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Clever Ideas November 19th, 2013 | Author: David

Clever Ideas

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A friend sent me something the other day that was being shared around on Facebook, and I thought it would make an interesting topic for the blog. Some of you may have seen it already.

It’s a collection of good ideas and tips for making your life easier around the home. I had heard some of the ideas before, but most of them were completely new to me. A few of them are pure genius!

Here is a link to the article.

I thought it might be fun to discuss these ideas, but also to suggest any similar ones that you might know of. As many of you are housewives, I’m guessing that you all have a few of your own.

Even if you don’t have any ideas, I think it would be a useful challenge to try to explain some of the ideas using words instead of pictures. For example, one of the ones I liked was about using nail varnish on keys.

The basic idea was this: use different colours of nail varnish to paint the top part of your keys to make them easily identifiable when you pull them out of your pocket or handbag.

Anyway, please tell me which ones you liked the best and which ones you think are the most interesting.

Look forward to hearing your ideas.

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Comments

  1. YU
    Commented on
    2013/11/19 at 4:45

    Hi everyone,

    One of the ones I liked was about using a pants hanger instead of a cook bookholder. Unfortunately, I can’t try this great(?) idea because my kitchen shelves don’t have knobs, though…

    I haven’t tried this myself yet, but I’ve heard that putting a piece of sliced bread into suger/salt containers keeps it dry, it never get hard like a stone!

  2. kattie
    Commented on
    2013/11/20 at 3:06

    Hi everyone,

    There are a few good ideas here – just hope I can remember them! Actually I really like the last one.

    I’m not sure how popular DIY (Do it yourself) is in Japan but it’s very popular in the UK and a handy tip I know is to put tin foil on the bottom of the paint tray so you don’t have to wash the tray afterwards and can simply bin the foil – also, to avoid washing paint brushes between sessions I put the ends of the brushes in a plastic bag and tie it up, I then store it in a cool place and it will stop the brushes from drying out quickly

  3. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/11/20 at 8:11

    Hi everyone,

    I always love learning these clever tips, and the one that used a ketchup bottle for making pancakes seems nice only if you can think of a good way to get the mixture “in” the bottle! It’s going to be a mess anyway, isn’t it?!!

    Also, the one that said about the exit signs on freeways was new to me. That would be a very useful tip especially when the road is full of traffic. I wonder if we have the same system in Japan, too.

    Hi YU,

    Do you mean you store the bread all together with the sugar or salt? I just thought so because when you bake bread, usually, the ones with more sugar stay softer for a longer period of time.

    Hi Kattie,

    That sounds handy! I wish I could paint the walls in my house, too. They’re all covered with wall paper, and I have never thought of doing it myself. I don’t think I would be able to match the ends perfectly! (lol!)

  4. mii
    Commented on
    2013/11/20 at 8:35

    Hi everyone,

    Nice meet you too.
    Thank you a lot of comments.

    It is too difficult for me to such a long comments ><.

    I have to study English more.

  5. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/11/20 at 9:54

    Hi mii,

    Please don’t hesitate to write in Japanese. I would be happy to help you putting it into English. Or, for just an example, you can write your comment using “The one(tip,idea) I like most is the one that….”

  6. YU
    Commented on
    2013/11/20 at 10:05

    Hi Biwa,

    >Do you mean you store the bread all together with the sugar or salt?

    Actually, no.
    I don’t know how to say 調味料入れ(ケース) in Englsih (They’re normally square plastic trays with handles in Japan), and they’re usually right beside the gas range or the kitchen sink, so the seasonings tend to get damp and hard like a stone easily, but if you put them with a piece of bread into those seasoning trays, the bread absorbs the damp and it keeps the seasonings dry.
    By the way, 北斗晶 told this idea in a TV program before.

    Hi Kattie,

    Your tip with tin foil reminded me of the idea I learned right after the mega quake in 2011. After the earthquake, everyone got interested in preparing for the worst. TV stations introduced many good tips for us, but the one I liked the most and tried myself was the idea of packing a roll of plastic wrap in your emergency bag and using it to cover a plastic plate/cup when you eat or drink with them so you wouldn’t have to wash them even if water supply was cut off because of the earthquake.

  7. Kyon
    Commented on
    2013/11/20 at 10:14

    Hi David and everyone,

    Long time no see.I was amazed to know there are some good ideas here, I will try them soon.

