• Whenever I’m at the dollar store, I make sure to pick up an assortment of general purpose greeting cards. People really love to get snail mail. There’s just something about a colorful envelope addressed to you sitting in the mailbox that makes you smile. So I send cards for special occasions and often for no reason at all. The cost — $1.50 for card and postage — is small compared with the joy they bring.
• “Make a pincushion for pointy tools in the shop: Glue a piece of rigid foam to a plywood base for stability. Then just stab screwdrivers, needle nose pliers and the like right into the foam for easy and secure access. This also works to keep drill bits in place.” — T.F. in Virginia
• To clean your coffeemaker and your drain in one fell swoop, brew up a pot of hot vinegar water. Simply add equal parts white vinegar and water to your coffeemaker and brew for a cycle. In the meantime, add a cup of baking soda to your drain. When the pot is done brewing, pour it slowly down the drain. Then run another cycle of plain water through your coffeemaker. Nice and fresh!
• When is the last time you cleaned your natural bristle brush? These brushes are essential for redistributing oil from the scalp to the end of the hair, but they need a bath regularly to get rid of old oils and scalp cells. Use a plain shampoo or mild soap, and rinse thoroughly. Be sure not to soak a wood-handled brush, as it can compromise the wood.
• “Keep the fridge smelling fresh with this simple trick: put a small bowl of baking soda in the back, near the vent going to/from the freezer. Circulating air will be refreshed as it passes over the bowl, since baking soda absorbs smells.” — N.N. in Idaho
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