If you want to contribute canned goods or foodstuffs to your favorite local food bank or church charity, but don’t have a lot of extra money to do so, here’s another way to do it.
Call the food bank or charity to see what they need. Then, if you use lots of coupons that you get in your newspapers, at the grocery store or online, look for sales or markdowns. When you shop for groceries, add or designate an extra can or box with the coupons you have. You can collect them over several weeks and then take all to donate for the holidays. Never give outdated food items to food pantries.
The room will have been cleaned and look nice, of course. But there is one other thing you can do to ensure that the space is really clean.
Use an anti-germ gel or wipes to sanitize the door handles, phone, TV remote and other surfaces. Germs from previous guests can linger on them for hours. Give everything a good wipe.
Do you ever think about what you throw away or put in your garbage cans? Well, you should. The items you discard can reveal a lot of private personal information that could land in the hands of people who should not have it and could use it for identity theft.
1. Do not throw out your medication/pill bottles with the labels on them. Remove labels first and keep private the meds you take.
2. Never toss your credit card statements in the trash. A thief could capture the numbers from the papers.
3. Think about everything that you put in the trash that contains any personal information about your family. Buy a small shredder and use it!
If you have stored garments with mothballs, this powerful odor can be tough to remove, but here’s what to do to get rid of it.
1. Hang the clothing outside in fresh air, which will help to dissipate the odor.
2. Then put the washable garments in the machine alone, no other clothing, and add washing soda the amount required for the size of the load, along with the regular amount of detergent.
Most of us can use some help in getting everything in our households organized. We tend to accumulate too much stuff and dealing with it can just be overwhelming. Here’s my 5-Point Control Plan, which can make it easier.
1. FILE IT: Deal with bills, paper work or coupons that should be sorted and then filed.
2. FORWARD IT: Put items and stuff that are not in the right place, back into the correct spot.
3. FIX IT: Collect everything that needs to be repaired or fixed and do it.
4. FILL IT IN: Gather all the forms you have, such as bills, insurance and complete them.
5. FORGET ABOUT IT: If certain items or objects are not being used or aren’t important, toss them out or donate to a charity.
If you are looking for something fun and unusual to offer at your Christmas dinner parties, here’s an idea with a double purpose, it can be used at the table and then given as a gift for everyone at the party.
* Buy a quantity of large Christmas cookie cutters when they are on sale.
* Use the cookie cutters as napkin rings for the dinner party.
* You also could attach your favorite cookie recipe to the cutter with a holiday ribbon to hand out when people are leaving.
Have you ever thought what will happen if your purse were stolen or lost? What would you lose? It’s a good idea to check the contents every now and then and remove what you don’t need. When you go shopping especially during the holidays or travel, don’t take all your credit cards with you. Instead, pack only the ones you will use. Here are some other safety hints.
* Do not carry passports or social security cards. Retail stores will not need these two for purchases.
* Bring along just the cards you plan to use. Make sure you have a list of all the numbers and phone numbers of the issuing companies, in case you have to call to cancel them. Keep this stored safely at home.
* Never keep pin numbers with bank or debit cards.
* Be sure you don’t have one-of-a-kind items in your purse, such as old family photos.
During the holidays, it’s really important to be sure that you have several small home extinguishers that are working condition. With all the festive gatherings, you want to be prepared in case of a small fire.
* Keep one in the kitchen, in case of a small grease or oil fire.
* Put another fire extinguisher in the living room area, particularly if you have a fireplace.
* Make sure all the smoke detectors in your home are working!
When you remove the lights from storage, give them a close examination. Here’s what you should look for.
* If the cords look frayed or broken, toss into the garbage. They could be dangerous.
* Test all the strings, to find out if all the bulbs are working. Be sure to replace any lights that are not.
* Do not plug all the lights into one socket; it might be overloaded.
* If you use extension cords, never run them under rugs because that could create a real fire hazard.
Setting out our best silver for family gatherings makes any festive table look beautiful. Always use a polish designed for shining sterling silver. Here are hints on keeping it in excellent condition.
* Wash sterling silver in hot, soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and buff dry with a clean, soft cloth.
* Do not put really old or valuable sterling into the dishwasher. The detergent might cause a discoloration.
* Never put hollow-handled silverware into the dishwasher.
* Never mix sterling and stainless steal in the same utensil compartment.