    Kattie,
    ・・・・a handy tip I know is to put tin foil on the bottom of the paint tray so you don’t have to wash the tray afterwards and can simply bin the foil

    ーThat’s a good idea. I will try it tomorrow, thank you.

    Recently my husband and I bought an old farm house(80 years old) with 800 square miles of land in the suburb of Gifu prefecture . We often go there to refurbish the house and rebuild gardens.

    I am scheduled to paint an old cupboard in an antique style tomorrow. So I should bring tin foil with me.

  8. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/11/20 at 10:28

    Hi YU,

    Thanks, and sorry!, I misunderstood what you were trying to say. I was wondering how big the container has to be if you wanted to store bread in it! (I’m so embarrassed!) I use Tupperware instead of 調味料入れ, so they never get damp.

  9. Anne
    Commented on
    2013/11/20 at 2:27

    Hi David and everyone,

    Some look useful and some look weird. I do some of them. Anyway, I found them interesting.

    Same as Yu, one of them I like and would like to try is “Need an inexpensive cooker holder? Try a pants hanger!”
    When I need to check the ingredients in a recipe, I don’t want to damage the cookbook with my hands while cooking, so I like that idea. My kitchen doesn’t have a knob to use as a hook, but I can hook it on a steel shlf.

    There are two ideas I already do and recommend you too:

    1.”Put coffee in an ice tray so when you make an ice coffee it doesn’T get watered down.” I make coffee ice cubes in the summer.

    2.”Use toothpaste to clean up hazy headlights”
    Actually, I use toothpaste to clean up faucets. When you go on a trip, yo see each hotel prepares bathroom amenities like toothpaste and brushes,right? I usually take them with me and use them. Am I stingy?

    Hi Kattie,
    >I really like the last one.
    –It’s interesting. Actually, I tried it this morning and worked well!

    Hi Kyon,
    >We often go there to refurbish the house and rebuild gardens.—Wow! That sounds nice! I’m not an DIY person, and neither does my husband, so this kinds of things would not happen, but sharing the moment with your husband must be great!

  10. Anne
    Commented on
    2013/11/20 at 3:24

    correction:
    “I’m not an DIY person” should be “I’m not a DIY person.”

  11. David
    Commented on
    2013/11/20 at 3:29

    Hi Kattie and Kyon,

    Great to have you back with us. Kyon, I live in Gifu too! Where is your farmhouse? Is it really 800 square miles? That would be absolutely huge!

    Hi everyone,

    I spotted a really good idea in the car park at work today. Teachers have to display a parking permit in our cars when we come into the university, and it’s a pain to keep putting it on the dashboard and then taking it off when you leave. Today, I noticed that one teacher has tied it to the top of their sun visor, so when they come into the university, they just put the visor down to display it. I’m going to do that with mine tonight.

  12. Kyon
    Commented on
    2013/11/20 at 3:54

    David,

    I made a huge mistake, sorry. It is 800 square meters. I am embarrassed.
    Our farm house is in a countryside in a city where everybody has a cough when approaching.

    Kyon

  13. David
    Commented on
    2013/11/20 at 4:06

    Hi Kyon,

    I didn’t think it could be that big! I hope I can visit someday. I’m going to be living in a city that sounds like it should be in a different prefecture from next March :-)

  14. YU
    Commented on
    2013/11/20 at 6:52

    Hi Biwa,

    No problem!

    By the way, isn’t it a pain to open and close the lid everytime when you use seasonings in the Tupperwares for your cooking?
    Actually, my brother does the same as you, but it
    doesn’t cause him any problems because he seldom cooks!

    Hi Kyon,

    Long time no see.
    Wow! That’s great!
    Good luck with your painting tomorrow.

    > in a city where everybody has a cough when approaching.

    People from Gifu prefecture would all know where you mean? I don’t have the slightest idea where it is, though!

  15. Kyon
    Commented on
    2013/11/20 at 9:19

    Hi David,

    Probably I know your city. If my guess is correct, we will be neighbers. Your city is also beautiful blessed with nature(mountain, river, clean air and etc).

    Anne,
    My husband is really fond of woodwork. I like gardening and growing vegetables. So we enjoy division of work.

    Yu
    “Cough” city is famous for the traditional blade-making or swordsmith , the birthplace of sculptor Enku (円空)and cormorant fishing(鵜飼), a nice city. Kyon

    Have a nice day, everyone.

