Household Hints and Tips

Bring order to your household with handy hints and timely tips to do everything faster and better.

Whether you need to clean house, cut clutter or get organized, these daily tips will help clean up life on the home front.

Make Ice With Recycled Milk Cartons

Need ice for summer events? Turn to the humble milk carton! As you empty them, drain, rinse and refill square milk cartons with clean water. Leave an inch in the top for expansion, then tuck into the freezer. Use frozen cartons whole to cool ice chests. For crushed ice, turn the cartons sideways and smack smartly against a concrete floor on all sides, then tear open the top and pour. Energy saving bonus: keeping freezers full cuts energy use.

Clean BBQ Grills Fast and Cheap

Before picnic season enters full swing, it's time to clean the barbecue grill. To do so, line a plastic garbage bag with paper towels, and insert grills. Spray grills with a mixture of 2 parts ammonia and 1 part water. Close bag and allow to stand overnight; open carefully, then wash grease-free grills with hot water and detergent before use.

Control Clutter With Catch-All Containers

Keep clutter contained--and add a decorator touch--with designated catch-all containers for every room. Use pretty baskets, canvas hold-alls or small shelving units to keep shoes, toys or other clutter culprits contained. Add an "empty baskets" item to your evening routine to conquer clutter painlessly!

Frugal Organizing: Shop Garage Sales

When it's time to buy organizers, shop yard sales for the best bargains. Most garage sales offer a selection of organizing products at cut-rate prices. Perhaps the item didn't fit, came from an older house, or was an imprudent purchase. Take it home and put it to work for you ... for cheap!

Clear Refrigerator Clutter with a White Board

The front of the fridge is a natural place to get the family's attention, but once layered with notes and photos, it can be hard to spot important information. Clutter-free solution: a small magnetic whiteboard. It'll display messages and reminders without the clutter--and clearing old news is as easy as an eraser swipe!

Give The Fridge Some Air

Cramming food into the refrigerator cuts air circulation and leads to cold spots that waste energy (and freeze food!) Give refrigerator contents some breathing room to reduce energy use and food waste. In the freezer? Go the other way and pack it full for best energy consumption. Get more tips to cut energy use in the kitchen:

Chill Out! Cut Energy Use in Refrigerator and Freezer