16 ways to save time and make life easier

May 26, 2012 No Comments by

Including quick fixes for niggling household bugbears, posh picnic ideas and water-saving advice…

Four uses for olive oil

  1. Silence Squeaky Doors Lubricate hinges by applying a small dab to a cloth, then wiping the top of the hinges so that the oil runs down the sides.]
  2. Shine Stainless Steel Many cleaning standbys, such as ammonia, can dull and even corrode chrome and stainless steel. Olive oil, However, is a safe and effective shining agent.
  3. Unstick A Zipper Using a cotton bud, apply a drop to lubricate the zip’s teeth. Avoid touching the fabric. The zipper should move up and down freely.
  4. Prevent Wax From Sticking To A Candle Holder Rub a thin coat on the base of the base of the holder before inserting a candle. Any dripped wax should peel away easily.

5. Stop steamy mirrors To prevent mirrors from steaming up, put a small amount of washing-up liquid on a dry cloth and rub it thoroughly into the surface of the mirror.

6. Trainer Tip If you are washing your trainers in the washing machine, put them in with some towels to stop them banging around and making a racket!

7. Smooth Carpet Dents If a chair has made indentations in your carpet, hold a steam iron over the marks for few seconds, then fluff it up with your fingers.

Eating Alfresco? Make It A Glam-Nic

8. Byo Salad If you want a stylish – but leakproof – way to transport salads, melamine stacking bowls with lids will travel safety.

9. Kick Back And Relax This extra-large picnic rug (below) is lightweight and comes with a carry bag. Made of 100% cotton, it has a waterproof backing, and is machine washable.

10. Light Up The Night For picnics and barbecues that run into the night, adorn your garden with Chinese solar-powered lanterns and fairy lights.

11. Posh Up Your Picnic Glasses Picnic fizz requires the right glass and these gorgeously ornate, ruby-red Baroque & Rock Champagne flutes are just the ticket. Made from plastic, yet they’re as elegant as glass.

12. Strawberry surplus? If want to make jam, remember that strawberries are low in pectin, which is what causes jam to set, so add redcurrants, which are high in pectin. Stand the jam for 15 minutes before potting to prevent the strawberries floating to the top of the jar.

13. Make A Refreshing Treat Strawberries don’t freeze well because of their water content, but you can cook them into a puree to freeze as a strawberry sauce. Why not buy some fun rocket lolly moulds to make healthy strawberry lollies? ¬£10.50 for 6.

Give Your Kitchen Some Handy Little Helpers

14. It’s all about the right tongs If you like using tongs, but fear for your non-stick pans, Lakeland’s stainless-steel silicone-tipped locking tongs are prefect. Heat resistant with a long reach, they’re ideal for turning fish, meat or vegetables, and they won’t spring open when you hang them up.

15. Banish bits of spring Garden Trading’s string dispenser means you’ll have easy-to-unravel string to hand whenever you need it, whether for parcel wrapping or plant trying. It also looks lovely – it’s made from enamel and comes in gorgeous Farrow & Ball type colours, such as slate, apple green and shutter blue, and has a tight-fitting lid with a hole in it.

16. Flat-pack your strainers If space is at a premium in your kitchen, you’ll like Lakeland’s stainless-steel strainers with a mesh base and silicone walls, which fold flat for compact storage. Since they combine both a sieve and strainer, they can be used for dry ingredients too.


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