  16. mii
    Commented on
    2013/11/21 at 8:33

    Hi Kyon,
    >Recently my husband and I bought an old farm house(80 years old) with 800 square miles of land in the suburb of Gifu prefecture
    –It’s sounds great! I’m from Gifu prefecture.I want to visit someday.

  17. David
    Commented on
    2013/11/21 at 8:36

    It sounds as though we are going to be having a blog party in Gifu! Maybe a barbecue at Kyon’s farm!

  18. Anne
    Commented on
    2013/11/21 at 8:51

    correction:
    >” this kinds of things ” should be ” these kinds of things.”

    Hi Kyon and YU,
    I got it! I spotted the place^^)
    YU, “cough” is the big hint for the answer!

    By the way, I didn’t know the place was the birthplace of Enku. Thanks for the information.

    Hi everyone,

    When I read the article David showed us, I was not sure what the phrase “Life Hacks” meant. (Its title is “99 Life Hacks That Could Make Your Life Easier.”"
    The word “hack” reminds me of “ハッカー(hacker)” that is related to computer programming. As you know, you often hear the news about “hacking” recently, but the word seemed to be used in a different meaning. I checked it on the web and found “Life Hack.” According to Wiki, it refers to any productivity trick, shortcut, or novelty method to increase productivity and efficiency in all walks of life.

    I think I understand what the sentence means, and you might often see the title like “10 (or 20…whatever) tips….
    I wonder why the author used the word “hack” not “tip” I think life hack implies short cut or the way to improve your life by taking everyday things and using them in a new way. Did I get the meaning across?

    Anyway, first use of this word was 2004, so it’s been 20 years now! I didn’t know that.

  19. Fumie
    Commented on
    2013/11/21 at 10:08

    Hi David and everyone,

    I don’t read all 99 hacks yet but I found some of my favorites. Here is what I want to try.

    > Put a wooden spoon across a boiling pot of water.
    I often let boiling water (broth) boil over and it’s a pain in the neck to clean it up.

    > When heating leftovers, space out a circle in the middle, it will heat up much more evenly.
    I didn’t know this tip I should teach this to my sons.

    I also like David’s favorite: coloring keys with nail vanish to identifiable. It’s convenient and stylish おしゃれ!

    I myself know some of tips to make housework easier or swift.
    I use used socks which have holes to wipe the stairs. Stairs of my house is always covered with lots of dust so I ask my sons to put a sock on their hand to clean the stairs from top to bottom.

    I keep barley tea packs to wipe out the grease from the pan when I cook something greasy food like fatty meat.

    Some people dry the skins of citrus after eat the fruit and put them in bathtub when they soak in the hot water.

    I do other tricks to make things easier and save money but I should stop here because you may think I’m too stingy!

  20. YU
    Commented on
    2013/11/21 at 10:47

    Hi Kyon and Anne,

    Now I know where it is, too!
    Thanks!!

    Actually, Kyon’s description of “in a city where everybody has a cough when approaching” didn’t ring a bell because I had never heard the name of the city in the first place. Sorry for my ignorance!!
    To tell the truth, at first I thought it must have been an industrial city because she mentioned
    “everybody has a cough when approaching”, but at the same time, I was wondering why she chose a place like that!!

    Kyon, you can compete with ねづっち! (あ~懐かしい!)

    Hi Anne,

    > Anyway, first use of this word was 2004, so it’s been 20 years now! I didn’t know that.

    You mean “10″ years?!

    Hi Fumie,

    > I keep barley tea packs to wipe out the grease from the pan when I cook something greasy food like fatty meat.

    Thank you for the tip.
    I make barley tea every day for my son, but I’ve never imagined that the used tea bags were useful for something else!

  21. YU
    Commented on
    2013/11/21 at 11:19

    correction :

    > because I had never heard the name of the city in the first place

    because I had never heard of the city in the first place

  22. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/11/21 at 4:12

    Hi everyone,

    Do the name of the cities begin with the letter “S”(Kyon) and “Y”(David)?

