Clean Out The Closets–It Can Be More Lucrative Than You Thought!

What could be in this closet? Forgotten money? (Photo credit: Apreche)

By Wendy Amundsen, Guest Blogger

If you hate to clean your closets, this post might inspire you. One reader and guest blogger lets us in on what frugal finds she uncovered once she dug into her cluttered closet. Here’s what she found for her stockpile:

I suspect I’m like most people and hate to clean out closets, drawers and cabinets. But one rainy day in last spring, I put on my favorite Rod Stewart album, set my mind to it and buckled down to tackle the closets. What a lucrative endeavor it was!

Besides all the old clothes I found–including a Nehru jacket, a way-too-small mini skirt and a couple of shoes with no mates, I found all kinds of treasures.

This particular closet yielded a total of $20 of unopened paper towels and light bulbs. Encouraged, I pressed on. All together in this one closet, I found over $100 in usable items for my household items stockpile. However my best find was $40.00 stuffed deep in a pocket of an item that I planned on donating to Goodwill. So, I’d say I made about $140 in a couple of hours of simply decluttering one closet.

The next two closets yielded even more items to save me money. I found a new pair of slippers, which was great, because I was just about to go buy a new pair. Tucked away in the back of one closet were four rolls of Christmas wrapping paper, several boxes of Christmas cards, a bag of bows and fancy Hallmark gift bags, all bought on sale the day after Christmas a couple of years ago, but since forgotten. It’s certainly enough to get me through at least two more holidays without spending a dime on wrapping items. And as an added bonus, I didn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn the day after Christmas to schlep to the store for any big after-holiday sales!

Not bad for a rainy day.

My next projects will be my drawers, and finally my cabinets. Who knows what I’ll discover.

What have you discovered of worth in your closets, drawers and cabinets?

How to Get Rid of Weeds Without Weed Killer: Boil Them Away

Intolerable weeds! I’m planning my attack with boiling water….you can see a few boiled weeds on the lower part of this photo from a water attack earlier this week.

I’ve had ENOUGH of these weeds growing through the cracks of my front walk. No matter how much we weed, they double in size and it looks terrible. Since we refuse to use weed killer spray, we just kept pulling weeds. But this year they just blossomed out of control. Off to the Internet I went in search of something, anything that could get rid of these sidewalk weeds. I found some solutions with baking soda, vinegar, and other ideas. But, the best, cheapest solution I found was to pour boiling water over the cracks and over the weeds to scald the roots. Since this couldn’t hurt to try, I did, and it worked (so far). Never in a million years did I think of using boiling water to get rid of weeds, but then again, I’m not a gardener.

This is another section of our walk that we boiled two weeks ago. It’s 99% weed-free right now. I’m keeping my eye on it and will update this post if it’s truly successful.
Here’s what a scalded weed looks like. I read that you should “behead” the weed first for optimal results, but I didn’t here. I carefully poured boiling water on this weed — you are NOT supposed to use this method in a garden bed. But this particular weed haunted me for a couple of years! R.I.P.

It’s not as easy as it looks, believe it or not. You have to boil a lot of water! You have to watch your toes and make sure that the water doesn’t splash into roots you want to keep (on the edges of the sidewalk, for instance). But by this time (two weeks later), I would have already spotted more weeds, and it looks clean so far. I did read that I’ll have to pour some water over the walk every so often to kill off any weedlings. I’m happy to do so! And, after you boil the weeds, you have to pluck them up but they come out of the ground much easier.

Next I need to research how to get rid of chipmunk holes in our lawn! Don’t worry, I won’t pour boiling water down the holes!


Any other weed-killing tips are welcome here!

Update: July 26th: Still 99% clear! I see some violet weeds peeking through the cracks so I will get some boiling water down as soon as possible to thwart any growth. Violets spread like wildfire!


Why We Don’t Have a Lawn Care Service–Hint: It Used to be Cheaper When Teens Did It…

MTD Yard Machines Lawn Mower 4.5HP Tecumseh En...
What happened to the simple joy of cutting your own lawn…and what happened to letting a teen make a buck by cutting your lawn? Now, so many people in Fairfield feel the need to hire expensive “professional” mowing services once reserved for commercial properties. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lawn mowing services may be a convenience, but at what cost?  Continue reading “Why We Don’t Have a Lawn Care Service–Hint: It Used to be Cheaper When Teens Did It…”

Quick and Cheap Way to Clean the Grill

Use a little elbow grease when cleaning with aluminum foil, but it works. Just don’t forget to rinse the grills after this cleaning process so you don’t get bits of foil in your food (which seems less scary than getting a brush bristle in your gut).

I have a fear of grill brushes. It sounds odd–but this phobia came from seeing an older “Medical Mystery: You be the Doctor” television show on ABC where a bristle fell off a grill brush, stuck to the grill, then became cooked into a hamburger patty, and after the burger was eaten, it finally caused chaos in one person’s gut. (For more, see this article.) So, I banned the tool from our house. Instead, I tried a number of items, a grill cleaning cream and a stone-type tool (neither worked), the Magic Eraser (my favorite product, but nope, didn’t work), and finally somewhere I saw a tip to use crumpled up foil to get the gunk off. It works! But, here’s the thing: you have to wipe down (with a damp cloth) or hose off the grills after using the foil technique or else you, too, will be featured on a “Medical Mystery” show.

For more grill cleaning tips, see this article on cleaning a gas grill.

~Marilyn, TFF

Is Having a Cleaning Service a Luxury or a Necessity?

When the economy imploded in 2008, a casual friend told me that her husband informed her that the cleaning lady could come only one time a week instead of twice. I told her that she was lucky to have a cleaning lady at all! But what I was thinking was this: hmmmm, she doesn’t work, she only has two kids, why can’t she clean her own house? Continue reading “Is Having a Cleaning Service a Luxury or a Necessity?”