking my spaghetti it all fits so nicely and cooks it all at the same time. i find it much easier and faster than the big spaghetti pots that take forever to come to a boil because you need much less water thank you so much for your blog! noele

    • Taking your Spaghetti cooking in your oval baking pot one step further…cover your pasta with water, and pop that oval pot into your microwave. Cook your pasta for the same amount of time as indicated on the package. Just add three (3) minutes to the cooking time. No waiting for that watched pot to boil, and you’ve just saved some energy by reducing your cooking time, or heating up the kitchen for those of who live in warmer climes during the summer months!

      • My oval roaster is an enamel pan, which should not go into a microwave. So be aware that all oval roasters will not be able to do this. Great idea if you can do it. Thanks, Jillee, for a terrific idea venue!

  • I like to freeze tea in ice cube trays to use with my ice tea without watering it down with plain ice cubes. I do the same with coffee for iced coffee. When the tea or coffee cubes are frozen, I drop them in a freezer bag marked as such. The coffee ice cubes are also great for cooling a cup of HOT coffee down..

  • These tips are so clever. I love the tips for hanging the tank tops and the chalk for keeping close smelling fresh. It gets very hot and humid in the summertime in the Midwest.

  • Thanks for the lovely tips Jilliee. I sprinkle whole cloves on cleaned carpets before storing them and also sprinkle some ground cloves in shoes to prevent mold.

  • I cut the clips off of plastic hangers that the stores throw away. I clip the clips onto a plastic coat hanger to hang socks, and other small things to dry to save dryer time.

  • Hi Jillee, I live on a mobile home park….I use to drive around the park and I would see so many homes with fruit trees, where most of the fruit was on the ground rotting ……So I wrote the manager of the park….To please write an article for all residents to read…
    “If you have fruit trees that’s overflowing with fruit and you can not use….please put this fruit in a box and set them in front of our mailboxes so others can enjoy” And it worked….sometimes we have lemons, oranges, etc…….its alot better then to see all this fruit going in the trash…

  • Great tips. Will be using the bowel tip under the legs of picnic table and the binder tip. I buy frozen fruit for my bunny. And veggies for my dogs. This will help a lot.

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