    Hi Anne,

    I looked up “hack” in my dictionary, too. As you say, it does seem like a word with a lot of meanings. However, one of them is “to withstand or put up with a difficult situation.” So I guess “life hacks” means 「(本来の使い方とは違うけれど)応急処置的な便利な知恵」. That’s why the picture of the entry said “Doritos are great for kindling if you can’t find any.”(焚き付け用の枝が見付からなければ、ドリトスがよく燃えるよ。)

    Hi YU,

    As for the Tupperware, I have never felt it was bothersome, probably because my mother uses it and I’ve always thought sugar/salt comes in Tupperware! LOL! By the way, how do you store flour?

    Hi Fumie,

    I’ll try the barley tea packs, too!

  23. mii
    Commented on
    2013/11/21 at 4:17

    Hi David,

    I had mistake.
    I wrote comment in “BLOG Teacher”.
    But,I don’t know how delete my comment.
    Please tell me.

  24. YU
    Commented on
    2013/11/21 at 5:28

    Hi Biwa,

    I use food clips to keep flour, katakuriko, etc…
    They are sold at 100yen for three at 100yen shops.
    I don’t really know good ideas to keep my kitchen in order. Many TV programs for housewives often introduce nice ideas and I’m always impressed by them, but I’ve almost never tried them myself!

    Hi mii,

    I don’t think you can delete your comment by yourself, but I don’t particularly think you need to delete it, either.

    おそらく自分では削除できないと思います。
    でも特に削除する必要もないと思いますよ。

  25. mii
    Commented on
    2013/11/21 at 5:35

    Hi,YU
    I understood.
    Thank you very mush:)

  26. David
    Commented on
    2013/11/21 at 5:41

    I just noticed that the above exchange is a conversation between “Me” and “You”! All we need now is for someone called “I” to join in!

    mii, I have deleted your comment from the other blog as you requested.

  27. YU
    Commented on
    2013/11/21 at 6:30

    Hi David,

    You couldn’t have put it better!

  28. Kattie
    Commented on
    2013/11/21 at 8:57

    >I just noticed that the above exchange is a conversation between “Me” and “You”! All we need now is for someone called “I” to join in!

    When Rosie went to playgroup, there was a woman called Di who used to work there but Rosie (who was only 2) thought she was called ‘I’ – we thought it was very funny so we always called her ‘I’ after that and Rosie was none the wiser!

  29. Anne
    Commented on
    2013/11/21 at 9:35

    Hi YU,
    >You mean “10″ years?
    –Oops! It’s embarrassing.

    Hi Biwa,
    Thanks for sharing your understanding. By the way, “doritos” and “kindling” are also new to me and looked them up in a dictionary…

    Hi David,

    “Me” and “You” story was funny!

    Hi Kattie,
    Rosie must have been adorable:)

  30. amo
    Commented on
    2013/11/22 at 12:55

    Hi David,

    i had a look at the link you mentioned. Like you, I had heard some of them. To tell the truth, they are not much appeal to me, though.

    Good night,
    amo

  31. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/11/22 at 7:57

    Hi Kattie,

    Can I make sure what “Rosie was none the wiser” means? Does it mean like “Rosie didn’t understand why it was so funny”? or the other way round?

    Hi everyone,

    I know I’m a bit off the track, but do you like seeing/trying little kitchen gadgets? I do!
    They usually have stalls in front of the supermarkets, and I love seeing them even if I don’t buy any. (lol!)

    Have you ever heard of ムッキーちゃん?
    Here’s a video of someone using it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFE7T71Iztc

    It’s a tool to peel oranges into beautiful wedges. Most of the part is made of plastic, so you would never imagine how sharply it cuts. It’s so easy and fun to use that my sons used to ask me “Aren’t there anything more to peel?” I’ve been using this for years, and is one of the greatest gadgets I’ve ever used. It’s also very cheap. I’d strongly recommend it if you hate peeling oranges♪♪♪

  32. YU
    Commented on
    2013/11/22 at 9:47

    Hi Biwa and Kattie,

    none the wiser :

    Knowing no more than before, as in He tried to explain the tax structure, but in the end I was none the wiser .

    > we thought it was very funny so we always called her ‘I’ after that and Rosie was none the wiser!

    My guess is that it means “Rosie never realized her mistake as before because after that Kattie and people around Rosie always called her “I” in front of Rosie half in fun.

  33. mii
    Commented on
    2013/11/22 at 11:24

    >I just noticed that the above exchange is a conversation between “Me” and “You”! All we need now is for someone called “I” to join in!
    –What do you mean in Japanese?

    and,what’s “Rosie”?